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+<!DOCTYPE html>
+ <head>
+ <meta charset="UTF-8">
+ <title> PayPal resumes: Neo900 sources again </title>
+ <meta name="date" content="2016-03-05 21:00:07">
+ <meta name="last modified" content="2016-03-03 21:00:07">
+ <meta name="keywords" content="neo900, paypal, N900">
+ <meta name="authors" content="hellekin">
+ <meta name="description" content="Neo900 resumes sourcing components after PayPal trouble clears.">
+ </head>
+ <body>
+ <p class="lead">After <a href="/news/paypal-trouble-delays-project">6
+ months of PayPal trouble</a> the situation has been sorted. Neo900
+ has resumed buying components for the upcoming production run.</p>
+ <h3>PayPal Unfreezes Neo900's Account</h3>
+ <blockquote>The PP issue got solved "by timeout" (180 day rule).
+ <br>&mdash; <a href="">Joerg</a>
+ </blockquote>
+ <p>This is good news! Since last September our assets were frozen
+ (the &ldquo;WikiLeaks Syndrome&rdquo;) as our &ldquo;case&rdquo;
+ was going through
+ <a href="">a
+ Kafkaesque process</a> that finally ended on January, 25th,
+ 2016.</p>
+ <p>After blocking Neo900's account, PayPal had to decide whether
+ Neo900 is a <em>crowdfunding</em> project or
+ a <em>pre-selling</em> project.
+ <dl>
+ <dt><strong>"crowdfunding"</strong></dt><dd>means the money is
+ used to support every step of the project, including
+ risk.</dd>
+ <dt><strong>"pre-selling"</strong></dt><dd>means the money is to
+ increase the volume of an already financed production:
+ delivery is certain, and the underlying effort is already
+ covered by other sources.</dd>
+ </dl>
+ </p>
+ <p>PayPal initially recategorized us as <em>pre-sale</em>, imposing
+ a whopping $200,000 insurance reserve: effectively freezing your
+ 40k EURO assets for 180 days. We'd like to thank you again for
+ your continuous support, and numerous efforts and supporting
+ letters. All funds where eventually released when reaching the
+ 180 days threshold.</p>
+ <h3>Component Sourcing Resumes</h3>
+ <p>Right after PayPal unlocked your contributions, we could resume
+ buying components to build the new boards.</p>
+ <p>Unfortunately, 500 N900 units that we had secured earlier were
+ missed due to accumulated delays with pre-orders and the PayPal
+ freeze.</p>
+ <h3>Incoming: more N900s</h3>
+ <p>In order to break even,
+ our <a href="">earlier estimates</a>
+ pointed at 500 units sold. After the 6-month PayPal delay, our
+ estimate bumped break even to ~800 units. This means we must
+ communicate a bit more (and better) and Joerg proposed to
+ do <a href="">Community
+ PR</a>, where the brainstorming has started.</p>
+ <p>Recently, a large number of units&mdash;more than we need to
+ break even&mdash; appeared on Aliexpress: our boots on the ground
+ in China are active to evaluate those N900 allegedly from Russia.
+ If you know where to find some affordable stocks of N900 units,
+ please <a href="">contact
+ us</a>!</p>
+ <h3>Hello Neo900 Community!</h3>
+ <p>This article was brought to you by hellekin, who joined the team
+ to facilitate communication with you.</p>
+ <p>I was called to join the Neo900 to relieve our dears inventors
+ from the public relations tasks, and let them focus on the
+ technical and operational sides of the project.</p>
+ <p>I'm not a PR professional, but a long time free software activist
+ and accidental coder. A member of
+ the <a href=""> Foundation</a>, my
+ activity covers a diversity of projects ranging from system
+ administration to code, web development, and community building.
+ I participate in a few free software projects such
+ as <a href="">Tomb</a>,
+ <a href="">Dowse</a>,
+ and <a href="">Devuan</a>. I also volunteer
+ time to the <a href="">GNU project</a> in the
+ webmasters team and with
+ the <a href="">GNU consensus</a> project
+ to coordinate development of free social software.</p>
+ <p>Last August
+ at <a href="">CCCamp15</a>,
+ I was softly coerced into accepting a N900 phone from Werner with
+ the hope I would go back a week later to Buenos Aires and hand him
+ the device for dissection. Unfortunately I didn't come back yet,
+ but I learned to live with my new pet.</p>
+ <p>You see, my last phone ended up dying slowly on the roof of a
+ random bar in Paris, sometimes in 1999. My friends had been
+ harrassing me to get one, then harrassing me for not answering it,
+ and finally stopped complaining when they learned I had no phone
+ anymore. Go figure. I was happy with the situation until
+ Camp.</p>
+ <p>You can imagine how an inexperienced user who didn't follow the
+ evolution of <em>smartphone</em> technologies since
+ before <abbr title="Year 2000">Y2K</abbr> can build expectations
+ about a phone. I had mine: it should be flat, multitouch and HD,
+ about the size of a Galaxy S10, and of course free hardware, the
+ only way the user can ensure the phone is not spying on them.</p>
+ <p>Interruption and built-in privacy wiper were the two main
+ blockers for me to get a phone again. I was still waiting for my
+ dream phone.</p>
+ <p>My lack of experience with <em>smartphones</em> make me an
+ excellent guinea pig for user interfaces. My friends can't stop
+ wondering when they see me fail at using their device for simple
+ tasks. But if you wonder how a clueless person can handle tech
+ talk about phones and communicate for Neo900, here comes a little
+ context.</p>
+ <p>I had been curious about free hardware since I met
+ S&eacute;bastien Bourdeauducq in the <code>/tmp/lab</code>
+ hackerspace near Paris. We share some fun memories of making an
+ ad-hoc street demo
+ of <a href="">MilkyMist One</a> in
+ Amsterdam. The OpenMoko project was great and
+ the <a href="">OpenMoko
+ Neo Freerunner</a> design attractive, although a bit clumsy to
+ handle and the display too small. So I kept waiting.</p>
+ <p>When Werner introduced me to the Neo900, I stubbornly dismissed
+ it for the form factor. Although it brought to life my desire for
+ an Internet device built on free hardware and free software, I
+ could resist the tentation to crave this <em>slider</em> with a
+ ridiculously small keyboard: I'm not a thumb-writer! So when
+ Werner sneakily handed me an N900, via my partner, to "keep in
+ touch during the camp", at a moment most vulnerable as I was
+ leaving my angel shift in the kitchen, circumspection had me.</p>
+ <p>Long story short: I've been traveling to 4 countries lately and
+ have 6 SIM cards in a little box. Using the keyboard to SSH into
+ a remote machine or editing text isn't as bad as I expected. I
+ still prefer my full-size keyboard but I took some notes on the
+ N900, and it's great for ad-hoc interventions on a server.</p>
+ <p>Having passed this barrier to usage, I'm eager to see what the
+ hardware upgrade to Neo900 can bring in terms of performance. The
+ N900 falls a bit short and shows its age.</p>
+ <p>But more importantly, and this is why Neo900 has a special place
+ in my heart, it's <strong>the only phone that provides a hardware
+ protection from remote activation of the baseband chip</strong>.
+ Even a secure phone like
+ the <a href="">Cryptophone</a>, besides not
+ being free, cannot prevent the baseband chip from requesting power
+ on its own, because it's using stock hardware, and all commercial
+ phones (I know of) connect the baseband chip directly to the
+ power, without CPU intervention, hence without any control from
+ the <abbr title="Operating System">OS</abbr>. With the Neo900,
+ you are free to choose whether this pesky lurker <em>needs</em>
+ access to your phone's radio or not.</p>
+ <p>Thank you for your attention,</p>
+ <p>&ndash; hellekin for the Neo900 team</p>
+ <p>P.S.: Feedback is welcome! Did you enjoy reading this post?
+ What else should it have covered? What do you want to read in the
+ news? You can tell me: hellekin at neo900 dot org, or in the
+ comments.</p>