Particle Debris (wk. ending 8/5) Perils Lurking Everywhere

| Particle Debris

I just love sand charts. Have I mentioned that before? Mayhap a time or two. Here’s a pair of sand charts that show how Apple has gobbled up the profits in the mobile phone market in 2010 and now 2011. Note Mr. Elmer-Dewitt’s emphasis: “we’re talking about all cell phones all over the world, not just smartphones and not just in the U.S.” Here’s the article. Prepare to be stunned. “How Apple is sucking the profit out of the mobile phone market.


It’s always interesting to see the current browser share statistics. The second chart is of the most interest to me: there are two declining browsers and two advancing browsers. Here’s the ars technical summary for July, 2011. Personally, I was not happy with Chrome’s installer leaving unwanted remnants when I tested it awhile back, and so I’m always curious what the allure is — now that Safari 5.1 has sandboxing.

A very crude estimate of the power consumption of a CPU is a constant times the frequency times the voltage squared. That’s why modern CPUs are on a low-power rampage and why we had to curtail ever increasing clock speeds. But now another problem is cropping up — getting power to all those hundreds of millions of transistors, according to the chief scientist at Nvidia. Here’s the top level summary from the New York Times: “Progress Hits Snag: Tiny Chips Use Outsize Power.”

The UK is making some very big changes related to consumers and digital media. As the BBC put it, “Plans to block websites that host copyright infringing material are to be dumped by the government.” Moreover, an update to the UK’s copyright law makes it legal for consumers to rip CDs and DVDs for personal use. The whole article is both refreshing and largely reflects, I believe, the sentiment of people in the U.S. For some inspiration read, “Government drops website blocking.

Okay. I’ve written something you don’t like. You’re mad. How shall you handle that? Fortunately for you, there’s an easy solution right on the Internet itself! Just go check out this humorous flowchart to see how to handle your anger. “So you’re MAD about something on the Internet.” Feel better now?

Lion crystal ball

There’s been a huge amount of discussion on Apple’s new consumer approach with Lion. Whereas Apple’s original thesis was to make a UNIX OS usable by mere mortals, Lion takes the next step and makes OS X really easy to use with iOS insights and starts to leave the gurus and tinkerers on their own. That doesn’t mean Apple is going to abandon the Mac, in my view, or even abandon OS X. It’s just a progression of thought by Apple. However, every astute article we read gives us more and more insight, and without endorsing this writer’s thesis that OS X will be gone in five years, I’ll still present it to you as food for thought. “Mac OS is the new Apple II, iOS is the new Mac OS.”

The next article is R-RATED. Some ADULT LANGUAGE. So if you’re one of our younger readers, just SKIP this article and move on. Okay, for the rest of you this essay sums up the writer’s feelings about Google’s recent actions and their whining about how Oracle, Microsoft and Apple are ganging up on them. (Poor baby.) ADULT readers, just go take a look at have some fun. But really, the guy has some good points.

You may have surmised by now that Google is in a bit of trouble. Not only does Google have its hands full with alleged patent violations from Apple and Microsoft, but the scarier, more dangerous problem Google has is with Oracle and the Java litigation. Our regular reader, Nemo, describes it as perilous:

The problems for Google is that Java components that it included in Android exist in every Android device and are essential to every single app and the development of apps that run on Android. Judge Alsup has warned Google that would be wise to settle because it appears that if it loses, the result be that he will issue a broad injunction against Android that will end Android as a viable mobile OS in the United States and its territories. I can imagine an order that orders Google to remove all infringing Java components from Android and halt the use of all infringing component of Java, which means no more Android apps and a version of Android that can’t run any apps; that orders all infringing Android devices sequestered and quite possibly destroyed; and that possibly orders Google take down all the apps on its Market Place that use infringing Java technology.”

Holy crap. And here’s some irony. I am told that Google could have had all the rights to license what it needed to do with Java for US$100M and declined. In the days when Groupon in a fit of silliness fancies itself worth US$6 billion, oh, how small one hundred million looks.

My initial reaction to the Oracle suit was that Google’s attorneys would find a clever way to wriggle out of the mess. My second reaction was that, damn, Oracle’s attorneys are really, really good. If Nemo is correct, this could be a real disaster for Google. Stay tuned to TMO.

What happens when you’re an incredibly smart, talented, and knowledgeable Apple employee — and you challenge Steve Jobs? Trip Hawkins tells a revealing story about his relationship with the Apple interim-CEO, which was rocky. I see both some grudging respect and bitterness mixed together, but the most interesting part to me was how Jobs had to force Mr. Hawkins out of Apple — so that the company could speak with a single voice. In my opinion, that’s the same thing that happened with Guy Kawasaki when Jobs returned to Apple, but I’m not an insider on that one, so it’s just speculation.

This next item falls under the how to compete with Apple department over at Car Talk Plaza. If you can’t beat Apple, lower the price until even the least discriminate buyer is lured in. Case #1. HP Touchpad. Case #2 Logitech Revue/Google TV. You know what the next step is, right? When these devices can’t make any money…. Case closed.

Finally, I haven’t had a chance to write up a tip on this, so I’ll mention it here. There have been some minor changes in Time Machine for Lion because of the introduction of local snapshots when Lion isn’t connected to its Time Machine external volume. The purple tick marks now represent archives on the external volume and the white tick marks represent local snapshots. Read this nice summary and watch for that when you upgrade to Lion.

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Bosco (Brad Hutchings)

Nemo has an overactive imagination.


Good one, Bosco. Cute. Time will tell.


Dear Bosco:  You can’t brush this off as my overactive imagination.  I’ll quote from the 21 June 2011 hearing, where Judge Alsup decided the rules under which Oracle can depose Google’s CEO, Larry Page, on the issue of willful infringement.  Judge Alsup had this exchange with Oracle and Google’s respective lawyers, after Oracle’s lawyer, Steven Holtzman, Esq., read a relevant passage from Andy Rubin’s highly incriminating email to Judge Alsup:

  “[Steven Holtzman, an attorney for Oracle] read part of [an internal Google] email in court: ‘What we’ve actually been asked to do by Larry and Sergey is to investigate what technology alternatives exist to Java for Android and Chrome,’ the Google executive wrote, referring to founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin. ‘We’ve been over a hundred of these and think they all suck. We conclude that we need to negotiate a license for Java.’”

  ““That’s a pretty good document for you,” Alsup said [to Oracle’s lawyer]. “That ought to be big for you at trial.”

  Then to Google’s attorney: “‘You’re going to be on the losing end of this document with Andy Rubin on the stand. You think about that,’ Alsup continued. ‘And I want to say this: Wilful infringement is final. There are profound implications of a permanent injunction. I’m not saying there is wilful infringement, but that is a serious factor when you’re considering an injunction.’”


So it is Judge Alsup, after reviewing a highly incriminating email—and Oracle says that it has a lot more where that came from—warning Google that it risks a permanent injunction—this in addition to treble damages for past infringement—and that the element of willful infringement has profound implications for that injunction. 

And I can tell what those implications are.  If Judge Alsup or the jury finds facts to establish that Google willfully infringed Oracle’s patents in Java, the law and the precedents applying it will virtually require him to issue an injunction that halts all current and future infringement of Oracle’s patents in Java.  And based on the patents at issue, that will mean an injunction that, at a minimum, removes the infringing Java components from Android, which will effectively remove the Java IDE from Android, and that injunction may extend so far as the sequestration of all infringing Android devices and the removal of all infringing component of Java from the Android Market Place.

No lawyer likes to be in the position of Google’s lawyers.  We’ve all been there.  It is a sick feeling:  The judge is looking at you and is telling you, as plainly as he can, that, based on the record, you are losing and that unless you can pull a rabbit out of your hat or some other part of your anatomy at trial, you are going to lose big, so you had better settle now while you are still able to get decent terms. 

And the rabbit for Google is that it must win the case in chief on the issue of whether it infringed Oracle’s patents on Java, when right now, there is irrefutable evidence in the record that shows that Google knew that it was using Java without permission and intended to do, because it couldn’t find a viable alternative to Java and would not accept Sun’s, Oracle’s predecessor in interest, terms for licensing Java.  So Oracle can show both the intent to infringe and the motive to infringe its patents in Java.  The only thing for Google is to show that notwithstanding clear evidence of its intent to infringe, it did not, in fact, infringe.  And Judge Alsup told Google’s lawyers at the hearing, as plainly as he could, that it looks like Google has infringed and that by taking this to trial, they would be trying to draw to an inside straight on the issue of infringement, and that against Michael Jacobs, Esq., who is one of the best in the business.  The odds of that are pretty damn poor. (continued)


The foregoing also explains why Google launched a major PR campaign against Apple, Oracle, and Microsoft’s claims of patent infringement and against the regime of patent law itself.  Google did it because it is losing what may be the most important case, the one with Oracle, with the result either an injunction banning Android and requiring the effective removal of Android’s Java IDE or the imposition of licensing fees for Android devices of about $15 to $20 per Android device.  Google has no choice but to expand the conflict beyond the court, where it is losing, to the public and, I am sure this is Google?s intention, to Congress.  But in the public Oracle will, if necessary, be able to make a very convincing case that Google stole its patented technology.  And, in Congress, Oracle?s lobbyists, which will be allied with Microsoft and Apple?s lobbyists, are second to none in both talent and resources, especially when combined with the topflight talent and resources of the their allies, Apple and Microsoft?s lobbyists.

So Bosco, it is not my overactive imagination; it is Google’s nightmare.


Dream on BurmaYank. You in particular have been spewing this pipe dream ‘that?

Hello, Bosco.  Are you still with us?

Thank you Nemo for your amazing information!


The iPad continues to rule alone closing in on 18 months. The iPhone 5 will very likely be greater than a usual iteration becoming the Super Phone that raises the mobile bar beyond imitation. The Chinese have an appetite for Apple products and we know how particular they are about taste and freshness. The MBA’s price and form can’t be beat by the dollar store facsimilators who are begging special treatment cause they really want to compete, fairly. Google may be on its way to the hoosegow, and Android players could be closed out of the US market or shucking coin in the wrong direct while courting MicroSoft for a new OS.

And we will be seeing shorter posts from Nemo as Bosco fades from the scene; but graciously, Ron and mhikl and the multitude who have invoked “ignore member” will hold their tongues never to say, “I told you so”. I call that class!

There will be dancing in the streets for the Apple universe is indeed unfolding as it should.

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