Episode 073 – Purism Laptops & Underage Smartphone Use

We’ve got global communications for adventurers, the very purest of laptops for tinfoil hat wearers, quantum wireless charging, the half-truths of Fisker, and underage smartphone use along with Content I Like and Today I Learned.

Ethan’s wife is on a long distance trail.

  • So how’s he keeping track of her?
  • Garmin InReach discussion.
    • Global coverage via Iridium LEO satellite network.
    • 2-way texting
    • SOS monitoring – big button on the side
    • Track and follow blue dot and track on a topo map via web,
    • GPS receiver with built-in maps
    • Weather
    • Capex & opex

Eric’s looking into http://puri.sm laptops.


  • “We believe people should have secure devices that protect them rather than exploit them. To that purpose, we provide everything people need into a convenient hardware and software product. We offer high-quality privacy, security, and freedom focused computers and software.”
  • PureOS – completely Free/Libre software
    • Based on Debian GNU/Linux so I’m on board, since I loves me some “Apt” package management!
    • Gnome 3 with Wayland display protocol
    • It comes with the best Free/Libre privacy and security software and apps for privacy “out of the box”—including the Tor browser, the Duck Duck Go search engine, EFF Privacy Badger, and HTTPS: Everywhere bundled into our official web browser, PureBrowser.
    • Also comes with LibreOffice, which is a perfectly good office suite (I use it fairly often)
    • qTox for chat which uses leading-class encryption and no centralization, so you know your text, voice, or video chat is only accessible to you and the intended recipient.
    • Has a map app that uses OpenStreetMap which is a collaboratively maintained mapping system
  • They also make computers. Apparently really nice computers. A 2-in-1, a 13”, and a 15” laptop. I read lots of really great reviews.
  • I’ve been in the market for a laptop for a while (let’s be honest, I’m always in the market for a tech device of some sort or another), and Purism popped up in one of my feeds so I took a look and fell in love with the idea, since I’m such a tin-foil hat kinda guy.
  • Where do these rank on Eric’s patented Citizens of Tech Tinfoil-hat-o-meter?
    • Hardware switches for the camera, microphone, bluetooth, and WiFi. Want one without wifi? No problem.
    • But wait, those Intel chips have Intel’s AMT management tech embedded in them, you say! Nah. That’s been neutered.
    • No proprietary BIOS here, either, just coreboot here – an open source BIOS/UEFI replacement.
  • I wanted to generally make folks aware of what they’re trying to provide over at Purism, and while I can’t provide an explicit endorsement of the product(s), since I haven’t actually used one, I’m on board with what they’re doing.
  • So much so that we are in the process of lining up an interview with the founder in the near future!

Quantum wireless charging – maybe?


  • Current wireless charging works through magnetic induction. You’ve got a resonator and a receiver. You couple them with a magnetic field. Tweak the resonator frequency to work the best for the distance apart and orientation of the two ends, and you get more or less efficient energy transfer, no better than about 95%.
  • Quantum wireless charging works on a different principle, that of quantum change, parity, and time-reversal symmetry.
  • The part that matters here is that of parity-time symmetry. This means that quantum systems are “indistinguishable if they’re moving up and forward in time or moving down and backward in time.”
  • Okay. So, the theorists at Stanford wondered if there was a way to use quantum CPT and make an application of wireless charging. They knew about some optical systems that were mirror images of each other that did indeed behave in this way, so it seemed plausible.
  • Long story short, they built a quantum-like system for wireless charging that was a mirror image of itself. On the one side, an emitting coil with an amplifier adding energy to the system. On the other, a receiving coil that takes the energy and uses it for charging. Simulations suggested that such a system should behave as a single system, even separated by an air gap.
  • Now, it wasn’t clear from the article just what the mechanism was that transferred the energy. We know with magnetic induction what’s going on – those are measurable forces. Other than citing quantum CPT, the article didn’t explain. And maybe that’s the point here, although what’s throwing me is that they describe this as a non-quantum system. So, if it’s non-quantum, why does it behave with quantum CPT principles? I’m missing a little something.
  • In any case, it worked, with the big advantage over mag induction of not being as distance sensitive. It worked from 75cm to about a 1m before it was no good anymore.
  • On the other hand, a big drawback is efficiency. The amplifier in the system was only 10% efficient, although there are amplifiers that could work with up to 90% efficiency.
  • Another issue is scale. A possible use case is to charge cars while they are moving, but this early demo doesn’t really give us insight into the sort of system using CPT quantum principles that might be required to make that work, despite addressing the distance and orientation issue of magnetic induction.

Fisker’s Amazing 400 Mile, 9-Minute Charging Car!


  • Fisker has had issues in the past, like, inability-to-keep-a-CEO type problems and oh yeah, bankruptcy problems.
  • They produced the Fisker Karma in 2011, a 400HP 20KWh a plug-in hybrid luxury sports sedan
    • Sort of has Porsche Panamera lines, to me.
  • They also re-launched the Karma in 2016 as the Karma Revero. It’s essentially the same car with some refinements and tweaks.
  • The big news is the new all-electric “EMotion” car.
    • $129,000 – sounds like a lot, but for a boutique car, not unreasonable.
    • But hey, wait a hot second, the Karma Revero already goes for $130k… and doesn’t have Lidar, carbon fibre wheels, a massive battery capacity, and numerous other expensive widgets.
    • 400 Mile Range thanks to a new graphene-based hybrid super-capacitor technology.
    • That supercapacitor was to be the key to the ultra-fast 250+ KW DC charging. Since capacitors can “ingest” voltage far, far faster than li-ion batteries.
    • ….but they’re not shipping the Emotion with graphene-based super-capacitor tech… it’s shipping with li-ion batteries.
    • They still tout the “9 minute quick charge” though! So that’s a relief!
    • ….but that’s not entirely accurate, because if you dig into a press release, the outline that:
      • “The Fisker EMotion has been proportioned to accommodate an advanced high-energy density, patent-pending battery pack and cooling system. It can be charged through the vehicle’s proprietary UltraCharger™ technology, charging over 100 miles in nine minutes.
    • Still – 100 miles in 9 minutes sound pretty great… except there’s no charging infrastructure anywhere that can support that, currently. Tesla probably will be able to in the near future, but Fisker specifically says their charging is going to be proprietary, so that’s out. Fisker is going to need to roll out the network for this or have Nissan’s CHAdeMO or CCS DCFC compatibility, as well, or folks will be stuck charging only at home.
  • Pretty car? Sure. Realistic car? Yes and no. Ridiculous marketing babble? Definitely.

Parents Against Underage Smartphones


  • Short story – a dad gave his pre-teens smart phones, and saw them become moody, etc.
  • He threatened to take them away, and they reacted like addicts.
  • His reaction was to form PAUS, which cites a bunch of unverified statistics like 750K child predators and pedophiles online, suicide rates among children, impact of porn on young eyes, and so on.
  • And he’d like to outlaw smart phone use by pre-teens.
  • “What then, can we do, you ask?? The struggle will be mighty, but we can unite and if our representatives refuse to act, we will act for them, and place by citizen ballot measures laws that place age restrictions on children owning portable internet electronics, force phone manufacturers to actually make filters that function before handing them to our teens, and hold ourselves as parents responsible for child endangerment if we give unlimited internet access to any child.
    Further, children need to be able to turn in graphic images sent to them without fear of their own records being scarred.  New technologies need to be created to make the internet safe for kids when they do go online.  I join Mary Aikens in the call for the creation of a separate internet which is safe for children. It is possible.“
  • We opine.
  • BTW…broke my Twitter addiction.

Content I Like



  • It’s what’s been called a “Walking Simulator”
  • “The year is 1989. You are a man named Henry who has retreated from his messy life to work as a fire lookout in the Wyoming wilderness.”
  • This is the first game in some time to actually hold my attention, since I’ve been in a bit of a “tell me a story” phase of late.
  • Things go from very mundane to very odd and compelling quite quickly. I haven’t finished the game yet, but I suspect I’m near the end.
  • Beautiful cell-shaded graphics (that will even run on older systems)
  • High quality music
  • Great voice acting
  • Compelling story that you start shaping from the very outset.
  • Available on GOG (DRM Free!) and Steam for Windows, Mac, and Linux. For $19.99

Today I Learned

Penguins don’t just live in Antarctica.

“All penguins live in the Southern Hemisphere, though it is a common myth that they all live in Antarctica. In fact, penguins can be found on every continent in the Southern Hemisphere.”

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