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Sony Encourages Linux On Their Phones 212

neokushan writes "Sony has been in the news a lot lately — from the PSN downtime and the identity theft issue that came with it, to the numerous court cases launched to try and quell the PS3 hacking scene. It may come as a surprise to many, then, that Sony's mobile smartphone division has taken an almost polar-opposite approach — they're actively encouraging developers to create, modify and install customized Linux kernels into their latest lineup of phones, including the Xperia Play, the device that was once known as the 'PlayStation Phone.'"
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Sony Encourages Linux On Their Phones

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  • Well that's nice. (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Microlith ( 54737 ) on Saturday May 07, 2011 @05:55PM (#36058770)

    Sony-Ericsson is almost completely unrelated to SCEI. They are in many ways just as clueless (though nowhere near as malicious, apparently.)

    Now if only hardware developers would start pushing their board files and drivers upstream in Linux so that porting NEW kernels to hardware wouldn't be such a bitch. Too bad Google doesn't encourage that.

  • track record (Score:5, Interesting)

    by marcello_dl ( 667940 ) on Saturday May 07, 2011 @06:14PM (#36058870) Homepage Journal

    I do not think sony will pull another stunt with the phones. They made enough trouble for their users already.

    But I am not gonna buy stuff from them, they showed no respect, I show no interest.
    Or I should say "they show no respect" because blaming anonymous for a stolen data case without no solid proof sounds like a tactic to deflect attention from the lousy way they lost data or push the equation hacking=bad, which has many more counterexamples than the equation corporation=bunch of psychos.

  • by the linux geek ( 799780 ) on Saturday May 07, 2011 @06:16PM (#36058878)
    Android barely qualifies as a form of "Linux." Yes, it uses a Linux kernel, but the fact is largely incidental - there's no real technical reason that Android couldn't be built on BSD or even WinCE if Google or an OEM wanted it. It isn't close to POSIX-compatible, it only runs "managed" (VM-based) apps, and it isn't even open-source as of 3.0.

    Of course, this will result in a wave of posts about how Google loves open-source, about how Linux is Linux, and how Google has assured us that the 3.0 source is coming Real Soon Now...
  • by errandum ( 2014454 ) on Saturday May 07, 2011 @07:09PM (#36059106)

    Well... Rooting a phone is not just "installing new software". It goes a bit beyond that. If you ruin your motherboard flashing a new ROM, custom or not, it'll still brick it and not many companies will replace it.

    Just because you can access the bootloader in some way or another doesn't mean sony is responsible if you decide to fill it up with crap that then bricks your phone.

    I'm more of the opinion that every phone should have a backup of it's own kernel somewhere with a one way connection. If it bricked it should just send what it had to the phone. Right now it's a bit idiotic to say you should mod your phone but not having any kind of failsafe for those who do that.

    And just on a sidenote, I own a rooted Desire (CM 7 yada yada), But I'm under no illusions that if it ever malfunctions I would get any kind of help from HTC.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday May 07, 2011 @08:25PM (#36059362)

    I think this undoes all the crap they've ever done. Rootkit, OtherOS, GeoHotz.. none of that matters now they've made a token gesture to let people do something they're legally allowed to do.
    Sony deserves a Nobel Peace Prize for this.

  • by lanner ( 107308 ) on Saturday May 07, 2011 @11:43PM (#36060114)

    Just go over to the xda-devellopers website and see how great Sony's Android phones are. They are crap. The first gen was released on Android 1.6 when 2.1 was already out (or at least 2.0), and Sony never offered an update. The phone hardware is substandard. Sony support of their phones is junk.

    Wait about two years, look back to now and see if they were telling to truth. If you want a preview, go back two years and look at what Sony was saying then, and then look at now. Get the idea? Yea.

They are called computers simply because computation is the only significant job that has so far been given to them.