1376 posts • joined 19 Jun 2009
how do the plan to unpiss off developers?
I really can't see devs running eagerly towards this after the Play disaster and it's jumbled mess of competing store fronts, near total lack of content and failed Play hardware. The subsequent Play ICS decision and cancelling any future Play devices has annoyed pretty much everyone.
Dealing with Sony Ericsson was a lot more palatable than dealing with Sony, Ericsson injected some sense and respect for both customers and developers. Something died when Sony took control.
Expect to see this struggle on largely ignored by Android users. Sony choose not to be competitive on price in their store(s), certification is only as good as the OS and device they happened to test on (their own ICS update demonstrates that) and they've made little pretence this is anything but a way to sell the same network services their other devices use. Hard to get excited.
Re: MetroUI gives no chance to Windows8. It's toast already.
It's a certainty Metro will be hacked out of Win8 very quickly unless Microsoft have made extraordinary efforts to prevent it, more than just disabling registry keys. We'll know reality has erupted in Redmond the day they stop trying to block those hacks.
Sit back and enjoy the coming war between Microsoft and hackers. Thrill to how close to disaster Microsoft go before they quietly stop blocking 3rd party attempts to 'fix' Win8 and it's Metro madness.
I'm confident Metro will eventually be excisable (or Win8 will vanish without trace). I want to see some in depth analysis of what new boobytraps are scattered through the core OS and it's desktop front end. Already alarmed at the whole cloud focus and the Live account crap, I really don't want my PC dependent on a connection to Microsoft. Activating XP every time I rebuild causes me enough problems already.
Re: But how did work fare?
@j4rmony:"Note also, he didn't say "crashed"
From the article: "Downloading a file, running an installer and writing an email at the same time ended up with hard crashes"
So yes, he didn't say 'crashed'. 'Crashes'.
In previous Windows versions the often broken network layer just broke networking for an unpredictable length of time till. Seems with a OS determined to be online that now intrudes into the rest of the OS.
Re: Microsoft are playing games. Badly
That 'stating the bleeding obvious'.
Metro is a fullscreen experience. Once you fire up an app you aren't seeing much of Metro any longer, just the chrome from it. And that chrome is very thin, a side effect of the stark simplified styling of Metro itself. So how is that going to hook people on the UI?
They won't be seeing the Metro front end while actively using the machines, particularly in the tablet default 'consumption device' mode. Won't be staring at Metro while not using the device. What is it ordinary folk are supposed to get used to that drives them to seek out Metro?
Renaming 'widget' to 'live tile' didn't magically make them a unique, must have feature and there's not much else to talk about. Several so called vertical UI versions (the fashionable label for Metro) ship for Android and all have failed, people just don't find this approach compelling.
Re: train wreck
It also seems obvious now that one objective of the prereleases was to let techies party on hacking Metro into submission. Then blocking all those exploits.
A significant number of 'average joes' never need to deal with the 'where's my XXXX gone' because they let their techie friend configure their machine before using it in anger. My brother let's me configure his new laptops before he even turns them on, something annoys me enough I turn it off before he knows it was there.
What will save Win8 (if that's possible) is people will find hacks faster than Microsoft can ship updates to block them. At some point it will be possible to configure Metro away and make it stick and a working 'enough' Start menu will get frankensteined onto Win8.
I'd bet on the Nortel patents being part of this (we have few details of the complaint), either directly or as a logical extension of the regulators opinion of that deal.
Before the pool of companies were allowed to buy Nortels patents they had to undertake not to use them offensively, that *is enforceable* and a proper use of competition authorities if they break the spirit of the undertaking - which they have for the Nortel patents.
Even without any binding undertakings Google probably believe the EU authorities may find the same dodge unpalatable. Unfortunately the corporate friendly US authorities have already bent over for their Microsoft masters.
If nothing else it adds to the pressure to nuke this entire troll industry.
Re: "you could copyright the algorithm"
Wrong, you cannot ever copyright ideas, that's what patents are for. Sadly our idiot patent offices seem eager to patent maths (AKA algorithms).
This distinction is explicitly referred to in the judgement, both as the reason APIs aren't copyrightable and to point out this would award patent like monopolies that last far longer than patents - 95 years vs 20 in the US.
Re: not so fast
...and if you'd actually kept up with the case you'd know Oracle has agreed that Alsup will decide the damages on the 9 lines of rangeCheck that actually was in Android and the 8 files that *weren't*. That part of the case is still being scheduled.
And he made it very clear to Oracle several weeks ago that the amount awarded would be approximately $ZERO. Oracle (or more accurately the talking monkeys they hired from BS&F) gambled insanely on turning de minimis infringement into a massive payout. They lost. The maximum likely award was $150,000 before handing Alsup the decision, like I said more than a year ago: Oracle won't cover their legal costs. The judge in fact pointed out to them in court that it would cost them more than they can win in lawyer's time just to argue the point.
1:10 actual users?
Here, I still have more than 4 Skype accounts (my wife also has a couple), still using none of them. It was just easier to create a new one than remember the old details. Abandoned before Microsoft gave me an excuse ;)
Looks like 1:10 real to abandoned accounts is about right, given you need to log in to receive calls and plenty of those 40mil are Skype phones. The moment we got Google Talk working for video calls Skype was superfluous, even the landline phones & mobile can natively run SIP.
On Android the heavy lifting like rendering and media playback is in native code that Intel will have simply compiled to native x86. The Dalvik VM will also be written in native x86. Most of the time the emulator won't be doing anything.
It's only when ARM native support libs ship with apps the emulator will get used. They're typically demanding apps - games for instance. Quality of the emulator will only matter when it most needs to be good. If they got it wrong Atom phones will condemn themselves to the low end where Intel simply cant compete on price with ARM.
Looking forward to seeing real test results on the emulator. Split feelings though, much as I despise Intel an effective emulation will make life much simpler for app devs, who wont need to ship native x86 support with apps.
Re: Much as I really hate to defend Metro.......
How do you see the live tiles with a fullscreen app covering the entire screen?
Which would be a fair point if Microsoft hadn't laced Win8 with tripwires to fire up Metro mode with common actions. FFS they deliberately disabled the register hacks that let us lock it into desktop mode, they really are intent on tricking or forcing everyone to get used to Metro as the primary interface.
If it were good they wouldn't need compulsion, desktop would wither on its own.
Yes, even Metro dualtasking is often worse than useless. When I have Eclipse running in debug mode it barely squeezes enough information onscreen in fullscreen 2048x1152 mode.
If I need an external target window open (typically the Android emulator) I want that window stealing the absolute minimum screen area from Eclipse, not some arbitrary large Microsoft decided fraction. If I put it on a 2nd monitor I don't want Metro's piss poor multimonitor support getting in the way either or having to squash or replace the apps pinned there already.
That's just dualtasking. Before I got a smartphone I'd leave just enough of the email client exposed to track incoming mail, put an IM client in a tiny window in a corner, a browser tracking something else and still have plenty of space for several working windows. Now I use the smartphone as a 3rd monitor handling all that crap, maybe Metro is really about getting everyone to work that way as a way to sell Win8 devices ;)
"cheaper to stick to a 12 month plan": WTF?
"works out far cheaper to stick to a 12 month plan than it does over a two year stretch"
WTF? That only works if you don't bother using it for the next 12 months. For a 24 month period the Vodaphone 12month contract is the most expensive of all! Hapless users could presumably switch to SIM only for the 2nd 12 months but how many remember to do that and you didn't include that calculation anyway.
Might as well point out if you just buy the phone contract free and never turn it on it's even cheaper!
Bad enough the mobile industry has customers unable to calculate the real price of anything, now the Reg is helping spread the bollocks.
As long as Xbox360 lives most PC games will support DX9 whatever Microsoft tries.
Win7 broke enough games that it's debatable whether it drove adoption more than discouraged it amongst gamers. Win8 deliberately created incompatibility with existing game libraries would be incredibly risky.
Thinking that Windows 8 will make a large number of users leave iOS & Android for WP7 (or even Win8) is just as insane as Microsoft apparently expecting Windows 8 to be a commercial success.
There, fixed it.
Never lose sight of what this is about: bludgeoning their way into the mobile and pad markets using their desktop monopoly. Won't it be fun if Metro on the desktop is so annoying it loses them tablet and mobile sales?
Other reports suggest thevlicence terms forbid deploying desktop apps. Too lazy to check which it is but I did grab the ISO for the last release in case I ever need to hack something together.
Realistically I'll probably just use any convenient scripting tool at hand if that happens. Even Java...
"The 'positive' [for Windows] ones only post in response to your crap."
That's a reflection of how irrelevant the Reg is. The paid shills are too busy actively monitoring influential sites like SlashDot and getting a remarkable number of 1st posts in. Sometimes managing 100's of words in mere seconds... no funny business going on there ;)
The Reg has to make do with amateurs pushing the party li[n]e.
Re: copying for interoperability is fair use
I think this is Googles weakest defence. Interoperability exceptions were meant to prevent product lockin, by letting programmers create interoperable programs and components end users rights are protected. In Android the interoperability with the Java stack is partial and more about leveraging programmers experience than preventing lockin (or lock out).
Alsup asked questions that suggest he's not convinced by the argument. Although it ultimately didn't convince the jury Oracles incessant whining about 'fragmenting Java' has some truth - if you don't supply the whole environment how can you claim interoperability as a defence?
I expect when Alsup finally rules it won't be the blanket 'APIs aren't copyrightable' most expect. A precedent that confirms this as a matter of fact for a jury decide seems plausible.
The arithmetic's not quite that simple. Googles lowest licence offer was $30mil+other goodies, if Sun had asked for 50 or possibly even $100mil for the terms Google wanted they'd have got it.
Google would save money (not needing Dalvik, not having to subset Harmony) but would still end up paying as much to overlay Android over J2SE as over Harmony. J2SE is better for smartphones than ME but still not mobile ready. The major advantage would be launching with a mature, optimising JVM. Well, they launched quickly enough anyway and the poor initial Dalvik performance hasn't hurt sales visibly. I think the cost/benefit totals closer than you think, but that's just an opinion ;)
The price of a licence you can't buy is irrelevant though. We now know the price of the terms Google *needed* was $7.4bil+ in a bidding war to buy Sun. About $6bil of that for Java IP it appears is worth much less following this trip to court!
"I suspect it would have been cheaper to settle"
The licence Sun wanted to offer was worthless for Android, far from saving Google time and money it would have crippled Android - they'd have ended up rewriting most of it in some other language and just bolting a worthless Java module in.
...but let's pretend they could have got a licence worth having. Given the amount Google offered Sun for the licence they wanted that's probably more than they spent on this case. In BS&Fs previous copyright crusade (SCO vs IMB,HP,Linux) they successfully ran up huge discovery costs for IBM, that didn't happen this time. A combination of there being less to discover in a younger product/company and not having an idiot judge prepared to impose ridiculous burdens on the defendant. And perhaps having learned from BS&Fs previous outrageous abuse of process ;)
Re: Probaby not too important from Oracle's point of view
""Before this trial started, it had already become crystal clear that the copyright part of the case was going to be the important one, not the patents"
By the time the *trial* started it had become obvious the patent case was already lost, with 5 already invalidated, 1 provisionally invalid, 1 remaining. Those 7 patents were the 7 strongest cherry picked from the 50 odd patents Oracle started with. Given the blatant bullshit Oracle had its experts spew in the patent phase they had to know they were fscked. BS so wrong it made the bollocks Google also issued actually look correct.
So of course the copyright addon became the significant issue, the patent case fell apart.
But remember: the copyright claims were promoted largely *because* the patent claim evaporated long before reaching trial. No deliberate choice, no actual confidence outside BS&F the claims were valid, just reaction to a collapsing case.
Based on past observation David Boies brought it ready made (it's the SCO casework) and the patent claims were then little more than an excuse to dive into Google internal documents trying to fake up infringement. Infringement they couldn't even fabricate this time, unlike their careful rearrangement of Linux source code in the SCO debacle.
This started when Steve Jobs issued threats of a cabal of patent holders preparing to sue Android into oblivion. Whether Larry Ellison was part of that conspiracy or just jumped on the bandwagon hardly matters. They decided to hit Google+Android and didn't let the facts interfere with the plan.
"not tried it but somehow know it will feel wrong"
I just reached out toward my closest monitor. Finger got to about 1cm away from the screen surface. Do I really have to try anything more to know touch control on it is not usable and likely to cause severe RSI?
I look forward to the lawsuits when the RSI aspects sink in.
@ac: "alternate good/bad releases"
The alternate release thing actually started back with Win3.1, after the legally crippled Win2 debacle. It's been pretty damn accurate since then with only a little fudging the release order. Vista fit the pattern far too well but didn't start it.
[Although I personally don't find Win7 much of an improvement on Vista, I find it painful to use every time I have to fix someone's PC install]
Re: Aero vs a pig wearing lipstick
"resurrecting the Windows 1... features"
I thought it was Windows 2 that dropped overlapped window support... (at the sharp end of a lawsuit ;)
Aero vs a pig wearing lipstick
Many of us find Metro fugly, partly because it looks so bloody plain. It's like a visual tranquiliser fighting the stimulant of brash fugly colours. Microsoft have to simplify the desktop UI to a plainer, more metro like style, otherwise users might just choose the prettier desktop version to use over Metro and ruin the whole convergent cross promotional plan.
Maybe they should resurrect the old Win3 look, remembering to disable any window decoration customisation and impose a monochrome look&feel. That might just be enough to drive despairing users to Metro.
Foundem delusional as usual
When Foundem say "has affirmed Foundem’s complaint," they apparently didn't read the word 'may'. They're also deluded if they think this is going to work out quickly or well for Foundem.
This reads like the EU have nothing concrete yet and want a soft option to avoid having to put real effort in. Google can probably make a meaningless gesture here and carry on with only cosmetic changes. Or force a real inquiry and still walk away largely unaffected.
If Foundem & co believe a flood of work will arrive if only the EU makes it easier to poach Google customers, they haven't understood which shitty end the of market Foundem occupies. Or understood *why* they never show up high in search results, unlike their successful competitors. If I see a vertical search leech in my search results I expect it to be a good one, with results worth looking at. And that ain't a description of these guys.
Re: Inaccurate and unscientific
In phoneland the only difference between mobile internet and Mobile bb is whether you can tether. It's just product naming.
Deceptive naming but what do you expect from this industry ;-)
Re: No Slide outs?
I expected to miss the slide out keyboard when I upgraded my G1 but so far it's been pretty painless. Once you hit 4" screen size onscreen keyboards start comparing well - in portrait mode I can type as fast with 2 thumbs as on the old hard keyboard. Just annoying how much space it wastes on screen and the bad formatting it provokes on web pages.
I'd still like a slider keyboard but it no longer feels essential.
Re: Are Microsoft implicitly admitting...
...the 1st clue was a couple of weeks back when they revealed the 3rd Win8 build (forget its name, its the corporate version), with 'sideloading' of Metro apps as an extra feature. Yes, Metro is locked down on the desktop as well as the phones.
how many are opt-in commercial use?
My twitter account is strictly receive only, mostly gaming release and sales alerts. Wonder if mine counts as active? If twitter over SMS weren't free on my mobile I'd probably not bother though.
@DrXym: e.g. saying you have 3 new messages
Always makes me laugh when the fans and astroturfers bang on about tiles showing message counts as if that was a good use of so much space. My Xperia doesn't stop at showing a message count on the various mail and sms launch icons, if I put them in a folder it shows the count on the tiny sub-icons on the folder icon. That's 4 possible counter displays in *each single launch icon*.
...leaving more space for widgets with actual information in them ;)
not helped by Googles piss poor software and UI
A few of my family signed up specifically for the video Hangout feature but as I've come to expect from the perpetual beta crapware they shovel out, we couldn't get it to work. That wasted hour+ is likely to be the entire lifetime use of G+ for most of them.
I actually signed up voluntarily before that but remain baffled by the cryptic browser UI in it (and Gmail after decades using real email software). Google really need to hire some user facing programmers and designers. I may be unusual in that ;)
As far as I can tell there is ZERO content posted by friends and family in my G+, the couple of news and announcement feeds actually work better over Twitter. Till todays post I'd forgotten I even had G+ - probably the only benefit to signing up is all the nagging messages infesting Google pages go away!
just crippled enough to annoy
Just capable enough to suck people into buying, crippled enough to make them regret it soon after.
WTF were they thinking with 4Gb storage, the cloud is not a good enough substitute even over WiFi, totally useless with typical 3G reception in most of the UK.
How many people will associate the cut down feature set here with WP7 in general. When you buy a low end Android phone it multitasks poorly - but still does it. It's easy to imagine the performance improvement an upgrade would bring to a feature you've directly experienced.
With this 'beginners edition' of WP7 it's less obvious to casual users what an upgrade brings - unless it's actually so crippled you're compelled to upgrade just to get a useful device - a well used Microsoft strategy on the desktop. Arguably the missing multitasking isn't exactly great in the full version anyway!
I can see a future where this sort of device is the 1st AND last WP phone large numbers of people buy.
Re: Come on, el Reg...
With music hall comedy due Lewis&Orlowski in editor positions what do you expect?
I miss the old reg, where cutting mockery came from people who knew about what they were reporting. The new reg, where unwavering belief trumps observable reality and cheap insults stand in for understanding their target - just seems petty and irrelevant. Certainly not a useful news source any more.
Re: Groklaw Bias?
People too stupid to filter through the bias and dig out the underlying truths are too stupid to share an opinion and should just STFU.
Not helped by the lack of understanding of IP and IP law shown by almost every individual working in IT.
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.
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.
"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.
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.
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.
@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.
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.
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.
"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!
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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