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So, Google had a pipe dream about turning carriers into dumb pipes, and had to face reality when the carriers wouldn't let them. Therefore, MG hates Android.

I just don't know what MG wanted to Google to do. We all have our own ideas about how the world should be. The options for Google seem to be a hardline tactic to get exactly what they envisioned and subsequently have a dead on arrival Android OS, or work within the system. Apple had a similar grand ambition when the iPhone first launched with no carrier subsidy. They backed off when it didn't work, so why doesn't MG hate the iPhone?

I agree with MG that the iPhone wrestled power from the carriers. I just disagree that gave it to us (other than indirectly). The article relies on a viewing of carriers as absolute evil and Apple/2007 Google as beams of pure good and light. I don't. There are shades of grey everywhere. iPhone brought a great OS with no crapware, a decent update schedule, and a handy app/media store where Apple gets a say in and a cut of everything, with one hardware option. Android brought you an OS that runs on multiple devices with a relatively open ecosystem, with the drawbacks of a less smooth experience and allowing carriers/OEMs monkey around with Android. Carriers have their own set of priorities that also have a bunch of pros and cons.

Don't get me started on the logical hoops MG must jump through to view a compromise on a policy proposal for net neutrality as the ultimate betrayal while a device that requires the manufacturer to approve all software that runs on it is A-OK.




> Don't get me started on the logical hoops MG must jump through to view a compromise on a policy proposal for net neutrality as the ultimate betrayal while a device that the manufacturer must approve all software that runs on it is A-OK.

I see this as two different things. Google buddying up with Verizon to change net neutrality in the mobile space has an impact on everyone while Apple preventing software from running on their devices only affects Apple users.


"This is exactly why I hate Apple. they apply a totalitarian control on their devices; and it affects their users (who are not always aware of that) and carriers have at least competition."

Emotion based arguments like "I love, I hate x" are making top news at HN; which is sad. Especially if the article clearly comes from publicly known fanboys.


Did you even read the article before criticizing? Seriously, I hate to ask things of that sort on HN, but Siegler specifically points out that his problem with Google in this matter is they use the faux idea of "open" to rile pro-Droid folks like yourself at the expense of true progress vis-a-vis the carriers. Call people fanboys all you want, but it's just a copout on your part. 

You hate totalitarian control on your devices? Explain how you're okay with Verizon telling you that you can't have Google Wallet on the Nexus, carrier-dictated releases of upgrades, locked bootloaders, mandated two-year contracts and various other anti-open dictates that Google just goes along with because they're the carrier's bitch. 

Say what you will about Apple, but at least they've always been consistent about the experience they're going for with the walled garden ecosystem and they have wrestled control away from the carriers. Meanwhile, Google sold us all out of net neutrality for marketshare. 


I'm not sure I understand what's so "faux" about the openness of Android.

It's not just an idea: http://source.android.com/source/downloading.html

Being that it's an open source project, why wouldn't the carriers have the freedom to add or remove what they want? I don't necessarily like the carrier builds, but they're free to do with Android what they please. That's the general idea behind open source.

I'm not disagreeing with your conclusion that Apple is consistent. And there are certainly closed source Google Apps for Android. But your implication that Android isn't open source is a bit silly.


> But your implication that Android isn't open source is a bit silly.

I'm don't think anyone is arguing this fact. Android, generally, isn't 'open' in the sense that it is totally controlled by the carriers.


I would like to introduce you to

http://www.cyanogenmod.com/

http://miuiandroid.com/

two efforts among many that demonstrate that it isn't "totally" controlled by the carriers.


I agree with you, but the fact that you have to root your phone and only a few of the handsets seem work well with the open source builds limits how open it can be.

Not saying this is google's fault.


True, but I think there are things google could do to alleviate many of the problems here. My understanding is that drivers appear to be a significant contributor to the portability problems of Android across devices. This is the same problem that Microsoft had for years and thankfully seems to be largely resolved with 7.

The fix is relatively simple, all "certified" devices must register their driver software with Google so it can be centralized, pooled, shared and reused without restriction.

Another problem is the bizarre proclivity of manufacturers to encrypt their boot loaders, then release a "fix" for it a month later. Just require manufacturers to not lock the bootloaders, that easy. Locked boot loader? No license. Done.

Note: Insterestingly, I believe it was HTC that accused Google of requiring the encrypted boot loaders to comply with the DRM'd distribution of media through Google's market.


Don't forget the fact that they use Google's closed source software like GMaps, GMail, Market... and strictly they don't allow you to run that on custom firmware.


"and strictly they don't allow you to run that on custom firmware"

That is strictly incorrect. I have all of Google's proprietary software on my rooted devices with custom roms, and didn't have to do anything special except get them from the Market after installing the roms. Just like I did when I got the phone from the carrier in the first place.


That's also not true. They don't allow custom ROM developers to illegal distribute copyright protected proprietary apps, no.

But they haven't C-D'd anyone rehosting the GAPPS zip files, nor do they care about the backup and restore script in CM to back them up from an existing Google-packaged ROM and restored into a custom one.


Thanks for this. Been using Cyanogen since I had my G1. Hadn't heard of MIUI before.


And you do realize the reason that the two custom ROM projects still exist today is because not many people are using them, right? Do you think the carrier would do nothing if custom ROM grows beyond being a niche and grandmas start talking about rooting their phones, which is purposefully locked by carriers? You think carriers lock their phone for fun and would not fight back when 50% of the customers would circumvent the lock?

This is like listing two dissident blog posts on the Chinese internet to argue that the Chinese government does not have total control of the people's life on the internet. You would not see these blog posts gain any real traction inside China because by that time a dozen people will be in jail and the intelligence of the great firewall will be upgraded to block more.


And you do realize the reason that the two custom ROM projects still exist today is because not many people are using them, right?

This sentence makes no sense at all. Care to explain?


""And you do realize the reason that the two custom ROM projects still exist today is because not many people are using them, right?""

What? That sentence doesn't make any sense. Oh wait, are you implying Google would come along and DMCA them or something? Do you even get what is going on? CM is built on top of AOSP. Google has tipped their hat at them, the lead dev now works for Samsung.

There are (edit, at least a) MILLION of installs of CyanogenMod alone. http://stats.cyanogenmod.com/ Those are opt-in only, it's not enabled on any of the CM9 kangs, and that's not counting the dozens of other AOSP ROMs that don't have stat tracking.


According to this article[1] written in last July, CyanogenMod had 4k installs per day. At the same time, Andriod saw 550k activations per day. That's clearly less than 1%.

[1] http://www.phonearena.com/news/CyanogenMod-sprints-past-the-...


Again, your point is? You're trying to use that statistic when the original argument was "Android isn't open".


Gorbzel, I read this and many articles by MG, who turn out to be full of tricky rhetoric to prove the same point again and again; "I love Apple, and I hate everything else."

Android source code is open, Carriers, Amazon (Kindle Fire), B&N(Nook), zillions of hardware manufactures are freely copying android source code to do whatever they want. Although I like the Nexus, and non-Carrier based versions and independent ROMS I admire the possibility that someone other than Google may come one day with some more innovative stuff based/forked on Android. Although I do not like most of them, I like diversity and the potential that better stuff will come up. I myself plan to use Android source code to create small robots with central intelligence. An opposite to "faux open", If you and MG defend "vrai Open", please give me the iOS5 source code and I promise I ll try to use it instead of Android in my project.

Your fallacy is this; you hate Carrier control; I hate it too, in addition I hate control from the Software producer (Apple/Google) & I hate manufacturer control (Apple, HTC, Samsung).

Your concerns about Verizon etc are right, but It would be ridiculous if you believe few years of AT&T/iPhone deal was more open and good for everyone. AT&T and Apple "consistency" you admire is simply due to a single product/single manufacturer/single carrier(was). I am for diversity for anything in my life. I know that the single biscuit they sold in some Soviet countries provides consistent, non-fragmented, smooth experience every day. But I am for diversity; I am for the guys who jumped from the Berlin wall (ed garden) to experience diversity and openness and freedom.

One last word, if you are not yourself a proponent of "Open", and you defend "Walled gardens and total control", why you or MG/others spend your words to convince me that Google is not open with Android. Leave the word to people like me who know the value of freedom and openness; believe me we shall criticize Google and Android harshly and better; by not forgetting that Google has come with Android open-source and not closed. At least they have a good starting point compared to Apple.


Please notice that, while you complain that emotion based arguments like "I love, I hate x" make it to the top of HN, you yourself started your comment with That is exactly why I hate Apple.


Ahh that was the rhetoric, to show everyone how it sounds.

"I hate Apple, because" or "I hate Verizon because" - type of arguments can be used interchangeably with a simple change of subject. Here the writer has an emotional affinity to Apple, or Verizon and accepts any weird policies coming from one, but does not at all trust the other.


Color me confused, I love(or hate) X isn't an argument. It is a statement of position. The part after the because is the argument. Hopefully that part isn't interchangeable.


Check this postmodern deconstructive text to show the confusing arguments in the current case; "I hate Verizon for their control(crappy software) on my device, I hate Google because it lets Verizon control my device, but I love Apple because they don't let Verizon control my device, because they control my device and kick competing platforms, and porn from the app store; and doomed me to use only AT&T for years, so I hate total control, and I hate Apple because of its total control, they control everything; but they do it for me, and Verizon does it for money or for its customers?"


I did not notice the quotes when I read your comment the first time. Did you add them afterwards? Of course that changes the meaning of your post.


Love & hate as an argument is recently a lot common at HN, especially MG is making headlines several times a month, with just another way to show his love for Apple and hate for .. anything else.


Amen brother.


> Google buddying up with Verizon to change net neutrality in the mobile space

Nothing changed about net neutrality in the mobile space. We went from "no net neutrality" to "net neutrality in wired networks, but not wireless networks".


I really don't get HOW and WHY people want government regulations, the same government that is pushing for SOPA.

Government regulations of the market are only useful in one case only: to prevent abuses from established monopolies. However, wireless Internet is not monopolized. And you should checkout the competition in Europe. It's absolutely crazy.

     Google buddying up with Verizon to change 
     net neutrality in the mobile space ...
Actually they haven't "changed" anything. They just left things as they were before. The Internet is not were it is today because the government told ISPs how they should operate. Customers did.


I really don't get HOW and WHY people want government regulations, the same government that is pushing for SOPA.

Opposing SOPA --> "I don't want corporations regulating the internet."

Supporting net neutrality --> "I don't want corporations regulating the internet."

They are identical positions: "hands off my internet".

Not all laws by the government are "regulation". Is making murder illegal the "regulation of killing", and thus murder "shouldn't be regulated"? No, that's absurd.


The idea touches on positive and negative rights[1]. Real world examples have shades of both, yet the principle remains: sometimes you want someone (particularly the government) to do something; other times you want them to not get involved. In a specific instance, both might be desired to further a single purpose.

[1] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Negative_and_positive_rights


>However, wireless Internet is not monopolized.

In the USA? You're kidding, right?


And you should checkout the competition in Europe

"Europe" is a big place, but here at least regulation is aplenty, to promote competition. An example is the law that forces carriers to unlock phones of SIM restrictions for free if the contract has already ended.


People would be fighting for unlocking laws like that in the US, if it actually mattered. The only providers that use SIM cards are T-Mobile and AT&T, and they use different 3G frequencies so most phones aren't (fully) compatible between them anyway. Europe has choice, the US doesn't really. You choose a provider, you're stuck with their phone options, for the most part.


The Internet is not were it is today because the government told ISPs how they should operate.

Actually, they did. They told them don't interfere with it and if you do you are liable.


You don't need to be a monopoly to dump lethal levels of arsenic into groundwater. Regulation takes many forms for many reasons, and even minor players can be vary destructive.


>The options for Google seem to be a hardline tactic to get exactly what they envisioned and subsequently have a dead on arrival Android OS, or work within the system.

The problem is that Google hasn't been working within the system to change anything. Android gave back the power back to the US carriers and the OEMs have skinned the OS which brings us back to the old days where you would never get an OS update after you purchase the device.

The top selling Android phone in the US is the Galaxy S and their owners will never see an update for the life of their device and contract unless they are willing to jump through hoops and install custom ROMs.


Doesn't the Google Nexus S include updates? There was all this talk about the update to Ice Cream Sandwich.

Of course that's just a single google phone.


There's a "Google Nexus S" and a "Samsung Galaxy S" which share roughly the same hardware.

The Nexus S is already running ICS, Samsung is releasing an update for the Galaxy S that will provide some of the features of ICS, but will not actually be ICS. (I believe the phone originally launched with 2.1 and has since been updated to 2.2 and 2.3)

http://www.androidpolice.com/2012/01/07/samsung-galaxy-s-val...

Maybe the commenter is talking about the weird carrier-specific Galaxy S models that are available in the US, but otherwise it is one of the better supported models as far as updates go.


> Android gave back the power back to the US carriers and the OEMs have skinned the OS which brings us back to the old days where you would never get an OS update after you purchase the device.

It's J2ME all over again!


Don't get me started on the logical hoops MG must jump through

I don't think there are any hoops. This post is just plain and simple nerdbait.

edit: Or at least I hope so. I'm not familiar with much of his other writing, but for someone in his position the only real explanations I can come up with for posting this other than nerdbaiting question his credibility.


This is as well thought out, rational and meaningful as his writing ever has been.


Thats depressing. Then why do people listen to him?


What MG deosnt seem to realise that is the USA's Phone both Landline and Mobile is crap the deregulation was botched and allowed local monopolies. European telcos take great fun in laughing at the ineptitude of ATT Sprint etc and dont get me started on USA and mobile caller pays to recive FFS which moron came up with that idea - the FCC should have steped in and baned that and also made sure that those responsible neaver worked in the industry again.


Someone always pays. Just because it's different doesn't necessarily mean it's wrong. If you're receiving a call you're still using up airtime. If you don't pay then the caller does. Why is this such a big deal?


In the USA both the caller and the callee pay for airtime.

In Europe the caller pays for air time.

While I vacation in Europe (Netherlands) I have a pay as you go SIM card that I use. I've used it the past 4 years, I've put no money on it since I bought it and I've used up all of the minutes, I get 10 free texts. When people want to get ahold of me they can call me and I can answer my phone, even-though I have no "minutes" left on my SIM card. I can receive text messages, and it won't count against my 10 free texts. I can use those 10 free texts to prompt people to call me.

That is beautiful. In the United States if I get a pre-pay sim card the money on it expires after 90 days if I don't use it, and at that time the number becomes invalid too. Unless you pre-pay $100 dollars onto the pre-pay card. I've had the same number for the last 4 years now, in The Netherlands, and it hasn't expired.


There are tradeoffs: In Europe it's more expensive to call a mobile phone compared to a landline. In the US, the caller doesn't have to worry about what kind of device they are calling, the price is the same.




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