Scratch provides a great introduction to programming for all ages, which is why it's included in Raspbian, the operating system that powers the Raspberry Pi. You can also use it to write code to control and respond to components connected to the GPIO (General Purpose Input and Output) pins on a Pi, and there’s a new version of the tool available from today.
Interacting with GPIO pins in Scratch 2.0 is easier than before, with custom blocks for setting the pin output (and getting the current pin state) replacing the old text-based broadcast instructions, which is a big step in the right direction. However, the tool can be a little slow for some operations, and there's a bigger issue to be aware of -- not all models of the Pi will be able to run it.
The words "Linux" and "malware" don’t tend to belong in the same sentence, but a new strain called Linux.MulDrop.14 is infecting Raspberry Pi devices. Infected machines are used to mine cryptocurrency for the malware's author, and it take advantage of poor security to generate money from nothing.
The good news is that the malware is fairly simple, and its spread is dependent on the laziness of Pi owners.
If you are looking for a dedicated media box for your living room or bedroom, the first thing you should consider is Kodi. This is a media center software package that delivers a very focused consumption experience. It can even be customized with "addons," although some of them can be used for piracy -- something we do not condone.
Unfortunately, Kodi is not its own operating system, meaning it has to be run on top of an OS. Sure, you could use Windows 10, but that is overkill if you only want to run Kodi. Instead, a lightweight Linux distribution that only serves to run the media center is preferable. One of the most popular such distros is OpenELEC. It can run on traditional PC hardware, but also Raspberry Pi, and, my favorite -- WeTek boxes. Today, version 8.0.4 achieves stable release. It is a fairly ho-hum update, focusing mostly on fixes and stability.
The Raspberry Pi was designed to provide an ultra-cheap way to encourage schoolchildren to learn to code just as they had back in the 1980s and 90s. Although the uncased credit card sized computer has since found a highly appreciative audience outside of education, kids -- the computer scientists of the future -- remain a priority.
CoderDojo is a global network of coding clubs for children aged from seven to 17 with the aim being to provide a safe and social place for kids to learn to program. It’s clear the two foundations have similar aims, which is why it’s no surprise that they are set to join forces.
Google has long been focused on artificial intelligence. Its Google Now and voice assistance projects have used AI to better the lives of users. The Google Home voice-based hardware unit brings its assistant to life, making traditional inputs and displays unnecessary. With just the power of your voice, you can interact with the device -- nothing else is needed.
The search giant has decided to take artificial intelligence to the maker community with a new initiative called AIY. This initiative (found here) will introduce open source AI projects to the public that makers can leverage in a simple way. Today, Google announces the first-ever AIY project. Called "Voice Kit," it is designed to work with a Raspberry Pi to create a voice-based virtual assistant. Please keep in mind that the Pi itself is not included, so you must bring your own. For this project, you can use a Pi 3 Model B, Pi 2, or Pi Zero. Want a Voice Kit? Here's how to get it. Heck, you might be getting one for free and you don't even know it.
It seems that the Raspberry Pi Foundation can do no wrong. Every new Pi it announces goes on to be a huge hit. The most recent model, the Wi-Fi enabled Pi Zero W, is a great example of this.
Launched just nine weeks ago, the Foundation announces that it has now shipped the 250,000th unit, and it is making the tiny board easier to buy by adding 13 additional distributors.
The NES Classic Edition is a very fun nostalgia-based gaming console. As someone who grew up with Nintendo, I knew I wanted the mini system as soon as it was announced. A family member was able to score me one on launch day, and I've been very happy with it. Unfortunately, other people have not been so lucky. Supply was very limited and it has since been discontinued. If you do not already have it, you are sort of out of luck without paying high prices on eBay or Craigslist.
If you are only looking to replay the NES games of your youth, and you are OK with doing it in an unofficial way, emulation is another route. In fact, if you'd rather not play these games on your PC, you can instead use a Linux-based operating system and a Raspberry Pi (or other devices) hooked to a television. One such distro is Lakka, which just reached version 2.0. It is arguably better than an NES Classic Edition as it can also play games from other systems, such as SNES, Sega Genesis, Nintendo 64, PlayStation 1, and many more.
When you want to play media in your living room, there are countless options nowadays. You can buy an Apple TV, Xbox One, Roku, or something else. Of course, for some people, a self-built home theater computer is a more rewarding experience. Thanks to Linux and solutions like Kodi, it can be easy to build a very capable media center machine.
Today, popular Linux distro OpenELEC reaches version 8.0 stable. This operating system leverages Kodi to provide a well-rounded media center experience. Not only are there images for PC, but for Raspberry Pi and WeTek boxes too.
Happy Pi Day, dear BetaNews readers! What, you've never heard of the holiday? Well, it is a nerdy play on Pi, which is 3.14 (and so on). In other words, since Pi is 3.14, Pi Day is on March 14th, or 3/14. True, it only really makes sense in countries, such as the USA, that use MM/DD date formatting, but everyone around the globe can still celebrate.
In recognition of Pi Day, we here at BetaNews are giving away a Raspberry Pi 3 and a really cool case from Eleduino. Get it? A Raspberry Pi for Pi Day? Yeah, we are very witty! You can see the prizes in the video below. Not only can you use the Linux-friendly System on a Chip (SoC) for neat projects, but it can even be made into a media player thanks to Kodi.
The Raspberry Pi line of mini computers -- including the all-new Pi Zero W -- are wonderful devices for what they are. Quite frankly, they have inspired many young people to learn about programming, while helping makers to create some really cool projects. With that said, the Pi computers are not the only System on a Chip solutions on the market. Actually, there are more powerful ARM-based offerings available. The problem? They are often radically more expensive than Raspberry Pi.
However, there is a new Raspberry Pi competitor that is quite affordable. In fact, some folks may view it as a Pi-killer. The $30 FriendlyElec NanoPi M1 Plus has an arguably superior design and layout, plus important integrated features like Wi-Fi and Bluetooth. It even has an IR receiver, onboard microphone, 8GB storage, and both power and reset buttons. Best of all? It is ready to run Debian, Ubuntu Core, and Ubuntu Mate from the start.
The Raspberry Pi Foundation launched the $5 Pi Zero in late 2015, and it sold out immediately. Every time new batches of stock arrived, they were snapped up in minutes of going on sale.
Launched to coincide with the original Raspberry Pi's fifth birthday, the new Raspberry Pi Zero W is likely to suffer from similar demand. It’s essentially a Pi Zero with the addition of the two features many people have been requesting -- wireless LAN and Bluetooth.
VNC (Virtual Network Computing) is a client/server technology that lets you remotely control any target device. RealVNC has been around for many years and its VNC Connect tool is now available for Raspberry Pi.
VNC Connect is included in the Raspbian repositories, and lets you connect to your Pi from anywhere in the world, from a range of devices, using a cloud brokered or direct connection. The Pi version comes with some extra features and functionality, but there are some steps you'll need to follow before you can start using it.
Google has big plans for creating a range of smart tools for the Raspberry Pi, and is asking users what they would like to see.
The Raspberry Pi Foundation says the search giant is developing tools covering AI and machine learning, and potentially areas such as robotics, IoT, 3D printing, home automation, wearables, and drones.
If you love Raspberry Pi, but require a little more power for your projects, then ASUS’s Tinker Board could be just what you’re looking for.
Although there’s no shortage of Raspberry Pi alternatives, the low-cost Tinker Board is better than most because its quad-core 1.8GHz ARM Cortex-A17 processor has the oomph to handle 4K video and 24-bit audio, and it comes with twice as much RAM as the latest Pi.
If you have never owned a Raspberry Pi, you do not know what you are missing. While it is designed for tinkering and learning coding, it can be used for so much more. It can run Linux distributions and even a special version of Windows 10. If you install Kodi, it can become a powerful media box too.
If you have been wanting one, I have good news. We here at BetaNews are giving away the best version -- the Raspberry Pi 3. We aren't stopping there, however, as we are also including a very nice aluminum case -- including heatsinks for overclocking. It is the exact Raspberry Pi 3 and case as seen in the video above. In other words, the case has already been installed by yours truly. Want to enter to win? There are multiple ways to enter. Just click the link below!