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Pre-Orders Start For Neo900 Open Source Phone 132

Posted by timothy
from the hello-operator dept.
New submitter JoSch1337 writes: After a year and a half of development, the Neo900 project now opened its web shop for the down payments of binding pre-orders for either a full Neo900 phone or the bare circuit board to upgrade an existing Nokia N900. The up-front down payment is necessary to now secure expensive "risk parts" like the modem, 1GB RAM and N900 cases. Thus, without pre-ordering now, there might not be enough parts left after the first batch.

The Neo900 is the spritual successor of the Nokia N900. The new circuit board can be placed into an existing N900 for better specs (faster CPU, more RAM, LTE modem) than the original device while still maintaining fremantle (maemo 5) backwards compatibility. Alternatively, a fully assembled phone can be purchased as well. The Neo900 will be fully operational without any binary blob running on the main CPU. While the modem still requires a non-free firmware, it is completely decoupled from the rest of the device (think of a LTE usb stick you put in your laptop) and can reliably be monitored or switched off by the operating system.

You can follow the development of the project in the maemo forum, read about the specs of the device or consult the FAQ

Comment: Re:Why content owners don't like Netflix (Score 1) 219

"They give absolutely no information about how many viewers watched the content."

Why would this matter? In TV-land, the networks care because the *advertisers* care about getting their ads in between popular shows, and one of the best benefits of Netflix is that there *aren't* any ads except perhaps existing product placement in-show. In Netflix, there seem to be lots of places that discuss which shows are most popular, so there should at least be some gauge as to whether the show is going to be worth carrying forward from wherever they're getting that information. Judging by how Netflix was willing to pay the US internet carriers their pound of flesh, I'd imagine that they have margins enough to still send good cash to the content owners.

Comment: Re:Alternatives (Score 1) 219

Streaming week-old shows might be a bit much to hope for, but in reality if we even had better options for purchasing episodes that would great. Rather than the current cableco setup, I'd envision somewhere where you add credit, and then can choose what you view from your available credits (e.g. to watch the latest Simpsons or Big Bang episode is $0.25). Overall cost might actually be much the same but it would pull in the outliers who are only prone to certain shows and not willing to blow $50-100 on cable packages to watch the 1-2 commercial-ladel episodes a week.

This would seem to be an avenue where micropayments might actually work out well for everyone. They could even throw in incentives like a coupon towards buying the season with discounts from the episodes you already paid to watch.

Comment: Alternatives (Score 5, Insightful) 219

It doesn't hurt that Canadian Netflix etc has been improving their content, and the cable monopolies recently had to change to a-la-carte packaging for their services as well. There's also seems to be a bit of a dearth of great movies, so maybe there's less to pirate.

Comment: Minimum "wage" version minimum "pay" (Score 1) 1076

by phorm (#49735637) Attached to: Los Angeles Raises Minimum Wage To $15 an Hour

A big problem with MW jobs isn't just the shitty per-hour rate, but the shitty number of hours. $15/h is nice but not so helpful if you only get 10h/week.

I wonder if anywhere has address a "minimum weekly pay" or something of the like, which would put pressure on businesses to actually provide regular staff with useful hours rather than just bringing in a ton of people all at unlivable hours. The latter tends to put people in situations where they're working multiple jobs to get enough pay-hours for bills, but go through hell trying to get their hours to line up (because generally they're also not consistent) and have no time for any personal life.

Comment: Re:Both ways? (Score 1) 84

by phorm (#49685765) Attached to: Apple, A123 To Settle Lawsuit Over Poached Battery Engineers

It's one thing to hire talented worked away from a company and have them design new things.
It's another to get your grips on one worker, and essentially use him as a mole to take away a whole team and/or any proprietary stuff they've been working on (which is what seems to be alleged here).

If the latter is allowed, then if any smaller company is working on a breakthrough idea can be easily broken and their tech taken by a larger company with buckets full of cash to steal their staff and secrets.

Comment: Re:Typo: Digital Rights Management (Score 1) 371

by phorm (#49685427) Attached to: Firefox 38 Arrives With DRM Required To Watch Netflix

"But where's my choice of "watch it with the software I want to use"? Right, it's gone, because of the DRM."

There are plenty of situations where there's not much choice and it has little to do with DRM. In this case, you have *MORE* choice than before (and you're STILL bitching about it, I might add).

Your choice before was: Watch Netflix on a non-Linux OS (including: Windows, Mac, later Android/iDevices). Due to this change, you now have the ADDITIONAL choice to watch it on Linux, which is something a lot of us have been wanting for quite some time. You ALSO have the choice to do things EXACTLY as before, by NOT USING the f**king plugin.

So no choice is gone, because frankly it was never there. You now have additional choices. You also have the choice to go out and buy the bloody DVD and watch it that way. If you want to bitch about DRM then have a look at Blu-Ray which we still can't watch properly on Linux.

This sort of crap is why Linux users look bad, because even when we get something there's always somebody who has to piss and moan about it, and you make us all look like a bunch of whiners. It's their service, and unlike a physical owned medium they do have rights to determine how that service is access. Don't like it, don't use it. But stop using "choice" as a reason to bitch about it when you're actually being given additional options you NEVER HAD before.

Comment: Re:Typo: Digital Rights Management (Score 1, Insightful) 371

by phorm (#49675247) Attached to: Firefox 38 Arrives With DRM Required To Watch Netflix

"It's a sad day for Mozilla, the w3c, the web as a whole, and open culture"

Yes, it's a sad day when a vendor offers a CHOICE for a plugin which adds much-requested functionality to their product. Heaven fucking forbid.
There are two reasons I generally still even both to keep windows around, one is Netflix (which become a non-issue when Chrome started to work for it on 'nix), and the other is various games (also starting to change with Steam pushing Linux/GL).

Don't want it, don't use it. There are reasons to be open, but frankly I can see some valid reasons for not being thus. Sometimes FOSS zealots sound very similar to the "well, I've got nothing to hide" types when it comes to discussing surveillance.

Comment: Facebook (Score 1) 776

by phorm (#49673225) Attached to: Worker Fired For Disabling GPS App That Tracked Her 24 Hours a Day

Indeed, there are a number of people who post on Facebook about cop deaths, and then that "there were no riots after this guy was killed."

Well, duh. There's generally not any riots when a convenience store clerk is killed (in similar manner, I might add). Why? Who are you going to riot against? Is a cop being shot more terrible than the night-shift guy at 7-11?

Being a cop is not just a guy with a bad, blue uniform, and a job. They're a representative of government authority, with more power than the average citizen. When they start popping off citizens, they're display a form of OPPRESSION. People aren't rioting because Bob X died, they're rioting because a representative of government authority whose job is to PROTECT citizens is instead OPPRESSING and KILLING them.

Comment: Re:Lieberman 2.0 (Score 1) 950

"here is one that mainly affects men do let's try and deal with it"

What's the gender-split on this? I've heard a few more cases of men living-like-pigs surround by pizza and big gulps but there are still lots of women who sink unhealthy amounts of time into WoW (also farmville) etc

It's time to boot, do your boot ROMs know where your disk controllers are?