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Motorola: no e-fuse in DroidX (engadget.com)
39 points by fragmede 1782 days ago | 18 comments



I don't understand the thinking here. You pay for the hardware (either directly or through your service contract). The software is free and open source. What do they think they are protecting?

Why not make it OS agnostic, like a PC? They can still limit support to the original OS (like many PC vendors). It seems they just making it hard to root because that's the way they've always done business - and change is hard for them.

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They are protecting from unsigned, unauthorized malware to be installed on the phone which could cause a large amount of harm to the network at large. Does this open up the possibility of "abuse" of this feature on the part of Motorola and others who employ this "feature"? Sure, but it's not pure evil either.

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Rooting isn't impossible on the Droid X, it's just annoyingly difficult. If someone wanted to distribute malware ROM images, they just need to wait for the root to be accomplished by someone else. There's no real protection.

If it's Verizon that's behind this to "protect the network" it's starting to sound like we're heading for another "Carterfone Decision":

https://secure.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/wiki/Modem#The_Car...

The Nokia N900 doesn't make life difficult for users. To root it you just download and run 'rootsh'. Done. The network hasn't exploded simply because it's easy to root and update ROMs.

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Similar to the N900, the Palm WebOS devices (Pre & Pixi) are a joy to 'root' - enter the Konami code on the keyboard.

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"The FCC has indicated that it is unlikely to take action on Wireless Carterfone beyond a possible rule requiring carriers to unlock handsets at the end of their contract periods."

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carterfone

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>which could cause a large amount of harm to the network at large.

What kind of harm? I don't see any harm you could do with this phone that you can't do with another / an antenna. And if it's P.R. harm they're afraid of, people who replace their OS / jailbreak are usually proud to claim they did so to anyone in the vicinity, so any bad experience on their part isn't spread to others from what I can see.

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A phone that goes havoc can induce a lot of costs for it's owner. Calls cost money, SMS cost money, not all data plans are unlimited.

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That happened to me with a dumbphone about 10 years ago. Forgiving all those fees made me a huge fan of T-Mobile. It didn't seem to do their network any harm, though.

Conversely, a lot of people have modified their Android phones, yet this doesn't seem to happen to them.

Because of the lack of correlation between any of these things (hacked phones, phones misbehaving and network disruptions), I have a very hard time believing this nonexistent problem is really the motivation for these policies.

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A rogue Android application can do that too.

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If you install an application, you get to see what services the app can do. It pays off to apply some common sense. In theory you are right, though.

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This implies the average person reads those, much less understands them or cares. If anything, because of that an Android app is significantly more dangerous than jailbreaking, as a jailbreaker is more likely to know what they're doing.

Remember the failure of Vista's security dialogs? And how everyone just kept hitting "yes"? Same story. The average user wants it to work, not to not work. If A and B are required for it to work, they'll add A and B without a second thought.

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I think even a normal user will have to think at least a little bit. A smartphone is a powerful device. You can't just hit the street with your new car either, you need a drivers license.

Just saying - much as I pity the average user for their helplessness, but their is a limit to the level they can be accommodated.

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In my experience, the average person is significantly less informed about their computers than their cars. Most people get the oil changed in their cars relatively regularly.

Computers do not require a user's-license in the least, and it shows in how much BS support lines have to put up with.

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Sure, but still, if you want to, you can check the security settings for an app in Android. They are not that cryptic ("network access", "send SMS", "make phone calls"). If a chess app wants to make phone calls, even an idiot should get suspicious.

If you install a hacked OS, you don't have that security anymore. Unless you can trust the provider of the OS.

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"If a device attempts to boot with unapproved software, it will go into recovery mode, and can re-boot once approved software is re-installed."

no boom, but still no boot

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FUD FUD FUD. What an awful summary.

There is an efuse and they refer to it in the statement: "the technology is not loaded with the purpose of preventing a consumer device from functioning, but rather ensuring for the user that the device only runs on updated and tested versions of software". The technology is there in the device, says Motorola. It's just loaded with good intentions.

Now, what's it for? "If a device attempts to boot with unapproved software, it will go into recovery mode, and can re-boot once approved software is re-installed."

What does it mean that Motorola's "recovery mode" is eFuse based? It means exactly what was reported earlier. The phone is bricked until you go to the Motorola store to get your software reloaded and the eFuse reset. Find somewhere where Motorola says that you can get out of their friendly "recovery mode" without their assistance. If it walks like a brick, if it quacks like a brick...

What's a bigger issue to me is why so many hackers fall for easy market-speak like this. Are they English-challenged? Verbal-intelligence-challenged? Well, explains why certain politicians get so popular on the internets, I guess.

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> What's a bigger issue to me is why so many hackers fall for easy market-speak like this. Are they English-challenged? Verbal-intelligence-challenged?

No. They understand and speak plain, unambiguous English, C, Python and Lisp. They don't speak corporate weasel propaganda. This kind of speak, throws all kinds of exceptions, causes segfaults, or returns a non-0 and sets errno in their heads.

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>ensuring for the user that the device only runs on updated and tested versions of software

That should throw a few red flags up.

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