Links for 2013-03-29

  • East Texas Judge Says Mathematical Algorithms Can’t Be Patented, Dismisses Uniloc Claim Against Rackspace

    This seems pretty significant. Is the tide turning in the Texas Eastern District against patent trolls, at last? And does it establish sufficient precedent?

    A federal judge has thrown out a patent claim against Rackspace, ruling that mathematical algorithms can’t be patented. The ruling in the Eastern Disrict stemmed from a 2012 complaint filed by Uniloc USA asserting that processing of floating point numbers by the Linux operating system was a patent violation. Chief Judge Leonard Davis based the ruling on U.S. Supreme Court case law that prohibits the patenting of mathematical algorithms. According to Rackspace, this is the first reported instance in which the Eastern District of Texas has granted an early motion to dismiss finding a patent invalid because it claimed unpatentable subject matter. Red Hat, which supplies Linux to Rackspace, provided Rackspace’s defense. Red Hat has a policy of standing behind customers through its Open Source Assurance program.
    See https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=5455869 for more discussion.

    (tags: east-texas patents swpats maths patenting law judges rackspace linux red-hat uniloc-usa floating-point)

  • Introducing Chronos: A Replacement for Cron

    A distributed, fault-tolerant “cron” is something which comes up frequently — it makes for a great fault-tolerance building block. This one sounds like it’s too closely tied into Mesos, though (IMO).

    Chronos is our replacement for cron. It is a distributed and fault-tolerant scheduler which runs on top of Mesos. It’s a framework and supports custom mesos executors as well as the default command executor. Thus by default, Chronos executes SH (on most systems BASH) scripts. Chronos can be used to interact with systems such as Hadoop (incl. EMR), even if the mesos slaves on which execution happens do not have Hadoop installed. Included wrapper scripts allow transfering files and executing them on a remote machine in the background and using asynchroneous callbacks to notify Chronos of job completion or failures.

    (tags: cron scheduling mesos stacks design airbnb chronos fault-tolerance distcomp distributed-computing scripts jobs)

This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. Both comments and trackbacks are currently closed.