OpenOffice Dead, Too

2. June, 2011

After the huge success with Hudson, Oracle boldly continues in its way to k…er…save OSS projects by dum…donating OpenOffice at Apache.

Remember: Jenkins strives, Hudson is caught in the gears of a long and tedious legal process called “IP due diligence.” Something OSS developers couldn’t care less. So Jenkins pumps release after release every week. Hudson … well, we’ll see. Sometime. Maybe. When all the dubious “IP” has been replaced, removed or at least moved to plugins.

Since this worked so well, Apache gets the OpenOffice project after all important committers left to join LibreOffice.

We have to see this through the corporate lens: Oracle, a multi-billion dollar company is used to make tough decisions and see them through. Just use their database and you will instinctively feel their priorities: The product is powerful yet clumsy. A lot of things could be solved in a much more simple way. But if they did that, it would cost Oracle money. As it is, it just costs those who use it. Note that these are not the people who made the decision to buy Oracle. They just follow the orders from people who see the world through shiny leaflets.

So LibreOffice committed the most horrible crime possible: They ignored Oracle. They came, saw and left without ever looking back. Outrageous! If you make $26 billion revenue, you can’t be wrong. Impossible!

Still … I’d be surprised if there will ever be a release of OpenOffice that anyone will care about.

Related articles:


Hudson and Jenkins Won’t Merge

18. May, 2011

There has been recent discussion about a merge between Jenkins and Hudson, after Oracle pushed the dead weight to Eclipse.

My prediction: Won’t happen.

Why not? Because Eclipse is run by lawyers and developers hate lawyers.

Exhibit A: “Is the Eclipse process so bad? … Yes. It’s very bad (for developers). Bad enough to end many contributions.”  (https://wiki.jenkins-ci.org/display/JENKINS/Jenkins+Hudson+Reconciliation+Requirements)

Exhibit B: “MIT (or MIT-ish, e.g., ASL, BSD, EDL) license” (same page)

Exhibit C: To work on Eclipse projects, you must become a committer (http://wiki.eclipse.org/Development_Resources). That means signing a contract. You have to have an IP Log. All projects on eclipse.org must submit to the Eclipse Public License (http://www.eclipse.org/legal/).

Why is that? Because IBM is rich and Kohsuke Kawaguchi is poor. So trolls are suing IBM and they won’t sue Mr. Kawaguchi. Which is why IBM is raising their barriers and why Jenkins isn’t.

The projects won’t merge


When Laziness Gets Expensive

9. May, 2011

According to heise online (German, video in English), Professor Dr. Eugene Spafford estimates the costs Sony‘s EPIC FAIL to secure their PSN servers to be 21 billion dollars.

Wow. 21 … fucking … BILLION … dollars. That’s 70’000’000 PS3s. 70 million PS3s. 36 million iPhone 4s. 700’000 cars at $30’000/each. They must be doing pretty well to be able to afford such a loss.

And it’s not that they didn’t see it coming. Sony knew for months that their servers were outdated and missing crucial security patches. Well, someone decided that it wasn’t worth to fix that. So: EPIC FAIL. Again. And again. Will they ever learn?

That feels like the same arrogance which led to the lawsuit against geohot and graf_chokolo.  Which probably made someone on the Internet so angry that they decided to give Sony this wedgy. Message to Sony: It’s not smart to be arrogant in the face of overwhelming odds.

You have, say, 1’000 people working to protect your assets. The world has a population of 7 billion (and you just lost 3 dollars to every and each of them) and the probability that one of them can kick you where it really hurts is about 1. At least.

Of course, the company is now using all its power to hunt down the little bastard. Sony, if you read this: Don’t be surprised if a 13-year old kid outwitted your whole security team.

Or rather the manager, who told the team not to fix those servers. But no, managers are never wrong. So the team must be punished. Fire them! All of them! Without supper! Serves them right! And don’t forget to sue the kid! Sue him to hell! Make sure he is not allowed to touch an electronic device ever again. EVER! It’s not your fault what happened! Try to create more DMCA-like laws! So you can sue more people! Get your engineering team to build a time traveling device so you can sue in advance! Force parents to divorce so they can’t breed anything threatening your revenue! Show the world who’s boss! Dictatorships never worked before but that should not stop you! It should rather encourage you! Grow by setting challenging goals!

See where the leads and why you can never win?

Making the world-wide security community hate you even more is your best bet! Trust me, I know at least as well as the guy who created this mess. And you trusted him, didn’t you?


Sony vs. The World 1:0 …?

13. April, 2011

So Georg Hotz “caved in” and accepted to sign a settlement agreement (good article). Those quotes aren’t accidental; being accused in a law-suit does odd things to your life and most of them are unpleasant. Being famous isn’t as great as MTV wants you to believe. Ever wondered why all those famous persons are either weird, drug addicts or die early? There might be a connection.

As for Georg, one hell is over and now he gets raped by all his supporters. It’ll wash over, trust me.

So did Sony win? No. Win would mean to prove in court that it’s illegal to decrypt and modify the firmware of the PS3. Which they avoided. If you’re a multi-billion dollar company and someone/something is a threat to one of your most valuable products (my impression after reading what SCEA said during the lawsuit), wouldn’t you want to make sure this issue is fixed once and for all? For some reason, Sony didn’t.

It’s probably because they didn’t want to harm poor Georg.

*hilarious laughter*

Oh man, I’m killing myself. So. Sony caved, Georg won: He’s not going to jail, he isn’t fined, he isn’t prosecuted. He’s a free man. Well, mostly.

He isn’t allowed to do illegal things with “any SONY PRODUCT” (their yelling). Oookaaayy… what exactly is illegal? Wasn’t that one important point that the lawsuit should have settled?

I mean in Europe, it’s legal to reverse engineer any software if you need that knowledge to make it cooperate with some other software (“make it interoperable”) and if you can’t get that knowledge some other way (competitor wants to keep you out of the market, producer is no longer around, etc.). You must not spread the reverse engineered code but you could, for example, write a patch or an installer with it.

And Georg isn’t allowed to talk about the settlement which is confidential. I don’t need to understand this, I guess, but I’m sure he would rather forget this sad story and move on.

So. One guy fixed. I’m sure no other smart person on the planet is going to try this again. Ever.

And one prediction: It seems that Georg has some money left. Instead of wasting it on his own case (which Sony might have dragged out for a decade, for example) he might have invested it in the other lawsuit where chances to win might be much higher – especially with all the notes he got from his case.


Customer Innovation

2. March, 2011

Have you ever modified something you bought in a shop? You’re not alone. A study in England showed that 6.2 percent of the population does it. The modifications range from simple things like adding rubber to the dog’s feeding bowl to reprogramming a GPS to make it easier to use.

Apparently, the users of products invest 2.3 times more money in making things better than the companies who build them in the first place. Bad news for companies who hate it when someone touches their stuff


Good Overview How Sony Treated Its Customers Over The Years

1. March, 2011
Magic Link

Image via Wikipedia

Phillip Torrone posted a good overview of Sony’s treatment of its customers over the years: Sony’s War On Makers, Hackers, And Innovators


LG Angry at Sony

1. March, 2011

It seems that harassing customers isn’t enough. In a nice move to complete their list of enemies, they pissed of LG, too. Patent infringement. LG won preliminary injunction against Sony and the European customs now have to seize PlayStation shipments. 🙂