Leaving Apple and Google: my “eelo odyssey”. Part2: web services

I’m leaving Apple and Google for those reasons and I’m putting this effort into a new project: “eelo“. For this project, one big part is the operating system, in particular the smartphone operating system. I started to work on this part with others, and had first results that make me feel that maybe my move to a better digital privacy is going to be easier than expected 🙂

But today, a smartphone without internet services would be like a car without gasoline. We need email, we need online storage, we need advanced online applications… Also people like to access our data from several places and devices. The operating system has turned global.

So eelo needs to provide tools that can be accessed from other places, such as a web browser, but probably also from other computers and operating systems: notes, messages, calendar… And of course, we want all this with full respect of the user’s privacy, and no ads.

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Leaving Apple and Google: my “eelo odyssey”. Part1: the mobile OS

So I came out about my decision to leave Apple and Google. It’s a lifestyle choice to escape the tech giants that make me a product by privatizing my personal data .And I don’t like what Apple is doing now, Apple’s attitude, new iPhone and their price… It’s also an act of freedom for my children and all the people who will care: I want them to have a choice, and also a clear and informed view on how their choices can impact their life and their economical ecosystem as well. That’s what eelo is all about: offering a viable and attractive alternative to users for their digital life.

In this new post I’m going to describe what I was able to do so far on the mobile to get rid of Google and Apple, and what remains to do (spoiler: there’s a lot). In the next part I will explain what how things will need to be adressed on web services and draw a whole picture of the eelo project.

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Leaving Apple and Google : my “eelo odyssey” – Introduction

In 1998, I created Mandrake Linux, because I was both a Linux fan and didn’t like Windows on the desktop. It’s been a long time, and I’m very happy I’ve been one of the actors who contributed to make the Linux desktop possible, even though it didn’t completely succeed. Since then, the smartphone has emerged. And it’s now a “companion of life” for many of us. On my side, I’ve been using Apple iPhones exclusively, since 2007. The main reason behind this choice is that I like iOS. It covers my needs, it looks great and elegant, and I find it very intuitive to use.

Also, over the past years, I moved from my (Mandrake/Mandriva and then Ulteo) Linux desktop to MacOS. There has been a professionnal reason for that, since I often need XCode for building iOS applications. But also, it’s very convenient to use in conjunction with other Apple devices. I can get my text messages on MacOS, I can answer a call hand-free, I have my notes synced accross my devices.

But talking with friends this year, I realized that I had become lazy and that my data privacy had vanished.

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LineageOS operating system: a major open source project that deserves all our attention

The LineageOS project was born from CyanogenMod’s ashes one year ago. And since, it has been embraced by a growing community of contributors and users. Built from Android open source code, it intends to offer a full and independent operating system for mobiles. What is LineageOS? how to install it? what can be expected? Why is it a major open source project?

Let’s have a look…

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From Sovereign Operating Systems to the Sovereign Digital Chain

NSA headquarters

This Chapter “From Sovereign Operating Systems to the Sovereign Digital Chain” has been written for the Third Symposium for the “History and Philosophy of Programming. History and Philosophy of Operating Systems” (CNAM, 2016). It has been peer-reviewed in 2017 and is planned to be published as part of a Springer  Volume (HaPop-3) on Summer 2018.

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OnlyOffice : abandonnez Google Docs et Office365 avec une suite bureautique libre en ligne

Les logiciels de bureau basés sur le Web, tels que Google docs et Microsoft Office 365, ont progressivement évolué au cours des dernières années pour devenir crédibles pour les besoins réels des utilisateurs. Ils offrent, à un coût très bas, ou, en apparence, gratuitement, un certain nombre de logiciels en ligne, qui incluent un traitement de texte, un tableur, un logiciel de présentation … et du stockage en ligne.

Au départ vus comme un objet de curiosité (quand tout le monde utilisait Microsoft Office ou Open / Libre-Office …), ils se sont beaucoup améliorés en terme de fonctionnalités.

Entre outre, ils sont devenus de plus en plus confortables à utiliser avec le déploiement d’un accès Internet résidentiel rapide et à faible latence.

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OnlyOffice: move away from Google Docs and Office365 with an online open source office suite

Web-based office software, such as Google docs and Microsoft Office 365, have risen over recent years, as a credible, daily solution, for office needs.

They offer, at very low cost, or, seemlingly, for free, a number of online software, that include a wordprocessor, spreadsheet, presentation software… and online storage.

Early seen as an object of curiosity (when people all used Microsoft Office or Open/Libre-Office…), they have improved a lot in term of features. Also, they have become more and more confortable to use with the deployment of fast and low-latency residential Internet access.

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Mini-projet du dimanche : une radio avec un TimeSquair

Depuis le 1er janvier 2017, France Inter a arrêté d’emettre en Grandes Ondes. Et c’est bien dommage !
En effet, ceci me prive désormais de cet instant poétique aux environs de 20H : la météo marine (qui était réservée aux grandes ondes). Mais je dois également écouter Inter en FM, ce qui, dans ma maison aux murs de pierre de 50cm, est généralement gage d’un son médiocre, voire carrément inaudible (variable selon la météo…).
Ce matin j’en ai eu assez, et j’ai donc décidé de recycler un Raspberry Pi en radio pour écouter Inter dans de meilleures conditions ! (et même si ça ne me rendra pas la météo marine :-/)

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Why it’s time to divorce Apple iPhone after 10 years of common life

I’ve been lucky enough, back in July 2007, to be one of the earliest iPhone user. At this time I was looking for a device that could be convenient enough to read and write emails and occasionally browse the web. Eventually, someone suggested on my blog that I should have a look at the newly announced iPhone. So did I, and I must say it was kind of magic for me: I had been a fan of Steve Jobs since his “NeXT” period, and the fact that Jobs had been able to give birth to a new, so exciting, machine and operating system, was really fantastic and exciting. So I got in touch with an American friend who picked up an early iPhone at a local store in California and sent it to me by post mail.

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