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Openmoko's Open Source Phone Goes Mass-Market

timothy posted more than 6 years ago | from the long-may-it-wave dept.

Hardware Hacking 247

nerdyH writes "Openmoko has begun shipping its Linux-based, open source Neo Freerunner phone to five newly announced distributors, in Germany, France, and India, says the company. The Neo Freerunner features an open hardware design, and a Linux-based operating system that users are free to modify. The project originally hoped to produce a mass-market offering last October. The $400 Freerunner will remain available direct, online, too. A 2.5G GPRS/GSM phone like the original iPhone, it boasts a 500MHz processor, WiFi, 3D accelerometers, a 4.3-inch VGA touchscreen, Bluetooth, and built-in GPS."

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DIE LIBERALS DIE (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23938081)

n/t

Neo 1973 (2, Funny)

niceone (992278) | more than 6 years ago | (#23938099)

That's so last century.

Re:Neo 1973 (1)

holdenkarau (1130485) | more than 6 years ago | (#23938213)

That's so last century.
The next version is actually the Neo FreeRunner, so a bit less dated :P

first psot (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23938103)

got it

2.5G (5, Interesting)

sglewis100 (916818) | more than 6 years ago | (#23938105)

That's about all I have to say... 2.5G... if not for that I'd keep my existing iPhone but because of it I'm upgrading next month.

Re:2.5G (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23938201)

Its Open-Hardware, get a 3G controller and replace the 2.5G one(when a 3G controller becomes available).

Re:2.5G (2, Insightful)

sglewis100 (916818) | more than 6 years ago | (#23938305)

The problem is, that I'd have to drop $400, not have 3G now, and HOPE that 3G becomes available and that it wasn't too much more to replace. That won't compete with a 3G iPhone or a 3G Android phone. Great start, and I hope their next release is even better.

Re:2.5G (5, Insightful)

Milyardo (1156377) | more than 6 years ago | (#23938419)

A 3G/3.5G/WiMax Controller Will undoubtedly come, as any manufacturer could make the controller. The competition will also keep the prices for such devices reasonable. The reason this will compete with a 3G iPhone is because you the ability to upgrade piece by piece. The iPhone you dropped $600 on last year is, and will be the same iPhone 2 years from now.

Re:2.5G (1)

2nd Post! (213333) | more than 6 years ago | (#23938789)

Except for the software upgrades that add A2D bluetooth or video capture or handwriting or whatever...

I mean, you're arguing that no one should buy Macs (or consoles) because you can upgrade PCs piecemeal?

Re:2.5G (5, Insightful)

svnt (697929) | more than 6 years ago | (#23938455)

Its Open-Hardware, get a 3G controller and replace the 2.5G one(when a 3G controller becomes available).

Yeah, you're comfortable hand-soldering 0.5mm pitch BGAs, right? What 2.5G controller were you talking about?

Buy it for what it is - freedom. If that's not enough, don't force it on yourself.

Re:2.5G (2, Interesting)

terevos (148651) | more than 6 years ago | (#23938237)

except, it's not EDGE, so I don't know how it's 2.5G, it's GPRS with boost, but I don't know that all the stuff with GPRS will be compatible with the EDGE network for speed. I'm doubting it will, which will leave you with speeds back at 2G GPRS.

Re:2.5G (5, Informative)

Rei (128717) | more than 6 years ago | (#23938489)

To do a side-by-side rundown with the iPhone (correct me if I get anything wrong):

Category: Neo FreeRunner / iPhone

Price: $400 / $200-$400 plus specific service requirements
Screen res: 640x480 / 480x320
Screen size: 4.3" / 3.5"
CPU: Samsung S3C2442 500MHz / 620 MHz ARM 1176, underclocked to 412 MHz
GPU: SMedia 3362-based 3D graphics acceleration / PowerVR MBX 3D
Ram: 128MB / 128MB
Onboard flash: 256MB / 4, 8, or 16GB
Card support: MicroSD (64MB to 8GB) / None
Bluetooth: 2.0 / 2.0
Wifi: 802.11b/g / 80211b/g
USB: 1.x / 1.x
Camera: None / 2.0 megapixel
GPS: AGPS / None
3D accelerometers: 2x / 1x
Touch: Single / Multi
Cellular: 2.5G tri-band / 2G quad band (just this month, now 3G)
Freedom: Open / Closed

Looks like a fair competitor.

Re:2.5G (3, Insightful)

sglewis100 (916818) | more than 6 years ago | (#23938569)

You did say correct you if wrong... so here goes. iPhone 3G has a GPS. You are absolutely correct though, in that it does compete. I'm a happy iPhone user that wants to upgrade to get faster Internet, so obviously it's not a good choice for me. But it's a good phone.

Re:2.5G (1)

Rei (128717) | more than 6 years ago | (#23938599)

Thanks! Hadn't seen that yet. Did they have to sacrifice anything for it? Modern phones are extremely space-limited, so you usually need to cut something to add something else. For example, for the Neo to support WiFi, they had to cut a speaker.

Re:2.5G (2, Interesting)

sglewis100 (916818) | more than 6 years ago | (#23938757)

I'm not aware of any hardware features being removed, so I guess nothing was sacrificed. I suppose in the last year they were able to miniaturize other components to free up physical space inside the case. Here's a link: http://www.apple.com/iphone/features/gps.html [apple.com] . You mentioned removing a speaker to squeeze in WiFi. iPhone has just one speaker too if I recall, although the bottom of the phone looks like there are two. The other one is a microphone.

Re:2.5G (1)

kellyb9 (954229) | more than 6 years ago | (#23939399)

Are you sure iPhone 3G has GPS? I know my iPod Touch determines my location based on IP... I think.

Re:2.5G (4, Informative)

svnt (697929) | more than 6 years ago | (#23938605)

The FreeRunner screen is actually a 2.8" VGA (640x480)[1]. It has got some serious DPI.

[1] http://wiki.openmoko.org/wiki/GTA02 [openmoko.org]

Re:2.5G (5, Informative)

g4b (956118) | more than 6 years ago | (#23938615)

What I personally like about Moko is:
  * they do a lot of legal pioneering, in name of open source (imagine how long it takes to get contracts to little things like sim-cards)
  * they take it seriously
  * the Moko can act as USB Master. well. I can plug my phone into the moko and download its files. who can do that!?!?

Re:2.5G - USB Master (1)

jerryasher (151512) | more than 6 years ago | (#23939047)

That's terrific, and something I've wanted on my Treo for quite a while. Whether it's plugging in disk drives, keyboards, or any other common peripheral....

Re:2.5G (5, Informative)

ady1 (873490) | more than 6 years ago | (#23938903)

>>Bluetooth: 2.0 / 2.0

Just to clarify that it means nothing to have a bluetooth 2.0 in iphone as it doesn't support any useful profile except mono handsfree.

I would define it as:

Bluetooth: 2.0 / 2.0 Crippled Edition

Re:2.5G (0, Redundant)

stefanlasiewski (63134) | more than 6 years ago | (#23938913)

Are you comparing the original iPhone (which is no longer available) or the iPhone 3G?

GPS: AGPS / None

The new iPhone has AGPS [wikipedia.org] .

Re:2.5G (1)

manastungare (596862) | more than 6 years ago | (#23939007)

Interface and ease-of-use: Unknown / Revolutionary among mobile phones when it first arrived.

I'm just saying that hardware specs are only part of the picture, and people base their decisions on several other factors which are sometimes more important to them than to us geeks.

Re:2.5G (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23939053)

micro sd can go up to 16GB, I've seen 12GB cards, and heard rumors that sandisk has 16GB cards out, but haven't actually seen them.

Hmmm (2, Insightful)

ZERO1ZERO (948669) | more than 6 years ago | (#23938141)

I'm still using a Nokia 6210 I got in about 1999 with an Orange contract, only on the second battery. In that time the life time counters are at about 50 hours total calls and rouhgly about 25 hours are outgoing calls.

So blatantly I have no real need for a phone, why do they all have to be so gaddamn expensive? I can't afford much more than £5 a month for calls, will the open-ness and WIFI-ness of this phone allow me to say, use my internet (which I already pay for) to make phonecalls? (for free)

What's with the 2.5G? Did n't the Iphone get absolutely slammed for the lack of it, something that British (european) users apparently Have To Have? Given that this is a french phone and not a US thing, surely it would come with the usual standards.

Also, can I ssh into my computer and restart my webserver, motherfucker??? :)

Re:Hmmm (1)

Bandman (86149) | more than 6 years ago | (#23938205)

The reason they're this expensive is that they are so new. The price will become reasonable in a year or two. Ask any Apple early adopter.

The phone you have now, that you bought in 1998, would have been insanely expensive 5 years before you bought it. It's just how technology goes.

Re:Hmmm (1)

comm2k (961394) | more than 6 years ago | (#23938217)

It is not a french phone - where did you get this?

Re:Hmmm (5, Informative)

holdenkarau (1130485) | more than 6 years ago | (#23938299)

So blatantly I have no real need for a phone, why do they all have to be so gaddamn expensive?
Its non-carrier subsidized and not produced at the same volumes as some other phones, hence it is a bit more expensive.

I can't afford much more than £5 a month for calls, will the open-ness and WIFI-ness of this phone allow me to say, use my internet (which I already pay for) to make phonecalls? (for free)
Yes you can use VoIP if you so desire. If you only have £5 though, your money might be better spent on other things.

What's with the 2.5G? Did n't the Iphone get absolutely slammed for the lack of it, something that British (european) users apparently Have To Have? Given that this is a french phone and not a US thing, surely it would come with the usual standards.
Its not french, its from a company called FIC [fic.com.tw] which is in Taiwan. As far as I understand 3G is expensive. You might want to check out this thread on the openmoko mailing list for a bit more of the background [openmoko.org] .

Also, can I ssh into my computer and restart my webserver, motherfucker??? :)
Yes you can.

Re:Hmmm (5, Funny)

badboy_tw2002 (524611) | more than 6 years ago | (#23938333)

Given that you've talked on the phone less than a minute a day for the past 9 years, I'd say you're probably better off just working out a schedule with the pizza guy instead of always just phoning him up and saying "the usual". Though it might be useful to have one around for 911 in case your hermit beard gets caught in the blender or something.

Re:Hmmm (0, Offtopic)

ZERO1ZERO (948669) | more than 6 years ago | (#23938441)

Lol quite funny.

Interestingly my first post is marked as troll?

Anyway, I use other phones, (like the phone at work) to make my calls. This is the cheapest way I have found :)

No idea why I thought it was french. Is there not a bunch of frecnh people designing a simliar open standard phone thing? Maybe it was a brain fart when I read France in the summary. Who knows.

Re:Hmmm (2, Informative)

Bert64 (520050) | more than 6 years ago | (#23939359)

You don't actually need cellphone service to make emergency calls...
You can typically make such calls just from a handset without even a simcard, it will pick up the first available network, and the networks should all route emergency calls for free.

Yes, you are the centre of the universe (2, Insightful)

EmbeddedJanitor (597831) | more than 6 years ago | (#23938627)

but not every product is designed for you.

I too only use a low level voice phone Nokia (1100) and have no use for a fancier phone. You can still get low-level phones for pretty low cost new, and almost free on eBay etc.

But at least I can appreciate that there are other people out there who actually have a lifestyle/usage pattern that fits better with a more sophisticated phone and have the money to spend on it.

Re:Hmmm (1)

Albanach (527650) | more than 6 years ago | (#23938735)

Go buy a Nokia E-Series phone. You can have 3G, VoIP for free calls and, yes, you can run putty to ssh in to your computer and restart the webserver. I haven't used Windows Mobile, but I'd expect most of those handsets can do likewise. Be aware though that if you buy a network subsidized handset some or all features maybe disabled.

Why are you using a decade old phone and then complaining about other phones not having features that have been available on some handsets for at least 2 years?

Re:Hmmm (1)

fifedrum (611338) | more than 6 years ago | (#23939245)

WTF is up with mods lately, there's no way your post is trolling, at least that I can tell, you're asking perfectly reasonable questions and making perfectly reasonable statements.

And yes, with this openmoko phone you'll be able to ssh into your computer and restart your webserver and your motherfucker.

I cannot forgive you for the 2.5G (0, Redundant)

vigmeister (1112659) | more than 6 years ago | (#23938159)

I understand that an open phone cannot be CDMa for obvious reasons, but HSDPA and/or UMTS? C'mon ppl...wait.. I'll just go to their website and add a 3G/3.5G/WiMax module and then DDoS all objectors...heheheh...you're welcome!

Re:I cannot forgive you for the 2.5G (2, Insightful)

TooMuchToDo (882796) | more than 6 years ago | (#23938245)

For an open hardware project, they're making fantastic progress. If you want 3G, offer to help. I'm not saying you shouldn't expect great things from a project of this sort (look at Firefox, it's turned out fantastically well), but you need to give a little to get a little (a la public broadcasting).

Time (2, Insightful)

bill_mcgonigle (4333) | more than 6 years ago | (#23938561)

look at Firefox, it's turned out fantastically well

Yes, but it took ten years.

Re:Time (1)

TooMuchToDo (882796) | more than 6 years ago | (#23938719)

And how long did it take Microsoft to spit out Windows XP (arguably the first rock-solid version of their product for the desktop)? And they have billions upon billions of dollars in capital to work with.

Re:Time (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23938835)

And now non-open projects are trying to catch up with it.

Some corrections (4, Informative)

comm2k (961394) | more than 6 years ago | (#23938183)

it boasts a 500MHz processor, WiFi, 3D accelerometers, a 4.3-inch VGA touchscreen, Bluetooth, and built-in GPS."
But will run @ 400 MHz. 2.8 inch VGA touchscreen.

Re:Some Experience (4, Informative)

berating (1314335) | more than 6 years ago | (#23939209)

As I already have a Freerunner, here are my experiences:
  • old TI GSM modem, recamping once a minute(!) to the mobile station, eating battery like crazy and very unreliable. A TI engineer asked me if they (openmoko) got the chips for free, as they are so ancient - no EDGE, GPRS w/ 2KB/s. Openmoko is likely the last buyer.
  • audio quailty on the headphone is lousy due to a hardware bug - as mp3 player useless
  • headphone only mono. i.e. only one side works
  • headphone unusable for making phone calls due to EM-interferences
  • no bluetooth headset support
  • no bluetooth keyboard support (dropped since last version)
  • graphics sluggish and even slower than Neo 1973 despite 2D accel chip
  • GPS has >10 minutes TTFF - yes, in 2008 where every cheapo GPS gets a fix in 45secs
  • developer community alienated by Lauer & Co. GNOME knew why they kicked Rasterman out.
  • so called ASU software is pre-alpha and reinventing the wheel once again
Unless your company pays for it, don't buy it.

'Merica (4, Funny)

Rinisari (521266) | more than 6 years ago | (#23938193)

I iz American. I can has OpenMoko?

translation: When is US getting sweet, sweet OpenMoko goodness?

Re:'Merica (1)

Drantin (569921) | more than 6 years ago | (#23938273)

You can download openmoko already, but the Neo Freerunner, i.e. the phone to run openmoko, has yet to arrive...

Re:'Merica (1)

Quantus347 (1220456) | more than 6 years ago | (#23938303)

According to the article its available online

Re:'Merica (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23938381)

Don't celebrate too soon. OpenMoko are recalling the Neo Freerunner because engineers forgot to add the ability to make voice calls on these gadgets.

Okay...... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23938259)

It's specs are more like last year's iPhone, it costs twice what this year's iPhone does and it lacks all the cool functions. And yes I know about the contracts and kick backs yadda yadda. The point is it costs more does less but gee it's open source. Not seeing the ground breaking. It's not the first so it's just an expensive open source iPhone clone.

Selection Criteria (1, Insightful)

bill_mcgonigle (4333) | more than 6 years ago | (#23938609)

The point is it costs more does less but gee it's open source. Not seeing the ground breaking. It's not the first so it's just an expensive open source iPhone clone.

If the iPhone is everything you want, then this isn't the phone for you. Guess what, though? Not everybody is just like you, nor ought you expect them to be - that's arrogant and narrow-minded.

Re:Selection Criteria (1)

mixmatch (957776) | more than 6 years ago | (#23938975)

If the iPhone is everything you want, then this isn't the phone for you. Guess what, though? Not everybody is just like you, nor ought you expect them to be - that's arrogant and narrow-minded.

If the majority perception in the marketplace is that the product is overpriced, it could have an effect on meeting the bottom line. This is not a F/OSS software product, where distribution of the product is arguably irrelevant. It would be arrogant to think that everybody will have his opinion, but perhaps not so much to think that there is the possibility of enough people having the same opinion that the phone does not succeed on the market. Regardless of how useful and grandiose some people think the phone is, sales will still determine the success of the product.

Re:Selection Criteria (1)

bill_mcgonigle (4333) | more than 6 years ago | (#23939249)

Regardless of how useful and grandiose some people think the phone is, sales will still determine the success of the product.

Yep, and it will be a good test of the Open Source model.

For all the people asking why X/Y/Z is missing (5, Interesting)

comm2k (961394) | more than 6 years ago | (#23938279)

3G was never planned for this version and even subsequent versions only may get it thy can get buy it in low volume and can write/publish it with GPL'ed driver (if necessary for 3G module). Same goes for a lot of other things that your run-of-the-mill phone boasts. Most chip-makers wont even talk to you if you want low volume + open specs/drivers.
WIFI wouldn't have been included if they didn't find an appropriate chip (for mobile phones) with open drivers etc. or at least the possibility to write an open driver with NDA'ed docs.

At least its not called "Neo1973" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23938289)

Mod me down all you want for saying this, but at least the name on this phone is substantially better than "Neo1973." Not only did it sound like the nickname of someone who is way too old to be a Keanu Reeves fanboy, but the presence of a date in there also seems to date the device itself. This is similar to why the XBox 2 is called the Xbox 360, because it "sounds" better than the PS3 according to soccer moms. Neo1973 is just a geeky name, period.

As for the phone, I'm interested in call quality/reception, and battery life before all the other gee-whiz features that you can do with it. Anyone know how it performs there?

Re:At least its not called "Neo1973" (2, Funny)

bill_mcgonigle (4333) | more than 6 years ago | (#23938659)

This is similar to why the XBox 2 is called the Xbox 360, because it "sounds" better than the PS3 according to soccer moms

In that case, the iPhone 3G is doomed.

Great timing (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23938307)

Great timing guys ... release the OpenMoko for $400 at almost the same time as the iPhone comes down to $200 ... great timing

3d accelerometers, gesture calls? (4, Funny)

192939495969798999 (58312) | more than 6 years ago | (#23938309)

Can you set up the 3d accelerometers to do gesture-based calling? Because I can think of a few gestures I'd like to associate with some jerks I have to call on a regular basis.

Re:3d accelerometers, gesture calls? (2, Funny)

FurtiveGlancer (1274746) | more than 6 years ago | (#23938435)

I think Naomi Campbell [wikipedia.org] has prior art in "gesture calls."

Indubitably, morons (4, Funny)

galexand (151650) | more than 6 years ago | (#23938321)

The linuxdevices story is wrong, see http://wiki.openmoko.org/wiki/GTA02

Indeed, 400MHz 2.8in screen.

Further, the linuxdevices story doesn't say they have begun shipping, it says that they have announced distributors who they will ship to. The only thing they've begun shipping is contracts and red tape.

nerdyH, you're a fucktard.

I'll be ordering online (2, Interesting)

OglinTatas (710589) | more than 6 years ago | (#23938357)

I can't wait, I've developed _serious_ blueballs waiting for this thing. Lets see... www.openmoko.com... store...

Invalid security certificate? D'oh!

Hope that gets fixed soon too. wasn't there a discussion [slashdot.org] about that recently?

I'll get one (1)

AmonTheMetalhead (1277044) | more than 6 years ago | (#23938367)

There's only one reason why i'll get one of these, that's sync support with Linux platforms (evolution eg). Yes, i'm assuming they'll figure out how to do that.

I guess I'm not geeky enough (2, Funny)

HitekHobo (1132869) | more than 6 years ago | (#23938369)

Its a phone. Yah, lots of new wiz bang features, most of which the average person won't ever use. Most of the rest will be used a handful of times by someone to show off how advanced their PHONE is.

If I wait a year, I'll get the equavalent of this model for free with a new service contract. Even then, I won't be using most of the functionality.

The most I can ever see being useful in a phone is email, gps and voice calls. Even then, I think you'd need to be traveling for work to actually use those features enough to pay for them.

But what do I know? I live in a van down by the river.

Re:I guess I'm not geeky enough (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23938499)

Its a phone. Yah, lots of new wiz bang features
Actually not, despite the vga screen (?) most has been done before - even the combination of components is nothing special. What is special is that this thing will be hackable to unlimited degrees. This is not another embedded linux toy, where you have to sue the maker to get the sources and even then it wont help much as important stuff to get it onto said toy are missing or whatever. These people want you to customize and hack and contribute to the software stack running on it.

If I wait a year, I'll get the equavalent of this model for free with a new service contract.
That would be cool, but I doubt it. I think even Android devices wont be that open.

Re:I guess I'm not geeky enough (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23938707)

Actually by comparison to most Smartphones it doesn't have that many features. It's biggest feature is that if you have one you are effectively walking around with a linux based computer in your pocket the can also do gps and be used as a phone.

Re:I guess I'm not geeky enough (1)

vimm (1300813) | more than 6 years ago | (#23938729)

I clicked on his signature link - he actually does live in a van down by the river..!!

Re:I guess I'm not geeky enough (1)

xgr3gx (1068984) | more than 6 years ago | (#23938917)

You're missing a major point - It's not tied to any carrier. You can use pretty much any cell carrier you want that supports SIM cards.
This is really turning the tables in the whole cell phone racket ... I mean industry.
Plus, open software and hardware means that there will be a plethora of advancements from users. Maybe even some new innovation that will change the industry.
Text messaging was originally a wiz-bang feature added for fun. The inventors had no idea it would become what it is today.

Re:I guess I'm not geeky enough (1)

raynet (51803) | more than 6 years ago | (#23939291)

I have yet to see a mobile phone that was tied to any single carrier. I have a Nokia E90 with 2 year contract and the first thing I did after getting it was to replace the SIM with a competing carriers one with flat fee unlimited dataplan. But YMMV.

Re:I guess I'm not geeky enough (1)

LandDolphin (1202876) | more than 6 years ago | (#23939125)

Text is always useful. Also, I always end up surfing the internet to websites like Fark when I have to kill time waiting for something.

Finally a hackable phone (5, Interesting)

oever (233119) | more than 6 years ago | (#23938477)

I'm really considering buying a Neo Freerunner. At 300 euros it's reasonably priced.

Some improvements I'd like to perform to it that a normal phone does not have:
  - depending on who's calling perform any of these behaviors:
      * ring, vibrate or ignore the call
      * answer the call with a dynamic or static message for example where i am (coordinates or city name), why i'm not answering (eating, sleeping, meeting)
      * install an operator menu ("Jos is in a meeting, i'm openmoko his assistant. do you want to make an appointment for him to call you back?"
  - record my accelleration and position all day (because i can)
  - switch an annoying caller to a signal of strange noises or a helpfully scripted assistant or a nice song to put them on hold with
  - put a filter on incoming and outgoing sounds to give them echo or change the pitch
  - record every call i make

   

Re:Finally a hackable phone (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23938947)

I thought the iPhone was hackable? Your items 1a, 2, 4, and 5 can all be done with it and available 3rd party apps. If you are able to code well enough to get the phone from this article to do the other items you can likely get an iPhone to do them as well.

Re:Finally a hackable phone (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23939117)

Well this phone isnt the greatest, I would rather have the sony xperia as it has a real keyboard, 800x480 display, etc. http://www.sonyericsson.com/x1/

However you gave me an idea that is easier to do when you have the code for the dialer app, and that would be voicemail on the phone. The caller pays to call you and leave a voicemail, why pay to retrieve it (at least you pay in europe generally to call your voicemail).

Recording calls is possible through a variety of apps for windows mobile, however again that would be easier to do again when you already have some base to just stick that feature in.

You missed an app though, VSA, voice stress analyzer. Basically there is a frequency that when mixed will pass through the phone network. Its generally low about 9-11Hz, by picking that out (the gsm codec may ruin that, especially AMR) you can tell relative stress in someones voice, which would be present if they are lying and afraid of being caught but also if they are emotional over something unrelated (be context aware). By displaying this realtime on the phone it can be amusing (although not entirely accurate).

What you are wanting though is generally not going to be that good, for example if you do TTS stuff, good stuff takes up a lot of space (unless its limited domain which would work for your apps) and to make it sound good takes a lot of work (why festival doesnt sound as good as it could - work equates to time, which equates to money). TTS stuff can also be a bit cpu expensive.

Pitch shifting and other things also can be cpu intensive. It really depends on the amount of audio mangling that is acceptable.

Sure its great and all (0, Offtopic)

Gat0r30y (957941) | more than 6 years ago | (#23938529)

But its not Japanese sex robot.

ugly... and a really bad name (1)

cpotoso (606303) | more than 6 years ago | (#23938571)

Moko sounds exactly like moco, which in spanish (one of the most used languages in the world) means snot... Not a very good name, eh? Folks, when creating a brand name for a product to be released worldwide, you have to check these things so that you do not end up with names like Ford Pinto (small penis in Brazil) or Mitsubishi Pajero (wanker in some latin american countries).

Re:ugly... and a really bad name (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23938671)

well nobody with the money to buy this phone speaks spanish so what's the problem

it's not like you guys are going to stop drywalling and reproducing long enough to buy anything but the nearest tracphone at walmart

Re:ugly... and a really bad name (1)

suggsjc (726146) | more than 6 years ago | (#23938993)

They've brought this topic up before on the mailing lists. Bottom line is that just about any word sounds like [insert bad word] in some language.

Re:ugly... and a really bad name (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23939121)

Just as a side note, pinto actually is portuguese slang for penis. not small penis. I guess you have a pinto complex on yourself huh?

Their mastery of verb tenses (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23938585)

They certainly have got the past tense down. "neo 1973 used to be available".

present tense too: "neo 1973 is no longer available". "Freerunner is not available".

And future tense? Yep: "Freerunner will be available later".

Now, all we need are some phones!

Ron

Dare I ask (1)

hkmarks (1080097) | more than 6 years ago | (#23938675)

Dare I ask if it will be available or usable in Canada?

$399 sounds entirely reasonable. A no-contract Treo or Blackberry costs about $600.

Re:Dare I ask (1)

xgr3gx (1068984) | more than 6 years ago | (#23938941)

It is usable anywhere in the world. All you need is a SIM card from your carrier. They have a list of countries/carriers you can use on the openmoko website or wiki.

rastermoko (1)

heroine (1220) | more than 6 years ago | (#23938723)

Rasterman, who hardly anyone probably still remembers works there. $400 is incredibly high for GPRS. It's like reading about a new toaster oven for $1000. Maybe they're giving away free Moko 2's to everyone who buys a Moko 1 after May 31.

Better than iPhone 3G... (1)

ZonkerWilliam (953437) | more than 6 years ago | (#23938727)

Why you may ask? After talking to AT&T the Wi-fi will be bricked on the iPhone 3G if you do not have a $30 data plan. Not so with the freerunner.

Re:Better than iPhone 3G... (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23939371)

Not to detract from your point, but I think that perhaps you may be applying the term 'bricked' where it is not only inappropriate, but quite ridiculous. A temporarily disabled feature should never be described as 'bricked.' Thankyou.

Re:Better than iPhone 3G... (1)

ZonkerWilliam (953437) | more than 6 years ago | (#23939409)

Okay, Thats what the AT&T rep said, not me.

Re:Better than iPhone 3G... (1)

PJ1216 (1063738) | more than 6 years ago | (#23939375)

Last I checked, you aren't going to even be allowed to purchase a 3G iphone online because they actually require you to sign up for the contract at the store.

shock resisitance? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23938751)

Shock resistance?

Hmm. Casemod I guess, I have the CAD specs, right? Right? But seriously, it sucks that modern phones are so damn fragile. I'm _still_ using an ancient siemens lump because it's rubber and metal, and you can throw it against a wall and have it land in a puddle of beer... and it's fine.

No Camera (1)

youngdev (1238812) | more than 6 years ago | (#23938755)

And it still doesn't have a camera. What the hell are they thinking?

Join the petition:
http://wiki.openmoko.org/wiki/Camera [openmoko.org]

Can you make buttons with it? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23938843)

My only real "requirement" for a cell phone is that it have actual buttons, not a touch screen, and not a flat piece of plastic where you're unable to distinguish each button. I don't see where you can customize the buttons for openmoko.. sigh.

External GPS port? (1)

stefanlasiewski (63134) | more than 6 years ago | (#23938847)

The images of this phone show an "External GPS port". I've never seen one of those before-- can I attach an external GPS antenna to this phone, or does this only attach to an external GPS?

I'd like to use the GPS feature while walking/hiking/biking, but I want the GPS to stay in my pocket instead of carrying the unit in my hands all the time. An external antenna would work good for me.

good luck! (1)

jbloggs (535329) | more than 6 years ago | (#23938977)

Horray for an open phone.. except too bad the UI is dog slow and SUCKS, and basically requires a stylus, and it isnt multitouch. Oh and the built in web browser blows chunks, and it doesnt have most features you'd expect a phone to have, and its screen is depressed from the frame around it so you cant "click" on things on the side with your fingers, and and and...... (yes ive actually used one)

Wtf? 4.8" screen? 500Mhz? (2, Informative)

ady1 (873490) | more than 6 years ago | (#23939051)

here are teh REAL specs from openmoko's website:

        * 2.8" VGA TFT color display
        * Touchscreen, usable with stylus or fingers
        * 266MHz Samsung System on a Chip (SOC)
        * USB 1.1, switchable between Client and Host (unpowered)
        * Integrated AGPS
        * 2.5G GSM â" tri band (900/1800/1900), voice, CSD, GPRS
        * Bluetooth 2.0
        * Micro SD slot
        * High Quality audio codec

Note that it has a USB 1.1 (slower transfers) and is triband (no 850 for north america)

Also the article points to a meaningless page with no real info. Here is the actual page for openmoko.

And the official site still says that its not released. The whole submission looks trollish to me.

http://www.openmoko.com/products-neo-base-00-stdkit.html [openmoko.com]

Detailed hardware specs:
http://wiki.openmoko.org/wiki/Neo1973_Hardware [openmoko.org]

Re:Wtf? 4.8" screen? 500Mhz? (2, Informative)

ZonkerWilliam (953437) | more than 6 years ago | (#23939269)

Thats the old Neo1973 stats the next iteration is the GTA02. Check here for more Freerunner goodness! [openmoko.org]

Re:Wtf? 4.8" screen? 500Mhz? (1)

ZonkerWilliam (953437) | more than 6 years ago | (#23939333)

Check here [openmoko.org] for hardware specs.

Re:Wtf? 4.8" screen? 500Mhz? (4, Informative)

tcdk (173945) | more than 6 years ago | (#23939357)

Close, but those are the specs for the Neo1973, the free runner specs are here:

http://wiki.openmoko.org/wiki/Neo_FreeRunner [openmoko.org]

(added wifi and faster cpu)

Further details here:

http://wiki.openmoko.org/wiki/Neo_FreeRunner_GTA02_Hardware [openmoko.org]

I agree - the submission is bad... there's no mentioning of the phone being for sale on http://openmoko.com/ [openmoko.com] - just a "coming soon" note.

Re:Wtf? 4.8" screen? 500Mhz? (1)

PJ1216 (1063738) | more than 6 years ago | (#23939435)

1973 != freerunner
freerunner is basically v2.

No Info on Openmoko Website !! (1)

learningtree (1117339) | more than 6 years ago | (#23939163)

The Openmoko Website still shows that the phone is sold out. AFAIK, it has been showing this page for the last 5 months. The link [linuxdevices.com] given in the post also shows up a blank page, except for some ads. Please, can anyone provide a correct link to the article ?

Re:No Info on Openmoko Website !! (1)

PJ1216 (1063738) | more than 6 years ago | (#23939457)

I think its a slashdotting symptom. I search linuxdevices.com for the article and even their link goes to that page.

usb master? (1)

Luke_22 (1296823) | more than 6 years ago | (#23939169)

*sweet!*

so i can plug a mini-keyboard on it and not use that touchscreen stuff!! (yeah, i hate touchscreens...)

anyway, anyone knows if the touchscreen is just finger-style or can i use also a pencil-style pointer?
...'cause i find fingers sooo imprecise with touchscreen....

Link not working for me (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23939195)

I click on the linuxdevices link in the article and I get taken to a page with a big ad for some white papers, a lot of white space, and links to other stories. Anyone else seeing that?

good luck in latam / spain (1)

Cigarra (652458) | more than 6 years ago | (#23939251)

"Moco" meaning "booger" in Spanish, I don't think THAT many people will be willing to get one :-p

LinuxDevices link doesn't work (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23939315)

The link in the article goes to a page with just ads. Going to the main LinuxDevices website and clicking on the link also leads to the same blank page (with ads). Trying to cash in on the Slashdot effect? ;p

In Canada, though... (2, Informative)

hyades1 (1149581) | more than 6 years ago | (#23939347)

I wouldn't be surprised if it was illegal under that new legislation the current crop of fascists wants to enact. This thing sounds like it was made for card-swapping and flexibility.

N800 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23939451)

In the days of bluetooth, I don't at all understand bulky do-it-all phones with low-res screens (although the Neo is much better than others).
I still prefer my Debian GNU/Linux-based Nokia N800. I can browse the full web without eyestrain and just leave the tablet in the car when I don't need it. And it has Skype, a Mozilla browser, and wifi.

the new one also has GPS and WiMAX: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/N810 [wikipedia.org]

(I have no affiliation with Nokia, but like their Linux phones.)

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