Re: Who needs a test department?
"The folks that would test changes before they were released."
Couple that with releasing a change whilst trying to remediate a power/hardware problem.
16426 posts • joined 16 Jun 2014
"If I want something relevant, then it's Google."
It depends on what you find relevant. Searching on a place name inevitably brings up a load of estate agents, especially if combined with the name of a family that had a significant presence in the area (they feature in street names). Relevant if you're looking a buy a house. If you're doing historical research, a complete and utter waste of time.
"There is legislation and then there’s the corporate reality of ignoring legislation unless you get caught, at which point you plead ignorance or successfully blame a junior."
You don't say how long ago this was but if it was recent the COO should have been aware that the legislators who put together GDPR are wise to such tricks. That's why there there's a higher tier of fines for for this sort of thing. A plea of ignorance wouldn't help and they'd have to pay a junior a hell of a lot to take the blame for that. Realistically a proper investigation by a regulator is going to show that they did monitor and then stopped. There'll probably be a paper trail for costs of monitoring S/W.
"Microsoft US might even *go to jail* for not complying with the US order. But it's an order that's impossible to fulfill for them. Literally, any employee of Microsoft Eire who allowed, facilitated, permitted, assisted or even provided an avenue for Microsoft US to get such data is breaking the law in the country they live in."
The US court's position seemed to be that a US employee sitting in Redmond could directly access the Irish data centre without involving any Irish staff at all. They seemed to think that it could be mounted as an I: drive or something. The likelihood is that under the CLOUD Act they will assume that to be the case for the German data centre as well. I very much doubt that it will have done anything that makes customers of Microsoft or any other US-owned business safer; more likely just the opposite.
"A monthly fee of 5 to 8 quid would mean they could offer a better service"
Yes, in theory they could. But it would take a lot of months to get to that point if they actually tried to. But the most likely outcome would be 5 to 8 quid a month down the drain and no better services however long you waited.
"Yes, but the files containing the declarations were also copyrighted too I presume."
The point at issue isn't whether it's copyright, it's whether using the API is fair use. That's been the assumption in the past. If an API can't be incorporated into applications without infringement the library it supports is useless.
"As for copying APIs, it's a damage only for lazy companies unable to innovate and desperately need to piggyback on someone else's work."
Do you write S/W? Maybe not. But if you do go and look again at your source code. Does it have includes or the like according to language? Where does the included material come from? Some of it might be your own but a lot of it will be the APIs of standard libraries that are part of the system S/W. This is how the S/W industry works. It uses standard APIs, even if, like Google did here, it reimplements the API (with, in this case, the exception of a few lines). This is the danger of this precedent - it drives a coach and horses through a basic working assumption of the entire development process.
What work did Google save by using the Java API? Id didn't save the work of implementing a Java byte-code interpreter nor a compiler. It didn't save the work of implementing anything other than a trivial amount of the library behind the API. What's lazy about implementing all that? It didn't really save much work of devising its own API as all these APIs, C, C++, Java & the rest all follow much the same lines.
What it did save was the need for huge numbers of non-Google, repeat non-Google, independent application developers having to learn a new API.
But to return to my tongue in cheek proposal, one interpretation of the SCO suit was that IBM, being so much bigger than SCO, could just have taken them over to end the suit and that provoking this was the intention. Put that together with the fact that someone pointed out the disparity in size between Oracle and Alphabet and the possibility that an asset stripper might be able to make money breaking up something with as many lines of business as Oracle and you have an intriguing possibility - Alphabet could possibility save itself $8.8bn and make a bit of extra money as well.
It's been revised by https://www.iso.org/standard/63555.html. Go and look at that page. You can't just download the standard, you have to buy it, CHF 178. So the copy of the standard costs money. As I haven't bought it I don't know what the status of IBM's contribution is, whether it's assigned to ISO or licensed to them. But the fact that it's a standard doesn't mean it's not in copyright.
"C/C++ are ISO/IEC standards, so that is impossible."
The issues would be more with the standard library definitions. Just because it's a standard doesn't mean it's free. Standards can and do incorporate proprietary technology but this has to be covered by FRAND licences although this normally applies to patentable material rather than copyright.
APIs in standards could be contributed by a 3rd party. If not they're going to be copyright of the standards body and that doesn't guarantee they're royalty free.
"I do not care what copyright law says, if someone says : this is free, then I can take it and nobody can complain."
Actually, as someone else has pointed out, the GPL is a licence granted under copyright law with certain conditions attached. The BSD licence is similarly a grant under copyright law with rather fewer conditions. But both depend on copyright law to keep them free (for different values of "free"). So you should care what copyright law says.
"Yet it is only 1% of Google's market cap, and about 4% of Oracle's."
In that case here's an idea for Alphabet. Get together with one of the usual activist investor suspects and buy Oracle. Break it up and sell the bits off at a profit. Preferably in the course of this go back to court as the complainant in the original case and ask for a ruling to overturn the decision on the grounds that copying an API is fair use and a precedent to the contrary would impose overwhelming damage on the whole S/W industry.
As the ultimate insult I wonder what CA would pay for the database business.
"Personally speaking I believe copyright laws should be strict; a grey area on that matter won't serve anyone."
The only thing worse than a grey area here is placing APIs under copyright.
There is a grey area in copyright and that's the idea of fair usage. The assumption which has been fundamental to S/W development in general, not just open source, is that use of the code that defines an API is fair use. If the line is drawn on the other side of that then part of almost every body of code are infringing copies of someone else's code. Oracle are probably as vulnerable as anyone else here: inter alia who owns the copyright to SQL?
This decision is dangerous to anyone in S/W development wherever the decision is binding. It's not too hard to envisage development driven out of the US altogether and any S/W sold into the US carrying a copyright surcharge.
I can't think of anything more likely to turn anyone against something than pestering them in this way.
The only way this works in sales is that it gets a small percentage of takers at the expense of pissing off a large majority.
If there are a large number of competing alternatives (e.g. double glazing, the obvious example) there's no way of knowing whether those pissed off would have bought from the caller, the competition or, indeed, not bought anything. In that case the salesmen can, with no fear of contradiction, believe they've made a gain. When the choices are limited - for, against or ignore - the cumulative risk of turning ignore into against makes it a pretty dumb proposition.
"But 5% is not 10%"
Always allow for optimism in economic forecasts. As long as I can remember Treasury forecasts for annual growth a few years ahead were always at least twice those of the forecasts for the next few years. By the time those actual years were the next few years they'd fallen to next few years level.
"I'd need some considerable persuasion to be convinced that a £900 phone offered me a more-than-sixfold increase in utility."
The people who spend that much aren't looking for a six-fold increase in utility, they're looking for a six-fold increase in self-image.
The government will have this exemption confirmed in the act, by amending the GDPR
They can't. It's not exclusively their legislation and soon they'll have no input into any amendments (it's called taking back control). They'll also need to be judged to have equivalent legislation in order for a lot of the business UK companies will want to conduct with the EU.
and withdrawing from the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights
This would bring yet another problem with the Good Friday agreement.
"Users should be following the policy, and the policy should have the backing of senior management."
The only thing that would ensure such backing, short of a massive breach costing money for compensations and fines along with a loss of reputation, would be board level insistence. That insistence would need to be backed up with loss of bonuses and/or promotion as appropriate in the face of an audit report such as this.
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