Raspberry Pi roundup: Here comes Google (kinda, probably), Competitor Corner and the sounds of Pi-lence
- 27 January, 2017 01:56
We in the tech press have a lot to answer for, it has to be admitted, like insufficiently tough coverage of net neutrality regulations, and the word “phablet.” We’ve also gotten into the habit of writing headlines that say “Giant company X has some big news!” based solely on the fact that Giant company X told us “hey, we’re gonna announce some big news Wednesday” or something.
This is – kind of – not one of those times, in that Google has actually made a couple semi-specific announcements about its pending entry into the world of makers and maker-related things. Google, apparently, is planning to bring some of its work on machine learning and AI to the Raspberry Pi.
A company survey linked from the Raspberry Pi Foundation’s official blog asks makers about their preferences in terms of smart applications, like facial recognition and text-to-speech. Google’s already made some of its advanced AI technology public, like the TensorFlow software library and DeepMind AI research tool.
It’s unknown precisely what’s coming for Raspberry Pi users and other makers – but there could very well be some exciting new capabilities on the way.
The market for adorable little hobbyist computers has really taken off in the wake of the Raspberry Pi’s success, and the latest challenger comes from the land of Asus: Meet the Tinker Board.
The Tinker Board actually has a little bit more under the hood than the Raspberry Pi – including a more powerful GPU with the ability to output 4K video, among other things. It’s also a bit more expensive than even the highest-end Pi, at about $57, compared to around $40 for the Pi, according to Computerworld’s Ian Paul. Paul also thinks it’s got a chance to catch on as a cheap home theater PC, which could be a boon to the cord-cutter on a budget.
I’m not a serious audiophile by any stretch, and have never owned a pair of headphones worth more than about $40. My limited understanding of lossy and lossless audio is basically – Mp3s are lossy. They shave little bits off of songs in order to form smaller files. Lossless formats directly translate analog signals to digital and back again, so that no part of the original recording is lost. I am assured this makes a noticeable difference.
And that high-definition audio is now set to come to the masses, thanks to JustBoom, a clever add-on that sits atop a Raspberry Pi which you can buy for anywhere between $30 and $75, depending on which model you want.
Or, if you’d rather your Raspberry Pi helped you hear nothing at all, a clever person on GitHub has provided instructions on how to tweak an Amazon Dash button to replace your doorbell. If you’ve done it right, instead of ordering more Cheez-Its from Amazon, the button will then send a signal to your smartphone that says “hey, someone’s at the door.”
Useful for those with aggressively sociable pets, children or who really don’t like the Westminster Bells chime sound.
(H/T: Geeky Gadgets)