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Comment Re:Too good to be true? (Score 5, Informative) 196

In the USA customs on phones and similar mobile computing devices is 0%. Unless they come from Japan and have a 16 bit or larger CPU, then its something outrageous like 200% which I assume is some ancient 1980s calculator tariff thats still hanging around. If you do not require a formal entry, typically there are no customs duties or charges at all. Formal entry is not required for packages sent by mail carrier with a value $1500, unless they are in a special category like munitions, produce, etc, etc. Even with a formal entry this category doesn't have any duty but your customs agent will typically charge a % for handling the paperwork. DHL used to charge me 0.25% I think, its been more than I year though so I can't remember exactly. This isn't true for most western countries, the EU has VAT and local sales tax, Canada has a national sales tax, many other countries have crippling duties. In short, drop shipping to the USA is not a problem and won't add duties. I used to do a formal entries of this kind of merchandise about once a month when I had this going .

Comment Re:Im on the project, ask me anything (Score 1) 93

Free as in open source? I don't think so. The ones we are using now are blobs but we can build the kernel modules that go with them, so they should remain usable from what I know about it. There hasn't been any serious effort to reverse engineer the PowerVR from what I can tell. I heard from the guy working on the Mali RE that PowerVR would be so much worse to work on, he doesn't think it will ever be done.

Comment Re:yikes (Score 1) 93

The device is 9.7", it is not the size of a phone.

We are using a stock design but having it build custom. You could buy an almost identical model from another vendor, it cost more, is only available in one country and does not come with Linux support. I think you underestimate the effort involved in getting Linux running on a new device, some people don't like to spend hours and hours and hours of their own time porting GNU/Linux to a new device just to use it.

Comment Re:Im on the project, ask me anything (Score 1) 93

The non available source:
PowerVR userspace 3D acceleration libraries.
Nand driver, though Allwinner has released v5 and v7 off this libraries source, we are working with v6. I think getting source would be a simple formality but upgrading to v7 is probably better anyway.
bluetooth firmware for the 8723as wifi/bt chip. We might be switching to a similar broadcom chip though before final release.

Comment Re:Im on the project, ask me anything (Score 2) 93

Also I should say, we didn't intend to have the gap between models. We spent 2 months chasing a imx6q tablet. In the end the LCD driver had no source and was too difficult to reverse engineer. If this funder succeeds we will be increasing the size of our engineering staff and feel confident we will be able to ready new devices more quickly so as to not have these gaps.

Comment Re:Im on the project, ask me anything (Score 4, Informative) 93

I'll respond to this in two parts, first about the old devices. We sold a lot more than 100 in the 6 months or so they were generally available, so it wasn't 1 order and done. We were told we would have some notice when they were going away so we would have a chance to 'stock up' based on our estimated sales volume. That didn't happen and in fact our last regular order was cancelled and refunded after being delayed several weeks. We had some alternate choices but everyone was switching to a new touch screen control and nand chip but no one had working source for them. We didn't see enough demand to justify reverse engineering the drivers. These things happen at small volume and we no longer using the original supplier.

Second, about the 1040. We have to order these in larger lots, so the good news is we will generally have a larger supply for fewer surprises. Also at this volume they are being manufactured, PCB and all in custom runs. So as long as the A31 is available, we can have them made, assuming their is demand. A finally because our new supplier actually creates and shares the source improvements needed to run the device, even if small changes come as peripheral chips reach EOL, we will have their source for the new parts directly from our supplier.

Comment Re:Rebootless switching (Score 1) 93

Yes, it should be possible but I'm not sure what improvement Ubuntu has now for this method. I used to mess around with this on some of the early Android tablets and its actually what got me interested in booting just Linux on the devices to improve performance. It was fairly easy to setup a chroot on these systems but you ahd to do something goody like vnc into it, which was very, very slow. I scanned that page and it also sounds like a precursor to Ubuntu Touch but I didn't see any technical links to find more.

Comment Re:guarantee that it's free of NSA tracking? (Score 5, Informative) 93

I'm part of the PengPod project, I thought I should come to Timothy's defense. We throw the no NSA thing around in the marketing because we directly share, or use common open source distributions that share, all the source in the machine. For the bootloader, u-boot, kernel up to the user space. We share all the Apache licensed parts as well. In this way, you can review and audit all the code, unlike with many Android devices where their Android modifications are hidden. Of course, as the above points out we cannot actually audit the entire existing code base. Also we don't have source for the 3D acceleration libraries but they aren't required for any uses. Since we provide all the tools to create your own images, the device can be flashed without those.

Submission + - 4 Things to Do When You're Still Young (

falguniida writes: Since days of old, youth has been treasured, leading to many searches for the fabled Fountain of Youth, which promised eternal youth to anyone who bathed or drank from its waters. Of course, no such fountain exists, which means you need to enjoy your youth all the more. Unfortunately, too many young people shut themselves in their rooms and live the world through their computer screens without really experiencing much of anything. Here are some things you should do while you’re still young.

Submission + - New product breaking down barriers in the tablet industry

An anonymous reader writes: PengPod1040. The PengPod1040 can now boot three different OS options from internal memory, select-able with a built in bootloader. This 9.7" high resolution tablet can run Android, GNU/Linux and now ÂUbuntu Touch . Ubuntu touch is made so one can have the same friendly Ubuntu experience, but is touch friendly, which has the ability to navigate the Ubuntu desktop without having to use a mouse and keyboard.

PengPod has pledged to make all source and tools used to build the images available so users can build their own OS top to bottom and guarantee it free tracking from the NSA or others. ÂThe PengPod has previously found some success as a low cost touch platform for industrial/commercial control systems and is partnered with ViewTouch, the original inventors of the graphical POS to offer PengPods as restaurant register systems.


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