Originally Posted by notimetoread
can't you just install the standard firmware? As long as you don't sync with the desktop application, you should be fine.
I doubt that would do it, since the FW packs only include the differences
from the initial shipping version. If you install a vanilla FW on an ad subsidized version, it might create some nasty inconsistencies. To nuke the ads, the best strategy might be to go in and clone/copy an entire vanilla install, then load that. Even then, I'd suggest not altering the recovery partition. (I have the vanilla/full KT, so I can't test this.)
But really, there's a reason why the subsidized device is cheaper. Kobo will probably add a way to remove the ads by paying the difference, they might even have mentioned that it's in the works. (Though I don't remember.)
PS: The fact that firmware updates only include differences also means that reverting (from .16 to .14) also shares that risk of inconsistencies.
Originally Posted by MikeNorrish
Is [firmware] also how the device determines which affiliate store / authentication server it should associate itself with? Or is that determined by some other means...?
As of now, a factory reset of my device sets it to use a local affiliate (contra to the default configuration, out of the box, which uses no affiliate). I've been considering trying to find where this is set on the device via telnet before setting it up with the desktop app, but if it's a simple matter of setting the locale of my machine before running setup, then obviously that's going to be a much easier option...
There's an affiliate setting in .kobo/Kobo/Kobo.conf. It may not be the only setting for it, but that's one of them at least.