Archive for the ‘sun’ Category

With End of Sun Comes End of Schwartz’ Reign (Thank Goodness)

February 5, 2010

I’d written a few posts on my non-tech blog about Sun’s demise from a finance rather than tech standpoint. Without a doubt Sun had some of the sharpest minds in the industry as far as their technology was concerned; too bad the company lacked the same acumen and expertise when it came to the business side of the equation. Now Sun employees are Oracle employees, at least for a while. It’s only a matter of time before Ellison and company pare their hefty investment down to make it a profitable enterprise. I suspect that paring will be done with an axe rather than scalpel.

Jonathan Schwartz has been rumored to have no place at Oracle –and why should he have a place there after running Sun straight into the ground and overseeing stupid purchases (e. g., MySQL) that Sun was never able to monetize? Larry Ellison doesn’t run that kind of company. Schwartz posted of his departure on his Twitter account yesterday. It’s not too surprising he’d take the demise of the company as seriously as he took running it. He leaves with haiku.

It’s also not surprising that Schwartz views Sun’s demise as tied to the financial collapse, as if that’s the only thing that doomed Sun. In fact, though, Sun’s fortunes fell with the dot-com bubble a decade ago and with executives — like Schwartz — who were in way over their heads. I’ll go further and say that Sun’s management was utterly incompetent and too ideological and caught up with buzz words to ever come up with a coherent business model which could monetize Sun’s vast assets (technology, people, etc.). That’s what led Sun from being “the dot in dot com” and a share price over $200 a few years ago to crack-whoring itself over the last year in a desperate attempt to find a buyer. Maybe I should tone down that analogy since it might give crack whores a bad name.

I have my own tortured haiku to offer to give a clearer perspective of Sun’s demise.

Once the dot in dot   
Com, now put a fork in Sun.
Ponytail failure.

Goodbye, Jonathan. I hope for the sake of hard-working employees and shareholders everywhere that you never run another company as long as you live. I know I’ll never work for or invest another cent in anything you touch.

Mozilla Patches Part Two: Huh

March 26, 2008

Mozilla fixes 10 Firefox flaws, half seen as ‘critical’:

Mozilla also patched potential identity leaks, spoofing bugs and cross-site scripting vulnerabilities in But the fix that caught Storms’ eye was detailed by 2008-18, a fix for LiveConnect, a feature that harks back to Firefox’s predecessor, Netscape Navigator. LiveConnect lets Java applets call a Web page’s embedded JavaScript, or JavaScript access the Java runtime libraries, and it is used by both Firefox and Apple Inc.’s Safari 3 browser.

“Sun has updated the Java Runtime Environment with a fix for this problem. Mozilla has also added a fix to LiveConnect to protect users who don’t have the latest version of Java,” Mozilla said in the advisory.

“Here we have Firefox putting out a mitigation step for a bug in Java,” said Storms. “It’s a welcome addition when one vendor can help out another.”

All 10 vulnerabilities were also patched by the SeaMonkey Project, a separate open-source initiative that develops a multifunction browser suite.

The Thunderbird e-mail client, meanwhile, is affected by the five critical flaws listed in 2008-14 and 2008-15. “Thunderbird shares the browser engine with Firefox and could be vulnerable if JavaScript were to be enabled in mail,” read the first of the two bulletins. “This is not the default setting, and we strongly discourage users from running JavaScript in mail.”

A release date for Thunderbird to fix the flaws has not been set. According to David Ascher, the head of Mozilla Messaging, the e-mailer’s update will follow Firefox’s by “several weeks.” In a post to his blog last week, Ascher cited several reasons why a simultaneous release of Thunderbird and Firefox updates was impossible. “Some of those resource contentions are due to not enough automation for the Thunderbird release process, and some of it is the consequence of not enough people with the right training,” he said.

Ascher defended the lag by noting that while JavaScript is turned on by default in Firefox, it is not in Thunderbird. “We could delay releasing Firefox until Thunderbird was ready, in the interest of mitigating the risk of someone using knowledge from the Firefox release to try and attack Thunderbird users,” said Ascher. “But that would mean leaving over 150 million users vulnerable. So, applying the correct math, we release Firefox security updates as soon as possible, and Thunderbird security updates as soon as possible.”

Nice that the Firefox people can help cover Sun’s asses but not Thunderbird’s.

Various Updates and Thoughts

February 26, 2008

A few quick updates…

I updated my BSD blog this weekend. I learned DragonFlyBSD has and OpenBSD will have bwi, a BSD-native Broadcom wirecutter-like module. So I’m at least going to test it out on my laptop and see how well it works. I’m most likely transitioning back to FreeBSD or OpenBSD (maybe DragonFlyBSD), but I’ll continue to do a few things with Damn Small Linux so I’ll keep a few partitions available for that.

I downloaded Damn Small Solaris, which infringes on at least two trademarks so I’m striking it out. Why can’t people come up with unique names if they’re going to copy everything else another project is doing? Same apps, roughly same size, and then taking their name as well. I guess some people just lack the ideas and originality to innovate or differentiate at all. Damn Small Linux is trademarked. So is Solaris — maybe someone should’ve noticed Sun’s clear notice about use of their trademarks, which has led to OpenSolaris projects with very unique names like Nexenta and Belenix. Sun has a legal team. I hope John of DSL does, too.

Back to my laptop. I’ve been running KDE 3.5.8 on it the past week. I need to compare the configuration used by VectorLinux to what I’m using on my desktop because it’s not using as much RAM as I feared it would (an issue with the laptop since it’s “challenged”). I prefer KDE to Xfce. I’m using less RAM when KDE loads than when Xfce loaded. Even with my choice of apps, I’m using less RAM with KDE.

Needless to say, though, RAM use with KDE is about triple after login what JWM requires. I wish there was a way to get KDE’s (start up) RAM use to about 100-120MB. I would use it all the time.

One thing I like better about Debian compared to Vector/Slackware is the application packaging. Debian’s repositories aren’t just more prolific, Debian allows a bit more flexibility with respect to meta-packaging. For example, I wanted a specific K application. With slapt-get, I had to take it as part of a larger package with stuff I didn’t want; Debian had it by itself.

I spent some time working on stripping down and updating things in Knoppix to see how small I could make it. I can get it comfortably under 100MB, but I’m leaving in a few things that wouldn’t come with DSL (no, not KDE!). I may get to work on it again later this week. I have the things I want to work working already. The rest is fluff.

News Updates: 20070906 part 2

September 6, 2007

Apple shareholders should be outraged. Why should the company eat $100 per phone just because early adopters bought into the company’s hype and had to be the first kids on the block to get one? All of a sudden, you’re unhappy because someone else was smart enough to wait for the initial rush to die down and buy one at a lower price? Oh, boo hoo.

Apple’s Jobs sorry for iPhone price cut

SAN JOSE, Calif. – Apple Inc. CEO Steve Jobs apologized and offered $100 credits Thursday to customers who shelled out $599 for the most advanced model of the iPhone, only to have the company unexpectedly slash the price $200 in a push to boost holiday sales.

Relisting from SUNW to JAVA was meaningless to the fundamentals of how Sun operates and how analysts judge the company. Sun’s reverse split likewise isn’t about reality, it’s another pathetic attempt to shore up their sagging share price. Jonathan Schwartz is way smarter than this. Isn’t he? This is in category “just plain dumb”:

Sun hopes perception is reality:

…Sun is playing the perception game again. It will do a reverse 1-for-4 stock split in an effort to convince investors it is not a loser company. Executives acknowledged that reverse splits are meaningless from a valuation perspective. (Ditto for regular splits, by the way.) In fact, a reverse split usually is a sign of desperation. But Sun says it can stop the questions about the company’s staying power if essentially ignorant customers stop seeing a sub-$10 stock price.

Speaking of Sun, here’s more on the NetApp-ZFS lawsuit from NetApp’s perspective. Note in response to one of the comments, Dave writes: Our interest is on commercial use of ZFS. That is, we are concerned with companies who take our IP and turn it into products that they make money on. For obvious reasons, we are especially concerned about commercial use of our IP that would compete with NetApp. We are not concerned with downloads of ZFS for personal or non-commercial use.

Last time I checked, Sun uses ZFS in commercial settings. See why licensing matters?

NetApp Sues Sun for ZFS Patent Infringement:

We filed suit against Sun because after we pointed out the WAFL patents, their lawyers stopped getting back to us.

Finally, more fodder for my Apple Sucks category courtesy of Jem Matzan. He’s right (as he often is) that there’s no maintenance-free operating system and that Apple’s core users are cult-ish, unquestioning fanatics.

In reality, no operating system or hardware device “just works”:

Apple is arguably worse than Microsoft in many (if not all) ways, but something about its overpriced, unreliable fashion accessories appeals to a solid 3% of the computing market. And that 3% are cut from the same mold as the gushing parents, screaming fans, and arguing politicos.

Weekend Roundup

August 19, 2007

Phishers Can Misuse Google Gadgets, Researcher Says:

Google told him that what he sees as a flaw is simply part of the site’s expected behavior.

Sourcefire acquires ClamAV open-source anti-malware project:

The company did not rule out a potential leap into the desktop security market.

Major Skype outage in progress:

Plenty of theories have been floated as to what caused the problem, but Skype itself says that it was an algorithm error with their own service. So this has nothing to do with Windows or Microsoft, nothing to do with a hack or compromise.

Scrapin’ Google in no sec – in Ruby:

scRUBYt! is a simple to learn and use, yet powerful web scraping toolkit written in Ruby.

10 (+1) ways your network is like your front door:

Secrecy about security doesn’t make anyone a smaller target.

What it means to be “targeted”:

Just one question: The arrest was made under the Brooklyn Bridge? What’s up with that? This could be a great story. Maybe even a screenplay?

Jonathan Schwartz’s Weblog: Momentous Day for Solaris:

To me, this is a tectonic shift in the marketplace – bringing together erstwhile competitors to serve a marketplace IBM and Sun agree is bigger than the both of us. By working together, we can serve customers wanting to run Solaris on IBM hardware, and deliver a unique set of solutions (including IBM’s middleware, the majority of which is certified on Solaris, too). This isn’t about displacing partners or revenue streams, it’s about growing both – and as the first Tier 1 x86 system vendor to sign on as a comprehensive Solaris OEM, IBM is clearly in the pole position to capture that growth.

Sun Releases JavaFX Scripting Language

May 13, 2007

Sun has released their new JavaFX scripting language they claim will allow “content developers to leverage the enormous popularity of Java to create rich applications and services for deployment on the widest range of platforms – from mobile devices to set-top boxes and Blu-ray DVDs to desktops.”

* Increases developer productivity
* Offers an intuitive language design
* Requires less code
* Enables faster development cycles
* Zero loss of functionality across devices

Sun is continuing their move to open source licensing with their products. OpenJFX is open for business and includes JavaFX Script and JavaFX Mobile, which is a mobile-centric development platform built around Java and Linux and builds on Sun’s IP from their acquisition of SavaJe Technologies.

Open-Sourcing of Java Almost Complete

May 8, 2007

Sun is announcing today that they’ve completed re-licensing — to GPL version 2 — the core of Java. With this move, Sun hopes to get some help with the rest that isn’t yet GPLed:

Sun hopes the open-source community will help it resolve the issue of Java source code that remains “encumbered,” where Sun doesn’t hold enough rights to release the code under GPLv2, according to Rich Sands, community marketing manager for OpenJDK community at Sun. While he declined to put a percentage on how much of Java’s 6.5 million lines of code are encumbered, Sands said the issue was primarily with Java 2D graphics technology, particularly around font and graphics rasterizing. While open-source alternatives are already available, they don’t currently support all the necessary features of the Java 2D API (application programming interface).

This is a good move by Sun to get Java embedded in scaled Linux (i.e., handhelds and smartphones) projects, as well as by distros like Ubuntu.

Sun to GPL Solaris? DTrace? ZFS?

April 30, 2007

Sun is considering relicensing their Solaris OS under GPL. Is this why they hired Ian Murdoch?

In Sun’s view, more developers writing to its platform equals more revenue. To get there, the company needs to make Solaris “palatable and effective for people who traditionally use Linux,” says Bob Brewin, Sun’s chief technology officer for software. “And Solaris is seen by that community as lagging.” Sun has been adding support for Web-friendly programming languages–like Perl, PHP, and Ruby–to Java, to appeal to the Silicon Valley startups the company is eager to court.

This would certainly make ZFS a more viable option in Linux since it could be run in kernelspace rather than (more slowly in) FUSE. It also could mean we’d see DTrace for Linux.

Murdoch on Sun and Linux

April 22, 2007

Ian Murdoch of Debian and now Sun’s Chief Operating Platforms Officer is answering lots of questions about Sun’s friendliness with Linux. I wrote earlier about Sun’s partnership with Ubuntu in getting Java development applications into the main Ubuntu repository. Here’s an interview Murdoch gave Says Ian,

Solaris has some great technology, and I think Solaris has innovated more than Linux in the last few years. But at the same time, my first thought is [Solaris] seems like Linux 10 years ago [in terms of] installation, packaging and general usability. It comes down to how do you remove those barriers to adoption so that the truly unique and innovative features of Solaris are what people see.

Some of the desktop-oriented Linux distributions, like Ubuntu, for example, have garnered a tremendous amount of developer mindshare. But what people love about Ubuntu is not the Linux kernel, but all of the stuff that lives above it. So we [could] take all that stuff above Linux and put it above Solaris in a way that does not leave behind all of the differentiating features of Solaris.

Ubuntu and Sun in Java Partnership

April 21, 2007

Sun is working closely with Canonical, parent company of Ubuntu, to get Sun’s Java platforms (and other technologies) into Ubuntu’s multiverse repository. Open sourcing of Java continues to be a roadblock to getting Java into the main repository, but Sun is moving quickly to do that.

Included are packages for Netbeans, Glassfish, Java SE, and Java DB 10.2. These will be for Feisty Fawn only, not backported to Dapper Drake or Edgy Eft.

Sun hopes this spur new Java development in the Linux universe, and that other distros — including Debian — will fall on board. Why shouldn’t it? Ian Murdoch just went to work for Sun.