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Seriously why is it that I am downvoted for asking questions that present programmers in a negative light? Are we supposed to shy away from asking the more difficult questions?

I am trying to understand how the android permission system works. Now I happened to ask the names of application or a way we could produce one that was capable of bricking the device. It turns out, that people are not comfortable sharing information like this because of trust issues, some voice their opinions and others just downvote the question!

So the motive is to, "Let no one ask the hard questions which compromise security" or is it to, "Let the questions be asked so that we are all more aware and cautious about our security"?

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2 Answers 2

up vote 1 down vote accepted

I think that part of the problem is that your question was incomplete. People, naturally I think, have some reticence about helping others do things they consider evil, not thinking that there could be some legitimate purpose. I think if you had led off with your explanation of why you needed the information, your question may have been received better. I've edited the question to put this information at the top. Hopefully that helps. Be prepared for some people not to believe you, however, since... well, you could be lying. ;-).

I hope you do find a way to do your demonstration, but don't find a way to brick the device easily. I'd expect that would be something that the designers sought to avoid.

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Thanks for your assistance. I do believe that the question sounds much more believable now. :) I have asked this question on the developers forum a couple of times and to my utter surprise it did not once get added to the mailing list. while I have seen papers citing applications exist on marketplace that can brick your device. Also malwares are spreading in market place, as seen in yesterdays news. I am surprised as to how people would just choose to avoid such an important issue. techtree.com/India/News/Android_Gets_its_First_Trojan/… –  Shouvik Aug 12 '10 at 12:36

I see your point. However, I think the reflex to not have anything pop up that could be used to destroy things or compromise security is a healthy one, even though it's not entirely in the spirit of free research and science. It is a public forum after all, visited by all kinds of people.

Stuff like this is often down to wording. The question title "Need an app with brick permission" is likely to get people prejudiced against you from the start. If you start the question with telling about your master thesis, then slowly leading over to bricking the device and that you are looking for ways to demonstrate possible exploits... it might work out differently.

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So there is something called as a bad question after all... =) But then, in such cases there has to be a system in place which actually looks at the validity of the question being asked and the downvoting should be reversed. Its very annoying to offer bounty on a question being downvoted, and which may not be frivolous as it appears to be. –  Shouvik Aug 12 '10 at 12:21
    
@Shouvik Stack Overflow is (mostly) community-moderated, so the people voting are that system. Anyway, chances are you are getting more support for it now, so this may already be settled. –  Pëkka Aug 12 '10 at 12:32
    
Thanks, I am though I had never imagined it to be received so warmly. I was actually prepared to quit SOF over this issue, but then I guessed an attempt to address this issue would be a better way to tackle it... :) Thanks for all your assistance! And I really appreciate the way people show support in this community and address issues, its very unique. I have been a part of the mailing list for a long time, but SOF really puts your questions in the forefront and thats what I enjoy the most here. –  Shouvik Aug 12 '10 at 12:41

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