Oracle has hired a Chief Open Source Evangelist, named Omar Tazi, who vowed that Oracle would be contributing more to the open-source community.
Tazi, who had been the CEO of XML infrastructure software company Orbeon, joined Oracle this month, according to his blog .
The creation of the position reflects Oracle's plan to boost its involvement in open-source projects, Tazi said.
"Let's face it; Oracle is known as an active contributor to the JCP . Oracle has also been known as a big supporter of OSS on the consuming side. But the reality is that Oracle is behind on the giving back side. Well, we are working on that and I am here to change this perception," Tazi wrote. "Soon Oracle will be the largest software vendor actively involved with the open source community."
Oracle is a major backer of the Linux operating system -- its 10g grid databases are designed to combine the processing muscle of many commodity x86 hardware servers, running either Linux or Windows.
Earlier this year, the company has also boosted its participation in the Eclipse Foundation and increased support for some open-source development tools , including the Apache MyFaces project.
Motorola has picked an industry veteran to take the helm of its troubled cell phone divison.Sanjay Jha, co-CEO and head of mobile devices for Motorola
On Monday, the company announced that Sanjay Jha will be co-chief executive and head of the mobile-device business. Motorola said earlier this year that it will separate the mobile-device business from the rest of the company . And since the split was announced, it had been searching for someone to head up the division.
Greg Brown, who only came on board as Motorola's chief executive late last year, will act as co-CEO. Brown will head up the company's broadband network division.
Jha, 45, is a smart choice for Motorola, as it tries to turn around its cell phone business. For the past 14 years, Jha has been at cell phone chipmaker Qualcomm, where he most recently ran the company's CDMA division. Qualcomm's CEO, Paul Jacobs, wished him well in a press release, saying Jha had been instrumental in helping Qualcomm become "the No. 1 wireless semiconductor supplier."
Jha will certainly have his work cut out for him. Over the past year and a half, the company has lost market share and seen its stock price plummet amid heavy losses as it struggles to find a hit product to replace the Razr. Last year, it fell from the world's second-largest supplier of handsets to third.
Last week, Motorola surprised Wall Street with a small profit for the second quarter. But the company's handset division continued to drag on earnings. Most of the gains in the second quarter came from cost cutting and from its Internet and cable businesses. Still, the company managed to hang on to its market share position, a surprising result, as many analysts had expected No. 1 Nokia and No. 2 Samsung to pick up share.
Now Motorola is looking toward the future. The company is expected to release several new phones, including ones with touch screens, in time for this year's holiday season. The hope is that these new products can help put new life into the company's tired device lineup. And with Jha at the helm of the mobile-device unit, the company can move forward with the planned split, which is expected to be complete in the third quarter of 2009.
news analysis A big audience doesn't automatically mean big profits.
That's the lesson that YouTube and Google are learning the hard way, according to a story published Tuesday evening by The Wall Street Journal . The newspaper's Web site reported that YouTube is generating $200 million in ad sales and is stilling failing to meet its revenue expectations.
Other startling revelations in the piece include a plan by Google to allow preroll and postroll advertisements to appear on YouTube, and that it has identified 105 problems with YouTube's ad sales. Another surprise came when it was suggested that the $1 billion copyright lawsuit that Viacom filed against Google last year has forced YouTube to water down its advertising strategy.
"The Viacom suit has complicated matters," the Journal wrote. "Fearful of fueling allegations that it is profiting from copyright infringement, Google will only sell ads against YouTube clips that have been posted or approved by media companies and other partners."
This is simply inaccurate. Any assertion that Viacom's lawsuit has held Google back from employing some winning ad strategy is just not factual.
One has to wonder whether someone in the Google camp decided that Viacom might make a convenient scapegoat for YouTube's ad woes. Last week, Viacom had to fend off accusations that it was invading people's privacy after a federal judge ordered YouTube to turn over user information to the media company.
The truth about YouTube's ad sales is that the company has always been limited in how it sells ads on the site. Viacom didn't make that complicated. YouTube did when it sought protection from copyright suits under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act .
Scores of YouTube users post unauthorized clips on YouTube every day, but YouTube has always claimed to be an Internet service provider, just like Craigslist or eBay, thereby protected from liability under copyright law, or more specifically, the DMCA's Safe Harbor provision.
But Safe Harbor requires that for an ISP to be protected , it must not directly profit from copyright-infringing material. That means that if YouTube posts ads alongside pirated videos, it risks losing the protection.
Perhaps few have called more attention to the tightrope that Google must walk between ad sales and copyright law than Mark Cuban.
Last month, the founder of Broadcast.com and owner of the NBA's Dallas Mavericks predicted in a blog post that Hulu, the video portal and YouTube competitor owned by NBC Universal and News Corp., would expose YouTube's advertising shortcomings.
"Hulu has one huge advantage over YouTube," wrote Cuban, a longtime YouTube critic. "It has the right to sell advertising in and around every single video on its site. It can package and sell any way that might make its customers happy. YouTube, on the other hand, has that right for only the small percentage of the videos on its site it has a licensing deal."
It all comes back to YouTube's business model. After three years, it needs to find one.
Read and write RSS feeds with GoBits Reader
A Web-based RSS aggregator and publisher, GoBits Reader uses Ajax and your browser as opposed to a standalone RSS app like FeedReader or FeedExplorer . This isn't the first Web-based RSS reader but this one is easy to use and the interface is incredibly slick.
Get curvy with RoundedCornr
Rounded corners make Web pages easier on the eyes. They're also the foundation for the greatest invention of all time--the wheel. RoundedCornr has a variety of form tools to help you generate code and images for rounded corners. It's easy to use and the results look good.
Sell your stuff on Flippid with no fees
When you want to sell something online, there are several hundred ways to do it. Flippid is jumping into the online classified scene with its buy/sell service. Unlike eBay , the fees are a bit lower, and you can use several third-party purchasing solutions instead of only Paypal. They're running a promotion; if you sell something before January, you won't have to pay any selling fees for all of 2006. This isn't the first online service with low fees , but the promotion could be useful if you intend to do a lot of selling in the next year. We like the idea, but between Craigslist and Flippid's sparse selection, we're going to pass on using this one.
First the good news: On Tuesday, a U.S. federal appeals court said it will hear oral arguments on April 24 on Vonage's request for a permanent stay of an injunction that was issued by a lower court on Friday. The appeals court late on Friday issued a temporary stay of the injunction that would prevent Vonage from signing up new customers.
A permanent stay could help keep Vonage in business while it awaits its appeal on the lower court's decision that it is infringing on Verizon patents .
And now the bad news: In the meantime, it looks like some cable companies are trying to take advantage of the uncertainty surrounding the patent case to steal some of Vonage's customers. Light Reading's Cable Digital News reports that Charter Communications launched a program April 4 to deliver same-day or next-day phone service installation for Vonage customers in its service areas. Charter has even set up a dedicated hotline for Vonage customers who might be ready to switch their service, the article said.
Om Malik at GigaOm on Tuesday pointed out in his blog that if other cable operators adopt a similar customer-poaching strategy Vonage could be in big trouble. He also noted that with Voange's valuation dropping steadily, the company is a good takeover candidate.
"At $250-to-$300 per subscriber, cable operators should seriously consider a bid," he wrote. "At those levels, the company will be valued at $550 million to $660 million, which is a premium over the current stock price, but still cheaper than spending millions on advertising and customer sign-ups."
NEW YORK--New York Mayor Michael P. Bloomberg wasn't kidding when he said he wanted Gotham to be a true global technology hub, and not just because municipal broadcast station NYC TV won its very first Webby Award this year.
At a press conference Monday evening, Bloomberg--himself a veteran of tech entrepreneurship--announced the debut of NYC Seed , a venture firm for early stage technology companies in the city. The event at Gracie Mansion, the mayor's official residence, kicked off Internet Week New York, a citywide festival of conferences, parties, and other events promoting the city's digital industries.
Calling the city "an exciting place, a challenging place, and perhaps most importantly, the city most welcoming to immigrants," Bloomberg hailed the diversity of New York and its possibilities as a hub for technology in addition to fashion, entertainment, finance, and media. "We accept each other in ways that I don't think happens anyplace else."
Referring to his experience at the helm of the finance information giant that still bears his name, he said, "My company never would have been remotely as successful if we had tried to put it in any other city."
NYC Seed, which will provide up to $200,000 of investment into New York-based technology start-ups, is a public-private partnership between the New York City Economic Development Corp. the New York City Investment Fund, the Partnership for New York City's economic development arm, Polytechnic University, the New York State Foundation for Science, Technology, and Innovation, and the Industrial and Technology Assistance Corp. It will be headquartered at the Brooklyn-based Polytechnic University's start-up incubator.
There is currently $2 million in the NYC Seed coffer.
Internet Week has been organized by the mayor's Office for Film, Theater, and Broadcasting, helmed by Katherine Oliver, whose experience in pulling more TV and film companies into the city led Bloomberg to select her for Internet Week and beyond. "I challenged her to do the same thing in technology," Bloomberg said.
A pivotal meeting of international delegates to decide the fate of Microsoft's Open XML finished on Friday with advocates and foes of the standards bid predicting victory.
Brian Jones, an Office program manager at Microsoft involved in the process to standardize Open XML, posted a blog Friday saying that consensus among delegates at the meeting had been reached. Microsoft has been seeking standards approval for Open XML for two years at a joint committee of the ISO/IEC .
In an interview, Microsoft's general manager for standards and interoperabilty Tom Robertson on Friday said the "overwhelming majority" of comments and concerns raised by international standards bodies this week were effectively resolved.
Robertson stopped short of saying that Open XML will certainly become an ISO standard, but he said that the five-day meeting in Geneva has moved toward consensus as designed.
"I'm feeling very good about the process and the fact that what we have now at end of the week have a clear direction on how to address issue and concerns raised. Those changes should make the national bodies very happy," he said.
Meanwhile, advocates of rival standard, OpenDocument Format , said that the weeklong meeting is unlikely to provide the impetus needed to make Microsoft's Open XML an international standard.
The meeting in Geneva was held following a vote in September last year, when Open XML failed to get a sufficient number of votes to get the document format approved as an ISO-IEC standard.
During that vote, delegates from national standards bodies submitted comments about the 6,000-page specification, which were meant to be addressed during the Ballot Resolution Meeting this week.
National standards bodies have until March 29 to change their votes based on the activity at the BRM. If enough votes are changed in favor of Open XML, it moves ahead in the standards process.
In his blog, Jones wrote:
"The objective of the BRM was to work with all of the National Body delegations in the room and improve the specification on a technical level--and that we did. There were many technical changes the delegates made to really get consensus on some of the more challenging issues, but all of these passed overwhelmingly once they were updated. The process really worked ."
But two people opposed to the standardization of Open XML said that technical issues were not sufficiently addressed during the BRM where delegates from 37 countries attended.
"I don't think the BRM changed enough minds that Open XML is any more interoperable or more open than it was before," said one advocate of rival document format ODF, who did not want to be quoted because no official results have been communicated. "Certainly this result should not change the minds of any delegates at the national bodies."
No official word has come from the ISO, whose media representatives did not respond to requests for comment on Friday.
ODF advocate and standards expert Andrew Updegrove attended the meetings in Geneva this week and posted a blog with details of the proceedings based on his conversations with delegates.
He said that only a small fraction--about 20--of the 900 comments, or dispositions, were discussed. Updegrove concluded that issues concerning Open XML were not adequately hammered out.
However, during an expedited voting procedure in which dispositions were not actually discussed, many of those resolutions were approved, he said, which would lead people to conclude that the BRM was successful.
Updegrove drew the opposite conclusion and said that Microsoft is essentially trying to inappropriately push a complicated specification without sufficient consideration.
"Many, many, people around the world have tried very hard to make the OOXML adoption process work. It is very unfortunate that they were put to this predictably unsuccessful result through the self-interest of a single vendor taking advantage of a permissive process that was never intended to be abused in this fashion. It would be highly inappropriate to compound this error by approving a clearly unfinished specification in the voting period ahead," Updgegrove said.
Delegates from national standards bodies have until the end of March to revise their postions. At that point, final results on whether Open XML will be approved as an ISO-IEC standard should be known.