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Sunday, 08 February 2015 22:46

Ubuntu phone: theorising without data is a big mistake Featured

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Two years after its initial announcement, Canonical will finally release its Ubuntu Phone in Europe during the coming week.

But that isn't why I'm writing this article. No, it's to express disgust at the way people are already convinced that the device is either lame or a brilliant piece of work.

Neither of the two worthies, Jay Cassano of Fast Company, or Mike Wehner of The Daily Dot, who have gone live with their conclusions, have received an advance unit for evaluation. But in their desperate rush to be first, each is convinced he is right.

Wehner has looked to the hardware specs and decided that the phone will be "lame". Does he know anything about the software or how fast or slow it will run on the device? No, he doesn't. Yet he speaks as though he is Moses on Mount Sinai.

Cassano is full of praise for the fact that phone allegedly will not depend on apps. He swallows a lot of spin from Canonical and vomits out a lot of words. Yet he too has not got his hands on the device.

Guys, wait for the damn phone to be released. You might find it much worse that you thought it was going to be. Or else it may surprise you.

What are you, clairvoyants?

Rushing to conclusions without actually getting your hands on it may result in something like that which befell me with the ZaTab, which I bought after seeing a recommendation by an experienced Linux user, Chris Samuel. That was the worst hardware purchase I have made in my life. Read about it here, here and here.

Mark Shuttleworth, the owner of Canonical, has always been inclined to indulge in some spin about his products. But there is a lot that is good about Ubuntu, the Linux distribution.

I've asked him for a device, for testing, and told him that I would pay full price for it. Whether he sends it or not, is up to him. But until then, there will be nothing from me about the device.

Theorising with data is a capital mistake. Not my words, they're from Sherlock Holmes.

Image: courtesy ubuntu.com


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Sam Varghese

Sam Varghese has been writing for iTWire since 2006, a year after the site came into existence. For nearly a decade thereafter, he wrote mostly about free and open source software, based on his own use of this genre of software. Since May 2016, he has been writing across many areas of technology. He has been a journalist for nearly 40 years in India (Indian Express and Deccan Herald), the UAE (Khaleej Times) and Australia (Daily Commercial News (now defunct) and The Age). His personal blog is titled Irregular Expression.

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