Ditching A Rotten Apple

Image Credit: https://fineartamerica.com/featured/orchard-guest-william-vanderdasson.html

Well, that beautiful walled garden known as Apple, Inc. has been showing itself to be unsafe for a long time. Especially if you want to be free to think and express yourself unfiltered. But what to do? If you ditch the rotten apple, will you flee into the arms of an even more abusive relationship?

Android is bad. The phones from the Gulag can even location track with the phone off. Or so some have shown, it is said.

Smart phones are business tools. They make our life easier. We are addicted. To ditch them completely makes us a turtle in a hares race.

Thanks Wolf for explaining this.

Perhaps the one shining ray of light is that we aren’t the first people to question the wisdom on placing all of our digital life under the control of these megalomaniacs. Even Andrew Torba is working hard to bring us a privacy oriented Gab phone.

There is a growing number of alternative ways to do life outside those garden walls.

Are Smart Phones A Bad Idea?

The more thoughtful among us have already examined the need (or lack of need) for a smart phone. Here’s one helpful approach to thinking this through.

The Complete Guide to Breaking Your Smartphone Habit

From Art of Manliness, Flowchart by David B. Dial

I Only Need A Phone For Calls And Text

Recently, I began shopping for this type of phone. The phone I currently keep with me when I leave the house (if I remember to bring it) is a 2005 candy bar phone that runs on the older networks that are being decommissioned sooner than later.

The phone I found to be the most appealing has yet to ship a single phone. And this is common in this niche market. Early adopters often are expected to pay up front and wait. Sort of a charitable donation (advance) to a start up.

That doesn’t mean there are no options. It’s just means it may to take more work to come up with your requirements and find the phone that meets your needs (or wants).

MUDITA PURE pre-order $332.00

Mudita is designing a phone with a physical switch to turn off radio functions and distractions. But they aren’t guaranteed to be shipping phones soon enough for my objective of being comfortably transitioned before the older networks are cut off.

I like their style of telling their story so that future customers to follow along as they move through their design and build process. The concept of a low-distraction, very low SAR phone appeals to me. And they are in Poland, which everyone knows is a very based place.

features of the Mudita Pure phone that is nearing final production stages of develotpment

THE LIGHT PHONE II pre-order $299.00

This phone is extremely small, light and simple to use. By design it has nothing to draw your attention to it. I’ve seen TV remotes that were more interesting. The company does a good job communicating what the product does, how to use it, what their production schedule looks like. Their top design objective is a low distraction phone.

Shipping is about 2-3 months out depending on your color choice. The North American version of the Light Phone uses the following 4G LTE Bands: B2, B4, B12, B13, B17, B25, B26 and will work with: Light, T-Mobile, Verizon (no prepaid), AT&T, Ting, Mint, US Mobile.

If you get a SIM from Light when you order your phone (no charge) then you can use Light’s relabeled AT&T service. Unlimited talk/text. 1 GB/mo data for about $30 or “unlimited date” for about $70 per month.

But I Need A Smartphone

“If you want a smartphone built outside China and the walled gardens of Google and Apple, Purism’s Librem 5 USA may be for you.”

The Register

LIBREM 5 USA pre-order from $1,999.00

If you are wanting a smart phone built around privacy and you are willing to pay for it, this may be it. The Librem 5 phones by Puri.sm are built with Privacy as their #1 priority, including physical switches to turn off microphone/camera and wireless operations.

I’ve used their privacy-centric flavor of the Debian Operating System, PureOS, and I think it’s usable even for people that only have experience with graphical interfaces (icons/menus). The same OS runs on their phones.

They say they are shipping their made-in-USA flavor of phone “now” but you’ll want to search for particulars of how long customers are waiting for their phones. (Steve?)

Are’t There Lower Priced Options?

Yes, and maybe. There are plenty of “dumb” phones to consider. And you can get phones that run “privacy” oriented flavors of Android. You can use older phones that won’t load the latest privacy invading versions of operating systems.

Or as the diagram above from the Art of Manliness suggests, you can turn off the parts of the system that are the worst offenders in terms of privacy invasion and time-wasting distractions. For example, turn off iCloud photos so Big Brother isn’t reviewing all your pictures in real time starting some time soon.

As you consider your options, I recommend taking the time to read the whole article over at The Art of Manliness.

Do You Have To Be A Geek?

If you love smart phones and really want to do something about privacy issues, I think the answer is: you probably need some confidence with technical things.

For example, CalyxOS is a privacy oriented version of Android. It’s looks a lot the same level of comfort with tech as installing Linux on your computer. It runs on Pixel 2, 3, 4, 5 and the Xiaomi Mi A2. I know nothing about any of those phones.

Does anyone else feel just a little creeped out that this “privacy” operating system sits on a Google phone and is built on top of the Google OS for phones?

I guess they could be legit. Or they could be a cover for getting burner phones to … nah.

In case this interests you, Calyx Institute has other privacy projects for things like Tor, VPN, Mobile Internet, Chat, and open-source Video Conferencing (Jitsu).

“I’ve Got A Bad Feeling About This”

Okay, that’s just a Star Wars quote with no real relevance to this topic. Except, well, this is a topic that can make us feel uneasy.

Please add your own perspective on how to adapt to the privacy invading world we are dealing with. (Or cut/past what others have posted at the other tree to here.)


13 thoughts on “Ditching A Rotten Apple

  1. Let’s start with the basics.

    Cellphones interact with cells. Even when not on, the radio is constantly addressing local cells to see which one might be accessible. Even without a SIM.

    If an entity can match you against a cellphone identifier, it is trivial to track your movements as the cellphone constantly evaluates which cells are optimal — and to something like a two meter radius, instead of the 10+ meter precision of GPS.

    Supposedly, “airplane mode” will stop this.

    Pulling the battery will stop this — but many batteries are not removable.

    Wrapping the phone in a “Faraday Cage” will stop this. One can be ginned-up using aluminum foil.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. An ammo box is supposed to be the EMP version of a phone wrapper. People actually pay for fancy purses that are lined with metal fabrics/foils to block radiation. But turning off the phone and placing in a foil pouch won’t stop smart phones with the right sensors from knowing your movements.

      Liked by 4 people

      1. So, back in the day I was working with a lot of gear that went from 40 MHz to 750 MHz, and we had custom fabricated RF enclosures to keep parts from talking to each other, and STILL had difficulties closing ’em off. RF is squirrelly. Cellphone RF is even more squirrelly — 850 and 1900 MHz.

        Liked by 2 people

    2. Before I retired i worked in construction. I had a very small phone and to protect it from dust and grit and physical bumps I used to keep it in a 2oz tobacco tin.
      If I took it out to make a call I often got that side eye, he’s a tin foil loon glance.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. CRAP. Now it stripped the comment number.


        There – take THAT, WokePress!!! 😉

        Liked by 2 people

      2. Here’s the text of that content.

        For those not ready to cut all the cords at once (for example, when still needing to be sharing contacts between an imac, an ipad, and an iphone!), you can use the Mac photos app to export all the photos in iCloud (choose export ORIGINAL).

        Once they are copied to your desktop, then MAKE A COPY on an external drive. Then MAKE ANOTHER COPY to another external drive.

        Once you have verified the backups work, then you can remove the photos from the icloud library.

        NOTE: you also have to turn off photo sharing on ALL your devices and then make sure all copies are deleted on all devices.

        A final step is to go to the “Deleted Photos” folder and fully remove them from that folder as well.

        WHY DO THIS?

        Anyone that may be targeted in the future with an UNJUST accusation based on a hit from your photo library that is an ERROR, but still gets FLAGGED and allows harassment reduces their attack surface by NOT HAVING ANY iCLOUD PHOTOS.

        Liked by 2 people

  2. I do not have apps on my iPhone. I have a leather binder that has a pocket I put my phone in when not in use . I do not charge is and my husband spent money for nothing on my phone. I seldom use it i have a land line I prefer.
    We never needed a phone leaving the house why do we need one now? Most of the time i leave the phone home. I am going to be more intentional .
    I have a friend who never had an iPhone she leave no footprints on the Internet and only pays cash. No credit card nothing.
    She is very wealthy but does not like the idea that people know what she buys where she is who she talks too.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. If you are receiving gov assistance, using a bank, have a medical insurance plan, etc. it is universally expected that you have a smart phone for communications… or at least a desktop computer. Those that are not online at all are at a disadvantage.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Going to read the article now, but posting this here…

    Johnaldiño @Lakechad
    Linux Users of Gab

    Linux-based Sailfish OS Becomes Russia’s Official Mobile Operating System. This is a pretty impressive client reference for Sailfish OS as Russia is building their mobile ecosystem mainly and specifically the CIA/Mossad rigged Big-Tech in mind. Russia bought the licensed source code and rebranded it AuroraOS. All countries should do the same.



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