Sunday
Jan302005

Sun's Patent and Licensing Practices Examined

In a previous post, I asked whether anyone had taken the time to go through the CDDL in enough depth that the rest of us could get a grip on it.  Although there's a clear bias in the approaches referenced, Slashdot has identified a number of commentators and some interesting analysis.

Groklaw has an excellent analysis of some Patent Questions About the CDDL. For /.ers who don't like reading a lot, the most important point is that 'it would be possible for developers co-developing Open Solaris to someday find themselves blocked from distributing code by a Microsoft patent infringement claim, while leaving Sun, because of their cross-licensing deal with Microsoft, free to continue to distribute the contributed code.' The article also notes that 'The short answer why [some particular clause] is needed in the CDDL and not the GPL is that Linus Torvalds has not just entered into a cross-licensing arrangement with Microsoft, the relevant details of which are not public'. Makes you wonder what those relevant details are?"

Link: Slashdot | Sun's Patent and Licensing Practices Examined.

Tuesday
Jan252005

New Consortium Promotes Grid Computing For Businesses

This week saw the announcement of the Globus Consortium, of which Univa is a charter member and proud of it.  We've received a lot of good press coverage, and the generally positive assessment of the effort has been gratifying.

What interesting about the InfoWorld piece is the reference to Microsoft and the quotes from Charles Fitzgerald.   He's right -- one doesn't need the Globus Toolkit to "do high-performance compute clusters."   That's not what the Globus Toolkit's all about.  What the statement bespeaks is a point of view: resource virtualization is all about clusters, not the federation of diverse resources managed autonomously.   I wonder just how widespread that POV is within Microsoft?  I doubt that this is completely representative.

Sunday
Jan232005

Bush Didn't Invent the Internet, but Is He Good for Tech?

In James Fallows' Techno Files Op-ed, he used a term that brought back a few memories, but with a twist.  The term was "antiterrorism-industrial complex", a play on the Eisenhower farewell which warned of the "military-industrial complex."

Before this morning, I had never heard this phrase, yet it has a resonance to it.  With the change in our era to a world of asymetrical warfare and terror, which by definition has to flaunt the rules in order to be terror inducing, we have found the perfect impetus for this generation's advancement of communication and information technology.  No longer a space race, an arms race, nor the "gaps" to which proponents referred when trying to scare the bejeezus out of Congress or the voting populace.  Nope, this is a race, or perhaps more accurately described, a war, that will be won by the side that understands best how to make use of the infrastructure in place and that which emerges over the next years.   

Yet the Bush administration could end up being known for some technology advances that occurred on its watch. I am speaking not only of purely private developments - the renaissance of Internet-based businesses in this age of Google - or of the heavy public spending for military and surveillance systems, which is creating a vast new antiterrorism-industrial complex.

Instead, as in many chapters of American technological history, some of the most significant innovations have been made where public and private efforts touch. In its first term, the Bush team made a few important pro-technology choices. Over the next year it will signal whether it intends to stand by them.

Link: The New York Times: Bush Didn't Invent the Internet, but Is He Good for Tech?.

Saturday
Jan222005

Intelligence in Men and Women is a gray and white matter

I KNEW it... I just knew it. 

While there are essentially no disparities in general intelligence between the sexes, a UC Irvine study has found significant differences in brain areas where males and females manifest their intelligence. The study shows women having more white matter and men more gray matter related to intellectual skill, revealing that no single neuroanatomical structure determines general intelligence and that different types of brain designs are capable of producing equivalent intellectual performance.

...

Link: Today@UCI: Press Releases:.

Friday
Jan212005

Sun License to Give Developers Patent-Use Rights

I'm not sure I understand what the CDDL buys us as a software development community. Has anyone gone through this in enough detail to come back with an informed opinion ? Though I know it's the realm of the legal beagles,  I wish I had the time to dig into it,

Sources say the company plans to use the CDDL (Common Development and Distribution License) for Open Solaris, and that it's considering open-sourcing its Java Enterprise System under the CDDL as well.