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83 comments

Can't believe it still runs 1.6 (1)

Crazen (615089) | more than 3 years ago | (#33581076)

It's amazing that they gave it a premium price and are shipping with 1.6.

Re:Can't believe it still runs 1.6 (1)

somersault (912633) | more than 3 years ago | (#33581116)

They're releasing a Froyo update soon(ish). I ordered mine yesterday..

Re:Can't believe it still runs 1.6 (1)

AvitarX (172628) | more than 3 years ago | (#33581130)

Before or after the Motorola Cliq XT gets 2.1?

Re:Can't believe it still runs 1.6 (1)

somersault (912633) | more than 3 years ago | (#33581254)

Ah it appears that the planned update for the Streak was to 2.1 and it was released on 1st of May. I'm happy with anything at 1.6 or above at the moment to be honest. I have a cheap Chinese Android 1.5 based tablet, and it's great apart from the lack of capacitive screen and being stuck at Android 1.5 (the maker promised that they'd release updates for it but then never did), meaning certain apps, such as the Kindle app - which is obviously pretty major for a tablet device - won't run on it.

Re:Can't believe it still runs 1.6 (1)

AvitarX (172628) | more than 3 years ago | (#33582308)

I tend to agree oon the 1.6 thing.

A lot of apps need it, and the navigation.

Re:Can't believe it still runs 1.6 (1)

RenderSeven (938535) | more than 3 years ago | (#33582440)

Very curious, which cheap Chinese Android tablet? I was toying with picking one up but wasnt sure if they worked, were supported, could be used as a dev platform, etc. Any pointers?

Re:Can't believe it still runs 1.6 (1)

somersault (912633) | more than 3 years ago | (#33584180)

It's the "aPad iRobot", seems to be made by the guys at http://hiapad.com/ [hiapad.com]

To be fair it wasn't their fault that Rockchip decided not to do a 2.1 update for their processors. I actually bought 2 different, but gave the other one (marketed as an aPad "Raptor") to my brother despite having managed to upgrade it to Android 1.6 with a ROM from Slatedroid and it having the Android Market. The iRobot just has a way better quality touchscreen which makes it a pleasure to use compared to the other one I got.

If you see any Android 2.1 or newer devices from the hiaPad guys I'd recommend them. It had a nice build quality to it and you can see by their site that they care about making a good product and respond often to customers' comments.

The device I managed to get 1.6 on was made by Orphan, but the touch screen response was very jumpy and the charging connector was pretty flimsy.

Don't have any experience of other devices, sorry. My Streak arrived today, looking forward to playing around with it. Should probably do some work first though :)

Not exactly all the source (3, Informative)

M Moogle (164749) | more than 3 years ago | (#33581122)

It looks like Dell only released the parts that they're required to under the GPL - so the summary is wrong in saying they released the "total custom Android 1.6 ROM". However, the kernel alone should hopefully help get some custom ROMs started on this thing.

You are not sure either! (1)

bogaboga (793279) | more than 3 years ago | (#33581264)

It looks like Dell only released the parts that they're required to under the GPL - so the summary is wrong in saying they released the "total custom Android 1.6 ROM"

Keywords: "It looks like"

Then you conclude that "...summary is wrong in saying..." Dude, are you sure of what you are alleging? Or did you read your submission before posting?

Re:You are not sure either! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33581394)

Releasing the source doesn't mean you can build the complete OS. There may well be proprietary applications and drivers. Having the source doesn't mean you have the tools to replace the existing firmware either.

Re:You are not sure either! (1)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 3 years ago | (#33581428)

Releasing the source doesn't mean you can build the complete OS. There may well be proprietary applications and drivers. Having the source doesn't mean you have the tools to replace the existing firmware either.

Drivers are one issue which blocks people from running general android. I thought the whole point of getting the source from Dell was to get the drivers, which should be GPL'd by aggregation.

Re:You are not sure either! (1)

neiltrodden (981196) | more than 3 years ago | (#33581670)

If the drivers are not GPL, you don't get them. You don't even get gmail as that is provided in binary form by google.

Re:You are not sure either! (1)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 3 years ago | (#33581744)

I bet the drivers are linked into the kernel. Either statically or dynamically, and so should be GPL'd.

Re:You are not sure either! (1, Insightful)

jonwil (467024) | more than 3 years ago | (#33582008)

Tell that to NVIDIA and their binary blob.

Re:You are not sure either! (2, Informative)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 3 years ago | (#33585072)

nVidia does NOT distribute their blob linked to the kernel. The GPL is not magic, it relies on copyright law. Copyright law kicks in in two cases:
  1. If you make copies of the copyrighted work.
  2. If you make copies of derived works.

The nVidia blob is not a derived work of the kernel. The nVidia shim is, and so it must be GPL'd. The combined work of the blob, the shim, and the kernel, must be GPL'd if distributed together, but because nVidia only distributes the blob, not the kernel, this does not apply.

This is a problem for distributions, because they can not include the nVidia blob (most include a script that lets the user fetch and install it after install). It would also be a problem for anyone wanting to ship computers with Linux preinstalled and nVidia graphics.

Re:You are not sure either! (2, Insightful)

BitZtream (692029) | more than 3 years ago | (#33581754)

GPL gets rather sticky in where the limitation ends on whats required to be included.

For instance one of the GPL requirements is a bit about the scripts and toolchain required to compile the code.

Its not entirely clear to what extent that goes. My interpretation of it is that you couldn't distribute something that required say an MS CC specific option because you would also be required to distribute the MS CC in some what (source or binary is also unclear).

The general consensus however from the OSS community at large is that it means you have to distribute the scripts that call special tools, but not the tools themselves. You would have to include your batch file that builds using MS CC, but not MS CC itself.

GPL wants to consume everything it touches where ever possible. Unfortunately, that wouldn't go over well and would have required basically someone to invent a GPL'd computer that you could then start making GPL'd software on, but you'd have to base that on a GPL'd universe. Which ... clearly is a ludicrous idea, so rather than try to enforce that to its fullest extent, the community generally accepts a certain, not carved in stone, cutoff point that generally leaves build tools out of the distribution chain.

If those bits are ever challenged it could cause significant problems for GPL and its users. Rather than going to court over such things, both sides don't want to risk the potential outcome of a court case going wrong, so both sides (GPL users and proprietary license users) generally meet in the middle to avoid hassle. Only occasionally does something get big enough to cause a community uproar to get the lines more clearly drawn. This thing with Dell is an example of Dell not wanting to push the issue really after the community pushed back.

Most of the community are not likely to push much harder as most people accept that certain bits of code for hardware can't be released even if Dell wants to because they simply don't have the right to do so. Rather than forcing Dell to play by the rules, which would mean the end of Android on that particular device, the community backs off and lets them get by.

Most everyone wins in the end, with a few rare corner cases and a handful of geeks that bitch about 'not getting everything' because they want to convince people they really do need to tweak some driver because they 'know better' ... never mind the fact that their fully 'tweaked' systems have uptimes too short to post a message this long on slashdot before it crashes.

You can't please everyone, this is the middle ground.

Re:You are not sure either! (1)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 3 years ago | (#33583002)

The only reliable way to break DRM on proprietary android devices is to install your own OS. This is impossible to do without open source drivers. Android distributors benefit from GPL software. I don't see why they should be given a green light to break the GPL.

Android is Apache licensed, not GPL licensed (3, Informative)

sphantom (795286) | more than 3 years ago | (#33582154)

I'd just like to add for those readers not in the know that Android uses Apache licensing. They're not required to publish any modifications to Android, only to the kernel since it's GPL and not Apache. As such, it's highly likely that we'll never see the entire ROM's source code.

Re:Android is Apache licensed, not GPL licensed (2, Interesting)

AHuxley (892839) | more than 3 years ago | (#33582302)

Thats the profit protecting bait and buy. The product seems 'open', you code for it for free and they make a profit.
The inner core will not be allowed to be removed. What are they covering? Basic low end, low cost hardware or some nice ad tracking?

Re:Android is Apache licensed, not GPL licensed (1)

NotQuiteReal (608241) | more than 3 years ago | (#33582798)

To paraphrase Jamie Hyneman [It's easy to do things. It's hard to think about what to do]; It's easy code software, it's hard to sell it.

Marketing sucks. That's why I am a "techie", but don't begrudge the "dark side", their due...

Re:Android is Apache licensed, not GPL licensed (1)

Raenex (947668) | more than 3 years ago | (#33582770)

I'd just like to add for those readers not in the know that Android uses Apache licensing. They're not required to publish any modifications to Android, only to the kernel since it's GPL and not Apache.

I've always considered Android to be in violation of the GPL, because you can't create a product around a GPL component without making the whole GPL.

Re:Android is Apache licensed, not GPL licensed (1)

LinuxIsGarbage (1658307) | more than 3 years ago | (#33582850)

I'd just like to add for those readers not in the know that Android uses Apache licensing. They're not required to publish any modifications to Android, only to the kernel since it's GPL and not Apache.

I've always considered Android to be in violation of the GPL, because you can't create a product around a GPL component without making the whole GPL.

Amazing how popular and successful LAMP servers are which have Apache Licence Apache HTTPD running on GPL software.

Re:Android is Apache licensed, not GPL licensed (1)

Raenex (947668) | more than 3 years ago | (#33582902)

LAMP servers aren't distributed as a single product. They're assembled from components by the server operator. Now, if somebody bundled up a LAMP stack and shipped it as a product, then the GPL would come into play.

Re:Android is Apache licensed, not GPL licensed (2, Insightful)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 3 years ago | (#33585612)

Please actually read the GPL. Specifically the section talking about 'mere aggregation'. Or do you think every Linux distribution is violating the GPL too?

Re:Android is Apache licensed, not GPL licensed (1)

Raenex (947668) | more than 3 years ago | (#33586956)

Please actually read the GPL. Specifically the section which include the following statements:

"b) You must cause any work that you distribute or publish, that in whole or in part contains or is derived from the Program or any part thereof, to be licensed as a whole at no charge to all third parties under the terms of this License. "

"If identifiable sections of that work are not derived from the Program, and can be reasonably considered independent and separate works in themselves, then this License, and its terms, do not apply to those sections when you distribute them as separate works. But when you distribute the same sections as part of a whole which is a work based on the Program, the distribution of the whole must be on the terms of this License, whose permissions for other licensees extend to the entire whole, and thus to each and every part regardless of who wrote it. "

Android is a whole. That's why it has a name. That's why different companies can ship "Android" phones.

Or do you think every Linux distribution is violating the GPL too?

Probably, if they are still shipping discs. I think the FSF selectively enforces the GPL to the most egregious cases.

Linus originally chose a GPL license to play nice with the GNU toolset, so that a whole "Linux" distribution would be GPL. It didn't take long for companies like Red Hat to start throwing on proprietary bits to make their distributions commercially valuable. I believe they have since changed from that model to some mix of trademark (can't copy our distributions verbatim, you have to "clean" them of trademarks) and a licensing [ianmurdock.com] model.

Re:Android is Apache licensed, not GPL licensed (2, Informative)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 3 years ago | (#33587270)

Nice selective highlighting, but you didn't do what I asked. Instead, you stopped just short of the bit I specifically told you to read. The very next paragraph after the bit that you quote states:

In addition, mere aggregation of another work not based on the Program with the Program (or with a work based on the Program) on a volume of a storage or distribution medium does not bring the other work under the scope of this License.

i.e. the GPL specifically permits this and neither Android, nor any other Linux distribution, needs to be GPL'd as a whole.

I even gave you the term (mere aggregation) to search the license for in my last post, yet somehow you managed to miss this paragraph.

Re:Android is Apache licensed, not GPL licensed (1)

Raenex (947668) | more than 3 years ago | (#33587502)

I'm well aware of that clause. The whole point is that the other parts of the license cover what is being done with Android. You can't just ignore it and point to "mere aggregation". The very sentence before that says:

"Thus, it is not the intent of this section to claim rights or contest your rights to work written entirely by you; rather, the intent is to exercise the right to control the distribution of derivative or collective works based on the Program."

"mere aggregation" would be unrelated programs being shipped together, but not as part of a whole work. If you removed the GPL bits from Android, it would not be a functioning system. It's obviously a whole work, and thus falls under the parts I "selective highlighted" for a reason.

It's been what, a couple of months? (1, Flamebait)

Rix (54095) | more than 3 years ago | (#33581124)

They weren't violating the GPL - it does not specify a time requirement, and a few months is hardly unreasonable.

Re:It's been what, a couple of months? (2, Informative)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 3 years ago | (#33581214)

An offer for the source (or the source) is supposed to ship with the binaries.

Re:It's been what, a couple of months? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33581240)

Exactly, it doesn't specify a time requirement. It doesn't say, "within a reasonable time" or "in a few months," it just says, "you must." In other words, it needs to be available as soon as you start selling your product.

Re:It's been what, a couple of months? (1)

gman003 (1693318) | more than 3 years ago | (#33581244)

That actually looks like a pretty big loophole, if true. However, and I'm going on recollection here, I'm pretty sure it specifies that the code must be released as soon as the binaries are released publicly. Would someone who speaks legalese care to check?

Re:It's been what, a couple of months? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33581298)

According to the license, you have to release source and binaries at the same time. In practice, you don't have to release the source until someone asks, then waits for a while, then asks again, then waits, then asks through a lawyer, after which you could probably stall for at least a few months before you had to really decide how much you were willing to spend.

Re:It's been what, a couple of months? (3, Informative)

Abcd1234 (188840) | more than 3 years ago | (#33581448)

According to the license, you have to release source and binaries at the same time.

No, according to the license, you have to provide it when asked for it. Otherwise mailing out floppies wouldn't have been allowed under the GPL.

Re:It's been what, a couple of months? (1)

luther349 (645380) | more than 3 years ago | (#33582470)

yep someone asked so dell delivered. gpl has no time limit for releasing the code. if nobody ask you never have to.

Re:It's been what, a couple of months? (1)

gman003 (1693318) | more than 3 years ago | (#33583074)

Huh. Well that is a bit of a loophole. If you make it impossible, or at least very difficult, to contact the business, you might be able to get away with breaking the GPL. And, judging by tech support, companies have gotten very good at avoiding contact with consumers on the consumer's terms.

It won't work for big enough projects, but small ones could do it, for some time. Of course, it would be somewhat pointless. The only reason to close-source it would be to protect a patent or trade secret, but it wouldn't offer any protection against someone who actually wants it, rendering the whole thing moot.

Re:It's been what, a couple of months? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33583648)

I think the license is clear enough that that is not actually a loophole. The rule is that the product must come with a "written offer" specifying how to get the source (allowing for a charge of the cost of the physical medium and shipping if not delivered via the internet). See: http://www.gnu.org/licenses/gpl.html [gnu.org] . (The text was clarified in version 3, but the text in version 2 is similar.)

Perhaps that was the intent (2, Insightful)

Rix (54095) | more than 3 years ago | (#33582754)

But it's not what the license actually says:

Accompany it with a written offer, valid for at least three years, to give any third party, for a charge no more than your cost of physically performing source distribution, a complete machine-readable copy of the corresponding source code, to be distributed under the terms of Sections 1 and 2 above on a medium customarily used for software interchange

There's no timeframe specified, and the license was written at a time where these things would quite often be done on postal timeframes.

I'm all for holding companies that actually violate the GPL to the fire, but when people pitch a fit about a simple delay it makes us all look like jackasses.

Re:It's been what, a couple of months? (1, Informative)

dissy (172727) | more than 3 years ago | (#33581480)

They weren't violating the GPL - it does not specify a time requirement, and a few months is hardly unreasonable.

The GPL doesn't need to have a time requirement, because the time requirement is coded in copyright law.

Copyright law says the very moment (a time requirement) you distribute something, you by law are required to be licensed to distribute it by the copyright holder.

So the very second Dell distributed it, they were in violation of copyright law, because they did not have any license to distribute it under copyright.

That is true because the license included is the GPL, and to be granted that license you must release the source code with the binaries. Dell choose not to utilize the GPL license by not meeting a requirement of it. Thusly they broke the law the second they distributed any binaries.

Re:It's been what, a couple of months? (4, Informative)

bieber (998013) | more than 3 years ago | (#33582280)

Why is this nonsense being modded up? The GPL very explicitly states that you must include the source code or an offer to produce source code on demand.

b) Convey the object code in, or embodied in, a physical product (including a physical distribution medium), accompanied by a written offer, valid for at least three years and valid for as long as you offer spare parts or customer support for that product model, to give anyone who possesses the object code either (1) a copy of the Corresponding Source for all the software in the product that is covered by this License, on a durable physical medium customarily used for software interchange, for a price no more than your reasonable cost of physically performing this conveying of source, or (2) access to copy the Corresponding Source from a network server at no charge.

Re:It's been what, a couple of months? (0)

luther349 (645380) | more than 3 years ago | (#33582480)

see where it says on demand. dell didn't brake the gpl. and people should ask before the make a clame like that and if dell does not respond to asking then you say gpl volition.

Re:It's been what, a couple of months? (1)

swillden (191260) | more than 3 years ago | (#33582890)

The GPL very explicitly states that you must include the source code or an offer to produce source code on demand.

Did they provide a written offer to produce source code on demand? If not, they were out of compliance. If they did include the written offer, but didn't actually provide the source on demand, then they were out of compliance.

If they were out of compliance, then they were infringing on the Linux copyrights.

Re:It's been what, a couple of months? (1)

adolf (21054) | more than 3 years ago | (#33583048)

IANAL, but I think that including the text of the GPL is sufficient to constitute "a written offer."

Otherwise, I've got a lot of things which are GPL violators, from an old Sony TV, to my GPS, to a CD with Ubuntu on it -- none of which came with a written offer for source code, but all of which came with a copy of the GPL.

Re:It's been what, a couple of months? (1)

mrchaotica (681592) | more than 3 years ago | (#33586148)

I imagine the written offer has to include contact information. Otherwise, there's no way to take them up on it!

Re:It's been what, a couple of months? (1)

adolf (21054) | more than 3 years ago | (#33596160)

I imagine that all of the things I listed came with contact information.

Have you read the license? (1)

Rix (54095) | more than 3 years ago | (#33583216)

The words "on demand" are not in it.

Re:Have you read the license? (1)

swillden (191260) | more than 3 years ago | (#33595896)

No, but there's an implicit assumption of delivery in a reasonable time frame. As for the phrase "on demand", I was just repeating what bieber said.

Re:It's been what, a couple of months? (1)

luther349 (645380) | more than 3 years ago | (#33582522)

bzzt wrong. gpl says source must be available by request or public. meaning i never have to post my source on gpl software if i made any but only hand it out to people that ask of course at that point it would be pointless not to just upload it to a public server. if i do not comply with at least the asking part then you can scream gpl volition. but people never ask for anything when it comes to gpl they just demand. i bet asking dell first would have gotten a result. rather then scream gpl volition. even Microsoft when they relised there term in windows 7 was in fact gpl code they released it. and i bet someone got fired lol.

Re:It's been what, a couple of months? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33583960)

"volition" -- I don't think it means what you think it means.

Re:It's been what, a couple of months? (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 3 years ago | (#33584828)

They weren't violating the GPL - it does not specify a time requirement, and a few months is hardly unreasonable.

It doesn't specify a time requirement because there isn't one, because it is a distribution license. You may not distribute the software without being willing to distribute the source on request. They have been in violation of the license from the first unfulfilled request for the sources.

They haven't actually denied anyone the source (1)

Rix (54095) | more than 3 years ago | (#33589256)

Obviously the were willing to distribute the source, since they have, and obviously there have been no unfulfilled requests.

Again, there is not a time requirement in the GPL. So long as they do, eventually, give you the source they are not in violation. Especially when the do so within the cliche "please allow 6-12 weeks for processing".

If six months down the line they still haven't responded, perhaps a polite but pointed rejoinder is warranted, but pitching a fit now just makes you look like a jackass.

Re:They haven't actually denied anyone the source (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 3 years ago | (#33598018)

Again, there is not a time requirement in the GPL. So long as they do, eventually, give you the source they are not in violation. Especially when the do so within the cliche "please allow 6-12 weeks for processing".

You have this totally ass-backwards. You are not permitted to distribute the software if you are not in compliance with the license. There is no waiting for a time because no time has been specified. If you seek an injunction on this basis, and your lawyer is worth a crap, you will likely get it. Too lazy to go find the matching clause in GPLv3 but in GPLv2 it specifically said your sole remedy for license noncompliance is to cease distribution. It's not to cease distribution next thursday. It's to cease distribution, period, the end.

A court is not going to award you a big cash settlement (or much of anything) simply because someone is slow to deliver the source. It is still a clear violation of the license to ship even one device when one is not willing to ship the source.

I'd like to see a rider on the GPL that requires bundling of the source with the product in all cases where you cannot download it without utilizing cookies, javascript, flash, et cetera. Maybe something about ease of access can go into GPLv4. Manufacturers can add additional flash to their designs and put the source into it if they don't want to ship media.

Would you please just read the damn thing? (1)

Rix (54095) | more than 3 years ago | (#33602944)

Dell is and was in compliance with the license. They were are and willing to provide the source.

A little googling suggests the first request was something like three weeks ago. Do you really think this justifies all this drama?

Re:Would you please just read the damn thing? (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 3 years ago | (#33606120)

A little googling suggests the first request was something like three weeks ago. Do you really think this justifies all this drama?

Nope.

That's all I'm saying (1)

Rix (54095) | more than 3 years ago | (#33615924)

Sure, if Dell (or anyone else) is really avoiding giving out source, have at them. But lets leave the torches and pitchforks in our pants for at least six months.

Because of a lawsuit from the FSF (3, Informative)

Meshach (578918) | more than 3 years ago | (#33581148)

The reason for the about face is probably a lawsuit against cisco from the Free Software Federation [appscout.com] . This is a good thing that the actions of the FSF are forcing other companies to properly comply with the open source licenses they choose.

Re:Because of a lawsuit from the FSF (0, Troll)

gman003 (1693318) | more than 3 years ago | (#33581312)

That just gave me an evil idea. We can't tell that companies like Microsoft aren't using GPL code in their products. Therefore (and I'm using MAFIAA logic here), we should be able to sue them, or at least get some raids done, based on the fact that they have not proven themselves innocent.

Of course, they will promptly show the code to a judge, and prove that they aren't violating the GPL. But, after enough of this, they'll come to realize that the best defense against that would be to release their code. And then we've won.

Sure, these tactics would be unethical, even evil. Maybe even illegal. But it's worth a thought, if only for the irony of defeating closed-source using techniques from those even more evil.

Re:Because of a lawsuit from the FSF (2, Insightful)

daid303 (843777) | more than 3 years ago | (#33581376)

Be careful that you don't become what you are fighting.

Re:Because of a lawsuit from the FSF (2, Interesting)

gman003 (1693318) | more than 3 years ago | (#33581850)

Too true. "He who stares into the abyss" and all that.

Most of those responding seemed to miss my stance. I'm not advocating actually doing that. I'm actually glad that there's laws against that sort of thing, although how well those laws are enforced is disappointing.

Rather, I was proposing this, essentially, in jest. Unfortunately, as with all good jokes, there's a kernel of truth, in that it might actually be crazy enough to work. It's a bad idea, and I knew it when I posted it. I just thought it was a funny bad idea.

Re:Because of a lawsuit from the FSF (1)

WrongSizeGlass (838941) | more than 3 years ago | (#33581438)

And how would anyone benefit by forcing Microsoft to release the code to Windows? Are you really going to install 'Open Source Windows' on your computer instead of a flavor of Linux just because the source would be available?

Re:Because of a lawsuit from the FSF (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | more than 3 years ago | (#33581508)

Bug fixes for old versions?

Just the first thing that came to mind.

Re:Because of a lawsuit from the FSF (1)

FranTaylor (164577) | more than 3 years ago | (#33581832)

Duh how about being able to interoperate and/or compete with their products? Microsoft in general does not document the inner workings of their products and so you can't interoperate or compete effectively.

Re:Because of a lawsuit from the FSF (1)

b4dc0d3r (1268512) | more than 3 years ago | (#33587708)

Absolutely yes, without question. All of the stupid things I hate about Vista, I could fix by patching and recompiling instead of disassembling, binary patching, and re-doing the whole thing when an unrelated security vulnerability comes through and replaces my patched binary.

Compatibility is a big plus, bugs are a big minus, but I spent enough of my life figuring it out because Linux was not ready. At this point I prefer to deal with Windows problems that I mostly understand rather than learn how to fix Linux problems from next-to-nothing.

Right now, on XP, I get a BSOD in the Battery Class (battc.sys or cmbatt.sys) when the notebook overheats. I can understand random crashes on overheating, but a crash in exactly the same place means the driver is bad. As many crash reports as I've submitted, I'd figure they would have fixed it. When the hardware does something unexpected, you need to handle it. Surely the battery, when running on AC power, is not a vital system that requires a system halt? But to XP it is. Unless I have my patch.

Every time someone says "Dammit, Windows, why don't you..." that can be fixed, with the source. Maybe the user can't, most users can't. Just having the source would help developers immensely, because of the amount of code reuse involved. The functino fails and returns an error code, the caller translates that into a success/fail BOOL, the caller reports one of its app-defined errors, and you get messages like "Cannot open clipboard" when the real error is a locked Excel cell. This helps nobody, and having the source would let many people fix their own problems instead of wasting the afternoon trolling google trying to find a solution.

Re:Because of a lawsuit from the FSF (1)

neiltrodden (981196) | more than 3 years ago | (#33581452)

I think the burden of proof is on you, rather than your target. I could sue you for saying defamatory things about me, but you'd have to prove that you never did - despite me not even providing a single quote showing how you may have defamed me.

Re:Because of a lawsuit from the FSF (0)

Americano (920576) | more than 3 years ago | (#33581716)

This is a terrible, terrible idea. Not in the "evil"-terrible way, not in the "interesting"-terrible way. In the "so mind-numbingly stupid that it makes my fucking head hurt"-terrible way.

You cannot just allege whatever the hell you want and force someone to prove themselves innocent of that charge in court. There are penalties for frivolous litigation, contempt of court, and even possibly libel, depending on how public your statements are to the press. I'm sure an experienced judge or lawyer could think up a lot more ways of making you regret filing the suit, as well.

Any sane judge would issue a summary dismissal of the first case when you answered the question, "What evidence do you have that they've violated the GPL?" with: "Hurrr hurrr, none. But, hurr hurr, I thought it would be evil and fun to torture Microsoft for not being open source. Derp derp." And then he'd probably also bury you with fines for wasting the court's time. Your second lawsuit wouldn't even progress that far.

And in the meantime, you'll have alienated every other company on earth who is beginning to think that maybe cooperating with the open source community would be a net-good thing for their business.

Is This "Phone" Actually Good? (1)

Fraff5 (1694012) | more than 3 years ago | (#33581248)

Dell really seems to be behind with their current Android offerings. The device itself looks very enticing, but the software not so much. Does anyone have hands-on experience with it? Would it be worth a purchase?

Re:Is This "Phone" Actually Good? (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33582568)

I have one and I like it a lot. Screen looks great and it's big enough for me to actually read on (ebooks, PDFs, full web pages). The software has some weak spots, to be sure, but not enough to motivate me to try to flash the O2 2.1 ROM. Bottom line, if you want the form factor, "Biggest phone-tablet you can carry in your pocket", it's you're only choice and it doesn't have any fatal flaws, so yeah, it would be worth the a purchase. If you're looking for the slickest Android showcase you can get your hands on, or for iPhone-like polish, look elsewhere.

Re:Is This "Phone" Actually Good? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33584610)

Dell really seems to be behind with their current Android offerings. The device itself looks very enticing, but the software not so much. Does anyone have hands-on experience with it? Would it be worth a purchase?

I have a dell streak with 2.1 and love it. and it fits in my pockets really easily.

Open Sores rears it's ugly head again! (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33581318)

Yet again the dingleberries involved with open sores are crying that they don't have everything open to them because they don't know how to really hack shit. LOLZ!!!!onethousandonehundredeleven!!!!!

Dumb little bitches. All of them.

Steak Sauce? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33581388)

A good steak doesn't need sauce.

Android 1.6? (1)

darkmeridian (119044) | more than 3 years ago | (#33581964)

It's a stupid idea to release a device that's still using Android 1.6. Everyone else is wondering if they can upgrade to Android 2.2 and new phones are being built with an eye to Android 3 support and Dell releases an antiquated, obsolete-on-arrival Android 1.6 phone. Perhaps they should just stick with really basic customizations and upgrade to a plain vanilla Android 2.2. They don't have to release that much source code, they don't have to do that much work, and they'll get far better user buy-in than this stupid Android 1.6 monstrosity.

Re:Android 1.6? (1)

luther349 (645380) | more than 3 years ago | (#33582542)

i know i hate that. your cheap tablets on the market are all 1.6 and your going wtf its not even worth 5$ with that old os on it. and hardware makers never release a update for anything.

Re:Android 1.6? (1)

uvajed_ekil (914487) | more than 3 years ago | (#33583904)

Yeah, I read about this device and said the same thing, "Android 1.6?" They probably had this in the works for too long, and released it with what they knew was ready to work. That doesn't mean there won't be updates soon, and it certainyl doesn't mean it won't be hackable with aftermarket firmware. For example, I have T-Mobile's G1, which only supports 1.6, and came with 1.5, but I have successfully run Cyanogenmod 2.1 firmware, and now have 2.2 running fine. The hardware may or may not require some work-arounds to run successfully, but I'd bet it will be made to work somehow with something greater than 1.6. Still, 2.2 is the standard, and a nod to the future and 3.0 would be more noteworthy. Thanks for trying Dell, and this is cool, but I'll wait and keep using my G1/Dream and my laptop.

Sony Ericsson also in Breach ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33582534)

Sony ericcson is very tight lipped about SE droid handsets. They refuse to acknowledge requests for release of code for their own android mobiles. What can be done to ensure they comply as well ?

Re:Sony Ericsson also in Breach ? (1)

koiransuklaa (1502579) | more than 3 years ago | (#33583994)

Matthew Garrett filed a copright violation case at US customs against the JooJoo tablet manuacturer: blog post [livejournal.com] (see last paragraph). This may be an interesting way to put pressure on manufacturers: if the customs actually start seizing shipments, I'm sure the sources start appearing pretty fast :)

On the other hand, Matthews earlier posts on JooJoo should discourage anyone from actually buying one...

They don't have to release everything . . . (1)

Cyberllama (113628) | more than 3 years ago | (#33583180)

Only the Android kernel is under the GPL license and thus compels companies to release the source code for their modifications. The majority of the OS is under the Apache license and thus carries no such requirement . . .

Just an FYI . . .

Wow, more cock-dickery. (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33583284)

Rather than being a cock-dick, when I release code to the community I do not saddle them with fucked up requirements. I prefer software to remain free.

Everyone take a chill pill, already. (2, Informative)

sgtrock (191182) | more than 3 years ago | (#33586186)

Yes, Dell screwed up. Yes, they should have known better. However, once someone pointed out the error of their ways, they moved to resolve the problem about as fast as any large company can.

Compare what Dell did to what Cisco has done. The FSF was finally forced to file a lawsuit to get their attention because Cisco couldn't even be bothered to _talk_ to the the FSF about their GPL violations, let alone resolve them.

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