Smart phones

My old mobile phone becomes a bit unreliable, so I look for a new one. Perhaps a smart phone would be useful, but I’m not interested in proprietary and virus prone OSes without available source code and lacking good development tools and community support. Given these constraints there are at most two options: Google Android and Openmoko (Neo FreeRunner).

If I understand it right, Google Android is actually not an option. It’s built on top of a Java platform and can be programmed only by using a proprietary SDK. So it’s not completely free, I’m forced to work in Java and I can’t port my favorite applications to it. No, thank you.

Openmoko is an interesting free software platform, but there are problems. Neo FreeRunner phone is relatively expensive while lacking some basic features commonly available in cheap phones (EDGE, camera). But the real problem is that it doesn’t seem to provide robust telephony services instantly. I’m looking for a device which I can use exclusively, not for a supplementary and rather expensive toy. If the basic phone functionality worked without any problems then I might participate on development of other features. Hopefully Openmoko (or other nice platform) reaches that state before my next mobile phone will die.

So my next mobile phone will be a simple phone, smart phones haven’t grown up enough yet to satisfy my needs.

Bogus facts

It’s very common: Someone claims and discusses a fact and makes conclusions from it without checking the fact first and without knowing its context. Even when it is easy to check and to get to understand. And with false facts one can prove anything, especially what he likes to prove.

Well, we all do mistakes. But in some situations people should be especially careful about what they say. We buy (certain) newspapers to get information. We pay scientists to provide new knowledge and competent advice to us. We expect informed decisions from statesmen. One can’t check everything and everybody must rely on experts and reliable information channels. When this doesn’t work, we get in troubles.

There is a lot of information available to us todays. Unfortunately much of it is false, often simply because someone doesn’t know what he talks about and creates new, modified, bogus facts. The problem is this behavior is not limited to gossipers, even people who should be respectable and responsible sometimes show this ignorance. So do we get more information or actually less information today? And who profits from ignorance?