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+ - T-Mobile G2 has Onboard Hacking Protection->

Submitted by Thinkcloud
Thinkcloud (1901664) writes "The T-Mobile G2 is an Android phone that may have a first for such handsets: an internal cop that detects if the user “roots” the phone and if so, simply undoes it. Hackers working on rooting the G2 have discovered that the phone can be rooted, but after a short bit, it removes the modification and restores the phone as it was prior to the rooting. This is a first, and has some in the tech world upset over the inability to make such modifications to the G2.

The process of rooting a phone is the first step that enables modifying the OEM’s software, usually to apply custom ROMs that do things the stock software won’t allow. It is a granting of “superuser” status, that permits doing anything desired to the phone’s software stored in the firmware, including replacing it entirely. It’s the same concept as that found in Linux systems, which is the origin of the term “rooting”.

I’ve reported on the world of custom ROMs and won’t rehash that at this time. It’s rampant in the Android world, primarily due to the ease with which stock phone ROMs can be replaced. Since rooting the phone is the first step, OEMs and phone carriers take a dim view of the process. Many Android phone owners can attest that once you root your phone, sanctioned software updates getting pushed over-the-air (OTA) are a thing of the past. A rooted phone can be detected, and standard updates are usually disabled for such handsets.

When a new phone hits the market, sometimes even before that, the hackers go to work establishing valid procedures for rooting the phone. These procedures vary for each model, and it’s often a race to see who can root the phone first. The G2 was no different, but those trying to root the phone quickly discovered something new. The G2 can be rooted, but not for long, as the phone removes the root all by itself. Either the hardware or the system software looks for root access, and removes it once found.

While the process the G2 uses for internal policing of the software is new, the concept is not. Motorola came under fire when it was discovered its Droid X handset has eFuse hardware technology that can render a phone unusable if the system software is modified by the user. The company issued an official statement that clarified this technology would not be used to “brick” a modified phone, but modified phones would fail to run properly until such time as the official software had been reinstalled.

Whether a phone owner has a right to modify the system software as desired is not as clear as one might think. I’ve dabbled in rooting phones in the past, and personally I like the ability to customize my phones. I do appreciate the conundrum this presents to phone carriers and handset OEMs, however. There can be a real cost to the carriers to support phones with improper modifications; the online discussion forums are rife with discussions on how to put a (non-working) modified phone back to a proper system state for the purpose of returning it to the carrier for replacement.

It’s not just rooting the phones or flashing custom ROMs at issue here. There are firmware modifications for most phones that replace a phone’s radio stack with modified versions. This enters into an area that carriers can’t be happy with, as it has a direct impact on the very network that other customers are paying to use. Plus every phone’s system software, especially the radio stacks, must get FCC (or international equivalent) approval that the phone meets standards. That approval goes out the window for modified versions that the user installs.

It’s easy to understand why the companies might take steps to either make hacking the phones difficult, or in the case of the G2, self-correcting. While that flies in the face of our natural consumer desire to do what we want with products we purchase, there are a lot of other factors at play. There’s one thing I’m confident we’ll see with this new protection on the G2: It will be broken. It may take longer than usual for the enthusiasts to get past the protection, but they will."

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Comment: TI calculators (Score 1) 870

by cavedweller96 (#33572022) Attached to: Preventing Networked Gizmo Use During Exams?
Being one of these students, I know that even in high school they required one of these expensive calculators (specifically TI-83/84). I think you will find most of your students already posses those calculators and those that don't will eventually need one. (even though the TI calculators are extremely overpriced, they are really the only way to go... about $100) I could also see using a dictionary, but an iPod touch or iPhone?! if you've got wifi, they will be all over the internet, Any information they want, they can get... not really the point of the test is it?

Comment: Cisco Packet Tracer (Score 1) 138

by cavedweller96 (#32467866) Attached to: Visual Network Simulator To Teach Basic Networking?
Go with Cicso Packet Tracer. As someone pointed out It isn't open source, but there is a linux version. Its most recent version is high quality and extremely functional. When I studied for my CCNA, I used this software alot because in certain cases it provided the same learning without the hassle of physical equipment. oh yea, the most important thing is that it is free.
First Person Shooters (Games)

Dedicated Halo 2 Fans Keep Multiplayer Alive 239

Posted by Soulskill
from the never-surrender dept.
On April 15th, Microsoft terminated Xbox Live support for the original Xbox console, marking the end of online multiplayer for many older games. However, a group of Halo 2 players have refused to give up online play by leaving their consoles on and connected since then. Overheating consoles and dropped connections have taken their toll, but at present, 13 players are still going strong.
Bug

Ubuntu LTS Experiences X.org Memory Leak 320

Posted by timothy
from the like-it-when-windows-crashed-more dept.
MonsterTrimble writes "Ubuntu 10.04 LTS Beta 2 is experiencing a major memory leak due to patches for X.org. 'An X.Org Server update that was pushed into the Lucid repository last week has resulted in the system being slower and slower as it is left on, until it reaches a point where the system is no longer usable. ... In order to make the Ubuntu 10.04 LTS deadline, the developers are looking at just reverting three of the patches, which brings the GLX version back to 1.2. Ubuntu developers are now desperate for people willing to test out this updated X.Org Server package so they can determine by this Friday whether to ship it with Ubuntu 10.04 LTS or doing an early SRU (Stable Release Update). Right now this X.Org Server that's being tested is living in the ubuntu-x-swat PPA.'"
Books

Puzzle In xkcd Book Finally Cracked 90

Posted by kdawson
from the be-there-or-be-somewhere-else dept.
An anonymous reader writes "After a little over five months of pondering, xkcd fans have cracked a puzzle hidden inside Randall Munroe's recent book xkcd: volume 0. Here is the start of the thread on the xkcd forums; and here is the post revealing the final message (a latitude and longitude plus a date and time)."
Science

Copernicium Confirmed As Element 112 183

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the cp-had-other-meanings dept.
Several sources are reporting that the International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry has confirmed Copernicium as element 112 on the periodic table of elements with the symbol Cn. "The naming of the new element will be the culmination of a long, fraught journey involving fierce competition, dashed hopes, clever detective work and even a brush with scientific misconduct. With a nucleus containing 112 protons — 20 more than uranium, the heaviest of the naturally occurring elements — it will be the weightiest atom whose existence has been confirmed so far."
Open Source

Use Open Source? Then You're a Pirate! 650

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the and-proud-of-it dept.
superapecommando writes "There's a fantastic little story in the Guardian today that says a US lobby group is trying to get the US government to consider open source as the equivalent to piracy. The International Intellectual Property Alliance (IIPA), an umbrella group for American publishing, software, film, television and music associations, has asked the US Trade Representative (USTR) to consider countries like Indonesia, Brazil, and India for its 'Special 301 watchlist' because they encourage the use of open source software. A Special 301, according to Guardian's Bobbie Johnson is: 'a report that examines the "adequacy and effectiveness of intellectual property rights" around the planet — effectively the list of countries that the US government considers enemies of capitalism. It often gets wheeled out as a form of trading pressure — often around pharmaceuticals and counterfeited goods — to try and force governments to change their behaviors.'"

If a subordinate asks you a pertinent question, look at him as if he had lost his senses. When he looks down, paraphrase the question back at him.

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