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Software

OpenDocument Foundation To Drop ODF 325

Posted by kdawson
from the microsoft-cheering-from-the-sidelines dept.
poet sends us to Computerworld for a story on the intention of the OpenDocument Foundation to drop support for Open Document Format, OASIS and ISO standards not withstanding, in favor of the Compound Documents Format being promoted by the W3C. The foundation's director of business affairs, Sam Hiser, dropped this bomb in a blog posting a couple of weeks ago. Hiser believes CDF has a better shot at compatibility with Microsoft's OOXML, and says that the foundation has been disappointed with the direction of ODF over the last year.
The Internet

Net Neutrality Debate Crosses the Atlantic 277

Posted by Zonk
from the its-just-business dept.
smallfries writes "The network neutrality debate has raged on in the States for some time now. Now broadband providers in the UK have banded together to threaten the BBC, who plans to provide programming over 'their' networks. The BBC is being asked to cough up to pay for bandwidth charges, otherwise traffic shaping will be used to limit access to the iPlayer. 'As more consumers access and post video content on the internet - using sites such as YouTube - the ability of ISPs to cope with the amount of data being sent across their networks is coming under increasing strain, even without TV broadcasters moving on to the web. Analysts believe that ISPs will be forced to place stringent caps on consumers' internet use and raise prices to curb usage. Attempts have been made by players in the industry to form a united front against the BBC by asking the Internet Service Providers' Association to lead the campaign on the iPlayer issue. However, to date, no single voice for the industry has emerged. I thought that the monthly fee we pay already was to cover access ... but maybe it only covers the final mile and they need to be paid twice to cover the rest of the journey."

iPhone Bill a Whopping 52 Pages Long 369

Posted by Zonk
from the make-the-trees-stop-crying dept.
PoliTech writes "iPhone bills are surprisingly large - 'Xbox Large', according to Ars technica: 'AT&T's iPhone bills are quite impressive in their own right. We're starting to get bills for the iPhone here at Ars, and while many of us have had smartphones for some time, we've never seen a bill like this. One of our bills is a whopping 52 pages long, and my own bill is 34 pages long. They're printed on both sides, too. What gives? The AT&T bill itemizes your data usage whenever you surf the Internet via EDGE, even if you're signed up for the unlimited data plan. AT&T also goes into an incredible amount of detail to tell you; well, almost nothing. For instance, I know that on July 27 at 3:21 p.m. I had some data use that, under the To/From heading, AT&T has helpfully listed as Data Transfer. The Type of file? Data. My total charge? $0.00. This mind-numbing detail goes on for 52 double-sided pages (for 104 printed pages!) with absolutely no variance except the size of the files.' You would think that a data company would have a more efficient billing process."
Google

Google Video Store Shutting Down 155

Posted by CowboyNeal
from the calling-it-quits dept.
babbling writes "Google is going to close the Google Video Store, leaving users who bought videos that used Digital Restrictions Management without their purchases. The users of Google Video Store will be compensated with Google Checkout credit, but it seems they will be out of luck if they don't happen to be Google Checkout users."
Security

Buffer Overflow Found in RFID Passport Readers 96

Posted by CowboyNeal
from the never-too-careful dept.
epee1221 writes "Wired ran a story describing Lukas Grunwald's Defcon talk on an attack on airport passport readers. After extracting data from the (read-only) chip in a legitimate passport, he placed a version of the data with an altered passport photo (JPEG2000 is used in these chips) into a writable chip. The altered photo created a buffer overflow in two RFID readers he tested, causing both to crash. Grunwald suggests that vendors are typically using off-the-shelf JPEG2000 libraries, which would make the vulnerability common."
Yahoo!

Yahoo Downgrades MusicMatch Jukebox 217

Posted by kdawson
from the nice-while-it-lasted dept.
BanjoBob writes "MusicMatch Jukebox has been a bundle of great MP3 and music management applications in one package. Apparently, it is the end of life for this wonderful MP3 player, ripper, catalog, CD player, Internet radio player, purchase outlet, Auto DJ, Super Tagger, and music database. There was nothing not to like about the product. There is nothing to like about the new downgrade, Yahoo! Music Jukebox. MusicMatch users have been getting notices to 'upgrade'; those who have taken the bait are not pleased. The Yahoo! Music Jukebox feedback forum doesn't have much nice to say about the product. Lots of features have gone away and the 'free upgrade' costs about $20."
The Courts

BitTorrent Pirate Loses His Last Appeal 244

Posted by Zonk
from the no-more-second-chances dept.
Vix666 writes with a link to a ZDNet article on the final chapter of a story we've discussed before: the first user convicted of piracy for using BitTorrent to download a movie has really, finally, lost his case. Chan Nai-ming was sentenced in November of 2005, lost an appeal in December of last year, and appears to have once again failed to convince a judge to let him out. "The Hong Kong government welcomed the judgment, saying it clarified the law regarding Internet piracy. 'This judgment has confirmed that it commits a crime and violates copyright laws for the act of using (BitTorrent) software to upload and distribute,' said customs official Tam Yiu-keung in a written statement. He added the judgment would have a deterrent effect, a view endorsed by industry watchdogs such as the Hong Kong branch of the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry."
Microsoft

OLPC to Run Windows, Come to the US 350

Posted by Zonk
from the gone-a-little-bit-off-course-here dept.
An anonymous reader writes "'Yesterday Nicholas Negroponte, former director of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Media Lab and current head of the nonprofit One Laptop Per Child project, gave analysts and journalists an update on the OLPC project. Two big changes were announced — the $100 OLPC is now the $175 OLPC, and it will be able to run Windows. Even in a market where there are alternatives to using Windows and Office, there's a huge demand for Microsoft software. The OLPC was seen as a way for open source Linux distributions to achieve massive exposure in developing countries, but now Negroponte says that the OLPC machine will be able to run Windows as well as Linux. Details are sketchy but Negroponte did confirm that the XO's developers have been working with Microsoft to get the OLPC up to spec for Windows.' We also find out that the OLPC gets a price hike and will officially come to the US. Could this be tied into Microsoft's new $3 Windows XP Starter and Office 2007 bundle? Now that the OLPC and Intel's Classmate PC can both run Windows, is Linux in the developing world in trouble?"
Censorship

Boston Bans Boing Boing From City Wi-Fi 215

Posted by kdawson
from the take-that dept.
DrFlounder writes "The city of Boston has apparently blocked access to Boing Boing on the municipal Wi-Fi. This is possibly due to the popular blog's known Mooninite sympathies." Update: 4/22 13:11 GMT by KD : Seth Finkelstein did some research and posted an explanation of the blockage to his blog. "'Arbitrary and capricious' seems the relevant characterization."
Microsoft

Teacher Avoids Getting Sent to Siberia For Piracy 252

Posted by CowboyNeal
from the off-the-hook dept.
Piracy Support Line writes "Russian principal Alexander Ponosov will not be visiting Siberia any time soon, at least not for the allegedly illegal Microsoft software that were preloaded on the computers they bought and Microsoft supported the reseller's story. Although Bill Gates rejected Mikhail Gorbachev's personal appeal for mercy on behalf of the teacher, the judge was kinder. Judge Elvira Mosheva decided to dismiss the case because 'Microsoft's financial damage is too insignificant for a criminal investigation.'"
Google

Google Sought To Hide Political Dealmaking 283

Posted by Zonk
from the they're-slipping-to-true-neutral dept.
A blog entry by Michael Kanellos at ZDNet links to and expands upon an article in the Charlotte Observer. Last year Google was apparently throwing its weight around in North Carolina, seeking tax breaks from state and local legislators. When the company didn't get what it wanted pressure was brought to bear on legislative aides, journalists, and politicians. The search giant was especially touchy about keeping the negotiations secret: "Executives didn't want anybody even to mention the company's name for fear that competitors could learn of its plans. Most involved with the negotiations were required to sign nondisclosure agreements ... That posed challenges for elected officials, charged with conducting the public's business in the open. As the tax measure wended its way through the legislature, some lawmakers began linking it to Google." The results of this deal are extremely lucrative for both sides. Google brought some $600 million in investment and as many as 200 jobs to the state, and legislation enacted with Google's help is projected to save the company some $89 million in taxes over 30 years.

The NSFW HTML Attribute 273

Posted by Zonk
from the thought-provoking dept.
phaln writes "Over at The Frosty Mug Revolution, PJ Doland makes a compelling case for a new HTML attribute in the spirit of the highly-regarded 'nofollow' attribute promoted by Google — the NSFW attribute (rel='nsfw'). His original idea has been refined and expanded by positive comments from readers, resulting in a semantic solution to the issue he raises in the original post. From the article: 'Content creators can apply the attribute to paragraph tags, div tags, or any other block-level element. Doing so will indicate that the enclosed content is not safe for work. Visitors will be able to configure their browsers to block display of just the content enclosed by the flagged block-level element. This isn't about censorship. It is about making us all less likely to accidentally click on a goatse.cx link when our boss is standing behind us. It is also about making us feel more comfortable posting possibly objectionable content by giving visitors a means of easily filtering that content.'"

UK Bank Laptop Stolen With 11M Customer Records 184

Posted by CowboyNeal
from the easy-come-easy-go dept.
daveewart writes "BBC News reports that the UK Building Society Nationwide has admitted that a laptop containing account records of more than 11 million customers has been stolen from an employee's home. This story raises a number of worrying questions: The theft happened three months ago, why has the news only just been made public? Why was it possible (indeed, why was it necessary at all) to put data relating to their entire customer base on an employee's laptop stored at an employee's home? Why was the information on the laptop not encrypted?"

"Any excuse will serve a tyrant." -- Aesop

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