Friday, September 4, 2009

Microsoft Word allowed to stay on sale... for now

Microsoft Word allowed to stay on sale... for now

Just as we predicted, Microsoft's request to have that ban on sales of Word put on hold pending appeal of i4i's XML patent victory has been granted. That means IT managers and excitable first-year college students can continue to happily throw down cash for the world's most popular word processor, while the rest of us twiddle our thumbs waiting for either proceedings to resume on September 23 or Stevey Ballms to write the big check and make this whole case disappear forever.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Amazon Objects to Google Books Settlement

In a strongly worded letter, Amazon added its voice to the growing chorus of cries urging a court to reject the proposed Google Books settlement.

The proposed agreement "creates a cartel of authors and publishers ... operating with virtually no restrictions on its actions, with the potential to raise book prices and reduce output to the detriment of consumers and new authors or publishers who would compete with the cartel members," said Amazon's complaint, filed with the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York.

Google and a group of book publishers and authors came to an agreement about how to manage Google's efforts to scan books and make them digitally available after the publishers sued the search giant for copyright infringement. The settlement proposal, reached last October, is under review by the court.

Amazon, which itself has scanned millions of books, argues that the settlement violates federal antitrust laws by establishing Google as the exclusive distributor of electronic copies of "orphan" works. Orphan books are those that are still in copyright but whose authors cannot be found.

"A court cannot approve a class action settlement that violates federal antitrust laws," Amazon said in the letter. The settlement agreement proposes to set up a nonprofit Book Rights Registry, funded in part by Google, that would set the price for digital versions of orphan works as well as subscription rates for access to libraries of books.

The agreement does not preclude another company from setting up a similar arrangement, but detractors say it would be extremely difficult for another organization to strike the same type of deal with the publishing industry, so Google would be left with an effective monopoly over the digital copies of the books.

Other letters of opposition to the settlement appeared this week from the German government, the daughter of science-fiction writer Philip K. Dick, folk singer Arlo Guthrie, groups representing professional photographers and publishing houses in the Netherlands.

The settlement does have its supporters. European Commissioner Viviane Reding said she supports the settlement agreement, as has e-book developer Sony.

The court is accepting objections to the proposed settlement through Oct. 8.

Democrat Black Bear

Disturbing trend beginning to affect U.S. wildlife
Animals that were formerly self-sufficient are now showing signs of belonging to the
Democratic Party - they've learned to just sit and wait for the government to step in
and provide for their care and sustenance.
This photo is of a Democrat black bear in Montana nicknamed,

Bearack Obearma.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009


* Pronunciation: \ˌdī-ə-ˈlek-tik\
* Function: noun
* Etymology: Middle English dialetik, from Anglo-French dialetiqe, from Latin dialectica, from Greek dialektikē, from feminine of dialektikos of conversation, from dialektos
* Date: 14th century

1 : logic 1a(1)
2 a : discussion and reasoning by dialogue as a method of intellectual investigation; specifically : the Socratic techniques of exposing false beliefs and eliciting truth b : the Platonic investigation of the eternal ideas
3 : the logic of fallacy
4 a : the Hegelian process of change in which a concept or its realization passes over into and is preserved and fulfilled by its opposite; also : the critical investigation of this process b (1) usually plural but singular or plural in construction : development through the stages of thesis, antithesis, and synthesis in accordance with the laws of dialectical materialism (2) : the investigation of this process (3) : the theoretical application of this process especially in the social sciences
5 usually plural but singular or plural in construction a : any systematic reasoning, exposition, or argument that juxtaposes opposed or contradictory ideas and usually seeks to resolve their conflict b : an intellectual exchange of ideas
6 : the dialectical tension or opposition between two interacting forces or elements

* Pronunciation: \ˌdī-ə-ˈlek-ti-kəl\
* Variant(s): also di·a·lec·tic \-tik\
* Function: adjective
* Date: 1548

1 a : of, relating to, or in accordance with dialectic b : practicing, devoted to, or employing dialectic
2 : of, relating to, or characteristic of a dialect

— di·a·lec·ti·cal·ly \-ti-k(ə-)lē\ adverb



“So take me now, oh don’t you see I can’t get laid in Germany…”

After four years of studio-abstinence, the first single of the new album is coming out September 18th! PUSSY! Carried by a gigantic wave of testosterone, Rammstein unsheathes its sword and presents what makes man an animal. So start your engines. With pedal to the metal on the Autobahn of German clichés, where homage is paid to the hand-to-hand battle between the sexes with words like Bratwurst, Blitzkrieg, and Mercedes-Benz … to destinations abroad, past Heidi with her burgers and away from the German Fräuleinwunder. There, pleasure lurks like a yawning abyss….

The single is appearing as a 2-track Digipack with the song “Rammlied” as B-side.
And look forward to a new video from Jonas Åkerlund, celebrating its premiere in the not so distant future!
The new album appears in October, but more about that soon.

Monday, August 31, 2009

Chicago manufacturing workers strike to protest health cuts

Chicago manufacturing workers strike to protest health cuts

Mon, 08/31/2009 - 13:43
  • Length: 2:52 minutes (2.62 MB)
  • Format: MP3 Mono 44kHz 128Kbps (CBR)

In Chicago, workers at a tool manufacturing company have been on strike for almost a week now because their company cut their health insurance. Rebecca Myles has the story.

New Office 2010 build leaks

A new build of Office 2010 has surfaced around the web, identifying itself as "Microsoft Office 2010 Build 4417". The build is not a huge difference but offers small improvements and more stability over the previously leaked Mondo builds which were plauged with problems.

The most notable new feature is that Back-Stage view has been altered and enhanced alot more and looks like it's almost finished. There's a new upload center to store and share documents online - perhaps through live mesh - or it could be the Office Web Applications/Office Live Workspaces. Other noticable addins are a new Activation system and updated icons for all applications

The version that's been leaked is the well known "Mondo" build, which is the equivalent of the "Ultimate" SKU of Office 2007, but also comes with Visio and other seperate products. The last version of Mondo that was leaked caused widespread problems and was not able to be uninstalled from computers easily.

View the screenshots below and let us know if you spot anything new.



Office 2010 is the latest and greatest version of Microsoft's flagship Office system. Microsoft Offices' "Word" has been in the news a lot lately because of a injunction that i4i won against Microsoft.

Bill could give Obama control of Internet during emergencies

A new U.S. senate bill has been redrafted to give President Obama the power of control to shut down the Internet in case of emergency situations. The 55-page draft that was obtained by CNET appears to permit the president to seize temporary control over private-sector networks in a cybersecurity emergency.

If the bill is passed, it would allow control to temporary disable Internet traffic in private-sectors. "A Senate source familiar with the bill compared the president's power to take control of portions of the Internet to what President Bush did when grounding all aircraft on Sept. 11, 2001."

Larry Clinton, president of the Internet Security Alliance, which contains large Internet and telecommunication companies such as Verizon, Verisign, Nortel and Carnegie Mellon University said "It is unclear what authority Sen. Rockefeller thinks is necessary over the private sector. Unless this is clarified, we cannot properly analyze, let alone support the bill."

The bill is still unclear what power of control President Obama might receive until it is properly addressed after the Senate's summer recess.

The bill is to protect against cyber threats and attacks on critical infrastructures such as the power grid in case of an attack from a broadband connection. Such control over the Internet may never be executed but with hackers getting more creative, national security becomes top priority in emergencies.


[C.S.L. note: shutting down communications is what the dictator of IRAN did when he rigged an election and began to kill protesters.]

FSF make their case against Windows 7 with new website

The Free Software Foundation has sent 499 letters to the top Fortune 500 companies (with Microsoft being the exception), trying to persuade the decision makers in the companies not to use Microsoft software, according to an article by Techspot. The FSF has made a list of claims against Microsoft, aiming to get big corporations to look at alternative software in order to reduce their dependency on Microsoft.

The letter they sent is titled "Re: Important notice regarding impending lack of privacy, freedom and security from Microsoft Corporation," and can be found on the website they set up, The FSF accuse Microsoft of the following: poisoning education, invading privacy, monopoly behavior, lock-in (in regards to removing support for older versions), abusing standards, enforcing DRM and threatening user security.

The site encourages users and organisations to look away from Microsoft for their software, and instead look at free software alternatives such as Linux and OpenOffice. Why Apple was not mentioned (seeing as they create proprietary software too) remains a mystery, but it appears that the FSF are targeting Windows 7 specifically while it launches.

The group intends to send even more letters as they receive more donations, with a $25 donation paying for 50 more letters, and a $100 donation paying for 200 letters to organisations and companies suggested by the community. How successful they will be remains to be seen, but you can have a look at the site yourself over here, where you can find the letter and the list of companies that have received

Wikipedia to begin color coding untrustworthy text

Hot on the heels of Wikipedia's decision to begin using editors for certain pages, they've announced another method of attempting to keep things accurate on their website. According to Wired, the organization will begin color coding the text of their entries in orange, to indicate untrustworthiness, based on a couple of factors.

The feature will be aptly named "WikiTrust", and will color the text after analyzing the reliability of the author in question, as well as how long the text has been on the entry. Virgil Griffith, a Wikipedia software developer and neuroscientist at the California Institute of Technology, said, "They've hit on the fundamentally Darwinian nature of Wikipedia. Everyone's injecting random crap into Wikipedia, and what people agree with more often sticks around. Crap that people don't like goes away."

It should be noted that this algorithm has actually been available since November, last year, in the form of a MediaWiki plug-in; it's only now that the WikiMedia Foundation has decided to roll it out to the full site, with changes starting to happen this fall. A computer scientist named Luca de Alfaro was the one who originally had the idea, and thus he lead the WikiMedia Project; he said, "Online collaboration is becoming more and more central to the way in which knowledge is created and assembled worldwide. There are more and more services that simply cannot exist without some notion of user reputation and trust in the content."

Work is progressing nicely on the project, with algorithm speeds increasing at a huge rate, so it'll be exciting to see how it fares when it's rolled out to the millions of current users.


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