Friday, October 30, 2009

Exposed, the GPL's fatal flaw

Thanks to a tweet from @wrowe I read this post and this open letter fromRichard Stallman to the European Commission opposing Oracle's acquisition of MySQL (via their acquisition of SUN).

The thrust of the argument is that MySQL is currently licensed under the GPL.
The GPL denies anyone apart from the rights holder the right to sell the product or a derivative of it.
Therefore if Oracle become the rights holder they have an exclusive right to sell the product.
They are, for the same reason, under no obligation to feed their changes back into the open source code base, and have no commercial incentive to do so.
Likewise the opposite is true, Oracle's competitors will gain no commercial advantage from taking a fork of the GLP'ed code and developing it, because the GPL forbids anyone from selling that derivative or from distributing closed-source enhancements.

On the other hand the Apache License [sic], does allow companies and individuals to redistribute for profit, and to redistribute closed source product based on the open source code.

It would seem, then, that had MySQL been licensed under the Apache License Oracle's competitors (whoever they may turn out to be) could have competed from an equal position, by taking a fork of MySQL and developing it, or developing new products derived from it.

This is an approach taken by may, and these days, most of us will benefit in some way or other from products which have benignly licensed components within them.

Could this, then, be the long awaited moment when the aggressive social evangelism encapsulated in the GPL tests capitalism in the ultimate showdown?

I think that a lot of people have been waiting for that, but sadly for them it looks like their champion has taken a fatal hit in its Achilles heel.

Wear it pink day

Today, Oct 30th is Wear it pink day, and to show our support we're all wearing it pink, as these photos show.
Thank god the photo's aren't any clearer!

Thursday, October 29, 2009


Kevin pointed out that my tweet which said:

According to national geographic this mth, "average american car gets 21 mpg". Omg, my 2L clio sport gets 31, and I drive like an idiot.".
is misleading.

According to this authority (picked at random from the net of nonsense and with no check by me) what we're saying is the US cars average 25.219946996999997 UK MPG. [1]

And my clio only gets 25.812901195923956 US MPG. Not so smug now, am I?

[1] How precise! But don't forget kids, as Uncle Danny never tires of saying, precision is not the same as accuracy.

Android's Elephant in the room, and the its-not-an-iphone award

The elephant in the room for Android, from my point of view as a G1 user, is the woeful bluetooth support.
My previous phone, a w810i, supported a bewildering array of bluetooth uses, but the ones I found most useful were push/pull of my contacts and using the phone as a presentation tool.

Well hallelujah, android 2 platform highlights are saying that the new major version will contain

New BT profiles: Object Push Profile (OPP) and Phone Book Access Profile (PBAP)
OPP is the one I want for managing and exchanging contacts, PBAP is for integrating with my car. Although I have to say it does this already.

I'm also pleased to see that there are a number of usability improvements, in particular for the soft keyboard, which I can't really use very well because of my phat phingers, contacts, email, and a digital zoom on the camera.

Oh and in case you were wondering, I think the ring volume is too quiet, and the battery life sucks. But since those are hardware issues I guess that after a couple of months of living with it Android gets a big thumbs up from me, and so is the recipient of the its-not-an-iphone award.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

qr code

At work we already make good use of onscreen barcodes for use in fulfillment processes, but I hadn't really thought much about putting anything like it on here.

However inspired by google's logo the other day I realised that it might actually be useful to put a link code on my blog for phone users who may want to subscribe.

So thanks to this great site you can now subscribe to this blog by scanning the QR code below (also in the left margin).

Sadly for me it opens in the browser and doesn't get anywhere near a feed reader, but you may have more luck!

I guess I should do something work-related with this idea next..


I know nothing, I'm not a fortune teller, and you'd be insane to think that I am. This disclaimer was cribbed from an email footer I once received. It is so ridiculous I had to have it for myself.

Statements in this blog that are not purely historical are forward-looking statements including, without limitation, statements regarding my expectations, objectives, anticipations, plans, hopes, beliefs, intentions or strategies regarding the future. Factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from the forward looking statements include risks and uncertainties such as any unforeseen event or any unforeseen system failures, and other risks. It is important to note that actual outcomes could differ materially from those in such forward-looking statements.

Danny Angus Copyright © 2006-2013 (OMG that's seven years of this nonsense)