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<!DOCTYPE html>
<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="http://talk.maemo.org/showpost.php?p=1496288&postcount=142">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="http://talk.maemo.org/showthread.php?p=1484790#post1484790">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="http://neo900.org/estimate">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="http://talk.maemo.org/showthread.php?t=96311">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="mailto:contact@neo900.org?Subject=N900%20Stock">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="http://www.dyne.org">Dyne.org 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="http://tomb.dyne.org/">Tomb</a>,
      <a href="http://dowse.equipment/">Dowse</a>,
      and <a href="https://devuan.org">Devuan</a>.  I also volunteer
      time to the <a href="https://gnu.org">GNU project</a> in the
      webmasters team and with
      the <a href="https://gnu.org/consensus">GNU consensus</a> project
      to coordinate development of free social software.</p>

    <p>Last August
      at <a href="https://events.ccc.de/camp/2015/wiki/Village:Neo">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="https://m-labs.hk/m1.html">MilkyMist One</a> in
      Amsterdam.  The OpenMoko project was great and
      the <a href="http://wiki.openmoko.org/wiki/Neo_FreeRunner">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="http://cryptophone.de/">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>

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