Google and Motorola are trying to change the mobile game as you know it. For those who want a higher-end smartphone without committing to a long-term contract, there's the Nexus 5 that Google commissioned LG to build. However, some may find the $349 starting price a bit too rich. To combat that, Motorola today held a big press event unveiling the Moto G, an unlocked smartphone that starts at just $179 with no contract to sign.
Asus fans expecting a whole lot of awesome when they unboxed their spiffy new Tegra 3-sporting Asus Eee Pad Transformer Prime were, for the most part, satisfied when they got their hands on the cutting-edge tablet -- with one exception. Yep, Asus shipped the Prime with a locked bootloader. Bleh! Early adopters took to the Interwebz to voice their rage, and all the e-complaining paid off: today, Asus released a tool that'll crack Transformer Primes wide open.
Down in the Republic of Chile, government regulators have made a bold move to increase openness in the nation’s wireless industry. As of January 2nd, all phones sold in the country must be unlocked for use on any compatible carrier. This rule change will go along with mandatory number portability set to go into effect January 16th.
Overclockers who decided to save a little jingle by opting for Intel's socket 1156 platform rather than jump on a pricier X58 foundation (socket 1366) are being rewarded with a second unlocked chip to play around with.
We found out earlier this week that Intel plans on releasing a Core i7 875K part, which is essentially the same as the existing Core i7 870, but with an unlocked multiplier. Now we've learned that there will be another, less expensive unlocked chip, the Core i5 655K.
This CPU will be identical to the Core i5 650 part, except that it comes with an unlocked multiplier. For those of you new to the overclocking scene, an unlocked processor allows the end-user can jack up the multiplier above its stock setting, which in some cases can lead to easier overclocking without stressing any other subsystems.
Like the Core i7 875K, the Core i5 650K is expected to surface in early June.
In recent years, both major chip makers have taken to locking down all but just a select few processors. For Intel, only pricey Extreme Edition processors come multiplier unlocked, none of which appear on the LGA1156 platform. That's going to change.
There's also no word on the frequency. As a point of comparison, the Core i7 870 runs at 2.93GHz, and we wouldn't expect the 875K to come clocked any lower. What we do know is that the quad-core part will come with a 95W TDP, Turbo Boost, and dual-channel DDR3-1333 support.
The folks at Engadget noticed an interesting similarity in an FCC filing that Google made late last week. The filing included details for a new handset that supports 3G on WCDMA Bands I, II, and V, providing the capability to work on AT&T’s network.
The original Nexus One filing listed the FCC ID of the device as NM899100. The new filing had an ID of NM899110. The model ID on the device follows the same one-digit-off scheming. Since there is only a minor change in IDs, it is likely a variant device of the same model. All signs are pointing to a Nexus One that will work off of T-Mobile’s network and fully support 3G speeds.
Right now, you could chalk up $529 and get yourself a Nexus One that is unlocked, which will surely work on other networks. Downside is, that the 3G support within the handset only works with T-Mobile’s network so you're stuck in slow-mo.
The perils of leaving your Wi-Fi unsecured can be plenty. It can even jeopardize a country's security in extreme cases, as appeared to be the case around 18 months back, when Indian cops found that terrorists were using open Wi-Fi networks to send emails to take responsibility for terrorist activities or to issue threats.
The United States leads Europe when it comes to the number of open Wi-Fi access points. According to WeFi, 40% of all hotspots in the States are unsecured compared to only 25% in Europe. But United States trails France in terms of the number of open access points with captive portals, which are used to “moderate the entry of users into unlocked hotspots.” Although it is not uncommon for public hotspots to be open for the sake of convenience, the use of captive portals can help monitor access and prevent misuse to a certain degree.
Nearly one-third of the world's total Wi-Fi hotspots are unsecured, as per WeFi's estimates. WeFi's database of hotspots includes nearly 50 million hotspots, which the company says is around 10% of the total number of hotspots worldwide.
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.
In a bid to woo more developers towards its vernal Android platform, Google has begun offering a Sim-and hardware-unlocked G1 phone to developers. The unlocked version not only opens the floodgates for developers from around the globe, but it also presents an alternative to those US-based developers who have been resisting the retail version.
Google has confirmed the availability of the unlocked phone in 18 countries, including the US, UK, Germany, Japan, India, Canada, France, Taiwan, Spain, Australia, Singapore, Switzerland, Netherlands, Austria, Sweden, Finland, Poland, and Hungary. Although the unlocked G1 costs only $399, developers will have to part with $25 to register themselves on the Android Market site before they can order the phone.