Oracle is suing Google, one of the pieces of evidence is a fairly trivial few lines of code. David Boies tried to make it into a big deal, but he had the wrong judge:
I have done, and still do, a significant amount of programming in other languages. I’ve written blocks of code like rangeCheck a hundred times before. I could do it, you could do it. The idea that someone would copy that when they could do it themselves just as fast, it was an accident. There’s no way you could say that was speeding them along to the marketplace. You’re one of the best lawyers in America, how could you even make that kind of argument?
West Virginia bought $22,500 routers from Cisco, the type of equipment that would be used to connect offices with ~500 computers to the Internet, to connect tiny libraries (a couple of PCs). Their defense?
Strickling says that NTIA looked into the situation and found that the average cost of the routers was only $12,000—not the $22,600 reported by the paper. (The contract for the devices was $24 million and 1,064 were purchased; 1,064 x $22,600 = $24 million. It’s not clear how Strickling broke down the numbers.)
He explained that West Virginia actually got a good deal. “Had they tried to determine the individual router capacity,” he said, “they felt that they would end up spending more money” thanks to Cisco’s package discount. The gear is future-proofed, and it’s also easier for techs to deal with the same router across the state.
“This was the most economical way forward,” Strickling said.
I love it – “future proofed” for the future that will never come. Cisco makes a whole line of routers exactly for small branch offices and the most expensive one I could find is about $1000.