After spotting a code commit to OpenJDK, it has now been officially confirmed by Google that it will use this Java Development Kit with the next major release of Android, otherwise known as Android N. Google currently uses the standard JDK platform, which has also tangled the company in a patent infringement suit with Oracle, so using the open sourced version might be an easier way out of the whole ordeal.
Further, Google claims that using OpenJDK makes sense for the company as Android is an open source platform, and this will allow Google to make “more contributions to the OpenJDK project.” The code will also make it easier for developers to build new apps, so in the end it seems like everybody stands to win from this.
For those without a developer background however, this won’t make much of a difference. But if you’re a developer who makes a living on Android apps and services, this is pretty big news.
Larry Ellison recently did a TV interview with Charlie Rose, where he discussed Google patent wars, Apple under Tim Cook and Steve Jobs. In the patent discussion, Ellison described Google as “absolutely evil” and said Larry Page is “100%” the problem.
This is all to do with Oracle losing $6 billion a patent case for Java API’s against Google. The U.S. District Court said any API cannot be patented due to the structure of the API simply allowing two programs to communicate.
Ellison has a recent to be hurt and a bigger reason to be swinging the blame at Google and Larry Page in general, who is the CEO of the company and has all executive decisions, especially regarding big patent disputes.
Schmidt also went on to say this goes into a bigger issue about patent abuse and patent trolling and making change with the US Patent & Trademark system, possibly with a reform of how the US accepts and denies patents.
It does seem like a win for Google, despite Ellison telling almost everyone they have big problems with the “Google-guys”, the company is still able to use the API and there is nothing Oracle can really do about it.
The real issue now is Google and the NSA, recent reports from Edward Snowden claim Google and other technology companies received large sums of money to work on PRISM and Google has been trying to get in the US government pocket for quite some time.
Oracle was supposed to release their February security update to Java this coming February 19 but the urgency of the situation made them push this way ahead of schedule. The latest patch called Java 7 Update 13 addresses 50 security flaws of which 44 are related to the Java Runtime Environment of web browsers.
To check if your computer has the latest security patch just got to your control panel and click on the Java icon. A window will pop-up with various tabs on top, click on the one that says update. On the update tab you will see an update now button on the lower right side which you only have to click. Everything is automatic from there on.
Computers who are not updated with this latest security patch run the risk of getting easily accessed by hackers who will be able to remotely execute a code on your machine to redirect it to malicious websites.
According to Eric Maurice, director for Oracle’s Software Security Assurance, “The popularity of the Java Runtime Environment in desktop browsers, and the fact that Java in browsers is OS-independent, makes Java an attractive target for malicious hackers.”
The U.S. Department of Homeland Security warned the public last month on the danger of using Java and strongly advised that the web plug-in be disabled immediately. Oracle immediately released the Java 7 Update 11 last January 13 to fix the security issues but this was still not enough as gaping holes to the security were still present.
Aside from the security patches the default security setting for Java is now set to high. This makes any Java activity more transparent to the user as Java applets that may run in browsers will no longer be hidden.
Oracle needs to beef up the security of Java as hackers are finding creative ways to attack it. Unless you it’s really important for you to use Java the best course of action to do right now is to disable it as advised by the Department of Homeland Security.
Oracle has just released an emergency patch to fix the zero day exploit in their Java software. The security flaw could possibly allow hackers access to your computer. A total of 850 million PCs were at risk by this vulnerability which prompted the US government, Apple and Mozilla to issue separate warnings which advised people to wither disable their Java plugin or not use the software at all.
The recent update changes the way Java works with web applications.
“The default security level for Java applets and web start applications has been increased from “Medium” to “High”. This affects the conditions under which unsigned (sandboxed) Java web applications can run. Previously, as long as you had the latest secure Java release installed applets and web start applications would continue to run as always. With the “High” setting the user is always warned before any unsigned application is run to prevent silent exploitation.”
People who are still running Java 7 update 10 are required to immediately update to Java 7 update 11. If you don’t require Java in your system then you can also uninstall it altogether.
The zero-day vulnerability which was discovered last week by a researcher named “kafeine” and was given the name identifier CVE-2013-0422.The flaw allows a remote attacker to execute a code in a machine. This attack can occur if anyone visits a website that has been setup with a malicious code to take advantage of the flaw.
If you are using Windows 7 you can update your Java by going to your control panel and clicking on the Java icon. From there click on the Update tab and on the lower right corner is a button that says “Update Now” which you will have to click. This will immediately download the updates. Make sure to save and close any Java applications you have running before installing the update.
The Google vs Oracle battle for likely code plagiarizing may just be over, but the aftermath of that is just beginning to take shape. Mr. Robert Van Nest, the head of the legal team from Google, in the just concluded settlement case demanded that Oracle has to pay Google a sum of $4 million to cover the documentation expenses that the later had to go through during the dispute. This was supported by documentations that were already filed in the court prior to this.
As per the claims made by Google’s archivist, 97 million documents were processed for electronic copying and analysis following requests made to 86 custodians of those documentations. Furthermore, Oracle had made 9 requests for documentations that resulted in individual documentation requests for 204 documents. This churned out a huge 3.3 million documents and 20 million pages over Google’s several production periods delivering these.
The whole dispute had resulted in an admittance of copying only 9 lines of the code by Joshua Bloch, who is the Chief Java Architect of Google, and that too included the same algorithms that he developed about a decade ago, hinting at this time spent at Oracle. He also said that he felt this was necessitated and he thinks this was an example of “good engineering practice”.
For Google the judge seemed to agree to this. Further luck prevailed for Google as although the jury found there were duplicated codes, but they did not find any infringement. For Oracle, however, the case offered no significant gains or advantages.
This Google vs Oracle case confirmed the fact that copying codes representing application programming interface cannot be simply considered plagiarizing. The case also gave a 41 ruling which clearly tried to refute any future attempt to twist the legal processes and find a way to maneuver this ruling.
The interwebs went wild on Friday when it was revealed that trusted patent blogger Florian Mueller is actually being paid by Oracle and may be in line for a top paying job with the company that’s embattled in a bitter patent suit with Google.
Over the past couple of years, the self proclaimed patent expert has been quoted on every site in the tech blogsphere from Engadget to Yahoo, and even the likes of The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, and CNET. It was assumed with his patent rhetoric and court documents all over his site that he knew what he was talking about. No one took into consideration the fact that until just a couple of months ago his site was hosted by Blogger.com and not even his own domain name.
Mueller has received a lot of criticism for his anti-Google position, however it’s now surfaced that he has actually been paid by Oracle which explains his anti-Google position.
Mueller has recently posted an “ethics” statement of sorts on his blog which it seems that he feels relieves him from any potential backlash:
That said, as a believer in transparency I would like to inform you that Oracle has very recently become a consulting client of mine. We intend to work together for the long haul on mostly competition-related topics including, for one example, FRAND licensing terms.
While Oracle may not agree, Google Executive Chairman and former CEO Eric Schmidt said in court Tuesday that they did not need anyone’s permission to use Java in Android. This was part of testimony being taken now in the trial between Oracle and Google.
The question of whether Google needed permission to use Java from Sun and now Oracle has come under deep scrutiny. Emails between Google Vice President and head of Android Andy Rubin have suggested that the engineers from the Android team new all along that they would need to license Java.
In case you were wondering the patent suit between Google and Oracle is still not over. Like Apple vs Samsung, Google and Oracle are fighting this patent thing out around the world. Even after the recent departure of President Charles Phillips Oracle is still fighting to remain one of the top companies, and is showing it in its fight with Google.
In a German court Wednesday, Oracle told the court that Google’s 700,000 Android activations per day accounts for approximately 10 million in new mobile ad revenue for the search engine giant, per day of new activations.
In it’s statement to the German court Oracle said: While this case awaits trial, more than 700,000 Android-based devices are activated every day, all fundamentally built around the copyrighted Java APIs and the enhanced performance enabled by Oracle’s patents. Each day’s worth of activations likely generates approximately $10 million in annual mobile advertising revenue for Google.
How Oracle arrived at that number was not revealed however Florian Mueller of Foss Patents suggests that the figure is based on the $14 of advertising revenue per Android user released by Google some months back.
Oracle went on to say in it’s filing:
This revenue does not even include all the other value Android generates for Google, ranging from Android Market revenue, to other Android-related services, to ensuring that Google will not be locked out of the mobile business, to lucrative relationships with manufacturers of myriad devices on which Android can and does run, to the inordinately valuable access Android provides to customers for its new social network service, Google+.
Android is an open source and free operating system. Google gets revenue only from advertising and a small fee charged to developers to start an Android developer account in the Android market. In addition to search ads, Google also owns admob which is the largest mobile advertising platform in the world.
(EDITORIAL NOTE: While Mueller claims to be an expert on patents and is quoted quite often by us and other sites, over the course of the past year or so he has been correct in reporting only 50% of the time)
Although some may be skeptical as to Florian Mueller’s credentials to blog on patents, one thing is for sure and that is Mueller can read, and read it was when he uncovered a bombshell hidden in the documentation for the Oracle vs Google lawsuit today.
Although LG, HTC and Samsung seemed to be ok with the idea that Google was using their strategic purchase of Motorola to defend Android manufacturers in patent litigation, what’s been uncovered today speaks to Google’s intent with the hardware part of the business. Now, it doesn’t seem so brash that Samsung called an emergency all hands meeting at their South Korean headquarters immediately following the Motorola announcement.