Blog Ipsa Loquitur

Wow. April Fool’s Day came early. Android is now Open-ish:

Playtime is over in Android Land. Over the last couple of months Google has reached out to the major carriers and device makers backing its mobile operating system with a message: There will be no more willy-nilly tweaks to the software. No more partnerships formed outside of Google’s purview.

From now on, companies hoping to receive early access to Google’s most up-to-date software will need approval of their plans. And they will seek that approval from Andy Rubin, the head of Google’s Android group.

The rest of Do Not Anger the Alpha Android is a must-read.

Proving a separate (if not completely unrelated) point about the app ecosystem, Google removed a Playstation emulator from the Android Marketplace earlier this week. This may have had something to do with the Android-powered Playstation phone. I mean, the emulator was questionably legal to begin with, but it spent six blissful months available in the marketplace before being removed the week it becomes commercially inconvenient for one of Android’s many benefactors.

None of this is terribly surprising (although John Gruber is having a schadengasm that’s as predictable as it is amusing). Google knows what’s wrong with Android like the rest of us: fragmentation. The best solution to the fragmentation of the OS itself probably looks a lot like Apple’s model; you can lock down parts of the OS that end users won’t care too much about, and still manage to create a platform that’s open enough to encourage development. These are the growing pains of an operating system that’s grown even faster than the iPhone.

Again, none of this is surprising. What surprises me is Nokia’s announcement that Symbian is now fully open source. Yes, they planned this all out years ago, but last I’d heard it was still under a proprietary license and the Symbian Foundation owned the license but you could borrow it if you promised not to keep it out too late, etc. etc. etc. Now they just use Git.

And this is before I check the April Fool’s stories on Slashdot, too. I’m going back to bed.

Filed on under The News

While the title of this post might well serve as an effective SEO strategy (although I’m not sure for what, precisely), it’s the natural byproduct of the gender bias I’ve been subjected to my whole life. So says The Achilles Effect, which made a word cloud out of the terms that show up most often in ads for toys for the XY set:

I didn’t realize how many times the world BATTLE was directed at my poor, defenseless kid brain. Bonus points: there’s a word cloud for the commercials pointed at little girls. Read How Toy Ad Vocabulary Reinforces Gender Stereotypes at The Achilles Effect blog.

Filed on under Irreverently Irrelevant

From megafirm Weil, Gotshal & Manges comes the Weil Bankruptcy Blog’s Sweet Sixteen! The Business Finance & Restructuring Team has their own blog, and apparently someone has been carving tally marks into the stone walls of the document review gulags! That can only mean one thing:

In the spirit of March Madness, we’ve asked the attorneys in Weil’s Business Finance & Restructuring department to compile a list of the most influential, transformative, or game-changing U.S. bankruptcy decisions of all time – a “Sweet Sixteen of Bankruptcy.”

In the coming weeks, we’ll be asking you to decide the winners of each matchup and crown the ultimate champion of our Big Dance of Bankruptcy.

Oh, man. I’ve got Unsecured Creditors Commission v. Noyes (In re STN Enterprises, Inc.) to win the whole thing! I’m a sucker for a good Cinderella story!

Filed on under Irreverently Irrelevant

The longstanding Google Books litigation will continue. Judge Denny Chin rejected the proposed settlement agreement today. Read the full 48 page opinion here. (PDF Link)

The biggest stumbling block for the Library of Googlexandria? Orphan works are opt-out, instead of opt-in. Having a hard time economically tracking down people who own the rights to this book you just scanned? No worries! In an opt-out model, it’s the rightsholder who has the responsibility to track you down. (This is especially great when the rightsholder doesn’t know he holds rights in anything.)

Judge Chin pointed out that many of his concerns would be ameliorated if the settlement were made opt-in all around. Of course, I think that would ameliorate Google’s interest in the settlement. I’m attending the status update next month, so there will be more updates forthcoming.

Filed on under The News

Om Malik breaks down the $39 billion (with a b) deal that will take about twelve months to pass regulatory examination and actual sale:

The biggest losers of this deal are going to be the consumers. While AT&T and T-Mobile are going to try to spin it as a good deal to combine wireless spectrum assets, the fact is, T-Mobile USA is now out of the market.

T-Mobile USA has been fairly aggressive in offering cheaper voice and data plans as it has tried to compete with its larger brethren. The competition has kept the prices in the market low enough. This has worked well for U.S. consumers. With the merger of AT&T and T-Mobile, the market is now reduced to three national players: AT&T, Verizon and Sprint.  Net-net, U.S. consumers are going to lose.

Find out who else Om thinks is a loser in In AT&T & T-Mobile Merger, Everybody Loses. (Spoiler alert: it’s everybody!)

Filed on under The News

From Engadget, RSA hacked, data exposed that could ‘reduce the effectiveness’ of SecurID tokens:

RSA, the security division of EMC and producer of the SecurID systems used by countless corporations (and the Department of Defense), has been hacked. Yesterday it sent out messages to its clients and posted an open letter stating that it’s been the victim of an “advanced” attack that “resulted in certain information being extracted from RSA’s systems” – information “specifically related to RSA’s SecurID two-factor authentication products.”

I look forward to reading about how this happened. Ars Technica’s magnificent writeup of the HBGary attacks was impossible to put down.

Filed on under The News