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Sam had to agree to handle the hardware abstraction layer (HAL) and not release the code he wrote for that component because Atheros uses a software defined radio (SDR). The company (and any individuals involved) could face huge headaches if they released code that allowed direct and simple manipulation of the SDR to work outside of a, b, or g ranges. He'll have precompiled binaries for many processors.
So the company would be in trouble for selling a software defined radio? Is this another DMCA style peice of legal stupidiy? I'm generally pretty hopeless with hardware (I leave it to the EE dept) but even I think I could build a radio! How does banning the sale of SDRs help anyone?
Personally, I could have great fun with a good SDR. Roll on GNU Radio! (did I read somewhere that they announced a cheaper USB device at O'Reilly ETCon2?)