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Submission + - Google quietly makes "optional" web DRM mandatory in Chrome 2

JustAnotherOldGuy writes: The World Wide Web Consortium's Encrypted Media Extensions (EME) is a DRM system for web video, being pushed by Netflix, movie studios, and a few broadcasters. It's been hugely controversial within the W3C and outside of it, but one argument that DRM defenders have made throughout the debate is that the DRM is optional, and if you don't like it, you don't have to use it. That's not true any more. Some time in the past few days, Google quietly updated Chrome (and derivative browsers like Chromium) so that Widevine (Google's version of EME) can no longer be disabled; it comes switched on and installed in every Chrome instance. Because of laws like section 1201 of the US Digital Millennium Copyright Act (and Canada's Bill C11, and EU implementations of Article 6 of the EUCD), browsers that have DRM in them are risky for security researchers to audit. These laws provide both criminal and civil penalties for those who tamper with DRM, even for legal, legitimate purposes, and courts and companies have interpreted this to mean that companies can punish security researchers who reveal defects in their products.
Programming

Apple Bans iPhone App For Competing With Mail.app 464

recoiledsnake writes "Another submission has been rejected from the iPhone App Store, this time for 'duplicating the functionality of the iPhone Mail application.' The author claims that his application allows the user to log into their multiple web email accounts and that Apple seems to be confusing Gmail and Mail.app. This comes on the heels of Apple rejecting an application for competing with iTunes and rejecting other silly but harmless apps as being of 'limited utility.'" ComputerWorld has an update to the rejected Podcaster app mentioned above. It seems the developer has used Apple's "Ad Hoc" service to begin distributing the software despite the fact that they blocked it from the App Store.
Microsoft

Submission + - MS censors comments on Singularity blog

Tracy Reed writes: "I found out about Singularity via programming.reddit.com a day before it appeared on slashdot. I was the second post on the singularity site. Right after the current first post: "I'm glad Singularity has been released. When I first read about the project a year or so ago, I wondered what would become of it." I said that this isn't open source and that this is why I prefer Free Software and that the confusion of Free as in freedom vs free as in cost is better than the confusion over open source you can't actually do anything with. They have deleted my post. Bastards. The current second post which says "Please do not worry about the "free software" demands. I'm very pleased to see the source of the (hopefully) next windows kernel." was in reply to my post about free software. Sleezy. Just sleezy. And this is why I don't do business with them."
Microsoft

Submission + - Why Legacy Documentation Won't Help OOXML (robweir.com)

I Don't Believe in Imaginary Property writes: "It seems that some people have gotten the idea that the recent publication of some of Microsoft's binary formats makes it acceptable for OOXML to preserve old bugs in the form of application-defined behavior. But IBM's Rob Weir points to the 'Carolino Effect' for why that just won't help. For those wondering, Pedro Carolino was a man who tried to write a Portuguese/English phrase book when he didn't know English. Instead, he had a Portuguese/French phrasebook and a French/English dictionary, so he 'faithfully' translated each French word in the phrasebook into English with the dictionary. Which is, unfortunately reminiscent of the way Microsoft seems to think that implementers will be able to 'faithfully' represent these legacy-feature bugs in OOXML. So if you ever see an OOXML document filled with the XML equivalent of 'Here that it rouse. let aim it! let make fire him!' or 'Me, i have failed it; my gun have miss fixe,' you know who to blame."
Microsoft

Submission + - OOXML changes granted without discussions

Landreth writes: "Chaos seems to be the word on everybody lips when it comes to summarize the ISO Geneva meeting last week. OS2 World writes:

"How do you go through 6000 pages in one week; well you don't and this has been proven by the ISO-organisations themselves. So what do they do then? Well, the next best seems to just take the formal decisions to accepting the suggested changes without any discussion — this ought to be good enough for everyone shouldn't it?"

After the meeting, the 87 national delegations attending will have until March 29 to adjust their positions, giving Microsoft another shot at a two-thirds majority.

It's time to get busy to make sure that OOXML goes down the bin!"
Government

Submission + - Microsoft standing firm on OOXML ISO vote (fanaticattack.com)

christian.einfeldt writes: "Microsoft has responded via the industry trade goup ECMA to some of the thousands of criticisms of its submission of Office Open XML (OOXML) 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 siginficantly changed, but only hardened in place in advance of the Ballot Resolution Meeting which is to occur from February 25 through 29 in Geneva, Switzerland. While no one can say for certain whether Microsoft will succeed in having its OOXML specification win the nod from the international community, Ossendryer thinks that Microsoft's firm stance will actually backfire."

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