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Yahoo Beats Patent Troll That Beat Google

Soulskill posted more than 3 years ago | from the yahoo-therefore-stronger-than-google dept.

Patents 82

jfruhlinger writes "You may recall the saga of patent troll Bedrock, which claims that it has patents over Linux and successfully sued Google over Google's Linux use. Well, the verdict from Bedrock's suit against Yahoo on similar grounds has come in — and Yahoo is victorious, not least because Yahoo went second and got to see how the arguments in the Google case went."

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Doubly Apropos (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36118350)

"Yahoo!" is both the victorious party and our cries at discovering the victorious party.

And the perfect car analogy would be: (5, Insightful)

zill (1690130) | more than 3 years ago | (#36118354)

Slipstreaming.

Appeal? (1)

MightyMartian (840721) | more than 3 years ago | (#36118368)

So can Google use this on appeal? I mean, after all, it is only a fucking garbage-collecting hash table. It's like patenting 2+3.

Re:Appeal? (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36118474)

Wow, you can add 2 and 3 like that? Patent Approved!

- USPTO worker #217

Re:Appeal? (1)

russotto (537200) | more than 3 years ago | (#36119874)

1) Rewrite Peano axioms in patentese
2) File patent
3) Sue pretty much everybody, except American public school students
4) PROFIT!

There isn't even a ???!

Re:Appeal? (1)

mckorr (1274964) | more than 3 years ago | (#36120006)

What? C'mon, there are millions of American public school students! With lunch money! That they are wasting on food! Sue them too!

Since we seem to be living in an age of bullies, shouldn't they just get it over with and follow things to their logical conclusion?

Re:Appeal? (0)

Decessus (835669) | more than 3 years ago | (#36120306)

And those kids are only spending that lunch money on soda and french fries, so taking that money away from them would actually be a public service. Think of the children.

Re:Appeal? (0)

Surt (22457) | more than 3 years ago | (#36120550)

The point is that since American public school students can't add 2+3 and get 5, you can't sue them for violating the patent.

Re:Appeal? (1)

Surt (22457) | more than 3 years ago | (#36125162)

Mods didn't understand my post, please read the thread and metamoderate appropriately.

Re:Appeal? (1)

IgnoramusMaximus (692000) | more than 3 years ago | (#36120410)

Let me adjust this to the sad reality for you:

0) become a lawyer
1) hire someone to explain Peano axioms to you so you can rewrite them in patentese
...

Otherwise your patent trolling will prove too risky and expensive. Note that most, if not all, of the patent trolls are either outright run by lawyers, or have lawyers on the board.

Re:Appeal? (1)

qubezz (520511) | more than 3 years ago | (#36122284)

Wow, you can add 2 and 3 like that? Patent Approved!

- USPTO worker #217

2+3 = 5 through binary coding and bit addition? Novel and unobvious!

- Marshall Texas jury members [technologyreview.com]

Re:Appeal? (1)

dave87656 (1179347) | more than 3 years ago | (#36125256)

Would that be something like:

A method and system for producing a singular calculated result using two or more decimal-based input parameters and a modification symbol indicating the precise result required.

Re:Appeal? (2)

Desler (1608317) | more than 3 years ago | (#36118492)

Just because Yahoo wasn't found to infringe doesn't mean Google didn't (regardless of what you feel about the validity of the patent).

Re:Appeal? (1)

Surt (22457) | more than 3 years ago | (#36120576)

It's a stretch to imagine how Yahoo would use linux in a way that wouldn't exercise the parts of linux that violate the patent, same as google.

Re:Appeal? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36120604)

It's a stretch to imagine how Yahoo would use linux in a way that wouldn't exercise the parts of linux that violate the patent, same as google.

By using FreeBSD?

Re:Appeal? (1)

Surt (22457) | more than 3 years ago | (#36121150)

Is BSD linux now?

Re:Appeal? (1)

dave87656 (1179347) | more than 3 years ago | (#36125268)

Yahoo uses a lot of Linux now, not just FreeBSD, but I was also wondering if FreeBSD (or virtually any OS and probably most databases) might be a target...

Re:Appeal? (1)

dave87656 (1179347) | more than 3 years ago | (#36125262)

Exactly! The "infringing" code was found in the linux kernel, not in Google code or special modifications.

Yesterday, I looked into my refrigerator to get some milk. While I had the door open, I noticed that the yogurt was expired and threw it away. In doing so I violated their patent. Had I closed the door first, and then reopened the door with the specific intent of removing expired food, I would have been okay. That's how ridiculous this patent is.

Re:Appeal? (5, Interesting)

Desler (1608317) | more than 3 years ago | (#36118534)

Just as I expected:

"First off, Bedrock had a stronger case against Google. Cawley put on evidence that Google used Bedrock's Linux code on its servers (although Google got rid of the code before trial). Yahoo, on the other hand, used a different form of Linux, and its lead trial lawyer, Yar Chaikovsky and Fay Morisseau of McDermott Will, were able to argue that Yahoo never executed the Bedrock code."

The case against Google was much stronger hence they were found to infringe. So since the cases seem to not be exactly the same, I'm guessing that Google bringing up Yahoo's case is going to mean very little to the appeal's court.

Re:Appeal? (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | more than 3 years ago | (#36118568)

A run down of exactly what distro or project had this software at whatever time would be nice.

Re:Appeal? (2)

j00r0m4nc3r (959816) | more than 3 years ago | (#36118630)

How does that help the patent trolls buy Ferraris?

Re:Appeal? (2)

Desler (1608317) | more than 3 years ago | (#36118870)

The "distro" would be whatever Google's internel fork of the linux kernel used on their servers is.

Re:Appeal? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36119296)

No, the allegedly offending code is in the stock linux kernel. The texas court was just idiotic.

Re:Appeal? (1)

jedidiah (1196) | more than 3 years ago | (#36118620)

I dunno. It still sounds fishy. How could Yahoo use Linux while not violating this patent? It's not like it would have been easy for them to go out of their way to avoid potential patent issues. They likely used a standard kernel (either stock or from a distro) that likely included the "offending feature".

If anything, it seems like Yahoo managed to luck out and slither away.

Re:Appeal? (2)

flymolo (28723) | more than 3 years ago | (#36118720)

The linux kernel is modular. You can execute some parts and not others. They were able to argue that they didn't use the part of linux that could infringe this patent.
Different distributions compile their kernels with different options with different things enabled or compiled as modules.

Re:Appeal? (1)

nanoflower (1077145) | more than 3 years ago | (#36118722)

It's not entirely unreasonable to imagine two different distros where one used the offending code and the other didn't. So anyone that used the wrong distro could end up being sued. As you say it sounds like Yahoo lucked out as it's unlikely that Yahoo or Google knew there was a problem with one distro.

Re:Appeal? (1)

Desler (1608317) | more than 3 years ago | (#36118856)

How could Yahoo use Linux while not violating this patent?

Because the kernel they use doesn't have the code in it that was the issue?

They likely used a standard kernel (either stock or from a distro) that likely included the "offending feature".

It is highly unlikely that they use a standard kernel.

Re:Appeal? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36120850)

I typed the comment below in response to one of your previous comments, but then reconsidered submitting after deciding it was a bit flamebait. However, you continue to strenuously defend Bedrock with no evidence to back up your assertions. I cannot imagine why someone with no other interest in the case would be so ready to defend the company. You don't seem interested enough to investigate the details while trying to spread doubt that Yahoo's victory means anything.

You seem to have a very strong opinion considering your limited understanding of the facts. Is that /. normal (not RTFA) or is it more fiscally inspired? Not an accusation just honest curiosity, with all of the evidence of companies and governments embracing astroturfing it would be silly not to consider the possibility.

Re:Appeal? (1)

Progman3K (515744) | more than 3 years ago | (#36122344)

Agreed - phrases like

"it is highly unlikely that xyz"

without any real facts is just hogwash

Re:Appeal? (1)

Lumpy (12016) | more than 3 years ago | (#36119062)

You do know the kernel can be compiled without some code enabled right?

Re:Appeal? (1)

hairyfeet (841228) | more than 3 years ago | (#36122096)

Slither away? WTF? Even when a company wins against a Linux patent troll (thus cutting down on the funds they'll have to attack others) are we still gonna read dozens of insults from the Google Fanbois? This is a good thing dude, be fricking happy!

Now to answer your question: One of the big selling points on Linux in the server role is it is completely modular from the kernel on up can be "home rolled" for whatever load and server role you are using it for. Hell ask the Gentoo guys, they have been known to even tweak for their CPU arch!

In this case however Yahoo rolled their own servers simply didn't use the infringing code. Now I'm sure this was probably unintentional, for whatever reason they simply didn't use the particular module in their build that would have bit them in the ass in this case, but be that as it may it let Yahoo take a walk. While I still say having a bazillion distros is bad on the desktop side I can see its value on the server side as it is a lot harder to attack when you don't know exactly what they have. I just never thought that protection included troll attack, hey you learn something new every day.

Re:Appeal? (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36119126)

Yahoo ... used a different form of Linux

i.e. FreeBSD?

Re:Appeal? (1)

renoX (11677) | more than 3 years ago | (#36121422)

> The case against Google was much stronger hence they were found to infringe.

Very strange, in which part of the code is the infringing code?

I thought that it was in the routing table handling?
If that was the case I can't see how Yahoo could not have used this code..

Bedrock's Code???? (2)

Rob Y. (110975) | more than 3 years ago | (#36122966)

Cawley put on evidence that Google used Bedrock's Linux code on its servers (although Google got rid of the code before trial).

Not to put too fine a point on it, but nobody used 'Bedrock's Linux code'. Bedrock doesn't have any Linux code. They have a patent on an idea that's implemented in Linux code written by Linux developers with no help from Bedrock. Whether that idea is worthy of patent protection is another story entirely. Ummmm.... NO!

Re:Appeal? (1)

gstoddart (321705) | more than 3 years ago | (#36118670)

So can Google use this on appeal? I mean, after all, it is only a fucking garbage-collecting hash table. It's like patenting 2+3.

Wow ... I wonder when this patent was filed. I'm pretty sure I wrote a hash-table with LRU drop-off as part of a class project in about 89 or 90 ... do my notes from university count as prior art for this?

I mean, just how much of what I learned in my education has now been patented?

Can you prove the date of your notes? (1)

bobs666 (146801) | more than 3 years ago | (#36118764)


If you used a valid "Lab Notebook" stile, where each page is dated, notes are in ink and all non used space was boxed and 'X'ed out, so that new stuff can not be added in. You might have a chance.

Re:Can you prove the date of your notes? (1)

gstoddart (321705) | more than 3 years ago | (#36119030)

If you used a valid "Lab Notebook" stile, where each page is dated, notes are in ink and all non used space was boxed and 'X'ed out, so that new stuff can not be added in. You might have a chance.

Not in actual lab books (though I have those going back to '95 as well).

But, my notes from university are written in ink, on dated pages, with the page number written on them. That's how you take notes -- at least, that's how I've always taken notes.

Re:Can you prove the date of your notes? (1)

Anthony Mouse (1927662) | more than 3 years ago | (#36119626)

If you used a valid "Lab Notebook" stile, where each page is dated, notes are in ink and all non used space was boxed and 'X'ed out, so that new stuff can not be added in.

Does the law actually say that? Because it makes about zero sense. Having no blank space to add material is an utterly frivolous requirement -- anyone willing to forge a document like that could trivially just get a new lab notebook, backdate it and write whatever they want in it without leaving any blank space.

Re:Can you prove the date of your notes? (1)

mckorr (1274964) | more than 3 years ago | (#36120138)

There is a more or less standard format that has developed for Lab/Engineering notebooks. The "no blank space" part is done specifically so you can't add information to a previous date. That way the notebook shows how an idea was developed over time, documenting the entire development process rather than just the end result. Pages are generally signed off on by two people, the person taking the notes and a second "witness," which is supposed to cut down on forgeries.

And yes, they can be entered into evidence as legal documents. How valid they are becomes a matter for the lawyers/jury/whatever.

Re:Appeal? (2)

MightyMartian (840721) | more than 3 years ago | (#36118788)

I almost wonder if some of these patent trolls are literally surfing through old theses and essays on algorithms from the 60s to the 80s looking for concepts that they can slap a stamp on and send to the patent office. For god's sake, there must be hundreds of examples of garbage-collecting hash tables from that period of time. It's hardly a novel or unique concept.

I'm seriously expect someone to come along and patent Quicksort. If you can patent garbage collection on a hash table, then why not sort algorithms?

Re:Appeal? (1)

VortexCortex (1117377) | more than 3 years ago | (#36119368)

I almost wonder if some of these patent trolls are literally surfing through old theses and essays on algorithms from the 60s to the 80s looking for concepts that they can slap a stamp on and send to the patent office. For god's sake, there must be hundreds of examples of garbage-collecting hash tables from that period of time. It's hardly a novel or unique concept.

I'm seriously expect someone to come along and patent Quicksort. If you can patent garbage collection on a hash table, then why not sort algorithms?

It would have to be a quick sort that excludes some items on the fly as it sorts and releases them -- like say, min_sort_val = 10 or something... now THAT would be innovative.

Additionally, I'd just like to point out that the term "Garbage Collection" alludes to a ridiculous analogy. Seriously. When's the last time the garbage man came into your house, decided you didn't use something based on the amount of dust on it, then hauled it away without asking? Never... (GC should be called Maid Service, or perhaps Vengeful Mother-in-Law Disposal instead).

IRL, You decide what you want in the garbage, then place the collection of those items in the designated receptacle prior to a garbage collection pass. Additionally -- DON'T THROW AWAY THE RESOURCES! PLEASE RECYCLE THEM! -- THEY SHOULD NOT END UP IN A LANDFILL! (Garbage Collection would be a more fitting name for a "memory leak")

Re:Appeal? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36120440)

(Garbage Collection would be a more fitting name for a "memory leak")

That would actually explain some things I've seen in Java applications.

Re:Appeal? (2)

FrangoAssado (561740) | more than 3 years ago | (#36120570)

This is extremely off-topic, but I can't resist... :)

Additionally, I'd just like to point out that the term "Garbage Collection" alludes to a ridiculous analogy. Seriously. When's the last time the garbage man came into your house, decided you didn't use something based on the amount of dust on it, then hauled it away without asking? Never... (GC should be called Maid Service, or perhaps Vengeful Mother-in-Law Disposal instead).

Well, I always imagined a program in a "garbage collected" language as someone using stuff and dropping it on the ground when they don't need it anymore, without paying too much attention to what they're doing. Eventually, the "garbage collection" service comes over and collects what was dropped.

IRL, You decide what you want in the garbage, then place the collection of those items in the designated receptacle prior to a garbage collection pass.

That is close to what happens in languages without automatic garbage collection: calling C's "free" and C++'s "delete", for example, is the equivalent of taking the time to decide something is garbage and placing it in the garbage can.

Additionally -- DON'T THROW AWAY THE RESOURCES! PLEASE RECYCLE THEM! -- THEY SHOULD NOT END UP IN A LANDFILL! (Garbage Collection would be a more fitting name for a "memory leak")

In almost all situations, the system "recycles the garbage" immediately after it recognizes it. Some exceptions: run a garbage collected language with the garbage collector disabled, or replace C's "free()" with an empty function (people sometimes do this when they *really* need performance). In those circumstances, if the program generates enough garbage, eventually it runs out of resources (memory) because the generated garbage is not collected and recycled.

Re:Appeal? (1)

Bazzible (661545) | more than 3 years ago | (#36122008)

Spring Cleaning!

Re:Appeal? (3, Interesting)

PhrostyMcByte (589271) | more than 3 years ago | (#36119698)

Best patent I've found? Computing the absolute value of an integer. Yes, really.

int v;
int const mask = v >> sizeof(int) * CHAR_BIT - 1;
v = (v ^ mask) - mask;

Currently owned by Oracle, previously by Sun.

Re:Appeal? (1)

Dachannien (617929) | more than 3 years ago | (#36120744)

What's the patent number on that one?

Re:Appeal? (1)

PhrostyMcByte (589271) | more than 3 years ago | (#36124458)

6,073,150 [uspto.gov]

Re:Appeal? (1)

blair1q (305137) | more than 3 years ago | (#36120974)

It's not what you're doing. It's how you do it. The method and/or apparatus. E.g., roasting a chicken or a pork loin is as old as fire, but look up "roasting rack" in a patent database sometime. It's a serious "wtf" moment.

If they were the first to figure out that method of computing absolute value, they get to patent it. It's not obvious, and it's not simple enough that I'd expect there was prior art.

The Patent Office doesn't care how much it's actually worth; that's left to the courts. Since such a thing would not be very significant to any code it runs in, the amount the patent holder could sue for should be less than peanuts. One peanut per potential licensee sounds about right.

Patent-troll cases aren't all invalid based on the patents. But a lot of them should be knocked down to nearly no value based on the difficulty of scrubbing software for unlicensed patents before release, and on the relative value of that material to the software's sales, and to the value of lost sales that should be scaled according to the fact that patent trolls don't sell anything, and to the price paid for the patent if the patent was sold by the original inventor (in the case of a bankruptcy sale this should render a lot of patents nearly $0 value). The fact that they got an 8-figure payout from anyone even if the infringement was obvious is the real crime here.

Re:Appeal? (2)

_0xd0ad (1974778) | more than 3 years ago | (#36121406)

When they taught you two's complement didn't they tell you that to negate a number in two's complement you toggle each bit and then subtract 1?

v = (v ^ -1) + -1

And using an arithmetic right-shift to copy the sign bit across the full width of the int is hardly novel either.

Re:Appeal? (1)

blair1q (305137) | more than 3 years ago | (#36121946)

Someone had to invent those. If they'd patented them, they could bill the holder of this absolute-value-taking patent for using them.

Re:Appeal? (1)

_0xd0ad (1974778) | more than 3 years ago | (#36122170)

You can't patent something that is obvious. Those are obvious.

Thank providence that people actually bothered to invent stuff and NOT PATENT it, or we'd have the same hell that the .gif format has endured for all of computing if anything that used signed integers had to pay royalties for using the two's complement patent.

Re:Appeal? (1)

blair1q (305137) | more than 3 years ago | (#36122292)

Those aren't obvious. Even 1+1=2 is patentable, as a symbolic method of representing the addition of one set containing a single object to another similar set will make a collective set containing both objects. It's got a lot of prior art so it could no longer be patented, but back before the symbols '+' and '=' and the act of using them to separate digits to create statements of mathematical fact were invented, it would have been patent gold.

Re:Appeal? (1)

_0xd0ad (1974778) | more than 3 years ago | (#36123716)

They are obvious as it relates to negating a two's complement binary number, since they form the basis of the whole two's complement number system.

Re:Appeal? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36124290)

Yes they are obvious. Just because you're a moron doesn't make them unobvious. Read original patent law
and the "obvious" part is also categorized by being non-obvious to a specialist in the field of the invention.
every plumber in the world knows how to sweat a joint, just because you don't doesn't man.

As to you second point you are even more horribly horribly wronger.

Mathematics is unpatentable period.

Re:Appeal? (1)

blair1q (305137) | more than 3 years ago | (#36145122)

every plumber in the world knows how to sweat a joint

Soldering pipes would be a great patent if it weren't already centuries old. So would threading them and screwing them together. Just making a pipe out of metal is a good patent.

Go read your Dr. Seuss. If it's not also way above your intellectual level.

The only reason "mathematics is unpatentable" is that it's all old.

Invent a new mathematical symbol, and describe how it's used to make a transformation in the universe that nobody's ever discovered yet, and you'll be in.

Re:Appeal? (1)

StikyPad (445176) | more than 3 years ago | (#36123106)

You can't patent math, and besides, that technique is probably older than anyone reading Slashdot, which I'm sure includes more than a few boomers.

My favorite patent (1)

Snarky McButtface (1542357) | more than 3 years ago | (#36147766)

It is a stick. [google.com]

Re:Appeal? (1)

Lumpy (12016) | more than 3 years ago | (#36119094)

Most of it.

in fact your Sig has parts that are patented and Microsoft's patent lawyers will be calling you for it's unlicensed use.

Yes, the patent system is that broken.

Re:Appeal? (1)

pushing-robot (1037830) | more than 3 years ago | (#36119640)

So can Google use this on appeal? I mean, after all, it is only a fucking garbage-collecting hash table. It's like patenting 2+3.

Wow ... I wonder when this patent was filed

Yeah, it's like a page right out of history.

Re:Appeal? (1)

tomhudson (43916) | more than 3 years ago | (#36119688)

It was also used in MS-DOS disk-caching programs, and extended-memory managers back in the 1980s, as well as database buckets back in the 1970s - the patent is totally bogus.

Re:Appeal? (1)

dave87656 (1179347) | more than 3 years ago | (#36125242)

I know that any normal judge or jury would throw that lawsuit out so quickly that they'd be home for lunch, but the patent system is hopeless screwed up and you just can't rely on reason and common sense anymore. I hope you're right.

It's like patenting 2+3.

Patenting any software is like patenting math, IMHO.

Ultimate edition (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36118852)

Sure its got ubuntu, but what about Ultimate Edition!!! Its missing!!!

Bedrock's Code? (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36118862)

If google inadvertently ran bedrock's code, does that mean they went beyond patenting obvious stuff and into submitting code into gnu/linux that was intentionally patent encumbered?

pretending even further to avoid pretension (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36118884)

the truth remains willing & able to assist with it's use, as needed. thanks again.

I thought Yahoo used BSD (1)

LWATCDR (28044) | more than 3 years ago | (#36118894)

Really I thought that Yahoo was a big fan of BSD back in the day. So does Yahoo and or Google use a DIstro or do they both roll their own?

Re:I thought Yahoo used BSD (0, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36119384)

Yahoo uses a combination of RHEL, BSD 6/7, and a shitload of BSD4. Supporting two OSs (actually more like three) is a huge pain in the ass. So is dealing with the BSD old guard vs the new Linux people. Personally they should have dropped BSD during the BSD5 days and gone straight Linux. Would have simplified their system immensely.

Re:I thought Yahoo used BSD (0)

H0p313ss (811249) | more than 3 years ago | (#36119568)

There is nothing more dangerous than a fanatical freetard with root access.

Re:I thought Yahoo used BSD (2)

LWATCDR (28044) | more than 3 years ago | (#36119718)

Not really all that fair. When Yahoo started Linux was not as mature as BSD. Today FreeBSD and OpenBSD are both good OSs and have features that Linux lacks because of issues with the GPL like ZFS. Dismissing BSD is just a bit biased. Linux does have more hardware support but for server class hardware I bet both have pretty good support.
Now logically it makes a lot of sense to go with Linux today if for no other reason than the large number of people that have exprence with it but when Yahoo started that was not the case and frankly changing OSs is not trivial thing to od.

Re:I thought Yahoo used BSD (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36120272)

You make very good points, however I worked at Yahoo for three years and supporting three OSs was killing them. In 2003 BSD5 and Linux 2.6 were released. Assume a year for the new OS to stabilize, a year to get your internal plans together, and by 05 or so you should pick an OS and run with it. I arrived at Yahoo in '06 and found that RHEL was a second class OS to the main choice BSD4. BSD6 was just starting to show up on production machines and there was/is still tons of internally waffling about what OS was going to be the future. BSD5 never gained any traction and I think there were less a a few hundred servers with it installed.

By late 2006 Yahoo was maintaining its stack on BSD4, BSD6, and RHEL. And by stack I mean everything. Yahoo doesn't maintain an OS so much as everything else other than a base OS. However depending on the project you were on half your technology was either Linux only, BSD only, BSD4 only, or BSD6 only depending on the zealotry or skill of the team building it. Also things like yahoo-libxml moved at different paces on each OS. So you might get .17 on RHEL and .18 on BSD.

Then there were the teams that just wouldn't let go even after Yahoo had officially declared no new BSD4 servers in mid 2008. One of the largest sites at Yahoo was until last year running their Mysql databases on BSD4. And BSD4 doesn't multithread. At all. In fact Provisioning had to refuse to give them any more 8 core machines until they moved off BSD4 which still took six months of negotiating. I myself had to fight for nearly a year to move the frontend of another site to BSD6 from BSD4 in late 09. However that was Apache/PHP so we only saw a 20% increase in throughput.

In any case whether Linux or BSD, they should have picked one. If they had properly addressed this issue and picked Linux in 2005 like everyone else on the Internet they'd be in much better shape today and maintaining their stack would take half the man hours it currently does. Hell same with BSD, but frankly the mindshare of Linux and people who know how to use it still make Linux the better choice.

Lastly changing OSs is hard and it doesn't get any easier the longer your company is around. If anything Yahoo has certainly proved to me that changing even OS version is hard.

Re:I thought Yahoo used BSD (1)

LWATCDR (28044) | more than 3 years ago | (#36121064)

Well there is value in if it isn't broke don't fix it but then you my addition to the rule which is it is best to pick the time to upgrade. AKA don't wait until you have too. I am not and a BSD user myself so I am not sure what the differences are. I would say that they did seem to really blow it by not upgrading the BSD servers in a reasonable time and not picking an OS to make life simpler. I can understand for instance using BSD for say database servers and Linux for web servers if there is an advantage in that. I guess what I find odd is that Yahoo would use RHEL. You would think they would have enough in house IT talent that they wouldn't need a commercially supported Linux like RHEL.

software patent (1)

vac65 (2032474) | more than 3 years ago | (#36120082)

The problem, the stupid problem is: why grant patents on software, on code? Code should be restricted to copyright. It is, practically, the same like music. USA should pass a bill to eliminate and nullify all software patents.

Re:software patent (4, Interesting)

garyebickford (222422) | more than 3 years ago | (#36120228)

Until (IIRC) 1986, that was the case. Software is composed of algorithms, and algorithms are by definition mathematics, and mathematics can only be discovered, not invented. So until 1986 no software patents were awarded. I think the first one was a Honeywell patent for a combined hardware/software system for an air conditioning controller.

The most egregiously bad deal about software patents is the huge list of software inventions going back to the dawn of computing, for really important stuff like virtual memory, dozens of compiler methods, the windowing GUI, many different aspects of the systems that underlie the internet, etc., that could not be patented - in retrospect those thousands of real inventors got a raw deal. I made several advances in my work in the late 1970s and early 1980s that could now be patented. All those innovations back then were either shared effectively as open source, or protected for a while as trade secrets. Now trolls can patent silly trivialities and make zillions of dollars, depending on a huge edifice of real work that they get to use for free.

And, of course, if those innovations could have been patented the entire industry would be 30 years behind where we are now.

In other news.. (1)

StikyPad (445176) | more than 3 years ago | (#36120492)

Scissors beat paper which had previously beaten rock. Will scissors now beat rock? Stay tuned!

They didn't "beat" the troll (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36120556)

They just escaped from the troll's grasp.

IT World = awful journalism (2)

DistrictG (2152888) | more than 3 years ago | (#36122336)

Why on earth is Slashdot still linking to so many articles on IT World? Their journalism is spotty at best, and they were the site that caused the whole Samsung keylogger false-positive fiasco.

Re:IT World = awful journalism (1)

Xtifr (1323) | more than 3 years ago | (#36123026)

You prefer the more usual Slashdot practice of linking to some random guy's blog where he misquotes two sentences from a site like IT World, and then uses his misinterpretation of those to spin some elaborate paranoid fantasy about how Google is planning to embed chips in our brains [imdb.com] to beam us advertising 24/7?

I met him (1)

speedplane (552872) | more than 3 years ago | (#36123396)

I met the lawyer/patent-troll that's running Bedrock. He's a really nice guy and freely admits he's in it for the money. Can't really blame him. It's our patent laws that need to be fixed.

Re:I met him (2)

Rennt (582550) | more than 3 years ago | (#36125052)

Don't tell me you fell for the "don't hate the player" line. The system may well be broken, but that doesn't mean you should abuse it for personal gain.

Re:I met him (1)

bhtooefr (649901) | more than 3 years ago | (#36125696)

Well, abusing the system for personal gain may accelerate its collapse, and may be the fastest way to fix it...

"trolls" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36147134)

One thing I find interesting in a recent FTC report is the FTC's distinction between "good" NPEs and patent trolls [youtube.com] (which it refers to as "PAEs"). Many have long noted that there is a need to differentiate between NPEs such as universities and those other entities who abuse the system through arguably-excessive patent litigation. Distinguishing between those bad actors and other NPEs may be helpful in narrowing the focus and the terms of the debate over patent trolls.

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