Java ME Fragmentation

Sun acknowledged in 2008 and 2009 that Java ME was fragmented – and had been for years – without any help from Android.


More in today’s article on ComputerWorld UK.

Will her cygnets be unable to breed if they can’t find garbage to nest in?

The Global Mink

Nesting by webmink
Nesting, a photo by webmink on Flickr.

I spent a half-day walking around the centre of Amsterdam following a speaking engagement. I can never decide how I feel about this city.

It’s a place with many scenes of great beauty – water, trees, long vistas with distant vanishing points, interesting and colourful buildings. Yet at the same time, there’s so much that’s ugly – prostitutes and the men looking for them, clouds of skunk-smelling smoke from seedy cafes and equally seedy passers-by, over-dense human population and the mess that accompanies it, endless junk food served by people with scorn for their customers.

Walking back to the station, I saw this swan nesting in the best material she could find in central Amsterdam. She seemed to me to sum up the paradox of the town – great beauty nesting in filth and making the best of it.

As a meta-comment…

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Open Source Market Matures

My article for InfoWorld this week considers the annual Open Source Survey, unveiled at OSBC in San Francisco, and observes that the market is trending towards valuing the Freedom To Leave that I wrote about in 2006.

Does the verdict neuter WORA?

The stunning win by Google this week in their defence against Oracle over Java patents in Android may well meal that Write One Run Anywhere is no longer enforceable. Read more in my instant opinion article in yesterday’s InfoWorld.

What Next After GPL and Apache?

My article on InfoWorld today looks at the arc of software licensing trends and predicts commercial open source will eventually swing back to the centre and favour MPLv2.

UK Open Consultation Update

The final round-table for the government’s Open Standards Consultation is now open for booking – consider attending as much is at stake for UK ICT procurement. Read more on ComputerWorldUK today.

The Global Mink


The tranquil isolation of Mono Lake in California – just outside the eastern entrance to Yosemite National Park at Lee Vining – makes it almost a place of pilgrimage for me. It’s a lake filled with mountain snow run-off from the Sierras, and it has no outlet.  The mineral wash from the mountains and the volcanic springs that enter from the lake bed get concentrated through evaporation and as a consequence the water is highly alkaline. Almost nothing can live in it, except algae, a specific kind of brine shrimp and a kind of brine fly almost unique to the lake.

All of these thrive in unthinkable numbers, making the lake the perfect feeding stop for migrating birds. The consequence is this “dead” lake is one of the most important wetlands in North America, providing a “service station” for countless birds each year as they cross the otherwise barren wastes of Nevada…

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The Global Mink


Staying with a dear friend near São Paulo, I noticed a sound like crickets or cicadas coming from the front of the house. I’ve never actually seen a cicada in action (they go quiet when you find them) so I rushed outside with my camera, only to find it wasn’t insects.

The sound was actually made by squirrels gnawing through the leathery shells of the palm nuts that had fallen to the ground from the tree just outside the house. This video shows you how the squirrels do it – they gnaw a ring around the nut, pausing regularly as they get the opening started and then munching away at the kernel once they get through the shell.

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Suite Activity

While the news about the ongoing Oracle-Google trial in the US has been holding my attention, there have been a sequence of news releases about desktop productivity showing up over the last few weeks. It’s all too good to miss, so I’ve written summaries over on ComputerWorldUK and an enhanced version on InfoWorld.

Border Chaos

It’s not just Heathrow – Eurostar is a mess too. I had a meeting in Paris on Monday and was transiting London so took Eurostar instead of flying from Southampton. The outbound journey was no trouble at all, with barely a glimpse at my passport by the French border staff. But the return journey today was another matter.

I queued for the entire hour prior to the train departure, and boarded the train at the time it was supposed to depart (it was 12 minutes late, presumably because of delayed passengers). There was absolutely no reason for the queue, except for the passport check by the UK Border Force.

Their process it slow at the best of times – every passport has to be scanned and electronically checked, presumably the visual check all other European border staff use isn’t enough. But it was especially slow for two reasons. First, there weren’t enough staff on duty – only one of the three cubicles I could see was occupied. Second, the extra checks on people with non-EU passports were done in a way that blocked the lines of EU-passport-holders. The French border guy told me this had all started 4 or 5 days ago – what’s the betting staff from Eurostar have been drafted in to Heathrow to paper over the cracks?

Of course, the reason this is happening is because of political grandstanding by the UK government. None of them has to put up with any of this inconvenience as they have their own rich-and-special lanes, so they are happy to leave the public to be hugely inconvenienced while their political infighting over staffing levels, accountability and “being tough on immigration” plays out.

You may have thought it was just Heathrow that was messed up, but Eurostar in Paris and Brussels is just as bad. I took this video while I was waiting today to help you see the mess Theresa May is overseeing:


By the way, if you’re a TV editor looking for content, go right ahead and use this, it’s CC-BY licensed so you don’t need to ask me.

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