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More job postings!Wednesday June 27, 2012
We've had a recent funding event and we're starting to open some jobs. Including several software jobs. One that's a software job that's not posted in the software section is for a Vice President, Data Services Engineering which is about all of the software not on the robot.

It's the usual startup scene: crazy hours, tight funding and ridiculous (sounding) goals :-)

Looking for a senior electrical engineerFriday June 15, 2012
Liquid Robotics is starting to open up some new jobs. One we're really desperate for is a Senior Electrical Engineer. We're looking for someone to drive our next generation ARM processor boards. A key skill is around how to deal with making systems manufacturable - volume in the thousands (not millions, and not one-ofs); low-power and rock solid.
Meltdown AvertedFriday June 1, 2012
Sanity prevails:
So long as the specific code used to implement a method is different, anyone is free under the Copyright Act to write his or her own code to carry out exactly the same function or specification of any methods used in the Java API. It does not matter that the declaration or method header lines are identical.

Under the rules of Java, they must be identical to declare a method specifying the same functionality -- even when the implementation is different. When there is only one way to express an idea or function, then everyone is free to do so and no one can monopolize that expression. And, while the Android method and class names could have been different from the names of their counterparts in Java and still have worked, copyright protection never extends to names or short phrases as a matter of law.

OvG: It's finally (almost) over.Wednesday May 23, 2012
The patent part of the case is finally over, with Google acquitted on (almost) all counts.. The happy part for me is that despite having been on the witness list and gone through a bunch of prep work with lawyers, I didn't actually have to testify. Despite all the furor that went into this one, it went out with a wimper. Court cases are never about right and wrong, they're about the law and what you can convince a jury of. For those of us at Sun who felt trampled-on and abused by Google's callous self-righteousness, I would have preferred a different outcome - not from the court case as much as from events of years past.
ForgeRock is hiringFriday May 11, 2012
The folks at ForgeRock are hiring. They do development and support of the OpenDS/OpenAM/OpenIDM open source identity management products that had been the latest versions of the Sun Identity Manager. It's heavily ex-Sun folks. They've been around since Sun disappeared, but they just recently got funding to allow them to expand. The current employees are distributed all over the place. They have a new office in San Francisco, near the ball park, where they're headquartering the company. They have all sorts of jobs: engineering, sales, support.... A great group of people to work with.
Comments around Oracle v GoogleTuesday May 1, 2012
There's been a lot of chatter about the Oracle v Google case, sometimes putting words into my mouth. I can't go into much detail because it is an ongoing court case where I'm likely to be a witness. But there are a few points I feel I should restate that have been said before:
  • My "Google totally slimed Sun" comment was a personal moral opinion. Not my guess at a legal result, or a legal opinion at all - I am not a lawyer and would never pretend to be.
  • I certainly think that the patent system is broken, but the system is what it is. The original basic theory makes sense to me, but what it's evolved into doesn't. At Sun we had a near death experience after losing a case with IBM, after that we realized we had to play the game, no matter how bogus.
  • The wide implications of Oracle winning the copyright case are pretty disturbing. But that's a practical opinion. How it will go in the legal system is anyone's guess. It extends far beyond Oracle: developers everywhere use APIs defined by many other entities. I hate to think of what an emerging "copyright troll" industry might be.
  • A lot of what I've read gets really hyperbolic on the possibilities of the industrial meltdown that Oracle could conceivably cause. Despite my well-known opinions on Oracle, they wouldn't do any of the nightmare scenarios that some have imagined: such a meltdown would not be in their own self interest. They have actually been unexpectedly good stewards of Java (although less so of Solaris).
  • The issue has always been interoperability. It's one of the major aspects that has made the Java community thrive. The freedom of developers to expect their programs to work has always been at tension with the freedom of platform providers to do whatever they please. At Sun, we always sided with developers.
  • The Java patents were used by Sun as a tool to enforce interoperability: follow the spec, you can use them for free. A good result for developers derived from a bogus patent system.