Google has reached new heights in its effort to fool the world into believing that Android is so "open" it can singlehandedly deliver us from any and all forms of mobile tyranny. In its first official "net neutrality" rules, the US Federal Communications Commission says it doesn't prohibit wireless providers from blocking or …
FCC's the problem
The way I read it, it's not Google that thought up this nonsense but someone in FCC.
It's stupid, but I don't think it's Google's doing (in this case). FCC is showing an unbelievable lack of understanding.
Except that the hand that is up one of the three sock puppets
who approved these FCC rules is that of Google.
Don't entirely agree
Whether or not you think Android is open depends on 2 points in your article:
1) It is developed behind closed doors. Well quite a few open source products are developed behind closed doors if you mean that until it is released it exists only on the PC of the developer currently working on it. Apart from the marketplace app, Google releases the entire source to the public under a permissive license. Isn't that what "Open Source" is all about? I think the problems that Stallman originally complained about were freedoms that Android gives to people. The fact that you can take it, fork it, use it in whatever way you want addresses the aforementioned freedoms. I'm not sure why you think this is not open in that sense. True, they could be more open regarding the direction it is moving and current development, but that is not an essential part of freedom of use.
2) Marketplace is not "open". Well I will give you that one. But then the Android Marketplace is not an essential part of Android, the platform.
"“reasonable network management”"?
How about this for “reasonable network management”: don't sell more bandwidth than you can actually provide; and if you do, don't bitch when the punters want to use what they actually paid for.
what exactly do open source mobile OSs have to do with carriers effectively taking bribes to deliver some content faster? can't legislators at least ask someone with the faintest fucking clue what they're talking about when they make tech related laws? it would be good for them too, they wouldn't look like such backwards technophobic morons all the time.
Why is Google the centre of this kerfuffle?
It's the FCC that has put dictates on Net Neutrality (or lack thereof).
Google has nothing other to do with that, than just comply with their legals. Just like everyone else.
As far as openness goes, "Google develops the OS behind closed doors, open sourcing the code only after its available on handsets"
Compared to most of the others, that *IS* "open".
They never claimed it was entirely Open Source, which has another set of guidelines.
Because Google is wrapping their interests as basic rights ...
The single biggest issue behind growing network congestion (currently ... and focussed on wireless here) is the growth of media streaming and in particular video which is about the worst gobbler of bandwidth. Youtube (i.e. Google) is clearly one of the biggest goblers of bandwidth when you profile network data usage, it is obvious that it uses a disproportionate amount of bandwidth and so is the target of a lot of throttling and managemenbt by the service providers. (Note that this is so that the majority of people NOT watching youtube get a decent experience ... ok semi-decent experience). Of course Google does not want its service being throttled becasue that affects its business. That they are affected most is coincidence ... and are not targeted specifically - although service providers around the world with blunt tools may choose to use a Youtube URL to do this which clearly would run foul of these regulations in the US as the target should be throttling all video in a congested cell and not just Googles. The deception is that Google wrap *its interests* (people getting their Youtube fix + Google goodness) as a general interest ... but hey who is going to complain fi you are getting your Mountainview giggles. The reality is that with the *current* capacity issues, *most people* are better off with casual video streaming being downgraded as traffic priority. Note - I use 'current* to indicate that the ideals are good, but unrealistic - and 'casual video streaming' to distinguish between Youtube and the guaranteed bandwidth needs of say IP TV subscriptions.
Because this is a Cade Metz article about Google. Having said that, I have noticed other Reg writers becoming more and more tabloid in their approach which, as a long-time reader I find disappointing. I like my irreverence as much as the next geek, but only if it's got some intelligence to it. Anyway can call people names and make unsubstantiated accusations.
2 points - how can the Reg (including Cade himself) complain about the use of the word "Open"
by e.g. Google and then carry on using their own arbitrary definition?
Secondly, as I see it the FCC are being consistent here (although I'm not saying they're right).
Prior to Android, all mobile OSes were closed, meaning the poor wireless operators could rely (to some extent) on the providers of those OSes to restrict those data-hungry applications for them. Now that Android is around (and popular!) anyone can distribute an application or even modify the OS itself to slurp up huge amounts of mobile data and there's nothing the Telcos can do about it. At least until now.
I know WinMo, Symbian etc were around before but their take-up was probably limited enough not to really worry them.
As I say, most right-minded people can see the many flaws in this regarding the facts, but it is a consistent argument at least.
All mobile systems?
Noo ... not QUITE. Maemo, anyway? Arguably even more open than Android, depending entirely on how you define it.
Don't fall into the snake-oil. Maemo is not larger than Android, but it certainly was first. As for Symbian ... well, it IS the worlds largest and most commonly used mobile operating system now and before - and it was open source.
Just to get your facts straight, y'know.
Symbian etc - yes that's true. I probably should have stressed I was talking about use in smart phones where the user has wider choice of software to install and run - iPhone excluded of course ;-)
You forgot one...
Google is facing a lawsuit from Oracle over Android's jvm. (Lets not get in to a debate over it.)
Yes, Google is clearly pressing their advantage since their former Lobbyist PR flack is now in the White House on Obama's payroll. He's the same guy outed when Google's Buzz revealed that he was having 'out of channel' communication with his buds at Google.
I'm someone you could probably refer to as an "Android fanboi", but I got to agree that this is a logic lapse of epic proportions.
Also, one thing that raises alarms is the term "lawful". Lawful? Under what legal framework and under what jurisdiction? I mean, the US is not homogeneous in this regard, there are state laws and even county laws.
The spleen is big on this one
It seems the author is so rabbidly anit-Google that he misses the main point.
Some dope head at FCC thinks open software yields net neutrality. Author then says that Google is doing the misleading? How many dots are needed to join up that logic?
btw: Much, though not all, of Android code is released well before it comes out in handsets.
Here's the source code for Android:
Here's the source code for iOS:
Here's the source code for Win Phone 7:
So as far as the current state of the market of major players is concerned, Android is more open than the others. Problem?
I'm not picking on you specifically Charles since this whole article seems to be muddled.
Surely the FCC are saying the opposite - because of Open Source software (i.e. Android) they are allowing the mobile operators to *opt out* of Net Neutrality?
So the real headline here should be
"FCC says open Source Threatens Net Neutrality"
But where's the Google angle in that?
To Google for the construction and activation of their very own Reality Distortion Field. I look forward to future mind bending applications of this unique technology, and of course, the upcoming public release of the source code behind it.
"The ironies are manifold"
Gotta love them pipes!
Theatre is required, and must contain oh no he didn't and/or he's behind you.
Well, it is more open than Microsoft or ios, so they have a point.
May I be the first...
...to offer non specific, inter-denominational, seasons greetings to our googlian overlords.
How dare you question google in any context, as we can see already the droidbois are on the attack. I will be buying an Android next (moving from a fruit device), but won't be falling for the bullshit Google feed the rest of you fuckwits about how wonderful google are.
How many times to I have to tell you numtpys?
It's not "doidboi."
It's "fandroid." Get it right.
No brainwashing needed
Obama appointees don't have brains so clearly Google didn't brainwash them. Obama is a Chicago Democrat. Money is what convinces Democrats! Pay to Play is called the Chicago Way. Now one thing Google has is lots and lots of cash!