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Cellphones Linux

Nokia Leaks Phone With Full GNU/Linux Distribution 621

An anonymous reader writes "It is now clear why Nokia has been so slow with S60 updates: the upcoming N900 just left everything else in the dust. Unlike Google's Linux platform, Nokia is not intentionally breaking compatibility with real distros, choosing instead to bring you the unmatchable power of GNU/Linux on your phone. This is the most awesome device I have ever seen: MAP3 CPU/GPU, 3,5" 800x480 touchscreen, keyboard, Wi-Fi, HSPA, GPS; 5-MP camera, CZ lens, 32 GB storage, SD slot; X11, VT100 terminal emulator, APT package manager. Estimated price without credit: $780 (N.5800: $390, iPhone 3GS: $750). Developers should note that even though the current desktop is still GTK+, Qt will be standard across all Nokia platforms in the near future (less powerful phones will use Qt on the Symbian kernel). Users can download flashing software from Nokia, and patches can be submitted at the Maemo site."
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Nokia Leaks Phone With Full GNU/Linux Distribution

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  • Hmmm (Score:2, Insightful)

    by El Lobo ( 994537 ) on Friday August 21, 2009 @10:32AM (#29146087)
    "bring you the unmatchable power of GNU/Linux". Cheesiest. Line. Ever. On /.
  • $800? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Lord Ender ( 156273 ) on Friday August 21, 2009 @10:40AM (#29146155) Homepage

    How can you justify that cost? For $800, you could buy a netbook, a basic smart phone, plus hookers and blow.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday August 21, 2009 @10:42AM (#29146173)

    So it should be no surprise that they go for Qt instead of GTK+ in the long run.
    Which is a good thing, actually.

  • by Sir_Lewk ( 967686 ) < minus herbivore> on Friday August 21, 2009 @10:42AM (#29146175)

    Firstly, if it only runs javascript applications as you say, then it's hardly any more of a "real distro" than Android is.

    not some compiled language using C

    There are other compiled languages besides C. There are a lot of them in fact...

    but I look at that as a good thing.

    I suspect from your previous comment that you are terribly unqualified to even understand the implications of what you're saying, or to make that comment at all.

  • by Em Emalb ( 452530 ) <> on Friday August 21, 2009 @10:45AM (#29146201) Homepage Journal


    Of course it's a phone, it runs Linux! :-P

    (I swear sometimes slashdot could post an article on a rat eating plant and if said plant ran linux it would be proclaimed the coolest thing ever.)

  • Re:Shell apps? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by u38cg ( 607297 ) <> on Friday August 21, 2009 @10:47AM (#29146229) Homepage
    What I wonder is how long it will be before these phones *are* your computer and you just plug in a fullblown screen and keyboard wherever you want to sit and work. We're essentially there, just nobody does it yet.
  • by petes_PoV ( 912422 ) on Friday August 21, 2009 @10:48AM (#29146247)
    OK, nice spec 'n' all -but what will I actually be able to do with this puppy that I can't do with my "ordinary" smart phone, or PDA or computer or whatever this turns out to be?

    I don't buy an appliance just because it runs Linux or X11 - however I *might* buy one if these features add new functions, or make existing ones easier. So far as what I've already got is concerned, the only thing that comes to mind would be the ability for me (and not anybody else) to log into the phone remotely and use its functions across a network connection.

    Other than that, my experience of smart phones is that the keyboard's too small for serious word-work, the screen's too small for almost everything (esp. watching movies) and it's also far too dim to use in daylight. The music player's nice and the camera while limited is good enough for "happy snaps", almost all of which are discarded or ignored as soon as they've been taken. I.e. all features, but few benefits.

    So come on Nokia, don't try to impress me with megabytes and gigahertz, tell me what I'll be able to do now, that I couldn't do before. That's where the sales are.

  • Yeah but (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Cornwallis ( 1188489 ) on Friday August 21, 2009 @10:58AM (#29146355)
    can it make phone calls without dropping signal? I'm still waiting for that.
  • by e70838 ( 976799 ) on Friday August 21, 2009 @10:59AM (#29146363)
    I would like to give an answer, but this would remove all my hopes to recover a better karma
  • by FooAtWFU ( 699187 ) on Friday August 21, 2009 @11:10AM (#29146495) Homepage
    I take it you're not even interested in trying to make an app like the barcode scanner on my Google phone... which not only scans barcodes and QR codes and such, but does so with a real-time video view (instead of making you take a snapshot with the camera when you have it exactly right). Obviously not having those capabilities, even as a possibility, is a good thing.
  • Re:woohoo! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by illumin8 ( 148082 ) on Friday August 21, 2009 @11:20AM (#29146619) Journal

    When I had a Razr a few years ago I got insurance on it, and the insurance company cancelled me when I dropped the third one in the toilet trying to answer it when I was taking a piss.

    Here's a novel concept: Don't answer the phone while you're taking a piss...

  • Re:Corrections (Score:3, Insightful)

    by MightyMartian ( 840721 ) on Friday August 21, 2009 @11:24AM (#29146671) Journal

    If it runs VNC and you can get a Remote Desktop-compatible client on it, I'm getting one.

  • Re:Hmmm (Score:5, Insightful)

    by V!NCENT ( 1105021 ) on Friday August 21, 2009 @11:26AM (#29146705)

    "bring you the unmatchable power of GNU/Linux". Cheesiest. Line. Ever. On /.

    Just for the record: is there anything that you can name that can do more than Linux? Ever had an OS run on your wristwatch that was also able to run on the world fastest super computers, space exploration and operation critical medical hardware?

    Just curious...

  • Re:Open Source ? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Minwee ( 522556 ) <> on Friday August 21, 2009 @11:27AM (#29146729) Homepage

    Expect proprietary blobs wherever they can get away with it.

    Or wherever those pesky government regulations require them to. You can't just hack together your own code, plug it into the GSM network and expect the FCC to just smile and look the other way.

  • by BobMcD ( 601576 ) on Friday August 21, 2009 @11:28AM (#29146743)

    So come on Nokia, don't try to impress me with megabytes and gigahertz, tell me what I'll be able to do now, that I couldn't do before. That's where the sales are.

    (Making a few assumptions here)

    1) Find an open source application anywhere on the web
    2) Download it
    3) Install it

    This is directly contrasted against the existing options which all go more like:

    1) Find an application on the provided store*
    2) Pay for it
    3) Download it
    4) Install it

    * Note the store reserves the right to approve apps on their own terms.

    If you're the sort of guy that doesn't ever imagine running something other than what is provided in the (Apple) store on your phone, you're not going to miss much. If you get frustrated by the notion of other people controlling what you are allowed to run on a device you own, the choice theoretically offered by an open platform should be a win.

    I say theoretically and should because this all depends on someone providing the applications. Or at least modifying existing apps to work on your new phone. If no one does this for you, and you can't do it yourself, then your freedom of choice isn't going to get that much exercise.

  • by V!NCENT ( 1105021 ) on Friday August 21, 2009 @11:31AM (#29146785)
    As much as I would like to see that happen; history shows that whoever is best at marketing, wins. I'll spare you the examples, because otherwise I would be modded down for (-1, incomfortabl- errrrr.... trolling or flamebaiting.
  • by diamondsw ( 685967 ) on Friday August 21, 2009 @11:33AM (#29146815)

    Yes, but the real question is, "since when is being compiled a requirement?"

    Ever since performance or memory usage has been. And thus always will.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday August 21, 2009 @11:55AM (#29147157)

    FLAMEBAIT!!? Or pure ignorance? .NET is not a native app environment. And guess what? Microsoft banned all benchmarks for it because it is SLOW. *Compiled*, *native* apps run almost always faster than some non-compiled crap. Saying "fsck compiled apps - I only care about by (insert favourite interpreted lang here)" is either flamebait or ignorance.

    You can get sooo much more out of a phone if you only run native apps on the slow ass processor without draining the battery completely. If you really want examples, please write an implementation of some MPEG4 codec in Javascript and then we'll compare it to execution speed for a C implementation. I suspect you may have trouble running the Javascript decoder anywhere in real time.


  • Re:Yeah but (Score:2, Insightful)

    by boshi ( 612264 ) on Friday August 21, 2009 @11:57AM (#29147207) Homepage
    Well since it is GSM I would say in the United States, no. Elsewhere in the world, you will probably fare better.
  • There are many, many more mobile java apps out there that don't require porting between platforms, because they're already on a standard platform. On the blackberry, speech recognition, GPS navigation, et all are all in java - and perform very well. Why have to make a custom compiled port for each platform, when you really can just "write once, run anywhere"? Not to mention the key word in your anti-"interpreted" diatribe: "closed". The supply of open source compiled apps for mobile devices is much smaller than J2ME/et al.

    That being said: google/android just gives all that the big fat middle finger by not supporting the java mobile standards in the interest of establishing themselves as a standard. Ridiculous.

  • by quercus.aeternam ( 1174283 ) on Friday August 21, 2009 @12:18PM (#29147509) Homepage

    Ok, I'll bite.

    Your shocked dismay at being modded flamebait is entirely irrational, as you are entirely misrepresenting what Sir_Lewk said.

    He did /not/ say that 'applications made with Javascript can't possibly exist in a "real" distro.' He said that any Linux offering that limits itself to /one/ language cannot be considered a full distro.

    That is debatable - but I very much empathize. IMO, a fundamental feature of Linux is its openness, which allows me to do whatever I please on my hardware (even run ancient COBOL apps - though some work would be required) with minimal effort.


    Now, to your previous post:

    Sir_Lewk is mentioning that both Palm's Web OS and Android are castrated distros.
    Nokia's offering is /not/ arbitrarily limited by language - which is a huge boon to development. If you want an already existing application, you don't need to rewrite it from scratch in whatever language, you /port/ it.

    As to "since when is being compiled a requirement?", consider this: who would to convert a compiled language into an interpreted one? If you want platform compatibility, you /port/ the compiler. Being compiled is a requirement if you don't want to attempt to convert a language /designed/ for compilation into an interpreted one.

    As to your ad hominem attack on Sir_Lewk, it lends you absolutely /no/ credibility.


    I have now explained what you have requested. IMHO, your posts easily fall into the realm of flamebait. You are not worth another explanation unless you can demonstrate understanding.

    I wish you the best of luck.

  • by Sir_Lewk ( 967686 ) < minus herbivore> on Friday August 21, 2009 @12:18PM (#29147517)

    It doesn't and nor do I. It's entirely in your overreactive imagination. If I were a phycologist I'd make some sort of claim about your mind fabricating things because it has some sort of fruedian ax to grind. Wants to feel like a martyr or something. Thankfully I don't beleive in that psuedo-science crap so I'll assume you're just dense and try to explain it slower this time.

    Nokia's "full distro" doesn't break compatibility with standard desktop apps because it doesn't make you use Javascript. Javascript driven GUIs could certianly be part of a so called full distro, provided other types of applications are also possible.

  • by SerpentMage ( 13390 ) <[ ] ['' in gap]> on Friday August 21, 2009 @12:19PM (#29147537)

    Its a phone...

    Look at the image where it says: IMEI Address

    This is:

    Short for International Mobile Equipment Identity, a unique number given to every single mobile phone, typically found behind the battery.

  • Re:$800? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by idontgno ( 624372 ) on Friday August 21, 2009 @12:27PM (#29147669) Journal
    Ah, tethering. You forgot to add "as long as your cell provider isn't a money-grubbing pig about it." (i.e., disallow it unless you pay them more per month).
  • Re:Yeah but (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday August 21, 2009 @12:32PM (#29147717)

    Move to a country where operators actually compete for customers' money. Judging from Slashdot comments, and personal experience, *any* country in Europe, and pretty much any other part of the developed world must be better than US on average.

    I'm yet to see a phone that would have problems maintaining the calls here in Finland, or well, almost anywhere I've gone, and many of those places have been pretty damn middle of nowhere. (Well, some parts of deserts in China actually posed a problem, but do your calling locations compare with that?) And I haven't noticed friends having particularly more problems with cell coverage with their different phones, either.

  • Re:Hmmm (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday August 21, 2009 @12:38PM (#29147807)
    Call me when you get full screen flash video working properly.
  • by Sir_Lewk ( 967686 ) < minus herbivore> on Friday August 21, 2009 @12:44PM (#29147893)

    I don't know why decided to ignore what I wrote and jump to your own conclusions about what I thought in the first place.

  • by Alef ( 605149 ) on Friday August 21, 2009 @01:11PM (#29148193)
    Well, the fact that you can hack a some Andriod based phones doesn't exactly make the platform open in that respect. Furthermore, if I am to write software and share it with people who are not geeks and/or care for their warranty, I have to stick with the API:s provided in the "stock version".
  • by Simon80 ( 874052 ) on Friday August 21, 2009 @01:48PM (#29148673)

    Firstly, if it only runs javascript applications as you say, then it's hardly any more of a "real distro" than Android is.


    What's the difference between, Javascript as the language and HTML/CSS as the GUI, or using Python as the language and XML to do the GUI? And yet the first is "not a real distro", while the second is. Why?

    Nobody is putting words in your mouth, you really do imply this above, by questioning why the Pre distribution shouldn't be considered a "real distro". The Pre distribution isn't a real Linux distribution because you are unable to run applications that are developed to run on the Linux platform. Instead, you are forced to use the web-based platform that Palm has chosen to be the only way to develop apps for the Pre. By suggesting that the Pre distribution should be considered real, you are implying that it's acceptable to require all apps to be written using Javascript exclusively for the logic.

    I don't think you implied this intentionally. Rather, it looks like you simply have poor reading comprehension, at least in the context of this conversation. If you don't believe me, ask yourself why multiple Slashdotters are arguing with you about a couple of comments of yours.

  • by gilesjuk ( 604902 ) <<giles.jones> <at> <>> on Friday August 21, 2009 @02:06PM (#29148911)

    Apple created iPhone OS and are developing it with each release.

    Nokia and others keep developing platforms, then letting them stagnate, then dropping them and creating another platform.

    Just give your users some continuity, stop switching between platforms, it seriously annoys developers as they don't have time to master a platform and it annoys users who get sick of rebuying applications for each device.

  • by Rebelgecko ( 893016 ) on Friday August 21, 2009 @03:03PM (#29149655)

    Funny doesn't count for karma. Otherwise, I would have made a joke instead of informing you of this.

  • by blackraven14250 ( 902843 ) * on Friday August 21, 2009 @03:04PM (#29149671)

    pre-N900 series Primary Function: PC

    iPod Touch Primary Function: Music Player

    Anyone who has even heard the word iPod for like 5 years before the touch came out immediately thought "Music". Nobody went into the store to buy an iPod not having that in their head. The iPod touch isn't marketed or meant to be a phone. It's meant to play music.

    OTOH, you'd be hard-pressed to find many people outside of tech circles that would even know about the N-series. There's no mainstream marketing for it, and it doesn't have a name that's a synonym for its' function.

    My point is, Apple never had a hump to get over with the iPod touch. Nokia doesn't have a hump to get over with the N900 in terms of customers having the wrong expectations. Nokia does have to get the word out about this thing, but that's not quite what you were talking about.

e-credibility: the non-guaranteeable likelihood that the electronic data you're seeing is genuine rather than somebody's made-up crap. - Karl Lehenbauer