Modularity, ethics and Fairphones (5,4,3,2,1)

Hello UPPERCASE, I would not be posting publicly were I not seeking other’s views, fear not, I am more emotionally robust than most.

Just to get the elephant in the room out of the way: the climate changes, it always has, and always shall, but that doesn’t necessarily have much, or anything, to do with man.

Not everybody subscribes to Man Made Global Warming™.

I am here for what I need from the phone, and that is modularity. I should imagine that many more customers will arrive for that, than paying someone a “living wage”. If Fairphone want market share, and can balance the two, then I suggest they look at the breadth of the Raspberry Pi community.

Clearly Fairphone are not making as much money as they should be, otherwise the whole headphone thing would not have happened. I know there is a video, I understand. But I’ve been round the block in life.

I am not a hardware engineer, but expect the idea of modularity to go beyond the internals of the smartphone, this bringing in so many new users looking for a well priced and customisable alternative.

If I want to remove the rear cameras I can already do that, perhaps even 3D print my own case, what is the issue here ? The suggestion of expanding the external enclosures is a relatively cost effective one, and immediately opens up new markets.

Highlighting what Results45 suggested toward creating a hardware standards consortium on shared aims isn’t as expensive as some of the proposals I’ve offered, I do not see why this cannot be done on the cheap.

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Are you familiar with Project Ara? It was a Google project, trying to attract hardware engineers to co-develop their platform and create not just an “app store”, but also a hardware store for all these different modules, which of course were standardized. Google couldn’t make it work, of course they want to make a profit. So maybe it could’ve worked, but the numbers didn’t look right. Point being, take this into perspective. Just starting a consortium for open standards is truly great and I would welcome it. But I guess there are many challenges. And Fairphone is still working on their main goal, which is to make their phone better. Hopefully in the future they are able to do something like that, with the backing of e.g. the EU to push things into acceleration.

Oh boy…


What Google were trying to achieve was ambitious, and it didn’t work out for them. That is a shame. But their approach is not what I am calling for, in fact, my suggestions can be traced back to the current, and previous Fairphone design(s).

Already Fairphone offer replacement outer casing, so why not diversify that. Of course the R&D costs would need to be factored into the final product(s) appeal e.g. hardened casing, more privacy (and security), or even for vanity i.e. colours. That is an existing market, and those folk would probably be interested in removing what they don’t need, or upgrading what they care more for, at any point in the smartdevice’s life-cycle - that is seen as a good investment.

With regards to the company’s ethos, those challenges have already been met. With a consortium they could be scaled. There is no reason not to get cracking as soon as possible.

I don’t see why you want to politicise this, what has tax payer funding got to do with this?! The project will die as soon as its subsidies are withdrawn, politics is a poisoned chalice. Just like the whole global warming theory (and yes it is a theory), it is best not to politicise a product.

The Fairphone should be about being pragmatic i.e. modularity, and that extends outside of the casing. They can pay their suppliers what they can afford, this too is a pragmatic approach. But political scientific theory and subsidy is the enemy of growth, and should be avoided.

So what were Google trying to achieve? They seem to have done very well.

I would argue they have only scratched the surface. You seem to have what I would consider the opposite of why I thought the Fairphone was made and why I bought it. Reasonable function, outstanding Fair trade.

The fair trade is the only thing that ‘needs’ working on, the other stuff is just toys for the rich.


Look up the Brussels effect. The EU has done a lot to improve consumer and privacy rights (you should appreciate that especially, right?). Also pushing USB-C as a standard and many more things. So yes, getting the EU to push for these advances you preach about is a way to move forward. But it was just a brain fart, I don’t work at Fairphone, I don’t decide their policy.

I think all that I wanted to say has been said, we seem to repeat ourselves now. That means the discussion is over :slight_smile: By the way, scientific theory is a hard proven fact. You confuse “theory” with a hypothesis. Man made global warming is no hypothesis, plenty of data to support it. But that’s a discussion for another thread.


@amoun: As UPPERCASE explained, project “Ara” was attempting to standardise hardware for a modular device, you can see more here: Google's Project Ara: Reinventing the smartphone with building blocks - YouTube

Perhaps two different types of customers can be interested in one product, is that so strange ? Some care more about folk that they have never met before. I don’t. I care about myself and what my resources can get me, if that helps somebody else without ripping them off then fine, that cost has been factored in.

Piety puts people off, nobody likes to be preached to.

@UPPERCASE: you’re playing with fire here, I do not think you quite understand how the EU actually functions. It is anti-democratic organisation, which led to the very reason why Brittons democratically voted to leave the EU. Like I said, leave politics out of it.

The tech industry has largely settled on USB-C, only Apple thinks differently. Fine, there is a market for both. Even the Apple co-developed Thunderbolt cable has merged with USB 3 in its most recent iteration. I prefer the leave the markets to decide.

You’re pretty big on telling people what they don’t know, how about you show me some of the concrete irrefutable evidence, the conditions of which those tests were conducted, whom was conducting them, the primary sourced data, along with your credentials on the very subject, then I’ll make my judgement.

On the matter of the Fairphone and what it could be, I have planted my flag.

You are discussing technologies for the FP5, however it seems you

and whereas I agree that’s how people work, it seems what you care about is where we differ and that goes to the heart of the topic.

Given the topic comes under the fairphone heading both in terms of the forum and expectations I consider it largley a wind up when people put all these expectations on others. Sure it can be seen as just touting an idea and not trying to push anyhting, but if that were the case then why make such a big deal about what it is you want.

And this goes again the the heart of thre matter, what do you consider your resources, your finances to get people to do what you want or your heart to do what you can for the people you use.

It’s an ethical issue and people have different ethics. I think fairphone made theirs very clear and I hope I have too.

Apple do what they do, it’s no secret. Yet they earn more and more money and maintain, or grow, market share.

They release products people want, and all I am suggesting is that with a little R&D into basic materials like enclosures, that it would broaden appeal, and then with that you could do more of what your conscience tells you, and both win.

Most of my suggestions are cheaper than what others are asking for, and could provide a decent return.

EU representatives are either directly elected by the people or by the member state represented in the EU which is a democratically elected government. There is room for improvement and this is also discussed. But anti democratic is very dramatic.

I gave just one example, the Brussels effect has many.

Are you seriously asking for evidence about man made climate change? I’ll try to explain it to you, but then I’m really out. In a greenhouse it’s quite warm, just because of a thin layer of glass. It lets the heat in, but doesn’t let it out that easily. So it starts to heat up. Greenhouse gases (such as CO2) are basically also this thin layer of glass, and CO2 is rising very fast since the industrial revolution. And so is the climate. Exactly as predicted for decades. Are too much greenhouses bad? Ask our twin planet Venus, the hottest planet in our solar system. Hotter than Mercury, which is the closest planet to the sun. Now for more concrete info, visit NASA, ESA or any university/research center. It’s a hard fact. Unless you think there is a large conspiracy going on, or that you’re just smarter than people who actually researched this?

Anyway, you probably are insensitive for credible information. But at least I gave it a try :nerd_face: I’m out, but if you do have a final word about this, it’s best to DM. Because we’re going off topic here about more than one subject.


Maybe you could create a new topic, move there what is out of topic and keep this one only about technologies for FP5 ?

I think you have enough rights for this :wink:

TL4 can only do that (and of course mods and admins).

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Just done it. But if you have a better idea for the title, please let me know.


Clearly you have a very wide eyed approach to what the EU actually is.

The EU’s Commission represents that of which is the ONLY body of people within the EU, by design, able to propose new legislation.

Those serving on the Commission are NOT directly elected by the peoples of whom they govern.

Ergo, unelected bureaucrats at the highest levels of the EU are the ONLY ones able to propose new legislation, of which is mostly rubber stamped through the EU Parliament by the overpaid nodding heads you term “EU representatives”, of the countries they know best, of course.

The EU is not a democratic institution by its very nature and that is why the UK left, after taking the largest democratic vote in (a Referendum) its political history.

The EU tried its level best to not just ignore Brexit, but through coercion via its various tentacles of power and influence, to have the direct democratic result overturned. So, therefore, yes, the EU, and its many useful idiots, is anti-democratic.

Regarding the climate changing, I am not interested in your analogies to prove your religion, I clearly stated that I was only interested in concrete irrefutable evidence:

• Primary sourced data.
• The conditions of which such tests were conducted.
• Whom was conducting them.
• Your credentials.

Fulfil the above criteria, or consider yourself unqualified to discuss the matter with any authority.

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I am French so I will talk about this country. In France, the government is made with people who are not elected at this position and they have the same power as the EC : they proposed laws voted by the parliament.

I would be curious to know where you live and know how it is there.


I am speaking from the UK.

In actuality, France has a distorted amount of influence as it was one of the founding members of the EU project (EC originally), however today Germany is the money, and that is final.

As you correctly state, no national government has to pass EU law, but of course the EU have their methods, and so national governments routinely capitulate.

I think you’ll agree that most in powerful positions, especially the Civil Service, are long since loyal to the country that they know best, which is usually how these schemes run away with themselves.

I understand there to be notable dissension on the Continent now, and not just in France. It was always an impossible task to harmonise so many disparate cultures into one coherent form, and likely not long before it blows itself apart.

Switzerland has the best model in my opinion.

Oh, and as for the UK, well such a messy divorce takes time to work out. But, the UK left because she did not want to be dictated to, and that still feels good. National politics is a mess, when has it not been post-WWII, but at least the UK can decide who gets in, and who is thrown out of office.

Incidentally, one Neil Kinnock, a failed Labour leader candidate from the 90s, is an irremovable Commissioner in the EU. His son is an elected member of the Commons (UK Parliament), and so was Neil, but to be lorded over by him, after he was rejected, that was something that never sat well with the UK.

So, to sum it up, everything is normal.


The EU isn´t really democratic (or at least is far away from the real democratic idea), that´s a fact.

But, you really want to tell us that the Brexit (with a majority vote of only 50,2 %), which is greatly based of fake advertisements and fake information (not everything was wrong, but I still remember the buses with wrong numbers about the money Britain had to pay to the EU), is really a democratic vote, where everyone can be happy with the solution?
And with some of the biggest lobbyist for the Brexit leaving the country with their money just after the Brexit was decided?

I mean 49,8 % of the people were against the Brexit. With a vote this close (50,2 - 49,8), if you repeat the vote on the next day it could easily be the opposite result. And the day after that it could be pro Brexit again.

I don´t call it very democratic if around 50% of the people, which have the right to vote decide for 100% (and all kids, which will never have the chance to make this decision later). Especially if it´s something this serious like Brexit, which affects about everything in the country.

You have to understand that the EU was not supposed to lose, that it had multi-generational influence from both primary and right throughout secondary level education, these the most impressionable age groups. It also had the national broadcaster as a friend, and of course the permanent government i.e. the Civil Service, all of whom massaged the UK to be so wedded to the EU that it could never truly comprehend leaving.

Those opposed to Brexit got their second referendum, third even. The first round, of course was contentious, but described above you can see what we were up against, so by that measure the win felt like a lot more. The second came soon after, at a General Election, where both of the major parties (and even the Liberal Democrats) ran on a promise to respect the democratic result, of which they did not, and soon led to another GE in 2019, that the final referendum as it were, when Johnson secured a voting majority not seen since Thatcher’s time running on a theme of “Get Brexit Done”.

You claim that there was a lot of fake advertising, what utter tosh ?! It took years of hard work and frustration for half of those eligible to vote to want to leave, not just some late advertising. The EU was never a good fit for the UK, even Charles de Gaulle knew that back in 1967. And what were Brittons told upon entering the Common Market, just that, an exchange of goods and services and not political union, that was what the UK signed up to. But of course it was never meant to be.

The EU even rammed through a Constitution in all but name (Lisbon Treaty) via Gordon Brown, even though Brown promised a referendum on the matter, but they changed its name so it was a Treaty and only needed parliamentary approval, and so on, and so fourth, over the years.

No! The UK had had enough of the EU’s tactics, well before some nonsense written on the side of a bus, don’t talk daft. The Guardian and BBC might fill your head full of conciliatory truths, but the fact is that Britain was never in it for political union, and that was always what it was meant to be.

Which companies left the UK ? Look at London’s end of financial year for 2021, with Banking bonus levels not seen since pre-2008, this is where big business is courted, the UK is not going to fall apart. List the companies leaving, or having left, and they are likely under pressure from the EU to do so, or have to for regulatory reasons. Any that left for financial reasons have been made up for with new business agreements, or trade, it happens all the time, it’s just business, London has a healthy level of business, despite Brexit.

What excuse was there for the EU’s behaviour toward the UK during a global pandemic when withholding her vaccines, there to save lives, did you forget that. Now we see the mask having slipped, what we on the Leave side knew well before the term Brexit entered the national lexicon.

Consider that the UK is a shareholder in the European Investment Bank (EIB) and a member of the European Investment Bank Group (EIBG), in which she capitalised it with some £3.1bn back in 1973 upon her entry into the EC. Unsurprisingly, the UK was one of the largest of the major member states in the EU to contribute. This fund was primarily used to invest in newer accession members from 2004 i.e. Central Europe.

That £3.1bn (€3.5bn) is now worth some £35bn.

As the EU is only duty bound to return the sum in £300m instalments, it will be around 12 years before it is paid back. In that time, should the EIB/EIBG go bust, lending to Italy for example during the recent pandemic and they leave and trigger a run on the Euro, then the UK is on the hook to bail them out !

It goes on and on, the EU is no friend of the UK, and did a lot to hamper us, and is doing even more now to stifle us, because they are afraid that we might make a go of it without them.

Those voting to leave the EU knew this, and believed in the UK more than the EU, and that is why they carried the day, three times in a row.

This is getting too big for this forum and English isn´t my native language. If we wanted to discuss all this (I don´t think you are wrong with everything but I want you to remember every coin has two sides.) it probably would take several days at least.

So, I´ll end it here.

With your help, I discovered today that ministers of the government of the UK are elected by voters at their position since you said people proposing laws have to be or it is not democratic.

What you said in the previous thread makes me stop here the discussion with you.


I cannot understand what you are trying to say ?