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Business商业报道Intellectual property in Silicon Valley硅谷知识产权之争Rumble in the Java jungleJava丛林大战The legal fight between Oracle and Google is arcane, but the stakes are high甲骨文和谷歌之间的诉讼晦涩难解,牵涉的商业利益却是非常巨大LARRY ELLISON and Larry Page, the bosses of Oracle and Google, share a name.甲骨文的老板拉里·埃里森和谷歌的老板拉里·佩奇都有一个相同的名字,But they clearly do not share the same view of a particular intellectual property matter.但他们在某些知识产权问题上的看法却是迥然不同。On April 16th a jury began hearing arguments in a trial to determine whether Googles Android operating system infringes copyrights and patents owned by Oracle.4月16日,为确定谷歌的安卓操作系统是否侵犯了甲骨文的版权和专利,陪审团开始听取法庭辩论。The outcome could shake up the Android world of more than 300m mobile devices.审理的结果也许会震动安卓业界,这一产业涵盖了超过3亿部的移动设备。The judge has called the trial the World Series of IP cases. That sounds about right—though both firms are far more global than the baseball contest in the analogy.法官将这次审判称为知识产权案件中的总冠军赛2.这样说起来大概不错,虽然拿来类比的两家公司可比这项棒球赛事国际化多了。Oracle is hoping to hit a legal home run—and win 1 billion in damages—by showing that Google failed to pay for its use of Java,甲骨文希望通过明谷歌使用Java没有付费,在法律上打出一记全垒打,赢得10亿美元的赔偿金。a programming language which Oracle inherited when it bought Sun Microsystems in 2010, and on which Android is based.Java是一种编程语言,甲骨文2010年收购Sun微系统后将其接手,它也是安卓的基础。Google says it has done nothing wrong.谷歌表示自己没有任何过错。The trial is delving into the complex world of computer programming and providing fascinating glimpses of the inner workings of the two tech giants.案件的审理是对复杂的计算机编程业界的深入研究,也让众人对两大技术巨擎的内部运作有机会惊鸿一瞥。In testimony this week, for instance, Mr Ellison revealed that Oracle had considered buying Research in Motion, the maker of the BlackBerry.例如,埃里森先生本周在作时就披露甲骨文曾考虑过收购RIM。But at the heart of the case lies the thorny issue of whether copyright law applies to application programming interfaces,但本案的核心在于,版权法对于应用程序编程接口是否适用,这是个棘手的问题。or APIs—the specifications that allow one piece of software to talk to another.API是允许软件不同部分进行通信的规范。Oracle claims that Google used 37 Java APIs in Android without paying, and that the APIs are covered by copyright because they are the creative work of Javas developers.甲骨文的主张是,谷歌在安卓系统中使用了37个Java API,但没有付费用,而且由于这些API是Java开发者们创造性的工作成果,所以它们是受版权保护的。Googles lawyers have responded by arguing that APIs are akin to words in a poem.谷歌的律师们回应辩称API就像诗歌里的词语。Copyright can protect the poem itself, but not the underlying elements used to create it.版权能保护诗歌本身,但不能对用来创造它的基本元素进行保护。Google—whose chairman once worked for Sun—has also made much of the fact that Javas creators cheered the launch of Android.谷歌,公司董事会主席曾为Sun效力,也特别强调了Java的创造者们为安卓的发布而欢呼这一事实。If Oracle prevails, Google may have to reach a settlement with Mr Ellisons firm so it does not have to cut the offending APIs from Android, which would cause huge disruption.如果甲骨文赢得诉讼,谷歌可能只好与埃里森先生的公司达成和解,这样才不必从安卓中将侵权的API移除,一旦移除将会引发巨大的混乱。Oracle wants a financial piece of Android, says Tyler Ochoa, a law professor at Santa Clara University.甲骨文想从安卓的金钱蛋糕中分得一块,圣克拉拉大学的法律学教授泰勒·奥乔亚这样说到。A victory would also raise further questions about the legal status of APIs.诉讼的胜利同样会激起对于API法律地位更深层次的疑问。Like a baseball game, this saga could have plenty of innings.如同一场棒球比赛,这场业界传奇可能要大战三百回合。 点击此处下载本期经济学人讲解PDF与音频字幕 /201306/244316

Dear Annie: 亲爱的Annie: Ive been dating ;Josh; for just over a month. 我和Josh已经约会一个多月了。We were instant friends and started off our romance slowly. 我们一下子就成了朋友,慢慢地就开始暧昧。He lives two hours away and sees me on weekends. 他住的地方离我这儿大概要两个小时,而他每周都会来看我。This past weekend, Josh told me he is falling in love and wants me to move in with him. 就在上周,Josh告诉我,他爱上我了,想让我搬去和他住。Heres the problem. 问题就出在这儿了。Last night, he said that although he loves me, he is so accustomed to being single that he isnt sure hell be able to refuse if a woman tempts him. 昨晚,他说尽管他已经爱上我了,但他已经习惯了一个人,所以并不能确定如果有人来诱惑他,他能不能抵挡的住。I was devastated. 我崩溃了。I told him everyone has to fight temptation, but he has to think Im worth it. 我告诉他每个人都必须抵制诱惑,但他要相信我是值得让他这么做的人。I dont want to stay with a man who says he loves me, but could be with someone else whenever he gets the urge. 我不想和一个整天说爱我却抵制不住别人诱惑的人在一起。Should I walk away before I am so far in that I cant leave? 在还没到不能离开他的时候我是不是应该选择离开?Im hurt, mad and surprised all at the same time. - Not Whimsical in Alabama 我既痛苦又疯狂又意外。我不是在异想天开啊。Dear Alabama: 亲爱的Alabama: Josh is telling you in advance that hes going to cheat and he thinks hes giving you a plausible excuse to accept it. Josh是在提前告诉你,他会欺骗你,而且他还为那个谎言做出了个合理的解释。Tell him its been fun, but you need a more stable, committed relationship than what he is offering. 告诉他你们在一起的时光很有趣,但你需要的是一个更稳定更充实的恋爱关系,而非他现在所提供的的这些。And, by the way, moving in after a month of dating is not ;taking it slowly.; 对了顺便说一下,在一个月的约会之后就搬到一起绝不是“慢慢来”。Its racing at light speed.这是在以光速发展。201308/250708

Structural reform in southern Europe南欧的结构性改革Patchy progress进展参差不齐Some signs of improvement. Must try harder改革小有成效,同志仍需努力CYPRUS is suffering a vicious recession as it struggles to adjust after a huge banking crisis. Despite its ailing economy a cab ride from the airport at Larnaca to Nicosia—a journey that takes around 40 minutes—costs 50. Such high fares, reflecting the power of the taxi trade, hinder the countrys attempts to rekindle its tourist industry.业大危机之后,塞浦路斯陷入恶性经济衰退,调整步伐举步维艰。尽管经济疲软,从机场到尼科西亚一段40分钟左右的的士车程却高达50欧元。如此高价折射了的士业界的力量,从而阻碍了塞浦路斯重振旅游业的种种努力。Reforms to tackle these kinds of uncompetitive markets are vital if the beleaguered countries of southern Europe are to be able to survive in the euro area. By making wages and prices more flexible, they allow countries like Spain and Portugal that have lost competitiveness to regain it even though they can no longer devalue against their euro-zone trading partners. They also hold out the promise of higher growth, which is vital if they are to shrug off heavy debt burdens. Four years after the euro crisis began with the first Greek bail-out, what has been achieved?如果陷入困境的南欧国家想要在欧元区内生存下去,解决这类竞争力缺乏的改革至关重要。虽然像西班牙和葡萄牙这类失去竞争力的国家不能再对欧元区贸易伙伴贬值,但只要通过更为灵活的工资和价格,它们就可以恢复竞争力。这些国家还承诺取得更高的增长,这对摆脱沉重债务至关重要。以希腊首次救市开始的欧债危机过去四年后,它们的成果如何?Assessing the scale and effectiveness of reforms is hard, not least since they tackle a multitude of sins. There are three main categories: enhancing competition, especially in services; promoting business activity rather than stifling it; and overhauling labour markets. In practice a determined effort to improve performance involves reforms across government. In Portugal, for example, 400 measures have been introduced in the past three years.由于涉及层面纷繁复杂,评估改革的规模和效益非常困难。改革主要涉及三大方面:提高竞争力,特别是务业的竞争力;促进,而非扼杀,商业活动;对劳动力市场全面改进。在实践中,各国提高经济表现的坚定努力还包括了整个政府的改革。例如,过去三年在葡萄牙就有400个新措施出台。One gauge of progress in southern Europe is the World Banks “Doing Business” survey. This annual study, covering over 180 economies, monitors regulation from the perspective of small and medium-sized companies. Its overall index has ten components, ranging from the ease of founding a company to how ily contracts can be enforced. Countries are ranked according to how light the burden of regulation is, as measured by the number of procedures involved and their cost. Other factors include how easily firms can access credit and how well they protect outside investors. A lack of regulation is not deemed a strength; rather the focus is on efficient regulation.世界的“营商环境报告”的调查是南欧国家的进展的衡量之一。这项年度研究从中小型企业的角度监测政府管制,范围涵盖超过180个经济体。其整体指数由十部分组成,包括创办公司和执行合同的难易程度。政府管制由这些活动所涉及的程序和成本数量构成,各个国家据此排名。其他因素还包括企业取得信贷的难易程度以及他们保护外部投资者的能力。这项研究的聚焦点在于有效监管——政府监管制度的缺乏并未被视作可取之处。The findings suggest that progress has been made in southern Europe but that it has been patchy both between different countries and within them. Between mid-, before the euro crisis took hold, and mid-2013 Greeces rank improved from 109 to 72. Portugal has also gained ground, from 48 to 31. Advances by Italy and Spain have been less marked, and France has actually slipped down the rankings, from 31 to 38.研究结果表明,南欧改革已经小有成效,但在不同国家,以及同一国家的不同地区之间,进展参差不齐。在欧元危机爆发前的年中期和2013年中期之间,希腊的排名从109上升到了72。 葡萄牙也有所斩获,从48上升到了31。意大利和西班牙则差强人意,而法国则干脆从31下降到了38名。Even where progress has been made there is cause for concern. Greece may have improved its ranking the most, but that was from a desperately poor starting-point. Its current performance remains extremely disappointing within some crucial categories. It ranked 161st in the world as a place to register property easily, a handicap for a country urgently needing to encourage inward investment. Another concern is its 98th-place finish for the ease of enforcing contracts, a crucial condition for firms to flourish.即使在小有成效的国家,情况也令人担忧。尽管希腊在排名上进步喜人,但是其起点却是出奇的低。在一些关键的方面,它的表现依旧极其令人失望。在登记财产的难易程度方面,希腊仅排全球第106位,而这是一个迫切需要鼓励外来投资的国家的掣肘。还叫人忧心忡忡的是,执行合同的难易程度是企业蓬勃发展的关键之一,其排名仅居全球第98名。Such patchiness is widesp. The mountain that Matteo Renzi, Italys new prime minister, must climb is clear from his countrys performance. Its overall rank is dismal enough, at 65. But Italy is even farther down the league table for the tax burden on businesses; ease of getting construction permits; credit access; and enforcing contracts . Spain ranks particularly poorly as a place to start a business, at 142. That is a worry because research has established a strong link, unsurprisingly, between the regulatory ease of starting a business and how many are actually set up.这种进展参差不齐的问题广泛存在。从意大利的表现来看,其新任总理利玛窦壬兹任重而道远。意大利的整体表现可谓惨淡,仅居65位;而在企业赋税,取得施工许可,获取信贷和执行合同方面的排名则更为糟糕。西班牙在创办公司指标的表现尤其糟糕。研究已经毫无悬念地指出,创业监管难易度和新企业数量之间联系紧密,因此如此情形令人担心。The World Banks index does not include the impact on firms of employment regulations. But other evidence suggests similarly patchy progress on labour-market reforms in southern Europe. Despite overhauls in Portugal and Spain, southern Europe still suffers from bifurcated markets, in which the gap between “insiders” on cosy, permanent contracts and “outsiders” employed on a temporary basis is particularly pronounced. With so much yet to be done it is worrying that the pace of reform aly seems to be slackening.世界的指标并不包括就业法规对企业的影响。但其他据表明了,南欧劳动力市场的改革同样参差不齐。尽管在葡萄牙和西班牙对劳动力市场的改革可谓大刀阔斧,南欧市场依旧苦于分化严重,特别是一方面“自己人“高枕稳定的长期合同,而另一方面”外来人“雇佣于临时合同,差距尤为显著。由于未来依旧任重而道远,目前已经放缓的改革步伐叫人忧心忡忡。 /201404/292305


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