Linked by Thom Holwerda on Thu 18th Jun 2009 10:44 UTC
PDAs, Cellphones, Wireless The Palm pre has been out and about for a while now, so stories and items about what it can do are popping up all over the place. One thing is becoming quite clear already: the Pre and its WebOS are quite hacker-friendly, and hackers have already found all sorts of ways to extend the device's functionality.
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Forced updates are the future
by kragil on Thu 18th Jun 2009 11:14 UTC
kragil
Member since:
2006-01-04

Geeks may not like it, but it is good for security in general.

And I am actually glad Palm provides good support for the Pre and updates WebOS. That is the only way it can compete with Apple.

Reply Score: 2

jabbotts Member since:
2007-09-06

update; yes. forced; no.

Updates repeatedly demonstrate that forcing the change is a bad idea. How many Windows updates have reversed previous updates or all out broken existing systems. How many companies would have been hosed by the IE8 update originally delivered broken. I've on rare occasion even had Mandriva updates break a system (phpBB v2 to v3 blew apart the server). I now have an apache update waiting for a Debian box but there's no way I'm doing that on the production machine until the test server confirms it. On my PDA, the OS install is not a simple default against the internal non-removable flash so something like a forced kernel update when booted from SD instead of internal flash is a problem.

"Your OS was kind enough to force an update on you last night, your staff will be unable to work until all machines are re-imaged back a step.. but the next night, the update will be forced back in again. Thank you for your patience."

The other problem is that a device should not be causing network traffic without the user's consent. I don't want my notebook or PDA hopping on any wifi it finds and blasting packets out. If I'm on a contracted pentest; that's a problem. If I don't own the wifi that it happened to connect too; problem again. If the wifi was intentionally left open with a man in the middle; yet another problem.

Sometimes a user needs to get work done rather than wait on an update process. Imagine having to get a call out in a hurry but having to wait on a process bar from the update system.

Updates should be made available but in a manner that allows them to be differed within reasonable amounts of time. Months or indefinitely in the case of Conficker is not acceptable by any means but update quality is just not up to the level of being non-negotiable either.

Reply Score: 6

kaiwai Member since:
2005-07-06

Updates should be made available but in a manner that allows them to be differed within reasonable amounts of time. Months or indefinitely in the case of Conficker is not acceptable by any means but update quality is just not up to the level of being non-negotiable either.


Agreed; as much as I'd love to see forced updates - even with all the testing in the world it is almost murphy's law when it comes to something going wrong. With that being said, however, I have a feeling that it is the carrier and not Palm who provides the update - assuming that they have the same sort of arrangement like how Blackberry provides updates. If that is the case then the carrier can view if the security update is so important as to protect the integrity of their network they can provide text messages to all customers with the old version 1 week to upgrade to the new version and then start blocking off old phones that haven't updated.

A co-ordinated approach to security need to be taken - but the same time I don't think that the average user is smart enough to keep their phone updated; there are users right now who think that if they go and purchase Windows Vista off the shelf right now that it doesn't require any software updates - after all, they bought brand new, it should have all the updates included already included. Yes, that is the psychology of many people out there. Many people will look at their phone and say, "why does it need updates? its a telephone? telephones don't need updates! my home phone doesn't need software updates!" - yes, people do exist like that - and they make up the majority.

Reply Score: 2

jabbotts Member since:
2007-09-06

I remember a few months after getting my shiny new Razr back in the day. The service provider looked at me like I was insane when I asked about firmware updates. When I did discover updates provided by Motorola directly my phone was "out of the service period" based on the serial number confirmation. That was the least of the phones problems though.

Which reminds me, it's about time to check Nokia for updated firmware. My Razr replacement probably has something waiting.

I would like to see phone updates pushed over the service providers network but I suspect it would add to the data plan usage given how big business likes to operate.

Reply Score: 2

kaiwai Member since:
2005-07-06

I remember a few months after getting my shiny new Razr back in the day. The service provider looked at me like I was insane when I asked about firmware updates. When I did discover updates provided by Motorola directly my phone was "out of the service period" based on the serial number confirmation. That was the least of the phones problems though.


I was tempted to get myself once - even though I had sworn off ever getting a Motorola due to their mediocre quality. I went in, chatted to the sales person - as he said, "sure, I could sell you the Razr, I'd make a sales bonus and you'd come out with a crappy phone - you're better off getting a cheaper one that will turn out to be more reliable".

Having since had a look at the phone, I'm happy I didn't buy one way back then. I have to admit though the best phone I have had was a Siemens phone from Optus when I was in Australia - cheap, reliable and kept on working even after falling into a pot of hot water.

Which reminds me, it's about time to check Nokia for updated firmware. My Razr replacement probably has something waiting.

I would like to see phone updates pushed over the service providers network but I suspect it would add to the data plan usage given how big business likes to operate.


True - I'd love to see a law though which states a 'you sell it, you support it at no cost to the consumer'. I don't expect perfection but I do expect that if the vendor makes a mistake that they fix it in a timely manner.

Reply Score: 2

jabbotts Member since:
2007-09-06

Every now and then I buy hardware without checking the support forums. Razr was one of those cases. I saw the early shots of it. I watched it's release in the US. I watched the date it was due to cross the border north. I baught. I should have had an "I check the forums and tom's hardware" in there before that last one though.

On the plus side, the form factor was perfect for me. Clamshell covered the keys and slim dimensions fit in my pocket almost invisibly. After mobile bricks for years before, picket fit was important. I was also traveling by skateboard a lot at that time (one of the few in an office suit, notbook in hand and board under foot). Due to light weight and slim shape, it was wouldn't be what broke my fall unlike the brick phones that always got pulled toward the impact zone on the way down.

By the time the next phone upgrade comes around, it may be all smartphones based on the last list of options.

Reply Score: 2

Laurence Member since:
2007-03-26

update; yes. forced; no.

Updates repeatedly demonstrate that forcing the change is a bad idea. How many Windows updates have reversed previous updates or all out broken existing systems. How many companies would have been hosed by the IE8 update originally delivered broken. I've on rare occasion even had Mandriva updates break a system (phpBB v2 to v3 blew apart the server). I now have an apache update waiting for a Debian box but there's no way I'm doing that on the production machine until the test server confirms it. On my PDA, the OS install is not a simple default against the internal non-removable flash so something like a forced kernel update when booted from SD instead of internal flash is a problem.

"Your OS was kind enough to force an update on you last night, your staff will be unable to work until all machines are re-imaged back a step.. but the next night, the update will be forced back in again. Thank you for your patience."

The other problem is that a device should not be causing network traffic without the user's consent. I don't want my notebook or PDA hopping on any wifi it finds and blasting packets out. If I'm on a contracted pentest; that's a problem. If I don't own the wifi that it happened to connect too; problem again. If the wifi was intentionally left open with a man in the middle; yet another problem.

Sometimes a user needs to get work done rather than wait on an update process. Imagine having to get a call out in a hurry but having to wait on a process bar from the update system.

Updates should be made available but in a manner that allows them to be differed within reasonable amounts of time. Months or indefinitely in the case of Conficker is not acceptable by any means but update quality is just not up to the level of being non-negotiable either.


While I agree with what you're saying, the 1st point (in bold) is moot as the updates are for a fixed handset with predetermined hardware rather than a desktop / server which could have any component under the sun.

If Palm can't roll out a reliable update for a device who's hardware they control, then they're pretty much dead in the water already.

Reply Score: 2

Hacking is fun... 'Cracking' not so fun!
by Governa on Thu 18th Jun 2009 11:49 UTC
Governa
Member since:
2006-04-09

Not wanting to go off-topic here, but what about the real-life handling of the device? Hacking away is fun and all, I own a jailbroken (Cydia) iPhone and know already the amount of amazing things the community is able to produce without the (sometimes arbitrary) control of Apple and the AppStore. Talking about emulators, I have installed a Gameboy one, Gameboy Advance, Genesis/Mega Drive, NES and SNES. I'm pretty sure this is nothing new for owners of other smartphones.

But the first reports of the Palm feeling, and I quote, "like a Fisher Price toy (...) disappointing keyboard" ( http://www.boygeniusreport.com/2009/05/29/palm-pre-review/ ) and the recent reports of the Pre plastic screen being scratch prone ( http://www.geek.com/articles/mobile/protect-your-palm-pre-screen-no... ) and cracks radiating from the center 'home' button to the screen ( http://www.precentral.net/psb-pre-screen-cracks-emerge ) leads me to think Palm has cut costs ( not a surprise having in mind their financial 'limitations' ) and corners ( little joke here, I love how all the corners are rounded in the WebOS and Pre ) here and there and now the consumer might be paying the price.

So, anyone owning a Pre can tell us if these reports are true or exaggerated?

Reply Score: 2

Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

I was unsure whether or not to include the screen issue, but I tend to veer away form that stuff. It's hard to gauge how widespread such issues are, and also, how legit. The guy who had his screen scratched, for instance, kept it in his pocket, unprotected, with keys and coins. That's asking for trouble, of course.

In any case, the few people who reported the problems also stated they got new Pre's from Sprint instantly, even without having to enter the usual warranty tracts.

More information on these possible issues is needed.

Reply Score: 2

gfacer Member since:
2005-11-10

The guy who had his screen scratched, for instance, kept it in his pocket, unprotected, with keys and coins. That's asking for trouble, of course.


That is the way they should be (able) to be used.

My Ipod Touch is scratch free after spending most of its time in my pocket with keys and change. Apple chose, wisely, to use very good materials in it's screen. Some type of Crystal if I recall, not glass or plastic.

I remember being worried about it, looking up the material on some reviews, and then gradually becoming not worried, as the damn thing is very sturdy.

I've had it since being available in Canada.

Reply Score: 1

telns Member since:
2009-06-18

So, anyone owning a Pre can tell us if these reports are true or exaggerated?


I cannot comment on others' experiences, but that does seem a little over the top to me. Mine is well made. It doesn't have a metal case, so it probably isn't quite as tough as an iPhone, but I'd say the fit & finish and overall quality are pretty close.

I like the Pre's screen slightly better than Apple, and definitely no cracks so far. Mine seems sturdy enough in all respects and I've had no hardware problems. I haven't had it quite two weeks yet, of course, so perhaps I should report again in about six months.

I wrote a pretty long review back on the 8th based on my initial impressions. After another week and a half, my view hasn't changed substantively: http://nuevasync.blogspot.com/2009/06/syncing-with-palm-pre.html

Reply Score: 1

Europe
by bibe on Thu 18th Jun 2009 12:02 UTC
bibe
Member since:
2005-07-09

It takes forever until Pre comes to europe, we are always last behind Japan and US ;)

Reply Score: 2

RE: Europe - everybody is behind Japan
by jabbotts on Thu 18th Jun 2009 12:59 UTC in reply to "Europe"
jabbotts Member since:
2007-09-06

It's a favorite market for testing new products due to the consumers generally being interested and open to any crazy new device.

handtop sized RC helicopters? .. so last year. They have voice controlled handtop RC helicopters now. ;)

http://www.techeblog.com/index.php/tech-gadget/voice-controlled-hel...

Reply Score: 3

Laurence
Member since:
2007-03-26

Isn't it about time Apple got a bollocking over their antitrust practicies?

Reply Score: 2

jabbotts Member since:
2007-09-06

I think there are enough competitive media managers and internet accessed music stores to keep Apple safe. I would like to see them take a rogering but .mp3 still play on many other devices and one is not bound to iTunes yet (especially since the DRM removal).

Reply Score: 2

kaiwai Member since:
2005-07-06

I think there are enough competitive media managers and internet accessed music stores to keep Apple safe. I would like to see them take a rogering but .mp3 still play on many other devices and one is not bound to iTunes yet (especially since the DRM removal).


Too bad that so many of the music sellers refuse to sell to over seas customers; Amazon refuses to sell to overseas customers, for example. What is worse, one is subjected to media that costs just as much as purchasing a CD from a store - and of lower quality. Sorry, I'll continue to purchase CD's until online media is cheaper and available in lossless DRM free format.

Oh, and how about realising that there are customers outside the US who want to purchase music!

Reply Score: 3

jabbotts Member since:
2007-09-06

File quality will only continue to increase and I can always recompile my CD content to the higher quality. I can't convert an existing music file to a higher quality though.

I hadn't even considered national border limitations for online music providers. I'm sure they have a good business reason for that decision but I'd be looking for different music store providers if effected by it also.

Reply Score: 2

kaiwai Member since:
2005-07-06

File quality will only continue to increase and I can always recompile my CD content to the higher quality. I can't convert an existing music file to a higher quality though.

I hadn't even considered national border limitations for online music providers. I'm sure they have a good business reason for that decision but I'd be looking for different music store providers if effected by it also.


There are only two online music stores in New Zealand - none of them offer lossless; I want bit for bit the same music I get off a CD. It has less to do with quality and more to do with the principle of the thing; I don't want to purchase a compromised version of a product unless as a vendor you're willing to heavily discount it.

Reply Score: 2

apoclypse Member since:
2007-02-17

What anti-trust pratcices are those? As far as I know there are plenty of alternatives to iTunes and most of what made iTunes so prevalent, the music, is now mostly drm free and ready for any music player ont he market. If the iPod were the only player in town and Apple actively went after other hardware mp3 player makers then yes, that anti-competitive but that is not the case here.

Reply Score: 2

Yech
by Buck on Thu 18th Jun 2009 12:52 UTC
Buck
Member since:
2005-06-29

Oh come on! That Apple notice doesn't mean anything will break in the next version, they're just warning you that they won't specifically support Pre syncing in case anything changes internally in iTunes. Don't you remember the story with the original unlock that broke the baseband? It's the same thing now.

Besides you'd think someone as big as Palm would come up with their own version of iTunes, they managed to develop the WebOS after all... And relying on your *competitor's* software and then accusing it of behaving badly is absolutely RETARDED.

Reply Score: 1

RE: Yech
by Thom_Holwerda on Thu 18th Jun 2009 13:17 UTC in reply to "Yech"
Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

Besides you'd think someone as big as Palm would come up with their own version of iTunes, they managed to develop the WebOS after all... And relying on your *competitor's* software and then accusing it of behaving badly is absolutely RETARDED.


That's the whole point: they are NOT relying on Apple at all. It might come as a shock to some Mac users, but there are companies out there that do not frantically tie everything together and close everything off so tight that you as a user have no options.

If you read the article carefully, you'll see that Palm gets it right and lets its users transfer content onto the phone without the need for special software. You can just use the file manager, and drag and drop whatever you want on there. In other words, manage your music with any app you want, and then just drag/drop whatever you want onto your Pre.

This also means that the Pre is not tied to Windows/Mac and the utterly horrible iTunes. I could live with an iPod/iPhone, but the idea if having to deal with iTunes... *shivers*. I help my parents all the time with their iPod and iPhone, and within 3 minutes of use, I want to reach into the screen, and beat iTunes to death.

That's why I personally am waiting for the Pre to arrive in Europe. My 2 year contract can be renewed in a few months, so I'm all set for a "free" Pre.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Yech
by apoclypse on Thu 18th Jun 2009 16:18 UTC in reply to "RE: Yech"
apoclypse Member since:
2007-02-17

That's the whole point: they are NOT relying on Apple at all. It might come as a shock to some Mac users, but there are companies out there that do not frantically tie everything together and close everything off so tight that you as a user have no options.

If you read the article carefully, you'll see that Palm gets it right and lets its users transfer content onto the phone without the need for special software. You can just use the file manager, and drag and drop whatever you want on there. In other words, manage your music with any app you want, and then just drag/drop whatever you want onto your Pre.

This also means that the Pre is not tied to Windows/Mac and the utterly horrible iTunes. I could live with an iPod/iPhone, but the idea if having to deal with iTunes... *shivers*. I help my parents all the time with their iPod and iPhone, and within 3 minutes of use, I want to reach into the screen, and beat iTunes to death.

That's why I personally am waiting for the Pre to arrive in Europe. My 2 year contract can be renewed in a few months, so I'm all set for a "free" Pre.



See but that is where you are wrong. Sure they left the device open so that anyone can drag and drop whatever they want onto the device. The issue here is that they basically did a hack job and are claiming it as a feature, now they are acting like Apple has to support their hack. Basically Palm decided to go cheap instead of smart. There are plenty of ways of accessing a users iTunes data that doesn't require a device mis-representing itself to the program. Its xml for Pete's sake. There are plenty of opensource and non-opensource software out there that can sync the data without issue. Instead Palm is trying to ride the iPhone/iPod wave since they know most users are familiar with syncing their devices with iTunes and that that would be the most likely way that most new, less technical users would try to sync their data.

So no Palm isn't in the right here. Nor did they do a good job like you are stating.

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Yech
by Thom_Holwerda on Thu 18th Jun 2009 17:09 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Yech"
Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

See but that is where you are wrong. Sure they left the device open so that anyone can drag and drop whatever they want onto the device. The issue here is that they basically did a hack job and are claiming it as a feature, now they are acting like Apple has to support their hack.


1) Palm is not claiming it as a feature at all - we are.

2) Palm is not acting like apple has to support their hack - and neither am I. Apple is well within their right to completely disregard the Pre when it comes to iTunes, obviously. Palm thinks so too, and nowhere do they assume the role of the victim.

Reply Score: 1

RE[4]: Yech
by apoclypse on Thu 18th Jun 2009 20:19 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Yech"
apoclypse Member since:
2007-02-17

"See but that is where you are wrong. Sure they left the device open so that anyone can drag and drop whatever they want onto the device. The issue here is that they basically did a hack job and are claiming it as a feature, now they are acting like Apple has to support their hack.


1) Palm is not claiming it as a feature at all - we are.

2) Palm is not acting like apple has to support their hack - and neither am I. Apple is well within their right to completely disregard the Pre when it comes to iTunes, obviously. Palm thinks so too, and nowhere do they assume the role of the victim.
"


Funny. That is not what Palm's own site says
http://investor.palm.com/releasedetail.cfm?ReleaseID=386488

"Palm Media Sync

Palm media sync is a feature of webOS that synchronizes seamlessly with iTunes, giving you a simple and easy way to transfer DRM-free music, photos and videos to your Palm Pre.(2) Simply connect Pre to your PC or Mac via the USB cable, select "media sync" on the phone, and iTunes will launch on your computer desktop. You can then choose which DRM-free media files to transfer. "

2. "If Apple chooses to disable media sync in a future version of iTunes, it will be a direct blow to their users who will be deprived of a seamless synchronization experience. However, people will have options. They can stay with the iTunes version that works to sync their music on their Pre, they can transfer the music via USB, and there are other third-party applications we could consider."

So you telling me that doesn't sound like Palm is all up in a tiff because Apple has stated that they are not supporting any 3rd party devices? How is Apple not supporting 3rd party hardware which they have no control over "a direct blow to their users who will be deprived of a seamless synchronization experience." That sounds like sour grapes to me. My hardware syncs seamlessly with iTunes. A pre not syncing doesn't affect me at all.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Yech
by JonathanBThompson on Thu 18th Jun 2009 17:00 UTC in reply to "RE: Yech"
JonathanBThompson Member since:
2006-05-26

Thom,
Quit lying about what you said in the article by trying to change the topic! You very explicitly state that Apple is going to intentionally break iTunes away from supporting the Pre´ and while iTunes may not work with it in the future as it does now, that is not what Apple has said, and does not guarantee either way that that is what will happen: rather, they are only stating with a rather expected legal disclaimer telling what customers (and competitors) can expect: they will not cover/respond to any complaints where some third party device stops working with it, as they didn't design/manufacture that device, and they did not certify/authorize it to work with iTunes. And yet, you, along with a lot of other bloggers/journalists/pundits are automatically assuming that they will purposely change iTunes to keep it from working with competitor's hardware. Well, there's many other fish in the sea, so they don't even honestly have to worry about antitrust issues, and even outside of that, they never did state that iTunes was meant to support anything but their own hardware, and there was no promise or guarantee that it would.

If you knew anything about what is truly involved in software development, you would realize that what Apple is doing is what they need to do, and what they need to do does not include testing non-Apple made devices with their software to see if they break or not, because that would unfairly place the burden on Apple, and if Apple can't modify the firmware of other devices or access the code, they're not reasonably able to state why something broke. But no, for someone that wants to assume the worst, it's always easier to assume and attribute to malice what is most reasonably explained by common sense and practicality, since assuming malice is much better for getting page views.

Even though the document doesn't specifically refer to the Pre, anyone with a half a brain can figure this one out. It basicaly says that the next iTunes software update will break the sync functionality. Still, Palm isn't impressed, and Lynn Fox, former Apple employee, had a few things to say about this.

Reply Score: 3

RE[3]: Yech
by Thom_Holwerda on Thu 18th Jun 2009 17:07 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Yech"
Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

I'm not lying. Please point to where, in the comment you replied to, I'm lying. I'm intrigued.

Anyway, I guess the difference here is that you assume the best, and the rest of the world assumes the worst. Even Apple sites are pretty clear on this one: they all think Apple will break iTunes syncing for the Pre in one of the upcoming releases, most likely intentionally.

It's okay with me that you think otherwise, and once again, I see no reason for the animosity on your end.

I get it. You like Apple and the iPhone. I don't care.

Reply Score: 1

RE[4]: Yech
by JonathanBThompson on Thu 18th Jun 2009 17:56 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Yech"
JonathanBThompson Member since:
2006-05-26

I already covered all the other pundits/bloggers/journalists, so you can't use that escape hatch.

No, that you'd go along with it, without reasoning it out, doesn't exactly show that you think that things are what they really are: what I stated, which is a practical CYA announcement, based on the reality that Apple does not have any control over whether or not they break a third party's ability to sync with iTunes, for the same reason that if you substitute any other names in there for companies and products, nothing would change except for the names: you're either doing this purely to sensationalize, or out of sheer ignorance, or perhaps a bit of both, by making assumptions and posting them as fact. Well, here's the facts when it comes to software/hardware development, since it seems the first time I stated it (and someone else has already):

1. A company, unless otherwise tied by contracts or something else (say, a published and documented API), has no duty or responsibility to make their creations compatible with a competitor's creation.

2. That same company has no reason or responsibility, for the same reason, to ensure that their product somehow remains compatible with any third party creations, just because the third party has decided to take the risk of developing their creation based on some knowledge of the first party's creation.

3. It is unfair to the original company to be held to the expectation that their creation will always function correctly when exploited by a third party's creation, and yet, if they don't explicitly state that they do not guarantee that it will, too many people (or companies) will have this weird thought in their head that they are, and this places the original company in a bad place, if only from the point of view of it not being very nice, and is generally bad PR. Remember, it costs time and money to test against all combinations if you're going to release something: it is completely unreasonable to expect or demand that the original company, barring some contractual obligation or the like, to foot that bill both in development/testing time, time to market, and all the other stuff that goes along with it.

But, if you want to be a sheeple and just regurgitate without thought or knowledge of how things really work, just because almost everywhere else you see that being spewed, go right ahead: just remember that those that work in the field you comment on as a third-party semi-observer will point out where you're making stupid assumptions without more than a feeling, and that without facts in evidence, all you're doing is speculation, and you aren't reporting facts, as you clearly were not reporting facts in this case: merely speculation, and attempting to pass them off as facts with your statements.

Will Apple deliberately break iTunes? Perhaps they could, but... the path of least resistance (which is the most logical course) is to not bother attempting to break backwards compatibility merely for the sake of spiting a competitor. Why? Because if you go out of your way to deliberately break something for a competitor, that may actually horribly backfire and cause real problems for existing customers and their own hardware, and that's at least as expensive to do, so it really is cheaper/easier for them to note "We have no responsibility for this other device" and not worry about it, and only test against the products that they ARE responsible for. But no, that's way too logical to put into the public's minds.

Reply Score: 2

Now they just have to get it GPL compliant
by jabbotts on Thu 18th Jun 2009 12:56 UTC
jabbotts
Member since:
2007-09-06

https://fossbazaar.org/content/palm-pre-shipping-gpl-incompliant

http://laforge.gnumonks.org/weblog/2009/06/11/#20090611-palm_pre-gp...

Once that straiten that little hickup out it could be all set.

(I'm also looking forward to WebOS on the N810 if Debian, Ubuntu, Android are any indication.)

Reply Score: 3

kaiwai Member since:
2005-07-06

https://fossbazaar.org/content/palm-pre-shipping-gpl-incompliant

http://laforge.gnumonks.org/weblog/2009/06/11/#20090611-palm_pre-gp...

Once that straiten that little hickup out it could be all set.

(I'm also looking forward to WebOS on the N810 if Debian, Ubuntu, Android are any indication.)


Maybe they should have gone for NetBSD to avoid this sort of thing.

Reply Score: 2

jabbotts Member since:
2007-09-06

NetBSD, OpenBSD or Linux would all give them good kernels and related userspace to build on top of. My bias is towards Linux simply due to being used in most of my other hardware but either way, the layers on top would be compatible across the three.

I think it's great that they built on top of it but the applicable license has to be followed; even if it's a permissive license. We'll see how it plays out though. All they really need do is provide the modified GPL source or such. They can still used there own software and license on top of that without issue.

I'm a third party observer though so this is my version of TV versus having an attachment to the outcome.

Reply Score: 2

kaiwai Member since:
2005-07-06

NetBSD, OpenBSD or Linux would all give them good kernels and related userspace to build on top of. My bias is towards Linux simply due to being used in most of my other hardware but either way, the layers on top would be compatible across the three.

I think it's great that they built on top of it but the applicable license has to be followed; even if it's a permissive license. We'll see how it plays out though. All they really need do is provide the modified GPL source or such. They can still used there own software and license on top of that without issue.

I'm a third party observer though so this is my version of TV versus having an attachment to the outcome.


I've never been a fan, quite honestly, of GPL simply by virtue of how it operates; I prefer file based licenses, I also tend to be a person who doesn't mind those who don't give back their changes either. I'm sure there is a reason why they didn't provide the changes - which brings to question why they didn't look at something else instead. It might be all very nice to jump on the latest bandwagon but if it means that one is grabbed by the short and curlies - it isn't worth the price in the end.

Reply Score: 2

abraxas Member since:
2005-07-07

It's not difficult to understand why device makers flock to Linux instead of the BSDs. Linux has by far the most momentum and support behind it. It also runs on more devices than even NetBSD.

Reply Score: 3

kaiwai Member since:
2005-07-06

It's not difficult to understand why device makers flock to Linux instead of the BSDs. Linux has by far the most momentum and support behind it. It also runs on more devices than even NetBSD.


Define devices and define 'more devices'; they would have had to do just as much work supporting their custom hardware as they would have had to do with NetBSD. I'd say that the decision was a politically motivated one based on a pitch from the ground floor rather than it being propelled by management.

Reply Score: 2

abraxas Member since:
2005-07-07

Define devices and define 'more devices'; they would have had to do just as much work supporting their custom hardware as they would have had to do with NetBSD. I'd say that the decision was a politically motivated one based on a pitch from the ground floor rather than it being propelled by management.


I should have said architectures. That's what I meant. Linux supports more architectures than even NetBSD. I don't think you have a shred of evidence to support the idea that the decision to use Linux was "based on a pitch from the ground floor rather than being propelled by management." In fact I believe managment would probably be much more comfortable picking Linux over any of the BSDs based purely on mindshare alone. I could be wrong but I don't see how you can support such a baseless idea.

Reply Score: 3

kaiwai Member since:
2005-07-06

I should have said architectures. That's what I meant. Linux supports more architectures than even NetBSD. I don't think you have a shred of evidence to support the idea that the decision to use Linux was "based on a pitch from the ground floor rather than being propelled by management." In fact I believe managment would probably be much more comfortable picking Linux over any of the BSDs based purely on mindshare alone. I could be wrong but I don't see how you can support such a baseless idea.


Never underestimate the power of politics when decisions are being made - having seen it occur many times. I'm sure there were sound technical reasons - but I doubt they were the only reasons.

The reason I asked about 'supported devices' because simply throwing around 'devices supported' means nothing - even if Linux supported more devices as a raw number, the reality is that it would have no impact on whether it was chosen.

The Pre, like so many other phones, would have been based on one of the small array of architectures out there. Even if the architecture was supported only by Linux it still doesn't negate the fact that it simply wouldn't be just a matter of plonking it on the phone - there would still need to be a large degree of programming to optimise it for the phone as well as supporting the custom devices on the phone. A phone isn't a PC, it doesn't have 'standard' components; it is from top to bottom a custom device specifically created by the company - little would exist in the tree from past devices could be carried across.

Edited 2009-06-19 01:40 UTC

Reply Score: 2

jabbotts Member since:
2007-09-06

I've heard many arguments for copyfree. Copyright is generally restrictive which does not help software move forward. Copyleft is more permissive for the user but forces developers to give back. Copyfree allows the developer to give back or choose not too which provides more freedom and as such more likelihood of consideration by developers and businesses.

In that regard, I am but a humble user so the benefits to the obvious end user tend to outweigh the benefits to the development side. My view would be different where I developing though.

Reply Score: 2

Comment by Kroc
by Kroc on Thu 18th Jun 2009 14:15 UTC
Kroc
Member since:
2005-11-10

Correction—Hacker Easy, not Hacker Friendly. Palm, like every other mobile provider have interests they have to protect, and if the community go too far, they will be forced to step in and clamp down.

Reply Score: 2

Bluetooth
by abraxas on Thu 18th Jun 2009 14:56 UTC
abraxas
Member since:
2005-07-07

I'm really hoping someone will hack the bluetooth to support more profiles. I want ObexFTP.

Reply Score: 2

Comment by FunkyELF
by FunkyELF on Thu 18th Jun 2009 15:24 UTC
FunkyELF
Member since:
2006-07-26

Even though the document doesn't specifically refer to the Pre, anyone with a half a brain can figure this one out. It basicaly says that the next iTunes software update will break the sync functionality.


I'm not sure about that. I think their statement is just a case of covering your ass. It defines what their responsibilities are. They don't need people saying that iTunes sucks because it doesn't work my XYZ mp3 player. That said, if they didn't want this problem then would publish an API for working with iTunes. Its their loss really, people will buy their music elsewhere.


ou can use regular USB mode to transfer content to your Pre, so why you would want to use iTunes in the first place is a mystery to me anyway.


Right on. I use RockBox on my 5th gen iPod Video... apparently the last iPod that RockBox supports. Syncing music via rsync is great ;-)

Reply Score: 3

On a non-Technical aspect...
by juvenile4909 on Thu 18th Jun 2009 16:50 UTC
juvenile4909
Member since:
2007-08-04

What Palm did only boosts sales and interest for the device. IMO, they know they are on their last leg. So they are in a "way" going out with a bang. I dont even think they will lose as much now as they would have had they not done this.

Even if Apple does block it with updates, they will be on their toes for this type of thing in the future. All in all, reverse engineering will always exist. I dont see anything wrong with touting it as a feature if it really does what it says. As for what is transpired b/n the companies as far as Palm wanting Apple to support it, that's BS. IF palm wanted any direct dealings with Apple/iTunes they would have worked a deal.

Im in favor of this Palm and i like what they are doing on all fronts. Even the forced updates. Im an update whore, i dont care if it breaks something in the past as long as the update does not render the device completely useless of it's main function...a Phone.

To conclude, if you buy a smartphone these days w/o thoroughly learning the device then you deserve w/e mishaps you get given that there is proper documentation and it was ignored.

THe average user wont even know that this debate is taking place, but will buy it because "Dude it works with my iTunes." I really want to see what happens when Apple blocks it. I take it that the community will open source the code and tweak it over and over again. At least, i hope thats what happens. I use iTunes. i dont own an mp3 player, i use mp3 cds.

This is a great story, good read, and the comments are wonderful. I enjoyed this one. Thanks OSnews!

Reply Score: 2

911
by defdog99 on Fri 19th Jun 2009 04:19 UTC
defdog99
Member since:
2006-09-06

OK, how do we hack it so 911 isn't called 100 times a day -- from fat fingering the screen...

Reply Score: 1