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Author Topic: Free Software Foundation lists a Free Phone OS as a Top Priority for 2017  (Read 1979 times)

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Offline perknh

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Free Software Foundation lists a Free Phone OS as a Top Priority for 2017

By Mishaal Rahman for XDA-Developers

https://www.xda-developers.com/free-software-foundation-lists-a-free-phone-os-as-a-top-priority-for-2017/

What a great idea for mobile phone users.  Imagine that, an ethical phone!  Problem is, I bet the only a minority of mobile phone users worldwide would care.  That's my concern with this project  --although using such a phone would be the right thing to do.
« Last Edit: February 07, 2017, 10:08:58 am by perknh »
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Re: Free Software Foundation lists a Free Phone OS as a Top Priority for 2017
« Reply #1 on: February 07, 2017, 10:08:57 am »
LOL .. sure everyone wants a smartphone that doesn't work with half the web :))

The FSF should concentrate on making the web totally proprietary free before an OS .. until they do that there's little point in an OS that can't access half of it.
« Last Edit: February 07, 2017, 10:11:36 am by PCNetSpec »
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Offline scifidude79

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Re: Free Software Foundation lists a Free Phone OS as a Top Priority for 2017
« Reply #2 on: February 07, 2017, 10:16:11 am »
The other issue is, will it work with your phone carrier?  It's easy to say "free phone OS, go ahead and install it," but will it work?  Is the software even compatible?  That's the issue.  That's one thing that always bugged me about Ubuntu phones.  What all carriers does it work with?  After all, you can take your Android phone to another carrier and have it activated because their software works with Android.  Probably not so much with the rest of Linux.

Offline perknh

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Re: Free Software Foundation lists a Free Phone OS as a Top Priority for 2017
« Reply #3 on: February 07, 2017, 10:22:15 am »
LOL .. sure everyone wants a smartphone that doesn't work with half the web :))

I'd be happy with a dumb phone from the FSF myself.  I agree with you, though:  this project sounds about as easy to me as putting a man on the moon.  Yeah, we know it can be done, but it's very, VERY tough to do.  I still applaud the intention behind the project however. ;)

Maybe Ubuntu will heed, or answer, the call?  :)

The other issue is, will it work with your phone carrier?  It's easy to say "free phone OS, go ahead and install it," but will it work?  Is the software even compatible?  That's the issue.  That's one thing that always bugged me about Ubuntu phones.  What all carriers does it work with?  After all, you can take your Android phone to another carrier and have it activated because their software works with Android.  Probably not so much with the rest of Linux.

And, scifidude79's point is well taken.  This is a huge problem.
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Re: Free Software Foundation lists a Free Phone OS as a Top Priority for 2017
« Reply #4 on: February 07, 2017, 10:36:42 am »
Just seems like a smartphone that's too dumb to access half the web is a strange concept :-\
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Offline scifidude79

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Re: Free Software Foundation lists a Free Phone OS as a Top Priority for 2017
« Reply #5 on: February 07, 2017, 10:48:18 am »
Just seems like a smartphone that's too dumb to access half the web is a strange concept :-\

Naw, it's a novel approach, sure to not tick anybody off.  :P

Heck, I remember when web support for Chrome was still lacking, that was a pill.  Fortunately, there as ol' dependable Firefox.  I wouldn't want that kind of lacking support with no other option.

Offline perknh

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Re: Free Software Foundation lists a Free Phone OS as a Top Priority for 2017
« Reply #6 on: February 07, 2017, 12:14:42 pm »
Dumb phone (a dumb phone is still a little computer) or smartphone, an FSF phone should help bring back privacy.  I just can't see Richard Stallman using a smartphone.  Maybe, however, if there were an FSF dumb phone available to him, he'd stopping bumming other people's phones when he wants to make a call.
Quote
When I need to call someone, I ask someone nearby to let me make a call. If I use someone else's cell phone, that doesn't give Big Brother any information about me. --Richard Stallman
If everyone adopted Richard Stallman's approach to mobile phone use, nobody but nobody would own a mobile phone. If nobody owned a mobile phone, there would not be any mobile phones at all. :o
« Last Edit: February 07, 2017, 12:18:53 pm by perknh »
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Re: Free Software Foundation lists a Free Phone OS as a Top Priority for 2017
« Reply #7 on: February 07, 2017, 12:39:34 pm »
There's no guarantee an open source phone OS will give you "privacy" .. why would it ?

They could  make sure there were either

a) NO backdoors .. they'd legislate them in, or legislate in poor encryption
or
b) Backdoors/weak encryption were openly understood .. isn't this already the case?

But an OS **cannot** defend against interception and decryption .. ANY OS (open or closed) can ONLY 100% guarantee defence of a computer where it's not connected to a network you don't control .. not really an option for a phone.
« Last Edit: February 07, 2017, 12:42:35 pm by PCNetSpec »
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Offline scifidude79

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Re: Free Software Foundation lists a Free Phone OS as a Top Priority for 2017
« Reply #8 on: February 07, 2017, 12:49:51 pm »
Richard Stallman is kind of a nut, in my opinion.  Sorry, but that's how I see it.  I can picture him sitting in the basement of a house somewhere tapped into someone else's WIFI on a computer that he's constantly deleting the history on.  (wearing a foil hat and muttering to himself, of course)

The funny thing is, even if you use someone else's phone and erase the call history on that phone, the call is still recorded somewhere.  Since you're calling from a number that's unfamiliar to the recipient, you still have to identify yourself over the phone.  So, if you're that friggin' paranoid about things, you might as well say Hi to Big Brother while you're at it.  (though, he's probably the type of moron who uses code names)

Offline perknh

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Re: Free Software Foundation lists a Free Phone OS as a Top Priority for 2017
« Reply #9 on: February 07, 2017, 01:39:02 pm »
There's no guarantee an open source phone OS will give you "privacy" .. why would it ?

Okay, what you saying is is that phone may end up being more secure (like new Apple phone, maybe), but not more private than any other phone.  And, if I can expand on this idea, Peppermint IS more secure than Windows, but as for privacy, as with a phone, our privacy expectations would all depend on the network we're on.  So our friends in Nordic counties most surely have more privacy than those of us living in the English-speaking countries of the world right now --even if we're all using Peppermint online.  Our Norwegian and Icelandic brethren, using the same hardware and the same OS -- but on different phones or computer networks-- can expect to have different experiences regarding privacy than we do.  Yeah, thanks PCNetSpec, that makes perfect sense, but I still don't like it very much.  We can all expect more security when using Linux than using Windows (or even Apple), but, when it comes to privacy, that's a different story.  Privacy depends upon the policies of the networks where we're using our devices. 

Ouch --how often I forget this!

The funny thing is, even if you use someone else's phone and erase the call history on that phone, the call is still recorded somewhere.  Since you're calling from a number that's unfamiliar to the recipient, you still have to identify yourself over the phone.  So, if you're that friggin' paranoid about things, you might as well say Hi to Big Brother while you're at it...

If we're talking about ethical behavior, this doesn't seem to be the right thing to do.  One time I heard an expression used here, "He's principled to a fault" --meaning that the principles of a man I know, when taken to an extreme, can become unethical in and of themselves.  I don't see how using other people's phones as a general policy in life, in order to hide oneself from others, is ethical behavior when you can easily afford to have a phone yourself.  Wouldn't that be putting others at risk?  What I do know is that this is certainly not normal behavior for an adult.
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Offline scifidude79

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Re: Free Software Foundation lists a Free Phone OS as a Top Priority for 2017
« Reply #10 on: February 07, 2017, 11:14:36 pm »
Like I said, he's a nut.

I mean, thanks for the GNU Public License and all, but that kind of behavior just isn't normal.  Plus, as you said, it could be bad for the people he does that to, if he really does it.  I don't see why he would need to when there are prepaid no contract phones.  You don't even have to give your name when setting one up, you just have to buy prepaid airtime cards.

Offline perknh

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Re: Free Software Foundation lists a Free Phone OS as a Top Priority for 2017
« Reply #11 on: February 08, 2017, 07:48:01 am »
Hi scifidude79,

Check here, minutes 26-29.  Yeah, he uses other people's mobile phones.  He says so himself.

In fairness to Richard Stallman, I believe he's spot, ideally, with pretty much what he says --but he then pushes many of these ideals to a very nutty place.  Richard Stallman is brilliant, eccentric as hell, and exceedingly impractical.  You have to have a very nice income to live such a lifestyle as his.  He gets paid well for his speaking engagements, I'm sure. 

perknh
« Last Edit: February 08, 2017, 07:53:36 am by perknh »
We're all Peppermint users and that's what matters  ;).  -- AndyInMokum