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GNU Cell Phone

All your calls belongs to you
  (+6)
(+6)
  [vote for,
against]

I'm sick of corporate bastards trying to retain control over MY merchandise. With the typical cell phone, you are not only stuck with the manufacturer's operating system, but are condemned to use only their official software and media with it. You must pay for ringer tones that would otherwise be free. You must pay for expensive GPS software when someone could easily port a free version. Your camera can only take high-compression JPEGs, just because they made it that way.

Enter the GNU phone. Every bit of code is open source freeware, right down to the firmware. Don't want a menu for games? Edit, recompile, and upload. Doesn't support ogg vorbis ringer tones? Add support, and distribute the source on SourceForge. Want to make secure calls? Port one of the popular algorithms and give it a key to use.

Based off the GNU license, anything developed for the phone must remain open source and in the public domain.

The phone includes a USB transfer cable, and a multifunction serial port for any homemade devices.

The included CD features an integrated development environment, plenty of sample code, and a backup of the manufacturer's default code.

Never again will the corporations control your phone.

Aq_Bi, Feb 03 2005

Somewhat baked http://tuxmobil.org/phones_linux.html
[Worldgineer, Feb 03 2005]

nearly baked (GSM is non-free) http://www.openmoko.com/
[erlehmann, Jan 11 2008]

[link]






       Ah, but the corporations do control the spectrum and so, if they lose revenue due this notion they'll move to get it back via higher spectrum fees.   

       What we need is a chunk of un-commercial spectrum for the public use.
bristolz, Feb 03 2005
  

       well, doesn't government control the spectrum in most countries, and well, in most countries we control the government.
I think [Aq_Bi]'s point was about the fact that when you 'buy' a phone handset, you're buying a very locked-down restricted bit of kit, but for the money s/he'd rather by an open sourced based handset, I reckon that's a fine idea.
neilp, Feb 03 2005
  

       Great link, Worldgineer!
jutta, Feb 03 2005
  

       Thank Google. (hey, that would make a nice expression. "Thank Google I didn't go to that poorly reviewed restaurant.")
Worldgineer, Feb 03 2005
  

       The US Government doles out spectrum at auction but once auctioned the buyer controls it.   

       That is a good expression [World] and "Thank MSN Search" doesn't have quite the same ring but "Thank Yahoo!" sorta' does.
bristolz, Feb 03 2005
  

       The idea is more for the cell phone hardware than the infrastructure as [neilp] says. You would still have to conform to a service account, but the phone itself would be yours. It would be great to have a publicly owned system though.
Aq_Bi, Feb 04 2005
  

       it surprises me a bit that no-one's set up a not-for-profit virtual phone company (i.e. like the current carriers who don't own infrastructure, but just provide a brand) I suppose the infrastructure owners but be a bit reticent.
neilp, Feb 04 2005
  
      
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