Today my girlfriend bought a new mobile phone – a shiney new thing running Android.

Android looks like quite some fun, especially if you “root” it and then hack the dickens out of it.

But even if we set aside for now the questions about proprietary drivers, the real shock comes from the Android Market. What do I mean with that?

Well, on the Android Market there are two types of content – “free” and paid for. Needless to say, the “free” content is not free as in free software or freedom, but considered as gratis.

The trick is that when you choose a “free” app from the Market, you are presented with a bulleted list of what you allow this app to access. To be honest, some of the themes and apps had some very obscure demands that made even my Facebook-using girlfriend's hair stand up. E.g. there was a theme that wanted the user to grant it read-write access to his/her contacts (amongst about 6 other messed up demands).

Do you call that free? I think not!

Can you at least call that gratis? I think my privacy is worth something and therefore IMHO it can't even be called gratis.

Is this an Android-only phaenomenon or does anyone else have any similar experience with e.g. Nokia's Ovi, Intel's AppUp, Apple's AppStore or the like?

hook out → sipping Bio Lapsang Souchang with milk and sugar and should really be studying XD

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