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Submission + - Oracle discontinues free Java time zone updates (oracle.com)

Noel Trout writes: For a long time in the Java world, there has been a free tool called the "tzupdater" or Time Zone Updater released as a free download first by Sun and then Oracle. This tool can be used to apply a patch to the Java runtime so that time zone information is correct. This is necessary since some time zones in the world are not static and change more frequently than one might think; in general time zone updates can be released maybe 4-6 times a year. The source information backing the Java timezone API comes from the open source Olson timezone database that is also used by many operating systems. For certain types of applications, you can understand that these updates are mission critical. For example, my company operates in the private aviation sector so we need to be able to display the correct local time at airports around the world.

So, the interesting part is that Oracle has now decided to only release these updates if you have a Java SE support contract. See the following link:
http://www.oracle.com/technetwork/java/javase/downloads/tzupdater-download-513681.html
Being Oracle, such licenses are far from cheap.

In my opinion, this is a pretty serious change in stance for Oracle and amounts to killing free Java for certain types of applications, at least if you care about accuracy. We are talking about the core API class java.util.TimeZone. This begs the question, can you call an API free if you have to pay for it to return accurate information? What is the point of such an API? Should the community not expect that core Java classes are fully functional and accurate? I believe it is also a pretty bad move for Java adoption for these types of applications. If my company as a startup 10 years ago would have been presented with such a license fee, we almost certainly could not have chosen Java as our platform as we could not afford it.

Submission + - Deep Sea Trash Revealed with ROVs: Debris Discovered 7000 Feet Below

An anonymous reader writes: Deep beneath the ocean's waves, strange creatures such as rockfish and gorgonian coral thrive in the icy depths. Yet there's something else you'll find if you go searching beneath the sea: trash, and lots of it. Researchers have discovered that our trash is accumulating in the deep sea, particularly in Monterey Canyon off of the coast of California. Scientists knew that trash was affecting shallower depths--about 1,000 feet beneath the water. Yet they were unsure whether the effects extended to the truly deep parts of the ocean that reached up to 13,000 feet. They decided that there was only one way to find out: look for themselves.
Privacy

Submission + - Will ISPs be driven to spy on their customers

bs0d3 writes: In regards to the new 'voluntary' graduated response deal; where no one really knows how ISPs will track and accuse customers of copyright infringement, according to CNN, it may be the ISP directly spying on their customers. "But now that they're free from individual blame, there's also the strong possibility that the ISPs will be doing the data monitoring directly. That's a much bigger deal. So instead of reaching out to the Internet to track down illegally flowing bits of their movies, the studios will sit back while ISP's "sniff" the packets of data coming to and from their customers' computers." This could be a problem for people who use US based internet services. If the US wants to be an internet savvy country, they still need the competition in the market place that's always been missing; and a digital bill of rights that isn't a sneaky anti-piracy measure.

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