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Cellphones Handhelds Build Politics

World's First Modular Smart Phone Hits the Market 139

An anonymous reader writes: Out before the much anticipated Google Modular Phone Project ARA, is a new phone from Fairphone: The Fairphone 2. This phone is claimed to be the the worlds first real modular phone. Fairphone is more than just a phone manufaturer but a social justice movement . Fairphone is a project of Waag Society, Action Aid and Schrijf-Schrijf to raise awareness about conflict minerals in consumer electronics and the wars that the mining of these minerals is fueling in the DR Congo. The Fairphone 2 build consists of 5-inch Full HD LCD screen, Android 5.1 Lollipop,Dual SIM, 4G LTE, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, Qualcomm quad core processor.
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World's First Modular Smart Phone Hits the Market

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  • Waag more (Score:3, Funny)

    by turkeydance ( 1266624 ) on Tuesday February 23, 2016 @08:45PM (#51571665)
    bark less.
  • Some awareness that was apparently raised by the creation of this phone about conflict minerals in DR Congo. Awareness not apparently being which minerals, what wars, and what evidence there is that depriving DR Congo of business is going to help them. More importantly, by avoiding conflict minerals, what is being sacrificed to make this phone: you don't get something for nothing.

    I know I know, I should just "know". But I don't, and I'm not going to google it and deal with all the hipster shit either, I wan

    • by 110010001000 ( 697113 ) on Tuesday February 23, 2016 @08:53PM (#51571727) Homepage Journal
      The entire thing is a joke. The phone is made in China in the same factories and suppliers as other phones. The difference is that their suppliers say "sure, we only use tungsten from Colorado, not from the Congo". And the hipsters fly home happy.
      • The entire thing is a joke. The phone is made in China in the same factories and suppliers as other phones. The difference is that their suppliers say "sure, we only use tungsten from Colorado, not from the Congo". And the hipsters fly home happy.

        Well, before we get too dismissive, let's look at what they say on their website.

        When selecting a production partner to make the Fairphone, we decided to focus on creating positive impact in regions in which the electronics supply chain is most active.

        China is one of the most important countries for consumer electronics production, especially for devices with labor-intensive production processes. Our goal is to establish collaborative, mutually beneficial, and transparent relationships with our manufacturers to ensure worker representation, safe working conditions and fair pay.

        We choose our production partners based on their willingness to work on social and environmental performance, as well as adhere to our technological requirements. A focus on social innovation, a willingness to invest in worker welfare and a commitment to transparency on activities is an essential part of a relationship to grow business together and create value based on mutual gain. With the production partners we engage with directly, we will assess conditions at the factory and identify any areas that need improvement. These initial assessments of the working conditions are a first step in creating a relationship to assess and work on improvements together, before moving forward toward more disruptive interventions. We are diving into the supply chain step-by-step, starting first with our assembly partner and then moving in a tiered approach to investigate every step of the chain.

        That sounds like more of an effort than just checking where the tungsten comes from.

        • by 110010001000 ( 697113 ) on Tuesday February 23, 2016 @09:17PM (#51571879) Homepage Journal
          "Sure, boss, we are willing to work on social end environmental performance with you. When is the check coming, gweilo?"
        • by Anonymous Coward

          besides that.. and you know, it's nice to know a company cares about where its materials are coming from.. but it's much much more than just that...

          you can break this phone down, replace individual components, and put it back together again.. YOURSELF.. in MINUTES (or less, apparently)... it's a USER REPAIRABLE PHONE FOR FUCKS SAKE.. THAT'S AWESOME.

          here's hoping the company is around long enough so that replacement and upgrade components are a) available, and b) actually needed because they have a user ba

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by Anonymous Coward

          You suck at reading bullshit. There is nothing concrete in that quote.

          Goals are something you'd like to reach. They aren't things you're currently doing. You never need to reach a goal.
          Willingness to work on something means nothing. I'm willing to give everyone in the world a million dollars, but I'll never do so.
          A commitment to transparency isn't a plan. It's a 'we'll make a committee and never let anything useful come out of the meetings'.
          "production partners we engage with directly" means no one. T

          • You suck at reading bullshit. There is nothing concrete in that quote.

            It's more concrete than 110010001000's baseless claim that the company just does a perfunctory check on where the tungsten comes from. Which was my point.

            They're going to create worthless assessments as the first step in a process to create a policy of creating more worthless assessments before making changes that might have an impact on something. They're going to look at each step of the production line, ignoring how it fits in with all the other steps, and see how they can make that step more profitable by itself. Then they might actually make a change to make it more profitable. "Investigate" has no promise of action and they don't even say what they're investigating for. You will assume they're investigating what you want them to investigate and someone with different ideals will read the same paragraph and believe they're investigating what that person wants investigating.

            More baseless claims. We'll just have to wait and see whether the company lives up to its own ideals.

            You shouldn't read anything released by a corporation. It's all meaningless and will damage your brain.

            Thank you for your concern. My brain is fine. And I'm not naïve: I know that companies put fluffy, feel-good tripe in their propaganda. Unlike the others in this thread, I'm willing to give this company the chance to show what they're made of, instead

        • by KGIII ( 973947 )

          > That sounds like more of an effort than just checking where the tungsten comes from.

          Yes, yes that does sound like it. However... I've actually written a lot of proposals. I gotta tell you, you should look at what those words really mean.

        • by dave420 ( 699308 )

          Don't bring logic to a hate-fight - it's wasted here.

      • by rtb61 ( 674572 )

        Here watch a video (snigger) on slashdot instead, provides a quality explanation of the phone in it's entirety https://www.youtube.com/watch?... [youtube.com], you'll have to read the subtitles. Personally I find it pretty interesting and a worthwhile phone.

      • by Maow ( 620678 )

        The entire thing is a joke.

        [Citation Needed]

        The difference is that their suppliers say "sure, we only use tungsten from Colorado, not from the Congo". And the hipsters fly home happy.

        Ya know, there's a bunch of links right there in the fucking article explaining how they try to ensure their products are sourced ethically.

        Something the large manufacturers often took heat for not doing enough of.

        Oh dear, seems they're not alone, all publicly listed companies [fairphone.com] in the USA are required by law to report [fairphone.com]:

        The mining and trading of tungsten has been associated with financing local armed groups in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and adjoining countries. For this reason, tun

        • by Maow ( 620678 ) on Tuesday February 23, 2016 @09:35PM (#51572011) Journal

          A further initiative these guys are taking that I fully endorse: and end to the so-called "land-fill Android" syndrome:

          Extending the lifespan of your mobile phone [fairphone.com]

          we’d like to encourage you to keep your existing mobile as long as it works. If you do buy Fairphone, we’re selling spare parts and offering repair tutorials to help make your phone useful for as long as possible, plus adding features like dual SIM to make the phones more attractive on the secondhand marketplace. We’re also working with partners to set up projects in Ghana to improve local waste collection efforts and transport discarded phones to Europe for safe recycling. Finally, our Take Back Program helps ensure that your old mobile phone is reused or properly recycled.

          That's pretty great really. What's not to like about that?

          • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

            Because it is silly in practice. I can get iPhone parts on ebay and "repair" my phone. Go check their shop. You can find iPhone equivalents on ebay. And think about it: if the phone is upgradable, why isn't the Fairphone 2 upgradeable from the Fairphone 1??? Christ, the stupidity never ends.
            • The new iteration of the phone has upgraded almost every component. If you want the specs of the new phone, it makes no sense to upgrade the old one since almost the entire phone would be changed. "[T]he stupidity never ends"...
            • by Maow ( 620678 )

              Because it is silly in practice.

              We've never had a modular phone "in practice".

              I can get iPhone parts on ebay and "repair" my phone.

              Problem is, usually requires some specialty tools, depending on the phone.

              The battery is straightforward to access. Removing it requires a proprietary pentalobe screwdriver and knowledge of the adhesive removal technique, but is not difficult.

              The iPhone 6s still uses proprietary Pentalobe screws on the exterior, requiring a specialty screwdriver to remove.

              And think about it: if the phone is upgradable, why isn't the Fairphone 2 upgradeable from the Fairphone 1???

              Because this version is modular, do you understand what that word means?

              Christ, the stupidity never ends.

              Yes, and if you'd shut up th

              • Because this version is modular, do you understand what that word means?

                Yes, it means when you want a better phone, you'd have to upgrade all the parts rather than just one phone.

                • by Maow ( 620678 )

                  Because this version is modular, do you understand what that word means?

                  Yes, it means when you want a better phone, you'd have to upgrade all the parts rather than just one phone.

                  Or it means when new spectrum becomes available, whether former analogue TV, or new LTE, or new WiFi, you just swap the SoC module and have access to them.

                  If one travels frequently and depends on frequencies significantly different than home location, swap SoC and SIM.

                  Also allows swappable camera modules.

                  • Usually, after a few years of owning a phone, the battery won't charge as well, the case is damaged, the screen is scratched or cracked, the CPU is slow, the memory is lacking, the OS is no longer supported, and the peripherals don't support the latest standards. In other words: it's time for a delicious treat that is a brand new phone.
          • A further initiative these guys are taking that I fully endorse: and end to the so-called "land-fill Android" syndrome

            I don't see anything about the other big cause of land-fill Android syndrome: software updates. Are they also going to update the phone to new OS versions for a decade or so?

            • by Maow ( 620678 )

              A further initiative these guys are taking that I fully endorse: and end to the so-called "land-fill Android" syndrome

              I don't see anything about the other big cause of land-fill Android syndrome: software updates. Are they also going to update the phone to new OS versions for a decade or so?

              Excellent point.

              I went looking, and I saw this rather disappointing post [zendesk.com], indicating they were reliant on MediaTek and then the manufacturer (with a link off to HTC's explanation of what's involved with the updating process from a couple years ago).

              Now, that was talking about the old version 1, not this release.

              I sure hope they've come up with a better solution this time around. Perhaps they should have gone with something like CyanogenMod pre-installed, but that would mean no Gapps which itself would caus

              • Isn't Nexus guaranteed only 18 months of updates, and if owners get updates after that, lucky them?

                Two years of platform upgrades from release date, or 18 months after the last device is sold from the play store, whichever is longer.

                Three years of security updates from release date, or 30 months after the last device is sold from the play store, whichever is longer.

        • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

          Because manufacturing doesn't work that way. Their Chinese supplier makes their phone. The supplier supplies the electronics and the raw materials. It isn't like Fairphone sends them a shipment of tungsten saying "hey use this to make our phone". It is just a bunch of hipsters with a gimmick.
          • by Maow ( 620678 ) on Wednesday February 24, 2016 @12:35AM (#51572725) Journal

            Because manufacturing doesn't work that way. Their Chinese supplier makes their phone. The supplier supplies the electronics and the raw materials. It isn't like Fairphone sends them a shipment of tungsten saying "hey use this to make our phone".

            Citation needed, again.

            How the fuck do you know how their setup works? You haven't provided a single link to support your bullshit; you probably haven't even looked at their site.

            Put up a link or shut up. Fairphone has put up claims [fairphone.com], feel free to debunk them if you have anything other than bullshit:

            Starting with the production of the Fairphone 1, we worked with Solutions for Hope to source conflict-free tantalum from the DRC. They established a closed-pipe supply chain (including mines, smelters and manufacturers) to provide greater transparency and supply conflict-free minerals from regions experiencing ongoing conflict. For the Fairphone 2, we will continue to support buying tantalum through Solutions for Hope. This initiative uses a mass balance model of traceability, which means that conflict-free tantalum from the DRC is mixed with conflict-free tantalum from other sources at the smelter. The resulting blend will be used in the capacitors in our latest phone.

            It is just a bunch of hipsters with a gimmick.

            No, it's a bunch of whiny, cynical assholes bitching because someone is making an effort to provide consumers choice - a choice that whiny, cynical assholes don't want to look into in the slightest, never mind a choice they'd make.

            Fine, if you don't want one no one cares. But just because someone shat in your cereal, don't have a whinefest about someone else making an effort.

            • No, it's a bunch of whiny, cynical assholes bitching because someone is making an effort to provide consumers choice - a choice that whiny, cynical assholes don't want to look into in the slightest, never mind a choice they'd make.

              Offering the choice between conflict and non-conflict minerals to the consumer is like pushing on a rope. The conflict in Congo should be solved by the people there, not by cell phone consumers. Even if the demand for conflict minerals for cell phones dries up, other people will be more than happy to buy the cheaper minerals, and use them for other purposes, or find a way to resell them as non-conflict minerals.

              • Offering the choice between conflict and non-conflict minerals to the consumer is like pushing on a rope. The conflict in Congo should be solved by the people there, not by cell phone consumers. Even if the demand for conflict minerals for cell phones dries up, other people will be more than happy to buy the cheaper minerals, and use them for other purposes, or find a way to resell them as non-conflict minerals.

                It's not about making a difference, it's about selling the illusion of making a difference.

                • Exactly. That's why they sell cups of "fair trade" coffee at a 25 cent mark up per cup, and then end up giving the poor coffee farmer 25 cents more per pound.
            • Citation needed, again.

              How the fuck do you know how their setup works? You haven't provided a single link to support your bullshit; you probably haven't even looked at their site.

              Wow do you moderate wikipedia?

      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by aaronb1138 ( 2035478 )
        It's the vegan of phones. Terrible specs at the price point at that.
      • They have all the details in their website including a cost breakdown, a list of sources, what they do for the workers in China etc. They would have built it in Europe, but there are no factories for phones in Europe.

        You post is not insightful it is uninformed.

      • The entire thing is a joke. The phone is made in China in the same factories and suppliers as other phones. The difference is that their suppliers say "sure, we only use tungsten from Colorado, not from the Congo". And the hipsters fly home happy.

        Perhaps - it seems likely that there is a hefty dollop of cynically targeting an audience to whom these issues matter, quite possibly the same people who buy "health food" and follow fad diets. However, it is clear that these issues are increasingly important for people's choices, and if this trend steers business towards sourcing their materials and their production methods more ethically and sustainably, then I am all for it, because it may have the effect of inspiring the less ethical producers to do bet

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by dpidcoe ( 2606549 )
      I couldn't care less about all of the "fair trade minerals" or "conflict free tungsten" or whatever. Not that I'm for using slave labor in mines or against having livable wages at factories that aren't deathtraps, but I think promoting that through buying an expensive phone is a useless feel-good measure best left for hipsters trying to assuage their 1st world guilt.

      That said, I really hate how the current phone market is trying to make phones into fashion accessories that you throw out after you get tir
      • by Compuser ( 14899 ) on Tuesday February 23, 2016 @10:29PM (#51572273)

        I want my phone to do messaging, read email, browse the web, call people, I want it as a portable gps and basic camera and maybe a calculator and a flashlight. All these have been available on very old phones, all of these do not tax the processor even back to Snapdragon 800.
        There has been zero reason to upgrade a phone for the last three years at least. Of course, as soon as phones become capable of actual computing (running real applications, running multiple displays, interfacing with external storage, burn blu ray disks, and print to generic printers) I will upgrade. Until then... why?

        • by prefec2 ( 875483 ) on Wednesday February 24, 2016 @05:00AM (#51573489)

          This exactly what FP promotes. The best what you can do for laborer and the environment, use the phone as long as possible.

        • by b0bby ( 201198 )

          I don't see a reason right now to upgrade from my 2013 Moto X, since I don't see any phones out there with any compelling advantages. However, there are a number of issues with responsiveness, usability and voice recognition which, if they were addressed, would cause me to switch. If I could be using Waze and reliably tell my phone to open Pandora and pick a station, or have it actually get my spoken texts right more than 50%, those are the types of things I'd be looking for. It's that kind of stuff which r

        • There has been zero reason to upgrade a phone for the last three years at least.

          That's sort of what I'm getting at. I still have my nexus4, which is the first smartphone I ever bought. It does everything I usually do just fine, though lately it's been running hot and the ability to use wifi becomes more and more degraded with each new android update. At this point I'm sure it'll be a software update obsoleting some component of my phone rather than a hardware failure that causes me to replace it. The ability to replace individual components would solve that, as I could just replace the

      • by prefec2 ( 875483 ) on Wednesday February 24, 2016 @04:53AM (#51573475)

        The goal of fairphone is not to sell many phones. Instead their primary goals are to make the production process of phones transparent, show how things can be improved for humans and environment in all steps from resources to assembly, and they have encourage you to use your phone longer. Exactly what you want. The fp2 should even last longer than the first.

    • by Maow ( 620678 )

      Some awareness that was apparently raised by the creation of this phone about conflict minerals in DR Congo. Awareness not apparently being which minerals, what wars, and what evidence there is that depriving DR Congo of business is going to help them.

      Sigh. They're not depriving DRC of business [fairphone.com]:

      Focus on the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) to buy from local initiatives, increase employment for small-scale miners and contribute to economic development and regional stability.

      More importantly, by avoiding conflict minerals, what is being sacrificed to make this phone: you don't get something for nothing.

      Probably money - it's not a cheap phone. It gives people a chance to vote with their dollars / Euros, etc.

      I know I know, I should just "know". But I don't, and I'm not going to google it and deal with all the hipster shit either, I want facts and primary sources that at least try not to sound like Sally Struthers. That's awareness.

      Not that you should "just know", but you should click the link to TFA (no need to even Google it) before spewing uninformed ad hominems and sounding stupid.

      It's the new hip thi

  • I have one (Score:5, Funny)

    by 110010001000 ( 697113 ) on Tuesday February 23, 2016 @08:50PM (#51571701) Homepage Journal
    I use my Fairphone in my hugcircle in my safe space. Where do you use yours?
  • "social justice movement" is a link to a PDF.

  • Polite Applause Due (Score:4, Interesting)

    by retroworks ( 652802 ) on Tuesday February 23, 2016 @09:05PM (#51571809) Homepage Journal

    They are trying to do what we wish all manufacturers would do, make devices repairable, upgradeable, and built of sustainable raw materials.

    I truly hope they will succeed, but they have to make something competitive with manufacturers that don't tie a hand behind their backs, because cheaper phones make more profits, and more profits make better phones. I trade with the Good Enough Markets (Africa, South America, Asia) and the buyers of used phones want whatever is the best phone for the least cost. The minute they make some compromise that reduces quality and value, they will lose scaleability and traction. To achieve value, you must achieve scale of production, and that requires a wee bit of ruthlessness.

    Good Luck, Fair Phone Guys. Don't try to be perfect, just be better.

    • Unfortunately I don't see them succeeding commercially. It's not possible to do fairly what your competitors do by cheating. How could they possibly match the prices per specs of the likes of Samsung but pay more for their inputs? Not possible without government intervention to level the playing field for companies who refuse to use the fruits of exploitation.

      • by Halo1 ( 136547 )

        Unfortunately I don't see them succeeding commercially. It's not possible to do fairly what your competitors do by cheating. How could they possibly match the prices per specs of the likes of Samsung but pay more for their inputs? Not possible without government intervention to level the playing field for companies who refuse to use the fruits of exploitation.

        They indeed don't/can't compete on price. Nevertheless, until now they're doing pretty well. Keep in mind this is already the second iteration of the Fairphone (they sold about 100k Fairphone 1's), and that the Fairphone 2 required a lot more upfront capital to design and manufacture than the first one (they designed more themselves, are doing larger production runs with more expensive components, ...). This means that their business model is, or at least until now has been, financially sustainable and they

  • https://www.youtube.com/watch?... [youtube.com]

    I wonder how many times you can put this phone back together?

  • by Dracos ( 107777 ) on Tuesday February 23, 2016 @09:21PM (#51571909)

    Swapping out internal components is one thing, but when I think of a modular phone I envision one of the modules being a full hardware QUERTY keyboard.

    Sigh... nope.

  • If you actually use this phone in the real world, it will be glitching like an old school Nintendo game when dust, dirt and corrosion get between the contacts of all the "modular" components.

    Honestly, every time I've ever purchased a newer mobile device, the old one seemed to have become equally deficient across all its specs - RAM, flash storage, screen size/quality, and camera resolution/quality. I've never once thought "Gee, it's awesome to be rocking Ice Cream Sandwich, a 480x800 3.7" display, 512MB RA

  • Will it run Replicant (or another fully-open set of code)?

    I want a phone where all the code, even the radio and other driver code, is open, to minimize hiding places for spy- and other malware.

    Down with binary blobs. (Especially things like radio binary blobs which are later found to have access to the file system.)

    • Locked-down radio firmware is basically inevitable (the FCC won't approve software-defined radios lacking "robust" protection against unauthorized modifications by end users who aren't ham radio operators), and Nvidia & Qualcomm will probably be binary-blob assholes forever, but it would still be nice if someone finally made a Nexus-like phone whose official ROM was AOSP-derived and could be built from source into a ROM image identical to the "official" one with all required source, binary blobs, and bu

    • Will it run Replicant (or another fully-open set of code)?

      AOSP initialy,

      Sailfish is being worked on.

      https://www.fairphone.com/2015/09/23/opening-up-fairphone-to-the-community-open-source-fairphone-2/ [fairphone.com]

  • by gaiageek ( 1070870 ) on Tuesday February 23, 2016 @09:36PM (#51572015) Homepage
    Just in case anyone in the US or elsewhere in the Americas is considering one of these, know that you won't get any LTE reception, and in the US, you'll only get 3G reception on the 1900 band used by AT&T or (in some places) by T-Mobile. It doesn't support AT&T's 850 band and or T-Mobile's 1700 (AWS) band.

    In short, this is designed by Europeans, for Europeans.
  • Apple iPhones are very close to being Conflict Material Free [apple.com], if that's your bag...

    Just sayin'.

    How is this company auditing suppliers?

  • by supernova87a ( 532540 ) <kepler1@hotmai l . c om> on Tuesday February 23, 2016 @09:59PM (#51572153)
    Two points:

    1. Several commentators elsewhere have noted that "blood minerals", like "blood diamonds", are not the root cause of the problem of violence and slavery in such countries. Social and governmental upheaval and disorder are the root issue, that will not be solved just by banning these commodities. Take away blood minerals, and the people of the regions affected by these problems will still have conflicts, just around some other valuable materials. The commodities for phones merely serve as the current vehicle for the conflict to be manifested. Much as college students want that to be the quick fix, by boycotting one thing, that will not solve the problem.

    2. The second point is that frequently the best thing that can be done to control and regulate the impacts of a commodity / mining / illicit trading / etc is that the sourcing of it is more concentrated, responsible in fewer entities or companies, who can be clearly identified. Apple in this regard has done more as the responsible party for sourcing hundreds of millions of iPhones and documenting their environmental / social impact than any other small phone maker. In fact, I might suggest that the more you incentivize small, local shops to make their own special version of a phone, the more opportunity there is for exploitation and inconsistency from your humanitarian vision.

    There are lots of downsides to the commodities and technologies needed to supply our gadgets, but given that demand is not going to be the level to be pulled here, I don't buy that this movement will solve them.
    • by KGIII ( 973947 )

      I've had the chance to do some travel and some of that travel has taken me into conflict areas. I am no expert but, in my opinion, taking away the ability to earn at least a little money is only going to hurt the mostly innocent bystanders. It's not like they're gonna be running out of bullets and guns any time soon - no matter how much money you don't give 'em. One thing I've noticed (and I've been places where the State Department somehow gets my number and calls me to warn me and tell me that they'll be

      • Re:wrong direction (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Maow ( 620678 ) on Wednesday February 24, 2016 @05:20AM (#51573553) Journal

        in my opinion, taking away the ability to earn at least a little money is only going to hurt the mostly innocent bystanders.

        It looks like they're still putting money into poverty stricken areas [fairphone.com]:

        Promoting conflict-free tungsten exports from Rwanda

        Conflict-free tin from the Democratic Republic of Congo

        The Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) possesses 80 percent of the world’s coltan supply. Many of the mines there have been controlled by rebels who extort money from the miners, leading tantalum to be classified as a conflict mineral.

        Starting with the production of the Fairphone 1, we worked with Solutions for Hope to source conflict-free tantalum from the DRC.

        It appears they've made an honest effort to source things intelligently.

        Reading these comments (not the one I'm replying to) bitching, moaning, and whining about "hipsters" getting a "feel good" from stupidly being duped through the entire process, I'm pretty fucking disgusted with Slashdot today.

    • by Maow ( 620678 )

      There are lots of downsides to the commodities and technologies needed to supply our gadgets, but given that demand is not going to be the level to be pulled here, I don't buy that this movement will solve them.

      And I'm pretty sure they're not deluded enough to think they alone will solve the issues.

      But, judging by the number of (often snarky) comments one hears about our electronics being built by child labour and the like, it seems there could be a market for ethically sourced products.

      And if there isn't, that's more a failure on everyone else but Fairphone really. We'll bitch, whine, joke, whatever about the terrible conditions in the factories and mines, but won't make the slightest sacrifice to do something -

  • Just what I want and desperately need, more militantly dysfunctional subjectivist Marxist bullshit in my objectively functional technology.

    Before I know it my pull requests are going to be totally triaged by feels and privilege checks, my render times will be doubled due to mid-bucketing RGB diversity checks, and my login password will have to include an entire freaking ASCII table so none of it feels unfairly excluded by the Literaryarchy.

    • by dave420 ( 699308 ) on Wednesday February 24, 2016 @04:53AM (#51573477)

      If your intention was to tell everyone just how confused you are, I think you were wildly successful. It's not "Marxist" (I honestly think you don't know the meaning of the word) to source materials from companies which treat their workers well. I can see how you'd get confused, knowing as little as you seemingly do. I would suggest you spend more time working on your education and less time showing everyone just how sorely you need it.

      • by Maow ( 620678 )

        You know what's worse than one retard spewing off about a "Marxist" business trying to fill a niche market?

        The comment sits at +5 Insightful (70% Insightful, 30% Funny).

        What the ever-loving fuck is happening at Slashdot?

        It was looking so hopeful when whipslash came on board, but the mods on some articles in the past week have just been so out of whack that I can't understand what skull-fuckery is going on.

        • by MobyDisk ( 75490 )

          You know what's worse than one retard spewing off about something and getting a +5 Insightful? The inevitable ad-hominem attack that gets modded the same way.

          ...knowing as little as you seemingly do. I would suggest you spend more time working on your education and less time showing everyone just how sorely you need it.

          What the ever-loving fuck is happening at Slashdot?
          If you removed the personal attack from that comment, it would become:

          It's not "Marxist" to source materials from companies which treat their workers well.

          THAT is a +5 Insightful.

    • by Maow ( 620678 ) on Wednesday February 24, 2016 @05:30AM (#51573587) Journal

      Just what I want and desperately need, more militantly dysfunctional subjectivist Marxist bullshit in my objectively functional technology.

      What a fucking retarded statement.

      They're capitalists trying to fill a niche for ethically sourced phones with a modular design (a great and exciting idea all by itself), high reparability, and easily recyclable - the entire life cycle carefully considered.

      We've all heard the "child labour" comments and accusations regarding the manufacturing of our electronics - this business is trying to do something about it. How the fuck you get "militant Marxist" bullshit out of that makes it sound like you've fallen on your head. A few times.

      And at +5 Insightful, a few others have too.

      Before I know it my pull requests are going to be totally triaged by feels and privilege checks

      If you're talking about making pull requests to a hardware manufacturer who is using Android from AOSP, then yeah, your pull requests are probably pretty fucking useless.

      You don't like it, don't buy it, but getting your feels all hurt, along with your butt, makes you a militant Marxist moron. Since you like slinging non-sequiturs...

    • by Z80a ( 971949 )

      Collectivist is the word you're looking here for, not "marxist".
      While marxism is indeed a collectivist movement, its not exactly the same thing as social justice.
      One is about labelling people "working class" or "Bourgeoisie" and pitting each other, while social justice is about grouping people by their race,gender and sexuality and applying compensations and advantages for the "groups with highest oppression score", regardless of the individual condition of the individuals on said group.

      And well, in this ca

    • I think you has made a Poe.

    • I have to admit that I laugh when i see companies like Chipotle, Starbucks, target, walmart, etc pushing 'fair trade' products like Coffee, yet, fight against paying Americans a fair wage, or will hire illegals instead.

      The irony on it is so missed by the far lefties. It kills me.
  • by Anonymous Coward

    Seriously? What the fuck, can anything but a Nexus line device actually run the latest OS...ever? This is a joke

    • Correct. Nexus brand is for phones that are co-developed with new Android releases. I've worked on Nexus products before and essentially it gives OEMs and chip vendors several months head start on preparing a for a new Android.

  • I kind of wish Silent Circle's Android they use for Black Phone was a general distribution that these other device makers can license. Perhaps with an auditing fee and certification process, because of course people have to make money on a distro some how.

    It's one thing to be ethically aware and environmental aware, but can't we also be security aware too?

  • The first modular phone will not be the Fairphone 2, but the first one that is available in the US.

    So far, it's been 0/3 including:

    Jolla
    Fairphone
    Fairphone 2

    If anything, is there a (non-Apple, non-WinMo) phone that is available in the US, wanted the world over, but only available in the US?

    • by gl4ss ( 559668 )

      "If anything, is there a (non-Apple, non-WinMo) phone that is available in the US, wanted the world over, but only available in the US"

      No. why the f would there be? theres no apple or wp device thats wanted and exclusive to north america either. it's a niche market in global scale dominated by petty operators and not consumer choice, so why bother creating something special just for the NA market? it's not good money and the sales are unlikely to depend on the device too much too and the one who pockets the

      • > you know what day Nokia fell off from the cliff?

        No, it was when they decided to write off the American GSM market by refusing to make phones capable of EDGE, or using WCDMA/HSPA/EDGE on 850MHz and 1900MHz. At the time Nokia quit supporting EDGE, T-Mobile had no HSPA/WCDMA/UMTS to speak of (in fact, I think it had none whatsoever), and AT&T had it in *maybe* a dozen markets... but AT&T' used 850MHz or 1900MHz, and used the same band for uplink and downlink. Nokia's crippled phones could only do

    • European projects make phones that work in Europe, shock, horror.

      Where are the Americans working on interesting ideas like this?

      (If the neo900 ever gets built it will have one version with US frequencies)

  • For $730 it's way too expensive. You can get a good samsung for under $200 or a phone with similar specs like the zen phone for $300. Then why would you want to pull out the camera or other bits ? The only thing I would want is to be able to swap the parts into a keyboard case, but looks like no keyboard is available.
    • For $730 it's way too expensive.

      Wow, the dollar has fallen further than I thought.

      Nope, a quick check shows that EUR 525 is stil only USD 576.

  • by Zarhan ( 415465 ) on Wednesday February 24, 2016 @02:28AM (#51573089)

    I'm *still* using my N900 due to the slide-out keyboard. Does this thing have such a feature as an available module? Couldn't find the info at least on product's page...

  • I was just showing my students the other day that you could in fact make your very own mobile phone - even a smartphone if you so should wish.

    If you have no clue about this, or think I'm BS'ing you a little - well - search youtube and google and you shall find numerous people building their own phones. All you need is an microcontroller of your own choice (or several if you want it to become powerful and do various tasks independent of the main cpu). And Arduino projects these days are as modular as it ca
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      You realize you are using an 8-bit CPU in an Arduino to communicate to a 32-bit RISC inside the cell module you bought?

      I also would like to call BS on there being any such thing as a "open source hardware" for a cell radio.

      • Depends on what processor / devboard you chose for your project.

        Arduino is a CONCEPT not a particular microprocessor. Yes, the UNO and the NANO are 8 bit processors, but there's plenty of 32 bit ARM processors with ARDUINO compatible systems out there. I have plenty of them. One of the cheapest is the little ESP 8266-12E which is essentially a WiFi chip for IoT, but it comes with an 32 Bit processor with 4mbit ram, 80 MHz speed - and for only 2$.
  • I was interested until you said this.
    Now the project needs to die.

    • My understanding here is this is the "real deal" social justice, as in trying to make things better for people who are ACTUALLY oppressed. Not whiny culture critic hipsters who lie to support their non-issues then cry in front of the UN because people call them liars on twitter and call it "social justice" because the white-menz have all the powerz.

      It's a shame so many of these first world problem people are ruining things for actual activist that can see real disparity and abuse is happening in third wor
  • Fairphone attempts to bring more sustainability into smartphone production. And they want to see if it is possible at all. And you can be the judge as to how successful they are so far. They are a lot more transparent than other companies.

    You can read everything on their website.

    Even if you aren't very excited about the concept of a sustainable word, there is still a lot of interesting things about smartphone production to be found in general.

    And of course: Since they are very transparent about what they do

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