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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 Nursie ( 632944 ) on Wednesday October 06, 2010 @01:46PM (#33812752)

    Openmoko failed as much because of bad management.

    Or at least the software platform did. Developers (paid ones) were just allowed to go off and do what they liked, so you got people spending six months rewriting the onscreen keyboard when half the time the sound subsystem didn't work (kind of important on a phone) along with a variety of other massive problems. Oh yeah, and the two or three full-stack rewrites they seemed to have going at any one time.

    It didn't even get good press amongst geeks because open was all it had going for it, and they burned through whatever capital they had by pissing into the wind.

    The N900 is the most FOSS-geek friendly thing I can find at the moment, and I love it.

  • by think_nix ( 1467471 ) on Wednesday October 06, 2010 @01:50PM (#33812898)

    ...battle for control over our mobile devices. Fuck it, I don't care anymore. The war certainly won't be won in its current direction. It needs fundamental change at the consumer level.

    This is why I recently bought a n900 after reviewing the current situation and comparing many devices with articles, reviews, asking friends or colleagues about their models. Albeit with a (around) 450 € sticker price it was not cheep. But out of the box I do have to worry about changing carriers (if I do), needing to get root (if I want to), app prices, and app licensing.

    Oh did I mention it has been out for little over a year and is stable and has a really cool community constantly building open source apps ? []

  • The Reason Why (Score:5, Interesting)

    by AdamThor ( 995520 ) on Wednesday October 06, 2010 @01:53PM (#33812980)

    This and a number of other consumer ills I think can be reduced to a single statement: "The consumer is not the customer"

  • by catbutt ( 469582 ) on Wednesday October 06, 2010 @02:00PM (#33813200)
    Change is unlikely on the consumer level, there's too many of them.

    Where change can happen is in the media or in companies that have a lot of power. Google might be able to do something. Individuals, not so much.
  • by Facegarden ( 967477 ) on Wednesday October 06, 2010 @02:19PM (#33813646)

    You get what you pay for.

    If you really want to have an "open" device, you should have supported the various open hardware platforms that eventually failed because of your lack of support.

    You can't really complain that you don't have choices when you made no effort to support the good choices that you had.

    Oh my fucking god man, whaaa whaa whaa. I really try to support open source, but THIS is the fucking reason why open source isn't more widely supported. Everyone developing for them says they're the best thing ever, and then when users don't adopt, the developers blame the USERS.

    WTF? Did you not ever take a business class in your life? Consumers do what they want, and you either provide them with what they want or you get left behind. If you don't see it that way, you will also get left behind. If consumers don't pick up your device, its YOUR FAULT.

    If the CEO of a poorly performing company came out and said "We lost money this year because consumers refuse to support us." that CEO would get fucking FIRED.

    This mentality upsets me so much, because every year I download Ubuntu and give it a shot. I *want* it to be awesome and I want to switch. But every time I have some menial little issue that ends up taking a week to sort out, and I give up. Then, when I mention that experience to people who strongly support linux, they say it was my fault. That "All you have to do it edit .asoundrc. If you won't RTFM we can't help you.", as if you just click "edit" and its done. No one on the forums could tell me *what* I needed to do in the editor (and I searched, and asked nicely - I know how to ask things on forums) and I *tried* reading the manual, and reading everything else I could find, but all I was trying to do was get my media center to properly mix the audio for 5.1 channel surround! In windows you just check a box. In linux, I spent a week on it and then gave up.

    As long as people keep developing crap software and then blaming it on the user, they will never succeed. That said, I am still excited for Ubuntu 10.10. Just like I was for 7.10,8.4,8.10,9.4,9.10, and 10.4. Lets hope *this* time its money...


  • by coats ( 1068 ) on Wednesday October 06, 2010 @02:42PM (#33814118) Homepage
    My wife has a Blackberry from AT&T. It's her device. She paid for it. She's installed Blackberry Maps on it. And AT&T keeps going behind her back and erasing it.

    Why should that not be (felony) violation of the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act?

    Ditto about other stuff being written here...

  • by recharged95 ( 782975 ) on Wednesday October 06, 2010 @03:35PM (#33815146) Journal
    From that logic, with the fanboy masses out there, it is truly a Android vs. iOS vs. MeeGo vs. BBOS religious war. Cause in the end, no one wins the war (when it comes to religion anyways).
  • Re:I'll Ask (Score:4, Interesting)

    by farble1670 ( 803356 ) on Wednesday October 06, 2010 @03:56PM (#33815502)

    and how long until verizon locks you out of the android market and substitutes the v-cast market instead? soon. the only reason the carrier relinquished a little control to google, allowing their phones to make google money through search, is because they had nothing to compete with the iphone.

    now that they have android, watch the noose tighten. carriers just can't stop trying to squeeze a dime out of every aspect of the mobile web. they'll never allow themselves to be relegated to being a pipe.

    of course, they don't get that they really don't have android. google sold it to them like "look, it's open source, how much control can we really exert over you?". ha ha. thousands of google employees that are infinitely familiar with the source code means more than they think.

  • by tophermeyer ( 1573841 ) on Wednesday October 06, 2010 @03:59PM (#33815554)

    So you're saying that I can progressively pull out of the market until I am forced to opt out of technology in general because I don't agree to being abused by OEMs?

    Yes, that's exactly right. You don't have any right to the technology. I would love to have a magical flying unicorn, but nobody offers such a thing. I don't get pissed off when Breeders tell me "Nope, sorry. Don't carry them". You have the freedom to make any purchasing decision you like. At the same time manufacturers have the right to decide what products they sell. We can't force them to offer an open phone that meets our wants.

    Realistically though you will never have no devices to buy. Someone somewhere will continue to market more open devices so long as there is a demand for it. Otherwise, you are totally free to build yourself whatever kind of phone you want.

  • by Jah-Wren Ryel ( 80510 ) on Wednesday October 06, 2010 @04:06PM (#33815656)

    If the CEO of a poorly performing company came out and said "We lost money this year because consumers refuse to support us." that CEO would get fucking FIRED.

    Seems to work great for the MAFIAA. They even get senators fawning over them because of it. Where's my senators?
    (yes, no need to spell out the painfully obvious fact that I don't bribe senators).

  • by bluephone ( 200451 ) < minus bsd> on Wednesday October 06, 2010 @04:08PM (#33815696) Homepage Journal

    I bought the N900 as soon as it was released in the US. I had been waiting for it since I got my N810, which I instantly fell in love with. The N900 was great out of the box, but over the next 4 months I became increasingly disappointed with it. I even changed from AT&T to TMobile because I wanted 3G data. The Maemo platform is still incredibly immature as anything other than a hobbyist/developer platform. As a smartphone it's nearly useless. And Nokia did nothing but pay lip service to the platform after launch. I say this as a long time Nokia fan and Maemo booster. I jumped to Android, the Nexus One, and haven't missed my N900 for a second.

    Not only does the software platform suffer from terribly integration and missing features, the hardware itself is poorly designed. The slide mechanism is cheap, and wound up putting scratches into the right side of the keyboard area. There is a magnet on the OUTSIDE of the battery cover that performs two actions. It helps hold down the useless kickstand (it's positioned too far to one side to reliably keep the N900 upright if you play on touching it) when the kickstand is closed, AND it also triggers a sensor on the phone so it knows the battery door is closed. When that magnet falls off, the phone won't mount the SD card because it thinks the battery door is open. The only solution is to go to Nokia warranty and have them send you a new back.

    If you lose the stylus, Nokia won't even SELL you a new one. They sell them to warranty service centers, but PEOPLE can't get them.

    Nokia has completely lost any clue they had how to satisfy customers anymore. They keep putting out great designed phones with Symbian, a dead OS (don't even tell me how awesome it still is, it's not. It's a dead OS that no one told is dead. iOS, Android, even WinMoPhoneCE 7 is better than Symbian.), and crappy hardware with a POTENTIALLY fantastic OS, Maemo. And then they decided to merge Moblin with Maemo. It'll never take off, any chance it had is dead. Meego is the new Taligent. And the N900 is just dead in the water.

  • by lowrydr310 ( 830514 ) on Wednesday October 06, 2010 @05:55PM (#33817460)
    The funny thing is that HTC seems to be one of the cooler manufacturers, in terms of allowing customization and root; they're typically haven't taken the same bold killswitch action that Motorola has done. This move on the G2 is surprising to me.

    I have an EVO (HTC Supersonic) right now. I didn't plan on rooting it as I was somewhat happy with the entire phone, but what really started to bug me is that I couldn't delete the default Sprint apps. Then with the 2.2 Froyo update, I didn't have the option to use the Android launcher/homescreen (instead of Sense). It's not that Sense was bad, I just wanted to try something else on my "OPEN PLATFORM" Android phone and was prevented from doing so.

    I finally decided to take the plunge, root it, and install a custom ROM, and I couldn't be happier! I now have control of my phone; I can install/uninstall/modify whatever I want. I don't need NFL/NASCAR/SprintZone/facebook/twitter/peep/flickr taking up space and constantly launching when I don't even have accounts set up for those services.

    Oddly enough, since I've tried some of the AOSP stuff I realized I don't necessarily hate Sense; the HTC Dialer, Contacts (People), MMS app, and even their Browser are quite nice.

"Never face facts; if you do, you'll never get up in the morning." -- Marlo Thomas