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Comment Re:If the black cabs have a legal monopoly... (Score 1) 215

Black Cabs don't have a legal monopoly on taxi services in general, only metered street-pickup taxi services. There's already a thriving "mini-cab" service in London and the rest of the UK where rides must be called for (by phone or at a mini-cab office) and a fixed price is given at the start of the journey.

In London mini-cab drivers do have to be licensed, but the licensing requirements are much less strict that for black cab drivers. Seems like Uber drivers just need to pick up mini-cab licences.

Comment Re: Oracle's monopoly? (Score 1) 457

Alright, the court case is still on-going to decide if reimplementing an API is fair-use. If it is fair-use it would put us back to where we were before, if it's not then that's set a precedent where there is no fair-use protection for someone to re-implement an API, which again is what WINE, Mono, GNUstep and many other projects do.

Comment Re: Oracle's monopoly? (Score 2) 457

But it's not resolved because if it's fair use to re-implement an API then everything's fine. The problem is if APIs are copyrightable with no fair-use exemption to use/re-implement then that's an issue, because anyone who writes a compatibility layer or service that adheres to a 3rd party's standard is just one copyright claim away from ruin despite the actual implementation being an original work.

Comment Re: Oracle's monopoly? (Score 4, Interesting) 457

They didn't make something that worked similarly to Java - that would have been OK, C# is similar to Java after all. They made something that was *identical* to Java. If they didn't want to be sued they should have made their own API and their own language

What it comes down to is should APIs be copyrightable. Google created their own implementation of the Java API, if companies are allowed to copyright APIs then you can kiss WINE goodbye immediately, anyone wanting to implement an existing API would also be in trouble, and you might not even be able to create a program that even accesses an API without explicit permission.

To come back to your metaphor just because something implements the IDuck interface doesn't mean it's the same kind of duck.

Comment Re: Oracle's monopoly? (Score 5, Informative) 457

That means that Google must comply with Oracle's terms within the limits defined by law.

But Google doesn't use Java, they use Dalvik/ART, which aren't written by Oracle and therefore don't have Oracle's ToCs attached to them.

They do happen to be compatible with Java, but if you are allowed to copyright APIs (which is what Oracle are pushing for) then that would be absolutely insane for the IT industry, as you wouldn't be able to implement an API (or possibly even access an API) without the permission of whoever wrote that API.

Comment Re:Don't believe the hype (Score 1) 223

Laser is still expensive, but it can do something inkjet can't: it can print heavy blocks on cheap paper without ruining it.

You say that, but we had a colour laser printer at work that would jam (properly crumple up the page in the mechanism) if you tried to print a large block of a dark colour.

Black would be fine, as that's just K, but any large fill that required several of the toner colours physically wouldn't print.

Basically laser printers can be crappy too.

Comment Re:Sensors wrong (Score 1) 460

The flight computer wasn't confused, it correctly detected an error in the speed readings and then, as designed, returned control to the human pilots. It could just have well put the plane into the correct pitch/throttle settings itself, but it wasn't designed to.

Also a senior pilot in a non-chaotic situation (for example at a remote control station) would have had a much better chance of maintaining situational awareness over what was going on and so better spot mistakes like pitching up too far.

Comment Re:Sensors wrong (Score 1) 460

In the Air France 447 it was the (junior) co-pilots who became confused though, not the flight computer. In a more automated plane the autopilot would, in the same situation, have put the plane into a safe pitch attitude and thrust setting (the correct procedure for loss of airspeed indication) and called for the senior pilot/operator to fix the issue.

If in any problem you find yourself doing an immense amount of work, the answer can be obtained by simple inspection.