Very odd bug found in jailbreaking process

In the most recent T-Mobile G1 update that has been pushed out, we know that Google is sending out a patch that will prevent us from gaining root access. Another bug that Google has fixed in the RC30 update has been discovered. Many G1 owners have yet to run into this bug because it is a bit of a rarity. After setting up a telnet server on the G1 to allow root access, anyone who knows your IP address can log into your phone without a password.  This hole in the security of the phone also has a very odd bug, after your phone starts up a command shell as root, every keystroke you type is then sent to that shell.  Now every keystroke that is typed in any application is secretly sent to the shell with Admin user privileges. In the bug report (issue 1207) jdhorvat writes: Funny story behind finding this: I was in the middle of a text conversation with my girl when she asked why I hadn’t responded. I had just rebooted my phone and the first thing I typed was a response to her text, which simply stated “Reboot” - which, to my surprise, rebooted my phone. Without the bug users can still see what was happening by typing <return>-r-e-b-o-o-t-<return>. The return parts send it to the shell as a command, the bug on the other hand already did this with all the keystrokes you make, making it impossible to type some words. For those of you experiencing this problem who do not wish to upgrade to RC30, just type <return>-c-a-t-<return> to disable it. This should work for everyone, at least till the phone is rebooted. [Via ZDNet]

Android Community Week in Review – Week 45 2008

Verizon made a bold move this week, taking shots at the Android platform. They have a few valid points, and a few points that did not make sense. It is really not fair to compare a service provider with a range of phones, plans and operating systems, to a single phone that is the first in production. In Australia a young consumer electronics maker has told reporters that he will be launching his own Android-powered handset. Hop-on told a little bit about their theory as to why Sprint's CEO Dan Hasse is dismissing Android early on even though Sprint is one of the founders of the Open Handset Alliance (OHA). Hop-on also spilled the beans a little bit in regards to their upcoming Android-powered handsets. Hop-on will be releasing two different versions of their Android next year. A few people found a way to share your G1's Internet connection with your laptop using Telnet, it is not quite a tethering app, but it will do the job for now. We have read rumors that Taiwan may finally be getting the first Android-powered handset in the first half of 2009. Members of the XDA developers forum have found a way to gain root access in Android, this is not technically a jailbreak, but it does open the door for many opportunities. With root access Jay Freeman, the man responsible for Cydia on iPhone, has managed to port Debian on Android. It seems Google is going to go the same route that Apple has gone in the past in regards to preventing the jailbreaking of phones. Shortly after receiving word that this was possible, Google started working on a patch that will prevent any root access. This update, RC30, should be making its way to users sometime this week.  It looks like developers are going to have to work a little harder to make advancements, with Google taking every step they can to prevent root access. Development of Android for the OpenMoko open source handset has been confirmed both by representatives and photos. There is also word that there will be a free Beta port to all existing FreeRunner customers. SMobile has started advertising an antivirus software program for Android. Now users will have the extra security they need. Steve Ballmer took the opportunity to say a few things about Android the other day, he spoke about how Android is not profitable, almost as if he felt threatened. AT&T Mobility on the other hand spoke about Android in a positive way. They are waiting for Google to open up to more non-Google applications before they release and Android-powered handset. The ever-popular Orb web application is soon going to be coming to Android in application form. Orb allows you to stream content or view files on your computer from anywhere that has an Internet connection. As far as other applications go, Meebo came to steal the spotlight. This extremely simple, lightweight instant messaging application will replace the native IM client for many users. Chinese network company, Huawei, has spoken about releasing an Android-powered handset in early 2009. Most Android phones that are to come will only be announced at this time, giving Huawei a head start.

Jay Freeman successfully ports Debian for Android

Since the first day we heard about Google’s Android platform we have been waiting for the open source phone that allows us to customize it just as we like. It seems now that the first Android-powered handset has been released we have all been a bit disappointed. We have quickly been able to make progress with gaining root access on the T-Mobile G1. It seems just as quickly as we got root access, Google has come up with a way to prevent it. Jay Freeman (saurik), the man responsible for Cydia and many other amazing developments on the iPhone, has successfully gotten Debian running on the G1. Debian is a free open source OS that is usually used on a computer. Debian on the G1 will allow you to do a lot more than Android is allowing so far. The best part is that it will not at all affect your phones functionality. With this breakthrough it opens the door to so many opportunities, such as putting a video recording application on the G1. There are instructions for those of you who are brave enough to give it a try, you can find instructions on Jay Freeman’s site. [Via Saurik]

Huawei will release an Android-powered handset in first half 2009

According to James Chen, Director of Marketing for Chinese network company, Huawei Technologies has announced plans to launch smartphones based on both Android and Symbian, in the first half of 2009. Huawei is planning to expand mobile and broadband devices in 2009. Huawei is not looking for a partnership of any kind, Chen said, "Our business model is proven and successful. Huawei doesn't need a partner for its expertise -- we only needed funding." Huawei deals in mainly in lower-end phones, but they realize that they need more complex phones to deliver more valuable services. "Huawei has had a late take-off in smartphones, but our focus on customization means we can still take the lead and achieve our targets," said Chen. Huawei is a member of both the Symbian foundation and Android’s Open Handset Alliance (OHA).  Huawei’s smartphones will be sold through other companies, not being branded with their logos. Huawei, unlike Nokia, will not be offering content to users. "We will stand firm in the camp of the operators. Although we will customize phones, we will never directly sell services to the end user." It sounds like China will be getting plenty of Android-powered handsets in 2009, when will we get more? [Via PCWorld]

Google sending out update RC30 to stop root access

We have noticed that things tend to move really fast with Android, Google pumps out updates like there is no tomorrow. Google has found out about our jailbreaking ways, they have already started pushing out an update, RC30, to prevent anyone from gaining root access using telnet. Users can expect an update in the next few days. Gaining root access means getting into the core functions of Android itself, giving developers the ability to create more useful applications or even port Android to another phone. Google has commented on the issue, “We’ve been notified of this issue (Jailbreaking of Android) and have developed a fix. We’re currently working with our partners to push the fix out and updating the open source code base to reflect these changes.” This means that, even being open source, Google has to have some sort of control over Android itself. What does this mean for Android, will it really be open source or will it be monitored closely? This situation is being handled a lot like the way Apple has handled similar situations in the past. Do you think Google will take drastic measures in the future? [Via XDA]

Meebo instant messaging hands on

Today Meebo announced that their Android application is now available for download in the Android Market for free. This is the application counterpart to Meebo’s famous web app. Meebo brings instant messaging to Android-powered handsets without the need to have the browser open. After playing around with the application for a few minutes, we found it to be very simple and exactly what we were looking for.  There is no lag in the application making it far more easy to use than the native IM application that comes with Android. The menus are very simple and far from cluttered. Just sign in using any popular messenger information such as AIM, MSN and Yahoo. This is by far the best instant messaging application we have seen on Android so far. We would like to know what you think about Meebo for Android. Here is the press release: Meebo Launches Messaging Application for Android Company releases instant messaging application for the Android Market Mountain View, Calif. – November 6, 2008 – Meebo, the Web’s live communications platform, today announced the launch of Meebo for Android, an instant messaging application that brings free and open communication to T-Mobile’s G1, the world’s first Android-powered mobile phone. Meebo for Android provides a simple “on the go” instant messaging experience for anyone with a Meebo account, or an account on one of the popular IM services. The application will be available as a download through the phone via the Android Market ( Meebo for Android includes:
  • Access to all of your IM accounts through a single login and single buddy list.
  • A fun and simple IM experience that’s similar to using on your PC.
  • Real-time notifications! Alerts of new IMs are pushed to the status bar even when Meebo runs in the background.
“We are excited to provide Meebo users and Android enthusiasts with a new way to connect live with their friends,” said Seth Sternberg, founder and CEO, Meebo. “Enabling access to Meebo on the go means that more and more people will think ‘Meebo’ for open communications whether they are at their at home, work, school or none of the above!” The T-Mobile G1 is the world's first Android-powered mobile phone. The T-Mobile G1 combines full touch-screen functionality and a QWERTY keyboard with a mobile Web experience. With a fun and intuitive user interface and one-touch access to Google Search, the T-Mobile G1 is also the first phone to provide access to Android Market, where customers can find and download unique applications to expand and personalize their phone to fit their lifestyle. Meebo serves 40 million people and handles over 5 billion messages per month.  The company has raised $37.5 million from investors Sequoia Capital, Draper Fisher Jurvetson, JAFCO Ventures, Time Warner Investments, and KTB Ventures. For information about partnering with Meebo, please visit About Meebo, Inc. Meebo is the Web’s live communications platform. Founded in September 2005, Meebo provides instant messaging and group chat to 40 million people at and via partner sites across the Web. Meebo’s investors include Sequoia Capital, Draper Fisher Jurvetson, JAFCO Ventures, Time Warner Investments, and KTB Ventures. Visit to connect with friends live on the Web. [gallery]

AT&T waiting for Android to open up to non-Google applications

AT&T Mobility CEO, Ralph de La Vega, had the time to speak with the Web 2.0 Summit today about the iPhone 3G broadband limits. The talks mostly consisted of U-Verse and data limits that followed, but for some reason he slipped a bit of Android information in among all of the iPhone talk. It looks like AT&T's position has not changed, an AT&T representative has stated, "We continue to evaluate the android platform, and if customers want it, we will offer it." AT&T seems to likes the Android platform, but wishes to let it open up and evolve a little bit before taking on an Android-powered handset of their own. “De la Vega said AT&T continues to look at Google's Android operating system but is not prepared to make any moves to carry any Android phones. He said the platform is still evolving and needs to open up even more to offer a wider array of non-Google applications.” Looks like AT&T is one of the few companies not using the opportunity to put Google’s Android OS. Who (other than myself) would like to see Android on AT&T next? [Via SFGate]

Orb coming to Android soon

With every new handset eventually there will be questions about streaming content from a source other than what is provided. One question I always manage to come across on forums is, “Can we use Orb on this phone?” The short answer is yes. Over at Orb forums this question was brought up, and coincidentally a member of the Orb team made a comment on the situation.  The users asked if there was ever going to be an Android Orb application in the Android Market, the answer being yes, there will be a way to use Orb services on Android-powered handsets this week. He even went on to say that there would eventually be a native application that will improve the use of Orb on Android. There has been no official press release about any of this so we do not know of any release date yet. For those of you who do not yet know what Orb is, Orb has developed an award winning service that combines the use of an internet media portal and a proprietary software application. Orb leverages the best in already available technology (hi-speed broadband, Wi-Fi, wireless internet access and sophisticated portable devices) to provide a brand new way for people to connect with their digital media in the manner "how, when and where" they most desire. In short, Orb provides the ability to "MyCast". MyCasting gives the user instant access to photos, music, videos, live television, and other digital content on their home PC at anytime and from any internet-connected device, such as a mobile phone, PDA or laptop. MyCasting is media anywhere. Orb is based on an elegant, robust and scalable architecture and is the first of its kind to allow consumers mobile access to all of their digital media. Orb's software architecture leverages the best features of today's popular standards while abiding by current digital rights management solutions. The Orb embedded Solution is a set of software platform capabilities which the consumer electronics device manufacturer can port and integrate in its devices to differentiate its connected product lines, and build media and services management applications, rapidly, efficiently. [Via OrbForums]

Microsoft starts taking shots at Google’s Android

Android has been under a lot of heat lately from some of the leading mobile companies such as Sprint. Google’s Android platform seems to be an open target for negativity. Microsoft has jumped on the bandwagon with reports that they find Android to be financially unsound. The other day Microsoft CEO, Steve Ballmer, spoke at Australian telecoms company Telstra’s annual investment day, he was quick to dismiss Google all together saying, "They can hire smart guys, hire a lot of people… but, you know, they start out way behind in a certain sense." This comes as a surprise to me as Google has continued to outshine Microsoft in the past, overcoming them on many top ten lists. Ballmer questioned Google’s ability to make money from this mobile platform as he went on to say, "I don't really understand their strategy. Maybe somebody else does. If I went to my shareholder meeting, my analyst meeting, and said: 'Hey, we've just launched a new product that has no revenue model!'… I'm not sure that my investors would take that very well. But that's kind of what Google's telling their investors about Android," In a perfect world for large companies such as Microsoft, making money is all that really matters in the end. What they don’t realize is that open source is not about raking in the money, it is about creating something and then allowing others to partake of it as they see fit. Google is getting many more search hits with the integration of search in Android. Ballmer argues that Google’s Android is doing well for its first generation of phones, but when it comes down to it, how will it do in the third and fourth generations? We want to know what you think about the comments made by the CEO of Microsoft, dismissing Android yet again. [Via ZDNet]

SMobile offers security solutions for Android

SMobile Systems is the world leader in providing security solutions for all major mobile device platforms, including BlackBerry, Windows Mobile, Symbian, Palm, iPhone and now Android. Many of our readers have been worried about security on Android; this just may be the solution they have been looking for. With mobile devices being able to complete many of the same tasks as computers, they are also susceptible to many of the same threats by attackers, requiring a lot of the same types of protection. SMobile has come up with complete solutions that address all threats that mobile devices face. Some of the solutions that SMobile provide include Antivirus, Firewall, Encryption, Anti-Spam, Secure Mobile Banking and Trading, VPN and Parental and Enterprise Controls. With recent word of the security flaw found in Android’s browser, how many of you feel this extra protection is necessary?
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