Wi-fi Yes; Camera No

Robert Michel openmoko at robertmichel.de
Tue Nov 14 19:13:43 CET 2006

Salve Bill!

On Tue, 14 Nov 2006, Bill Hope wrote:

> I am very excited about this phone.
;)  me, too.

> IMHO, 1.3megapixel cameras in cell phones are worthless.
That would be 4 times more than the display shows,
not so bad ;) 
I agree that a camera is not a feature that makes me wait for 
month or years till there will be a (cheap) open linux smartphone 
with a camera  but some ideas for the use of a camera:

I think even a much lower resolution would be fine enough to use
it as bar code scanner - give all your equipment, books, clothes
or what ever a uniq barcode and run a database on your smartphone...

And the high resolution screen make it interesting to photograph 
maps inside buildings, of cities... of subway systems or when you 
hiking in the wood the map of the tracks of this wood.....

Or when you lend somebody or you borrow from somebody something:
open the adressbook with the entry of borrow partner and store
the picutes directly linked to this person - with date and time.
Chose the time when your smartphone will show you the pictures
of this person and the borrows objects.... to remind you...
This will be quicker and more informative then typing a discription
of the objects... 

When better text recognition will become available for linux, 
it will become possible to photograph an interesting article
(while you are in your cafe) and send this as text via email.

BUT beside of Bluetooth, Wifi or I2C with an altimeter - I see
no need that the camera is connected with my smartphone while I
have my phone in my trouser pocket - the only advantage would be
that I didn't have another thing in my pockets and I would be
a bit quicker before I can make my first picture....

AND some IT people complained that they coustomers do not allow
to visit them with a mobil with camera.

And hey, there is already the green phone from trolltec for those
who think they need a build in camera. ;)

BTW Trolltech 
I don't want to start a flame Green Phone vs. Neo1973, I'm happy
about both chances, but the Trolltech's product director Adam Lawson 
told ZDNet UK one point that makes my doubt that the green phone
is an open phone and makes me even more happy about Seans anouncement
about the Neo1973:

  "The openness of this OpenMoko device, if it is intended for broad
  consumer use, does raise a lot of questions about security," Lawson

<frankly> Lawson: When you a hacker, you will like the Neo1973 </frankly>

Well that makes me think that the Trolltech Green Phone isn't so open.

Also Suns Vision - presentated with speeches from Kira Patel on a "Sun-day"
at my university (4.Mai 2006) I got the fear that do not like to have
a smartphone and would prefer a PDA with Bluetooth GSM/GPRS connections
because of security reasons:
1. sun does care much about Digital Right Management that the use of
games could be controlled and limited with communication with servers
and 2. with the next generation of phones the provider could access 
the memory of the phone and change the settings of the phone 
- without interaction of the user.
The user would have the advantage to get the latest skins automaticaly
for his phone.  *horror!*

This could be the *e* dreams of the GSM and content provider to have
full controll of the users device - but such visions doesn't make me
think that I do want have a smartphone - nor to develope something
for such untrustworthy devices.

I would like to have a firewall on my phone that I use for data 
I would definitive *not* use a device as terminal where a providers 
  can access the memory of that device.
I would like to have encrypted SMS and GSM phone communications
I never would use Sync-ML via GPRS without encryption
I like to setup a SSH Tunnel to my servers for all data communiction
via GPRS...
And I would like have the chance to compile my encryption software

Security through obscurity does not work.

So dear Mr. Lawson (what does this name make me think?),
haven't you understood yet that:

smartphone = mobil PC + GSM/GPRS ?

Will you say that Linux raise a lot of question about security
like the big problem of dialer with modems did on workstations?

Ok, you are right that a distribution for the Neo1973 should
be as trustworthy as Debian - with signing of every packed 
due the packet maintainer... SECURITY has to be a topic
for OpenMoko - but I would't say it would raise a lot
of questions about security.

Whose security did you mean, security of the user? Realy?
Why, Mr. Lawson, do you think when a smart phone would
be just a mobil PC with GSM/GPRS for the first time (?) 
and the consumer could decide which OS, even wich version
he will install (or assign a professional to do this
for him) will raise any new question about security?
Any new question we haven't allready about PCs yet?

I'm very happy that FIC with Sean and OpenMoko anounced the
freedom to use a smart phone as what it is:

Smartphone = mobil PC + GSM/GPRS!

And without a camera and even without integreated Wifi,
will a Neo1973 be so great, so amazing, so .... :)))))

(sorry to went Offtopic again), back to Bills mail

>I would do more home automation if I had a small device like the
>NEO1973 (had been waiting on the next generation of the Nokia 770
>hardware) to use as a controller. Range on BT isn't good enough.

Consider powerconsumtion of Wifi: 2-4 Wlan router with USB and

BUT because the Neo1973 will be a smartphone and not a PDA, a hack
can save power: for home automatisaition you mustend sniff the 
whole time to get an alert or message form the server - the same
with GPRS, no need¹ to stay 24/24h online - just use asterisk,
copy a callfile with your script into the folder
and your asteriks server will call your smartphone via GSM. The
smartphone will known your Caller ID, reject this call without
GUI signalisation and will start Wifi, Bluetooth or GPRS for you.

And for internet radios, a router could buffer your favourit
station and via wifi could be 5 minutes transmitted at once
(like mobil CD-MP3 player save power).

¹this GPRS from time to time could have one big dissadvantage,
 your GSM provider could count your trafic with 10k or 100k
 blocks - and different IP is very likly, so a new ssh handshake
 would be nesseccary.... so this trick could reduce power consumtion,
 but encrease traffic and your costs...

Bill your right, home automatisation would be very interesting to
do with a OpenMoko. Do you have already have some experiances/ideas
or know some good articles and open source projects of home 

Localistaion via BT or Wifi could be used that light and heat 
controll could offer you directly the right menue for the room
you are momentarily in. Or when your system knows where you are 
and how you are moving, the light (and musik) could walk with you...


More information about the community mailing list