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A Truly Open Linux Phone 164

skelator2821 writes to tell us about the debut of the OpenMoko, a Linux phone with GPS that is open from top to bottom. The device is set to debut to developers this month for $350, according to the article, but there is no detail on how to get your hands on one, and no link to the manufacturer (FIC). From the article: "This is the first phone in a long time to get us really interested in what it is, what it isn't, and the philosophy behind it. The philosophy is the thing that makes Linux great... it is really open. It runs the latest kernel, 2.6.18 as of a few weeks ago, and you can get software from a repository with apt-get."
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A Truly Open Linux Phone

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  • by EmbeddedJanitor ( 597831 ) on Tuesday November 07, 2006 @09:06PM (#16761403)
    I doubt very much that carriers will be friendly towards open,hack-by-anybody, phones. Most/all carriers require all kinds of certification & testing before they allow vendors to hook up a phone to their network. They also don't like time wasters trying to hook up low volume/low profit phones to their networks. The testing can cost a big bunch of dollars -- ballpark $250k. Now if Joe hacker wnats to spend that, and he can convince the carrier he's going to sell many thousands, he's welcome. Otherwise, at least some part of the phone firmware will be locked down and tamper proof to keep ceritication valid.
  • by realmolo ( 574068 ) on Tuesday November 07, 2006 @09:09PM (#16761437)
    Yup. Just like ethernet is becoming the new AT&T.

    Your analogy sucks. You are an idiot.
  • Re:um, ok (Score:2, Insightful)

    by The Real Toad King ( 981874 ) <> on Tuesday November 07, 2006 @09:19PM (#16761553) Homepage
    Also, I want to smack all the people using the tag "itsnotatrap" when they know, if they read the tagging FAQ, that it should be "!itsatrap".
  • Re:No Camera... (Score:2, Insightful)

    by crindt ( 58476 ) on Tuesday November 07, 2006 @09:19PM (#16761555) Journal

    No headphone socket, no memory card socket, not enough memory to be a great mp3 or video player.

    OK, no camera, but that's what my DSLR [] is for.

    Headphones: use bluetooth, perhaps?
    Memory slot: What's that MicroSD thingy?

    Sounds good to me...except maybe the touch screen---tactile controls are really hard to beat.
  • two points (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Hakubi_Washu ( 594267 ) <> on Tuesday November 07, 2006 @09:23PM (#16761623)
    1. From TFA: Everything barring a few small drivers is GPL'ed.
      This is a joke, right? The drivers are probably the most important part of any piece of hardware, so calling this thing "open" but keeping drivers proprietary is ridiculous.
    2. From the site: FIC recommends Windows(r) XP
      Yeah, and I am to buy a Linux product from you? Dream on...
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday November 07, 2006 @09:38PM (#16761795)
    I don't care about the camera. I never seen much of a point to a camera phone. Makes about as much sense as a mp3 playing bathtub, which I am sure somebody somewere made.
    Sure it's convient, but so what?

    And your absolutely wrong about not having enough memory. It takes miniSD cards and has 128 megs of RAM. Right now I have 2 1gig miniSD cards and a 128 meg SD card. Also you can buy up to 4gig MiniSD cards.

    So frankly with miniSD slot your disk space is practically UNLIMITED.

    For instance many possibilities:

    * Go the 'Slax' route. Slax is a customizable Live Linux cdrom. It has various modules that you can use that you can add-on applications and other things to a already existing live cdrom. You can do this because the modules are compressed read-only file systems and you use UnionFS to mount them over the existing file system transparently. You can mix and match applications in that manner.

    You can do the same thing with this. No problem.

    So other possibilities.
    * Remote X11 applications. Need I say more? (and yes NX compression will make them perfectly usable)
    * Simple games.
    * VoIP.
    * remote access of systems through a veriaty of means such as voice command, terminal, tones.
    * 266mhz CPU is fast enough for video.
    * GPS kicks-ass. Interact with other GPS systems and keep track of things via GPSD and such.
    * secure encrypted file systems for passwords and other sensitive information.
    * stream audio

    What this thing is is a Linux PC that fits in your pocket. Pretty much anything you can do with a PC linux box you can do with this thing.

    This thing literally kicks the shit out of any sort of propriatory hardware phone you can think of. Even with out the camera. The possiblities are endless.
  • Re:Zaurus vs. This (Score:2, Insightful)

    by lindseyp ( 988332 ) on Tuesday November 07, 2006 @10:09PM (#16762125)
    You mean apart from the one piece of functionality which defines it as not being a phone?
  • Re:two points (Score:2, Insightful)

    by scott_karana ( 841914 ) on Tuesday November 07, 2006 @11:13PM (#16762569)
    It's the radio and the GPS which are closed, but that's for Federal reasons; you can't have people broadcasting willy-nilly these days, and I know that there are some GPS restrictions. The interfaces to the drivers are perfectly usable. RTFA, and do some research.
  • Re:two points (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday November 08, 2006 @02:28AM (#16764013)

    > 1. From TFA: Everything barring a few small drivers is GPL'ed.
    > This is a joke, right? The drivers are probably the most important part of any piece of hardware,
    > so calling this thing "open" but keeping drivers proprietary is ridiculous.

    Yeah.. Screw that! I'm only using a phone that is 100% open source. Let's see, where is that list of all the completely open options? Hmm, I can't find one, that's strange.

    Perhaps the original poster can enlighten us with what would be the better course of action. What phone would be a better choice?

    > 2. From the site: FIC recommends Windows(r) XP
    > Yeah, and I am to buy a Linux product from you? Dream on...

    How dare they?!? Endorsing something that accounts for 90%+ of their sales? Scandalous! The infidels put their profit ahead of the one true license. They don't deserve your business.

    Good luck with your Stallmanian jihad. Keep cutting down those open source efforts that are not 100% pure in your eyes. Only morons believe that there is value in getting a foothold against the completely closed/proprietary solutions. You wise few have seen that it is better to reject that 99.8% open solution, and instead use the 100% closed one.
  • Re:No Camera... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by bunions ( 970377 ) on Wednesday November 08, 2006 @02:52AM (#16764159)
    This is hilarious. The original post contains three facts, one of which is simply wrong (there is a memory card socket) one of which is irrelevant (no headphone jack, but it supports bluetooth headsets, which are better) along with one assertion (not enough memory to be an mp3 or video player) which is either a conclusion based on the wrong fact or a ridiculous assertion that 128MB is too small to fit a player into.

    So basically, the post contains 75% misinformation, and the information it does contain is painfully obvious.

    And it's still +5 insightful.

"You must have an IQ of at least half a million." -- Popeye