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posted by martyb on Monday November 13, @03:39PM   Printer-friendly
from the taking-off-your-hat dept.

It's time to upgrade my phone. I'm paying $80 a year on Page Plus (Verizon) with a Window 6.x phone (before tiles, has a start menu). I'm trying to find a phone which will keep my data safe and that seems far more difficult and expensive than it should, so I'm asking you, my fellow purple people eaters Soylentils, to aid me in my mundane quest. My primary use will be GPS/navigation, listening to podcasts, and making phone calls. A secondary use is managing email from multiple accounts. I do require the Google Voice app as I have a couple phone numbers from two side businesses. I'd like to be able to toggle between a VPN connection and a normal connection, but that's not a requirement. I prefer longer battery life. My Win phone can go over a week without charging if I all I do on it is make phone calls. I'm going to be living on a college campus so WiFi will normally be available. I don't want to be buying a new phone every couple years. I've had the Win phone for perhaps 6 years.

IPhones have been in the news for being difficult for state-actors to hack into, but app permissions and data can't be faked nor do I know of any OSS movement on the iOS platform. I assume Androids can be instantly cracked by state-actors, but they have some end-user programs to help prevent apps from spying on you. I'd like it if my address book, location, and media was secure from data mining apps. Do I really need to make the choice between data privacy and state privacy? Though since companies have no issue selling data to the state, is my only choice data privacy?

My ideal choice would be a pocket sized piece of hardware that runs Debian, makes phone calls, lets me install standard Linux programs, and doesn't cost more than a laptop. Though if I can connect a screen and keyboard to it and do Python/Java/C++ development then perhaps I'll pay high-end laptop prices. I've seen failed attempts at creating such a device but no successful ones.

Help me dear readers, you're not my only hope.


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  • (Score: 4, Informative) by Fishscene on Monday November 13, @04:03PM (21 children)

    by Fishscene (4361) on Monday November 13, @04:03PM (#596238)

    Requirements:
    - keep my data safe (iPhone is probably best for keeping on-device data safe)
    - GPS/navigation (Any Android and iPhone will do this)
    - listening to podcasts (Any Android and iPhone will do this)
    - making phone calls. (Any Android and iPhone will do this)
    - multiple email accounts (Any Android (gmail app) and iPhone (mail app) will do this)
    - Google Voice (Any Android and iPhone will do this)
    - Toggle between VPN and no VPN (Any Android and iPhone will do this)
    - Long battery life (~1 week). (I know of no solutions that have this long of a battery life, but I've been out of the Android game for some time now)
    I get about 1.5 days of battery life on my iPhone 6, and I carefully manage the power usage.

    Ideal:
    - Runs Debian (Maybe: Upcoming phone: https://soylentnews.org/article.pl?sid=17/11/12/1250234) [soylentnews.org]
    - Install standard Linux programs (Maybe: Upcoming phone: https://soylentnews.org/article.pl?sid=17/11/12/1250234) [soylentnews.org]
    - doesn't cost more than a laptop (Depends on the laptop you're interested in. Me personally? I wouldn't pay less than $1500 for a laptop)
    - Ability to code in Python, JAVA, C++ (Maybe: Upcoming phone: https://soylentnews.org/article.pl?sid=17/11/12/1250234) [soylentnews.org]

    So really, you're not bad off with either of the major 2 platforms, Android and iOS. Just be careful with the apps you install (for example, don't install apps or disable permissions of apps that harvest your data and sync your contacts with them (I'm looking at you, Facebook and Linkedin).

    The upcoming phone seems to be heading in a direction I feel phones are eventually going to end up being - straight up computers.

    • (Score: 1, Informative) by Anonymous Coward on Monday November 13, @04:16PM (6 children)

      by Anonymous Coward on Monday November 13, @04:16PM (#596249)

      One the one hand, you say things like this:

      Just be careful with the apps you install (for example, don't install apps or disable permissions of apps that harvest your data and sync your contacts with them (I'm looking at you, Facebook and Linkedin).

      And on the other, you list the following requirements:

      • multiple email accounts (Any Android (gmail app) and iPhone (mail app) will do this)
      • Google Voice (Any Android and iPhone will do this)

      Those two sets are not compatible. Google Voice listens to you ALL the time and will harvest every single piece of info it gets its hands on and the GMail app will do the same.

      As sad as it is, right now, iPhones are the safest devices (and I seriously dislike those).
      I've been keeping an eye out for the purism phone they've bee promising and going as far as giving them money. We'll see if my excitement about it is misplaced...

      • (Score: 2) by Kilo110 on Monday November 13, @04:28PM (1 child)

        by Kilo110 (2853) Subscriber Badge on Monday November 13, @04:28PM (#596265)

        Well those appear to be the OP's requirements, not the person you were replying to.

        Although I do agree about iphone currently being the most safest. I begrudgingly switched from android to iphone for this reason after apple held their ground after the San Bernardino attack.

        For all I know, Apple did privately cave to the US gov. But even that is a major step up from every other company that rolls over for Uncle Sam at the slightest sign of trouble.

        • (Score: 3, Informative) by urza9814 on Tuesday November 14, @06:37PM

          by urza9814 (3954) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday November 14, @06:37PM (#596902) Journal

          As usual, I'm going to throw a mention of LineageOS in here.

          Particularly with the multiple recent cases of phones coming with spyware pre-installed, I'd say it's not a bad idea to dump the stock firmware no matter what you buy. And you've got no alternatives on an iPhone, so those are out of the question unless you have a lot of trust in Apple, which I personally do not. You've also gotta consider updates...you won't get six years of support from any stock Android; and while Apple might *technically* support their old hardware, the new OSes usually just get slower and slower. But LineageOS is open source so it'll support old hardware indefinitely. If anything happens to the project it'll get forked and keep going (already happened once -- it used to be Cyanogenmod) and it's very customizable with no bloatware included which keeps it responsive even on slow or old devices.

          So grab a compatible Android phone (which is pretty much anything that's reasonably popular) and install an open-source rom like LineageOS. If you don't trust Google you can skip ALL the Goog components (although OP probably would want at least the play store since he's already got GVoice.) You can get full Debian in an app already, the only thing Samsung's new app is bringing is "official support." If you search the app store for "Debian" there's several options available, and I've used those successfully in the past. You'd probably want a keyboard and mouse though at least, it's not a *great* experience but it works.

          I've currently done all of that with a Galaxy S5 which I'm quite happy with, although my next one will probably be a Oneplus. Wouldn't trust the stock Samsung rom very much (and certainly not a stock oneplus rom!), but it's great hardware once you put LineageOS on it. Battery life is a bit lacking, particularly now that it's over 3 years old, but the battery is accessible and replaceable at least. That's going to be the biggest issue with the OP's requirements I think...but you can always get a good battery bank; I've got an Anker one for around $30 with a 10 amp capacity that easily fits in my pocket with my phone (it's about the same size as the phone) so if you get used to carrying that you could run for a week even with pretty heavy usage. You could also look into getting a battery case perhaps but I prefer a nice big Otterbox...any time someone asks about the case I pick up my phone and whip it across the room...that thing is excellent :)

          So yeah, OP is going to need to buy components rather than a single device...look into the last generation flagship phones and see if the savings are worthwhile (Galaxys usually drop fast; the Oneplus looks like they might not); put LineageOS on it and get a Debian app; add a nice case (if you want to keep it six years, get something sturdy!) and a battery bank; and probably add a bluetooth keyboard and mouse too. And maybe an HDMI cable if you want to connect the thing to a screen to get the best use from having Debian there. You can probably put that together for $500-$700, more if you get the latest and greatest phone, possibly less if you find a cheap phone...but if you're intending to make it last six years I'd stick with something fairly high end.

      • (Score: 2) by Fishscene on Monday November 13, @10:29PM (1 child)

        by Fishscene (4361) on Monday November 13, @10:29PM (#596521)

        That might be the behavior on Android, but I use iPhone with the Google Voice app and the default mail app and this is not the behavior at all. I wasn't aware this was occurring on Android. Sorry about that. Thanks for posting!

        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday November 14, @01:46AM

          by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday November 14, @01:46AM (#596603)

          It doesn't occur on Android either as far as I can tell and I've been running google voice for years. Unless he has some concrete evidence to back that up I think its bullshit. Personally I think he's conflating Google Voice with Android's "Ok Google" features which DOES listen all the time but can be easily disabled.

          Also for the OP, I would question the idea that android's encryption can be cracked "instantly" but its moot anyway. Android has a plethora of apps which can encrypt individual files or provide encrypted "containers" that can be reencrypted at will and which are device agnostic. The app EDS specifically supports TrueCrypt, VeraCrypt, LUKS, and EncFs container formats (I'm not affiliated with EDS in any way, just using it as an example).

          I think as far as the OP is concerned, both Android and iOS will provide most of what he is looking for. Newer Samsung phones can even run linux distros with a full display and keyboard using their Dex dock attachment and the Linux on Galaxy app. A caveat here is that the kernel underlying any Linux os you run will be the same kernel the Android OS is running on.

          In general however you can install linux on an Android phone as long as you have an unlocked bootloader. People have been doing this for years, its nothing new. Unfortunately an unlocked bootloader is becoming something of a rarity in the US market.

      • (Score: -1, Troll) by Anonymous Coward on Monday November 13, @11:31PM (1 child)

        by Anonymous Coward on Monday November 13, @11:31PM (#596546)

        iPhones are the safest in what sense? They are completely proprietary walled gardens, which means you can't verify how "safe" they really are. However, Android is only marginally better, since it includes many proprietary blobs.

    • (Score: 3, Insightful) by takyon on Monday November 13, @04:20PM (3 children)

      by takyon (881) <takyonNO@SPAMsoylentnews.org> on Monday November 13, @04:20PM (#596252) Journal

      Me personally? I wouldn't pay less than $1500 for a laptop

      After $700-1000 (on-sale prices) you are throwing away money. Build quality, screen resolution, and CPU/GPU should be good enough in that range, and you can add your own RAM or SSD.

      --
      [SIG] 10/28/2017: Soylent Upgrade v14 [soylentnews.org]
      • (Score: 2) by mhajicek on Monday November 13, @04:57PM

        by mhajicek (51) on Monday November 13, @04:57PM (#596297)

        Depends on your requirements. Some people just need more horsepower. My work laptop was around $3600, with a Quaddro card.

      • (Score: 2) by Runaway1956 on Monday November 13, @05:25PM

        by Runaway1956 (2926) Subscriber Badge on Monday November 13, @05:25PM (#596323) Journal

        I have to agree with mhajicek. The laptops in your price range are adequate for Grandma, who only does Facefook. My son (the mathemmatician) quickly found that the cheaper laptops are only adequate to transfer work between real computers. He eventually purchased a Gen 7 Intel in the $3000 to $3500 price range. He actually does real work on that machine, within reasonable time frames.

        Another segment of the population would strongly disagree with you as well. Gamers would never consider a laptop priced in the hundreds of dollars range. They insist on powerful, fast CPU's as well as the latest generation GPU's for much the same reason my son needed that hardware. CUDA and the GTX 1080 changes everything.

        And, it has been true for as long as RAM has existed, that more memory makes everything run better. Those budget laptops never have enough memory. Never. Not even if the mainboard is capable of supporting a lot of memory, is it installed.

        --
        This broadcast is intended for mature audiences.
      • (Score: 2) by Fishscene on Monday November 13, @10:34PM

        by Fishscene (4361) on Monday November 13, @10:34PM (#596524)

        I did a poor job of elaborating on this. Basically, laptop price ranges can be quite subjective and very dependent on each person's use-case. For me, I play games and run multiple virtualmachines (although not both games and VM's at the same time) plus a little bit of "future proofing". So $1500 for me personally is the lowest I'd consider spending. For a lot of folks, $500 would be more than enough for a laptop that meets their needs.

        Thanks for chiming in!

    • (Score: 4, Informative) by WizardFusion on Monday November 13, @04:27PM (5 children)

      by WizardFusion (498) Subscriber Badge on Monday November 13, @04:27PM (#596263) Journal

      Just be careful with the apps you install (for example, don't install apps or disable permissions of apps that harvest your data and sync your contacts with them (I'm looking at you, Facebook and Linkedin).

      At least with modern Android (7.0+) you can say which apps have access to what. For example, that shiny new game, you can disable access to your contacts.
      Installing NoRootFilewall (https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=app.greyshirts.firewall/ [google.com]) will also allow you to stop apps from accessing the internet and sending your data somewhere.

      • (Score: 2) by mhajicek on Monday November 13, @04:59PM (1 child)

        by mhajicek (51) on Monday November 13, @04:59PM (#596299)

        I'm getting an error on your link.

      • (Score: 2) by mhajicek on Monday November 13, @05:05PM

        by mhajicek (51) on Monday November 13, @05:05PM (#596304)

        Found it by searching on the store. Thanks!

      • (Score: 2) by Demena on Tuesday November 14, @06:44AM

        by Demena (5637) on Tuesday November 14, @06:44AM (#596691)

        Been doing that on my obsolete iPhone for years. Is that really new on android? I sorta doubt that. Too many people have bought android for security

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday November 14, @01:40PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday November 14, @01:40PM (#596781)

        Did you mean NoRootFirewall instead of NoRootFileWall? Also, why doesn't the description page contain a link to the dependencies? We all know the games that get played with giving apps similar names. There are all sorts of results with "no root" in the name...

    • (Score: 2) by cosurgi on Monday November 13, @04:53PM (1 child)

      by cosurgi (272) on Monday November 13, @04:53PM (#596291) Journal

      The OP has a great question. And I so much hope that sometime it would have a better answer than it has currently. I look forward very much towards https://soylentnews.org/article.pl?sid=17/11/12/1250234 [soylentnews.org] and it is very saddening right now that the options are so little right now and the open source way is so difficult to follow. The worst though is a battery life. And none of the producers seem to be aware of that! I have iphone 5s right now, and battery hardly lasts 10hours, and that's normal - it was even replaced on warranty (twice) due to "battery issues", but that didn't help. Routinely I have to enable "battery conservation mode" and have most apps denied the right to run in backgroud, especially siri must be disabled. Sometimes it discharges before I get back home from work. Before I switched to those fancy smartphones I had some super old brickphone nokia 33?? and its battery lasted roughly two weeks.

      The "walled garden" hurts. But I prefer that iOS has every app sandboxed. Sure there are vulnerabilities, and due diligence applies, though they are not as widespread as on android. Also it's nearly impossible to update android phone to the latest version of OS. Seriously I tried, and my relative is stuck with an android 5.1.2 or something (don't remember now, but there was soylentnews article about this vulnerability a month back), the latest one with that unpatched serious kernel vulnerability. And there's nothing I could do about that without wasting about 50hours. The iOS updates sure have their own problems, but usually they don't require 50hours, 1hour tops, just like aptitude update; aptitude dist-upgrade takes 2hours tops. Yeah, hacking android is good, but I have limited time on my hands - so I prefer debian over android. And sure I look forward towards a debian based phone.

      Regarding privacy, you can block every app separately in settings->privacy to not have access to anything. You just have to deny by default everytime an app asks for permissions (thankfully they have to ask, the OS denies access otherwise). So apps can get really confused without having access to some stuff, this can get funny sometimes, then the app gets uninstalled ;)

      About email client - I recommend "Spark" it's a good one. You can configure it to connect to your own email server which you could have configured at home (maybe squirrelmail or roundcube on debian ;)), then you are more private than with usual email clients. Because it doesn't "send telemetry data" like all other email clients do. Also they have a decent support, they might even help with configuring your stuff. If you go this way, then still spark is a good email client, with which just like with any other email client your privacy goes out of the window. I wish that weren't true.

      --
      #
      #\ @ ? [adom.de] Colonize Mars [kozicki.pl]
      #
    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday November 13, @06:15PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Monday November 13, @06:15PM (#596348)

      Want to run Linux on your phone? Wait and see whether Samsung's "concept demo" is vaporware, or get a Nokia N9 or N900 today.

    • (Score: 3, Interesting) by vux984 on Tuesday November 14, @12:16AM

      by vux984 (5045) on Tuesday November 14, @12:16AM (#596564)

      keep my data safe (iPhone is probably best for keeping on-device data safe)

      For me, the larger 'threat' is the crap from corporations and android gives you more control over that. And more flexibility in general, and alternate app stores for humblebundle, and f-droid etc. So for me, android wins.

      I can't really see a scenario where iphone is really better. If you want to store stuff on your phone and be more secure from state actors, I think it has the definite edge. Has anyone played with the latest samsung knox? How does it compare?

      But in my opinion if you have anything you really want private don't put it on your phone in the first place. Period. setup a VPN to a server you control, and store your stuff there; send your messages from there, etc. Don't use an 'app' that leaves a footprint on your phone.

      For example, setup a vpn, ssh into a PC you control, and use IRC or telegram-cli (command line) from there. No trace on your phone, not even if they compromise it.
      Iphone or Android can both do that. Its more inconvenient of course... but that's the price of security.

  • (Score: 0, Disagree) by MichaelDavidCrawford on Monday November 13, @04:13PM (1 child)

    Hhdghhggffdfggh

    --
    Donate To Soggy Jobs [soggy.jobs]
  • (Score: 3, Insightful) by The Mighty Buzzard on Monday November 13, @04:23PM (8 children)

    I go with none of the above and assume a phone is not secure and they never will be. I never put sensitive information on or across it.

    That said, I go through all the steps I can find or think up to secure it anyway. No sense in making it easy on them.

    --
    Save Ferris!
    • (Score: 4, Informative) by takyon on Monday November 13, @04:27PM (2 children)

      by takyon (881) <takyonNO@SPAMsoylentnews.org> on Monday November 13, @04:27PM (#596261) Journal
      --
      [SIG] 10/28/2017: Soylent Upgrade v14 [soylentnews.org]
      • (Score: 3, Informative) by The Mighty Buzzard on Monday November 13, @04:36PM

        Probably but I can damned sure make them earn it on a desktop.

        --
        Save Ferris!
      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday November 13, @05:07PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Monday November 13, @05:07PM (#596306)

        That is true in the same sense that it is true that the only secure computer is one that is never switched on, locked away in a safe where you destroyed the key.

        Absolute security does not exist. The question is whether you can achieve reasonable security. With laptops, apart from the hardware issues (firmware, IME, etc.) which are unfortunately not avoidable in modern hardware, you can get them pretty secure. Of course that means not using Windows, and putting a bit of thought into your setup. And of course it also depends on who you are and what you do; the same setup that is pretty secure for a typical user will be hopelessly insecure for people dealing with classified data.

    • (Score: 1, Informative) by Anonymous Coward on Monday November 13, @04:33PM (3 children)

      by Anonymous Coward on Monday November 13, @04:33PM (#596273)

      So you carry around a pocket address book? I must admit I have started carrying around a pocket calendar as it's too difficult to sync work and home events and I can't reference a phone based calendar while talking on the cell trying to schedule something for next month.

      • (Score: 2) by The Mighty Buzzard on Monday November 13, @04:41PM

        I don't use a calendar; I just remember. And I don't consider my address book any more sensitive than a phone book. The most sensitive thing on my phone are the texting records and the phone company has a copy of those that they're all too willing to hand over anyway.

        --
        Save Ferris!
      • (Score: 1) by pTamok on Monday November 13, @04:49PM (1 child)

        by pTamok (3042) on Monday November 13, @04:49PM (#596288)

        Funnily enough, I thought we would end up with separate personal organisers and phones for precisely this reason. My expectation was a personal organiser with a phonebook, and once I'd found who I wanted to talk to, I hit a button, and the organiser would, through the magic of Bluetooth, initiate a call on the phone, leaving the organiser free for me to look at emails, calendars etc. Instead, phones have become 'smart', with no keyboards, poor multitasking, and even worse security.

        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday November 14, @12:38PM

          by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday November 14, @12:38PM (#596765)

          My thoughts exactly! Give me a simple phone/internet access point/router/gateway, and a separate smart device with the rest of the features, an open protocol between the two, so that I can upgrade communication part separately from UI and advanced higher layers' applications. Instantly, the big device becomes more affordable because it has less certifications to pass, and small device becomes easier to be made compliant. Let me decide what information is allowed to pass the interface between the two, and when NO information is allowed to be sent out actively.

    • (Score: 2, Informative) by Anonymous Coward on Monday November 13, @07:57PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Monday November 13, @07:57PM (#596411)

      This is the sad truth. You certainly are not in charge on "your" smartphone.

      https://www.replicant.us/freedom-privacy-security-issues.php [replicant.us]

  • (Score: 4, Interesting) by iWantToKeepAnon on Monday November 13, @04:36PM (2 children)

    by iWantToKeepAnon (686) on Monday November 13, @04:36PM (#596277) Homepage Journal

    > - multiple email accounts (Any Android (gmail app) and iPhone (mail app) will do this)

    If you want to avoid having your contacts slurped up, avoid the gmail app. First thing I do on my droids is root it and quarantine all google pre-installed apps. There isn't, AFAIK, a setting to tell google not to upload all contacts immediately upon opening the app. :/

    --
    "Happy families are all alike; every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way." -- Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy
    • (Score: 2) by The Mighty Buzzard on Monday November 13, @05:34PM (1 child)

      I do a complete wipe and install LineageOS. It doesn't come with gapps at all by default. You have to install a separate package for that if you want them and you get to pick and choose which you want and which you don't.

      --
      Save Ferris!
      • (Score: 2) by iWantToKeepAnon on Monday November 13, @07:49PM

        by iWantToKeepAnon (686) on Monday November 13, @07:49PM (#596408) Homepage Journal

        I've wiped and installed CyanogenMod in the past, before the current bad blood stuff happened. But I have tmobile now and no non-tmobile build can use wifi text and calling. That's a nice enough feature to keep me on a rooted but commercial build. I've used wifi text and calling on my foreign travels, no need for foreign plans or international roaming.

        --
        "Happy families are all alike; every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way." -- Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy
  • (Score: 4, Informative) by ilsa on Monday November 13, @04:47PM (1 child)

    by ilsa (6082) on Monday November 13, @04:47PM (#596285)

    You're going to have to compromise. The fact of the matter is that there is *nothing* in the entire industry that is ideal. Android is very flexible, and is about as secure as swiss cheese. iPhones are very secure, but are also very locked down, have poorer compatibility with other devices (Their bluetooth connectivity with cars is particularly hit or miss).

    What I ended up doing was making a list of requirements, and marking them as essential, nice-to-have, etc, and make your decision based on that.

    For me, flexibility in the device ended up being secondary to a device that I could trust was going to work each and every time I picked it up. I also wanted a manufacturer that "had my back" and not only provided regular, timely updates, but did so for the reasonable life of the phone. That's why I went with iPhone. Yeah, it's locked down. Yeah, Apple's politics and financial shenanigans leave a lot to be desired. But at the end of the day I was never concerned that the phone would suddenly stop working.

    Contrast that with my last Samsung. An errant app installed a background service which drained my battery in a couple hours, or their bullshit touchwiz UI that made the phone harder to use, unstable, and drained additional power as well. They put out one, may be two updates, and that was it. Certainly no OS update. I ended up having to root my device and install cyanogenmod just so my phone would be halfway decent.

    Fast forward to today: Google has put a lot of effort into not letting developers run roughshod over the OS. The major android manufacturers now promise to provide 2 years worth of updates (still a joke compared to Apple's avg of 5) but it's a hell of a lot better than before. I understand that they've large abandoned those idiotic UIs they shoveled in order to 'differentiate' themselves. And Apple has really screwed the pooch with iOS11. Barely 2 months old and they've already had to rush out at least 4 patch releases. Hey Siri no longer works with my car, when it had worked fine with iOS10. So for my particular use cases, the factors don't weigh overwhelmingly in Apple's favor anymore. Unfortunately my iPhone 7 is too recent to justify replacing so soon, but when the time comes, I will definitely be taking a more closer look at the available android options.

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday November 14, @03:44AM

      by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday November 14, @03:44AM (#596648)

      You're going to have to compromise.

      Apparently he is willing to compromise quite a bit. From the summary:

      My ideal choice would be a pocket sized piece of hardware that runs Debian

      [he is currently running] a Window 6.x phone

  • (Score: 1) by garrulus on Monday November 13, @05:15PM

    by garrulus (6051) on Monday November 13, @05:15PM (#596312)

    which I call with rsnapshot to sync

    this will atleast backup all photos and videos and documents

  • (Score: 3, Insightful) by Freeman on Monday November 13, @05:39PM

    by Freeman (732) on Monday November 13, @05:39PM (#596330) Journal

    #1 Make sure they (whomever) don't have physical access to your phone. Assuming, anyone has physical access to your phone other than yourself. Consider it compromised. #2 Is it connected to a network? Duh, it's a phone. You're screwed.

    Please note, Phone + Security != Secure device. If you truly need "secure data", it better not be on your phone. Otherwise, do what I do. Have a pass code or whatever on your phone, have decent passwords on accounts, and don't sweat the small/big stuff. Sure, you'll end up with problems, but at least you'll be happy. 'cause you're not going to avoid problems. Do what you reasonably can and move on.

    --
    "I said in my haste, All men are liars." Psalm 116:11
  • (Score: 4, Insightful) by bob_super on Monday November 13, @06:19PM (1 child)

    by bob_super (1357) on Monday November 13, @06:19PM (#596351)

    > I assume Androids can be instantly cracked by state-actors

    Yes, and even Fort Knox can be taken over with enough tanks.
    Start by setting your requirements based on actual realistic threats. Unless you're in the drugs, smuggling, slavery or political businesses, the effort of protecting yourself from the infinite resources of state actors is not worth it.

    • (Score: 3, Interesting) by MichaelDavidCrawford on Monday November 13, @08:14PM

      The cops arrested a suspected heroin dealer. Afterwards, two of his customers texted requests for delivery. That convicted him.

      But they didn't have a warrant to search the phone.

      Washington's constitution has stronger protections for privacy than the US constitutions. The state supreme court threw out the evidence, ruling that viewing private text messages was just like opening a suspect's mail.

      --
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  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday November 13, @07:38PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday November 13, @07:38PM (#596401)

    Safe as in backed up, retrievable. Or safe as in you're the only one that can get to it?

  • (Score: 5, Interesting) by inertnet on Monday November 13, @08:04PM (4 children)

    by inertnet (4071) on Monday November 13, @08:04PM (#596416)

    As others, I don't expect phones to be secure, period. But if you want long battery life and a phone that doesn't break easily, buy a Cat.

    I've got a Cat S60 and it has great battery life with its 3800 mAh battery. If you don't care for the FLIR you could go for the Cat S41 with 5000 mAh battery, which didn't exist yet when I bought mine.

    • (Score: 2) by TheGratefulNet on Monday November 13, @09:40PM (3 children)

      by TheGratefulNet (659) on Monday November 13, @09:40PM (#596484)

      you should ask for a commission; I never heard of this before and I bet others have not, either.

      a phone series with many buttons, built to be physically strong and also comes with a FLIR if you pay for the top model. did not know such a thing existed.

      $600 - but its mid-line for many smart phones, today.

      $300 or $200 for the models without flir.

      flir sounds nice to me; some times I would have liked to get a thermal view of some circuit I am developing or debugging. real flir modules are not cheap.

      can you comment on how responsive the company is for software updates and bugfixes? reviews I've read about hardware failures and the company's lack of support do scare me. and being a very uncommon phone, it will get the least amount of 'online user community' support, I would imagine.

      if you can share some more thoughts about this brand and model, that would be great. I'm now considering this.

      --
      "It is now safe to switch off your computer."
      • (Score: 2) by inertnet on Monday November 13, @11:51PM (2 children)

        by inertnet (4071) on Monday November 13, @11:51PM (#596549)

        Mine has Android version 6.0.1, security patch level September 1, 2017. I get about two system updates per year I guess.

        When I was about to order it I had a question about MicroSD compatibility and it got answered promptly.

        Its build quality is very high, I only dropped it once on the bathroom tiles from about 3 feet, but can't find any evidence of it.

        FLIR quality is really good and would be quite usable for circuit debugging.

        All in all I'm very happy with it. At first I thought the battery drained too fast, but that was because Google voice commands were default on. After switching that off I get up to 5 days of battery life with moderate use.

        Camera quality is as they say on the internet, not top quality but fine, and under performs in the dark.

        • (Score: 2) by TheGratefulNet on Monday November 13, @11:54PM (1 child)

          by TheGratefulNet (659) on Monday November 13, @11:54PM (#596551)

          great. one more Q, though; what's the story with sd-card formating? one user said they could see the top level dir name but nothing under it. it is exfat or something entirely weird? I'd like to be able to mount the sd (directly via a usb sd-card adapter) and read/write to the thing. having to teather to go thru the phone just to get access to the card would be a turn-off.

          ok, 2 Q's: have you tried Qi charging? I have it on my current phone and would like to retain that feature on all new phones I buy.

          thx again

          --
          "It is now safe to switch off your computer."
          • (Score: 2) by inertnet on Tuesday November 14, @01:50AM

            by inertnet (4071) on Tuesday November 14, @01:50AM (#596604)

            My Cat S60 didn't come with wireless charging so I don't have any info on that.

            I have formatted a 128 Gb SD card normally so I could take it out and use an adapter if I wanted, haven't tried though. There was an option to format it "internally", I believe that's a newer Android option and not Cat specific. Memory is contiguous with internal memory in that mode, but you can't read the card outside of the phone, so you can't salvage any files if things go wrong. That's why I wouldn't recommend that format for advanced users.

  • (Score: 2) by zeigerpuppy on Monday November 13, @11:11PM

    by zeigerpuppy (1298) on Monday November 13, @11:11PM (#596538)

    Take a look at Sailfish, it's a linux based os that works well.
    No gapps, no spyware from apple or google.
    I am typing this on a Sailfish XperiaX https://jolla.com/sailfishx/ [jolla.com]
    Programming is fairly easy on Sailfish (you can use python) and the user interface is really nice.
    However, it's not all open source, some APIs are proprietary.
    Overall, for an expert user I think it's currently the best mobile OS.

  • (Score: 1) by jman on Wednesday November 15, @10:51AM

    by jman (6085) on Wednesday November 15, @10:51AM (#597250) Homepage
    Would be interested to know your source for "I assume Androids can be instantly cracked by state-actors".

    Big G's pretty good about security, but on par no better than 1 Infinite Loop.

    Ultimately, rather than relying on your data provider and hardware manufacturer, security derives from your own best practices.

    Some issues to note:

    Whether Android or IOS, forget about privacy. Google because they sell ads so want all info possible. Apple because they still have the ghost of Steve inside, who always wanted total control.
    Using GPS, forget about privacy. See above.
    Using Google Voice, forget about privacy. That would go for Siri as well. See above.
    Using Facebook, forget you even knew there was a word called privacy. That's a whole 'nother can of worms.

    So far as recommendations go, it's definitely *not* cheaper than a laptop, but the latest Samsung Galaxy models (v8) will run true Linux. If I hadn't just paid off my S7 Edge, I'd consider one.

    Not sure about coding Python on an Apple phone, but it's certainly possible on Android. Throwing a "real" keyboard & screen at it is also possible, but you might end up being happier with something dedicated. My '09 MBP would be pretty cheap these days, and it still works just fine. I spend equal amounts of time between iTerm2, various text editors (don't like Vim but it's everywhere. Trying to love Atom but it's "helper" maxes CPU too often), and Adobe.

    So far as security goes, again, it's your own vigilance which will end up being your best friend in that regard.

    Good luck with your new phone!
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