Google this morning asked a court to dismiss Oracle’s patent suit alleging the Android operating system violates Oracle’s newly acquired patents and copyrights for Java. Google asserts it has not violated any of the alleged patents, which Oracle obtained after it bought Sun Microsystems.
Hewlett-Packard has resolved its lawsuit against its former CEO Mark Hurd, which arose after Hurd joined HP’s sometimes collaborator and sometimes rival Oracle. According to a joint statement today from both companies, HP and Hurd have settled.
Skyhook Wireless, the company that determines location via surrounding Wi-Fi signals, has sued Google for patent infringement and for interfering with its business. The move is part of an effort to control location data as the mobile web becomes the platform for the next generation of technology.
German citizens can now request that photos of their homes or businesses be blurred to prevent them being identified in Google’s Street View photo service, which is about to launch. Meanwhile, Spain says it is investigating Google’s collection of wireless data via its Street View cars.
Today’s compromise between Verizon and Google on network neutrality is a big story, not because it’s going to change the policy discussion much, but because it marks Google selling out the tech and startup community so it can advance it’s own economic interests.
The enormous economic impact of Silicon Valley’s edge and cloud companies isn’t adequately reflected in the policy debates taking place in D.C. But the Valley can no longer simply come up with tech solutions to get around what’s going on in Washington.
The patent fights erupting in the smartphone industry aren’t going kill of any of the major players, nor are they likely to prevent smartphone users from having multitouch on non-Apple devices. For patent holders, the goal is to force competitors to pay if they succeed.
After years of secrecy, the eighth round of talks aimed at drafting an international treaty known as ACTA recently concluded and a version of the text was subsequently released to the public. But while some might believe it’s time to actively support ACTA, it’s not.
I was on cloud 9 when the PR firm told me they were sending a Ferrari for me to take for a spin. The bubble burst when they said it would be arriving via FedEx. That’s when I knew it was the Acer Ferrari One ultra-portable.
Between Gmail, Google Docs, Zoho, Facebook, Basecamp, Flickr, Twitter and countless other applications, much of our data now sits in the cloud. But few people ever stop to think about where that data is stored or how it might be accessed or used. So who exactly does own your data and who has access to it? And how much privacy can you expect?
These questions get all the more complex because many web application providers are using cloud services from the likes of Amazon and Google, which means data doesn’t necessarily sit on the app provider’s servers. Additionally, there is an increased use of APIs to facilitate greater interoperability among web apps, meaning that your data may be used in many ways that you don’t expect. How can you learn more about the rights you have to your data, as well as the rights others have to it? GigaOM Pro (subscription required) this week has a great report by Simon Mackie that tackles these questions. The report delves into two main issues:
Data Privacy. When it comes to the U.S., the Fourth Amendment states that people should “be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures…” But web-hosted applications and cloud services are too new for the courts to have been able to provide far-reaching guidance on data privacy online. Issues related to data privacy get even more complex when data is stored outside of the country. Some cloud services, such as Amazon’s, let you choose the region in which you want your data stored; and some, such as Google’s, don’t.
Data Security. There are any number of threats to your data online. Your application or service provider could go belly up, you could fall prey to hackers or you could simply be locked out of your account. The good news is that data portability and security policies are being scrutinized closely by several organizations, and there are steps you can take to reduce your vulnerability in the could.
For much more on these and other issues pertaining to your data and the cloud, see Simon’s full report.