[SATLUG] Re: mobile devices with linux

Brad Knowles brad at shub-internet.org
Tue Jul 29 17:19:25 CDT 2008

KC wrote:

> Does anyone see a clear future leader of Linux mobile phone processor
> platform?

Neo and OpenMoko.

>            I see Motorola being a top vendor

No.  They don't want open hardware or open source.  They want a free and 
endless bag of technology that they can continue to plunder forever, but 
only in ways where they can lock up everything they produce so tight that 
users can barely be allowed to press the keys.

This is why they're a leading partner in the LinMo consortium.

>                                              and Verizon running a
> scorched-Earth campaign to encourage open source mainly for the purposes
> of weakening their enemies but much to our consumer-short-term-delight...

No, Verizon doesn't want open source or open hardware any more than Motorola.

The biggest problem for most handset manufacturers is that each carrier 
extorts massive amounts of changes and work out of them, so that they can 
proprietarize everything going through their handsets, and lock all their 
stupid little ugly-bags-of-mostly-water-with-lots-of-money-and-no-brains 
into their own little private walled garden.

They don't want to do *ANYTHING* that could potentially jeopardize that 
walled garden, and they will spend billions upon billions of dollars to 
violently assassinate any technology, company, or person who might 
jeopardize that cash cow business.

The handset vendors and the carriers are very much in bed with each other on 

Just ask Nokia how much work they have to put into each model that they sell 
through any carrier, in order to distinguish that model from all the 
otherwise identical models that they sell through all the other carriers.

The wildcard here is companies like Google that can take technology like 
Linux and apply it to a project like Android, and actually have some hope of 
continuing to survive the onslaught from the other handset manufacturers and 
carriers that have a vested interest in continuing their highly incestuous 
relationships, and keeping all those damn stupid users fat, dumb, happy, and 
pregnant in the kitchen.

Of course, the real winner for the consumer would be if a non-aligned 
Linux-based project could actually survive, like the Neo 1973 and OpenMoko.

But no one is going to allow that to happen.

> but what's the processor gonna be?
> Intel Atom? Motorola? Freescale? Broadcom? TI? who?

It doesn't matter.

> Anyone have any comforting insights on a direction they think is
> established and gonna be a good platform to adopt?

See above.

The handset makers can't be trusted -- they're in bed with all the carriers.

The carriers can't be trusted -- they're in bed with the handset makers.

Google is the least trustworthy of any of them, because they are the ones 
who are holding onto all the private data of all the people in the world and 
refuse to anonymize that data, so that any company who wants to come along 
with a fishing expedition lawsuit can freely do so -- witness Viacom.

> Been teased since Windows CE years ago... now that I am fully onboard the
> Linux wagon, I am still waiting for a solid platform to evolve in the
> pocket-sized computing arena?

Best one currently available is the HP hx4700 running Familiar.  All the 
hardware is pretty much completely supported, including built-in WiFi, 
Bluetooth, 640x480 screen, CompactFlash and SecureDigital card readers, etc....

Best one with some potential of some sort of future is the Neo 1973 with 

Brad Knowles <brad at shub-internet.org>
LinkedIn Profile: <http://tinyurl.com/y8kpxu>

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