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Microsoft Standing Firm On OOXML ISO Vote 181

christian.einfeldt writes "Microsoft has responded via the industry trade group ECMA to some of the thousands of criticisms of its submission of Office Open XML as an ISO standard. Open standards advocate Russell Ossendryver takes a look at those responses to see if Microsoft has made significant changes in either the substance of OOXML or the manner in which the OOXML specification will be maintained going forward. Ossendryver concludes that Microsoft's position has not significantly changed, but only hardened in place in advance of the Ballot Resolution Meeting which is to occur from February 25 through 29 in Geneva. While no one can say for certain whether Microsoft will succeed in having OOXML win the nod from the international community, Ossendryer thinks that Microsoft's firm stance is likely to backfire."

College Funding Bill Passes House, P2P Provision Intact 222

I Don't Believe in Imaginary Property writes "Ars Technica is reporting that the College Opportunity and Affordability Act passed through the House today with a vote of 354-58 and the anti-P2P provision is intact. That provision would require universities to filter P2P and to offer legal alternatives. They are claiming now, though, that universities would not lose federal funding if they fail to do this. Of course, an amendment that would have clarified that was withdrawn immediately after it was offered."

Indiana Allows BP To Pollute Lake Michigan 490

An anonymous reader writes "Indiana regulators exempted BP from state environmental laws to clear the way for a $3.8 billion expansion that will allow the company to refine heavier Canadian crude oil. They justified the move in part by noting the project will create 80 new jobs. The company will now be allowed to dump an average of 1,584 pounds of ammonia and 4,925 pounds of sludge into Lake Michigan every day."
The Almighty Buck

Congress Asks Universities To Curb Piracy 405

The Illegal Subset of the Integers writes "According to Ars Technica, Congress has sent letters to 19 universities identified by the RIAA and MPAA as havens for copyright infringement. In it, they not only seek to discover what these universities are doing to dissuade students from infringing activities, but give the implied threat. House Judiciary Committee member Lamar Smith (R-TX) was quoted as saying, 'If we do not receive acceptable answers, Congress will be forced to act.' One wonders, though, what the universities are supposed to do when international disrespect for imaginary property rights is so widespread that there are currently over two million hits on Google for a certain oft-posted illegal number, up from the three hundred thousand hits from sometime yesterday."

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