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Android Cellphones Handhelds The Media

Android Tricorder Killed By CBS 247

First time accepted submitter josn writes "Today I found out that Moonlight's Tricorder app, which I always install on Android devices, is gone. Google received a DMCA letter from CBS. I think it is a shame that CBS thinks it needs to kill a free and open source project giving a ad-less app. I, for one, sent a message to CBS explaining that this fan-supported app is not bad, but good for them, and asked them to reconsider. I hope, especially for the author, who must have spent a lot of time on this app, that they do."
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Android Tricorder Killed By CBS

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  • by barlevg ( 2111272 ) on Friday September 02, 2011 @07:32PM (#37292620)
    The app is surprisingly useful: accelerometer, audio spectrum analyzer, compass to name a few... it does everything you'd expect a "real" tricorder to do, with the only limitations being the phone hardware.
  • by element-o.p. ( 939033 ) on Friday September 02, 2011 @07:40PM (#37292666) Homepage
    Once you get past the geek-factor -- and it's considerable -- the tricorder app actually is kind of cool. It wraps several useful functions into a single app, and they all work rather well. I wish the accelerometer would display in some kind of useful unit, rather than a generic graph, and I wish it had some kind of a peak indicator, but even as it is, it was a useful app.
  • Re:Lame! (Score:5, Informative)

    by Artifex ( 18308 ) on Friday September 02, 2011 @07:50PM (#37292752) Journal

    No, but last night I had it installed when I wiped & installed a later ROM. When it got through auto-reinstalling my backed up apps from Market, Tricorder was no longer there :(

    Just goes to show, ya gotta back up your software locally (In this case, the .apks); can't trust a vendor to store it for you.

  • Re:Damn (Score:3, Informative)

    by iluvcapra ( 782887 ) on Friday September 02, 2011 @08:04PM (#37292830)

    Klingon cruisers are definitely equipped with photon torpedoes in-canon; they use they against V'Ger in ST:TMP. Birds of Prey fire torpedoes in ST6. It is a cloaked Bird of Prey that fires while cloaked, so its possible previous variations were different; Christopher Lloyd'd (Kruge's) ship in ST3 destroyed the Grissom with an undisclosed weapon that were probably disruptors, though later, after being damaged it alternates and fires what are almost definitely torpedoes.

  • Re:Lame! (Score:4, Informative)

    by nbetcher ( 973062 ) <> on Friday September 02, 2011 @08:09PM (#37292860)
    No. It does not. Also, you can still install the Tricorder app by finding the APK on the web, checking 'Unknown Sources' (Settings->Applications), then issuing: 'adb install tricorder.apk' while your phone is connected to a PC that has the ADB drivers installed. Otherwise you can download the APK to your phone and use Astro Filemanager to install it.
  • Re:Lame! (Score:3, Informative)

    by JesusFreke ( 1216908 ) on Friday September 02, 2011 @08:30PM (#37293000)

    "Unknown Sources" has nothing to do with using adb install. It will work whether or not you have "Unknown Sources" checked or not. That is only if you want to allow other applications on the device to install applications e.g. allow the browser to install an apk that it downloaded, or allow a third party market application to install an application.

  • LCARS is the problem (Score:5, Informative)

    by steveha ( 103154 ) on Friday September 02, 2011 @08:44PM (#37293078) Homepage

    The summary includes a link to the wiki article about it being killed by lawyers. This in turn includes the text of the DMCA takedown notice. Take a look: to
    Reply - More info Aug 23

    AutoDetectedBrowser: Internet Explorer 7
    AutoDetectedOS: Windows XP
    IIILanguage: en
    IssueType: lr_dmca
    Language: en
    agree1: checked
    agree: checked
    android_app_developer_1: Moonblink
    android_app_name_1: Tricorder
    android_app_url_1: []
    companyname: CBS
    country_residence: US
    description_of_copyrighted_work: LCARS graphical user interface
    dmca_signature: Lxxxxxxn
    dmca_signature_date_day: 23
    dmca_signature_date_month: 8
    dmca_signature_date_year: 2011
    full_name: Lxxxxxxn
    hidden_product: androidmarket
    location_of_copyrighted_work: LCARS graphical user interface, an example of which can be viewed at the URL below: [] represented_copyright_holder: CBS Studios Inc.

    Now, I used to have an app on my Palm PDA that pretended to be a tricorder but didn't actually do anything (other than make some chirp noises and display various jokes). That's not what this is; this "tricorder" app displays the outputs from various sensors on an Android phone. You can get a magnetic compass, sound data from the microphone, GPS data, etc. The DMCA takedown isn't about this functionality, but just about the LCARS interface.

    The solution is obvious: reskin the app, using an Android sort of theme, and for extra safety change the name. The result shouldn't bother CBS anymore.

    I don't even really like LCARS much.

    P.S. I presume that CBS will go after the people who install LCARS themes on their desktops. What a waste of time.


  • Contract violation? (Score:3, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday September 02, 2011 @09:03PM (#37293200)

    According to this In Gene Roddenberry contract if any of the technology in star trek gets invented they can use the name free of charge. Is it that now he is gone they will ignore that part of there original contract?

  • by MrKaos ( 858439 ) on Saturday September 03, 2011 @10:33AM (#37296040) Journal

    The app is surprisingly useful: accelerometer, audio spectrum analyzer, compass to name a few... it does everything you'd expect a "real" tricorder to do, with the only limitations being the phone hardware.

    exactly, it is surprisingly useful. Surely it's possible for the app author to have the app exist just without a lCars skin? (maybe someone else can make one)

    I mean, seriously, fuck you CBS, for ending my last bit of nerdiness fun with Star Trek. CBS have well and truly killed the innocent fun of ST more effectively than any Borg could. If I could shit in their mouths I would for the crap that dribbles of their chins.

    Thank you moonblink for giving us this app while we could have it, and I will continue to enjoy it on my droid while I can. However it is OSS, where can I get the source and can you GPL 3 the shit out of it so that, somehow, CBS can't use the code base?

    If Star Trek was a real utopian future, it would be an Open Source one I simply couldn't imaging a situation below happening

    • JLP: Mr Worf Fire Phasers and a full photon torpedo spread
    • WORF; Captain, Phasers and Photon torpedos are inoperable
    • JLP; Lt Worf, get the weapons operational and fire on that ship or we are all dead
    • WORF; Sir I cannot, the console is reading an obscure error message I have never seen before
    • JLP; Mr you are a trained federation officer, don't give me excuses a cadet would, fix the problem
    • WORF; Sir, I cannot, it says "licence key expired, enter new license key
    • RIKER; What is a license key?
    • DATA; A licence key is a obscure reference to a late twentieth century method of limiting the capabilities of computer systems to extract payment, it was often used with other techniques such as...
    • WORF; This enemy has the guile of a Romulan and the treachery of a Ferengi slave trader (Worf smashes his fist into the console in utter frustration)
    • JLP; Lt Le Forge, get us out of here maximum warp
    • Le FORGE; Captian, I love to comply but the anti-matter injector controller control systems are saying things I've never seen before
    • RIKER; Let me guess, another licence key expiry, the damn ship is falling apart, but it's still in one peice..
    • Le FORGE; No sir, the controller system is saying it has encountered a patent violation and cannot continue
    • DATA; As I was saying Sir, with other techniques such as patent encumberance, licence revocation and software keys. Generally it was found to limit innovation as it reduced the number of minds able to create and solve problems the human race faced with software. Those who did were branded Pirates and "Open Source Hippies"
    • JLP; Hippies?, I'm ashamed just how much like the Ferengi we were...
    • RIKER; (whispers to Picard) Captain, if we can stop them they can take the entire Federation without firing a shot
    • (just then the com heralds a message from Dr Crusher)
    • CRUSHER; Captain, all my medical equipment has suddenly lost all but the most basic functionality
    • JLP; We are encountering similar issue Dr Crusher, are there any messages
    • CRUSHER; Yes Captain, it's saying that our trial period has ended and we will have to "purchase" a full licence to access all the functionality, Captain we have wounded...
    • JLP; (just as LeForge steps out of the Turbo Lift) Dr Crusher, you will just have to resort to some of that "old Fashioned" medicine you speak of and...
    • WORF; Captain we are being hailed by the enemy vessel
    • JLP; On Screen
    • CBS MANAGEMENT; We've noticed that you have not been pulling the consistent ratings you've done in the past so we are pulling the plug, wind your series up in an express way that make some sense of the story line, you won't be funded past a 7th season
    • JLP; Release my ship immediately, we have no expectations of being good all the time, just the best we can be, now release my ship
    • CBS MANAGEMENT; Yeeees, except it's not really your ship it'

When you are working hard, get up and retch every so often.