1361 posts • joined 19 Jun 2009
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Remember: WinPhone is the new name for Zune. So still going strong... oh, my mistake.
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.
Re: it's not just that email
Facts without context are little better than opinion. Facts stripped of context are often deliberate lies.
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 ;)
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.
"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?
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.
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 ;)
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.
"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.
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.
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 ;)
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.
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?
@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...
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...
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?
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
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.
@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.
2mil units *shipped* in 3 months vs 850K Android activations *per day* (end of Feb stat)... yes, "nobody wants our phones" seems pretty accurate.
Even by their own prelaunch forecasts of 2mil in the 1st quarter of release, they're several months behind schedule. With more markets covered, more devices shipping that's a disappointing 'momentum' for the product. Factor in Nokias claim to dominate WP7 sales, the apparent cannibalisation of HTC and others sales, that's not a healthy WP7 market.
Nokias bigger problem is pricing. No longer able to afford to build devices themselves and fighting a price war doesn't leave much room for profit and a lot of unemployed locals. Nokia didn't just sell their future to Microsoft, they hocked it to far east manufacturing as well.
give them a chance..
...they're trying to move up out of the rioter end of the market ;)
Re: Maybe it's Sony's add-ons that are the problem?
The shear amount of crud they bundle can't help and needs root to remove most of it.
I'd finger the 512K RAM as the main cause though. It's just enough to keep Gingerbread going without too many stalls, I'd guess ICS pushes it just over the edge.
I'd also want to look at the Android memory priorities in their build and some of the kernel tuning. When memory gets tight I've seen massive performance changes from tweaking the memory thresholds, ICS may have reached that critical point on Sony phones.
Re: And the choice is between ...
If ETSI does not adopt Apples version then it won't be covered by FRAND terms and the patent hammer will fall. Unlike their current disputes, where FRAND guarantees they'll get a licence however long they drag out compliance, without FRAND they'll have no possibility of shipping at all if patent holders don't feel like licensing.
Annoying so many patent holders with dubious and sometimes frivolous and abusive patent threats leaves a lot of people willing to shut them down.
So it can't happen with any pretence of compatibility with existing SIM tech and without compatibility the carriers won't sign up.
Re: programmers use keyboard shortcuts
I've not yet adapted to losing the Alt key to Windows and the way it made classic Brief editor modes completely unusable. Luckily in JED I can choose and I choose to disable all the Windows UI features completely so I can keep the key bindings. In Microsofts software it's always the key bindings that make way for the GUI features I don't need. Keybindings my muscle memory has deeply ingrained :(
On a different angle, I'm happy to use different binds for different tasks, if only because there aren't enough key combinations to comfortably (or optimally) cover editing and debugging. Monolithic piles like VS always made that difficult to do well (or at all).
...just getting ready to start the weekends drinking and this turns up.
Must resist temptation to flash firmware drunk...
writing was on the wall last year
It was pretty obvious their time was up when I noticed even the useless Java based, fake China phones cost more to import than buying genuine budget Android's here in the UK. Even the genuine Chinese Android ones were consistently much lower spec for the same cash. That was 6 months ago or so.
Economics is harsh, not even forgers are safe from the combination of competition shaving margins and scale shaving costs ;)
Re: not just similar
The copyright theory BS&F are pushing is to all intents *identical* to the one they invented for SCO vs the world, analysed to shreds but not tested in court. BS&F spent 10s $mil of their own cash on that attack and are now recycling it on the cheap. Wonder if Oracle are paying full whack?
The massive analysis done in SCO vs IBM established that somewhere between 99 & 100% of it conflicts with established precedent. The danger is that as a whole its still a nearly (*) new legal theory and that always leaves some room for a court to do something stupid.
(* in reality their theory is essentially the same as the 'look&feel' cases of the 80/90s and we know how well that worked out. So old theory, recycled in new dressings, headed for the same fail)
Near the start of this affair I predicted any damages collected would be less than the costs. We're nearly there. But we really need this to get to court, until it gets squashed with prejudice it will just reappear every decade. If Oracle win this is a disaster for an entire industry - not just this case. Lets see it die now.
Florian, the voice of Microsoft
Ah, Florian, occasional sucker at the Microsoft teat... just been caught failing to report a pretty catastrophic loss for Microsoft at the ITC before Xmas.
When Linux Torvalds got deposed by Microsoft and proceeded to shred their often used VFAT patents with prior art in the deposition... you'd think an avid patent watcher, patent agitator and active follower of that case (possibly the only active one) might just notice and share the news. Instead it went unreported.
And unreported by the lazy news outlets relying on the Mueller dripfeed of biased news instead of actual journalism.
about to be cheaper to use PAYG abroad than at home!
That will make it cheaper to call a UK number on my spare "3" SIM than using it here. Appears that's still true even if I move to a newer (poorer value) tariff.
Mobile charges continue to take the piss ;)
"That is not even racist, offensive and pathetic yes"
...you might want to track down the tweets he made AFTER other twits took him to task. Personally I'd prefer it if the target of his racist comment took him up on the offer to fight - and seriously hurt the pillock - jail will have to do instead.
Re: Well I'll be damned.
Provided you notice that even Florians deliberately garbled report establishes Apple have not made a pure unilateral offer: Apple will make them royalty free *if* the others do the same. It's 110% guaranteed there will be some patent that could be used against Apple and wisely they want protection.
Yet again technical issues are inextricably mixed with jostling for advantage on the patent side. Or in Apples case making sure they aren't on the losing side.
With both suggestions so fundamentally uninspired maybe it's good there's some controversy to arouse interest!
Re: This isn't about MS but a moronic shopkeeper
Fair enough but I do sense that the dickhead in the shop genuinely believed they'd rigged this one so well it couldn't be lost without cheating. It's so obviously rigged its hard to believe anyone at MSFT HQ approved it.
Start with a rare and unusual task, preload a configuration that less than one in 10,000 might have on their phone by chance and you'd have to feel safe. A shop serf might even notice the stock Android News&Weather app has global settings and cannot display 2 cities at once and think they'd found something Android can only do with 3rd party addons.
Of course the fragmentary world of Android means few phones come without extra widgets... sometimes 3 weather widget alone! All of them better at showing weather than the stock version ;)
aspect ratio crucial
5" at iPhones 3:2 aspect will be a very wide phone, too wide to comfortably hold or use 1 handed. Androids 5:3 (480x800 res and above) would keep the width more manageable but raise squeals of outrage among IOS devs. My 480x854 Play is right at the limit of what I can comfortably use and it's as extreme an aspect as you'd want to see.
A 5" iPhone seems condemned to be too fat to use or annoyingly incompatible with previous versions.
Re: thoughtless sales pitch
I sincerely hope you fully and frankly explained the difference between WOA (what we're discussing) and Win8 on Intel (which we aren't). In particular the Metro vs Metro+traditional UI difference.
I think its a reasonable assumtion punters who *needed to be told* to wait for Win8 when asking for a Windows tablet were expecting more of the desktop experience than WOA will ever offer and don't know enough about Win8. Rejecting IOS or Android suggests the same.
I also hope you warned them that the Wintel solution able to run full Win8 is likely to be considerably more expensive than any ARM unit - both from Intels greed and the higher spec full Win8 support implies over just Metro. Or how long they'll wait for Intel to actually deliver on low power.
Re: Zune hasn't failed yet
Still some time before we can say Zune totally failed, some would say WP7 is just the new name for Zune with some phone bits bolted on. And those square widgets ;)
More realistically Zune lives on in WP7 but it's not going to drive any sales.
Couldn't possibly agree that "Many people do like Microsoft's way of doing things", no, most people don't have an opinion on the software when choosing apart from familiarity with their previous system. Metro breaks that connection by behaving so differently, forcing Metro onto the desktop is a cynical plan to reestablish that familiarity. By the time they ship enough Win8 installs it will be far too late.
Re: the only weapons at their disposal are diversity and price
They also have the absolute firmware lock in designed into the WOA hardware spec.
MSFT probably think that's a compelling feature for potential clients like Amazon. Instead of playing whack-a-mole with exploits they could deploy a Win8 based Kindle and only have to fight Microsoft for control of users devices, not the users.
A 4-5 niche device launch could be aimed at getting incumbent suppliers to jump platform from Android to something more closed than directly influencing the public. It's a quicker way to mass deployments than fighting directly in the market and brings the chance of selling mutiple licences to each punter.
Appcelerator must be shit
A cross platform tool that can't handle the relatively minor differences between Android devices?
Even the nastiest source of actual programming problems (3D - thanks to multiple chipsets and broken proprietary drivers...) is traditionally solved by using a middleware layer... so either devs aren't seeing this actual problem OR (and more likely) Appcelerator isn't being used for affected types of app. Or maybe it's just crap at that job.
In reality only game writers will experience these problems and game writers have faced 30+ years of dealing with exactly the same problems on most released platforms. I remember when Sony changed the RAM timing on the original Playstation and the relief that our game suffered no ill effects, even the supposedly 'locked down' consoles aren't immune.
Android is losing some dev interest because Android users don't throw their money at devs as easily as IOS users, other causes are just minor irritants - irritants middleware like Appcelerator are supposed to avoid!
Re: Exsqueeze me???
Angry Birds doesn't need it at all and carried on working perfectly with location tracking turned off last time I played (and every other time ;)
However the adserver they use (and every other server I've seen so far) feels compelled to try to serve location aware advertising. Make it guess instead and save some power... or be really smart and yank the internet permission. On low end phones that makes most games run much better anyway.
Love to see some more detail on exactly *what* they tested, since Android 2.3+ mailed a lot of the GPS power drain issues. Figures for WM7 would be nice as well ;)
suitable user interface for each application
Well, they're half way there...
Microsoft have noticed that trying to run a desktop UI on a phone or tablet is a disappointing experience.
Just need them to notice that trying to run a phone or tab UI on a desktop is a disappointing experience ;)
Maybe there is a UI able to straddle that divide - Metro isn't it. What's certain is they'll keep trying to impose Metro until its certain they own all OR none of the tab/phone market. Sense can only return to the PC versions when the PC stops being a trojan into the tab+phone market.
Microsoft are continuing their historic (and epic) attempts to lock all OUR data into their tools. But it's just data, with a little care it's not locked into specific tools and should never,ever be tied to an OS. There's no technical justification for having the same OS on diverse devices, I just need access to the same data in a useful platform relevant form.
This 'same OS everywhere' crap is just their abusive way to invade the tablet market, launched from the safety of their desktop monopoly.
Re: March of the neophobes
I'm pretty sure UNIX was rather more device independent long before Windows stopped being just an app run over DOS. The cloud is more or less just a reimagining of the old mainframe+terminals days. Thanks to X UNIX has been rather good at decoupling display+input from execution for a very long time. And UNIX was a pretty late entrant in the computing world.
There are very few things any version of Windows has ever been 1st to introduce. Even fewer worthwhile ones.
Microsoft as usual are jumping on a bandwagon late and need to bludgeon users into submission.
Users run nothing at giffgaff. Users do get to cut&paste mostly random 'help' in the support forums. giffgaff - delivering answers in seconds, CORRECT answers much later ;)
giffgaff seems to have no in house tech staff, basically just a marketting operation with everything else outsourced. Makes getting things fixed quickly difficult.
My old G1s 3.3" was almost perfectly sized for one handed use, take away the largish borders and sheer thickness and 3.7" would feel as comfortable. Like you probably the sweet spot for my short fingers.
That said I wouldn't downgrade from my Plays 4" screen. That's despite dropping it several times trying to use it with 1 hand (before adding a rubberised shell). Trimming off the thickness and borders and that would make a tolerable 4.5 or pretty comfortable 4" device. Became obvious why 5" devices never took off though.
For me it either fits in the change pocket in my jeans or, apart from the 1 hand issue, the size and weight don't matter. Not found a smartphone that fits that pocket yet.
Maybe because Apple are (ab)using their patents to kill competition, not seeking licences. Its not about who's right or wrong but who's more wrong.
Makes Microsofts quest to tax Android look positively benign.
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