Autonomía digital y tecnológica

Código e ideas para una internet distribuida

Linkoteca. Teléfonos móviles

La idea surgió de un grupo de padres y madres a las puertas del colegio Can Manent, en Cardedeu (Barcelona). Era el curso pasado y sus hijos cursaban Sexto de Primaria. “Ellos nos iban diciendo que a fulanito ya le habían dado móvil, al otro también… Hasta que al llegar a junio la mitad de ellos ya tenía uno”, relata Rubén Terol. En muchos hogares, la reclamación de un smartphone ya generaba disputas. Hasta que este padre y otras familias, contrarias a entregar un dispositivo a sus hijos a una edad tan temprana, dieron con una solución: se juntaron en un grupo de WhatsApp y acordaron retrasar al máximo ese momento, a poder ser hasta los 16 años.

Last summer in the first swings of the global pandemic, sitting at home finally able to tackle some of my electronics projects now that I wasn’t wasting three hours a day commuting to a cubicle farm, I found myself ordering a new smartphone. Not the latest Samsung or Apple offering with their boring, predictable UIs, though. This was the Linux-only PinePhone, which lacks the standard Android interface plastered over an otherwise deeply hidden Linux kernel.

As a bit of a digital privacy nut, the lack of Google software on this phone seemed intriguing as well, and although there were plenty of warnings that this was a phone still in its development stages it seemed like I might be able to overcome any obstacles and actually use the device for daily use. What followed, though, was a challenging year of poking, prodding, and tinkering before it got to the point where it can finally replace an average Android smartphone and its Google-based spyware with something that suits my privacy-centered requirements, even if I do admittedly have to sacrifice some functionality.

OEM stands for Original Equipment Manufacturer which was introduced in Android devices after the Android Lollipop update. The OEM unlocking Android is important for you if you want to unlock your device’s bootloader. After unlocking the device’s bootloader, you can root it, and customer ROMs for better performance. Most importantly, the OEM unlock doesn’t cause damage to your android phone.

The Bootloader is an operating system that resides in storage and needs to be loaded into the memory before use. When your device starts, its memory does not have programs for accessing components such as I/O devices or storage.

On the other side, the Fastboot OEM unlock means turning on a special switch that helps you in unlocking the bootloader by using fastboot commands. The Bootloader and OEM unlock are inter-related as you need to perform the OEM unlock to unlock the device’s bootloader. Without enabling OEM unlock, your device might not process the bootloader unlocking command. Most importantly, OEM unlock does not harm your android device. With bootloader unlock, you can enjoy additional features on your phone. Most importantly, you can add a custom ROM, kernel, and root your device for easy customization.

Stock Android, also known by some as vanilla or pure Android, is the most basic version of the OS designed and developed by Google. It’s an unmodified version of Android, meaning device manufacturers have installed it as is.

The biggest advantage of stock Android is fast updates. Smartphones running it are among the first to get upgraded to the latest versions of OS, while owners of Samsung, LG, and other smartphones typically have to wait for quite some time to get an update. That’s because these manufacturers have to modify a lot of the software before they can release it, which isn’t the case with stock Android.

The second reason is that stock Android smartphones are bloatware-free, meaning they don’t come pre-installed with apps made by the manufacturer that you’ll likely never use.

So i just took my phone out from the case for cleaning and found that the top right corner has a crack, the phone has not been dropped since last 3 months. there is no crack on the screen as well. Google says that there is no warranty that covers this and it will go into repair.

My power button failed and they will not warranty because of this same crack being present with no other damage. I have to pay $130 to replace it at a Google repair partner and then they did say that they would warranty the power button issue. With that said, it makes me feel they are more than aware of the issue as the repair partner has multiple back covers in stock.

So, the difference between dual standby and dual active dual SIM Android phones are:

  • No difference when the phone is in standby mode.
  • When you are using one of the SIM cards for voice calling (or sending SMS) through 2G network, the other SIM card will be disabled in dual standby phones.

4G+2G dual SIM phones can connect only one SIM card to 4G (or 3G) network. The other SIM card can only connect to 2G. Usually, the SIM card slot does NOT matter. Most dual SIM Android phones allow you to specify and change them.

Google’s vision for Android is to present it as a unified platform across devices. It has created an Open Handset Alliance (OHA) with over 84 members. Companies who are a part of it can actively contribute to the development of the “open” Android.

But they’ll have to settle their dreams of having an Android fork of their own someday. If they want to do so, they’ll have to quit the alliance.

But are AOSP-based operating systems really an alternative?

The answer is ‘No’ if you consider them at the fundamental level. Duval also didn’t consider it an alternative right away. But he says Google is restricting the use of apps on AOSP is one of the reasons for that.

He also said that “in 2019 you cannot consider only the mobile Operating System. You need to think about the “whole ecosystem” including the operating system, applications, and online services. That makes complete sense.

In fact, I read a detailed piece on Ars Technica, and came to know that Google has many legal weapons in its arsenal which make it virtually impossible for some company to create an Android fork (with Google Apps), pre-load it on devices, and sell to the people without Google’s approval.

One might plan to build an Android alternative without Google Apps. But the apps that we run on Android rely on the Google Play Services API for much of their functionality.

To get the Google apps on your Android fork, you (company) need to have a license from Google. And it’s believed that getting the license is a lot easier if you become a part of the Open Handset Alliance (OHA). But companies that are part of the OHA are legally restricted from building non-Google approved devices.

Fairphone and e Foundation are teaming up and taking the rare step of selling a non-Google Android phone to the public. The Fairphone 3, a midrange smartphone originally released in September 2019, can now come pre-loaded with the /e/ OS, a fork of Android that replaces the usual suite of Google apps and services with open source options and /e/’s cloud services. The goal of the two companies is to produce a «privacy conscious and sustainable phone.»

The new OS option, the oddly named (and impossible to Google) /e/ OS, was founded by Gaël Duval, the creator of Mandrake Linux. /e/ seems a lot like a real Linux distribution, in that it first tries to gather existing open source projects into a cohesive OS, then does whatever work is needed to fill in the gaps that exist. /e/ is based on Lineage OS, the Android community’s foundational open source operating system. Lineage (which was built out of the ashes of CyanogenMod) takes Google’s open source Android repo (AOSP) and cleans it up for individual devices, making sure all the hardware works on each device while adding a few extra features.

A major challenge for anyone trying to fork Android is keeping up with both the breakneck pace of Google’s Android development and the impossible amount of devices out there. Any users of /e/ should know they’ll most likely be on an old version of Android for the majority of the time. The LineageOS builds that /e/ is based on only hit Android 10 earlier this month, something like seven months after Google’s final release. Naturally, /e/ is still on Android 9, a 20-month-old OS.

/e/ OS is the brainchild of Gaël Duval, one of the developers that created Mandrake Linux, which is now known as Mandriva Linux. Formerly Eelo, /e/ is a privacy-minded mobile operating system. Based on LineageOS, which is in turn based on the late CyanogenMod, /e/ is an Android derivative and maintains app compatibility.

However, because of the un-Googling of the operating system, which any Android savvy users will understand is a large task, many apps that rely on Google’s services are left unusable. To remedy this issue, /e/ employs the MicroG package. It’s an open source subset of Google’s services that respects privacy. This allows many apps to work, but far from all.

Prendre une photo, pour le moment ça cafouille sévère, le résultat laisse à désirer mais ça s’améliore à chaque mise à jour de Megapixels.

L’autonomie est hautement perfectible, il faut le charger tous les jours, voire deux fois par jour selon l’utilisation. J’espère que les développeurs parviendront à mieux optimiser la consommation d’énergie dans un futur pas trop lointain.

Purism ha desarrollado su propia distribución PureOS, que es un derivado de Debian, que no contiene binarios propietarios y es muy enfocado en seguridad. Purism también trata de upstream su código para que Debian y otras distros puedan aprovechar de sus mejoras. El plan de Purism es posibilitar Linux como una plataforma móvil para que otras empresas también puedan crear celulares y tabletas de Linux.

el Librem 5 será hardware libre y será posible imprimir sus partes plásticos con una impresora de 3D y fabricar su PCB (placa de circuitos).

El Librem 5 es diseñado para luchar en contra de la colección y comercialización de los datos de usuarios, que es el plan de negocios de Google, Facebook, Amazon, Tencent y ahora Microsoft. Esta tendencia maliciosa está aumentando con más uso de los redes sociales del web y la necesidad de entrenar las inteligencias artificiales (AI) con muchos datos de usuarios. La competencia para obtener la mejor AI esta impulsando la recolección de datos personales.

Además Purism esta creando una plataforma llamada “Liberty” para ofrecer servicios web por un precio fijo mensual, para evitar servicios web como los de Google, Facebook, Twitter, Microsoft, etc., que son “gratis”, pero son basados en la comercialización de los datos de usuarios.

Aproximadamente 80% de toda la energía de un aparato móvil es consumido durante su fabricación inicial. Un celular que dura 1,5 años consumirá dos veces más energía por día que un celular que dura 3,3 años, si la energía de fabricación es incluida en el cálculo.

El Librem 5 tendrá una batería removible y una ranura MicroSD para aumentar su memoria. Utilizará una ranura M.2 para conectar a un modem celular que significa que el modem podrá ser cambiado para soportar bandas de otras regiones y las bandas del futuro.

Purism fue fundado como un California Social Purpose Corporation. A diferencia que una organismo sin fines de lucro, Purism puede tener ganancias con tal que no interfieren en su obligación legal de cumplir con el siguiente propósito:

The Corporation shall be devoted to ensuring the security, privacy, and freedom of the users of its products, and the hardware and software offered by Purism shall conform to the philosophy of the Free Software movement.

Sus estatutos incluyen la obligación de publicar todo el código escrito por Purism bajo un “free software license” y todos sus esquemas de hardware bajo un “free hardware license”.

Para promover una industria más ética que respeta los derechos digitales de usuarios, es necesario tener empresas como Purism que pueden impulsar el uso de software libre por toda la cadena de suministro.

Our engineers disassembled and analyzed each device, awarding a repairability score between zero and ten. Ten is the easiest to repair.

A device with a perfect score will be relatively inexpensive to repair because it is easy to disassemble and has a service manual available. Points are docked based on the difficulty of opening the device, the types of fasteners found inside, and the complexity involved in replacing major components. Points are awarded for upgradability, use of non-proprietary tools for servicing, and component modularity.

it’s hard to buy ethically because there are so many issues to take into account when buying any product

[Smartphones have] so many components from different countries, which all have their own challenges regarding fairness.

Devices vary, but your average smartphone may use more than 60 different metals. Many of them are rare earth metals, so-called because they’re available in smaller quantities than many other metals, if not genuinely rare.

Often, these substances are found in conflict zones, such as the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Labor issues are often at the heart of the most controversial stories concerning the technology industry. In January, Bloomberg exposed working conditions at the Catcher Technology Company factory in China, which makes iPhone casings. It revealed that some workers had to stand for 10 hours a day in a noxious, potentially toxic, environment without proper safety equipment.

If you’re on the hunt for a smartphone that isn’t produced with the sort of intensive labor that most of us would wince at, chances are you’re not going to be satisfied. Even smaller companies, like Fairphone, with its public commitment to offering a better deal, struggle with the systemic problems of the industry. Its handset is manufactured in Shenzhen, but as Huhne explains, «if you want to change the industry, you have to go where it is.» He says suppliers are often surprised when Fairphone reps ask how they could improve working conditions in partnership.

Smartphones, and consumer technology more generally, don’t just have the potential to harm the people building them. There is also the enormous environmental damage caused in the handsets’ production, through resource extraction, intensive manufacturing and transport.

The organization found there’s plenty of environmental blood that can be laid at the door of the smartphone. In the last decade, production of the devices has consumed nearly 968TWh, enough to power India for a year. In 2017, smartphones, and related products, made 50 metric tons of e-waste — discarded smart devices and their accessories — and it’s only going to get worse.

there’s iFixit, which publishes a chart of smartphones ranked by their repairability. Unsurprisingly, Fairphone 2 tops the list, and sadly the rest of the top five is filled out with older devices, like Motorola’s Droid Bionic and Atrix 4G (both 2011). The current run of flagship devices from from Google (6/10), Apple (6/10) and Samsung (4/10) demonstrate somewhat less commitment to repairability.

EPEAT, a green electronics standard based on the IEEE 1680 framework, helped supercharge environmental standards back in 2006. EPEAT grades consumer electronic products against 1680, awarding a bronze, silver and gold ranking. The regime includes mandates on recycled plastic, manufacturer recycling programs and a reduction on the use of hazardous materials. The latter category has helped drive down the use of poisonous substances like lead, cadmium and mercury in countless consumer devices.

But Schaffer’s report is critical of EPEAT’s leadership role, citing the moment when Apple released the 2012 MacBook Pro with Retina Display as its death-knell. The laptop shipped with a variety of non-upgradeable parts, a glued-in battery and a proprietary non-user-replaceable SSD. Despite this, the device was awarded gold certification, and in Schaffer’s eyes «effectively gutted the modularity criteria in the standard.»

the issue, right now, is with standards development itself. It can take the better part of a decade to produce a new standard, and it’s a laborious process of negotiation between the industry, its regulators and relevant stakeholders. «Because these standards-development processes are taking four, five, six years,» she explains that some smaller stakeholders «don’t have the financial wherewithal to continue.» Specifically, smaller IT companies, security experts and environmental advisors who lack the time and resources to remain involved. Gillis believes that this results in the standards’ development becoming unbalanced in favor of larger manufacturers.

It seems that big manufacturers have carte blanche to define their devices as environmentally friendly.