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Software

Submission + - Is Microsoft getting paid for patents in Linux?

kripkenstein writes: "In an interview, Jeremy Allison (of the Samba project) implies that Microsoft is secretly getting paid for patent licenses on Linux-related products:

[Interviewer:] One of the persistent rumors that's going around is that certain large IT customers have already been paying Microsoft for patent licensing to cover their use of Linux, Samba and other free software projects.[...]

Allison: Yes, that's true, actually. I mean I have had people come up to me and essentially off the record admit that they had been threatened by Microsoft and had got patent cross license and had essentially taken out a license for Microsoft patents on the free software that they were using [...] But they're not telling anyone about it. They're completely doing it off the record.
If true, is this slowing down Linux adoption? Or are these just rumors — which may accomplish much the same effect?"
Software

Submission + - Why pirated software is a problem in the 3rd world

RockDoctor writes: Dark Reading, the security-related online journal, carries an article by one Nathan Spande who works in Cambodia. Locally he finds that OpenOffice.Org and MS Office are the same price ($2), or $7-20 by downloading. He discusses why the economics of OpenSource don't work in this environment, and how it contributes to global computer security issues through the "little extras" (trojans, spambots and other malware) that typically accompany such "local editions" of software. Spande's analysis strikes me as being solid. I still remember my suspiscion of buying software in Russia (a 5-language dictionary-thesaurus-pronunciation assistant) for $10, and my utter astonishment when it's on-line activation routine actually worked and left me (well, my wife) with a computer that is still working 2½ years later. Hmm, 4 new versions of Lingvo since we got her copy — maybe we should upgrade next time one of us is in Russia.
The economics of software outside the west are very different to what most people are used to.
Microsoft

Submission + - DirectX10 drops Hardware Acceleration for Audio.

shrewd writes: ""Imagine your surprise when you fire up one of your favourite games in Vista — say World of Warcraft or Prey — only to find your fancy EAX-endowed soundcard and 5.1 surround speakers are dribbling out flat, unenhanced stereo sound. Then, in a vain attempt to spruce up the audio by enabling EAX, you get a nice taut error message saying EAX is not detected on your hardware. What's going on? Welcome to the world of Vista audio. And a brave new world it is.""
Democrats

Obama Announces for President, Boosts Broadband 846 846

Arlen writes "As many as 17,000 people (according to police estimates) watched Senator Barack Obama officially announce his candidacy for President in Springfield, Illinois today. He mentioned several things that will interest readers of Slashdot. The Senator said he wanted to free America from 'the tyranny of oil' and went on to promote alternative energy sources such as ethanol — a popular stance in the Midwest where he announced, because of all the corn farmers. He also talked about using science and technology to help those with chronic diseases, which is likely to have been an allusion to his staunch support for stem cell research. Perhaps most of interest to readers here is the following statement halfway through Obama's speech: 'Let's invest in scientific research, and let's lay down broadband lines through the heart of inner cities and rural towns all across America. We can do that.' Like nearly everything in his speech, this was met with robust applause from the crowd. You can watch a video of the entire speech at Obama's website."
User Journal

Journal SPAM: 'NYT' Reporter Who Got Iraqi WMDs Wrong Now Highlights Iran 3 3

Saturday's New York Times features an article, posted at the top of its Web site late Friday, that suggests very strongly that Iran is supplying the "deadliest weapon aimed at American troops" in Iraq. The author notes, "Any assertion of an Iranian contribution to attacks on Americans in Iraq is both politically and diplomatically volatile."

What is the source of this volatile information? Nothing less than "civilian and military officials from a broad range of government agencies."

Google

Submission + - Google Search goes AJAX!

Anonymous Coward writes: "ReadWriteWeb reports that Google's main property, Google Search got AJAXified. This was Google's most conservative property, so this is a very interesting development and is signaling that Google may start implementing SearchMash innovations into its core product very soon. One more step towards semantic web..."

The tree of research must from time to time be refreshed with the blood of bean counters. -- Alan Kay

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