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Posts published in “Mobile”

Friday Foss Week in Review: Vive le OpenOffice Libre!

There’s certainly not a lack of things to report on this week. As usual, some is good, some is not-so-good and some is enough to make you downright paranoid.

We’ll start with some good news:

LibreOffice Off and Running

Last week we got the news that many if not most of the development folks at OpenOffice.org have decided not to wait to see what Oracle will do, but have exercised their rights under to GPL to create LibreOffice. The new organization running the show is The Document Foundation.

Feds Want to Crack Your Blackberry

If you’re wondering why Research In Motion (RIM), maker of the Blackberry, was loathe to cooperate with the authorities in Dubai and India when they demanded access to encrypted Blackberry calls, it’s because they knew no matter how little they cracked that door, it would eventually open wide. Need proof? Take a look at Monday’s New York Times in which we learn that the Feds want new regulations to force companies like RIM to design back doors into their offerings to allow easy wiretap access by law enforcement. It’ll be hard for RIM to say “no” to the U.S. when they’ve already said “yes” to other countries.

“Essentially, officials want Congress to require all services that enable communications — including encrypted e-mail transmitters like BlackBerry, social networking Web sites like Facebook and software that allows direct ‘peer to peer’ messaging like Skype – to be technically capable of complying if served with a wiretap order. The mandate would include being able to intercept and unscramble encrypted messages.”

Christine HallChristine Hall

Christine Hall has been a journalist since 1971. In 2001, she began writing a weekly consumer computer column and started covering Linux and FOSS in 2002 after making the switch to GNU/Linux. Follow her on Twitter: @BrideOfLinux

Can Android be More Open?

M. G. Siegler is right. Android is not as open as many of us would like, at least for the user. But while it’s certainly not as open as any garden-variety Linux distro, it’s certainly much more open than the norm for Linux embedded on a device – and let’s face it, an Android smartphone is nothing but an embedded device. The functionality of your device is determined not by you the user, but by a combination of the handset maker and the carrier. According to Siegler, that needs to change – and I agree.

In case you missed the article, Android Is As Open As The Clenched Fist I’d Like To Punch The Carriers With, which appeared last Thursday on TechCrunch, Siegler has a variety of complaints about Android handsets, beginning with one that will be very familiar to anyone who’s ever bought a computer from Dell with Windows preinstalled:

Christine HallChristine Hall

Christine Hall has been a journalist since 1971. In 2001, she began writing a weekly consumer computer column and started covering Linux and FOSS in 2002 after making the switch to GNU/Linux. Follow her on Twitter: @BrideOfLinux

Android’s Market Share

First the good news: According to Gartner, Android is now the number two mobile OS worldwide, right behind Symbian and slightly ahead of Research in Motion. Gartner is also predicting that Android’s market share will continue to grow, from it’s current 17.7% share to 29.6% by the end of 2014. Although this would seem to be great news for those of us in the FOSS community, I’m not sure the seers at Gartner have considered all the facts in making their predictions.

The problem is Apple.

Christine HallChristine Hall

Christine Hall has been a journalist since 1971. In 2001, she began writing a weekly consumer computer column and started covering Linux and FOSS in 2002 after making the switch to GNU/Linux. Follow her on Twitter: @BrideOfLinux

MS Vs. Linux on Mobile

Last month I posted an article on why I think Windows Phone 7 will fail to get traction in the already crowded smartphone field. It now appears that others have similar viewpoints. Yesterday, Brook Crothers wrote a blog on cnet , “Microsoft faces Android juggernaut,” in which he expresses a sentiment not too different from mine:

“A killer Microsoft smartphone may always be out of reach. And Microsoft should understand this better than anyone.”

Christine HallChristine Hall

Christine Hall has been a journalist since 1971. In 2001, she began writing a weekly consumer computer column and started covering Linux and FOSS in 2002 after making the switch to GNU/Linux. Follow her on Twitter: @BrideOfLinux

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