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Comment Pity about the robots (Score 1) 184

I think the US should declare robots a munition subject to export control and extreme secrecy. With the increase in robotic soldiers, it will become important, and as the US learns to make better robots for the military, they will make better industrial robots. At some point the robots will be more cost effective than slaves in China... If they cannot be exported then manufacturing will return to the US. At least for a while Americans will be able to get high skill jobs building and fixing robots...

Comment Re:Adblocking and Neflix (Score 2) 96

Found the same thing with my kids, although they've never really had much broadcast TV exposure. They just get irritated by this stuff interrupting what they were watching... Thankfully they'll live in a streaming world, because they find it difficult to understand that they can't chose the show, but have to watch whatever is on.

However, don't be scared to teach your kids the truth about ads. There are two kinds of ads: Those that try to sell you something you don't need, and those that are offering you a good deal on something you might have been thinking of getting. For the first kind, label them truthfully - if they are advertising it means you don't need what they are selling (which is even more true for targeted ads). Purposefully eschew anything you saw in an ad. For the second type, teach them to comparison shop and never pay full price for anything. Teach them to read the $/oz numbers instead of the price tag...

Comment How about a California constitutional amendment (Score 4, Funny) 587

I wish someone would craft a carefully worded Proposition for California which would make any unskipable content on media which is sold or rented unconstitional... Something about not being allowed to accuse people of crimes without evidence that they are at least thinking of committing the crime.

It would make for such a fun round of election ads - the more the studios argue that it is a good thing the more the population would be reminded just how irritating these warnings are.


Comment Re:Foot, meet bullet. (Score 1) 147

You're mixing the licenses of the GPL OpenJDK (the GPL does not allow "field of use" restictions), Oracle's binary JDK, and Oracle's Java specification.

No, the OpenJDK and binary licenses have never been part of the actual case. The Java SE 1.4 and Java SE 5 versions of the license I quoted are the only licenses Oracle has entered into evidence (although I've not read all 1000+ documents).

Did we red the same piece of text?

includes (i) developing applications intended to run on an implementation of the Specification

means exactly that you can develop all applications you want using the Java APIs, how do you interpret that as "they could advance a case against any Java developer"?

Well, OK, anyone that has used Java externally, or has commercialized their use. This is a classic industry license which lets you look, but if you want to play you have to pay. You are allowed to determine if Java is right for you. Sure, Sun always interpreted this as meaning "Java is free for use" (and Oracle still claim that), but Oracle are showing that they can come up with some very interesting interpretations of the law. So, maybe Java is safe, maybe Oracle will need more cash and change their tune...

No, Google
1) did NOT use the GPL OpenJDK, and therefore they're not covered by the GPL license; and they expressly chose not to use the OpenJDK because they dislike the GPL, as Google said explicitly in their published emails;
2) violated this part, of the license, that you omitted to quote:

2. License for the Distribution of Compliant Implementations. Oracle also grants you a perpetual, non-exclusive, non-transferable, worldwide, fully paid-up, royalty free, limited license (without the right to sublicense) under any applicable copyrights or, subject to the provisions of subsection 4 below, patent rights it may have covering the Specification to create and/or distribute an Independent Implementation of the Specification that: (a) fully implements the Specification including all its required interfaces and functionality; (b) does not modify, subset, superset or otherwise extend the Licensor Name Space, or include any public or protected packages, classes, Java interfaces, fields or methods within the Licensor Name Space other than those required/authorized by the Specification or Specifications being implemented; and (c) passes the Technology Compatibility Kit (including satisfying the requirements of the applicable TCK Users Guide) for such Specification ("Compliant Implementation").

In other words, Oracle claim that Google created a Java-based platform that is not compatible with Java, and called it Java. Which is what Microsoft did in the 90s (and has nothing to do with the developers of Java applications). A judge will decide if this is the case, but saying that every Java user could be sued for writing Java applications is frankly not true.

This part of the license is irrelevant. Google do not claim to implement Java or a compliant implementation. They are therefore not entitled to patent protection (which is why they are being sued for patent infringement). This is why the case is split into two portions: a copyright portion, because Oracle claim Google have violated the first part of the license, by copying the APIs (and a bit of code). Google's defense is three part:

  1. That this license is invalid because the APIs are not subject to copyright (this is what the judge will decide),
  2. That even if they are subject to copyright, their use is fair (clause (ii) and (iii) of the Java SE 7 license I quoted are not in the older ones, but appear to be trying to define "fair use") and
  3. Even if the use was not fair, it was de minimus (minimal) and so they should be allowed to get away with it. (and the copied bits of code were copied but minimal).

Using the OpenJDK might have saved them some grief, but it was never a real issue. Oracle only raised because they were desperate for quotes to show Google knew they needed a license.

The patent portion is because they clearly did not meet part 2 of the license.


Comment Re:Foot, meet bullet. (Score 5, Informative) 147

>Please, the vast majority Java was open sourced in 2006 under the GPL

The code was. But if you want to write any Java code you need to use Java APIs. Those are copyright and subject to Oracle's terms of use. Go to - see that link to a copyright statement at the bottom: That document says:

  1. 1. This software ... provided under a license agreement containing restrictions on use ...
  2. 2. Except as expressly permitted in your license agreement or allowed by law, you may not use, ... any part, in any form, or by any means.

So what is the license agreement: Try to download the documentation ( That has a click though agreement to, which in turn says:

1. License for Evaluation Purposes. Oracle hereby grants you a fully-paid, non-exclusive, non-transferable, worldwide, limited license (without the right to sublicense), under Oracle's applicable intellectual property rights to view, download, use and reproduce the Specification only for the purpose of internal evaluation. This includes (i) developing applications intended to run on an implementation of the Specification, provided that such applications do not themselves implement any portion(s) of the Specification, and (ii) discussing the Specification with any third party; and (iii) excerpting brief portions of the Specification in oral or written communications which discuss the Specification provided that such excerpts do not in the aggregate constitute a significant portion of the Specification.

So - you can use the APIs for internal evaluation only. In other words - if you wish to use them for any other purpose you need another license from Oracle.

This is exactly the case Oracle has advanced against Google (who violated clause (i) above by implementing the specification).

But, they could advance a case against any Java developer, because no matter how they learned Java, these licenses do not extend third party rights, so each developer has to officially learn about Java through the Java specifications. And if you are using Java for any purpose other than evaluation, you are in violation.

If you use something other Java SE, then you are even worse off, because the APIs are not actually published. The licenses for various versions of Java have changed slightly over the years (the one for Java 5 - which Google is being sued under - says that the license overrides all other statements from Sun, although Oracle's lawyers didn't read that far into the license else they would have used that clause to nullify the damaging testimony about Sun's approvals of Google's actions.

Before you accuse people of astroturfing, learn the turf.


Comment Re:Mr. Wall, please sit down... (Score 2) 577

And even worse is the implication for the real world, since the question is not one of software. It is much broader: can the selection, sequence and organization of items be copyright? Think questions like: Can McDonalds own the copyright on a burger, fries and a soda. Does someone own the copyright on the standard "from airport, to airport, date and time, no of passengers" form? Is the format of a check copyright? What about copyright on the track list on an album? If SSO can be copyrighted, the lawyers will have fun...

On the flip side, the license which Oracle is claiming applies only grants "internal evaluation" rights for the Java APIs, so all 6.5 million Java programmers could be using those APIs illegally...


Comment Re:Money ? (Score 1) 302

I've personally met Gary Haugen, and know a number of people who work/have worked for IJM. Their main goal is to get laws passed in countries which do not have laws against slavery, and then to get those laws enforced. Often this involves using influence with first world countries to pressure these countries into applying their own laws.

Their other role is to bring (generally US) trained law enforcement to these countries to train local law enforcement to collect evidence, etc. They then use lawyers to pursue individual cases, and train local lawyers in their own laws so they can effectively prosecute slave owners. When they loose cases (which are always cut and dried) they investigate how the judge was bribed and take legal action. They will keep this up until they get all the way to the top.

My guess is that most of this money will go to getting law enforcement and lawyers on trips to India to do this. They will also use the money to change attitudes in the US, so that Congress can be coerced into doing the right thing (like adding anti-slavery clauses to trade agreements).


Comment Re:The legitimate projection of force. (Score 5, Informative) 566

If you watch the videos, you see that Lt Pike instructs the students (who are blocking his exit with detainees, i.e obstructing the police - but they were trying to get arrested because they wanted to force the cops to arrest everyone) that if they don't move when the police car which they are bringing gets there, then he will shoot them.

That is not a legal order. He can only say "I will arrest you, and I might hurt you if you resist". He also doesn't keep his word: he pepper spays them instead of shooting them, and he does so before they have an opportunity to move out of the way of for the police car. Moreover, he prevents the other officers from trying to move/detain them.


Comment Re:Oh no! (Score 1) 339

I use prepaid on a smartphone because it is the best deal. I don't download movies on my phone, and it connects to wifi in it's most common locations. Hence I only use 15MB or so of data a month. Buying a 100MB ($20) package every now and then and a monthly 1MB ($5) package every month so the 100MB keeps rolling over, means I can go for about 6 months, at $20+6*$5=$50, or just under $10 per month. If I had a contract, that would be $30+ per month on top of my contract. Don't be fooled by Costco pricing - just because it is cheaper to buy in bulk doesn't mean it is cost effective. Although I'll definitely change to the new plan - my rate will be a around $6/month then.

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