Anyone else have trouble accessing the article on Firefox? I get presented a certificate error, but without the button to bypass it, and the HTTP site auto-redirects to the HTTPS site. Looks like the exact same as Bugzilla #799836.
So I am basically locked out from viewing Mozilla's own blog when using their very own browser? I don't have Chrome on this machine. I can't believe I am about to install Chrome just to view Mozilla's own blog!
It's obviously not "legal", as per the Ars article you posted (thanks for the interesting read BTW) these Google Play components are proprietary closed-source apps, that are only available under a license to the Open Handset Alliance members, which Jolla is of course not, since it's manufacturing a non-Google approved version of Android. So while you might be able to install Play on your Jolla, I would think its impossible for Jolla to ship their phone with Google Play pre-installed. Though depending on other restrictions on the phone, it might be possible to make an easily downloadable "pirate" package that will install unlicensed Google Play on the phone, so that non-technical users can benefit from the full Android ecosystem.
What comes to Google "blocking" this hack, I am quite skeptical. If they add some software detection that you are running the Play services on a licensed device, we know from PC world that it will be hacked and people will start distributing "cracked" copies of the APK (Android application package). But AFAIK, Android phones support DRM as well, which can make things little tricker if Google one day really wants to shut off this competition.
While I don't agree that camera surveillance or a ticket booth system on motorways in a solution for all parts of Europe, I think the military and economic applications of EU's own GPS system are probably more important than the surveillance applications. While a direct military confrontation with the USA and EU is exceedingly unlikely now, or at any point in the future (thanks to NATO), there could be future proxy wars where EU and US opinions differ, and where the US might conceivably use jamming of the GPS signals to e.g. to render EU wardrones inoperable. Such situation might arise in the Middle East for example, where Europeans seem more open to the Arab/Palestinian causes than the Americans, who are very staunchly allied with Israel. Or any other military situation involving proxies – bottom line is, it's not a bad idea to develop new military technology that's not dependent on tech by others, especially as wardrones are looking more and more like the future of warfare, and sooner or later EU must start producing its own wardrones.
Further down the road, trade disputes between the US and EU are much more common and likely than any forms of military engagement. Should a trade dispute escalate, it's conceivable though unlikely, that there might develop a situation where the Americans would leverage their control over GPS as a weapon in trade negotiations, especially if the tech under dispute is dependent on positioning tech – like is true for more and more of new high tech. Look at what happened to Samsung in Apple v. Samsung – essentially a modern form of protectionism through a flawed trial by court. Hopefully not a sign of things to come.
For EU, it's not a bad to have its own positioning system just in case for situations like those. While it seems currently very unlikely that the US would abuse its control over GPS in any situation, no one knows what future could hold. As deploying a GPS system is a process that takes years or decades to complete, if a need arises at some point, it's probably too late by then. Especially the wardrone tech seems like something that the EU might want its own GPS system for already now (think exporting this tech to countries not allied with US). And on the good side, I can imagine many worse uses for EU tax dollars than developing space technology!
This attitude and aggressiveness can actually kill when it is used to intimidate cyclists using a weapon as deadly as any automatic firearm.
Experienced motorists in most cities have developed an unnecessarily aggressive way of driving. You maybe win on average a few seconds on every trip you make, but at what cost? You run a slightly higher risk of fender-benders. But for any cyclist, motorcyclist or pedestrian, you become a reckless murderer. Someone not in a car stands no chance against a car: likely outcomes include serious injury and death. And all this only, because few consider that they might ever run into an accident with a non-car, and think it's alright to risk having a few fender-bender for minuscule time savings.
Any motorist, who has problems grasping how irresponsible this is, should ask themselves what would happen to their own road safety, if all the big truck drivers had the same kind of road attitude as themselves. Driving a big truck like "aggressive drivers" drive their cars is obviously very dangerous for all car drivers, because cars in turn stand little chance against heavy traffic in an accident. Now, from the viewpoint of a cyclist or motorcyclist, almost everyone is driving a big-ass truck, and many of them drive with very little regard for road safety.
My page on Fully Countering Trusting Trust through Diverse Double-Compiling (DDC) has more details, including detailed material so you can duplicate the experiments and re-verify the proofs. Note that you do not have to take my word for it.
Sounds very interesting. And I am apparently not even the only one to think so, since you seem to have been Slashdotted.