solanum writes: I recently put up a story on my blog noting that Wikileaks had released the contents of a gag order, here in Australia, covering reporting of investigations into corruption in the note-printing arm of the Reserve Bank of Australia. This goes back to a story a few years ago about RBA officials covering up bribes for note printing contracts overseas. Then I read an article stating that Australians are being threatened with charges for even linking to Wikileaks, despite the website no longer being banned in Australia, and I took it down (my blog is on an Australian server). The gag order is not to prevent the investigation being derailed, which I could just about understand, it is to prevent the names of foreign leaders being published in relation to these charges as some are major trading partners of Australia. Ironically, it has been reported by press in some of those countries that the Australian government was seeking to protect from embarrassment! Is this right? I don't think so.
solanum writes: We Australians are often resigned to paying more for goods shipped to this side of the world. The high Australian dollar in recent years has made buying over the internet from overseas very attractive, but this is frowned upon by many manufacturers. Now Federal MPs have suggested "that consumers find ways to lawfully evade technology that allows IT companies to charge up to twice as much for their products in Australia." Further, the parliamentary committee has gone so far as to suggest "reforms to the Competition and Consumer Act and the Copyright Act to remove barriers to competition, foster innovation, and ensure consumer rights are not lost in the transition to digital content". They found that we pay 42% more for Photoshop and 66% more for Microsoft products than elsewhere. Some sanity at last?
solanum writes: The Australian Federal Court have found Google guilty of providing misleading links in its search results. They have been found responsible for Adwords based around four companies names, purchased by rival companies to take their search results. A Google statement said "Google AdWords is an ads hosting platform and we believe that advertisers should be responsible for the ads they create on the AdWords platform." But the court disagreed. The origin of this case goes back some time and was covered in 2007.
solanum writes: Another small step on the road. The Australian Federal Court has just overturned the ban on Samsung selling it's Galaxy Tabs in Australia. The case will rumble on, but it means Samsung can get it's Christmas sales and those of us in Oz who want one don't have to use the grey market.
solanum writes: WikiLeaks has published its full archive of 251,000 secret US diplomatic cables, without redactions, potentially exposing thousands of individuals named in the documents to detention, harm or putting their lives in danger. In the same article The Guardian gives further explanation of furore reported earlier, suggesting that Assange went against standard protocol in providing the master password to the newspaper.
solanum writes: There doesn't seem to be any details on who 'won' but Apple have agreed to make a one off payment plus ongoing royalties to Nokia, so it can't be bad for them. May help on the recent bad financial outlook for the Finnish phone giant.
solanum writes: Some years ago the Australian Society of Plant Scientists produced a undergraduate text book that became a mainstay of plant science teaching in Australia. Today they have opened up that text for all, with the entire book made available online for free (as in beer). However, this is just the first step, a future edition will be made available as a wiki. Perhaps this is another nail in the coffin of being forced to purchase overpriced undergraduate text-books written by your professor?
The ASPS write: "We are proud to announce that the first edition of the plant science text book, "Plants in Action", is now on-line and free. Open access web resources are transforming education, and Plants in Action is the first Plant Science textbook contributing to this unrestricted sharing of scientific knowledge. The revised second edition of Plants in Action will also be an open access publication with an expected completion date of September 2011. It will be a fully edited and peer-reviewed wiki, with a discussion and comments page for each chapter. The overall structure of first edition Plants in Action will remain, but Plants in Action2 will only be published on-line as open access book."
solanum writes: On March 2nd Crossover 9.0 was released. CrossOver 9 features a new user interface that focuses on making installation of Windows software quicker and easier than previous versions. Another new feature is CrossOver's ability to download installation "recipes" directly from CodeWeavers online Compatibility Database. "If another CrossOver user has figured out how to use CrossOver to install a Windows application, they can upload that installation recipe to our database," said Jeremy White, CodeWeavers chief executive officer. "As we go forward, and build this online storehouse, CrossOver will begin to automatically install that same application for other users. This enables us to move closer to a world where CrossOver will begin to run the majority of Windows apps, and not just an officially supported subset. "In other words, our diabolical plot for world domination is going exactly as planned," he added.
Early reviews and comments are positive and my own experience is that many more Windows applications work in this new version than previously.