My wife and I do not fit in the corporate consumer models for telecommunications technologies.
By this I mean We rarely make phone calls and thus years ago I decided to leave the large corporate models for phone service and went to VOIP over the internet before VONAGE ™ was available. Later I signed up with vonage’s VOIP and been with them till this day.
Looking to get a low cost smart-phone or tablet-phone for mobile use appears to be a challenge for such a low usage that I can’t justify the $50 or more monthly fees.
The device may cost from $50 – $700 to be in use for 3 years but 12 month service fees adding up to $600 or more would add up to over $1800.00 for that same period. That is an unjustifiable cost in my mind when you consider the intrusion of being spied upon and profiled by institutions with no regard to your personal liberties and privacy. On top of that You have been regulated to a paying audience for advertisers that constantly and unyieldingly peddle all unwanted and unrequested merchandise and services. Ouch, I don’t like being a walking billboard and a captured receiver to unwelcomed messages and propaganda!
Yes I strongly object to supporting those policies and institutions that allow or implement policies that disrespect individual sovereignty and privacy.
Personally I have no objection to carrying my notebook pc and use the WIFI capabilities when signals are available, but my wife will not. She would not carry a notebook computer everywhere to shop and travel nor should she have to.
A tablet or phone size device with camera and phone calling features would meet her requirements nicely.
I am not as mobile nor as techno-gadgeteering as I once was. The new computing gadgets and standard protocols lingo has passed me by. And now I volunteer to dive back into the techno creativity hobbyist style of creative vision…
The Freedom software movement has caught my attention
I found this report in Yahoo news while doing some research:
“… the wifi-minded carrier isn’t for everyone. It employs a calculator called the Cellular Usage Index (CUI) to determine where you fall on the spectrum of mobile users. If you’re a light or moderate user (one who won’t put too much pressure on their networks), you’re the ideal customer. But users who use up a disproportionate share of mobile bandwidth are subject to getting the boot (after a series of warnings) if they don’t rein in their heavy voice and data usage.
The good news? The vast majority of mobile customers aren’t data hogs. Even if you spend all day returning calls or refreshing your inbox from the palm of your hand, odds are that you fall somewhere on the middle of the spectrum. According to the carrier, “you could consume 550 minutes, send 150 texts, and download 300 megabytes of data without crossing the community’s fair use threshold,” and that’s not even taking wifi — which has no associated cost — into account.”
Read more at:
The news was over a year old, thus I found the organization’s website and browsed and discovered the beta tests are ongoing but closed (possibly with future openings); I signed up for newsletters and future testing…
If you are interested then visit http://republicwireless.com/
As I continued to search I discovered several creative devices by people who are looking to create a new paradigm. Here are two:
1. Raspberry Pi GPU is Twice as Powerful as the iPhone 4S GPU
“Remember Raspberry Pi, the tiny $25 computer that’s launching very soon, and promises to revolutionize the world? It seems its GPU comprehensively beats the Tegra 2 GPU and is even twice as powerful as the iPhone 4S GPU. At the heart of the device it’s a Broadcom BCM2835 chip that comes with a 700 Mhz CPU, and this ultra-powerful GPU. A Broadcom employee had this to say about it:
“I was on the team that designed the graphics core, so I’m a little biased here, but I genuinely believe we have the best mobile GPU team in the world at Broadcom in Cambridge”.
He was also not very impressed with the Tegra 2 GPU:
“What’s really striking is how badly Tegra 2 performs relative even to simple APs using licensed Imagination Technologies (TI and Apple) or ARM Mali (Samsung) graphics. To summarise, BCM2835 has a tile mode architecture – so it kills immediate-mode devices like Tegra on fill-rate – and we’ve chosen to configure it with a very large amount of shader performance, so it does very well on compute-intensive benchmarks, and should double iPhone 4S performance across a range of content.”
The Raspberry Pi foundation hopes that the price and flexibility of this tiny computer will give rise to a whole lot of homebrew inventions in the future. Because the Raspberry Pi computer can easily decode 1080p blu-ray movies, it will be a great fit for XBMC devices and set top boxes, and this is what they are most likely to focus on in the beginning.”
Tiny, Powerful, Inexpensive and non-proprietary (free) architecture are all excellent reasons to explore and develop this further!
2. Via Outs $49 Android PC
by Ed Caggiani
“How about an Android PC for only $49? Via, a company known more for its circuit boards, has put together an interesting piece of hardware. This small PC on a board doesn’t have the best specs, but you didn’t expect that for $49, right? Here’s what it comes with:
- Arm 11 800MHz processor
- 2GB NAND flash storage
- microSD slot
- 4 full-size USB ports
- 512 MB RAM
- VGA port
- HDMI port
- Ethernet port
- Android 2.3 Gingerbread (awww)
To imagine all the common computing features becoming part of the android (smart phone and tablet devices) Operating System is a promising development!
Perhaps as I enter the market for a “Smart Phone”
I will actually get a video-phone-Ebook-wordprocessor-WebSearch-Browser all-in-one device? Who knows but certainly more than an expensive phone and camera dumb-phone masquerading as a “Smart Phone”.
Let us write and call in with encouragement and ideas to help these new and creative ideas become reality.
Oh, and let us not forget about freedom!
The “free” software movement is not about PRICE it is about getting corporatism out of the business of enslaving mankind to a misery of profit driven, debt-bondage, ecological suicide, biological experimentation with frankenstein GMOs and corporate-governments to enforce obedience to the corporate board’s demands.
“Free Software Foundation (FSF) is a nonprofit with a worldwide mission to promote computer user freedom and to defend the rights of all free software users.
As our society grows more dependent on computers, the software we run is of critical importance to securing the future of a free society. Free software is about having control over the technology we use in our homes, schools and businesses, where computers work for our individual and communal benefit, not for proprietary software companies or governments who might seek to restrict and monitor us.
The Free Software Foundation is working to secure freedom for computer users by promoting the development and use of free (as in freedom) software and documentation — particularly the GNU operating system — and by campaigning against threats to computer user freedom like Digital Restrictions Management (DRM) and software patents.
The free software movement is one of the most successful social movements to emerge in the past 25 years, driven by a worldwide community of ethical programmers dedicated to the cause of freedom and sharing. But the ultimate success of the free software movement depends upon teaching our friends, neighbors and work colleagues about the danger of not having software freedom, about the danger of a society losing control over its computing.
Our Core Work
The FSF maintains historic articles covering free software philosophy and maintains the Free Software Definition — to show clearly what must be true about a particular software program for it to be considered free software.
The FSF sponsors the GNU project — the ongoing effort to provide a complete operating system licensed as free software. We also fund and promote important free software development and provide development systems for GNU software maintainers, including full email and shell services and mailing lists. We are committed to furthering the development of the GNU Operating System and enabling volunteers to easily contribute to that work, including sponsoring Savannah the source code repository and center for free software development.
The FSF holds copyright on a large proportion of the GNU operating system, and other free software. We hold these assets to defend free software from efforts to turn free software proprietary. Every year we collect thousands of copyright assignments from individual software developers and corporations working on free software. We register these copyrights with the US copyright office and enforce the license under which we distribute free software — typically the GNU General Public License. We do this to ensure that free software distributors respect their obligations to pass on the freedom to all users, to share, study and modify the code. We do this work through our Free Software Licensing and Compliance Lab.
The FSF publishes the GNU General Public License (GNU GPL), the world’s most popular free software license, and the only license written with the express purpose of promoting and preserving software freedom. Other important licenses we publish include the GNU Lesser General Public License (GNU LGPL), the GNU Affero General Public License (GNU AGPL) and the GNU Free Document License (GNU FDL). Read more about our free software licensing and related issues.
The FSF campaigns for free software adoption and against proprietary software. Threats to free software include Digital Restrictions Management (DRM), Software Patents and Treacherous Computing. Find out more about our campaigns, and ways to volunteer.
Support Our Mission
The most important support you can give to free software is to use free software on your own computer and advocate within your business or community for others to adopt it. Subscribe to our monthly newsletter the Free Software Supporter to hear about ways you can get involved.
You can directly support our mission by donating or becoming a card carrying associate member of the Free Software Foundation”
see more at http://www.fsf.org/