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Submission + - 24-Sept is World Day against Software Patents (stopsoftwarepatents.org)

zoobab writes: "Veteran European anti-software patent campaigners have launched the World Day against Software Patents, writing: "The issue of software patents is a global one, and several governments and patent offices around the world continue to grant software & business method patents on a daily basis; they are pushing for legal codification of the practice, such as currently in New Zealand and India. We declare the 24 September as the World Day Against Software Patents, in commemoration of the European Parliament First Reading in 2003 with amendments stopping the harmful patenting of software, guaranteeing that software programmers and businesses can safely benefit from the fruits of their work under copyright law.""

Submission + - UK National Archive to be preserved in Open XML (nationalarchives.gov.uk)

genjix writes: "The National Archives of the UK are publishing their documents in Microsoft's OpenXML- a format that Microsoft tried to fast track through standardisation as the chair of the ISO committee and failed. It seems questionable that a format that is only supported by Microsoft's own products and requires purchase of them is preferable over ODF, an ISO standard (unlike OpenXML). ODF is supported on most platforms and has all the necessary features- otherwise it would not be the ISO standard. ODF is also free. The publicly viewable document requires a purchase of Word (£80) and Windows (£200) for accessing national files. There should not be a £280 charge to use Microsoft for accessing the National Archives electronically especially in light of the company's ongoing litigation with the EU regarding its anti-competitive actions.

A petition has been started on the UK national petition site- once a large number of signings are cast, they usually get an official response from government. It's 13th on "Information and communication", but still has some way to go.

The National Archives and Microsoft join forces to preserve the UKs digital heritage"


Submission + - De Icaza regrets Novell/Microsoft pact (thestandard.com)

Ian Lamont writes: "Novell Vice President and GNOME architect Miguel de Icaza sounded off at a MIX 08 panel on a number of topics. First, he claimed that he was 'not happy' with Novell's cross-patent licensing agreement with Microsoft, saying that if he had his way, the company would have stayed with the open-source community. He also said that neither Windows nor Linux are relevant in the long term, thanks to Web 2.0 business models:

'They might be fantastic products ... but Google has shown itself to be a cash cow. There is a feature beyond selling corporate [software] and patents ... it's going to be owning end users."
He also tangled with Mike Schroepfer, a Mozilla engineering executive, about extending patent protection for Moonlight to third parties. However, de Icaza did say that Novell has done the best it could to balance open-source interests with patent indemnification."

Feed Engadget: Negroponte looking for CEO to replace him at OLPC (engadget.com)

Filed under: Laptops

After a stay that's been anything but uneventful, OLPC founder Nicholas Negroponte has announced that he'll be stepping down as CEO of the organization, and that he's now searching for a successor, although he'll be staying on as Chairman. That word comes from an interview Negroponte gave to BusinessWeek, where he admitted that "management, administration, and details are my weaknesses," and even went so far as to say that the organization needs to be managed "more like Microsoft." He also revealed that the search for a new CEO had actually begun last year, but had ratcheted up in recent weeks, during which time the organization was also reorganized into four operating units, including technology, deployment, market development and fund-raising, and administration. No word on any contenders for the top spot just yet, but Nick Neg described the ideal candidate as someone with a "leadership profile similar to that of Kofi Annan," adding that he hopes to have the search concluded by April or May.

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Submission + - Hole in Windows XP Pro (tmpco.com)

Timothy Thomas Payne - of Seattle, WA USA writes: "The guy that has been harassing me for more than 2 weeks has pointed out a big hole in XP. I called Microsoft 3 times and told them the problem : case # 1060485863 they blew me off. Now they have called me 3 times asking to help me, I blew them off. I thought the Seattle times would be happy to have the story. The guy that covers Microsoft suggested that I post it on their blog, I offered a hard drive, dirty but working XP box, CD of log files. Too much work to look at it. I called Google, just a few miles away in Kirkland, the snotty little girl thought I was a loon. Refused to even look at anything. No one cares about the millions of users that don't know."

Submission + - Brussels to probe votes on Microsoft standard

spectrokid writes: Officials at the European Commission's competition directorate have written to members of the International Organisation for Standardisation, asking how they prepared for votes in September and this month on acceptance of Microsoft's OOXML document format as a worldwide standard. Without ISO acceptance, Microsoft could stand to lose business, particularly with government clients, some of which are becoming increasingly keen to use only ISO-certified software.

Submission + - EC are looking into the OOXML process.

Landreth writes: It seems the the European Commission are getting interested in how the International Organisation for Standardisation are handling the entire OOXML process. The EC has sent the ISO organisation a letter asking "how they prepared for votes in September and this month on acceptance of Microsoft's OOXML document format as a worldwide standard" according to Financial Times. This comes also days after that ISO made a fast track on accepting suggested changes that delegates have submitted the the ISO organisation.

Clearly the EC have no interest of Microsoft getting their foot into the documents business due to the recent fine that Microsoft has to cough up.

Submission + - Tim Bray's list of reasons for and against OOXML

An anonymous reader writes: "I [Tim Bray] hadn't really planned to become well-informed about OOXML, but I have. So I thought I'd build my own personal list of reasons for and against OOXML becoming an ISO standard." This story requires a RTFA call since Bray copyrighted his blog post and excerpts are not allowed (except the one given). I guess too much manipulation and misquotes has spun around in the OOXML at ISO BRM aftermath. Are you dizzy? Then read Tim Bray on OOXML.

Submission + - Comparison of IBM, Sun, Microsoft patent covenants (nyud.net)

harlows_monkeys writes: Here is a side-by-side listing of Microsoft's patent covenant for their XML document formats, Sun's patent covenant for ODF, IBM's patent covenant for ODF, and Microsoft's Open Specification Promise. The corresponding sections from each are colored the same, to make comparison of exactly what each grants and does not grant easier. There's been a lot of talk about some of these licenses recently, and whether they are safe or not. Hopefully, this side-by-side comparison will make it easier for people to figure out for themselves what the licenses mean and whether or not they are safe.

Submission + - Nations and Organizations that Adopted ODF in 2007 (odfalliance.org)

christian.einfeldt writes: "The ODF Alliance has released a report on 3 January 2008 detailing the state of global adoption of ODF as a governmental policy and in deployments of software applications. The 15-page report (PDF warning) says that 2007 'ended on a high note,' with the Netherlands and South Africa joining 10 other nations that had already adopted the ODF standard, formally known as ISO/IEC 26300:2006. There are now 40 software apps supporting ODF, with dozens of those coming in September and October alone. The ODF Alliance itself now claims just under 500 member organizations in 53 countries."

Submission + - NY State could shape the global OOXML - ODF debate (fanaticattack.com)

christian.einfeldt writes: "As was reported first here on Slashdot on 18 December 2007, the State of New York has opened a Request For Public Comment (RFPC) on whether it should adopt ODF (the current ISO standard) or Microsoft's OOXML as a standard for electronic documents for the State's government agencies. The public comment period will end on 28 December 20007. In response to that Slashdot article, open format advocate Russell Ossendryver has updated a previous open letter that he had penned to the National Boards of the countries eligible to vote in the upcoming February Microsoft OOXML ISO contest. In the update, Ossendryver urges New York State CIO Melodie Mayberry-Stewart to consider the impact that her report could have on the subsequent ISO vote: Says Ossendryver,

'The timing of the due date for the release of the report, 15 January 2008, places New York State in a position to have an impact on the international vote in late February, a mere 40 days or so later. The eyes of the world will be watching you, New York! '
Scroll to the bottom of the page to see that update."

"Free markets select for winning solutions." -- Eric S. Raymond