I've spent a lot of time on the Internet, pretty much from 1997 when the first UK ISP started allowing dialup membership for free via a 0800 number. In that time i've seen a lot of changes in the way that the internet has been shaped by people, companies, governments and the law, some for the good of everyone and some for the bad. Although it carries on regardless, people are always finding new ways to be creative and get around the barriers that are put in place by others. For example, not so long a go the UK forced ISP's to censorship access to 'The Pirate Bay' because they said it hosted nothing but illegal files and allowing it to UK citizens was wrong and unlawful and needed to be stopped. Before it has even been blocked, third parties had already put up proxies to allow anyone who really wanted to access the site before and after the blocking rule had been forced down our throats.
So why should anyone care about freedom to access, use files and information? Because it's your right in this demographic world to be able to have freedom of information, freedom to create and freedom to access what you like as long as it doesn't destroy children or kill anyone. So imagine what happened recently in my time on the XDA forums when I started seeing people being stifled from higher powers about being able to use people's work in their own mods/roms. It got me thinking that once again this is someone else trying to limit/snuff out people from being creative with an open source platform. After all, Android is open source, always will be open source as long as there is a Google on this earth. People under the GNU License are able to take others work and use it for their own, free of charge, without penalty. So why are people having their work, threads and accounts wiped/banned from XDA.
This is not fair, it's not right and it is in my opinion straying completely from the whole idea of what open source really is. The only rule I believe in is 'crediting' which means that if you use someone else's mod or work in your creation then they should be credited for that work, either in a readme, website, blog, thread, etc.. As long as it's credited, the original owner should have no reason to kick up a fuss or demand their work be removed.
"Open source is open source, either go by the GNU rules or don't create anything under it."
This blog post was inspired by the following XDA thread by DutchDanny: http://forum.xda-developers.com/showthread.php?p=27659223 and he has my support. Retweet this blog post, kang my words, you have the right under the freedom of information and my words are 'open source' for all
Remember about a month ago I was all excited about getting the HTC One X? Yeah, me too. Don't get me wrong, it's a great phone. Feels really nice in the hand, looks nice... but is that it? What about using the phone? I'd love to use it but there's a problem and the problem is HTC. You see, a while back HTC annouced this thing called 'HTC Dev' it's a website intended for developers. It's a website where you can get kernels sources to build your own kernels based on HTC's source code and also 'UNLOCK' your phone.
Notice that word 'UNLOCK' - It suggests to you that you can use it and it allows you complete access to your phone, right? Wrong, you see HTC decided that you shouldn't have a choice of what you can do with your phone that you paid for. They decided that you can flash your own ROM's but have little to no access to:
1) Flash kernels from recovery - They limit you to being forced to go to a computer, reboot into fastboot and then make your all your HTC drivers are up to date and issue some commands to the phone to flash a boot image. Sound like a lot of effort? It is. Why did HTC do this? Because of security...
2) Have access to USB from recovery - Only way to gain USB access to the SD Card is either from the ROM you have flashed (problematic if it's broken) or by being forced to use a computer again, having a copy of the recovery you are using and using fastboot to boot it from the computer. Why did HTC do this? Security... again.
3) Being unable to flash updated firmwares - Remember when ICS first came out? Remember when you had to update your firmware to allow it even to boot? You'd drop a file in the root of your SDCard, reboot into the bootloader and it would flash the new firmware even without S-OFF as long as the signature wasn't tampered with. With the One X... no longer do you have this facility. Why did HTC do this? Security... YET AGAIN!
4 APX mode - Tegra devices have a low level function called APX mode which allows a user who knows what they are doing to flash/repair their device using NVFlash. Most devices use a combination of Power button + Volume Up & Down while the battery is removed. It boots into this mode and awaits for user action. Not with the One X. They've either removed it or locked it down with their silly security model. No more access for you!
The list just goes on and on. I could go into more than 10 things wrong with this phone. So, what is it good for. Looking pretty.
You'd think that there is nothing you can do, but you're wrong. HTC are asking for user feedback on their newest phone so we're all taking the opportunity to make our voices heard: http://blog.htc.com/2012/04/your-phone-your-thoughts-tell-us-what-you-think/
This is what i posted:
Remember a while back when you said that you wanted to be more open and allow developers more access to your phones... What happened HTC? The One X for example is even more locked down than the Sensation was. Given your feedback to various users I find that you either a) don't care about your customers b) fob customers off with 'security' related non-sense or c) just plain ignore them.
Your HTCDev unlock program is a complete and utter joke. How is any developer supposed to make use of an unlocked phone boggles the mind with your restrictions on flashing boot images from recovery, restriction of usb access to recovery making accessing the phone from a computer impossible without adb and your latest stance on completely voiding warranty if you're unlocked. That's just borderline illegal, if not illegal completely in the EU.
It's time for HTC to make a choice about their future with their customers. You can either:
Support developers by allowing them access to the phones they own, for kernels, roms and recoveries by making a HTCDev unlock the same as a near S-OFF of the phone. We own the devices that you supply to us, we paid a lot for them. It might be your software but it's not your right to stop people using other software on their phone. You don't see computer manufacturers preventing users from installing other OS's on their machine/laptop and then void the warranty because it's "illegal software". It's a users choice, not yours. Support the hardware for hardware defects, not software problems. Furthermore, replacing a mainboard for 'illegal' software is just plain stupid, reflash the OS, Hboot, etc.. via Jtag/Nvflash. We can and have done in the past without your help.
Step away from developers, remove the HTC Dev program, lock your phone down and watch how some talented group breaks your security and makes your look foolish. Groups have done it in the past, gained root, S-OFF'ed your phones because that's what the users want. If you choose this route you'll only lose more customers and they'll go elsewhere to your competition.
Choose your future - Your customers or your company.
You can feel free to use that or write your own. If we don't then the future is bleak for developers and customers alike. MAKE YOUR VOICE HEARD!
The last of the OTA's have hit our HTC Sensations for the final builds of Ice Cream Sandwich, today the OTA for the Sensation XE/LE was made available for devices and further more the OTA's for devices not on the HTC Elevate program started rolling out. This means that the 3.32.401.X series is the final HTC ICS build. Time to go build your mods/themes. In further news, ARHD has released it's latest ROM which includes the XE (Beats) version. Changelog as follows:
- XE version based on 3.32.401.105 update (Thanks to EddyOS for OTA file)
- Market (Play Shop) updated to latest 3.4.7
- Adobe Flash Player updated to latest 22.214.171.124
- Better Wi-Fi calling support
- Recovery updated to latest 126.96.36.199 RC1
- Other minor changes and fixes
- Super Wipe is highly recommended due to new base (XE only)! - 3.32.401.x firmware is required! - 4EXT Touch Recovery is required! - HTC Sensation 4G (U.S. T-Mobile PG5810000 | T-MOB010) users can flash this for better signal and data speeds!
As always visit the thread for the most up to date information, firmware and download links: http://forum.xda-developers.com/showthread.php?t=1098849