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Comments on: WebOS Doctor Tool Reveals Eos, Upcoming Features

Palm Eos Webos DoctorWord that a Palm support application for restoring image files on the Palm Pre, called webOS Doctor, has been publicly released has sent the forum folks at PreCentral into overdrive as they comb the tool and code for hints to upcoming features and devices. Some interesting nuggets and hints of potential new features and devices have been spotted within the 200 MB ROM file.

Most notably, PreCentral reports that there are multiple references to a "pixie" device, which is widely thought to be the code name for the leaked Palm Eos smartphone. MSN and AOL icons have also been found within the webOS rom image. Speculation is rife that these could be included as potential forthcoming Synergy supported services.

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now the real fun begins

freakout @ 6/10/2009 3:10:52 AM # Q
That PreCentral thread is full of fascinating little tidbits. can't wait to see where this leads.

also, it's hilarious that Forbidden Scary Tethering may wind up cracked within a week of release. Why did Spring even bother trying?

RE: now the real fun begins
freakout @ 6/10/2009 3:11:15 AM # Q
Bah. SPRINT, not Spring.
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Now the fun begins and...

SeldomVisitor @ 6/10/2009 3:32:10 AM # Q
...McAfee/Symantec/Norton/whomever start making a bundle off the Pre.

RE: Now the fun begins and...
SeldomVisitor @ 6/10/2009 3:34:06 AM # Q
Oh, how silly - I clicked on the article link, had a cup of coffee, read the article, made a comment, and...

Come back to the article and find two comments had been made during coffeetime...with the same Subject words...started by freakout.

Great minds think alike.

Gack.

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Now the real fun begins and...

twrock @ 6/10/2009 5:25:13 AM # Q
It appears that synergy is happing all around us, even without us being aware.

Hey Palm! Where's my PDA with Wifi and phone capabilities?
RE: Now the real fun begins and...
twrock @ 6/10/2009 5:26:20 AM # Q
Bah, "happening", not happing.

Hey Palm! Where's my PDA with Wifi and phone capabilities?
RE: Now the real fun begins and...
twrock @ 6/10/2009 5:27:34 AM # Q
Gack. Looks like some other people had the same idea and started the thread before I did. Weird.

Hey Palm! Where's my PDA with Wifi and phone capabilities?
RE: Now the real fun begins and...
twrock @ 6/10/2009 5:38:03 AM # Q
Hmm, one person sees this as positive and the other as negative. Yin and yang. Synergy.

Wow, this is getting really deep.

Hey Palm! Where's my PDA with Wifi and phone capabilities?

RE: Now the real fun begins and...
freakout @ 6/10/2009 6:35:31 AM # Q
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Malware alert!

mikecane @ 6/10/2009 6:19:31 AM # Q
If this gives people some access into the heart of the Pre, I wonder what horrible ID theft strategies they will devise? Suddenly that Cloud stuff is looking even more vulnerable.
RE: Malware alert!
SeldomVisitor @ 6/10/2009 6:26:59 AM # Q
RE: Malware alert!
SeldomVisitor @ 6/10/2009 6:28:30 AM # Q
It gives people access to all nonNative applications and their full source, I believe.

That is to say, essentially all Pre applications including all PIM functions.

RE: Malware alert!
edoan @ 6/10/2009 6:38:12 AM # Q
Blah, you people are the same ones who think Windows is more secure than Linux just because it's proprietary/closed source. Open Source Software (webOS's Linux foundation is GPL) is inherently more secure than closed source since vulnerabilities and fixes can be vetted by the community.
RE: Malware alert!
freakout @ 6/10/2009 6:44:36 AM # Q
edoan - case in point, one guy just announced in the webos-internals IRC channel that he'd fixed the weekday bug in the Clock app. openness is a good thing here.
RE: Malware alert!
SeldomVisitor @ 6/10/2009 6:49:43 AM # Q
I run Ubuntu on "the other machine" behind me (right now, RadioParadise playing using the RhythmBox application...). A couple times per week, more or less, I get updates that fix N security holes each. That is to say, open source doesn't stop the badguys - doesn't even appear to slow them down.

It will be no time at all before the Pre is completely "jailbroken". Already, of course and as noted somewhere or other, folks are writing and running applications (probably Javascript still) that bypassed Palm's theoretical certification process completely.

Since Palm's intent was that almost all applications on the Pre be pure Javascript it will be no time at ll that all such applications are open-sourced.


RE: Malware alert!
alanh @ 6/10/2009 7:13:13 AM # Q
I guess that's why the most virus and malware-ridden OS is an open-source OS. ;-)

Fixing security holes is not the same thing as closing exploited security holes. What makes you think that open-source source code would have more bugs or holes than closed-source source code? The same flaws would be there in binaries and there exist tools that can decompile binary code.

Nobody who takes programming seriously would make an assertion that open or closed source strategies are inherently more or less secure, or that any sufficiently complex OS or program is truely free of bugs and security holes.
-alan

RE: Malware alert!
twrock @ 6/10/2009 7:40:09 AM # Q
SeldomVisitor wrote:
That is to say, open source doesn't stop the badguys - doesn't even appear to slow them down.

So, how many "bad guys" had taken advantage of that vulnerability before the patch was released?

The advantage of opensource is that a whole lot of "good guys" are looking at the code as well and finding the vulnerabilities before they are exploited. No "guarantee" of course, but I prefer it to the typical method of waiting until one of the "bad guys" has actually started using the vulnerability before a patch is released.

WebOS is not supposed to be opensource, so I am in no way suggesting Palm has any advantage here.

Hey Palm! Where's my PDA with Wifi and phone capabilities?

RE: Malware alert!
twrock @ 6/10/2009 7:48:53 AM # Q
(I shouldn't try to reply while watching TV. It takes too long.)

alanh, point taken.

Hey Palm! Where's my PDA with Wifi and phone capabilities?

RE: Malware alert!
bhartman34 @ 6/10/2009 8:18:31 PM # Q
twrock wrote:
SeldomVisitor wrote:
That is to say, open source doesn't stop the badguys - doesn't even appear to slow them down.


So, how many "bad guys" had taken advantage of that vulnerability before the patch was released?

The advantage of opensource is that a whole lot of "good guys" are looking at the code as well and finding the vulnerabilities before they are exploited. No "guarantee" of course, but I prefer it to the typical method of waiting until one of the "bad guys" has actually started using the vulnerability before a patch is released.

I think you're partially right. Open source certainly allows the code to be patched faster than closed source can be. In that sense, it accelerates the speed of the arms race between "black hats" (to differentiate them from "hackers") and developers. On the other hand, it's an open question (no pun intended) just how many people are manning the walls, so to speak. If most people who install open source software never actually look at it, it doesn't make much of a difference.

I'm certainly not saying that's the case. All I'm saying is that how much of an advantage open source software is over closed source software (in terms of security) isn't a simple question of how many people have access to the code. And I think the more that Linux is adopted, the more that'll matter.

RE: Malware alert!
twrock @ 6/10/2009 9:16:05 PM # Q
Plenty of good points there.

I was probably a little too broad in my implication. Yes, it's very hard to assess just how far that potential advantage goes. However, I really think it's disingenuous to suggest that because we are getting patches regularly, it's an indication of something inherently weak in the system. There is plenty of weakness in closed systems that you only find out about because they've already started to use the holes to compromise computers. How can someone legitimately criticize opensource for finding the exploits themselves and patching the system quickly?

Hey Palm! Where's my PDA with Wifi and phone capabilities?

RE: Malware alert!
SeldomVisitor @ 6/11/2009 3:59:41 AM # Q
Exsqueeze me! I said NOTHING vis-a-vis open/closed security. I said "open doesn't stop badguys". Nothing more, nothing less.

RE: Malware alert!
mikecane @ 6/11/2009 11:35:39 AM # Q
>>>Blah, you people are the same ones who think Windows is more secure than Linux just because it's proprietary/closed source. Open Source Software (webOS's Linux foundation is GPL) is inherently more secure than closed source since vulnerabilities and fixes can be vetted by the community.

webOS is not supposed to be open source. And that Palm hasn't commented on this leak - and I said they should, via Twitter - really makes me shake my head about WTF is really going on here.

Is it a true leak? Or it is a deliberate leak to keep buzz going and give people a peek at the innards prior to the SDK?

RE: Malware alert!
bhartman34 @ 6/11/2009 8:13:24 PM # Q
mikecane wrote:
>>>Blah, you people are the same ones who think Windows is more secure than Linux just because it's proprietary/closed source. Open Source Software (webOS's Linux foundation is GPL) is inherently more secure than closed source since vulnerabilities and fixes can be vetted by the community.

webOS is not supposed to be open source. And that Palm hasn't commented on this leak - and I said they should, via Twitter - really makes me shake my head about WTF is really going on here.

Is it a true leak? Or it is a deliberate leak to keep buzz going and give people a peek at the innards prior to the SDK?

I don't know for sure that it's a "true" leak, but WebOS is based on Linux, so I doubt that people seeing the code is something Palm loses sleep over. There are few better ways to boost their app store than to have a bunch of Linux apps ported over to WebOS.

It's kind of a double-edged sword, though. Knowing how to root your Pre and get it to do all kinds of nefarious things? Pretty cool. :) Someone else knowing how to root your Pre and do all kiinds of nefarious things? Um, not so much...


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Doom on the Pre - sweet

freakout @ 6/12/2009 2:16:45 AM # Q
ah, hackers. gotta love 'em

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g17jztPq4rc

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