Sunday, November 25, 2007
Posted by Martin LaMonica
The Software Freedom Law Center (SFLC) said it has filed suit against two companies for allegedly violating the General Public License, which covers usage of Linux and thousands of other free and open-source products.
The suits are the second and third time that the nonprofit foundation has filed suit, signaling a willingness to use the court system to enforce the GPL.
The plaintiffs are two programmers--Erik Andersen and Rob Landley--who wrote BusyBox, software covered by the GPL version 2 often used in conjunction with the Linux operating system in embedded devices.
The suit was filed against Xterasys and High-Gain Antennas; both companies manufacture wireless communications hardware.
The SFLC said it had contacted the two companies to notify them about the alleged violations but were forced to file suit because they received no response.
In October, it settled a similar case with Monsoon Multimedia filed on behalf of the same plaintiffs over use of the BusyBox software.
Under the terms of the GPL version 2, people who make additions to software covered by the GPL have to make the source code of that program available.
"We let companies do what they like with BusyBox on their hardware, and what we asked in return was that they let us reproduce what they've done with BusyBox on our hardware. That's the deal embodied in the GPL," said Rob Landley, in a statement.
Thursday, November 15, 2007
Other advertisers are worried Google could dominate the internet
European Union regulators have launched an in-depth investigation into Google's $3.1bn (£1.5bn) takeover of online advertising firm DoubleClick.
The EU Commission said its initial probe had shown the deal would raise competition concerns.
It has set itself a deadline of 2 April 2008 to reach a decision.
Google said it would work with the Commission to show how the acquisition would benefit publishers, advertisers and consumers.
"We seek to avoid further delays that might put us at a disadvantage in competing fully against Microsoft, Yahoo, AOL and others whose acquisitions in the highly competitive online advertising market have already been approved," said Google boss Eric Schmidt.
The European Commission is working closely on the case with the US Federal Trade Commission, which has been reviewing the deal since May.
Both Google and DoubleClick are involved in online advertising, although they have different roles.
DoubleClick helps link up advertising agencies, marketers and web site publishers hoping to put ads online and track them.
Google allows firms to target advertising at people using particular search terms and also stores information about users' internet surfing habits.
Monday, November 5, 2007
Google is reportedly rolling out its mobile operating system and one thing is clear: It’s going to make a big splash. The question is who will drown in Google’s wake?
The reports about Google’s Android phone software are multiplying at a rapid rate. The New York Times did a big profile of Andy Rubin, the guy behind Google’s mobile plans (you don’t think that access would have been granted if this launch wasn’t happening do you?). Rubin joined Google when the search giant bought his company–Android–in 2005. News.com’s Tom Krazit reports that Google will announce its mobile phone software stack Monday and has some detail on the 30 companies lined up as partners.
But once the details emerge the real handicapping begins. What’s the impact of Google’s mobile moves? Will Google really reshape the wireless industry? Here’s a look at some of the winners and losers and a few companies left on the fence:
- Google: The search giant has managed to line up a big chunk of the wireless industry, cordoned off some mobile advertising inventory and may have found away to commoditize the wireless operating system. If reports are to believed Google’s operating system won’t appear until the middle of 2008. Couple Google’s Android plan with its OpenSocial movement and the search giant looks like it can rally partners with mutual interests.
- Sprint: The wireless carrier is struggling and needs a plan. By aligning with Google–by most counts Sprint will be on the partner roster–Sprint may give itself a much needed spark. This effect may be magnified if Verizon Wireless isn’t on board with Google. AT&T isn’t expected to get cozy with Google yet.
- Developers: Google’s mobile software stack is giving developers some open field to play with. I’ll be one of the many who will be curious to see what they do with it. At the very least, Google is giving developers another software development stack to tweak. This is part of Google’s new openness–moving away from proprietary software where it makes sense, meaning accelerating the growth of the Web overall, breaking down the old order and creating more inventory to monetize.
- Open source: Google’s Android is expected to integrate parts of Linux. This is a mobile victory for the open source movement in what remains a proprietary wireless world. The leading mobile software players are all proprietary.
- Handset makers: Google’s mobile software stack sounds like it’ll come cheap–like free. This fact enables handset makers to push the envelope on the hardware side of the equation. Add it up and you may get cheaper phones with more features and maybe even a cut of ad revenue.
Yet to be determined:
- Apple: A few folks have taken Google’s leap to surmise that Apple will be hurt somehow. There may be some potential impact, but there’s a cure for this line of thinking. Repeat after me: Apple sells hardware. Apple sells hardware. Apple sells hardware. Think about it. Apple’s game is selling Macs, iPods and iPhones. Sure software helps, but Apple lives and dies by hardware sales. With that perspective, Google’s mobile operating system doesn’t look like that big of a threat. Apple wasn’t planning for OS X to dominate the mobile world anyway. And if Google gets too much mojo Apple could just sell you iPhones with Google preloaded. After all, Google CEO Eric Schmidt is on Apple’s board of directors.
- Microsoft: The open source supporters and technology’s talking heads will try to lead you to believe that Windows Mobile is toast. Don’t hold your breath. Windows Mobile is entrenched, has a big footprint in the corporate world and is a key partner to wireless carriers and developers. Whatever Google cooks up isn’t likely to change that equation overnight. Just like Windows vs. Linux it’s not a zero sum game.
- Consumers: Mobile phone users will apparently get better software out of this Google move. But if the trade off is more ads on your phone it may be a wash for some.
- Palm: Man it gets tiring kicking Palm, but it’s clear this former high flier has major problems. Wasn’t Palm trying to cook up its own Linux based operating system? Yup. It’s late to the party and looks like Google will get any momentum that may come its way. The Palm OS is rapidly becoming a footnote to the history of the wireless market.
- Wireless carriers’ current business model: Wireless carriers have a model that is extremely controlling. These companies tell you what handsets you can buy, what you download and impose limitations. Google’s software could pry the standard wireless model open. What carriers wind up in the loser category vs. yet to be determined remains to be seen. AT&T and Verizon Wireless are entrenched and aren’t going to be immediately impacted. Sprint will be a winner. In the grand scheme of things, Google is nibbling away at the standard wireless business model.
Sunday, November 4, 2007
Details emerged today on Google’s broad social networking ambitions, first reported here in late September, with a follow up earlier this week. The new project, called OpenSocial (URL will go live on Thursday), goes well beyond what we’ve previously reported. It is a set of common APIs that application developers can use to create applications that work on any social networks (called “hosts”) that choose to participate.
What they haven’t done is launch yet another social network platform. As more and more of these platforms launch, developers have difficult choices to make. There are costs associated with writing and maintaining applications for these social networks. Most developers will choose one or two platforms and ignore the rest, based on a simple cost/benefit analysis.
Google wants to create an easy way for developers to create an application that works on all social networks. And if they pull it off, they’ll be in the center, controlling the network.
What They’re Launching
OpenSocial is a set of three common APIs, defined by Google with input from partners, that allow developers to access core functions and information at social networks:
- Profile Information (user data)
- Friends Information (social graph)
- Activities (things that happen, News Feed type stuff)
Hosts agree to accept the API calls and return appropriate data. Google won’t try to provide universal API coverage for special use cases, instead focusing on the most common uses. Specialized functions/data can be accessed from the hosts directly via their own APIs.
Applications can have full functionality on profile and/or canvas pages, subject to the specific rules of each host. Facebook, by contrast, limits most functionality to the canvas page, allowing a widget on the profile page with limited features.
OpenSocial is silent when it comes to specific rules and policies of the hosts, like whether or not advertising is accepted or whether any developer can get in without applying first (the Facebook approach). Hosts set and enforce their own policies. The APIs are created with maximum flexibility.
Partners are in two categories: hosts and developers. Hosts are the participating social networks, and include Orkut, Salesforce, LinkedIn, Ning, Hi5, Plaxo, Friendster, Viadeo and Oracle.
Developers include Flixster, iLike, RockYou and Slide.
What This Means
The timing of OpenSocial couldn’t be better. Developers have been complaining non stop about the costs of learning yet another markup launguage for every new social network platform, and taking developer time in creating and maintaining the code. Someone had to build a system to streamline this (as we said in the last few sentences in this post). And Facebook-fear has clearly driven good partners to side with Google. Developers will immediately start building on these APIs to get distribution across the impressive list of hosts above.
And they’ll do it soon, too. It’s clear that the developers who arrived early to the Facebook Platform party won easy customers. Those that came later had to fight much harder. Developers found their new gold strike, and they will soon all be there, mining away.
Tuesday, October 30, 2007
Wednesday, October 24, 2007
Hitachi had been Japan's eighth-largest PC maker
wants to focus on larger network systems for businesses instead.
Analysts said the move showed Hitachi had been struggling to compete in a PC market dominated by US firms Dell and Hewlett-Packard and China's Lenovo.
Hitachi said it was now scaling back PC production at its central Japan plant.
The electronics group had been Japan's eighth-largest PC maker, with its main PC brand being Prius.
"We want to develop new computers for use in the broadcasting industry, which is becoming more digitised," said a spokesman.
Sunday, October 21, 2007
The Microsoft Office Communications Server 2007 (OCS) software runs on large server systems and allows people using Microsoft's Office software to manage voice calling from their personal computers and in combination with email, instant messaging and other communications.
The software can allow a user with a headset to make a phone call from a PC, by clicking on a name in a contact list. But it includes far more advanced features, such as being able to add people to a conference call by using a mouse to drag and drop their names across the computer screen.
In addition to the core server software, Microsoft is introducing a companion desktop product, Office Communicator, and a new version of its Live Meeting videoconferencing software. It is also making available its RoundTable videoconferencing device with a 360-degree camera and recording abilities.
Microsoft predicted within five years most offices will rely on the software.
Wall Street analysts say the mobile phone 'to be launched as early as February 2008', will help company shares break the $700 mark.
"The mobile world has much greater reach than the wired Internet. Google sees this as the future," says Avi Greengart, a principal analyst with research firm Current Analysis.
In the short run, Gphone also threatens to dethrone the Apple iPhone as the wireless industry's newest star.
Google and Apple have worked closely in the past, but Gphone could test this cozy relationship and force Apple to make the iPhone a more open device than it is today.
The Web giant has made no secret that it believes mobile phones should be free to consumers, where revenues are generated through advertising and no single carrier has a lock on users.
Lehman analyst Doug Anmuth says the Google phone will be a "low-priced, simple form factor handset with an operating system specifically designed for Internet applications."
|Wed, 03 Oct 2007 20:47:40 |
According to AP, Yahoo's new search engine provides a list of related concepts as a user types into the query box. Moreover, the engine offers more links to photos, videos and music on the main results page.
The search engine also highlights local events in relevance to the request by gathering information from Yahoo's calendar service and Upcoming.org.
The similarity of the new features with Google's recently introduced improvements has made many assume Yahoo is simply trying to catch up instead of taking the next technological leap.
Between June 2000 and May 2004, Yahoo relied on Google to power its search engine. This transformed the once-smaller rival into a juggernaut that now fields more than half of the search requests on the Web.
Friday, October 19, 2007
Google profits beat expectations
The firm saw profits for the three months to the end of September hit $1.07bn (£523.4m) up from 733.4m for the same period a year earlier.
The latest rise comes after Google saw profits for the second quarter miss forecasts - which has only occurred twice in just over three years.
Google shares recently breached the $600 mark, rising $100 over four weeks.
The firm's shares ended at $639.62 on Thursday, but in after-hours trading the stock reached $642.20 - marking a rise of just over $6 or 1%.
The company's revenue reached $3.01bn for the quarter, after commissions for advertising partners.
Derek Brown, an analyst with Cantor Fitzgerald said: "It seemed like yet another strong quarter for the company, with very healthy revenue growth and strong profitability on top of that."
"We are very pleased with the impressive growth we experienced across our business," said chief executive Eric Schmidt.
"Our core search advertising business experienced continued momentum driven by growth in monetization and traffic," he said.
Sunday, October 14, 2007
Researchers with the Human Computer Interaction group at Tufts have recently come up with a computer which can tell whether the user is overworked, under-worked or not working at all.
According to a paper sent for Association of Computing Machinery symposium, the user wears a futuristic headband which sends light of the near-infrared spectrum into the head where it is absorbed by active, blood-filled tissues.
The headband then measures how much light was not absorbed, letting the computer gauge the metabolic demands that the brain is making.
Using the new technology, the particular area of the brain where the blood-flow change occurs, can be read. It will provide indications of the brain's metabolic changes by extension workload, which could be a trigger for emotions like frustration.
Tuesday, September 18, 2007
Microsoft urged to cut market share.
The EU competition commissioner has warned Microsoft to comply with its legal duties to desist from engaging in anti-competitive ways.
Neelie Kroes, who took on the case from former Commissioner Mario Monti, said that she expects Microsoft to cut its dominant market share to comply with a 2004 European Commission anti-trust ruling.
The warning came hours after the European Court of First Instance, Europe's second-highest court, upheld most of the European Commission's ruling against Microsoft, including a record fine of 497 million Euros, ($690 million).
The Luxembourg-based court confirmed that Microsoft had used its massive share in operating systems in personal computers to crush rivals in other linked markets.
"The court has upheld a landmark commission decision to give consumers more choice in software markets. The decision sets an important precedent in terms of the obligations of dominant companies to allow competition, in particular, high tech industries," Kroes said.
She noted the court ruling shows that the commission was right in taking its decision.
Kroes vowed to make certain that the US software giant would respect the Commission's decision, saying "The commission will do its utmost to ensure that Microsoft complies swiftly.''
Monday, September 3, 2007
Google Sky allows internet users to view galaxies.
Google has launched 'Google Sky' enabling amateur star-gazers to view imagery sent by the Hubble Space Telescope from their PCs.
Packed with 100 million individual stars and 200 million galaxies, the new feature was a serious undertaking. The Google Earth Sky feature contains seven informative layers, including constellations, backyard astronomy showing objects within easy optical reach, Hubble imagery, the moon, planets, galaxies, and even "Life of a Star" tour.
Sky is not the first time Google has ventured into space. In March 2006, the company launched Google Mars which allows users to explore the surface of the Red Planet.
Another service, Google Moon, lets users view the sites of the Apollo moon landings. Both services use data from the US Space Agency NASA, with which Google signed an agreement in December 200
Tuesday, July 24, 2007
First of all, this new version is a recommended security upgrade, so if you use Opera as your main Web browser, you'll definitely want to download this as soon as possible. In terms of security, various items have been fixed, including issues with torrent transfers, data URLs, domain names and so on.
Along with all of those, there have been changes made to the user interface with the toolbars, fonts, tabs and the different info panels. Fixes for scripting, stability and performance problems have also been created. There have also been some updates made for those of you who use Windows Vista. For a complete list of all the changes made in Opera 9.22, check out this Web site. Then once you're ready to download the new version, you can do so right from here. Just choose your language, location and then click the big green Download Opera button. Then get ready to enjoy your new Opera, my friends!
Thursday, June 14, 2007
Tuesday, May 15, 2007
Microsoft unveils hardware for Web phone push
Mon May 14, 2007 5:09AM BST
SEATTLE (Reuters) - Microsoft Corp. introduced on Sunday phones, headsets and other devices to work with its software that aim to replace the traditional office phone and deliver e-mails, instant messages and phone calls over the Internet.
Microsoft, the world's largest software company, said it worked with nine technology manufacturers including Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd. and NEC Corp. to develop hardware to work with its unified communications strategy.
Instead of one system for phones and another for e-mails and instant messaging, Microsoft wants all communications to run over Internet networks on its Office Communicator program.
Microsoft forecasts that the shift to Web-based phone systems will gain momentum during the next three years, eventually generating billions of dollars in new revenue for the company.
The new hardware products will be unveiled at this week's Microsoft Windows Hardware Engineering Conference in Los Angeles.
The new products include an Internet Protocol phone from NEC that connects to a computer's Universal Serial Bus and a Bluetooth headset that connects via wireless technology to the Office program made by LG-Nortel, a joint venture of LG Electronics Inc. and Nortel Networks.
Other hardware manufacturers working with Microsoft are ASUS, Plantronics Inc., Polycom Inc., Tatung Co. Ltd. and Vitelix.
Sunday, May 13, 2007
U.S. Internet users conducted 6.9 billion searches in February, according to data from comScore Networks' QSearch.
The 6.9 billion searches conducted in February account for a 1 percent increase over January 2007 and a 19 percent increase over February 2006. Web surfers used Google for 3.3 billion search queries. Yahoo served 2 billion, MSN garnered 730 million, Ask.com served 348 million, and Time Warner sites, including AOL, served 338 million searches in February.
QSearch data are based on an opt-in global panel of over 2 million consumers. The panel is observed for browsing and transactional behavior and participates in survey research to capture attitudes.
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January 2007 (B)
February 2007 (B)
Total Internet population
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Source: comScore Networks, 2007
Thursday, January 11, 2007
Hardware Is "Storage and Transmission"
Software Is "Logic and Language"
Software deals with the details of an ever-changing business and must process transactions in a logical fashion. Languages are used to program the software. The "logic an language" involved in analysis and programming is generally far more complicated than specifying a storage and transmission requirement.