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Oracle vs Google: Jury sides with Orcale

News4u-Business Desk-  SAN FRANCISCO: Google Inc infringed some of Oracle Corp’s copyrights on the Java programming language, a US jury found on Monday after days of deliberation.

Oracle may have suffered a setback, however, because the jury could not reach a decision on whether Google’s actions constituted fair use and were legally allowed.

The fair use question is crucial to determining damages. If Google’s use of the Java programming tools is determined to be fair, the company would not be liable for damages in connection with some of Oracle’s copyrights.

“There wouldn’t be damages, at least on this part, if their(Google’s) use was determined to be fair. If the fair use defense was upheld, they wouldn’t be liable,” said Edward Naughton, partner of Brown Rudnick LLP in Boston who is not involved in the case.

“That’s why from a dollars and cents standpoint it’s a pretty important argument. I think it’s frustratingly inconclusive and we’ll have to wait and see how it all comes to a conclusion,” Naughton said.

The partial verdict in the high stakes lawsuit, which focuses on Google’s development of theAndroid mobile operating system, was read in a San Francisco federal courtroom. The lawsuit, brought in August 2010, now moves on to the next phase: patent claims. A third phase of the trial would decide damages.

After Monday’s verdict, Google’s lawyers challenged the key jury finding on Java copyrights and moved for a mistrial.

Google says it does not violate Oracle’s patents and that Oracle cannot copyright certain parts of Java, an “open-source,” or publicly available, software language. The trial has featured testimony from Oracle Chief Executive Larry Ellison and Google CEO Larry Page.

Earlier in the case, estimates of potential damages against Google ran as high as $6.1 billion. But Google successfully narrowed Oracle’s patent claims, so that the bulk of Google’s exposure to damages now derives mostly from copyright claims. Oracle is seeking roughly $1 billion in copyright damages.

The main questions in the case revolve around Google’s use of APIs - application programming interfaces — or a set of tools through which developers utilize the Java software language, and whether they can be copyrighted like software code.

“We appreciate the jury’s efforts, and know that fair use and infringement are two sides of the same coin,” Google spokesman Jim Prosser said in a statement.

“The core issue is whether the APIs here are copyrightable, and that’s for the court to decide. We expect to prevail on this issue and Oracle’s other claims.”

Oracle said in a statement that it welcomed the verdict and that “the overwhelming evidence” demonstrated that Google knew it needed a license for Java.

“Every major commercial enterprise — except Google — has a license for Java and maintains compatibility to run across all computing platforms,” Oracle said.

Almost immediately after rendering the copyright verdict, the seven-woman, five-man jury began hearing opening statements on the patent issues. The trial, which began in mid-April before US District Judge William Alsup, is expected to last at least eight weeks.

The case in US District Court, Northern District of California, is Oracle America, Inc v. Google Inc, 10-3561.Reuters

Oracle seeks ban on Android

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Al Jazeera closes bureau after China bars reporter

News4u-News Desk- BEIJING: Al Jazeera said on Tuesday it has shut its English-language bureau in Beijing after Chinese authorities expelled its correspondent Melissa Chan and failed to grant visas to other journalists.

The Foreign Correspondents’ Club of China (FCCC) said it was “appalled” by Beijing’s actions, calling the refusal to grant Chan a new visa a “grave threat to foreign reporters’ ability to work in China”.

“This is the most extreme example of a recent pattern of using journalist visas in an attempt to censor and intimidate foreign correspondents in China,” the organisation said in a statement.

“The FCCC believes that foreign news organisations, not the Chinese government, have the right to choose who works for them in China, in line with international standards.”

Chan is thought to be the first journalist to be expelled from China since 1998, when Juergen Kremb of the German magazine Der Spiegel was accused of possessing state secrets and ordered to leave the country.

Al Jazeera said it had no choice but to close its English-language bureau, after China also failed to grant visas to other journalists working for it, but that it would continue to work with the government to reopen.

“We are committed to our coverage of China. Just as China news services cover the world freely we would expect that same freedom in China for any Al-Jazeera journalist,” said Salah Negm, director of news at Al Jazeera English.

“We hope China appreciates the integrity of our news coverage and our journalism,” he said in a statement.

No reason was given for Chan’s expulsion, but the FCCC said Chinese officials had expressed anger at a documentary the channel aired last November, and had “accused Chan of violating rules and regulations that they have not specified”.AFP

Al Jazeera

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Al-Qaida’s underwear bomb plot to attack plane foiled: US

News4u – News Desk : WASHINGTON: The CIA thwarted an ambitious plot by al-Qaida’s affiliate in Yemen to destroy a US-bound airliner using a bomb with a sophisticated new design around the one-year anniversary of the killing of Osama bin Laden, The Associated Press has learned.

The plot involved an upgrade of the underwear bomb that failed to detonate aboard a jetliner over Detroit in on Dec. 25, 2009. This new bomb also was designed to be used in a passenger’s underwear, but this time al-Qaida developed a more refined detonation system, US officials said.

The FBI is examining the latest bomb to see whether it could have passed through airport security and brought down an airplane, officials said. They said the device did not contain metal, meaning it probably could have passed through an airport metal detector. But it was not clear whether new body scanners used in many airports would have detected it.

There were no immediate plans to change security procedures at US airports.

The would-be suicide bomber, based in Yemen, had not yet picked a target or bought a plane ticket when the CIA stepped in and seized the bomb, officials said. It was not immediately clear what happened to the alleged bomber.

White House spokeswoman Caitlin Hayden said President Barack Obama learned about the plot in April and was assured the device posed no threat to the public.

“The president thanks all intelligence and counterterrorism professionals involved for their outstanding work and for serving with the extraordinary skill and commitment that their enormous responsibilities demand,” Hayden said.

The operation unfolded even as the White House and Department of Homeland Security assured the American public that they knew of no al-Qaida plots against the US around the anniversary of bin Laden’s death. The operation was carried out over the past few weeks, officials said.

“We have no credible information that terrorist organizations, including al-Qaida, are plotting attacks in the US to coincide with the anniversary of bin Laden’s death,” White House press secretary Jay Carney said on April 26.

On May 1, the Department of Homeland Security said, “We have no indication of any specific, credible threats or plots against the US tied to the one-year anniversary of bin Laden’s death.”

The White House did not explain those statements on Monday.

The AP learned about the thwarted plot last week but agreed to White House and CIA requests not to publish it immediately because the sensitive intelligence operation still was under way. Once officials said those concerns were allayed, the AP decided to disclose the plot Monday despite requests from the Obama administration to wait for an official announcement on Tuesday.

The FBI and Department of Homeland Security acknowledged the existence of the bomb late Monday, but there were no immediate plans to adjust security procedures at airports. Other officials, who were briefed on the operation, insisted on anonymity to discuss details of the plot, many of which the US has not officially acknowledged.

“The device never presented a threat to public safety, and the US government is working closely with international partners to address associated concerns with the device,” the FBI said in a statement.

It was not clear who built the bomb, but, because of its sophistication and its similarity to the Detroit bomb, counterterrorism officials suspected it was the work of master bomb maker Ibrahim Hassan al-Asiri or one of his protegees. Al-Asiri constructed the first underwear bomb and two other devices that al-Qaida built into printer cartridges and shipped to the U.S. on cargo planes in 2010.

Both those bombs used a powerful industrial explosive. Both almost succeeded.

The operation is an intelligence victory for the United States and a reminder of al-Qaida’s ambitions, despite the death of bin Laden and other senior leaders. Because of instability in the Yemeni government, the terrorist group’s branch there has gained territory and strength. It has set up terrorist camps and, in some areas, even operates as a de facto government.

But along with the gains there also have been losses. The group has suffered significant setbacks as the CIA and the US military focused more on Yemen. On Sunday, Fahd al-Quso, a senior al-Qaida leader, was hit by a missile as he stepped out of his vehicle along with another operative in the southern Shabwa province of Yemen.

Al-Quso, 37, was on the FBI’s most wanted list, with a $5 million reward for information leading to his capture. He was indicted in the US for his role in the 2000 bombing of the USS Cole in the harbor of Aden, Yemen, in which 17 American sailors were killed and 39 injured.

Al-Quso was believed to have replaced Anwar al-Awlaki as the group’s head of external operations. Al-Awlaki was killed in a US airstrike last year.AP

Osama bin Laden

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Pak must not be a launch pad for terrorism: Hillary Clinton

News4u-News Desk-  NEW DELHI: US secretary of state Hillary Clinton on Tuesday urged Pakistan to do more to make sure its territory is not used as a launchpad for terrorism, echoing earlier comments made by the external affairs ministerSM Krishna alongside her. 

“We look to the government of Pakistan to do more,” she said in New Delhi on the last day of a three-day visit to India.

“It needs to make sure that its territory is not used as a launching pad for terrorist attacks anywhere, including inside of Pakistan because the great unfortunate fact is that terrorists in Pakistan have killed more than 30,000 Pakistanis.”

On Monday, Clinton accused Pakistan of dragging its feet on arresting Hafiz Saeed, suspected of masterminding a three-day rampage by gunmen in Mumbai in 2008.

India is furious that Pakistan has not detained Saeed despite handing over evidence against him. Reyters

hilary clinton

hilary clinton

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We want to see Hafiz Saeed being brought to justice: US

News4u - News Desk : The US has said it wants to see Hafiz Saeed, the founder of Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) is brought to justice and this is the reason why it recently announced a reward of USD 10 mn to anyone for information leading to his trial in a court of law.

“We have been very clear why this program, particularly our Rewards for Justice program, was put in place. We want to see this individual brought to justice,” State Department spokesman Mark Toner told reporters in Washington.

“As you remember at the time, there was a lot of speculation of why we did this because everyone knows he’s in Pakistan. What we want to do is give the Pakistani authorities the judicial wherewithal to bring this guy to justice,” he said.

At the time we used the phrase, and continue to use, evidence that can withstand judicial scrutiny.

“Whether he is tried in a Pakistani court or in a US court or wherever, we want to see him brought to justice,” Toner said.

Responding to questions, Toner denied news reports that the US-Pak relationship is now standstill.

“I don’t think it’s fair to say right now that everything is at a standstill with Pakistan. We have had a series of high-level meetings over the past month to two months that we believe is laying the groundwork for renewed cooperation,” he noted.

“We have had this parliamentary review completed. We had Ambassador Grossman over there talking to Pakistani officials. And our counterterrorism cooperation has continued throughout this period,” Toner said.

“We don’t see eye-to-eye with Pakistan on every issue; that’s for sure. But I think we have approached the outcome of this parliamentary review with an open mind. I think we are willing to discuss all the issues that were raised by it, but that dialogue’s really just begun,” he said.

USA Flag

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Sattriya dance recital in Assam

News4u - News Desk- The Delhi established Sattriya dance artist Sanjukta Barooah Swargari, an eminent disciple of Adhyapak Bhabananda Barbayan of Uttar Kamalabari Sattra, Majuli, recently enthralled the audience across Assam by her performances.

Sattriya Nritya, is one among eight principal classical Indian dance traditions. Created by Assamese Vaishnava saint Srimanta Shankardeva in 15th century Assam, the dance form of Sattriya is known for encompassing its rich traditional rituals which is displayed in form of a composite art of Ankiya naat (a form of Assamese one-act plays) blended incredibly with music, poetry and story-telling and is usually performed in Sattras, as Assam’s monasteries are called.

Sanjukta, performed at the event organised by Sattraranga, asociety for cultural relations at the Rabindra Bhavan, Guwahati on 22nd April, and later on at Dibrugarh University, Dibrugarh on 27th, April, at the show organised by Sattraranga in association with Samaj Sewa Mancha.

A formal ceremony called the ‘Ranga Pravesha’ on 27th March, last year, at the India International Centre, New Delhi was organised, for her debut in the dance world as a solo dance artist. Incidentally, it was the first Ranga Pravesha of Sattriya in Delhi.

Sanjukta, trained in Sattriya since 1999, is doing a commendable job to expand and explore the heritage of the age old living tradition and is determined to present the art infront of the world audience and make it equally popular as the other classical dance forms.

Sattriya dance recital in Assam

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Govt considering CBFC ratings for home viewing of films

News4u - News Desk-  In the aftermath of the controversy over television screening of ‘The Dirty Picture’, the government is mulling a separate rating mechanism for films meant to be watched on TV.

“The creation of a separate mechanism for home viewing of films is being very seriously considered. The issue has been discussed in recent meeting of officials in the Information and Broadcasting Ministry,” an official source said.

“The ministry also has the option to bar channels from airing U/A rated films before 11 pm, something which many TV channels do at present,” the source said.

The ministry has been forced to review its policy after it had to step in to stop ‘The Dirty Picture’ from being aired by Sony TV during general viewing hours.

The Dirty Picture, a 2011 film inspired by the life of South Indian actress Silk Smitha, had been initially given an ‘A’ (adult only) rating but subsequently got a U/A (parental guidance) after 59 audio video cuts.

Sony channel wanted to air the film on 22nd April at noon and 8 PM before the Information and Broadcasting Ministry issued an order to stop it.

The channel had held that the film had a U/A rating, which was like many other films showed on TV, but the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) held that under the programme code, U/A cannot be shown on TV in the afternoon or evening.

Officials said while the CBFC ratings are meant for theatre screenings of films, these are used to judge whether these movies can be shown on TV.

The TV programmes are regulated under the Cable TV Networks rules, 1994.

“To ensure that confusion, like that happened in the case of ‘The Dirty Picture’ does not recur, the government will take a decision on a new mechanism to ensure clarity over which films can be allowed for unrestricted viewing and which cannot,” the source said.

home viewing of films

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Trade will create increased space for Indo-Pak ties: Khar

News4u - News Desk-  Underlining that enhanced trade will create increased space, Foreign Min Hina Rabbani Khar has called onIndia to show flexibility and meet Pakistan half way in normalising relations and resolving core issues like the dispute over Jammu and Kashmir.

The two countries must not forget history but they should be able to learn lessons from past hostilities and look towards a future of greater cooperation in areas like trade, Khar said while addressing a conference of Indian and Pakistani businessmen in Lahore on Monday.

Bilateral trade will create increased space to look for solutions to the core issue of Jammu and Kashmir and all other important issues, she said.

Greater trade would help India and Pakistan to reach a position where they can talk to each other comfortably and have confidence in each other that would make problem-solving an inevitability, Khar said.

“We welcome India to meet us half-way,” Khar said in a speech that dwelt on the reasons why the approach adopted by the two countries over the past six decades had not worked.

The current Pakistan government, she said, had shown “vision and foresight to venture into what was believed to be a no-go area for 45 years” by boosting trade with India.

“We look forward to seeing the same flexibility, the same venturing into the no-go area from India,” Khar remarked.

“In Pakistan today, there is across-the-board consensus that war is not an option between two nuclear powers. The only option on the table is to resolve our differences and disputes on the negotiating table,” Khar said.

“Wars, propaganda and international lobbying have not gotten us to what we believe to be the promised land. They will not get us to the promised land. Our vision of the promised land has to change,” Khar said.

“We cannot expect good things for Pakistan and ill for India. Indians cannot expect good things for India and ill forPakistan…It is illogical and it is without historic precedent and it is at the root of our common history of a lack of peace and tranquillity and sustained pervasiveness of poverty and deprivation in both countries,” she added.

Khar referred to the avalanche that hit a high-altitude Pakistan Army camp in the Siachen sector and buried 139 people under snow last month and said the two countries had 23 years of lost opportunities to resolve the standoff on the Himalayan glacier.

The recent tragedy in the Siachen sector was a “stark and painful reminder of the explicit human cost of status quo”, she said.

In this regard, she referred to a joint statement issued after a meeting of the premiers of India and Pakistan in 1989 that had talked about a comprehensive settlement of the Siachen issue based on the redeployment of troops.

The two sides, she said, have to seize opportunities and pro-actively pursue them to settle issues like Saichen.

“We believe that increased trade between India and Pakistancan help solve the puzzle,” Khar said.

“Trade alone may not unlock the solution to the core issue ofJammu and Kashmir (or) unlock the solution to Sir Creek or Siachen. Indeed we need to make progress on these issues to keep the momentum we have today going but trade never really stands alone,” Khar added.

At the same time, increased trade will require greater movement of goods and people across the border, adjustment of visa regimes, investments in physical connectivity and cooperation on issues related to the security of trade, she said.

Calling for the creation of a peace dividend, Khar said: “We have fought wars and we have created an eco-system of hostility toward each other. This deeply unsatisfactory situation is what we may call the war dividend. We must reject this not for sentimental or ideological reasons but for pragmatic ones. This isn’t working.”

 

Though Pakistan is committed to increased trade and normalised relations, it cannot achieve the goals on its own, Khar said.

“We welcome India to demonstrate the same courage that our leadership has demonstrated, we welcome India to change some not perceived but real discriminatory investment regulations that target Pakistani investors and traders and we welcome India to seize opportunities that we create together, separately, by design and sometimes by tragic accident,” she added.

Talking to the media after her address, Khar said Pakistan had suffered heavy human losses in Siachen and it wants India to take a bold initiative to resolve the issue along with other outstanding issues between the two countries.

Pakistan wants the amicable solution to all disputes withIndia, including the Kashmir issue, through dialogue, she said.

Responding to a question about US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s remarks that al-Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri was in Pakistan, Khar said: “al-Qaeda is our enemy and if the UShas any information about the presence of al-Zawahiri inPakistan, it should share it with us.”

Pakistan has suffered a lot in the war on terror and the US is aware of the country’s problems, she said.

Hina Rabbani Khar

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Patil returns home after two-nation visit

News4u-News desk-  Wrapping up the last foreign tour before her tenure comes to an end on 25th July, President Pratibha Patil returned to New Delhi on Tuesday after a nine-day visit to the South Africa and Seychelles.

Patil’s Seychelles trip, where she arrived on 29th April, was marked by key developments that included India’s support to the island republic in tackling with the menace of piracy, apart from a USD 75 million financial package to it.

During what came as the second Presidential visit from India to the country after 22 years, India inked two key MoUs with Seychelles.

The first MoU was on police research under which police personnel of the island republic would receive training from India’s Bureau of Police Research and Development, while the other one was on cooperation in youth and sports affairs to facilitate greater people to people contact.

In South Africa, during the second leg of her tour, Patil held discussions with her counterpart Jacob Zuma on various key bilateral issues, with the latter terming her state visit as significant.

Both the countries decided to expand cooperation in a number of fields like power, IT, health, tourism and infrastructure development.

Patil attended the Indo-SA business council meeting with Zuma and stressed upon taking the bilateral trade between India and South Africa to the level of USD 15 billion by 2015, noting that both the countries had become important trading partners.

During her visit, the President also unveiled a bust of the Mahatma Gandhi at the historic Number Four cell of the Old Fort prison in Johannesburg where he had served four terms of imprisonment between 1908 and 1913, including his very first sentence in South Africa.

This visit stood as the last foreign tour of Patil as country’s President, with her tenure coming to an end on 25th July.

Pratibha Patil

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Ban slams Syria election

News4u-News desk- UN leader Ban Ki-moon has slammed the Syrian government for holding a national election while violence is still raging and for failing to involve all parties.

“Only a comprehensive and inclusive political dialogue can lead to a genuine democratic future in Syria,” Ban said through his spokesman Martin Nesirky on Monday.

“These elections are not taking place within that framework. Moreover, a democratic process cannot be successful while violence is still ongoing,” he added.

“It is essential that there be a cessation of violence in all its forms and action to implement” the six-point peace plan of UN-Arab League envoy Kofi Annan, Ban said in the short statement.

The legislative election called by President Bashar al-Assad’s government has been dismissed as a sham by the Syrian opposition which has called for a boycott.

The election was called despite Syria being in the grip of an uprising against Assad which the UN says has left well over 9,000 dead since March, 2011.

Syria election

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