Boot up: who killed The Band?, Motorola v Microsoft, Google Voice v Windows Phone and more
Plus no Skype on low-end Windows Phones, more Mac malware, analysing what happened when Sun GPLd Java and more
A quick burst of 8 links for you to chew over, as picked by the Technology team
Want to use Google Voice on your mobile phone? Google has apps for Android, the iPhone, and BlackBerry. But a year-and-a-half after Windows Phone launched, Google still has no plans to support Microsoft’s mobile platform.
“We’re focusing our Google Voice efforts on Android & iOS and don’t have a plan to extend this to the Windows Phone,” Google told me via e-mail, when I asked recently about the lack of support. “This may change if we start to see greater demand from Windows Phone users for Google Voice.”
Given how tiny a portion of the US market (where Google Voice has the most traction) Windows Phone presently is, that would be a long wait. Danny Sullivan also makes the point that it forces people to use unofficial apps – whose security isn’t certain.
The Band’s ex-tour manager blasts Reddit founder Alexis Ohanian, Kim Dotcom, The Kickstarter “Begging Bowl” >> Fast Company
Here’s how he started his blast:
Last week at our debate, I talked about the essential unfairness that my friend and colleague Levon Helm had to continue to tour at the age of 70 with throat cancer in order to pay his medical bills. On Thursday, Levon died and I am filled with unbelievable sadness. I am sad not just for Levon’s wife and daughter, but sad that you could be so condescending to offer “to make right what the music industry did to the members of The Band.” It wasn’t the music industry that created Levon’s plight; it was people like you celebrating Pirate Bay and Kim Dotcom – bloodsuckers who made millions off the hard work of musicians and filmmakers.
It is a hell of a blast. (Thanks @pauljreynolds for the link.)
Intego has discovered a new variant of the Flashback malware, Flashback.S, which continues to use a Java vulnerability that Apple has patched. No password is required for this variant to install, and it places its files in the user’s home folder, at the following locations:
It then deletes all files and folders in ~/Library/Caches/Java/cache in order to delete the applet from the infected Mac, and avoid detection or sample recovery.
The no-password thing is just more drive-by fun. Unclear: prevalence. (Thanks @rquick for the link.)
Sun’s Tim Bray on the day Sun released Java under GPL – “There will be lots of forks and I approve” >> Groklaw
So, Google was sincere in wanting to work with Sun. Sun? Apparently it had a more complicated position.
But reading the exhibits, you see that an independent implementation was always viewed as possible by Google, Lindholm even mentioning one possibility, just not ideal. In fact, apparently someone in 2010 told Safra Katz of Oracle that maybe Google would just use something else, and this apparently seemed to disturb her, as on page 7 it says the “threat” to move off Java “hit her hard”. Of course Google has the technical ability to do pretty much whatever it wants to take on. They’re designing driverless cars and how to mine asteroids. I mean. Really. Replacing Java would be annoying but not impossible.
p> But part of what Google was trying to make happen in 2009, as you can see on page 30, was getting Sun to “get Java more fully open sourced” which, by then was seen as urgent in that they thought Sun was “going to fail sometime soon.” Why did Google care? Because, as one email that year in the same thread pointed out, Google was already highly invested in Java.
Replacing Java in Android wouldn’t have been impossible for Google, but it would have been very, very, very difficult. This long analysis of nothing-very-much also overlooks the fact that Bray has worked at Google for some years, so presumably could tell its lawyers exactly what parts of Java were GPLd and what weren’t. (Thanks @modelportfolio2003 for the link.)
A judge at the US International Trade Commission has just ruled that Microsoft’s Xbox 360 infringes five of Motorola’s patents. The ruling isn’t unexpected, since many of the patent cover H.264 video encoding, which is a standard — the ITC wasn’t persuaded by Microsoft’s argument that Motorola will “kill video on the web” by failing its obligation to license the patents under fair and reasonable terms.
Not sure whether the ITC has the authority to rule on FRAND issues. Motorola seems to have backed out of its concession to license its H.264 patents on “reasonable” terms; otherwise would they have ever been included in the H.264 patent pool?
Apple’s patented solution is an app called ‘iTravel‘. It’s an integrated iPhone app which will let you reserve types of transport, including flights and hotels; acts as a boarding pass; at baggage reclaim and delivers local information for where you end up. It even – at least, the patent filing describes – allows for personal identification. In other words, your iPhone won’t just be your wallet, but your passport, too.
The transcript of an intriguing talk.
Microsoft just released the first version of Skype app in Windows Phone Marketplace last night. While most of us will be enjoying the app, the upcoming Windows Phone Tango devices with 256MB RAM such as Nokia Lumia 610 won’t have access to this most wanted app. In the release notes by Skype team posted yesterday, they have mentioned that your Windows Phone requires a minimum of 512MB of memory to install and use Skype which basically tells us that Windows Phone Tango devices are not supported.
The fact that lots of people still ignore these simple guidelines is what keeps Dilbert in cartoons.
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