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It's Looking Like Android Could Be Embracing WireGuard - "A Sane VPN"

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  • #21
    Originally posted by zdzichu View Post
    Interesting. Since when Greg KH works at Google?
    I was wondering the same. Does anybody know?

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    • #22
      Originally posted by skeevy420 View Post

      Who to blame is really kind of difficult. IMHO, the ones most deserving of it are the American phone carriers. They all wanted their own special version with all their special crap* when at most we needed two versions -- CDMA and GSM. That added in an extra layer of testing that the phone carriers would drag ass on and sometimes never even finish (so we'd have to buy new phones for updates). From there is where the trend of special version with special crap spread to other carriers and OEMs the world over.

      That said, that really makes Google the one to really blame for whatever licensing or agreements they have in place with their partners that allowed that kind of an ecosystem to prosper (is well aware that software design choices are also in play). Google could have been like Apple and told them "With our OS, the buck stops here", but they didn't and here we are with Google playing scramble the stuff like Treble and Fuchsia (lol...they deserve the scramble. it's what ya get when ya drop "don't" from "don't be evil").

      About the only thing complaining here does is maybe, maybe being a stretch, maybe make some other geek who isn't a phone nerd aware of the crappy phone software situation.

      But, really, who does get the brunt (F. C. A) of the blame? The carriers who wanted their special phones to attract customers? The manufacturers for making their custom skins and software layers to attract customers to their phones? Google for allowing everyone to treat Android, open source software mind you, like the Wild West where everything goes with little regard to long term Android viability?

      Then ask yourself how is Google supposed to enforce standards with open source software when all one has to do is fork AOSP, give it a different name, and have "some helpful community member" release a sideloadable GAPPS package or even provide their own competing app store like Amazon does? I suppose they could have made a "Google provides all OS updates clause" for anyone who wants to include GAPPS on their devices...but even that's riddled with issues...

      *with the AT&T phones I've had, it really is crap
      I agree with most of this. However, the core problem is that Linux does not (and should not) offer a stable kernel API/ABI and HW manufacturers like Qualcomm will not release opensource drivers or even closed source driver updates. Hence, you cannot update the kernel/android since mobile components are usually supported only for a few years (resulting in usually one major update).

      Maybe things would be better If we had some standardized sane hardware interface like AHCI and EFI?
      Last edited by mppix; 04-01-2020, 12:37 AM.

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      • #23
        Originally posted by andyprough View Post
        Makes sense that Google would fall in love with wireguard, if it is still not usable without server logs.

        A VPN where Google can monitor all your android traffic sounds right up their alley.
        I don't think anyone can read the payloads without your private key.

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        • #24
          Originally posted by Danny3 View Post
          But how are they going to do that?
          Are they taking the same idiotic move that Canonical has made, instead of updating the kernel to the one that natively supports it, they will invest their time to backport it?
          At the rte that Google is updating the kernel by the time that Android will use 5.6 with native support for Wireguard it probably year 2050.
          It's obviously going to backport it.
          It's very easy to backport something like a VPN, that is it's own module doing its own thing to an older kernel than trying to update a mobile/embedded kernel and try to make all blobs and shit (you must use because that's what the hardware manufacturer gave you) work with a mainline kernel.

          Can't speak for Canonical, but bumping the kernel in a release is a PITA because of other QA requirements. If you backport, the worst that can happen is that this new feature is broken.

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          • #25
            Originally posted by zdzichu View Post
            Interesting. Since when Greg KH works at Google?
            He has been on the Android side of things for a while, he worked at the (still active) "greybus" protocol https://github.com/projectara/greybus initially developed for the (now defunct) Google's Project Ara https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Project_Ara back in 2015 for example. If you look at the commits there, he is using the @google.com email.

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            • #26
              Originally posted by skeevy420 View Post
              That said, that really makes Google the one to really blame
              Yeah let's blame Google for not making a device that is better for everyone and then ramming that down everyone's throats with an iron fist, backed by the government or something.

              Because it's a realistic expectation, really.

              Google is doing what they can to opensource the stack and keeps updating the source repositories with stuff, but they don't have control over the other parties, and also over the consumer that will gladly buy devices that suck balls if the marketing is right.

              Google could have been like Apple
              No it was not possible, if they went that way they would have lost the window of opportunity to get into the mobile market, as no OEM would have chosen Android if they did otherwise, and they could compete with Apple only if everyone else went with a concerted effort, otherwise it would have been like just one OS among many different crappy OSes (first gen android wasn't amazing) with no app compatibility and everyone would have flocked to Apple.

              Wild West where everything goes with little regard to long term Android viability?
              I'm not sure what's wrong with long-term Android viability here, Android is dominating the market and is really strong on embedded systems with a screen as well (cash registers, ATMs, industrial device control panels, and other similar devices), eating into the market that was reserved for Windows Embedded and such.

              Then ask yourself how is Google supposed to enforce standards with open source software when all one has to do is fork AOSP, give it a different name, and have "some helpful community member" release a sideloadable GAPPS package or even provide their own competing app store like Amazon does?
              Lol you wrote it yourself and you didn't see it.

              "fork AOSP, give it a different name, "

              Most if not all those using Android are not going to change it in any substantial way, they clone, tweak themes and add a few apps, and call it a day.
              Amazon devices can sideload Gapps and then you can run any app from the store, no problems, because that's still Android.

              The hard part is convincing hardware manufacturers to stop using blobs, for now they are working to make stable interfaces so they can have them use blobs that can be moved freely to other kernel versions https://arstechnica.com/gadgets/2019...rt-in-android/

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              • #27
                Originally posted by starshipeleven View Post
                Yeah let's blame Google for not making a device that is better for everyone and then ramming that down everyone's throats with an iron fist, backed by the government or something.

                Because it's a realistic expectation, really.
                I wasn't aware Apple had the government's backing to keep iOS under their control.

                Google is doing what they can to opensource the stack and keeps updating the source repositories with stuff, but they don't have control over the other parties, and also over the consumer that will gladly buy devices that suck balls if the marketing is right.
                But they could have had a Play clause where if you want access to Google Play, you have to use the Google version of Android.

                No it was not possible, if they went that way they would have lost the window of opportunity to get into the mobile market, as no OEM would have chosen Android if they did otherwise, and they could compete with Apple only if everyone else went with a concerted effort, otherwise it would have been like just one OS among many different crappy OSes (first gen android wasn't amazing) with no app compatibility and everyone would have flocked to Apple.
                Back in 2009-2012, sure, In 2018+, I seriously doubt it.

                I'm not sure what's wrong with long-term Android viability here, Android is dominating the market and is really strong on embedded systems with a screen as well (cash registers, ATMs, industrial device control panels, and other similar devices), eating into the market that was reserved for Windows Embedded and such.
                What's wrong is manufacturers doing their own funky stuff and then never bothering to update a device ever again by using the excuse of "All our own funky stuff adds extra development time so we don't have time to update our older stuff. Buy our new stuff for proper updates." It means that, long term, two years +, one can't guarantee their device will be working and usable.

                Here's a real world example from this week -- I had to buy my Mom a new phone a few days ago because her old phone, and I mean OLD phone, an LG G Flex, ran Android 4.4 and no longer works with her banking apps. The phone itself works just fine outside of the battery being old, but the OS is too old and isn't secure enough anymore. Hardware wise, the G Flex was the same as a couple other LG G series phones from that era...and all those other phones got OS updates to Android 5.5 or Android 6 in some cases while the G Flex got relabled as a beta/test product and never received any updates past 4.4.

                So, yes, adding funky crap diminishes long term viability of the OS.

                Lol you wrote it yourself and you didn't see it.

                "fork AOSP, give it a different name, "
                .....really dude.....

                Most if not all those using Android are not going to change it in any substantial way, they clone, tweak themes and add a few apps, and call it a day.
                Amazon devices can sideload Gapps and then you can run any app from the store, no problems, because that's still Android.

                The hard part is convincing hardware manufacturers to stop using blobs, for now they are working to make stable interfaces so they can have them use blobs that can be moved freely to other kernel versions https://arstechnica.com/gadgets/2019...rt-in-android/
                I know and that's the problem. It isn't hard at all to fork and rebrand or fork and theme. It's why I like manufacturers like Motorola that try to stick to a stock Android experience (has Blur flashbacks) and, therefore, usually are able to provide timely updates...or don't use Samsung or LG...

                For the other half...some of that may have been remedied by that made-up "Play Clause"...stick to the Google-mandated kernel interfaces to ensure long term Play Store and Google Provided updates work as expected. Outside of corporate strong-arming everyone else into doing it the Google way, I'm not sure how they'd enforce long term Android viability.

                Android shows all the good and bad of open software.

                Also a great case study on how corporate greed directs development and standards.

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                • #28
                  starshipeleven There is some blame to put on Google. Imho, they let everyone have their way with Android (manufacturers and carriers), in an effort to draw them away from Windows Phone. Now they're dealing with the fallout of their own decisions.

                  I'm not ready to burn Google to the stake though, they probably had no idea at the time their partners will use that freedom the way they did.
                  Still, I wish Google retained the ability to control OS updates. The way they do it now, they just move things to closed source and update them through the store. But that doesn't address the fact that the really dangerous exploits are rooted deeper than that and require proper OS updates. We do have Android One which guarantees 3 years of monthly security updates. But that is both worse than Apple/iOS and not available on all phones. In fact, I don't think 20% of the phones released are on Android One.

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                  • #29
                    Add native kernel support for a sane VPN.
                    Best description of wireguard to the date.

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                    • #30
                      Originally posted by bug77 View Post
                      starshipeleven There is some blame to put on Google. Imho, they let everyone have their way with Android (manufacturers and carriers), in an effort to draw them away from Windows Phone. Now they're dealing with the fallout of their own decisions.
                      Winphone was just one of many OSes used on would-be smartphones of the era. There was Symbian, whatever they used on Blackberries, and other minor ones coming from "featurephones". And the main issue was that exactly no manufacturer wanted something restrictive. MS had to buy companies and manufacture hardware to get real quantities of phones with Windows phone.

                      I don't think there was another choice to get anywhere near competing with Apple, and even a limited opensource with ongoing work to get better is better than any other competitor.

                      But that is both worse than Apple/iOS and not available on all phones. In fact, I don't think 20% of the phones released are on Android One.
                      Not sure how that is worse than apple, when they get caught routinely nerfing the old phone performance and wasting storage space with each update, yeah it MIGHT give you one more year, but it will be a bad experience.

                      Afaik all Nokia-branded phones are Android One, plus some Motorola, if we want to stick to known brands.

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