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Microsoft

Microsoft's Annual Report Reveals OSS Mistakes 348

mjasay writes "Microsoft's most recent annual report suggests that the company is increasingly coming to grips with open source, yet also seems determined to perpetuate myths about open source that poorly serve it and its shareholders. Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer has suggested before that 'free software means no free soda' for Microsoft employees; but this is perhaps the first time that Microsoft has managed to enshrine its ignorance in a public document. In the annual report, Microsoft makes two primary false claims about open source: 1) Open source companies don't invest in research and development and instead largely free-ride on Microsoft's patents and copyrights; and 2) Open source projects don't innovate and instead mimic Microsoft's products. Perhaps Microsoft has forgotten its own 'innovative' past copying of markets and technologies created by Apple and others. But at least Microsoft gets one thing right: 'To the extent open source software gains increasing market acceptance, our sales, revenue and operating margins may decline.'"

Melting Arctic Ice Has Consequences 466

OriginalArlen writes to tell us about some compelling global warming coverage in the Washington Post. First there is an article about a study indicating that melting Arctic ice is threatening polar bears with extinction. The article quotes an environmentalist: "This study is the smoking gun. Skeptics, polluting industries and President Bush can't run away from this one." And the polar melting is opening new shipping lanes. The second article details a trip late in October through the Northwest Passage by a Canadian icebreaker. Never before in history could this trip have been accomplished so late in the year; ice would have choked off the passage. Estimates of when the passage might be navigable by commercial shipping range from 2020 to the end of the century. The indigeneous people are not looking forward to this development.

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