[Community] Will Neo900 ship before the end of this year?

H. Nikolaus Schaller hns at goldelico.com
Wed Nov 18 20:40:16 CET 2015

Hi Ryan,

Am 18.11.2015 um 20:06 schrieb Ryan de Laplante (Personal) <ryan at ryandelaplante.ca>:

> On 2015-11-18 12:43 PM, H. Nikolaus Schaller wrote:
>> Well, I don't believe such conspiracy :) The Neo900 project is too small to start such activities by any government. Would be too much recognition for a small project. They would have to pay a team of investigators and updating such lists...
>> And, there are more effective means of stoping a project than making Paypal apply their "standard procedure" to limit accounts. For example they could have frozen it completely.
>> Additionally, there are payment methods to continue without Paypal.
>> Basically, there are hundreds of stories of people having similar issues (limited account) floating around and I would have to add my own one...
>> So it is more a fight with Paypal policies which are more restrictive and unpredictable than normal banks and credit card merchant accounts. Because they are *not* a real bank.
>> AFAIK Joerg has asked a lawyer for help.
>> And more generally, western democracy has rules for electronic and radio devices which are defined by EN and FCC standards everyone can study. They don't change over night on a case by case basis. As long as the Neo900 fulfills them it can have everything like separate chips, watchdog, free software apps etc. All those are not directly forbidden in any such certification rules. The only thing that is forbidden is to operate it without fulfilling the approval requirements.
>> That is for example the FCC 5GHz WLAN discussion. They don't really care about software or firmware and open or closed. What they care about is that it must be made sure that all devices in operation have the same characteristics as the one that passed the approval measurements and can't transmit on frequencies that are assigned to different radio systems. As long as this can be guaranteed by open software there is no problem with FCC. Unfortunately it isn't, if the WLAN chip is baseband only and the firmware can be replaced or configured differently. Of course with closed software it is easier to prove that it can't be changed.
> Interesting, I didn't know the issue was PayPal's "standard procedure" to limit accounts.

They do their way of "risk management". This appears to require that merchants can ship goods from stock. Otherwise, customers can complain with PayPal or their credit card company that they did not receive the goods. Then, the transaction is in dispute and the merchant must pay back the money. At least as a security deposit. Until the case is cleared.

Paypal simplifies their own life. As soon as they get a hint that goods are not shipped (and a down payment is easy to identify), they keep back a big portion of the funds they would have to pay to the merchant. So that they can easily withstand any disputes and they don't have to get the money back from a fraudulent merchant. To some extent it is even understandable what they are doing because they don't know the merchant well.

The main problem is that it comes unexpected and ist is difficult to discuss it with them. And it is not even possible that the Neo900 customers can waive their rights to complain and explicitly confirm that they want to pass the money as risk money and they understand the risks. Paypal does not even listen to that. They follow their rules.

But, they are not a bank and their account is not a bank account (where you as the account owner have a lot of rights and the bank is just a trustee).

> BTW I wasn't talking about FCC regulations. I meant the NSA and GCHQ type people possibly not wanting the Neo900 on the market.  From their perspective, they might wonder why anyone would care enough about the modem that they would design a new phone that keeps it separate and monitors it with a watchdog. That is the primary feature that distinguishes the Neo900 from all other "smartphones".

Well, they do not need to care about the handheld. As soon as you do some phone call, the network can be tapped and trace what you are doing.
As soon as your Neo900 is registered with a network they can catch and track the IMSI and your location. This is not detectable by any hard/software at the handheld end (as long as it passes the certification rules which include a check that the IMEI and other things can not be manipulated - this is where FCC regulations help them and come into play).

> A while ago I saw a TV show call people who care about such things "privacy terrorists" and conditioned the viewer to embrace mass surveillance.

In my view "privacy terrorist" is an oxymoron.

A terrorist wants to hurt as many others as possible to get public visibility for his/her ideology and manipulate the masses. Contrary to that, someone who searches for privacy isn't doing any harm to anyone else. Except to those who want to harm him/her by eavesdropping. Unfortunately the terrorist can use such privacy tools to make it more difficult to identify him/her and protect potential victims. But he is also mis-using other tools that have been developed for good purposes.


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