A jury has found that Google did not infringe Oracle patents in the development of Android. Earlier the jury found that Google had infringed Oracle's copyright in it's use of the Java API, but the judge is yet to rule on whether this is fair use. The decision on fair use will be decided by the judge next week.
On 2 May, I presented the NZOSS' viewpoint on cloud computing privacy issues at the Privacy Forum 2012 (PDF programme) in Wellington - the official name for the day was "Think Big? Privacy in the age of big data". The questions we were asked, and my answers (or at least the notes on which my answers were based) are below.
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The advice given to media companies wanting to protect their intellectual property is that you must control the content all the way to the output. Open general purpose computers are the enemy. Microsoft failed with it's first cut called "Trusted Computing", but since that time we have seen our computing devices such as iPhones increasingly controlled centrally. Cory Doctorow talks about the approaching war on general purpose computation.
"To see one of NZ's two main parties finally recognise the immense value free and open source software contributes to our economy - and make it a core part of their election platform - is a very encouraging step".
So says Dave Lane, President of the NZ Open Source Society (NZOSS), in response to Labour's released ICT policy. In that policy Labour makes it clear that open source software will be at the heart of Government ICT.
Koha, the open source library management system project, originally conceived and developed by Horowhenua Library Trust and Katipo Communications, is fighting a decision by IPONZ to allow a trademark from PTFS for the Koha name. Since the original development a substantial international community has evolved around the software.
Many members of the NZOSS community are software developers, both professional and hobbyist. Over the past several years, we have watched with increasing horror the absurdity of software patents unfolding in the United States. To many of us, it seems like watching a slow, painful, obscenely costly (but probably non-fatal) train wreck.
A milestone has been passed in the Open Source control software for 3D printers, allowing an NZ$800 RepRap to produce higher resolution output than an NZ$25,000 commercial 3D printer using the same basic printing technology. The RepRap is also printing faster than the proprietary offering and uses cheaper, multi-sourced consumables.
Details and images here http://blog.reprap.org/2011/09/tipping-point-of-print-quality-open.html