Week in review: Android schmandroid, BP just can't do anything right

Companies do the silliest things, whether it's losing sensitive data or pushing the definition of 'open'.

Week in review

Here at IT PRO we always refer to companies in the singular and not the plural since they have a legal identity all of their own separate from the people that actually run and staff it.

So, for example, 'Acme Corporation is found guilty of selling baby unicorn burgers' instead 'are found guilty'.

Despite this legal fiction, we're acutely aware that personality conflicts, petty squabbling, power struggles and individual daftness are probably the real reasons behind some of the more peculiar corporate decisions and incidents of the past week.

BP's leaking again

The Deepwater Horizon oil disaster last year in the Gulf of Mexico was one of the worst environmental disasters in American history. It severely tarnished the reputation of BP, one of the companies responsible much like a pelican or turtle slowly gagging in a pool of petrochemicals.

To add insult to injury for the local people affected by the spill, BP revealed an employee lost a laptop containing the personal details of around 13,000 victims claiming compensation from the company. I'll bet a dozen gallons of Brent Sweet Light Crude the laptop wasn't encrypted.

Although the poor sap responsible for the data loss probably had nothing to do with the oil spill, he's probably getting a royal dressing down for adding to BP's collective public relations woes. I almost feel sorry for the lot of them.

Microsoft squeals 'play fair!' to EU

Microsoft has been the subject of numerous anti-trust investigations on both sides of the Atlantic over the past decade or so. It's therefore distinctly ironic the Bing developer has now accused Google of anti-competitive behaviour in the search engine market in a filing with the European Commission.

Lawyers are no doubt poring over the legal documents right now, but all we hear is the distinct sound of Steve Ballmer throwing his toys out of a pram, probably against the better advice of his nannies. I mean aides.

Google closes its fist over Android

First Google announced it was delaying the release of the source code for its open-source Android 3.0 Honeycomb operating system.

Now, according to Bloomberg, Google is tightening its hold over Android even further by demanding final approval over any code changes made by hardware manufacturers and threatening to withhold early access to new versions if it doesn't get it.

For a company that touted the 'openness' of its mobile operating system , this is quite a change. Although arguably less 'open' and more 'closed,' it will hopefully reduce the number of mediocre and plain awful Android products we've seen in recent times.

Nevertheless that sound you hear is the sound of countless Android/Google/open-source fan boys, normally procrastinating about the advantages of 'openness,' now frantically trying to rationalise and justify this new course of action.

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