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UK Cabinet Office Adopts ODF As Exclusive Standard For Sharable Documents

ozmanjusri Re:Why ODF? (163 comments)

I use ODF but no-one else does because MS Office doesn't properly support it, I'm crippling my ability to share documents around purely for ideological reasons.

Microsoft OSs are down to 14% market share.

It simply makes no sense to continue using their outdated lockin-inspired formats. The world needs to transition to document editing formats that're portable across whatever computing devices users want to buy.

ODF was designed by the Organization for the Advancement of Structured Information Standards (OASIS) consortium to be that set of formats in 2005, and was only derailed by an intense and deeply corrupt effort by Microsoft. It's incredibly sad that we've had to wait for almost a decade for governments to finally start the transition.

2 days ago

UK Cabinet Office Adopts ODF As Exclusive Standard For Sharable Documents

ozmanjusri Re:Why ODF? (163 comments)

I'm pretty sure a government would have the resources to develop a renderer for an open document format,

Or they could just link to the web page:

2 days ago

Microsoft's Missed Opportunities: Memo From 1997

ozmanjusri Re: Too long (161 comments)


about a week ago

Microsoft's Missed Opportunities: Memo From 1997

ozmanjusri Re:Too long (161 comments)

No wonder none of that stuff happened - no one read past the first page and a half.

No. Just no. That's pure and slick as goose fat spin control. Businesses simply don't work that way.

That stuff didn't happen because Microsoft decided to spend the next decade and a half focused on embracing, extending and extinguishing or just f***ing killing and just f***ing burying their competitors instead of making good products.

With toxic corporate citizenship at their heart, they stacked standards committees instead of making a better Office product. When online security and malware became a problem, instead of improving and securing their colander-like OS they funded a feral and failing software company to attack a community-built competitor. When that failed, they wielded 235 patents as a FUD-bludgeon, and sold more to a 3rd party patent troll. When it became clear they couldn't compete in the mobile space, they used some questionable patents to extort money from manufacturers using a competing OS. Their customers suffered high costs and poor products because, whenever possible, they chose to litigate instead of innovate.

That's why they now have 14% market share and are laying off thousands of workers. As soon as there were viable alternatives, ex-Microsoft customers fled to them in droves.

about a week ago

Australian Electoral Commission Refuses To Release Vote Counting Source Code

ozmanjusri Re:Could it be Micro$oft ... (112 comments)

Does the thing run only on Windoze 8 ?

Window anyway.

It's a VB6 program running on a single PC, supposedly for security reasons. The system is highly manual and failure prone enough that they're probably too embarrassed to release the code.

The system was developed internally by the AEC in 2001, when an upgrade to Windows 2000 rendered an existing COBOL-based application the commission was using to tally-up union elections incompatible with its standard operating environment. It was re-written as a Microsoft Visual Basic application and runs on Microsoft SQL.

about a week ago

Harvesting Energy From Humidity

ozmanjusri Re:Moisture Farmers! (89 comments)

Why on EARTH would you want to scale this up??

You could use windtraps to increase humidity and use the electricity to pump the resulting water to your sietch water stores. Maybe not necessary on earth now, but who knows...

about a week ago

Three-Year Deal Nets Hulu Exclusive Rights To South Park

ozmanjusri Re:Dear Trey Parker and Matt Stone (138 comments)

I was getting rather sick and tired of the Internet slowly being divided into two forms of traffic:

Popcorn Time.

about two weeks ago

Privacy Oversight Board Gives NSA Surveillance a Pass

ozmanjusri Re:Shocking (170 comments)

What exactly was the expected outcome again?

audio quid ueteres olim moneatis amici,
"pone seram, cohibe." sed quis custodiet ipsos
custodes? cauta est et ab illis incipit uxor.

about three weeks ago

How Often Do Economists Commit Misconduct?

ozmanjusri Re:Political/Moral (305 comments)

I knew the shit would hit the fan. All those experts are either complete, utter fools - or they were outright lying to all of us!

They were lying.

Like many aspects of the DotCom bubble before it, the housing bubble was thoroughly well understood and predicted by pretty much every observer (and discussed as such by those with integrity). The only people who said otherwise were those who were participating for their own benefit, and who well understood the risk to themselves of prematurely bursting their giant Ponzi scheme.

Similar liars will crawl out of the woodwork to pump up the next bubble too, I'm sure.

about three weeks ago

Ask Slashdot: Is It Feasible To Revive an Old Linux PC Setup?

ozmanjusri Re:try it in a VM? (176 comments)

I have a machine of a similar vintage running an age-old copy of RHEL. I keep it, but the chances of me firing it up are slim to none, because I can fire up VMWare Workstation with an older OS release.

I still have an Intergraph TDZ 2000 workstation that I used for 3D/video editing back in the late '90s. It cost around $15,000 new, with dual PII 300MHz CPUs, 256MB RAM and dual 80GB 10,000rpm SCSI drives in RAID 0. It's still set up to dual boot NT4 and Debian 2.2, and I occasionally fire it up (if only to to remind myself what it was like to hear the jet-engine whine as those those drives spool up to speed).

It still feels very responsive with that old OS/software combination, so an old version of Linux on a cheap SBC should perform well enough. It will need to be an x86 based box to run OP's software though, so the (ARM based) Raspberry PI is out. Some of the Vortex86 based kits could be worth trying, though I suspect they'd fall over on driver support. They can be had for less than $40, and can run contemporary Linux so worth trying just for the fun of it. It's hard to say how well it would cope with drivers though

about a month ago

EU's Top Court May Define Obesity As a Disability

ozmanjusri Re:What a joke. (625 comments)

In the olden days, they'd round them all up, lock them in a barn and set it on fire.

Or harpoon them from ships and render their blubber for oil.

If the Europeans were sensible, they'd erect statues of Cap'n Ahab in every capital city, legalize chubby-hunting as a sustainable biofuel harvesting method, and watch with glee as a combination of terror fueled adrenaline and frantic waddling from danger shrunk the waistlines of all but the most irredeemable behemoths to non-disabling proportions. Better still, if manufacturers fitted the harpoons to cars, I have no doubt that the average Citroen, Peugeot, Fiat or small VW could be run for several weeks on the fruits of just one venture onto the streets of Brussels or any other large European city.

Citizens of the world, start petitions, start lobby groups. This needs to happen now, to save our environment and improve the scenery in our streets and supermarkets..

about a month and a half ago

Ask Slashdot: PC-Based Oscilloscopes On a Microbudget?

ozmanjusri Re:Salae logic (172 comments)

Since the OP asked in parentheses for spectrum analyser suggestions, he seems to be interested in cheap measurement instruments in general.

The best option for students needing cheap and versatile measuring equipment. would be the Red Pitaya.

It's not as cheap as OP wants, but it's a far better learning tool than a half-assed knock off.

about a month and a half ago

Study: Rats Regret Making the Wrong Decision

ozmanjusri Re:Duh (94 comments)

Now, sans firearm, it's just a matter of a tiger trap and patience.

In "Africa, a South American jungle, or the Arctic", that would geological-level patience...

about a month and a half ago

Study: Royalty Charges Almost On Par With Component Costs For Smartphones

ozmanjusri Re:so apple and samsung should just research it al (131 comments)

Granted I'm not a plow engineer so I really don't know everything that goes into one, but how complicated can one plow really be...

Complicated enough...

Following an initial trial, Richard, then in business with Clarence at Kalkabury (Arthurton) on Yorke Peninsula, exhibited two prize-winning versions of a stone- and stump-jumping plough at the agricultural show at Moonta in November 1876. The Farmers' Weekly Messenger accurately forecast that Smith's invention had the potential to 'cause a complete revolution in tilling uncleared land'. The mechanism allowed the shares to glide over stumps which otherwise required grubbing, a laborious and costly process. He failed, however, adequately to secure his rights under the Patents Act of 1877 and prosperity eluded him.

Of course, if he invented it today, he and his descendants would have prosperity guaranteed for as long as they could buy lawmakers...

about 2 months ago

Google Starts Blocking Extensions Not In the Chrome Web Store

ozmanjusri Re:Welcome to your new walled garden (225 comments)

No fucking thanks indeed!

Or you could just not use Windows.

And if that's not an option, you could use the dev channel version of Chrome to sideload anything you want. Or use Chromium instead. You're not locked into the App store unless you want to be,

Look, you can spin it any way you want, but his is pretty obviously a step to protect non-technical Chrome users from malware. It's not aimed at people who have the know-how to manage their own plugins/apps.

about 2 months ago

Report: Apple To Unveil "Smart Home" System

ozmanjusri Re:What could go wrong? (174 comments)

Why would Apple be interested in grabbing your data? They're the only one of the major tech companies which have so far shown no interest at all in the "you're the product" business model.

iAd Workbench is the simplest way to advertise to millions of people on their Apple devices. In a few steps, you can create a campaign that drives traffic to your website, generates video views, or promotes your iTunes Store content. Choose your audience, set your budget, and run your campaign across thousands of Apple-verified and brand-safe iOS apps.

The Apple Data Mining Lab is looking for an outstanding data mining scientist who is interested in designing, developing, and fielding data mining solutions that have direct and measurable impact to Apple.

SAN FRANCISCO (CN) - The lack of specific injury dooms a massive lawsuit accusing Apple and 14 app developers of mining iPhones and iPads for data, a federal judge said.

about 2 months ago

Is Bamboo the Next Carbon Fibre?

ozmanjusri Re:Bamboo Bicycle (198 comments)

Can you provide a link to these "HK accident statistics"?

I remembered the statistic from presentation at a trade conference, and don't have a direct reference.

Googling "fatal fall from a bamboo scaffold" brings up the most relevant links, and FANG1 titled link closest to my memory of the presentation,

about 2 months ago

Is Bamboo the Next Carbon Fibre?

ozmanjusri Re:Bamboo Bicycle (198 comments)

Bamboo is safer than steel for scaffolding.

Perceived as safer by the group of workers familiar with its use, but actually no.

According to HK accident statistics, the real probability of a fatal fall from a bamboo scaffold is close to double that of metal scaffolds.

about 2 months ago

Malaysia Airlines Flight 370: Experts Unable To Replicate Inmarsat Analysis

ozmanjusri Re:Given all the spy satelites pointed at hotspots (245 comments)

The number of suitable hangars with suitable runways to land on nearby is pretty limited. Maybe all of them should simply be checked.

That's been considered, and I assume the checks would already have been completed.

You can see all the known runways on this map:

The rest of the discussion here is interesting as well.

about 2 months ago



Supermarket chain Woolworths ditches Microsoft for Google's Chrome OS

ozmanjusri ozmanjusri writes  |  about a month and a half ago

ozmanjusri (601766) writes "In what is believed to be the largest such deployment in the world, the Australian supermarket chain Woolworths will begin rolling out 8000 Google Chrome OS devices to replace Microsoft Windows desktop computers in the second half of this year.

Woolworths program director Deon Ludick told The Australian newspaper that they would be replacing a large part of their PC desktop fleet with Chrome OS devices from a number of providers. The company is expected to reveal more details in the coming weeks.

Gartner research director Gunnar Berger said one of the biggest advantages to this approach was that Chrome OS was extremely secure — Google has an ongoing competition that pays large rewards to anyone able to hack the device via the browser. Analysts have said the Chromebook segment was the fastest-growing part of the mobile PC market last year, mainly in North America and in some emerging and mature Asia-Pacific countries such as Malaysia and Australia."

Link to Original Source

AOSP is bigger than iOS

ozmanjusri ozmanjusri writes  |  about 5 months ago

ozmanjusri (601766) writes "ABI Research reported in their Q4 2013 Smartphone OS results that, while Android dominated the market as expected, the runner up was somewhat surprising.

Rather than Apple's iPhones coming in a distant second, the Open Source version of Android (AOSP) not only competed with Google's certified version, but grew much faster than its corporate-endorsed sibling (137% year-on-year).

In fact, Google's Android comprised 52% of the estimated one billion devices shipped while AOSP reached 25% of the market, ahead of Apple's 10%.

Most of AOSP's growth is in China, India, and adjacent markets, possibly because Google does not offer its Play Store in those regions, however the Open Source version looks set to take a big step into other markets when Nokia's Android-based Normandy phone is released later this month."

Link to Original Source

Will Blood Rice shatter the smartphone market?

ozmanjusri ozmanjusri writes  |  about a year ago

ozmanjusri (601766) writes "Chinese phone maker Xiaomi (“little rice” in Chinese) has just released a new Android phone priced at US$130. The phone, called “Red Rice,” has a quad-core MediaTek CPU, 4.7-inch 720p screen (312 ppi) with Gorilla Glass 2, 1GB RAM, 4GB storage, Micro SD, dual-sim / dual standby capability, an 8-megapixel rear camera and Xiaomi's MIUI-flavored Android.

  One Chinese commentator said that the pricing was so aggressive and that the phone could do so much damage to competitors and component suppliers that it really should be called “Blood Rice.”

  Currently the phone will be sold in China only. The question is whether it would succeed on the world market, and what it would do to the established players like Apple and Samsung."

Link to Original Source

Australian Communications and Media Authority releases detailed malware data.

ozmanjusri ozmanjusri writes  |  about a year ago

ozmanjusri (601766) writes "The Australian Communications and Media Authority has published detailed statistics of malware infections identified by their online security team (AISI). The team scans and identifies and compromised computers on Australian IP addresses and reports daily to around 130 participating ISPs.

Their breakdown shows about infected 16,500 devices are online at any one time. The malware type for all infections is available on the site."

Link to Original Source

Apple's smartphone share in single digits by Sept?

ozmanjusri ozmanjusri writes  |  about a year ago

ozmanjusri (601766) writes "Apple's share of the global smartphone market fell from 23% last year to 17% share this year, the largest year-over-year decline in the iPhone's history. According to Sanford Bernstein's Toni Sacconaghi, "if Apple does not introduce a new iPhone or lower-priced phone in CQ3 [Apple's fiscal Q4], it is quite possible that iPhone's smartphone market share could drop into the single digits."

So what can Apple do? The iPhone 5S fingerprint reader isn't likely to inspire excitement, and Apple needs something startling to regain the smartphone limelight. Do they have anything else up their sleeves?"

Intel promoting Android devices

ozmanjusri ozmanjusri writes  |  about a year ago

ozmanjusri (601766) writes "Vendors in China have revealed the Intel has begun to promote Android based convertible tablet/notebooks. Intel is concerned that Windows 8 has been unable to stimulate global demand for notebooks, and since global sales of Android tablets have been increasing, they are looking at reducing their reliance on the Microsoft OS.

China-based vendor Lenovo will be first to release Intel driven Android systems in May, while Hewlett-Packard (HP), Toshiba, Acer and Asustek Computer will launch theirs in the third quarter."

Link to Original Source

A fix for US ISPs who have been strangling YouTube

ozmanjusri ozmanjusri writes  |  about a year ago

ozmanjusri writes "Several American ISPs have been throttling their YouTube caches to the extent that the content is almost unwatchable. Many ISPs had caching agreements are in place with Google to improve performance but have chosen to reduce load (and therefore quality) instead.

To fix the problem on Linux, use iptables to reject the throttled cache and go direct to Google servers:

sudo iptables -A INPUT -s -j REJECT
sudo iptables -A INPUT -s -j REJECT

While it's possible the throttling happens because caches are bottlenecked or overloaded somewhere in the ISPs' network, complaints to forums have elicited 'We have no problems' responses."

Link to Original Source

Microsoft's information privacy stance questioned by Australian agency

ozmanjusri ozmanjusri writes  |  about a year and a half ago

ozmanjusri writes "The Office of the Australian Information Commissioner has questioned whether Microsoft was really committed to privacy, based on a series of privacy summits the company organized last November.

Microsoft proposed rewriting the OECD's "Collection Limitation Principle," from:

"There should be limits to the collection of personal data and any such data should be obtained by lawful and fair means and, where appropriate, with the knowledge or consent of the data subject."


"Data should be obtained by lawful and fair means and in a transparent manner. Data should not be collected in a manner likely to cause unjustified harm to the individual unless required by law. “Harm” may include more than physical injury."

The OAIC is concerned that Microsoft's version would allow considerably broader re-use of data than that allowed by the original OECD version and indeed by Australia’s Privacy Act 1988."
Link to Original Source


Are iPhones for old people?

ozmanjusri ozmanjusri writes  |  about a year and a half ago

ozmanjusri writes "Several articles have appeared recently suggesting that the iPhone is targeting an older demographic. Anna Scantlin (Phonedog) suggests that it's a consequence of brand recognition.

"The idea of an iPhone to an older person probably sounds more appealing than an Android device. It goes back to my article I wrote yesterday regarding why everything gets compared to an Apple product – it’s still a hugely popular company that can sail off of their brand name alone."

The commoditisation of smartphones is another factor. Just like the Toyota Camry or Honda Accord, iPhones are a recognisable, competent, middle-of-the-road choice. For conservative middle aged people who aren't interested in tech and don't want to research every last feature, the Apple products are an easy pick.

So what does Slashdot think? Are smartphones now a "solved" commodity? And are iPhones really for old people, or do they still have a place with younger buyers?"

Link to Original Source

Australian Police say don't use iPhone Maps

ozmanjusri ozmanjusri writes  |  about a year and a half ago

ozmanjusri writes "Victorian Police have identified that Apple's map application could put people at risk.

“Police are extremely concerned as there is no water supply within the Park and temperatures can reach as high as 46 degrees, making this a potentially life threatening issue,” they say.

The officers have contacted Apple and asked them to rectify the issue, but until it is fixed have suggested; “Anyone travelling to Mildura or other locations within Victoria should rely on other forms of mapping until this matter is rectified.”"

Link to Original Source

Vagina hacks, an Arduino vibrator.

ozmanjusri ozmanjusri writes  |  about a year ago

ozmanjusri writes "Elizabeth Scott has posted a wonderfully detailed and surprisingly nerdy account of designing and building a hands-free gesture controlled vibrator.

To me, a good sex toy helps form feedback loops. It doesn’t get in the way. A good toy gives you simple ways of exchanging signals with a partner or with your own body. It acts as a conduit. A good sex toy is analog.

In her blog, Scott details her path to convert a good, but not excellent commercial product into her own ideal toy. Worth reading, even for prudes.


Link to Original Source

Of the 17 people line up to buy the first retail iPhone 5, 15 were marketers.

ozmanjusri ozmanjusri writes  |  about 2 years ago

ozmanjusri writes "Apple has said that the iPhone 5 had smashed records with more than 2 million people pre-ordered the smartphone in its first 24 hours.

In stark contrast to their announcement, most of the 17 people lined up outside Sydney’s Apple store were there to advertise their brands, with T-shirts, sandwich boards, logos and caps, rather than genuine Apple fans.

According to the Australian Financial Review, one publicist even declined an interview with journalists unless their business name was mentioned.

AFR also described the only two genuine Apple enthusiasts as "two women setting up at the end of line, Xia R Liu and Li Qing.
Signalling “five” with their hands to explain their purpose, they were intent on sleeping the night to buy the iPhone 5 “for my daughter”""

Link to Original Source

Ubuntu for Android

ozmanjusri ozmanjusri writes  |  about 2 years ago

ozmanjusri writes "Ubuntu for Android allows you to install a full Linux desktop on your phone and use it when the phone is docked. According to Ubuntu,

Ubuntu for Android is a complete desktop with a full range of desktop applications including office, web browsing, email, media and messaging. Personal information like contacts, calendars, photo galleries and music can be accessed from both the phone and the desktop interface. SMS texts arrive on your desktop if you are docked when they show up, and calls are handled like VoIP if you want to stay working while you chat. Ubuntu for Android brings the desktop world together with the phone world, seamlessly.

Youtube videos show users loading a full Unity desktop from their docked phone, including MS Office applications via Citrix."
Link to Original Source


Did Microsoft use information about partner products in designing Surface?

ozmanjusri ozmanjusri writes  |  about 2 years ago

ozmanjusri writes ""Microsoft looked at what the [PC makers] were doing, seeing if it could meet their Windows 8 needs and then took action based on that," according to Patrick Moorhead, president of Moor Insights & Strategy and formerly an executive at Advanced Micro Devices.

Microsoft partners, PC OEMs like Acer, Asus, Hewlett-Packard, Dell, Toshiba, and Sony are unhappy with Microsoft's actions as the software giant could potentially have used confidential information about their products, pricing strategies, marketing plans and more before deciding to compete with them.

Information like that could potentially be used to Microsoft's advantage."

Link to Original Source

Microsoft's worst nightmare or feature limited toy?

ozmanjusri ozmanjusri writes  |  more than 2 years ago

ozmanjusri writes "A company that makes keyboard docks has announced a laptop-like peripheral that uses smartphones for processing and storage.

Since many Android and Apple phones have multi-core processors powerful enough to deliver laptop-level performance, they only lack usable screens and keyboards to be productive for most office work.

ClamCase believes their 13.3-inch 1,280 x 720 ClamBook with keyboard, multi-touch touchpad, and dedicated Android keys will make up for the lack, and turn smartphones into fully-functional laptops.

A device like the Clambook could be a real game-changer for the computer industry. If it succeeds, peripheral makers could build docks which would allow any monitor, keyboard, mouse and storage to be powered by any Android phone. It's a combination which would make BYOD offices very tempting for the corporations who are the Windows/Office combination's remaining cash-cow."

Link to Original Source

Microsoft security vulnerabilities are being leaked, leaving users vulnerable.

ozmanjusri ozmanjusri writes  |  more than 2 years ago

ozmanjusri writes "Proof-of-concept code for exploiting a recently discovered flaw has appeared on a hacking website after it was shared with Microsoft Active Protections Program partners. The code for the Remote Desktop Protocol vulnerability appears to have leaked from one of the security companies that get advance warnings about security holes in Windows.

The incident brings into question Microsoft's program, which is intended to alert security partners before the patches themselves are released. The idea is to give them time to prioritise and test the fixes, however in this instance, it left their customers vulnerable."

Link to Original Source

US Justice Dept threatens to sue Apple for colluding to inflate eBook prices.

ozmanjusri ozmanjusri writes  |  more than 2 years ago

ozmanjusri writes "The US Justice Department has warned Apple that it intends to sue them for colluding with several large publishers to inflate the price of eBooks, according to the Wall Street Journal.

While all parties concerned declined to comment, it appears the lawsuit results from Apple's push to move eBook sales to an "agency model," where Apple would take 30% of the publishers set price. Crucially, Apple also stipulated that publishers could not allow rival retailers to undercut them.

Steve Jobs was quoted as saying of the agreement "You set the price, and we get our 30%, and yes, the customer pays a little more, but that's what you want anyway"."

Link to Original Source

Apple takes on Google.

ozmanjusri ozmanjusri writes  |  about 2 years ago

ozmanjusri writes "Apple is suing Samsung again. The litigious computer giant is claiming the Galaxy Nexus, co-produced by Samsung Electronics and Google, violates it's slide-to-unlock patent.

While Apple suing an Android vendor is no surprise to anyone, this is the first time they've gone after a core feature of Android 4 itself, and on the strictly stock Nexus line of phones. Apple has filed the claim in the same Mannheim Regional Court Regional Court, which recently ruled Apple was not infringing one of the seven 3G standard-related patents owned by Samsung."

Link to Original Source

Android ICS will require 16GB RAM to compile

ozmanjusri ozmanjusri writes  |  more than 2 years ago

ozmanjusri writes "New smartphones may be lightweight, compact objects, but their OSs are anything but.

Ice Cream Sandwich will need workstations with no less than 16 GB RAM to build the source code, twice the amount GingerBread needed. It will take 5 hours to compile on a dual quad-core 2+GHz workstation, and need 80GB disk space for all AOSP configs.

Android developers are also being warned to be cautious of undocumented APIs

In almost every case, there’s only one reason for leaving APIs undocumented: We’re not sure that what we have now is the best solution, and we think we might have to improve it, and we’re not prepared to make those commitments to testing and preservation.
We’re not claiming that they’re “Private” or “Secret” — How could they be, when anyone in the world can discover them? We’re also not claiming they’re forbidden: If you use them, your code will compile and probably run."
Link to Original Source


The Stealthy Fifth Core

ozmanjusri ozmanjusri writes  |  more than 2 years ago

ozmanjusri writes "Nvidia's next-generation quad core Tegra processor, codenamed “Project Kal-El,” has fifth core that runs at a lower frequency and operates at exceptionally low power. Kal-El completely powers down its four performance-tuned cores for less power-hungry tasks like web reading, music playback and video playback. As computing needs increase, the CPU progressively turns on each of the high performance cores.

The Variable SMP architecture is also completely OS transparent, which means that operating systems and applications don’t need to be redesigned to take advantage of the fifth core"

Link to Original Source



Nobody buying Windows OLPC.

ozmanjusri ozmanjusri writes  |  more than 5 years ago Many Slashdotters will remember that almost exactly a year ago, Nicholas Negroponte's One Laptop Per Child announced a deal with Microsoft to test thousands of XO laptops running Windows XP. It was a tough time for OLPC, with multiple resignations of senior people and facing a rocky relationship with Intel. Arguably, the project has never really recovered, despite unveiling the promising-looking XO-2.

So after all the effort and cost, how well in the Windows XO selling?

It isn't. According to One Laptop Per Child News, countries that test both versions of the XO are choosing Sugar over Windows XP for their deployments.

Initially country representatives inquire if Windows XP runs on the XO laptop. That doesn't really come as a surprise - for many people Windows is the definition of a computer. However, upon further investigation every country decided to stick to Sugar.

Of course, even though the open source option is finally being revealed as the desktop of choice, it can't be called a win for OLPC. They have wasted a lot of effort making the XO BIOS XP-capable, and lost many very capable contributors as a result their departure from "the culture of learning that OLPC adheres to and promotes, a culture of open inquiry, diverse cooperative work".


Mozilla helps modernise IE

ozmanjusri ozmanjusri writes  |  more than 5 years ago Ars Technica is reporting that Mozilla developers are trialling a new plugin that adapts Mozilla's implementation of the HTML5 Canvas element for Microsoft's Internet Explorer.

Canvas is used many popular web applications but it hasn't gained widespread use because it isn't available in Internet Explorer. Despite this shortcoming, web developers have begun to find workarounds to allow equivalent functionality for IE users. Google had to develop ExCanvas to make their Maps available to IE users, for example. ExCanvas works around the limitations of IE by re-implementing much of Canvas' features using VML, Microsoft's proprietary version of SVG. Mozilla's plugin will make it unnecessary for future web developers to create their own libraries.

Mozilla also has plans to develop a plugin called Screaming Monkey, which will allow IE to use Mozilla's JavaScript engine directly, meaning developers can code to web standards, not IE's proprietary "quirks".

It appears that even if Microsoft can't or won't make Internet Explorer a modern web browser, the computer industry is finding workarounds.


Google sued for US$1 billion over Outlook migration tool.

ozmanjusri ozmanjusri writes  |  more than 5 years ago A two-count lawsuit filed by Chicago company LimitNone alleges that Google misappropriated trade secrets and violated Illinois' consumer fraud laws when it developed "Google Email Uploader" which competes with LimitNone's "gMove" application.

Google claims its core philosophy is 'Don't be evil' but, simply put, they invited us to work with them, to trust them -- and then stole our technology,

said Ray Glassman, CEO of LimitNone, in a prepared statement.

The lawsuit was filed by Kelley Drye & Warren LLP, the same commercial litigation group who challenged Google over company's online advertising system.


Safari flaw could allow remote code execution on Windows

ozmanjusri ozmanjusri writes  |  more than 6 years ago Microsoft is warning that the flaw in Apple's Safari browser which we discussed here can be used to run malicious code on client computers.

Security researcher Aviv Raff used an existing flaw in Microsoft's internet explorer in the exploit, which was demonstrated to tech journalists.

IDG News Service tested Raff's demonstration attack code, which runs Windows Calculator on a victim's system. For the attack to work, a victim must first visit a maliciously crafted Web page with the Safari browser, which in turn will trigger the carpet bombing attack and exploit the IE flaw.

The flaw, which was originally reported the IE flaw to Microsoft more than a year ago, is rated as a moderate vulnerability, as is that of Safari. When combined however, they produce a critical flaw which allows remote code execution.


SPB makes Windows Mobile work.

ozmanjusri ozmanjusri writes  |  more than 6 years ago In news that will be a great relief to the many smart phone users who have struggled with the foibles of Windows Mobile, software house Spb has showcased its iPhone-like Mobile Shell at Australia's CeBIT tech conference this week.

The new shell, which overlays Microsoft's drab offering, is targeted at carriers, and Spb will happily customise the software to "strictly adhere to, and enhance, a carrier's unique identity and brand"

ITWire, who carried the story, asked the question "Why isn't Microsoft doing this?" What does Slashdot think?


Vista DRM actually works.

ozmanjusri ozmanjusri writes  |  more than 6 years ago The Electronic Frontier Foundation is investigating an incident when Microsoft Vista Media Center computers blocked the recording of some NBC television shows.

When Vista Media Center users tried to record American Gladiator or Medium, a prompt informed them that the copyright holder prohibited recording. It seems that Vista has honoured NBC Universal's broadcast flag, despite a court ruling that software and hardware makers are not required to do so.

It remains to be seen whether this is an example of Vista being defective by design, or implementation.


Living leather jacket is killed.

ozmanjusri ozmanjusri writes  |  more than 6 years ago Victimless Leather, a small jacket made from mouse stem cells was killed when it outgrew its life support system. It was made to be one of the central works in an exhibition "Design and the Elastic Mind" at the Museum of Modern Art in New York

The jacket, a creation of Australian artists Oron Catts and Ionat Zurr, was intended to raise questions about our exploitation of other living beings.

The exhibition includes a number of exhibits examining the ways people interact with technology.


OpenMac: A high-end Mac for a quarter of the price?

ozmanjusri ozmanjusri writes  |  more than 6 years ago The OpenMac is a whitebox computer built to run an unmodified OS X Leopard kernel. Made by the Psystar Corporation, it would be substantially cheaper than any upgrade-capable Apple Mac.

The base model OpenMac with Intel GMA graphics sells for $399. It remains to be seen how long Psystar survive under the onslaught of Apple's legal team.

Update: The Psystar site is already down. Google cache here


The "Free Public WiFi" problem.

ozmanjusri ozmanjusri writes  |  more than 6 years ago Have you ever been at an airport or hotel and clicked on a "Free Public WiFi" SSID?

If so, you were likely disappointed to find the connection didn't give you free access to the internet. You might also be surprised to know you're now part of an increasing viral phenomenom caused by Microsoft's Wireless Zero Configuration tool.

In a very strange design decision, Microsoft structured the tool so when Windows connects to a wireless network, it retains the network's SSID, and if the original network is no longer available, broadcasts it as an ad hoc network. The result is the beguiling, but ultimately frustrating invitation so many computer users are now experiencing.


Legal counsel: "Don't trust OOXML patent pledge"

ozmanjusri ozmanjusri writes  |  more than 6 years ago A legal analysis of Microsoft's Open Specification Promise (OSP), which was purportedly written to give developers protection from patent risk, says the promise should not be trusted. According to the Software Freedom Law Center,

While technically an irrevocable promise, in practice the OSP is good only for today.

On the back of a chaotic ISO meeting to resolve outstanding specification problems which was described as "Complete, utter, unadulterated bullshit. This was horrible, egregious, process abuse and ISO should hang their heads in shame for allowing it to happen." by Tim Bray, this advice throws more doubt on OOXML's suitability as an international document standard.

Despite these considerable doubts, countries like Australia and New Zealand have not committed their votes, and it's still not clear how the race will run at the March 29 deadline.


Microsoft's new generation

ozmanjusri ozmanjusri writes  |  more than 6 years ago The finalists in Microsoft's Next-Gen PC Design Showcase have been announced.

As is usual with design competitions, practicality is not high on the list of requirements, though one of the key selection criteria is;

Windows Software: How does this design enhance or expand the users experience with Windows?

Entries of note include;

Sadly, there's no indication whether the Momenta "enhances the users experience with Windows" by detonating a charge of C4 if WGA decides their collar hasn't been activated recently.

Although the finalists have been chosen, Public's Choice Voting is open until March 15th 2008, so interested Slashdotters can vote for their favourite future PCs. Please try not to elect Skynet.


Low cost Linux laptops leading the charge.

ozmanjusri ozmanjusri writes  |  more than 6 years ago The world's third largest computer seller said today that it will offer a new, low-cost laptop similar to Asus' Eee PC. The American manufacturer Everex is already producing the Cloudbook Linux compact notebook for retail giant Walmart.

Acer had previously said it would not compete in this field, but changed its mind following Asus' success.

"I believe it's necessary for the company and they cannot let go of such an opportunity since it's where the industry trend is going," said Daiwa Institute of Research analyst Calvin Huang.

The combination of compact hardware matched to lightweight but functional Linux software seems to be hitting a sweet spot with customers. Asus says it intends to sell five million Eee PCs this year, while Acer has ordered an initial one million compact notebooks from a contract manufacturer.

While has a very different focus from these mini-notebooks, it looks like Nicholas Negroponte's development of the XO has opened up an entire new market, one which will make his dream of a sub $200 laptop even more ubiquitous than he intended.



ozmanjusri ozmanjusri writes  |  more than 6 years ago "Today we honour the Indigenous peoples of this land, the oldest continuing cultures in human history.

We reflect on their past mistreatment.

We reflect in particular on the mistreatment of those who were stolen generations - this blemished chapter in our nation's history.

The time has now come for the nation to turn a new page in Australia's history by righting the wrongs of the past and so moving forward with confidence to the future.

We apologise for the laws and policies of successive Parliaments and governments that have inflicted profound grief, suffering and loss on these our fellow Australians.

We apologise especially for the removal of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children from their families, their communities and their country. For the pain, suffering and hurt of these stolen generations, their descendants and for their families left behind, we say sorry.

To the mothers and the fathers, the brothers and the sisters, for the breaking up of families and communities, we say sorry.

And for the indignity and degradation thus inflicted on a proud people and a proud culture, we say sorry.

We the Parliament of Australia respectfully request that this apology be received in the spirit in which it is offered as part of the healing of the nation.

For the future we take heart; resolving that this new page in the history of our great continent can now be written.

We today take this first step by acknowledging the past and laying claim to a future that embraces all Australians.

A future where this Parliament resolves that the injustices of the past must never, never happen again.

A future where we harness the determination of all Australians, Indigenous and non-Indigenous, to close the gap that lies between us in life expectancy, educational achievement and economic opportunity.

A future where we embrace the possibility of new solutions to enduring problems where old approaches have failed.

A future based on mutual respect, mutual resolve and mutual responsibility.

A future where all Australians, whatever their origins, are truly equal partners, with equal opportunities and with an equal stake in shaping the next chapter in the history of this great country, Australia."

Prime Minister of Australia
Kevin Rudd


Open source developers have more sex and earn more money.

ozmanjusri ozmanjusri writes  |  more than 6 years ago Australian open source developers typically earn triple the national median salary and are likely to be in a relationship, according to an Australian Open Source Industry and Community census.

The self-selected online survey suggests 57 percent were hobbyists who don't get paid to work on open source, 24 percent were working on open source in their paid job part of the time, while 10 percent worked on open source full time. Interestingly, the highest paid group was those working full time on open source projects.


Norway Mandates ODF

ozmanjusri ozmanjusri writes  |  more than 6 years ago In another step towards universal free and open electronic documents, the Norwegian government has mandated the use of open document formats from January 1st, 2009.

Three formats have been chosen for all documentation between authorities and users/partners:

  • HTML for all public information on the Web.
  • PDF for all documents where layout needs to be preserved.
  • ODF for all documents that the recipient is supposed to be able to edit

While government offices may publish in other formats, they must always also publish in one of these formats, so information will be available to people who do not wish, or cannot afford to use expensive proprietary software.


Ballmer foils bank robbery.

ozmanjusri ozmanjusri writes  |  more than 6 years ago A bank robbery in Salt Lake City was foiled Friday when an unidentified man, believed to be Microsoft's Steve Ballmer, threw a chair from a second-story balcony, striking the would-be bandit.

The unidentified person grabbed a chair and hurled it off the balcony, striking the suspect in the back and knocking him to the ground, while yelling "I'll f****g kill bank robbers. I've done it before and I'll do it again!".


Australia ratifies Kyoto

ozmanjusri ozmanjusri writes  |  more than 6 years ago There was spontaneous applause as the new Australian government ratified the Kyoto treaty at the Bali climate change conference today.

Many of the world's top climate change scientists, and delegates from 180 nations, applauded as the conference noted Australia's decision to abandon its long-held opposition to Kyoto.

This move leaves the United States as the only major world economy which has failed to ratify the UN climate pact.


Native Win32 on OSX?

ozmanjusri ozmanjusri writes  |  more than 6 years ago Coders working on Wine for Mac have found that the Mac loader has gained its own undocumented ability to load and understand Windows Portable Executable (PE) files

They found PE loading capabilities in Leopard that weren't there in Tiger. Further dissection showed that Apple is masking references to *Win* and *PE* in the dll, which means it's not an accidental inclusion.

Is Apple planning native PE execution within OSX? The ability to use existing Windows software on OSX machines would dramatically lower the barrier to switching, and there's no doubt that there's considerable interest in alternative operating systems since Vista's less than inspiring debut.

There's unlikely to be a better time for Apple to make a grab for the OS market. Maybe 2008 will be the year of OSX on the desktop.


Linux ultraportable this year's must-have.

ozmanjusri ozmanjusri writes  |  more than 5 years ago Several large online stores, including Amazon and CNET are billing the Linux-powered ASUS Eee PC as America's most wanted Christmas gift among notebooks products.

The Eee PC's US success is reflected in strong demand worldwide.

"In places such as Taiwan, US and Hong Kong, it seems like the Eee PC is sold out as soon as it appears on the market," Said Sunny Han, Director of ASUS Global Brand Center.

Despite the strong sales of the Linux device, Asus announced a version of the compact PC which would be available with Microsoft Windows pre-installed . Microsoft have agreed to lower the price of Windows to below $40 for Eee PC customers.


Outlook 2007 not so good.

ozmanjusri ozmanjusri writes  |  more than 6 years ago Microsoft has released details of the new Outlook mail client, and revealed that they will be using the MS Word rendering engine to display HTML email messages.

That means the Outlook will inherit the same HTML and cascading style sheets (CSS) support as Word 2007. Some of the limitations that will bring include;

* no support for background images (HTML or CSS)
* no support for forms
* no support for Flash, or other plugins
* no support for CSS floats
* no support for replacing bullets with images in unordered lists
* no support for CSS positioning
* no support for animated GIFs

While many Slashdotters will question the value of any HTML email, let's remember that choice has already been made by most non-technical email users, and keep this on-topic.

More details on Kevin Yank's Sitepoint blog

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