Android: the return of the Unix wars?
Posted Aug 26, 2010 9:26 UTC (Thu) by buchanmilne
In reply to: Android: the return of the Unix wars?
Parent article: Android: the return of the Unix wars?
The MeeGo security architecture seems to be more about protecting the device from the user than protecting the user's data from malicious code.
The security architecture isn't available on the meego architecture page, and individual device manufacturers may of course implement restrictions on the hardware.
However, in Maemo, there are DRM and non-DRM modes. If you run a non-Nokia image, then DRM material you bought while running in DRM mode (a Nokia image) will not be accessible.
However, on the N900 you can get root access without running non-Nokia software (install the 'gainroot' package from the software manager) or any hacks, and install your own applications with dpkg etc. without (AFAIK) any impact to content.
I would expect that Meego will have a similar setup (at least on Nokia handsets).
In the end, the platform isn't the issue, the vendor behaviour is. If you think the ability to access content you have paid for, in the future, is more important than the vendor's DRM system ensuring you don't share it, don't buy DRM content. If you believe your freedom to run the software of your choice is more important than the price of your handset, buy a handset that allows you to run your own software. Doing both should allow you entire freedom on your handset without any disadvantages.
For these reasons, I recently bought an N900, and haven't needed to buy any apps, there are enough real open-source applications in the repos to satisfy my needs so far. And I will support any media vendors that supply non-DRM media.
Of course, SELinux proponents are free to:
- Supply an SELinux-enhanced image of Meego for N900 or other reference platforms (while no actual products ship), allowing early-adopter users to test it and communicate the demand for it to the vendors shipping Meego devices
- Contribute to the security architecture in Meego to address the concerns of security conscious users
However, Nokia obviously needs to compete with iPhone and Blackberry for market share, so their focus is naturally on ensuring that content providers will provide content for them. But, avoiding Meego now because users think it doesn't address their security concerns (while the competing devices don't either) would be short-sighted, when it may be easy enough to get the features in.
IMHO, the N900 is the most open smartphone available at present, and Meego will take over from Maemo as being the most open (to users) platform for smartphones. I am looking forward to the first handset UX release for Meego 1.1, and the first Meego smartphone.
(There are some issues with Maemo, users of N770/N800/N810 have been abandoned to some degree, N900 may not be for non-technical users looking for an iPhone replacement, but having taken these issues into account, N900 is the best device for me at present, and with the current software release - 1.2, and the current Ovi Suite - 2.2., it is very usable. A Linux version of Ovi Suite or at least the map loader would be fantastic though ...).
to post comments)