I did end up buying an iPod shuffle to go along with it and then just struggled for months trying to put music on it with a linux box, because plugging it into a friend's mac would wipe out all music that was already there.
Nearly made the same mistake again with the Nike+ Fuel Band.
All complaints said, the shoes are pretty comfortable despite 7 years of wear - Nike knows how to make them.
If that's the case, how do so many open source projects get away without them? Do companies individually vet patents for projects they use? (doubtful.. but maybe)
Non-trivial, inclusion-worthy patches don't just fall from the sky; certainly, if it ever were to happen, you can be sure that other developers will be doing a search for patents issued to that author. If anything were found, the patch author would be advised that the contribution could not be accepted, due to the patent.
If and when a project's developers become aware that a technique used is patented, or even just potentially infringing pending some legal outcome, whatever would have to be ripped out is ripped out. But the patent, and the potential infringement, will not be discussed publicly. Open-source projects can't work any other way - the liability is on the users, not the developers, and it's not in their interest to expose their uses to "willful infringement" liability. Even public discussion of actual or potential infringement in is toxic - you would be asked to stop (privately).
It is what it is. It's also not too problematic, in my limited experience. But that may well simply be because nobody tries to find infringement, for obvious reasons.
I wonder, in all honesty, how often do people search for patent infringement when accepting large inclusion-worthy PRs? I doubt very often, personally..
For example, I could try to submit a pull request to an audio/video project to add an H.264 decoder/encoder that I wrote myself. That is OK because I wrote the code, and therefor I own the copyright to that code.
However, anyone who tries to use this code can be sued by MPEG LA for money or they can even ask them to cease and desist outright if they wish -- because it's their patented technology! It also works the other way around, if I wrote both the code and acquired a patent for the technology.
A CLA is the only way to stay safe, as far as I understand, but most open source projects just don't use them (except very large ones, like the Linux kernel etc).
It also mentions that there is an 'implicit' patent grant provided by the revised BSD license but that it has never been tested in court (which I presume means it is not advised).
I guess Apache 2.0 (or if you're a copyleft kind of guy, GPL3) is the way to go!
Uhh ... The Linux kernel doesn't use a CLA. It uses Developer Certificates of Origin: the Signed-off-by lines.
Are there other consumer "goods" companies that have interesting open source stuff published?
On another note: a quirky thing I encountered on Twitter was Target hiring category theorists. https://twitter.com/sigfpe/status/734129734569709568
Most enterprise CMS's have this problem I feel.
One of my favorites? John Deere. https://github.com/johndeere
Ah, yes, a bit of googling brings something up: https://boingboing.net/2015/05/13/john-deere-of-course-you-o...
I mean, if I were a farmer or had a reason to own a tractor for some other reason, I'd avoid them. Then again, the cynic in me thinks that everybody is doing this, JD just got caught and their ham-fisted PR response made it an order of magnitude worse for them.
That's all an ideal state, of course; reality is wrought with questions over who owns what, etc. but I'm optimistic.
A taxi company: https://github.com/uber
A hotel company: https://github.com/airbnb
A clothing company: https://github.com/gilt
The level of arrogance to think we know better than the developers working at a company on what they should / shouldn't write is astounding.
Nike doesn't need to justify anything to any of us, though as someone who writes apps using Swift, it looks distinctly different from other JSON parsers. I'll explore using it in a future project.
Thanks for contributing to open source, Nike!
Somewhat prevalent here on HN, I've noticed. Middlebrow dismissals and condescending comments that fail to consider context seem to be even more regular than normal lately, though that's probably just my mind playing tricks on me.
Solved for your use case(s), you mean. You're saying that you cannot imagine a reasonable circumstance under which off-the-shelf solutions wouldn't fit your needs? (Hint: if you write code for a living, this very scenario is why you have a job.)
It's very possible that an "off the shelf" solution didn't exist yet.
“If it’s a core business function – do it yourself, no matter what.”
— In Defense of Not-Invented-Here Syndrome, Joel Spolsky, 2001 (http://www.joelonsoftware.com/articles/fog0000000007.html)
Also, this story from 1967 or 1968:
“[…] Our company is so scared of data bases that it will not even create a group by that name, deemed “too emotional”! It ends up creating a group called “basic data.” The managers have taken six months to achieve this play on words. Things have moved fast in other areas, however: there is growing international demand for better software within our sister companies. I am sent to Holland to represent GLOBGAS-France at a meeting that also includes GLOBGAS-UK, Deutche-GLOBGAS, and other related organizations. The meeting lasts two days and concludes with an exceptionally fine dinner at an executive’s home in a suburb of Amsterdam. Our host goes around the table to ask each of up what we feel is the best investment the company can make in the computer field. The answer from each expert is “a generalized data-base system.” Our host looks very stern and there is silence.
Then he states, “I understand your needs, and the Group is aware of this requirement. But we are not in the software business. We are in the oil business.”
We bow our heads, as befits young and well-educated European engineers when the boss has spoken. But there is a young Texan GLOBGAS-US with us, and he feels no such constraint.
“Well, now,” he says, “down there in Houston we spend about sixty million bucks on programming each year. I reckon we’re in the software business.”
— The Network Revolution¹, Jacques F. Vallee, 1982 (https://books.google.com/books?id=6f8VqnZaPQwC&pg=PA61)