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!
This week on Cool Tools’ Maker Update: Kitty Grabs Gold, a beer cooler that follows you, the Circuit Playground Express, Adafruit and Microsoft, Other Machine Co. and Bre Pettis, Tinkercad Lego export, a great kit for gadget and toy hacking, and Maker Faires. Our featured Cool Tool is the iFixit Electronics Tool Kit. Check out […]
The mechanical Royal Kludge keyboard (Update: in stock here) seems to do well with Amazon reviewers, but there are no guarantees you’ll receive one with the coveted OFF/NO switch.
Microsoft announced Tuesday a long-awaited upgrade to its Surface Pro series of high-end tablet PCs, dropping the number from the name and adding Kaby Lake processors, more minutes on a charge and a few dollars to the price tag. Here’s Mark Hachman, Senior Editor at PCWorld: For Surface Pro 4 owners, the new Surface Pro […]
Boasting an IPX6 waterproof rating, the Trakk Bullet Ultra Compact Waterproof Bluetooth Speaker resists dust and heavy rainfall. It’s currently available in the Boing Boing Store.The Trakk Bullet offers the same wireless convenience as other portable speakers, but few are built as tough as this one. Its utilitarian construction is designed to be a totally low-maintenance […]
The Ticwatch 2 Active Smartwatch is a simpler take on an active wearable that raised over $2m dollars on Kickstarter and is currently offered in the Boing Boing Store.Somewhere in between the single-day battery life and platform-specificity of the Apple Watch and Android Wear devices, there exists the Ticwatch. Instead of trying to shoehorn another […]
Loot Crate is a subscription service that delivers a box of curated pop culture goods to your doorstep. To sample their geeky wares, you can order a single mystery box exclusively from the Boing Boing Store.Each month Loot Crate sends you 6-7 unique items and apparel, including collectibles, books, and t-shirts. Pulling inspiration from all […]