The Null Device
Posts matching tags 'sun'
This week in lawsuits: Rupert Murdoch's News Corp. claims that it owns Skype's brand name, or at least the first three letters of it, and threatens to block Skype from trading under that name in the EU; the EU has agreed with News Corp., though Switzerland and Turkey (neither of which are in the EU) have sided with Skype. Perhaps we'll see another Gmail/Googlemail-style situation, in which case Skype chooses some other, more awkward-looking, moniker to trade under in the EU?
Meanwhile, after having digested Sun, Oracle are wasting no time in drawing a line under its open-source-friendly days; not only have they killed OpenSolaris (an issue which could affect dozens of people worldwide) but now they're suing Google for using Java intellectual property in Android, demanding hefty damages and the destruction of all Java-based Google code, i.e., the annihilation of the Android platform. (Of course, they could let it slide for a few billion dollars.) Google contend that the lawsuit is baseless, while Java architect and Sun co-founder James Gosling weighs in:
Oracle finally filed a patent lawsuit against Google. Not a big surprise. During the integration meetings between Sun and Oracle where we were being grilled about the patent situation between Sun and Google, we could see the Oracle lawyer's eyes sparkle. Filing patent suits was never in Sun's genetic code. Alas...If Oracle are successful, they could stand to screw anyone who has ever used Java out of sizeable sums, whilst hastening Java's death as a platform of any credibility. (Unless this is thrown out of court with prejudice, I can see developers deserting Java hastily before Oracle's beady gaze descends upon them.)
Things aren't looking good for ZFS, Sun's jaw-droppingly impressive next-generation filesystem, used in Solaris and once slated to appear in OSX; now Apple have abruptly shut down their open-source ZFS project. There is speculation here that it has to do with (a) Oracle, who bought Sun, already being behind a competing (if currently somewhat less developed) filesystem, Btrfs (which is being developed on Linux), and planning to kill ZFS development to rationalise costs, and/or (b) server manufacturer NetApp suing Sun over patented technologies used in ZFS.
Apple, meanwhile, are hiring filesystem engineers, which suggests that they're planning to build their own next-generation filesystem. Until then, Mac users will have to make do with HFS+.
Sun has bought MySQL, maker of the popular open-source database system. Which looks like good news to all concerned, as Sun have a good reputation for supporting open source.
As Apple starts looking more and more like another PC company (or, more precisely, a MP3 player company with a sideline in prestige PCs and software), it emerges that Apple almost merged with Sun three times. One of these mergers was an attempted acquisition of Apple by Sun. Apart from this, the two companies had abortive talks about a number of proposals, including sharing a user interface (so perhaps we could have seen Solaris with a MacOS Classic interface) and the SPARC architecture.
It would have been interesting to see what would have happened if any of these ventures had been successful. I don't know whether SPARC chips make better laptop processors than PowerPCs, but if they do, then perhaps we wouldn't be seeing Apple capitulating to the x86 monoculture*. On the other hand, if Apple had Solaris offered to them, they may not have bothered buying NeXT, and OSX may be based on a less exotic strain of UNIX.
* not that that's entirely a bad thing; perhaps, once Intel Macs are commonplace, smart hackers will figure out ways of shoehorning Windows code (such as, say, the numerous free VST plugins that never make it to OSX) into running on one. But I digress.
The most impressive car stereo ever? (via Toby)