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Re: [Fsuk-manchester] How free will the next fairphone be?

From: Bob Mottram
Subject: Re: [Fsuk-manchester] How free will the next fairphone be?
Date: Thu, 5 Mar 2015 22:21:31 +0000
User-agent: Mutt/1.5.23 (2014-03-12)

On Thu, Mar 05, 2015 at 02:17:26PM +0000, John Rooke wrote:
> Interesting article at http://thenextweb.com/gadgets/2015/03/05/
> fairphones-second-ethically-sourced-handset-is-coming-this-summer-but-its-still-not-all-that-fair
> /
> "Right now, the company uses the Android operating system, but if the aim is 
> to
> create a 100 percent ethical handset one day, it’ll have to think carefully
> about the best way to approach its software, as well as the hardware.
>     In terms of software we want to make it more open and look at privacy
>     issues step-by-step again. The next phone we are releasing it with 
> Android,
>     and we also selected Qualcomm as the chipset manufacturer. That allows us
>     to release Android together with a development environment, so people can
>     rebuild the image and modify it.
> Fairphone says it’s looking at using possible alternative OSes in the future,
> like Firefox OS or Sailfish. It would even contemplate giving consumers a
> choice of OS when they first switch on the device, if it could."

The whole area of mobile phones seems to be a minefield of unfreedom at all 
levels, but things appear to be slowly moving in a more positive direction. It 
might be possible to take the UbuntuTouch OS and remove or replace the 
unpleasant stuff, then you would have a GNU/Linux based phone.

Personally I'm finding it increasingly absurd to call these things "phones". 
Really they're pocket computers with radio networking, which might occasionally 
be used to make voice calls but most of the time do other things.

The main problem with phones at present seems to be the SIM card, running 
proprietary code and with the capability to inject arbitrary code into the main 
OS or to independently operate the microphone and GPS receiver.

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