open cell phone hardware questions

Scott Weisman sweisman at pobox.com
Fri Jan 14 13:39:23 UTC 2011


Hi everyone. I'm admittedly more a lurker than an active participant in this
project. I find it very fascinating and regard its objectives as important.

I recently watched several of the C3 presentations, from this and previous
years. Having open, documented hardware and software seems to be an
important goal in itself. Just knowing about all the potential weaknesses in
the software stacks of most phones, as well as hidden "features" like SMS
messages that could, theoretically, do things like remotely enable the phone
mic, among other things (things that are certainly technically possible, and
also due to the closed nature of the software, completely unknown) are of
grave concern to me.

Now, given that the supported phone hardware is old and not reliably
available, I was wondering if anyone knows if the Calypso and other chips in
these old phones are still available for new designs? How much interest
would there be, say, in an open, but VERY SIMPLE, actual phone? Kind of like
the Pandora project, but without the ambition to make the most advanced
portable game player possible.

The Osmocom software would then be very easily portable to such a device.
Given the seemingly widespread interest and enthusiasm for the Osmocom,
OpenBTS, and OpenBSC projects, a real, genuinely open phone (not a
pseudo-open phone like the FreeRunner) might possibly have enough interest,
and be buildable for a low-enough cost, to merit further discussion.

Anyone want to discuss this?
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