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Submission Summary: 0 pending, 10 declined, 3 accepted (13 total, 23.08% accepted)

Digital

Submission + - WA download tax will not cover file sharing

harlows_monkeys writes: Techdirt completely botched their story, carried on Slashdot yesterday, on the Washington State upcoming tax on digital goods and services. Section 606 says: "The provisions of this chapter do not apply in respect to the use of digital products or digital codes obtained by the end user free of charge". This takes almost all file sharing, both authorized and unauthorized, out of the scope of the bill. It also covers pretty much all of the other doomsday scenarios people speculated on in the Slashdot comments.
Security

Submission + - Kaminsky's slides from Black Hat

harlows_monkeys writes: Dan Kaminsky has released his slides from his presentation at Black Hat. The presentation goes beyond the details of the attack (which were guessed and leaked earlier) and goes into the things you can do with it, alone and in combination with other flaws. The scope is breathtaking, and goes way beyond just sending browsers to the wrong site.
Data Storage

Submission + - Study of ODF and OOXML implementations

harlows_monkeys writes: Two researchers from the University of Illinois took a look at interopability for ODF apps and OOXML apps.

For the ODF apps, with OpenOffice as a reference (100), Word using either Sun's ODF plug-in (96) or the CleaverAge/MS ODF plug-in (94) comes in just behind StarOffice (97), well ahead of KOffice (79) and Google Docs (76). (The numbers in parenthesis are the weighted percents given in the paper, with 100 being the reference)

For the OOXML apps, using Office 2007 (100) as a reference, OpenOffice (96) and Pages (95) did well, slightly behind Office 2008 for Mac (99) and Office 2003 (100).

Note that OpenOffice does a better job of implementing OOXML than KOffice does of implementing ODF, and that Microsoft does a better job of implementing ODF than KOffice does!? The lesson here seems to be that whatever document format you are going to use, pick an implementation by one of the major office application developers (OpenOffice/Sun or Microsoft).
Patents

Submission + - Comparison of IBM, Sun, Microsoft patent covenants->

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.
Link to Original Source
Cellphones

Submission + - Workaround for widespread iPhone sync problem

harlows_monkeys writes: There have been a lot of reports the last couple of days of iPhones hanging when a sync is attempted, from both Macs and Windows. Here's one of several threads on this in Apple's discussion groups.

The problem seems to be that iphonesubmissions.apple.com is not responding on port 443. iTunes tries to connect to that first thing during syncing.

Kludge to avoid this: disconnect your network before syncing. Apparently, it doesn't actually NEED to do whatever it is it wants to do with iphonesubmissions.apple.com.

[Crash programs] fail because they are based on the theory that, with nine women pregnant, you can get a baby a month. -- Wernher von Braun

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