If you have an Android phone, you probably have an unlimited data plan or something like it -- but the telcos and Google have done their best to keep you from using the phone as a 3G modem with your laptop (it's "unlimited" provided you don't try to use it with a full-sized computer).
The nice thing is that the Android OS is based on free/open Linux, and hackers have extracted the security information necessary to load your own OS on your phone. With an open, hackable OS and an open bootloader, the tethering problem is simple to solve: just install your own OS that includes all the same code as a factory-fresh G1, with the anti-tethering stuff deleted. You can even bridge the 3G to the WiFi in your phone, turning your G1 into a self-contained all-wireless WiFi access point (bring along a USB cable anyway, since you need to keep the damned thing charging or your battery will croak in ten seconds flat).
Danny O'Brien describes the moment that drove him to cracking open his G1, and recommends a HOWTO for getting the job done. I know what I'll be doing when I get home!
So it was being stuck without wifi in the Library of Congress the other week that finally made me decide to overwrite the T-Mobile firmware on my Android G1 with something with root access. I was talking with the US Copyright and Patent offices about how to improve access to copyrighted material for the reading disabled (in the hopes, partially, to encourage them to support the Treaty for the Visually Impaired at WIPO the following week).
How To: Root Your G1 And Install Android 1.5 Cupcake
In the end, I chose to install JesusFreke's distribution of the Android OS, which now has a great little utility to manage who gets root on your phone (each application's request is intercepted, and you, as user, get to allow or deny it). This tethering application is incredibly easy-to-use, and lets you share your 3G connection via wifi or bluetooth (I haven't tried the bluetooth). You can WEP encrypt the wifi connection, or allow access to only selected users.
Of course, next time I go to the LoC, I'll be sure to keep the wifi node open. I wouldn't want the MPAA guys doing without!
Behold, the Blue Marlin, a “semi-submersible heavy lift ship” that is capable of hoisting and transplanting other, full-sized ships (that is ships as big or bigger than a US Destroyer-class vessel) all around the oceans.
Mister Alphabet is an action-figure designed to cleverly bend and contort into every letter of the Latin alphabet; the website is long on trademark warnings and arty Instagram photos, but short on details, like, “Is this an object of commerce?” and “If so, where does one buy it?” (via Kottke)
Phone chargers usually only deliver a few volts of juice at a feeble amperage, but they’ll deliver a lot more if you give them the chance. The BBC writes that a UK man died in the bathtub after being shocked by a charger connected to an extension cord. Richard Bull, 32, died when his iPhone […]
When you can’t wait for the world’s longest meeting to end, the mindless leg bouncing makes your boredom obvious and just annoys everybody else. Everyone knows the TPS reports need the damn cover sheet, but some sadistic colleague keeps forgetting, probably on purpose just to eat into your lunch hour. Enough is enough!While serving a […]
What could be more fun than a slingshot that shoots tiny airplanes? A slingshot that shoots tiny glowing airplanes of course! These toy planes are outfitted with ultra-bright LEDs, so you can fly all night without losing them in the trees.Whether you are a regular-sized child, or an overgrown adult one, these light-up flyers offer […]
You know the drill. You go to the dentist and they ask you how often you floss. You lie through your teeth and say, “every day!” (Bonus points if you have some cilantro or chives stuck in your gums from lunch). You don’t want to keep up the charade any longer, but rubbing that tiny strand […]