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Ever since there were Android devices on the market, there has always been a push by the open source community to put Linux on them. Arguably the most successful up to this point was when Canonacle -famous for their Ubuntu OS- turned their flagship operating system into a mobile OS they called Ubuntu Touch. When Canonacle green lit the production of phones designed specifically to use it, the best phone to come out of it was the Meizu Pro 5

The Meizu Pro 5: Ubuntu Edition (above) didn't do so well.

Never heard of it? well, neither has anyone else. Not only was the Ubuntu Touch OS slower than a bottle of molasses dripping down the S.A.T. scores of a BuzzFeed News writer, It was marketed so poorly, you’d think it was being developed by SNK.

The Librem 5

So a full GNU/Linux phone got off to a bad start already, but Purism -a San Francisco based hardware manufacturer- is seeking to keep the dream alive with their successfully crowd-funded project called the Librem 5.

Concept image of the Librem 5 (stolen from the crowdfunding campaign courtesy of me)

Purism describes the Librem 5 smartphone as “the phone that focuses on privacy by design, and security by default.” It runs a in-house developed version of Linux called PureOS, which it says is completely open source, unlike the walled gardens of the Android smartphone market.

Why Linux is better than Android

Some of you might be saying: “Hey, isn’t Android based on linux?” and to be honest, it kind of is, but not really. Android has like two thirds of the Linux Kernel in it, but all the little shell scripts and daemons that make up an entire linux distro are replaced by Google-based stuff like a graphical environment, and kernel extensions made specifically for the system-on-a-chip (SOC) the Android OS needs to have control over your phone.

Unlike real linux, Android is an OS that seems to be hell bent on preventing its users from doing things like gaining root access, or anything involving Administrative privileges. Unlike regular Linux, where all you need to gain root access (Administrator privileges) is type SU or ‘sudo’ in a terminal, then type in a password, Android doesn't even have the SU (super user) command installed by default. You have to download it from some third-party developer onto a computer, boot the phone in fastboot mode, (It’s basically the BIOS of smartphones,) connect it to a real computer via a USB cable, then proceed to basically hack your device in a command line like a Mr. Robot episode, which could easily destroy your phone at the software level if you screw something up.

PureOS is just running Linux. Period. We’re talking about a desktop OS with a GUI designed for a phone. The reason this is a big deal is because, for the longest time, ARM based devices like Android smartphones and tablets have been absolutely abysmal when it comes to productivity software. Most of the ‘mobile’ versions of software have been nothing more than versions of desktop programs more watered down than the ballroom of the Titanic. Some much needed software still doesn’t even exist on mobile devices such as a Digital Audio workstations that don't sound like a children's Yamaha keyboard from the 1980s, or a version of Photoshop that wasn’t designed for someone’s three-year-old. This is exciting -particularly for me- because I might be able to use software like Gimp and Qtractor while at work -or on the road- without having to put up with Google Play Services, in its never-ending quest to beat me over the head with Facebook and Google+ notifications.

Privacy by design, security by default

Although the potential capabilities of the device remains to be seen, one can only hope that a real Linux phone is what the Librem 5 represents. That being said, it clearly isn’t the selling point that Purism is going for here. The company describes the Librem 5 as a “fully standards-based freedom-oriented operating system based on Debian and many other upstream projects”, but Purism is really pushing the privacy and security thing more than anything else. On the product description, Purism describes their phone as a “IP-native mobile handset, using end-to-end encrypted decentralized communication.”

Unlike every other phone on the market, the Librem 5 gives users administrative control over all the hardware in the device. Most other phones don’t allow you to do things like turn off carrier-level GPS tracking or even the front and back-facing camera. Phones sometimes give you the illusion that you’re able to turn things like this off, but you really can’t. Even if you could, you’d be surprised what your own carrier is able to achieve with your phone without your consent. The Libre 5 distinguishes itself by giving you the ability to use switches to cut the power to everything from the cameras to the microphones. Even if your carrier wanted to, they wouldn’t be able to turn these things on without you.

If NSA wiretapping and government deep learning computers mulling over your viewing habits freaks you out, this really is the best possible phone to get at the moment, if the legends hold true.

Librem 5 is supported by Gnome and KDE

The two biggest integrated desktop environments for the Linux ecosystem have both pledged to port their software to the platform. KDE is working with Purism developers to port a version of their experimental Plasma Mobile desktop to the Librem 5.

Gnome Foundation is looking to enlist help from the open-source community to port their Gnome/GTK desktop to the Librem 5, as well as spread the word about the project. In a statement by executive director of GNOME foundation Neil McGovern,

Having a Free/Libre and Open Source software stack on a mobile device is a dream-come-true for so many people, and Purism has the proven team to make this happen

Purism is no stranger to this game

One significant advantage Purism's foray into a Linux smartphone has over Canonacle is it's background. Purism is best known for its privacy and security-focused x86 laptops like the Librem 15, which cater to the Linux power users of the world. Unlike Canonacle, which is primarily a software developer, Purism is no stranger to the hardware scene, meaning they are far less likely to screw this up.

How to get one

Back in September, Purism’s crowd-funding campaign for the Librem 5 reached 144% of its $1,500,000 funding goal, leaving the project $2,174,045 of money to get this project going. Though the phone isn’t available yet, there are plans to release the phone for sale some time in January of 2018. Obviously backers of the crowd-funding campaign will receive the phone before anyone else, but you can pre-order the device from the Purism website by contributing the $599 to the campaign. (yes, they are still taking donations.)

Librem 5: A Privacy-focused Smartphone that Actually Runs Linux?


If you’re one of those people who hear the words “Cloud Gaming” and roll your eyes like a priest is casting a demon out of you, (I know I do,) then this Sydney-based cloud computing company wants to convince you that their platform is ‘totally not going to suck, you guys!’ so before your eyes start tunneling through the back of your head and making a right turn three blocks up the road, you should probably know about this ambitious project designed to be the one-stop shop for all your videogames.

Wonder OS wants to put a controller on the market. Everything else Wonder has is just software, as far as we know.

This company called Wonder wants to take on Cloud gaming and aims to be the only platform you will ever need for every title out there.

For the past couple of years, a cloud computing company called Wonder has been promising a platform that can play just about any game released. During that period, this mysterious company promised a smartphone that would revolve around the cloud gaming platform, Wonder OS.

The Wonder OS website boasts a platform in which users can play all their games on one mobile device. The company even goes on to allege partnerships with smartphone makers, and even game developers.

No word on who exactly these developers are, and its still unclear how Wonder will manage to support multiple platforms in any licensed capacity.

What is Wonder OS?

This is what the "OS" portion of Wonder OS looks like.

Wonder OS is a custom operating system based on the open-source Android OS project. The company claims that its OS will emphasize entertainment and gaming features, such as integration with custom hardware, and the ability to dock a smartphone with its own custom device to seamlessly sync with a TV.

If any of this sounds familiar, that’s because what Wonder is setting out to achieve is similar to what Nintendo already does with the Switch. Custom controllers and docking with a television are nothing new, and the Wonder Project shares other similarities as well. Both platforms revolve around the low-voltage ARM architecture found in tablets and smartphones, and both Nintendo and Wonder’s software employs a subscription service for its multiplayer.

In an interview with The Verge last year, Wonder CEO emphasized their hardware-based projects like their Android-based "Wonder Phone". It didn't have a finalized design, but what it did have was the promise of a platform where all your games can be played on their mobile device somehow. 

The Switch did a really good job starting with the idea of portability, but there’s a lot of limitations on the Switch, [...] think about building a portable gaming and entertainment type platform that can deliver any type of game.

Recently, however, the Wonder company website relaunched – making no mention of the Wonder Phone they've been talking about for over a year. Instead, Wonder is putting their weight behind their WonderOS project, allowing its platform to be installed on a wide variety of mobile devices. The idea seems to be to have a platform that can be installed on any device, and play games from other platforms like consoles and windows PCs.

Sound familiar?

No word on what the WonderDock is yet, but here's the WonderPad.

If any of this sounds familiar, that's because it's... It's the Google Stadia. That's basically exactly what this is. It may not have "Google" in the name, but the only seemingly 'different' approach the Wonder project is taking is its dedicated operating system. Sure, you have its universal controller, just like the Stadia, but the difference between the two seems to be that Wonder shifted its approach to being more hardware-focused.

Wonder dropped plans for the Wonder Phone. What now?

Wonder –despite not having a phone anymore– hasn’t given up on dedicated hardware just yet.

According to the Wonder website’s FAQ, plans for their own dedicated hardware, —like the WonderPad and WonderDock— are still a big part of the this company’s vision.

No word yet on when the wonder brand of hardware is set to be released, but Wonder seems to be making clear progress with its Wonder OS. They are currently accepting a select number of testers for its upcoming Wonder OS beta, which still doesn’t have any official release date yet.

Gamers interested in testing the Wonder OS project on their own mobile devices can sign up for the

Beta through Wonder’s website.

Wonder OS to Stream Games on your Android Smartphone and Tablet



Ever since man dreamed up the first laptop (The Epson HX-20) in 1980, man has been trying to find new and innovative ways to make it more convenient, —and less embarrassing to use— in public. It was a long and sometimes cringe-worthy journey to what would eventually become the modern smartphone and tablet, but there was a period where we had devices somewhere in between. It had a keyboard, and even pointing device built in, and only snobby wall street executives and Mercedes Benz owners used it. It was called the PDA.

Whether you consider yourself an Android enthusiast, or you’re a casual lucky enough not to have read this one really cringe CNET article, chances are you've never heard of the Gemini PDA by Planet Computers. Though the product is as rare and obscure as a Sony VAIO laptop that isn’t a piece of shit, the device was popular enough to meet and even exceed its IndieGoGo funding campaign, and be covered by websites run by irrelevant self-righteous lunatics like The Verge.

This is what the Gemini PDA looks like. It's a phone with a keyboard on it.

The Gemini PDA stands out as being one of the few Android devices that doesn’t qualify as either a tablet or a smartphone. Sure, you can take calls with it, and there is a version of the PDA that has a SIM card slot, but it’s more of a laptop the size of a phone than anything else. There is a built-in hardware keyboard, so you can’t even call it a tablet, either. It’s something in between.

What’s a PDA?

Better view of the Gemini

For those of you who weren't born in the early ‘90s, a PDA, —or Personal Data Assistant— was a tiny computer that connected to the internet, and ran apps for business people who did business things for business-ish reasons. They were the true predecessor to the modern smartphone; able to run apps, and even connect wireless to the internet using an early version of the 2G network from cellphone towers. Even though the PDA was generally marketed toward middle-aged business men with wallets the size of their mid-life crisis, there was one PDA that managed to appeal to everyone —regardless of its company’s marketing strategy— in both its price, and its appealing design. This tablet is the Psion Series 5.

British computer company Psion used to make PDAs back in the early 90’s, with its built-in keyboards. By this period, most PDAs had screens you had to stab into with a stylus shaped like a harpoon, with each individual letter on the on-screen keyboard having to be murdered with the precision of a Navy SEAL sniper at 300 yards. Psion’s innovative series 3 PDAs changed the entire PDA landscape by adding a physical keyboard with real keys on it; allowing you to just type on it like a normal person. The series 5, however, is what really gave the Psion Computer company its notoriety. It had the biggest screen, and —by extension— its biggest keyboard yet.

The Series 5’s most notable public appearance was in the film Executive Decision, starring Kurt Russel and Halle Berry. Aside from being the only movie blessed to have Steven Seagal killed off within the first 15 minutes, the inclusion of the PDA as a plot device in the film meant that pretty much everyone wanted one in 1997.

The Gemini PDA next to the Psion Series 5 PDA it was based on.

Now, if the Psion 5 and the Gemini share an uncanny similarity in their design, it isn’t a coincidence. Some of the Psion series designers are the same people who developed the Gemini PDA we’re talking about today. Martin Ridford —a former engineer at Psion computing— was the Series 3 and 5’s lead designer. He enlisted the help of several other industry pros to create a new and improved version of the old design, built to modern mobile computing standards.

System Specs:

CPU: 10 core Mediatek SOC (ARM Cortex A72) clocked at 2.4GHz


Space: 64GB NAND Flash, SD Card Expansion

Screen: LCD 2160x1080 (2:1 aspect ratio)

Camera: 5MP rear camera only

Since this thing is functionally a modern cell phone, it comes with all the modern cell phone basebands, and WiFi compatibility you would expect it to. It is compatible with most MicroSim and eSIM cards, has Accelerometer, light sensor, gyro, and even a magnetic sensor.

This phone comes with Android 7.1, like most Android phones, but Planet Computers is doing something no other ARM phone maker has done yet: They’re shipping this device with dual-booting functionality. That means you get to choose between booting Android, or its pre-packaged Debian Linux build. Yes, this phone comes with a REAL desktop operating system.

Who would want this?

This is how weird you would look if you used this in a coffee shop.

This is a device mainly aimed at people who need to bring a fully functional laptop anywhere. In a coffee shop, on a train, in a taxi, or in the Taco Bell restroom while squeezing out most of your organs like everyone else who eats there.

Need to bring a computer on the go, but don’t want to drag around what is essentially a full-sized monitor with a keyboard glued at the bottom? Yeah, me either. I’d rather have a laptop I can put in my pocket, and the Planet Computers Gemini PDA would allow you and I to get some actual work done, using real programs.

Where to get it

Planet Computers had an IndieGoGo campaign completed back in 2017, and since then, has been shipping its flagship PDA to its backers. They still get backers, and they seem to still be shipping. You can buy the mini laptop for $599 for the wifi-only model, and $1000 for the Wifi+4G model. But, if you don’t want to pay a mortgage payment or sell a kidney on the dark web for the 4G model, you can always buy it on Amazon for $599.

The PDA is making a Comeback with the Gemini


Back in March 2019, Google announced something related to gaming that people can buy, and I'm having a hard time explaining what that is.. I was going to say that it announced a console, but the console doesn't exist. It showed some triple A games being played on a pixel Chromebook, but it wasn't any store copies of said games, so it's not like you can pop a disk into the Chromebook, and it could play it from the disk or anything.

The announcement was proceeded by a leak of the controller's design, and let's be honest here, the controller is just about the only thing you could actually buy. Everything else either doesn't physically exist, or can only be played if you share the same internet as CERN.

You see, Google Stadia is a cloud gaming platform. That footage you see of Red Dead Redemption is being played on one of the monoliths from 2001: A Space Odessy, and Google is claiming that you can play games at 4K with a consistent 60FPS, on just about anything with a Google Chrome browser installed.

This is the point in the article where I tell you why that's bullshit. For anyone who has ever tried to use Google cast within the comfort of their own home, you would struggle to get anywhere near a less than 1 second delay at 720P, let alone 4K. So, just imagine trying to do that over a north American "High Speed" connection for a moment. Seriously, between AT&T's hard 50GB monthly bandwidth limit, and Spectrum's connection reliability being about as consistent as peppy the pig's speech patterns, Google is going to have a really hard time selling this to people who frequented online gaming. In fact, the only people they could manage to sell something like this to are people who don't know shit from Shyamalan about multiplayer, latency issues, dropped frames, ping, or response time in videogames. The only way this experience will even come close to true 4K HDR is if it ran on the same bandwidth latency as the fucking Matrix, and had more jpeg compression and a lower frame rate than found footage of someone being abducted by aliens.

In other words, this is a marketing gimmick. There is no way in blue hell on a green fire 4K HDR would even be playable in north or south America, let alone countries like Australia. Maybe the South Koreans, or Japanese can pull this off, but compared to our internet access, their whole network mine as well be the halodeck from Star Trek by comparison.

Lease your gaming experience.

This brings me to my primary argument, which is that just like the music industry, and even the software industry as a whole, what is marketed on the basis of "convenience" is really an excuse to sell you something you don't even own after you buy it. You're not being sold games on this platform, but the permission to play Google's games on Google's console. and I guess we're supposed to look at a console we're never actually going to see like "oh, look at how edgy and revolutionary that is!"

If you need a prime example of everything that could go wrong with the very concept of leasing something on the cloud for a monthly fee, look no further than every single streaming-based platform that has ever gone out of business. OnLive, Microsoft Books, Vidium, and every single spottify competitor ever made.

Hell, even Netflix -the industry monolith of movie streaming- has repeatedly failed to successfully re-negotiate it's licenses with directors and film studios, causing many to lose their lease and their so-called "purchase" outright, in the blink of an eye.

"Oh, but it's Google!" you say behind the comfort of your 2020 Apple product that you paid a $900 premium for. "They have so-much money! It's not like they can go out of business or anything!" Well, see, that's the thing. Google is never going out of business for several reasons; Chief among those reasons is how often they will kill a project if it doesn't turn a profit. Google Plus, Google Jobs, AngularJS, App maker, Cloud Messaging, and YouTube Gaming were all killed over a year ago alone, with most projects only being in Alpha for less than 6 months! Don't even get me started on how many times Google Hangouts has been cannibalized into something else. Hangouts has more names than a DeviantArt user has gender identities! Make no mistake; Google is the emperor of jettisoning branches of their company, so don't be surprised if this mega-corporation cuts the Stadia brand loose in two years.

Let's take OnLive or Microsoft Books for example: Do you think after these companies went under, and customers lost their 10 to 50+ games or books, they were able to get a refund? You think these people got their money back? No, they didn't.

If you don't actually buy a physical copy of the game, you don't own it. With physical copies of a game, you don't have any way to  preserve the game if Google ever decides to Google+ the platform out of existence, which -at this point- is almost a mathematical certainty.

At least with ROMs, we have a real library of games that are actually as good as they were designed to be from decades ago. You don't get that from cloud-based games. All you get is a license to run something over the internet. A fickle internet, that sometimes gets in moods and is randomly tired of your shit, just as you need to send that important email to a client.

Google Stadia, and the death of software ownership.

Look, I understand "cloud services" are the future, but whether or not that's a 'bright' future -in my opinion- depends on whether or not you're the mega-corporation earning a steady stream of income, or you're the sucker shelling out a monthly premium for something you don't even get a copy of.

If you've ever worked in graphic design, business administration, or video production, you'll notice there's been a trend of software you used to be able to buy a working -permanent- license for, being turned into "live services". Instead of having bought one working copy for life, you're paying either a monthly or yearly licensing fee for every month -or year- you use the thing. Didn't use Adobe Photoshop that month? Well, too bad, because you still gotta pay for it. Want Maya Unlimited for 3D graphic design? You better use it every day to justify the almost $1000 you'll be paying every year.

And, just like "live services" like spotify, we consumers are being marketed this blatant rip-off as a convenience. Big software has paid billions to marketing executives to come up with words like "live services" and "stream from the comfort of your own home[/]office" as a way of softening the impact of the theft. And make no mistake about it: This is theft. The marketing department tells you you're getting "full software", but what you're really getting is a complex lease of software hosted at someone else's house. You don't own sh*t, and the license agreements of most of these software companies make that abundantly clear. At any time, they can reject the license you're paying money for at any time, for any reason, and don't even have to give you an explanation. You could "buy" adobe illustrator in new york city, get home, and find out your license key is rejected because they though you were a Baltimore Raiders fan.

And so, I reject Google Stadia. I reject the very idea of google Stadia. Even if the platform had zero lag and perfect latency, it's the principle of the thing that I don't care for. Selling me games I can BUY on any store shelf for other platforms, offering no exclusives, then telling me I don't even own the copy I just bought is just stupid - not on the part of Google Stadia, but on the part of the consumer who bought the thing in the first place. It would be like if I were a stock broker from the future who traveled back in time to invest all his life savings into the making of the Titanic.

Why I will never buy a Stadia

It's not the fact that nobody gives a shit about property rights that bothers me here. What bothers me is WHY people don't give a shit anymore. That's what worries me.

We are always being told by mainstream tech journalism that this is just the way people want it, and that if it wasn't, people wouldn't use it. This is definitely not true.

When you updated your computer's hard drive from windows 7 to Windows 10 after 7's support ended last year, did you feel like you had a choice? When Apple ended support for snow leopard when Yosemite came out, and you had to buy a whole new freakin' Mac just to run the new OS, did that feel like you were making a "personal choice"? No, it didn't. because it wasn't.

Gen-X and millennial types whine about this all the time, but the Zoomers don't know that yet. They didn't grow up in an era where they could just buy their own software; we did. Zoomers don't complain about it because they don't know what they've lost. 

It sets a dangerous precedent for the future. We make little concessions to this predatory practice until one day, we're paying a shit ton of money for absolutely nothing. You already see it happening with crowd-funding projects like Mighty No.9 and Star Citizen.

  • First, Diablo III -an offline single-player game- could only be played with an internet connection. Everyone complained, but the controversy went away.
  • Playstation decided to turn their once FREE multiplayer platform into a paid service, the way Microsoft did with Xbox live. Everyone complained, but the controversy died, and we moved on.
  • Then Sims 3 was only playable online, despite being a single-player game. Everyone complained, but the controversy went away, and we moved on.
  • Street Fighter 4 and Marvel Vs. Capcom 3 had "downloadable content" (DLC) that you had to pay for, despite the fact that you didn't download it, because that "content" was already on the disk you installed the game with! Once again, everyone complained, but the controversy went away, and we moved on.
  • Battlefront II remake sells the game at full price, only to continually force you to pay hundreds of dollars in micro-transactions just to barely stay competitive online. The controversy practically set the world on fire, with mass boycotts and even lawmakers from dozens of countries around the world calling for this practice to be illegal, or at least make it subject to gambling laws. Once again, the controversy dies, and we move on.

Every time we ignore something like this when its a problem, it becomes the new standard a few months later. Why? because we are buying the shit we complain about. We support the streamer who buys these games and these platforms we complain about. It's like going to a strip club, and throwing your whole paycheck at the stripper while complaining about promiscuity. You're practically piping the prostitute while you complain about the sinful nature of fornication.

Gamers are the type of consumers who would buy a bad game for clout. We feel like owning a popularly bad game gives us the right to talk about it. We want to be one of the few people who were an authority on the matter, and this is the whole problem. The problem isn't even the bad games, or the shady platforms: It's US. GAMERS. We did this. Every time we kowtow to an "live service" with our money, we aren't telling them that the practice is bad; we're sending a message that what they're doing is good. Paying these companies for bad practices is like giving your dog a treat every time he shits on the carpet. You can yell at and scold your dog all freken' day; the dog still got the treat, didn't it? What happens when that dog wants a treat again? It's going to shit on the carpet.

I won't ever buy a Stadia because I'm sick of rewarding companies for shitting on the carpet, and you should be as well.

Why I Won't Buy a Google Stadia | The Takedown


Robert Pattinson's batman is the Toyota Prius to Ben Affleck's coal-rolling 12-cylinder diesel pickup truck.

In a world where Birds of Prey bombs like an Islamic terrorist at the box office, and Ben Affleck's Batman project vanishes faster than evidence that Geoffrey Epstein didn't kill himself, comes a new take on an old Batman story - this time with Robert Pattinson as the legendary Ninja of dead parents, Batman.

This time, director Matt Reeves gives us our first look at the Batsuit up close, letting us rest easy in the knowledge that this thing doesn't have bat nipples like the George Clooney one did, and wasn't designed for the build of an 800lb gorilla the way Affleck's was.

The following is a clip from the director, courtesy of Veriety, with an ominous musical score by Michael Giacchino, depicting Pattinson's Batsuit from the waist up. In a scene darker than my house when I'm walking to the bathroom at 3 in the morning. Ambient light just barely makes the scene visible as Pattinson looks off into the distance, brooding harder than an edgy 14-year-old Atheist that just got bodied online in a fighting game.

Pattinson isn't the only A-listing actor joining the cast of the Batman. Zoe Kravitz joins the ranks as Catwoman, and Collin Farrell as the Penguin, Paul Dano as the Riddler, and Andy Serkis as Alfred Pennyworth; The butler-turned-adoptive father of Bruce Wayne.

There is an interview with Pattinson as he describes feeling "powerful" in the Batsuit, shortly after a village full of people had to physically squeeze him into it every time it was filmed.

The Batman's opening night is June 25th, 2021.

Robert Pattinson's new Batman Suit


If Sprint's PR department is anything to be believed, Leading the world in 5G data development, and a Sprint and T-Mobile marriage of networks could make it the best wireless carrier available to consumers. On the surface, Sprint seems to have a lot going for it these days. It owns the two big prepaid carriers, it's coverage is the closest to Verizon in terms of overall range of cellphone towers, and it's the first thing that comes to mind when searching for a direct alternative to AT&T. To bad Sprint —as a company— sucked balls like marbles through a vacuum cleaner.

It's not just my opinion. Back in 2017, Sprint came in dead last in categories like talk /text, LTE coverage, AND customer support, according to Consumer Reports survey that year.

The company still hasn't changed much since 2017. The complaints people have are still very much there. Despite excellent marketing and brand recognition that could rival Jesus Christ, all the exposure in the world can't help a company with low quality coverage, Electronic Arts-style prices, and LTE internet slower than AOL Dial-up in 1997.

The LTE sucks.

This image was stolen courtesy of this Tech Quickie article.

This is the problem that holds back Sprint’s sister companies like Virgin and Boost Mobile. Sprint LTE is slow enough to make Internet Explorer in 1996 look like Usain Bolt running from Dinosaurs in Jurassic Park. Doesn't matter if the coverage is within 1% of Verizon if it feels like you're playing an underwater level in an old Playstation 2 video game every time you load a web page. That is, if it manages to load a page at all.

The Talk and Text is crap most of the time.

This image comes from an article on Even the prices displayed here are completely false.

Your mileage may vary, like I mentioned earlier, but Sprint has probably the spottiest network in the history of hotspots. I have accepted and received calls that sounded like T-Pain's Autotune in a tumble dryer, and had texts that took almost 3 minutes to send after I sent them. Keep in mind, I've been both a Sprint customer for well over a year, and a Virgin Mobile customer since 2014. They both share the same network, and have the same coverage and LTE speeds. Same with Boost Mobile. Same network, same performance. Having lived in both Portland Oregon and California's Orange County, and the coverage has been equally terrible in both places. Yet in Burbank California, and visiting relatives in rural Indiana, the coverage is pretty much spot-on. No dropped calls, or wonky texts.

Most Sprint customers you ask complain about serious reliability issues, especially when traveling more than a mile in any direction. It isn't terrible everywhere, but most of what you hear are complaints from customers who already pay a steep price as it is, and still get the kind of coverage you would expect from bumming your neighbor's Wi-Fi.

Infrastructure is bad.

This is the phone I was trying to get linked to the Sprint network. It's the LG Stylo 4+, and it's the last phone that sprint will ever contaminate in my house.

I opted for the Unlimited Kickstart plan, trying to bring my phone number From Virgin to Sprint, in order to upgrade to a much better  -unlocked- phone. I sit on the phone for about three hours, with customer service reps scrambling trying to figure out why the hell it wasn't working. After being transferred 4 times, someone apparently mentioned what should have been obvious to Sprint technical support, or even sales reps: The $25/month Kickstart plan doesn't work on phone numbers that were already on the Sprint Network. This included Virgin Mobile, which is Sprint's sister company.

So, in order to get my phone number out of the Virgin Mobile prepaid hell, the only other option was the Unlimited Basic; a plan that not only costs an extra $35 more than Kickstart, but added a credit check, followed by a $42 activation fee. So after paying over $100 the first month, I was expected to pay $64 a month for slow internet and talk that sounds like EVP monitors in a haunted house.

I don't even blame the customer care for how long this ordeal even took. apparently, their internal infrastructure is shitting its pants every time you ask it to do anything, and the fact that the terms & conditions of unlimited Kickstart weren't readily available to them -the one group of people who should know what it is- is actually embarrassing.

Website is a mess

If the navigation bar isn't changing faster than a Digimon evolves, half the time, it doesn't actually work. This thing has so many glitches and errors,  you'd thing the website was hosted by Ubisoft Montreal.

I couldn't see my own bill for nearly a month because the website was such an unreliable cluster F*** of errors and spaghetti code.

Having a bad network is one thing, but having both an App and a website less reliable than a heroine addicted roommate is another. This website has been having problems for literally years now, but Sprint is more concerned with going door-to-door and proselyting for the Galaxy S10 like a Jahovas Witness on a Saturday morning than actually fixing the damn problem.

Pricing is awful

If you were to go to Sprint's website right now, and look for the actual price of wireless service for an actual smartphone you actually OWN, you will be lead down enough rabbit holes to have a working map of the lost city of ZION from the Matrix Reloaded. Apparently, Sprint is so ashamed of their actual plan's prices, they would rather show you a collage of advertisements for the Galaxy S10, and how many fetishes the company seems to have for asking people to LEASE the damn thing, that you would have to be halfway --or more-- through signing up for a 2-year contract before you can actually get a straight answer as to what you're going to be paying. This is not surprising, considering smartphone LEASES seem to be the only way this company makes money!

I don't ask for much from my wireless carrier. All I ask is that I don't pay anywhere near $65 for wireless service, whether it's reliable or not. I could buy tablets and smartphones every month for the amount of money I pay in wireless service fees. I don't even pay $65 for high-speed internet in my own house, let alone slow internet on my phone.

Yet and still, the Unlimited Basic -The only actual plan they have for unlocked smartphones- is $65 freken' dollars a month, and goes up from there. Forget everything you heard about $40 unlimited, or $25 kickstart. It's all bullcrap. there will always be some excuse to get you sucked into the Unlimited Basic plan, and everything else is just a gateway drug until they get you hooked on that for two years. Unlimited Basic is their actual lowest priced plan, and everything else is just a two-year gateway drug until you end up on the $60 plan, because let's face it: that is the only way this company is making money.

Sprint already undercuts Verizon by a considerable margin, and out here in California, that's still less than what T-mobile is charging for the same plan. Thing is, Verizon -despite being a shady company in it's own right- actually has a reliable network, and T-Mobile doesn't ask you for your god damn credit score just to pay a phone bill.

That's another thing all together, which is why I would recommend against going with Sprint. Not only does Sprint send inquiries on your credit score just for signing up, (seriously, too many inquiries in a month could lower your credit score,) but it also expects a down payment/service activation fee just to get started, AND you're paying more than $60 a month just to have it. Every plan is on a 2-year contract as well, which leaves me asking: what year does Sprint think it is?

Everything about the way this carrier does business is stuck in 1996; a year when having a cellular device was treated as though you were leasing to own a nuclear warhead. The privilege of paying your own bill was treated like you were taking out a mortgage in those days. Nowadays, in an age where prepaid is king, companies who adopt this model of business -even when you're not even leasing to own the phone you're bringing to the network- are just being tacky at this point. It's no wonder this company is falling behind.

How sprint can fix itself

Every time Sprint is in a little bit of trouble financially, it buys out its closest competitor. It's been doing this for over a decade now. It bought out Virgin, then Boost, and now its merging with T-Mobile, awaiting approval from Congress, The FCC, and even the president. Yet, it isn't doing the one thing it should have done in the first place; fix its infrastructure.

You see, Sprint is a publicly traded company, and needs to dump money into acquisitions like Virgin, Boost, and even T-Mobile just to keep their shareholders happy, and not dumping stock by the time their quarterly reports get published. Don't quote me on this, but for all we know, this is technically Sprint inflating its numbers to give shareholders the impression that the company is worth more than it actually is. The problem is, if this theory is correct, it would explain bad prices, bad performance, and overall customer dissatisfaction in 2018; The company isn't interested in customers, so much as it's interested in shareholders. The fact that Sprint -one of the most recognizable names in mobile computing- managed to sink to the bottom of customer satisfaction, yet still has the balls to propose a merger with T-Mobile is evidence of the overarching problem with the company.

Sprint needs to fix its network FIRST! Not after a merger, not after another TV AD campaign. Other carriers like Verizon and even ATT know that coverage is the name of the game in the mobile carrier market. Anything less than three bars anywhere nationwide is unacceptable.

Why Sprint Sucks Right Now | The TakeDown


If you're one of the few people left who actually bother to watch the Super Bowl, you might have seen this commercial with cute babies, more ethnically diverse than a TV advertisement for a failing community college. The ad --in addition to the babies-- contains a narrator, telling the babies how strong and politically correct they are going to be when they grow up. How they're going to do what they want and "not be silenced," which is exactly what you want to tell your toddler when they inevitably throw a whindmilling tantrum in a walmart because they wanted the box of Kellogg"s Corn Pops you put back on the shelf.

This commercial has all the left-leaning talking points:

Some people may see your differences and be threatened by them. But you are unstoppable. You’ll love who you want. You’ll demand fair and equal pay. You will not allow where you come from to dictate where you’re going. You will be heard, not dismissed, you will be connected, not alone. Change starts now.

Changing what? your Diaper?

Yeah, I'm not feeling this commercial. I'm all for equal pay and standing up for yourself, but this doesn't come across as genuine to me. There are too many political buzzwords tossed in, and it just seems like an attempt to bait /pol/ into trolling the comments section, and pretending some unprovoked attack is taking place over the commercial. Like I'm sure Sky News or the Washington Post is waiting in the wings so that the commercial's writer can cherry-pick the racist comments in order to paint everyone (including me) with the broad brush of "oh, you only dislike it because you're a racist or Misogynist!"

I'm just tired of this stupid cycle these political nutjobs keep putting us in. They keep dragging everyone into their crap, and all we want is to see a cellphone commercial with a cellphone in it. Seriously, I'm in the market for a branded smartphone on a prepaid T-Mobile plan. I want to buy a Moto X4, I'm not trying to buy some asian babies n' shit!!

It's not just the regressive left, either. This is a problem having to do with the less sane elements that exist in pretty much all political parties. It seems like the loudest, most mentally unstable people end up shouting their way to the top of seemingly every political identity, turning it into illogical bullshit, then immediately start trying to force feed their illogical bullshit down every moderate's throat, in places and at times that divisive political politics clearly don't belong.

Now as soon as moderates like me --who don't want this kind of political cancer in their superbowl ads about cell phones-- say that this doesn't belong here, the first thing the director or producer behind the commercial will do is cherry pick the racist comments, take it to the media, and act like it's an epidemic-level problem, further bolstering their fabricated victimhood they so passionately try and convince moderates is actually a real thing. Next thing you know, a bunch of articles are going to crop up like weeds on an abandoned front lawn about how people who watch superbowl commercials are all racist and hate women, or how superbowl commercials need "reform". Then the extremists on the right wing are going to take the bait and start posting swastikas everywhere n' shit, playing right into the hands of the people who want to label everyone a bigot in order to win an imaginary political contest. The articles by zealots on Kotaku and the Verge will probably claim the commercial watching community is "toxic", spinning some highly dubious argument that insinuates every single person watching commercials hate blacks and Jews or something, and every single one of us is sending some kind of death and rape threat, all while providing no evidence.

I know that this WILL happen, because the same thing happened with video game Journalism, (Gamergate,), Metal music (Metalgate,) Atheism (Atheism+,) and even comic books as early as 2016. Whenever the church of Leftitology wants to control a particular form of media, be it music or video games, they shoehorn their divisive, highly debatable ideas into the things they have nothing to do with in the most inorganic way, and as soon as normal --sane-- people politely point out it doesn't belong there, it's almost like these people go out of their way to conjure the Alt-right spergs on 4chan in the hopes that they'll say something racist. Cue the ten different articles about how [insert popular hobby here] needs "reform".

The commercial is incorrect

There is a point in the commercial where, during the "staring at babies during a cellphone commercial" where the narrator says:

"You’ll demand fair and equal pay."
You see where I'm going with this, right? So now that I got the fact that I'm not a Nazi or Klu-Klux Klan member out of the way, I think it's safe to point out that the gender wage gap conspiracy theory that the regressive left like to reference has been debunked numerous times as far back as the early 1980's.

You see, the 77¢ on the dollar myth is a rounded number, based on yearly Department of Labor statistics which collectively measured the average median income between males and females. It doesn't take into account things like maternity leave, the fact that men -on average- don't take vacations as often as women, the fact that men are more willing to work overtime than women, (I.E, they work more hours, hence why they get paid more,) or the fact that men are wiling to work more dangerous, more labour intensive jobs than women; those blue collar jobs that often pay more than what most women are willing to do for a living. It also doesn't take into account that men are almost twice as likely to enter a STEM field in college than women, despite being only %40 of college graduates in the states.

So where did the regressive left get this whole "equal pay for equal work" phrase from? Well, the evidence suggesting women get paid a lower salary -per-hour- than men simply doesn't exist. In all likelihood, this myth came from a lazy misunderstanding of the D.L.S. study, and much like most conspiracy theories, end up taking a life of its own.

But we all know what's going to happen: anyone who politely points this out is going to be labeled a rapist who eats black babies while gassing Jews in their spare time by Polygon, Kotaku, Buzzfeed, The Verge, and all the other fringe political propaganda reels that pretend to be tech and entertainment news websites. And as far as I'm concerned, that was the point.

You see, I don't buy for a second that adding that well-refuted conspiracy theory to the commercial was an accident. It's deliberately provocative. They are looking for vitriol and outrage over their "liberal agenda" so the regressive media can -in tern- call it an "Alt-right attack" on women. 

The regressives love the word "Alt-right". It's a way for them to call you a Nazi without requiring the balls to back it up with evidence. Nowadays, It's been getting difficult for the liars in media to call someone Alt-right and get away with it, when there are people on social media willing to fact-check these things and call them out on their bullshit. The fake tech media can claim anyone espouses "Alt Right views" though. That's the next best thing, after all. If you, for example, believe that gravity forces objects to fall, and the "Alt-right" happened to believe the same thing, the fake tech media can then claim you have "alt right views." Great way for these spineless cowards to manipulate an audience into thinking you're a Nazi, without having to come right out and say it.

I don't want to be a part of this shit. I just wanted an ad that had something to do with smartphones n' shit, but we all know what is eventually going to happen: Pointing out the irrefutable fact that the wage gap myth is wrong is going to be called "alt right views". It's a bygone conclusion at this point. This is an elaborate attempt to stigmatize the very act of fact-checking the debunked wage gap. Even mentioning that this myth isn't true will get you labeled a misogynist.

So in summation, the goal of this commercial, in my opinion, isn't what it says on the surface. At least not to me. This is yet another one of those baitjobs, where it only exists as a strawman argument to weed out only the worst kinds of political people on the right, so that anyone right-of center will be conflated with those furthest from the center. Hence why it references the famously debunked wage gap lie as a rallying cry for these babies. I don't believe the writers of this commercial care about minorities, equal pay, or immigration issues. They don't care about these kids. They are merely a political talking point to them; a round of ammunition for the war they wage on whoever they strawman at the time.

How to fix it

Moderates need to be the ones calling out T-Mobile for greenlighting this commercial. Not the far left, not the far right, not the Alt-right, not /pol/, not Tumblr, just moderates. Because political allegiances are just the perfect tool for political extremists to dismiss anything you have to say, on account of who you voted for, or what party you claim. Anything you say will be dismissed offhand --regardless of how true it is-- as being "biased". The message isn't going to get through to the majority as soon as it's stuck into the quagmire of left vs. right. The problem is, moderates aren't the type of people who dwell obsessively on something they disagree with. They see this bullshit commercial, and move on, because they often have better things to do. The problem with this apathetic stance is that political nutjobs don't have anything better to do, and will often force moderates into a corner with their bullshit until they are forced to pick a side. 

T-Mobile's #LittleOnes Superbowl AD Sucks, and Here's Why

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