04-17-2013 08:45 PM
04-18-2013 06:05 PM
Pat, I'm late to the thread so I may have missed it - but it's important to bear in mind with Android that Barnes and Noble has very little control over what folks choose to do with their devices, since they are selling a somewhat proprietary skin over a somewhat open source system.
This is why BN is obliged to release source code for each device and update. It is also why if you read the terms and conditions for Nook devices, you find huge chunks of the Apache license and other open source licenses are quoted.
BN can and may refuse to service devices they can prove were running a different OS. I tend to think that they can't actually sue people for selling nook enhancements - if they could, the Android For Nook and Nook 2 Android business would have been sued by now, I would think. Google probably doesn't care and Google probably has the stronger case for infringement against those companies - but both of them throw around trademarked terms on their sites.
BN clearly would like to block the folks who boot from SD cards, etc - hence the locked bootloaders on the Nook Tablet and Nook HD/HD+ line and the /system software audit at boot time on the newer devices.
They're not terribly competent at locking their devices, and although later HD/HD+ releases may incorporate a bootloader that's successful at doing what they intend, and even an OS where a default was left set but undefined, opening the door to sidebooting and rooting respectively.
So, legally? Maybe, maybe not. If they can, why are the ignoring the card makers? Technically? Yes, in principle. In reality, locking a device down is hard, and they're three for three at having it not happen.
04-18-2013 06:24 PM - edited 04-18-2013 06:26 PM
Roustabout, I agree they are not trying hard, just enough to keep netflix etc., happy. Why because there is little benefit and it torques people off. Just because they choose not to doesn't mean they could not in the future. The current laws would allow it. I am hopefull more reasonable laws are coming. I just think it is a mistake to assume they could not do it later. Right now it is public opinion not the law preventing them.
04-18-2013 06:43 PM
Theyre trying MUCH harder than is needed to keep Netflix and others happy.
Samsung 'blocks root' on its devices (keeps track of what is in /system, has a PITA recovery process) yet the Note II and Note 8.0 are trivially rootable - copy in an app called framaroot, enable sideloaded app permissions, install the app, run it.
Done, and all in the GUI.
HTC permits not just rooting but bootloader unlocking on its devices. And those devices run Netflix just fine (haven't checked Hulu.)
By contrast - accidentally copy a file into your Nook HD /system folder? Your device will reset to stock at next boot time.
BN is genuinely making an effort, even rigging self-destruct timers in its own devices in case of modifications.
04-26-2013 04:18 AM - edited 04-26-2013 05:32 AM
legally? BN severing the warranty IS a legal consequence. Once the warranty is voided and the legal relationship between BN and the device's owner is severed, I don't see what BN can do about it that would make financial sense. Deny them the ability to purchase from the store?
It's a fact, there are people who are going to explore their tech devices, see what they can do with it and how to make it better, at least in their own eyes. They are "problem solvers and tinkerers" and get intense satifaction in successfully solving those problems. How else would all the tech advances have been imagined and brought to life so quickly over the last few decades? Many of those advances were due to the same process and not neccessarily by people who went to college to learn how to do that or were employed by the manufacturing companies. Many of the improvements seen in tech was lifted from such people by the companies that make such devices so they don't have a whole lot of moral room to speak. I can't imagine that any prosecution of such behavior will be successful in stopping it. We're dealing with a mind set that is almost compulsive in the need to figure things out and how to make it better (as to their own needs). They don't see their behavior as illegal or immoral if it's not used for illegal or immoral activities.
I speak from experience. My own hubby can not get a tech device in his hands without having to pick it apart and see how it works. I imagine his dad must have lamented over Lawn mowers, etc always being in pieces when DH was a chld. Steve Jobs was hubbys hero, his IPhone and IPad are the only devices he owns that he's never tinkered with, he said he doesn't have to, he likes them as is.
Does modifying void the warranty? yes. Does he care? No, he considers it better now and wouldn't trade it for a warranty for any reason. He was one of the geeks that taught me how to build my own computer from scratch 20 or so years ago and he continues to build his own computers and networks. Our first official date was to see and drool over the 486 he built. The house we recently built is a techies dream, he spent hours and weeks, designing and then laying the cables and networking throughout the house as it was built so HAL could live with us and be available in every room. I helped in the laying of those cables, etc. There were times when I thought "really? We are going to need this?" He doesn't see a need to wait for someone else to put what he needs on the market when he can do it himself. He sees the tech gagdets available as a means to an end, not the final product. Lawsuits won't change this behavior. He's a tinkerer, he has to tinker with everything.
BN can make the device more difficult to modify but I don't see what they can do legally that wouldn't be a major waste of resources. When the modifications are used to enhance functionality and not to steal or hack, it would be wiser of BN to consider adding those functions to the device, rather than prosecuting others for fulfilling their own needs.
Even MS took the modifications by Hackers to the XBOX and incorporated those ideas and functions into the XBOX experience.
Many of the tech companies out there are only tinkerers that saw a need and figured out how to improve a device by tailoring it to that need, then took it to the next level and started manufacturing the devices based on what they created from their tinkering. Dell, anyone? Steve Jobs? Bill Gates?
@Compulsiveread RE: Your modder/tinkerer hubby....
Innovative brands and companies (e.g., 3M, Hilti AG, Nortel, Sense Worldwide) value such "lead users" and actively seek them out to conduct lead user (and other types of market) research. Some obvious places to find them are in forums such as this one. No doubt, many tech companies assign scouts to learn what they can and to recruit candidates for research studies at such forums as AFN, Goodreads, LibraryThing, Liliputing, Mobileread, N2A, Shelfari and XDA-Developers. I've participated such research, e.g., for Google.
However, BN doesn't seem overly interested in users' or developers' opinions or suggestions, nor does BN seem to possess what technology management gurus call a "strategic intent" orientation. Rather, BN (unwisely) seems more focused on what competitors are doing and playing leapfrog with incremental, architectural, and modular changes rather than radical, gamechanging ones. Here's to hoping their new alliances (e.g., with Pearson and Microsoft) will push BN toward a more strategic intent orientation (and all that that implies). If that doesn't happen, I fear BN will continue being disappointed by NOOK/Media/Digital sales results and market share stats.
05-02-2013 09:05 AM
There are a lot of regulations about it, and others have posted very good arguments for and against.
Usually, any prosecution for this would be in the case of active theft of content. In most cases, B&N wouldn't even be able to tell what you are doing.
I was just thinking about the legal CYA that a lot of companies are doing. Buried in the fine print of the "contract" you have when you buy a lot of devices today, is the disclaimer that you don't actually "own" the software and content. You are only "leasing" it.
This is evident in the fact that you PAY for a book from B&N, but this is not allowed to be read in any non-B&N environment. Kindle has the same issues. Just my thoughts.
05-02-2013 01:06 PM
Jeff, that's a good point.
If more and more companies switch from ownership to 'leasing' of both hardware and software, then we suddenly get a new very restrictive set of rules.
Lots of gray areas.
Word Search, Kriss Kross, Quote Falls, Hangman - Word Game Pack.
Alarm Clock, Weather, Calendar, ToDo - Alarm Clock & Calendar.
3 Hidden Objects Adventures - 3 Hidden Objects Adventures.
05-02-2013 08:25 PM
I think if B&N would just allow installation of 3rd party and google apps most people wouldn't even bother with it. The B&N appstore has a horrible selection. They would probably sell a lot more as well.
05-05-2013 11:21 AM - edited 05-05-2013 11:51 AM
According to the news this morning, it seems you prayers have been answered. And ours too.
I first read the news in this Yahoo! article by Associated Press journalist Mae Anderson: "B&N to add Google Play app store to its Nook HD" (Fri, May 3, 2013). Great news for Nook HD and Nook HD+ users, and for B&N and its Nook/Media/Digital Division investors. Too bad NT users won't benefit from this very positive development.