77 posts • joined Sunday 28th October 2007 06:23 GMT
I know a country who could help...
We really should be asking the Chinese if they can lend a hand. I think they've got some experience of making sure the population is sufficiently protected from the free flow of information. I guess it'd be ridiculous to allow people to read all the info and make their own minds up about stuff.
iPads due for a refresh
As has already been established in the court, Apple didn't invent the tablet computer (or phone). And if they don't release a new iPad soon, then Amazon, Google and Samsung will all be offering better products (Kindle, Nexus, Galaxy, Note, etc).
Truth is that they're following Microsoft's lead on UX
It's a sad day when Apple feels the need to follow Microsoft's "Metro" interface cues. I'm sad to see skeuomorphism go - e.g. iBooks page turning feels great to me in iOS 6. I'm with the "Don't Make Me Think" crowd on this one.
Where's the beef?
There's no real information in this story - just a lot of opinion about the way patent litigation might play out. The most important things are: 1) does Motorola Mobility hold any "platinum" patents that are broad in scope? 2) is this going to help or hinder the other Android phone makers? If Google uses Motorola as a patent shield for Android then it helps the ecosystem for Samsung, HTC, LG, Sony, etc...
"Invented first" versus "filed first"
Here's some more details about the change: http://www.patentlyo.com/patent/2011/03/mccrackinpatentreform.html
Neither "invented first" nor "filed first" invalidate the defense of prior art. If it can be shown that there was prior art available before the invention, then the invention may still be invalidated. This just relates to a change of ownership of inventions that are files late.
"Apache says otherwise... that Google's JVM isn't based on their code" - not entirely accurate. Apache has only said that the evidence submitted in Oracle's patent infringement case against Google does not include Apache Harmony code. It has not said that Dalvik or Android's SDK are without Harmony code or code derived from Harmony. Just want to help keep things accurate.
...but I do agree with your points about Apache licensing, and Apache's choice to stay or walk. Personally I think Apache would be better off filing a lawsuit contesting that Oracle has a legal obligation to offer the TCK according to the legally binding commitments it has made. Then we'd know for sure whether or not Harmony was real certified Java. But even then, patents are whole other ball game, and since nothing is released under GPL3, Oracle has given no patent licenses - explicitly or implicitly. Basically Oracle stands to make many many millions of $$ from this.
Interestingly, Google's best defense may be that Android is independent code and not a Google product, hence the lawsuit is filed against the wrong plaintiff. Oracle would then need to take aim at HTC, Motorola, etc - in a similar way to Apple. http://www.engadget.com/2010/03/02/apple-vs-htc-a-patent-breakdown/
A 3.2MP Samsung tab camera is an infinite percent better than the iPad non-camera. Regarding size, I think the Amazon Kindle has proved that people will buy a 7" screen and find it comfortable. Talking of Amazon, their site currently says "In stock on November 17, 2010.
Order now and we'll deliver when available." - so I guess the demand is speaking for itself.
Might depend whether it's the Mobile Version
I agree - if Google can show that the copied code is derived from J2SE GPL - or Apache Harmony - then they've only got to fight the patents. But it's very likely they'll have to pay Oracle to license those patents, unless they can wield a big patent stick back at Oracle - unlikely.
I'd suggest Google change their terms and conditions to state that any company suing Google Inc may not appear in Google's search results.
Google's "Black Box" patent
Google doesn't have much patent-punch-power to throw back at Oracle - all I can find is Google's "Black Box" patent here: http://www.google.com/patents/about?id=TzPTAAAAEBAJ&dq=%22google+inc%22
News? Someone copies Sun kit, and someone else imports it from the US before reselling it? I miss the days when Sun was interesting. Jini, JXTA, Java, Niagara, etc. It seems that Google took those old words "the network is the computer" and made it happen while Sun remembered the days of big Purple boxes. Sad to see Sun not offer any network services, and certainly nothing close to Amazon's AWS.
Flawless upgrades on Samsung NC10 and Virtualbox
No problems to report - just waited a while for the packages, clicked "OK" a few times and there it is. Nice shiny new Ubuntu, and I love the cellular modem support for my NC10. Works on my Sony Ericsson MD300 data card. Awesome! What's not to like?
Linux ubuntu-box 2.6.31-14-generic #48-Ubuntu SMP Fri Oct 16 14:04:26 UTC 2009 i686 GNU/Linux
Puesta del Sol
Thank you Sun for all the good times. I guess the delusions of grandeur had to end at some point. At least we've got beer money to keep us smiling a while longer. I wonder what Scott, Jon and Greg will do next - maybe join Andreas von Bechtolsheim on his "the network is not quite the computer" venture?
If you bing for it, you won't find it
Actually Bing can't find the document. Luckily Google can. Microsoft needs to get back to basics and start programming to the cloud from the ground up, otherwise it will never catch Google, Amazon and others (Apple?).
I like my internet sessions sticky (if you know what I mean) and I'm not sure if Amazon can balance my load the way I like it. (Gonna be using Pound or HAProxy instead I think).
PS Paris coz she can balance my load any day
Medium-to-long term, the biggest competition to Solaris will come from Ubuntu. It runs on Sparc too, and is already "cloud-friendly". Competition is a good thing - it'll push them both to the max. Oracle will push Solaris hard so it can sell database appliances incorporating ZFS, SSD, etc. It'll probably create nicely tuned Solaris Oracle database AMIs on Amazon's cloud too. Looks good for everyone.
PS How come almost everyone posts as AC? No tienes huevos?
So long and thanks for all the fish
I've had a blast writing comments here over the years, being a Sun fanboi, and finally a harbinger. It's such a shame it has to end like this. But I guess it's appropriate that 2 Unix heavyweights - Sun and SGI - should exit stage right at about the same time.
I'm fascinated to see what Oracle does with Sparc. The new Intel 5500 Xeons look like they give Niagara a run for its money, and Fujitsu's chips aren't going to keep the pace against IBM Power 6 and 7.
By the way, the hardware deferred revenue numbers are bull. They've been growing for the past year or more and never materialize. It's deferred as in "manana" (which I can tell you from over here in Mexico usually means never).
I'm still holding a bunch of Sun "put" options which became worthless when Oracle announced its takeover. So I guess in the end Sun enjoyed the last laugh when I got a little too greedy, but maybe Larry will see these FY09Q3 numbers and reconsider his deal? $9.50 a share is generous given a 20% decline and 30,000-plus hungry mouths to feed. Maybe his experience with Unbreakable Linux taught him that forking open source doesn't deliver the green stuff?
Talking of Linux, the really big question on my mind is "what cooker does Jon Schwartz use (it's the same as Greg P's), and did Linus ever accept that dinner invitation?" Food for thought.
Hasta la proxima vida, Sol. Dulces suenos.
PS Expect Rackable to post similarly dire results in a week and watch the "SGI joy" evaporate.
Sunshine on a rainy day
I see you in the darkness
I see you in the light
I see your eyes shining
In through the night
Make me feel, make me feel
Like I belong
Don't leave me, you won't leave me here
Cast your eyes
Like summer skies
BLUE earth and the ocean
Clearer than the skies, yeah!
Sunshine on a rainy day (sunshine)
Makes my soul, makes my soul drip, drip, drip away
Sunshine on a rainy day (sunshine)
Makes my soul, makes my soul drip, drip, drip away
Knife, fork and spoon
I hear that Jon Schwartz is a fan of http://www.opentable.com/ and gourmet cuisine:
"Sun could certainly split itself up and sell the bits to different companies such as Fujitsu (Sparc), IBM (Java, Netbeans, storage), Oracle (MySQL) and Cisco (switches). The parts might even be worth more than the whole. However, Sun is unlikely to get back the money it has spent on acquisitions – $4bn on StorageTek and $1bn on MySQL, to name but two – and there would be parts left over."
Fork: OpenOffice 2.0.4 Novell Edition at http://download.novell.com/Download?buildid=ZniZNNd4mLQ~
"The Novell® Edition of OpenOffice.org contains enhancements that are not available in the standard edition. These include..."
Spoon: http://blogs.sun.com/jag/ - James Gosling, father of Java says:
"I know the economy is a mess, and it feels like the world is melting down, but JavaOne is a great opportunity to get your head out of all of that and take a geek's vacation. Come join us!"
PS I think Sun will do nicely in 2010, but I'm holding May put options to enjoy the ride on April 28th when Sun posts FYQ3 results which are very likely to show a severe slowdown in big iron sales, but possibly glimmers of hope from MySQL and Java revenue streams. Target price is $5.50 per JAVA share.
PPS Paris, coz she's tasty!
Re: "What Really Scared IBM During Talks...."
@AC, I completely agree with you. If you're in the software sales game, then it's suicide to bite the bullet and go down the "Grateful Dead road" of open source distribution. Sun's way is simply incompatible with Oracle or IBM. And this means that the chances of Sun being sold to anyone anytime soon are slim to non-existent, which is good news for Sun employees and the many communities that Sun has grown over the years.
I believe Sun's software will do very well within 2 years, but that things will get a little tougher before they get better - for the very reasons you outlined: high end servers and storage slowing down in this recession. Until Sun can put the "big iron" behind it and focus on cloud services and software support, the big picture will look somewhat negative to a cursory glace over the accounts. If I could make one software suggestion it would be to wholeheartedly welcome Linux as an option for customers, and "get in bed" with Ubuntu and Gentoo. While there is a perception that Sun is about Solaris and not Linux, it will cause a great number of potential customers to shop elsewhere for support.
Good luck. You're 30% foolish and 70% brave IMHO.
@zvonr, don't forget Sun has over 30,000 people to pay every month and hasn't made a profit in a long while, whereas Red Hat employs only 2,200. I work that out to be about $34k annual profit per employee. If Sun could get that kind of employee productivity, it would be making $1bn profit per year. Just numbers, not opinions.
@anonymous and Mark
Sun - "The Network Is The Computer" (John Gage [employee #5]):
March 20, 2006: http://blogs.sun.com/jonathan/entry/the_network_is_the_computer
March 18, 2009: http://blogs.sun.com/jonathan/entry/unified_computing
That's 2 days shy of 3 years (over 1000 days) moving from the Sun Grid (announced as available) to the Sun Cloud (announced as unavailable). A company with this pace of innovation in its core vision statement is unlikely to survive in the long run but then as Keynes said "in the long run we are all dead". Of course Jon would know that being an Economist.
I don't enjoy sounding like Mr Bryant, but Toni Sacconaghi called it right on so many of those quarterly earnings calls, when I wanted to believe in Sun, I really did. I once put 100% of my hard-earned into JAVA nee SUNW shares, because I could see how things could have turned out. I regularly contributed to Jon's blog to help provide useful (I hope) feedback to aid Sun's progress. No regrets, but obviously to no avail either.
Sun's share buyback program was utterly delusional and asks whether Mike and Jon's shared office is/was ever a good idea. Now Sun needs to hoard its $3bn in order to make loan repayments later this year and support remaining customer confidence. But this dance with IBM is not likely to give clients any "warm fuzzies" - if anything it is likely to scare off any new relationships and jeopardize existing ones.
My predictions are:
1) IBM and/or Oracle will fork Sun's open source software assets (just like OpenOffice)
2) The Niagara speed-up will be late (T2+ is a regular T2 with SMP, not a speed-up)
3) Rock will be cancelled in light of Intel's latest Xeons which are likely to dominate for years
4) Sun Cloud general availability will arrive in Q4 2009, missing key Amazon EC2 features
5) OpenStorage will grow at a wonderful % clip, but generate under $500m in annual revenues
6) OpenNetworking will take over a year to reach $500m in annual revenues
7) Red Hat's valuation will exceed that of Sun within 1 month of today (they can sell open source)
8) Sun's revenues will fall to below $12bn in FY09, and Sun will post an annual loss of $1.5bn
A while ago I found a good shrink and got real (well, real-er). I hope Sun does the same. Good luck to you, really, I mean no malice. I'm just calling it as I see it. Just remember "innovation happens elsewhere" (not "everywhere" but "elsewhere" with an "else" in the front, ok).
@anonymous - I'm just saying "too late is too late"
@anonymous - you've followed the "how to control bad PR in blog comments" flowchart perfectly, by taking my points one by one and offering a counter opinion/observation. But the simple fact is that Sun is a slow moving beast. How long has StorageTek been a part of Sun and where are the "storage attach" sales? Maybe tomorrow. And where's the Niagara processor kicker for 2009? Hmmmm. Let's face it - Don Grantham went to HP with complete knowledge of Sun sales strategy, and now IBM has seen everything too. I never thought I'd agree with Goldman Sachs, but Sun is now on my "conviction sell" list too. Ding ding, time gentlemen please. Let's finish up and be having those glasses now. I just hope the economy improves fast enough for you to find a new job that gives you the same "work from home" fun that you're used to.
Value for shareholders?
If Sun cared about shareholder value, it would have accepted IBM's offer of $9.40 a share or so. That would have dropped a nice $2k into my account this week, instead of giving me a $4k pain in the back pocket when the shares slipped $2 yesterday. And there's no upside so I'm out, period.
Fundamentally, Sun has amazing R&D, great engineering, and really bad interfaces. Why? Coz they never thought to hire a designer, or value the importance of end-to-end design and the user experience. For example, how long did it take to get GNU userland as a default for Solaris? How bad is the web site (compared to its peers)? How hard is it to customize/order anything online without talking to a salesbod directly? How much vaporware is it pushing as product (Sun Cloud, xVM Server, Rock processor, ...) The only exception is the cool OpenStorage interface that was designed in a San Francisco "Skunk Works" building fueled by late night pizza. Sufficient distance from the Sun campus seems to inspire greatness I guess. Far enough from JCP-style design-by-committee mediocrity. "Closures anyone?" Good luck with that...
So many wonderful ideas (e.g. Project Wonderland [NPI]) yet Sun is a jack of all trades and master of none - especially sales. OpenStorage is awesome, but NetApp kicks Sun's butt in sales. Niagara was incredible, but where's the T3 chip? Not a hint. And for all the hype around GlassFish, JBoss is billing nicely for RedHat - see http://google.com/trends?q=jboss%2C+glassfish for relative interest. (Fair enough, I accept it's in the new CONNECT stuff, but that's small change). "Maybe if we invent enough cool stuff (SunSPOTs anyone?) there'll be a market out there somewhere?" is the Sun M.O. - "Kick butt and have fun" is the mantra, but where's the butt kicking? or the fun? All very 1999 - but the party is over - ask Prince.
Time for a change at the asylum.
Sun is screwed
Oh man, how I wish I didn't buy those JAVA shares at $8.40 last week. This news will send the shares into the ground, and send customers running to other vendors. As a long-time Sun fan boy, the reality has finally hit me: here is a company that says "the Network is the computer" but that STILL hasn't got a public cloud offering on sale, a company that believes in "throughput-computing" but doesn't update it's Niagara processors each year, a company that believes in Open Source, yet gets slammed by Apache and Linux for being closed, and ultimately a company that simply can't sell. c.f. Amazon.
Reserved Instances anyone?
It's going to be very hard for Sun to compete against Amazon's Reserved Instances. For example, I pay $1000 for 3 years to get a dual Intel Xeon 5345 with almost 2GB RAM at the lovely price of 6c (4p) per hour (that's 45 bucks a month or 30 quid a month). How can Sun compete with this? I bet Amazon even has a patent pending on this amazing business model.
Intel loves ZFS
It's no coincidence that Intel are chuffed about their new ZFS-friendly CRC32 instruction in the latest Xeon chips which you'll find in Sun's Galaxy line of X64 servers. See http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DVzoQBXwr94
It's unlikely but...
Just imagine if Marc Trembley has pulled the rabbit out of the hat with Rock and it really does kick serious ass. And then imagine if the MySQL coders had been able to exploit the transactional memory support. Hmmm, you might be looking at a serious piece of kit. Also, don't forget Sun has a nice relationship with SAP and still talks with Larry Zen Ellison - so there are a number of apps that could be tuned to exploit Rock's new abilities. Who knows - but at Sun's current valuation, how bad can it hurt to speculate with a few $$$?
(Paris coz she knows how to Rock)
Testing support and resistance
GS are just testing the technical support and resistance levels for JAVA shares right now - appears to be support at $4.45 and resistance at $5.20 - coz nobody knows how bad the last quarter really was.
The small guys do OK
It's interesting to see how Supermicro and Verari seem to do so well in these tough times. Maybe IBM, HP, Dell or Sun should consider buying them and trying to own the super-data-center build-outs. I wonder if Rackable will survive 2009? I wonder if Dell will buy Sun? Hmmm interesting times...
You call this news?
Is there a "Register bashing Sun" quotient that you have to meet each month? Were you running low for December? Better get one last anti-Sun story out there before the end of the year eh? Man you guys should maybe go investigate something before just writing a page of opinion and hoping people click your PPC to pay for that Christmas party in London.
How about looking into the Falcon storage engine or investigating ways of running multiple MySQL servers on a single server? That might be useful for devs, so I guess Sun-bashing wins out instead?
Putting the pieces together
I'd like to see VirtualBox be able to send machine images to an xVM Server to run on bare metal, or at least sync with an xVM Server somehow. This way, a developer could design cool machine images on his laptop, then deploy them easily.
The smallprint shows where your loyalties lay
"Matt Stephens is co-author of Use Case Driven Object Modeling with UML: Theory and Practice, which illustrates how to get from use cases to source code and tests, using Spring Framework,..." - so I'm not expecting any gushing praise for Glassfish from you.
Youre making a huge assumtion...
Why does Sun need to be taken over or sell a part of itself? There is simply no reason. It's doing fine with $3bn cash in the bank - sure the high-end is taking a dive right now, but the newer products are ramping well. It's just a transition thing and needs about 12 more months to show the true potential.
You say Sun lost $1.7bn the past quarter but most of that was an accounting adjustment for a goodwill write-off. The "true" loss was $60m on revenues of $2990m (i.e. 2% of revenues). It's just a matter of right-sizing the SG&A so that revenues always come in above expenses. Sun might need to scale back its $2bn yearly R&D to something more like $1.5bn or less. That's still a huge R&D budget!
Who is Matt Bryant?
Who is this cynical nay-sayer Matt Bryant? Did he even take a look at Sun's offerings before leaping in with spurious assertions? "From my experience..." - what experience exactly is that then?
From what I can tell the Sun kit is the first on the market to make *effective* use of Flash storage by tying it closely to the ZFS filesystem and introducing a new cache level. The separation of read and write biased Flash makes good sense. And the simple user interface looks like it's a doddle to use. To try a simulation of the GUI, see http://www.sun.com/storage/disk_systems/unified_storage/resources.jsp
Fair enough, I'm a Sun investor, but I do check my facts first.
Did the Obama Campaign pay for MySQL Enterprise?
...or did they just download and use the free version?
Sun makes more from software than Red Hat
Few people seem to recognize that Sun makes more from Software sales than Red Hat. Yet Red Hat enjoys a market valuation that's 75% that of Sun's. If Sun's new storage kit with Flash memory is as good as they say it is, then the combo of MySQL + ZFS + Flash storage servers might be a killer against IBM, NetApp, EMC, etc. Time will tell...
Remember Parrot, the April Fools joke?
Parrot (the Perl 6 VM) was first mentioned as an April Fools joke, then became a reality. Maybe the PonyTail is similarly fated? Someone go start the project over at http://code.google.com/p/ponytail/ !
Don't forget that they still have $900m left to repurchase their own shares. At a price of $5 per share, that means they could buy 180 million shares (about 25%), or use the cash for acquisitions. In terms of acquisitions, I hope Jon is considering SpringSource and Terracotta - both of which do nicely in the Java ecosystem. If you look at revenues from software, the picture is pretty good at over $500 million per year. Compare with Red Hat whose total revenues for 2008 were about the same at $523 million.
There's no good reason to write down the MySQL goodwill. On November 10th, Sun is launching the coolest storage servers ever with Flash memory and ZFS file systems. This is the missing piece in the "let's sell kit to MySQL users" strategy. See http://blogs.sun.com/storage/entry/flash_performance_in_storage_systems for details.
Some key crunch points for the next 12 months will be:
1) New Niagara chips need to come out on time and work well, or Intel will beat it
2) AMD's Shanghai chips need to push Sun's X4600 and X4540 boxes
3) MySQL 6 with the Falcon storage engine needs to win rave reviews
4) If Rock doesn't beat Power and Itanium then it should be canned
5) They need to learn how to sell via the web (their site sucks)
Sun spent over $400 million on R&D during the quarter. That kind of investment really needs to start paying dividends, especially in the tough times. Anyway, I wish them well. The world would be less fun without Sun.
Re: Sun has the most...
Sun is replacing its myriad of internal ERP and CRM systems with a new Oracle system. It's taking a while to migrate the old systems. You might hear more about this on Sun's earnings call on Thursday when Mike Lehman talks about the quarter's ups and downs.
SAS or SATA
Nice work on the T2+ dual socket blade, but Sun really should support SATA drives in all servers by now. Many people prefer the higher capacity of SATA. Reliability isn't such a big deal if you're running RAID or ZFS. Sometimes "what's best" is "what people want" - and this philosophical difference might explain Sun's preannounced Q1FY09 losses? I guess we'll find out next Thursday when Jon Schwartz and Mike Lehman talk to analysts from an alternate reality where sales and adoption are growing nicely, especially in BRIC. Back in the real world Sun's shareholders are taking it on the chin and wishing Sun's leaders would go take a course called "How to sell open source like Red Hat" (e.g. by offering credit card subscriptions via the web site). Man, it's not rocket science. Hmmph.
Sun has an open source cloud API project called Project Caroline at http://www.projectcaroline.net/ - it can be hosted by anyone, and they plan to support a variety of languages including Java and Ruby (JRuby?). It's feasible to host a Caroline system at Amazon and another on your own machines - thus using the exact same cloud API for all your deployments. Nice huh?