Librem5 (and why I am no longer interested)

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zigote
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Hi,

I have been reading through this forum for a long time and I like how people scrutinize various devices and programs. So I decided to register and share my recent communication with Purism about their Librem5 phone.

I think Purism is playing very a clever marketing game, using a carefully tailored language accenting on what they want people to believe and avoiding the actual state of their products. As you will see in the attached file, they even stopped responding when they were pressed a little harder about that. To my mind such behavior is totally unacceptable for a "social purpose" organization.

It would be great to have your comments (as I may be misinformed or biased).

AttachmentSize
librem5.txt21.11 KB
onpon4
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Eh, sounds about right. Decent products, poor communication about what those products actually are.

Personally, I'll be going for the Pyra. I prefer that my pocket computer has a keyboard. ;) Actually, I prefer that my phone has a keypad, too. I can't stand touchscreen-only devices; truth be told it's the real reason why I stopped using a cell phone.

zigote
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What is Pyra?

Magic Banana

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zigote
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Thanks.

Masaru Suzuqi
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>This doesn't answer the question.

How many times have I written or said these words in my life.

andyprough
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I'd say at least once.

Masaru Suzuqi
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I don't get your (maybe) joke.

GrevenGull
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Oh, that Pyra looks tasty. Will it be completely free? I see they mentions hardware schematics, that's awesome! But what about firmware and bootloader and everything, will it be like a librebooted pc without ME and Spectre?

If so: holy hell gimme gimme

onpon4
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They've said it should be about the same as the Pandora as far as software goes. That system is usable with a 100% libre software stack, but graphical hardware acceleration is absent and a wireless adapter is needed (so, the same sort of deal as the EOMA68-A20). A specialized kernel may also be needed because it's ARM, and the system they ship will definitely contain the proprietary blobs needed to get hardware acceleration and wireless to work, but that system is based on Debian so it should be easy enough to remove those components with the help of vrms, as long as they keep the packaging tree structured the same and make the blobs into "non-free" section packages. If not, though, worst case scenario is simply having to delete a couple of files manually (as on the Pandora).

chaosmonk

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Do you know if the Pyra will have it's own repository in addition to Debian's, or will all packages be directly from the Debian repos? The CHIP had a Debian-based OS, but with some additional packages from NextThingCo's repo, not all of which could be removed and still support the PocketCHIP hardware.

zigote
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Can anyone please open a separate thread about Pyra?

onpon4
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I think you may be misunderstanding how this forum operates. Discussion is not tied to one particular discussion point designated by a particular individual. Sometimes discussions diverge off into other topics, and that's okay; there's no need to insist on splitting up the discussion every time this happens. The only particular reason to create a new thread is if you want to make sure the topic gets noticed.

zigote
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If you read the OP you will know I am familiar with the forum. Still I don't think it is good to discuss everything possible in one single mega thread just because all things in the universe may be remotely related to it and sub-threaded.

To my mind having a topic should not be a call for "hey, let's chatter again about everything, here is a starting point". Staying on topic helps to look deeper into *one* thing and only through looking deep one can learn something new. Well structured information is not only easier to follow but also a form of respect to others. Diluting a conversation through adding noise denies that principle, even if that may be a norm accepted by many.

So let's "Do one thing and do it well" :)

onpon4
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You've only been a member here for less than a week.

I personally can't stand harsh rules against "derailing" threads. One forum I used to frequent had that, and I had to constantly second-guess whether the mods would yell at, warn, and eventually ban me for posting something.

It was also, in particular, a fantastic way to silence dissenting opinions. If someone holds an unpopular opinion, call any expression of that opinion "off-topic" and shut that person up. I don't want that sort of thing here.

zigote
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I don't see anything harsh here. My asking for staying on topic was given most politely and respectfully. An invitation to channel the extra info in another thread where it can be discussed more in depth and more cleanly, doesn't mean anyone is trying to silence you.

onpon4
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It doesn't really matter how polite you put it, telling someone that what they're posting is "off-topic" is always going to silence them. That's only appropriate if someone is posting irrelevant messages to clutter up the thread with nonsense, which is not what you were complaining about. Instead, what you were complaining about was the discussion drifting away from how it started out, which is not a problem. It's how discussions work.

You also seem to be under the impression that you "own" a thread because you started it. That's not how it works, at least not here. All you did was start the discussion, and it will continue in whatever direction it has gone until all those involved decide they're done, regardless of your involvement or lack thereof.

zigote
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Actually it does matter how I put it as you were complaining about harshness and I explained that there has been no such. Insisting on adding more noise when someone says it is getting difficult to follow is hardly "how discussions work". So in this case silence is more welcome than adding and justifying noise. But of course nothing can silence people who seem to read others' mind rather than others' words :)

onpon4
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I think you should re-read what I said, because I did not say anything about you being "harsh". The "harsh" statement was in reference to a completely different forum I had a bad experience with.

> Insisting on adding more noise when someone says it is getting difficult to follow is hardly "how discussions work".

I wouldn't call a divergent topic about another, similar device "noise".

zigote
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The thread is about Librem5 and Purism's marketing tricks.

I have re-read and with the exception of the first 2 sentences of your very first post everything else by you is off-topic, regardless how you may be trying to argue that it is not. Thanks to that there were additional off-topic posts by others.

This may be "how this forum operates" but that doesn't mean it is right to waste other people's time. Habit is not a valid argument, just like one may have been using Windows for 20 years like many others and may argue that this is the right thing to do on that basis.

So I don't know why you insist on doing this instead of opening a separate thread. It is not that I or anyone else "owns" the current one. It is just a way not to waste others people's time to find the on-topic messages among the off-topic ones. That is why the whole concept of threads and topics exists in the first place along with terms like "off-topic", "flooding", "trolling", "netiquette" etc. (regardless of whether those are enforced on a particular discussion board or not)

I won't reply any more to this.

chaosmonk

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> It was also, in particular, a fantastic way to silence dissenting opinions. If someone holds an unpopular opinion, call any expression of that opinion "off-topic" and shut that person up. I don't want that sort of thing here.

This. I don't think that it's what zigote is doing here, but I see it all the time. It's easy to be subtle about this too, since there is such a large grey area between on-topic and off-topic.

For example, the OP was about not wanting to buy a Librem 5 from Purism. As such, I consider the viability of alternatives like the Pyra to be perfectly on-topic. The OP didn't explicitly ask for alternatives, but it's a totally logical response (which is why it came up).

I could instead restrict my definition of "on-topic" to include only ideas introduced in the OP, in which case everything here except for criticism and defense of Purism has been "off-topic" and I can selectively indulge or shut down these "digressions" depending how much they bother me. Again, I'm not accusing zigote of this and I don't think you were either, but it can definitely be a problem.

With the Trisquel Users forum I think a more narrow definition of "on-topic" is appropriate, since that forum doubles as documentation and shouldn't be cluttered with too much information that doesn't address the technical problem in the title. It is largely for that reason that this forum was created. By letting general discussions naturally evolve here we keep them from cluttering Trisquel Users.

chaosmonk

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But on the other hand, we are limited by this web interface. Once a thread starts taking up more than one page, it becomes difficult to follow threads on the first page like this one. Sometimes when something starts to get buried but doesn't seem quite unique enough from the OP to deserve its own thread, I'll reply to the OP instead.

I find Trisquel Users threads much easier to follow simply because I can use my email client. Unfortunately the mailing list mirroring doesn't work correctly for this forum, so I have to use the web interface.

Dmitry Alexandrov
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name at domain wrote:
>> It was also, in particular, a fantastic way to silence dissenting opinions. If someone holds an unpopular opinion, call any expression of that opinion "off-topic" and shut that person up. I don't want that sort of thing here.
>
> This. I don't think that it's what zigote is doing here, but I see it all the
> time. It's easy to be subtle about this too, since there is such a large grey
> area between on-topic and off-topic.

Well, in a proper newsgroup or mailing list this never should be such a problem, am I right? When you’ve gone off-topic — just amend the topic (that is ‘subject’). If someone else believes that you forgot to do that — he’s always free to set it right with the next reply.

That Drupal interface, on the other hand, besides eating text inside angle brackets, throws off subjects of individual messages too; let alone to be flexible enough to do scoring on them.

onpon4
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They have their own repo. They're not using Debian, but rather a custom-made distro based on Debian.

jxself
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"I think Purism is playing very a clever marketing game, using a carefully tailored language..."

You have finally discovered their secret and why people in the know don't like them.

Magic Banana

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Besides the answers to your more technical questions (protection against IMSI catchers can be implemented in applications but nothing is planned so far; the Matrix encryption only works over Ethernet/WiFi; battery saving functions are not planned so far; the Librem 5 release is planned for next month), you actually received these answers from https://puri.sm/faq :

Since Librem 5 is based on an i.MX 8M chipset, it is not vulnerable to either Meltdown nor Spectre.

Based on our testing: the CPU, GPU, Bootloader and all software will run free software, we are evaluating the WiFi and Bluetooth chips and their firmware, this is an area we have to evaluate, finalize, and test. The mobile baseband will most likely use ROM loaded firmware, but a free software kernel driver.

If you think that proprietary firmware running on the baseband chip is unacceptable, do like me: do not carry a mobile phone. "There is NO baseband modem currently that works without proprietary firmware" (as you were replied). If you do want/need a mobile phone, you must deal with it. Your best solutions are then either:

  • a Librem 5 phone, which "[isolates] the modem to the rest of the phone via USB interface, so there is no direct access to CPU, RAM, mic or other parts of the phone", "plus, you will be able to turn it off when you want, using hardware kill-switches", but whose "Wifi/bluetooth chip is still being evaluated, it will perhaps not use any firmware at all" (excerpts from the answers you received);
  • Replicant installed on an existing phone model whose modem isolation is worse (https://www.fsf.org/blogs/community/replicant-developers-find-and-close-samsung-galaxy-backdoor even explains how Paul K discovered a backdoor while working on Replicant) but possibly using a USB dongle that will, for sure, provides Wifi in a way that does not require to load any proprietary firmware in that peripheral.

Annoying those working on the best (although imperfect) solutions is detrimental, in my humble opinion. Again, if you find those best solutions unacceptable, do like me: do not carry a mobile phone.

All that said, I had rather read a more factual/honest speech on https://puri.sm/products/librem-5/

chaosmonk

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Purism could help the free software movement a lot if they used their platform to educate users instead of spreading ignorance. I had actually planned to contact them at some point to see if they could be reasoned with. After seeing the response you got I won't bother. I think it's best to just ignore them and recommend other vendors. The misinformation they spread harms the free software movement, and their overpriced products are not unique enough to be worth the trouble.

By the way, the Purism employee with whom you corresponded has recommended adding Debian's non-free repository to PureOS to support non-free WiFi,[1] so I find it hard to believe that he cares about the FSDG beyond the minimum level of compliance needed for FSF-endorsement.

[1] https://forums.puri.sm/t/wifi-not-working/1249

Magic Banana

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I think it's best to just ignore them and recommend other vendors. The misinformation they spread harms the free software movement, and their overpriced products are not unique enough to be worth the trouble.

The Librem 5 looks quite unique to me. What are the "other vendors" selling new smartphones with a 100% free operating system running on the main CPU and a baseband modem isolated from the rest of the phone?

chaosmonk

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> The Librem 5 looks quite unique to me. What are the "other vendors" selling new smartphones with a 100% free operating system running on the main CPU and a baseband modem isolated from the rest of the phone?

The Librem 5 does not exist yet. Purism currently sells Corebooted laptops. Corebooted laptops are better than laptops with an entirely proprietary BIOS, but there are other vendors who sell these (or Coreboot installation services). I would not want to recommend a Purism laptop to someone, because this would guide them towards Purism's marketing. The laptop would also probably come with PureOS, so they would look to Purism's forum* for support, and the community in that forum (and on at least one occasion, to which I linked, a Purism employee) frequently help users install proprietary software.

I would even go so far as to say that a proprietary BIOS, fully free operating system, and educated user who values freedom is a better combination than Coreboot, a mostly-free system with Chrome/Spotify/whatever-crap-the-purism-forum-helped-you-install-without-talking-about-freedom, and a user who doesn't even know what Coreboot is and bought a $1500 laptop because Meltdown and Spectre sounded scary (that's the kind of user Purism's marketing attracts, as is evident from their forum).

I'm getting a little off-topic though. To address your point, the Librem 5 is indeed a different situation from the laptops. The only comparable project I know of is the neo900. If the Librem 5 is ready first, then it will be unique until the neo900 is ready. If that happens, I will have to weigh the advantages of the device against the costs of exposing people to Purism's misinformation. Until then, I am directing people interested in such a device to the neo900.[1] Or, if the user lives in North America, I direct them to JMP,[2] a free, privacy-respecting replacement for using the cell network that uses a relay bridge to communicate with cell phone users (neutralizing the network effect). I think a real step forward regarding the cell phone problem would be for JMP to implement support for non-North-American phone numbers.**

*a forum which, last time I checked, uses obfuscated JavaScript with no license statement
**This actually isn't a software problem IIUC. The dev just needs to find non-North-American carriers with feature-parity to the carrier he uses for the North American instance. Apparently this is non-trivial.

[1] https://neo900.org/
[2] https://jmp.chat/

Magic Banana

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Neo900 is dead. http://talk.maemo.org/showthread.php?t=100408 is the last thread that was created, eight months ago, on http://talk.maemo.org/forumdisplay.php?f=57 (a sub-forum dedicated to the Neo900). It starts like that:

At least 5 years overdue, at least 100% over the original budget and at least 3mm thicker than the original specification are just three of a whole mountain of "at least"s. And there is still no sign of the light at the end of the tunnel. Any official updates from the development team have dried up ages ago. Is there any point pretending the project is still alive and will at some point deliver?

The last piece of "news" on https://neo900.org is indeed more than one year old. The post I quoted above is a poll too. It reveals that, among the backers of the Neo900 who responded (many must have lost interest years ago), 63% will *not* "wait for the Neo900 delivery and pay the remaining cost, no matter what".

About that cost, https://neo900.org/faq says that "the cost of the motherboard should be somewhere around 990 EUR; the complete device will cost about 150 EUR more". For an old processor (TI DM3730), a 3.5" 800x480 screen, etc.: https://neo900.org/specs

And from a freedom point of view, the Neo900 is, on the paper (since it will never be produced), no better than the Librem 5. In particular, https://neo900.org/faq explains that "the Neo900 CPU chip will come with a built-in PowerVR graphics processor, for which no free drivers exist yet; however, closed drivers for the PowerVR are available, e.g., for the N900 and N9 (bundled with Maemo), or from TI (used for example by OpenPandora)" and that "the WiFi chipset (WL1837MODGI) will require a binary-only firmware file to be loaded".

So, if I were you, I would stop "directing people interested in such a device to the neo900". Fortunately, they will not lose money like all those complaining in the thread I linked to. Indeed https://my.neo900.org does not accept pre-orders anymore. It just says:

No featured products at this time.

chaosmonk

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> Neo900 is dead.

That's a shame. Thanks for the update.

GrevenGull
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*eats popcorn*

chaosmonk

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> *eats popcorn*

:)

Dmitry Alexandrov
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name at domain wrote:
> they would look to Purism's forum* for support...
> *a forum which, last time I checked, uses obfuscated JavaScript with no license statement

Non-obfuscated, yet bundled, (half-)sources (and debug symbols) are actually there. Any licence is indeed missing. Which is a sign of certain carelessness, as mentioning in the footer that all client-side programs are free software under GNU GPLv2+-compatible terms is not hard at all and much better than nothing.

However, I’d like to turn your attention to another issue with their forum (thanks for pushing me to it) — its own terms [1].

Despite that the FAQ promises [2]:

> Terms of Service
> Yes, legalese is boring...

I have to disagree: it’s not boring, it’s quite concise and interesting enough to comment on.

[1] https://forums.puri.sm/tos
[2] https://forums.puri.sm/faq

The very first section put me on the alert:

> If you create an account on the Website, ... you are fully responsible for all activities that occur under the account. You must immediately notify Purism of any unauthorized uses of your account or any other breaches of security.

Do Purism have a symmetric obligation, I wonder? That is, to immediately notify me of any breaches in their security; or they retain a right to eliminate them first?

> If you post material to the Website, post links on the Website, or otherwise make (or allow any third party to make) material available by means of the Website (any such material, “Content”) ... you represent and warrant that:
>
> — the downloading, copying and use of the Content will not infringe the proprietary rights, including but not limited to the copyright, patent, trademark or trade secret rights, of any third party;

No, Purism, I won’t warrant that. I am not your copyright lawyer, patent attorney and trademark agent rolled into one. Even to the best of my intentions, I have no idea, ‘rights’ of which patent troll a user, living in a random place on the Globe, might infringe by running a free program.

> — the Content ... is not machine- or randomly-generated...

Hm. That is, I cannot attach my public key to a message?

> — you have, in the case of Content that includes computer code, accurately categorized and/or described the type, nature, uses and effects of the materials...

To me, that’s the only place in the TOS which was rightfully described as ‘legalese’. My best efforts to translate it into English results in: “Do not post undocumented code”.

Oh, really? They forbid me to sketch a script in response, unless I also take care to ‘accurately describe’ its ‘nature’? And what if otherwise — the whole point of my message was to _ask_ about ‘uses and effects’ of a given piece of code? Do I still have to be aware of them a priori, eh?

Now, if we recall, that ‘Content’ in their lingo extends to linked materials, this reaches a peak of absurdity by becoming an obligation to have a deep knowledge of anyone else’s program we are discussing.

> 3. User Content License
>
> User contributions are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.

Things are thickening.

Let put aside a minor and neglectable fact, that it effectively prohibits me to post any third-party copylefted materials there — whether under GNU GPL or CC BY-SA or even CC BY-NC-SA 4.0; and focus on the fact, that while being ‘noncommercial’ it is _not_ ‘nonderivative’.

That is, they demanding me to renounce my inalienable author’s right for integrity of my words. This is natural for a wiki, but for a forum, where articles are not meant to be collective and often reflect personal opinions, it goes too far.

> 4. Payment and Renewal
> General Terms
>
> Optional paid services or upgrades may be available on the Website. When utilizing an optional paid service or upgrade, you agree to pay Purism the monthly or annual subscription fees indicated.

What paid services can a webforum provide? A private consulting? A unique ability to use colourful emojis? [3] I am really intrigued, as a brief search does not suggests anything related. [4]

[3] https://help.groupme.com/hc/en-us/articles/217104267-Where-can-I-purchase-premium-emoji-packs-
[4] https://www.google.com/search?q=site:forums.puri.sm+price+OR+paid

It’s not about customer support and providing some ‘hosting’, as per the next section they are covered by separate TOS’es:

> 5. Services
> Hosting, Support Services
>
> Optional Hosting and Support services may be provided by Purism under the terms and conditions for each such service. By signing up for a Hosting/Support or Support services account, you agree to abide by such terms and conditions.

Back to § 4 for now:

> Payments will be charged on a pre-pay basis...

Well, at least that seems to be good. Indeed, if I will ever want to get some paid services from a webforum, I want them be pre-paid.

> Automatic Renewal
>
> Unless you notify Purism before the end of the applicable subscription period that you want to cancel a service or upgrade, your subscription will automatically renew and you authorize us to collect the then-applicable annual or monthly subscription fee (as well as any taxes) using any credit card or other payment mechanism we have on record for you.

Huh! *That* is what they dare call a ‘pre-pay’?!

Okay, what else do we have there?

> 12. Changes
>
> Purism reserves the right, at its sole discretion, to modify or replace any part of this Agreement. It is your responsibility to check this Agreement periodically for changes. Your continued use of or access to the Website following the posting of any changes to this Agreement constitutes acceptance of those changes.

Perfect, we have _anything_ there! Purism basically want us to sign a blank sheet!

Is it even legal in their country?

So, where did we start:

> Terms of Service
> Yes, legalese is boring...

Given all of the above, it looks like they are intentionally trying to divert users from reading the agreement, doesn’t it?

> ...but we must protect ourselves – and by extension, you

Any way, glad to be cared for, Purism™, but I am not your ‘extension’, and therefore need no of your ‘protection’ of that or any other kind.

> To use this service, you must agree to abide by our TOS.

No, thanks, in an unlucky case that I need a help with your ‘PureOS’, I’d better go to lists.debian.org — a remnant of the good old Internet, where you did not have to sign a contract to merely send a message.

chaosmonk

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> Non-obfuscated, yet bundled, (half-)sources (and debug symbols) are actually there. Any licence is indeed missing. Which is a sign of certain carelessness, as mentioning in the footer that all client-side programs are free software under GNU GPLv2+-compatible terms is not hard at all and much better than nothing.

The reason is probably carelessness as you say, but the result is a freedom issue. With no license and no offer of source code, this isn't free software. The original software might have been free, but Purism is distributing it as proprietary software. Depending on the license of the original software, Purism might also be in violation of the license. Obviously this wouldn't comply with the GPL, and even permissive licenses usually require the copyright notice to be preserved, and I don't see that anywhere.

> What paid services can a webforum provide? A private consulting? A unique ability to use colourful emojis?

Yes, this seems completely irrelevant to their forum, which led me to think that they copied and pasted their TOS from somewhere. I searched for some of the text in the TOS, and found other sites with nearly identical TOS.[1][2][3] It must be some generic template that many sites use. Like the the JavaScript issue, any problematic elements of the TOS might be due to carelessness and not malice. They wouldn't even have had to really read the TOS to do 's/COMPANY/Purism/'

[1] https://hellomojomagazine.com/terms-of-service/
[2] https://eu.forums.blizzard.com/es/wow/tos
[3] https://www.rhodanmarine.com/terms-and-conditions/

zigote
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Wording is important here because through wording they generalize things and the essence gets hidden.

The "rest of the phone" is a computer. It has nothing to do with "the phone" whatsoever. They call the whole thing "a phone" and surround it with verbal propaganda (Libre this, Pure that, "our endorsed OS", "privacy", "security", "you own it" and all the verbal gymnastics) aimed to make people believe that this "phone" gives better privacy and security. It doesn't - as per their own words no measures have been taken in regards to that, neither active, nor passive. And they didn't follow up with answers, neither they provided an article which clarifies all that.

As for electric decoupling compare this 2 cases:

Case A

- One dumb phone in my pocket (which I can power off at will)
- One computer with free software in my other pocket/bag (which I can connect to the Internet and use encrypted communication)

The two are completely isolated electrically.

Case B

The two things from above in the same pocket.

That's why I don't see how B is more private than A. So this may sound outrageous but to my mind this is convenience, not privacy. The problem is that they seem to mass hypnotize everyone believing the later.

As for uniqueness: It is much more unique to me that the CPU is immune to Spectre/Meltdown. I don't know of any other computers or laptops which run only free software and have that (AFAIK RPi is immune but not RYF). That is a real hardware protection. I think that if they make the computer only, without the modem (or make the modem a pluggable/attachable module) that computer would have all the chances to be RYF.

chaosmonk

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> That's why I don't see how B is more private than A. So this may sound outrageous but to my mind this is convenience, not privacy. The problem is that they seem to mass hypnotize everyone believing the later.

Good point. The technical accomplishment here really solves a problem of inconvenience. That's not nothing, though. All other factors being the same, there's nothing wrong with convenience if it doesn't require some other compromise.

Also, people are human. If turning off the modem is easier than powering down a separate phone, they may do it more often and have better privacy. Then again, it could have the reverse effect. If it's easier to turn the modem *on* than to power on the separate phone, they may turn it on to check their phones and give away their location *more* often.

> As for uniqueness: It is much more unique to me that the CPU is immune to Spectre/Meltdown. I don't know of any other computers or laptops which run only free software and have that (AFAIK RPi is immune but not RYF).

The EOMA68 A20 will be immune to Meltdown and Spectre. Who knows when that will ship though. The current ETA is the end of this month, but there have been many delays and another wouldn't surprise me.

zigote
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> That's not nothing, though. All other factors being the same, there's nothing wrong with convenience if it doesn't require some other compromise.

I am not saying it's nothing. I am saying it (the convenience of 2-in-1 devices) is not what they claim to be selling (a *phone* with better privacy). Also $600 is a bit too much for such convenience.

> Also, people are human. If turning off the modem is easier than powering down a separate phone, they may do it more often and have better privacy. Then again, it could have the reverse effect. If it's easier to turn the modem *on* than to power on the separate phone, they may turn it on to check their phones and give away their location *more* often.

There are much bigger issues in life than conforming to an ideal of perfect privacy or the rules of software freedom. Suppose a family member or a friend who is ill may need to call you for help or advise, for an ambulance, or just to hear your voice in the last days of agony. Would you keep your phone off just because someone says "don't buy/turn off any mobile phone"? Would you be happy if your doctor who can save your life stays disconnected?

People are human because they need to keep in touch, not because they have a kill switch. The essence of communication technology is to connect, not to keep it off. That's why when I read "but you can kill it with a switch" or "don't buy a phone" - to me this is a pretty limited and selfish thinking. The right thing would be to protect the communication, not to stop communicating. That's why I asked Purism for measures against eavesdropping and clarity in their articles.

chaosmonk

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> I am not saying it's nothing. I am saying it (the convenience of 2-in-1 devices) is not what they claim to be selling (a *phone* with better privacy). Also $600 is a bit too much for such convenience.

Sorry, I wasn't trying to put words in your mouth. I agree with you on this point.

> People are human because they need to keep in touch, not because they have a kill switch. The essence of communication technology is to connect, not to keep it off. That's why when I read "but you can kill it with a switch" or "don't buy a phone" - to me this is a pretty limited and selfish thinking. The right thing would be to protect the communication, not to stop communicating. That's why I asked Purism for measures against eavesdropping and clarity in their articles.

I don't think that it is selfish to not be reachable 24/7. Is it selfish to take a nap, fly on a plane, go to work, take a shower, have sex, or just want some time to yourself to think, focus on a task, be sad, be happy, or for whatever reason just not want to be in the mood to talk? Yes, humans have a desire to keep in touch with each other, and technology can help with that, but that doesn't have to mean being instantly reachable at a moment's notice by every single person that you know, which is why many people report experiencing anxiety from the social pressure to be constantly communicating. If anything I think it is selfish to presume that people owe you* their attention at any moment that pleases you, and that they should plan their lifestyles accordingly.

*"you" meaning many people who act this way, not "you" zigote

When I quit Facebook and replaced my phone with JMP, I did originally do so for freedom and privacy. However, I found that the greatest benefits were to my well being. I am less anxious and distracted, and I no longer check my phone compulsively. It has not affected my relationships with other people. I still keep in touch with friends, and no one has complained about my responsiveness with the exception of one very impatient person who had the same complaints back when I carried a phone at all times and yet sometimes took more than 20 minutes to respond because I was in the middle of something.

That said, if someone had told me back then that I'd be better off without a smartphone I never would have believed them. I initially planned to replace my phone with a PocketCHIP so whenever I had an Internet connection I would still have a smartphone-like device that could send/receive calls and texts via JMP. It was in the course of replacing or discarding each feature of my smartphone that I realized I could discard almost all of them. I eventually realized that I preferred the convenience of typing on a real keyboard over the convenience of being able to fit my computer in my pocket, so now I rarely use the PocketCHIP and just bring my laptop everywhere.

I'm aware that no one solution will work for everyone's lifestyle. If I lived in a region that JMP doesn't support yet, or if I didn't have Internet frequently throughout the day, I would probably have to use a phone of some kind. If I were a parent I would probably want to be reachable whenever I wasn't around my child in case of an emergency. So I'm not saying that there is no use for cell phones at this time, which is why I'm interested in things like Replicant and the Librem 5 at all, even though I don't need them for myself.

zigote
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You are trying to contradict what I said by turning it into an extreme case which it is not. I described a normal life which happens to most people.

On my current phone I have a "night mode" in which all calls are without sound except for close people which I want to be able to reach me 24/7 and for the security company which guards our homes and offices (so that they can call me immediately if someone is robbing us).

Is it selfish to turn off my phone because *MY* privacy (sleep, sex, whatever) is more important than a family member who may be ill and dying? - Hell yes. As long as *I* and *MY* are top priority - it is selfish. Similarly disturbing someone else who may be busy just because I am bored and have nothing to do is also selfish.

So as you said yourself - lifestyle of one person is not an universal model. As I said previously giving advise based on one's particular lifestyle is limited thinking.

Anyway. Let's not get too off-topic. Maybe we can discuss morality in another dedicated thread.

ADFENO
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Hi there! :D

Em 06/03/2019 17:37, name at domain escreveu:
> By the way, the Purism employee with whom you corresponded has
> recommended adding Debian's non-free repository to PureOS to support
> non-free WiFi,[1] so I find it hard to believe that they care about the

If you do have proof that the forum is about the free/libre distro,
please report it through https://www.gnu.org/help/gnu-bucks.html .

chaosmonk

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On 03/10, Adonay Felipe Nogueira wrote:
> Hi there! :D
>
> Em 06/03/2019 17:37, name at domain escreveu:
> > By the way, the Purism employee with whom you corresponded has
> > recommended adding Debian's non-free repository to PureOS to support
> > non-free WiFi,[1] so I find it hard to believe that they care about the
>
> If you do have proof that the forum is about the free/libre distro,
> please report it through https://www.gnu.org/help/gnu-bucks.html .
>

It looks like this was before PureOS received FSF-endorsement, so I'm
not sure that it counts. The community still guides people toward
non-free software, but I don't see Purism employees participating.

zangisharp
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I think it is better than iOS or Android, plus its a GNU/Linux OS :).

Also you cant have privacy when using cellular technology it is impossible (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cellular_network).

tonlee
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> my recent communication

Thanks for writing them.

SuperTramp83

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>playing very a clever marketing game, using a carefully tailored language accenting on what they want people to believe and avoiding the actual state of their products

Indeed scamism is very well known on this forum for their true nature. A mere search in the search box of this forum using the keyword 'librem' or 'purism' will give you enough material to read for the day.

Do not support companies like these as your money is very much better spent if you throw the same money on the people who actually do something to progress our beloved software and hawrdware freedom.

cheers o/

zangisharp
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@SuperTramp83 : I don't agree with you. One should understand what they are trying to do. Calling for not supporting companies like Purism just because an employee or (maybe) some errors in their web site/forums is non-sense.

Name a company that produce/produced a Mobile phone that have :

-free Hardware Design.
-Kill switches.
-You can install any GNU/Linux OS on your phone and have total control over the software and can upgrade/change the hardware your self.
-Baseband modem separated from the CPU.

Just to be clear, I don't care about their "marketing stuff" or anything else that they say.I'm only interested in their product (Librem 5) and I judge only the product.

Like Magic Banana said : if you don't want to be tracked don't buy a phone, smart or not.

Take a look a this more detailed article about phones and their problems: https://ssd.eff.org/en/module/problem-mobile-phones.

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> Just to be clear, I don't care about their "marketing stuff" or anything else that they say. I'm only interested in their product (Librem 5) and I judge only the product.

Technical issues are important, but we cannot ignore social ones. Technically the Free Software Movement has come very far; it is now possible to run a fully free operating system. However, almost nobody does. Why? Because they have not been informed and taught to value freedom. When I see Purism use their platform to misinform, it makes me hesitant to direct people to them. The technical advantages of the Librem 5 might be worth the consequences. When the Librem 5 is available I'll have a reason to consider that. Until then, no one is benefiting from the phone, and Purism says they are fully funded, so directing people to Purism only has social consequences with no technical benefits.

zangisharp
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I see your point, but for me I don't care about "social stuff". I just want to play with the phone :).

zigote
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> Until then, no one is benefiting from the phone

Are you saying the "Preorder now" button doesn't work? :)

chaosmonk

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> Are you saying the "Preorder now" button doesn't work? :)

It probably does. What's your point?

zigote
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That someone is benefiting.