Category: Additional Press Information

Intended for PR – used to filter out posts intended for the press

Purism Warrant Canary Updated January 1st 2017

Happy GNU year!

Before (or on) the first day of each quarter, Purism, following the general rules of warrant canaries, will update its own Warrant Canary page if none of the listed items occurs.

warrant-canary-64x70px

Warrant Canary, January 1st 2017

  1. We have not placed any backdoors into our software or hardware, and we have not complied with any requests to do so.
  2. We have not received, nor complied with any National Security Letters or FISA court orders.
  3. We have not been subject to any gag order by a FISA court.

The next statement will be published on the first day of each quarter (January 1st, April 1st, July 1st, October 1st). Please refer to the Warrant Canary page for details and digital signatures.

Growing to Ship from Inventory in 2017

Thank you all for supporting Purism, with ordering hardware, donations, volunteering, downloading PureOS, using our products, and of course the kind words. We are excited to finally approach the transition from “build-to-order” (where users have tended to wait months for Librem products) to shipping from inventory, where new users will be waiting merely days for Librem products. This is the most important step we’re taking yet.

To do this, we are leveraging past sales revenue to get investment and a larger line-of-credit, so we can place an even larger order for all the supplies, hardware, and component parts needed to build and house inventory.

The Librem 13 v2 prototype
The Librem 13 v2 prototype

This larger order is expected to be placed in January, and we intend it to include: the Librem 13 v2, the Librem 15 v2, and the Librem 11 v1. There is typically an 8 week lead time for fabrication, which means placing our bulk inventory orders in January will allow us to fulfill the remaining preorders and backorders in March, and ship-from-inventory beginning in April of 2017.

This is a very exciting transition for Purism to grow to meet the demand of users worldwide, and we could not have done this without your support, so thank you again.

Update from the trenches – operations, research and development for Q4 2016

Since our previous status update on manufacturing & shipping operations in August 2016, we had to tackle a lot of challenges in parallel: changing some of our suppliers, preparing new hardware, processing refunds, preparing PureOS 3, deploying new public infrastructure, seeking additional funds to enable us to ship “from stock” in the future, etc. The puzzle had so many moving parts that we really had to wait for dust to settle at the end of November to know where we stand and to provide you with this report.

In this blog post, we’ll be providing a global shipping status update, a quick update on R&D, and we’ll be sharing some great news for those interested in the Librem 13. In the interest of keeping this post short and sweet, we’ll be sending additional details via email to those with outstanding Librem 11 and 15 orders.

Shipped units, happy users

We did a couple of shipping batches for laptops during the winter, and once the Librem 15’s 4K screen supply crisis came to a close we resumed shipping the remaining Librem 13 and Librem 15 “1080p” orders.

As we prepared our new website contents, we created a “Global Shipping Status” page to illustrate how many laptops we’ve been shipping and to give customers a rough approximation of where they stand in the processing queue. We hope to soon replace this page by a personalized, dynamic shipping status page connected to your account and order status.

Until now, it was difficult for the public at large to get a clear picture on our operations and to realize that we were actually already shipping units to customers for quite a while, so these graphs should help set the record straight:

outstanding-vs-shipped-orders-2014-to-2016-10-annotated

Looking at the two charts above, here are some very important take-aways:

  1. The Librem 13 started shipping fairly quickly after its campaign ended, and continued shipping afterwards.
  2. The reason the majority of the Librem 15 laptops took so long to ship initially was that we kept waiting and waiting for the 4K screens… Purism learned some hard lessons there. That mistake won’t happen again.
  3. The Librem 15’s original order quantity (from the first campaign) has been shipped by now.

So far, the feedback we’ve been hearing from those who received their laptops has been very positive. For example:

…to cite only two. It’s always greatly satisfying to hear positive stories like that. Please don’t hesitate to share yours! Your encouragement is a big part of what keeps us going through hard times.

Replacing weak links in the (supply) chain, preparing for growth

One thing we had to accomplish this quarter was to change some of our suppliers. One of the reasons for that was to have better flexibility and to enable us to build better-quality computers in future revisions.

It has taken us a couple of months to find satisfactory suppliers, negotiate, request and evaluate prototype units (to ensure they meet our quality standards and our particular privacy+freedom specifications), and then evaluate the feasibility of going into a new production run. We are now very happy to say that we have resolved the “manufacturing and logistics” side of the equation.

The other side of the equation is financing: to place a large-enough order to ship from stock, we are in the process of getting a line of credit (loan) to fund inventory. With this, we hope to place a large-enough supply order to finally get out of the chicken-and-egg problem (where many customers want to purchase Purism Librem laptops only if they are available for shipping on short notice, yet this requires inventory, which requires enough orders to create inventory on an ongoing basis).

A new Librem 13

Here’s a sneak peek of the prototype of the Librem 13 “Mark II” that would be replacing the Librem 13 v1 for any future shipments:

This would have very similar specs to the Librem 13 v1, with a few improvements on the casing, backlit keys and better keyboard feel, and a few changes like the location of the hardware killswitches. We’ll be providing more details on that in a separate blog post. We’re hoping to eventually provide a new revision of the Librem 15 as well, for which we will need to get new prototypes and nail down the details and logistics for it.

Progress on PureOS 3 towards distro certification

With the alpha release of PureOS 3 now available alongside our new public infrastructure like Phabricator (see devlog #3), we have started the process to get the PureOS software distribution certified by the Free Software Foundation. PureOS has always been 100% Free Software from the start (stricter than most GNU/Linux distributions, including Debian, Fedora, etc.) and getting official FSF endorsement for PureOS will provide recognition for our work and assurance for users that their operating system respects and enforces their software freedom.

Coreboot Research and Development resumes

In the past, we have promised to work towards liberating the BIOS/UEFI of our Librem laptops, and we’re continuing that commitment. We have previously made some efforts toward porting Coreboot to our devices: we have provided sample Librem 13 v1 laptops to Coreboot project contributors to facilitate this work, and a partial port came out of this initiative. We have also sponsored some developers to try to continue that line of work. In the end, we have been slowed down because we shifted focus on our manufacturing business needs to deliver product to users, and the odd phenomenon where our Coreboot contributors would end up going silent / disappear on us after a while. So we kept looking for someone who could do this work independently, and consistently.

This December, we brought on board a promising independent low-level BIOS/UEFI hacker that will be able to resume the Coreboot-related work, so we hope to provide coreboot for the Librem 13 v1 and v2 to start. Stay tuned for news on that front!

A better-organized website

old website contents summary
A partial overview of some of the contents we’ve revised for the new website

As some of you might have noticed, I have been progressively deploying Purism’s new website over the past few weeks, after some months of small improvements and preparations.

Far from being merely a visual style update, the main goal of this initiative was to reorganize all the contents, to make them easier to find, and more pleasant and interesting to read. Indeed, the existing website had tons of contents, spread everywhere with no clear logic, often buried in obscure parts of the blog that nobody would ever see.

I spent quite a while reading and annotating all the contents of the website, ripping and remixing it into something that makes sense. The screenshot you can see on the right is the summary (without duplicated content) of some of the pages we have reviewed and reworked. And some of the contents are still pending review and improvements.

The new contents organization achieves the following:

  • Introduce a clear structure and hierarchy
    • Clean up the menus, and spread items across menus in a fully thought-out way
    • Clean, human-readable and memorable URLs, based on sections
    • Completely rethought blog taxonomy (categories and tags), and exposed posts structure allowing easy browsing based on your fields of interest
  • Introduce the “Why Purism?” section to explain our business from two perspectives: our philosophy and our methodology. Add new content to cover the most frequent philosophy and methodology questions we get
  • Deduplicating contents
  • Reusing contents dynamically (to avoid inconsistencies)
  • Turn insightful posts into permanent reference pages to prevent them from being lost and forgotten
  • Revise, rewrite, clarify or remove obsolete contents
  • Interlinking related pages, particularly in the educational topics of the “Why Purism?” section
  • Introduce a ton more imagery, graphics, and visuals to give your eyes a rest amidst the big amount of written contents
  • Improved forums notification emails!

A side effect of this: we had to break almost every important hyperlink and URL! However, I put redirects in place everywhere to let you find the contents even if you are accessing them from an old URL.

On top of those content changes, the new visual design I deployed across the website is also fundamentally superior from a typographic standpoint: it made the contents much more legible and readable—not only is it objectively easier to read characters and words all over the place, it is now significantly more pleasant (and thus encouraging) to read anything longer than a few lines. Last but not least, the new design also makes it easier to manage the content layout across pages.

We hope you appreciate these changes as much as we do. Feel free to drop us a line at feedback at puri.sm!

Purism Warrant Canary Updated October 1st 2016

Before (or on) the first day of each quarter, Purism, following the general rules of warrant canaries, will update its own Warrant Canary page if none of the listed items occurs.

warrant-canary-64x70px

Warrant Canary, October 1st 2016

  1. We have not placed any backdoors into our software or hardware, and we have not complied with any requests to do so.
  2. We have not received, nor complied with any National Security Letters or FISA court orders.
  3. We have not been subject to any gag order by a FISA court.

The next statement will be published on the first day of each quarter (January 1st, April 1st, July 1st, October 1st). Please refer to the Warrant Canary page for details and digital signatures.

Purism’s Zlatan Todorić is Officially a Debian Developer

Zlatan Todoric - Website HeadshotSometimes it’s nice for a little public congratulations for one of our team members, Zlatan Todorić is now officially a Debian Developer (DD). Becoming a DD is proof-positive of having devotion to free software, since Debian GNU/Linux is the gold standard for a high-quality user-respecting socially-responsible universal operating system.

Zlatan, while continuing to benefit Purism and its users by managing our technical team, will also be advancing Debian and its beliefs, which we are proud to say is a win-win for the world as a whole.

We are excited and honored to associate ourselves with talented developers such as Zlatan Todorić.

For more information about becoming a DD yourself head on over to https://wiki.debian.org/DebianDeveloper.

Note: Purism’s own PureOS is a fork of Debian GNU/Linux designed specifically to run on Librem hardware with software additions and changes that meets FSF endorsement criteria and protects users’ rights to privacy, security, and freedom by default.

Purism CEO Todd Weaver interviewed on The New Screensavers episode #65

Purism CEO Todd Weaver made an appearance on the TWiT network on Saturday August 6th, 2016 with host Leo Laporte on the online TV show The New Screen Savers. Todd and Leo discussed Purism’s Librem line of products and what sets them apart from other free and non-free offerings, the importance of Free/Libre and Open-Source software, our operating system and web browser, and Purism’s philosophy and future plans.

Todd spoke with Leo about the hardware found inside our 13 and 15 inch Librem laptops, and how they are as freedom-respecting as currently technologically possible in a modern machine, with less possibility of including a backdoor. Todd spoke about recent Intel processors’ “Management Engine”, breaking down the issue of having a potential backdoor in Intel chips commonly found in modern computers, then proceeded to explain how Purism circumvents this privacy and security issue (see also our related article to learn more about how Purism avoids the Intel AMT remote access backdoor).

Purism hopes to work with Intel to strip out parts of the ME that many computer professionals feel is a privacy invasion, and began a petition that quickly garnered over 1000 signatures.

Weaver explained the goals of our operating system, PureOS, which is to provide an OS that is entirely respectful of your personal freedom, privacy and security.

Additional discussion was had on how we manufacture our own motherboards, how we source hardware (see our business model), the fact that we do not participate in the “surveillance capitalism” commonly found with larger companies, and our future goal of manufacturing a privacy-centric and “no-carrier” phone, providing a set of fully encrypted communication tools.

You can buy these laptops directly from our store. Questions or comments? Let us know at feedback@puri.sm

Meet up at Defcon & Todd joins Leo on The Twit Network

Purism’s Director of Technology, Zlatan Todoric, will be at the Defcon 24 through August 7th.  He will be available for any questions that you may have regarding Purism and our products.  He will also be happy to show off the Librem 13 to anyone wishing to take a look at our hardware.  You can contact him on Twitter @zlatandebian or via email zlatan.todoric(at)puri.sm

CEO Todd Weaver will be on the Twit network on Saturday August 6th, 2016 for an appearance with Leo Laporte on The New Screen Savers.  Todd will be discussing with Leo, among other things, the Purism line of products, the importance of free/open source software, what sets the Librem line apart from other free and non-free offerings from other companies, our web browser, our operating system and Purism’s Philosophy.  Join him here live at 3pm PT.

ICYMI: https://twit.tv/shows/new-screen-savers/episodes/65?autostart=false  Interview starts at 52:15

Purism launches its own online store

Purism is happy to announce that we are finally able to host our own store!  Yes, you read that correctly, now you can buy directly from Purism.  This new store front will improve our workflow and also bring more funds directly to Purism for future development of products and services.

In our store you will have multiple choices of how you would like to pay for you new Librem device: direct bank transfer, Paypal, bitcoin or using your credit card.  As we are continuing to try and improve all aspects of Purism, we have listened to your feedback.  In an effort to aid in communication, our next step is to add a public view of next 10 shipments so that you can see where you are in the queue.  But, don’t worry, we take your privacy very seriously and only order numbers, and nothing else, will be visible.

We also continue to offer you the ability to pay for your device in cash and picking it up directly at our facility in San Francisco.  As an added benefit to those wishing to have their device shipped, we offer an anti-interdiction service. Arrangements for these options can be made through contacting us via email at support(at)puri.sm.

With continued support we hope to soon be able to ship Librem devices from stock significantly reducing wait times for orders.  With the help and support of our backers, Purism is continuing to grow as we reach towards our goals of having easy to use and reasonably secure computers & services available to the general public.  Sincerely, we thank you for your support, patience and questions while asking for your help in spreading the word of our new store front.

Thoughts or comments?  feedback(at)puri.sm

Purism Warrant Canary Updated April 1st 2016

Before the first day of each quarter, Purism, following the general rules of warrant canaries, will update its own Warrant Canary page if none of the listed items occurs.

warrant-canary-64x70px

Warrant Canary, April 1st 2016

  1. We have not placed any backdoors into our software or hardware, and we have not complied with any requests to do so.
  2. We have not received, nor complied with any National Security Letters or FISA court orders.
  3. We have not been subject to any gag order by a FISA court.
The next statement will be published on the first day of each quarter
(January 1st, April 1st, July 1st, October 1st)

What this is designed to do is to inform users that Purism has not been served with a secret government subpoena. If the warrant canary has not been updated in the time period specified by Purism, users are to assume that Purism has indeed been served with a secret subpoena. The intention is to allow Purism to warn users of the existence of a subpoena passively, without disclosing to others that the government has sought or obtained access to information or records under a secret subpoena. Warrant canaries have been found to be legal by the United States Justice Department, so long as they are passive in their notifications.