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12.10.13

GNU/Linux-Powered and Freedom-Respecting Phones (OpenMoko is Sort of Back)

Posted in GNU/Linux at 7:33 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Freerunner

Summary: Perhaps a phone which Richard Stallman can use is already in the making, depending on how phone networks behave and how hardware behaves (whether it permits purely Free/libre software shim)

RECENTLY when I traveled to meet Richard Stallman we spoke for a bit (off the record) about OpenMoko and some other platforms which require blobs to operate with physical boards. Stallman said that OpenMoko had dodged the backdoor mechanism that is included in the vast majority of mobile phones.

Well, the good news is that Jolla/Sailfish hardware is here now [1,2] and while mobile (GNU/)Linux is gaining huge market share [3] we also see OpenMoko making a comeback [4], as noted earlier today. What will all these efforts bring? Hopefully a freedom- and privacy-respecting phone, bar the surveillance by phone networks (Stallman mentioned some ways in which this can be circumvented).

Related/contextual items from the news:

  1. First 3D Jolla Case Revealed: MiniFactory

    We just found this new information on a company who have been making a new 3D printable case for the Jolla phone.

    You can read more here and best of all, if you have a 3D printer, the plans are also available to download here at thingiverse.

  2. Sailfish ported to Nokia N9! +miniTutorial

    If there’s one thing you can learn from the maemo/meego community, it will be that it never lets you down!

  3. Mobile */Linux

    The Linux kernel which is supported by most hardware-makers to run on almost anything is a great base. The GNU system or the Android system are both advantageous: they are Free Software and come with few restrictions and all the right permissions to promote global proliferation, they cost about $0 so any OEM large or small can use them and they are made by users for users so millions like it.

  4. Open-spec Neo900 phone heads toward production

    Neo900.org has begun production of its open source Neo900 phone, an update to the Nokia N900 that can run GTA04 (OpenMoko Debian), Maemo, and other distros.

    Germany-based Neo900.org was announced in October, as a spinoff from OpenPhoenux, which itself was a spinoff from the splintered OpenMoko open source smartphone project.

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A Single Comment

  1. Needs Sunlight said,

    December 11, 2013 at 4:33 am

    Gravatar

    It would be useful if one of the review sites could cover how far the various phones handle freedom.

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