Will a Debian Mobile be a success?

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Re: Will a Debian Mobile be a success?

Postby pawRoot » 2017-10-29 20:02

From what I gather, a lot of developers and free-as-in-freedom advocates really want that.

Developers are where the money are = Android and iOS

I'm more interested in the possible future of SIM-based exploits and backdoors

I believe SIM technology will be dead within a couple of years.
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Re: Will a Debian Mobile be a success?

Postby n_hologram » 2017-10-29 20:13

pawRoot wrote:
From what I gather, a lot of developers and free-as-in-freedom advocates really want that.

Developers are where the money are = Android and iOS

I'm more interested in the possible future of SIM-based exploits and backdoors

I believe SIM technology will be dead within a couple of years.


I apologize -- I meant foss developers, not necessarily big companies (like Uber). But I also don't think people buying a foss phone really want the Uber app, anyway.

What do you think will replace SIM, and how will it prevent the same issues (ie, referenced in the video) presented by SIM cards?
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Re: Will a Debian Mobile be a success?

Postby pawRoot » 2017-10-29 20:15

I am not sure about SIM problems as i didn't read the article but i guess e-SIM will be the future.
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Re: Will a Debian Mobile be a success?

Postby makh » 2017-10-30 06:30

n_hologram wrote:
pawRoot wrote:It will die same as Windows phones.

It sounds like there's an apples-to-oranges comparison driving this fatalism. You may want to research some reasons why Windows phone died. It might also be fruitful to consider why a GNU/Linux phone might survive, just as any major Linux distro has survived.

Don't get me wrong, there have been a number of open-source flops in the last decade -- I'm thinking in particular of Ubuntu Touch/Phone and FirefoxOS (the latter of which I had some hope in). Neither of those really took off. I also think a lot of people weren't excited about these projects (nor were they about Windows Phone -- not in the same way they were about Iphone or Android). There's also the issue of established brands marketing their new products as completely necessary for everyone to buy asap (alas, consumerism...). There's no novelty in merely reproducing an established product; the majority of the people want a novel idea, and have little incentive for "Ubuntu Android" or "wOS" (did anyone really find metro to be that novel of an idea?).

I'm optimistic for this new project because it aspires to bring a true Linux experience to your portable phone. From what I gather, a lot of developers and free-as-in-freedom advocates really want that. On that note, due to its price, I doubt I'll be able to afford one anytime soon, which is unfortunate; but, freedom isn't free, so I at least intend to donate.

To be honest, when it comes to privacy and security concerns in mobile devices, I'm more interested in the possible future of SIM-based exploits and backdoors:
https://www.reddit.com/r/todayilearned/ ... computers/

All the linux users may not be purism fans. If they do provide something as FOSS drivers and the major distros "mobile installation images", only then it may have more chance of survival ... the main challenge may still be some of the corporate backed softwares.

e-sim or internet based calls seems a replacement, but in the commercial world, people are usually slaves, eg intel and amd rule the processor market, and most hardware vendors, even linux ones, use them. ... Till today they dont supply on 128-bits cpu, flash memory devices arent cheaper than the harddisks of the same capacity, and I suppose other stuff too.
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Re: Will a Debian Mobile be a success?

Postby Innovate » 2017-10-30 07:50

Learn, Maemo why they failed:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maemo
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Re: Will a Debian Mobile be a success?

Postby pylkko » 2017-10-30 17:29

pawRoot wrote:
It will die same as Windows phones.

This is a pretty meaningless statement, in my opinion. That is, if this statement is supposed to mean that for the same reasons as Windows phones died, Librem 5 will also fail. Given that the audiences are different, the companies are different in in many you can think to measure companies, the devs have completely different aspirations and ideas and... heck, can you think of anything that is not different in these two scenarios??? how would you ever prove this is the case. Even if it fails, you would not be able to claim with a straight face that you know for sure that it failed "because of the same reasons as Windows phones".

makh wrote: ...If they do provide something as FOSS drivers and the major distros "mobile installation images", only then it may have more chance of survival ...

If with "drivers" you mean "kernel modules", then I believe they say in that interview that all the kernel code is mainlined. Mainlined means that it will be in the "base" kernel that you can download from kernel.org. This means that they don't need to provide anything at all. When they said that they will aim to make their own code freely available, I believe they were referring to user space programs (apps) that will be on the OS.

An interesting differnece with this and Ubuntu touch is that Ubuntu was sold on devices originally designed for Android. Because of this, when users got bored, they flashed Android back on them. Librem 5, however, has hardware that has never previously been used in a phone. This makes it sound like you most likely will not be able to replace the OS with Android if you want later. Maybe you might be able to tweak a custom AOSP image somehow, but you would have to develop the entire thing.

The baseband processor and GPS will contain closed proprietary firmware (and the law mandates that). But they are going to be hardware kill-switched. If it kill the entire modem/baseband, then perhaps it kills the SIM also.

Somebody points out that the SIM card itself has a microcontroller with RAM and all. It should be noted that sd-cards also have often several processors and their own RAM.

This e-sim stuff sounds pretty bad to me. That you would have a SIM that you cannot remove, essentially...


Also, did anyone else notice that Samsung made an announcement that they are going out with a Linux smart phone almost exactly after the Librem 5 project managed to get the funding? Apparently it will run their OS but you will be able to run Desktop Linux distributions in some emulation or some such.
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Re: Will a Debian Mobile be a success?

Postby n_hologram » 2017-10-30 18:21

pylkko wrote:Even if it fails, you would not be able to claim with a straight face that you know for sure that it failed "because of the same reasons as Windows phones".

+1

An interesting differnece with this and Ubuntu touch is that Ubuntu was sold on devices originally designed for Android. Because of this, when users got bored, they flashed Android back on them. Librem 5, however, has hardware that has never previously been used in a phone. This makes it sound like you most likely will not be able to replace the OS with Android if you want later. Maybe you might be able to tweak a custom AOSP image somehow, but you would have to develop the entire thing.

I never understood why this wasn't incentive to continue the project, though, as it seems most Linux/BSD systems are the result of understanding how to maximize old technology. When they announced this project, I initially foresaw people forking Ubuntu Phone/Touch into a (subjectively) "better" system, one geared towards specific interests and goals, rather than "Android: Ubuntu Edition"...alas.

The baseband processor and GPS will contain closed proprietary firmware (and the law mandates that). But they are going to be hardware kill-switched. If it kill the entire modem/baseband, then perhaps it kills the SIM also.
Somebody points out that the SIM card itself has a microcontroller with RAM and all. It should be noted that sd-cards also have often several processors and their own RAM.

I really like that they'll killswitch those features.
I was the one who made the SIM comment, btw. My concern stems from an innate distrust that major carriers won't soon (if they're not already) ship-out spyware to track more than they currently already know. Since Verizon or the ilk don't control my sdcard, I might have different concerns about its hardware vulnerabilities (I recall several NSA projects that can already do this), but not the same ones that apply to a SIM.

This e-sim stuff sounds pretty bad to me. That you would have a SIM that you cannot remove, essentially...

+12. This would put the ax to the throat of most pay-as-you-go carriers that advertise to work on "unlocked" phones. Not to mention it would require a refurbished or replacement phone when the module breaks. It makes sense that Apple utilizes it -- their entire framework is customer support, because they only have a handful of hardware/software. If ever this became standardized technology, I wouldn't be surprised, but I would be quite appalled.

Also, did anyone else notice that Samsung made an announcement that they are going out with a Linux smart phone almost exactly after the Librem 5 project managed to get the funding? Apparently it will run their OS but you will be able to run Desktop Linux distributions in some emulation or some such.

Lol, leave it up to Samsung to produce the grindhouse equivalent of a great idea...

Btw, I think it's worth noting that the closest thing to a truly "secure" smartphone (in the way that librem is advertised) is an old grandpa phone, and behind that, a landline, and behind that, a telegraph, and...
Last edited by n_hologram on 2017-10-30 18:24, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Will a Debian Mobile be a success?

Postby pawRoot » 2017-10-30 18:21

This is a pretty meaningless statement, in my opinion. That is, if this statement is supposed to mean that for the same reasons as Windows phones died, Librem 5 will also fail. Given that the audiences are different, the companies are different in in many you can think to measure companies, the devs have completely different aspirations and ideas and... heck, can you think of anything that is not different in these two scenarios??? how would you ever prove this is the case. Even if it fails, you would not be able to claim with a straight face that you know for sure that it failed "because of the same reasons as Windows phones".


What i meant is that it will die like any other mobile project out there, i didn't mean it will die for same reasons as Windows phone.
Another thing is it will be probably overpriced piece of crap (hardware wise) , i don't see how they could get competitive prices for their hardware with so small customer base.

And looking at the pictures on their site they can't even get a propher graphic designer , instead their icons look like from 90s lol.
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Re: Will a Debian Mobile be a success?

Postby n_hologram » 2017-10-30 18:26

pawRoot wrote:What i meant is that it will die like any other mobile project out there, i didn't mean it will die for same reasons as Windows phone.
Another thing is it will be probably overpriced piece of crap (hardware wise) , i don't see how they could get competitive prices for their hardware with so small customer base.

Do you think it's possible that they intend to cater to the 1-2% of users who really want the product, instead of trying to compete with established companies -- as has always been the Linux trend? It is, after all, a crowdfunded -- community -- project. For instance, you made a jab at the icons; have you ever looked at the icons that ship with Linux? Many of them are godawful (ie, Tango), but that doesn't stop people from committing themselves to the project -- or, more importantly, the idea behind the project.

Again, it goes back to selling a meaningful idea, not an imitation:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qp0HIF3SfI4
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Re: Will a Debian Mobile be a success?

Postby pawRoot » 2017-10-30 18:32

n_hologram wrote:
pawRoot wrote:What i meant is that it will die like any other mobile project out there, i didn't mean it will die for same reasons as Windows phone.
Another thing is it will be probably overpriced piece of crap (hardware wise) , i don't see how they could get competitive prices for their hardware with so small customer base.

Do you think it's possible that they intend to cater to the 1-2% of users who really want the product, instead of trying to compete with established companies -- as has always been the Linux trend?


I would say Linux userbase is mostly people who don't want to spend money on software or "overpriced" hardware.
I don't see many people willing to buy such product for a high price with low quality hardware (comparing to companies like Samsung).
So yes, it might be successful project as long as successful for you means selling product to a very small group of people?

As i said, depends what success means to you.
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Re: Will a Debian Mobile be a success?

Postby n_hologram » 2017-10-30 18:36

I never said it would be about selling a neat product. I said it would be about selling an excellent idea; watch the video. That's where I see librem shifting from pitches like Meemo, Ubuntu Touch, FirefoxOS, and Windows Phone.

Applying a corporatist belief in "success" to an open-source, community-based interpretation, seems inappropriate, so, yeah, I think it would be a good idea to expand the definition of success in the context of an open-source product. I also think it would be a good idea to poll why die-hard open-source enthusiasts use open-source systems; we don't need to buy prism laptops to get Debian on a working, stable system that happens to be outdated, but right now, that's close to impossible on the mobile device market.
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Re: Will a Debian Mobile be a success?

Postby pawRoot » 2017-10-30 18:44

n_hologram wrote:I never said it would be about selling a neat product. I said it would be about selling an excellent idea; watch the video. That's where I see librem shifting from pitches like Meemo, Ubuntu Touch, FirefoxOS, and Windows Phone.

Applying a corporatist belief in "success" to an open-source, community-based interpretation, seems inappropriate, so, yeah, I think it would be a good idea to expand the potential for a "successful" project. I also think it would be a good idea to poll why die-hard open-source enthusiasts use open-source products.


Don't get me wrong i am a big fan of open source, thats why i am a Debian user...

Although from my experience idea is NOTHING, execution is what matters.
I have bad feeling about this project as i had about many others that died long time ago, but i guess time will tell :D

Oh and there is nothing excellent about the idea too in my opinion, another thing is less and less people care about tracking and all that stuff.
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Re: Will a Debian Mobile be a success?

Postby pawRoot » 2017-10-30 18:54

have you ever looked at the icons that ship with Linux? Many of them are godawful (ie, Tango), but that doesn't stop people from committing themselves to the project -- or, more importantly, the idea behind the project.


You are comparing commercial product to free open source system in which probably 90% or more users customize it anyway because it sucks out of the box (the reason is its lead by people without vision or good marketing understanding, but rather by developers)
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Re: Will a Debian Mobile be a success?

Postby n_hologram » 2017-10-30 18:59

pawRoot wrote:Although from my experience idea is NOTHING, execution is what matters.

Yeah...so, I would research the history of Linux, and the history of Devuan, before I continue further...
Oh and there is nothing excellent about the idea too in my opinion, another thing is less and less people care about tracking and all that stuff.

Again, one must consider who is discussed when "people" are discussed. If this comes back to the average consumer, as I implied, I seriously doubt the average consumer will take any interest. If it comes down to the
n_hologram wrote:1-2%
of people committed to the open-source philosophy (as is the trend of the Linux userbase), however, I foresee a greater opportunity for something that resembles either a small movement, an opposition, or, at the very least, a chance for me to manage my phone how I want to. There's also practical grievances -- for example, the way android manages sdcard mounting. It's horrid. That alone will be reason enough to put some money aside for the next couple of years and invest.

For me, and for a lot of users, a big reason to invest is the idea of freedom to control my device -- which, in my opinion, is excellent. Android can't offer me the same kind of freedom, and I don't need the latest-and-greatest phone -- it is, after all, just a phone -- to achieve this. In our age of information apathy and neglect, a freedom-oriented mobile device constitutes a pretty profound idea. And you can't really put a price tag on that -- one way or another, we are bound to pay.

You are comparing commercial product to free open source system in which probably 90% or more users customize it anyway because it sucks out of the box (the reason is its lead by people without vision or good marketing understanding, but rather by developers)

I literally have no idea what your argument is here, as these seem like two mutually exclusive beliefs, and ones which ignore the points several members have already brought up -- which disincentivizes me from continuing this conversation. Can you clarify?
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Re: Will a Debian Mobile be a success?

Postby pawRoot » 2017-10-30 19:07

Yeah...so, I would research the history of Linux, and the history of Devuan, before I continue further...

I don't see any correlation in this case, since first product is free open source system that you can install even on "calculator", on the other hand you have overpriced HARDWARE that you have to spend alot of money on, just for the idea of "no tracking".

For me, and for a lot of users, a big reason to invest is the idea of freedom to control my device

What is alot of users?

Linux only has like 1% of market share? now out of this 1% how many people are ready to pay for overpriced hardware just to not be tracked? another 1% ?

Another thing is how many years it took linux to get this 1%? 20? 30?

This all would make sense to me if you could install it easily on any phone, not just 1.
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