[Arm-netbook] The Unplanned Obsolescence of the First Fairphone Device « Paul Boddie's Free Software-related blog

Paul Boddie paul at boddie.org.uk
Mon Jan 12 13:32:50 GMT 2015

On Monday 12. January 2015 02.00.29 Alexander Stephen Thomas Ross wrote:
> thx paul boddie. I find your articles most helpful to me, broadening my
> view, examples of how to write, explaining things really well - gives me
> something to link too that explains thinks i've been thinking on or
> havn't been thinking about but you hit the nail on the head and write up
> clearly.

That's very kind of you! I think I'm probably too verbose - I even got told 
this once by a former colleague and he was talking about me when I'm talking, 
never mind when I'm writing stuff down - and thus there's always scope for 
some editing.

One of my more useful recent experiences involved editing myself down to meet 
a submission limit, and that really forced me to focus on the most important 
parts of the message, even though I thought there were some nice things that 
had to be dropped. It was also in another language, and so it was also a 
useful exercise in being concise and still coherent, which I hope I managed.

Editing stuff can be infuriating because it means spending even more time on 
something that you want to just write, publish and be done with, so I guess 
I'm not really much of a blogger. ;-)

> I think "fair"phone deserve a slap,nuge,etc. I've been most frustrated
> with them and completely disappointed in them. while I thank them for
> making the sources of the minerals not (so?) evil. there thinking,policy
> about software has been bs :(. it still status quo of a new hole product
> each year or 2 to replace what could be a perfectly good working one if
> it wasn't for the software. it's like there just another group vs group
> and with this group there aim so to keep miners employed at all costs.
> while claiming the better morals :(

I don't think the miners really want to keep doing their jobs if they could be 
doing something nicer, but that leads to the problem of economic development 
in those countries. And that's not a developed versus developing world issue: 
mining was big in places like the UK for a long time, but you have to ask 
whether sufficient opportunities were created when those industries were run 
down a few decades ago. Still, I'm going a bit off-topic here and will 
exercise restraint to keep the message short. ;-)

> so thats why i will never get a unfair-to-me-phone.

One thing Fairphone has arguably managed to achieve is a very public focus on 
sourcing, as we saw recently with accusations (the Panorama programme on the 
BBC, I think) about Apple's tin sourcing from Indonesia, with the apparent 
need for a response by Apple's CEO and assertions (like we've seen around fair 
employment) that Apple is supposedly improving the situation.

But on matters of privacy, ownership of devices, and competition issues, the 
situation is as dire as it was for the personal computer industry, if not 
worse. Here, it's no longer sufficient to deliver an unfair device that's 
produced in a relatively fair way, and then to claim that it is "fair".


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