Robert Pogson

One man, closing all the windows.

Daily Archives / Friday, January 13, 2012

  • Jan 13 / 2012
  • 23

Oracle Has Run Aground in Oracle v Google

Judge Alsup has made some rulings. The consequences are substantial for Oracle v Google/Android/World.

  1. The judge will not set a date for trial until Oracle revises its damage-caculation. Twice an unreasonable sum has been presented with no good legal basis. For this “delay,” Oracle has no one to blame but itself, given that twice now it has advanced improper methodologies obviously calculated to reach stratospheric numbers.
  2. Debate over an e-mail claimed privileged by attorney-client relationships has spilled over into an appeal which will have to be dealt with before trial or the trial risks being appealled.

Now, delay may be what Oracle wants as Oracle tries to spread FUD about Android/Linux but according to sales of Android/Linux devices, that’s not working. Oracle thus needs to tax Android and for that needs the matter to go to trial. Further, the delay threatens more of Oracle’s patents which have been thrown out on review by USPTO. The more delay, the more patents will be reviewed.

So, Larry Ellison’s dreams of bullying Google over Android have become a nightmare which is at best embarrassing and at worst an expensive disaster. The trial may end up costing far more than the “damages”. Of course, Oracle can afford it but the long-term effects will be that Oracle will be seen an unreliable partner in anything. On top of other moves to change the relationship with the FLOSS community, Oracle has earned a lot of bad will. I, for instance, am committed to producing future database projects with Postgresql. I tried it out seriously with webstats and find it different from MySQL but very easy to use. With a little practice, I won’t miss MySQL at all. I’ve already switched to LibreOffice and I likely never will use Oracle’s database.

  • Jan 13 / 2012
  • 60

M$ Seeks Monopoly on ARMed Devices

M$ is a big player in IT. By insisting that “secure booting” must be enabled on all ARMed devices on which M$ will licence “8″, M$ is seeking monopoly on ARM. Any manufacturers of ARMed chips will have to prevent GNU/Linux to boot from those chips if they want to sell to OEMs shipping “8″. The only alternative is to supply two types of chips, doubling inventory costs.

M$ will not do this for x86 systems because there are tons of businesses still running XP and they have a licence permitting them to run on new hardware but on ARM there is no legacy software from M$.

While it is less likely that anyone would want to swap OS on embedded systems, many people want to do that for smart thingies with upgradeable OS such as smart phones and tablets. I expect the world should lay a huge anti-trust suit on M$ sooner rather than later to prevent this action. An injunction would be nice.

see Software Freedom Law Centre (SFLC)

see Glynn Moody

M$, we’re watching. You’re not going to get away with this. 8-|

  • Jan 13 / 2012
  • 1

Call for Leaner US Government

I just listened to a speech by President Obama stating he was doing what he could to cut the fat from government operations and that he was asking Congress to return the fast-track authority presidents used to have. He gave as an example the maze of departments and points of contact that small businesses needed to deal with government. He described all kinds of consolidations that should reduce head-count and complexity cutting costs.

One thing that reducing complexity should do is to cut the numbers of data-centres and IT organizations in government. This involves a lot of work but in the end more should be doable by fewer people and fewer computers. Probably more will be done with GNU/Linux and thin clients. Obama has already shown with that FLOSS works. Several departments have already deployed a lot of FLOSS and the overall plan for a more open government should call for open standards and FLOSS.

The US government spends $billions each year on IT and a lot of that money goes to M$ and is wasted. Every penny that is cut back or FLOSS package installed is money saved that can cut the deficit or go towards worthy programmes. The Whitehouse is well aware of FLOSS:
“These and other open source applications now exist in almost every organization in the US. Gartner estimates that 85% of all enterprise IT runs on open source. 73% are fielding large solutions based on MySQL. The majority of the intelligence community’s data centers now run on open source software.

Open source software now has a large and thriving developer community. Over 900,000 developers are coding in open source software today. This is larger than all the proprietary developers of all the proprietary closed source software companies put together. And these open source software developers are highly skilled, experienced programmers (the average age of an open source developer is 30. The average length of programing experience is 11 years). “

However, it is an election year and the Republicans will likely spin this as an attempt to enlarge government… so we may have to wait for the elections to see how this proposal flies. If the best the Republicans have is Romney, Obama and Congress may work better together next year.