So very recently I got a One Plus One phone. But what is a smart phone doing on a Bitcoin and security blog? Well I like to write a lot about disruptive technologies, and the One Plus One is very disruptive. There are a lot of reviews about the phone so I wont go into great detail about the phone, instead I’ll share my thoughts about it. The hardware in the phone is great, and is on par and if not better than a Samsung Galaxy S5. I really enjoy using it and I love how I only paid 300$ for a phone that is comparable to an expensive flagships. I know I made a good choice buying the phone as almost everything about it is perfect for a smart phone and the price it sells at. The only problems that I have with the phone are not the worst and can easily be fixed. My largest issue with the phone is dealing with customer support. For example I seem to have been experiencing battery issues, which I hopefully fixed. My problem is that I was getting bounced around from agent to agent, and sometimes it would appear they would not read the previous threads. One agent told me to flash an update, which would install a new ROM (think of it as an operating system) onto my device to fix a touchscreen problem. But if the agent read the previous email they would have noticed that the I fixed the problem and was trying to fix another problem. This sounds somewhat nit picky but if this phone is your only mobile device, you cant have any problems that get in your way of phone working. So far I the forums community has helped me much more than actual customer support, so the same end result was achieved and sometimes faster. That is one of the parts I love about the phone, the phone was partly designed for people to mess around with and there are so many different ROMS you can put onto your One Plus One to make it just the way you like it. This customization “feature” is one of my favorite parts of the One Plus One and very few phones can offer you the same level of customization/flexibility. If anyone is in search of a new phone, take a look at the One Plus One, it’s a great phone at a great price. WARNING – there are a few bugs with that are currently being fixed and customer support can be painful to deal with at times. If you don’t mind putting up with a less than average customer support at the price of a 300$ flagship killer than go onto the website and buy a phone (or wait until the One Plus 2 comes out).
Flashing and rooting does not void warranty *
Comparable to other flagship smart phones
Great community that is very helpful
Touchscreen issue out of the box
Android battery drain bug
Less than average customer support
Many users report all sorts of different issues
I have experienced a touch screen bug (fixed for me)
Battery drain – currently fixing/not sure if it’s the normal battery
Facebook not lets you receive encrypted email messages, just add your PGP key to your Facebook profile. This is a good step in the right direction for making the internet a more secure place. But my main concern is not many people use PGP, so I doubt that a lot of people will make use of this feature. Of all the people I have met, one or two people have given PGP a go and they do not use apart from the occasional encrypted message.
There are many benefits to using Bitcoin, one of them is that some merchants offer discounts if you pay in Bitcoin. This is because with Bitcoin, there are miniscule fees for sending money, and its also a lot faster and secure. For many merchants it is easier to use Bitcoin because they don’t have to pay a fee for every transaction and its quicker. As using Bitcoin is easier, safer and cheaper than using a credit card, many merchants offer discounts if you pay with Bitcoin. Bitdeals makes it easy to find deals for places that accept Bitcoin. As more companies accept Bitcoin, the list at Bitdeals will grow. Hopefully Bitcoin becomes the regular currency of the U.S and even the world.
Bitsim is a secure token that lets any mobile phone become a Bitcoin wallet. The chip goes in the same slot that the sim card goes in, you can use your phone like normal because it leaves room for the sim card. Bitsim has a huge amount of potential, “There are over 7 Billion SIMs out there in the world that we can address with BitSIM, the opportunity is huge.” (Bitsim).
As always when I see a new piece of Bitcoin tech, I immediately want to get one to mess around with it. A small secure chip such as Bitsim can help spread Bitcoin all over because it lets any phone with a sim port become a wallet. Just insert the chip, there are no cables or adapters needed, so you can leave it in and never have to worry about it. This makes using Bitcoin extremely easy because when you have your phone your Bitcoin wallet is with you, all while being super secure. With Bitsim you phone becomes an ultra secure Bitcoin wallet.
Tutanota is another secure email service, that makes end to end encryption easy. One thing that stood out before I even made an account was that they published all their code on Github. What is nice about this is that anyone with the right skill can check the code and make sure it is secure and safe to use. Using Tuanota is quite straight forward, you register like any other email service. Then log in and your good to go and communicate securely. The majority of your information is encrypted, the only information that is not is the sender, recipient and date (which they are working on encrypting). Your emails are encrypted before they are sent to Tutanota‘s servers with AES 128 bit and RSA 2048. Another added bonus is that they strip your IP address from the email so that your location will remain hidden (they do not log IP addresses unless there is abuse to the system). Have more questions? Check out Tutanota‘s FAQ page here.
Tutanota ‘s approach to secure email is great! They have made all the code open source and public, allowing for anyone to review and check it. The team behind Tutanota has awesome ethics, “My aim is to fight mass surveillance. I write code to fight for our human right to privacy…” – Matthias (one of the developers). The ideas that Tutanota support is what really caused me to like them. There multiple services that offer secure and private email, Tutanota’s team adds a more personal element that draws me in. Special thanks to a reader who told me about Tutanota.
For these of you who don’t know what Tails is, it’s considered the most secure operating system. So secure that the NSA consider it a threat and Edward Snowden used it to protect his identity. It is a Linux distro designed with security and privacy in mind. It comes with many security/privacy related tools (see link here) that are extremely helpful in communicating securely and browsing the web anonymously. It leaves no trace on a computer that it boots from, so the majority of the computers out there can run it. Tails having a bitcoin wallet makes the computer world a lot more secure, as now you can store bitcoin in a saver environment and use it on any computer without worrying about security. Tails has to be one of my favorite Linux distros because you can use it to be super secure and safe, or have a portable secure computer that boots from a USB stick.