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Linux Business

SoftMaker Office 2010 For Linux Nearing Release 110

martin-k writes "SoftMaker Office is a Microsoft-compatible office suite that competes with Its creator, German software publisher SoftMaker, is nearing completion of the latest release, SoftMaker Office 2010 for Linux. This new release offers document tabs, high-quality filters for the Microsoft Office 2007 file formats DOCX and XLSX, and presentation-quality charts in the spreadsheet. It also brings integration into KDE and Gnome, using the system's colors and fonts. A release candidate is available as a free download."

Comment Re:What could possibly go wrong? (Score 1) 324

Sorry to break the news to everybody but online voting in one form or another is the future.

So logically Canada would be the perfect country to adopt online voting because we are small (population) and have done so well in the past. What better a voting system to do comparison to then the Canadian. If we can't pull it off well then.......

Estonia already does this - so it it not 'the future'. The population of Estonia is even smaller than Canada. I have my own thoughts about online voting (*especially* in Estonia) but online voting is already happening.

Comment Re:Duck Islands (Score 2, Informative) 188

These guys wrote the rules; but put in a get-out clause for themselves. For example, I am self-employed. But I can't claim for household goods, food, decoration and cleaning for a 2nd home when I need to work from home. I can reimburse myself from my company, right enough, but then the taxman taxes that as a benefit. In the tax code there is a specific clause releasing MPs from this. When I sell a second home, the tax man can claim a chunk of the profits; when they sell a second home they can designate their official MP 2nd home, and escape that tax. Not to mention the taxpayers actually pay for the interest on the mortgage of that second home. And they can also claim renovation and improvement and decoration grants for these 2nd homes. So we end up with MPs building property portfolios on taxpayers expense. And some of these guys live within tens of miles of Parliament, so why do they even need a 2nd home?? (As an aside, Private Eye revealed that Labour minister made a statement to the effect that the government expects job-seeks to be able to commute up to 1 1/2-2 hours to get a job. Yet he lives within 10s of miles of Parliament, but still needed to get a second home to reduce his commute)

Comment Re:Hacker target? (Score 1) 188

I read the Guardian (online, as I am not in the UK atm). But they did a monumentally stupid thing during the last Bush election. They got hold of electors' addresses in Clark County in the US, and got Guardian readers to write to them with advice. You can imagine the reaction. What the hell possessed them to think that people would take kindly to non-citizens giving them political advice??

Comment Re:No,he is very clever :) (Score 1) 705

Maybe I picked a bad country for the scenario. Replace Libya with Russia, China, or North Korea.

Libya and Russia/China are worlds apart. There are only three blocs which could hope to compete against the US in a modern face-off; Russia, China and the EU (and in the latter case, only after a lot of upgrading).

It would be difficult to make sure the respective countries had removed all their nukes. And all it would take is one threatening to use it against us. We may not be able to stop them.

I think you are missing my point here- that nukes will not stop a middle or lower ranking power from making an attack. Given the huge conventional forces advantage the US has over these guys the US does not need nukes to take them out.

Nukes are only a deterrent against other multiple-warhead-ballistic-missile countries - ie Russia and China (and potentially the EU).

Indeed, looking at it from the other guys point of view, they are probably hoping to gain a nuclear bomb to make any US aggression/interference more painful. This is why I think Iran seems to want a nuclear capability. They are not hoping to take out Washington, but to threaten to take out Tel Aviv if the US attacks.

Our retaliatory efforts could be significantly impacted by a small number of nukes.

I guess if means by what you mean by 'small number'. In principle I agree.

Right now, it would take roughly the same amount of time for Russia to hit us as it would for the US to hit them--and we both know it would be suicide to launch because of roughly equal outcomes on both sides.

Well yes, this is the MAD principle.

Comment Re:No,he is very clever :) (Score 1) 705

If we examine your scenario a bit further... Libyan has a nuclear bomb, and manage to smuggle it into NY and detonate it. Will the US President nuke Tripoli? I don't think so. The US has enough conventional stuff to take out Libya without the PR and guilt of nuclear weapons; if nothing else, I wonder if the world will ever believe the intelligence community regarding 'reasons to invade a country' again... That said, I have a hard time imagining a situation in which the US and Western countries should give up the nuclear option.

Comment Re:UN Human Rights Council: long standing joke (Score 1) 842


Oh, but they do; they just annex the territory first, and then claim that the nationals are "theirs", and the whole mess is their "internal affairs".

Good point.

The degree of human rights violations is not simply defined by number of people killed. For one thing, this doesn't account for lawful killings of enemy combatants.

Tricky, the whole world knows the Iraq war was prosecuted on a pretext; and lots of people think it was illegal. So it is quite easy for someone to make the case that all the dead in Iraq were unlawfully killed. This may not hold for the letter of the law, but I'm talking about the 'moral high ground', not legal loop-holes.

For another, it doesn't account for intent (shelling a position of your enemy, missing, and hitting a civilian structure is one thing; deliberately targeting civilians is another; and torturing POWs and civilians is yet another).

However, how does one prove the intent? Would *you* believe if Russia or China accidentally bombed a US embassy? (

And also, it seems ok for the Israelis to target civilians and not get any sanctions...

We already know that the US tortures people.

Also, human rights transcend national boundaries. It's not somehow okay to mass murder your own population by any means, including deliberate actions that lead to famines and starvation (speaking of NK...).

I quite agree.

You can open the text of UDHR, and go one by one, marking them as they apply to Cuba (or any other country).

Thanks for the link; I'll take a look. I don't know enough about Cuba to be able to make any informed decisions on whether they are breaking lots of human rights. But I'll do some research.

Comment Re:UN Human Rights Council: long standing joke (Score 1) 842

It's okay for the western countries to criticize the U.S. for its human rights violations in the "war on terror"; but the likes of Iran, Cuba, North Korea or China would better shut up and deal with their own, much bigger, mess first. The high ground is still occupied.

I contend that people don't think like that. It is far harder for an American or Brit diplomat to scold a Chinese minister after Gitmo. It's not the Chinese who are stomping all over the world killing other nationals. How many Iraqis have been killed by direct action of the US/UK forces? If you're going to add up numbers of individual human rights violations, I'd be interested to know how many people the Chinese and NK are supposed to have killed.

BTW, what is it that Cuba is supposed to have done against human rights?

Comment Re:Sesame Street & the Importance of Bilingual (Score 1) 1077

I still think the parent poster above is exaggerating the difference. Are people really having issues learning English from an American rather than a UK person??

Regardless of the reason why, a person speaking like a cast member of Friends is going to be understood by anyone fluent in English.

(A small query - is 'scone' an American term for you?)

Comment Re:Medical commnuity in other countries... (Score 1) 1077

Do you have a citation for that? I always thought Webster (the guy who created the dictionary) made some changes in spelling. From

One facet of Webster's importance was his willingness to innovate when he thought innovation meant improvement. He was the first to document distinctively American vocabulary such as skunk, hickory, and chowder. Reasoning that many spelling conventions were artificial and needlessly confusing, he urged altering many words: musick to music, centre to center, and plough to plow, for example. (Other attempts at reform met with less acceptance, however, such as his support for modifying tongue to tung and women to wimmenâ"the latter of which he argued was "the old and true spelling" and the one that most accurately indicated its pronunciation.)

Wikipedia does not support your claim either:

After the Norman Conquest, the termination became -our in Anglo-French in an attempt to represent the Old French pronunciation of words ending in -or,[22] though color has been used occasionally in English since the fifteenth century.[23] The -our ending was not only retained in English borrowings from Anglo-French, but also applied to earlier French borrowings.


In case you missed it, the Norman Conquest was in 1066, but the American continent was reached by Columbus over 4 hundred years later, so "the US retained the original form" does not compute!

Comment Re:Sesame Street & the Importance of Bilingual (Score 1) 1077

If you look for a language similar to finnish, try hungarian

Estonian is even closer - and the nations are quite close geographically too. A lot of the words are very similar, although I think Estonian sounds much prettier! :-)

Oh, and I concur that Finnish (and the other languages in the Finno-Ugric language group) are very different grammatically from English -- and most other European languages.

In Estonian nouns can take 14 forms (or 28 including plurals). So where in English you might say "on the table", in Estonian you would change the ending of the noun for 'table', "laud", (but the genetive form to which endings are added is "laua") to "laual". "off the table" would be "laualt". Try doing that in real-time as you are speaking!

I think of it as the 'polish notation' for grammar. Disclaimer: I am not a native Estonian (or Finnish) speaker, I am only trying to learn this crazy stuff!

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