"Open?"

The other day I'd gotten sufficiently comfortable with my cellphone (an HTC Hero) to take the next step and root it (which is to say, I used the z4root exploit to get admin privileges). I mentioned it in passing to Lyssa last night and she made an observation that caught me off guard: "If you had to jailbreak your phone," she said, "how can you call Android 'open'?"

How indeed.

Let's set up an example. The Android OS is based on the open source Linux kernel as well as a suite of applications and systemware different from those of your …

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