Raul654 writes: Back in 2007/2008, Microsoft used a boatload of dirty tricks to ram its nascent OOXML document standard through the ISO. The ISO approved the standard in two forms — strict (which was to be a clean, fully-open standard), and transitional (which included more than 1,400 pages of legacy support, effectively rendering it unimplementable). At the time it was approved, Microsoft made a series of promises, including a promise that future versions off Microsoft Office would fully support OOXML strict, not create OOXML transitional documents, and that Microsoft would work with ISO the committee to fix more than 3,000 known errors in the standard. In April 2010, Alex Brown, who supervised OOXML's ISO approval process, posted in his blog that Microsoft had broken all of its promises — it was no longer working to refine the standard and had decided to continue the use of OOXML transitional in the next version of its Office Suite. That was more than a year ago. What's the status of OOXML today?
Raul654 writes: In March, the jury in the Novell/SCO case found that Novell owns the copyright to Unix. Now, SCO's lawyers have asked judge Ted Stewart to order Novell to turn over the Unix copyright to them. "SCO contends the jury did not answer the specific issue before Stewart that involves a legal principle called 'specific performance,' under which a party can ask a court to order another party to fulfill an aspect of an agreement."
Raul654 writes: OOXML is the word document format that Microsoft rammed through the ISO last year. Last week, Slashdot ran a story about a blog post by Alex Brown, who was instrumental in getting the OOXML approved by the ISO. Brown criticized Microsoft for reneging on their promise to support OOXML in the upcoming release of Office 2010, and for its lackadaisical approach to fixing the many bugs which still remain in the specification. Now, Doug Mahugh has responded to Brown's post, promising that Microsoft will support OOXML "no later than Office 15."
Raul654 writes: Massachusetts teenager Phoebe Prince committed suicide on January 14. After her death, it was revealed that she had been the target of cyberbullying for months (and that her teachers were aware of it and did nothing). Today, nine of her classmates were indicted on charges including harassment, stalking, civil rights violations, and statuary rape. Prince's suicide echoes the earlier suicide of Megan Meier, who committed suicide after being cyberbullied by a classmate's mother.
Raul654 writes: "Ted Stevens, long time senator from Alaska best known for railing against net neutrality by describing the Internet as a series of tubes, was convicted on corruption charges last October and lost his bid for re-election two weeks later. ABC News is reporting that the Justice Department has asked the judge to dismiss the case, citing prosecutorial misconduct during the trial."
Raul654 writes: "In December, Slashdot reported that the German Federal Archive, at the urging of Wikimedia Deutschland, agreed to donate 100,000 pictures to Wikipedia under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike license. At the time, that was the largest picture donation ever to Wikipedia, and thought to be largest in the history of the free culture movement. Now Wikimedia Deutschland has reached a similar agreement with the Saxon State and University Library (SLUB). SLUB has agreed to donate 250,000 pictures to Wikipedia under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike license.
Raul654 writes: "The Surpeme Court of British Columbia recently ruled in favor of the Wikimedia Foundation in Crookes v. Wikimedia Foundation Inc. At issue was whether or not the act of hyperlinking to a website containing defamatory material is itself defamatory. The court ruled in favor of the WMF, finding that it is not. The WMF is the non-profit organization that runs Wikipedia and its sister projects."
Raul654 writes: "Version 1.3 of the GNU Free Documentation License has been released. The Wikimedia Foundation, the GFDL's biggest user, had requested that the Free Software Foundation add a new section allowing migration to the much-simpler Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike license. The FSF responded by adding this: A wiki ("MMC" under the terms of the license) is eligible for relicensing if "if it is licensed under this License, and if all works that were first published under this License somewhere other than this MMC, and subsequently incorporated in whole or in part into the MMC, (1) had no cover texts or invariant sections, and (2) were thus incorporated prior to November 1, 2008. The operator of an MMC Site may republish an MMC contained in the site under CC-BY-SA on the same site at any time before August 1, 2009, provided the MMC is eligible for relicensing." This change should allow Wikipedia and other early GFDL adopters to migrate if they so desire."
Raul654 writes: "Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed is a recent film starring Ben Stein which portrays science (and specifically, evolution) as responsible for a host of evils, including atheism, communism, and the Holocaust. The producers of the film are being sued by Yoko Ono for using John Lennon's song "Imagine" without a license. (The film shows clips Joseph Stalin and Chinese communist party troops as the viewer hears John Lennon singing "Imagine" as the lyrics "and no religion too" are superimposed against the images.) Earlier this week, Lawrence Lessig's Fair Use Project announced that they would defend Premise Media's right to use the song."
Raul654 writes: Yesterday, a french judge dismissed a lawsuit against the Wikimedia Foundation for defamation. The judge found that "Web site hosts cannot be liable under civil law because of information stored on them if they do not in fact know of their illicit nature". According to the inquirer: "Three plaintiffs were each seeking 69,000 euros ($100,000) in damages for invasion of their privacy after their homosexuality was revealed on the website."
Raul654 writes: "Voices in the Dark, the first episode of Babylon 5: The Lost Talesis being released today. The Lost Tales are half-hour shorts that focus on a small group of characters. Series creator J. Michael Straczynski choose to do a short format instead of a feature-length film due to the deaths of Andreas Katsulas (J'Kar) and Richard Biggs (Dr. Franklin). The first episode will feature John Sheridan, Elizabeth Lochley, and the technomage Galen."