Archive for Oracle

Oracle Kills Sun Microsystems At Last

Posted in Commentary with tags on September 5, 2017 by itnerd

The news is out is that Oracle laid off the core talent of the Solaris and SPARC teams on Friday. The timing sucks as they did this just before Labour Day which has really craptastic optics. Unofficial tallies on the TheLayoff.com and elsewhere put total of jobs cut at around 2,500, affecting the company’s Santa Clara and San Diego, Calif. offices, as well as people in Austin, Texas, Broomfield, Colo., Burlington, Mass., and India.

Oracle itself hasn’t commented on this, which is typical for them, but it does basically bring to an end one of the more famous names in the IT industry. Oracle became the owner of Solaris as it was one of the properties that were part of its 2010 acquisition of the company. Other well-known assets were Java, MySQL and OpenOffice, with Oracle making no secret about the fact that it was buying Sun only because of Java and its business prospects. With Oracle shifting its focus to cloud services and software platforms, this day was coming. I’m kind of surprised that it took this long to happen.

RIP Sun Microsystems.

 

Oracle Bundles New Crapware With Java

Posted in Commentary with tags , , on June 30, 2015 by itnerd

I haven’t run Java on my Macs in some time as it like my other least favorite piece of software Adobe Flash is a popular attack vector for hackers of all stripes. But now Oracle is looking to make some extra cash by changing the crapware that it bundles with Java. If you’re not familiar with the term, crapware is useless software that comes either with a new computer or with other software that you need to use. Oracle has latched on to the latter by inking a deal with Yahoo to bundle Yahoo Search with Java starting with the next Java update:

Begining with the next Java update, Yahoo! will replace the current invitation to make Ask your default search engine. Instead, you’ll be asked if you want to make Yahoo! the homepage and default search engine for Chrome and Internet Explorer, and have the firm’s site load every time a new tab is opened in Chrome. (Yahoo! is already the default search engine for Firefox.)

As with the Ask offer, the checkbox to allow these settings changes arrives pre-ticked, so if a careless user simply clicks on “Next,” the changes will be made automatically. Changing the browser settings back is likely to be a pain, based on past experience.

“We have definitely made sure that our onboarding process is one that is highly transparent and gives users choice,” a Yahoo! spokesman told the Wall Street Journal.

No you haven’t made the onboarding process transparent. It’s an opt out process which means that people will inadvertently install Yahoo when they were not meaning to. But of course, that’s the idea as Yahoo is going to get a big boost to its share of the search engine market by going this route. And I will get a few phone calls from clients of mine asking me how to reverse this.

A pox on both their houses.

Lawsuit Claims That Oracle Said That $50K Is ‘Good Money For an Indian’

Posted in Commentary with tags , on January 14, 2014 by itnerd

This caught my attention during my morning coffee. According to IT World, Ian Spandow wanted to transfer a high-performing salesman from Oracle’s India office to California. Here’s what happened next:

In September 2012, Spandow asked for permission to transfer an Oracle employee working in India to California. Spandow wanted to give the employee, who had a good track record, “a compensation level that was equivalent to Caucasian employees hired by Oracle for the same position.” But Spandow’s manager denied the request and told Spandow to offer the worker a “substantially lower” amount of money, according to the suit.

“I can’t in good conscience, even mention $50K/$50 to him,” Spandow said of the employee in an email to his supervisor, Ryan Bambling, that was cited in the lawsuit. “It would be nothing short of discriminating against him based on his ethnicity/country of origin. How or what do I have to do/write to get a reasonable (60+) offer to him?’

This prompted a “stern response” and warning to Spandow, the suit claims.

Spandow subsequently raised his concerns with his sales director, Keith Trudeau, who said the lower salary offer would be “good money for an Indian,” according to the suit.

An Oracle human resources manager, Melissa Bogers, later insisted to Spandow that the lower offer was fair, the suit adds.

Spandow was “summarily terminated” without warning on Dec. 5, 2012, just weeks after the dispute over the salary offer, according to the suit.

Was the offer racist? It sure sounds like it to me. Was there payback for objecting to that offer? It sure sounds like it to me. But I am sure Oracle has a perfectly rational explanation for this. But if they do, they’re not talking as they declined to comment. Thus we’ll have to wait for this to hit a courtroom. But if it is true, it will really slant my opinion of Oracle.

Oh, for the record, I’m not naive enough to believe that this doesn’t happen elsewhere. It’s just that we likely don’t hear about it because it’s not part of a lawsuit.

Oracle Patches Java Zero Day Exploit To Make You Safe…. For Now….

Posted in Commentary with tags , , on January 14, 2013 by itnerd

Java users can breath easy…. At least for now. Oracle has released an update to Java that patches the zero day exploit that I’ve previously covered. Users should update to Java 7 Update 11 as soon as they can. Not only does it fix this zero day exploit, but it makes you more secure in a whole host of ways. So if you have Mac, PC,or another platform that runs Java, do what Nike tells you to do. Just do it and upgrade today. Of course, if you don’t need Java, you should disable or uninstall it. That will make you a whole lot safer.

Any bets on how long it will take for the next Java exploit to appear?

Where In The World Is HP’s CEO?

Posted in Commentary with tags , , on November 8, 2010 by itnerd

Is it just me, or has HP become a soap opera of epic proportions? I say that because Reuters is reporting that Oracle is trying to serve HP’s CEO de jour Leo Apotheker with a subpoena in regards to a software theft case that involves software giant SAP (who by the way used to employ Apotheker as their CEO) and could cost SAP as much as $4 billion if Oracle gets their way:

Executives with SAP, which has admitted to software theft by a subsidiary, TomorrowNow, but argues it owes Oracle only tens of millions of dollars, have said Apotheker was put in charge of the unit, but shut down the operation as soon as he discovered wrongdoing.

Oracle however has a problem: They’re having problems serving the subpoena. HP for one won’t take it and…:

The source, who spoke on condition of anonymity because the search was not yet made public, told Reuters that Apotheker’s lawyers at Gibson Dunn & Crutcher also refused to accept the subpoena. If he is overseas, Oracle will be unable to serve him and have to await his arrival in California, the source added.

So, the word on the street is that Oracle has hired a P.I. to find him. Bizarre. What’s up with HP? Can’t they do anything without it becoming a circus? Suddenly Mark Hurd doesn’t seem so bad.

 

Larry Ellison Rips HP Over New CEO…. WTF?

Posted in Commentary with tags , on October 3, 2010 by itnerd

I thought that these two kissed and made up? It seems that Oracle CEO Larry Ellison has something negative to say about the choice of Léo Apotheker as the new HP CEO:

He emailed the Wall Street Journal, saying, “I’m speechless…HP had several good internal candidates…but instead they pick a guy who was recently fired because he did such a bad job of running SAP.”

He also said, “None of the HP board members own much HP stock so they have little to lose. But the HP employees, customers, partners and shareholders will suffer…The HP board needs to resign en masse…right away. The madness must stop.”

I might have missed a memo Larry, but why do you care precisely? Okay. I will admit that HP might have been better off picking someone internally for the job instead of someone who got canned from SAP for sucking big time. After all, one only has to look at Robert Nardelli’s time at Chrysler to see how that sort of game worked out. But really, it’s none of your business Larry. You really need to go back to running Oracle.

Seriously.

HP And Oracle Play Nice… Oh Yeah, Hurd Is Lighter In The Wallet

Posted in Commentary with tags , on September 20, 2010 by itnerd

I pretty much called it in my last post about HP and Oracle. The two companies have decided that they should put aside their differences that are centered on Mark Hurd and let bygones be bygones. Or something like that based on this press release from HP:

HP (NYSE:HPQ) and Oracle Corp. (NASDAQ:ORCL) today reaffirmed their long-term strategic partnership and the resolution of litigation regarding Mark V. Hurd’s employment at Oracle. While the terms of the settlement are confidential, Mr. Hurd will adhere to his obligations to protect HP’s confidential information while fulfilling his responsibilities at Oracle. The agreement also reaffirms HP and Oracle’s commitment to delivering the best products and solutions to their more than 140,000 shared customers.

Okay. I think that the above statement translates to: “We both have customers who are upset at our public spat and we need to make this go away.” But I guess that’s the cynical view.

As for Hurd, he doesn’t escape untouched. According to All Things Digital, Hurd has to hand over some of his “golden parachute”:

Mr. Hurd has agreed to waive his rights to the 330,177 performance-based restricted stock units granted to Mr. Hurd in January 17, 2008 referenced in paragraph 2.d. of the Separation Agreement and to the 15,853 time-based restricted stock units granted to Mr. Hurd on December 11, 2009 referenced in paragraph 2.e. of the Separation Agreement, which collectively represent the only remaining compensation that Mr. Hurd was entitled to receive under the terms of the Separation Agreement. The terms of the Separation Agreement have not otherwise been modified.

In dollar and cents terms, Hurd gave up about something in the area of over $30 million dollars worth of stock options. Ouch.

Good News And Bad News For Mark Hurd…. He Gets A New Job And Then Is Sued

Posted in Commentary with tags , , on September 7, 2010 by itnerd

Good news for Mark Hurd. You might remember him from HP where he was the CEO who was dumped because of a “scandal” to say the least. He didn’t remain unemployed for long as he now has a new job:

“Mark did a brilliant job at HP and I expect he’ll do even better at Oracle,” said Oracle CEO Larry Ellison. “There is no executive in the IT world with more relevant experience than Mark. Oracle’s future is engineering complete and integrated hardware and software systems for the enterprise. Mark pioneered the integration of hardware with software when Teradata was a part of NCR.”

Great. I hope someone is double checking his expenses.

The bad news for Mark Hurd. He’s being sued by HP:

HP released a statement Tuesday morning saying that “Mark Hurd agreed to and signed agreements designed to protect HP’s trade secrets and confidential information. HP intends to enforce those agreements.”

And:

“Despite being paid millions of dollars in cash, stock, and stock options in exchange for Hurd’s agreements to protect HP’s trade secrets and confidential information during his employment and following his departure from his positions at HP as chairman of the board, chief executive officer, and president, HP is informed and believes and thereon alleges that Hurd has put HP’s most valuable trade secrets and confidential information in peril,” the suit says.

That has to suck if you’re Mark Hurd. But the good news is that these sorts of suits are usually settled out of court. You can also expect that any co-operation between HP and Oracle is likely out the door at this point:

“Oracle has long viewed H-P as an important partner,” said Oracle CEO Larry Ellison in a statement. “The H-P board is acting with utter disregard for that partnership, our joint customers, and their own shareholders and employees. The H-P Board is making it virtually impossible for Oracle and H-P to continue to cooperate and work together in the IT marketplace.”

I think that translates to F-U. This should be fun to watch.

Google Claims Oracle Lawsuit Is “Baseless”

Posted in Commentary with tags , , on August 13, 2010 by itnerd

Google has decided to respond to Oracle suing them for their use of Java in the Android OS. First there was this tweet from Tim Bray who is a Android evangelist at Google. I won’t spoil the surprise so click on the link to see what he thinks of the lawsuit. Next is what Google said via a sock puppet spokesman:

Oracle’s lawsuit is a disappointing and “baseless” attack not only against Google but also against the open-source Java community, Google spokesman Aaron Zamost said via e-mail on Friday.

“The open-source Java community goes beyond any one corporation and works every day to make the web a better place. We will strongly defend open-source standards and will continue to work with the industry to develop the Android platform,” he said.

Get ready for years and years of legal action!

Oracle Sues Google Over Android’s Use Of Java

Posted in Commentary with tags , , on August 12, 2010 by itnerd

The news is hitting the wires that Oracle is suing Google over their use of Java in the Android OS:

“In developing Android, Google knowingly, directly and repeatedly infringed Oracle’s Java-related intellectual property. This lawsuit seeks appropriate remedies for their infringement,” said Oracle spokesperson Karen Tillman.

News.com gives a lot more details including listing the patents that Google is accused of violating. There’s also this little piece of info:

“Google has been aware of Sun’s [Now owned by Oracle] patent portfolio, including the patents at issue, since the middle of this decade, when Google hired certain former Sun Java engineers.” Google CEO Eric Schmidt led the team that developed Java at Sun prior to becoming CEO of Novell, and later Google in 2001. Urs Hölzle, senior vice president of operations and a Google Fellow, also played a significant role in Java’s development in the 1990s, and apparently other Sun engineers have joined Google in the intervening years.

Ouch. That sounds like that Oracle thinks they have a smoking gun.

Meanwhile, you have to believe that “The Steve” is sitting back and enjoying this.