Raspberry Pi roundup: Hi, my breath is fresh, remote access, and a darker shade of Pi
- 17 February, 2017 23:28
Sticking Raspberry Pis in cute little packages is, after all, part of the point of the Raspberry Pi. It’s a small computer, so let’s put it places you can’t fit laptops or desktops. We’ve seen them behind picture frames, inside Nintendo Game Boy-ish shells, and in so many other places.
Step forward, PiMiniMint creator Matt Wagner, who has managed to stuff a Raspberry Pi Zero – along with a screen, a battery, an SD card reader and much more – into a tin of Altoids. Curious.
Apparently, the original version of the device featured not only a screen but a camera, but alas, Wagner writes, he couldn’t fit a battery in there with it. The new one trades the camera for a 1200mAh Li-Po battery, meaning that this little computer has Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, its own screen, 32GB of storage, a full-sized USB port and the ability to operate totally wirelessly.
I’m forced to wonder whether there are security implications to the PiMiniMint – the USB port notwithstanding, it appears to be convincing enough to go unnoticed in a cursory search, and the ability to sneak a highly functional computer into a place where it should not be has to be relatively attractive to miscreants. (Of course, serious sneaks probably have all sorts of more sophisticated toys, but those don’t tend to turn up in searches for Raspberry Pi-related information.)
Instructions and a more complete description of the PiMiniMint can be found online.
The smell of Sharpie is as much a part of big meet-and-greets as awkward handshakes and forced conversation – but it might not be for long if Josh King and his newest creation have their way:
Yes, it’s a programmable, Raspberry Pi Zero-powered name tag, letting you display your nerd cred, name and – in this case – a whole bunch of Cisco logos for the information and entertainment of your fellow humans. Personally, I’d have mine say “help, there is a Raspberry Pi living on my chest AND IT WON’T LEAVE.”
RealVNC makes a remote access tool, which you can use to (duh) access your computer from a different computer – now, there’s an option for it built into the latest versions of Raspbian, the Linux distribution designed specifically for use on the Raspberry Pi. In addition to remote direct connections between Pis and other machines, the latest iteration of VNC Connect lets you use VNC’s cloud service to connect from anywhere, no configuration required.
It’s free for educational and noncommercial use, which is handy, and there’s more information about VNC Connect and the Raspberry Pi available here.
Speaking of Linux distributions, Denver-based OWL Cybersecurity on Tuesday announced that it had released Version 1.0.1 of Tor-Pi-do, a highly secure operating system for the Raspberry Pi that’s designed to let Pi users explore online anonymously through the use of Tor.
The idea of a secured version of Linux for the Pi first came up when the OWL team needed to provide IT support for a meeting of executives taking place via Tor. It’s a little bit like Tails, but specifically for the Pi.
OWL advertises itself as featuring the “largest commercially available database of darkweb content,” so if that’s something you want to hold your nose and plunge into, Tor-Pi-do makes for an interesting way to do so.