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Slashback: IEEE, Liquid, Swings 241

Slashback this evening brings you updates on silly patents, closer-to-mainstream watercooling for your desktop, the IEEE's publication rules, and more. Read on below for the details.

IEEE v. DMCA. Reacting to the IEEE's changing publication rules, Boone^ writes: "The IEEE has backed away from their stance that all papers submitted must comply with the DMCA. Their reason? 'The IEEE, publisher of nearly one-third of all computer science journals, said it is removing the requirement because it turned out to be more contentious than expected.' Personally I'd have preferred their reason to be based on the law instead of popular backlash, but maybe that's a step in the right direction to eventually bring about new legislation."

Many readers also pointed out this New Scientist story on the reversal.

Free as in Blender? tinus writes: "Ton Roosendaal, creator of Blender, submitted an update to Elysiun.com about finding solutions for continueing activities of the Blender projects. He describes the way Blender has been split up into smaller projects to make it both profitable as public domain software. Also, he gives us a preview of his setup for his new community plan, which even mentions 'Blender sources will be opened for members.'

Seems like there is a very promising future for Blender after all. Read the full story here."

Water meets your processor. Foss writes "You may remember this story about the dodgy-yet-extremely-cheap DIY water cooling block. Well, thanks to all your emails, Rob's getting better. It's still extremely cheap (under £10), but it's now pretty stable too, running a P3 933@1.1GHz for a few hours at a very stable 28 degrees. No dental floss this time round either!"

But don't worry, all the other patents issued were A-OK. Worried about getting slapped with a lawsuit for swinging different? f00zbll writes: "Cnet is running an follow up article on the patent posted earlier in the week. Apparently, the kid doesn't plan on suing anyone over swinging side ways."

We're here to save you money, Ma'am. Now, where do you keep it? guttentag writes "The NYTimes (reg req'd) is reporting on a MS and Mexico plan to develop digital community centers as part of a broader 'eMexico' initiative meant to bring the entire nation online by 2006. Microsoft will license its Windows, Office and Encarta software on the same terms that colleges and universities use. Some background: Microsoft's licensing deal with the University System of Maryland resulted in a mandatory $14 Microsoft tax imposed on all 130,000 students. Apparently, if you want to attend one of MD's taxpayer-funded university, you must pay MS. Is eMexico Microsoft's plan to tax Mexican citizens?" Hope they keep their licenses up -- Virginia Beach's taxpayers got to foot a city-size bill. The tab in Texas wasn't low either. What would it look like for all of Mexico?

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Slashback: IEEE, Liquid, Swings

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  • On MS Tax (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Geekonomical ( 461622 ) on Thursday April 18, 2002 @08:16PM (#3369789)
    I wonder whether we can call it a tax!

    Are we assuming that software HAS to be free already? Does it mean that we need some kind of a policy for univeristy and educational institutions not to spend for software at all? That being said, I am not justifying the MS pricing or anything...
  • by dytin ( 517293 ) on Thursday April 18, 2002 @08:22PM (#3369825) Homepage
    Intellectual-property experts said the patent clearly should have not been issued, but that such mistakes were inevitable from an underfunded government agency that issues 3,000 patents each week.

    If the patent office is so underfunded, then why don't they charge more to apply for a patent? When I applied to colleges, the colleges did not complain because they accidently accepted a few people that they should't have because they were underfunded. No, if they are underfunded, then they simply raise the cost to apply. At each school I applied to, it cost between 40 and 70 dollars. Now, some of you might claim that this would be unfair to the poor inventor, but I say that this is simply the cost of doing business. The patent office would be much less underfunded, and thus issue less stupid patents if they raised the cost to apply by simply $10.
  • by Phosphor3k ( 542747 ) on Thursday April 18, 2002 @08:33PM (#3369879)
    and the school bookstore at UMBC offers most of microsoft's current software for uber-cheap.

    MS Office XP Professional (3CD) 14.95
    MS Windows XP Professional (2CD's) 14.95
    MS Office Mac OS X - (1CD) 9.95
    MS Visual Studio.NET Pro (5CD's) 24.95

    At prices this cheap, how can you not buy it? Even just to tinker around.
  • by EMIce ( 30092 ) on Thursday April 18, 2002 @08:38PM (#3369894) Homepage
    I run a P3-800 at 1066Mhz by bumping the bus speed up to 133Mhz. It barely gets warm with the stock retail-boxed Intel heatsink/fan. Watercooling and overclocking a 966Mhz processor to this speed doesn't show anything.

    See my earlier post [slashdot.org]
  • by Wintersmute ( 557244 ) <Isaacwinter@NOsPaM.hotmail.com> on Thursday April 18, 2002 @09:51PM (#3370276) Homepage
    In fact, the PTO generates a profit. Really. Its operating budget is lower than the revenues it generates in fees. (Maybe becuase there's so many boneheads out there trying to patent business methods of picking their nose)

    And you know how Congress shows its gratitude? (drum roll) It doesn't. The money vanishes into the Treasury until Sen. Byrd uses it to fund yet another pork barrel project in West Virginia.
  • Yes: Tax Here (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday April 18, 2002 @10:00PM (#3370318)
    Microsoft charges somebody and they get something in return. If they don't want it, they don't have to pay for it.

    This, of course, is where your argument falls down hopelessly.

    I *cannot* buy a new desktop PC without buying Windows.

    Each time I try to get a bare machine, the dealer has some excuse - With my current desktop, windows was a 'non-refundable' part of the bundle, but even though I said I specifically didn't want it installed, the dealer 'had to load windows' to do hardware testing.

    I have been taxed by Microsoft on 4 machines (2x95, 2x98) (despite the last version of windows I used for personal use being windows 3.11 on my old 386 laptop) for junk I didn't want, but still had to pay for.

    When I have to pay for other stuff I don't want, like bombs, tanks, nuclear power and enormous freeways, I call it a tax.

Each honest calling, each walk of life, has its own elite, its own aristocracy based on excellence of performance. -- James Bryant Conant