Category: dugycjjesivg

HJ Golakai One of Africa’s Top 39 Writers under 40

first_imgHawa Jande Golakai, Liberia’s award-winning crime fiction writer and author of The Lazarus Effect (Kwela Books, 2011), has been selected as one of Africa’s top 39 writers under the age of 40 from Africa and the Diaspora.  The selection was made at the London Book Fair (LBF) breakfast press conference in London on Tuesday April 8th.The ‘Africa 39’, as the select group is called, is an initiative of the UK-Based Hay Festival which it carries out with World Book Capitals – with Bogota in 2007 and Beirut in 2010. This project comprises the selection and celebration of 39 writers under the age of 40 who have the potential to define the literature of an area or language. ‘Africa 39’ features writers from Africa, South of the Sahara.The list of the 39 was unveiled at the Port Harcourt World Book Capital stand at the London Book Fair (8th April) and would be announced again during the opening ceremonies of the Port Harcourt World Book Capital programme (22 to 26 April).Golakai, who made her debut as an author just three years ago with The Lazarus Effect, wowed the industry when she scored the coveted Sunday Times (South Africa) 2012 Literary Award for outstanding suspense and best fiction novel of the year. The Lazarus Effect was also shortlisted for the 2012 University of Johannesburg Debut Prize for Creative Writing as well as the prestigious Wole Soyinka African Fiction prize.By profession, Golakai is a clinical immunologist and holds a BSc in Molecular and Cell Biology (2004-2005) from the University of Cape Town with honors.  However, the success of her first novel has clearly infused confidence to continue in her literary pursuits.  Her 2nd title – yet undisclosed – is almost complete. “It means a lot to me because that’s what most authors look out for: recognition,” says Golakai. “It adds up to your credentials and I think that’s a good start for me especially with The Lazarus Effect being my first novel, that’s where your fame comes in. So for me, I’m very excited as an author and also a Liberian knowing that I was able to make my country proud. I’m also very humbled about all this, I’m not going to let it get to my head and I’m really looking forward to networking with other writers in Port Harcourt.”The 39 writers have been commissioned to write for an anthology to be published by Bloomsbury with foreword by Nobel Laureate Wole Soyinka. Ellah Allfree will edit the Africa 39 anthology.The research to arrive at the names of the authors was carried out by Kenyan author Binyavanga Wainana. A long list of about 100 names emerged from screening of the over 200 entries from Africa and the diaspora responded to a call that drew participation from authors, publishers, academics, libraries, readers, etc. around Africa and the diaspora. The panel of judges, who selected the final 39 were- Elechi Amadi, Margaret Busby and Tess Onwueme.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

UL Associate VP Dies

first_imgThe late Prince Sumo Tolbert, I,The University of Liberia (UL) administration has announced that Prince Sumo Tolbert, I, who was recently appointed as the associate vice president for Enrollment Services, has died.Mr. Tolbert, according to a release, died on Saturday, March 18, at the John F. Kennedy Memorial Hospital following a period of illness.The news of Mr. Tolbert’s death was announced to the UL family by Dr. Ophelia I. Weeks, vice president for academic affairs.In a short message to the university, Dr. Weeks wrote: “Dear UL family, it is with great sorrow and sadness that I inform you of the death of Mr. Tolbert. He died this morning at the JFK Memorial Hospital. His death has left us all stunned! Please keep his family in your prayers; and may his soul rest in peace.”The message sent immediate shockwaves across the corridors of the university and elsewhere, with many paying tribute to Tolbert, including former students.As expected, UL president Dr. Emmet A. Dennis, who appointed Mr. Tolbert to the position, was the first to express sympathy and remember his death.“Let us all come together and express our deepest sympathy to his family,” Dr. Dennis said, adding, “When something like this happens to a young, brilliant, friendly and progressive individual, it breeds the deepest kind of grief there is; and this is that which the UL Community should reflect.”Dr. William Allen, Dean of Liberia College, also paid tribute to Mr. Tolbert, underscoring how Tolbert’s death was certainly a serious loss to his family and the UL, especially to Weeks, who together with Mr. Tolbert had put together a plan to reform the Office of Enrollment Services (OES).“The positive impact that VP Tolbert made during his brief tenure in OES is proof of his unique qualification. His loss must be particularly hard for you who worked closely with him as Dean of the Science College and as VPAA,” Dr. Allen wrote. “On behalf of myself and Liberia College, I extend heartfelt sympathy to you and the university family for his sudden death.”In 2014, Dr. Weeks recommended Mr. Tolbert for appointment to the position of chair for the Department of Mathematics, saying, “Mr. Tolbert has the requisite credentials for the position. As well, his expressed vision and strong commitment to the responsibilities add value to his credentials.”Mr. Tolbert graduated from the UL on May 28, 2003 with a B.Sc. in Mathematics. He served as a part-time faculty in 2005 and was granted full-time status in the Mathematics Department in 2006.In January 2012, he was awarded a study leave to attain an MSc Degree in Mathematics Education at Makerere University in Uganda, becoming one of 66 faculty members who were sent abroad by Dr. Dennis for advanced studies. He successfully completed his studies and returned to Liberia in November 2013.As news of Mr. Tolbert’s death hit home on late Saturday evening, many, including his former students, rushed to his Facebook page to express shock and pay tribute.D. Nelson Tweh posted on Mr. Tolbert’s wall, saying: “Death again!!!!! RIP Prince Tolbert, an academician, mathematician and a person, who contributed to my mathematical intuition!!!!”A former student, G. Presley P. Wagee Jr., remembered the late Tolbert as “one of the greatest branches from the tree of Mathematics in Liberia has fallen, rest in peace.”But for Justin Curtis, a one-liner summed it up for him: “What a brain and a humble character.”Mr. Tolbert fell ill on March 15 and died on March 18, 2017 at 4 a.m. He will be buried on March 30, 2017.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

St. Eunan’s College come fourth in All Ireland Team Maths Competition

first_imgSt. Eunan’s College were delighted with their performance in the All Ireland Team Maths competition. This competition is based on the Higher Level Mathematics Curriculum. In a very competitive final of 20 schools who all qualified in first place from their regions, it was Cork CBS who were crowned All Ireland Champions with Blackrock College, Dublin in second place, Gonzago College, Dublin in third, and our boys from The College who put in a very strong fight in the final 2 rounds to take fourth place.Overall The College kept up their proud record in Mathematics intact. Although they were disappointed having been so close, they have secured eight top 5 finishes in Ireland over the last 10 years, and this is a great record, ranking them as one of the best in Ireland. Well done boys!Getting ready to compete in the All Ireland Team Maths in NUI Maynooth were: (l-r)Zaid Muhammad, Donal Farren, Sean Halvey and Patrick Curran (Team Captain) St. Eunan’s College come fourth in All Ireland Team Maths Competition was last modified: March 7th, 2017 by Chris McNultyShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:mathsSt.Eunan’s Collegelast_img read more

FORGOTTEN DONEGAL WAR HERO GETS 21 GUN SALUTE

first_imgA forgotten Donegal Medal of Honor winner and Civil War hero finally had his heroism acknowledged with a military ceremony and a 21 gun salute in a pre Memorial Day event in America.A crowd of nearly 300 attended and full military honors were given at the installation of a headstone at the grave of Donegal native Martin McHugh in Danville, about 120 miles from Chicago.Ceremony Committee Co-Chairman Larry Weatherford stated that McHugh had lain in an unmarked grave for 117 years. “We are here to change that,” Weatherford said.Ray Johnston a researcher with the Medal of Honor military committee stated “I am proud and humble of what you have done here today.”The US Navy band a church choir and the Knights of Columbus also took part after a procession from McHugh’s former home to the graveyard..Ralph Zoccolillo, chairman of the Indiana Blue Star Salute, told the crowd, “The phrase — We shall never forget — is epitomized in Danville for the way you have gone out of your way to honor Seaman McHugh.” A headstone along with a plaque now marks the site of Seaman McHugh and his wife Catherine.McHugh, who was an Irish immigrant, made his way to Danville after he, his mother and sister arrived in Boston from Ireland.The discovery of McHugh’s unmarked grave came about after the determined efforts of local Irish American woman Machelle Long, according to Commercial News.The Medal of Honor is the only U.S. military award that is worn from a ribbon hung around the neck and the only award presented by the president in the name of Congress. It is the greatest award given to American fighting heroes. More Medal of Honor recipients have been from Ireland than from any other foreign country.McHugh was born in Ireland in 1837 just before the famine and came to America after the the Great Hunger drove him out. He joined the Union side in the civil war and served on board the USS Cincinnati.His medal of honor citation, which mistakenly stated he was born in Ohio, reads: “The President of the United States of America, in the name of Congress, takes pleasure in presenting the Medal of Honor to Seaman Martin McHugh, United States Navy, for extraordinary heroism in action while serving on board the U.S.S. Cincinnati during the attack on the Vicksburg (Mississippi) batteries and at the time of her sinking, 27 May 1863.“Engaging the enemy in a fierce battle, the Cincinnati amidst, an incessant fire of shot and shell, continued to fire her guns to the last, though so penetrated by shellfire that her fate was sealed. Serving bravely during this action, Seaman McHugh was conspicuously cool under the fire of the enemy, never ceasing to fire until this proud ship went down, ‘her colors nailed to the mast.’FORGOTTEN DONEGAL WAR HERO GETS 21 GUN SALUTE was last modified: May 28th, 2012 by StephenShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Tags:DanvilleMartin McHughwar gerolast_img read more

DONEGAL LFGA: DONEGAL SENIOR LADIES DRAW KERRY IN CHAMPIONSHIP

first_imgDONEGAL’S senior ladies will play the Kingdom in the second qualifying round of this year’s All-Ireland. (Monday, August 4, Birr, Co Offaly, 4pm)The Tir Chonaill girls got a bye through the first round.And they now face a tough assignment against 2103 Munster champions Kerry. It is a tough draw; but Davy McLaughlin’s team won’t fear their opponents.There is little doubt Donegal have progressed under the Moville coach and his back room team.And they are continuing to focus on this part of the championship, with a good win over Armagh in a challenge game midweek.Cavan, who beat Meath today 1-15 to 0-13 in the televised TG4 game, were drawn to play Laois in the 2nd round qualifier. Tyrone will play Monaghan and Westmeath will take on Mayo.#TG4 #LGFA #bethediff DONEGAL LFGA: DONEGAL SENIOR LADIES DRAW KERRY IN CHAMPIONSHIP was last modified: July 26th, 2014 by John2Share this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:all-irelanddonegal ladiesSenior championshiplast_img read more

Monkey See, Monkey Rationalize

first_imgIt’s a quirk of English that rational and rationalize have opposite meanings.  Be that as it may, the latter may have evolved into to the former, according to a story in the New York Times.  A monkey study using children as control subjects seems to indicate that Capuchin monkeys, like us, occasionally rationalize bad choices.    Expecting animals to exhibit subsets of human behaviors may be one thing, but the article transformed the monkeyshines into a tale of human evolution:For half a century, social psychologists have been trying to figure out the human gift for rationalizing irrational behavior.  Why did we evolve with brains that salute our shrewdness for buying the neon yellow car with bad gas mileage?The results of experiments with the monkeys were equivocal.  Nevertheless, reporter John Tierney chose the interpretation that rationalizing bad choices, also called cognitive dissonance, has positive evolutionary value; it conserves energy that would be spent second-guessing our bad decisions.  But then, how would we know this is not his own sour grapes for dismissing intelligent design? The compulsion to justify decisions may seem irrational, and maybe petty, too, like the fox in Aesop’s fable who stopped trying for the grapes and promptly told himself they were sour anyway.  But perhaps Aesop didn’t appreciate the evolutionary utility of this behavior for humans as well as animals.For assuming evolution, for promoting a monkey’s wisdom over Aesop’s, and for elevating cognitive dissonance as a Darwinian virtue, we award Stupid Evolution Quote of the Week to Mr. John Tierney.  Congratulations; enjoy your trip.No sour grapes here.  We love it when the Darwinists make fools of themselves.  As for us, we try to ration our rashness.(Visited 10 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

South Africa calls for passenger rail bids

first_img20 April 2012 The South African government has formally invited local and international manufacturers to submit bids to build 7 224 commuter rail coaches worth an estimated R123-billion, as the country pushes for a complete overhaul of its passenger rail service. The 20-year fleet renewal programme of the state-owned Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (Prasa) is expected to create around 65 000 jobs as a new generation of South African railway artisans and engineers come to the fore. Speaking to journalists in Johannesburg on Thursday, Transport Minister Sibusiso Ndebele said these would be modern trains “defined by greater passenger mobility, automatic train protection and a high quality of crashworthiness … carrying capacity is high, they are energy-efficient and very light, largely based on aluminum rather than heavy steel.”Comprehensive passenger rail programme The investment would, over time, achieve significant economic benefits for the country as well as the benefits of an efficient transport system, while serving as the catalyst for a comprehensive passenger rail programme over the next 30 years. Over the next decade, the government would be implementing “a number of rail interventions aimed at making rail the backbone of our passenger transport system”. The revitalisation of passenger rail travel in the country will run parallel with a massive push to shift the transport of freight in the country from road to rail. Earlier this month, state company Transnet announced details of a R300-billion investment in infrastructure aimed at creating over half-a-million new jobs while making its freight rail division the fifth-largest in the world. Both programmes are in line with South Africa’s new multi-billion rand infrastructure drive, announced by President Jacob Zuma in his State of the Nation address in February.65% localisation target Piet Sebola, head of Prasa’s rolling stock acquisition, told Business Day on Thursday that the fleet renewal programme came with a 65% localisation target, requiring manufacturers to invest in production and skills transfer in South Africa and to establish a manufacturing base in the country by at least 2016. In addition, Prasa will be spending around R15.5-billion on new rail signaling and train depots. According to Business Day, Prasa has also begun work on a parallel, three-year, R25.9-billion investment in high-density commuter stations. Prasa is the operator of commuter rail service Metrorail. SAinfo reporter and BuaNewslast_img read more

Baragwanath revamps admissions ward

first_img24 July 2013Chris Hani Baragwanath Academic Hospital, South Africa’s biggest hospital and one of the biggest in the world, has opened a revamped medical admissions ward that will help the Soweto, Johannesburg facility cope better with its heavy patient load.Gauteng Health MEC Hope Papo, speaking at an opening ceremony on Tuesday, said the hospital needed to have a fully functional admissions ward as it was one of the busiest hospitals in the country.Papo said the opening of the revamped Medical Admissions Ward 20 would go a long way towards boosting staff morale.“The relatives of patients who are treated at this hospital leave this facility with a clear impression of how their loved ones will be treated. In other words, their experience is guided by the care that their relatives receive.”The Department of Internal Medicine at Chris Hani Baragwanath is the biggest in the Southern Hemisphere, with 700 beds.Papo said that despite the fact that Bara was an academic hospital, they continued to experience a large number of Level One patients coming to the hospital.“For historical reasons, patients who are supposed to be seen at clinics continue flocking to this hospital.“We are steadily moving away from that era. We have come up with an enhancement plan, which will be implemented at 20 of our hospitals,” he said, describing the plan as a blueprint to stabilise hospital services in the province.Clinical managers, Papo said, had to ensure that clinicians took more responsibility and accountability for clinical decisions, and for the effective and efficient management and availability of resources. It was important to have reliable, up-to-date and credible information on each of the clinical and other service units in order to make informed service delivery decisions.Papo said Gauteng hade prioritised strengthening management and leadership through increased delegation and authority to hospital CEOs. This would be achieved by empowering CEOs through providing a contingency budget for emergency procurement and delivery of non-negotiable items on an urgent basis to ensure that there were no shortages of critical items.Source: SAnews.gov.zalast_img read more

Sensors on Shipping Containers: IBM Launches New Tracking Software

first_imgIBM has launched a new product called Returnable Container Management, which uses the Internet of Things to track and measure the usage of shipping containers. These containers are a large, dull but essential part of the supply chain for manufacturers – they are used to hold automobile parts, meat, pharmaceuticals and anything else that needs to be shipped from one place to another. Often the containers are not returned or returned late, which can cost a lot of money for manufacturers. This new technology from IBM uses sensors to analyze the inventory and cycle times of containers (and other reusable assets) as they move through the supply chain. The software becomes available with the new version of IBM InfoSphere Traceability Server, a front-end reporting and analytical tool for sensor data.The automotive industry has been an early user of this track and trace technology in shipping containers. According to IBM, many automotive manufacturers carry container inventories in excess of 100 million dollars. One use case is suppliers of car parts, who fill the containers with components and sub-assemblies. These are then sent to the manufacturer. A sensor with a unique serial number is attached to each container, so that manufacturers and their trading partners can track them as they move along the supply chain. Networks of Sensors Gaining MomentumNetworks of sensors are becoming increasingly used to monitor and track things. The term Internet of Things refers to when real-world objects are connected to the Internet, for example goods in a shipping container. It’s early in the evolution of sensors, but they’re already being used for a variety of tasks – such as management of water infrastructure, levee oversight management and flood control, monitoring highway traffic conditions, sensing changes in seismic activity and air quality, and more. As IBM noted in its press release today, RFID tags (Radio Frequency Identification sensors) are becoming particularly popular for the purpose of item tracking and authentication. By 2010, IBM estimates that approximately six billion of these tags will be in circulation. richard macmanus Why Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic… Tags:#Internet of Things#NYT#Product Reviews#web 8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Market Related Posts Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hosting A Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai… Who’s Using Sensors?Other than automobile manufacturers, IBM told us that about 7-8 other industries are using this kind of sensor technology to track and trace goods. An example is the medical industry, where InfoSphere Traceability Server is used by hospitals and doctors to keep track of the medical devices implanted in individual patients. A specific example cited by IBM is a company called Implanet, which sells medical implants such as hips and knees. It attaches RFID tags to the device packaging, allowing hospitals to scan a tag and store information about an implant with the patient’s records.As well as tracking and trace use cases, IBM’s software is used by pharmaceutical distributors and manufacturers to combat counterfeiting. Image credits: runner310; jdnxlast_img read more

More Than Java: What’s Really At Stake In Google And Oracle’s Copyright Case

first_imgRole of Mobile App Analytics In-App Engagement What it Takes to Build a Highly Secure FinTech … Why IoT Apps are Eating Device Interfaces dan rowinski The Rise and Rise of Mobile Payment Technology If we compare what Google did with Java for Android and the case of the musician above, where does the line fall between the need to license the original work and the fair use to create an original representation?The original jury in the case could not answer that question. Judge William Alsup ruled in place of the jury that the API elements Google copied—i.e., their names and organization—weren’t subject to copyright, a win for Google. Alsup’s ruling mooted the fair-use question.But a federal appeals court just overturned Alsup’s ruling, saying APIs are copyrightable—that’s a win for Oracle. The appellate panel returned the case to the lower court for a ruling on Google’s fair-use claim.Part of Oracle’s argument is that it’s protecting Java from fragmentation and interoperability issues for developers. This argument rings a little hollow when considering how Java has been forked several times over by companies and individual developers for their own purposes, and that there are already dozens of competing programming languages that share many of the same properties and principles with Java to achieve similar goals. Essentially, the world of computer programming languages has been fragmented for decades.What Oracle is doing is attempting to create a legal precedent to protect its own corporate interests and sell more licenses and the support that goes with them. Third-party briefs filed in the case—from the likes of Microsoft and IBM—support Oracle’s stance because it preserves the business models of those particular companies as well. But developers are not exactly enthused with the ruling. By protecting its own selfish interests, Oracle is opening a Pandora’s box that could have much wider impact than just its fight with Google.“While the goal of avoiding fragmentation of Java that has been Oracle’s stated intent in pursuing this has some merit, we’re not comfortable with the idea that copyrighting APIs is the way to accomplish this,” said Apigee’s VP of product strategy Ed Anuff. “It’s likely going to have the opposite effect, causing the proliferation of convoluted APIs for no other reason than to avoid the potential of legal exposure.  That’s a no win proposition for anyone involved.”The fear within the software industry is that copyright will become the new favorite weapon of corporate lawyers everywhere. If patent troll lawsuits become an insufficient means to hurting competitors in court, companies may just turn to the copyright route to damage their competitors, opening up the potential for an explosion of lawsuits and injunctions. What Happens To Android?What Android developers want to know is, “How does this affect me?”In the short term, it doesn’t. The case has been remanded back to the original district court for now, but Google is likely to take it all the way to the United States Supreme Court. So while the case is still being adjudicated, Android is going to continue with business as usual. If the Supreme Court hears the case, it will be months at the very least, if not a year or more, before a decision comes that would affect Google, Android and developers.Quote Of The Day: “I don’t trust them not to detain me, interrogate me and even arrest me. Their behaviour has been so extreme and offensive, and the political and media class was so supportive of it, that I feel uncomfortable with the entire atmosphere.” ~ Journalist Glenn Greewald on his reluctance to enter the United Kingdom after publishing Edward Snowden’s leaked documents on the NSA in 2013.If Google loses and Android becomes prohibitively expensive (either because Google would have to license Java from Oracle or pay a large lump sum in damages), it would change the free and open source nature of the Android Open Source Project (AOSP). What Google would do then is anybody’s guess. Android is so big with so many installed phones that the general thought is that Google would somehow make it work.In the meantime, Google could fundamentally change Android development, going with its own non-Java languages that have been in development such as Go and Dart. If Google goes down this road, it will make developers learn new languages that would further fragment the software development ecosystem and affect hundreds of thousands of developers and a million apps. Google would love to make Go the premier language to replace the likes of Java and C++, but it will face opposition on that front from a variety of sectors.Google already employs a non-Java compiler in open source Dalvik for Android that compiles Java into bytecode (machine code) to run on a device. Dalvik replaces the need for a Java Virtual Machine complier in Android and Oracle is none too happy about that. Dalvik will soon be replaced with its next version built by Google, Android Runtime. Just like the compiler, Google could pragmatically move pieces of Android off of Java and wipe its hands of Oracle all together. That is not an easy, or fast, process.Oracle’s best interest is to create a continuing revenue stream from Google over Android, so killing off Android itself is not (or should not) be its primary goal. The threat to Android is more existential than tangible at this point with the larger issue here the use of copyright in software development.More on Oracle, Google & CopyrightVox employs its powers of explanation on the court case, with Timothy B. Lee offering the headline, “The court that created the patent troll mess is screwing up copyright too.”Corynne McSherry of the Electronic Frontier Foundation weighs in on the appeal. McSherry says, “the implications of this decision are significant, and dangerous.“Wired reporter Robert McMillan writes that Oracle’s win is bad for everybody.When we contacted Google for comment on the appeal, Google’s global communications and public affairs manager for patents Matt Kallman suggested we read this article from two guest authors at TechCrunch published last year.Russell Brandom from The Verge says the appeal sets a dangerous precedent.Correction, 3pm PT: An earlier version of this story misstated Judge Alsup’s original ruling in the Oracle-Google case. The judge found that the API elements copied by Google were not covered by copyright.Correction, 5:02pm PT: An earlier version of this story included an erroneous reference to the programming language Rust; it was developed at Mozilla, not Google. Related Posts Tags:#Android#Android app development#app development#dalvik#Google#Java#lawsuits#legal#Oracle#smartphones#The Platform The Platform is a regular column by mobile editor Dan Rowinski. Ubiquitous computing, ambient intelligence and pervasive networks are changing the way humans interact with everything. Any artist that’s ever dealt with copyright will tell you one basic fact: Copyright is the most confusing, convoluted and capricious aspect of intellectual property rights ever created. You thought patents were bad? Delve into the world of copyright and just wait for your head to explode.This is what makes the imbroglio between Oracle and Google over the use of copyright in Java such a hard case to understand. It could, however, set a dangerous legal precedent for software development for years to come. The Musician: Licensing Vs. Fair UseLet’s say I am a musician. I want to cover a song from one of my favorite artists. Technically, I don’t need to get the license of the song if I am just playing it at the local bar. But the venue I am playing at may need to pay a license fee to a rights holder organization to allow for the use of cover songs or DJs in its establishment.Now, if I am going to release that cover song on my next album (which will be sold for profit), I need to get the rights from the rights holder, which may be a music studio or an individual artist. If I want to use that cover song in a movie, I need to get a different kind of license. One way or another, if I am making money with the cover song, I am going to have to pay somebody else for that privilege.But what if I’m just using a part of a song—albeit word for word, note for note—in part of my song? Or what if I change the song just enough so that it’s not technically a cover but my own original representation inspired by the original performance? That could be considered “fair use,” a legal doctrine where short portion of original copyrighted works can be used verbatim in a fair and reasonable way that does not impair the value of the materials or take profit away from copyright owner.Quick Thought: The Fast Lane & ReclassificationIf you or your company wants faster Internet service, you may have to pay to be in the “fast lane” in the near future. That’s what the broadband and cellular carriers want to happen and would violate the concept of Net Neutrality that is the biggest issue facing Internet technology and innovation today.According to The Wall Street Journal, Federal Communication Commission chairman Tom Wheeler wants to prohibit this concept of two Internets through regulation and policy currently being debated. The Commission is debating whether or not a “paid prioritization” model should be adopted in its latest proposal over Net Neutrality and nobody outside the broadband providers likes the idea, especially content-heavy companies like Netflix and Google.If Wheeler ever really wants to make substantial and lasting policy, the FCC will eventually have to reclassify broadband as a public utility and take control over all regulation of Internet access. Reclassification would be Wheeler’s nuclear measure and the FCC could face lawsuits for years from the broadband companies to get it to stick. At some point, policy debate and compromise is just not a viable option and reclassification may be the only way to go.The fair use vs. licensing rights battle has played out thousands of times between artists, especially when it comes to using the same work for different media like television, film, live performances, digital and physical storage. What is significant in the Oracle vs. Google copyright lawsuit is that this artistic nature of copyright is now being applied to computer code.What makes the Oracle and Google fight so important is not (really) the specifics of what Google may or may not have copied in terms of Java APIs for use in Android. The danger is in applying copyright to a computer language and the far-reaching impact that could have on the software industry.Pandora’s ProgrammerIf you are unfamiliar with the specifics of the Oracle and Google case, the synopsis is pretty straightforward: Google wanted to use Java to build Android. Google did not believe it needed a license from Oracle to use Android if it changed the specifics of how the Java APIs were used. Google then went on to basically write its own version of Java APIs for Android. In doing so, Google uses a similar style and structure as the original Java, but in some cases used similar categories, headers and objects within the code. (This is the “structure, sequence and organization” that the court documents mention over and over again.)In the millions of lines of code that Google wrote for Android, about eight lines were direct copies from Oracle’s Java, while the look of the APIs was very similar but written differently.As one ReadWrite commenter put it last week, “Google basically [thought] that Java sucked for its purposes so they copied the ‘table of contents’ and then rewrote the book themselves to be ‘better.’”last_img read more