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    The first 14″ laptop designed to protect your digital life Ultra-portable workstation laptop that was designed chip-by-chip, line-by-line, to respect your rights to privacy, security, and freedom.

    Yet it still ships with Intel processors

    I don’t envy companies that try to target “libre” market. It’s a bar impossible to meet. Author demands specialist hardware with customized software and CIA-proof customer service, and at the same time doesn’t like it’s much more expensive than mass-market devices.

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      I’m not a fan of his writing their either, but the company positions itself as CIA-proof and talks a lot about that subject…

      Example: https://puri.sm/posts/what-the-cia-vault-7-documents-mean/

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        I’m not a fan of his writing their either

        What’s great about not writing professionally anymore is that don’t need to care about creating new fans, because I don’t get paid either way. ;)

        But thanks for the comment anyways. :)

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          Oh, not implying. You write your way, I like my way. :)

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        I don’t think I have an “impossible bar to meet”. I’m typing this on a Thinkpad X220 because I’m still waiting for the Librem to be repaired. The Thinkpad also ships with an Intel processor, yet it doesn’t claim to fix every privacy issue under the sun and the kitchen sink. That X220 is at least 8 years old and it’s still working fine. I can open it up easily and fix it myself. Parts are easy to come by, and it’s dirt cheap on the second hand market.

        If all Linux-friendly laptop manufacturers had the same high prices as Purism, I wouldn’t complain. And I didn’t complain, at first: I noted that this was one thing to keep in mind if you buy that machine, but I did buy the damn thing. So I think it’s a fair comment to make: Purism devices are more expensive, not only to mass-market devices, but also to their competitors in their niche.

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        I own a Librem 13v2 and have warned others away from Purism’s hardware at every opportunity. The build quality is notably poor and support from Purism was insultingly bad. I’m disappointed but not surprised these issues are ongoing with newer hardware revisions.

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          I also owned a Librem 13v2. I returned it after the performance of the system would just grind to a halt after a few hours of use, then a week or so in, after a few minutes. PureOS was a bit shoddy but the hardware basically worked; trying to use non-PureOS (because their distribution leaves much to be desired) was a recipe for incompatibility.

          At least they processed the return quickly.

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          I would have linked to the actual review.

          It certainly paints a sad image for purism.

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            The “Libre-washing” part is strange:

            coreboot, as shipped by Purism, is not open source, or at least ships proprietary blobs. Compare this with the work System76 has been doing in recent times. […] And while those might sound like small things compared to liberating the CPU firmware, I will point out that they actually succeed in completely liberating those components, […] What has Purism done, in the meantime? Neutralized IME. That’s it. They have not published anything on LVFS…

            W…why?? Why is LVFS, which is just a FW update shipping mechanism that doesn’t have much to do with freedom, so important to the author?

            System76 and Purism laptops currently have equivalently free (i.e. FSP-using of course) coreboot based firmware. It’s so weird to imply that any one of them is better.

            The Librems [Phones] are heavily overpriced but that is because Purism seemingly never tried to get better deal and the South San Francisco partner abused this so that is why Purism Librems are double the price they should be.

            that’s sad :/

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              System76 and Purism laptops currently have equivalently free (i.e. FSP-using of course) coreboot based firmware. It’s so weird to imply that any one of them is better.

              As stated in the doc, System76 is actively working on more aspects of firmware than just x86 firmware, e.g. the Embedded Controller. And that’s the difference between a company reselling China stuff with marginal improvements like privacy toggles (see the “South San Francisco Partner” problem Purism faces) and a company that slowly but steadily increases the influence it has on its hardware, leading to stuff like https://github.com/system76/ec

              I’m a coreboot developer, and Purism created a fair amount of extra work for us to manage the PR storms that they created (and that then came our way). There have been a number of coreboot devs trying to explain Todd from Purism early on what can be reasonably done and which of his claims seemed rather outlandish. While Purism is now calmer in general, they still seem to like the hyperbole.

              Compared to that, System76’s entry in our little corner of the world has been a much nicer experience: If anything, we were frustrated because they refused to discuss firmware for a long time, but when they did, they were ready to deliver.

              All in all, I’m fine with both companies around, but I’m also prepared to have to strip off some amount of hype from Purism’s announcements while I can take System76’s at face value. (But still, there’s a Pinebook Pro on my desk that awaits its corebooting.)

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                W…why?? Why is LVFS, which is just a FW update shipping mechanism that doesn’t have much to do with freedom, so important to the author?

                It’s important because it makes firmware upgrades more accessible to their users. That is a critical feature to ensure the security and reliability of an ecosystem.

                System76 and Purism laptops currently have equivalently free (i.e. FSP-using of course) coreboot based firmware. It’s so weird to imply that any one of them is better.

                System76 is slightly better in that regard, because they try to make shipping those updates easier. I don’t think it’s weird to outline that.

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                The hardware and software freedom issues all seem legitimate, but the ‘questionable politics’ appears to be a dedication to freedom of speech: they apparently purport not to censor legal speech on their platform. I share raymii’s abhorrence for racism and neo-Naziism, but like the ACLU of old I believe everyone deserves liberty, even abhorrent people.

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                  I really never understood this point of view. The slopes are not that slippery. You don’t need to allow people to say that other people should be killed, contained, or otherwise genocided in order to have a free society. You certainly are not obligated to give them a platform to amplify their voice. Hate speech is not equivalent to every other debate that a free society should be allowed to have.

                  You won’t lose your rights if you take away the right to say that entire societal groups should be harmed. Canada and most of Europe are not dystopian hell holes just because they have stronger laws against hate speech.

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                    One thing to add is that purisms platform is a private offer and is not a basic service, so they are perfectly within their right to say “go talk somewhere else”.

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                      I think the platform point is the real valid one, here. “Freedom of speech” is a pretty intellectually dishonest claim here - it matters for the government because the government’s authority is wide-ranging and governs behavior that’s not otherwise involved with the government. The government can arrest you in your home for crimes you committed there. All those First Amendment freedoms are there for the basic purpose of stopping thoughtcrime from being a thing, not because we’re all obligated to support all ideas being shared everywhere at all times.

                      Purism has nothing like a government’s reach; I’d be skeptical you could claim even major social media platforms are so critical to communication that banning certain kinds of speech there is equivalent to banning the ideas themselves. This is the basic premise of all forum moderation.

                      When a private group refuses to moderate its own platform, it’s not a principled stand in defense of freedom of speech because freedom of speech was never at risk. Most likely, it’s a principled stand in defense of laziness, because they don’t want the responsibility. Rarely (I think), it’s a principled stand in defense of whatever unpopular idea they’re being criticized for allowing to stay on their platform. I’d appreciate some honesty either way.

                      To be clear, I think the laziness argument is actually a valid one in some cases. But it’s important to admit that you’re declining that responsibility because it’s more investment than you’re willing to put in, and not try and cast it as a noble goal. In principle it’s not much different from choosing security policies - sometimes it’s not worth putting the effort in for the benefit you get out of it, and if you’re honest about that you and everyone who uses the thing will be better off.

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                        I really never understood this point of view. The slopes are not that slippery. You don’t need to allow people to say that other people should be killed, contained, or otherwise genocided in order to have a free society. You certainly are not obligated to give them a platform to amplify their voice. Hate speech is not equivalent to every other debate that a free society should be allowed to have.

                        Which one of “Black Lives Matter”, “All Lives Matter”, “Blue Lives Matter”, “White Lives Matter” is hate speech that can be legitimately banned in a free society? Which one of these slogans, if any, is shorthand for a set of political claims that imply that other people should be killed, contained or otherwise genocided? This isn’t an abstract hypothetical - this is an active political debate happening in the US right now that has a material affect on functions of the state such as policing policy and anti-discrimination law.

                        Calls like that made in the article for institutions like Purism who would like to run a social network to “take a stand against racism and nazis on their servers”, are necessarily calls that social network providers should make political judgments about exactly what speech is racist - and moreover, to make those political judgments in exactly the same way as the person calling for the censorship. There’s no reason why you should trust a social network that operates according to that principle - whether run by Purism or any other party - not to decide that something you think is important to say is a Nazi statement that can be legitimately banned.

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                          Which one of “Black Lives Matter”, “All Lives Matter”, “Blue Lives Matter”, “White Lives Matter” is hate speech that can be legitimately banned in a free society?

                          They are all a reaction to BLM in an attempt to drown it out: ALM is about “shut up, you’re not relatively important”, Blue LM is about “shut up, cops are awesome” and WLM is about “shut up, slavery wasn’t that bad”, or something like that. All of them are saying, “shut up black people, cops aren’t killing you that much or your deaths aren’t that important compared to our own problems”. The four slogans are not equivalent nor comparable.

                          I’m not sure any of these slogans on their own are legitimately hate speech, but they tend to accompany some other ideas that are more easily classified as hate speech.

                          It would go a long way if the government of the US more directly addressed the evident problems with the police. Doing so would clarify which one of those slogans is addressing a valid concern and which aren’t, and which associated ideas really do not need to be protected as free speech.

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                            You don’t get to re-write other people’s speech and then punish them for it.

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                            Which one of [these] is hate speech that can be legitimately banned in a free society? […] this is an active political debate happening in the US right now that has a material affect on functions of the state such as policing policy and anti-discrimination law.

                            It’s really not - I, at least, haven’t seen anyone saying that people should not be legally permitted to say any variation of “X Lives Matter”. Instead, there’s a lot of conversation about whether, when C ⊂ S, saying “C matters” implies “(S - C) does not matter”, which is clearly not the case.

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                          The issue with a simplistic approach to free speech is that a great deal of speech is extremely effective at silencing other speech. In practice, there is no such thing as absolute free speech, and one cannot claim that free speech for all must be an absolute good when people use speech specifically to stifle others. Fascists have understood this for decades, which is why they so vociferously demand free speech for themselves when they are out of power but deny it the moment they are in power. The alt-right has taken this lesson to heart in recent years, which is why all of modern social media – built with a naive belief in “absolute free speech” – has become such an effective tool for them.

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                          I have commented on Purism’s customer support (twice) and build quality before. This all pretty much matches my experience. Don’t buy from Purism.

                          I will say though, this review actually kind of explains why my problems with customer support were so bad. The big problem I had was an inability to get replacement parts for repair (so much for the laptop being easy to service), but if all their stuff is coming from China through a middleman in San Fransisco, that’s probably why they can’t get replacement parts.

                          They did actually email me last February (so, two years and a month after the original incident) to say they could replace my screen if I wanted. I didn’t reply - I bought from System76 long ago and haven’t looked back. With a few exceptions (which I’m fine looking past), I’ve been very happy with them.