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Google Handhelds Open Source Operating Systems

G2 Detects When Rooted and Reinstalls Stock OS 406

RandyDownes writes "And you thought the Droid X's kill switch was bad. HTC and T-Mobile's new G2 can detect when it's been rooted and responds by reinstalling the factory OS. This seems like a violation of the Apache license Android is licensed under and is especially ironic given Eric Schmidt's recent statement about not requiring carriers to give consumers the option to install Google's own version of the OS. Schmidt called it a violation of the principles of open source." Update: 10/06 17:47 GMT by S : As readers have noted, the G2 is not from Motorola. Here's a better source, and here's the XDA Developers thread discussing the issue.
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G2 Detects When Rooted and Reinstalls Stock OS

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  • by loyukfai ( 837795 ) on Wednesday October 06, 2010 @01:35PM (#33812436)

    What is he talking about...?

  • Vendor confusion (Score:2, Informative)

    by frodo from middle ea ( 602941 ) on Wednesday October 06, 2010 @01:36PM (#33812486) Homepage
    You mean HTC G2 ?
  • by Reilaos ( 1544173 ) on Wednesday October 06, 2010 @01:37PM (#33812504) Homepage

    G2 is by HTC, and I'm fairly sure isn't running MotoBlur.

  • Re:Driod does... (Score:4, Informative)

    by Shakrai ( 717556 ) * on Wednesday October 06, 2010 @02:17PM (#33813590) Journal

    This is disingenuous. I have a Droid-X. Rooted it right out of the box and installed software that Verizon would prefer I didn't use (Wi-Fi tethering). Recently upgraded it to Froyo (Android 2.2) and was still able to root it.

    The Droid-X doesn't have a "kill switch" against rooting. It has a kill switch against installing a new OS. If you want to install a different ROM image than the Droid-X isn't for you. If you simply want to customize the Android OS to do whatever the hell you want then there is nothing in place to stop you. Root it, uninstall all the bloatware, run wi-fi tethering to your hearts content.... it will do all of those things.

  • by John Hasler ( 414242 ) on Wednesday October 06, 2010 @02:19PM (#33813636) Homepage

    > Why should anyone accept and further abusive practices like this?

    You don't. You don't have to buy it. Most people, however, have no desire to "hack" their phones and would be pleased to learn that they are protected against anyone else doing it.

  • Re:The Reason Why (Score:4, Informative)

    by h4rr4r ( 612664 ) on Wednesday October 06, 2010 @02:24PM (#33813776)

    To prevent me from owning my own hardware is intrinsically evil. If your claim was true they would offer a simple, press Z on the hardware keyboard while you boot to not have the OS replaced or something.

  • by mlts ( 1038732 ) * on Wednesday October 06, 2010 @02:27PM (#33813836)

    The problem is that no Android phone since the Nexus 1 has allowed rooting. Motorola has told modders and developers to go elsewhere explicitly. HTC has always given out source, drivers, and access to dumps so people could easily mod their devices. However because of pressure from the cellular companies, they had to cave in and start making their devices modder hostile.

    It would be nice to have a phone that is unlocked and friendly to modders. Problem is that the N1 crashed and burned, and no carrier would want to carry such a device. Likely the only future solution will be having Google carry ADP phones that are unlocked/moddable versions of existing phones, although there has not been an ADP since the ADP2 (the N1 technically does not count.)

  • by LanMan04 ( 790429 ) on Wednesday October 06, 2010 @02:58PM (#33814472)

    There's no doubt that the illegal distribution of software on the android platform is pretty high. And we could make arguments about why that is forever using all the same old arguments and excuses we always have. The fact that it is easier on Android phones than others (is that true? I am not so sure about that) is a matter for consideration. But that, in and of itself, is not the reason carriers need to get into the mix by making it less useful for users.

    You misunderstand. You can install "pirated", not-downloaded-from-the-Market software on ANY stock android phone. Pirating software is not made any easier by rooting. Go grab a 2GB torrent of every damn Android app out there, install on your stock phone. Not a problem.

    This is all about hardware control. I have a T-Mobile MyTouch 3G, and if I had stayed stock, I'd STILL be on Android 1.6, which is fucking ANCIENT. I'm running 2.2.1, can do all kinds of actually useful stuff:

    Modify /etc/hosts to block ads? Check
    Over/underclock processor on demand, both increasing performance AND battery life? Check
    Control LEDs and other lights (different colors for txt/email/etc notifications, blink patterns)? Check
    Multitouch? Check
    Optimized kernel images that run wicked fast? Check
    Swap space on SD card to get some more RAM space? Check
    Complete bit-for-bit backup of the internal flash memory so I can do a "bare metal" restore? Check

    This phone fucking FLIES compared to the stock T-Mobile software, which is slooooow as hell. And THAT'S why I rooted.

  • Re:I'll Ask (Score:3, Informative)

    by JesseDegenerate ( 936699 ) on Wednesday October 06, 2010 @03:42PM (#33815262)
    Tango, Skype, loads of web browsers, (all compete with apples apps) The 3 camera app's i have, the weather channel, I even have a DivX file player that side loads .avi files it was much easier to get skype on an iOS device before yesterday, than a non verizon android phone. so yeah, you couldn't be more wrong, and your marked +4. typical
  • by CRCulver ( 715279 ) <> on Wednesday October 06, 2010 @03:46PM (#33815342) Homepage
    IgnoramusMaximus's post suggested that 3G support was limited to Europe, but in fact the N900 has been rolled out all over the world (India, the Gulf Arab states, Japan, Hong Kong...) and 3G works fine. Just because a phone doesn't work ideally in North America doesn't mean that it fails to work in "most of the world".
  • Re:Driod does... (Score:3, Informative)

    by GweeDo ( 127172 ) on Wednesday October 06, 2010 @05:05PM (#33816708) Homepage

    Actually it only has a "kill switch" against unsigned /boot partitions. The /system partition is only signature checked after it is updated via the stock recovery partition. If you update things (or 100% replace) /system/ via something like Koush's Boot Strap Recovery that check never occurs. This is how some groups are working on getting AOSP based Android builds up and going for testing on the Droid X. As long as they can get it to work with the official /boot/ they are fine.

    Also, it should be clear what the "kill switch" is. It isn't an eFuse like so many falsely said early on. The bootloader simply won't hand over to /boot/ and sits in a state waiting for RSD Lite to flash a new properly signed SBF to it.

  • There is no rootkit? (Score:5, Informative)

    by FunkyELF ( 609131 ) on Wednesday October 06, 2010 @05:06PM (#33816740)

    From... []


    Don't you get it? It is simply WRITE PROTECTED with REDIRECTED WRITES!

  • by lowlymarine ( 1172723 ) on Wednesday October 06, 2010 @07:45PM (#33818550)
    The GSM Galaxy S models (i9000, Captivate, and Vibrant) are easily rootable, quad-band, and are slated to definitely be getting Froyo in the next month or so (leaked builds are already widely available). Technologically, they're the best Android phones on the market. They're not perfect (no hardware keyboard, GPS is a bit flaky, and only the i9000 has properly-functioning HSUPA right now) but they're overall very solid models.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday October 06, 2010 @07:55PM (#33818626)

    Yes they do. T-mobile offers a $20/month discount for not getting a contract. That is $480 over 2 years. In exchange you forfeit your $300 discount on the phone. That makes sense to me. I give them 300 now, and they give me 480 back over time. I have 500 minutes, unlimited text, and unlimited data for just $60/mo. T-mobile is the only american company doing this, but if you can live with the smaller network, it's a great deal. I didn't buy a nexus one because I bought a Motorola CLIQ instead. I didn't want to wait the extra month for the Nexus One to come out. I also didn't want to pay 530 for the Nexus One when the CLIQ was only 350. At that time, I didn't think Motorola was going to abandon the CLIQ.

  • by silanea ( 1241518 ) on Wednesday October 06, 2010 @09:13PM (#33819322)

    What is different from Maemo than Android, iOS, or WinPhone 7 (when released)?

    Maemo - at least on the N900 - has a different target audience as the other ones you named. It is a full-blown Linux - apt-get and all. Many existing Linux applications can be run on it, with the hardware being the limiting factor. The downside is that the interface across applications is far from having the polish of iOS or even Android, and that there is little in terms of your 'typical' iPhone apps. The upside is that the platform is truly open and immensely powerful. You can ssh into your phone, you can run a full Apache server stack, you can run OpenOffice (or LibreOffice, for the Oracle haters) and so on. All the new libraries and technologies you see in current Linux distributions are - or will be - available on your phone, further closing the gap between your devices.

    Maemo (or MeeGo, its successor) still has a long way to go until it will be as accessible to 'normal' users and as visually polished as, say, iOS. But it offers a powerful platform for more specialised needs.

  • by ncc74656 ( 45571 ) * <> on Thursday October 07, 2010 @12:05PM (#33825700) Homepage Journal

    Keep in mind that in the US and in Canada the dominant cellular system for many decades was CDMA. GSM is a fairly recent development and it makes inroads slowly.

    ~15 years ago is "fairly recent?" A few seconds' googling turned up this []:

    Digital systems arrived in the U.S. in the early '90s, with the first U.S. TDMA system launching in 1993 and the first U.S. GSM systems in 1995. In 1996, the first [CDMA] systems were launched.

    I'd hesitate to call any of these dominant at any time in the present or past. TDMA is no longer with us, but GSM is supported by two of the four major carriers and CDMA is supported by the other two carriers. If any system had market dominance at any point, I'd have to say it was AMPS, which was the only game in town from the '80s through the mid-to-late-'90s.

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