Motorola's Droid smartphone has barely been out a month, and already the device has been rooted by the modding community. Welcome to the club, Droid.
"Droid does... ROOT," Cyanogen, who is probably the best known Android modder, wrote on his Twitter page. He also linked an Android message board containing the exploit
Droid already comes with Android 2.0, which boasts a bunch of fancy updates to the open-source OS that has the HTC Dream (T-Mobile G1) community anxiously awaiting a modded update of their own. But a rooted Droid gives the user administrative rights and all kinds of control over the smartphone. There's an overclocking widget available for rooted Android phones, fancy themees, and even multi-touch support, which is available on the lower end Droid Eris but not the higher end original in its native framework (it's up to developers to release multitouch apps).
Of course, unlocking a smartphone to install third-party firmware comes with certain risks, and in a worst case scenario, a mod gone bad could brick the device. But the risks gets lower and lower as the modding community continues to release more sophisticated firmware.
Motorola has put the word out that it wants to sell off its "Home and Network Mobility" unit. The unit, which makes equipment for cable and wireless companies, is Motorola's largest division, Businessweek.com reports.
According to the latest tech chatter, a deal worth $4.5 billion could be on the table. It's unknown exactly who the potential buyer(s) might be, but the most likely bet would include private-equity firms and makers of telecommunications equipment, like Samsung, the Wall Street Journal speculated.
Should Motorola find a buyer, it would be left with two other divisions: Mobile Devices, which makes cell phones, and Enterprise Mobility, with makes bar code scanners and other equipment for corporate use,
We all rubbed our eyes in disbelief when Verizon announced they would be releasing a fully open handset, the Motorola Droid. Not only did it have WiFi, it had free GPS! This was not the Verizon we all knew. Some of the more pessimistic among us were waiting for the other shoe to drop, and now it has. A Verizon rep has confirmed that using the integrated Microsoft Exchange support in the Droid will mean an extra $15 fee each month.
This boosts the monthly cost of data to $45 instead of the standard $30. Verizon also plans to offer a $50 per month data-only plan for the Droid. Verizon indicated this fee just brings the cost in line with smartphone plans for corporate email seen on Blackberrys. "The Droid is primarily a consumer phone," said Verizon spokesperson Brenda Raney.
All things considered, it may be a fairly minor point. Nevertheless, it seems like a very Verizon thing to do. If you were planning on getting the Droid, does this give you second thoughts? How many of you use Exchange accounts daily?
Happy Halloween! Wait, that was last week. But then again, that's also when we recorded this episode of the podcast. Topics discussed this week: how the announcement of Android 2.0 and new Android hardware changes the smart phone market, the many controversies surrounding Activision's Modern Warfare 2, and whether the Left 4 Dead 2 demo assuages boycotters' concerns. We also answer a bunch of listener questions to round out the show. And best of all, we'll be releasing another podcast episode later this week!
Do you have a tech question? A comment? A tale of technological triumph? Just need to get something off your chest? A secret to share? Email us at email@example.com or call our 24-hour No BS Podcast hotline at 877.404.1337 x1337--operators are standing by.
We suspect there's going to be a lot of interest in Motorola's upcoming Droid smartphone, which is set to launch on November 6. And if you're itching to get your hands on one, Best Buy is already taking preorders for the handset, and the best part is they'll remove the hassle of dealing with the $100 mail-in-rebate and issue the kickback as an instant savings instead.
"We're excited to feature this new device for our consumers, as it represents the latest and greatest in mobile technology," said Best Buy Mobile President Shawn Score. "Bringing the Droid to Best Buy Mobile expands our already unmatched assortment of smartphones allowing customers to compare high-end devices like the iPhone 3GS, HTC Hero, and Droid all under one roof. The fact that customers can purchase the phone first at Best Buy through the pre-sell is an added bonus."
This is similar to what Best Buy did with the Palm Pre, and we imagine an even better turn out this time around. Motorola's Droid is poised to become the first Android 2.0-based smartphone, and has the best chance of all Android handsets to date at challenging Apple's iPhone.
According to a recent report, Qualcomm is looking to launch a new personal television device called FLO TV. While it won’t have a station dedicated to our very own Ms. Florence Ion, it will support broadcasting of Qualcomm’s terrestrial digital TV service.
While the FLO TV service is already included with a handful of cellphones from Samsung, Motorola and LG, the idea behind the device will be to get better video through a terrestrial broadcast, rather than using the bandwidth of a 3G wireless network. This way, there shouldn’t be any network congestion or buffering to worry about.
It’s reported that the device will come with a capacitive touchscreen that will take advantage of a swipe and gesture-driven UI, 4GB of built-in memory, stereo speakers, and enough battery life to watch five hours of TV, or listen to 15 hours of music.
While the high-speed infrastructure is still being laid in most parts of the country, Motorola has made sure you won't have to wait on the hardware to catch up. That's because the company has started selling its SB6120 cable modem, what the company claims is the first ever DOCSIS 3.0 modem to launch in retail, through Fry's Electronics stores.
"We're witnessing the greatest advancement in DOCSIS cable modems in more than ten years, and Fry's Electronics is at the forefront of the retail DOCSIS 3.0 movement," said Alan Lefkof, corporate vice president and general manager, Motorola Broadband Home Gateways and Software. "We are pleased to work with Fry's Electronics and to provide consumers with high-end modem that will work with any form of DOCSIS network their cable operators provide."
Motorola says these are the same modems that are available to cable operators, which offer up to 4 times the speed of DOCSIS 2.0
Asus and HP are both avowedly toying with the idea of Android-based netbooks. Both of them have, in fact, assigned engineers to the task of porting Android to netbooks. But Android won’t remain confined to just cell phones and netbooks by the looks of things.
Using the WHDI standard it is possible to transmit 1080p uncompressed content using two 20MHz channels and 1080i and 720p on a lone 20MHz channel. It can send high definition content ripping through walls up to 30 m, with a latency of only 1 millisecond. However, the members of the newly formed consortium are not bound to integrate the technology in their products.