Archive for July, 2010

26.07.2010 Blog No Comments

Breaking News: Unlocking/Flashing/Jailbreaking any cell phone has become legal

Source: Yahoo! News

Written by Christopher Null

While the courts have been busy making decisions about digital rights, Washington has also been having its say on copyright law, at least as it relates to the iPhone and other handsets. Key new rules arrived Monday morning.

Most notably, the FCC has made the controversial practice of “jailbreaking” your iPhone — or any other cell phone — legal.

Jailbreaking — the practice of unlocking a phone (and particularly an iPhone) so it can be used on another network and/or run other applications than those approved by Apple — has technically been illegal for years. However, no one has been sued or prosecuted for the practice. (Apple does seriously frown on the practice, and jailbreaking your phone will still void your warranty.) It’s estimated that more than a million iPhone owners have jailbroken their handsets.

Apple fought hard against the legalization, arguing that jailbreaking was a form of copyright violation. The FCC disagreed, saying that jailbreaking merely enhanced the inter-operability of the phone, and was thus legitimate under fair-use rules.

The upshot is that now anyone can jailbreak or otherwise unlock any cell phone without fear of legal penalties, whether you want to install unsupported applications or switch to another cellular carrier. Cell phone companies are of course still free to make it difficult for you to do this — and your warranty will probably still be voided if you do — but at least you won’t be fined or imprisoned if you jailbreak a handset.

In addition to the jailbreaking exemption, the FCC announced a few oth

er rules that have less sweeping applicability but are still significant:

• Professors, students and documentary filmmakers are now allowed, for “noncommercial” purposes, to break the copy protection measures on DVDs to be used in classroom or other not-for-profit environments. This doesn’t quite go so far as to grant you and me the right to copy a DVD so we can watch it in two rooms of the house, but it’s now only one step away.

• As was the topic in the GE ruling I wrote about, the FCC allows computer owners to bypass dongles if they are no longer in operation and can’t be replaced. Dongles are rarities in consumer technology products now, but industrial users are probably thrilled about this, as many go missing and are now impossible to obtain.

• Finally, people are now free to circumvent protection measures on video games — but, strangely, only to investigate and correct security flaws in those games. (Another oddity: Other computer software is not part of this ruling, just video games.)

19.07.2010 Blog No Comments

Which smartphone has the best LCD screen?

PC Magazine breaks it down:

“If you place the latest smartphones side by side the first thing you’ll probably notice is that all their displays dazzle—but why? Image quality can be difficult to express but there is a way to measure it. To evaluate and help you understand the strengths and weaknesses of various displays, we powered up our luminance and chromaticity meters and recruited the help of Dr. Raymond Soneira and his DisplayMate display test and evaluation suite.

We compared the Apple iPhone 4, Motorola Droid X, HTC Droid Incredible and HTC EVO in terms of brightness, contrast, color depth, and color accuracy. Then we picked an overall winner for best smartphone screen.

These top smartphones use three different screen technologies. The Droid X and HTC EVO use traditional TFT LCDs, like you’ll find on most phones. TFT LCDs can give very different results if they’re tuned differently, though. The iPhone’s screen is an IPS LCD, a variant on TFT LCD where the molecules of liquid crystal are parallel to the panels as opposed to perpendicular. The Droid Incredible is AMOLED. Each display technology has its different advantages and disadvantages. AMOLED could one day replace LCD because it offers superior contrast, but it’s still expensive to manufacture and is not nearly as bright as LCDs.

There’s another screen technology coming. The upcoming Samsung Galaxy S phones use Super AMOLED, which supposedly reduces the reflectivity of AMOLED and increases the apparent brightness. We haven’t gotten much time with any of those phones yet, but we’re looking forward to it.”

Here’s the link: PCMAG.com