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Cellphones Businesses Handhelds The Almighty Buck Ubuntu Hardware Linux

Finance Firm Bloomberg Goes In For $80,000 On Ubuntu Edge Project 98

Posted by timothy
from the pricetag-schmicetag dept.
DW100 writes "Ubuntu has secured a surprise enterprise backer of its $32m Edge smartphone crowd-funding push with corporate powerhouse Bloomberg signing up for the top tier Enterprise 100 package, worth $80,000. Chief technology officer at Bloomberg Shawn Edwards said the firm wanted to give its support to the innovative open source project as it could have real benefits for its IT workforce." Adds reader nk497: "So far the campaign has raised $8.5 million and has two weeks left to run. Individuals can buy the smartphone-cum-PC for $780 at the moment, but Canonical is also offering business bundles of 100 handsets, including a month of support, for $80,000. Bloomberg is the first business to opt for the bundle — but it will get its money back if the project isn't fully funded." Update: 08/08 12:58 GMT by T : One more note: Canonical has dropped the price to $695 for the remainder of the fundraising campaign.
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Finance Firm Bloomberg Goes In For $80,000 On Ubuntu Edge Project

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  • by Janek Kozicki (722688) on Thursday August 08, 2013 @08:54AM (#44508145) Journal
    These news are already outdated. Ubuntu edge is now selling for $695.

    With 14 days to go, it’s time for our biggest announcement yet. From now until the end of the campaign, we’re fixing the price of the Ubuntu Edge at $695! No limited quantities, no more price changes. You wanted a more affordable Edge, and now you’ve got it. [indiegogo.com]

    So of course we’re passing those savings on to you. There’s now a single unlimited $695 Ubuntu Edge perk, which comes with a year’s subscription to LastPass Premium and a place on the Founders page. At the end of the campaign, anyone who’s already pledged more than $695 for the phone will be offered a refund of the difference.

    • by MBGMorden (803437)

      $695 is still way too high.

      We have an unproven device here. Nobody knows how well this thing will work or how well it'll be supported. People are willing to play around with things, but not at this price point. The OUYA is $99. That's worth taking a risk on. The Raspberry Pi is $35. Those little Android "Mini-PC's" are about $45. Those are cheap enough to play around on.

      The market seems to have spoken and the price point for a device to play around with seems to be about $50-100. Much above that we'r

      • $695 is still way too high.

        There are many ways to set price. There's a range between cost (nobody will build it for less) and the maximum value someone can get out of it (no point in buying something for more). You don't show in any way it's outside this. The real question is the value that you can get out of it. That's what should decide how much you can pay for it. You need to compare it with other similar devices, not a bunch of non wireless enabled development boards.

        In my view the device is new, but the fundamentals of th

  • Perhaps in five years
    • Depends. Do you have EDGE?

      (What a stupid name for a phone, like people are happy when they see a litte "E" or "2.5" symbol).

  • by Anonymous Coward

    that has custom operating software that prevents you from ordering soft drinks?

    • The specs are pretty good (sans the sapphire glass), but they really should have done a better job explaining if the phone will save consumers money on their cell/data plans. Because other than the dual boot feature (not something I'm even sure I want without lots of BIOS control), I'm not sure what separates this from most Android phones, except for storage capacity (which I've never been restricted by), and battery life (not an issue with my RAZR Maxx).

      Obviously, there is some additional flexibilit
      • by h4rr4r (612664)

        How is this different than any other phone you buy outright?

        You could save money, if your provider offers such a deal. T-mobile does for example. AT&T does not directly, but you could buy their service through another provider like StraightTalk.

        If your current carrier is VZW you are out of luck. This will be a GSM/LTE device. CDMA carriers, VZW especially, are extremely hostile to outside devices. This can easily be seen with the update situation on the Sprint and VZW Galaxy Nexus devices that always la

        • by jeffmeden (135043) on Thursday August 08, 2013 @10:03AM (#44508973) Homepage Journal

          What is your concern with sapphire glass? It should be a big improvement over what is used on phones now.

          Sapphire glass is *more* brittle than Gorilla Glass, so if you thought edge-drop screen shatters were a problem before, watch out. You will never be able to scratch the screen, but it will be so sensitive to shock that you will need substantial protection anyway.

          • by h4rr4r (612664)

            So be a responsible adult?
            Are you playing catch with these things?

            I have never placed a case or "screen protector" on any of my smartphones or tablets. So far they are all intact.

            I want the screen to be as hard as is possible. Brittleness is not an issue unless it comes to the point you can't touch the thing.

          • Eh, I'd use an Otter Box around it anyway, with a rubber around that, and an old truck tire around that.

            So it doesn't fit in my pocket anymore, big deal.

        • by MrEricSir (398214)

          How is this different than any other phone you buy outright?

          How many other phones double as a desktop computer?

      • by Teun (17872)
        Your question probably has the US market as starting point, like in Europe it is very common to buy the phone and then shop around for a plan. This phone would fit such nicely, which makes me wonder why people outside of the UK have to pay $30 (US!) extra for shipping.
        This is something the average EU Joe understands

        I've never had a phone as part of a plan, halfway through the contract these subsidised phones get expensive.
        Yes I'd love a phone that's not tied to Google and does run an unrestricted version

  • Free publicity (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Arrepiadd (688829) on Thursday August 08, 2013 @09:00AM (#44508197)

    Bloomberg is the first business to opt for the bundle — but it will get its money back if the project isn't fully funded.

    This is no more than free publicity for Bloomberg then. They're pledging to give 80 thousand USD to a project if it gets fully funded. Said project after getting 7 million in the first 24 or 48 hours, has only managed to go up 1 more million in two weeks. And it needs 24 million more in the next two weeks!

    Chances of actually having to give the 80 kUSD... close to 0. Free publicity... a lot!

    • Not that I'm being hopeful or unhopeful (I'm not interested in this project - I'm happy with my smartphone already) it's actually quite common for massive amounts of money to come in at the start of a crowdsourcing project, and then after a big initial rush things slow to a trickle until you get near the end. Will they reach their goal? Who knows, but slowing down like this at this point in time is normal, (and I assume expected) successful projects and failed projects alike.

      • by h4rr4r (612664)

        I hope at the very least all this software will be released for the current android devices they are testing on.

        If I could turn any GSM galaxy nexus/nexus 4 into an ubuntu phone and be able to dock it to a monitor to get a full desktop I would do that in a heartbeat. I know they did some sort of release before but I did not think it supported the docked desktop software.

      • by Anonymous Coward

        if ubuntu edge had followed that typica pattern they would have needed close to 12 million in the first 4 days (a certain %age must be mest before it's "ok" for the donations to slow down in order to maintain interest/hype), then it might have been viable to have a trickle and a final surge. Ubuntu edge so far has nothing in common with any successful kickstarter (look at kicktraq for comparative charts).

      • by Arrepiadd (688829)

        but slowing down like this at this point in time is normal, (and I assume expected) successful projects and failed projects alike.

        I totally agree with you, this slow down is expected. But, whereas some projects that get funded will have this slowdown close to or already after their goal* [slashdot.org] if at all, the Ubuntu Edge project is stalled at about one third of their stated goal. We can safely assume that everyone wanting a Ubuntu Edge, knowing about it, and with the money for it already donated. There will be no geeks pledging for the phone at the last minute. So, either at the end someone with lots of funds (and possibly connected to Canon

        • by Knuckles (8964)

          We can safely assume that everyone wanting a Ubuntu Edge, knowing about it, and with the money for it already donated.

          I'd be surprised if they make their goal (though it was a good effort anyway), no, you cannot safely assume that.

        • We can safely assume that everyone wanting a Ubuntu Edge, knowing about it, and with the money for it already donated. There will be no geeks pledging for the phone at the last minute. So, either at the end someone with lots of funds (and possibly connected to Canonical) just orders around 30 thousand of these phones so that the goal is met, or this campaign will fail.

          Well, I just tried to get in on this, but after arguing with the site for an hour I finally had to boot a special VM with no network securi

      • by Baloroth (2370816)

        True, there is usually a jump towards the end, but (in my experience, anyways) about 1/3rd of the total funding comes in the first few days, and about half of it by half-way through (a fairly typically big-budget well-announced crowdfunded project looks like this curve [kicktraq.com], in my experience). This announcement could result in a significant boost, but not a 24 million dollar boost. No way. At most, I'd predict they'll reach $16 million (a more reasonable guess is around $13 million), which is fantastic for a cro

    • by MrEricSir (398214)

      This is no more than free publicity for Bloomberg then.

      Gee, you mean companies don't really spend $80,000 on unproven hardware, sight unseen?

    • Great idea! More companies should take advantage of this free publicity. Like about 290 more companies.
  • Is Bloomberg's buy-in going to get Ubuntu to add any "custom" features that will help spy on people? http://gizmodo.com/bloomberg-reporters-used-sketchy-terminal-access-to-col-503232014 [gizmodo.com]

  • Nobody is "buying" anything. These are donations to a private, for-profit corporation, in the hopes that said corporation will send a phone, if they can and do end up making them.

    Ah, fuck it. I really thought that this whole Kickstarter donation thing would go away once people wised up, but I suppose that these donation scams are much like multi-level marketing and other scams... for every people who figures out that it's a scam, there are two more that get sucked into the stupidity. I really wish th
    • Not much for reading the fine print? Kickstarter's terms are such that legal action is entirely possible for a backed project which doesn't result in reward delivery. So -- no, not a donation, a time-delayed purchase.
      • by evilRhino (638506)
        Why the hate? This campaign is not on Kickstarter, it's on Indiegogo. Secondly, if they don't raise enough money to make it happen, contributors get their money back.
    • by ssam (2723487)

      if they don't make the target you get refunded.

      if they do make the target, take the money and don't deliver the phone, then i think people will storm the offices.

      • by zAPPzAPP (1207370)

        'storm the offices' is a weird legal strategy.

        So if not for that small moral issue, they are free to take the money and do whatever the hell they want with it?

        • by h4rr4r (612664)

          If they feel like driving their company into the ground sure. If they stole the money Canonical would be out of business in a matter of months.

           

    • by bsea (3012993)
      That's neat. Every project I've donated to has produced a product, and I got what I wanted in the mail.
    • by Shavano (2541114)
      You and me both, baby. My donations are restricted to not-for-profit organizations with a charitable mission. If you give money to a for-profit company, it should be either a PURCHASE for a product that contractually must be delivered and must meet the specifications advertised or it's an INVESTMENT for which you get a share of company profits (if any).
      • by h4rr4r (612664)

        Good for you.

        Personally, I bet more of those not for profits are scams than kickstarter drives. For a great example pick a random large charity and find out what their execs make. If you are fine with that, check their overhead costs. There are charities spending less than 30% of their funds on charitable activities.

        With kickstarter you are paying for a product to be hopefully created, this means there is risk involved but this may be the only way such a product is ever created. If you don't like that then

    • Have you read kickstarter's or indigogo's terms lately? both obligate those running campaigns to provide or refund any rewards if the campaign is funded.

      Now of course there is still some risk for the consumers, for example there is the risk that the legal entity running the campaign could go bankrupt. There is also the risk that you will get a reward that technically fits the promise but is actually a peice of shit. Is that risk worth it? it depends on the campaign (personally i'm going to say no in this ca

    • by h4rr4r (612664)

      I have crowd funded some games and they are nearly released. From all known data they will ship on time.

      Could some of these projects fail? Sure, but this is not a scam. To be a scam they would have to plan on failing.

      I would not give to DogDude's kickstarter because I have no idea who you are and you have no track record. Once I heard Stainless Games was making a new Carmageddon they had their money as quick as I could hand it over.

  • Apart from the free publicity for Bloomberg ( which, at at a $ 80000 ticket, comes in really cheap ), where is BB's hidden agenda ??
  • "Individuals can buy the smartphone-cum-PC"

    Using Latin in a place where it's not needed and has no historical ties (as "cum laude" would) is stupid. Using the one Latin word that's also English for "jizz" just makes you look like a moron. Unless you like using video chat for... stickier activities than most people.

    • by oodaloop (1229816)
      God, I am so sick of Latin. ROMANES EUNT DOMUS!
      • by H0p313ss (811249)

        God, I am so sick of Latin. ROMANES EUNT DOMUS!

        What have the Romans ever done for us?

        • Apart from the sanitation, medicine, education, wine, public order, irrigation, roads, the fresh water system and public health?

          • by H0p313ss (811249)

            Apart from the sanitation, medicine, education, wine, public order, irrigation, roads, the fresh water system and public health?

            Yeah, they certainly know how to keep order. Let's face it. They're the only ones who could in a place like this.

      • by Anamelech (821849)
        So... People called Romanes, they go, the house?
  • FSF questions (Score:4, Interesting)

    by santiagoanders (1357681) on Thursday August 08, 2013 @09:26AM (#44508527)

    Were the following questions by the FSF ever answered?

    "Will the Ubuntu Edge versions of both Android and Ubuntu contain or rely on any proprietary software or proprietary firmware?"

    "Will the Ubuntu Edge include any Digital Restrictions Management (DRM) software?"

    "Will the device's bootloader be free software?"

    "Will the device have Restricted Boot, or will users be able to replace the operating system with a free one of their choice?"

    "Will Ubuntu Edge include F-Droid, the free software Android application repository, as part of a commitment to promote and recommend only free software?"

    • by ssam (2723487)

      there was a question about open hardware http://www.reddit.com/r/IAmA/comments/1j166z/hi_im_mark_shuttleworth_founder_of_ubuntu/ [reddit.com] that gives you some of the answers

      "This first version of the Edge is to prove the concept of crowdsourcing ideas for innovation, backed by crowdfunding. If it gets greenlighted, then I think we'll have an annual process by which the previous generation backers get to vote on the spec for the next generation of Edge.
      So in this first generation Edge, no, we didn't look for open hard

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by BitZtream (692029)

      Dear FSF,

      No.

      Go make your own phone and distribution instead of demanding everyone do everything exactly like you want.

      Seriously, get over yourselves.

      I'm not buying into the edge on indiegogo, but if it comes to fruition before Apple does the same thing with OSX and iOS on the iPhone, then I'll be hard pressed not to just switch to Linux. See not everyone in the world is a freetard, some of us just like to get the job done and don't mind paying for it and not always knowing momma's secret receipt.

      If you wan

      • I don't care so much if the FSF doesn't like the Ubuntu Edge. I'm OK with closed-source software being on the phone.

        I never cared much for smart phones, and I didn't even own one until last year when a friend gave me a bricked LG model. It really bothered me that a modern computer could be "bricked" and I couldn't even fix it without importing a Medusa jtag box with illegal software (under the DMCA).

        This is why I was interested in the Ubuntu Edge. An open source boot loader would be awesome.

      • You won't be able to buy it after the campaign. Either you buy it now, or you buy one used from a backer of the campaign. The Edge is not going to retail, anywhere, after the campaign.
      • by Anonymous Coward

        No one is demanding anything. Think of the FSF as being interested but discerning, just as some nerds would ask about the spec before contributing money.

        The lack of information on software/hardware freedom was certainly the primary reason I didn't pledge.

  • The phone will be worth over $1000 when it ships. I am loading up.
    • The phone will be worth over $1000 when it ships.

      My ass. Who pays over a grand for a cell phone?

      I am loading up.

      I recommend running that decision past your financial adviser before you finalize it.

      Or not - what do I care if you sink your own ship?

  • Half an hour after I signed up for $780 I received the email telling it's now $695. Normally prices get lower with time, but this is very awkward, the product is not even in the market. There is a big mix up of crowd sourcing and traditional marketing. Now I'm confused as a consumer and Canonical is confused as... wait, what is Canonical now?
    • by Anonymous Coward

      You will be charged the lowest price ($695) even if you signed up for $780

  • That spies on traders terminals? [theguardian.com]

    In that case I think I'll pass.

  • The lower price is a great deal. It's much more powerful than phones currently on the market and is right in the same price range. I don't really understand why sales have stalled as this is going to be 2-3 years ahead of the market. Either that or it will drive the market to produce better phones. I for one bought 2. I'm surprised a bunch haven't been snapped up to sell on the secondary market, ie thEbay.
    • by BitZtream (692029) on Thursday August 08, 2013 @11:21AM (#44509959)

      The reason sales have stalled is because not everyone is stupid.

      You live in a fantasy.

      I don't really understand why sales have stalled as this is going to be 2-3 years ahead of the market.

      So they are going to magically come out with a phone 2 or 3 years ahead of the market ... when they aren't even currently in the market and have no experience doing what they claim they are going to do. And they claim they are going to do it far better than the people who produce the hardware itself?

      Canonical is some how going to get Samsung (or whoever) to make magical new hardware that they themselves don't sell? Its not like Canonical can fab chips or make AMOLED displays or any of the other related bits.

      Only a fool and his followers make and believe statements like these.

    • The specs they have given are basically

      "Fastest multi-core CPU, 4GB RAM, 128GB storage"

      Nothing on what CPU they actually plan to use, this is a fairly low volume device so it won't be something specific for them and it will have to fit within the power envelope of a phone. So expect whatever CPU it ends up with to be at best comparable to the best other phones available at the time it launches.

      The ram is nice but there are already phones shipping with 2GB, I doubt it will be all that long before we see phon

  • If this thing takes off Apps could be written in C/C++ or JS instead of Cocoa or Java. Probably Python down the road?

    Ideally, i'll be buying one (or something similar) when the service contract on my X220 runs out in 2015. Hopefully it's enough of a computer to replace my computer by then.ï

    More commodity hardware for Linux hackers to hack on isn't a bad thing. For now I donated $50 for a T-Shirt. I'm into it.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      If this thing takes off Apps could be written in C/C++ or JS instead of Cocoa or Java. Probably Python down the road?

      You seem to be pointing towards Android by mentioning Java. The thing is you can develop in C for Android devices, you merely need to get the NDK. Sure, portions of the UI stuff have better support for Java, but if you really want to you can write an entire Android application in C.

  • Bloomberg, as a financial and inparticular, media firm should be interested in privacy and security.
    There isn't a phone out there that has integrity to trade... closest we got was Replicant on a Samsung but the modem had carte blanche to everything so it was imperfect.

    So Bloomberg would be a good customer. Any Bloomberg employee who has sensitive info has the possibility of communicating privately.

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