I agree with this to a point, however the interview does cite that he had an NDA that just expired. While it could simply be a bitter ex-employee running smear, it could also be a principled person that left the company because of what was happening, and is only just now coming out about it because the NDA expired.
What exactly are we talking about here? By nature gnome does not report activity to any external servers , switches and open source hardware aside . What precisely did a privacy respecting device cost ?
This isnt a ground up brand new operating system / It is a modified existing system and outside of hardware that runs on open source driver Im not exactly seeing any other money pits in this project .
Finding mobile phone hardware that works with free drivers is already a difficult task, much less working to make sure those drivers are actually implemented correctly and working with Linux. There’s a lot more going on under the hood that what the user gets exposed to with GNOME. Every piece of hardware in this phone required excruciating effort to validate.
Since the modem cannot be freed and run with open source software, they had to isolate it on a second CPU which doesn’t share memory with the main CPU. This has never been done before and produces a lot of headache from a PCB standpoint.
Additionally, though GNOME already existed - none of it adapted to mobile phone displays properly (until Purism developed that tool), and no software existed for handling calls - all of that was ground up.
There is a lot more than just adding hardware kill switches. It is months and years of many developers’ time.
I can agree that the strategy you suggested may have very well worked. But, it’s a gamble as much as this was. Would it double , triple , quadruple the orders? Would that number make up the difference at that Volume? How much closer would those be to the ideal number? It’s really uncertain.
The way I see it , it’s such a niche market and also hard to spread the word far enough, that half of the price would hardly double the orders. And not sure if that would make things easier for Purism
Speaking of PinePhone, seeing their posts about the development they don’t seem be at much higher pace , especially given that their project is whole lot easier to work on.
I’m super curious,how many total orders they (Pine64) had during the initial campaign and pre orders throughout the year.
Not true. Older smartphones (some time around 2012, 2013) had separate modem and CPU chips. While some had shared memory, others (eg. Asus Zenfone 2, https://www.myfixguide.com/manual/asus-zenfone-2-teardown/) have a separate memory module for the modem and connect to the modem via HSIC (essentially USB 2.0, but hard-wired on circuit board traces).
Somewhere in this novel André Malraux wrote how it is usual that people (in this case Michael and Zlatko) talk about some other people but basically they talk about themselves only. When someone talk about other people he or she needs to know them well and it is more than often that is not the case at all. I refer here to the sentence where Zlatko mentioned micromanagement as is that he knows exactly and understands well how is this called by talking about someone else. This is not kind of journalism as we know, objective, just some one-sided report with to my understanding obsolete purpose that showed to me that someone that is workaholic and honest, might need to learn how to avoid such people like Michael. I may learn from Michael technical articles but not from such stories about other people professional career recap.
To me personally PinePhone is pure vapourware so far - and it might be subjective tho. I’ve followed the process to send a mail with request for dev piece listing my intention and experience and… nothing. Not even ‘sorry, you do not qualify’. So I do not buy their better communication, sorry.
The thing is “if” they could produce and ship them at $150 per unit and sold them for $350 each phone would only be able to fund about 5 hours of development not including the employers in taxes and benefits not paid by the worker.
By going with a $600 price gives them and additional 6.25 hr of development. I believe the price to produce the phone is more than that till they get production up and running for large batches, so lets say they can pay for 10hrs of development. From the crowd funding they sold around 3,500 (rounded up from the $2+mil) so they funded 35000 hrs of development or almost 17 full time workers for one year and the project is going on 2yrs.
My point is the cost of the phone is not over priced if you want it to be actually released. Many crowd funded projects think I will charge a lower price sell more and it will work out. They then run short on funds and never deliver.
well i find some articles from Phoronix quite good and informative. i would not say that it’s bad or it needs to stop existing because of one or several out-of-place articles. let’s tone it down a little shall we ?
We need both PINE64 and Purism, since they are both pursuing worthy goals that the FLOSS community really needs, so we should be rooting for the success of both companies. The world will be a better place if both PINE64 and Purism are producing good Linux devices and active communities of users.
The important thing is to understand that the two companies have very different goals. PINE64 wants to be a community-based company that will produce the hardware for open source software projects and tinkerers. UBports, KDE Plasma Mobile, PostmarketOS, Maemo Leste, and LuneOS really need a company which will build inexpensive hardware for their software. We need thousands of smart developers to start working on apps for mobile Linux, and it will be easier to convince them if we have a variety of Linux devices on the market that serves many different sectors of the market.
It is part of PINE64’s business model to work with open source projects since they are basically co-developers who will complete its hardware, so its communication and its collaboration with the community has been better in my opinion.
We need Purism to fight for free software and the ideals of the FSF. We need a company that believes in digital rights, privacy and security, which will lead the fight against surveillance capitalism and planned obsolescence, and give public testimony before the government on how to reform the tech industry.
We need a hardware company that will release its KiCAD schematics files under the GPL 3.0+ license, like Purism does, but we also need a company like PINE64 which caters to tinkers and builds devices for their needs and will sell them parts.
I actually think that the two companies will push each other to do better in the areas that they currently do poorly. People who buy the PinePhone will say to to PINE64, “why aren’t you releasing your schematics files under a free license like Purism does?” and “why aren’t you choosing hardware like Purism that doesn’t require binary blobs?” People who buy the Librem 5 can say to Purism, “why didn’t you send the dev kit to UBports, like PINE64 did?”, “why aren’t you sending the first models in your Aspen batch to partner projects like PINE64 does?”, and “why doesn’t your store sell parts like PINE64 does?”
Having PINE64 in the market will push Purism to improve its communication and collaborate better with the community, but it will also push PINE64 to care more about software freedom and open hardware, so ultimately the world is a better place.
No company can be perfect in every area, so having friendly competition will help all the Linux companies improve. The thing that we should be worrying about in my opinion is the profitability of both these companies, so that both of them will survive in the long term and serve as models for other companies to jump into the Linux hardware market. The more people who buy Linux mobile devices, the more programmers who will start making apps for mobile Linux, and the more opportunity we will have to create a viable mobile operating system that provides a real alternative to Android’s spyware and iOS’s walled garden.