June 24, 2010
I've had the opportunity to look into the Joojoo [ http://thejoojoo.com/ ] tablet recently. It's an interesting device in various ways, ranging from the screen being connected upside down and everything having to be rotated before display, to the ACPI implementation that's so generic it has no support for actually attaching most embedded controller interrupts to ACPI devices and so relies on a hacked kernel that exposes individual interrupts as ACPI events that are parsed in userspace, to the ChangeOrientation binary that's responsible for switching between landscape and portrait modes containing gems like ps aux | grep fgplayer | grep -v grep and containing references to org.freedesktop.PandaSystem, a somewhat gratuitous namespace grab. Hardware-wise it seems to be little more than battery, generic nvidia reference design board and touchscreen with an accelerometer and LED glued to the chipset's GPIO lines. The entire impression is one of an ambitious project not backed up by the level of technical expertise required to get things done properly. Frankly, I think Michael Arrington came out of this [ http://techcrunch.com/2009/12/11/crunchpad-federal-lawsuit-filed-some-additional-thoughts/ ] rather better than he could have done - behind the reasonably attractive UI, the entire device is pretty much held together by string and a following wind.
Of course, releasing shoddily put together technology isn't generally illegal and from that point of view Fusion Garage aren't any worse than a number of products I've had the misfortune to actually spend money on. But they're distributing Linux (stock Ubuntu with some additional packages and a modified kernel) without any source or an offer to provide source. I emailed them last week and got the following reply:
we are still actively making changes to the joojoo software. We will make
the source release available once we feel we are ready to do so and also
having the resources to get this sorted out and organized for publication.
We seek your kind understanding on our position and appreciate your
patience on this. Thank you.
joojoo Support Team
Strong work, Fusion Garage. Hardware and software may not be your strong points, but you're managing copyright infringement with the best of them.
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