chromium build tree didn't seem to work with all versions of ubuntu, given that only LTS versions are supported, and chromium simply fails to build if you have anything more modern.
42 posts • joined 9 Oct 2014
Unity devs warned of breaking changes ahead in video game engine as team gets to grips with mutating face of .NET
Well, if unity's user interface and edit-compile-debug-edit -loop is slow...
Basically, I have a solution to that problem. https://meshpage.org/ has some gameapi builder tool which has nicely working user interface that doesn't slow down when plugins insert their code to key event handlers and thus it's not possible for a plugin to slow down the tool's key presses. :-)
GitHub restores DMCA-hit youtube-dl code repo after source patched to counter RIAA's takedown demand
> What you seem to be missing is that it's very far from certain that the original claim was actually a valid use of the DMCA.
It seems pretty valid, for the following reasons:
1) Authors who post youtube videos never gave youtube permission to publish the material outside of youtube
2) RIAA is clearly a youtube author who satisfy point (1).
3) youtube-dl is at the edge of youtube - it clearly pulls data from inside youtube to outside of youtube
4) RIAA cannot go directly against youtube-dl on the grounds of copyright infringement, because youtube-dl never published the material, their users did.
5) But youtube-dl enables end users to violate RIAA's copyright, so RIAA might still have valid claim
6) RIAA just needed to find alternative legal mechanism to shut down youtube-dl, and that seems to be the
"circumvention of technological protection mechanism"
7) This circumvention is obvious after you see (3).
8) Possibly there's the fact that youtube has promised RIAA and their member companies that their youtube system
does not allow downloading published video material, and their TOS enforces it
9) Thus from (1),(2),(3),(4),(5),(6),(7) and (8), you can see that the DMCA notice is valid use of DMCA.
> Some would consider that an active argument *for* youtube-dl, especially
> given Youtube's habit of disabling access to videos based on some very,
> very shake false positives.
Sure, but this would be a good basis for a lawsuit. If you explicitly made a feature to software that prevents you from doing this "disable access" operation, you can be easily sued for it. Basically this is what kazaa and napster were doing when they were sued -- their song catalog was replicated widely enough that "fixing" the infringement was impossible.
Note that github is doing it correctly -- they were technically able to disable youtube-dl repository from the public when legal paperwork indicated that there's legal issues with it, and then bring it back online when lawyers have managed to look into it. Basically the uncertainty period is dangerous when you don't know if you're on the hook for millions of dollars of damages or if the claims are bullshit. Publishers of copyrighted works need to be able to "stop the presses" when other copyright owners call the bullshit on your published material.
Under chrome or firefox, one download from youtube means one "view"... If you use youtube-dl, one download might mean that half the planet got access to it without youtube knowing about it.
Under chrome or firefox, your video file disappears when you press the BACK key on your browser and you need to download it again to access the same file next week.
Under chrome or firefox, if youtube's legal team decides that some video is infringing, they can disable access to it (and all the derived copies of it)... with youtube-dl, youtube's legal team has no possibility to limit the damage if they find copyright infringement in one of the videos.
> Next DMCA takedown on curl ?
curl is interesting case. But RIAA/MPAA never went after ftp servers or other commandline tools.
Basically the legal activity seems to be focused on website scraping software instead of curl itself, especially when website TOS prevents scraping.
Re: youtube-dl is still dubious
> Except there are plenty of videos posted on youtube under CC licenses
youtube cannot see the actual license of the material. Their submit form is requiring certain permissions, but if your license allows more flexible usage of the material, then youtube cannot take advantage of that fact.
Re: It might attract less attention if it wasn't called...
> I disagree with your point #1 - unless I've misunderstood you.
> Youtube-dl does not permit distribution in any way.
> It simply facilitates the downloading of a file (video file) to my hard disk.
The download-to-hard-disk was the point number (4).
Re: youtube-dl is still dubious
Sure, but the "legal status" of browsers is always coming from the market leaders. But when you want to decide for features to implement for your "browser", it's always some fringe pirate tool? If you choose fringe features, you can't rely on market leaders legality.
Same works in cars, if your wooden wheels are not approved by the traffic laws, you can't rely on the fact that pneumatic tire-cars are legal to drive.
Re: It might attract less attention if it wasn't called...
> I can use my browser to download copyrighted images all day long. So should we ban browsers
> until the ability to download images is removed? What about downloading applications?
> Some of the applications may be pirated.
Why browsers get away with a shipped download feature is as follows:
1) they implement download, but only allow DISPLAY of the content, not DISTRIBUTE.
2) they limit the amount of content downloaded, i.e. browser's download feature has slower than
turtle user interface that allows manually downloading only one file at the time
3) they don't allow downloading all the content, but only selected/small section of the actual data
4) they have very efficient ways of controlling under which circumstances the downloaded data needs to be deleted.
These points make usage of browsers and the following tools slightly dangerous:
a) all tools that do DISTRIBUTE, including youtube-dl, because it skips (1)
b) zip files, tar packages, rar files etc, which bypasses the one-file limit in (2)
c) all the javascipt download or scaping tools because it bypasses the (3)
d) all tools that store downloaded data to persistent storage, databases or file systems because it bypasses (4).
Re: youtube-dl is still dubious
The EFF's letter to github that made github republish the repository had the following argument: "youtube-dl works like a browser when it downloads youtube video, and thus it doesn't circumvent technological protection measure"...
Unfortunately, this argument is completely wrong. Web browsers have significant "technological protection measures" that prevents downloading, including "back-key", "browser cache", "slow user interface for manual downloading", "regular deletion of downloaded data (when back key is pressed)", "limiting downloaded data to transient memory areas instead of persistent storage", "encoding of browser cache so that it cannot be used for piracy" etc...
The question is, is youtube-dl skipping these protections available in web browsers?
Thus even if youtube-dl is not "circumventing technological protection measure" of youtube, their browser argument forces us to consider technological protection measures available in browsers. And downloading data from web sites is one significant areas where browsers are actively trying to build protections.
youtube-dl is still dubious
RIAA claims youtube-dl is bad because it circumvents technological protection mechanism called "rolling cipher". While the legal eagles are not convinced that this rolling cipher even exists, or that it does anything to prevent downloading of the videos, there is even more serious problem with youtube-dl project.
Basically youtube's own terms of service are forbidding the download operation. How it works is that authors who post videos to youtube are only required to give licenses to "youtube and their associates", "for use in the youtube system"... This means that youtube itself does not have permission to bring the videos outside of the system that is youtube. When youtube doesnt have full permissions to handle the videos as they wish, how can youtube-dl project claim to have those permissions? As far as we know, youtube-dl's permissions for the videos are coming from the youtube's general permissions. But youtube itself does not have the permissions needed. So how can youtube-dl get permissions to the videos?
This is the big problem. RIAA's "technological protection measure" -theory is just trying to enforce the youtube's own limitation that videos must not be handled outside of youtube's own services. While we might not beleve that "rolling cipher" actually exists as a technological protection measure, we should be careful with the youtube-dl project when they have not seen the significant issue with the video permissions after downloading them to outside of youtube's system.
RIAA DMCAs GitHub into nuking popular YouTube video download tool, says it can be used to slurp music
WebAssembly: Key to a high-performance web, or ideal for malware? Reg speaks to co-designer Andreas Rossberg
Re: Google's arguments fail
> What do you think is the actual basis in law for "ownership of the java community"?
When sun/Oracle spent the money on marketing their technology to java programmers, the money they spent must have value. The value must be somewhere in the output of their marketing activity, i.e. when they got java programmers to use java technology, that change must have owner. Sun/Oracle is the owner of java community when they caused many people to make decisions to use java.
As the owner of people's collective java usage decisions, sun/oracle can control the java technology.
Google's arguments fail
As a basic copyright issue, google's argument fails for the following reasons:
1) oracle owns the java community. While they cannot claim copyright ownership over third party java applications,
they still can claim ownership of the java community.
2) google cannot claim that reimplementation of java api is required for smartphones to work. There exists smartphone platforms
that do not have java apis available, thus killing google's theory that there is only one way to write those declarations.
3) google has history of skipping copyright's limitations and explicitly trying to bypass copyright rules. For example their book scanning operation.
this java api issue is similar google operation where they simply do not care enough about following established rules.
Thus oracle should be on the winning side of this argument.
Re: Lost sale?
fake rolex dealers are unfairly benefiting the marketing efforts of the original company. This kind of "attaching your product to someone elses brand" is illegal. Basically the original rolex company spent millions to make sure they are considered high quality product vendor, and then when they succeed, the leeches who make low quality lookalikes will try to benefit from the huge marketing push they see normal companies to do.
If you make a competing product, you should ensure that your brand is clearly separate from all the other existing brands. "fake-rolex" doesn't really qualify.
Re: It's Goliath vs. Goliath
> allow any company to block 3rd party products simply by claiming copyright violation on the API that is necessary to make something work.
There's no reason why these new entrants need to interact with existing market participants or established player's market. What resolves this in oracle's favour is that google needs a permission to enter oracle's java programming market. If they ruin the license negotiations by not agreeing to oracle's market rules/which seems kinda onerous), then they simply don't have permission to interact with any oracle products.
While this could be considered significant limitation that products cannot interact with each other, it's basically what copyright wants -- different vendors to invent their custom solutions with different pros and cons. If they all clone each other's interfaces, the new products will only be clones of products that are already in the market, and copyright's main purpose of promoting the progress and useful arts wont be properly implemented.
When will authors of copyrighted works get compensation for the time they spend creating those works? It seems there exists huge underground group of people who spend time creating copyrighted works, but without any money flowing to their direction associated with the works. While this can be considered a side-effect of competition, it also has a copyright aspect in it. While it has been known for long time in copyright industry that money is outdated concept, the food industry disagrees, putting forwarrd-looking people into poverty.
These copyright-trolls figured out how to turn their copyrighted works into good use and extract settlement money from the users. This kind of innovation is what copyright area needs, clear business models that have chance of getting enough money from the users that authors can make a living out of it. Sadly their reasons of why the trolls are entitled their money wasn't exactly good enough for the courts, and the extortion business model was slightly illegal, but still these kinds of nice money-making schemes are needed in the copyright area.
This ruling has two significant problems clearly visible. First these prenda law folks clearly had trouble getting end users to actually use their copyrighted work. Their smut films was clearly positioned for certain kinds of end users, so their decision to distribute it in pirate sites themselves was clearly obvious solution to the problem of finding new end users. Their decision to sue the end users if settlement money is not received early enough, had obvious flaw that end users could invoke "implicit license" keywords to get past their copyright lawsuit and receive lawyers fees from the prenda plaintiffs.
The full scheme these trolls invoked had all the elements of a classic criminal organisation. The money was being shuffled between differrent companies to hide the original source of the moeny was their illegal extortion business of copyrighted works that they had filmed themselves. The lawyers spend significant amount of time to make it appear as if they were just executing orders that their clients had commissioned, but it turned out the clients didn't exist and the whole operation was ran by the lawyers themselves.
Guess the courts had tons of fun untangling this operation. Their patience in spending years for this is the real giveaway in this story.
US Supremes urged by pretty much everyone in software dev to probe Oracle's 'disastrous' Java API copyright win
Re: Feature list?
> I saw at least one Defcon video, where I assume this was being done,
Too bad the practise is illegal.
But what exactly makes it illegal?
When companies invest millions of dollars for their customer experience and they are setting up shops to sell the products, do some market research on what exactly are important features this year for the customers. While that information comes as side effect of setting up the shopping experience, it only works on that local area of the world. When you need global network of shopping centres and shops to do the market research properly, it actually costs huge amount of money to do it.
So it's a significant money-saving technique to do the research on customer expectations only on small area of the world, and reverse engineer your competitors setup to detect what features competitors are implementing. But this is exactly what makes it illegal -- it is too efficient technique to save costs. Your competitors spent millions to do the research and by examining their products, you get all that research for free. When this happens, someone pays millions for the activity and you reap the benefits for free, then there's very high chance of the activity being illegal. What makes it illegal is copyrights and patents. When you use someone elses research for free, you end up violating patent and copyright laws.
This is what happens here too. The activity is illegal simply because the illegal activity saves money by skipping work that would be beneficial for the society. It is important that companies are doing their own market research properly, or else certain areas of the world are not getting their needs fullfilled properly since noone is listening the problems and issues in the area.
Re: Feature list?
> Did Google's developers actually have access to any implementations other than macros defined in include files?
Internet is making cleanroom implementation very difficult. It requires only that one of your employees to read a competitor product review in some scandalous web sites to throw your cleanroom implementation to illegal area. Controlling the information flow is necessary aspect of cleanroom, which means they need to cut the internet access, maybe use programmers that never used a computer and go to the homes of your employees to add firewalls and filtering technology to avoid your people to accidentally ruin your cleanroom implementation. Without all these dragonian measures, the cleanroom is just too risky. Not doing cleanroom is even more risky, but then you don't need to prove that your employees are outside of the scope of digital technology.
Whether google had access to which tech when copy-pasting the java api, we wouldn't really know. The implementation code has not been focus of the lawsuit, instead it focuses on api definitions and verbatim copying of the interface.
There was argument in the paperwork that rules out implementation code: "infringer cannot justify infringement by attaching original code to the infringement -- i.e. the fact that google wrote their own implementation isn't material to the copyright status of their platform" -- it might help them in the damage award section, but we haven't reached that area yet.
Re: Feature list?
>> companies are not allowed to look at competitor products to discover features
> On the contrary, reverse engineering is allowed.
There's three issues with this position:
1) it's not allowed among competitors
2) and it shouldn't be used to discover features to implement for your product
3) market leaders have stricter rules to follow than your ordinary startup
Re: Feature list?
IBM v Compaq seems to rely on cleanroom implementations. That's different can of worms, but google vs oracle is not using cleanroom implementation methods. You need to control information flow between development teams to do cleanroom implementaiton. In current internet based development practises, the cleanroom is bad position to take, since your programmers have access to the information coming from your competitors via internet. These old cases could still rely on programmers not having access to any information coming from the comperitors. Basically it relies on your development to be done in isolated island with no communication to the competitors.
Re: Feature list?
> Read file. Modify Write file.
Featurelists that are short are not copyrightable. Only once the list reaches certain length, it becomes unique enough that other companies do not accidentally copy it. But come-on, the java api definitions have like 200 features in it, and the whole list is so unique that without good plan, cloning the features is virtually impossible. Only if you're evil mastermind, and you spend time researching on competitor's feature setup, you will gain enough information to exactly replicate the feature list. API cloning is evil because it requires cloning the feature list too.
Note that there's strict rules for large companies to not replicate or clone features that their competitors are implementing. However, while companies are not allowed to look at competitor products to discover features, they _are_ allowed to listen their customers. The customers will shout all the cool features that are relevant in the marketplace, and if companies listen carefully the customer demands, they are allowed to implement same features as their competitors are doing. But then the featurelists as a whole are not the same, since they're listening different areas of the market.
Another situation where competitors will implement the same features happens when their hardware components available in their supply chains are coming from the same component vendor and the bought components determine what features are possible to implement.
Re: Microsoft's position has some issues
> In that case Oracle clearly doesn't have a leg to stand on because the feature list of Java is the feature list of previous platforms.
We can always focus to the area of the code which was copied by google from java platform. We don't need to take all the features into account, just the ones that google copy-pasted.
> On that basis there must be a score of other businesses that could sue Oracle into the ground, not only over that feature list but also over the feature list of SQL.
Well, if oracle didn't get software licenses to it, then it might be possible. But usually large companies have legal department who carefully examine the required licenses and actually sends money to the companies that sell these SQL software. Once they accept the money and give permission, they have no legal remedy to claim copyright infringement any longer.
Whole google vs oracle spatter happened because google wouldnt want to accept the onerous conditions that oracle placed for the licensees. And only accepting the license conditions gives google permission to use the software in question.
Microsoft's position has some issues
In microsoft's response to the issue, there's a section about comparing the java api definitions as a qwerty keyboard and scrambling the keyboard key placement would not promote the progress. This argument is fundamentally flawed, because it focuses on the names and labels of the software modules in question. The names and labels of the software modules are NOT the copyrighted content that the oracle is complaining about. Instead, analysis should be done based on "feature list" of the platforms. When google copies the api definitions, they need to invoke cloning of the feature lists of the functionalities that java apis are implementing. Thus their new platform will be exact clone of the existing software system, and it has no innovation whatsoever. Thus our position is that oracle should be the winning party in this question and microsoft's PDF's position on qwerty keyboard is misplaced.
Our position is that "feature lists" are the main innovative content in the software platorms, and thus the API cloning business is dubious activity as it tries to reach feature parity with an existing system by cloning both the api definitions and the feature descriptions that the software system is implementing.
Magnet for lawsuits
They seem to have several factors contributing to it:
1) their product is sold in usa
2) they collect premium price from the market
3) they don't accurately represent product quality in marketing material
All these contribute to the fact that the product is a magnet for class action lawsuits.
This promo isn't a real anyway, just cheap camera tricks. It's possible to use a timer to change a picture in the phone, and thus you get nice camera shots where phone supposedly does amazing decisions, when in reality they're just showing images on the phone screen via timer. We used these same tricks in high school videos already in 1993 when video equipment become available. But it's cheap trick.
But at least huawei has accurately described the delays that happen in such regognition app. If it takes 5 seconds to detect a hotdog, it's completely useless for driving a car..
Well, it's clear infringement
Here's one good test:
1) is google freeriding someone elses market
If you consider that java is used in 2 billion devices according to oracle, and google's android is another ecosystem, this doesnt seem to be overlapping.
But the devices isn't the right market to consider. The whole issue with java apis is about development tools provided for application developers. There google is clearly freeriding on java's market. Noone would write applications to android, unless java programmers were _already familiar_ with java programming language and the apis. Oracle spent tons of money and effort getting whole market to use their technology instead of other available languages and apis.
Now google got that access for free. Clearly freeriding oracle's java programmers market.
Final issue is just whether software compability issues are significant enough that it should be allowed.
> Europeans are just too dumb to make something like google.
Well, I have some web site at https://meshpage.org which can compete against youtube in technology. Too bad there's no way to get any users to actually visit the site. Even if the tech would be good enough, getting the user base is next to impossible.
Finally there is peace in the galaxy
All the common aspects of darkness and the light, when you put two former enemies to the same room, they need a reason why peace in the galaxy is supposedly a good thing, after all this fighting. Some minor movement of these green pieces of paper cannot ever make this kind of peace happen, so there must be some greater plot behind all this. Intellectual property and lawyers can get all the credit for creating this new peace chapter in our story. The companies are clearly paying significant sums to the lawyers, if they can make this significant decisions happen without extended legal paperwork being spread all around the internet, consuming tons of popcorn from the punters, eating valuable work time. Sadly the whole internet will be bored with this decision, all this fighting and plot twists are over and we must find our entertainment from somewhere else.
Competing against youtube?
Does this article mean that youtube has to follow different rules than everyone else on the planet? If I made a competitor to youtube, different rules would apply? I mean, I have web page up at http://meshpage.org/ which can compete with youtube, but is the rules for this web site somehow different than what youtube is enjoying?
Pear's logo is clearly broken
Well, Pear deserved to lose this time. The logo is clearly ripoff of apple logo. The 2nd logo is so blatant ripoff, since everyone (and their mother) knows that apple has claim on rounded rectangles, so using a fruit and rounded rectangles together is already combinatory infringement of apple's trademark. If that doesn't get lawyers screaming for your money, nothing will. The first logo is actually better than the 2nd one, but both of them combined, gives clear indication that they wanted to ride in apple's popularity and cash in the money..
Web sites are publishers anyway...
Terrorist or pedo content doesn't need to go through the publisher-filter, when it is handled by different legislation.
But considering facebook somehow "not a publisher" is kinda wrong. Right way to handle it is via licensing - users would license their content whenever they press "submit" button. Automatic or implicit licensing is how it should be handled, and web site operators would need to prove that they have license to publish that content.
Money is important enough
Pretty much everyone needs to get money one way or another. Rejecting people's opportunities to get some of it flowing towards that person should not be done for poor reasons. Some of the reasons cited by the companies are explicitly forbidden by the rules, mostly related to race, religion, health issues, your neighbour's conflict with your cat, whether you're pregnant or got kids in bad age, if you won the lottery last week, whether you're currently homeless; all usually related to stuff that people have no or little control over. Criminal records/financial status are kinda different since it's expected that people can control those aspects of the life, but even financial status can sometimes be outside of the control of ordinary people.
On the other hand, companies are expected to make their own decisions who are the persons who can become employees of the company. Companies get this decision by the significant amount of money they can pay to their employees, and a promise to keep the money flow stable enough that their employees can build a career and get a living after spending significant amount of time with the company. While this decision belongs to the company executives, it should be used carefully. There needs to be significant conflict with the stability of the money source before they can properly make these decisions. For example, if the company doesn't have money source stable enough to hire more than 2 persons, it's not expected that they hire 120 people... So there are significant good reasons to make this decision against a person looking for a job. Or if company can't provide good working environment for their new employees for lack of suitable apartments, this can be used as a valid reason. But if this happens alot, the company gets bad reputation in the market for not keeping their system stable enough that they can grow and hire more people. Newspapers are supposed to report when companies blatantly reject black africanamerican people or fire people who got married to a person they don't approve.
So my position is that companies should only use this decision to reject people, if making it otherwise somehow breaks their money source stability. Criminal records and other such issues can in some situations do that. But it requires case-by-case analysis when this is the case. Passing issues in this area to be resolved by tribunal is a risky move by the emploee, since it indicates that the person is a troublemaker and unable to make this process work without resorting to strict following of the rules to the letter. It also wastes their time, if the company and the tribunal needs to spend time resolving the conflict. So there should be a good reason before this is done. People with criminal records generally can't expect other people to follow the rules to the letter, since they're known not to follow the same rules themselves.
But there are obviously cases where these powerful positions are absolutely necessary. Widespead discrimination of certain class of people in employment opportunities clearly sounds like a good reason. Criminals are clearly belonging to this group. There's clear statistics showing that criminals have hard time getting good jobs. There's clear statistics that more criminals are out of job than ordinary people. These statistics can be used to your benefit, if there's clear conflict and the system is not providing opportunities to make a living. It just needs to be done for the right reason. Not because you want to harm the companies that rejected you, but only because you feel their decisions were done for the wrong reasons. This element must exist before passing it further down the line is warranted.
Sounds like russian's don't know how copyright works...
So, these researchers spent their whole life studying some aspects of the universe, and this guy thinks he can take the results and publish them to the world? Maybe there's reasons why these researchers chose elsevier to publish their work? This arrogant guy thinks that "information should be free", and uses it as his reason to violate copyright of the works? He just dig himself to a huge hole, and will need to pay huge sums of copyright infringement money as a result. No amount of "developing countries need the information" is going to help in this. This is why we have money -- if you want something, you spend your money to receive it. Using that money, the system is kept running -- publishing papers to large section of the scientific world is not cheap. This is why elsevier gets the money, not the researchers. They're doing the hard work. If he thinks he can compete against elsevier, he shouldn't ripoff elseview's database of papers, but try to attract researchers to publish in his publishing platform. Elseview spent large sums of money to gain their position in that market, and some random researchers shouldn't be let break this system by publishing the papers in some random website. Information shouldn't be free for everyone. There's reason why these papers are kept hidden. But this guy can't seem to understand this. If someone spends their whole life studying something, the resulting information is so powerful that reinventing it will be impossible. If you build some system using that information, you lose reproducability of the system. Next guy who needs to "reinvent" the same stuff, doesn't have that information available, and he fails to implement the same system. This is the reason why this information shouldn't be spread around without restrictions. Soon we'll be all using products built using impossible-to-reproduce information, and next year this information will be gone. Then suddenly the products stop working, since noone knows how to build them. People who relies on the products will lose that feature, after learning how it works. This kind of practises are causing large amounts of damage. Some day the information to build our products are no longer available and the world will suffer as a result. (think what happens if they forgot how to do agriculture, and fail to produce food for the people... This kind of problems can happen, if information is spread without restrictions...)
What's with the doctor who ripoff picture on an article about copyright? Are you saying that you have a permission to use images from doctor who tv series in your article? I doubt it. But it kinda fits the theme...
On the govt asking for dmca comments -- I'm sure this will be useless, they get flooded with comments, and the real issues will get swamped under huge volume of "Please get rid of DMCA immediately" -style comments.
FaceBook is right about this
Facebook is right about this. Using security loophole to collect confidental information from facebook's servers is clearly illegal. It's the same as trying to login to secure system without having proper authorisation, i.e. trying to guess passwords. There's invisible legality line in such places, and anyone crossing that border is doing something illegal.
However, denying internship is pretty harsh consiquence for such actions. He could be simply not understanding where the legality line is located at... Finding loopholes in security is dangerous exactly for this reason -- it's easy to cross the authorisation -line -- Once the actions are not authorised, and it somehow skips proper authorisation mechanism, it is by default illegal action.
Burning platforms memo essential
The burning platforms memo in 2011 february was absolutely essential. Platform change is so difficult thing to execute, that it caused a gap in Nokia's ability to produce phones. Half year with no new phones shipped is a huge catastrophy to a market which constantly expects millions of phones arriving from a factory. They definitely needed drop in demand to deal with the gap. Windows phone shipments still has not ramped up to produce enough phones, and it's been years trying to do it.
Everything you see in the marketplace has been designed half year beforhand, and I expect burning platforms memo to be no different. Switching platforms under constant demand of new devices is not an easy task, Drop in demand was necessary part of the process. Elop took the blame for killing the phone business. Real problem was that they couldnt produce _any_ phones during platform transition process. Moving from millions of phones to no phones available is a big change.
Windows phone devices are completely different from old symbian phones. Almost every aspect of it changed -- different kind of cpu, the whole phone internals has been redesigned, and the software stack is completely changed. It's amazing they managed to do it in such small distruption in the production process. And the windows phone quality was amazingly good, compared to the fact that they started from scratch. Fresh start is definitely something they needed.