Amazon Quietly Bricked Jailbroken Kindle Devices Last Year

from the taking-money;-building-walls dept

It appears that Amazon is very serious about walling off its garden. Late last year, it pushed out a firmware update for its Amazon Fire TV devices that not only made rooted devices unusable, but prevented Fire TV owners from rolling back firmware to previous, more root-friendly versions. Apparently, Kindle users were also included in this lockdown.

A recent post at Good Reader notes that the latest firmware for Kindles is pretty much identical to its Fire TV firmware, right down to the destruction of functionality.
The new firmware was pushed out to all modern Kindle devices in late November of last year. Anything after version 5.60 will not allow you to hack the firmware and do interesting things like change the screensaver system or install custom apps.
And, like its firmware for the Fire TV, rollback to less hack-resistant firmware is nearly impossible. You can force it back, provided you have a soldering iron (and the willingness to apply it to your device) or you can follow a few not-so-simple steps to take your root access back from Amazon. But once again, it's the company removing functionality for the sole purpose of making devices perform the way Amazon wants them to, rather than leaving these sorts of decisions to those who have purchased the devices.

And it's not as though Kindle owners are receiving any heads up from Amazon about the firmware's plans for their jailbroken devices. No mention of it is made in the firmware's specifications, which only tells you about the (supposedly) good things the update will bring: vague "bug fixes and improvements." Softpedia's hosting page for the latest version (5.6.1) goes into a little more detail, but it only contains a list of slightly-upgraded Amazon features, rather than the limitations the firmware will impose on paying customers.

If you like Amazon's walled garden, the company is more than happy to ensure you never find the gate. If you don't, Amazon is more than happy to step in and brick over any openings. The latter does a huge disservice to paying customers who are looking to get the most out of something they purchased and own, but seems to still somehow "belong" to Amazon.

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  • icon
    Ninja (profile), 24 Mar 2015 @ 3:57am

    That's why we need open hardware initiatives badly. Your hardware, your software, your control.

    Open initiatives are slowly growing and gaining ground for a while now so maybe we are not too far from this future?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Ruben, 24 Mar 2015 @ 6:22am

      Re:

      It's also why it's important to have device makers who aren't beholden to their own app ecosystems in the way that Amazon and Apple are. Guys like HTC and Samsung are less paranoid about people rooting their devices and loading custom roms on them. Vote with your dollars, people. It's the only way they'll learn.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    David, 24 Mar 2015 @ 4:19am

    What's not to love?

    The customer pays like a buyer, but only gets the rights of a renter. The company gets money like from a purchase and has no further obligations like if it actually sold an item, but retains control over the device.

    It does not take a Stallman to figure out that this is a rather one-sided shift of balance.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      AJ, 24 Mar 2015 @ 6:02am

      Re: What's not to love?

      "The customer pays like a buyer, but only gets the rights of a renter. The company gets money like from a purchase and has no further obligations like if it actually sold an item, but retains control over the device."

      Very well put. This is the main reason file sharing and jail breaking are so popular. It's the consumers attempt to regain control over their media. Your average consumer isn't a lawyer. They don't understand that even though they payed for something, it's not really theirs.

      It's also very ironic. The very one sided control these companies are exercising is, IMO, one of the main reasons people choose file sharing over legal methods. I'm sure there is a percentage that never intended on buying, but I'm betting the bulk of file sharers do so because of convenience and control over the media.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 24 Mar 2015 @ 7:31am

        Re: Re: What's not to love?

        That is ok, just bring a class action lawsuit requesting the entire purchase price, plus interest for every device potentially bricked in this one sided illegal editing of devices that amazon no longer owns.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        John Fenderson (profile), 24 Mar 2015 @ 7:52am

        Re: Re: What's not to love?

        "It's the consumers attempt to regain control over their media."

        I don't know if that's the main reason, but it is one of the reasons. Most people I know who jailbreak devices do so to gain control over the devices, not the media.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • icon
          KoD (profile), 24 Mar 2015 @ 7:58am

          Re: Re: Re: What's not to love?

          I am not so sure the distinction really matters. Control over the device and control over the content the device was designed to consume are not necessarily separable.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • icon
            John Fenderson (profile), 24 Mar 2015 @ 8:25am

            Re: Re: Re: Re: What's not to love?

            The distinction matters a lot. People I know who jailbreak don't care about the content the device was designed to consume. They want to use the deice for purposes it was not "designed for".

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

            • icon
              KoD (profile), 24 Mar 2015 @ 8:54am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: What's not to love?

              I do not think we mean the same thing we we talk about the content. The hardware is worthless without the content, meaning software, videos, ebooks, music, and various files. rooting the device does not create new hardware capabilities. The only reason to root the device is to gain greater control over the content.

              reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

              • icon
                John Fenderson (profile), 24 Mar 2015 @ 9:22am

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: What's not to love?

                "rooting the device does not create new hardware capabilities"

                Technically true. Rooting the device gives you control over the hardware that you do not otherwise have. So while it doesn't create new hardware capabilities, it does give you access to hardware capabilities that were otherwise unusable. In practice, there isn't much difference between the two in this context.

                As to "content", I think you're right -- I was getting tripped up by that word. To me, "content" means "data that other people are providing" (this includes software). People I know who jailbreak are not doing so to gain greater control over that stuff. They're jailbreaking in order to gain greater control over the OS and, by consequence, the hardware.

                reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

              • icon
                tqk (profile), 24 Mar 2015 @ 9:58am

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: What's not to love?

                The hardware is worthless without the content ...

                You're wrong and he's right. You're assuming it's obviously for infringement that they're doing it. Certainly many are, but just as certainly, many are not. I couldn't care less about the content I see out there these days. I do care that a PS2 could be used to run Linux with its other OS feature. Many bought them just to do that. Rooting it could allow owners to "pirate" video games, but that's nothing I care about.

                Think Apple and its music players. You could get all your content from iTunes, or you could use them to play any mp3 you want. Bricking a machine because the owner isn't also buying your content is assault on the customer post-purchase. I refuse to support vendors who assume I've joined their club just by purchasing something. When you've got my money and I've got my hardware, we're done; end of story.

                reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

                • icon
                  nasch (profile), 24 Mar 2015 @ 10:05am

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: What's not to love?

                  You're wrong and he's right. You're assuming it's obviously for infringement that they're doing it.

                  He didn't say piracy, he said content.

                  I do care that a PS2 could be used to run Linux with its other OS feature.

                  I think KoD would consider the operating system content, so that would fit right in with his description of why people want to control their devices.

                  reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

                • icon
                  KoD (profile), 24 Mar 2015 @ 10:39am

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: What's not to love?

                  You missed the entire point of the comment you replied to. You wanting to put Linux on a Playstation is exactly what I was talking about. My comment had nothing to do with piracy. I have never gone out of my way to root any device simply for pirating purposes. We are in complete agreement about how ridiculous it is that OEMs believe they retain control over OUR hardware. I root most devices I own within the first week. Not for piracy, but rather because I will be damned if I do not have admin rights on a device I own.

                  reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • identicon
          AJ, 24 Mar 2015 @ 8:27am

          Re: Re: Re: What's not to love?

          To be fair, I really wasn't that clear. I consider both the physical files, and the devices that play the files as "media". In my mind one is really useless without the other.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 24 Mar 2015 @ 8:45am

          Re: Re: Re: What's not to love?

          Some media consumption or security apps are not available until you root your device since you either need root privileges to implement certain things or they've been blocked in the app stores for anti-competitive reasons.

          It goes both ways.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 24 Mar 2015 @ 8:34am

        Re: Re: What's not to love?

        Those are the exact reasons I do what I do.

        When I go to the theaters and pay $10 for the worlds shittiest hotdog and $5 for a 12oz Coke which is filled to the brim with ice. I see it as a purchase of the dvd release of the movie I'm going to see. Or when I have to sit through 10 minutes worth of ads with each 30 minute show I watch, I feel I'm financially entitled to download the pirated versions of the seasons instead of purchasing the dvd box sets.

        Back in the 80s the entire premise for cable TV was to watch TV without ADs. But now, not only are they forcing us to watch insane amounts of ads but they're making us pay $50-$100 a month to watch them.

        Every time I hear the argument that pirating media is destroying sales this silent rage inside me grows a little bit bigger. lol

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      J.T., 24 Mar 2015 @ 1:59pm

      Re: What's not to love?

      Well said, David.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 24 Mar 2015 @ 4:23am

    The mentality that goes with ownership of 'Intellectual Propert' is slowly turning people into serfs, via 'intellectual Property' owners asserting control over every device that can display or use their content. When you cannot control the means that support how you live, you have become a serf.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      DogBreath, 24 Mar 2015 @ 9:43am

      Re:

      turning people into serfs

      Hopefully this realization will turn more serfs into Constitutional Peasants named Dennis, who will stand up to this sort of information hardware totalitarianism and just say "No".

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Pragmatic, 25 Mar 2015 @ 6:48am

        Re: Re:

        That'd be easier to achieve if we could *just* convince them that there's no such thing as intellectual property and that the market is not free because of the people who do believe in IP rights — and enforce them at our expense.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 24 Mar 2015 @ 4:26am

    Oddly enough, not too long ago - maybe four weeks - the Android Kindle app started delivering ads to clients as notifications. There are separate options in the settings to enable "service-related" notifications (available downloads, expired loans etc.) and to enable marketing-related notifications - but the app now simply ignores that second setting and shows ads as notifications if any notifications are enabled.

    There seems to be a consistent shift to less user-friendly actions by Amazon lately.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      David, 24 Mar 2015 @ 6:15am

      Re:

      I have altered the deal. Pray I do not alter it further.
      -- Darth Vader

      That's one of the most-quoted movie archvillain lines ever. It takes more imagination than that to top (or rather sink below) corporate America.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      nasch (profile), 24 Mar 2015 @ 9:08am

      Re:

      the app now simply ignores that second setting and shows ads as notifications if any notifications are enabled.

      As soon as I saw one, I would long press the notification and disallow that app from creating notifications. Nothing Kindle wants to tell me about is important enough to put up with ads in my notifications.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      John Fenderson (profile), 24 Mar 2015 @ 10:53am

      Re:

      This is one of the reasons why I make sure that the Kindle app is blocked by my Android firewall. If I need for it to talk to Amazon's servers, I temporarily unblock it.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Guardian, 24 Mar 2015 @ 4:28am

    another brick in da wall

    oh guess what just so you all know.....someone out there ...unbricked and rooted the device....now is it public ...nope....will you get a copy not likely.

    One day yup but the goal here is to get you all to NOT use hardware form jerks.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Zakida Paul (profile), 24 Mar 2015 @ 4:33am

    Intellectual property once again interfering with individual private property rights.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 24 Mar 2015 @ 4:38am

    this goes all the way back to the ridiculous judge who allowed Sony to 'still own' their devices and stop the installation of 'the other O/S' that so many people bought the playstation devices for. had that judge used a bit of intelligence and foresight, he would have known the can of worms he was opening. but then i suppose it's always more important to consider what the likes of Sony can do for individuals like him than actually use a bit of brains. since that decision, there have been more steps to allow a company continue to own something that has been bought and paid for, while taking away the rights of the consumer to do as wanted with a piece of hardware.
    i wonder what dragsters, for example, would say and do if when they tried to do whatever they wanted with an engine, for example, and they were stopped from doing so by the original manufacturer?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 24 Mar 2015 @ 4:56am

    I had bought a Kindle Fire some time ago when they first came out. The exclusion of Gapps made it feel like more of a high tech toy rather than a fully functional tablet. The first thing I did was root it and put gapps on there to bring some functionality back to the device.
    Thankfully I sold it off shortly after the fact because I had no need for a 7" tablet. I would have been royally pissed if I were still using this device and it was bricked for me.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      psiuuuu, 24 Mar 2015 @ 10:10pm

      Re:

      Don't worry, they haven't updated the original in YEARS. Despite it being basically capable hardware (dual core, gig of memory, nice enough screen) it never really got much in updates. Maybe one sort-of revision IIRC, but that's it.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 24 Mar 2015 @ 5:08am

    It's hard to feel sorry for people that buy amazon branded products.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 24 Mar 2015 @ 7:46am

      Re:

      Don't feel sorry for me.

      Every ebook I buy from them is immediate striped of its DRM protections and stored within my Calibre library which is linked to my Mega cloud for easy access to all my jail broken devices. Of course, none of them are from Amazon.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    charliebrown (profile), 24 Mar 2015 @ 5:10am

    Pardon My Ignorance

    What do you mean by the device being rooted?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 24 Mar 2015 @ 5:21am

      Re: Pardon My Ignorance

      Rooting a device allow users to take back some control from the vendor (remove bloatware, modify software, etc). Clearly Amazon does not want to cede any control over their products.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 24 Mar 2015 @ 5:29am

      Re: Pardon My Ignorance

      Well in this case rooting a Fire TV would enable the installation of alternative software like the Kodi Media Center. Since these devices are sold at cost or a very small margin, replacing the software would deprive Amazon of advertising revenue and valuable user data.

      http://kodi.wiki/view/Amazon_Fire_TV

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        me, 27 Dec 2016 @ 3:43pm

        Re: Re: Pardon My Ignorance

        Rooting is not required to install Kodi. Even in the Kodi link you gave states, "rooting is not required". Your evidence contradicts your statement.

        You only need to check, "allow third party software" in settings. For Fire TV Box, or Fire Stick, or Fire Tablet. Same setting like any android device. When you want to install something that doesn't originate from the app store.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 24 Mar 2015 @ 5:31am

      Re: Pardon My Ignorance

      "Root" is Linuxese for "Admin".

      "Rooting" a device means to gain admin access to it. It was once used solely to describe gaining admin access to someone else's computer (i.e. hacking), but modern devices often try to prevent their owners from having absolute control over them. Thus, people have to "root" their smartphones and tablets to be able to do whatever they want with them.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 24 Mar 2015 @ 7:49am

      Re: Pardon My Ignorance

      Root access gives you the 'security privileges' needed to do anything you want with your device. Without them, you're severely limited to what Amazon says you can do.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 24 Mar 2015 @ 5:17am

    Abuse of power

    >pushed out to all modern Kindle devices
    I'm not surprised at all. Why should we allow others to own _our_ devices?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      E. Postley, 25 Mar 2015 @ 12:53pm

      Re: Abuse of power

      Thanks for asking! I suppose this means that after a customer's paying +20% to AZ to keep their creepy ads off his new e-reader, AZ will just start pushing them on anyway. Why not? Whose going to stop them?

      Did you know that the "supposed" Kindle Page at Amazon.com will actually only ship outside the US?

      Sadly, I have bought my last Kindle. I used to like Amazon.

      P.S. Don't give car makers any ideas!

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 24 Mar 2015 @ 5:26am

    Stallman was right (again)

    Either users control the software, or the software controls the users. What were once minor inconveniences are fast becoming major injustices. As these devices grow smaller and live on and in our bodies, how much do we really trust the manufacturers to control them in our best interests?

    https://fsfe.org/campaigns/android/android.html

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 24 Mar 2015 @ 5:33am

    Just think what they could have bought with that hundred plus dollars. Maybe something that is worth more than a plug nickel.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Kronomex, 24 Mar 2015 @ 5:58am

    The greed and arrogance of this corporation is nothing short of breathtaking.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Andy, 24 Mar 2015 @ 5:58am

    My recent beef with Amazon comes via the 'instant video' app. I have a cheap tablet (hi-sense) that does exactly waht I need it to & for not alot of money.

    I tried to install the instant video app seeing as I had amazon prime. But no, apparently Amazon dont wnt to make it compatible with my tablet.

    So I can get video on my phone (too small for anything beyond 5 minutes) or on my laptop (too big for settling down to a program/film in bed).

    Luckily I found the relevant .apk online and low and behold - IT WORKS FINE

    This is purely a case of amazon wanting to make people by a kindle fire.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      jackn, 24 Mar 2015 @ 7:17am

      Re:

      And don't forget, you have to download amazon's app market.

      Just say no

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 24 Mar 2015 @ 8:03am

      Re:

      I don't really see a problem with not making it compatible. They see it as a hardware limitation and isn't worth the cost to make it compatible when the majority of their business won't come from that device. If they did make it compatible and it wasn't working they would have to support it.
      If I was going to program an app for a phone. I would do it for Apple and Android and maybe Windows but will avoid Blackberry. I also won't try to make it compatible with older then 3 years of age. You may be able to install it on your 5 year old device but since it doesn't meet the specs, I won't be supporting it.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 24 Mar 2015 @ 6:06am

    Two sides of the coin

    If a device can be rooted through software....

    1. Malware can take advantage of that, so it is a security issue (bug) that one would expect Amazon to fix.

    2. Users can gain more control over the device they purchased.

    I'm all for allowing custom firmware on a device but not at the expense of security.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 24 Mar 2015 @ 6:17am

      Re: Two sides of the coin

      How secure is a device when the seller and not the owner control what software it runs. Hint, the NSA is not above going to companies to get them to do their bidding.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 24 Mar 2015 @ 7:27am

      Re: Two sides of the coin

      One of the nice things about rooted devices is that, should they become infected, one can always re-root the things.

      Also, I for one don't run many mission-critical ops on an entertainment device, so security is not first priority. Functionality is.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 24 Mar 2015 @ 7:56am

      Re: Two sides of the coin

      People put them selves at risk when they download pirated software. It's not up to Amazon or anyone else to say which security privileges you may have.

      Imagine if Windows or Mac imposed these restrictions on their desktop OSes...

      Regardless, some people root their devices to gain more control and to remove all the BS while others do it because they can afford the software they want to use.

      In the end, it's not up to you or anyone else to say what I can and cannot not do with what I OWN.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      John Fenderson (profile), 24 Mar 2015 @ 7:56am

      Re: Two sides of the coin

      "I'm all for allowing custom firmware on a device but not at the expense of security."

      Why not? If someone is bypassing the security mechanisms on their devices, that's something they should be able to choose to do. The manufacturer isn't a nanny.

      Also, just because a device has been jailbroken doesn't mean that device is insecure. It's entirely possible jailbreak a device without sacrificing security. In fact, I would argue that it's better that way -- if you're relying on the manufacturer to keep you secure, you're in a weak position in terms of security.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 24 Mar 2015 @ 8:13am

        Re: Re: Two sides of the coin

        " It's entirely possible jailbreak a device without sacrificing security."

        I root my devices to not only increase security, but stability and performance.

        Although I have to agree that the less tech savvy are putting themselves at risk but that's their choice - live and learn.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 24 Mar 2015 @ 12:02pm

        Re: Re: Two sides of the coin

        My phrasing is not that great.

        Not all rooting is done through vulnerabilities, some are tho and it is only the rooting through vulnerability that I am referring to.

        I would not advocate that a company leave a security vulnerability in a product for the sole purpose of allowing users to exploit that vulnerability to root the device.

        If a company fixes a vulnerability thats a good thing, we should encourage companies to care about security of their products. The fact it prevents future people from using the vulnerability to root the device is irrelevant.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 24 Mar 2015 @ 1:06pm

          Re: Re: Re: Two sides of the coin

          You've got it all backwards my friend...

          However, you've helped me to realize, just now, that by companies imposing hardcoded root restrictions they can leverage the public to find specific vulnerabilities for an attacker to gain root access thus increasing security.

          However, they need to stop punishing those who wish to have root access and instead reward them for their efforts.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 24 Mar 2015 @ 1:15pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re: Two sides of the coin

            To expand upon what I just said,

            If they assembled hackathons upon each new release/iteration, then security innovation in the mobile market 'could' leap by huge bounds if enticements (monetary, prestige, physical goods, etc) were promised...

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      David, 24 Mar 2015 @ 8:32am

      Re: Two sides of the coin


      I'm all for allowing custom firmware on a device but not at the expense of security.

      You are confusing "security" with knowing who the bully with the skeleton key to the appartment block is.

      If I rent an appartment, I don't want the landlord go snooping through my drawers regularly "for security reasons". Or change back door locks that I have replaced for whatever reason.

      Let alone if I buy an appartment. The previous owner has no business at all with my drawers, even if he built them himself.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        lfroen (profile), 24 Mar 2015 @ 8:41am

        Re: Re: Two sides of the coin

        Or, I may prefer to live in apartment inside of locked down building, with security on entrance screening every incoming person, where building owner can decide who can come in. See also "military base". I heard that in US this thing is voluntary.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        jackn, 24 Mar 2015 @ 10:13am

        Re: Re: Two sides of the coin

        I'm all for letting people do what they want with their posessions.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 24 Mar 2015 @ 11:01am

      Re: Two sides of the coin

      those who would give up freedom for security deserve neither... or something like that by someone who understood what freedom was...

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 24 Mar 2015 @ 12:07pm

      Re: Two sides of the coin

      I'm all for allowing custom firmware on a device but not at the expense of security.

      You're buying a freaking tablet, not a device that's critical to national security!

      Wow...comments like that show how much this country's turned into a bunch of chicken littles, scared shitless of their own shadows.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      eschwartz, 24 Mar 2015 @ 2:12pm

      Re: Two sides of the coin

      If a device can be rooted through software....

      1. Malware can take advantage of that, so it is a security issue (bug) that one would expect Amazon to fix.

      2. Users can gain more control over the device they purchased.

      I'm all for allowing custom firmware on a device but not at the expense of security.


      There is a tremendous difference between dangerous vulnerabilities to malware, and a process (vulnerability) that requires multiple user interactions, with physical access to the device. I encourage you to explore the concept behind said root vulnerability. An excellent starting point would be the canonical source of said exploit.


      Of course, the idea of Kindle owners, i.e. affected people, having the right to an opinion is probably quite foreign. I expect most people here would rather chant wisely about security theory.
      Personally, I find it depressing in the extreme that the apparent experts here have not bothered to find out any actual facts.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        KNC1, 24 Mar 2015 @ 5:08pm

        Re: Re: Two sides of the coin

        On the subject of actual facts, and both numbered items:

        For the grayscale Kindles...
        (and for the Kindle add-ins offered by the site I frequent, mobileread.com ...)

        The device system is **not** "rooted", we add another package certificate to the system's certificate store.

        That (as we distribute it) is only done from a file(s) placed on the user visible storage. The same place the user would place their own books.

        Even so, nothing is every done "automatically" - everything requires the user's interaction.

        A user is free to shoot themselves in the foot if they wish, but we aren't taking any shots at the users from OTA ambush.

        There are two (2) update package handlers provided by Amazon in the standard firmware.
        One of them handles OTA (Over The Air) updates.
        None of our packages have ever been packaged such that the OTA updater will recognize them. None, Ever.

        The certificate and packaging used by our add-ins **only** work with the **manual** package updater that Amazon provides.
        The (rather new) bulk package installer, released to install our existing packages on the 5.6.x series firmware, also uses **only** the **manual** package updater.

        So much for concerns about our "Jail breaking" (freeing the grayscale Kindles from being limited to Amazon packages) opening a door for OTA malware.

        - - - - -

        The real concern, as seen by myself, is the question if the owner of a device by purchase also owns the behavior of the device.
        **NOT** who owns the I.T. rights to the firmware that provides the behavior, but the ownership of the device's behavior.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • icon
          John Fenderson (profile), 25 Mar 2015 @ 8:15am

          Re: Re: Re: Two sides of the coin

          "the question if the owner of a device by purchase also owns the behavior of the device."

          What does this mean? Since "owning behavior" makes no logical sense, I think that I'm not understanding this point.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • identicon
            Socrates, 25 Mar 2015 @ 5:13pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re: Two sides of the coin

            I assume he mean that an owner of a device has the right to decide whatever operating system or software to use on the device, what the device should do, and how it does it. As in: the owner has the right to continue to use "other-OS" on a Sony Playstation (or not), while Sony wronged citizens by crippling Playstations after the sale. Allowing non-Sony operating systems to run is a "behavior". The same goes for stopping advertising in your notifications in Amazon devises, choosing if a Apple or Microsoft or Sony product should be allowed to film you (and your family) without even turning on the LED that indicates that the camera is on.

            It is separate from whether anyone has the right to (mass) distribute a specific piece of code, or whether such a code exist yet.

            At least that is how I interpreted it.

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • identicon
          E. Postley, 25 Mar 2015 @ 2:47pm

          Re: Re: Re: Two sides of the coin

          Well, that clears everything up.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        tqk (profile), 24 Mar 2015 @ 5:23pm

        Re: Re: Two sides of the coin

        I don't own an e-reader and never have. However, I have lived through ages of devices, so I know what licencing vs. purchasing and ownership vs. rental are.

        If it's my box that I legally own, it should be under my control.

        The blistering controversy here about rooting vs. jailbreaking is just noise. I consider it honorable to leave your stuff up right or wrong. "Sure, see what I did. Note the "Update:" at the end of the article."

        Meh. Don't believe anything you read on the web, isn't that the old saw?

        Some of us are here to try to learn.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      gilbert (profile), 27 Oct 2015 @ 6:20pm

      Re: Two sides of the coin

      This is a misconception that some people which have a basic and sometimes moderate understanding of the freedoms a rooted device gives.

      However, in the operating system world, there isn't a continuum, there isn't a spectrum, and it definitely isn't black & white.

      Why is this so?
      Premise: "If a device can be rooted through software"
      Inference/Conclusion: "1. Malware can take advantage of that"

      The Inference/Conclusion is false given the operating system in use.

      Without going into the details with every Linux distro ever created(hundreds, maybe thousands), Fire OS(Amazon's Android adopted OS) follows the same basic rules regarding root access. At least if security is a real concern of theirs.

      If there was a way for malware to take advantage of Fire OS, but not other Linux distros, especially its most closely related OS, Android, Malware would also be able to take advantage of all Linux OS's.

      But they cannot.

      The fact of the matter is, not a single piece of Malware has every been able to infect a Linux system in any "meaningful" way, "meaningful" being used in this case meaning harmful in such a way as being able to recover personal data such as identity or financial.

      Consider why someone would want to create malware for Linux systems in the first place. Distros of the Linux OS are used in more databases than any other OS. This includes databases which contain large amount of financial information like hundreds to thousands to millions of people's personal and credit card info.

      If Fire OS does have such a vulnerability, it is because they didn't follow the one rule which Linus Torvalds has repeated said is the one thing he would NEVER compromise in the Linux Kernal, which is "breaking the userspace." A quote directly from Linus Torvalds himself.

      If Fire OS has a vulnerability that allows malware to take advantage of the device, it is because Fire OS has deviated from the one single reason the Linux Kernal is "relatively" immune to malware that can cause "meaningful" harm.

      Consider that Fire OS while originally based off of Android, making it a Linux OS, isn't considered a Linux OS anymore, they have changed too much, yet there is only a few, probably 1 thing they really needed to keep which would protect against malware even after a person gains root access to their Fire OS device.

      In short, Amazon, having created a OS based on the Linux kernel, shouldn't punish their customers because Amazon may have created a vulnerability by breaking the userspace. A proper fix would be one that would correct the userspace issue and not one that "bricks" their own customers' devices.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 24 Mar 2015 @ 6:13am

    Or they could just learn from this and next time avoid them.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 24 Mar 2015 @ 6:22am

    Here is an idea ... buy the book not the kindle.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      tqk (profile), 24 Mar 2015 @ 10:41am

      Re:

      Here is an idea ... buy the book not the kindle.

      I'd prefer to just shoot the politicians and lawyers who let them get away with this. I'd love to be able to carry around my $10,000.00 worth of books with me everywhere I go, but that's infeasible. An e-reader could let me do that, but Amazon won't let me. Why? Because they insist I remain in their walled garden, ignoring my personal reasons for purchasing it.

      I resent their intention to interfere with my personal affairs which are none of their damned business.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 24 Mar 2015 @ 4:33pm

        Re: Re:

        wtf do you need 10k worth of text for on a daily basis?

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • icon
          tqk (profile), 24 Mar 2015 @ 5:35pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          Who said anything about daily basis? I'm talking about taking my technical library; hundreds of technical reference books, each is only used sporadically dependent upon what I'm doing. I'm a geek. I'd love to have that at my fingertips.

          I'd also like a Nokia N-800 Linux box in my shirt pocket running Cyanogen, while I'm asking. Sad I missed that.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • icon
            John Fenderson (profile), 25 Mar 2015 @ 9:49am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            "I'm talking about taking my technical library"

            This.

            Before eBooks, my technical library took a LOT of physical space, and searching for whatever piece of information I happened to need at the moment was time-consuming. Now, my entire technical library lives on my phone, and I can find anything I need within seconds. There is simply no comparison.

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      John Fenderson (profile), 25 Mar 2015 @ 9:47am

      Re:

      "buy the book not the kindle."

      This doesn't address the issue at all.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Mason Wheeler (profile), 24 Mar 2015 @ 6:47am

    How is this not illegal? The act of destruction of property is a crime in every civilized jurisdiction.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 24 Mar 2015 @ 6:51am

    Brick?

    Do you have any reference regarding bricking? I don't see anything in the linked article. Or even in the text of this post.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 24 Mar 2015 @ 10:36am

      Re: Brick?

      There is no bricking of anything. The writer is either an idiot who doesn't know what bricking means, or more likely he's just hyping the story to get clicks.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        JP Jones (profile), 25 Mar 2015 @ 12:31pm

        Re: Re: Brick?

        "Bricking" refers to a software issue that removes all functionality from a device, making it essentially a "brick."[1] Normally this applies to complete functionality removal, in other words, the device no longer works at all for any purpose.

        That being said, the "jailbroken" Kindle is being bricked by this update. After the update, the Kindle can no longer be rooted, which means that the core functionality gained by rooting is lost. If, for example, I had a smart phone that I expected to be able to surf the internet, but an update removed that functionality and only let me make calls, I would consider that a bricked phone; the partial functionality removes key uses for which I purchased the device.

        So if I bought a Kindle Fire expecting an inexpensive Android tablet with good reading capability and suddenly the "tablet" part of the equation was removed I'd be pretty upset, especially since the Fire is not really any cheaper than other equivalent Android tablets. They advertise it as a tablet, and while they mention their proprietary OS, it is "built on Android with enhancements." What if I want some of those enhancements, but not everything? What if I want stuff other than their 100,000 apps in their appstore? Their is nothing in their hardware that prevents me from doing so; it's purely a software lock.

        Therefore, if I bought the device knowing I had these options, and then the company removes those options, that device has lost its core functionality due to a software issue, not a hardware one. Which is the definition of "bricking."

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • icon
          MrTroy (profile), 25 Mar 2015 @ 6:16pm

          Re: Re: Re: Brick?

          You do realise that the very reference you cited for bricking lists two types of bricking:
          Soft bricked devices[2] are generally those devices which show some signs of life. A soft bricked device usually boots unsuccessfully and generally gets stuck on vendor logo or reboots endlessly.
          Hard bricked devices[2] are generally those who show little to no signs of life. A hard bricked device doesn't power up or show any vendor logo, basically the screen remains turned off.


          Removing unofficial features and limiting the device to just the advertised functions may be a shitty thing to do, but calling it "bricking" is overdramatic. Words have power precisely because they have agreed meanings. Co-opting a word to give it your own definition for use in a discussion does nothing to further the discussion.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • icon
            JP Jones (profile), 25 Mar 2015 @ 8:00pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re: Brick?

            Many newer systems capable of accessing online services (such as the Xbox One, Playstation 4 and iPhone) have internal hardware-based unique identifiers, allowing individual systems to be tracked over a network and banned from accessing certain online services. Banned systems usually continue to operate for purposes unrelated to the online service, but they are often considered "bricked" by users of the online service.
            And if a device loses expected functionality, for instance due to being banned or having its IMEI removed from the network, it is considered "bricked." In fact, the entire controversy over remotely "bricking" phones was to prevent them from accessing the network, not prevent them from booting.

            While using "bricking" may not be the common understanding of the word it is accurate to say a device that has expected functionality removed due to a firmware change or error is "bricked."

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

            • icon
              MrTroy (profile), 25 Mar 2015 @ 9:34pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Brick?

              We still disagree on expected functionality vs advertised functionality.

              In those cases, the device is unable to perform one or more advertised features of the product[1]. In this case, the device is unable to perform an unofficial feature.

              Again, not saying that removing the feature isn't wrong, but a device that still does everything it's advertised to do really isn't "bricked". It may be useless to you, but that's a different thing.

              FWIW, if you were to say that it's now as useful to you as a brick for what you purchased it for, that's completely accurate and understandable. Bricking means that the device is as functional (as opposed to useful) as a brick.

              [1] - and is still IMHO a dramatic misappopriation of the term "bricked". Damaged, impaired, restricted, even broken - all better words.

              reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

              • icon
                BernardoVerda (profile), 26 Mar 2015 @ 8:21pm

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Brick?

                Dear Techdirt,

                the Techdirt forum/comments board *desperately needs* another option/button in addition to "insightful" and "funny" -- namely "unintentionally funny" (or maybe just "unintentionally", as I suppose that there are occasionally "unintentionally insightful" comments, as well).

                reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 24 Mar 2015 @ 6:58am

    You own the hardware, Amazon is just saying the software that is installed is theirs, so if you could put 100% non Amazon os on it you'd be fine. Wait what their software makes it difficult to do so? I guess they're saying not their problem. Such asshats.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      David, 24 Mar 2015 @ 9:09am

      Re:

      When a bookstore sells me a bookshelf, they don't get the right to have it deliberately destroy itself and its entire content when I put cassette tapes on it. Or books from a non-bookstore-authorized publisher.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Padpaw (profile), 24 Mar 2015 @ 7:59am

    seems like another company that has the idea no one ever buys from them , we just lease a product instead

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 24 Mar 2015 @ 8:09am

    Amazon: screwing its users since 1994.

    Why do people even buy there? It's overpriced, their support/CS is non-existent, and they're so bad at hidden fees that even Visa/MC employees are so mad at them that they'll do a charge-back no questions asked as soon as you mention them.

    If people would only lighten up, they'd just due the horrible death they deserve and someone better can take over.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      MrTroy (profile), 24 Mar 2015 @ 9:08pm

      Re:

      Why do people even buy there? It's overpriced, their support/CS is non-existent, and they're so bad at hidden fees that even Visa/MC employees are so mad at them that they'll do a charge-back no questions asked as soon as you mention them.

      Because despite all of these things, and everything else that they do badly and make us hate them...

      1. They make a good device - the e-ink kindles with 3G are currently unbeaten in terms of convenience and quality.
      2. They have enabled more authors to publish more good work than any other single publisher in history. Amazon is nearly solely responsible for a shadow industry that puts as much royalty dollars in authors' pockets as the rest of the publishing industry combined.
      3. Their customer support simply beats many of their competitors. Even if you don't like it, most of the rest of the world is worse.

      If people would only lighten up, they'd just due the horrible death they deserve and someone better can take over.

      Why should people stop using the best option currently available? Someone else can build something better, then everyone will migrate across without needing to moralise about anything.

      So yes, they strongly push for DRM on their content to tie their customers to them. They go too far in trying to protect their IP. But who is better?

      --"Beelzebezos is my dark god"

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    lfroen (profile), 24 Mar 2015 @ 8:24am

    I don't see how devices became bricked

    So, Amazon fixed bugs which make rooting exploit possible. It is right thing to do, because software is not supposed to be exploitable. That's bug, not a feature.
    Exactly same goes for iPhone, Xbox and so on.

    Author probably should learn what "bricked" means, before embarrassing himself in writing.

    Meanwhile, back on planet Earth, even least technically inclined knows that you can't install stuff on iPhone without Apple's approval. Don't like it - don't buy iPhone; there's hundreds of Android phones on the market.
    Similarly, if one don't like Amazon's locked deal - just you know, don't buy it. Other people may find this "locked down" thing useful.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      nasch (profile), 24 Mar 2015 @ 9:15am

      Re: I don't see how devices became bricked

      It is right thing to do, because software is not supposed to be exploitable. That's bug, not a feature.

      You're saying it's appropriate for the manufacturer to make it difficult or impossible for customers to take control of the devices they've purchased?

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 24 Mar 2015 @ 9:27am

        Re: Re: I don't see how devices became bricked

        It is right thing to do, because software is not supposed to be exploitable. That's bug, not a feature.

        You're saying it's appropriate for the manufacturer to make it difficult or impossible for customers to take control of the devices they've purchased?
        Software shouldn't be exploitable, but the owner shouldn't be considered an attacker. The customers should be able to take control in a straightforward way, without relying on bugs.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 24 Mar 2015 @ 12:09pm

          Re: Re: Re: I don't see how devices became bricked

          Software shouldn't be exploitable, but the owner shouldn't be considered an attacker. The customers should be able to take control in a straightforward way, without relying on bugs.

          Exactly!

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • icon
          John Fenderson (profile), 24 Mar 2015 @ 12:54pm

          Re: Re: Re: I don't see how devices became bricked

          I agree. But until we reach that nirvana, exploits are the only option available.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Killercool (profile), 24 Mar 2015 @ 9:17am

      Re: I don't see how devices became bricked

      Because the new firmware blows an eFUSE which literally and PERMANENTLY disables the hardware. And that eFUSE function is only able to be bypassed by tearing apart and altering the hardware directly.

      Really, the reading is available in the links provided in the article.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        eschwartz, 24 Mar 2015 @ 10:08am

        Re: Re: I don't see how devices became bricked

        The problem with that logic is that the article seems to be primarily discussing E-Ink ereaders.

        Additionally, the headline implies merely jailbreaking on the current firmware will brick the Kindle ereader.

        I assure you, no Kindle ereaders have been reported as being bricked by the 5.6.x line of firmware. All they have done is prevent users from newly-jailbreaking the KV, KT2, and KPW2 (and use NiLuJe's latest jailbreak with root elevation builtin).

        For more details, read a long list of discussion threads HERE.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Spaceman Spiff (profile), 24 Mar 2015 @ 8:42am

    Not sold, just rented...

    As Mike so often correctly states, you aren't buying these systems, as in "I bought it, I can do with it what I want.", but you are renting them, as in "We will tell you what you can do, and when we want, it won't work any more." - GAH!

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 24 Mar 2015 @ 9:30am

      Re: Not sold, just rented...

      It's only 'rented' until you root it. But when they deliberately brick your device for taking control of it then that spells out a class action lawsuit.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Gwiz (profile), 24 Mar 2015 @ 9:33am

      Re: Not sold, just rented...

      Not sold, just rented...


      That's not the way I look at it. I paid $99 for my Kindle PaperWhite, so as far as I'm concerned, I own it.

      My solution against Amazon's walled garden is simple. Switch to airplane mode and give it a hard reboot (hold power button for 30 seconds). That removes all of Amazon's annoying advertising.

      Any e-book I purchase I download to my PC and remove the DRM with Calibri and side-load it to my Kindle because I prefer the actual cover images on my books as opposed to Amazon's default cover. It also gives me the advantage of having a saved copy of what I purchased just in case Amazon decides to arbitrarily remove anything from my library.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Fernando, 24 Mar 2015 @ 9:54am

    both approaches involve soldering

    "You can force it back, provided you have a soldering iron (and the willingness to apply it to your device) or you can follow a few not-so-simple steps to take your root access back from Amazon."
    Those not-so-simple steps also involve a soldering iron: "Open the back panel and get serial connections where printed "SERIAL DEBUG" Tx, Rx, GND"

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    eschwartz, 24 Mar 2015 @ 10:24am

    The original source

    Guys, we aren't exactly hard to reach, the source of all the info is actually linked to in the article.

    Note that:

    a) No Kindle ereaders have been bricked as the headline assures us they have. This is because the author of the article seems to have conflated Kindle ereaders with Kindle FireTVs.

    b) Any previously-jailbroken KPW2 that received the 5.6.x line of firmware has a trivial hotfix that restores complete functionality.

    c) As NiLuJe says: "And the cat and mouse game is nothing new, it's been a constant battle since the Kindle 2.x days. Although, granted, it's now hit a serious standstill."

    d) The KV/KT2 began on fw5.6.x, so the only way to jailbreak them is by the serial port method referenced in the article -- twice????

    e) Having confused one of our members already, there is now a MobileRead thread discussing this article, which may serve to give a little background: http://www.mobileread.com/forums/showthread.php?t=257717

    -- A long-time MobileRead member and Kindle Developer's Corner lurker

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Mike Acker (profile), 24 Mar 2015 @ 12:04pm

    this is a nasty trend

    hopefully we will see more BLANK devices for sale at NewEgg.
    I see some nasty rumors that MSFT wants to remove the option to switch UEFI off. the next step of course is to use the keys to control what o/s you are allowed to install.
    I don't think they will get too far

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      John Fenderson (profile), 24 Mar 2015 @ 12:56pm

      Re: this is a nasty trend

      "I see some nasty rumors that MSFT wants to remove the option to switch UEFI off"

      Those aren't rumors. They fact from the mouth of Microsoft itself. However, what they're doing isn't quite as extreme as you're saying. What Microsoft has done is to no longer require OEMs to provide a mechanism to disable UEFI. They are not demanding that OEMs remove that mechanism.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 24 Mar 2015 @ 1:28pm

        Re: Re: this is a nasty trend

        They are not demanding that OEMs remove that mechanism.

        That is what they are saying in public, but behind the scenes could be somewhat different.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        BernardoVerda (profile), 25 Mar 2015 @ 12:15pm

        Re: Re: this is a nasty trend

        Sure... Remember, Microsoft wielded its market position to force the OEMs to adopt UEFI and Secure Boot, in the first place.

        And now Microsoft is going the extra mile to "relax" the UEFI/Secure Boot requirement so that it's up to the OEM whether or not UEFI/Secure Boot is implemented properly -- or merely well enough to run Windows, but prevent the user (a.k.a. owner) from running some competing operating system on their own hardware.

        (They tried to do this with Windows 8, but there was enough blow-back that Microsoft made a tactical retreat, required a proper implementation (at least officially -- in practice, deficient implementations didn't hinder the granting of Microsoft certification or participation in Windows 8 Logo "co-marketing" programs.)

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      BernardoVerda (profile), 25 Mar 2015 @ 12:00pm

      Re: this is a nasty trend

      Not so much UEFI, but the UEFI Secure Boot module, which under Microsoft's currently proposed Windows 10 Hardware Certification requirements, will let the OEM decide whether the hardware's owner is allowed to decide what operating system shall be permitted to run on that computer. And also, of course, that decision will be formally/theoretically out of Microsoft's hands, and *entirely* up to the OEM (yeah, suuuuure).

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Socrates, 25 Mar 2015 @ 4:03pm

        UEFI Secure Boot module

        “We are upgrading all qualified PCs, genuine and non-genuine, to Windows 10,” Myerson told Reuters. “The plan is to ‘re-engage’ with the hundreds of millions of users of Windows in China,” he said.


        Terry Myerson, runs Microsoft’s operating systems unit


        Though, whether Microsoft just crave to serve the Chinese a Trojan horse, or if they also have been served a NSL, who knows? Who can say if the main objective is peeping tom or making it difficult to ever choose software that does not force the citizens hands?

        Using hardware or software produced in the five-eyes is like patting a helicopter on the head, you have been told it isn't wise by people in the know, refrain from doing it while you still have time.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Robert, 24 Mar 2015 @ 12:19pm

    Return all throngs Amazon

    1. I would send back my fire devices because for one or they broke my item that I legally own. They pretty much broke into
    Into my home and soled my devi d

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    David, 24 Mar 2015 @ 12:59pm

    Not apologizing for Amazon, but if you root your device (and I think you should have every right to), don't bloody update it. Or at least un-root it before you update it.

    There's no way Amazon (or any vendor) can guarantee further updates to the device it if no longer operates as they designed it.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Stephen, 24 Mar 2015 @ 8:04pm

    The Virtues of Printed Books vs Digital Ones

    Stories like this just go to show why it's still better to buy books in actual printed copies rather than digital ones. At least with paper ones you get to to own the paper and binding and so are able to sell it off after you read it to a secondhand book store or pass it along to your heirs after ytiu leave this mortal coil. With digital books you don't own ANYthing about.such books. All you've done is purchased access; and even then only the term of for your life.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Rekrul, 27 Mar 2015 @ 2:50pm

    In an ideal world, this sort of thing would piss off Kindle owners and lead to a boycott of Amazon's products.

    Instead people are lining up, just waiting to fall to their knees and beg Amazon to place more limits on them. As they are with Apple...

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Valhalla, 5 May 2015 @ 5:12pm

    Amazon Bricking Kindle

    Let's not forget the fact that when they ship you damaged goods and offer a refund, they don't refund you the tax they collected. I've had to report them to the FTC three times already. If the law refuses to enter the premises and arrest the CEO like they would any non-corporate criminal, perhaps we will see a resurgence of lynch-mobs... as they say, history is doomed to repeat itself, though, always starting with corporate greed and stupidity.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Adam, 8 Sep 2015 @ 6:40am

    potential piracy?

    I would be led to believe just by having content that's free, but wasn't intended to be free, is some type of piracy.

    I do know that most companies install software in order to benefit. Such as pay per clicks, pay per installs and such. This is why many app developers have ads in the app, unless you pay them a price for the app and they take the ads away.

    TV stations and movie stations, etc. They charge subscription rates and when things are unlocked and jail broken, or rooted. Wouldn't this be considered piracy from these media companies? Which if you have an Amazon Fire Stick and you subscribe to the stations you would have to pay and odds are Amazon gets a kickback from that from the station you subscribe to. If you completely avoid having to pay, Amazon and the station you stole loses the money. So you are getting free media that is not intended to be free.

    How would rooting your products to do just so exempt you from piracy laws?

    I'm not trying to create confrontation, I'm really just trying to understand.

    Thanks.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      nasch (profile), 8 Sep 2015 @ 7:51am

      Re: potential piracy?

      If you completely avoid having to pay, Amazon and the station you stole loses the money.

      What is the scenario where people are avoiding paying by rooting a device? I'm not aware of how that works.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 27 Nov 2015 @ 1:08am

    This is the reason I stop buying from Amazon when they removed some peoples software years ago, they do not respect peoples right to property they buy, they are communist who sell right to use their service not device! Buy android tablets directly from China to avaoid all this scam.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Jarda, 21 Mar 2016 @ 12:02pm

    This calls for a class suit.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


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