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A Truly Open Linux Phone

kdawson posted about 8 years ago | from the apt-get-phone-software dept.


skelator2821 writes to tell us about the debut of the OpenMoko, a Linux phone with GPS that is open from top to bottom. The device is set to debut to developers this month for $350, according to the article, but there is no detail on how to get your hands on one, and no link to the manufacturer (FIC). From the article: "This is the first phone in a long time to get us really interested in what it is, what it isn't, and the philosophy behind it. The philosophy is the thing that makes Linux great... it is really open. It runs the latest kernel, 2.6.18 as of a few weeks ago, and you can get software from a repository with apt-get."

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Don't forget... (0, Troll)

SCO$699FeeTroll (695565) | about 8 years ago | (#16761203)

...to pay your $699 licensing fee you cock-smoking teabaggers.

Re:Don't forget... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#16761561)


Please clarify, is this some agreed community GPL violation fee that Novell are paying?

Now only if it supported.. (1)

joshier (957448) | about 8 years ago | (#16761233)


Oh, when will companies realize we want wifi!

Re:Now only if it supported.. (2, Informative)

dreamchaser (49529) | about 8 years ago | (#16761309)

If you read the article it does say that wifi is planned for a future release of the hardware.

Re:Now only if it supported.. (1)

isometrick (817436) | about 8 years ago | (#16761313)

RTFA. They're considering it for the next version, so they probably have realized it.

It's a Trap! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#16761245)

This is obviously a trap. Tag it as such.

Re:It's a Trap! (0, Offtopic)

stinkytoe (955163) | about 8 years ago | (#16761465)


Is it just me or what? (-1, Offtopic)

Rito25 (1023719) | about 8 years ago | (#16761359)

it seem to me that linux is becoming the the next microsoft

Re:Is it just me or what? (2, Insightful)

realmolo (574068) | about 8 years ago | (#16761437)

Yup. Just like ethernet is becoming the new AT&T.

Your analogy sucks. You are an idiot.

It's just you. (1)

Fordiman (689627) | about 8 years ago | (#16763779)

It seems to me that trolls are becoming the new Slashdotters.

No Camera... (0, Flamebait)

Andy_R (114137) | about 8 years ago | (#16761379)

...no headphone socket, no memory card socket, not enough memory to be a great mp3 or video player.

Great software can't fix harware problems, so no sale here.

Re:No Camera... (1)

deanlandolt (1004507) | about 8 years ago | (#16761491)

"Do one thing and do it well" -- now where have I heard that before?

I'm willing to bet there are more than a few ways to extend this to include all the little goodies you can imagine.

Re:No Camera... (1)

miscz (888242) | about 8 years ago | (#16762069)

It was about software, not hardware.

Re:No Camera... (2)

TheRaven64 (641858) | about 8 years ago | (#16762253)

Doing one thing and doing it well is great you're talking about software, and you can have a million things on your computer. It's a bit less good when you need a pocket for each one.

Re:No Camera... (1)

Espectr0 (577637) | about 8 years ago | (#16762805)

Would you pay 350$ to get a phone that can only call and receive calls, just because it runs linux?

I would rather just get a cheap candy bar nokia.

Re:No Camera... (1)

Sparr0 (451780) | about 8 years ago | (#16763119)

"only call and recieve calls"? wtf? what else do you want a phone to do, phone-wise? for everything else, you have the linux. play games, run office applications, watch movies, surf the web (assuming some sort of networking is available).

the only other hardware you might see in a phone these days is a camera, and i can damn well do without that.

Re:No Camera... (2, Insightful)

crindt (58476) | about 8 years ago | (#16761555)

No Camera...no headphone socket, no memory card socket, not enough memory to be a great mp3 or video player.

OK, no camera, but that's what my DSLR [slashdot.org] is for.

Headphones: use bluetooth, perhaps?
Memory slot: What's that MicroSD thingy?

Sounds good to me...except maybe the touch screen---tactile controls are really hard to beat.

Re:No Camera... (1)

bunions (970377) | about 8 years ago | (#16761715)

> no memory card socket


Let's step back and look at what the phone itself is before we get into the software that runs on it. The hardware itself is a Samsung 2410 266MHz ARM9 with a 2.8-inch VGA touch screen. There are only two buttons on the phone, the rest is handled by the touch screen, a microSD slot, Bluetooth 2.0, and USB for connectivity and charging. It also has two 1W stereo speakers so you can repurpose it to an MP3 player or anything else you would like.

Re:No Camera... (1)

jbrader (697703) | about 8 years ago | (#16762307)

I second your sig.

Re:No Camera... (1)

TheJorge (713680) | about 8 years ago | (#16763579)

Me, too.


your wrong about the lack of memory. (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#16761795)

I don't care about the camera. I never seen much of a point to a camera phone. Makes about as much sense as a mp3 playing bathtub, which I am sure somebody somewere made.
Sure it's convient, but so what?

And your absolutely wrong about not having enough memory. It takes miniSD cards and has 128 megs of RAM. Right now I have 2 1gig miniSD cards and a 128 meg SD card. Also you can buy up to 4gig MiniSD cards.

So frankly with miniSD slot your disk space is practically UNLIMITED.

For instance many possibilities:

* Go the 'Slax' route. Slax is a customizable Live Linux cdrom. It has various modules that you can use that you can add-on applications and other things to a already existing live cdrom. You can do this because the modules are compressed read-only file systems and you use UnionFS to mount them over the existing file system transparently. You can mix and match applications in that manner.

You can do the same thing with this. No problem.

So other possibilities.
* Remote X11 applications. Need I say more? (and yes NX compression will make them perfectly usable)
* Simple games.
* VoIP.
* remote access of systems through a veriaty of means such as voice command, terminal, tones.
* 266mhz CPU is fast enough for video.
* GPS kicks-ass. Interact with other GPS systems and keep track of things via GPSD and such.
* secure encrypted file systems for passwords and other sensitive information.
* stream audio

What this thing is is a Linux PC that fits in your pocket. Pretty much anything you can do with a PC linux box you can do with this thing.

This thing literally kicks the shit out of any sort of propriatory hardware phone you can think of. Even with out the camera. The possiblities are endless.

Re:your wrong about the lack of memory. (4, Informative)

DanielNS84 (847393) | about 8 years ago | (#16762377)

MiniSD != MicroSD For Comparison...

Re:your wrong about the lack of memory. (1)

SoapDish (971052) | about 8 years ago | (#16763335)

Makes about as much sense as a mp3 playing bathtub, which I am sure somebody somewere made.

Where can I get one? Seriously, it beats a shower radio anyday.

Re:your wrong about the lack of memory. (1)

cold wolf (686316) | about 8 years ago | (#16763879)

I don't think you can do VoIP because it doesn't have WiFi (you could use the USB to hook it up to your computer, but just use your computer at that point). And I wonder how you can get into service providers' systems without a SIM card?

Wake me when it has WiMax.

Re:your wrong about the lack of memory. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#16763903)

It does [linuxdevices.com] have a SIM card.

Re:No Camera... (2, Funny)

goaty_the_flying_sho (861224) | about 8 years ago | (#16761873)

Sounds perfect :)

Re:No Camera... (1)

mitchskin (226035) | about 8 years ago | (#16761903)

no headphone socket
Well, it'll have bluetooth 2.0, and I believe bluez has A2DP support.
no memory card socket
According to the article, it'll have a microSD slot.
not enough memory to be a great mp3 or video player
With 128 MB of RAM, it's got plenty to play mp3s. Video probably depends on whether or not there's a DSP.

Re:No Camera... (1)

EveLibertine (847955) | about 8 years ago | (#16762021)

Funny, maybe I'm old, but the only thing I was really worried about was whether or not it was a good phone.

Headphone socket aside, I've already got all that other stuff. Why would I want to pay more for one piece of hardware that will probably do all of them poorly?

Re:No Camera... (3, Informative)

TheRaven64 (641858) | about 8 years ago | (#16762349)

Pretty much any 'phone made in the last five years is a good 'phone. There are some exceptions, but not many. Once you've got the 'good 'phone' part solved, the question is 'what can we do with all the spare CPU power we have on this machine?'

An address book is obvious; you need to store 'phone numbers anyway, so it's not much of a stretch to store the rest of the contact information. Add in IrDA or Bluetooth so you can trivially send vCards to other people and it's a useful feature. If someone asks for a friend or colleague's contact details you can hand them a virtual business card.

Since you need to sync the address book with a computer, you may as well sync calendar information as well. I have my 'phone with me more often than my computer and so being able to have calendar alarms on the 'phone instead of the computer is great.

A camera? I wasn't convinced by this one until I got a camera-phone. I hadn't owned a camera for quite a while and didn't see the point in getting one. But then I found out that having a camera that took reasonable (2 megapixel - not fantastic, but not bad) quality pictures in my pocket all the time meant I actually used it.

A media player would be useful for the times I don't want to carry my iPod, except that the included headphone have sharp corners which hurt my ears and Nokia insist on a proprietary headphone socket.

I can't remember what other features my 'phone has, but if they don't take up any UI space (and they don't, since I have a set of shortcuts to the features I actually use) then they don't bother me. Mass production brings the price down.

Some hardware details... (1)

Ritz_Just_Ritz (883997) | about 8 years ago | (#16762259)

glommed from the net...

Neo1973 Handset Hardware

The Neo1973 is based on a Samsung S3C2410 SoC (system-on-chip) application processor, powered by an ARM9 core. It will have 128MB of RAM, and 64MB of flash, along with an upgradable 64MB MicroSD card.

Typical of Chinese phone designs, the Neo1973 sports a touchscreen, rather than a keypad -- in this case, an ultra-high resolution 2.8-inch VGA (640 x 480) touchscreen. "Maps look stunning on this screen," Moss-Pultz said.

The phone features an A-GPS (assisted GPS) receiver module connected to the application processor via a pair of UARTs. The commercial module has a closed design, but the API is apparently open.

Similarly, the phone's quad-band GSM/GPRS module, built by FIC, runs the proprietary Nucleus OS on a Texas Instruments baseband powered by an ARM7 core. It communicates with Linux over a serial port, using standard "AT" modem commands.

The Neo1973 will charge when connected to a PC via USB. It will also support USB network emulation, and will be capable of routing a connected PC to the Internet, via its GPRS data connection.

Moss-Pultz notes that the FIC-GTA001, or Neo1973, is merely the first model in a planned family of open Linux phones from FIC. He expects a follow-up model to offer both WiFi and Bluetooth. "By the time one ships, the next one is half done," he says.

Re:Some hardware details... (1)

ningeo (1022283) | about 8 years ago | (#16764161)

Definitely not surprised that the GPS reciever is proprietary, but having the API open is a start. I wonder if you can get at anything but NMEA data? Just finishing up a Geomatics Engineering degree, so this could be interesting for me.

Teenage Mutant Ningeo Turtles. Trust me, its funny.

Re:No Camera... (1)

draxbear (735156) | about 8 years ago | (#16762365)

According to the article it has a microSD slot.

Its also got bluetooth which should slightly offset the lack of a headphone socket (except for playing MP3's which you seem to be interested in).

While I'm not big on WiFi, it certainly would have made sense for this thing. A nice app to search for and alert if any open wireless is available, so you can kick off voip would definately underscore the power of an open platform.

Re:No Camera... (1)

FrostedChaos (231468) | about 8 years ago | (#16762991)

The screen is far too small on a cell phone to play movies. Watching a full-length movie would be really painful. I might occassionally watch "guy gets hit by a pie on youtube" on my cell phone, but hardly more than that. And you don't need massive disk space to do that.

Proper quality headphones are bigger than the entire size of the cell phone. Having a headphone jack is therefore somewhat irrelevant. If I wanted an iPod, I'd buy that, and throw it in the duffel bag with my regular size headphones. What's that, you say? You use crappy lo-fi "ear buds" that let everyone else hear what you're listening to? Well, the built-in speaker should be fine for you.

As far as the camera feature goes... I already have a camera which is much, much better than any camera on a phone. I can see using the cell phone camera in emergency situations where you absolutely have to take a picture of something. But aside from that, it is pretty much useless.

Also, there is a memory card socket FYI.

Re:No Camera... (1)

Sparr0 (451780) | about 8 years ago | (#16763099)

I am curious just how bright the screen might be... I used a small lens to project my GP2X screen (3.5") onto the back of a bus seat with an approx 11" diagonal viewing area and it still had better contrast than I (an admitted non-videophile) need. I would love to try the same with this little gadget.

Re:No Camera... (1)

DRACO- (175113) | about 8 years ago | (#16763685)

Bluetooth. Just sync up a ear danglers for headphone+mic. Sync up stereo headphones for mp3 playing, sync up any bluetooth camera.

Id likely get one or two.


Re:No Camera... (4, Insightful)

bunions (970377) | about 8 years ago | (#16764159)

This is hilarious. The original post contains three facts, one of which is simply wrong (there is a memory card socket) one of which is irrelevant (no headphone jack, but it supports bluetooth headsets, which are better) along with one assertion (not enough memory to be an mp3 or video player) which is either a conclusion based on the wrong fact or a ridiculous assertion that 128MB is too small to fit a player into.

So basically, the post contains 75% misinformation, and the information it does contain is painfully obvious.

And it's still +5 insightful.

Zaurus vs. This (1)

PHAEDRU5 (213667) | about 8 years ago | (#16761393)

I own a Sharp Zaurus, and aged as it might be, it pretty much keeps pace - absent the GSM bit.

Of course, I will buy.

Re:Zaurus vs. This (2, Insightful)

lindseyp (988332) | about 8 years ago | (#16762125)

You mean apart from the one piece of functionality which defines it as not being a phone?

aaaaaaeeiiiiiii (-1, Troll)

Revek (133289) | about 8 years ago | (#16761401)

its a fic run

No vendor lock-in? I don't think so (4, Insightful)

EmbeddedJanitor (597831) | about 8 years ago | (#16761403)

I doubt very much that carriers will be friendly towards open,hack-by-anybody, phones. Most/all carriers require all kinds of certification & testing before they allow vendors to hook up a phone to their network. They also don't like time wasters trying to hook up low volume/low profit phones to their networks. The testing can cost a big bunch of dollars -- ballpark $250k. Now if Joe hacker wnats to spend that, and he can convince the carrier he's going to sell many thousands, he's welcome. Otherwise, at least some part of the phone firmware will be locked down and tamper proof to keep ceritication valid.

Re:No vendor lock-in? I don't think so (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#16761447)

Exactly. It might be open software, but the wireless hardware has to remain closed due to FCC rules, just like the Intel Pro Wireless firmware on my laptop. I like the idea of open software at least.

Re:No vendor lock-in? I don't think so (1)

idiot900 (166952) | about 8 years ago | (#16761663)

It's an unlocked GSM phone, so it should work with many carriers in many countries. What carriers exclude handsets by model number?

Re:No vendor lock-in? I don't think so (1)

Shadow99_1 (86250) | about 8 years ago | (#16761779)

Most of them in the US...

Re:No vendor lock-in? I don't think so (3, Informative)

VP (32928) | about 8 years ago | (#16761849)

Not the GSM vendors (Cingular and T-Mobil) - any unlocked phone with the appropriate SIM card will work on their networks.

Re:No vendor lock-in? I don't think so (1)

Shadow99_1 (86250) | about 8 years ago | (#16762285)

Ah... see I have no experience with either since they don't offer service in my area... My choices are locals or Verizon (with a very very small Sprint footprint not worth mentioning).

It's nice to know other vendors aren't quite so barbaric...

Re:No vendor lock-in? I don't think so (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#16764003)

epic fail

Re:No vendor lock-in? I don't think so (4, Informative)

webgeek2point0 (1003266) | about 8 years ago | (#16762517)

You're absolutely right. I work for T-Mobile. As long as you have a handset that takes a SIM card, you can use any phone you like. We actually have a tech support department devoted to just helping people with unsupported devices. I help people all the time set up their GSM phones to use on our network (i.e. - internet and picture messaging). I believe Cingular is the same way...as is most of the rest of the world.

Re:No vendor lock-in? I don't think so (1)

livewire98801 (916940) | about 8 years ago | (#16762029)

I haven't found that to be the case. I've worked with Cingular and T-Mo (the two major GSM carriers) and they have given me no trouble with alien hardware. The problem is going to be marketing if the carriers aren't selling it for you. Most ppl won't buy one unless they can get it from their carrier.

Re:No vendor lock-in? I don't think so (1)

Shadow99_1 (86250) | about 8 years ago | (#16762317)

Do you really think so? My carrier is Virgin Mobile, but that's purely a cost consideration on my part (I don't need more than ~100 minutes a month, which through all my possible carrier chocies where I live doesn't exist). I buy my phones outright (though they must be approved by my carrier as none are sim replacable and they don't sell sim cards).

Otherwise the 2 local cell phone vendors (Blue wireless & CellOne) as well as Verizon (& Sprint if you feel like tracking down their one store in my area) all use phone lock-ins... With hefty costing plans per month (well compared to mine which costs me $20/quarter of a year) requiring multi-year contracts and limiting your options in changing phones... So people couldn't buy one if they wanted to...

Re:No vendor lock-in? I don't think so (1)

DanielNS84 (847393) | about 8 years ago | (#16762463)

Cingular Prepaid (Go Phones) are most likely the way to go if they cover your area. They use sim cards and the phones and cards are swappable with eachother if you decide on a plan later on...if you buy one of those 20 dollar phones and take the sim out (or you might be able to get one at a cingular store) you could slide it into one of these phones.

Re:No vendor lock-in? I don't think so (1)

Shadow99_1 (86250) | about 8 years ago | (#16762649)

Not offered since their is no cingular network locally (though I'm going to guess they do have towers on the interstates concneting to Cleveland/Buffalo and Pittsburgh, wouldn't want to interrupt service as they drive through after all). But 2 roads is hardly going to help with an area that's 80x30 miles (rough guess). And I'd have to get one outside my local area, making certain landlands (like the one my parents use) treat it as a long distance number (even with number portability I really doubt I could ahve it considered local). Not really worth the effort...

Of resellers (ie companies that resell service through other companies networks) we have Virgin Mobile (some of the Sprint Network), AT&T Wireless (Probably Sprint), and Tracfone (Probably Sprint). Combined with only 4 networks covering the local area (2 local, 2 national) it's just a dismal area for cell service...

Re:No vendor lock-in? I don't think so (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#16762877)

I don't think they do have towers between cleveland and buffalo. I use t-mobile and I just drove that route a week ago and my battery was drained by the time I got to chicago (where there was signal). When there is signal my battery lasts a week, so draining a full charge in way under 10 hours with no talk time suggests that there was no coverage on most of the route - causing my phone to run in hi-power mode desperately searching for a signal that was not there.

Re:No vendor lock-in? I don't think so (1)

livewire98801 (916940) | about 8 years ago | (#16762465)

Virgin Mobile resells Sprint service, which is a CDMA carrier. They have the option of refusing a phone based on ESN, as does Verizon (CDMA). Cellular One is a congomerate (sp?) that uses several different technologies so YMMV. I've never heard of Blue Wireless, so I would guess that they are either local providers in your area (like Unicel here) or a reseller like Virgin is. I switched from Verizon to Cingular mostly because they can't control what hardware I use (and Verizon's customer service tanked) as Cingular is a GSM carrier.

Re:No vendor lock-in? I don't think so (1)

Shadow99_1 (86250) | about 8 years ago | (#16762573)

There are no local GSM carriers for me (which was my point). I'd love to have more chocies, but apparently 500,000 people is to small for them...

Verizon, Cellular One, Blue Wireless, and Sprint have the only networks locally and all require more expensive plans I just don't need... Even prepaid phones are limited to a few providers due to what networks exist here and Virgin Mobile offered the best price vs Service area. Not that they even have service in all Sprint areas either...

Re:No vendor lock-in? I don't think so (1)

dwater (72834) | about 8 years ago | (#16763611)

...perhaps they're interested in other markets then??? "Other markets than the US???" shock. horror.

The GSM code is locked down (1)

EmbeddedJanitor (597831) | about 8 years ago | (#16761783)

So it can't, in all honesty, be called fully open.

Absolutely so! Here's the state of the art (4, Interesting)

btarval (874919) | about 8 years ago | (#16763055)

Well, you're just not familiar with what's going on in the Open Source Phone world.

First of all, the Carriers have little choice here. Fully functional Reference kits are available in the under $1000 range. For GSM, you can get them for about $200-300. These are the kits that companies who build cell-phones use to jumpstart their designs. So what's a Carrier going to do? Outlaw these? And kill development for cell-phones? I don't think so.

The most they might do is to tighten down on the registration. But that involves overhead and hassle. Unless these kits prove to be an issue, it's not going to happen; at least not with the GSM market. And not worldwide.

You are also wrong about the "time wasters" who supply low volume and low profit phones. What the Carriers want (at least some of them) is to sell the airtime. Some of these Carriers really don't care where it goes, as long as they get paid for it.

There's a whole resale market here which underscores the point. You want to to become your own cell-phone company? You can, if you have the money. And if you don't think *those* resellers are hungry, you're kidding yourself.

I admit that as far as the standard view about "time wasters" goes (for the big companies) you are correct. And it's explicitly been this attitude which has severely hindered innovation in the cell-phone market. There are a plethora of uses for small markets. Some of the hungrier carriers fully realize this, and are supportive of anything which will make them money.

Finally, the lockdown on GSM transceivers is a bit silly. The interface is extremely simple; it's a variation of the old Hayes Modem interface. I kid you not. "ATDT....". There's even an Open Source Project for this. Here's the link:

http://sourceforge.net/projects/libgsmc [sourceforge.net]

Finally, there's even a group dedicated to a fully Open Source phone. Namely, the Silicon Valley Homebrew Mobile Phone Club. They are having a meeting tomorrow night in San Francisco. Here's a link to their mailing list archives:

http://telefono.revejo.org/pipermail/svhmpc_telefo no.revejo.org/ [revejo.org]

Check out the list, and the information on various associated websites. There's really a groundswell building in this area. And those Carriers which close things off are going to miss an opportunity that their competitors are actively interested in.

um, ok (0, Redundant)

Starteck81 (917280) | about 8 years ago | (#16761409)

Why the hell is every thing tagged as itsatrap today!?!?! Slashdotters need to take some paranoia meds.

Re:um, ok (2, Insightful)

The Real Toad King (981874) | about 8 years ago | (#16761553)

Also, I want to smack all the people using the tag "itsnotatrap" when they know, if they read the tagging FAQ, that it should be "!itsatrap".

Re:um, ok (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#16761611)

It's because MS astroturfers are tagging everything isatrap so that the next Microsoft story wont look so bad.

Re:um, ok (-1, Offtopic)

thelost (808451) | about 8 years ago | (#16761963)

it's pissing me off as well. it just goes to show how useless that slashdot tagging system is though. in other words itscrap.

Re:um, ok (1)

snarkth (1002832) | about 8 years ago | (#16762435)


  Oh great, another tag meme. ;-)


Feeling like the codger I am (1)

MrShaggy (683273) | about 8 years ago | (#16761417)

Why not make a 100$ one that simply, lets me make phone calls, and not much else? I don't care if the are Wifi. Or Wii. Im 34, and I'm over that.

Re:Feeling like the codger I am (2, Informative)

snarkth (1002832) | about 8 years ago | (#16762609)

I assume you are living in the US.

  Buy a tracfone. $29.xx at Walmart, 250 minutes for fifty bucks (or better if you want to spend more). Unless you need something that'll let you talk to your girlfriend for fourteen hours at a time, they are a pretty good deal. I recently carried mine on a trip across NW South Dakota and had a tower for just about the whole trip. No credit check, they pretty much just work, although adding minutes can be a pain sometimes, their tech support has been pretty good in my experience. Nice, too, if you want relative anonymity (ie, no name tied to the phone).

  Other cell co's/phone packages have pay-as-you-go plans; last time I was at Walleyed-world there were three or four phones like that on the displays for under $100 with various plans.

  Check to see what sort of service in your area is available first. Unless you are *way* the hell out there, at the very least a tracfone ought to work for you.

  Oh, and warning: These phones have other functions on them, too. Games, and shit. You don't have to use them, however ;-)

  Danged kids ;-) (I'm only forty and you are making me feel old ;-)


care to visit the company website? (1)

hjf (703092) | about 8 years ago | (#16761441)

Did anyone read that at the top right of http://www.fic.com.tw/ [fic.com.tw] it reads "FIC RECOMMENDS WINDOWS XP". Open source friendly?

Re:care to visit the company website? (1)

Joe U (443617) | about 8 years ago | (#16762921)

FIC got lots of free advertising from Microsoft for that blurb.

Besides, you can recommend Windows XP and still be OSS friendly, despite what some idiots think. Some people actually need to use the best tool for the job.

Open Phone (1)

Shadyman (939863) | about 8 years ago | (#16761445)

So if it's an open phone... Does it come "Locked"?

um... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#16763261)

so if it's a free phone.... does it cost money?

New Linux Phones - Great! (2, Informative)

avapex (1003914) | about 8 years ago | (#16761457)

OpenMoko does not yet return results on Google.

Yahoo shows 2 results for OpenMoko.

The $350 price tag is looking a lot better than the $600 tag attached to a similar Linux phone from D-Link.

Re:New Linux Phones - Great! (2, Funny)

stinkytoe (955163) | about 8 years ago | (#16761533)

No results from the search box on FIC's website either. So much for karma whoring with a nice informative link, i guess.

Re:New Linux Phones - Great! (1)

snarkth (1002832) | about 8 years ago | (#16762651)

linuxdevices.com seems to have had a link at one time, but it's apparently gone now

  google cache: ww.linuxdevices.com/sponsors/SP8515396280.html+ope nmoko&hl=en&gl=us&ct=clnk&cd=1&client=firefox-a []


  Odd there isn't more


two points (4, Insightful)

Hakubi_Washu (594267) | about 8 years ago | (#16761623)

  1. From TFA: Everything barring a few small drivers is GPL'ed.
    This is a joke, right? The drivers are probably the most important part of any piece of hardware, so calling this thing "open" but keeping drivers proprietary is ridiculous.
  2. From the site: FIC recommends Windows(r) XP
    Yeah, and I am to buy a Linux product from you? Dream on...

Re:two points (1)

IvanCruz (316505) | about 8 years ago | (#16761917)

From the site: FIC recommends Windows(r) XP
Yeah, and I am to buy a Linux product from you? Dream on...

HP recommends Win XP, DELL recommends Win XP and even IBM recommends Win XP, so, what is your point?

Re:two points (1)

Hakubi_Washu (594267) | about 8 years ago | (#16762017)

HP recommends Win XP, DELL recommends Win XP and even IBM recommends Win XP, so, what is your point?
What makes you think I own any hardware produced by any of them?

Re:two points (1)

cos(0) (455098) | about 8 years ago | (#16762485)

I think the grandparent's point is that no matter whose hardware you own, the manufacturer will recommend Windows XP, regardless of how well they support Linux.

Re:two points (2, Insightful)

scott_karana (841914) | about 8 years ago | (#16762569)

It's the radio and the GPS which are closed, but that's for Federal reasons; you can't have people broadcasting willy-nilly these days, and I know that there are some GPS restrictions. The interfaces to the drivers are perfectly usable. RTFA, and do some research.

Re:two points (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#16764013)

> 1. From TFA: Everything barring a few small drivers is GPL'ed.
> This is a joke, right? The drivers are probably the most important part of any piece of hardware,
> so calling this thing "open" but keeping drivers proprietary is ridiculous.

Yeah.. Screw that! I'm only using a phone that is 100% open source. Let's see, where is that list of all the completely open options? Hmm, I can't find one, that's strange.

Perhaps the original poster can enlighten us with what would be the better course of action. What phone would be a better choice?

> 2. From the site: FIC recommends Windows(r) XP
> Yeah, and I am to buy a Linux product from you? Dream on...

How dare they?!? Endorsing something that accounts for 90%+ of their sales? Scandalous! The infidels put their profit ahead of the one true license. They don't deserve your business.

Good luck with your Stallmanian jihad. Keep cutting down those open source efforts that are not 100% pure in your eyes. Only morons believe that there is value in getting a foothold against the completely closed/proprietary solutions. You wise few have seen that it is better to reject that 99.8% open solution, and instead use the 100% closed one.

Could you do GPS silliness? (4, Funny)

fortinbras47 (457756) | about 8 years ago | (#16761667)

if(!at_home && distance(get_current_location(), get_house_location()) lessthan FIFTYYARDS) ) {
FILE* mail = openMailStream(girlfriend@house.com, "Hi honey!");
fprintf(mail, "I'm home!\n");
at_home = true;

Well, I gave it a shot... (2, Funny)

goaty_the_flying_sho (861224) | about 8 years ago | (#16761937)

...and it didn't seem to work:

From: Postmaster
Sender: Postmaster

Your message to home.com was rejected.
I said:
And home.com responded with
550 5.1.1 ... User unknown

missing lines (1)

SuperBanana (662181) | about 8 years ago | (#16762445)

You forgot at the end:


Little did you know that.. (2, Funny)

nephridium (928664) | about 8 years ago | (#16763695)

Your overly suspicious girlfriend installed tracking software on your phone and remotely polled your locations while you were gone with her phone. Hence her automated reply to your message read: "Re: Hi honey!" "Don't bother. Since you were visiting that bitch Laura again I switched the locks. We're though."

More details (5, Informative)

IvanCruz (316505) | about 8 years ago | (#16761763)

... can be found on Linux Devices: http://www.linuxdevices.com/news/NS2986976174.html [linuxdevices.com] and also http://www.linuxdevices.com/news/NS7056478804.html [linuxdevices.com]

Re:More details (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#16762019)

According to the above, the infamous Harald Welte (of netfilter/iptables/gpl-violations.org fame) is directly involved with the project.
He was mentioning his frequent trips to China but he never revealed his employers or the project he was working on.

Suddenly the whole project seems more serious to me.

SUSE? (0, Troll)

rexbinary (902403) | about 8 years ago | (#16761793)

Hope they are using Novell SUSE Linux, if not they are open to litigation from Microsoft for patent infringement.

WTF (3, Interesting)

sabit666 (457634) | about 8 years ago | (#16761893)

When is this ITSATRAP shit going to end?

Re:WTF (2, Funny)

daverabbitz (468967) | about 8 years ago | (#16762033)

Around the same time as slashdot gets rid of trolls, thaat is to say, never.

Re:WTF (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#16763171)

when it stops being funny DUH

Re:WTF (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#16763721)

In this case it is appropriate. As another poster has pointed out, there are drivers that are not GPL'ed. Hence, the article is just astroturf because drivers are on of the most significant aspect of "openness" on any hardware. It is a trap. Save your cash until the drivers are available.

Not basic enough (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#16761905)

I just want a basic phone that can make and receive calls. And get off my goddamn lawn.

Sean's "Mystery Guest Speaker" presentation... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#16761953)

from the Open Source in Mobile conference in Amsterdam is available here:

Open, but not as usual [linuxdevices.com]

Click the blue square at the bottom of the page

Gentlemen, start your compilers! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#16761969)

I'm taking odds on how long it is before someone mods the hell out of one of these things.

Next, just think of a worm that will spread from phone to phone making a several thousand node Internet/telephone connected Beowulf cluster. :D

Yeah, I know it's off-topic (1)

RandomPrecision (911416) | about 8 years ago | (#16762015)

But, for the record, this was indeed tagged 'itsnotatrap' before 'itsatrap'.

Your efforts at countering today's 'itsatrap' initiative, while numerically significant, aren't really helping.

itsnotatrap, itsatrap (0, Troll)

snarkth (1002832) | about 8 years ago | (#16762091)

Begun, these tag wars have.



Open from top to bottom! (0)

glebd (586769) | about 8 years ago | (#16762201)

Keeps losing small bits and pieces, sometimes the battery also falls out.

Throwback... it had to be done (2, Funny)

stretch86 (1024345) | about 8 years ago | (#16762551)

No wireless. Less space than a nomad. Lame.

You know what's lame? (1)

snarkth (1002832) | about 8 years ago | (#16762807)

A company proposes an open linux cellphone, and there aren't enough nerds left on slashdot to even fill a page with intelligent comments.

  That's lame, my friend. Slashdot is bleeding it's best readers.


No 3G/EDGE? (1)

sethstorm (512897) | about 8 years ago | (#16762743)

Sure it might be open, but you think there'd be some way to get more than just GPRS on these kind of phones? It's not as if GPRS is the only game in town for data, there's certainly no credible reason why it's omitted on these phones

Re:No 3G/EDGE? (1)

Miamicanes (730264) | about 8 years ago | (#16763739)

I second that. GPRS data is cruel and unusual punishment. EDGE isn't broadband by any measure, but it IS fast enough to be tolerable. It makes me sick to think that the TrollTech GreenPhone gave up EDGE to use the slightly-cheaper GPRS-only chipset and shave a whopping $5 or so off the manufacturing cost of a phone meant to sell for $500+.

And no gamepad? Jesus Christ, would it *really* kill phone manufacturers to just bite the bullet and give us a decent analog (hell, even digital) gamepad for once? It might not be the ultimate gaming platform, but can it AT LEAST try to not be completely dysfunctional for games?

Somewhere, in a parallel universe, Nintendo is about to unleash the PhoneBoy and experience the hottest-selling Christmas item in history -- a "must have" item for kids AND their parents (ok, at least their dads). A phone, with real keypad. A transflective color touchscreen with Graffiti handwriting recognition. AccessLinux for Palm. A Zodiac-like analog gamepad on one side, a digital gamepad on the other, with two thumb-able buttons flanking each. SD or MicroSD. WiFi. Bluetooth. MP3 playback, via headphones or A2DC. And a cool feature that lets you plug 4 GBA cartridges into the charging base and upload them to flash (playable for 48 hours or however long the cartridge has been continuously plugged into the base, whichever is less... a reasonable compromise between convenience and copy protection).


Dimensions? (1)

cockroach2 (117475) | about 8 years ago | (#16762761)

Does anyone have a clue about the dimensions of the thing? I currently own an old Sony-Ericsson T100 [esato.com] and most modern phones are way bigger and heavier. If it isn't, it might actually be an interesting gadget, since I've been annoyed by a couple of design choices made for my phone - a non-issue for an open-source phone...

What a name!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#16762997)

Moko (well... moco) means snot in Spanish.
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