Oracle bolsters computer science education

Part of $3.3 billion annual investment to advance computer science education and increase diversity in technology fields globally

In conjunction with The White House Science Fair 2016, Oracle and The White House recently announced Oracle’s plan to invest $200 million in direct and in-kind support for computer science education in the United States over the next 18 months.

Oracle’s pledge supports the Administration’s Computer Science for All initiative and is part of the company’ greater annual worldwide investment of $3.3 billion to empower computer science educators and engage diverse student populations globally. Today’s commitment expects to reach more than 232,000 students in over 1,100 U.S. institutions through Oracle Academy, its philanthropic computer science-focused educational program that impacts more than 2.6 million students in 106 countries.

In 2015, only 2 percent of all participants in the College Board’s AP program took Computer Science and a mere 22 percent of those participants were female.[1] Yet, programming jobs are growing 50 percent faster than the market overall, according to new research by Oracle Academy and Burning Glass Technologies, a leading labor market company. The study (2016), which analyzed and interpreted real-time data from millions of online job postings from nearly 40,000 sources, revealed that demand for computer science, programming, and coding skills is large, growing, and far more widespread than just IT jobs.…Read More

Oracle moves its business software into the cloud

Oracle will have to prove that it can adjust to the changes triggered by cloud computing—while still trying to profit from the old model of installing and maintaining software.

Business software maker Oracle is finally adapting to a shift in computing that is threatening to turn the company into a relic.

The 35-year-old company hailed its technological transition June 6 at its Redwood Shores, Calif. headquarters, where hyperbolic CEO Larry Ellison announced plans to distribute more than 100 business software applications over the internet instead of selling them as products that have to be installed on individual office computers.

The concept of leasing software applications reachable on any internet-connected device is known as “cloud computing.” It’s an idea that Ellison has frequently mocked as a passing fancy, but his comments June 6 made it clear that he realized some time ago that the trend had become a serious business.…Read More

Mac-based districts could face SIS quandary

Pearson PowerSchool will cease to be compatible with Mac-only database servers at the end of 2010.
Pearson PowerSchool will cease to be compatible with Mac-only database servers at the end of 2010.

Education industry giant Pearson says its PowerSchool student information system (SIS) software will cease to support Macintosh database servers by Dec. 31, forcing Mac-using districts to make some tough decisions.

The announcement came as a surprise to many people, especially because PowerSchool was an Apple product before Pearson bought it from Apple in 2006. Apple earlier had acquired PowerSchool, a leading SIS product for Mac-based schools, from its eponymous owner in 2001.

PowerSchool runs on an Oracle database. While Oracle issued a Windows update some time ago, Mac users are still waiting on the Oracle 11g update that would let them run PowerSchool.…Read More

Oracle sues Google over its Android OS

Oracle Corp. has sued Google Inc., alleging patent and copyright infringement in the development of its popular Android smart-phone software, Reuters reports. The suit, filed Aug. 12 in California federal court, claims that Google “knowingly, directly, and repeatedly infringed Oracle’s Java-related intellectual property” in developing Android, Oracle spokeswoman Karen Tillman said in a statement. “This lawsuit seeks appropriate remedies.” Oracle acquired Java through its $5.6 billion purchase of Sun Microsystems earlier this year. Analysts said the suit against Google could signal that Oracle intends to be more aggressive in seeking licensees for Java, a technology that is used in many types of internet-based products. Google’s Android operating system uses portions of Java technology. About 200,000 smart phones and other devices based on the Android operating system are sold each day, Google Chief Executive Eric Schmidt said at an August 4 conference…

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Justice Dept. joins suit accusing Oracle of overcharging U.S.

The Justice Department has joined a whistle-blower in accusing business software giant Oracle Inc. of defrauding the federal government by overcharging for software, reports the New York Times. In a civil suit filed in federal court on July 29, the Justice Department said that Oracle had failed to give the government the same discounts on software that it provided to commercial customers. A contract in place with Oracle from 1998 to 2006 required that Oracle notify the government of fluctuations in the price of its products and to match discounts made to commercial clients, according to the complaint. The software in question was valued at hundreds of millions of dollars, the Justice Department said. Oracle declined to comment. Paul Frascella, a former Oracle employee, acted as a whistle-blower in May 2007 by lodging his own complaint against Oracle on similar grounds. In April, the government provided notice that it would look into the matter. Now it has joined Frascella’s complaint. According to the complaint, Oracle sold $1.08 billion of software under the contract in question to a wide range of government agencies, including the Defense, Education, and Justice Departments and the military…

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Customers question tech industry’s takeover spree

Blackboard on July 7 announced plans to buy Elluminate and Wimba, both of which support online learning.
Blackboard on July 7 announced plans to buy Elluminate and Wimba, both of which support online learning.

The world’s largest technology companies have been on a buying spree, spending billions of dollars to snap up smaller companies. And often the buyers say they’re doing it for their customers—businesses, hospitals, government agencies, and schools.

As tech companies get bigger and bigger, they say, they can offer a broader variety of products and make it easier for their customers to do one-stop shopping.

Yet if you ask the customers, you hear a different story. Often they get new headaches with multibillion-dollar deals by the likes of Oracle, IBM, SAP, Dell, and Hewlett-Packard. When you add the challenges that come with any corporate acquisition, it’s not hard to envision a reverse trend eventually building: a drive to split up tech companies that have grown too large.…Read More