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Posts Tagged: WebOS

HP’s Big Mistake

October 13, 2011   By:

hpandroid

Rumors are flying about HP and their potential GPL violation by not releasing the source code of the Android kernel sold on three Touchpads so far.  Many of them are speculation, much of it over-hyped, but the fact that we speculate points to how many questions go unanswered and how much interest there is in the matter.

A short history for people just tuning in on the issue:  In HP’s Touchpad firesale, three known devices shipped with Android 2.2.  Because the Android kernels and drivers are protected by the GPL version 2, all distributed modifications to the source code must be published if they mass distribute, intended to distribute, or publicly release the device.  HP did not publish their Android kernel modifications, and therefore may be violating the GPL.

There are a few reasons we can’t say they are definitely violating the GPL.  First, leaks don’t count as mass distribution, or as intent to distribute.  This is why, when a few users approached HP about the GPL violation, HP responded, “HP Palm doesn’t support Android and has not authorized anyone to provide consumers with the Android OS for Touchpad.”  Saying there is no intent to distribute is not enough to stave obligations to the general public.  Yet, it’s only 3 devices.  Not only does that not qualify as mass distribution, but it’s such an insignificant number of Android Touchpads that HP has plausible deniability on their side, and obviously imply it’s a leak in their response.  It all depends on why Android was installed those three devices, who installed it–in other words, whether HP is responsible–and whether the truth of the matter qualifies according to GPL definitions.

As far as most people understand it, HP developers were either bored or testing.  They rushed those Touchpads out the door with all the others in the firesale and did not install WebOS.  If the developers were bored, it’s a leak.  Their actions were in no way sanctioned by HP.  If the developers were testing for HP, it’s still a leak because the release was unintentional, but they may be liable.  HP did not deny that they sanctioned the actions of their developers, only that they did not sanction the distribution of that work.  People have to pay for their mistakes too, not just what they intend to do.

Trsohmers, formerly of the TouchDroid team, came to me with a different version of the story.  He says that HP used Android’s Linux foundation in the factory to test for faulty devices.  This isn’t simply speculation.  According to Green, who works with kernels for the CyanogenMod Touchpad team and posts their Touchpad videos on his YouTube channel, the team received an anonymous email that included a state-of-the-art Cypress Semiconductors touchscreen driver and a censored email.  The drivers are hyper-accurate and used to test device limits, so the CM team couldn’t use them.  However, their quality make Cypress Semiconductors undeniably the manufacturer, and the fact that they aren’t something just anyone could have lends credibility to the email.  That is, the driver came from an inside source, and so, therefore, must the email.  The email said this (grammatical errors are original):

In fact before HP refreshing their webOS image, all HP touchpad TSP controller board were used Android to run the MFG procedure. Attached file is the latest TMA395 Android driver. The significant difference is that the HP touchpad TSP controller firmware has no bootloader support so when you want to bring up the device with this driver a little effort need be cost take care of this difference. This job has been done by HP software team before.

The email says it’s not just a sample of devices from each batch, but every Touchpad is loaded with Android in the manufacturing process.  If true, the fact that HP used Android to install WebOS is not a violation of the GPL.  Using GPL-protected code for private use is perfectly legal.  The significance is in the degree to which HP sanctioned the development of Android on the Touchpad.  Still the same rules, three devices is more of a leak than anything, but now HP cannot deny that the sale of the Android Touchpads was their mistake.

Moreover, because you don’t need a license to use Android the way HP did, it’s highly unlikely that they got Android relicensed by Google.  This is further supported by the fact that they didn’t include it in their defense against the public demand for their Android kernel modifications.  So the good news for the general public is that if HP’s mistake can qualify as a GPL violation, it’s extremely unlikely that they have a license to disqualify the violation.

This leaves only a couple steps until HP may be taken to court.  Someone needs to make it legally clear that HP distributed or made public their Android build for the Touchpad, according to the GPL.  We know they distributed them–two were bought at Best Buys in Oklahoma and Texas, and the third was bought from Wal-Mart in New Hampshire.  Whether or not this counts as distribution according to the GPL is what needs legal arguing.

If you have any information to clarify or fill in the blanks of the story, please contact me, or any other news writer.  We respect wishes to remain anonymous.

hp-touchpad-news1

Amazingly enough, the HP Touchpad seems to be among the best selling pads in the mobile world. If you think about it, getting a dual core pad with 16 GB of storage for about US$100 (about 4 times cheaper than the iPad), would definitely be enough incentive to get it even if you don’t need or want it. Because of this move by HP, developers all over the world have their hands on at least one (or are about to), and are all working towards making this device reach its true potential. XDA member amirborna seems to be in this same boat as he has posted a way to overclock the tab’s processors (both of them) to 1.9 GHz. The only caveat is that at such speeds, the device becomes a bit unstable. However, it can still be safely overclocked to 1.7 GHz (on both cores as well) and have 0 issues in the process. According to the dev, the device becomes far more responsive than with stock clock values, more fluid, and best of all, it does not affect the battery due to the small difference in voltage requirements at the higher frequency values.

The guide is very concise and it is rather simple to follow. However, as with every overclocking process, there is always risk involved. Please ensure that you read the whole guide and leave some feedback for the dev.

Overclocking your HP Touchpad

  • Relatively safe to do
  • No noticeable effect on battery (stock usually pulls 550mah and 1.5ghz is pulling like 565mah.
  • Touchpad becomes incredibly fast, fluid, responsive, and is a joy to use
  • No heat created
  • Overclocks both cores
  • Feels like you have next generation hardware after the overclock
  • Smooth like butter

You can find more information in the original thread.

Want something published in the Portal? Contact any News Writer.

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w951

We have seen some truly amazing ports over the past few years here on XDA. Many are done in platforms that are being worked on by hundreds of devs on our site, so help and information is wide and abundant. But what happens when you have an OS like our latest addition (WebOS) where little development happens? The result is that from time to time you end up with shinning beacons of light that bring life back to these seemingly forgotten fora. XDA member TravisAntonio just became such beacon as he wrote a guide about being able to run Windows 95 on the Palm Pre Plus, which runs on WebOS. Needless to say, this is not truly a port, but the OS runs rather smoothly in the device with start up times as fast as 30 seconds, and all the goodies that you know (and probably miss) from the ancient Microsoft OS. So, if you wanted to have Windows on the “palm” (pun very much intended) of your hand, this is your chance. One word of advice is hat you will need to own a copy of Windows 95 or an image of the OS in order to make it work.

Please leave some feedback if you were able to get this to work. Keep in mind that this will only work on the Palm Pre Plus for the time being, so do not try it on older devices as this is currently being worked on by the dev.

 

  • 512MB Hard Disk
  • Games Included
  • Sound working perfect.
  • Boot time just 50 seconds (Can be 30 seconds or less but is better to take a lot because is more stable).
  • Winrar.
  • And more!.

You can find more information in the guide thread.

Want something published in the Portal? Contact any News Writer.

webOS 2.1

Believe it or not, not everything in our beloved xda forums is about Android or Windows Phone 7. There are other alternatives that people use on a daily basis. One such platform is the very proprietary, very closed WebOS, which was developed by one of the pioneers in the field of pdas, Palm. The rights for all of this were recently purchased by HP, which was a lifeline both for Palm as well as for HP who wa falling behind radically to other electronics manufacturers such as Toshiba and Acer. Some of the newest devices featuring WebOS have been blessed with version 2.1 of this OS, and as it is tradition with most devices, older or legacy devices are not upgradable to the latest installment. However, if you are sporting a Palm Pre or similar, you will be glad to know that XDA member rwhitby has posted a very handy, and most importantly, legal, way of upgrading your left for dead device. The process use something call MetaDoctor from WebOS internals which should certainly do the trick for you.

Please leave some feedback if you tried this method and it worked for you.

Palm has only officially released webOS 2.1.0 for the Pre 2 device, and the German O2 Pre+ device.

Using the WebOS Internals MetaDoctor tool, the webOS 2.1.0 doctor for German O2 Pre+ devices can be modified by an end-user and installed on any other Pre- or Pre+ device.

You can find more information in the original thread.

Want something published in the Portal? Contact any News Writer.

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