February 21, 2013 By: egzthunder1
If you have been following the saga, or rather crusade, against DMCA for the last month or so, you are likely aware that there was a petition started on “We the People” site. The aim of the petition is to get the US Government to notice and take action against the removal of the DMCA exemption protecting people who wanted to SIM unlock their GSM-enabled devices. Late last week, we pushed a second article on the issue, which presented some details regarding the originator of the petition and a somewhat unlikely ally who joined the cause. By the time the aforementioned article was published, there were about 60,000 signatures on the petition, which had stalled for a few weeks (in terms of number of signatures per day). Looks like the second article as well as support by many, many, many other tech news outlets (including PocketNow, PC Mag, AppleInsider, and several others), gave the final boost to the petition, which in all honesty, did not seem like it was going to make it before the February 23rd deadline. As of 7:36 am on Feb 21st, the petition had broken the 100,000 signature requirement.
The petition, as of the time of this article has a grand total of 104,659 signatures without any signs of this trend slowing down any time soon. It looks like many people simply woke up and decided to support the cause, regardless of their beliefs on whether these petitions are useful or not. The biggest question in everyone’s mind right now is likely now what? Well, the White House will have to look at the petition itself and acknowledge its existence (for starters). After that, the case will be reviewed and a decision will be made on whether the House will take action and request for the Librarian of Congress to put the exemption back in or not. Since we are talking about government, it is very likely that it will not be a speedy process. Having said that, the Government is obligated to respond and provide a resolution to the concern, whether the outcome is positive or negative.
Everyone’s efforts need not stop here. There are more things that you can do as a constituent. For instance, you can reach your House representative and bring this problem forward. Now, you have a petition with well over 100,000 signatures backing you up (so you do not sound like a whiny kid who had his toys taken away). This is bound to catch the eye of most politicians and put it as a talking point in their to-do lists. Also, Sina Khanifar has created a small site to support the cause without being limited by a deadline on a petition. The waiting game now begins, but luckily this has had major support from the vast majority of tech sites, so if nothing else it shows that we are not alone in our insanity.
Will this work? We don’t really know. Many go on the defensive stating that this has not worked in the past and is sure to fail yet again. Others go on to insult people telling them essentially that they are wasting their time. However, you cannot help but to wonder what if it does work? The Government will have to look at it, so your odds of the issue not being ignored have gone up exponentially. At this point, we can only hope that someone, somewhere in Washington looks at what is going on, and after analyzing the entire thing with the points of view provided by pretty much the entire tech world has a single reaction…. what the **** were we thinking?
So, to all those people who have nothing better to do but to criticize the proactive actions of a few that are being carried out to protect YOUR rights: Please, stop wasting our precious oxygen.
Thank you for reading.
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February 15, 2013 By: egzthunder1
You may recall that not too long ago, we published an article regarding a few amendments made by the Librarian of Congress to the infamous DMCA. The short summary is that one of the exemptions in DMCA which protected consumers who wanted to keep their handsets if they switched carriers was wiped out by what can only be described as good, quality lobbying courtesy of CTIA, a group formed by most major carriers and manufacturers. The exemption removal essentially results in it becoming illegal to SIM unlock a GSM phone purchased after January 26th, 2013 without carrier’s explicit approval and permission. This means that if you try to unlock the device yourself or have a third party try to do it for you, you could potentially be prosecuted and fined up to US $500,000 and even be subject to up to 5 years in prison. Now, the likelihood of such a harsh penalty being imposed on anyone is small. However, the wording on the Act certainly has enough leeway for that to happen if the judges are convinced enough.
Today we were contacted by Derek Khanna, who wrote this little memo, ended up getting fired from his position as a House of Republicans’ staffer. He seems to be very actively participating in trying to stop this ridiculous mockery of a law from actively becoming embedded into the DMCA. The law is unfortunately already in effect, but if there is one thing that we know for sure is that there are still a few people with common sense in Washington D.C., and we are trying to make sure that they get a feel for what is going on. Derek joined forces with Sina Khanifar, the author of the original petition to the White House, which now has over 69,000 signatures on it. He has also written a couple of articles on the issue to the Atlantic, one of which made it all the way to the front page on Reddit. Many other tech sites and news organizations have already picked up on this and have backed the cause, linking to the petition. However, we are still falling short with over 30,000 signatures to go and only a few days to hit the deadline.
We at XDA-Developers are not sure whether the petition will accomplish anything. But we have to stand united and try this petition to reach its goal, which WILL force the White House to at least take a look. I mean, they took the time to respond to the 35,000+ people who misused this service to get the government to build a Death Star. (Consequently after that little joke, the limit was raised from 35,000 to 100,000 to make sure that none of this silliness ever made it through again.)
In any case, I digress from the main point. Please, please, please, get the word out! Tweet, share via Facebook, G+, MySpace, LinkedIn, contact your Representatives, and get to your family members. Anyone at all you can get to sign this thing will help, as every single signature counts. Apple iPhone owners, Windows Phone users, Android, Blackberry… everyone is affected by this. Get the word out and make noise! It takes just a minute or two to do this. Help us fight this injustice before it’s too late.
If the greater powers of the Internet supposedly gave a lucky individual a good time after attaining over 1 million Facebook “Likes” in less than 24 hours, I see no reason why we cannot all collaborate together towards a more important goal. Thank you for reading.
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January 29, 2013 By: egzthunder1
While we know that this is a US-specific issue, it also serves as a great opportunity to ensure that the entire world is reading so that they don’t make the same mistakes we do in this country. As many of you are aware, our entire Government seemingly has a bad tendency to listen to extraordinarily greedy people and agree on things that make people wonder what in the world were they thinking? Some of the most notable examples include (but are not limited) the consideration of a small bill that “almost came to be” known as SOPA. Unfortunately (for us), we are the ones who are always scrambling, trying to dodge this idiocy called “law making” that our tax payer dollars normally help fund. Furthermore, we (the people) are the ones normally tasked with trying to open the eyes of our own selected officials to force them to understand that the interests of THE PEOPLE are NOT the same as the interest of a few select interest groups.
I have not yet begun talking about the main topic of the article, but have instead made a wide generalization of what currently happens in our law-making bodies. Having given a somewhat “hearty” introduction to a rage-fueled article, here goes the main course. In case you have been living under a rock for the last 3 months or so, the DMCA (Digital Millennium Copyright Act) was “revamped” in October of last year, much like it does every 3 years or so. Our good friend XDA TV Producer azrienoch covered a small, very inaccurate aspect of the law (needless to say, I am being sarcastic). Back then, we did not make much of a stink about this issue because quite frankly it was not really all that important, as the most “discussed” topic was the randomness of leaving tablets out of the exemptions. Certain things baffle you so much that one truly cannot fathom getting past that section without feelings of nausea and dizziness. However, once you get past “Section B” of the newly amended exemptions list, you get to the “heart of the matter,” which for us is Section C. This is located in pages 16-20, for those of you interested in reading stuff other than how jailbreaking your iPad is actually legal.
The core of this section essentially was untouched for the last 6 years or so, and essentially granted anyone “the right” to legally SIM-unlock your cell phone to be able to make it work on any GSM capable carrier, without any legal repercussions or being “frowned upon” by your almighty service provider(s). For example, if you were discontent with T-Mobile and wanted to jump ship to AT&T without having to buy another handset, this was possible. All you needed to do was call your carrier, see if you met a certain set of conditions (which was to have been with the company for about 3 months with current service and to own the device), and you would get an unlock code within 24-48 hrs via SMS or e-mail. This was simple enough and relatively trouble free.
However, due to the evolution of our markets (or so this document states) as well as the abundance of legacy unlocked mobile devices, the exemption is no longer necessary according to the CTIA, which is, for all practical purposes, a group of lobbyists composed of the larger US carriers as well as some manufacturers. They go on the record to state that the SIM-locking of mobile devices is an essential part of today’s current business model. Thus, they must have control of how and if users unlock their devices. The current text states that it will be entirely up to the carrier to grant you permission to unlock your device whether or not you are on contract, and they will have up to 90 days to grant you your request. Again, this is IF and only IF they allow you to do that. What are the alternatives, you ask? Well, according to the document, you have none without being treated like a common thief, meaning that if they catch you SIM unlocking your device, you could be heavily fined or even imprisoned. Why? Heavens only know why…
Before continuing, there are a few distinctions to be made, particularly for those of you with CDMA devices locked onto carriers such as Sprint and Verizon. The new rules are not really specific as to whether or not they cover CDMA technologies. However, due to the way these devices work, the ruling has no effect on their current model. CDMA devices are not unlocked in the same way a GSM device is. In fact, CDMA devices cannot be unlocked at all. Their internal serial number is normally added into the carrier’s list of approved or white listed devices and paired with your phone number. This is a 100% carrier driven decision, and more often than not, CDMA carriers do not allow you to bring devices from competing networks. Some of the smaller players in the market, such as Cricket and MetroPCS do allow some devices to be brought over, but the sad reality is that if you want to have service from either of the aforementioned larger carriers and still keep your trusty device, you are out of luck. There are ways around these, but they are rather illegal in nature unfortunately.
It is almost no surprise that the US is doing this, given previous policies regulating cellular technology. Anyone out there will likely recall how difficult it was to get decent devices in the US prior to 2005. Most newer devices that were launched in Europe never actually saw the light of day in the US. And if they did, they were heavily crippled with many features taken out for no apparent reason. However, due to the skyrocketing popularity of smartphones, most manufacturers recognized the US as an interesting market to look into. Technology by the different networks advanced, and we finally got to a point where we could finally say that we entered into the golden age of mobility like the rest of the world. That said, much of the rest of the world has been far more advanced in this end. UK carriers offer contract-free devices. More often than not, these devices are indeed SIM-unlocked. Why is our ‘business model’ so much more different than Europe’s you ask? For instance, Deutsche Telekom (T-Mobile’s mothership) is fine and healthy in Europe under the SIM-unlocked device model, whereas T-Mobile USA almost went under about a year and a half ago. Yet we are the ones who would hurt the current economic model and overall mobile market by SIM-unlocking our devices.
So, now what? If you want a new carrier-unlocked device or want to unlock it yourself, you have about 90 days (page 21) to get things done. After this transition period is done, your device will likely never be able to accept other SIM cards. You will be trapped, bound, and chained at the carrier’s mercy. We sincerely hope that this abomination of a law gets repelled, amended, and that whoever accepted such changes to an already working model is no longer in a position to make such mistakes. If you truly think that you have the people’s interests in mind by making such idiocy into law, I have a very strong feeling that we are headed in the wrong path altogether. Carriers looked for the most obscure and twisted place to state that they want to trap you in and never let you go, something that is hidden enough from the general populace to ensure that not too many people complain and that is seemingly similar enough to the context of the rest of the law, so that not too many politicians would question it. They cleverly tied SIM-locking to a single precedent on software ownership, and somehow extrapolated that to SIM-unlocking stating that you are a cell phone owner is not owner of the software but rather a licensee. As a result, they have no right to extend its functionality. I am not sure if I am more sick about the fact that such an approach was made or that it was actually deemed as valid.
Please, if you value your freedom to choose your carrier without needing to pay hefty Early Termination Fees or having to swap handsets when your service is lacking, make your voices heard. This is NOT done in the name of stopping piracy, which is what DMCA was originally intended for. This is all orchestrated by people who only wish to find more ways of squeezing every last penny out of our pockets as consumers. Reach out to others in your circles, read into FSF, EFF, and all the other advocacy groups that work tirelessly to defend our electronic freedoms. Contact your local government officials. YOU chose them to represent YOU, and as such, they have the duty to do hear you if you have a problem with the government. Help us spread the word about the discontent of the general public. A Petition was started this past weekend, asking the President to shoot this down. We require 100,000 signatures, and so far, the petition has collected close to 29,000. If this isn’t modified, lets just say that you better make sure that you have the desired service in your area with your current carrier, because you will be together for a very, very, long time.
Thanks for reading.
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[Thanks willverduzco for the tip!]
November 22, 2012 By: FallenWriter
Flashing ROMs has become a fairly straightforward affair for (most) Android devices and their users. However, one of the most painful parts of flashing a new ROM is all the repeated flashes that need to be done for themes and modifications, especially if you love to heavily tweak your device. Thanks to XDA Forum Member jcspecs, your days of having to load up dozens of separate .zip’s is a thing of the past thanks to his latest application: Clockwork Combiner.
Designed to combine (as if the name didn’t tell you) all of your flashable .zip’s into a single, flashable file, Clockwork Combiner’s biggest strength is its simplicity and ease of use. The instructions are simply:
Download and extract the program.
Run the program.
Hit the settings button and set up an output directory or leave it as the default (program location).
Select the zips you wish to combine.
Add a name for the combined file.
Wait for them to load (the combine button will become usable).
Click combine button to join the zips into one zip.
The file will be put into a folder named Final Outputs within the output directory you have specified.
Wait for any processes to finish (windows should provide progress windows).
Click the sign button if you wish to sign the zip.
Of course, this will only work on files that are compatible with your device, and the Windows-based program does require .Net 4.0 along with the Java Runtime Environment in order to function properly. Having tested this with a set of files for my Galaxy Nexus I can say that I had no trouble getting this utility to work. As always, head on over to the original thread and give this a go!
[P.S. Extra points for those who figure out what the featured image for this article is!]
September 3, 2012 By: Jimmy McGee
This has been another great week on the XDA Portal. XDA Developer TV Producer Jordan takes this weekend off and XDA Elite Recognized Developer and XDA Developer TV Producer AdamOutler fills in covering all the news you need to know to keep you updated. Adam talks about HP delivering Open webOS. Adam talks about methods to fix random key presses on the Fascinate.
In other news Adam talks about a right click menu of Android tools for Ubuntu and configuring ADB and fastboot in Linux. And in Windows news, there are applications for creating flashable zips. Finally, Adam announces the contest for a Verizon Samsung Galaxy S III that he hinted at in his unboxing video. Pull up a chair and check out this video!
The vast majority of us have probably, at some point, backed up the data on our devices—whether it’s in the form of a Nandroid backup or just using Titanium Backup (other backup apps are available) to preserve your applications and their relevant data. There are many reasons why you might want to do this, whether its for restoration after flashing a new ROM or just for posterity in case of disaster while tinkering around.
Another reason you might want to backup data is because you want to unlock your bootloader, and doing so often requires your device’s /data partition to be wiped. However if you haven’t unlocked your bootloader then chances are you don’t yet have root access, which makes backing up significantly more difficult.
Well not anymore, as XDA Forum Member Gigadroid has created a Windows-based tool that allows you to back up various different types of data and restore them, all without root access. It’s worth mentioning that this is not like a nandroid backup which is effectively a snapshot of your current device set up, this backs up apps, app data and information stored on the internal/external SD card.
The way this works is because of the greater permissions given to ADB compared to apps run on the phone itself, which carries with it its own potential risks. In other words, once done backing up your data, you should consider turning USB debugging back off.
The tool was tested on a Galaxy Nexus, but should work on any device running Android 4.1 or above with USB debugging enabled. Slide on over to the original forum thread to find out more.
May 18, 2012 By: Jimmy McGee
Jordan mentions the Apple versus HTC patent wars and court battles. In more big, rich companies versus other rich companies news, Jordan updates us on the Oracle versus Google trial. In more Google news, the limit on device deauthorization on Google Music is discussed. The lamentable actions by Motorola and the locking down of their devices is mentioned. Finally, Jordan urges you to go check out XDA Elite Recognized Developer AdamOutler’s Galaxy Nexus tear down and unboxing.
READ ON »
January 29, 2012 By: Former Writer
Running computer operating systems on a phone is always an interesting experience. For most phones, booting into Linux is hard enough and Windows isn’t even an option. The HTC EVO 3D is not one of those phones.
XDA Senior Member mnomaanw has posted a method that will get Windows 95, Windows 98, Windows XP and Linux running on the HTC EVO 3D in a relatively easy process that can be done pretty quickly. Basically, all a user needs to do is download the required software, modify a file or two and run the apk. Wait for it to boot and you’re ready to go.
Controls are pretty easy to understand and make excellent use of the hardware as well as the home and menu buttons. The instructions are as follows:
- It emulate touchpad on touchscreen and left/right mouse buttons on volume
– You can also click touch screen to generate mouse left button click.(this does not work everytime)
– Back = BackSpace, Menu = Enter, left-upper corner click generates TAB
– left-lower corner click popups keyboard
For those who want to give their EVO 3D some Windows or Linux love, they can find all the downloads and instructions in the thread here but make sure to take the proper precautions, such as backing up your device.
January 27, 2012 By: Former Writer
Tools kits that are installed on computers can be a little screwy. While some are better than others, almost all come with some form of set back, be it the computer operating system restriction or the kitchen not being compatible with all phones.
That’s the problem XDA Senior Member DieHappy is trying to fix. Knives and Forks Android Tools For Everyone is a tool kit that is compatible across Windows, OSX and Linux and is slowly becoming compatible with more and more phones with the goal of supporting all of them.
The project is far from complete, but it is an active work in progress. DieHappy says:
This first release is rather limited in features. All you can use it for right now is installing ADB and drivers for your device.
The next step for this project will be rooting, then rom customizing, but I am open to your feedback and suggestions.
So there is far more support coming for this spunky application and some changes being added can be considered pretty exciting for people who like to tinker and develop.
If you’d like to check out this application to give it a try or just keep tabs on its development, you can find installation instructions for all 3 major operating systems, download links, and a complete change log in the original thread.
Android is diverse. From Themes to Launchers, the strength of Android is (in part) measured by its ability to be customized. While custom launchers are quite common, Skydroid takes differentiation a step further.
Built by a team of 5 developers, and publicly voiced by XDA Senior Member TheRedDrake, Skydroid is an advanced user interface inspired by Windows 8’s Metro UI. Unlike other systems that are only launchers, Skydroid will have around 20 apps involved. Thus far it includes:
5)People with IM and social
12)Stock + Currency converter
The interface is currently under development with more apps being created, and a release scheduled for March/April. If you would like to make a suggestion or an offer of assistance, send an email to Andreev Yanko here or TheRedDrake here.
So head on down to the thread and take a look around. You might be surprised by what you find.
We all know that one of the main objectives of CES events is to show off their early development and see the reactions, based on that the new products are launched.
Lenovo has been the biggest surprise during the CES 2012, showing their entertainment center all in one, televisions, computers, but this time also announced that they will bet on the cell phone business too.
They claim to be the first to introduce the phone “Intel” and will also be responsible for fully exploit their ultrabooks with Windows 8. The comments and criticisms have arisen and it is said that it is not a phone or a tablet, perhaps the new term “Tabletphone” will start being used?
The company is leading when presenting TV´s with Android 4.0, remote control all in one with the IdeaCentre, Ultrabooks and now mobiles with Intel as well.
What are your thoughts on this? Please leave your comments below.
Image Source: AndroidPolice
December 26, 2011 By: Jase Glenn
For those of you who don’t remember CommMgrPro, allow me to refresh you memory: it’s a Windows Mobile app (no not Windows Phone, Windows Mobile as in that ancient operating system that floats around here on XDA from time to time) that allowed its users to setup complex, detailed scheduling of their device. The user would set up predefined rules: such as from 4pm-6pm on a Monday, turn wifi on, and the device would follow suit.
The app was very popular back in the heyday of Windows Mobile, and a developer by the name of danielherrero has decided to restore it to its former glory!
Based on the design of the original CommMgrPro, this new version is updated for Android! Of course it’s still in the beta stages right now, but development is progressing rapidly. So for those of you who are feeling nostalgic, or are looking for an amazing app to fine tune your device with go and get it here.
December 20, 2011 By: Former Writer
A few days ago, XDA Senior Moderator imfloflo updated what looks like the coolest program the Windows Mobile side of XDA-Developers (get it, this side of the Mississippi…heh). It’s called Windows Phone Device Manager and you can check it out by following this link right here .
The changelog for version 188.8.131.52 consists of:
Full access to apps isolated storage
Show toast notification when an action requires to launch TouchXperience
As well as being a Public Release. Now, this may not look very impressive, but I dare ya to read the changelogs from versions 184.108.40.206 up to the most recent shown update, 220.127.116.11. I’ve seen shorter novels. Also, sadly, this isn’t the fully updated changelog. The only place to find that would be to follow the links to the Touch Xperience website and check out their updated changelogs there. That’s also where you’ll find the download links. The 18.104.22.168 release is public for anyone to try, but the fully updated 22.214.171.124 is still for donors only (sadface). If you want to check out some screenshot goodness and even a few review videos, check out the 2nd post. It’s all there.
The list of phones supported can be found on the thread as well and it seems to be most of the Windows Phones available right now. I have an Android phone so I can’t test this personally (another sadface) but if you happened to be one of the people who have a Windows Phone and felt bold enough to experiment, we’d love to hear your comments on what it’s like. If you’re one of the generous donors who get to test the fully updated 126.96.36.199 private beta, we’d love to hear from you as well.