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back to article Linus Torvalds doesn't hate the Googlephone

Linus Torvalds hates cell phones. But that doesn't include the Googlephone. The Linux founder "broke down" last week and bought a Google Nexus One, and despite his enduring cell phone hatred, he calls it "a winner." In a weekend blog post, Linus tells the world that cell phones are "irritating" and that they "disturb you as you …

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Pint

Forking is a good thing

Yeah, I agree with Chris DiBona - nothing like a good fork occasionally.

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WTF?

Do we care ?

Why should I care whether this guy likes Google's phone or not ? Just because he created Linux doesn't mean he knows anything about cellphones. In fact I happen to think Linux is great, but the Nexus one doesn't interest me one bit. Google really are stretching themselves too thin.

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FAIL

I saw this in the Post yesterday

It made me seriously consider it, then I did some shopping and discovered I'd be paying US$100+/month. Fuck that. That's more than I pay for broadband+phone service at home.

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Linux

Canyonero

The only phone endorsed by a clown.

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Stop

"Off" button

Oh FFS. I've actually decided to ignore everything else he said purely on his argument of how phones are evil, unless they run Linux...

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Go

WOOOSH

Missing the point.

He said he still hates mobile phones. However, the Nexus One is a winner, due to it not "only" being a phone - it's a multipurpose device. He mentioned GPS as a big thing - and it is.

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WTF?

Actually, he is right.

Phones are absolutely and utterly rubbish.

I gave mine up several years ago, and have never been happier.

They just cost money, and you get annoyed / distracted by people.

If I need to make a call, I make a SIP call. Or I email, or IM etc.

You do not actualy need a phone when out and about. I've lived without one for years now, and I started with a brick carphone jobby on the old analogue network -- when NO_ONE else had a phone.

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Happy

Aaaaaahahahahaaahaha

"This whole thing stinks of people not liking Forking. Forking is important and not a bad thing at all. From my perspective, forking is why the Linux kernel is as good as it is."

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Sly
Coat

obligatory "go fork yourself"

/coat in hand, leaving now.

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Re: I saw this in the Post yesterday

Not sure why- I'm paying $59.99 a month for unlimited text, web and 500 minutes.

Besides, if you really want to cheap out then just get a pay as you go SIM for it. Just don't use the internet on the move...

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But is it rooted? :)

Gene... its $530 direct, unless your contract is $670 year/ $55 month you would save that $100+ a month getting one direct

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Joke

No Title

Now all I need is a Knife and Spoon

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WTF?

Linus ...

Isn't he the guy who plays the piano in Peanuts ? ... who the fork cares what he thinks ?

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Someone listens to Linus

Peppermint Patty!

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Headmaster

NoNoNo

Schroeder plays the piano. Lucy likes him.

Peppermint Patty likes Charlie Brown.

Charlie's sister Sally likes Linus.

And, of course, none of the boys reciprocate.

Clearly your people need to brush up on your classical literature.

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Is it any good when it's locked?

As a real power user, I use Linux because it has open APIs allowing one to change any part of the stack to suit anyone's needs. Even the cheapest embedded devices, such as routers or NAS drives, can have extraordinary innovative capabilities if they are unlocked and reprogrammable.

However in the case of locked down devices, all the benefits of Linux are lost on the consumer. A locked and possibly buggy/limited Linux fork is no better than a proprietary product assuming the device is locked down from end user modification in both cases. Linus may not care since any device running Linux increases his brand's market share.

So while Stallman's GPL3 is more aggressive with end user's rights, Linus is more concerned with maximizing long term market share even if it means locking users out of their own hardware. I'd rather see Stallman's openness vision come true over Linus', however I acknowledge that more vendors could be swayed to open source with Linus' stance (albeit with limited user benefit).

Which approach yields maximum consumer benefit is very hard to say...

Benefit = open source utility * market share

For me personally if I cannot root a consumer device such as a phone or DVR, then there's little point in "knowing" that it runs a linux fork. It's got to be both open sourced and unlocked to have any benefit above a comparable proprietary product.

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Silver badge

Wait till you discover girls

Then you can root as much as you like.

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Linux

Missing the point

Re Linus:

The guy is a old school coder, he hacked on a kernel project because he could, he still hacks on Linux because he can.

Market share orientated thinking is anathema to most hackers of that ilk.

Re Locked down Linux

I built several devices running embedded Linux(OpenWRT usually) for a previous employer, all for eventual use in the ents market (pubs, hotels etc).

All of these were locked down tightly with only services related to management and application provisioning running. This resulted in a stable, secure, plug-in-and go device for the consumer and low management/deployment costs to the vendor.

You might be able to gain root access to the device(good luck), but exposing it directly removes the ability for vendor to use remote re-flash for firmware upgrades. (any changes you made would be wiped, hence support calls, hence increased cost)

All patches to openWRT and related OSS projects were contributed back to the community.

Like Google: we added some bits to make development easier/faster, unlike Google we made it easy for the main project by following the rules, so our changes got accepted.

Now in six months time when I check out the latest OpenWRT, I get my stuff maintained integrated with lots of new toys, simples.

Google didn't play by the rules, they got handed their fork and told to enjoy tracking umpteen patchsets for ever. Seems fair.

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Flame

Ugh. "As a power user"...

I see "power user", then I think; "dick". Fucking "power user". Pontificating dipshit more like. If that offends, don't call your self a "power user"! It's made worse by starting with "As a real power user..."! I suppose it's a small mercy that you didn't capitalise the first letters of each offending word. I can't read the rest of what could have been an interesting and thought provoking post, though judging by the opening of "As a real..." I doubt I'm missing out.

Got out of bed on the wrong side this morning...

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Anonymous Coward

@Got out of bed on the wrong side this morning...

You want to keep doing it then!

And how about the hundreds of thousands of fawning twats who think there's something so cool about the guy's twatty mascot as to effectively adopt it themselves? Another side of the coin of chronic insecurity that makes them refer to themselves as 'power users'.

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@sed gawk

Yours is the only reply worth responding to.

I agree wholeheartedly, that for a technology implementer such as yourself, there are many reasons use and contribute back to Linux.

However with regards to your statement about lock down...

"All of these were locked down tightly with only services related to management and application provisioning running. This resulted in a stable, secure, plug-in-and go device for the consumer and low management/deployment costs to the vendor."

I respectfully disagree, and I'll give you an instance where trusting the vendor doesn't work.

I purchased number of routers, which run linux, but prohibit user firmwares. They do not support wake on lan, which I'd like, but I was aware of this when I purchased them. I'd be content except for a persistent bug where all INFO packets on SIP ports are mutilated. It took a couple of tech support calls to finally acknowledge the bug. That was 8 months ago, and they still haven't fix their bug because I'm the small guy and they don't really care. The irony is that the new routers were indented to replace older models which did not have the bugs.

Due to their negligence, I've had to come up with my own solution (hack) of using non-standard SIP ports with these routers. I would have much preferred to compile my own firmware without the buggy SIP ALG and with WOL.

I also would never expect a vendor to support my custom firmware. Keep in mind that those of us willing and able to build our own firmwares generally don't care to go back to the vendor's firmware (ever), so I don't really buy the argument that we somehow cost the vendor more to use our own firmware.

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RE: Is it any good when it's locked?

Its so easy to get super user access on it... hold the track ball when turning on, screen will popup allowing you to unlock the boot loader. Then you can flash on a recover image and then another image with super use tools (ie, su).

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Not about cost

You have to ship network endpoints that locked down when they access corporate services, the networks guys are extremely intolerant of endpoints that allow users access to the centre, their developers are seldom recalled for additional projects.

Thing is, if you *really* want to overwrite the firmware on a deployed consumer product, all the info is available. I'm starting from largely the same position as most consumers e.g. google + what ever I can cook up in house to help, combined with badly translated hardware manuals that read like zen mantra.

As for kernel builds to fix driver issues, well ok fair comment there, but the device has to be remotely managed and upgraded cheaply, (flash costs), so what should a vendor give you access to, and how much is *additional money* is it worth to cater to the % you represent ?(Time costs)

You've reported a bug, the vendor should fix it, we would have, however it can take a month for a deployed device to get a two line change through Q/A sign-off, trial rollout, and on to the metal. (Testers cost and I have to wait my turn for the Q/A slots)

If you fancy knocking up your own kit, why start from a deployed network endpoint anyway?

For example quite a few Broadcom Wireless APs like Asus wl-500 build with current OpenWRT release out of the box.

You can re-flash these to your heart's content, *including* all the features you want (subject to memory) [ hint, you can live without /bin/ls by using /bin/echo * in the current directory]

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Silver badge

More shocking...

More shocking is that Linus has a car without GPS!

What ancient wreck is he driving about in? I thought pretty much every car had sat nav these days?!

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Unhappy

LandCruisers don't have GPS

Not everyone has a GPS enabled car. The Toyota LandCruisers (here in Australia, anyway) are an extremely good 4WD - but, shock horror, they don't have GPS.

Most that want it have an individual external GPS, anyway - then it doubles as a handheld one for trekking.

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FAIL

Re: More shocking... → #

Can't believ you wrote that.. My car is 6yrs old and I am 'being green..er' by keeping my diesel longer rather than buy a new car (and it's associated production impact).

It has no sat-nav; it still goes from A to B and as 95% of my journeys are to places I've been before - I do not need a sat-nav. When I do, (usually round France), I found paper map and reading sign posts a whole lot more accurate than a sat-nav

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Gold badge

Even more shocking

...is someone who thinks sat-nav is ubiquitous. Not everyone drives a new car and not everyone even wants sat-nav, so unless you are willing to buy me a new car *and* pay for it to have sat-nav, you can count me out. I'll just "know where I'm going" thanks.

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Actually...

I never said everyone drives a new car, only expressed shock that Linus didn't...

Just for the record my car is even greener than John White's (above), at 13 years old and containing a bio-degradable paper based navigation system.

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Anonymous Coward

Older cars are greener?

Not really, if your car is 13 years old it might be a lot greener to replace it by a newer one that is almost certainly less polluting.

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Silver badge

Yes and no...

Very few companies bother to publish the level of pollution/energy required to produce a car in the first place, and dispose of the old one.

I doubt many cars could challenge my old bus when it comes to fossil carbon emissions, mine easily embarrasses a Prius (and I don't just mean when I use the brakes!)... One of the beauties of an old car (diesel) is they have a very simple injection system which can take a lot of abuse. In my case the abuse comes in the shape of recycled vegetable oil... Smells a bit funny, but far cheaper than the ever climbing fuel prices in the UK.

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Badgers

Linuxphone

Liking a phone because it's "linux" is like liking a beer because it's "barley'.

Don't get me wrong, I like the android and am looking forward to trying out the Nexus One, but not because it's running on forking linux.

It's no surprise to me that Linus hates phones - nearly all the unix/linux fans I have encountered seem to prefer to avoid human/social interactions. For them putting Linux on a phone must be like eating lunch off a fresh cowpat.

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Pint

Liking beer because it's Barley

...wasn't that the point of the German Purity Law?

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Linux

Just Goes To Show

... even cranky old farts eventually get tired of being cranky old farts. Easier to just go with the flow, iToys excluded.

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Grenade

Should have bought an iPod Touch

"With his G1, Linus says, he did little more than play Galaga and Solitaire on long plane flights."

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Jobs Horns

Where is the Phone app on the iPod Touch?

I can't seem to find it.

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Galaga REMIX

Galaga REMIX by Namco. Plenty of Solitaire options.

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Happy

Serves me right for speed reading

Misread your comment, Tarthen. I suggested iPod Touch precisely because Linus seems to like smartphones, except the phone bit.

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Although...

The iPod Touch doesn't have GPS either, which I believe is one of the reasons why he calls it great. :)

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Thumb Up

@Lou Gosselin

It isn't locked... there are even other builds for it (yes, people modified the code, OSS really works)

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Randomness

Glad to see the Gphone getting as much random press as the Jphone.

No wonder Google don't need to advertise !!!

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You people are all SO right!

After all, how can the opinion of a happily-married man, with children, and a highly paid job, count more, than the snap judgments of an unhygienic mob of passive agressives on Teh Intahnet? After all, some guy thinks he's clever for overseeing the development of an operating system - when some of you have even done "Hello World" in assembler!

(You can make things true, just by writing them on the Internet, you know? Just find some random forum, and start typing: I read it on Wikipedia!)

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Grenade

I'm sorry, did you lose your point?

Or have you not grasped the 'reply to this post' button concept?

And, since I've been stirred to comment already, which bit of hypocritical do we need to explain to you? Personally, I'll settle for picking you up on the 'snap judgement' part'. How do you know that any of of the readers/commentards are unhygenic, passive/agressive or even part of a mob?

Personally, I am just agressive, deplore the mob mentality and shower every day before turning up to my own highly paid job.

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(Written by Reg staff)

Re: I'm sorry, did you lose your point?

Oh dear me. I've just arrived in the middle of this argument. Take it easy, now. And Brutus, there are two 'g's in 'aggressive', for the next time you want to tell someone that is what you are without actually punching them in the gob.

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Speling

Hmm, I could try to argue that I was lampooning the OP, but I doubt anyone would believe me, so I'll put it down to inability to type+lack of proof-reading.

I'll try harder in future.

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(Written by Reg staff)

Re: Speling

Good man. And not that aggressive after all. Aw. Let's all hug. (Actually let's not.)

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Silver badge

Lost in the rush

Form an orderly queue...

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Coat

Which queue?

Is this the hugging queue or the forking queue?

Do I have to shower first? Bathrobe please...

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Gold badge

Market segmentation

"The fact that you can use it as a phone too is kind of secondary,"

This speaks volumes. For years the old farts have wished for a phone that did nothing other than let you make phone calls. Now we learn of another group of potential users who want a phone that does everything *but* let you make calls.

I can appreciate that the economies of scale will tend to put both sets of requirements in the same device, but perhaps the UI needs some master switch. Either "just a phone, I don't want to see any evidence of additional functionality anywhere in the UI. I don't want a choice of ring-tones. I don't want to send a text. I don't want bluetooth or wi-fi." or "don't accept incoming calls".

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I could go for that.

In fact, the early Blackberry devices were just email and I loved them*. Some of us just want a qwerty keyboard, and internet browser and an email client (and, possibly, SSH SFTP etc. clients) and only really want the ability to take and receive calls in an emergency.

I think it was Stephen Fry who described the phone as being incredibly rude and demanding one's attention IMMEDIATELY.

Mind you, HTC went a little too far away from the phone (and common sense) with the Athena -- a truly horrible device.

*Sadly lack of Flash and a couple of other quirks relegates me to a Nokia knock-off of a Blackberry.

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