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* Posts by Paul Shirley

1336 posts • joined 19 Jun 2009

Java jury finds Google guilty of infringement: Now what?

Paul Shirley
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Re: It seems simple...but it never is

The doctrines of laches and estoppel stop this sort of trick. Take too long to assert your rights and you risk losing the right to assert them under laches. Estoppel can stop you clawing rights back by withdrawing an offer - this is what 4B is about.

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Paul Shirley
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Re: Don Jefe: Copyright does not require registration.

...but in the US system winning statutory damages does require them to be registered at the claimed time of infringement. Despite Oracles heroic efforts to push the 'call 2600 times while Android starts' line, the only payout left is statutory damages, their own efforts to artificially inflate the total damages having zero rated this one.

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Paul Shirley
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"The jury found Google to be unequivocally guilty of copyright infringement on the major charge"

No. All the jury decided was there was no reason to use jury nullification to ignore the law of the case. Alsup told them to assume API's were copyrightable, Google made no attempt to deny using the APIs. He might as well have left the NO response off the form, it wasn't in play. There only contribution on Q1 was failing to reject Googles actual defence.

'Failing to reject' because that's where the balance of proof now lies when Alsup decides it, he has to find some excuse to reject it, not look for Google to prove it. It's a mess he probably didn't consider and Oracle is screwed whatever happens.

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Partial victory for Oracle in Java case

Paul Shirley
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intriguing comment from Law Professor Mark Lemley

Comment near end at http://www.mercurynews.com/business/ci_20566834/google-oracle-trial-verdict-ruling-copyright-jury-mistrial

He claims the standard of proof for Alsup deciding 1B (Fair Use) is "no reasonable jury would accept fair use". With at least 1 juror voting for Fair Use its hard to argue there could be no jury that would accept 'Fair Use'. Oracle could regret demanding Alsup decides 'fair use' and I won't be surprised if he uses this to dodge the copyrightability question. Either way Google seems to have a guaranteed appeal if they want it.

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Paul Shirley
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Re: @Ian Trolls-a-lot Gumby

One minor problem with your clean room argument. Google contributed TimSort TO Java, they didn't take it FROM Java or reimplement an existing Java API. They created both versions from the freely usable Python original. There are no clean room issues here, you don't need one to contribute NEW API and source.

You also need to remember why RangeCheck was copied: the implementation was being contributed to Java with the intention of refactoring Java to use the existing internal RangeCheck support. Not removing it in their own copy is simply careless, not the making of a $bazillion fine.

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Paul Shirley
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@bean520: copyright attribution system

Probably... except Oracle forgot to check it at the start of the case. That's how we went from 51 infringing packages down to 37 *after* Google showed someone else owned the other 14 ;)

Right there we have proof that being in Java doesn't give Oracle ownership and an admission of that on record.

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Paul Shirley
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Schwartz definetly influenced the jury. Oracle are trying to block him right now

"Although the former Sun CEO Jonathan Schwartz testified in Google's favor, saying the company never had a problem with the Chocolate Factory's implementation of Java, the jury seems unswayed."

That's not what happened.

They answered YES to 4a: the jury did believe Sun 'never had a problem' or at least told the world there was no problem. Oracle are fighting to keep Schwartz from testifying in the next phase because the jury WERE swayed by his testimony. With the evidence that's since emerged about how official the blog really was they're right to be scared.

4B really is a trick question. Not a ruling, just an opinion for the judge to consider and compared to 4A pretty minor, if only because the burden of proof was on Google to prove it, not Oracle to disprove it. Would have been nice to have but 4A did the damage.

Ultimately, if Oracle don't beg for a settlement before phase 3, the 4A result also applies to the patent claims and can only reduce any payout the jury decides. There are only 2 ways to kill a patent suit, prove you aren't infringing OR get a low valuation on the infringement: looks like Google have a low valuation coming.

Said it at the start, I expect Oracle to spend more than they win. Or put another way, Google saved nearly $7.4bil when they chose not to bid against Larry Ellison for Sun. Sun should have taken the chance to be relevant when they had it, they wouldn't have needed to sell to Oracle if they had.

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Paul Shirley
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On 1A: a better portrayal would be that the judge ticked the YES box on 1A, handed the form to the jury and assumed jury nullification would not be used to cross it out. He didn't give them a choice on how to vote.

It's unfortunate the jury couldn't agree on fair use, it almost guarantees a retrial unless he now rules there's no case to answer at all (AKA APIs aren't copyrightable). It should scare the shit out of Oracle that they couldn't win on the major use Google made no attempt to deny, that it forces a precedent setting ruling the court so obviously wanted to avoid.

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Google took a bath on Android in 2010, judge reveals

Paul Shirley
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Flame

Re: Nope

"Android throws a wrench into the works by splintering the development efforts of Java developers into essentially two platforms"

Sadly it's not possible to tell how straight you kept your face typing that bullshit. If you said 'three platforms' maybe I'd play along - counting the multiple incompatible ME profiles as just 1 platform.

At the time Sun decided not to join Google, JavaSE had no compatible UI layer for ME so wouldn't even compile if they needed a UI, get too clever and they still won't more than 5 years on after Sun lumbered off their lazy arses and added Swing to ME.

Sun fragmented their own platform then sat on anyone that tried to unfragment it again with the ME "not mobile" licence restriction. They couldn't even get WORA to work for apps worth using on any version of ME actually deployed.

If you design a language that embeds its own core functionality in libraries, its too late to complain when others believe your libs are essential language features. I can write (and have done it) entire functional apps in C and C++ without any external library support. The design of Java means even if you could compile with no core libs (you can't) there's no way to reach the metal to make your program actually do anything, without using language features embedded in system libraries that Oracle are now bitching about!

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Jury mulls verdict in Oracle-v-Google Java spat

Paul Shirley
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Re: Oracle Should not Concede

You're betraying a woeful lack of knowledge of US software copyright law. It has evolved exceptions that can be read as recipes for how to copy software and get away with it, if you want to look at it that way. They actually evolved to prevent the chilling effect absolute, unfettered copyright protection would have, principally the ability to lock out competition and unfairly lock in customers, to allow interoperability - which prevents an infinitely fractured market for software (which damages end users).

The issues in this case are not whether Google took Sun IP, it's whether they took more than the law allows, whether they followed the 'recipes' correctly so it was legal to do so, whether Sun pissed away it's own rights to stop them by its own behaviour and a flawed licensing scheme.

Google tried walking on the bleeding edge of software copyright law, this case is testing how well or badly they did. That BS&F had to recycle the invented crap from the SCO fiasco to get as far as a jury should tell you Google did pretty well. Don't confuse actions that seem wrong with actions that are illegal, they aren't always the same.

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Paul Shirley
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Coat

working round a loss on SSO

Assuming things like RangeCheck get tossed as de minimis, or at worst get a proportionate fine (ie small in keeping with the de minimis quantity of infringing code):

BS&F's Structure,Sequence,Organisation invention may be surprisingly easy for Google to work around, particularly if they can get delay with an appeal. Easy *because* the VM and classloaders don't really care how that hierarchy is organised or what names are used, only that the symbols in Dalvik bytecode match the symbols in the libraries on the device.

The toolchain already translates compiled Java to Dalvik, a perfect place to perform a lot of symbol remapping. Remap the Java API structures to an arbitrarily organised set of entry points - sorted flat lists would seem most immune to copyright claims and most apps wouldn't notice. But you've just knocked out Sequence and Organisation from the claim, possible Structure. Once you abandon total compatibility it's easy to carry on throwing it away.

Should buy enough time to make more radical changes like completely excising Java if that becomes necessary.

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Paul Shirley
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@+++ath0

"you can't take a Java SE or ME app or even compile it's source code and run it on Android"

I couldn't compile my Java SE game editor build on ME at the time Sun & Google were negotiating. Apparently it's OK for Sun to artificially fragment Java. Today I couldn't guarantee the Swing UI source would compile under ME, Swing support supposedly is there but partial.

At the same time more than 75% of the Java source is shared between my games editor and the Android game build, exactly the same source - this shitty language doesn't support conditional compilation, which normally pushes that shared source above 90% in other languages. Only the UI layer changed - as it would have to since it's doing a different job and there's no point reading sensors my PC doesn't have and a mouse my phone doesn't have!

Some of the tools I use only need a shell to inject command line parameters and an Activity stub to make them launchable on Android. They compile and run quite happily with that. Not a useful thing to do though.

You grossly exaggerate the level of incompatibility and ignore the fragmentation baked into Java itself.

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Paul Shirley
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@ac: it was so that they could fragment Java

"Interesteing, so the reason that Google copied the API wasn't to allow the Java Program Language to be used for e.g. interoperability it was so that they could fragment Java - perhaps destroy Java completely?"

Then why did Google try so hard to licence Java? Not licence the artificially crippled J2ME crock but real J2SE, with real test compatibility. Android would have become J2ME + Android extras. Extras everyone including Sun would be free to bolt onto Java everywhere.

Sun deliberately fragmented Java with the ME *variants* long before Google came calling. But they crafted a licensing plan to prop up that fragmentation that failed to remember Moores Law, that eventually J2ME would have no technical justification to hide behind.

Sun was offered a way out of their own trap and lacked the vision to take it. They screwed themselves.

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Paul Shirley
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Re: From James Gosling (father of Java at Sun and recent ex-Googler) himself

James Gosling also went on to boast that his job at Sun was making sure all the J2ME implementations stayed compatible. A job Sun & Gosling failed on an epic scale.

Instead of WORA we have companies making money from testing J2ME apps against thousands of different devices for other companies unable to afford their own device library.

Meanwhile Sir Trolls A Lot ponders where Java would be without Android. It would be exactly where it was before Android, sitting almost|totally unused on billions of low end phones, running the OS on none of them. It would be running on no iPhones, no WP7 phones, no Win8 devices and there'd be no Android for it to run on. Java would be dead on mobile.

Gosling shares Suns lack of vision at the time, unable to see past the licence fee for a box tick on the advertising that no-one actually uses because it's not good enough to use. Unable to see that lifting those artificial restrictions could allow so much more. At a time when Apple was quietly creating iPhone and completely discarding Java, Sun & Gosling were intent on selling an ageing crock.

Sun made Java what it is today. A barely relevant mess.

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Now on Freeview HD: Olympic arts channel that's tough to watch

Paul Shirley
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Re: Lucky b...

That of course should be 'right click menu'. Can't tell left from right.

It's getting pretty weird now, either they're still updating the site or different vids have different setup. I'm actually seeing controls in windowed mode - but cant click them because the screen layouts borked. In fullscreen the 'show controls' just started working and I have a draggable timeline. Still no option to leave fullscreen though (hitting back a couple of times works).

I think I'll just save the videos and play them in something more competent. Pity the resolution is so low.

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Paul Shirley
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At least it seems to work on my PC, though the playback controls are lacking on FF and whatever Webm plugin it's using - tip: pause is on the left click context menu.

Now they just need to get something on there I can be bothered watching.

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Microsoft stuffs $300m into Nook, bolts B&N app to Windows 8

Paul Shirley
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The value is in their ebook store more than any IP, especially since their ePub DRM is easy to strip. Microsoft negotiated from a position of weakness - an IP lawsuit about to backfire badly and a huge hole in their ability to implement the already announced Win8 ebook plans.

For a change I doubt they're getting the good end of this deal. Win8 desperately needs the joint venture to be a success.

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Wind farms create local warming

Paul Shirley
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WTF?

usual Reg selective reporting

As usual important details missed to provoke the kneejerk reactions and misleading implications.

Lets start with that .72C/decade. That's extrapolated from 2 averages taken 5 years apart, before and after 2K+ turbines were installed. So actually .36C measured and reported. The researchers state that .72C figure should *not* be interpreted as a continuing trend, they believe its a one-off hit. Wonder why that wasn't reported? Wonder why the researchers picked such a misleading way to report it?

It also appears that the effect isn't just 'mostly' on night temperatures, it's almost completely night time only. This is hardly surprising, in daylight solar warming happens on the ground, mixing the air column brings colder air down to ground level which seems a useful cooling side effect to me. Warmer nights aren't necessarily desirable but a hell of a lot less damaging than raising daytime temps.

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Space-cadet Schwartz blows chunks out of Oracle's Java suit

Paul Shirley
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Re: API to be assumed as copyrightable

I think it's more subtle than heading off an appeal. Both sides will fight hard for one wwhatever happens anyway, with or without valid grounds.

I think he's trying to avoid setting a precedent on the API copyright issue. Having a hard yes or no is almost certainly the wrong result, needs to be some consideration of specifics in future cases.

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Paul Shirley
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Schwartz - bad businessman but Oracle bound by his mistakes

So no comment on Oracles desperate attempt to talk their way out of Schwartzs bombshell, when the lawyers described him as a bad businessman? I really wanted to see a 'yes I was bad but Oracle have to live with my mistakes' response but court reports suggest the smear failed all by itself.

I'm a little puzzled on how going from $6billion (patents+copyrights) to today's starting point of $30-40million for the copyrights is describable as 'halved'. I know the lazier press keep reprinting Oracles $1bil fiction and ignoring the 30-40mil but even that's nowhere near 'halved'!

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Ofcom: The Office of Screwing Over Murdoch?

Paul Shirley
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another predictable Orlowski piece

A story with 3 groups of self serving, empire building, sleazy, cheating scumbags is just too easy to project bias onto. Predictably Andrew picked 'big content' as the good guys and everything has to follow from that. He ALWAYS champions 'big content' blind to any nuance or confounding factors.

OFCOMs biggest failing is not their mad empire building, it's their abject failure to get off their arses and actually defend the public. The politicians have been busy bending over for Murdoch for political advantage we've not counted.

There are no good guys here. But we'll settle for bad guys getting the right result for all the wrong reasons. Seems to me this is as close to working as the whole system has ever worked. Without that separation of control between government and QUANGO, the bickering and delays, we'd now have the wrong result for all the wrong reasons. Politicians can at least be shuffled every few years, Murdoch is an untreatable cancer.

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Google wanted Java 'partnership' with Sun

Paul Shirley
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Re: to work around Java completely - if only

Their mistake was in NOT working around Java *completely*.

We've seen a lot of horseshit about how much of the Java class lib is required by the language spec when what they really mean is the libs are so crosslinking it's near impossible to separate the actually essential elements from the bulk. However since Google were abandoning it being a Java system they could have dumped all pretence of compatibility and stripped down to minimal compatibility with Sun's Java systems.

Instead they decided to rely on Suns own public statements about how to bypass Java licensing. It's Suns problem that compatibility with their versions of Java was necessarily lost in doing that!

My belief is the choice to stay so compatible with Java (the language) was more determined by the need to use existing toolchains, tools that simply would not work with *any* change to the core libs. Java is that crippled by its own dependence on reflection and having so much language spec embedded in the lib structure. Most depressing is Java output is already translated to Dalvik after compilation and it would be pretty easy to remove those dependencies during that, meaning the Android libs would no longer need to match the structure of Java! So easy, expect that to be done if Oracle win.

Expect to see a lot of time spent this week establishing that Sun operated a bait&switch scheme when pretending to open Java while binding it in a web of control. That Sun didn't pull the trigger for years, showed no sign of doing so and that it's now too late for Oracle to do it.

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Microsoft lobs out first Skype for Windows Phone

Paul Shirley
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Re: needs more than just better multitasking support

Johnny Homeuser doesn't need to. The app his provider supplies will talk to the SipManager API for him and it will just work well. End users don't need to know that SIP's integrated to gain the performance benefits. Whereas no depth of knowledge will help them make Skype work better on WP7.

Slightly smarter users might notice they can just enter the account details without installing anything and it will probably work better than the shoddy excuses for SIP software I've tried ;)

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Paul Shirley
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needs more than just better multitasking support

Wonder how long it will take Microsoft to realise they can safely build Skype into the core software stack. As a minority market share holder there's no risk of ending up in court answering competition charges.

Until they do that Skype will be too expensive on battery and too unreliable at accepting incoming calls to use, even if Microsoft let it run as a service with enhanced execution privileges. Before Android started adding specific support VOIP apps were pretty flaky and power draining. Better multitasking wasn't enough.

Now that native SIP has migrated right into the core Android OS the power penalty is acceptable (and having an open choice of SIP provider is pretty nice too). Skype on WP still has a long way to go to catch up.

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Oracle v Google round-up: The show so far

Paul Shirley
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"Only need to show one"

Go lookup what Googles 'de minimis' affirmative defence means... *amount* of copying *does* matter and 1 case of 9 lines in 15million seems a pretty good candidate for de minimis.

Particularly when the copied function is also a good example of unprotectable code - on grounds that you can't implement it in any functionally different way and that's its function and use is required to fulfil the Sort method contract.

I expect de minimis will cover the test suite files HP smuggled into the tree as well, on the basis they had no actual use or value to Android.

US software copyright law is not as simple as most of you seem to believe. It's messy, looks unfair (multiple ways to get away with copying for instance) largely because it evolved to prevent a whole family of abuses by copyright holders. There's a reason Oracle are trying to create new law here, the existing precedents don't support their claims.

Sun wove a contractual web designed to lockin control of Java but failed to cover all loopholes.

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Paul Shirley
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should be looking really bad for Google by now, but its not

This is Oracles week. They control pretty much everything while they present their case and it really should be looking devastating to Google 5 days in. But it's not.

Really doesn't help their case that they keep banging on about issues like Java fragmentation that aren't in the case and would only affect licensor-licensee relationships, something Google careful avoided. Remember, copyright claims, patent claims (later in the case) but NO contractual claims at all. Sun did indeed carefully spin a web, Oracle are clutching at straws because it didn't catch Google.

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Paul Shirley
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Re: Google, and by default its' Partners are in Trouble

You forgot it was Sun that absolutely vetoed licensing anything better than J2ME for mobile devices. Not that it stopped Google attempting to negotiate but ultimately they couldn't unilaterally decide to licence the version of Java they needed. Sun sank that.

What's more worrying is, if Oracle can force Google to licence they can force them to accept that web of legal traps and buying the licence will shut down Android instantly. The only upside of that is it's so outrageous a result Google will get 5 years of appeals or so to cleanse Android before it's enforced.

Sadly I cant even agree Google should have bought Sun. If Oracle paid $7.4bil and would likely go much higher to protect their main business's reliance on Java, in a bidding war Sun would cost much more than any imaginable fine Google could expect. Though Oracle still shout $1bil the court is strongly suggesting $30-40mil as a starting point.

It's interesting that Larry Ellison admitted Oracle considered building a phone based on JavaFX, an option only available to the platform owner and close to an admission you just can't build a smartphone on J2ME.

Oracle aren't going to cover their costs when this is over.

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Oracle v Google: Lindholm takes the stand in Java trial

Paul Shirley
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Dr Reinholds testimony more interesting

Especially this exchange (from Groklaws seriously patchy transcripts), which basically destroys Oracles claims on fragmentation. Apparently fragmentation is OK as long as Sun/Oracle do it but not if Google create an 'Android profile' ;)

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

Q. JavaME also has different configurations, such as CLBC, correct? And some configurations also have a range of profiles? So an application written for one profile might not run on another profile?

A. It might, or it might not.

Q. How can this be "Write Once, Run Anywhere"?

A. If you have written for a specific platform, then the program should run on any vendor's version of that platform.

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

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Paul Shirley
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Re: actaully relevant

The fact that this is in court means, no, it wasn't obvious to everyone. More exactly, it isn't obvious to Googles legal team or they'd have settled. Aside from the API copyright claim, Google appear to have done everything required to avoid needing a license from Sun and the API claim is about to be tested.

I'd also remind you that 'Need a licence.' and 'need to negotiate a licence' are different statements. The 1st is a specific admission of fault, the 2nd could be a preferred option faced with impending litigation regardless of the merits of that litigation.

Lastly something important was made revealed: Lindholm NEVER worked on Android or with the Android team! Expect Google to remind the jury of that in summation, it devalues the email evidence.

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Nokia loses $1.7bn in Q1, sales chief falls overboard

Paul Shirley
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Re: Elop to burn a company

I misread that as "Elop to burn a company" 1st time. Makes more sense than what it actually says.

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Paul Shirley
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Re: Zune

Remember: WinPhone is the new name for Zune. So still going strong... oh, my mistake.

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Larry Page has painful day on stand in Oracle Java case

Paul Shirley
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Re: Florian bashing

If he'd admitted it 2 years ago when the Reg and other havens of lazy journalism were repeating his assertions verbatim, maybe his BS wouldn't have been taken so seriously.

Now the case is in court and influencing public opinion no longer helps Oracle he finally comes clean?

BTW if you'd watched Florians non stop spewing of biased. employer friendly PR you'd understand the 'ad hominem' attacks have foundation. He's an unreliable source and his motives are widely questioned.

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Paul Shirley
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Re: it's not just that email

Facts without context are little better than opinion. Facts stripped of context are often deliberate lies.

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Paul Shirley
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better to just look dumb than prove it

Google told Oracle/BS&F they needed to talk to Andy Rubin about Android at every stage so far. BS&F pressed on with talking to Larry Page and failed to get the answers they wanted, at every stage.

Whether you believe Larry is playing dumb or really doesn't remember and/or wasn't deeply involved, he's stayed consistent. Unlike Larry Ellison who contradicted his own deposition testimony on the stand at least twice.

Of course he's going to look uncomfortable saying 'I don't recall' in front of a jury so often, it doesn't look good. However it's done the job, David Boies seems to have used his time trying to introduce evidence to the case based on Pages answers - and largely failed because the answers weren't forthcoming. At least one report suggests David Boies was looking exasperated at times, the stonewalling was working too well.

At least its Oracles time they wasted ;)

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Paul Shirley
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Re: you do know Florians working for Oracle?

Just make sure you read right to the end where Florian finally admits to working for Oracle since before the case started...

Still, got to admit he's done a better job presenting emails out of context than he obviously did advising Oracle on whether to push the patent MAD button.

Google already stated in court that they *wanted* to licence Java to save time and money. What we really see here is the reason Google decided to cleanroom the VM and substantial parts of the libraries, because they knew they couldn't just use Suns Java.

That's going to come back and hurt Oracle because it's also the justification for fragmenting Java, if they can't licence, can't call it Java then there's little reason to actually make it behave like a full implementation of Java. Hard for Oracle to now claim Android damaged Java by not being fully Java compliant if the benefits of compliance weren't available.

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Microsoft tears the wraps off Windows 8 Enterprise

Paul Shirley
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"side-load internal, Windows 8 Metro style apps"

Or maybe it means it will be possible to install Metro apps without going through the Windows store or using a developer machine. Sure I saw some suggestion last year they were thinking about forcing everyone through their own store. What else could 'sideload' mean?

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Oracle considered entering smartphone market

Paul Shirley
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Oracle claiming 2 opposing things

What's interesting about the Oracle phone plans, according to Larry's answers, is their use to tell the jury that the problem is Android *not* using the same Java everyone else uses. That trying to muscle in on Android isn't about cashing in on Androids success but about bringing Android back into the Java fold.

Which is interesting in a case that claims Android uses Java without a license. Yes, Oracle really are claiming 2 opposite things in this case, that Android is too much like Java and that harms everyone but also that Android isn't enough like Java and that hurts everyone!

Such a pity Larry was caught contradicting his own deposition testimony several times on the stand, let's hope that doesn't stop the jury taking at least some of his statements seriously.

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Paul Shirley
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Re: Sun beat them to the punch

I think Suns problem was always a blind faith in ME, never accepting that it hobbles devices down to a 'not quite a smartphone' level and never delivered on the WORA promise. A licensing strategy designed to protect featurephone and lower ME revenues that were increasingly under attack by real, non-Java smartphones.

They did however manage to sell the business to Oracle before all the value evaporated. So not completely blind, just blind to the actions needed.

I'd say people never buy a phone because it's built on Java. If they thought about it at all I suspect they'd run straight for a slicker, faster proprietary OS and maybe check if it could also run the Java apps they weren't actually going to bother with ;)

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Cellco execs lay into Nokia's Lumia

Paul Shirley
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Re: same hardware?

You miss the point. If the 900 used Android they wouldn't just put a physically larger screen on it, they'd bump the resolution to match and apps would just use the extra pixels.

What actually launched is little better than sticking a magnifying glass in front of a 710, "Brazil" style.

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Oracle v Google could clear way for copyright on languages, APIs

Paul Shirley
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"copyfighters" appear to have paid little or no notice

Those of us following this case since the start understood what Oracle are up to the moment claims were filed. Many of us knew this attempt to extend copyright was coming the moment BS&F signed on to lawyer for Oracle - its exactly the same theory they pissed away 7 years and $30mil+ trying to put before a jury in the SCO vs IBM case. I posted about it here yesterday and many times before that.

The other side of it is, we sat through 7 years of analysis in the SCO case and are confident existing precedent rules out Oracle/BS&F's new legal theory, it's why no-one's panicking *yet*. Warning for the clueless but not panicking. Having been assigned a well informed judge there seems little chance Oracle will BS their way to a catastrophic result.

I suppose what really annoys Andrew is all that precedent in software copyright is the result of decades of *CORPORATE* copyright cases, not some shadowy conspiracy of 'copyfighters' fighting to undermine it. After all, FOSS relies on strong copyright to protect itself from both corporate and individual pirates but also understands there have to be limits or development becomes deadlocked.

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Paul Shirley
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@JDX

No. signed/unsigned is a programmers choice of what bundles of bits mean. I've found describing 8 bit bundles as unsigned values is usually pretty damn useful.

That a high level language imposes arbitrary limitations on how a programmer should be thinking is the Java disease. Simplified for idiots only sounds like a good idea.

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Moody's downgrades Nokia to near-junk status

Paul Shirley
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FAIL

Re: Nokia will come good

I've not been 'able to move for WP7 adverts' for quite some time now. Posters, stickers, giant window displays, C5 sponsorship and so on. So far only the blind can have missed the WP7 push in the UK.

But I've still not seen an actual phone. Not in a users hand and the shops plastered with the adverts don't have them on display anywhere. Hell, it's no so long since a trip to TheRegister revealed fawning reviews of Nokia's folly on a near weekly basis!

Somehow I don't imaging the latest ploy of turning Windows into a massive WP8 advertising billboard will change much, how do you go past saturation coverage ;)

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Larry vs Larry: Oracle and Google in courtroom smackdown

Paul Shirley
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Re: field of use restriction

Not only is Harmony not licensed as a Java implementation, Google have actively fulfilled the only restriction Sun actually made on non-licensed versions, that they don't call it Java. That's why there are no contractual infringement claims in the case, you can't hit non parties with contract claims.

Oracle have had to rewrite copyright law to make any sort of case (they really should have seen the patent suicide coming) and they've done it in a way that even if they were 100% correct and justified, the claims must fail or risk massive collateral damage to the entire software industry.

One reason US software copyright law seems so perverse and unfair is that the consequences of being more like traditional fields (literature, film etc) would be crippling to the industry. Google walked right on the edge of what's legal, don't expect massive penalties if they overstepped. Oracle need to redefine the law or they can't win enough to bother. If Oracle big we *all* lose.

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Nokia on 'brink of failure', warns analyst

Paul Shirley
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Re: WP7 apps will run on WP8

...but will the WP7 support see any update after Win8/WP8 ships? Will the apps simply be trapped in legacy support hell, looking increasingly tired and outdated till some future WP8 update finally breaks them?

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Paul Shirley
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@l3v5y you can run a Windows 95 program on Windows 8

Yet I can't run some WinXP programmes on Win7, after wasting far too much time with the compatibility options. You sure Win8 will run everything? I'm pretty certain it won't...

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Paul Shirley
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Re: Missed opportunity

Somehow I doubt 'a few iterations' will get WP7 or 8 up to parity with the moving targets of IOS and Android. If the Win8 reboot traps WP7 apps in a legacy support mode, that brings its own developer AND user hell.

The Win8 strategy is an open admission that WinPhone cannot compete on its own merits, even if it achieves parity with the competition. Or indeed even if it surpasses them, 1st mover advantage in a market they cannot easily manipulate is hard to overcome. Hence the attempt to manipulate it with Win8...

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Paul Shirley
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Re: Plan B

...and if Microsoft are behaving as normal, there's a skunkworks team hard at work right now on reverting the Nokia map support and there are contract terms that let them just push the update that does it if Nokia jump ship. Microsoft didn't insist on the ability to push updates without carrier permission just for the benefit of users.

Anyway, didn't Nokia get into trouble by having too many competing smartphone 'not skunkworks' projects?

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El Reg posts dirty pics for old computer buffs

Paul Shirley
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so many memories

All of them so dann vague.

A reminder of much history we've already.lost and I only remember back to the 70s

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Amazon green-lights in-app purchasing for Android

Paul Shirley
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Re: What?

You simply missed the bitching, back when the store launched and the free app royalty rape was launched ;)

Since using Amazon is completely optional there's not much interest in rehashing it. Using Apples store is unavoidable so the bitching will continue, Amazon control too little to matter so far.

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Nokia shares fall as it drops first quarter forecast

Paul Shirley
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@jc: Google won't offer any help

Apparently you forget Nokias own admission that they wouldn't go with Android because they couldn't *replace* Google Maps with Nokias service and still have the apps package.

Was their map service really more important than having a phone business? Maybe they should just get out of mobile and move to services and software, instead of hooking up with the biggest shark in the pool.

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