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Android Security Upgrades Hardware Linux

Amazon Kindle Fire HD 7 Rooted 62

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the meddling-kids! dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Yesterday, XDA Developers forum users kinfaus and pokey9000 were discussing how the latest devices from Amazon (the second-generation 7 Kindle Fire and the 7 Kindle Fire HD) come with more sophisticated protection than their predecessors, including locked bootloaders and 'high security' features offered by their OMAP processors. Today, the devices have been rooted." Using a known bug in busybox dating to April even.
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Amazon Kindle Fire HD 7 Rooted

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  • by Anonymous Coward

    Finally, the Kindle Fire HD just got a whole lot more attractive!

    • by Andy Dodd (701) <atd7@co[ ]ll.edu ['rne' in gap]> on Wednesday September 19, 2012 @12:59PM (#41389129) Homepage

      No, it just got a lot LESS attractive. Rooted with locked bootloader = meh.

      I got the Kindle Fire because it had an unlocked bootloader. Locked bootloader = no-go for me. Nexus 7 all the way!

      • The fact that i have to turn to third parties to unlock the Nexus 7 doesnt fill me with the warm and fuzzies. Its nice google didnt lock it down, but why dont i have root access available as a first-party option?
        • by Bigby (659157) on Wednesday September 19, 2012 @01:31PM (#41389651)

          Because then the customer can blame Google when something goes wrong with it.

          • by CastrTroy (595695)
            I think that a nice alternative for this would be for the tablet to come with an SD Card slot, and be able to boot off that. When you're booting off the SD Card slot, the internal memory becomes readonly, or if they don't want you poking around the firmware, make it completely disabled. That way they don't have to worry about custom firmware voiding warranties, and the customer could run whichever software they want on the device without having to worry about voiding the warranty, and they are free to retu
        • by jittles (1613415) on Wednesday September 19, 2012 @01:42PM (#41389849)
          You don't have to turn to third parties to unlock the Nexus 7. You do "fastboot oem unlock" and away you go. You can do whatever you want at that point.
          • by idontgno (624372)

            Except slot an SDCard for extra storage.

            OK, that's a hint off-topic, sorta. But FWIW it's the reason I won't settle for a Nexus 7.

            • USB On The Go works. Even without rooting it [google.com]. That's extra storage right there.

              • by dballanc (100332)

                Perfect. That usb dongle and my usb keydrive won't get in the way at all. A much better option than simply adding support for a microsd as big as by pinky fingernail. It's like making a car without a trunk of any sort and telling people they should be happy it comes with a trailer hitch.

                Lack of storage is a total deal killer for a lot of us.

                • Dude, they barely squeezed in everything without the SD card slot. With it, they'd have had to increase the bezel size by 0.02um, and the thickness by 1.2x10^-100nm, reducing the Hipster Attraction Index by over 500%!

                  Next you'll be asking for an adequate battery!

                  • by jittles (1613415)
                    The battery is quite adequate. I can literally use the Nexus 7 all day without it dying. Now if i play an intensive game, then it may only last 3 or 4 hours. But I have literally used it for non-stop book reading, web browsing, email, etc for over 24 hours without recharging.
              • Afaict with USB mass storage on the nexus 7 you can read the block device without rooting but if you want to mount it properly either so you can use the content directly without copying it first or because you want to copy stuff back to the USB device you need to be rooted.

        • by Andy Dodd (701)

          I don't know what the hell you are talking about.

          There are no third parties required for "fastboot oem unlock" - hell, Google even provides the fastboot binaries precompiled for multiple operating systems.

          It's not even the manufacturer "ET Phone Home" unlock that HTC and Asus like to force users to use, which often fails when the servers go down (see Asus unlocking nightmares.)

      • I got the Kindle Fire because it had an unlocked bootloader. Locked bootloader = no-go for me. Nexus 7 all the way!

        Agreed. Amazon blundered by locking down the bootloader and hopefully they will come to their senses in the not too distant future. Too much Apple envy maybe.

        • Amazon blundered by locking down the bootloader and hopefully they will come to their senses

          I don't think they make a profit on it, and maybe even take a small loss, so the last thing they want is people buying it for reasons other than to buy stuff from Amazon.

          • Of course, if informed consumers are willing to accept limitations of this nature, their better option is to go with an iPad. The big advantage of an Android, aside from lower cost (and there are good unlocked Androids out there for the same or less than a Kindle), that it is an open platform that allows freedom, the ability to customize and choice for the user. Don't like play store? Okay, go use any one of the third-party app stores out there (even Amazon's). But why you would want that is beyond me;
          • Amazon blundered by locking down the bootloader and hopefully they will come to their senses

            I don't think they make a profit on it, and maybe even take a small loss, so the last thing they want is people buying it for reasons other than to buy stuff from Amazon.

            Even if not locked down, there would just be a small club of alpha geeks wanting to buy it just to get a cheap Android tablet, and those geeks are going to create positive buzz of a type that is both valuable and very hard for a PHB to understand. Whereas the negative karma of lockdown costs sales in the long run.

            It's really just a question of working through PHB fear here to get into the zone where the community actualy helps drive the product. Excellent example: the Linksys WRT54GL, an obsolete wireless r

            • "Even if not locked down, there would just be a small club of alpha geeks wanting to buy it just to get a cheap Android tablet"

              A "real" alpha geek would buy a really cheap no-name crap tablet, and see if they can install their own Android mod in it. That or they'll build their own tablet using parts salvaged from eBay or cannibalize the PCB of their old smartphones and mate it to a tablet-sized screen.

            • those geeks are going to create positive buzz

              Unfortunately the "geek buzz" becomes less and less important as devices become more and more mainstream. Try this experiment (I have). Next time you see a non-geek, ordinary run of the mill consumer using a Galaxy S3, go up to them and say "hey, nice! Is that an Android phone?" If your experience is like mine they will say "No, it's a Samsung Galaxy."
              The typical consumer doesn't even know what Android is.

      • If rooting means I could install or uninstall whatever apps I wanted, and set each permission individually, then I wouldn't really need to install an alternative version of Android on the tablet.
  • by Charliemopps (1157495) on Wednesday September 19, 2012 @01:35PM (#41389721)
    I litterally just bought a Nexus 7 about an hour ago. My main concerns? No expandable memory and the forced ads on the Kindle. Yes, maybe I could have waited for this root to come out so I could get rid of the adds, but do I really want to deal with that?

    As far as the lack of a memory slot, that only bothers me because I'd like to take movies on vacation with me... But then I learned I could connect the Nexus 7 to an external hardrive via USB on the go and viola.

    Sorry amazon, forcing me to watch ads is not a way to get me to buy your product.
    • by Anonymous Coward

      I litterally just bought a Nexus 7 about an hour ago.

      I know, right?

      Why buy a crippled, locked-down e-reader/tablet when you can buy a Nexus 7 for the same price?

      Or a 7" Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 (which has an SD card slot and front and back facing cameras) for $50 more?

    • by Deagol (323173)

      I haven't kept tabs on the Fire line. I did voluntarily buy an ad-driven Kindle 3 (full keypad models) for myself and for my mother. Are the Fire models not similarly divided into ad-free and ad-subsidized lines?

      • by Radak (126696)

        I haven't kept tabs on the Fire line. I did voluntarily buy an ad-driven Kindle 3 (full keypad models) for myself and for my mother. Are the Fire models not similarly divided into ad-free and ad-subsidized lines?

        Sort of. They don't sell different models, but they do offer a $15 "opt out" on ads.

        I don't have a problem with the sales model myself. If it reduces the price on the hardware and doesn't intrude, I don't care.

        • Well, the removed the option to opt out. Then they came back and said you could buy out of it... I'm not getting stuck with the stupid ads. Also, thats just the screen lock ads. The rest of the devices is swarming with them. You open angry birds and it suggest other games "you might like" etc... screw that.
    • by aliquis (678370)

      Couldn't you pay a little extra to get rid of the ads?

      In that case that's a non-issue.

      As far as media goes personally I'd opt for NAS at home and connect over the network anyway.

      (Yeah, I know about bandwidth requirements and limits for network traffic. Guess it depends on what service provider and deals you can get. Just seem more convenient and better to me.)

  • by jbohumil (517473) on Wednesday September 19, 2012 @01:36PM (#41389743)
    I wanted a larger Android tablet and thought maybe the new Kindle Fire HD 8.9 was what I was waiting for so I ordered one the day they were announced, but yesterday I cancelled my order, and decided I will wait for a larger Nexus or maybe go with something from Samsung, Asus or Motorola. For me, any Android tablet that cannot access the Google Play Store cannot really be called an Android tablet. It's not what I'm looking for and it really can't be fairly compared to other tablets running Android that have access to the Play Store. Android's promise of being more open and being able to share applications purchased through the Play Store on all my Android devices is a big selling point and one of the main reasons I stick with Android and avoid Apple products. Sorry Amazon. I love the Kindle readers, and I ordered a Paperwhite reader which I'm looking forward to getting, but if I wanted a closed system tablet I could have bought an iPad. I don't want it from Apple, and I don't want it from Amazon either.
  • The greatest mistake that Amazon made with this device is in fundamentally undermining the strength and appeal of the Android platform. Android is open, Android is free; You can install what software you want; you can customize to your hearts content. If you're tech savvy you can build your own ROM. Amazon takes this and turns it on it's head: They take Android and try to force it to conform to the Apple model; You use the software WE approve, you read the books and listen to the music WE sell you, and
    • by Em Ellel (523581)

      You are assuming their goal is to sell tablets. YOU ARE WRONG. They do not care about Android. They do not care about selling Fire to someone who wants an Android tablet. They are selling these things at cost, so the main thing they care about is you buying content and other items from them. If you want an open tablet, they would much rather you buy Nexus7. If you want apple experience, they cringe a little, but say "knock yourself out"- buy an iPad. Guess what, you can still use either to read Kindle conte

  • by nightfire-unique (253895) on Wednesday September 19, 2012 @03:54PM (#41391489)

    This is an honest question. Is there any reason to consider a Kindle Fire over the Nexus 7? Any reason at all?

    I'm not intending this question as flamebait; I genuinely cannot understand why anyone would buy one of these devices. Locked bootloader? Android fork? Crappy interface? Ads?

    Clearly people are buying them. I'd just like to know why.

    • by Githaron (2462596)
      They probably don't know better. They probably shop on Amazon. They either found it on the homepage or clicked the first thing on the list after searching "tablet". Some others probably bought the Kindle e-ink readers and decided they wanted a upgrade so they bought the newest Kindle. I just hope in the long run someone continues to sell cheap e-ink readers. E-ink displays are vastly superior for reading purposes.
    • by Em Ellel (523581)

      Depends on what you want. Most people do not care if it is android, iOS or windows. Most people don't know what bootloader is, let alone know why a locked one is bad. In fact for most people, locked bootloader is good, or at least irrelevant. They want someone else to take care of everything for them and the device to just work, even if only in limited capacity. On the other hand Fire HD has nice hardware, stereo sound, good WiFi, hi-res screen, features not found elsewhere (xray, basic multiuser support, b

  • "They" spend millions on "locking down" their devices just so some "hacker" can undo it all and make their investors feel cheated! Open devices make for a more attractive product, speed application development and make for a loyal customer base.

    • by Arrepiadd (688829)

      Open devices make for a more attractive product, speed application development and make for a loyal customer base.

      As Apple has shown us time and again?!
      People complain(ed) about the Steve Jobs reality distortion field, but I think the Openness distortion field we see at Slashdot is equally disturbing. No one cares about openness (us 2% geeks do not count, trust me). People are not even worried about their privacy, let alone the locked-ness of their device.

      And "application development"? Random Joe will buy Kindle to read books (among other things) and stay with it if it works. Hell, people stayed with Internet Explorer

I'd rather just believe that it's done by little elves running around.

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