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Google, Oracle Java API copyright battle lands at Supreme Court

Filed under
Android
Google
Legal

The legal fracas started when Google copied certain elements—names, declaration, and header lines—of the Java APIs in Android, and Oracle sued. A San Francisco federal judge largely sided with Google in 2012, saying that the code in question could not be copyrighted. But the federal appeals court reversed, and ruled that the "declaring code and the structure, sequence, and organization of the API packages are entitled to copyright protection.

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Google targets businesses with Chromebooks for Work

Filed under
GNU
Linux
Google

Even before the fall school buying season started, Google sold a million Chromebooks to the education market. Google now aims, with its Chromebook for Work program, for these lightweight, Linux and cloud-based laptops to become just as popular for office-users.

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Google Announces 2014-2015 Dates for Student Centered Open Source Code Programs

Filed under
Development
Google
OSS

AH Google Logo Colored 1.6Each year Google facilitates contests and mentorships to help students from all over the world gain valuable experience in the field of open source code development. Google has recently revealed some of the information regarding their upcoming Code-In and Summer of Code events. The Code-In will begin this upcoming December and last until mid- January. The Summer of Code will begin in May of 2015 and last until August. According to their official statement regarding these programs, Google states that “we are passionate about introducing students to open source software development. Since 2005, the Open Source Programs team at Google has worked with over 10,000 students and over 485 open source projects in a variety of fields to create more code for us all.”

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Acer Chromebook 13 (FHD): Initial impressions

Filed under
GNU
Linux
Google

The performance of the device is about acceptable (unfortunately, I do not have any comparison in this device class). Even when typing this blog post in the visual wordpress editor, I notice some sluggishness. Opening the app launcher or loading the new tab page while music is playing makes the music stop for or skip a few ms (20-50ms if I had to guess). Running a benchmark in parallel or browsing does not usually cause this stuttering, though.

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5 powerful things you didn't know Chromebooks could do

Filed under
GNU
Linux
Google

This last feature isn’t for the novice users that just buy Chromebooks for their simplicity. But this is World Beyond Windows, where I tout the benefits of Linux, so I can’t leave it out.

Flip the developer mode switch (it’s in software now, but it used to be a hardware switch) and you can get full access to your Chromebook’s internals. You can install a full desktop Linux system (like Ubuntu) alongside your Chrome OS system. Flip over to the Linux system when you want to do some work with traditional desktop apps and powerful terminal commands.

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Google reportedly tried to buy Cyanogen

Filed under
Android
Google

A report from The Information (subscription required) claims that Google tried to buy Cyanogen, Inc, the maker of the custom Android ROM CyanogenMod. According to the report, Cyanogen's chief executive told shareholders that Sundar Pichai, the head of Chrome and Android at Google, met with the company and "expressed interest in acquiring the firm." The report says Cyanogen Inc. declined the offer, saying that it was still growing.

It's unclear what Google would want to do with Cyanogen. The company basically does the same software work any other OEM does: it takes AOSP, customizes it, and ports it to devices. It doesn't have a ton of features that replicate Google services, so without a Google Play license, it's just as poor as any other AOSP-derived Android distribution. Buying Cyanogen would give Google an in-house Android distribution and a team of engineers, both of which it already has in abundance. We suppose the plan could be to buy it and shut it down, but we're not sure what that would accomplish, either.

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Google posts Android Auto design guidelines

Filed under
Android
Google

Google posted a developer overview for Android Auto, offering guidelines for designing extensions to existing Android apps for customized IVI interactions.

Google announced Android Auto with relatively few details at Google I/O in June, following the formation of an Open Automotive Alliance (OAA) in January. These related efforts are designed to standardize integration with Android devices and in-vehicle infotainment (IVI) systems, as opposed to designing an Android IVI stack that runs the whole show. In some ways, Android Auto is similar to the Car Connectivity Consortium’s MirrorLink technology and Apple’s CarPlay.

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Chrome OS gets Android apps: Merging Chrome OS and Android gets closer

Filed under
Android
Google

Bringing Android apps to Chrome OS pushes the two platforms closer together. This sets the stage for Google to merge them completely down the road to have one OS for both mobile and desktop. This is similar to what Microsoft has done with Windows 8, but Google has the advantage of doing it with two existing solid bases that already run well on mobile devices.

Google may not intend to merge the two OSes into one, but they've set the stage to make it easier. They will likely keep sharing features between the two in any event, making both OSes more appealing.

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Six Clicks: Androids Apps on Chromebooks

Filed under
Android
Google

Recently Google started making it possible to run Android apps on Chromebooks. For now, there are only four applications, but developers looking into the code have already found that porting their applications to Android on Chrome will require almost no effort.

With over a million Android apps waiting in the wings, Chromebooks are about to become even more of a true rival to Windows PCs.

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Newest Androids will join iPhones in offering default encryption, blocking police

Filed under
Android
Google
Mac

The next generation of Google’s Android operating system, due for release next month, will encrypt data by default for the first time, the company said Thursday, raising yet another barrier to police gaining access to the troves of personal data typically kept on smartphones.

Android has offered optional encryption on some devices since 2011, but security experts say few users have known how to turn on the feature. Now Google is designing the activation procedures for new Android devices so that encryption happens automatically; only somebody who enters a device's password will be able to see the pictures, videos and communications stored on those smartphones.

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Ruby 2.2.0 Released

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2014 Catalyst Linux Graphics Benchmarks Year-In-Review

With the year quickly coming to an end, it's time to do our year-end driver recap benchmarks from the year for the proprietary AMD and NVIDIA graphics drivers as well as the open-source drivers. To get things started, here's benchmarks done of the official AMD Catalyst Linux releases of 2014 and testing these drivers on three different graphics cards. Read more

From Red Hat's CEO: Reflecting on a 'great year,' looking to '15

It is confirmed: 2014 has been a great year for Red Hat. [On Dec. 18], we announced third quarter results of our fiscal year 2015 and, with that, celebrated our 51st consecutive quarter of revenue growth - more than 12 years of consecutive revenue growth. Thank you to the team of Red Hat customers, partners, open source contributors, and associates around the world, for helping us propel Red Hat to new heights. While 2014 has been a fantastic year for Red Hat, it has also been a banner year for open source. Read more Also: Red Hat Tech Exchange highlights: Architect, Implement, Enable

Open Source's 2014: MS 'cancer' embrace, NASDAQ listings, and a quiet dog

Ho hum. Another year, another slew of open source announcements that prove the once-maligned development methodology is now so mainstream as to be tedious. Running most of the world’s most powerful supercomputers? Been there, done that. Giving retailers the ability to deliver highly customized paper coupons to consumers based on warehouse inventory nearby? So 2013! And yet in 2014 we had a few events in open source that managed to surprise us, and suggest an even brighter future. Read more