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Internet Explorer

Firefox Passes IE6 In Browser Share 350

Jared sends word of Ars Technica coverage of Net Applications' monthly browser share numbers. What's significant this time is that Firefox has finally passed IE6 in worldwide share. "Internet Explorer remains ahead of the rest of the competition, but since month after month it continues to lose ground to all other browsers, Firefox has now finally surpassed IE6, which is easily the most hated version of Microsoft's browser. ... In October, all browsers except for IE and Opera showed positive growth. Between October and September, Internet Explorer dropped a significant 1.07 percentage points (from 65.71 percent to 64.64 percent) and Firefox moved up a sizeable 0.32 percentage points (from 23.75 percent to 24.07 percent). ... Although IE's decline seems to be unceasing, the real shame is that the old versions have more share than the newer ones (we can only hope that as Windows 7 gains popularity, this trend will reverse)." Ars presents a graph with their own site's browser share picture, and as you might expect it's very different from the general population's.

Europe Rejects Plan To Criminalize File-Sharing 291

Lineker points out a report that the European Parliament has rejected plans to criminalize file-sharing by private individuals. The amendment to remove the anti-piracy measures passed by a vote of 314-297. The decision is expected to influence how France, with its strict anti-piracy polices, approaches this issue when it assumes the EU presidency later this year. From InfoWorld: "France's so-called Oliviennes strategy to combat copyright abuse includes a 'three strikes and you are out' approach: Offenders lose the right to an Internet account after being caught sharing copyright-protected music over the Internet for a third time. The report is significant because it 'signifies resistance among MEPs to measures currently being implemented in France to disconnect suspected illicit filesharers,' the Open Rights Group said in a statement.

A Congressman Who Can Code Assembly 421

christo writes "In what appears to be a first, the US House of Representatives now has a Congressman with coding skills. Democratic Representative Bill Foster won a special election this past Saturday in the 14th Congressional District of Illinois. Foster is a physicist who worked at Fermilab for 22 years designing data analysis software for the lab's high energy particle collision detector. In an interview with CNET today, Foster's campaign manager confirmed that the Congressman can write assembly, Fortran and Visual Basic. Will having a tech-savvy congressman change the game at all? Can we expect more rational tech-policy? Already on his first day, Foster provided a tie-breaking vote to pass a major ethics reform bill."

Norway Mandates Government Use of ODF and PDF 187

siDDis writes "Earlier this year Slashdot mentioned that Norway was moving towards mandatory use of ODF and PDF. Now it's official: the Norwegian government has mandated the use of open document formats from January 1st, 2009. There are three formats that have been mandated for all documentation between authorities, users and partners. HTML for all public information on the Web, PDF for all documents where layout needs to be preserved and ODF for all documents that the recipient is supposed to be able to edit. Documents may also be published in other formats, but they must always be available in either ODF or PDF."
The Courts

Judge Orders RIAA to Show Cause in DC Case 104

NewYorkCountryLawyer writes "The RIAA's 'bumpy ride' in its 'ex parte' litigation campaign against college students just got a whole lot bumpier. After reading the motion to quash filed by a George Washington University student, the Judge took it upon herself to issue an order to show cause. The order now requires the plaintiffs to show cause, no later than November 29th, why the ex parte order she'd signed at the RIAA's request should not be vacated. She's also requested information showing why her ruling should not be applicable not only to John Doe #3, but to all the other John Does as well. p2pnet called this a 'potentially huge setback' for the recording companies."
The Almighty Buck

Bill to Require Open Access to Scientific Papers 213

Ponca City, We Love You writes "Congress is expected to vote this week on a bill requiring investigators funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to publish research papers only in journals that are made freely available within one year of publication. Until now, repeated efforts to legislate such a mandate have failed under pressure from the well-heeled journal publishing industry and some nonprofit scientific societies whose educational activities are supported by the profits from journals that they publish. Scientists assert that open access will speed innovation by making it easier for them to share and build on each other's findings. The measure is contained in a spending bill that boosts the biomedical agency's effective budget by 3.1%, to $29.8 billion in 2008. The open-access requirement in the bill would apply only during fiscal year 2008; it would need to be renewed in yearly spending bills in the future."
The Courts

RIAA Complaint Dismissed as "Boilerplate" 197

NewYorkCountryLawyer writes "The decision many lawyers had been expecting — that the RIAA's 'boilerplate' complaint fails to state a claim for relief under the Copyright Act — has indeed come down, but from an unlikely source. While the legal community has been looking towards a Manhattan case (Elektra v. Barker) for guidance, the decision instead came from Senior District Court Judge Rudi M. Brewster of the US District Court for the Southern District of California. The decision handed down denied a default judgment (i.e. the defendant had not even appeared in the action). Judge Brewster not only denied the default judgment motion but dismissed the complaint for failure to state a claim. Echoing the words of Judge Karas at the oral argument in Barker , Judge Brewster held (pdf) that 'Plaintiff here must present at least some facts to show the plausibility of their allegations of copyright infringement against the Defendant. However, other than the bare conclusory statement that on "information and belief" Defendant has downloaded, distributed and/or made available for distribution to the public copyrighted works, Plaintiffs have presented no facts that would indicate that this allegation is anything more than speculation.'"

ISO Says No To Microsoft's OOXML Standard 315

qcomp writes "The votes are in and Microsoft has lost for now, reports the FFII's campaign website OOXML. The 2/3 majority needed to proceed with the fast-track standardization has not been achieved. Now the standard will head to the ballot resolution meeting to address the hundreds of technical comments submitted along with the votes." Here is yesterday's speculation as to how the vote would turn out.

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