3MTB Newsletter - Oracle vs Google, Toyota's Smart City Prototype, Earthquake destroys a Natural Wonder, and more
"Google stole Java and killed interoperability to create its proprietary Android operating system.”
— Oracle Corp.
Happy Pongal, Lohri, Makar Sankranti, Bihu, Uttarayan or whatever you may celebrate in your home. May this festive season bring more peace and prosperity to you and your beloved ones.
I am introducing a small ‘What is?’ section below the bits to explain in brief any jargon/entiry that you may encounter in this Newsletter. Do let me know your thoughts.
First, some bits
Walmart India handed pink slips to 56 of its management team and shut down its Mumbai fulfillment center (its largest in India) in an apparent halt to its physical store operations and concentrate more on Flipkart. Walmart runs 28 Best Price (cash and carry stores)
Amazon’s CEO Jeff Bezos is in India. He launched Amazon’s SMBhav conference and pledged $1 billion investment to digitize Small and Medium Businesses (SMB) in India.
India’s Competition Commission of India (CCI) has initiated probe against Amazon India & Flipkart (owned by Walmart) to probe unfair trade practices (preferential treatment to some sellers and exclusive arrangements with smartphone vendors)
Samsung’s next flagship smartphone will be called S20, and not S11. It may feature four rear-end cameras.
What is a Cash & Carry Store?
Think of it as a wholesale store for retailers, caterers and professional users. No credit and no transportation arranged for buyers. Just pay cash and carry it out by yoursleves.
It is different from regular wholesalers who can provide goods on credit basis and deliver themselves.
1. Google gets some help from IBM and Microsoft overs its legal fight with Oracle over Java.
Here is a background context. Java language, originally developed by Sun Microsystems, had code libraries that can be re-used and accessible to programmers via Application Program Interfaces (APIs).
When Google developed Android in late 00s, it built its own underlying code in order to avoid Java licensing fees, but couldn’t help reusing some native code of Java language. Oracle acquired Sun Microsystems in 2010 and sued Google for copyright violation. Google admitted it, but argued that this is within fair use of code.
Companies like IBM & Microsoft, some Non-profit entities, and groups of Computer Scientists & IP specialists have filed court briefs supporting Google and essentially argued that certain basic interfaces can be reused to support interoperability . One non-profit entity argued that Oracle’s win would essentially mean that one cannot have a Universal Remote, but needs one remote for each device in home.
Toyota to build a Smart City Prototype
Toyota is planning to build a Smart City Prototype called Woven City, near the footsteps of Mt. Fuji. This 2000-person city or township will act as a test bed to test futuristic technologies like robots, smart homes, self driving vehicles, AI, etc in a real life environment.
The residences will have have sensors to monitor the health of inhabitants and to fulfil daily needs like automated shopping and trash collection. The idea is to also to leverage Toyota’s Smart Community (F-Grid) to build a sustainable city. The construction is expected to start in 2021 with no estimated completion date yet. Have a look at this video.
3. An Earthquake destroys a natural wonder in Puerto Rico
Puerto Rico is experiencing a series of 5.x earthquakes since last month. Luckily the number of casualties is less. Unfortunately, we lost one natural wonder and a popular tourist spot.
Punta Ventana (means ‘Window Point') is a natural stone arch formation with a circular hole. Last week's earthquake brought down this popular tourist destination.
4. QR codes to detect coconut saplings fraud in Kerala
In 2016, The Central Plantations Crops Research Institute (CPCRI) had a few complaints that some sellers were selling spurious varieties of seedlings, though they claim that materials are from CPCRI.
As coconut seedlings may take 2 to 3 years to flower, farmers have to wait till they know the correct variety of the seedling they have. To combat this fraud, CPCRI has introduced QR codes for each seedling, through which farmers can know the variety and origin.
I love such practical and unique ways of using technology to solve everyday problems.
Enjoy the festive season and do let me know what you think of this Newsletter.