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G2 Detects When Rooted and Reinstalls Stock OS

samzenpus posted more than 3 years ago | from the back-to-the-beginning dept.

Google 406

RandyDownes writes "And you thought the Droid X's kill switch was bad. HTC and T-Mobile's new G2 can detect when it's been rooted and responds by reinstalling the factory OS. This seems like a violation of the Apache license Android is licensed under and is especially ironic given Eric Schmidt's recent statement about not requiring carriers to give consumers the option to install Google's own version of the OS. Schmidt called it a violation of the principles of open source." Update: 10/06 17:47 GMT by S : As readers have noted, the G2 is not from Motorola. Here's a better source, and here's the XDA Developers thread discussing the issue.

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Motorola's Droid G2...? G2 with MotoBlur...? (2, Informative)

loyukfai (837795) | more than 3 years ago | (#33812436)

What is he talking about...?

Sorry, I can't possibly get upset about this (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33812450)

So... we're supposed to be somehow upset that a mobile device's response to being rooted is to ... wipe itself and reinstall the factory OS?

Yeah, fuck you.

Agreed. (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33813294)

Agreed. What's up with all these evil hackers who think that just because you buy a physical device, that somehow gives you the right to own it? What about the corporation that made it? Why should *they* have to give up control rights, just because someone else bought it from them?

Re:Sorry, I can't possibly get upset about this (2, Insightful)

s73v3r (963317) | more than 3 years ago | (#33813304)

Really? Care to explain why this should be acceptable behavior from a consumer electronics device?

Vendor confusion (1, Informative)

frodo from middle ea (602941) | more than 3 years ago | (#33812486)

You mean HTC G2 ?

Someone here's messed up bad (5, Informative)

Reilaos (1544173) | more than 3 years ago | (#33812504)

G2 is by HTC, and I'm fairly sure isn't running MotoBlur.

I'm so sick of this... (2, Insightful)

chemicaldave (1776600) | more than 3 years ago | (#33812514)

...battle for control over our mobile devices. Fuck it, I don't care anymore. The war certainly won't be won in its current direction. It needs fundamental change at the consumer level.

Re:I'm so sick of this... (1)

characterZer0 (138196) | more than 3 years ago | (#33812734)

Oh, the war will be won. It will be one by the carriers and hardware manufacturers and lost by the consumers. The market for people who want control of the software on their devices is simply too small.

Re:I'm so sick of this... (1)

guyminuslife (1349809) | more than 3 years ago | (#33813230)

The battle will be won, almost certainly. As for the war, it's anyone's guess.

Re:I'm so sick of this... (4, Interesting)

think_nix (1467471) | more than 3 years ago | (#33812898)

...battle for control over our mobile devices. Fuck it, I don't care anymore. The war certainly won't be won in its current direction. It needs fundamental change at the consumer level.

This is why I recently bought a n900 after reviewing the current situation and comparing many devices with articles, reviews, asking friends or colleagues about their models. Albeit with a (around) 450 € sticker price it was not cheep. But out of the box I do have to worry about changing carriers (if I do), needing to get root (if I want to), app prices, and app licensing.

Oh did I mention it has been out for little over a year and is stable and has a really cool community constantly building open source apps ?

http://maemo.org/ [maemo.org]

Re:I'm so sick of this... (1)

think_nix (1467471) | more than 3 years ago | (#33813172)

suppose to be _do not have to worry_ damn typo's

Re:I'm so sick of this... (2, Insightful)

s73v3r (963317) | more than 3 years ago | (#33813340)

app prices

What is different from Maemo than Android, iOS, or WinPhone 7 (when released)? The OS vendors aren't the ones controlling the prices, the developers are.

Re:I'm so sick of this... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33813626)

sticker price it was not cheep.

Most retailers won't respond well to "I'll trade you two dozen baby chicks for that phone."

I did the same thing (1)

MEK (71818) | more than 3 years ago | (#33813754)

Dell (of all people) had a sale -- and I got one of these at a nice discount. I've been quite pleased with it -- and have barely begun to scrape the surface in terms of what it can do (and the software that is available).

Re:I'm so sick of this... (1)

SwedishPenguin (1035756) | more than 3 years ago | (#33814030)

I have an HTC Magic, my next phone will be MeeGo/Maemo based though. (assuming they don't remove features such as root access in MeeGo)
I will wait for the N9 though, the N900 is better than my current phone but it seems a waste to get one now that N9 is on the horizon.

Re:I'm so sick of this... (2, Interesting)

catbutt (469582) | more than 3 years ago | (#33813200)

Change is unlikely on the consumer level, there's too many of them.

Where change can happen is in the media or in companies that have a lot of power. Google might be able to do something. Individuals, not so much.

Driod does... (1, Funny)

Jaysyn (203771) | more than 3 years ago | (#33812522)

Droid does.... screw you over if you want to customize it.

Re:Driod does... (4, Informative)

Shakrai (717556) | more than 3 years ago | (#33813590)

This is disingenuous. I have a Droid-X. Rooted it right out of the box and installed software that Verizon would prefer I didn't use (Wi-Fi tethering). Recently upgraded it to Froyo (Android 2.2) and was still able to root it.

The Droid-X doesn't have a "kill switch" against rooting. It has a kill switch against installing a new OS. If you want to install a different ROM image than the Droid-X isn't for you. If you simply want to customize the Android OS to do whatever the hell you want then there is nothing in place to stop you. Root it, uninstall all the bloatware, run wi-fi tethering to your hearts content.... it will do all of those things.

Re:Driod does... Dell streak really does. (1)

andydread (758754) | more than 3 years ago | (#33814266)

I just got a current generation Dell streak. Love it. It came directly from dell without any AT&T crapware installed and is dead easy to root. Custom firmware can be installed also.

Glad I don't have a smartphone (0, Offtopic)

vlm (69642) | more than 3 years ago | (#33812524)

Yet another example of why I am sooooooo glad I don't own a smartphone and won't be buying one soon.

You know how women like those drama tv shows, but discussing the shows bores everyone else to death? Yeah, smartphones are like that.

Life's better when you ignore that whole segment of the marketplace (smartphones, I mean, not women)

Re:Glad I don't have a smartphone (2, Funny)

Geeky (90998) | more than 3 years ago | (#33812880)

Life's better when you ignore that whole segment of the marketplace (smartphones, I mean, not women)

There's a name for women you get from the marketplace...

Re:Glad I don't have a smartphone (1, Funny)

Knitebane (64590) | more than 3 years ago | (#33814018)

LEAVE BRITTANY ALONE!

Re:Glad I don't have a smartphone (1)

TangoMargarine (1617195) | more than 3 years ago | (#33814110)

LEAVE BRITNEY ALONE!

Wow.

Re:Glad I don't have a smartphone (1)

countSudoku() (1047544) | more than 3 years ago | (#33812890)

I hear ya! I'm still using a Moto RAZR from 5 years ago and AT&T is seriously pissed that I haven't upgraded. I got an iPod Touch, but only for widescreen mini-movies, the App Store is a worthless joke. A smart phone cannot make one smart. Although, I would like the stock Android OS auto-installed on my iPod should it get "rooted". That would be fine with me.

Re:Glad I don't have a smartphone (3, Insightful)

Lifyre (960576) | more than 3 years ago | (#33813768)

AT&T probably isn't that pissed. Due to their pricing you're still subsidizing the new phones you never got...

Re:Glad I don't have a smartphone (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33812900)

Yet another example of why I am sooooooo glad I don't own a smartphone and won't be buying one soon.

You know how women like those drama tv shows, but discussing the shows bores everyone else to death? Yeah, smartphones are like that.

Life's better when you ignore that whole segment of the marketplace (smartphones, I mean, not women)

Yet another example of why I am sooooooo glad I do own a smartphone, and will be buying one again in the future. You know how people need to get shit done, but discussing the shit bores everyone else to death? Yeah, people without smartphones are like that. Life's better when you mock that whole segment of the marketplace (people, I mean, not smartphones)

FTFY

PS) Don't piss down my back and tell me it's rainin'.

Re:Glad I don't have a smartphone (1)

Microlith (54737) | more than 3 years ago | (#33813224)

Don't worry. All this tech that exists in the smartphone realm is going to slowly be pushed upwards into the rest of the market over time (which both Samsung and Apple are hinting at with their tablet docks) and they'll probably drag all this bullshit up with them.

Really? (2, Insightful)

Petersko (564140) | more than 3 years ago | (#33813572)

"Yet another example of why I am sooooooo glad I don't own a smartphone and won't be buying one soon."

I can't shift into drive in my vehicle unless I have my foot on the brake. By your logic I should do without all the good reasons to own a vehicle and walk everywhere instead.

Re:Really? (2, Insightful)

Mysteray (713473) | more than 3 years ago | (#33814310)

I can't shift into drive in my vehicle unless I have my foot on the brake. By your logic I should do without all the good reasons to own a vehicle and walk everywhere instead.

If I were to take out the blowtorch and modify my vehicle to bypass that interlock (perhaps it makes a better race car, tractor, electric generator power source, etc. that way), the company that I buy gas from would not remotely wipe out my modified creation without permission.

What if the modified car is being used to drill a well to provide clean water to starving orphans? Would you have them all drink mosquito-infested standing water from abandoned tires? (dumped by the greedy jailbreak-hating mobile phone carriers no doubt!) WHY DO YOU HATE ORPHANS?!?!

Sorry, got a little carried away there. I'll decline the karma bonus.

Re:Glad I don't have a smartphone (1)

Ecuador (740021) | more than 3 years ago | (#33813746)

I was like you. I always had the simplest phone that was good at making calls and sometimes carried with me a PDA (a Dell X51v) if I wanted to watch a movie, have gps etc or a linux netbook if I needed to keep connected with the machines at the office.
Then the N900 came out. I always have with me a phone, a movie player, a gps and a linux machine. In addition, even with the netbook I never had the ability to SSH over 3G (I would have needed more than my simple phone for that, tether it etc), and I can do international calls that my voice plan prohibits (due to cost), since for the N900 calling via skype is as simple as hitting the key next to the phone call button. So, yeah, for domestic calls my old (and much smaller) phone was probably easier to use, but the N900 is not "bad" and saves me from carrying around extra devices, while doing things I couldn't in the past...

Re:Glad I don't have a smartphone (-1, Redundant)

IgnoramusMaximus (692000) | more than 3 years ago | (#33814196)

For the thousandth time, N900 is not a good piece of hardware because its crippled radio works only on a few European networks and its useless anywhere else in the world where the frequencies are different. Only its slow-poke EDGE-capable GSM baseline radio is "quad-band". The 3G functionality only supports two European bands.

So for a vast majority of people in North America (and many other places outside of EU) the device is pretty much worthless.

Frankly I cannot fathom why Nokia purposefully made sure to restrict the marketplace for this phone which would otherwise be far greater, judging from all the global interest.

It's not open source (3, Insightful)

BadAnalogyGuy (945258) | more than 3 years ago | (#33812528)

You get what you pay for.

If you really want to have an "open" device, you should have supported the various open hardware platforms that eventually failed because of your lack of support.

You can't really complain that you don't have choices when you made no effort to support the good choices that you had.

Re:It's not open source (2, Interesting)

Nursie (632944) | more than 3 years ago | (#33812752)

Openmoko failed as much because of bad management.

Or at least the software platform did. Developers (paid ones) were just allowed to go off and do what they liked, so you got people spending six months rewriting the onscreen keyboard when half the time the sound subsystem didn't work (kind of important on a phone) along with a variety of other massive problems. Oh yeah, and the two or three full-stack rewrites they seemed to have going at any one time.

It didn't even get good press amongst geeks because open was all it had going for it, and they burned through whatever capital they had by pissing into the wind.

The N900 is the most FOSS-geek friendly thing I can find at the moment, and I love it.

Re:It's not open source (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33812948)

Of course I can complain. *I* made that effort, but most *other* people did not, so *I* pay the price for *their* lack of caring that the mobile devices they buy obey some huge company rather than the purchaser.

Re:It's not open source (1)

catbutt (469582) | more than 3 years ago | (#33813126)

So you are saying that if I had supported open platforms, we'd all have them?

That seems a bit counterintuitive to me. Seems more likely that if I had done that, nothing would be substantially different except that I had hurt myself a bit.

(or is it possible that you making the all-too-common mistake of thinking that "everyone" is a single entity that makes decisions all together and should be rewarded and punished as such?)

Re:It's not open source (0, Flamebait)

Lumpy (12016) | more than 3 years ago | (#33813258)

EXACTLY.

Only whiney bitches complain because their locked and subsidized phone does things to keep them out.

If you could actually AFFORD the phone you buy a unlocked one.. Google tried to sell you one, none of you cheap bastards bought one.

If you buy a G2 or a Droid or anything from a phone carrier all locked up, you deserve what you get.

Re:It's not open source (2, Insightful)

madbavarian (1316065) | more than 3 years ago | (#33813698)

If you could actually AFFORD the phone you buy a unlocked one.. Google tried to sell you one, none of you cheap bastards bought one.

The G2 is also available for $500 from T-Mobile free and clear with no contract. It will be interesting to see what justification T-Mobile comes out with for locking down the bootloader on the G2 when it is bought outright like this.

Re:It's not open source (1)

Message (303377) | more than 3 years ago | (#33814324)

IMHO, the main reason the carriers try to stop hacking is tethering... a lot of the Android hacking community seems to be how to get tethering for free.

Re:It's not open source (1)

dara (119068) | more than 3 years ago | (#33813798)

I don't think companies should give up on this model (selling and supporting an unsubsidized phone). Google failed, but my understanding is they didn't have the right support infrastructure (and the phone with the carriers available had too many initial problems requiring support). But a better phone and organized support could still succeed in the US (elsewhere is easier I hear). But there needs to be better promotion of how much it will cost you assuming you don't break your phone in the first 2 years (most won't) compared to plans that subsidize phones. I don't even know what the best US carriers are for offering unsubsidized plans. How much cheaper are they per month? Since phones are often subsidized $350 or more, they'd have to be $15/mo cheaper compared to a 2 year subsidized phone plan.

I'm sure most slashdotters know of this phone (geeksphone.com, great video at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mC1M77xKn6w [youtube.com] ) , but I just found out about it - out of the box rooted. That's the way all phones should be, but how many will by this one (which is seriously outdated now - I'd only consider their next model).

Re:It's not open source (1)

Fizzl (209397) | more than 3 years ago | (#33813998)

This...
Mod up parent etc...

I bought LG GT540 because that was the only android phone I could afford. Do I complain that there is no flashing support? Do I complain that it is only 1.6 Android? Do I complain that it sometimes defaults to Russian character set?
No! Because I made the decision to buy this piece of shit.
Yes, if I could afford it, I would have bought a dev phone from Google. Then I would have top-spec phone with all the freedoms. But whining that my 200€ phone does not give the features and freedoms as the €600 phone is just retarded.
Oh, hmm.. Just realized my phone is unlocked and is fully paid for. Anyway, parents point stands.

Re:It's not open source (2, Insightful)

TheCRAIGGERS (909877) | more than 3 years ago | (#33814072)

Google tried to sell you one, none of you cheap bastards bought one.

I think you have it all wrong.

The Nexus One only was available for T-Mobile (not exactly the biggest carrier state-side) and AT&T, which was going up against the extremely popular iDevices.

Lack of consumer demand didn't kill the device- the boardroom politics did. Why does AT&T love the iPhone? It's surely not the infrastructure problems they gained with the mass of users all wanting to watch videos of dogs skateboarding on Youtube. It's the fact that they have a highly desirable device that you can only get on their network. Even if AT&T wasn't already a household name, they are now attached to a device that is. That's big.

Compare this to the N1. Google comes to Verizon and wants to sell them on a new smartphone that they will have zero control over and is not going to win them any new customers at all, because it will exist on all carriers. Why would Verizon take the time and energy to get the handset working on their system for no gain, when they can work with Motorola and create a snazzy new Droid that, just like AT&T's iPhone, will only exist on their network thus attracting new customers. Not only that, but accepting Google's new phone would possibly hurt their relationship with their other business partners- I'm sure that there were some heated discussions between Verizon and Motorola's bigwigs when the N1 was first announced, and I wouldn't be surprised if there was some bad blood between them and Google seeing how Google worked with them on the original Droid right before announcing their own super phone.

No, the N1 experiment never even got off the runway. It was an experiment to see if a device catering directly to geeks (who else would pay an extra $300 for an unlocked phone?) would have enough marketing power to sustain itself, and of course forcing carriers to open up a bit. It sadly failed on both accounts.

Re:It's not open source (4, Interesting)

Facegarden (967477) | more than 3 years ago | (#33813646)

You get what you pay for.

If you really want to have an "open" device, you should have supported the various open hardware platforms that eventually failed because of your lack of support.

You can't really complain that you don't have choices when you made no effort to support the good choices that you had.

Oh my fucking god man, whaaa whaa whaa. I really try to support open source, but THIS is the fucking reason why open source isn't more widely supported. Everyone developing for them says they're the best thing ever, and then when users don't adopt, the developers blame the USERS.

WTF? Did you not ever take a business class in your life? Consumers do what they want, and you either provide them with what they want or you get left behind. If you don't see it that way, you will also get left behind. If consumers don't pick up your device, its YOUR FAULT.

If the CEO of a poorly performing company came out and said "We lost money this year because consumers refuse to support us." that CEO would get fucking FIRED.

This mentality upsets me so much, because every year I download Ubuntu and give it a shot. I *want* it to be awesome and I want to switch. But every time I have some menial little issue that ends up taking a week to sort out, and I give up. Then, when I mention that experience to people who strongly support linux, they say it was my fault. That "All you have to do it edit .asoundrc. If you won't RTFM we can't help you.", as if you just click "edit" and its done. No one on the forums could tell me *what* I needed to do in the editor (and I searched, and asked nicely - I know how to ask things on forums) and I *tried* reading the manual, and reading everything else I could find, but all I was trying to do was get my media center to properly mix the audio for 5.1 channel surround! In windows you just check a box. In linux, I spent a week on it and then gave up.

As long as people keep developing crap software and then blaming it on the user, they will never succeed. That said, I am still excited for Ubuntu 10.10. Just like I was for 7.10,8.4,8.10,9.4,9.10, and 10.4. Lets hope *this* time its money...

-Taylor

Re:It's not open source (1)

darthdavid (835069) | more than 3 years ago | (#33814024)

I don't know about Ubuntu but Debian's had 'check a box' surround sound support for a while now and since Ubuntu is Debian based...

Re:It's not open source (1)

Facegarden (967477) | more than 3 years ago | (#33814144)

I don't know about Ubuntu but Debian's had 'check a box' surround sound support for a while now and since Ubuntu is Debian based...

Hmm. Well 9.04 certainly didn't have it. I'll check again when i get 10.10 going...

Are you kidding me? (1)

ChrisSoyars (1889476) | more than 3 years ago | (#33812580)

Major fail, worst article ever. Get your facts straight.

Re:Are you kidding me? (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33812984)

Just look at the slashdot "editor" who posted the story for an explanation.

Re:Are you kidding me? (0, Troll)

Lunix Nutcase (1092239) | more than 3 years ago | (#33814116)

It's not kdawson which means it could have been far worse than what we got here.

Wut? (4, Insightful)

mrsteveman1 (1010381) | more than 3 years ago | (#33812694)

This seems like a violation of the Apache license Android is licensed under

Yes, it "seems" like a violation of the Apache license because you don't like it (i don't either for that matter), but please explain to me how it is an actual violation of that license. Have you ever read the thing?

Re:Wut? (5, Funny)

v1 (525388) | more than 3 years ago | (#33812756)

please explain to me how it is an actual violation of that license

Section 3, paragraph 11, about a third of the way down, "Don't be evil."

Re:Wut? (1)

harlows_monkeys (106428) | more than 3 years ago | (#33813122)

What idiots are moderating that as "interesting". He's making a joke, people. Moderate it as funny. (Section 3 has 1 paragraph, and it doesn't say "Don't be evil").

Re:Wut? (2, Funny)

Kilrah_il (1692978) | more than 3 years ago | (#33813242)

Oh, so you want people to read the license agreement, Really? Next thing we know, you'll want them to RTFA. You must be new here (yes, I said it!)

Re:Wut? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33814152)

So you buy your shiney new phone. It is rooted by a malicious app but you didnt want it rooted. Now what. Hmm. I uh hmm 20 step procedure and includes my laptop or a visit to the local store hmm. Sounds like a decent feature to me. It is a *PHONE*. I do not want a spam generating spy device.

Re:Wut? (4, Funny)

guyminuslife (1349809) | more than 3 years ago | (#33813416)

Submitter seems to have "Apache" confused with "GPLv3." It's a common mistake; Richard Stallman has been known to collect scalps.

Looks like early adopter was the right choice (2, Insightful)

PPalmgren (1009823) | more than 3 years ago | (#33812732)

...but now I feel bad for even supporting Motorola/HTC. We have a Droid and an Eris, which are fine, but the G2 and D2 are going in the wrong direction. I will not renew with either of these companies if they continue with these retarded shenanigans.

Re:Looks like early adopter was the right choice (1)

Lifyre (960576) | more than 3 years ago | (#33813288)

I'm coming to the same conclusion. I love my Eris but only after I put 2.2 on it. One of the requirements for my next phone (if it's android, which 3 months of go would have been certain) will be root. My Eris also runs Debian so it has usefulness beyond that of a phone if I need it.

I guess I'll find out in about 10 months when I can upgrade...

Questionable article (1)

Microlith (54737) | more than 3 years ago | (#33812928)

An article like that, with no links or other sources, is extremely questionable.

If true, though, it makes me like my N900 more and more. And for everyone who bitched at me when discussing the AppleTV and having to jailbreak it... well here's another vendor fighting you for ownership and control over your own device.

Re:Questionable article (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33813570)

The whole thing stinks of bullshit. Why take the absurdly complex route of reinstalling the entire OS? All this seems to come from a forum thread, with no sort of reliable official information. They may even be experiencing the device un-bricking itself instead.

The Reason Why (5, Interesting)

AdamThor (995520) | more than 3 years ago | (#33812980)

This and a number of other consumer ills I think can be reduced to a single statement: "The consumer is not the customer"

Re:The Reason Why (2, Insightful)

John Hasler (414242) | more than 3 years ago | (#33813374)

Yes, the consumer is the customer. You, however, are not the consumer. It's intended for the 99% of users whose phone will never be rooted by anything other than malware.

Re:The Reason Why (3, Insightful)

mlts (1038732) | more than 3 years ago | (#33813600)

This is why I'd like some type of thing akin to a seal and a printed notice, "warranty void if seal opened". The N1 had this when flipping on OEM unlock.

Perhaps this is the best compromise. To keep Joe Sixpack from getting exploited by a Dancing Bunnies exploit, what would be ideal is to require ADB to be installed, a command issued from the PC that would pop up a lengthy, scary as hell to uneducated users that they are about to cross into Mordor, and that they can easily back out right now with no harm done, or proceed and void their warranty. Some warning dialog that even someone who is drunk, baked, high, coked up, and tripping has a good chance of understanding. User clicks "proceed", fastboot is opened, signature checking is relaxed to allow any keys to sign recovery, boot, and OS ROMS, ro.secure is set to 0, /bin/su is enabled and a .apk file for the confirmation part of su installed.

Of course, there would be a method to put this all back and shut the barn door if the user wants to have the phone back for service, similar to a DFU reinstall on iOS devices, but that will be buried in the fine print. This way, if someone does hose up their phone, it isn't hard to get them back to a known good OS level.

Re:The Reason Why (1)

DJ Jones (997846) | more than 3 years ago | (#33813680)

Agreed. The intent is to protect the average user from root exploits. The purpose is not intrinsically evil.

So much nerd rage on this subject it's ridiculous.

Re:The Reason Why (3, Informative)

h4rr4r (612664) | more than 3 years ago | (#33813776)

To prevent me from owning my own hardware is intrinsically evil. If your claim was true they would offer a simple, press Z on the hardware keyboard while you boot to not have the OS replaced or something.

Re:The Reason Why (1, Redundant)

John Hasler (414242) | more than 3 years ago | (#33813918)

To prevent me from owning my own hardware is intrinsically evil.

If you buy it you own it, complete with this feature and the legal right to bypass it if you can figure out how.

If your claim was true they would offer a simple, press Z on the hardware keyboard while you boot to not have the OS replaced or something.

Why would they do that? They don't care about you. You are not the target market. They know they are likely to lose your business. There aren't enough of you to make it worth their while to do as you suggest.

Re:The Reason Why (2, Insightful)

mystik (38627) | more than 3 years ago | (#33813770)

This is a crap argument.

The only way to 'get root' on many of these devices is to attach a cable to the phone, invoke a special command to get a root shell, and only then can things be mucked with, by using a unix command shell.

How can malware get on the phone if 99% of the users will be only using it through the phone's on-screen menu system? On Android, arn't all apps sandboxed + running as non-root? If an app can break out of this process model, arn't there more serious problems @ stake here?

How can malware 'trick' the user into 'getting root' when that same 99% doesn't know wtf that is?

I want a portable data terminal. I want to run my own scripts and programs on my portable data terminal that do what I want. I want a computer I can keep in my pocket and have it's network interface linked up to the wireless tower. I want to pay a reasonable fee for this service. Why can't any of the US carriers deliver that in a straightforward package?

Same thing different day (1)

Nikker (749551) | more than 3 years ago | (#33812990)

So now layering some sort of digital safeguard is now the answer? Common how many protections have to be shot down before you realize that once it leaves the store people will mess with the device. Do these guys truly believe they can follow you home to force you to use their glass and plastic the way their marketing department intended? Well I guess they are clinging to that hope but this backup will just get hacked or jailbroken or whatever once they get access to the memory area that houses the backup data. After seeing a company the size of Intel getting shot down a la HCDP for massive clients like **AA's I am now a firm believer this is all just pissing in the wind. Notice to manufacturers the higher you build the wall just makes you look that much more stupid when I bring it down give it a break.

Android == Free? (1)

rsborg (111459) | more than 3 years ago | (#33813046)

Freedom no longer frees you [metrolyrics.com] , I guess.

Explain to me how this is better than the iPhone jail?

Time for Nokia to take a stand... I hate the name "MeeGo" but if it delivers a truly unlocked , I'm interested.

Re:Android == Free? (1)

Lifyre (960576) | more than 3 years ago | (#33813658)

Nokia's stand appears to be with Symbian more than anything else unfortunately. They're still toying with MeeGo but I don't see the concerted effort to make is a large scale product.

Just once (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33813100)

I wish that Apple would embrace freedom and stop telling me what I can do with my own phone.

Wait, what, this is about the super awesome open phone that everyone here loves ?

good luck with that. Google is the advertiser. Your phone is just a screen for the ads they want you to see.
On the bright side, they might show ads you find more interesting than other advertisers.

Re:Just once (1)

AndrewNeo (979708) | more than 3 years ago | (#33813322)

Who on Earth said anything about an open phone? It's an open source project.

The law says you can hack it so when it is bypasse (1)

Joe The Dragon (967727) | more than 3 years ago | (#33813116)

The law says you can hack it so when it is bypassed then there is not much they can do but put out a update that blocks the hack.

Re:The law says you can hack it so when it is bypa (1)

Microlith (54737) | more than 3 years ago | (#33813282)

But that's stupid. Why should anyone accept and further abusive practices like this? Why should you have to spend time and effort hacking a device to gain functionality that should never have been taken away? You should be able to spend your time and effort hacking it to do something above and beyond that, instead you're reclaiming lost ground.

Re:The law says you can hack it so when it is bypa (2, Informative)

John Hasler (414242) | more than 3 years ago | (#33813636)

> Why should anyone accept and further abusive practices like this?

You don't. You don't have to buy it. Most people, however, have no desire to "hack" their phones and would be pleased to learn that they are protected against anyone else doing it.

Re:The law says you can hack it so when it is bypa (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33813884)

Perhaps because while it limits the 1/10% of all users who care, it protects the rest who will only ever be rooted by malware?

Re:The law says you can hack it so when it is bypa (1)

John Hasler (414242) | more than 3 years ago | (#33813574)

Or not bother, as long as it isn't a remote hack. They don't actually care what you do to your phone.

Can't be updated? (1)

Aladrin (926209) | more than 3 years ago | (#33813246)

So it can't be updated? Because if it can, this isn't a problem.

"...hardware itself limits the user's rights..." (2, Insightful)

John Hasler (414242) | more than 3 years ago | (#33813290)

No. It limits their ability. Not the same thing.

This is the worst thing... EVER! (0, Troll)

HumanEmulator (1062440) | more than 3 years ago | (#33813316)

"And you thought the Droid X's kill switch was bad."

Yes, I did. And it was much worse. What would it take to get slashdot to stop the over sensationalizing? There needs to be a Facebook to Slashdot's MySpace.

Pointless to even bother discussing (2, Insightful)

Hohlraum (135212) | more than 3 years ago | (#33813320)

It will be hacked in 2 weeks time. If you don't want that crap on your phone then buy a different phone. There are lots to choose from.

Re:Pointless to even bother discussing (1, Informative)

mlts (1038732) | more than 3 years ago | (#33813836)

The problem is that no Android phone since the Nexus 1 has allowed rooting. Motorola has told modders and developers to go elsewhere explicitly. HTC has always given out source, drivers, and access to dumps so people could easily mod their devices. However because of pressure from the cellular companies, they had to cave in and start making their devices modder hostile.

It would be nice to have a phone that is unlocked and friendly to modders. Problem is that the N1 crashed and burned, and no carrier would want to carry such a device. Likely the only future solution will be having Google carry ADP phones that are unlocked/moddable versions of existing phones, although there has not been an ADP since the ADP2 (the N1 technically does not count.)

I'll Ask (4, Insightful)

whisper_jeff (680366) | more than 3 years ago | (#33813424)

So, I'll take the karma hit and ask - to all the people that rant and rave about how closed and proprietary Apple is and how wonderful Android is, how does this sit within your vision of things? I thought the entire appeal of Android was that it was your phone and you could put what you wanted on it yet this is far from the first example of another Android manufacturer exerting (rather extreme, in my opinion) control over what you can and cannot put on the device.

Re:I'll Ask (2, Insightful)

h4rr4r (612664) | more than 3 years ago | (#33813674)

It shows this android owner that he will have to be very careful about his next phone purchase. Honestly if I cannot get a phone I can use as I want I will go back to a non-smartphone.

Re:I'll Ask (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33813772)

We weren't saying that. We were saying the *N900* is open and actually your phone, with no need to jailbreak it after you purchase it.

Android phones? Not so much - a few were fooled by that, but people who actually cared were not. It was never an open platform.

The problem is that almost no one actually cares, so the market for consumer devices that obey you instead of corporate overlords is quickly vanishing entirely, which ruins things for those of us who do care.

Re:I'll Ask (4, Insightful)

Shakrai (717556) | more than 3 years ago | (#33813790)

I thought the entire appeal of Android was that it was your phone and you could put what you wanted on it

You can. Google exerts no control over the Android marketplace. They sell apps that compete with their own Google apps (would Apple ever allow this?), apps that compete with the default carrier apps and apps that even allow you to violate the terms of service you agreed to with Verizon/AT&T/etc.

Re:I'll Ask (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33814002)

I'd say that a platform without strict publishing rules is still better than the iPhone, even if I can't easily root the device itself.

Re:I'll Ask (1)

Ponteaus (1485065) | more than 3 years ago | (#33814164)

It sits just fine with my vision of things. Clearly this is a terrible product, but that's OK because I can use my money to vote for a better Android device. There's no option to purchase a more option iPhone from a different vendor.

Re:I'll Ask (1)

orateam (861461) | more than 3 years ago | (#33814174)

Android is Open. As long as you're not an idiot and buy a phone like this if you intend to root. Android has many alternatives, mostly the TOP of the line Galaxy S phones and nearly every other phone.

Re:I'll Ask (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33814198)

The thing is, even with this, its STILL more open and more customizable than an iPhone.

Re:I'll Ask (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33814202)

I've never been under the impression that Android or iOS are particularly open in terms of being able to "put what you want on it." That why I bought a Nokia N900. Its Maemo OS requires a bit more tweaking than Android or iOS, but I can put whatever I want on it, and have root access and a terminal interface out of the box

Re:I'll Ask (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33814206)

I don't buy such devices. I'm running Cyanogen 6 on my Incredible. *shrug*. My dad's running Cyanogen 6 on his Droid too.

The fools that do buy them would have been considering getting an iPhone or something anyway like as not, so I'd rather they create incentive for application development on my platform. People who buy those phones are still statistics that are generally useful to me.

Re:I'll Ask (1)

strength_of_10_men (967050) | more than 3 years ago | (#33814286)

Logic fail. This is not something AndroidOS does. This is a hardware implementation by HTC/T-Mobile. Don't blame Android for HTC/T-Mobile's greed and control-freakishness.

Decline the software agreement (1)

IndustrialComplex (975015) | more than 3 years ago | (#33813430)

I wonder what legal limbo you would get into if you declined the software agreement (which they like to call a contract) and yet force the software on you anyway.

Re:Decline the software agreement (1)

ifiwereasculptor (1870574) | more than 3 years ago | (#33813718)

It'd be just like owning a car but having no driver's license.

Re:Decline the software agreement (1)

bill_mcgonigle (4333) | more than 3 years ago | (#33814314)

I wonder what legal limbo you would get into if you declined the software agreement (which they like to call a contract) and yet force the software on you anyway.

How can they force it on you if you're not using the software? You're not allowed to use it if you don't accept the license (you can return it instead).

Walled gardens. (4, Insightful)

MaWeiTao (908546) | more than 3 years ago | (#33813684)

The problem is that companies like Google and HTC bend to the will of the carriers. They openly permit garbage on these phones. The irony here is that they're decimating their own brands this way.

The carriers themselves have this desperate hope that consumers will accept their walled garden as willingly as they accept they accept Apple's. The problem is that their garden is overrun with weeds and has an overflowing outhouse sitting right there as a centerpiece. People tolerate, even embrace Apple's practices because there's a good level of quality and consistency. A lot of money and effort is invested in maintaining this quality. These other carriers, however, cut corners everywhere they can and put no effort whatsoever into maintaining quality. All they want to do is keep consumers locked in forcibly. They're deluded into believing they can offer something competitive with Apple's app store. They might drive away that consumer at some point, but for now they've got them trapped.

This is one of the consequences of having separate companies develop the OS and the device. Beyond the problem of countless variations of the same basic thing, a user experience that isn't seamlessly integrated these companies simply don't have the leverage Apple enjoys.

This is not to say that I believe that the iPhone reflects some wonderland of technology but simply that the iPhone and the app store have become the benchmark.

Nice try HTC and/or T-Mobile... won't work (1)

erroneus (253617) | more than 3 years ago | (#33813774)

The geniuses and gurus are at it with the analysis and dismantling. It's actually fun for them. So when they are done, there will be a package to copy to internal storage followed by a special reboot and an "update" process. All they have to do is disable whatever it is that is checking for root and disable or deceive it in some way. After that, it's business as usual.

There's no doubt that the illegal distribution of software on the android platform is pretty high. And we could make arguments about why that is forever using all the same old arguments and excuses we always have. The fact that it is easier on Android phones than others (is that true? I am not so sure about that) is a matter for consideration. But that, in and of itself, is not the reason carriers need to get into the mix by making it less useful for users.

I suspect they have their own interests to protect such as money they get through software bundling. In the case of PC makers, there are legal issues and even laws limiting this type of behavior. Personally, I don't see much difference between a PC and a smartphone any longer and would argue that they are pretty much the same thing at this point. The right to use and remove software on any device I own is still my right. (It is their right, I suppose to make it difficult if they want to though! No law says they have to make it easy.) It is the motives of the carriers that bother me the most. Not only am I being "sold" to other parties through such deals, but those deals, which are separate from my deal with my carrier (except in the legalese fine print that says I agree to it in the past, present and future) have managed to have a serious affect on user experiences. And to me, that affect is one demonstrating the complete lack of respect for their customers.

Sure glad that you don't have to jailbreak... (1)

wfolta (603698) | more than 3 years ago | (#33813978)

... oops, I guess that "jailbreak" is evil, while "root" is good. Among Android phone purchasers.

Among Android customers (i.e. manufacturers and carriers), "rooting" is evil (along with "upgrading" and "non-bloatware").

[Android fans are just now realizing that Google's customers are the manufacturers and carriers, not end users. You may not agree with Apple's conception of an end user, and their conception may not fit you at all, but at least they are conceiving of the end user as their customer, not manufacturers or carriers. Not so for Android.]

AT&T and Blackberry Maps (4, Interesting)

coats (1068) | more than 3 years ago | (#33814118)

My wife has a Blackberry from AT&T. It's her device. She paid for it. She's installed Blackberry Maps on it. And AT&T keeps going behind her back and erasing it.

Why should that not be (felony) violation of the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act?

Ditto about other stuff being written here...

Well... try webOS from HP/Palm (1)

El Fantasmo (1057616) | more than 3 years ago | (#33814270)

If you don't want providers mucking with your phone OS much, try a webOS device. HP/Palm has publicly acknowledged and said good things of the webOS home brew scene, and basically said "use at your own risk."

Funny (1)

BatGnat (1568391) | more than 3 years ago | (#33814296)

It is just a stupid idea to begin with.

Of course it can be modified. If it couldn't be modified, they wouldn't be able to do updates.

Step 1: XDA modders hack it
Step 2: CM6.x get installed and everyone is happy.....

Feature? (1)

southfarthing (1897322) | more than 3 years ago | (#33814332)

What percentage of G2 (or any smartphone) customers will mess with the OS? I have no idea, but IF it's very small (I'm thinking less than 1%), then for 99% of customers, if their phone gets rooted, it's almost certainly a Very Bad Thing. In which case, the OS reasserting itself is a feature. One that most customers would likely appreciate. So are the companies involved being evil, or do they just have a different perspective? I'm not saying they don't have other, more evil intentions. But I don't think this issue proves that they do.
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