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Patents

German High Court Declares All Software Patentable 330

Posted by StoneLion
from the bitter-patent-medicine dept.
FlorianMueller writes "Long gone are the times when Europe was that bastion of resistance against software patents and patents on such things as file systems were ruled invalid. In a decision published today, the Federal Court of Justice of Germany upheld a patent on the automatic generation of structured documents (such as XML/HTML) in a client-server setting. The ruling lays out general principles that go beyond the patent at stake: they tear down all barriers to software patentability in the largest EU member state, even though a European patent treaty has been adopted that was intended to exclude software from the scope of patentable subject matter. EU patent examiners recently warned against a drift toward software patents. Software patent critics in Europe fear this will spark more litigation on their continent and increasingly call for defensive measures."

US Citizens To Require ''Clearance'' To Leave? 987

Posted by CowboyNeal
from the hotel-americana dept.
jo7hs2 writes "The U.S. Department of Homeland Security has proposed a system which will in essence make it mandatory for you to have permission before leaving or entering the country, effectively putting everyone on a no-fly list unless the government says otherwise. Interestingly, the proposal does not seem to cover personal travel, only that on some sort of carrier like an airline or cruise vessel. While this certainly is concerning, it isn't exactly new, as a passport is already required for circumstances covered under the proposal."

EU Considering Regulating Video Bloggers 351

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the license-to-speak-just-a-small-additional-fee dept.
Aglassis writes to tell us that recent proposed EU legislation could require anyone running a website featuring video content to acquire a broadcast license. From the article: "Personal websites would have to be licensed as a "television-like service". Once again the reasoning behind such legislation is said to be in order to set minimum standards on areas such as hate speech and the protection of children. In reality this directive would do nothing to protect children or prevent hate speech - unless you judge protecting children to be denying them access to anything that is not government regulated or you assume hate speech to be the criticism of government actions and policy."

Business 2.0 Says 'Boycott Vista' 756

Posted by Zonk
from the business-gets-surly dept.
amyandjake writes "Business 2.0 has a story about Vista's delays, the amount of time wasted by Microsoft bringing Vista to market, and the fact that it doesn't seem to have any compelling features for upgrading. The last paragraph of the story says 'Boycott Vista. Keep your old Windows XP PC around. Don't buy a new one. That's the only way we have to let Microsoft know Vista is an overhyped, late, and pointless update to XP — a perfectly fine operating system.'" Relatedly, torrensmith writes "Paul Thurrott is at it again with his seemingly never-ending supply of information about Windows Vista. This time, he discusses the things he dislikes about the program, in the article The Dark Side of Windows Vista RC1."

Amazon Unbox Video Store Launches 308

Posted by CowboyNeal
from the online-box-offices dept.
andrewl6097 writes "Amazon.com has launched it's Amazon Unbox video store. Looks like about 1300 movies and 350 tv series, at $9.99 and up for movies and $1.99 per TV episode. Downloads come with a DVD quality version and a version more appropriate for portable players (using Windows DRM). Also, videos can be re-downloaded from your Amazon media library. Cool!"

Apple Warns Companies About 'Pod' Naming 392

Posted by timothy
from the podcaster's-nightmare dept.
eldavojohn writes "In what may be a case of trademark trolling, Apple has issued warnings to makers of other electronic devices containing the word 'pod.' Two companies have been asked to remove the word from their products. Why might this be a mean action by Apple? These two companies don't manufacture MP3 players as one would think would cause confusion. From the article:
Profit Pod is a device that compiles data from vending machines, while TightPod manufactures slip-on covers designed to protect electronic products such as laptops and MP3 players.
Back in the day, if someone was calling an electronic device a 'pod,' I would have thought they were talking about Line 6's Guitar and Bass pods (which I believe have been around for a while). How come they aren't warning Apple about their iPod naming?"

Microsoft Insists IE7 is Standards Compliant 389

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the believe-when-it-renders-stuff-right dept.
ReadWriteWeb writes "Microsoft's Chris Wilson, the Group Program Manager for IE addresses the issue of whether IE7 is CSS and Web standards compliant. Last week a Slashdot post claimed that IE7 was basically non-compliant with CSS standards. But Chris Wilson says that isn't true and that standards improvements is a big part of IE7. He admits that there were a ton of bugs from IE6 that have caused web developers a lot of pain, but says that IE7 will address those and be standards compliant. He goes as far to say that IE7 supports Web standards even at the expense of more backwards compatibility."

Microsoft Adds Risky System-Wide Undelete to Vista 365

Posted by Zonk
from the choose-wisely dept.
douder writes "Windows Vista will have a new 'previous versions' feature when it ships next year. According to Ars Technica, the feature is built off of the volume shadow copy technology from Windows XP and Windows Server 2003. Now turned on by default, the service stores the modified versions of a user's documents, even after they are deleted. They also report that you can browse folders from within Explorer to see snapshots of what they contained over time. It can be disabled, but this seems like a privacy concern." From the article: "Some users will find the feature objectionable because it could give the bossman a new way to check up on employees, or perhaps it could be exploited in some nefarious way by some nefarious person. Previous versions of Windows were still susceptible to undelete utilities, of course, but this new functionality makes browsing quite, quite simple. On the other hand, it should be noted that 'Previous Versions' does not store its data in the files themselves. That is, unlike Microsoft Office's 'track changes,' files protected with 'Previous Versions' will not carry their documentary history with them."

Tom's Hardware Reviews ATI and Nvidia on Linux 201

Posted by CowboyNeal
from the pretty-pictures dept.
Beuno writes "I stumbled upon a GeForce vs Radeon review on Tom's Hardware, which seems normal enough. The big surprise is that it was actually a comparison of those two video cards on Linux (Fedora Core 5). The review isn't as thorough as I would like, but it does review all aspects ranging from tools available, complexity of getting them to work and benchmarks on performance. To me, this is a clear signs of Linux finally making a long expected breakthrough into common desktops."

Western Union Blocking Money Transfers to Arabs 904

Posted by timothy
from the no-get-the-even-broader-brush dept.
lowrydr310 writes "Western Union is blocking money transfers to people with Arab names. They have delayed or blocked thousands of cash deliveries on suspicion of terrorist connections simply because senders or recipients have names like Mohammed or Ahmed. 'In one example, an Indian driver here said Western Union prevented him from sending $120 to a friend at home last month because the recipient's name was Mohammed.' Western union claims they are merely following U.S. Treasury Department guidelines that scrutinize cash flows for terrorist links. I agree that Western Union shouldn't allow anyone supporting terrorism to use their service, however I'm fairly certain there are millions of people named Mohammed or Ahmed who aren't terrorists. I wonder if any other financial companies such as banks are doing the same thing."

Australia Wants to Regulate Internet Streaming 257

Posted by samzenpus
from the what-you-streaming-mate dept.
Paul writes "After an incident that occurred on a popular television show's internet stream, the Australian government has once again demonstrated that it simply does not understand the internet by indicating that they intend to regulate streaming video. I wonder what these geniuses plan on doing with porn streamed from Europe?"

French Lawmakers Approve 'iTunes Law' 423

Posted by Zonk
from the play-together-and-enjoy-it dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Lawmakers in the French government have passed a controversial iTunes law, which has the stated intention of forcing Apple to allow purchased music to be universally useable." From the article: "In a statement issued after lawmakers hashed out the final compromise text last week, Apple said it hoped the market would be left to decide 'which music players and online music stores are offered to consumers.' The final compromise asserts that companies should share the required technical data with any rival that wants to offer compatible music players and online stores, but it toned down many of the tougher measures backed by lower-house lawmakers early on."

1 Billion dollars of budget deficit = 1 Gramm-Rudman

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