Ones and Zeros is Motherboard’s weekly investigation into the particle accelerator that is the internet.
ZERO: Google copies Java to make Android, gets away with it
Google scored a huge win in court this week in its lawsuit with Oracle that left its lawyers laughing. Oracle, in its recent purchase of Sun Microsystems, became the latest owner of Java platform, raising questions about open source technology and what “fair use” actually means. Even though the jury found the search giant guilty of categorically infringing on copyrighted works to build its highly popular, highly profitable Android mobile operating system, they weren’t sure if they violated “fair use,” since Java is technically open source. Point being, Google won’t have to pay Oracle billions for essentially stealing their work.
ONE: The hottest thing in tech? New York City
The greatest city on earth is fast becoming the next big hotbed for tech startups, according to a report from the Wall Street Journal:
Of the seven leading technology centers in the U.S., New York was the only one to see an increase in venture-capital deals, which are predominantly, though not exclusively, with tech companies, according to the analysis. Nationally, there was an 11% decline in venture-capital deals.
In the last five years, information-technology jobs in the city have increased by 29% to 52,900 from 41,100, according to the center’s analysis.
In terms of venture capital deals, Silicon Alley jumped 32%, while the Valley saw a 10% dip.
ZERO: Yahoo CEO lies about computer science degree on resume, doesn’t get fired
After being exposed by activist hedge fund manager Daniel Loeb to have lied on his resume about majoring in computer science (he actually studied accounting) in an apparent attempt to garner tech cred, Yahoo CEO Scott Thompson refuses to go down without a fight, calling the unfortunate incident an “inadvertent” error. With investors unimpressed, even after the company fired scapegoat Patti Hart, the board member that vetted Thompson (probably should have Googled), Thompson has returned with a fresh alibi: I had no fucking idea!
ONE: Obama is really kewl
“I have to tell you that over the course of several years as I have talked to friends and family and neighbors when I think about members of my own staff who are in incredibly committed monogamous relationships, same-sex relationships, who are raising kids together, when I think about those soldiers or airmen or marines or sailors who are out there fighting on my behalf and yet feel constrained, even now that Don’t Ask Don’t Tell is gone, because they are not able to commit themselves in a marriage, at a certain point I’ve just concluded that for me personally it is important for me to go ahead and affirm that I think same sex couples should be able to get married.”
ZERO: Facebook is probably overvalued
Mark Zuckerberg and co. were on the road this week as the its team of financial advisors look to prepare an IPO worth almost $100 billion. And just when we thought little Mark was all grown up, he gave us a timely reminder of who he really is. Whether or not that’s the reason investors are now questioning the company’s stratospheric valuation is up for debate. Whatever happens, Zuckerberg will still end up a gazillionaire, especially if he keeps coming up with money-sucking ideas like the new pilot program where users can “highlight” their posts for around two dollars. Meanwhile, the other co-founder just quit the US.
Follow Alec on Twitter