My Ubuntu Week

Ubuntu Edge now at over $8 million

ubuntuedgeThe fund raising project for the Ubuntu Edge seems to have stalled somewhat in the last few days.  There are just 19 days left now to raise the remaining $24 million.

For those of you who haven’t heard, the Ubuntu Edge is a new phone that is to be released next year.

The specifications for the phone are exceptional. For instance the phone boasts 4gb ram. To put that into context the Samsung Galaxy S4 has only 2gb and the Apple iPhone 5 has just 1gb. The phone also has a massive internal storage capability of 128gb.

The price for the phone is between $780 and $830 which is, let’s not beat about the bush here, high. However the real selling point of the phone is that it can double up as your desktop computer. This means you can carry your phone in your pocket and make calls and texts as normal. The phone also runs both Android and Ubuntu which means you have access to Android’s vast back catalogue of applications as well as Ubuntu’s repositories.

As a user of the phone you will be able to wake up in the morning and check your emails. Then you walk to the train station and listen to your music. Now it is on to the train where you can either play games or if you are really committed to work you can type a quick email. When you get to the office you don’t need to turn on your computer, you just plug your phone into the dock and you are ready to go. The concept is a really good one.

So why has the project stumbled at $8 million? Well the initial target is considerably high. To put the target into context it is 30+ times higher than Indiegogo’s record fund raiser to date. You are asking people to pay $700+ now for a phone that may or may not be released and even if it is it won’t be until next year. I think the 30 day limit is also a drawback. Most people just don’t have that amount of spare cash available.

I was listening to the latest episode of the Mintcast podcast and one of the hosts was a little bit annoyed that for a mobile phone project people had raised over $7 million, yet for another project that is raising just a few thousand to provide computers to poor children was struggling to raise the funds required.

In the UK we have a fund raising telethon every year called “Children in need”. Last year that raised £26 million. ($40 million). £26 million and that was from pretty much every person in Britain contributing something.

I’d like to see the Ubuntu Edge project come to fruition but as I said in my previous article about the Ubuntu Edge. It is a tall order to raise $32 million in 30 days.

The Ubuntu Forums are back online

The Ubuntu forums have been offline for a couple of weeks whilst the moderators tried to work out how hackers were able to steal 1.82 million logins and email addresses.

The cause of the attack was a compromised moderator account. The forums are now back online but many moderators will now find their privileges are far more restricted than they were previously.

The most important thing I can say here is this. If you have an account on the Ubuntu Forums and you use the same email address and password combination for other sites, go to the other sites and change your password.

Your computer junk is gold to Reglue

Not specific to Ubuntu this one but just a story that I think readers should be aware of. The Blog Of Helios provided details of an organisation that uses your unwanted computer spares to make money for charity.

Visit for the complete story or to donate your old technology such as memory sticks, hard drives, motherboards, cases etc.

Ubuntu User magazine is looking for you

The next story comes direct from Reddit.

Paul Brown, chief editor, put out a request for authors to write articles for “Ubuntu User” magazine.

If you have what it takes to write decent technology related articles, specifically related to Ubuntu, then you might want to read this thread on the Ubuntu sub-reddit where Paul answers a series of questions about what you need to do to be able to write for Ubuntu User.

Why Mark Shuttleworth is important to Linux

Foss Force has a couple of interesting articles this week.

Christine Hall wrote an article called “Why Mark Shuttleworth is important to Linux” in which she explains that Mark Shuttleworth is important to Linux. (Clue was in the title really).

At this point you might be thinking that I haven’t read the article myself and that I’m winging it and for once you’d be absolutely wrong.

Christine explains that Mark has worked out that Linux cannot become big in the desktop market just because as Linux users we say it is better than Windows. Mark has thrown money and used his considerable expertise and wealth to get Ubuntu noticed.

Christine also says that if the Ubuntu Edge plan works and the big OEMs come along and decide that they love Ubuntu then we all benefit whether we use Ubuntu or not. The money that is thrown into the ring for research and development purposes will benefit every Linux user whether they use Ubuntu or not.

I happen to agree with Christine’s opinion. Love it or loathe it, Ubuntu is the biggest of the Linux operating systems in the desktop market. Talk to any techie Window’s user about Linux and you will find a number of them say “yeah, I was thinking of trying out Ubuntu”.

There is also obviously heavy debate about Ubuntu’s “Unity” desktop environment. Whether you love or hate Unity it is a defining feature of Ubuntu. Think about all the other desktop environment’s out there. KDE is used by dozens of distributions and it is only a matter of taste which one you prefer. The same could be said for Gnome, XFCE and LXDE. You could say that Cinnamon is unique mainly to Mint but is Cinnamon truly innovative? I’m not knocking Cinnamon because I think it is good but only Unity offers something completely new and completely different.

I often hear the argument that Window’s users would prefer Cinnamon over Unity because it is more familiar. I think that answer was true about 5 to 10 years ago. Most users out there now have used either an iPod/iPad or Android phone or tablet. From this I would say that users would be more than comfortable with a Unity or Gnome layout. We are no longer in a world dominated by one operating system.

What’s your favourite blog?

Another non-Ubuntu related article now. Foss Force has a poll running asking users to vote for their favourite blog.

Now neither this blog or my other blog “Everyday Linux User” is listed. There are 9 blogs listed by default and to this point the outright leader is “Martin’s blog“.

My personal favourites are “Linux Notes from Dark Duck” and “Dedoimedo“.

My Other Blog

Over at “Everyday Linux User” I wrote a review of SolydX which is a rolling release distribution based on Debian’s testing branch with the XFCE desktop environment.

And finally….

The Bradley Manning and Edward Snowden stories continue to dominate the press.

Whilst Bradley Manning faces sentencing and a possible 136 year jail sentence, Edward Snowden has finally managed to leave the airport in Moscow.

On top of this the UK government is introducing a new scheme whereby people have to opt-in via their ISPs to access sites with adult material, esoteric material or anything slightly questionable (such as web forums). Also the Co-operative have decided that lad’s magazines should cover up or get out of their shops as the pictures of semi-naked women are offensive. To follow suit Tesco has announced that lad’s magazines will now only be sold to over 18 year olds.

Right time for a quick rant…..

Just a few weeks ago Barack Obama visited Africa and championed the work done by Nelson Mandela to make South Africa a fairer place. For me Bradley Manning and Edward Snowden are now facing hefty sentences for trying to share news that they think is in the public’s interest.

In the UK the MPs have been outraged for the past 2 or 3 years because of the phone hacking scandal whereby the “News of the world” hacked into the phones of various celebrities and allegedly the phone line of a murdered schoolgirl.

Rebekah Brooks and Andy Coulsen are facing prison sentences for their part in the phone hacking scandal. To be honest I’m not overly bothered by this. What I am bothered about is the outrage of the MPs moaning about phone hacking whilst they allow their security services and the US security services to spy on every damned one of us.

Our UK government also complains at China, North Korea and Iran for preventing their people access to a free press and the free world yet they can’t see the irony that they are themselves putting up “The Great Wall of Britain” by blocking sites like “The Pirate Bay”, “Newzbin” and now any adult site or indeed any site that they don’t directly understand.

Then there are the big corporations such as Tesco and the Co-op. The Co-op has double standards, that is for sure. The lad’s magazines sell by having pictures of semi-naked women on the front. What you think about that is up to you. If you ban these front covers however what about the ladie’s magazines that have semi-naked men on the front or indeed most ladie’s magazines such as “Now”, “Heat”, “Closer”, “Hello”, “OK” etc have pictures of semi-naked women themselves. If we are really going down this route should Kelloggs cover up their “Special K” adverts that have a semi-naked woman advertising breakfast cereal? Where does it end?

Rant over.

Thankyou for reading.




2 comments for “My Ubuntu Week

  1. ShaunGeorge
    August 6, 2013 at 8:32 am

    Ubuntu edge: Shuttleworth expected people to put money in but said he himself would not invest any of his own money and if the project fails it will be ditched …I wonder will those peopole that donated get any money back.

    • William Paul
      August 8, 2013 at 2:52 am

      @ShaunGeorge: Yes, if the Ubuntu Edge campaign fails, every person who gave funds will get their money back in full. This is a standard option on the Indiegogo website, as other crowdfunded projects can choose this form of campaign if they want.

      As an aside, I plan to contribute at least $50 to the Edge to get the exclusive swag if the project succeeds. Since the Edge is desktop GNU/Linux version of the initial iPhone release, which will also help spread the OS and boost the prestige of the true penguin to more people!

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