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NVIDIA Open Sources SHIELD's Operating System

timothy posted about a year ago | from the neat-packaging dept.

Android 83

hypnosec writes "NVidia has now open-sourced the operating system that powers the gaming console to encourage its modification and further development. Powered by NVidia's homegrown Tegra 4 processor, the console runs Android, which shouldn't surprise many as the company moves ahead with its open-sourcing intentions. The GPU company has said that the SHIELD is an 'open gaming platform' that allows for 'an open ecosystem,' enabling developers to develop content as well as applications that takes advantage of the underlying hardware and which can be enjoyed on bigger displays as well as mobile screen." Playing with it isn't without risks (like potentially voiding the warranty), but NVIDIA's blog post says they're also providing a recovery image to fall back to.

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Nick Fury was unavailable for comment (5, Funny)

Chris Mattern (191822) | about a year ago | (#44510789)

Also, there is currently no word if HYDRA's OS will also be open sourced.

Re:Nick Fury was unavailable for comment (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44510947)

Stan Lee is now suing you over that reference.

Re:Nick Fury was unavailable for comment (2)

NoNonAlphaCharsHere (2201864) | about a year ago | (#44511165)

Ever see the David Hasselhoff made-for-TV Nick Fury: Agent of Shield [imdb.com] ? (unintentionally) Funniest. Movie. Evar.

Seriously, wear Depends if you ever watch it, you're going to need them.

Nice idea (1)

houstonbofh (602064) | about a year ago | (#44510807)

This is a very good idea, and I wish more vendors would do it. However, I also wish the first vendor had done it with a more compelling product. Much as I want to support open source, I see no reason to spend $300 on this product.

Re:Nice idea (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44510887)

I understand. Competition for the money in my wallet is fierce, and we have so many choices these days. One thing I've discovered: you can spend $30 instead of $300 and your mom will open up, too. Much like Android, she's full of virii and every person in the world can go in there and poke around.

Re:Nice idea (1)

rwven (663186) | about a year ago | (#44511121)

Are there any scientific applications that could be catered to with the Tegra 4 and a custom ROM?

Re:Nice idea (2)

Samantha Wright (1324923) | about a year ago | (#44511267)

Nothing that couldn't be served better by dismantling the thing and taking out the chip, probably.

Re:Nice idea (1)

gmuslera (3436) | about a year ago | (#44511283)

Depend on what kind of community it gathers. There are a lot of examples (nokia n900, raspberry pi, etc) where the ability to play with what it runs turned them into something bigger than what was at launch. Is not so much what it is, but what it could be.

Re:Nice idea (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44517781)

There are a lot of examples (nokia n900

that example illustrates the point perfectly, even with all the freedom and openness of the n900 it *still* didnt provide any revolutionary or innovative result. the user experience was ultimately crappy and the only thing that really came out of it was the ability to do on a phone some of the things that you would normally do on a laptop which is only at all a little interesting (but mostly a gimmick) to a small bunch of loyalist geeks and if *that* is what openness gets us then im not surprised most people dont care about it.

the foss community often complains that various phones and consoles and other consumer electronics are closed and that companies have no interest in opening them up but when you look at the results of what is done with the variety of devices that *are* open its hardly fucking surprising now is it? openness wont be embraced by any of these big companies until consumers want it and consumers wont want it until it provides some innovative, compelling and polished product as its poster child.

Re:Nice idea (1)

alphaminus (1809974) | about a year ago | (#44514585)

Buy the chips from China. Make your own, and run your own tweaked version of their OS. Save $200.

Re:Nice idea (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | about a year ago | (#44519293)

It's really too bad that nvidia didn't make a game console instead of the shield. Maybe they could have made a USB stick that slotted into the shield, which would be a $200 peripheral for a $100 Tegra 4 android stick computer. Because I'd have actually bought that, but I definitely didn't need a gigantic mutant handheld gaming device. That just don't make no sense.

I guess when Mad Catz brings out their console I'll take a look at that, but they are not exactly known for high-quality hardware; indeed, the opposite is emphatically true.

It's A Trap! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44510865)

The words of the wise Admiral Ackbar ring true. Nvidia just wants to see what cool ideas other people can come up with, and freely provide to Nvidia so they can patent them and use them in their proprietary software. If you write any code and contribute it to this project, I'd advise you to use GPLv3 -- if they don't allow GPLv3 or at least LGPLv3, don't contribute.

Re:It's A Trap! (1)

lister king of smeg (2481612) | about a year ago | (#44514379)

Why not (L)GPLv2 with a (L)GPLv3 and A(L)GPL exception so that it could make it into the Linux kernel and Hurd?

Re:It's A Trap! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44515361)

Android has been open source for years now and *still* noone has come up with anything that has made a real impact to say "hey open source really *is* better than closed source". Companies wont care about opening up their products unless consumers demand it and consumers wont demand it until there is a compelling reason to do so, which after many years of Android (and decades of desktop Linux), there still isnt. Open source is great but the idea that *everything* should be open source is *still* yet to be justified by any real consumer benefit.

What exactly have they opened? (2)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | about a year ago | (#44510885)

Isn't the 'shield' device running a GPL2 linux kernel (about which they have no legal choice on openness), some apache licensed Android components (dalvik, bionic, etc.) and a big Nvidia GPU driver blob?

It's nice of them to not be assholes about the bootloader just for spite (though I have to imagine that voiding the warranty of any device with an unlocked bootloader might not fly in jurisdictions where 'consumer protection' isn't a joke...); but what exactly are they 'opening'? Linux is GPL, Android is apache (and so could include proprietary modifications; but deviations from 'mainstream' Android aren't exactly a good thing), and the real meat of the device is a huge binary GPU driver, which Nvidia has no intention of opening.

Re:What exactly have they opened? (3, Informative)

jonwil (467024) | about a year ago | (#44510907)

Actually, NVIDIA have made moves towards opening up parts of the Tegra driver stack with plans to open source more going forward.

Re:What exactly have they opened? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44511071)

Is it sufficient that you don't need any propritary pieces though? If not there is little point to the exercise other than good PR.

Re:What exactly have they opened? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44511333)

This just in: all corporations do things for PR. No corporation actually cares about you beyond your money.

Re:What exactly have they opened? (3, Interesting)

Bradmont (513167) | about a year ago | (#44511075)

Really? I'd love to read more about that.

Re:What exactly have they opened? (3, Informative)

Desler (1608317) | about a year ago | (#44511353)

You're welcome [slashdot.org] .

Re:What exactly have they opened? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44511901)

Well, that's great. In 10 years I will be very happy with that source. Bullshit utter crap company.

Re:What exactly have they opened? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44512593)

I believe it when I see it. Wake me up when their firmware and driver are free software.

Re:What exactly have they opened? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44517187)

oh ffs what do you actually even want that for? just so you can have another computer with a crappy ubuntu distribution on it...big fuckin whoop! nobody wants that anyway, it provides nothing to anyone but you just pretend its something you want because you want something to complain about and as an excuse for not doing anything productive with the open source elements you already have.

Re:What exactly have they opened? (2)

RMingin (985478) | about a year ago | (#44513407)

You know, I still wish the Linux Nvidia driver was fully open source, but they done a exceptional job of making large parts of the binary blob's support open and documented. This means while you still have a large blob acting as a black box, the inputs and outputs are at least well documented, and the supporting semi-open bits are often modifiable into working while you wait for a driver update to support new open tech XYZ. Specifically, most new xorg versions and kernel versions can be made to work with a few patches to the compilable parts of the blob's support, and Nvidia has been good about moving as much out of the blob as they can, without complicating their work or offending BS IP laws.

They get a big black mark for obfuscating the hell out of the open nv 2D-only driver, though. While they may be contributing nearly all the code, that doesn't make it ethically acceptable to obfuscate and encode the source till it's functionally unusable.

Re:What exactly have they opened? (2)

NoNonAlphaCharsHere (2201864) | about a year ago | (#44511079)

Yesterday's story [slashdot.org] was about how Qualcomm were being assholes just for spite about releasing the big GPU driver blobs for the bootloader for the new Nexus 7.

Re: What exactly have they opened? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44511659)

It is a PR stunt to me, a good one, but futile, still can't buy the damned thing in Europe.

Wut? (1)

SlashDread (38969) | about a year ago | (#44510895)

Nvidea does not control Shields OS, thats Android.

They opensourced shield. Bloody duh.

Re:Wut? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44512347)

Not sure opensource is a foregone conclusion At least with qualcomm with the new nexus 7 [slashdot.org] ...

Really? (3, Insightful)

TheSkepticalOptimist (898384) | about a year ago | (#44510921)

Is it because nobody is buying it, or even talking about it?

Re:Really? (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44511163)

I bought it. it's actually an awesome piece of kit. great emulator support, plays nearly every game on steam, and is an awesome media streamer. Works great with my plex server. I couldn't be happier

Re:Really? (1)

geminidomino (614729) | about a year ago | (#44511471)

Never heard of this thing before today. So it's basically a more expensive Ouya that doesn't suck?

Re:Really? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44514111)

The Shield is a handheld system while Ouya is a standalone machine.

Re:Really? (1)

Jeff Flanagan (2981883) | about a year ago | (#44511557)

Can it handle N64 emulation without stuttering? I currently have a Gameclip to play emulated games on my gen 1 Nexus 7 and my Galaxy Note, and have had to stick with early arcade and 2600 games because the N64 games all stutter very badly on both.

Re:Really? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44511765)

It doesn't stutter. I found that Mario 64 and Super Smash Bros work fine with a teensy bit of occasional audio chop. I probably could mess with the settings to fix the audio chop. Works surprisingly well. PPSSPP works well too.

Re:Really? (1)

Jeff Flanagan (2981883) | about a year ago | (#44511939)

Choppy audio is the biggest problem with N64 emu on the Nexus 7. What do you mean by teensy bit and occasional?

Re:Really? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44515449)

The audio problems are hardly noticeable, It's 100% playable :)

Re:Really? (1)

dpidcoe (2606549) | about a year ago | (#44511235)

Me and a friend tried to talk to them about it when they were showing it off at maker faire. Unfortunately they had sent a booth full of marketing people who told us to come back in an hour when their one person who actually understood the technical side of it got back from lunch. Nvidia should have known better than to send a bunch of marketing people to an event geared towards engineers and other technical people.

Re:Really? (1)

fast turtle (1118037) | about a year ago | (#44512787)

an hour for lunch - for a tech? More likely they were checking out all of the other booths to see what was going on. In this case, Nvidia did the right thing in sending Sales Drones. They don't give a damn about the others, just pushing their crap on everyone and sitting on their asses drinking $5 latte's from Starfucks.

Just GPL Compliance (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44510977)

Great job NVIDIA, you have successfully complied with the legal requirements of using Linux on your device. Now please open source the actual interesting part - your GPU drivers.

Re:Just GPL Compliance (1)

TheDarkMaster (1292526) | about a year ago | (#44511317)

You know "trade secrets" and similar? It is not always possible to release the source code for something, even when the author wants to do this. You should be happy just with the fact nVidia at least provide support for using GPUs of then in opensource operating systems, something that most business do not because they see Linux and similar things as not being professional enough to invest.

Re:Just GPL Compliance (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44522275)

No, the self-entitled pricks on this site will never be happy. They expect these companies to give away all of their IP. Port APIs to their toy OS. They feel that everything should be "free" except their own labor.

Re:Just GPL Compliance (1)

mikael (484) | about a year ago | (#44514483)

It's been mentioned plenty of times - the internals of the hardware will be covered by patents - registers, optimizations, memory organization. But probably most importantly, the driver must conform to the OpenGL specification. The actual hardware might be more than capable of doing much more than what the specification requires, or what has been licensed by patents. There may be combinations of texture and framebuffer that may be perfectly valid, but deemed not profitable to license. Perhaps you could modify the driver to have webcams stream directly into cubemapped texture memory along with automatic mip-map generation. They some video company would fire a lawsuit because their HD omni-camera does that.

Re:Just GPL Compliance (1)

exomondo (1725132) | about a year ago | (#44515381)

Now please open source the actual interesting part - your GPU drivers.

What are you even proposing to do with that?

Nvidia's error and the solution (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44511039)

If Nvidia is serious about getting this "console" to take root, they need to add one of those scent-chips to the next version. Let's face it - porn drives technology.

I applaud Nvidia (1)

Dishwasha (125561) | about a year ago | (#44511227)

“Our goal here isn’t to discourage people from rooting their devices – it’s yours, after all – but to give us a course of action if folks start to abuse the hardware through software modifications”

It's fantastic to see a company not use the act of rooting as a crutch excuse to not warranty something, but instead to void warranty for harm the user ACTUALLY brought against the device outside of the normal operating condition.

Voiding the warranty? (4, Insightful)

adolf (21054) | about a year ago | (#44511461)

Seriously. Stop saying that playing with software somehow invalidates a warranty on the hardware. That is simply not how things work in the Unites States, so please just STOP SAYING THAT.

(All replies not taking the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act [wikipedia.org] into consideration will be cheerfully ignored under the presumption of idiocy on the part of the respondent.)

Re:Voiding the warranty? (3, Interesting)

DogDude (805747) | about a year ago | (#44511511)

YOU'RE RIGHT. If a manufacturer decides not to honor the warranty on the hardware, you're free to get an attorney to sue them in order to get your money back on the gadget you paid for. GOOD LUCK.

Re:Voiding the warranty? (2)

Jaysyn (203771) | about a year ago | (#44512533)

No lawyer needed in small claims court.

Re:Voiding the warranty? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44518803)

...and more often than not they'll fold and hand out whatever the replacement costs, rather than spend that much per hour on corporate lawyers and risk a legal decision against them. If it's not a class action, they don't care.

Re:Voiding the warranty? (1)

Bill_the_Engineer (772575) | about a year ago | (#44512675)

IANAL but after reading the link you provided, I have doubts that you're completely correct.

(All replies not taking the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act [wikipedia.org] into consideration will be cheerfully ignored under the presumption of idiocy on the part of the respondent.)

I did see a lot of details about enforcing "full warranties" however NVIDIA only provides a "limited warranty" and they explicitly state:

NVIDIA does not guarantee that the operation of the Warranted Product will be uninterrupted or error free. NVIDIA is not responsible for any interoperability or compatibility issues that may arise when (a) products, software, or options not supported by NVIDIA are used; (b) configurations not supported, provided or approved by NVIDIA are used; (c) parts intended for one system are installed in another system of different make or model. NVIDIA will have no warranty obligation with respect to the following: (a) Warranted Product hardware that has no defects in materials or workmanship, (b) software, games or applications, (c) cosmetic damage; (d) normal wear and tear; (e) expendable or consumable parts; (f) defects or damage to the Warranted Product arising from or related to: (1) any modifications, alterations, tampering, repair, or servicing by any party other than NVIDIA or its authorized representatives; (2) handling, transit, storage, installation, testing, maintenance, or use not in accordance with the Warranted Product documentation; (3) abuse, negligence, neglect, accidents, or misuse; (4) third party software or viruses; or software loss or data loss that may occur during repair or replacement; (5) fire or spillage of food or liquid, external electrical fault, or any acts of God (such as, but not limited to, lightning), or any other external factor.

NVIDIA IS NOT RESPONSIBLE FOR DAMAGE TO OR LOSS OF ANY PROGRAMS, DATA, OR REMOVABLE STORAGE MEDIA. NVIDIA IS NOT RESPONSIBLE FOR THE RESTORATION OR REINSTALLATION OF ANY PROGRAMS OR DATA OTHER THAN SOFTWARE INSTALLED BY NVIDIA WHEN THE PRODUCT IS MANUFACTURED.

Even if they offered it as a full warranty, this appears to comply with Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act that you linked since:

Under a full warranty, in the case of a defect, malfunction, or failure to conform with the written warranty, the warrantor: ... may not exclude or limit consequential damages for a breach of any written or implied warranty on the product, unless the exclusion or limitation conspicuously appears on the face of the warranty;...

Also, the act isn't exactly bullet-proof protection since it contains the following:

The federal minimum standards for full warranties are waived if the warrantor can show that the problem associated with a warranted consumer product was caused by damage while in the possession of the consumer, or by unreasonable use, including a failure to provide reasonable and necessary maintenance.

You'd have to prove that modifying the firmware isn't unreasonable use. It would be cheaper just to buy a new $300 device.

Re:Voiding the warranty? (1)

Miamicanes (730264) | about a year ago | (#44513029)

> You'd have to prove that modifying the firmware isn't unreasonable use.
> It would be cheaper just to buy a new $300 device

Wrong. That's what makes MMWA so potent. Once you file the complaint with the FTC, the onus is 100% on the manufacturer to demonstrate to the FTC's satisfaction that your modification of the firmware was the reason for the failure. It's cheaper for THEM to just re-JTAG your device to stock, run the factory diagnostics on it, and either return the original to you if it passes, or send you a remanufactured/new one if it doesn't.

Unlike most consumer-protection laws, MMWA has real teeth, and the FTC has little patience for companies that try to use warranty coverage as a weapon to enforce TOS compliance. The closest real-world scenario where a rooted phone might genuinely cause a hardware failure is if you repartitioned the flash to add a naïve Linux swap partition in a way that caused the same small block of flash to get repeatedly scrubbed, rewritten, and prematurely fail... but even then, it would probably cost the company more money to document how doing it literally caused the hardware failure to the FTC's satisfaction than to just toss your phone onto the scrap pile and send you a remanufactured one.

Re:Voiding the warranty? (1)

Bill_the_Engineer (772575) | about a year ago | (#44513399)

You do have a point. However they did explicitly state the terms of their warranty and make it available prior to the sale. It appears that they satisfied the MMWA by disclosing the conditions that will void the warranty.

I did find this Understanding the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act [mlmlaw.com] in a Google search.

Re:Voiding the warranty? (1)

adolf (21054) | about a year ago | (#44514451)

Yes, they disclosed all kinds of stuff that they say that they will not cover under the warranty.

Tell me, Bill: Which one of those terms voids the warranty by using different software? I don't see it.

Re:Voiding the warranty? (1)

Bill_the_Engineer (772575) | about a year ago | (#44514919)

These are the sections, which I emphasized them in my original post, that lead me to reply to you.

NVIDIA is not responsible for any interoperability or compatibility issues that may arise when (a) products, software, or options not supported by NVIDIA are used; (b) configurations not supported, provided or approved by NVIDIA are used;

and this within the same paragraph:

NVIDIA will have no warranty obligation with respect to the following: (a) Warranted Product hardware that has no defects in materials or workmanship, ... (f) defects or damage to the Warranted Product arising from or related to: (1) any modifications, alterations, tampering, repair, or servicing by any party other than NVIDIA or its authorized representatives; (2) handling, transit, storage, installation, testing, maintenance, or use not in accordance with the Warranted Product documentation; ... (4) third party software or viruses;

Re:Voiding the warranty? (1)

Bill_the_Engineer (772575) | about a year ago | (#44515111)

Let me clarify. Rooting the device doesn't necessarily void the warranty. The warranty doesn't cover you bricking your device while rooting it.

Re:Voiding the warranty? (1)

adolf (21054) | about a year ago | (#44515697)

Nor does it cover replacing the screen after it has been used as a hammer.

So what?

Re:Voiding the warranty? (1)

Bill_the_Engineer (772575) | about a year ago | (#44519521)

You implied that there were no consequences from "playing with software". I just pointed out that was not entirely true.

Re: Voiding the warranty? (1)

adolf (21054) | about a year ago | (#44521895)

Geez, Bill. Are we discussing vapid implications of stuff read between the lines, or just digesting written English?

Let me know what the rules are.

Re: Voiding the warranty? (1)

Bill_the_Engineer (772575) | about a year ago | (#44522257)

Sigh, Adolf.

Seriously. Stop saying that playing with software somehow invalidates a warranty on the hardware. That is simply not how things work in the Unites States, so please just STOP SAYING THAT.

Synopsis so far: You are not entirely correct. Yes simply installing or playing with software does not invalidate a warranty. However if the hardware stops functioning correctly solely because you played with the software then remedies like replacement or repair are not covered by the warranty.

Re: Voiding the warranty? (1)

adolf (21054) | about a year ago | (#44522639)

Remedies like replacement or repair are covered by warranty, just not for the particular defect that I myself caused.

Go read the warranty document again.

And "playing with software" doesn't invalidate the warranty. Which we both agree about.

(Yes, you can in theory brick a device by playing with software. I have at different times thought I've bricked my share of things, but I was always able to recover them, so they really weren't bricks after all. Defect thus eliminated, the warranty status is good.)

Re: Voiding the warranty? (1)

Bill_the_Engineer (772575) | about a year ago | (#44523911)

Agree. Good talk. Enjoy the weekend.

Re:Voiding the warranty? (1)

adolf (21054) | about a year ago | (#44513437)

You'd have to prove that modifying the firmware isn't unreasonable use. It would be cheaper just to buy a new $300 device.

Eh?

From your own posting:

The federal minimum standards for full warranties are waived if the warrantor can show [...]

I ain't no warrantor. I'm a just a consumer. That duty is theirs, not mine.

Re:Voiding the warranty? (1)

Bill_the_Engineer (772575) | about a year ago | (#44513615)

Well the logic being that they could say that you messing with the firmware or boot configuration can cause the unit to become inoperative and therefore unreasonable or expected use. You'd have to counter their argument in court or arbitration.

Of course, they don't need to do this if they explicitly state what their warranty doesn't cover.

Re:Voiding the warranty? (1)

adolf (21054) | about a year ago | (#44514939)

How about a computer analogy? I can hose up the configuration on my new Dell desktop and make it unbootable.

But they still get to replace a dead power supply or a hard drive under warranty, no matter what software I'm using or how poorly that software works, unless they can prove that the software caused the particular defect that I am complaining about.

I can also install Kingston RAM [kingston.com] in that computer without affecting the status of the warranty. Or a different video card. Or, you know, whatever.

Same with cars. I can buy new tires wherever I want to and have them installed by any competent shop without affecting my car's warranty. I can replace light bulbs myself using aftermarket bulbs.

Now, obviously: If my replacement tires are ridiculously out-of-round and unbalanced, the manufacturer may have a good chance at avoiding replacing my shock absorbers and ball joints under warranty, but they're still going to have to cover the vehicle's paint and the engine parts and [...].

If my aftermarket light bulb can be shown to have caused the wiring harness to catch fire whereas an OEM bulb would not, that repair is almost certainly not going to be covered under warranty.

But back to computers: I can most assuredly run whatever software I want to on my computer, whether it be a desktop, a tablet, or a pocket Android gaming rig.

Again, and again, and again: Unless my software actually breaks the hardware. And in that event it is on them to show that my software has physically damaged the device, and even if they do show that then the rest of the warranty is still intact.

If the backlight goes wonky on the LCD screen, it doesn't matter if the device is happens to be rooted and jailbroken and is in the midst of Deep Hacking on bootloader code, they still get to fix the wonky backlight under warranty so I can go back to coding up my bootloader.

Though, quite obviously: While they're fixing that wonky backlight, one thing they don't have to do is fix the bootloader (software) problem that I created for myself, just as Dell doesn't have to fix a botched FreeBSD installation. (duh.)

Re:Voiding the warranty? (1)

slew (2918) | about a year ago | (#44515027)

1. Nobody is required to offer a warranty on any product.
2. If there is a warranty, it must be either a full warranty or a limited warranty (as per MMWA it must be conspicuously stated if it is a full or limited waranty)
3. Almost nobody offers a full warranty on their products, only a limited warranty so most of the MMWA provisions applicable to a full waranty or implied waranty are moot.
4. According to MWA, a company can pretty much limit the warranty any way they want if it is a limited waranty.

Shield (as with most actual products in the universe) only offers a limited warranty [nvidia.com] and conspicuously states this.

Re:Voiding the warranty? (1)

adolf (21054) | about a year ago | (#44515669)

Good! You considered the MMWA. We can discuss this.

Now can you quote for me the line in the Shield's limited warranty where it is conspicuously written that installing software on the device voids said warranty?

Re:Voiding the warranty? (1)

slew (2918) | about a year ago | (#44517305)

NVIDIA will have no warranty obligation with respect to the following: (a) Warranted Product hardware that has no defects in materials or workmanship, (b) software, games or applications, (c) cosmetic damage; (d) normal wear and tear; (e) expendable or consumable parts; (f) defects or damage to the Warranted Product arising from or related to: (1) any modifications, alterations, tampering, repair, or servicing by any party other than NVIDIA or its authorized representatives ; (2) handling, transit, storage, installation, testing, maintenance, or use not in accordance with the Warranted Product documentation; (3) abuse, negligence, neglect, accidents, or misuse; (4) third party software or viruses

Depending on how you interpret the highlighted part...

Re:Voiding the warranty? (1)

adolf (21054) | about a year ago | (#44517499)

(f) is important. Without it, condition (1) is without context or meaning.

(f) is as follows: defects or damage to the Warranted Product arising from or related to

So if the modification, alteration, tampering, repair, or servicing by other than NVIDIA or its authorized representatives causes defects or damage to arise, they're not going to cover your ass with a warranty repair on THOSE PARTICULAR defects or damage.

Please note that the paragraph you quoted doesn't even say I'm not allowed to physically repair the hardware itself, by myself. It just says that if a repair is carried out by other-than-NVIDIA-or-its-authorized-representatives, AND that repair causes other damage or defect, then I'm on your own WRT warranty coverage OF THOSE DEFECTS. It also says, through implication, that if NVIDIA-or-its-authorized-representatives conduct a repair and damage or defect arises, then they will be responsible to fix the additional damage that they caused.

In other news, I'm allowed to replace the spark plugs on my car without voiding the engine warranty. I can even do it myself, in my driveway, using third-party parts. But if my replacement plugs cause detonation and piston damage, then that's my own stupid fault for buying the wrong plugs and BMW isn't going to pay to fix it. (Incidentally, my BMW came with the tools needed to change spark plugs and perform other routine maintenance.)

This is exactly what the sections about tie-in sales are about when it comes to the Warranty Act: You're allowed to do what you want with your stuff. But if you fuck with it AND in the process you break it, you're SOL for that breakage or defect. But even then, the impetus is still on the warrantor to show that the end-user fuckery caused the breakage: That it is merely broken is insufficient, even per NVIDIA's own terms.

--

But nevermind that. Let's say that the theory you concoct by cherry-picking strings of words is correct. I can play that game, too:

NVIDIA will have no warranty obligation with respect to the following: [...] (4) third party software

Oh well. So much for running games on the silly thing, right? Install third-party software and BAM! Warranty gone! (At least it's a very pretty paperweight.)

--

May I kindly suggest that you try reading the entire document before declaring that you have any idea what it means? This isn't the sort of thing that you can understand from the highlight reel: It was, after all, written by a lawyer (probably a whole fleet of them).

Re:Voiding the warranty? (1)

adolf (21054) | about a year ago | (#44517657)

And in case I didn't make it clear: There is no verbiage there which allows a single insular act to void, carte blanche, the entire warranty.

Even if I toss my SHIELD into a fire, I still have a limited warranty on the charging adapter.

Re:Voiding the warranty? (1)

exomondo (1725132) | about a year ago | (#44518109)

Who the fuck even cares? People who want to hack and tweak devices don't give a shit about whether they could potentially void the warranty on their devices, that's something asshat lawyer-types care about. I've overclocked a heap of CPUs, RAM and GPUs and don't give crap that I've most likely voided the warranty by doing so, I've hacked and flashed new BIOSes onto graphics cards that may well push the hardware beyond its - and its cooling system's - limits causing irreparable damage to that hardware, doing this voids the warranty and rightly so and I don't care. Jailbreaking my iPhone, rooting my Galaxy and hacking my original XBox probably voided those warranties too but I'm more concerned with actually doing stuff with them than sifting through warranty act documents, court precedents and license agreements to work out if what I'm doing might void the warranty.

Software can damage hardware but I'd rather them be happy for my to change it at my own risk than lockdown and idiot-proof everything because some legal doucher forced them to warrant everything no matter what you did. I overclocked an eVGA motherboard at one point and it blew a cap, I figured I'd contact their support team anyway and told them what happened and they were quite happy to replace it, yes there was an off chance that overclocking it may have caused the blown cap but more than likely it was a faulty board, was I legally entitled to a replacement? I dunno, I don't read that shit.

Re:Voiding the warranty? (1)

adolf (21054) | about a year ago | (#44522433)

Jailbreaking my iPhone, rooting my Galaxy and hacking my original XBox probably voided those warranties too

No, it probably didn't.

And you do care: When EVGA replaced your board for you, were you either happy or unhappy with the outcome?

Re:Voiding the warranty? (1)

exomondo (1725132) | about a year ago | (#44538237)

Jailbreaking my iPhone, rooting my Galaxy and hacking my original XBox probably voided those warranties too

No, it probably didn't.

If I'm running custom firmware that pushes the hardware beyond its specs then I would certainly expect the warranty to be voided.

And you do care: When EVGA replaced your board for you, were you either happy or unhappy with the outcome?

No, just because they replaced it doesn't mean I suddenly care whether I've voided the warranty. When my GPU RAM failed they didn't replace that even though it wasn't necessarily due to overclocking, but I'm not going to go through some process of forcing them to prove that.

Re:Voiding the warranty? (1)

adolf (21054) | about a year ago | (#44538879)

If I'm running custom firmware that pushes the hardware beyond its specs then I would certainly expect the warranty to be voided.

It's a computer. It just runs software. That said "software" might happen to reside on a some manner of flash EEPROM instead of spinning rust does not change this relationship.

Re:Voiding the warranty? (1)

exomondo (1725132) | about a year ago | (#44538929)

If I'm running custom firmware that pushes the hardware beyond its specs then I would certainly expect the warranty to be voided.

It's a computer. It just runs software. That said "software" might happen to reside on a some manner of flash EEPROM instead of spinning rust does not change this relationship.

So if I flash firmware onto my GPU that overclocks it and fries it that should be covered under warranty?

Now that I have SHIELD's OS (1)

Ukab the Great (87152) | about a year ago | (#44511661)

I just have to find the time to 3D-print my own helicarrier.

Excellent (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44512133)

Now I can use my SHIELD to play pirated games, music, and movies. I'm going to download the entire collection of NES, SNES, and N64 games to play on this thing. I don't care about things like "intellectual property". Everything should be free like the SHIELD operating system. What right do companies have to prevent us from using their stuff for free? They should be more than happy to spend hundreds of millions, if not billions, on entertaining me with no hope of recouping the money. They should just consider the money lost. It is a privilege for all those little people to entertain me. They should thank their lucky stars that I am so benevolent as to allow them to make my day a little better. I want to watch Elysium, but I'm not going to pay for a movie ticket to go see it. Why should I reward all those faggots for making that movie for me? No, I'm going to torrent it. It's not theft, when it is my birth right to do and say whatever the fuck I want. Besides, they won't let me use my EBT card to pay for a movie ticket.

Re:Excellent (1)

jones_supa (887896) | about a year ago | (#44514317)

I'm generally the anti-piracy guy in these Slashdot discussions, but don't view redistributing NES, SNES and N64 games today as a bad thing. The actual cash flows from them have dried a long time ago. If I was, say, a developer of some N64 game, I would give piracy just a good smile and feel flattered that my game is still being played somewhere.

Wow, just another android. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44512551)

I wasn't really following this but opening up the operating system in the headline was exciting for about two seconds for me. If its just another android is not even worth mentioning.

neat controller (1)

bill_mcgonigle (4333) | about a year ago | (#44513237)

Those could be repurposed into some very interesting industrial controllers.

Neat.

Where's the long-term support for Tegra250? NONE! (1)

keneng (1211114) | about a year ago | (#44514089)

They discontinued Tegra250 support. Tegra250 is only two years old by the way. It doesn't instill buyer's confidence.
They can say what they want. I don't believe them. It hints how they will treat open-source folks 2 years from now.
I'm not touching tegra stuff or any other arm stuff until they show they seriously support open-source.
I've wasted enough time with the Tegra250
It's going to take a lot of commitment and time to win over this hardware buyer.
Intel/AMD is the only place for me and it's faster.
Have a nice day.

Re:Where's the long-term support for Tegra250? NON (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | about a year ago | (#44519319)

Intel/AMD is the only place for me and it's faster.

In short, the mobile chips are improving too quickly for any of this stuff to stick around long at this point. A PC GPU is expected to have support for some years and hopefully even another version or two of Windows. A mobile device is expected to be replaced when the next model comes out. I think that this is an increasingly unreasonable idea, but maybe I'm wrong about that; people do seem to buy a lot of gadgets, myself included. Then again, my phone is from 2011...

In any case, the only ARM-related GPU that's really been with us for years is Mali400, and now it's a bit long in the tooth. Even with a clock rate bump it's not really competitive. In fact, so far you can have smooth video or really bangin' benchmarks but not both on the RK3188. At 720p I get ~13k with the video stutter fix or ~16k without, at the same clock rates.

Dalvik JNI-alike isn't going to solve everything (1)

kriston (7886) | about a year ago | (#44516995)

I hope this is going to move us to more native code on the Android platform.

The Dalvik JNI-alike feature isn't going to solve everything we need to have really good games on Android.

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