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Comment Open's good - but where's the freedom? (Score 1) 208

I've been looking at getting a smartphone for a while - and Android is a pretty appealing option - but one of the things that's holding me up is that as far as I can tell, to access all the handset's functionality, I have to be a Google customer. Which I am - I've had an @gmail.com email address since the days when one had to get an invite to get one - and have very few issues with my benevolent overlord. But - unless I'm wrong - the freedom with Android is the freedom to be a google customer isn't it?

Comment Somehow the market provides... (Score 1) 636

To whatever extent the original article is true, there are ways around any problems - just look at:


If these guys can put together a working android phone in a short timeframe, as they appear to have done, and be looking ahead to their second model, and building a community, it shows that there can be a way forward for open source software in combination with hardware... In fact it makes 'computer companies' into hardware companies again through allowing the community to work on what it can easily - the software - and leaving the company to sort out the hardware - and do it at what is to my eyes a pretty compelling price.

In the 'phone' (aka mobile computing) world this is the equivalent to being able to go to ubuntu.com and order a ubuntu branded pc/laptop/netbook/MID/smartphone, and know that I'm going to get a device that works, is free (speech), and will work with other devices from the same company - is it not?

Comment Re:Inhabited!? (Score 1) 133

Here in New Zealand, there wasn't much mention of the eclipse (hence my not knowing about it until seeing a /. article about it the morning after it was happening) - congratulations to those who can see it (and are possibly currently enjoying it?). The reason why is beautifully summed up by the map of who 'isn't going to see the eclipse'. How could we Kiwis see it if our wee islands aren't even on the map!

"Today's robots are very primitive, capable of understanding only a few simple instructions such as 'go left', 'go right', and 'build car'." --John Sladek