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Submission + - OOXML - where is it today?

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?

Submission + - Why aren't there any civilians in military video g (

Jeremy Erwin writes: A columnist for Slate asks why there aren't any civilians in todays's military shooting games.

Mostly, they don't want to face the consequences of players' bad behavior. In an interview with the website Rock Paper Shotgun, Battlefield 3's executive producer Patrick Bach explained that he doesn't "want to see videos on the Internet where people shoot civilians. That's something I will sanitize by removing that feature from the game." Bach believes that video games are serious business but that players' irreverence is holding back the form. "If you put the player in front of a choice where they can do good things or bad things, they will do bad things, go [to the] dark side because people think it's cool to be naughty, they won't be caught," he said.


Submission + - Microsoft promises to fully support OOXML... later (

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."

Submission + - Spamming a Judge is Contempt of Court (

eldavojohn writes: TV pitchman Kevin Trudeau was sentenced to 30 days in jail because he urged his fans and followers to spam a judge. Apparently the judge (who was deluged with emails) decided that this was an act of contempt of court on the court's 'virtual presence' since nothing happened while the court was in session in regards to Trudeau's courtroom behavior. U.S. Marshals are now trudging through those emails to decide if any are threatening.
The Courts

Submission + - New developments in NPG/Wikipedia lawsuit threat

Raul654 writes: "Last week, it was reported that the UK's National Portrait Gallery had threatened a lawsuit against an American Wikipedian for uploading pictures from the NPG's website to Wikipedia. The uploaded pictures are clearly in the public domain in the United States. (In the US, copies of public domain works are also in the public domain. UK law on the matter is unclear.) Since then, there have been several developments: EFF staff attorney Fred von Lohmann has taken on the case pro-bono; Eric Moeller, Wikimedia Foundation Deputy Director, has responded to the NPG's allegations in a post on the WMF blog; and the British Association of Picture Libraries and Agencies has weighed in on the dispute in favor of the NPG."
The Internet

Submission + - Wikipedia wins defamation case

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."

HD VMD Shows Up Late For the Format War 280

Fishead writes "As the fight heats up between HD DVD and Blu-ray, and as consumers seem to care less and less, a new contender has entered the fray. Next month, New Medium Enterprises will be selling a 1080p player through Amazon and stores such as Radio Shack and Costco for around $150 — half what the cheapest HD DVD player costs, and a quarter the cost of a low-end Blu-ray. The difference this new HD VMD (Versatile Multilayer Disc) format brings is that the discs are created with the same (cheap) red laser as DVDs. From the article: 'HD VMD discs, which hold up to 30GB on a single side, are encoded with a maximum bit rate of 40 megabits per second... between HD DVD's 36 Mpbs and Blu-ray's 48 Mbps. The format uses MPEG-2 and VC1 video formats to encode at 1080p resolution for the time being, and will possibly move to the H.264 format in the future.'"

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