nickull writes: "SXSW is a popular conference amongst many in the tech culture. While the mix of technology, art, film and music fun all seems fine on the surface, a closer look reveals how SXSW actively takes money from musicians via SonicBids, charging them to apply to play at the festival in an un-transparent lottery. This practice needs to be exposed and discussed to ensure fair trade extends to musicians at technology events."
nickull writes: So I was tasked with writing an open source Android application for mobile and decided to write a Slashdot RSS monitor to keep updated with the latest from Slashdot. The app is in the Android marketplace and the complete source code and video tutorials are available (Just hit the info button on the application). So far no bugs and it has 5/5 star rating. Size = 768 kb which includes 450 kb of graphics so if you want a leaner app, you can take the source and pare it down yourself. Open license — do what you want.
nickull writes: Several news sites have reported a developing story of the Libyan government seizing *.ly domain names such as vb.ly for violating Sharia law. The Washington Post reports that "Bit.ly, Owl.ly, Vb.ly: adorably named URL shortening services have skyrocketed in popularity thanks to microblogging sites such as Twitter, where every character counts. But the owner of one URL shortener thinks the.ly party is coming to an end." IANA, the authority regulating country code top level domains (ccTLD) assigns a trustee for each sovereign state which makes the Libyan trustee perfectly within their legal rights to sieze such domains.
nickull writes: Several industry giants (60 as of July 20) have joined together to form a consortium and build out additional functionality for the consumer digital experience. The core goal is to allow more consumer freedom, recognizing that consumers of the future may want to render their digital streams on more than one device, such as smartphones, laptops, TV's and tablets. The technology, called Ultraviolet, is claimed to make CDs, DVDs and Blu-ray discs all work the same way on a vast array of devices of every size, shape and price range. Despite RIAA involvement, on the surface the consortium seem to be relaxing constraints against copying. The quote from the website "Buying an UltraViolet title will mean a consumer can make multiple copies to their family’s registered UltraViolet devices" probably indicates that some form of hardware locked DRM will be employed to prevent unauthorized use while consumers are free to make backup copies. Notable is that Apple is absent.
If true, this could affect many development frameworks and systems including many open source alternatives like PhoneGap.
nickull writes: "The US patent office has granted a Microsoft patent application, 7,571,169. According to ZDNet, the patent "... is directed at providing a word-processing document in a native XML file format that may be understood by an application that understands XML, or to enable another application or service to create a rich document in XML so that the word-processing application can open it as if it was one of its own documents. ""
nickull writes: "According to ZDNet's Mary Jo Foley: Microsoft is tracking incompatible Web sites for its upcoming Internet Explorer 8 browser and has posted a list that now contains about 2,400 names — including Microsoft.com. (http://blogs.zdnet.com/microsoft/?p=2067&tag=nl.e589). Apparently even though Microsoft's IE8 team is doing the "right" thing by finally making IE more standards-compliant, they are risking "breaking the Web" because the vast majority of Web sites still are written to work correctly with previous, non-standards-compliant versions of IE."
nickull writes: "Gunnar Helliesen muses about the great firewall of Norway:
"My country is going off the deep end.
A Computer Crime Panel study group established by the Norwegian
Government has issued a proposal to the Justice Department for a new
law that would force all ISPs (Internet Service Providers) in Norway
to actively censor the Internet.
If this proposal were to become law, Norway would have stricter
Internet censorship than China."
more — http://archives.listbox.com/247/200702/0064.html"
nickull writes: "Adobe announced it will release the entire PDF specification (current version 1.7) to the International Standards Organization (ISO) via AIIM. PDF has reached a point in it's maturity cycle where maintaining it in an open standards manner is the next logical step in evolution. Not only does this reinforce Adobe's commitment to open standards (see also my earlier blog on the release of flash runtime code to the Tamarin open source project at Sourceforge), but it demonstrates that open standards and open source strategies are really becoming a mainstream concept in the software industry.
So what does this really mean? Most people know that PDF is already a standard so why do this now? This event is very subtle yet very significant. PDF will go from being an open standard/specification and defacto standard to a full blown du jure standard. The difference will not affect implementers much given PDF has been a published open standard for years. There are some important distinctions however. First — others will have a clearly documented process for contributing to the future of the PDF specification. That process also clearly documents the path for others to contribute their own Intellectual property for consideration in future versions of the standard. Perhaps Adobe could have set up some open standards process within the company but this would be merely duplicating the open standards process, which we felt was the proper home for PDF. Second, it helps cement the full PDF specification as the umbrella specification for all the other PDF standards under the ISO umbrella such as PDF/A, PDF/X and PDF/E. The move also helps realize the dreams of a fully open web as the web evolves (what some are calling Web 2.0), built upon truly open standards, technologies and protocols."