Phone that becomes a Linux PC. Sounds interesting, if I can get Gnome 2 on the PC bit.
Canonical wants $32m (£20.8m) in donations to launch Ubuntu Edge - its own hybrid Ubuntu-Android smartphone first unveiled a year and a half ago. The maker of open-source Linux distro Ubuntu announced on Monday it is seeking crowd-sourced cash through Indiegogo in the next 30 days to fund development of the homegrown RAM- …
That would be called MATE --- if they'd be interested in porting their desktop to a phone. Probably not, though. They probably realise that a good desktop interface is very different to a good phone interface.
Anyway, the last thing I want is a Ubuntu phone (or a Unity desktop), so I'm not giving them a penny
>Anyway, the last thing I want is a Ubuntu phone (or a Unity desktop), so I'm not giving them a penny
I'm no Linux expert, but would have assumed that a phone that can run Linux could be tweaked to run other distros fairly easily.
Besides Unity (and arguably Android) there any other small-screen touch-orientated Linux desktop environments being developed at the moment (such as might have fallen out of Nokia)?
Canonical is keeping schtum on the RAM and processor. Shuttleworth said instead his company would "benchmark the silicon as it comes out of the manufacturing process".
It also says:
We’ll protect that gorgeous display with something vastly tougher than glass: pure sapphire crystal, a material so hard only diamond could scratch it. For a phone to run a full desktop OS, it must have the raw power of a PC. We’ll choose the fastest available multi-core processor, at least 4GB of RAM and a massive 128GB of storage.
So that'll be "at least 4GB of RAM" then.
There was a recent Reg article about sapphire production methods falling in cost (just as silicon wafers for semiconductors have done). Only today I saw some quartz watches for sale with sapphire crystals (the see through bit above the watch face) for £125, so much materials are no longer the preserve of higher-end man jewellery.
No, seriously, why would I want one? I don't get it.
I have a smartphone, I have a computer, is this device meant to replace both and be an ok phone and a shitty computer? Does stuff I do in Android seamlessly integrate into the Ubuntu side? Are all the apps cross-compatible? I just don't get it.
>Does stuff I do in Android seamlessly integrate into the Ubuntu side?
Probably yes, seeing as such techniques have been used for some time on virtual machines. If you download VMWare Player (free as in beer) for example, you will be given the option to download the VMWare 'Helper' tools, which allow you to do things such as copy-paste between windows, regardless of whether said windows are programs running on the Host OS or the Guest OS.
I do have a little sympathy for your cynicism- this proposed Ubuntu setup requires the user to carry a micoHDMI or USB MHL cable, plus Bluetooth mouse and keyboard- which are bulkier than the actual phone. If you're resigned to carrying those odds and sods, you might as well carry a separate Linux machine too- perhaps one of those little 'inline' jobbies the size of a USB stick.... that way you can still make phone calls whilst editing your spreadsheets.
"If you're resigned to carrying those odds and sods, you might as well carry a separate Linux machine too"
Or maybe you mostly move between two locations (work and home) and can thusly keep a set of each of these "odds and sods" at both locations in much the same way that laptop owners use docking stations for?
-3 for asking a genuine question which nobody's really given a particularly compelling answer to yet. I still don't really get it. Of you're going to the trouble of plugging in all the peripherals to make a computer, wouldn't you want a proper computer without the premium price for batteries, touchscreens, etc.? This may be a powerful phone but is it really your dream processor for running desktop Linux?
I appreciate the point re copy and paste etc., I would expect that level of integration naturally, I meant more in terms of app file format and functionality compatibility. A lot of mobile apps use lightweight formats as the devices aren't intended to be interoperating loads with desktop OSes. Or maybe I'm wrong and there are loads of apps being written to harmonise between Ubuntu and android?
These are real questions, is there a real viable use case for 40000 of these phones as distinct from being a decent phone with fairly crappy desktop performance (compared with a cheap lappy for instance)?
I have a phone.
I have a laptop/desktop. They share all the data that needs sharing in the cloud.
Merging them seems a bit artificial.
I don't need all my development source code on the phone.
And, anyway, 128GB of storage is too small to hold all the stuff I need in a laptop/desktop (development tools,...),
This thing is vastly underspecced to replace a laptop, yet overspecced for normal phone use. Seems pretty pointless to me.
quote: "Um, this is some new definition of the word "free" that I was previously unaware of, it is?"
Nope, not really. Pledging to crowdfunding is exactly that, a pledge. What they choose to give you for pledging at specific levels is also that, a choice.
So you are committing at least $830 purely to see the project take off. What they are saying is "assuming we get enough for this to happen, we'll give you one of the phones for pledging that much".
Whether pledging with an expectation of a specific tier reward, constitutes a "purchase" under consumer legislation, has not yet been tested in court AFAIK. The intent is to be a "donate more than £50 and we'll give you a free tshirt!" type deal rather than "buy our overpriced tshirt for £50 to help the cause!". Semantics, but then it seems a lot of legislature (and the interpretation therein) is based on that.
It is being abused by big business who don't need it.
Standard practice was you invest you get a share of the profit. (Especially for something like this that is very high risk). 50% of it to the company 50% to the people providing the capital.
The new way is like the banks take none of the risk but all the profits.
I like the idea, but it seems a lot of money for software that hasn't been written yet and nobody knows how it will work or if it solves an existing problem. Ever since Ubuntu Touch came out it seemed like Ubuntu for Android was going to be replaced, but here they both are. I am not sure if the Ubuntu desktop accessible from Ubuntu for Android will be different from the Ubuntu desktop accessible from Ubuntu Touch - seems like they could, but who knows.
There is no way he they are going to raise all that money in 30 days unless Mark funds it himself, so I am not sure what is going on here.
There is no way he they are going to raise all that money in 30 days unless Mark funds it himself, so I am not sure what is going on here.
Perhaps it is a prelude to Canonical post Shuttleworth?
It he preparing to make an exit?
IMHO, they (canonical) are trying to do far too much on too many fronts. One minute they seem to want to take over from RedHat in the server arena, the next they are playing around with phones. His money can only stretch so far.
BH for the Ubuntu fanbois to bomb me with for daring to think the unthinkable...?
Given that several kickstarter campaigns have raised a few million dollars in funding, it isn't really surprising that large existing organisations would take the opportunity to obtain investment in return for toys instead of stock.
I'm not totally adverse to the idea, but I'd have expected an organisation with that much wealth behind it to have at least some sort of prototype, or indeed anything in their pitch beyond artist's impressions and a wishlist. Poor effort.
I keep hearing things like these and I don't get it... crowd sourcing/funding is a way of financing, philanthropists use it all the time and they have the most money out there...
If Microsoft did it I would not support them, but I fail to see how any company (Microsoft included) would "damage" crowd sourcing by engaging in it... In the case of Canonical I still think they are somewhat Ok to morally participate in this since they at least give Ubuntu away for free
To me this is like the whole stupid claim that gay marriage somehow degrades same-sex marriage... both can coexist no problem... little indie developers or start up companies can still do it (and would probably get most support) while big companies can try it and get the finger
I paid. I expect it to appear about the time I expect to be buying a new smartphone anyway. This does look like a nice device, and different enough from the current way of thinking to be interesting. And it is completely open, so I can run whatever software I like on it. And the money is not a bad deal for a high end smartphone at UK prices.
Yes, I pay now and get it later. But interest rates are less than inflation so no point keeping my money in the bank. If I change my mind later, I can probably get most of my money back selling it on eBay.
So this is quite a rational gamble.
A Linux distribution running in an emulated-x86 VM on an ARM processor, with the UI chugging along at some low amount of frames per second and the apps taking an age and a half to load, is not quite the same as a custom-made phone for a custom-made distribution running apps designed for the system.
Linux fan. However, saw this yesterday, as part of my weekly check to see whether Ubuntu tablet has been released yet - I've got a Motorola Xoom II here, which is utterly crippled by ICS4.0 and never used. My initial thought on Ubuntu Phone was 'ooh, interesting development', followed by a steady descent into measured cynicism caused by a number of things;
1) Who's paying for all the various patents and licences needed to run the thing? Or is that why it'll have Android on it, for phone duties?
2) The phone spec seems to be missing the back end of the statement of 'at least 4gb RAM and Unobtainium Glass' with "and it'll be waterproof to a gazillion feet and have a special shark-launcher with lasers and ninja death monkeys and if you press this button here it'll turn into a morning star so my dad can beat your dad up and it cost a bazillion pounds".
3) What happens when it breaks? And break it will - Nokia, for example, have been making these wireless telegraphy contraptions for some considerable time, including the nuclear-proof 6310. However, even with all of that experience and employing most of Finland, they'll still expect a returns rate of 10% on new models.
4) So we, the crowd, cough up £20m to see Ubuntu mutilated to run on a small touch screen... then what? It's rolled out onto tablets? Everyone else has to pay also? Or does it remain true to the open source roots of Linux?
"Man-made sapphire could replace Gorilla Glass as the material of choice for scratch-and-crack-resistant mobile phone screens in the near future, according to a recent speculative piece from MIT Technology Review.
"Having had a little wander around the relevant places and a few chats with people who would know, I'd say that it's actually not just possible but highly likely. "
"and employing most of Finland"
You should say that in past tense. They sacked well over 10000 employees more than year ago.
AFAIK Nokia only has 3 people working, Stephen Elop, Juha Alakarhu and that woman (Christina Bjorknas). The rest are bunch of tourists whom visit the town a few times a year and attend some boring board meeting... otherwise Stephen would just sit there talking to himself which looks ridiculous.
This is a very rude proposal.
First of all because it comes from someone that has a lot of money!!!
Second because linux is developed by many many people and they will see jack from this money. Yes one can argue that the code will go under open source license but we saw the same kind of promisses from Oracle when they bought MySQL and look how it ended...
And lets be serious there are people developing games from ground up and asking far less financing.
And remember they are not building the phone! so they don't need production facilities! and even the hardware for iPhone has production costs of about 174$ so how can this guy ask for 800$ in crowd funded campaign. This you would ask in retail end user price not crowd funded. Give me an incentive if you want me to fund you. Otherwise you can wait 'till pigs fly for my contribution and I'll wait until you release the product and buy it only then... and guess what for the same price... or maybe even less because by then Google or apple will come out with a better phone.
He compares F1 races and with this campaign but he conveniently forgets that F1 is not crowd funded!
It is the companies that do the heavy lifting and users enjoy the ride.
There are people doing computer games and hardware for far less then this sum.
look at parallela from Adapteva, delivered super computer running linux (collected 898,921$ asked $750,000)
look at udoo dual processor board with quad core CPU-s (collected 641,614$ asked $27,000)
star citizen game (collected 2,134,374$ asked 500,000$) far more complex in doing then anything Mark's team will ever do for linux
So please Mark Shuttleworth have a little bit of decency and don't be such a materialist }#¦#@°.
Linux contributors contribute. There is nothing saying they should get anything at all from it. As long as Cannonical adhere to all the licences, you point is irrelevant.
You also seem blissfully unaware how much its costs to get a HW device like a phone up and running. I work on this stuff, and it is expensive. VERY EXPENSIVE. As to your counter examples, all much MUCH simpler than a phone, even the Paralla . Phones nowadays need a shitload of peripherals on top of the CPU/GPU/MODEM. That stuff isn't cheap. Then you have the casing to develop - that's real expensive. Just the parts cost for something like this will be $200. They are making 40k of them, so that's $8M in parts minimum, not including manufacturing costs. Then you have the production line to setup , with dedicated test jigs etc. That a Mil at least. Then you have the dev costs of plumbing it all together, then the dev costs of making stuff like the camera work. It all adds up.
$32M sounds about right for a new phone developed from scratch to me. Maybe even on the low side.
"$32M sounds about right for a new phone developed from scratch to me. Maybe even on the low side."
Perhaps he could learn a lesson from the Jolla-folks. They ask far less for their proposed phones. Not to mention that there's no obligation to actually buy on if it gets released.
And they already showed the world some o/t things they're working on. Sorry folks, I'm more interested in Sailfish OS and Jolla then what this rich bloke dare to ask.
Perhaps he should "talk" to Balmer too and strike a "deal" there. They could start the rich bloke club there in Redmond. Have a bbq and dance around butt-naked in the moonlight.
you appear to be overlooking some key differences between funding software, and funding for hardware. if a software project gets excess funds from crowdsourcing, it's great, because that money can either be pocketed as profits, or used to add extra development/testing resources. If, on the other hand, a HARDWARE project gets excess funding, and the funding is tied directly to the number of units released, excess funding can dramatically increase time to market, or, if they take steps to expedite that, then it will instead drastically increase COST.
All of us who don't want NSA snooping in our pockets should help projects like this. I have contributed but I doubt target will be reached. Anyway if target is not reached and the money returned, then at least I did put my money where my mouth is during the 30 days.
If they don't meet the target you would get the money back, but if they do, yet don't produce the phone then you are not entitled to anything. You are not paying for a phone, but are funding a project. Fine if you have spare cash I guess.
(Now don't get belligerent like, it's just a question). In the days of yor, you would give money to a company with an expected return on investment based on your initial funding. So how does this whole fund crowdfunding work? Is it basically 17th century patronage by people with excessive dosh, (which generally didn't apply to established companies), or is there a deeper philosophy to it?
"(Now don't get belligerent like, it's just a question). In the days of yor, you would give money to a company with an expected return on investment based on your initial funding. So how does this whole fund crowdfunding work? Is it basically 17th century patronage by people with excessive dosh, (which generally didn't apply to established companies), or is there a deeper philosophy to it?"
Think of it as a slightly different direct version of capitalism. Instead of the consumer looking at the options that are available and choosing the best for them, they're influencing what options are available. It's just a different way of buying something, perhaps with a bit more choice for the consumer.
There seems to be plenty of opportunity for Canonical branded hardware in a variety of interesting form factors. They could put together a lot of ready made kit in configurations that are unusual. This doesn't have to be limited to phones where the market is already saturated.
It also doesn't require some sort of crowd-driven ransom-ware scheme.
Others have already done better. Canonical should raise the bar.
...a lot of glass half empty miserablists on the loose today. Maybe they, like me, can't spare the cash to try this out. Cry me a river, if the Ubuntu phone is a flaming turkey and everyone loses their money, the glass half empty miserablists will have their world-view confirmed; if it soars like a vulture looking out for well rotted carrion, don't worry, there will be something else along directly to be miserable about.
The whole point is that this will be cutting edge hardware, with cutting edge software, in a limited edition release.
Canonical expect to break even at best, manufacturing costs are going to be high for a short run product, Development costs will likewise be high, and the product will have a lot of experimental features.
The mobile phone companies won't finance something like this because the bean counters will nay say the risk.
I want to give Canonical money for Vaporware around the same time I give it to Google, Apple, Microsoft, IBM and Red Hat for the same. I want to encourage Canonical's behavior in regard to things like Unity, Mir and their CLA. I want all of this....
....about as much as I want to chew shards of the Sapphire they want to use in their screens.
And, I just can't love it.
It's got naff gestures, a lack of buttons (it's a lot like Meego in that respect, if you liked meego, you'll love Ubuntu touch. If like me you hated meego, ubuntu touch is painful.)
I really, really want a proper Linux phone, and if I could get one with a better interface and less of the Unity, I'd be all over it..
I would point out though that anyone giving it a try now really should be aware of the limitations that it has as a work in progress. On a Nexus 7, for example - it's one of their reference devices, a lot of remarkably basic things don't work, like landscape orientation.
I want to love it, I keep going back, but the basic design just keeps putting me off. I hope they have an awesomely good product to bring to market, but at the moment, the implementation is leaving me cold.
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