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Microsoft Says Free Software Violates 235 Patents 1217

prostoalex writes "Microsoft told Fortune magazine that various free software products violate at least 235 patents, and it's time to expect users of this software to pay up patent licensing royalties: 'Microsoft General Counsel Brad Smith and licensing chief Horacio Gutierrez sat down with Fortune recently to map out their strategy for getting FOSS users to pay royalties. Revealing the precise figure for the first time, they state that FOSS infringes on no fewer than 235 Microsoft patents.'"

Microsoft Blasts IBM Over XML Standards 323

carlmenezes writes "Ars Technica has up an article discussing Microsoft's latest salvo against IBM. Microsoft's open letter to IBM adds fresh ammunition to the battle of words between those who support Microsoft's Open XML and's OpenDocument file formats. Microsoft has strong words for IBM, which it accuses of deliberately trying to sabotage Microsoft's attempt to get Open XML certified as a standard by the ECMA. In the letter, general managers Tom Robertson and Jean Paol write: 'When ODF was under consideration, Microsoft made no effort to slow down the process because we recognized customers' interest in the standardization of document formats.' In contrast, the authors charge that IBM 'led a global campaign' urging that governments and other organizations demand that International Standards Organization (ISO) reject Open XML outright."

Politics and 'An Inconvenient Truth' 630

Frogbeater writes "The producer of 'An Inconvenient Truth' is accusing the National Science Teachers Association of being in the pocket of Big Oil because she can't get preferential treatment for her film. The entire situation is turning into a 'if you're not with us, you're against us' yelling match. Regardless of the viewpoint, is it even possible that science can remain apolitical? Has it ever been?" The Washington Post makes things out to be less than above board: "In the past year alone, according to its Web site, Exxon Mobil's foundation gave $42 million to key organizations that influence the way children learn about science, from kindergarten until they graduate from high school ... NSTA's list of corporate donors also includes Shell Oil and the American Petroleum Institute (API), which funds NSTA's Web site on the science of energy. There, students can find a section called 'Running on Oil' and read a page that touts the industry's environmental track record -- citing improvements mostly attributable to laws that the companies fought tooth and nail, by the way -- but makes only vague references to spills or pollution. NSTA has distributed a video produced by API called 'You Can't Be Cool Without Fuel,' a shameless pitch for oil dependence."

Boy Scouts Introduce Merit Badge For Not Pirating 731

The_Slaughter writes "The MPAA has recruited the boy scouts of America to do their dirty work. Scouts will now be able to learn a merit badge for anti-piracy related activities, including creating public service announcements urging others not to steal movies or music. No word yet on if that includes helping the MPAA file lawsuits against 80-year-old grandmothers."

It is easier to change the specification to fit the program than vice versa.