Kik Comes Back To BlackBerry

It’s been 10 long months for Blackberry users who coerced their friends into using Kik, have been waiting for a new app. If you recall, Kik landed themselves in hot water with RIM when they first released their real-time chatting application. It was a direct competitor to BlackBerry Messenger and it was suspected they were using unsanctioned API and mimicking RIM’s own messaging service. They were ousted from the App World in November of last year.

Almost a year later, Kik has released a reworked and revamped client for their cross-platform service. It’s a universal Java app, built with no service calls or APIs that are specific to RIM. No RIM-owned NoC infrastructure notifications are being used. The app is lacking in a few features, like sending pictures and it’s missing support for the PlayBook — but it’s back and RIM can go fly a kite.

Kik is distributing the BlackBerry app exclusively on their site, as RIM is unlikely to allow it back into the App World for fear of users abandoning their proprietary service. Who can blame them, when RIM is having issues with their service, leaving users stranded for days due to outages.

Kudos to Kik for working around the blocks that some pinheads at RIM put in place, as an attempt to force existing users to stay with their inferior products and services.

Kik aims to be a completely free, cross-platform solution for instant messaging across mobile devices. It’s available for iOS, Android, Windows Phone and now, again, BlackBerry platforms. Visit the Kik Blog  for full details and to download the app to your PaperWeight  BlackBerry.

Is Firefox Serious About Blocking the Java Plugin?

Firefox is the second most popular web-browser and it has held this title for too long. Projected figures show that it is going to  lose the title in December. However, an ongoing discussion by Mozilla might accelerate the fact. The discussion is on whether Firefox should allow the Java plugin, which is used for almost all  transactions  (not just online banking transactions) across the world.
A new attack has been identified that decrypts web-traffic and can dig through sensitive and personal information being sent over a transaction. The attack has been termed as  the BEAST (Browser Exploit Against SSL/TLS) attack  and it has been demonstrated successfully in a proof-of-concept hack.

Dan Goodin from The Register  talks about the BEAST exploit:

The vulnerability resides in versions 1.0 and earlier of TLS, or transport layer security, the successor to the  secure sockets layer technology  that serves as the internet’s foundation of trust. Although versions 1.1 and 1.2 of TLS aren’t susceptible, they remain almost entirely unsupported in browsers and websites alike, making encrypted transactions on PayPal, GMail, and just about every other website vulnerable to eavesdropping by hackers who are able to control the connection between the end user and the website he’s visiting.

The Public Key Infrastructure has three core services to take care of- Authentication, Integrity and Confidentiality. Authentication makes sure that the people at either end of the transaction are indeed who they claim to be. Integrity ensures that the data being transmitted is sent and received in the same form without alteration. Confidentiality deals with hiding the data from prying eyes, making the data  comprehensible  only to the people at either end. The BEAST attack goes after confidentiality and breaks it successfully.

The bug  689661 on Bugzilla at Mozilla lists out a favorite solution of blacklisting all versions of the Java plugin. This will affect all corporate businesses (ones that are transaction based) and some regular features of services that explicitly rely on the Java plugin, ones like Facebook video chat.

Currently, the only web-browser that is attempting to secure against this attack (without removing Java support) is Google Chrome.

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Oracle Changes its JDK Licensing, Oracle JDK No More Available for Linux Distros

As part of its acquisition of Sun Microsystems, Oracle also acquired the Java technology. Oracle has the enterprise sector in its grip now (Java and Oracle database). However, we cannot forget how erratic it has been in handling delicate issues like the  OpenSolaris project  or the ongoing infringement case against Android. It has repeatedly failed to earn the trust of the Open Source community, something that Sun Microsystems had in abundant.


Java is a wonderful technology. This video from 2006 will tell you why.

The Java development kit comes in two flavors. While Oracle JDK (earlier Sun JDK) is under the Binary Code License (earlier Sun License), OpenJDK is under GPL with a linking exception. From JDK version 7, Oracle has planned to support OpenJDK and  withdraw the Operating System Distributor License  for Java. This has resulted in a withdrawal of OracleJDK from the repositories of Linux distributions. Putting further restrictions, you cannot even download Oracle Java for any Linux distributions anymore.

OpenJDK has always suffered because of the unfair nature of the competition and it is said to have some serious bugs. These pitfalls never allowed it a rise to fame but now, things are looking better for OpenJDK. Oracle itself has taken interests in OpenJDK development. Perhaps for uniformity, it has declared OpenJDK as the official Java SE reference from JDK 7 onwards.

This is the second game changing event in the world of Java since May 2007, when it went completely open-source and the Java code was released under GPL. With IBM, Oracle, Apple, SAP, RedHat and other big names working on the OpenJDK project, we will surely see the best of Java in future.

Do you want to know how OpenJDK fares against Oracle JDK? Read  this Stack Overflow question.

James Gosling Joins Google Amidst Java Wars

At times when Google is fighting a tough battle over Java that has the potential of shattering its Android dreams, James Gosling, the father of Java has joined Google and has already started working there.


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Java was acquired by Oracle, as part of its acquisition of Sun Microsystems. The deal went well and Sun managed to sell out. However, what Oracle acquired through this deal was much more than Sun products. It also got hold of a set of extremely well formulated Intellectual Property from Sun Microsystems, that was specifically written as leverage against being bullied by other tech-giants. Oracle is making the most out of this.

James Gosling has written on his blog announcing this as Next on the Road. At Google, James Gosling will find other familiar faces like Tim Bray, the co-inventor of XML who has worked at Google for over a year now. Sun Microsystems and Google have seen some employee love earlier (think Eric Schmidt). Gosling’s announcement of his new job goes as,

I don’t know what I’ll be working on. I expect it’ll be a bit of everything, seasoned with a large dose of grumpy curmudgeon.

Many people have speculated that Gosling joining Google is less of a coincidence, that it is a well-calculated move to strengthen Google’s voice when it comes to Java. With the Father of Java on their side, Google might have a better chance of saving Android now.

Enough With the Android Java Code Hoopla, There Is No Java Copied Code Used to Run Android

Android has used Java code, Android has infringed upon Java and Androids Dalvik virtual machine uses Java codeare claims from Oracle we have heard over the last few months. This had even led to a lawsuit against Google and put the future of Android in jeopardy for a moment.


However, as blatant these claims are, Ed Burnette has proved them wrong. Engadget announced this first by writing,

Oracle is currently suing Google for patent and copyright infringement in Android — which isn’t a hard case to prove when you’ve got 37 Android source files marked “PROPRIETARY / CONFIDENTIAL” and “DO NOT DISTRIBUTE” by Oracle / Sun and at least six more files in Froyo and Gingerbread that appear to have been decompiled from Java 2 Standard Edition and redistributed under the Apache open source license without permission. In simple terms? Google copied Oracle’s Java code, pasted in a new license, and shipped it.

Engadget also says that Google has decompiled files from the Java 2 SE. In simpler terms, it has copied files from the J2SE bundle, but has copied files that are just not used in running the Android system!

The files found common in Android and Java are files used for unit testing. Therefore, even if those files were used at all, it was for unit testing, which is a feature, provided by the Java platform itself. Even Oracle cannot deny its usage to anyone. However, when the Android package was formed, the license of those files was modified to Apache and this today, has become an issue.

Though, technically, Google should have removed those files as it did on 14 January this year. This was the first blow to Android and thankfully, it more than survived. The year 2011 will be critical for Android with Gingerbread and Honeycomb and the effect of this setback will be minimal.

Apache Roller A Java Based Blogging Software

I will keep this short and sweet. While answering a question on Quora (find me here), I came across something which I wasn’t aware of for a while. That something is Apache Roller. Roller is basically a full featured, multi blog and group blog based on Java.

However, it’s usage is not reported as highly as say WordPress, because most webhosts provide users with LAMP (Linux-Apache-MySQL-PHP) installs. We internally use a LNMP install (Linux-Nginx-MySQL-PHP-CGI). However, for Apache Roller you will have to use a Java based server like Apache’s own Tomcat.

Though this project is not widely used, it is definitely recommended for people who are not blogging because they use Java based servers. At this point of time I am downloading this software and will review it. Being a Java guy myself, I am pretty much excited that a blogging solution exists for this purpose.

Aha, the hidden gems you get when you are on Quora. If you don’t know what Quora is, may I oblige you with this reading where I tried to explain What is Quora?

Have you ever heard of Apache Roller? Used It? Do give me some scoops on your thoughts about it then.

Oracle And Apple Agree On OpenJDK: A Java Port For Mac OS X

Oracle and Apple have finally agreed on a stable port of Java for the Mac OS X that will be based on the OpenJDK project and will be built with help from both Apple and Oracle. The port includes  features like,

a 32 64-bit HotSpot-based Java virtual machine, class libraries, a networking stack and the foundation for a new graphical client.

Following this, OpenJDK will make this port Open-Source to the public. It can work wonders with both Apple and Oracle supporting this move. While Apple is offering the Java SE 6, Oracle is at Java SE 7.

Just last month, Apple App Store called Java a “deprecated” technology and now, it is falling head over heels for the same Java technology. This attitude of Apple is so bothering because it lies to its users..

Apple app store and the quality check is just a facade. stupid torchlights and farting apps make it to the store easily and often make it t the top of the list.

Oracle’s Senior VP Hasan Rizv  announced the service, saying,

The availability of Java on Mac OS X plays a key role in the cross-platform promise  of the Java platform. The Java developer community can rest assured that the leading edge Java environment will continue to be available on Mac OS X in the future. Combined with last month’s announcement of IBM joining the OpenJDK, the  project now has the backing of three of the biggest names in software.


Google Answers Oracle’s Claims And Lawsuits, Strengthens Its Position In The Case

Google has made a significant comeback in the Google-Oracle lawsuit and has presented strong answers to the lawsuit by clearly stating that the Dalvik VM is not the same as the Java VM and cannot be held as being the same.

Google blames the claims to be abstract and wants the patents declared invalid. According to Google, Oracle has deliberately compared the Oracle J2SE and the Android version of the code and made it look like the same by removing all copyright headers and expressive materials.

Google also blamed Oracle in their attitude towards the matter saying they,

impermissibly expand[ed] the scope of the Patents-in-Suit by requiring licensees to license items not covered by Oracle’s alleged intellectual property in order to receive a license to Oracle’s alleged intellectual property.

Google points out that the Dalvik VM is a part of Android that was manufactured by the OHA (Open Handset Alliance). It has nothing (or negligible traces) to do with the Dalvik VM code.

Catch up with the full story and live updates on the story at  this page on Groklaw. It is time Oracle stops wasting time and money and makes use of these resources in a more productive way.

Java To Live On On Mac, Apple and Oracle Announce OpenJDK

A few weeks ago, Steve Jobs had announced that they would no longer be developing a JRE/JDK for Apple Mac OS X. The decision did not go down well with the Open Source community and developers alike. However, it looks like they can now cool down because Oracle and Apple have announced a new partnership in the form of OpenJDK for OSX.

Oracle Java Apple OpenJDK

Java developers who use Mac OSX can breathe a sigh of relief after both Oracle and Apple jointly announced that they would be creating the OpenJDK project for Mac OS X. This means that Mac Java developers will soon get their hands on Java SE 7 including a JVM for both 32Bit and 64Bit machines.

We’re delighted to be working with Oracle to insure that there continues to be a great version of Java on the Mac, said Bertrand Serlet, Apple’s senior vice president of Software Engineering. The best way for our users to always have the most up to date and secure version of Java will be to get it directly from Oracle.

Apple will contribute to the OpenJDK project in key components, tools and technology required for Java SE 7 implementation on Mac OS X. The availability of the SDK might not be soon though as Oracle has stated that it is not easy to fork out a edition for a new platform, but it will be available in future.

Oracle’s Abuse of Java Upsets Apache Software Foundation

Apache Software Foundation has finally woken up against Oracle’s outlook and abuse of Java. Oracle has done enough to upset everyone related to Java. With the killing of to the recent lawsuit against Google’s use of Java in the Dalvik VM, Oracle has done enough to raise an outcry and the ASF rising against Oracle is going to turn ugly for Oracle.


The ASF is the largest maintainer of Open Source projects. It has declared if Oracle continues with this attitude; the ASF will openly boycott the next version of Java coming from Oracle.

Apache Software Foundation co-founder and President Jim Jagielski  said,

Why would we want to be in an organization where the rules of law don’t matter? Our being on the [JCP Executive Committee] would be a sham. It would show that the community doesn’t matter, that we’d basically cave into Oracle pushing stuff through, whether or not it would be in the best interest of the community.

ASF’s stronghold in the JCP Executive Committee and the threats to leave the position makes the matter even more serious for Oracle. What will come of this feud is unknown as Oracle is known to be stubborn but this is a matter of utmost importance and the decision will affect all businesses based around Java.

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