Palm cracks down on talk of tethering | webOS Nation

Palm cracks down on talk of tethering 52

by Derek Kessler Mon, 15 Jun 2009 1:19 pm EDT

Palm Pre, no tethering

We got confirmation of two things today: how Palm feels about the burgeoning unofficial Pre developer community, and who wears the pants in the Palm-Sprint relationship. The folks over at Pre Dev Wiki, who have been busy tearing open the recovery tool ROM received the following message from Palm:

We have been politely cautioned by Palm that any discussion of tethering during the Sprint exclusivity period (and perhaps beyond—we don't know yet) will probably cause Sprint to complain to Palm, and if that happened then Palm would be forced to react against the people running the IRC channel and this wiki.

We want to retain a good relationship with Palm, hence we are not allowing discussion of tethering on the IRC channel, or in this wiki.

Note that Sprint does not have a plan available for use with the Pre which allows tethering under the Terms Of Service.

Once there is a version of the Pre available for a carrier that does allow tethering, or an unlocked GSM version, then we may be able to change this policy.

The answers the two above questions: Palm tolerates, or even likes, that there’s this developer community, but Sprint wears the pants and Palm would rather not get in a fight with their white knight carrier. It’s too bad, because it was starting to feel like we were mere weeks, or even days, away from getting tethering to work. We can just hope that Sprint will see the demand and allow Palm to enable tethering like they said they would up until February.

[via: PreThinking]



I love's like Dinosaur Comics...with a phone and a laptop.

What a great opportunity to further outvalue ATT and VZN. Offering tethering for your greatest supporters. I've used it to help out when I need flash or java support for a task. It would never raplace proper broadband for most people. So some accomodation would appear to be in order to help draw in subscribers. Like many services, it would never get utilized enough, but always a nice feature to have and advertise. What a great problem to have. Having so many customers that it was impacting service levels. LOL

But, Sprint knows what they are doing. They managed to work their way to #3 and losing customers by the stateload. No need to take a competitive advantage here.

Sprint will give you the App for tethering a Blackberry --- it must have something to do with App sales.

"We want to retain a good relationship with Palm, hence we are not allowing discussion of tethering on the IRC channel, or in this wiki."

We are still weeks (or days) from getting it to work. It just won't be discussed in those places.

Which means it will be less main stream...

Being that it would have been posted on a wiki for hacking the Pre and required the user to root their Pre and do some terminal hacking - I highly doubt it would have been all that "mainstream" anyway...

agreed, but what happens is precentral picks it up and engadget etc, sprint customers see it and call sprint demanding access to do it. Then sprint will have to tell them they cant and so on and so forth, lose money.

Which I think is all Sprint really wants also. They haven't done much to quell tethering on other platforms in the past. They just don't want everyone, everywhere doing it.

Most people that understand the workarounds (however simple) also understand that using tethering to snag some emails on the road is one thing, but that using it to run torrents is both rude and foolish.

Maybe I'm missing something, but if you're just snagging some emails on the road, what's the point of tethering? The Pre can handle e-mail without the use of a notebook, if all you're doing is reading. (Replying to the e-mail is a different thing, I guess, depending on how long the reply is.)

Emails that have data/work attachments. MATLAB doesn't play nice on cell phones.

If one plays with the code of the Pre and does indeed turn on or discover tethering capabilities... would it work on the Sprint network anyway?

The Blackberry's can already do tethering, and pretty nicely -- My Mom has a Curve 8330, and it pulls in a decent 1.3-1.4mbps while tethered through the USB cable.

That will depend if there is something that the pre does to establish that you are PAMing... WinMo dlls do this... we have a cab to correct it and use the normal dll's that dont identify the user as etc.

This reminds me a lot of the TiVo Community forums -- they allow talk of hacking the devices, but any talk of video extraction is banished to less public areas. It still happened, but it wasn't as public and didn't hurt TiVo's relationship with the TV networks as much.

The fact that I can't pass mp3s or any other files to my Pre from my Lenovo X61t with bluetooth pisses me off majorly.

Where's the maintenance with that relationship? Where's the love? My Palm Treo 700wx could send anything back and forth via bluetooth.

sheesh. people in this sites own forums have tethering working!

tethering is very very easy with a linux base, as the same exact linux runs on all our routers. that's all tethering is, routing between 2 separate network interfaces.

If sprint is stopping this then I am going to return my pre and wait for another carrier to picket it up. That is part of the reason why I got the phone. I am still in my 30 days for if they do not change I will. I will talk with my pocket.

Damiand, Ive got bad news...when it goes to VZW I garuntee they will keep Tethering disabled as well. Heck, VZW will probably force you to use some Verizon Navigor app that costs $10 / month on top of what you pay.

the storm has tethering

You might as well return it now then. It was known before the phone came out that tethering wouldn't be enabled. I'm sure Sprint or Palm won't care if you return it. Someone else will buy in your place. Next time do some research before you purchase and you won't have to worry about being dissapointed.

Take it back! Now! Get a less capable phone for a lot more money. YOU'LL SHOW THEM!!!

Well, it is supposed to be released to Canada in a few months? Does the exclusivicity deal prevent Palm from selling unlocked GSM versions in Europe (since they can theoretically be brought back and activated on Tmobile or ATT?)

Well you know what I love the phone but I hate stupid. I will just go back to my lovely blackberry and or android device. That is the power of choice, I love it. Palm better be careful not to allow these phone companies to limit them and what they want to offer to their users. I have always been a palm support and I think they make the best smart phones todate but I will go with second best if I have to.

I don't see Mac support? Waah

you should be used to that by now, hehe

Most things like this are much easier on a Mac than on Windows; for example, Putty is an SSH client, whereas you have one built into the OS X terminal. SOCKS proxies can be set up on any OS. If you really want to learn how to do it, it's time to start searching. Once you know a bit about SSH and linux commands (which are mostly identical on OS X), you'll be on your way.

In my opinion Sprint is pulling the strings (which everyone seems to agree with). I have been a palm and sprint user for many years. My old treo's tethered and sprint "didn't" seem to mind. Why would they care now? I pay for my plan and if I want to use my phone as a modem, it seems that sprint should just deal with it. Charge me more, limit my use, what ever. But saying no seems limiting. And like others on this site, I to am aware that Sprint is hemmoraging customers. They really should think about the consequences of there actions before being so arbitrary.

Palm's just saving face with respect to Sprint. They've been monitoring the ongoing rooting and hacking for about a week. You only have read the one or two posts regarding the dissection of the ROM to know that those with the skills necessary are out there and were just a few days away from enabling BT tethering...

I would get all the files for rooting and save all the instructions while they are still available. Sounds like Palm might go after some of the people hosting these files/info. I already saved everything in case I decide I want to try it.

I know you can still get this info other places, but the average Joe may not be able to find these places.

Edit: I didn't mean to sound like Palm is the bad guy here. It would seem, like the author said, that Sprint is wearing the pants here.

Is tethering that big of a deal? I would rather it broadcast wifi, but to think of it, the only reason I did that on my Pro was to use my iPod touches internet, soo... Now that I have my Pre with a decent media player and great web browser. When I hook up to my netbook I like to keep it wireless so wifi or my aircad, I wouldn't want a wire there. BT would be ok.

Why the long face? That wiki or these forums are by no means the only online resources for Pr? or webOS. Why said you can no longer have your cake?

You know they can shut down (maybe not shut down but penalize) any site that has any information about pre or webos that does not have direct permission from palm? Especially is such information is in violation of various agreements... although thats not to say they want to. I think its more a kee[p it hush hush type thing.

This is a bit of a cross-post from engadget but I would like to propose something. Please tell me what you think

I liked it back in the day when I had a $40 Phone as Modem plan that let me tether AND get internet access on my phone. This made sense. (I used to pay $35 base + $40 internet).

Now it's set up completely opposite. You don't have that option but while losing PAM connectivity, I get sprint navigation, limited sprint tv and sprint radio, unlimited texts and MMS.

Is navigation, text, and mms worth $50 it costs for an aircard plan? no, but maybe $20 - $30 for unlimited PAM is a reasonable value.

Still, I think $5 to have to option to have PAM connectvitiy up to 500 mb (1gb may be pushing it) would probably be reasonable. The idea is for people like me who may use it in "emergencies" or when truly necessary.

Really, a sliding scale makes the most sense, but if water and power utilities have trouble explaining this to customers, I highly doubt a cell phone company can.


Ooo. Actually fully agree. If Sprint offered a legit, cheap (if limited) tethering add-on, I'd pony up. I also only use it when there are no other 'net options.

Still really irritates me that they don't allow tethering within the usual 5 GB cap though. Even with occasional tethering I've never passed up 5 GB on my WinMo devices.

This is stupid. Sprint the white knight? Are you serious? I love sprint, but they have done a terrible job at marketing the pre. If anything sprint should be kissing palm's ass cause if not for the pre they would have continued losing customers to pre paid and other carriers. The pre saved sprint for now. Sprint should be kissing our ass for the hype that we have created for this phone and sprint. I say tether away, and anyone using their phone for torrentz should be smacked anyways.

I agree. I mean, at the very least, say something like, "Tethering is possible, but not officially supported due to limited bandwidth/performance," and so on. In other words, give people the option, but warn them that they're not going to get the same quality as they would with a proper connection.

P.S. this is why I would love for DELL to buy Palm.

As much as I hate to say this, Sprint does have an interest in people not tethering.

There's a big difference between someone using their phone to watch Sprint's NASCAR service and someone using it to tether so they can download a Windows 7 or Ubuntu DVD, or to play World of Warcraft, etc.

Now, those might not be reasonable applications for tethering, but I don't know that you can rule out people doing things like that, given the chance. If you think about it for a minute, there are probably a dozen ways you can make a mockery of the "Simply Everything" plan that way.

While the literalist in me thinks that "everything" should mean "everything", there's no denying that when companies put forth plans like that, they do so with an idea of what a "reasonable" user would use on an "everything" plan.

Look how AT&T limited Slingbox to Wifi. Carriers simply do not want people hitting their networks that hard, if they can help it. (I'm not saying they can, of course, but they'll try.)

I absolutely agree. The problem is band width and the networks ability to support multiple downloads, calls, whatever. The point of the average user is a little less grey. You gave me an "everything" plan and thats what it means. Advertise what you can and are willing to do. Don't sell the moon when you really only have rocks to offer.

*sigh* the most disappointing thing about the Palm Pre release has been sprint by far.

Sprint, it's just this simple. you are selling a plan called "simple everything" that dose not mean simply whatever you want it to mean on alternate Tuesdays. If people are paying you for data on a simple everything plan (duh, everything right?) then it's none of your FUCKING business if they wan to tether. Get over it, and make it legal or you know what? Your going to die, your remissness is in the sewer as it is and your are pissing over the one ray of light that might save your sorry lazy, lousy cs service asses.

Falls right in with their discharged customers that were using too much "unlimited data".

Agreed to some extent. Sprint doesnt charge me for "tethering" my bluetooth headset. Sprint allows tethering on other phones. The only reason I can see is to make more money. I get it. I just don't like it.

As much as I would love to have tethering on my Pre, and I think an "unlimited" plan should not have a monthly cap, I have to disagree with you. The data plan is for your phone to use, not for any other device to use. It's in the contract that you signed and agreed to. This would make it their business if you're tethering or not.

You're sounding like one of those iPhone users complaining because they're not getting the subsidized price on the new iPhone3GS because they're still under contract. You know what? Deal with it. It's the contract that you signed, whether you like it or not. Either abide by the contract that you agreed to, or root your Pre and enable tethering and risk getting caught.

My Blackberry Pearl on Sprint's Simply Everything plan can tether. Sprint supports it by hosting the client for the PC. I download it from, install it, and I'm good to go. I was out of wifi at home for 2 days and I survived on this tethering.

Why do they let Blackberries tether and not the Pre? This seems pretty dumb to me.

We saw the marketing info in February saying the Pre could tether. We heard about the CEO saying the Pre will have tethering (implying some time after launch).

What gives?

Same, I even called up Sprint and they gave me a list of phones that would work as a tether.

This must have something more to do with Sprint trying to get Apps to sell us for out Pre's --- Why let them use their laptop to download an attachment when we could charge them for an App that does that ---

Usually when something in the business world doesn't seem to make sense, money is at the core of the decision.

Bell in Canada allows tethering on some of their smartphone data plans that will be available with the Pre, so once Bell starts selling it, I guess they can start talking about it again.

I'll just wait until ATT picks the phone up next year. I have a motorola V9 and tether it now. As for it being stupid to tether, you should try not being able to have reliable access to WiFi. I drive a truck and I can't get places with wifi a lot. So tethering makes sense, especially since ATT wants to charge me $10 extra a month for a second number for the aircard. There is no difference in tethering and using the phone to surf.

how come my pre doesnt charge while tethering

i bought Palm put options and tripled my money ebcause of this tethering nonsense. Sprint has helped to run Palm into the dirt. Sprint continues to run its own company into the dirt. Palm whacked tethering with 1.3.1 and it was stupid to upgrade. Too bad for Roger sinking thirty million dollars into Palm stock and letting the Sprint execs rob him too.

i cant get my tethering to work please help. email with answers.

I know that there is a way for the sprint palm pre to connect a laptop to the internet but you have to do all this stuff to your phone can someone please explain (in a way i can do and understand) how to make my phone connect my laptop to internet. Thanks!