James Losey from New America Foundation writes, "I thought you might be interested in a new 'feature' of the latest Android phone. Officially released tomorrow October 6, some T-mobile stores began selling the HTC G2 yesterday. Within 24 hours, users have discovered that the phone has built-in hardware that restricts what software a device owner might wish to install.
Specifically, one of the microchips embedded into the G2 prevents device owners from making permanent changes to the Android operating system, re-installing the original firmware."
Plugging a USB wireless modem into a laptop for T-Mobile's broadband services does not mean that T-Mobile can say that Ubuntu Linux is not an approved operating system, or that Skype is not an allowed voice service. Yet when unsuspecting members of the public buy Google's Android G2 at a T-Mobile store, they aren't getting a customizable mobile computer or phone but are instead getting a device where the hardware itself dramatically limits users' right to make changes to their computers and install the operating system of their choice.
Clearly, this is a major new initiative to control users rights to run their computers as they see fit. Instead, the new Google Android hardware rootkit acts just like a virus -- overriding user's preferences to change settings and software to conform to the desires of a third party. And just like a virus, this kind of behavior should be just as illegal. Users of the new Google Android G2 should be warned that their device has a rootkit that will overwrite their software modifications. We are seeking further clarification as to the legality of this malicious software.
In this 30 minute video, Harry Brignull rounds up his work on cataloging and unpicking “Dark Patterns,” (previously) the super-optimized techniques used by online services to lure their customers into taking actions they would not make otherwise and will later regret.
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Unified Patents raises money from companies that are the target of patent-trolling and then uses it to challenge the most widely used patents in each of its members’ sectors: now it’s going for the gold.
Those of us who love music wish we could listen to it 24/7. But it’s impossible when we’re trying to converse with our friends, or when are swimming in the local pool.That is, until now. The KOAR Bone Conduction Bluetooth Headset, now 48% off, has changed the audio game.Made with lightweight titanium memory metal, this headset boasts patented bone conduction technology to transport sound […]
It’s one thing to enjoy dinner at home and a nice glass of Cabernet Sauvignon with your best friend, Netflix, but it’s another thing entirely to make that meal from scratch and get that wine delivered right to your doorstep.But what if we told you there’s a way to make this possible? To keep your social life, […]
Having to pack and drag your stuff through security can put quite the damper on your vacation plans. Thankfully, we’ve got your back with one way to make traveling more painless: the Jumper Overnighter Travel Bag.This compact bag is so lightweight that you can effortlessly carry it, and fit it into any overhead compartment. But just […]