Thursday, May 27, 2010

Dear HTC...

Dear HTC,

I recently decided to upgrade my HTC Magic, and buy a HTC Desire, as I noted the source code for the Kernel was now available.

After receiving my HTC Desire, I quickly found that there was no way to install my custom built kernel, which appears to violate the GPL license.
Previously, on devices such as the HTC Magic, we have been able to gain access to an "engineering SPL", which would allow us to install our own custom kernels. Unfortunately, I have been unable to find a suitable SPL for the bravo platform.

The following is an extract from the GNU General Public License Version 2, which can be found in the file "COPYING" located within the archive file "bravo_54b7033a.tar.gz", which is available for download from your website.

The source code for a work means the preferred form of the work for making modifications to it.  For an executable work, complete source code means all the source code for all modules it contains, plus any associated interface definition files, plus the scripts used to control compilation and installation of the executable.

Pursuant to the GNU GPL, I am hereby requesting that you make available the scripts to install a custom kernel to the HTC Desire.

I understand that HTC has recently come under attack for GPL violations related to the Desire's kernel source code, and I appreciate that you (HTC) are working with the community, in an attempt to uphold the law.

I look forward to hearing from you.

Joshua Davison

IANAL, But i'm quite sure that the GPL exists to allow the freedom of creating and using derived works.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Warning: Don't lend your car in NSW, Australia - The SDRO will get YOU! (not the driver)

On the 25th of January 2010, a close friend of mine was driving one of my cars through Parramatta (Sydney) and managed to get a speeding fine for "Exceed Speed Limit 10km/h and Under - Camera Detected", which is the lowest speeding offence where I live, in New South Wales, Australia.

This isn't a major issue, and after showing her the $84.00 fine that I received in late February or early March from the State Debt Recovery Office (The fines division of the Office of State Revenue), she was more than happy to pay for it and accept responsibility, which included 2 demerit points.

I contacted the State Debt Recovery Office to ask for a statuary declaration form, which is required when providing information on the driver (if the driver is not the registered owner of the car), and they informed me that I would receive a reminder notice soon, with a Statuary Declaration attached.

May 11th, I receive a letter from the NSW Roads & Traffic Authority stating that they will be suspending my license for 3 months, as of the 11th June 2010, signed by the licence review unit manager as the offense is now for 8 demerit points.

I called the SDRO on May 11th several times, and the phone system indicated that they were having temporary issues and were unable to answer calls.
I again called the SDRO on May 12th and explained what had happened, to which I was told that as I had not handed in a Statuary Declaration, the fine had been processed and my only option of appeal was to send in further forms for an annulment, which would cost me a processing fee of $50 - almost the price of the original fine, and that it was not guaranteed to be annulled. The customer service representative tried to tell me that since I had moved, the mail was probably lost. I tried to explain that I've got mail redirection and I check the mailbox at my previous address regularly. She informed me that she will be sending me the annulment form, and another form to request the removal of the processing fee.

Today, May 13th, I receive a letter from the SDRO, but it's not the application form I was expecting, It's an enforcement order. Basically it's a fine, and an extra $50 for the privilege of having my licence cancelled.

Now, for them not sending me the statuary declaration form, I get to pay a fine of $134, a $50 processing fee that might not do anything, I lose 8 points on my licence which means that I will lose my license for three months (my class of license allows 7 demerit points as a maximum), and a mark against my perfect driving record - all for something I didn't do.

That's the end of my rant, but I'm somewhat annoyed,