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The Android fine print: Kill switch and other tidbits

By Nancy Gohring
October 16, 2008 12:00 PM ET

For now, all applications in the market are free because Google hasn't yet set up the mechanisms to allow developers to offer them for purchase.

People around the world -- phone users or not -- might also be pleased to learn about this item listed in the Android Market terms of service, in all caps for extra effect: "None of the products are intended for use in the operation of nuclear facilities, life support systems, emergency communications, aircraft navigation or communication systems, air traffic control systems or any other such activities in which case the failure of the products could lead to death, personal injury, or severe physical or environmental damage."

That's not the only bit of levity to be found on the phone. The G1 comes with a text-only scrolling video listing contributors and offering special thanks. After a pause, at the very end, Google assures users that "no robots were harmed in the making of this product."

While the contributors video refers to the Open Handset Alliance -- the group of companies backing Android -- without naming all the members, it thanks contributors that many industry observers may not have known were involved in the creation of Android.

Andy Missan and Jason von Nieda are the only people called out by name under the special-thanks section. According to Missan's Web site, he has worked as legal counsel for MobiTV, ReplayTV and WebTV. He also worked for Danger, the company recently acquired by Microsoft and founded by Andy Rubin, who later started a mobile software company, called Android, that Google acquired.

On his Web site, von Nieda describes himself as a Seattle-based "computer programmer, systems administrator, network engineer and all around good guy."

Other companies listed as contributors or given special thanks include Swedish software technology and design company The Astonishing Tribe; Swiss engineering company Noser Engineering; media player developers Hooked Wireless; Indian consultancy Satyam; mobile software and services providers Core Mobility; and designers Mike and Maaike.

Reprinted with permission from IDG.net. Story copyright 2014 International Data Group. All rights reserved.
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