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Canadian Firms Get Behind OpenMoko/FreeRunner

timothy posted about 6 years ago | from the watching-the-tail-lights dept.

Cellphones 140

mario writes "Now that the OpenMoko platform has stabilized enough to provide the OM2008 image (supporting the three major toolkits), things are starting to heat up. Linuxdevices is reporting on the start of a port of Devicescape's connect application. Koolu (another Canadian company) is also doing development for its W.E. phone (a branded FreeRunner). Which leads me to ask: Where are the American companies?"

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"Where are the American companies?" (5, Interesting)

dattaway (3088) | about 6 years ago | (#24728603)

Investing their money in Washington crafting laws and developing new business models.

Re:"Where are the American companies?" (4, Insightful)

r0b!n (1009159) | about 6 years ago | (#24729477)

Don't you mean "Investing their money in Washington crafting laws to protect irrelevant business models".

Re:"Where are the American companies?" (3, Funny)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | about 6 years ago | (#24729583)

Please, please, Aggressively monetizing their Leveraged IP in the Consumer Space...

Re:"Where are the American companies?" (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24729883)

Last time I checked the map Canada was a country on the American continent. In North America, right next to the USA, to be more precise... but what do I know.

second post (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24728607)

chocolate rain, y'all

Re:second post (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24730105)

So, uh, I hear you liek mudkipz.

Boring (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24728623)

Can we talk about the iPhone 3G instead?

Re:Boring (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24730565)

Ted Rogers is that you?

Re:Boring (1)

Ender Wiggin 77 (865636) | about 6 years ago | (#24732803)

Yes, it is. And if you call me now, I'll bump your data plan from $25 for 5MB per month, to $30 for 6GB per month. You'll be so glad for the bump in flat rate data that you'll forget to ask me how on earth it makes sense, or how I got away with it for so long.

Cellphones and America (3, Interesting)

ilovesymbian (1341639) | about 6 years ago | (#24728633)

Hmm, from what I've noticed, most cell phone companies are not based in the US. Europe and Asia constitute most of them.

Anyyway, I'm really excited about this as much as I'm frustrated about the number of SDKs to pick up, Symbian, Windows Mobile, now iPhone SDK.. Google's Android and then this!

Re:Cellphones and America (2, Informative)

corychristison (951993) | about 6 years ago | (#24729557)

I'm frustrated about the number of SDKs to pick up, Symbian, Windows Mobile, now iPhone SDK.. Google's Android and then this!

It should be noted that this has been around longer than the iPhone/SDK as well as Google Android. The OpenMoko project was announced [openmoko.org] January 20th, 2007.

Re:Cellphones and America (2, Insightful)

BlackCreek (1004083) | about 6 years ago | (#24734071)

Who cares about the announcement date?

GNU Hurd was announced years before Linux, and look how far that project got.

In computing what counts is shipping / release date.

This is a very good thing (5, Insightful)

impaledsunset (1337701) | about 6 years ago | (#24728641)

OpenMoko is a very ambitious project, and, in my humble opinion, very important. But the quality of the result from the development of the software stack has been mediocre. I still have my hopes set that it will lift off, but it's still nowhere. Qtopia rocks, and it's free software, it's working, and it's cool, but the OpenMoko distributions aren't there yet, and I have the feeling that the effort is not focused. The old distro was cool, but it was abondoned. ASU is far from being usable (it is not even developer-friendly, not talking about user-friendly). FSO is still not mature. Now, this sets my hopes up. One commercial venture is interested in improving the phone. That for me means that one of the most important goals of the whole project has been achieved. Whatever the quality of the software stack is, we will have our free (as in speech) phone.

Re:This is a very good thing (3, Informative)

gumpish (682245) | about 6 years ago | (#24728805)

No camera.

Re:This is a very good thing (5, Insightful)

Tubal-Cain (1289912) | about 6 years ago | (#24728927)

I consider that a plus. If I want to take pictures of something, I'm gonna bring a good camera with me.

Re:This is a very good thing (0, Offtopic)

**loki969** (880141) | about 6 years ago | (#24729247)

PLZ, mod parent up! I'm sick of phones that try to be everything but fail miserably.

Re:This is a very good thing (2, Insightful)

Buran (150348) | about 6 years ago | (#24729383)

Who is forcing you to use the camera? Nobody. If you don't like the camera, just don't use it. It's that simple.

Re:This is a very good thing (1)

Daimanta (1140543) | about 6 years ago | (#24729455)

Yes, but a camera costs money. Ditch the camera and make phones cheaper. I'd rather have have a phone good at calling and SMSing than a jack of all trades machine that fails at everything.

Re:This is a very good thing (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24729787)

Yes, but a camera costs money. Ditch the camera and make phones cheaper. I'd rather have have a phone good at calling and SMSing than a jack of all trades machine that fails at everything.

You know... people said the same thing about SMS when it came out... "I just want a phone that makes calls, not one that sends text messages!"

Re:This is a very good thing (2, Insightful)

**loki969** (880141) | about 6 years ago | (#24730011)

Being able to SMS doesn't add a lot to the price, having a useful camera does. ;)

Re:This is a very good thing (2, Insightful)

Thing 1 (178996) | about 6 years ago | (#24732929)

Being able to SMS doesn't add a lot to the price, having a useful camera does. ;)

I must respectfully disagree.

Creating two separate product lines is quite a bit more expensive than one; that added expense will be passed on to the customer. Other manufacturers will create a single line, and not have extra expenses and thus be more competitive.

So, after doing the competitive analysis, most manufacturers will decide to make phones with cameras, which some people may use.

Me, I never use the popcorn button on my microwave, but I do not seek out or petition manufacturers to make microwaves lacking the popcorn button.

Re:This is a very good thing (1)

Znork (31774) | about 6 years ago | (#24735369)

Creating two separate product lines is quite a bit more expensive than one;

You're only counting the production cost. A camera in a cellphone is not 'free' in various design issues such as available space and layout complexity. Not only can you produce a cheaper phone without a camera, you can also produce a smaller one and/or have space for a larger battery, or make it thinner, etc. You catch the customer who wants the camera, but you lose the ones who'd want the alternative features more.

Personally I have to agree with the GP, cameras on cellphones are an utter waste. The required optics and aperture size needed to produce even decent pictures simply cannot be reconciled with the other design requirements on a phone, so it remains a useless gimmick. I could see a use for a bluetooth/usb connected CCD and optical accessory, but the current crop of crap would be better left out.

I never use the popcorn button on my microwave

The popcorn button on your microwave doesn't add 30% to its size or reduce the other functionality. The camera on the phone does.

Re:This is a very good thing (2, Interesting)

Buran (150348) | about 6 years ago | (#24730643)

There are plenty of phones to be had that can do all three. And do camera-less versions of a phone really cost less? I found one article on a camera-less Treo 680 that makes no mention of a price cut. Of course not; they're going to keep the cost difference for themselves. So you may as well have a camera handy for when something unexpected happens -- I know I've gotten some amusing shots with my phone's camera that I would have otherwise missed.

Re:This is a very good thing (1)

Lumpy (12016) | about 6 years ago | (#24735083)

So you may as well have a camera handy for when something unexpected happens -- I know I've gotten some amusing shots with my phone's camera that I would have otherwise missed.

I have never seen ANY phone camera useful for anything unexpected. it takes forever to get to the damned camera app, launch it, wait for the camera to stabilize, take photo.... oh damn that unexpected event is already gone.

$3.99 disposable point and shoot in my pocket? pull out, click, i'm done.

NO DIGITAL photo format or camera on this planet can touch the speed of a disposable point and shoot on 35mm film for unexpected events.

It's why most good photographers always have one in their pocket.

Re:This is a very good thing (1)

Troed (102527) | about 6 years ago | (#24735359)

Sony Ericsson K810. Flip the lens cover on the back and shoot.

http://www.sonyericsson.com/cyber-shot/ [sonyericsson.com]

Re:This is a very good thing (1)

Lumpy (12016) | about 6 years ago | (#24735437)

I can pull my point and shoot out from my pocket and snap a photo in under 1 second, 2 if I forgot to wind the film.

If that phone can do it in that time INCLUDING the time it takes removing it from your pocket... That's an impressive camera let alone phone.

Most digital SLR's cant take a photo 1 second from power on, and that's with it already in your hands.. (the fault of having to focus, etc...)

Re:This is a very good thing (1)

**loki969** (880141) | about 6 years ago | (#24729633)

Why would I pay for something that I'm not planing to use, since even my pocket digicam shoots superior pics?

Re:This is a very good thing (1)

Buran (150348) | about 6 years ago | (#24730659)

See my comment elsewhere in which I looked at camera-less equivalents of given phones that don't seem to cost less than their camera-equipped versions. Why would you pay the same to get less? That makes even less sense.

I have two cameras (a point and shoot and a full pro DSLR) but a lot of the photos on my phone, which has a pretty decent (for a phone) camera, were captured at times when I never thought I'd see something interesting that I'd want to shoot.

Re:This is a very good thing (1)

cp.tar (871488) | about 6 years ago | (#24731575)

Is it just me, or is it really a fallacy?
The fact that camera-less versions of a phone do not cost less does not mean they do not cost less to make. It just means that someone along the chain decided to keep the difference in cost.

If it had a camera, FreeRunner would have cost more. Quite a bit more, in fact.
IIRC they even tried to find a suitably free/open camera hardware, but only got a really poor camera, so they decided against it. And it is a good choice: the phone would have been noticeably more expensive, and the camera would have been quite crappy.

Now, on a totally unrelated note, I'm actually amazed that they scrapped their old code and went with Enlightenment. I guess it did set them back, but E is an extremely fast platform, using much less resources than GTK.

Re:This is a very good thing (1)

Buran (150348) | about 6 years ago | (#24731693)

Yes, I realize that they don't cost the same to make. But when the cost is the same to the end user, what does it matter? One option is "you get more for less" and if there's no cost difference to the end user, why select that one?

Re:This is a very good thing (4, Insightful)

Joe Tie. (567096) | about 6 years ago | (#24729589)

I'd rather have a good camera with me as well. However, 90% of the time that I want to take a picture of something it's unplanned. And there's no way I'm carrying yet another gadget around with me all the time. In those cases, low quality is better than nothing at all.

Re:This is a very good thing (1)

perlchild (582235) | about 6 years ago | (#24730295)

Can openmoko support both models of phone, one with a cam, the other without?
Most likely

Will both models be offered
Unlikely, business decision will likely nix one

Your need of having the cam with you will most likely overrule the desire of those that want a cheaper phone that does whatever it does, 100%.

It's regrettable, and I'm already offtopic anyways, since the choice you're not being offered has nothing to do with openmoko.

Re:This is a very good thing (1)

zsau (266209) | about 6 years ago | (#24730903)

Heh, well, for me none is better than the highest quality. Or anything in between. I have no particular need for a camera and no particular desire to pay for one (be it in $, g or mL) I won't use.

Re:This is a very good thing (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24733913)

I replaced my music player with Neo, so I'm actually now carrying my pocket camera with me quite a lot, since it's only the second device to carry.

Re:This is a very good thing (4, Informative)

felix85 (987753) | about 6 years ago | (#24729731)

Yeah and the cool thing about this phone is that it can act as a USB master so if you have a digital camera you can just plug it into the phone and upload your images without a computer.

The Neo1973's mini-USB port can be configured to act as a usb host instead of a usb device. This opens up a range of possibilities, such as USB cameras and usb input devices.

Thats for the Neo1973 but it should also be true for the FreeRunner.

Uploading images from your camera (2, Interesting)

dotlin (532442) | about 6 years ago | (#24733159)

You don't need to use a phone to upload camera pictures. There's an SD memory card which you can put into your digital camera that can upload images via Wi-Fi: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eye-Fi/ [wikipedia.org]

Re:This is a very good thing (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24729865)

sadly, the whole openmoko project seems to have been an exercise to show the world how clever the developers are and not actually provide a device which is useful to somewhat *clueful* people. By this, I mean that it was never intended for people with no technical interest/ability who'd be happy with a basic phone (or even a series 40) and would never install an additional application. Even people who've used linux regularly and are willing to go the extra mile to make it would would find an openmoko hard work and take a lot of time to get a part-working linux phone.

it seems that no sooner do the devs get something just about working before they get bored and move on to something new.

before people think I'm a linux hating anti-openmoko pro-osx/windows fanboy, I should say that I have TWO nokia tablets, TWO zauruses, my and my wife's laptop multiboot linux, my work laptop is linux.

Re:This is a very good thing (1)

BrainInAJar (584756) | about 6 years ago | (#24730483)

"it seems that no sooner do the devs get something just about working before they get bored and move on to something new."

That describes a lot of open-source in general...

Re:This is a very good thing (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24734155)

That describes a lot of the entire IT industry.

Re:This is a very good thing (1)

S.O.B. (136083) | about 6 years ago | (#24731439)

it seems that no sooner do the devs get something just about working before they get bored and move on to something new.

We geeks are known for having short attention spans it doesn't take much to...oh look, shiny.

Re:This is a very good thing (3, Insightful)

mhall119 (1035984) | about 6 years ago | (#24730949)

The first few releases of Linux sucked too. However, just like Linux, once people start using it for their own purposes, their improvements will make their way back for others to use.

OpenMoko right now is mediocre. OpenMoko in 5 years, after several companies sell products based on it, and dozens of hackers make those devices do new and novel things, and OpenMoko will rock.

Re:This is a very good thing (1)

Nursie (632944) | about 6 years ago | (#24733263)

What got my hopes upwas the announcement of official debian support.

I'm sure that the openmoko guys are doing a great job, but they haven't produced anything stable and usable yet by all accounts.

Suddenly, with debian support, you have a software distribution that supports, and makes available, pretty much all of the hardware. Plus it's debian, a big, stable software base with a lo of guys working on it. That's what'sgoing on my freerunner as soon as I get a moment.

Re:This is a very good thing (1)

rakshat (950888) | about 6 years ago | (#24735129)

The the good think about Openmoko is that you can install Qtopia (also under GPL now) if you want to by a simple one line command. I use it in that configuration as my main phone. I can't think of any other phone where it is so easy to choose the environment you want. Rakshat Disclaimer : I sell the Freerunner in India so my comments may be biased.

American companies (2, Insightful)

larry bagina (561269) | about 6 years ago | (#24728649)

well, Apple/ATT have the iPhone. Sprint, T Mobile, google, and others are more interested in Android.

Re:American companies (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24729935)

T-Mobile is a German company.

Re:American companies (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24731523)

Parent isn't offtopic. T-Mobile really is a German company.

And, by some strange coincidence, the most open cell provider in the US and the only cell provider offering Android phones. None of the US providers have any plans to do so.

Re:American companies (1)

hitmark (640295) | about 6 years ago | (#24733033)

probably because they can lock them down more...

Android (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24728655)

I think the american companies have put their efforts behind Google...

Re:Android (1)

CockMonster (886033) | about 6 years ago | (#24731027)

The American companies are putting their efforts behind everyone. AT&T jumped on the Symbian bandwagon, which is quite a big deal. Motorola has also been on it for years. It's a pity their phones sucked.

But 2008.08 is broken (0)

H0p313ss (811249) | about 6 years ago | (#24728723)

Now that the OpenMoko platform has stabilized enough to provide the OM2008 image

Except that 2008.08 doesn't actually work... it's pretty much alpha quality. (And yes there's workarounds but really... they called this a release?)

Working on other things than immature phones (3, Informative)

Buran (150348) | about 6 years ago | (#24728727)

The OpenMoko project has been around for a long time but it's been development only and unusable for the end user. US cellphone companies want to be able to sell something to end users now. They don't want an unfinished piece of junk that they don't know anything about -- they want their existing suppliers to give them USABLE phones.

Once this thing becomes polished and usable, at least as polished and usable as cell phones get, then we might see some interest.

No we won't. (4, Insightful)

StarKruzr (74642) | about 6 years ago | (#24729069)

American carriers are not only completely uninterested in a platform that gives the end-user complete control over their phone, but actively shunning it. Their business model is to sell slick-looking, crippled devices that push as much functionality through their networks as possible such that they can charge the end-user as much as they can for things that should be free. Verizon and the V710 debacle a few years ago come directly to mind (disabling OBEX, etc.).

I'll be shocked if we ever see a viable OpenMoko device in the next ten years.

Re:No we won't. (1)

Buran (150348) | about 6 years ago | (#24729095)

Do you mean period or from an existing carrier? If it's sold unlocked there's nothing the GSM carriers at least can do to block it from being used on their networks.

They're blocking it right now. (3, Interesting)

StarKruzr (74642) | about 6 years ago | (#24732885)

Carriers are exerting pressure on baseband manufacturers to ensure that they do not open specifications required to get open-source software to work with advanced basebands that work with EDGE, EvDO, or HS*PA. So all you get is plain GPRS and voice, on the one baseband that was available to be used with the FreeRunner.

Don't expect this to change anytime soon. It won't. If necessary, the carriers will exert pressure on Congress to pass a law banning open source operating systems on cellular devices in the name of "security."

Re:They're blocking it right now. (1)

Buran (150348) | about 6 years ago | (#24732923)

Then why is it you can buy unlocked phones right now that have 3G?

Unlocked phones (1)

StarKruzr (74642) | about 6 years ago | (#24733627)

Those are still limited by their operating systems. What open Linux-based phones that have 3G exist?

(Hint: There aren't any.)

Re:Unlocked phones (1)

Buran (150348) | about 6 years ago | (#24733683)

What open Linux-based phones that are actually usable exist, period? I don't think there ARE any, and openmoko doesn't count as it's hardly exactly usable.

Re:They're blocking it right now. (1)

LarsG (31008) | about 6 years ago | (#24733721)

[Citation needed]

I would guess that it is more an issue of baseband chip manufacturers not wanting to provide open documentation.

Shunning? You forget Andriod. (3, Insightful)

SuperKendall (25149) | about 6 years ago | (#24730121)

American carriers are not only completely uninterested in a platform that gives the end-user complete control over their phone, but actively shunning it

Android answers the description you provide, and there seem to be a number of carriers embracing it.

They are driven to do so by the iPhone but that makes little difference in that things are moving that way, and carriers realize now that it will happen sooner rather than later.

Re:Shunning? You forget Andriod. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24730299)

If by "a number" you mean "two".

Unless by embracing you mean "offering devices using" in which case that's "one": T-Mobile.

Sprint "joined" the Open Handset Alliance, but currently "has no plans" to allow such devices on their network. Sprint's chief concern? Android is "too open".

That's not quite how they worded it [valleywag.com] , but if you read between the lines, you'll realize that Sprint isn't quite about to allow a truly open device on their network.

Re:Shunning? You forget Andriod. (1)

CockMonster (886033) | about 6 years ago | (#24731043)

An open-source OS does not mean the end-user can do what they want. It means the phone manufactures can do what they want.

Unlikely (1)

SuperKendall (25149) | about 6 years ago | (#24731581)

An open-source OS does not mean the end-user can do what they want.

Even with a closed source OS (iPhone) users can do as they like (Jailbreak).

The ease of developing for an open source OS is even greater, since the official SDK grants you a view to the lowest levels of operation and makes it that much easier to change what you like.

Re:Unlikely (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24731983)

Doesn't the iPhone run a variant of Darwin? Isn't that open source? Yet, your choices even to *install* an app are 1. Jailbreak 2. iTunes.

There will be some sort certification process involved with writing apps for Android. Otherwise, there would be open source VOIP apps that would run over the carriers' networks. They will not allow that.

Re:Unlikely (1)

hitmark (640295) | about 6 years ago | (#24733059)

and have the apple staff refuse to look at the device because its jailbroken, what fun.

thing is that the way android is designed, its much how osx is designed.

sure you have a open source kernel and base libs, but everything else above that is at least somewhat proprietary.

android has its own java variation for instance.

Re:Unlikely (1)

SuperKendall (25149) | about 6 years ago | (#24733231)

and have the apple staff refuse to look at the device because its jailbroken, what fun.

It's called "restoring the device". Which is something you'd try to do first anyway, and you wouldn't take anything in for repair without backing it up, right?

thing is that the way android is designed, its much how osx is designed.

Not at all. Android has the entire system from the ground up exposed, while Apple is more careful to keep apps within a specific API that exposes some aspects of the system at all levels, but not all things at all levels.

Re:Working on other things than immature phones (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24729091)

US cellphone companies want to be able to sell something to end users now. They don't want an unfinished piece of junk that they don't know anything about -- they want their existing suppliers to give them USABLE phones.

You mean the cellphone companies, or the service providers? Because the service providers don't give a shit about whether the phone is usable. The first thing they do when preparing to support a new phone is rip out all the usable portions and lock them up behind exorbitant monthly fees.

Remember Android? Google's attempt at creating an open phone stack? A total of one provider in the US is planning on supporting them: T-Mobile. And that's because T-Mobile is actually a German company. None of the US-based service providers have any intention of allowing Android devices on their networks - in Sprint's case, that's despite joining the group behind Android.

So, not surprisingly, none of them care about OpenMoko. US companies don't care about openness, because they really don't have to. Customers are more than happy to buy locked phones in the US, and there are very few options for porting phones between providers. In fact, for Sprint and Verizon, there are no options: only phones bought through them will actually work.

Openness and the US cell service companies go together like water and sodium.

Re:Working on other things than immature phones (1)

Buran (150348) | about 6 years ago | (#24729421)

You do realize you're talking about an unreleased system that will be put on unreleased phones? It's awfully early to draw a conclusion about who will and won't support it, and besides, if you really want one you can buy and activate it yourself.

People don't buy unlocked phones because they don't KNOW about them because the phone makers don't do a very good job advertising them. If that changed and it wasn't the service providers running the ads (which are naturally for their own versions) then people might buy them. But how is the average person going to buy a product when they don't even know about it? There are products that aren't advertised because of word of mouth demand being good enough (like the Honda Fit, right now) and there are those that aren't advertised for other reasons and consequently experience low demand.

If you're going to blame anyone for the failure of a product to sell, why don't you ask the company that makes it why they don't tell anyone they're selling it?

"Hey, why isn't my widget selling?!"

"You make a widget? I didn't know that. Why didn't you tell me when I was in the market?"

"Well, uh ..."

Re:Working on other things than immature phones (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24733283)

The Linux project has been around for a long time but it's been development only and unusable for the end user. US computer companies want to be able to sell something to end users now. They don't want an unfinished piece of junk that they don't know anything about -- they want their existing suppliers to give them USABLE computers.

Once this thing becomes polished and usable, at least as polished and usable as operating systems get, then we might see some interest.

Re:Working on other things than immature phones (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24733735)

They don't want an unfinished piece of junk that they don't know anything about

Isn't this ridiculous? US phone companies have tons of money and stuff and all they want to do is wait for perfect solution and resell it using their monopoly? Those are 'other things' they work, right?

Last time I checked... (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24728785)

.. Canada was still in America.

Re:Last time I checked... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24729197)

as many other countries, like Mexico, Brazil, Peru, Argentina, Chile...

A few Canadian thoughts... (5, Insightful)

Sentry21 (8183) | about 6 years ago | (#24729001)

After looking at the Koolu.com website, I'd almost rather they not be referred to as Canadian... it makes us look bad...

So some Canadian firms think that an open-source handset is going to be worthwhile. Great, good for them. The likelihood is that even if they do get anywhere with it, the majority of their clients are going to be in the US anyway. The average person in Canada doesn't know or care about open-source handsets, and isn't going to care enough to learn.

It's kind of like RIM - they were the first to really get mobile, business e-mail out into the world, and now they're famous. Everyone who doesn't have an iPhone has a blackberry these days, and most of RIM's clients are in the US. Where were the American companies? What does it matter?

In this era of free trade and globalization, there's hardly any distinction between American companies and Canadian companies. I work for a Canadian company which is owned by an American company which is run by the Canadian company. We're traded on an American stock exchange, we all work in Canada, and we just bought an American company made up almost entirely of Brits and Irish. So what does that make us?

'Canadian company' these days only refers to locality - where people show up for work at every morning. Beyond that, it doesn't make a difference.

Re:A few Canadian thoughts... (1)

Hektor_Troy (262592) | about 6 years ago | (#24729253)

I work for a Canadian company which is owned by an American company which is run by the Canadian company. We're traded on an American stock exchange, we all work in Canada, and we just bought an American company made up almost entirely of Brits and Irish. So what does that make us?

Subjects to the Queen?

Re:A few Canadian thoughts... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24729725)

Subjects to the Queen?

Fair enough. When we took our consitution to Britain in '82, we found she was the only person who had read and understood the documents.

Now, when she passes and it's time to change the picture on our money, we'll probably ask if we really want to continue being a monarchy. (And say No, after looking at the princelings.) But right now and for several decades we've essentially had a genial and intelligent grandmother in the background. We seldom think about her, and when we do it's a nostalgic fondness. She's heritage like a grand building or an original forest. We are "Subject" to that.

PS - since the poster specifically said "Brits and Irish", he meant the Republic of Ireland, who are not subjects of the Queen.

Re:A few Canadian thoughts... (-1, Offtopic)

itsybitsy (149808) | about 6 years ago | (#24729839)

Fuck the Queen!

Not all of us Canadians are monarchists. Unfortunately too many are.

It's a stupid and UNDEMOCRATIC tradition that needs to be EXPUNGED from the country! Sure keep it in a museum, but not in politics or government or the courts!

Next time you're in a Canadian Court Object to the Queen on the grounds that it's undemocratic and based on mythologies while the court is supposed to be based upon EVIDENCE! Provide EVIDENCE your Honor (or many pretending to be the judge) for the Queen's inherent rights given by god! Provide Evidence for God! Failing that expunge the Queen and God from the Court and all it's proceedings!

You make no sense. (2)

Safiire Arrowny (596720) | about 6 years ago | (#24733247)

She appointed all of her power over Canada to the Governor General, who makes law whatever our government tells him to.

She exerts no power over us at all, why rebel against her? Figure out what you're talking about for fuck sakes.

Re:A few Canadian thoughts... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24729373)

After looking at the Koolu.com website, I'd almost rather they not be referred to as Canadian... it makes us look bad.

Holy crap are you right. Spinning animated gifs, more bold text than unbold in a paragraph, horrible web layout with bad wrapping. Outright lies like "Freerunner is a ruggedized mini tablet".

Best of all though, is the pyramid scheme they setup in the last paragraph. Good luck Koolu, you'll be lucky to last a week

OpenMoko folks: find someone who's actually competent to handle your distribution, please?

Re:A few Canadian thoughts... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24729559)

After hearing about Joe Biden's tech record, almost nothing could make Canada look bad to me.

Re:A few Canadian thoughts... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24729637)

While I could not agree with you more, perhaps Canada would be a better place to spout your communist hatred for the RIAA and the MPAA. Hippy.

Re:A few Canadian thoughts... (1)

itsybitsy (149808) | about 6 years ago | (#24729803)

"The average person in Canada doesn't know or care about open-source handsets, and isn't going to care enough to learn."

Ok, but I DO CARE!!! I just bought an Open Moko Phone during the recent iPhone controversy in Canada. I also just got an iPhone when it turned out that Fido would give it to me for FREE since I had enough Fido Dollars (whatever those are, didn't even know I had them) to pay for it fully and beyond. Ok, now the Open Moko is a brick just like my iPhone today (iPhone crashed, Open Moko has been basically useless).

What's next? How do I upgrade OpenMoko phone? Currently it's crap. Gotta get the next stuff onto it. Can't wait for the GPhone stuff.

The company is Canadian. (1)

sethstorm (512897) | about 6 years ago | (#24732071)

In this era of extranational interference, there's hardly any distinction between American companies and Canadian companies.

Just follow the money up the top, ignoring the "holier-than-thou" shareholder class (voting, not mutual fund). You will find that they are Canadian with a desire to end-run business law.

Where were the American companies? What does it matter?

Quality and jurisdictional accountability, perhaps. Think of that next time when a knockoff product breaks too easily. Think of it when you get mindless tech support and shoddy code.

It does make a difference.

Re:A few Canadian thoughts... (1)

RealGrouchy (943109) | about 6 years ago | (#24732139)

The average person in Canada doesn't know or care about open-source handsets, and isn't going to care enough to learn.

And the average person in the US does?

- RG>

Re:A few Canadian thoughts... (1)

Max Littlemore (1001285) | about 6 years ago | (#24733621)

The average person in Canada doesn't know or care about open-source handsets, and isn't going to care enough to learn.

Can't speak for Canadians myself, but I know a few non techy Apple fans that won't buy the iPhone because it is too locked down, they don't feel confident to crack it themselves and they are sick of otherwise good phones being rendered shitty by rude business practices. These are die hard Apple fans who don't know or care what open source is - computers work because plug them in and turn them on and there are two kinds, Macs or PCs which all run windows. They are starting to understand that their toys can't do certain things you'd think they should because they are deliberately made that way.

So if OpenMoko does eventually get out of the pre alpha stage and provide something useful and pretty, I'm sure it would sell like hotcakes to these non-tech types. The fact that it's open source is irrelevant, the fact that it's open isn't.

After looking at the Koolu.com website, I'd almost rather they not be referred to as Canadian... it makes us look bad...

I wouldn't be so hard on them. Looking at the W.E. Appliance, I think you should be proud. There's a simple and cheap product that I find quite tempting for some applications.

Love the concept but too bad about the Glamo gpu (3, Interesting)

NocturnHimtatagon (1116487) | about 6 years ago | (#24729105)

This is mainly from the viewpoint of a graphics programmer (3d, gpu drivers, ...), so my comments will focus on that part. I know there are a lot good features on this devices.

The Glamo chip can only use textures of 512 x 512 so it's impossible to use hw acceleration to decompress full screen video (unless you stretch the texture to the entire screen).

The video bus bandwidth is 7m/s which gives a theoretical maximum of 12 fps without hw acceleration. That bus is also shared with the sd card reducing the bandwidth even further if you are accessing the sd card.

SMedia refuses to give out the documentation of their gpu and only employees of OpenMoko have access to that documentation. Implementing 3D for the glamo is low priority. It's obvious it's low priority but it's a shame there's a gpu in there but you can't use it or even improve the driver.

Re:Love the concept but too bad about the Glamo gp (1)

poopdeville (841677) | about 6 years ago | (#24730185)

The video bus bandwidth is 7m/s

Okay, and how long is the bus?

They're occupied elsewhere (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24729577)

writing software that makes money.

So I think they are American (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24729581)

Looking at the device scape web site they seem to have both American and Canadian offices [devicescape.com] .

canada is involved in this? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24729993)

and here i thought canadians were a bit smarter than that.

"Where are the American companies?" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24730107)

Waiting for a reply from Openmoko tech support.

informativCe doLldoll (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24730253)

developmenT mojdel

Canadians are Americans!... (1)

novian (1350547) | about 6 years ago | (#24730357)

as are Mexican and US citizens. No?

Re:Canadians are Americans!... (1)

substance2003 (665358) | about 6 years ago | (#24730913)

In the same way that french, english, italians etc... are Europeens.

Re:Canadians are Americans!... (1)

thirty-seven (568076) | about 6 years ago | (#24732053)

In the same way that french, english, italians etc... are Europeens.

Canadians (and Mexicans) are North Americans in the same way that that French, English, Italians, etc are Europeans. But Canadians are only Americans to the same extent that French, English, Italians, etc are Eurasians.
I've decided that the next time someone from a European country smugly points out that I am an "American" because I'm from "the Americas" or "the American continent" (which assumes that I am obscenely geographically ignorant to need that pointed out to me, and which also ignores the context and almost all idiomatic usage of the term "American" in any English dialect), I will point out that they are a Eurasian and continue referring to them as such until they stop calling me American.

Re:Canadians are Americans!... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24732835)

I'm Pangaean. Or at least I was,

I am going to get modded down for this (2)

vosester (1163269) | about 6 years ago | (#24730405)

I remember reading about the OpenMoko long before the iPhone, and the day the final spec where out I when and bought an Iphone why, no 3G or EDGE

Apple leave 3G out of the first gen iPhone and they get crucified, but this phone has no 3G or EDGE and it is OK because it is open source? WTF!

I would love an open phone. But you have to be the first one to the market with mobile's because of those 18 month contracts. Why do I have to wait two years for them to catch up with other company's who have stuff already on the self?

No other company offers the functionality of the iPhone. Yes Yes, you had email and internet on mobile phones for years but was it nice to use, I bet not.

I think Android will be the big player in the future, but they approach is broken due to Java.

With Linux becoming more and more popular, I had high hopes for OpenMoko because developers could code in a simpler environment as both desktop and mobile application could share the same code base.

I know software stacks don't just grow over night, trust me the iPhone has problems of it's own.

I also think the next big thing is MID's, when Intel announced this I thought they were mad. But after using a development one with 3G and Skype, it was one of the best experience with a mobile device bar none, crappy battery life was the only problem and this is where Intel will lose to ARM.

If I could get the same MID with cellular phone capability's and an ARM CPU, My iPhone would be straight in the blender.

As the 3G on the iPhone is shit, the same MID as above had a full bars of 3G where I live but the iPhone, I only seen two or three in some areas.

So if the next software update does not fix this, I will be sending it back and looking for an new mobile. And it will not be for OpenMoko or Apple because of constant delays and sub par hardware.

Rant over

Re:I am going to get modded down for this (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24733265)

> I am going to get modded down for this

-1, Lame Social Engineering

You're also missing the point of the Openmoko platform as it exists today.

iphone, baby (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24730537)

open sores is stupid and lame, just like this phone. no surprise its made in cana-DUH, as are so many other lame products (like RIM-job).

the real action is Apple, the iPhone, iPod touch and the upcoming Macbook AIR revision which will be a convertible touchpad. thats where american companies are, making money and kicking the ass of microsloth and open sores.

Think Different. Think Better. Think APPLE!!!!

If AT&T/T-Mobile could ban OpenMoko, they woul (1, Insightful)

jonwil (467024) | about 6 years ago | (#24731335)

If AT&T and T-Mobile could legally and technically ban use of OpenMoko phones on their network, they would do it.

Re:If AT&T/T-Mobile could ban OpenMoko, they w (2, Interesting)

Lumpy (12016) | about 6 years ago | (#24735143)

if they could legally ban unlocked phones on their network they would do it. In fact most of their retarded phone workers think this already when I call up for a new sim to add to my plan...

ME: I need a sim to add to my contract.
THEM: SIM why? has your old one stopped?
ME: NO I'm adding a new line to my contract and I need a sim.
THEM: Then you need a phone as well, we have several to choose from....
ME: NO, I need the sim I already have a phone.
THEM: You haveto have an AT&T phone to work on our network....
ME:NO, It's unlocked it already works, please semm me a SIM card...
THEM: OMG!!!OMG!!!OMG!!! UNLOCKED? That against the law! FCC violation! are you a terrorist? OMG!!OMG!!OMG!!

ME: Please, I want a sim card... please?

Dialing from the command line. (4, Funny)

Animats (122034) | about 6 years ago | (#24732943)

At last, a phone from Linux fanatics! You can dial from the command line. [togaware.com] Just type:

/etc/init.d/gsmd stop
echo 0 > /sys/bus/platform/devices/gta01-pm-gsm.0/power_on
echo 1 > /sys/bus/platform/devices/gta01-pm-gsm.0/power_on
cu -l /dev/ttySAC0

AT+CFUN=1
AT+CPIN="<pin>"
AT+COPS
ATD<number>

You are now connected. See how easy it is!

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