timrichardson writes "E.U. Drops Microsoft Antitrust Case Over Browsers. The EU is convinced about Microsoft's moves to offers a genuine choice of browsers, and is dropping the threat of fines and intervention regarding the bundling of Internet Explorer with Windows. The agreement, announced in Brussels by the European competition commissioner, Neelie Kroes, calls for Microsoft to give Windows users a choice of up to 12 other browsers from competing companies, including Google and Apple."Link to Original Source
timrichardson writes "A panel of software experts unexpectedly rebuffed Microsoft's bid to have its open document format, Office Open XML, recognized as an international standard. Free link to the NY Times coverage"
timrichardson writes "Computers playing poker can now give strong human players a real challenge (NY Times free link) , which is quite a surprise given the element of bluffing and risk-taking. In the first of a new annual human-machine challenge. Interestingly, the program has a range of different personalities (such as highly aggressive), which a supervisor module would monitor and select according to performance against the humans."
timrichardson writes "The British Government has rejected extending copyright for sound recordings. This is an important development in the face of trends to extend copyright duration, although it leaves British copyright protection for music recordings at a shorter duration than for written works. The decision was despite fierce lobbying from the large British music industry. The music industry will now lobby direct to the European Commission, but without the support of the national government, its position is significantly weakened. British copyright for music recordings therefore remains at 50 years after the death of the artist, in contrast to 95 years in the US and 70 years in Australia."Link to Original Source
timrichardson writes "Early on April 25, astronomers discovered the first planet outside the solar system that seems earth-like."