It seems that the stars might finally align to remove one of the largest security holes in the history of… well history itself. Oracle is announcing that it is finally getting rid of the Java Browser Plug-in… sometime. According to a blog post on the Oracle page they are aware that most (if not all) browsers are already blocking plug-ins like the one in the Java Runtime Environment. These are for security, stability and performance, and really should have been done a long time ago. Over the last few years the Java browser plug-in (along with Flash) has been the vector of choice for many web-based attacks.
The life of a security researcher is not all beer and pizza. In most cases the days are long and very few seem to appreciate what you are doing. From the stand point of a security researcher they are the good guys trying to help push an agenda of security. They spend countless hours finding the holes in code and hardware before the “bad guys” do. Sure there are bug bounty programs that pay fairly well and some researchers work for larger firms, but it is not all about the money or attribution.
When you think of exploits and hacks two names jump into most security experts’ minds; Flash and Java. These two plug-ins have caused more problems for internet users than just about anything else. When you look for the root cause of many common malware applications (for lack of a better word) you will find that they most commonly get in through one of these two plug-ins with. So when we hear about one of these two finally (and we mean finally) getting an update to cover some of the numerous security flaws we think it is news worthy.
Larry Ellison could be very out of touch with reality if some of his recent comments on TV. Since losing a long court battle where he tried to grab millions (well really hundreds of Millions) from Google over approximately 7 lines of very simple and basic code he is back complaining about Google again. This time he spoke out on CBS this Morning with a few comments about how bad Google is for using Java as a development platform. This is despite the fact that the judge presiding over the case stated that the code in question could have been recreated with little effort. Ellison just cannot get over the fact that this lawsuit did not go in his favor and he could not honor his friend Steve Jobs by ruining Android and Google in the process.
SAP has released their quarterly results of operations more than a week earlier than scheduled, but they are far below analysts' expectations. The company has in the final quarter of last year operated with 5.06 billion euros in revenues, which is increase of 12% over the previous year, but less than analysts' expectations, which were around 5.17 billion euros. Simultaneously operative earnings rose 10%, to 1.96 billion euros.
If there is one thing I really cannot stand, it is blatant spin (well, two things since you can also throw in FUD). These two items are becoming rather rampant in the technical media (almost as bad as in the TV news). There are some who have claimed it is because the technical press has become a big business now and is no longer concerned with the facts or anything close to them. What they want is entertainment. There is another factor to this that many might be missing; technical sites are capable of spreading FUD and spin on a massive scale. If a company wants to get the word out they can “leak” information to a few chosen sources and it will spread faster than bad news.
There is good news for consumers, but some pretty bad news for content owners as the High Court in the European Union has declared that it is legal for someone to sell their software licenses to another person. The caveat is that they (the original purchaser) must uninstall or otherwise deactivate their copy first. This is sure to annoy many software companies that felt the resale of these items was a violation of their copyright (as it cut them out of the resale).
Remember the Google V Oracle case? You know that one that had Oracle’s Larry Ellison (and his pack of lawyers) attempting to show how nine-lines of code made it possible for Google to meet a deadline? Oh you do remember, ok well when we left the story the Jury had made one important decision and half of another. They had agreed that Google did not violate Oracle’s Java patents at all while building Android, but in an earlier decision could not agree if APIs (Application Programing Interfaces) were protected under copyright. They did say that if they were, well then Google was guilty.
Although we have reported on many patent trials and covered quite a few legal messes (Samsung and Apple come to mind). There are not really that many that we have felt very strongly about one way or the other. We have our opinions about all of them, but in the end most suits are about money and leverage so even the losers will end up getting concessions. However, the Oracle Vs. Google patent/copyright case was one that had us more than a little interested.
Ok, we love the Judge in the Google V Oracle trail. This is a judge that has not drunk any of the Kool-Aid that either Google or Oracle has offered him. He has kept things pretty straight and even cautioned both sides on making what appear to be foolish decisions. If you remember Oracle is claiming that Google copied nine lines of code that were used to develop Android. They are claiming that Google benefited from this and also that they did this intentionally due to deadlines.