Say you’ve got a 12 hour flight ahead of you, and you’re not a fan of the recent release movies that tend to be offered on your in-plane entertainment system. You could bring a tablet or laptop loaded up with your favorite videos or games… or you could make a project of it and bring a Raspberry Pi computer, a power pack, USB hub, gamepad, portable hard drive, travel router… and create a kind of ridiculous system that taps into the 12 inch monitor in the seatback in front of you.
Here’s a roundup of tech news from around the web.
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- Retroplane: using a Raspberry Pi to power an in-plane entertainment system at your seat
Surprisingly, nobody asked this reddit user whether the system was actually a bomb. [/r/Android/
- Android M developer preview includes initial support for themes
Sony’s RRO framework for a theme engine has been incorporated into Android’s source code. It’s not a feature users can actually take advantage of yet, but the underlying code is included in Android M and if you root a device running the Android M developer preview, use a custom kernel and take a few other steps, you can try it out. [xda-developers]
- Sony SmartBand 2 fitness tracker leaked
Sony hasn’t officially announced its next-gen activity tracker. But the company did publish an app to the Google Play Store which spilled many details prematurely. The app has since been removed. [Xperia Blog]
- Yahoo Pipes, Maps, Mail for older Apple devices shutting down
Before there was IFTTT. It wasn’t quite as simple to use, but it was a powerful tool for cooking up recipes without learning to code your own apps. Now it’s being sunset. [Yahoo]
- MSI refines the design of its external graphics card adapter/gaming dock for laptops
Some gaming laptops come with discrete graphics cards… but what if you want desktop-class graphics, or the option to choose your own graphics card and upgrade it when a new model is available? MSI introduced an external graphics card solution for laptops last year. This year the company’s working on options to make it look less clunky. [Tom’s Hardware]
- Asus Selfie Swing is a smartphone bumper and selfie stick rolled into one
You could also use it as a stand… which probably looks slightly less ridiculous than using it as a selfie stick. [The Verge]
- Microsoft Nokia 105 budget phone coming to select markets this month… for just $20
When Microsoft acquired Nokia’s phone business, the company didn’t just get the smartphone division. Cheap phones with long battery life and limited features are still part of the lineup. [Microsoft]
- Amazon Echo can now read Audible audiobooks out loud to you
Amazon’s speaker/digital assistant can now you read you stories. [Amazon]
- Using Android phones to photograph the earth from 80,000 feet
Take a smartphone, modify it to use batteries that can work in cold environments, create custom apps, put them in a box, send them up in weather balloons, and track them with GPS and cellular data. Easy. Well, maybe not easy. But pretty cool. [Google Developers]