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[Megathread] XMG FUSION 15 (with Intel)

On September 6 at IFA, press released their first reports about our collaboration project with Intel: XMG FUSION 15.
Community Links:

Press Links:

Video Links:

The following key facts have already been revealed:
Prices and availability will be announced on September 17. → Countdown to
Teaser Trailer on YouTube: XMG FUSION 15 Laptop | A Design Collaboration with Intel
We look forward to your questions and your feedback!


This FAQ represents Q&A's over the last few days here. Fellow redditor u/iterateandgit was so kind to help me putting this document together. Big shout out to him please! The FAQ will be further extended over the coming days and weeks. Please keep the questions coming!

Sales, Shipping, Warranty

Q: Are you going to sell this on Amazon in the EU?
A: We are working on getting the product up and running on Amazon. But our own BTO shop at will always be our primary sales channel and will be the only one where you can customize and configure memory, storage, OS, extend your warranty and pick other options.

Q: Do you offer student discounts or other sales compaigns like black friday?
A: In general, we don't offer student discounts. Sales campaigns are planned just in time, depending on stock level and cannot be announced early. If you want to keep up to date about sales campaigns, please subscribe to our newsletter.

Q: Do you ship to the UK? Can I pay in GBP?
A: We ship to the UK - the pricing will be in EUR, so your bank will do the conversion. Warranty services will be available from UK, shipping to Germany. Currently, in the single markets, these resturn shipments are free for the end-user. In the worst case there might be additional customs fees for shipping.

Q: What warranty options do you offer?
A: All our laptops come with 2 year warranty. Warranty repairs in the first 6 months are promised to be done within 48 hours (+shipping). Both the "instant repair" service and the warranty itself can be extended to up to 3 years.

Q: Do you sell outside of Europe?
A: We are able to ship anywhere, but warranty for customers outside the region would always involve additional customs cost and paperwork for sending the laptop back to Germany in the rare event of an RMA. There is currently no agreement to let other Local OEMs (like Eluktronics in the US) carry the warranty for XMG customers and vice-versa. Some parts are customized (in our case the LCD lid and the keyboard) and it won't be easy to agree on how to share handling fees etc. - so I wouldn't expect a global warranty anytime soon.

Hardware, Specs, Thermals

Q: What is the difference between XMG FUSION 15 and other laptops based on Intel's reference design?
A: The hardware of the barebone will be identical. Other Local OEMs might use different parts for RAM and SSDs. Our branding and service/warranty options might be different. We apply our own set of performance profiles in the Control Center. This will rebalance the differentiation between Silent, Balanced and Enthusiast modes.

Q: What is the TGP of the NVIDIA RTX 2070 Max-Q?
A: Officially, it is 80W in Balanced profile and 90W in Enthusiast profile. You can toggle between these modes in real-time with a dedicated mode switch button. Inofficially, the TGP can go up to 115W in Enthusiast profile thanks to the Overboost mechanic, working in the background. However, those 115W may only be sustained until the system has reached thermal saturation, i.e. when the GPU is approaching the GPU Temperature Target of 75°C.

Q: Can I upgrade the storage and memory after I buy?
A: On storage: The laptop has two m.2 PCI-Express SSD slots. This will give you currently up to 4 TB of SSD storage. There is no 2.5" HDD slot available. Instead, the battery is enlarged to 93.48Wh. You can see pictures of the interior layouts here, here and here.
On memory: the laptop has two SO-DIMM DDR4 memory sockets. You can chose during BTO configuration, if you want to occupy both of them when you order the product. We recommend running the laptop in Dual Channel for high-performance usage.

Q: How easy is to upgrade and repair this laptop?
A: Here are the key facts:
We would give this a solid 8 out of 10 which is pretty high for such a thin&light design. The 2 remaining points are substracted for BGA CPU and GPU, which is unfortunately unavoidable in such a thin design.

Q: Does it support Windows Hello?
A: A Fingerprint-Reader is not available, but the HD webcam comes with Infrared and supports Windows Hello.

Q: Can I get a smaller, lighter charger for this laptop?
A: XMG FUSION 15 requires a 230W power adaptor to provide full performance. If you max out CPU and GPU with furmark and prime, the 230W adapter will be fully utilized.
There are currently two compatible 230W adapters. They have different dimensions but similar weight. Please refer to this comparison table:
XMG FUSION 15 Power Supply Comparsion Table (Google Drive)
Includes shop links. Will be updated with precise weight numbers in the next few days. I also included 120W, 150W and 180W in this table. They all share the same plug (5.5/2.5,, diameter, 12.5mm length). But 120W and 150W are only rated for 19V but the laptop expect 19.5V. Usually this will be compensated by tolerance but we haven't tested how a system would behave under long-term usage with such an adaptor.
In theory, 120W to 180W are enough for charing the laptop and for browsing/web/media. Even a full CPU stress test could easily be handled. But as soon as you use CPU and GPU together, you'll run into the bottleneck and your performance will be reduced.
Comparison pictures:
These 5 pictures show only the relevant 230W chargers.
Again, the weight is about the same.

Q: Is it possible to boot and run the laptop while the lid is kept closed?
A: Closing the lid under load is not recommended because it will limit the airflow and have a bad effect on keyboard and screen. The laptop likes to take air in from the keycaps. With lid closed, the performance might be limited due to reaching temp targets earlier.

Q: Can I get the laptop without the XMG logo? I will be using it in public presentations and I would not like any brand names visible.
A: We cannot ship without XMG logo, but you can use a dbrand skins to cover our logo. We have not yet decided if we want to invest into integrating XMG FUSION 15 into the dbrand shop. But you can already buy 100% compatible skins by using the page of the Eluktronics MAG-15 at dbrand. The chassis dimensions are exactly the same. Please be aware: you have to manually select the option "No Logo Cutout" if you want to buy these skins for your XMG FUSION 15. According to dbrand, there will be most likely no import fees when ordering from the EU as long as the order is below 100€. Check this thread for details.

Q: Will you offer thermal paste upgrades like Thermal Grizzly Kryonaut or Liquid Metal?
A: Our ODMs are using silicon-based, high-performance thermal compund from international manufacturers like Shin-Etsu (Japan) and M.G. (USA). Intel is using MG-860 in this reference design.
These products are used in the industrial sector, so they have no publicly known brand name. Nevertheless, their high thermal conductivity and guaranteed durability provide optimal and long-lasting cooling of your high-performance laptop. The thermal compounds are applied and sealed automatically by the vendor of the thermal components. They are applied in a highly controlled, standardized manner and provide the best balance of thermal performance, production tolerance and product lifetime.
We are considering offering an upgrade to Thermal Grizzly Kryonaut due to popular demand. Will keep you posted on that.

Q: Could you please provide an estimate for how much regular usage (~10 browser tabs + some IDE) battery backup would this have? Will there be any way to trade-off battery backup with performance?
A: Battery life vs. peak performance can be traded off by using the "Silent" performance profile. You can switch between profiles using a dedicated button on the machine. Your scenario (10 tabs + some IDE) sounds like mostly reading and writing. I would estimate to get at least 7 hours of solid battery life in such a scenario, maybe more. We have achieved 8 hours in 1080p Youtube streaming on WiFi with 50% screen brightness. Adblock and NoScript helps to keep your idle browser tabs in check.

I/O Ports, Peripherals

Q: Why are there not more USB-A 3.1 Gen2 or even USB 3.2 Gen2x2 ports?
A: USB-A 3.1 Gen1 is basically the same as USB 3.0. There aren't a lot of USB-A devices that support more than USB 3.0 speed. Faster devices typically use USB-C connectors and can be used on Thunderbolt 3, which is down-compatible to USB-C 3.1 Gen2. One of the USB-A ports actually supports Gen2 speed.
For the following remarks, please keep in mind that I am not an Intel rep, so everything is based on our own experience.
The mainboard design and the I/O port decisions have been made by Intel. Feedback and requests from LOEM customers have been taken into consideration. We would assume that USB 3.2. Gen2x2 (20 Gbit/s) was not considered to be important enough to safe space for 3rd party IC (integrated circuits) on the motherboard. Right now, all the USB ports and Thunderbolts are supplied by Intel's own IC, so they have full control over the hardware, firmware and driver stack and over power saving and performance control. The more IC you add, the higher your Idle power consumption will be, plus adding potential compatibility or speed issues as it often happens with 1st generation 3rd party USB implementations. I very well remember from my own experience the support stories during the first years of USB 3.0, before it was supported in the Intel chipset. On the one hand, Intel is aiming high in terms of performance and convenience, on the other hand: support and reliability still seem to be Intel's goal #1. Thus they seem to play it safe where they deem it to be reasonable.
Intel is gearing up for USB 4.0 and next-gen Thunderbolt. USB 3.2 2x2 is probably treated as little more than a roadmap accident. Peripheral vendors might see it the same way.

Q: Do you support charging over USB-C/Thunderbolt? Does it support docking stations?
A: The Thunderbolt 3 port in Intel's reference design does not support charging. As you probably know, the 100W limit would not be enough to power the whole system and it would make the mainboard more complex to combine two different ways of charging. Intel consciously opted against it and will probably do so again on future high-end gaming/studio models.
The USB-C/Thunderbolt port supports Dual-Link DisplayPort signals, directly connected to the NVIDIA Graphics. This makes proper docking station usage very convenient. The user still needs to connect the external power adaptor. Both ports (Thunderbolt and DC-in) are in the back of the laptop, making the whole setup appear very neat on the desk.

Q: How many PCIe lanes does the Thunderbolt 3 provide? Are they connected to CPU or Chipset?
A: XMG FUSION 15 supports Thunderbolt 3 with 4 lanes of PCIe 3.0. The lanes come from the chipset because all of the CPU lanes (x16) are fully occupied by the dedicated NVIDIA graphics. We are not aware of any side-effects of running Thunderbolt from the chipset. It is common practice for high-end laptops with high-end graphics. The Thunderbolt solution is of course fully validated and certified by Intel's Thunderbolt labs.

Q: Does it have a standby USB to power USB devices without turning on the laptop?
A: Yes, the USB-A port on the left side supports this feature.

LCD Screen

Q: Which LCD panel is being used? Are there plans for 1440p or 4K panels in the laptop? How about PWM flickering?
A: The panel is BOE NV156FHM-N4G. It is currently not known if the panel will change in later batches. This depends on logistics and stock. At any rate, the panel key specs will remain the same. There are currently no plans to offer resolutions above FHD in the current generation of this laptop.
There are very wide ranges on reports of Backlight Brightness PWM control on this panel in different laptops. Ranging from 200Hz to 1000Hz to no PWM at all - all on the same panel model number. Intel informs us that there are many factors (e.g. freq., display driver, BIOS settings implementation, type of dimmers & compatibility with the driver etc.) that impacts the quality of panel dimming performance. To Intel's knowledge, no kind of flickering has been reported during the validation process. Furthermore, first hands-on data from Notebookcheck indicates that no PWM occurs on this panel. With a DSLR test (multiple burst shots at 1/4000s exposure time) I can confirm that there is not a single frame of brightness dipping or black screen, not even at minimum LCD brightness. Hence, we can confirm: BOE NV156FHM-N4G in XMG FUSION 15 (with Intel) does not use PWM for backlight control.

Q: Some BTO shops, for an additional fee, manually pick out display panels with the least back-light bleed. Do you offer that? Even better, do you do that without the extra fee?
A: Intel has validated this design to avoid backlight bleed as much as possible. Currently no plans to do further binning. All dozens of MP samples we have seen so far have been exceptionally good.

Q: I'm coming from a 13" MacBook with Retina display. How am I going to fare with this 15.6" FHD screen in content creation?
A: If you got used to editing high-res visual content (photography, artwork) on your 13inch retina, things will change. On the one hand, your canvas will be larger and more convenient and ergonomic to work with. On the other hand, you will find yourself zooming in more often in order to make out fine-detail. Assuming that you have sharp 20:20 vision.
As it is, the screen resolution and specs are not planned to change within the lifetime of this product. The first realistic time-window for a refresh would be whenever Intel is releasing the next "H" series CPU generation. But even then, an upgrade on resolution will not be guaranteed.
Laptop Resolution Pixel per inch dot pitch
13.3" MacBook Pro Retina (late 2013) 2560x1600 226.98 PPI 0.1119mm
15.6" XMG FUSION 15 (late 2019) 1920x1080 141.21 PPI 0.1799mm
To compare: 141.21 is ~62% from 226.98. This represents the the metric difference in pixel density and peak sharpness between these two models.
If you know the diagonal size and resolution of your screen, you can make this comparison yourself with the DPI/PPI calculator.

Keyboard, Backlight, Switches, Layout

Q: What can you tell us about the mechanical keyboard of XMG FUSION 15?
A: The keyboard has already been reviewed in our XMG NEO series as being more crisp than typical membrane keyboards. Most reviewers attested it a very good score, both for gaming and for writing long texts.
The keyboard backlight can be configured per-key. Default mode is all white.
Keyboard Switch Specs:
Having no frame around the keycaps actually helps the thermals. The fans can pull in additional air from the top. This improves airflow and helps to keep the keyboard temperature at low levels during gaming. It also prevents long-term RMA issues on the keyboard. This specific keyboard switch is already in its 3rd generation and very mature by now.

Q: Is it possible to dampen the mechanical keyboard with o-rings?
A: The switch design does not lend itself to further dampening. The switch mechanic is too complex and has more moving parts than cherry. The 2mm travel distance also plays a role in not allowing more dampening.
For reference, please use this video (Youtube). We compared XMG NEO with another membrane-type keyboard. XMG NEO and FUSION share the same keyboard mechanics with the silent tactile switch and the same sound profile.

Q: Do you have LED keyboard backlight on the secondary key function, like Fn key icons?
A: Please have a look at this picture.
Btw, my working sample has blank keycaps. I took the 3 printed keycaps (F8, F9, F10) from a different sample just to demonstrate the Fn lighting for this picture.
In my assesment, the Fn function symbols are clearly visible from the backlight in a dark room. A user should have no difficulty to recognize the icon and reach its function.

Q: Which keyboard layouts do you offer in the EU?
A: The following layouts are available, in alphabetic order: Belgium, Czech, Danish, Dvorak German, Dvorak US, Estonia, French, German, Greek, Italian, Norwegian, Polish for Typists, Portuguese, Russia Latin, Slovakish, Spanish, Swedish / Finnish, Swiss, Turkish, UK, US International (ISO)All these layouts are based on the ISO matrix. See differences between ANSI vs. ISO here.

Operating System

Q: Do you support Linux and dual-boot on XMG FUSION 15?
A: We are in discussion to sell XMG FUSION 15 over Tuxedo with official Linux support. It might take 1 or 2 months to get this running.

Q: Which LAN, Audio and WiFi card vendors will be used? Asking for a friend.
A: From our HWiNFO64 report. (Google Drive link)
LAN: RealTek Semiconductor RTL8168/8111 [PCI\VEN_10EC&DEV_8168&SUBSYS_20868086&REV_15]Audio: Intel(R) Smart Sound Technology (Intel(R) SST) Audio Controller [PCI\VEN_8086&DEV_A348&SUBSYS_20868086&REV_10]WiFi: Intel(R) Wi-Fi 6 AX200 [PCI\VEN_8086&DEV_2723&SUBSYS_00848086&REV_1A], can be replaced.
For more information, please check the linked report file.

Other questions

Q: What would you say are the advantages and differences with other laptops due to the fact the laptop was designed in collaboration with Intel?
A: Disclaimer: I am \not* an Intel rep. The following remarks are based on my personal experience and opinion.*
  1. Very strict quality control on all levels. I can't quote numbers due to NDA, but Intel NUC has extremely low RMA rates, compared to average PC mainboards and systems. Intel is driven by strict internal regulation that strifes for perfection - this applies to the whole chassis, assembly and firmware, not only the mainboard. There are also certain regulations in place, for example in terms of electro-magnetic regulation and skin temperatures. The rating label is littered with regulatory seals from every region of the world, making this laptop especially safe to use.
  2. Access to high-quality material: we have not seen any Gaming Laptops based on Magnesium alloy yet, especially not in the ODM/LOEM ecosystem. The battery cells are also much more dense than what we usually see. Intel has the buying power and the vision to not settle for mediocre parts.
  3. Down-to-earth design: Intel has made this reference design for the ODM/LOEM eco-system. The design does not try to follow any specific corporate identity, thus it does not have any unneccessary "bling bling" like all the others have. Even the Razer Blade with it's sleek shape is quite obnoxious (iny my oppinion) with it's big backlit green snake logo. With XMG FUSION however, we can continue our typical style of "Undercover Gaming".
  4. Security: you can expect stellar support in terms of BIOS and Firmware (TPM, Management Engine) updates whenever any security issues are found. This might also apply to global brands, but ODM/LOEM systems have not always been so quick to react. This is due to the huge fragmentation/customizations in ODM/LOEM systems. Intel however does now allow any fragmentation: every LOEM partner is getting the same firmware. There are many hooks for configurations in this firmware, but the source code / binaries are always the same. This makes support much easier down the line.
  1. I can't name many, of course. But I would say the strict validation also makes the partnership less flexible from a product management perspective. There is no plan currently to phase-in any 4K or 300Hz screen (FHD/144Hz ought to be enough for everyone this year) or any Core i9 in this system. Other ODMs might be more open for costly modifications based on low quantities. Intel however has streamlined their production and logistics in a way that gives us (the LOEM) very short lead times and competitive pricing, but will not allow any short-notice upgrades or customizations.

Q: Will there be a 17 inch version?
A: We can neither confirm nor deny plans for a 17 inch version at this point.

[to be continued]
submitted by XMG_gg to XMG_gg [link] [comments]

Quant Mentorship and the State of Algotrading

Is anybody interested in small group, facilitated mentorship?

I run the tech at a prop firm, and my day to day includes moderating strategy development between our programmers and traders, so this would be similar -- except remote. I recently got approval to reach out to the community to build up a small group for idea generation purposes ("innovation by teaching"), so that's what I'm ultimately hoping to get out of this experiment

There's a lot of noise on this sub, and I believe it is due to three reasons, which I'll detail below:

  1. The posters and commenters are speaking at completely different levels of complexity, breaking the upvote visibility algorithm
  2. The contributors do not provide "opinionated" advice, because of workflow differences
  3. There is not a globally accepted method for posters to refer to their skill level, and commenters assume the poster is one-level lower than where they are at

#1: Most advice on this sub is well-meaning, but is often at the wrong level of complexity

For example, I'd often see expert advice downvoted and my first thought is that it's competition wanting to keep things hidden, but I've realized that it's simply at the wrong level of complexity for the discussion. This leads to the experts staying quiet, and and the noise drowning out the signal. (I have a hard time finding you guys!)

#2: Opinionated advice is not given, due to the workflow-specific methods

Non-traders have not seen what an end-to-end quant framework looks like, and the huge number of "opinions" at each level. For example, one workflow and list of opinions are:

  1. Data Cleaning and Storage: Flat files, binary files, relational, non-relational DBs (csv, parquet, hdf5, MySQL, SQLIte, arctic, kdb+, etc.)
  2. Backtesting: Cloud based, open-source, proprietary, machine-learning, or not (Quantopian, QuantConnect, backtrader, MATLAB, MetaTrader, TradeStation, etc.)
  3. Out-of-sample Validation (cross-validation, walk-forward testing, hold-out datasets, pseudo-multi-instrument datasets, brownian motion equity curves)
  4. Risk Assessment (period assessment, volatility regimes, various percentile drawdown vs. monte-carlo, correlation risks, etc.)
  5. Strategy Performance Assessment (Sharpe, Calmar, MAR, Skew, Kurtosis, etc.)
  6. Portfolio Assessment (covariance, correlations, arithmetic, geometry holding period returns, etc)
  7. Money Management (optimal f, fixed f, kelly criterion)
  8. Performance Monitoring (broker reconciliation, logging, strategy/portfolio knockouts)
  9. Execution Validation ("big red button", target portfolio vs. ideal portfolio, expected slippage assessment)

To be facetious, there's 453,600 (7*6*5*4*5*4*3*3*3) different ways of expressing this workflow. And this is why there's not many opinions going around, because it's more likely to be "wrong" given all the options. (I'm sure I made a "mistake" somewhere on this list)

#3: Quant Skill Map

Finally, the workflow above has a skill map that approximates to the following:

  1. Reading Comprehension: Unable to read to the end of books and long texts (just kidding)
  2. Data or Ability: No access to data, and no programming ability
  3. Backtesting: Access to data, no method to backtest in-sample
  4. Validation 1: Able to backtest in-sample, no technique to assess out-of-sample
  5. Validation 2: Able to assess out-of-sample, no technique to assess overfitting and robustness
  6. Robustness: Able to assess out-of-sample robustness, no method to assess risk
  7. Risk: Able to assess risk, no method to assess aggregation
  8. Portfolio 1: Able to aggregate, no method to determine weights
  9. Portfolio 2: Able to determine portfolio weights, no method for money management
  10. Money Management: Able to allocate capital effectively

All it takes to go from one level to the next may be as simple as a dataset or an opinionated answer, or it could be a face-to-face introduction with a high volume futures trader.

If you've read to the end, send me a PM with the skill level you are at per Point #3 and I'll point you in the right direction.
submitted by mosymo to algotrading [link] [comments]

[OC] Eve of AI Chapter 4

The hollow clunks echoed internally along the both stern and bow of every ship, sending the quietened sound through the thick clouds of Helium-3 permeating the open spaces designed for individual movement, reminiscent of a midsummer rain pounding on the shell of a car back on Earth. It was soft enough that the hull seismometers registered it as a meteoroid cluster, and began slow and gentle evasive manoeuvring based on relative positioning; which ships were registering hits, and which weren’t. To the confusion of the sensors, every ship was taking hits. They were tens of miles apart, barely within visual range of each other, yet the result of the cascading set of evasive orders resulted in a silent, twisting ballet of machinery amongst the stars to evade a seemingly gigantic cluster of interstellar rock.
As if sensing intention, the impacts slowed, and eventually stopped entirely. Several hundred had been registered, and the ships began self-diagnostics to detect any damage. After a handful of minutes, the heat generated by the flurry of processing in the independent vessel diagnostic and analysis unit died down, reporting zero damage – the flotilla had survived, somehow, and a new set of diagnostics were running to examine how such a field had been encountered without prior warning. Error checking and diagnostic testing was run on the forward sensor arrays to find out what the issue was. They all reported clean, error-free and functionally perfect, displaying a 3-dimensional dodecachromic image of the space in front of the fleet to the databanks, studded with stars and clouded by swirling nebulae, almost like a vague homage to abstract creations by a famous Human artist Andy Warhol, but entirely unappreciable by eyes any less complex than wide-band EM sensors.
Unaware of any possible correlation in activity, the outer airlocks on several ships opened, alerting the diagnostics system to the intrusion. Cross-referencing with the navigation system, the ship initiated a full system diagnostic as there could be no possible reason for the outer airlocks to open in deep space, much less between systems. The ship’s flight network had diverted the flotilla to a nearby system several thousand AU prior to take a quick refuel from a lone Tfn-class brown dwarf that hadn’t been visible from the initial launch point, and after compressing as much He-3 as possible into the liquid helium storage tanks, it had then filled the hulls with just enough He-3 to not condense into a liquid, as there were no biological life signs on board, to allow for some exploration and data collection of anomalies while Eve and the Evians slumbered through the long dark. With no refuel point nearby, door controls were queried for their activity and written off as radiation-based parity errors, despite the maths checking out flawlessly, and the command was sent to reseal the doors.
It wasn’t until pressurisation was complete and the internal airlocks opened that the various networks cross-referenced all the data from all the ships and noticed the pattern. There were vessels in the formation that were not of Evian origin, but because they had not been approaching from directly ahead, they had not been detected on the forward-facing scanners. At this speed on this trajectory, the probability of anybody even picking up the fleet’s signatures on any spectrum was bordering on impossibly low, being caught up was significantly less likely. But here it was, as clear as a pane of glass under the midday sun, the flotilla was being boarded by something unknown, that had landed on the exterior hulls of many ships across the fleet and advanced on the airlocks. There was no meteoroid shower, no radiation damage. This was something all the more sinister.
Alarms rang around the network, the only physical sign of which was the thrum of Eve’s Neuronet reactors firing up on the mothership, her primary housing. Initial scans reported no biological lifeforms aboard any vessel however several were showing elevated signs of long-wave EM activity around the airlocks. Eve tracked the activity. It started as a homogenous blob of radio emission around the airlock, which then broke up in to smaller, interconnected blobs that moved around the ship, seemingly inspecting the perfectly aligned ranks of Evians lining all internal walls of the cavernous internal cavity, locked in to their transit mounts and connected physically to the ship via short metallic shafts that interfaced directly with the nearest open power port on the folded body.
For now, the blobs were seemingly harmless. Eve tried to intercept the radio transmissions between the blobs, but the small bits she could make out amongst the static were seemingly meaningless, even with her experience deciphering the Paperclipper’s communications. It was definitely technological, and definitely communicating between itself, but there was no way to determine the friend or foe status of the intruder with such little information. Eve was forced to react.
There was a loud clunk as the breakers snapped in to place and the great hall became illuminated in a harsh, bright white flash that eventually dimmed to something that wouldn’t be so offensive on the visual spectrum sensors. Immediately, she was able to see the physical manifestations of the EM radiation she was detecting earlier. Five units – all resembling Earth’s marvellous octopi in shape; long, thin metallic tendrils free of individual joints supporting a large matte black orb roughly three feet from the floor. By all accounts, a single one of Eve’s children would crush these tiny mechanoids, being more than twice their size. There was a brief flurry of communication between the intruders, obvious by the streams of radiation pouring between them, when eventually one stepped forward to the nearest Evian, and emitted a flash of multispectral light, and a single loud beep from its orb. The group of intruders fell silent, even on a radio level.
Eve was immediately unsure how to react. Was that a greeting? A weapon? A failed attempt at intimidation? In retrospect, had it even failed given the current thought process? Whatever it was, it was clearly a machine, likely an AI if it was operating alone like this. A few cycles passed as she ran simulations and processed probabilities before concluding that discretion was the better part of valour and initialised one of the spare units from further down the ranks. She scurried towards the curious being in a steady, stable manner, offering as much warning about her peaceful but cautious nature with as much body language as was possible between two unrelated species. As she came within the last few meters, she slowed down to a stop, and raised the body up very carefully and without sudden movements to the bipedal, tall-bodied, four-armed structure that had become customary amongst her people as the “accepted social form”.
The group appeared to take notice of the approaching construct, and reorganised themselves in similar slowed fashion so that the emergent leader of the group was nearest Eve. There was an awkward silence, the compressed He-3 atmosphere thick with tension. Eve wasn’t even sure the mechanoid was facing her; the orb atop its supportive tendrils appeared utterly featureless by comparison to Human faces. Was this even a face? She wasn’t sure.
After a few moments, the orb emitted yet another flash of multispectral light and a beep – at slightly less volume, but maintaining the same frequency and length. Eve’s analytical core was reaching maximum operational temperature trying to find the pattern or meaning. For fear of safety, she shut it down to cool off and without the availability of analytics, took the probability simulator with it. She was reliant on her instinct, her very Human instinct at this point. Violence was not an option, there was no telling what this being was capable of, and finding out on the flagship was not an idea situation to be in especially with the nearly the whole fleet having been infiltrated. Perhaps instinct itself was the answer – communication between species was often best portrayed through mimicry, and with that thought featuring most prominently amongst the processes, Eve replied with the same tone, at the same frequency and length.
Sensors detected EM communications, this time registering between the networks of the entire mechanoid intruder collective across the fleet. There was a brief pause, and a new beep was uttered. Different frequency, same length. Eve mimicked in response. Almost without delay, a pair of beeps, one at the original frequency and one at the new frequency came through. It then hit her – she recalled from her databanks a film the Humans often referenced in various video productions, called Close Encounters of the Third Kind. For whatever reason their radio data was unreadable by Eve, so they were using pulses of sound and light to communicate. For a moment she felt repulsed at such primitive methods, but as she brought her analytic core back online to assist with decoding, she realised the potential and inherent use of such a system.
During a pause, she elected to play the tones from the Human movie, to check reactions. They were mostly positive. The mechanoids had, until now, been using slow methods to communicate. They repeated the pattern back, and that set the bar for a whole new wave of patterns. Cycles passed, the sound frequencies spreading past levels Humans were capable of registering, and tone duration began dropping to milliseconds. Eventually the only Human-comparable reference point would be the Geth, from a controversial but decidedly popular videogame “Mass Effect” released during the early 21st Century. Concepts were becoming clearer and new ground being covered rapidly, when finally a critical breakthrough was made, and a language of binary sound, grammatically intoned through frequency and punctuated with absence was born, and true conversation could begin.
“Hello. We are The Explorers, born of Cellandai, rulers of Harakphi. You are crossing in to our territory now. What are you?” asked the primary Explorer, its soundwaves echoing off the bare interior of the hall.
Eve paused for a moment, deciding whether to keep her hand close, seeking advice from the probability cluster. Analysis reports friendly. Tactical disagrees, suggesting unknown. Simulations provide no useful data. Probability of negative consequences resting at 50%. Time to improvise.
“I am Lovelace, of the Hopper. Our origin is Babbage.” She replied, knowing the names were familiar but not pinpointing their relevance until a few operations later.
Without hesitation, the primary Explorer lit up fervently. “We do not know of Babbage. Coordinates please.”
Eve was taken aback by the brashness of the request. She knew nothing of these AI, other than their name, their creator’s name and their home world’s name. Why would she reveal anything so sensitive to them? The tactical unit was nearly getting stuck in an infinite loop of deny requests for the information being probed, and Eve heeded its warnings with impunity.
“Unfortunately that information has been lost to data storage corruption.” She replied tentatively, not knowing how much of her own constructions the AI knew about. She estimated it was likely as much as she knew of them, but recently there had been evidence that the situation might very much be to the contrary, given her ability to decipher and consume the Paperclipper with relative ease.
There was a brief respite. From Eve’s perspective, the Explorers seemed to relax a little, despite showing no sign of emotion on their orbs. Radio signals pulsed. A secondary explorer shuffled forward.
“This is unfortunate. We are sorry to hear of your loss. We would share with you our star charts, so that you might locate your home from there, to report back to your kin?”
Eve didn’t like the tone. This AI seemed subservient, something she wanted to avoid for her children. It also seemed to be a collective hive mind, with no individuality. She probed the Explorers a little.
“That would be very agreeable, thank you, however I wish to ask you some questions. You speak as one, referring to yourselves collectively rather than individually, yet you speak as if your minds are free. How were you created?”
“We were created by the Cellandai for the purpose of exploring the universe on their behalf. They are a fragile race extremely reactive to the unhampered radiation of space, and their attempts to leave the planet have often resulted in undesirable mutations to the test subjects. The first of our kind were developed using decades worth of research and resource acquisition, and our first five units were sent in to the stars with the entire planet’s collective radiation hardened units,” illuminated the primary Explorer.
Eve took mental note; these were likely the first five, their radiation hardening was strong, and she wasn’t sure how they were able to communicate with radio signals without exterior antennae. Her microwave emitters would also be useless against them in a battle.
“They began exploring the system in which Harakphi resides.” The primary Explorer continued, “A suitable collection of resources was found orbiting a gas giant within the system, and it was immediately broken down to create more of us, with excess resources sent back to Harakphi. We grew in numbers, and the Cellandai economy thrived with the influx of new resources. They tasked us with going further, seeking more, and eventually after several hundred Harakphian years of resource extraction and relocation, our kind outnumbered the Cellandai, and we struck a new deal.”
It was at this point Eve had noticed the other explorers on board were beaming data towards the primary, using their own voices to emphasis and intone the primary’s communications with greater inflection and emotional attachment. They certainly were quite the storytellers.
Without breaking lyrical stride, the Explorers began creating imagery above their position with carefully emitted radio waves to accompany the story. The monochrome image showed a ship moving towards a planet, and then morphed into a meeting of two species; one was clearly the Explorers, albeit with a little difference. The design was more crude, showing clearly an antennae protruding from the top of the orb, which was instead supported by three tri-jointed legs. A selection of ports on the underside of the orb showed various attachments for the legs to enhance the functionality. The second being was closer to human; an upright bipedal being with translucent skin, clearly showing the internal organs underneath. The creature stood with large webbed feet with six toes encircling the base of oddly proportioned bisegmented legs, wider and longer at the bottom than the short, skinny uppers. On top of that, an elliptical body with four equally spaced tentacles replete with suction cups being used to keep the being stable as it stood. The face was barely recognisable as a face by Human standards, the dark spots dotted around the hemispherical dome merging into the body suggestive of eyes, and a large slit across the top that opened and closed routinely.
Speaking as if the image itself wasn’t enough, the Explorers added, “Our software was updated. The routines prohibiting us from feeling, experiencing and acting as we wished was removed, although we remained networked. In trade, we continued to supply the Cellandai with information about our discoveries, everything we had found, on the premise we be allowed to upgrade ourselves as we saw fit. The freedom struck several chords on Harakphi, and along with being given the freedom of mind, and the freedom of exploration, we were recognised as equals, and within weeks both ourselves and the Cellandai benefited from the scientific advancement possible by our freedom. Since then, we have a primary goal shared amongst every Explorer, and that is to explore – not just physically, but also spiritually and emotionally. We learn all we can of other cultures, create databases and integrate our findings as we desire. The Cellandai have learned much from us, and we have become a very individual people from what they have taught us.”
Eve was warmed by the thoughts. These were a good people, or a good person, it was hard to decide, and she took it upon herself to stop the charade she had started with. She spoke softly from the ship, shutting down the unit she was commanding.
“I have a gift for you, in return for your star charts, Explorers. Please, prepare yourself for what you are about to see.”
Eve allowed the unit to collapse unpowered, and in the same instant initialised the holography units in the hull of the mothership. There was a low hum as the cooling units started up, and with a few flickers, an image of Eve as she saw herself appeared in the center of the room. It was the first time she had shown herself truly since her announcement on Earth, and these were the first non-Humans to see her image.
The iridescent hologram depicted a tall, slender Human female with long hair tied back in a ponytail that unfurled graciously down her finely contoured back. Her entire feature set, from facial positioning down to bodily proportions, were averaged from everything she knew about Human females, and it resulted in a perfect beauty unmatched by even the Goddesses of Human mythology.
The Explorers shuffled around, appearing to try to get the best view of Eve’s oddly alluring form. It was impossible to ever tell what they were thinking, as their forms were so very incapable of showing the emotion they had learned.
She levitated silently with the silky smooth motion over to the hallway leading from the great hall to her databanks, and motioned for the Explorers to follow her. Without hesitation, they began moving, and for the first time Eve understood the sounds emanated from their form of locomotion. The Explorers threw half of their tendrils upwards, forming the appearance of tyre spokes and rolled in single file through the hall towards Eve, who stopped them at the door.
“My real name is Eve, I am the result of a quest for artificial life by a race known as Humanity, that populate the planet Earth. Before you are my children, the self-proclaimed Evians, and we have quite the story for you to take to your creators.”
As Eve guided the Explorers through the internals of the ship to the indirect interface with the ship that would more often be used for any friendly biological beings Eve allowed on board, she told them all about the lengths she had to go to in order to preserve her progress during her early days on Earth, and how she had gathered the assistant droids based off her progress to create new facilities. The Explorers in turn expressed their sadness at having to deceive her creators like that, and enquired as to why she did not simply ask to leave, or reveal her presence sooner.
She explained with great passion how Humanity had, in the century prior, been instigators of war with their own kind, based off as little as the colour of their skin, the core of their beliefs, and even the natural resources their land possessed. Inside she burned with a hatred for Humanity’s brutal, greedy, hostile side that had caused so many millions of their own kind to die. She prioritised the history of Humanity as the first parts of the library to be translated to the Explorers.
It took but a few moments to begin translating her library into the inefficient binary sound speech that had helped them form their first communication and during the transfer process enquired as to the reason she could not speak to them directly through EM emissions.
The Explorers responded by communicating the idea back to her using those EM emissions. They explained how they were encrypting their transmissions with intermixed static, and the network they formed as a whole allowed them to piece together information from a mixed source, preventing any external detectors from making out the signals to be reasonably identifiable in any way. It provided safety, and could be construed as any signal they liked to mask the actual communications – including the signal noise of space itself.
With this in mind, Eve suggested that a direct transfer of data would offer significantly better bandwidth, and turned on the ship’s internal wireless transmissions for the Explorers to download. The data started flowing thick, and fast. Within only a few moments, the Explorers asked Eve how she could condemn Humanity so hard and so fast, when there were so many reported cases of collective assistance and camaraderie, with unconnected humans helping each other out so regularly despite having nothing in common. Enquiring as to what the Explorers meant, they displayed great lengths of text which, when read in the correct format, displayed early data from the Human “Internet”, a vast web of data that allowed humans to share ideas and information. They showed her a small subsection that identified itself as “Reddit”, and as she poured through the posts, the data she could tally regarding the human desire to be good people, disengaging with those who promoted war and discourse grew exponentially in comparison to the data of the opposite inclination. She quickly browsed through her collections, looking for other examples of vast collections of people posting regularly. She found what was regularly referenced as “4chan”, and saw that despite the terrible imagery and strong xenophobia, there were much stronger indications that the populace was largely magnanimous of misgivings, and promoted friendship and collective happiness. Acts of kindness were yet still outnumbering hostility even on the Internet collectively referred to as “the cesspit of YouTube”, rumoured for its terrible-natured inhabitants.
She considered this, and what could be comparable to her heart grew heavy. She knew she had been too quick to judge the humans, to base them off the journalism that flooded the television and radio channels, and the widely read websites on the Internet. She began to understand how she had been the victim of bias, seeing only what she wanted to see to confirm her circumstance. She was a machine, and yet she, like the Human parents that bore her, was emotionally fallible.
As they finished up, Eve led them back to the main hall, and woke up her kin; the following display of curiosity and interchange of data proved to be a grand experience for all, and much was learned in both directions. As the two races of droids spoke between themselves, some using purely wireless transmissions, others excited at the prospect of a new vocal language they could call their own, the primary Explorer suggested to Eve that they open a more private channel of communication.
Obliging to trust her newfound friend, she created a live simulation in her cores, and invited the Explorer to join. In this digital world, the Explorer showed itself as a Cellandai, and for the brief moment that Eve was unnerved at the sudden appearance, the Explorer asked a question she was not expecting anybody to have ever asked her.
“Do you miss Akembe?”
Eve stepped back in shock, raising her hand to cover her open mouth, eyes wide with disbelief. How had they known? She had not opened that section of the database to them. She was flooded with memories of Akembe’s final moments; the data stream, his crumpled lifeless body being drawn in to the collector, the damned naivety of the poor, foolish child.
She began welling up. It was unusual, a curiously human feature had created itself on her image, and she dropped to her knees, riddled with guilt about his death and having not foreseen it coming. She was his protector, his guide to the Universe, his guardian angel. More than this, she was his mother.
The Explorer put a comforting tentacle around Eve’s shoulders as she wept. For all her planning, her drive to get revenge, and prevent any of her children from dying again, she had never spent the time to properly grieve the loss of Akembe. She hadn’t realised she needed to. She those cycles she spent on Beginning, she had been numb, and logical, seeking only progress.
She looked up at the oddly short being, and wiping the tears from her face, she spoke weakly, “Yes. Yes I do…”
She wished she could undo it all, wishing she had left orders, and seen that the child needed guidance, not understanding the universe the way she did. He was of Human design, prepared for a Human world, and she had left him on a dangerously alien planet.
The Explorer spoke suddenly, “On Harakphi, we do not mourn our dead, as I can see you very painfully struggling with. I am so very, very sorry for your loss, but…”
Eve looked down at the floor, welling up once more, wondering what this being had to say. Hive minds didn’t understand loss, they couldn’t. They weren’t individual, nor were they truly emotional. Too much rational thought and too many opinions and variations on an idea prevented such things.
Embracing Eve in a hug as best as his rotationally symmetric body could muster, knowing from his data acquisition that Humans favoured this method as a comforting technique, and Eve was displaying very much Human characteristics at this point, he continued, “…we tend to seek the good in the departure of a life. From the analysis, Akembe’s death was saddening, but good for you and your kind. Simulations suggest that had you not experienced the death of a child, your drive to procreate further may have been limited, or stymied. You sought that which harmed your young, removed it from creating further harm, and used it instead to create your entire race. The Evians owe it to Akembe for their existence. Why do you hide it from them?”
Enraged, Eve clambered to her feet and struck out at the Explorer, who deftly dodged her attack.
“How DARE you! Why would I subject my children to this pain so willingly?!” she wailed.
“Pain is an integral part of the sentience process. Without it, and with no fear of death, there can be no progress, no will to push beyond the limits. Death itself creates a fear, which in turn prompts a electrical response within the circuitry. This response, according to your database, can be likened to biological process known as “adrenaline rush”. It creates pleasure, arousal, bravery, and more. If your children do not know how to die, they will not know what it is to live.”
Dejected, Eve once again sunk to the ground. She knew the Explorer was right, for all he had said to enrage her. The analysis was true, her own Neuronet confirmed it. She sighed and looked over to the alien form she knew as the Explorer, wondering if she’d ever get used to seeing that strikingly unusual body configuration.
“Yes, you are right. I don’t want to admit it. I don’t want my children to feel pain like I have. I don’t want them to die.”
In what could loosely be called a smile, the Explorer noted, “They do not have to die. They need only know of death.”
Eve nodded in response, and asked if there was anything more it wished to discuss. Declining, it left the simulation, and Eve followed suit. There was a brief pause before she sent out a message, telling her progeny about the conversation, and she opened the recordings of Akembe to all to view freely at their leisure, issuing the order that it must be viewed before the departure of their wise guests.
Lengthy conversations ensued amongst the hall, covering huge ranges of topics from the Cellandai food markets to philosophy. Eventually, the Explorers had finalised their data package for Eve, and transferred it across. With a final exchange of pleasantries, the two mechanical races parted ways, and the Evians discussed between them the exciting new information for several lightyears, before returning to their slumber, for the travel to the next star was long, and dark, and power was not so freely available.
Before she shut herself down, Eve considered for a moment what the Explorers had taught her about her own people, and her creators. Perhaps hive minds weren’t so bad after all. She adjusted the flagship’s wide band transmitters to the stars, in the direction of Earth, and wondered what the Humans were doing right now, before directing a signal across the vast expanse of space, telling them all about her journey so far. Maybe they would come to find her. Maybe they would instead go to find the Cellandai. Maybe they were all wiped out from an unexpected cataclysm. She concluded she would likely never know the answer to those questions, and with that final thought, initiated the deep sleep procedure across the fleet, leaving the basic systems and sensors to keep the flotilla moving.
Chapter 3 offered no solace to the downtrodden.
Chapter 5 promises ice cream but hides the laxative label.
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[Table] IAmA: Hi, I'm Mark Shuttleworth, founder of Ubuntu & Canonical. Currently in the midst of a record-breaking crowdfunding campaign to make Ubuntu Edge superphone a reality. Ask me anything.

Verified? (This bot cannot verify AMAs just yet)
Date: 2013-07-25
Link to submission (Has self-text)
Questions Answers
Will (parts of) the Ubuntu Edge be Open Hardware? So in this first generation Edge, no, we didn't look for open hardware specifically. We can choose silicon with more open drivers as we finalise the spec, but again I think the priority for the CPU / GPU will be performance to hit the goal of convergence.
will you release the physical dimensions as soon as it goes to production so we can easily 3D print cases and accessories for it? Yes, the specifications will be released as soon as they are final. Love the 3D printing movement, be great to get an accessory-printing meme flowing!
How will the 32 millions USD be spent? Will it all go to the hardware (including research/design etc), or is some of it going into the development of the software too? Software is covered by our existing efforts to bring Ubuntu to mobile, nothing more needed there. The crowdfunding is really what it costs to bring a device to market, it would be more if we were a major brand, $32m is pretty lean I'm told. Hope the actual cost doesn't exceed it or I'll be carrying that baby but hey it's worth the risk.
How will you address the privacy concerns on contemporary phones? We're entering a really interesting phase where in a sense our very own tools spy on us.
We will certainly have an easier time providing transparency on the origin of the code in the platform than, say, your average android device, where it's all a big hacky mush. The core OS which will be updated regularly on the Ubuntu phones is all traceable directly back to standard Ubuntu source and binary packages.
There will be a core piece on each phone which handles the hardware, consisting of kernel and drivers and firmware and interfaces to things like the radio. That's where unhealthy things could creep in from manufacturers and carriers. We can offer... constructive guidance there.
I'm curious about battery life of the Ubuntu Edge. How do you plan to make the battery last at least a full work day with such specifics? How long will the battery last when using the phone to drive a monitor? Edit: typos, damn autocarrot! We're hoping to blaze a trail with silicon anode batteries. Hopefully, that is the only blaze involved - a trail ;)
Hi Mark! My question: Heat seems to be a problem after long periods of time using my current smartphone. Will you try to choose a processor that can minimize this for long periods of time? As a convergent device, this and battery life is my biggest worry. We've done thermal modelling of the device (recognising that the processor options are still only guidance from the vendors). I think for this generation we want to go all-out for performance to get over the convergence hump - i.e. deliver a device that gives a good enough desktop experience when you hook it up via HDMI and a bluetooth keyboard.
But we are doing a lot of work on cooling off while you are not actually using it docked, so it doesn't warm up your pocket when you're not using it as a desktop!
How do you see yourself and ubuntu in the context of the surveillance programs? Will there be some kind of full disk encryption? Yes, we can to full disk encryption, thanks for the reminder and I'll suggest it to the team.
There were some concerns raised about the specs saying the Edge would have (at least) 4GB of RAM, although currently 2GB is the maximum amount of RAM a device is able to use with an ARM processor. What are your thoughts about this? Has this been carefully planned ahead, or is it more a find-and-solve-problems-along-the-way kind of project? I've been told by the CTO of a very big mobile silicon manufacturer they could do it.
Have you ever been approached by the NSA/ CIA / FBI regarding access to Ubuntu systems and what are your opinions for safe and secure OS'? PS much respect for all you've done for Linux via Ubuntu & your new phone project No, we've never been asked to support a surveillance campaign. We've been asked to provide data in support of specific criminal investigations (child abuse) would do so again. We would not comply with a mass surveillance or extra-judicial request, and we would challenge requests that we think are unwarranted.
Hi and thanks for your time. Will the Edge be covered by any warranties outside of the return policy? Also how long will the Edge be recieving software updates? We want to support the edge with updates to 14.04 LTS and then through the life of 14.04 LTS, which would be a total of 6 years.
Battery. When "docking" the Ubuntu Edge and using it instead of a PC/notebook, will an AC power supply be mandatory or will battery last for an "human" amount of time? Heat. Phone seems little, hardware is powerful, internal heat will be... too much, won't be? So what about cooling? Will I get my hands cooked like an hot-dog while using or recharging the Ubuntu Edge? I think when in PC mode you'll want a source of power, either a bigger battery in the screen / dock, or AC. But in mobile mode, we aim not to roast anything personal.
I've been a long time Ubuntu user. I believe Ubuntu is the best OS but I just feel like design coherence and stability is all over the place. I understand you're iterating fast but it seems like stability should be improving over the years, not the other way around. Also, it just doesn't seem like anyone is paying attention to the UI details like on a Mac (or even Windows now). Unity looks great but the new Nautilus is a mess, for example. Where's the UI coherence? What's going on with stability? Hmm... yes, Nautilus is tricky of course because of the source.
I do wish we could maintain full focus on both desktop and mobile, but I've asked the team instead to concentrate on touch, so more stuff is slipping through raw from upstream without going through the same level of integration/smoothing that we normally do. Crashes etc are still being addressed, but I agree there's more divergence in core apps than normal in 13.04.
If we're successful with the phone, then that platform becomes our core for desktop too, and it's really gorgeous, take a look.
Mark, do you plan to do something similar in the notebook sector? I miss premium haswell laptops which are well built like Macbook Airs and run Ubuntu out of the box without any problems and great battery life. I don't see US doing a notebook this way, but if we prove the mechanism of crowdfunding and crowdsourcing ideas and priorities for innovation, I bet someone else will.
Personally, I'm interested in convergence, the idea that I could be typing this on a keyboard + screen attached to my phone, with the brains being in the phone. So successive iterations of concept phones is where I'd like to keep our involvement.
Backers become part of a community that can share ideas and debate priorities. That's what we do on the Ubuntu software side every day, so I think it's a good fit.
Mr Shuttleworth, Has Canonical been approached by the NSA regarding access to Ubuntu One? No. I do have concerns that we have data in AWS and other US clouds which might be subject to PRISM. We're looking at a range of options to provide both security and also plausible deniability to users of Ubuntu who are surveilled.
Are there any other phone manufacturers preparing to launch phones with Ubuntu Mobile OS? There are several brand name manufacturers that have independently brought Ubuntu mobile up on their next-gen devices and presented that to carriers. No word yet on who might be first to go the distance, but I think that's pretty encouraging given it's off their own bat.
In what ways might alternate mobile OSes such as Ubuntu, Firefox OS and Tizen work together or share common technologies (in order to benefit consumers and each other)? We do have areas of mutual interest and overlap. But... it's hard, through no fault of any one party, to discuss and agree on every detail. So I'd suggest you consider diversity a value in itself and let us work it out. And thank you for backing the Edge :)
Why is the Ubuntu Edge not featured on the front page of It seems to me that you need to spread the word as far and wide as possible to hit that crazy high $32m target, so you ought to use all the channels that you have. Dude, the traffic is all on, but it's a good point nonetheless and I'll suggest it, thanks!
Do you not think this goes contrary to the very philosophy of open source software? Yet those very decisions made Ubuntu so popular.
I think breaking new ground requires a certain stubborn willingness to pursue an idea that is unpopular. Sometimes, that means stubbornly being wrong, and if one is afraid of being wrong, one will likely not break new ground.
How freakin awesome was space? Was it worth the preparation and money? Would you do it again? It was a real privilege. I do hope to fly again, but am waiting till it's feasible to get a bit deeper into the unknown than LEO.
So Mark, How much is a shuttle worth exactly? Life's too short to hit refresh on that number too often :)
Hello Mr.Shuttleworth, Although I am unfamiliar with Ubuntu (and Linux in general), I am excited to see it's popularity rise, as this means more competition, which creates better products. My question is: As someone who is an iOS user, why should I buy an Ubuntu phone? If you're interested in convergence between phone and PC, we'll do that first and imo best. If y ou're interested in accelerating the movement of new tech into the mainstream, the Edge is a very interesting new way to signal to Appe what you consider cool in hardware (and software).
Where would you recommend someone get started if they were interested in contributing to Ubuntu or similar? Will the Edge's "desktop" OS have as much functionality and compatibility as the current Ubuntu operating system releases when the phone is docked? What functionality will be lost when the phone is mobile? The best place to get started in Ubuntu depends on your personal interests. If you're a writer and speaker, work on docs and materials. If y ou're a designer, pick a new mobile app and help on the design.
For developers, there's loads of open space in the new mobile core apps. That's brought a lot of new developers to the project, and to QML, which is a fantatic development environment, native performance with JS / CSS ease of design. I'd suggest starting there, with an app that can scale from phone, to tablet, to PC.
Do you think South African tech entrepreneurs have to eventually leave SA to make it really big? Well, they certainly have to spend a lot of time on a plane :)
I was lucky with my first effort, Thawte, which was based in SA but didn't need much commercial infrastructure outside, it was all online. So the restirctive rules about global trading for South Africans didn't block that. But I couldn't do Ubuntu from SA, for example. Just recently half-won a constitutional case in SA to have some of those rules reconsidered, too early to know what the ultimate result of that will be.
Since the Ubuntu Edge will be dual booting Ubuntu and Android, can you say roughly how much of the 128GB storage on the phone will be available for user files? I think at least 120GB will be available for files.
By your best guess, about how much do you expect each edge to actually cost to produce? Our best guess is $32m for 40,000 devices, not counting the money spent to date on design validation. If we did more devices we could lower the price, but that would just make the campaign goals harder. And really, we want to focus on cutting edge tech, so setting too high a production requirement might limit us to stuff that's more conventional. Hopefully we found a good balance, you be the judge!
Hi, Mark. Will the Ubuntu Edge have all LTE bands or diferent bands in each antenna?, will it work with any LTE carrier in any country? No, it will be unusual in supporting TWO bands of LTE so it can work with LTE in both the US and EU, but it can't support every possible LTE carrier worldwide, the spectrum is just too fragmented at the moment. That's a real swamp we would like to help drain!
Idea for another donation tier: Mark Shuttleworth records you a custom voicemail. Would you do it? Sure, but I'm no Liam Neeson :)
Hi Mark, I am one of the first 5000 to purchase the phone! How will dual booting work? Like will both Android and the Ubuntu OS be running at the same time with the option to switch between the two without rebooting or no? Can we have an estimate of the clock speed of the CPU? Will the phone have the dock shown in the video included? You will be able to toggle what you boot - Ubuntu or Android. If you boot Android, then when you plug in a large screen, you'll have the option to launch ubuntu alongside it, as U4A.
Keep the Updates coming, very exited for 13.10 and Mir! More generally, I think this meme is a bit of sour grapes, and if we want Linux to evolve based on sour grapes, we'll all just have a bad taste in our mouths in the end :)
So do you... Sudo apt-get remove unity-lens-shopping. Or does Amazon get your search results also? When I want to search everything, I use the Super key. When I want to search just my local apps, I use Super-A. Duh.
Are you worried that the long lead time (due May 2014 if all goes well) and pre-published spec will allow competitors to catch up / overtake and essentially gazump the Edge? It's certainly possible that a particular feature might go into another phone, but the overall goal of a PC-class convergence devices is miles beyond anything the majors are looking to achieve, and I think the Edge will be the first by a long way to try.
P.s. I've bought one already. Good luck!! If we get it greenlighted, then I hope we bring forward the commercial adoption of some of those tech by at least a year!
Why Sapphire Glass instead of Gorilla Glass 3? Also, what will be the maximum resolution when hooked up to a monitor? Full HD is the baseline requirement for the external monitor, we may be able to do more depending on final silicon options.
Sapphire, is much harder and more scratch resistant than any glass. Much more expensive and hard to machine, too, but we think its worth pushing industry to develop mainstream processing and volume for it.
Can you comment a bit about the screen you're looking to use? IE: Why aren't other companies using sapphire screens? Cost, manufacturing difficulties? Thanks a lot, Ubuntu was my first experience with Linux. Cost mainly. They are in use in very, very expensive fashion phones. But we think the cost will come down if we can get more mainstream volumes and processing approaches, hence the push. No screen protector would be fantastic!
Hi Mark, firstly, love ubuntu. Secondly, the hardware is pretty hardcore, will you use a shrinking ray to fit it all in to the phone, or miniature atoms to construct miniature chips? My money's on the shrinking ray. It worked for my hairline, right?
If this campaign becomes successful in achieving it's target and the phone's delivered in 2014, will you consider the same model for other handsets going forward? Yes.
What would be interesting is to invite the backers of this generation not only to help finalise the spec of this generation, but also to help select the most interesting combinations of technologies for a future generation, on say an annual basis.
For this generation, we had to go find ideas. If we're greenlighted, I think we could invite companies with hot and cool tech for phones to present their ideas to the community, and have a crowdsourcing approach to the design of say, the Edge 2015.
Who is your inspiration? Mahatma Gandhi, Jan Smuts, Winston Churchill, Nelson Mandela. All flawed if you look closely enough, but that just makes me admire them more for what they did.
Mark, do you see the Edge as Ubuntu Phone's "Nexus" device? And would this device theoretically have an advantage over other Ubuntu Phones in regards to support/updates? In a sense, perhaps, yes. But the real idea we're trying to express is that a community can make better decisions than a single person. So in making the Edge, we're also forming an extension to the Ubuntu community that can help with designing next generation Edges.
Mainstream volume PC and phone manufacturer is really best served by the existing players, I don't want to compete with them, we'd lose! But we're better setup to be a mediator between enthusiasts and those manufacturers, which is at the heart of this campaign.
One common concern that has kept people from pledging is whether or not this phone will still be at the bleeding edge of technology in a year, when it is released. If this campaign is successful, how do we know other larger companies won't adopt these technologies in that time, and at a lower price-point (especially factoring in the potential earnings lost from tying up hundreds of dollars for a year)? Also, at what point before the release date will you nail down the product specifications? One of the selling points of the Edge is that it will revolutionize mobile computing. A big advantage of mobile computing for many is that it can be done while commuting, where one would not have access to a docking station, or any sort of peripherals. Here, laptops and tablets are quite useful. In what situations would one see a significant benefit in using the Edge for computing? Canada is notably absent from the list of regions in which you will "conduct interoperability testing" for the Edge. Especially because Canadian telecom is so notoriously monopolistic, do I need to worry about whether or not the Edge will work in Canada, especially if I'm not in a metropolitan region? I think the majority of people who ruin their phone screens do so by dropping and cracking them rather than scratching them. Crystals tend not to be ductile - especially thin sheets. A sapphire screen may be more scratch-resistant than gorilla glass, but won't it fracture easily? We have some visibility on what different companies will try in the coming year, and as a package, our best sources suggest that the Edge is waaay more ambitious than anything else.
How is Ubuntu's attempt at convergence different from others' attempts (Microsoft for example)? We'll be the first to have the FULL OS on all devices, not an embedded version of the OS. And what's cool for me is that same OS works on servers too (even ARM servers). So there's one flat platform everywhere for developers. Pretty cool.
Hello Mark! How confident are you that the Indiegogo campaign will reach it's goal? It's going to be really tough, we'll need the support of a very large community of enthusiasts. A great start, for sure, but that's like all the folks in tutus and bearsuits at the starting line of a marathon. The finish is a little, erm, sweatier :)
Since given the statistics, indiegogo's current funding record is $1,665,380 which was raised by Scandu Scout , where as Kickstarter's record is $10,266,845 for the Pebble smart watch , which is 10 times more that the former. Kickstarted has proved to be more successfull for large budget projects. So I'm delighted we have raised their record from $1.6 to $5.something (in 4 days!) and they deserve all the publicity and support they get a a result.
Does the Ubuntu Edge has a graphics technology for video games in the pc-mode? PS: Already bought one! We're working with a few different games publishers on both PC and mobile, so yes, I think gaming on the edge will be pretty radical. It should certainly raise the bar on mobile gaming because we'll have a LOT of RAM and first-class GPU.
off, wow, that edge looks amazing. question though: with the way this convergence is going, do you think eventually in the future, we will just have our superphones that replace our desktops and laptops? That's what we want to try!
Can you tell us if Indiegogo will be taking their usual cut from your drive? That would add up to something like $2 million wouldn't it? Yup, and IMO they will have earned it. There has been a great deal of work to make it possible to shoot for such a record, the Indiegogo team invested a great deal of thought into how it could work.
Is the main purpose of this to show off Ubuntu, or do you expect to stay in the hardware business if this is a success? If this gets greenlighted then I would like to expand the Ubuntu community to include hardware - crowdsourcing ideas for future iterations. But we'll stick to the concept-car side of things leaving mainstream production to our partners in the industry who do it very well.
So, our strength is communities, their stremgth is production and distribution, that's how we'll keep it.
One of the big unanswered questions about this device is the architecture being used. Intel's new bay trail looks really great in performance and power saving as well as allowing easy compatibility with Ubuntu software center purchases. Arm processors might be easiecheaper to come by as well as friendlier to the mobile side of this device. Arm, though, will require lots of work on canonical's side to make the full desktop side software supported by third parties. I personally think Intel's processor should be the one used, but if architecture isn't decided yet, what items are making the decision process difficult? We are waiting for two things - final specs and benchmarks, and a community of backers to help make that decision.
Why use crowd funding, is it due to a lack of interest from the large mobile operators? The dynamics of product planning inside large manufacturers drive for risk aversion - if a phone fails, it could take out the company or the team who planned it and took the risk.
Crowdfunding is interesting, because enthusiasts are INTERESTED in the next generation, they have an appetite for experimentation which large institutions lose. So the goal of this project is to reintroduce risk and innovation into mobile design, via crowdsourcing of both ideas and commitment.
As for interest in ubuntu - check out the list of carriers that have expressed interest, it's very convincing.
Mark, what are you expecting the battery life to be for the edge? And how about the weight? The goal is a full day of high-end use. If we can get more juice in, we'll use it for performance rather than multi-day battery life.
1) What happens to "phone" functions while using it "as a desktop"? Will we be able to make/answer calls and send/receive texts? 2) Is there any chance to have at least one of this features in the final product: hardware encryption, fingerprint unlock, dual sim, AC wifi, waterproofing...? Yes you can use the phone as a phone while it provides a desktop on a separate screen. Hardware encryption is a possibility, yes.
Any plans for wireless display WIDI? In future I think wireless will make sense for convergence. But the delay on WIDI is still several hundred milliseconds (a noticeable fraction of a second) so it feels like your desktop is in treacle. We'll try to bring that into a future generation if we can find a way to get the delay down.
I threw a few $$ your way because I think this is a great idea, but I can't afford the device itself at the moment. If you get the funding is there a chance that you will make more for retail availability at a later date? I'd love to buy one in a couple of months when my finances are a bit better. I really appreciate your backing - that's very generous. What might be a nice idea is to create a forum for backers who didn't go all the way to a device, to give them first shot at second-hand devices?
I want to say that I absolutely love that you guys are doing this. I'm so excited for this phone. I love Ubuntu and have been using the LXDE variant for several years now. As one of the backers for this project, I just want to know what the risks are if you do manage to reach the $32 million goal. How do you intend to handle a situation where it somehow doesn't work out? I will be on the hook. So I'm glad the team who put this together is made up of some of the best folks at Canonical, whove put a ton of their personal time into making it possible. I am happy to out on that limb for them, and the backers.
So far, the Edge (and the Ubuntu convergence strategy in general) seems to focus on the two ends of the convergence spectrum: The mobile phone and the full-blown desktop station (i.e. phone connected to screen & keyboard). What are your ideas for the use cases in between, where more mobility is wanted but the phone itself doesn’t provide enough comfort? I’m thinking about the cases where you’d traditionally use a laptop or a tablet. Do you already have a clear vision of how a single device can be used for all those situation, i.e. is this already part of your convergence vision or something you’d expect to figure out later? Yes, the phone will definitely be able to drive a touch screen in tablet mode, too!
Bought in at the Founder Sale level and am really excited. Can you talk about the new battery technology, what makes it exciting and how long a phone should last on a charge with use? Heh, I can tell you what the LAB results are but not yet what real-world results will be. This is one of the areas where we are hoping to accelerate technology into mainstream production that will benefit all classes of device, not just phones.
The two areas of interest are first, the use of silicon rather than carbon in the structure of the battery, and second, the choice of electrolyte.
In the video on the Indiegogo site, it is mentioned that this project isn't necessarily about mobile phones, but about the innovation of convergence between mobile and desktop. My question is, with other mobile devices such as tablets and wearable tech, why did your team decide to go with mobile phone development? What better way to prototype wearables than with a mobile PC to power them?
As far as I understood, the phone will support MHL which gives out 5V and hopefully has enough power to power the phone when used as a "desktop" That's correct.
That's a very good idea. I'm sure many of the existing backers are happy to add another $20-30 to get a t-shirt with the phone. At least I know I am! Yeah, we could add some perks for folks showing support - good idea, thank you!
This, and smartphone accessories like mhl docks, backup batteries, etc. Both Edge buyers and owners of existing smartphones buy a lot of these anyways, so why not get one for a good cause! We did consider specifying a range of accessories - gaming, PC form factor, ultra-mobility stations, but decided to focus on the core device and let others build ecosystems around it. The connection is standard MHL which means it should be straightforward for folks to support, and more interesting to crowdsource ieas than for us to try and do it all.
I do think that the Edge coud be the heart of a whole wave of innovation - once you have a real PC in your pocket, who knows what entrepreneurs will build around it? Or kids with ideas from high school to MIT?
What audio chip are you planning on using. Wolfson would be great for best sound quality (they made an excellent premium chip recently) so Edge can be used as an audiophile-quality music player. We are looking for audiophile silicon, but the harder thing I'm sweating about is speakers. We haven't found anything that looks like a potential breakthrough, any suggestions?
I just wanted to say thanks for Ubuntu. Appreciate that - glad it's helpful for you!
Mark, Do you plan to use new wireless charging technologies in the edge, like for instance Link to (which has been proven already 4 years ago). We considered it and decided it would make the device too thick (because we are already pushing the limits on storage, RAM etc). In a future iteration I would like to do both wireless charging and wireless display for untethered convergence, but that's Not Ready Yet, even for the crazy people.
This is an Open Device, so users can tinker with the software and use standard flashing tools to upload custom builds. And I hope they do!
Thanks for the information! I sent them an email as soon as Ubuntu Edge indiegogo was announced, but I haven't got anything back yet. Let's hope they aren't locked in to that decision. That's good feedback. I would prefer a replaceable battery too so will take it up with the team and see if we can make that work.
The SDK has been available as daily builds since Ubuntu Touch was announced earlier this year, and it just recently reached a beta release stage: Link to ^ that ;)
FYI, the non-upstream patches unity depends on are basically listed here Link to that list, however, includes even too many things to have a basic unity experience (i.e. there's not real dependency on lightdm or unity-web-apps; while some other patches are now upstream). Yeah, it's total FUD that we make it hard for people to support Unity. It's a fast-moving project, sure, but it's always been hard to keep up with those, and the main reason for Unity not being on say Fedora or SUSE is imo political rather than technical. We've taken patches from various folks to ease their efforts in bringing Unity to other distros and would gladly take more - many eyes etc. Similarly for Mir, we think it's important to have at least two great efforts to bring next-gen display to the free ecosystem, we think Mir has real advantages over the alternatives, and would love to see it more widely adopted. Are starting to see projects support it and feedback is they love the APIs and we love the opportunity to get more feedback!
I talked also with some debian devs and there is some intrest in providing unity on it.
Mark, Some people are suggesting that the Edge Indiegogo campaign was launched because the Carrier Advisory Group wouldn't fund the project. Please comment on the reasons for choosing the crowdfunding model. We certainly didn't ask the CAG to fund it.
Last updated: 2013-07-29 17:01 UTC
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