#qi-hardware IRC log for Tuesday, 2017-09-19

kyakhaving a free toolchain and reverse engineered free toolchain is very different05:50
kyakphrases like "... it seems we can create correct functional Verilog models ..." is not very assuring05:51
kyakon the front page of the project05:52
DocScrutinizer05haha, yeah13:16
DocScrutinizer05https://boingboing.net/2017/09/18/antifeatures-for-all.html :-/15:51
qwebirc90825what do you think is the highest priority project that could be done18:50
qwebirc90825in terms of qi hardware18:50
qwebirc90825smartphone or laptop18:50
DocScrutinizer05the question is rather fuzzy19:44
qwebirc90825I mean in terms of impact19:45
qwebirc90825the fsf puts developing a free smartphone OS as a high priority19:45
DocScrutinizer05as if there were none yet19:51
DocScrutinizer05it's just FSF has no clue about embedded and hw, particularly when it comes to phones19:51
qwebirc90825I guess there are not completely happy about Replicant19:52
DocScrutinizer05of course not since it's still using a RIL blob aiui19:52
qwebirc90825and there is the issue of GSM and privacy19:53
DocScrutinizer05there is no such issue, this is extremely oversimplified19:53
DocScrutinizer05there is e.g. ASN1 vulnerability19:54
DocScrutinizer05and OTA update, and generally the problem of an inevitably intangible radio stack firmware19:54
DocScrutinizer05GSM per se is orthogonal to any provacy concerns19:55
DocScrutinizer05>>issue of GSM and privacy<< is FSF's obscured approach to the topic19:56
DocScrutinizer05since they have no idea about the actual hw design and the sw implications there from19:57
qwebirc90825ok, I'll try to educate myself on the topic19:57
DocScrutinizer05at least it was like this a two years ago19:57
qwebirc90825I was thinking about location privacy19:58
DocScrutinizer05http://neo900.org/stuff/cccamp15/ccc2015talk/neo900-wpwrak_CCC2015.webm 19:58
DocScrutinizer05there is no such thing like locations privacy as soon as you use any arbitrary RF transmitter19:59
infobotfrom memory, u-tdoa is http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/U-TDOA19:59
DocScrutinizer05all technical subjects that FSF is largely ignorant of19:59
DocScrutinizer05>>Because U-TDOA is a network-based location technology, it does not require the mobile phone to have any special chip, hardware, or software in it.<<20:00
DocScrutinizer05s/mobile phone/RF transmitter/20:01
Action: DocScrutinizer05 waits for FSF suggesting that lightning bolts need a location privacy aware OS, those poor critters ;-P20:02
DocScrutinizer05elementary physics: a transmitter can get located20:03
DocScrutinizer05it is *gets* located in cellphone network20:03
DocScrutinizer05there's zilch you can do about that, neither on hw level nor by a nifty OS20:04
qwebirc90825it seems the Neo900 gets good GSM isolation with respect to main CPU20:04
DocScrutinizer05that's the main design goal20:04
qwebirc90825and all software stack is free20:04
qwebirc90825that's good20:04
DocScrutinizer05on linux land20:04
qwebirc90825I am interested in decentralized networking and mesh stuff20:06
DocScrutinizer05we can't get FOSS firmware for the cpu in WLAN/BT module nor for the cell modem20:06
qwebirc90825seems that the freedom box failed, right?20:06
DocScrutinizer05don't know feedom box20:07
qwebirc90825but those are the only 2 proprietary sectors, right?20:07
DocScrutinizer05wasn't that some totally weird thing like a router to protect your PC from threats, or sth?20:07
qwebirc90825bluetooth is freed?20:07
qwebirc90825sth like a private server20:07
qwebirc90825among other uses20:07
DocScrutinizer05aah yes20:07
DocScrutinizer05yes, those are the two proprietary "sectors" in Neo900. And for WLAN the jury is still out if some smart hacker may RE the firmware20:08
qwebirc90825it seems very difficult to host your own mail server20:08
DocScrutinizer05for cell modem this isn't an option20:09
DocScrutinizer05the cell modem needs approval, on the hw+sw combo20:09
qwebirc90825approval from whom?20:10
DocScrutinizer05so even *if* somebody could RE and modify the radio stack, you would operate an illegal transmitter by using that firmware20:10
DocScrutinizer05approval by FCC et al20:10
DocScrutinizer05operating illegal transmitters is a crime that may result in 10 years of jail in some countries20:11
DocScrutinizer05incl USA20:11
qwebirc90825hardware is hard20:11
DocScrutinizer05don't get me wrong: operating a WLAN out of spec is also illegal but considered a minor crime nevertheless, probably because of the lower damage it may do20:12
DocScrutinizer05with a bad or rogue modem firmware however, you can do anything from changing IMEI which is a nogo for FCC cert, to possibly trying fraud or eavesdropping on the provider network, or tearing the whole cell down20:14
DocScrutinizer05up to your guess what are the chances FCC approves a FOSS radio stack20:15
DocScrutinizer05unless it's cryptosigned so no user could change the actual firmware in modem chipset, despite it being FOSS20:15
DocScrutinizer05add to that the mere fact that e.g. for Thorium/NovaThor LTE chipset by ST-Ericsson there were like 400 sw devels busy for over 2 years to create the firmware, and then you get an idea about probability to ever see a FOSS radio stack for cell modem20:17
DocScrutinizer05(I know that particular data since I been one of them)20:17
qwebirc90825then the firmware cannot possibly be GPLv320:17
qwebirc90825because of the tivoization clause I guess20:18
DocScrutinizer05or it can, but you can't get approval for it then20:18
qwebirc90825maybe we should simply avoid it20:19
DocScrutinizer05you could, in theory, create your own open hw chipset and develop a FOSS radio stack for it, but unless you tivoize it, it won't get approval *anywhere* on this globe20:19
qwebirc90825when you say radio stack you mean all radio signals?20:20
DocScrutinizer05so Neo900 is the only possible approach to dealing with this rogue piece of hardware and embedded software20:21
DocScrutinizer05eadio stack is the control software for the radio aka transmitter and receiver20:21
DocScrutinizer05actually the modem firmware has more than just the radio stack, but that's nitpicking20:22
DocScrutinizer05strictly speaking the filesystem where calibration and IMEI and whatnot gets stored in modem is not part of the radio stack, rather baseband20:23
DocScrutinizer05and obviously IO drivers for serial, USB etc pp are not radio stack either20:24
qwebirc90825why Neo900 the only one?20:26
DocScrutinizer05mostly because it's expensive to separate modem and "linux" Application Processor20:26
DocScrutinizer05virtually all contemporary phones have embedded modem into SoC, for size and cost reasons20:27
DocScrutinizer05see Werner's talk http://neo900.org/stuff/cccamp15/ccc2015talk/neo900-wpwrak_CCC2015.webm20:27
qwebirc90825this modem thing is hard!20:28
DocScrutinizer05and yet I hope we nailed it in Neo90020:31
DocScrutinizer05now if only FSF would understand that's as good as it possibly gets20:31
DocScrutinizer05but they gave us FSF "approval" for OM GTA01/02 back when only based on the fact that there was no flasher tool for the modem firmware available to end user. Once we made such tool available it basically voided FSF approval20:33
DocScrutinizer05until the sources for the calypso firmware leaked, at which point such tool was mandatory to qualify for FSF approval since without you couldn't flash the leaked firmware20:34
DocScrutinizer05or wait, this leakage still wouldn't suffice, somebody needs to rewrite it under GPL20:35
DocScrutinizer05that's the problem with a *software* centric entity certifying hardware20:36
whitequarkDocScrutinizer05: I actually think the firmware *can* be under GPLv3, technically21:16
whitequarkif all the firmware authors assign copyright to you, then you can legally take it and flash it into the tivoized BP21:16
whitequarkand distribute it under GPLv3, so anyone *else* would be stuck without FCC approval21:17
DocScrutinizer05hmm, I thought GPLv3 was also about "must not tivoize"21:18
whitequarkbut if copyright is assigned to you then you are not bound by terms of GPLv321:19
DocScrutinizer05hmm, ok21:19
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