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Quickies

+ - OOXML critic fired from Finnish Standards Board->

Submitted by
Shirke
Shirke writes "A Finnish computer magazine reports (in Finnish) that Finnish Standards Association has fired Mr. Lassi Nirhamo. Mr. Nirhamo was chairing the OOXML standard proposal meeting. During the meeting Mr. Nirhamo asked other board members to be excused of his duties and voice his opinion as a private citizen. Afther this was granted he criticized the standard proposal and resumed his duties as chairman. Independent observers have assessed his chairmanship as "excellent" and "one of a kind". Mr. Nirhamo has now been laid of due to "lack of trust". The Association is also accepting applications for the position. Anyone interested?"
Link to Original Source
Patents

+ - IBM Patents Checking a Box

Submitted by
theodp
theodp writes "Q. What do you call it when you drag a pointer over a checkbox to select or deselect it depending on its original state? A. US Patent 7,278,116! On Tuesday, the USPTO awarded IBM a patent for Mode Switching for Ad Hoc Checkbox Selection, aka Making an 'X'. BTW, isn't this essentially the same concept as the older Lotus Notes selection model that IBM was recently asked to reintroduce?"
Microsoft

+ - FFII awards Microsoft "Best Campaigner against-> 1

Submitted by HansF
HansF (700676) writes "Microsoft itself is the surprise winner of the FFII's "Kayak Prize 2007", offered by the FFII in its OOXML call for rejection of Microsoft's Office Open XML (OOXML) standards proposal. The software monopolist is honored as "Best Campaigner against OOXML Standardization".
FFII president Pieter Hintjens explains, "we could never have done this by ourselves. By pushing so hard to get OOXML endorsed, even to the point of loading the standards boards in Sweden, Denmark, Switzerland, Portugal, Italy, and beyond, Microsoft showed to the world how poor their format is. Good standards just don't need that kind of pressure. All together, countries made over ten thousands technical comments, a new world record for an ISO vote. Microsoft made a heroic — and costly — effort to discredit their own proposal, and we're sincerely grateful to them.""

Link to Original Source
Debian

+ - Debian refuses to push timezone update for NZ DST->

Submitted by Jasper Bryant-Greene
Jasper Bryant-Greene (666) writes "Although a tzdata release which includes New Zealand's recent DST changes (2007f) has been out for some time, Debian are refusing to push the update from testing into the current stable distribution, codenamed Etch, on the basis that "it's not a security bug". This means that unless New Zealand sysadmins install the package manually, pull the package from testing, or alter the timezone to "GMT-13" manually, all systems running Debian Etch in New Zealand currently have the incorrect time, as DST went into effect this morning. As the last comment in the bug report says, "even Microsoft are not this silly"."
Link to Original Source
Linux Business

+ - Michael Meeks heads off OpenXML

Submitted by biscuitfever11
biscuitfever11 (1060212) writes "ZDNet has a great interview with Michael Meeks, the distinguished Novell engineer, who's currently in the throes of considerable efforts behind open document format and OpenOffice.org. In the interview, Meeks takes Microsoft to task on its alternative format OpenXML. He argues why Microsoft should adopt open document format and why the flexibility of open source software would have avoided the need for that horrid paperclip icon from Microsoft Word, Clippy.

http://news.zdnet.co.uk/software/0,1000000121,39289664,00.htm"
Businesses

+ - Comparison of Working at the 3 Big Software Giants

Submitted by
castironwok
castironwok writes "Finally, everything you've ever wanted to know about being an employee at Google, Microsoft, and Yahoo. Tastyresearch describes his (or her) past few years interning and working at the three companies. Things I didn't know from before: Bill Gates wears old shoes, Google's internal security watches you like a hawk, the office styles of each company, and how to fill your suitcase with Google T-shirts. He calls the few select companies the 'prestigious internship circle', noting "once you have worked at one, it's a lot easier to get into another". But what *I* really want to know now, is who has a more equal male-female ratio?"
Windows

+ - Vista "express" upgrade program bungled

Submitted by Josh M.
Josh M. (666) writes "Thousands of customers who purchased new Windows PCs this past Christmas are still waiting on their promised Windows Vista upgrades, despite the Vista launch occurring more than two weeks ago. Ars reports that Dell and HP have both pushed their shipping dates 6-8 weeks back after launch, meaning some people won't get their upgrades well into April. It turns out that because those customers get free Vista support, the OEMs are waiting for better driver support, hence the delay. So much for "express.""
Mozilla

Over 27% of Firefox Patches Come from Volunteers 107

Posted by Zonk
from the those-who-make-our-browswer-awesome-be-saluted dept.
dolphinling writes "Everyone is aware that the Mozilla Corporation makes some money, and employs some people now. Google has full-time employees working on Firefox too, as do a number of other places. Yet despite that, in the six months up to Firefox 2 some 27% of the patches to Firefox were submitted by key volunteers, and those patches represent 24% of changes made to the source code. What's more, those numbers only counted contributers with 50 patches or more, so the actual numbers are probably quite a bit higher. It's good to see that even as Mozilla does so well in the business world, it can still keep its ties to the community so strong." They were running these number to find out who they need to start offering support to. So: contribute to Firefox, and you know you'll get a hand up. Nice work, folks.
The Internet

+ - 63 Million More OpenIDs Today

Submitted by
An anonymous reader writes "As rumored last week, AOL's John Panzer has now announced support for OpenID for all AOL/AIM users. He begins, "I think that user-centric, interoperable identity is hugely important to enable the social experiences we're trying to provide. This is a work in progress, but things are coming along thanks to our authentication team's diligent effort." With AOL joining Microsoft and (unofficially) Yahoo! in supporting OpenID, will Google be next?"
Media

+ - MythTV better than Series 3?

Submitted by
gizmateer
gizmateer writes "Does an open source solution like MythTV stand a chance against TiVo's Series 3?

According to this article MythTV actually has several features that a TiVo will never be able to compete with but is considerably harder for the non-geek to initially setup and then maintain. A huge ding against MythTV is the fact it does not support CableCARD like the Series 3. Since I'm OTA, that's not as big of a deal, but what are your thoughts? MythTV vs Series 3?"
Announcements

+ - Merck HIV vaccine trial begins in South Africa

Submitted by Neme$y$
Neme$y$ (700253) writes "The BBC reports that "An international team of researchers, led by experts from the US, will oversee the trial of the vaccine, created by the drug company Merck.". According to CBC News : The study is a "test of concept" trial that will help researchers determine if the vaccine prevents HIV infections, results in lower HIV levels in those who become infected after vaccination or both. "South Africa is an excellent location for this trial due to the high levels of infection coupled with the good clinical infrastructure, including internationally recognized immunology laboratories, a well-established national vaccine initiative and experience in running clinical trials," said James Kublin, M.D., M.P.H., one of study's lead investigators, along with Glenda Gray, MBBCH, FCPaeds (SA), of the Perinatal HIV Research Unit, University of the Witwatersrand, based at the Chris Hani Baragwanath Hospital in Soweto. A more detailed explanation here."

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