Oracle has agreed to cut a check for $199.5 million plus interest to the U.S. General Services Administration for "failing to meet contractual obligations," the U.S. Justice Department announced. For the GSA, this will be the largest False Claims Act settlement it has ever received to date, a record Oracle undoubtedly wishes it wasn't a part of.
Oracle thinks it's entitled to at least $2 billion in damages from Google over a handful of Java-related patent and copyright infringements in Android. Actually, Oracle might feel it's entitled to at least $6.1 billion, a number U.S. District Judge William Alsup rejected in July. The judge ordered Oracle to come up with a new damages report and suggested the firm start at $100 million.
When Oracle acquired Sun last year, it did so for things like the Java platform and the Solaris operating system, not servers running on Intel's x86 architecture. In fact, even though Sun thought it could become a major seller of x86 servers prior to the buyout, Oracle CEO Larry Ellison now says that the company makes next to no money on them and plans to start phasing x86-based servers out entirely in 2012 favor of more profitable Solaris/SPARC-based hardware.
U.S. District Judge William Alsup is none too pleased with Google and Oracle, giving both companies 'what for' and accusing them of being unreasonable in a recent hearing over a dispute related to Oracle's Java patents. Oracle tried claiming Google owes it upwards of $6 billion, while Google maintains a nickel would be five cents too much. Both claims managed to push Alsup's buttons.
James Gosling, father of the Java programming language, has finally found a job, nearly a year after he quit Oracle-owned Sun. Gosling’s latest employer happens to be Internet giant Google, which, very interestingly, has been accused of “knowingly, directly and repeatedly” copying Java code by Oracle. Hit the jump for more.
As far as Oracle sees it, Intel's Itanium architecture is yesterday's news. Such was the decision Oracle announced to discontinue all software development for Itanium processors, which Oracle says is in response to Intel's "clear strategic direction to focus on their x86 microprocessor." Oracle also pointed out that Itanium is nearling End-of-Life (EOL) anyway. But is it?
The controversial letter that marked the beginning of the end for Mark Hurd’s five-year reign as Hewlett-Packard’s CEO is about to be made public. The public release of the missive accusing Hurd of sexual harassment was ordered late Thursday by Delaware Chancery Judge Donald Parsons in a shareholder lawsuit against HP (Ernesto Espinoza v Hewlett Packard Co, Delaware Chancery Court, No. 6000).
When Oracle scooped up Sun Microsystems in 2010, it also inherited the latter's legal woes, including complaints that Sun paid kickbacks to systems integrators in exchange for recommending Sun products to federal organizations. According to the U.S. Department of Justice, Oracle has agreed to put the matter to rest by coughing up $46 million to settle the suit, InfoWorld.com reports.
"Kickbacks, illegal inducements, misrepresentations during contract negotiations -- these undermine the integrity of the government procurement process and unnecessarily cost taxpayers money," Tony West, assistant attorney general for the DOJ's Civil Division, said in a statement. "As this case demonstrates, we will take action against those who abuse the public contracting process."
The settlement, which covers allegations dating as far back as 2004, also resolves charges of violating the False Claims Act in which Sun allegedly provided incomplete and inaccurate information to GSA (General Services Administration Schedule) contracting offers during negotiations in 1997 and again in 1999.
Going forward, Ubuntu's developers decided it is in the best interest of the open source OS to ship with LibreOffice for its productivity suite, replacing the Oracle-owned OpenOffice that previously came pre-installed. That includes Ubuntu 11.04 (Natty Narwhal), which will be available April 28, 2011, ZDNet confirmed.
LibreOffice is a fork of OpenOffice, which came into being after contributors for the latter became fed up with how Oracle was handling (or not handling) things, and thus LibreOffice was born.
"Oracle needs to see where we're going, and the momentum, and what they can provide," LibreOffice developer Michael Meeks told THINQ last year. "It takes a long time for people steeped in ten to fifteen years of proprietary development to understand free software, and if you look at how that community was structured inside OpenOffice, there were many obvious weaknesses and it's a shame that their experience has been that free software does not provide compelling value [to Oracle]."
The decision by Ubuntu makes it the first major Linux distro to ship with LibreOffice, assuming the due date doesn't get pushed back. Fedora 15, due out on May 10th, will also ship with LibreOffice.
According to a report at ZDNet, earlier reports indicating that Google's Android operating system had directly copied code from Oracle/Sun were greatly exaggerated. The controversy was ignited today when an article called out a number of files available in the Android open source repository. These files, the reports said, were exact copies of files that Oracle makes available, but they were not marked as such. Many of them had the Apache license attached instead.
Now that everyone has had some time to digest the news, we see that this is simply a mistake. 7 of the files are part of the unit test tree, and are only a developer tool. These are not shipped with Android and cannot be called part of the OS. An additional ZIP file contained more Oracle files, this time related to an audio chipset driver. This file was added by a user for unknown reasons. It too is not part of Android. In fact, the most recent version of the repository doesn't even have many of these files.
If the original information had panned out, it would have been a big headache for Google in their legal battle with Oracle. The latter company claims their code has been inappropriately included in Android. Do you think there is some shady business going on at Google?