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Purism starts shipping its Librem 5 open/free phone

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Purism (previously) is a company that crowdfunds free/open laptops and phones whose design goal is to have no proprietary software, even at the lowest levels. The company is best known for its Purism laptops, and I'm very fond of mine (it didn't end up replacing my Thinkpad, only because I'm addicted to the trackpoint for mousing, and trackpads give me raging RSI) (that said, getting any GNU/Linux to run on a current-model Thinkpad is so hard and results in such a rotten experience that I'm reconsidering whether to switch back). For years, the holy grail of free/open hardware has been a competitive mobile phone, with software that respects your privacy and hardware that respects your autonomy (user-replaceable batteries ahoy!). The Librem 5 may be that phone: it runs a free/open OS called Pureos that's not based on Android or Ios, offers far greater user control without surveillance from the manufacturer, OS isolation from the notoriously insecure baseband module, hardware disconnections for networking/cam/mic, a replaceable battery, a mic jack, and a promise to release "lifetime" updates that improve performance and features of old hardware over time. Purism is now shipping the first batch of its Librem 5s, as part of a planned set of manufacturing batches that iterate between runs to improve hardware and address manufacturing issues. That's pretty exciting! The important thing will be how well this batch works, and what kinds of improvements come from Purism's experience with it. Due to the high volume, growing demand for the Librem 5, and in the interest of openness and transparency, Purism is publishing its full, detailed, iterative shipping schedule. Read the rest

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