News

Operation OOXML, Part 7 x 10<sup>512</sup>: The Appeals Arrive

Just when we thought the OOXML standard war was over — or overdue, if the ISO was paying any attention to the rules — it's back, and it's going to get ugly. South Africa has sounded the call to arms, and fired the first shot at the shoddy process with a formal appeal alleging the irregular irregularities have brought shame on the ISO, and cast "the processes enshrined in the Directives into disrepute."

Cartoons Make it All Okay

Everyone — except perhaps those who have been living under a rock — knows that the Chinese government censors the internet. Nobody, except the Chinese government, is happy about it, but it's what they do. However, when they try to censor an 8.0 Mw earthquake, it gets a little bit strange, to say the least.

OLPC Gets a Facelift – But is it Enough?

The One Laptop Per Child program has had a run of bad luck lately, including high-profile conflicts with corporate backers and rampant hemorrhaging of key talent. Now the focus of their PR campaign is the next version of the XO — but can it make up for the multitude of misfires?

Microsoft Promises to Play Nice with ODF

Just months after pulling every dirty trick known to man out of the bag to secure ISO approval for OOXML — the terminally broken document format that even Microsoft itself can't get to work — Evil Incorporated has now announced that

Ratings, Ratings, Who's Got the Ratings?

These days, just about everything has an age-appropriate rating on it. Movies, video games, even toys come with a sticker declaring that somebody infinitely more aware than the average consumer has approved that particular product for use by those X-years and up. Now, apparently there aren't enough ratings in the offline world, so the raiders — er, raters — are coming to a download near you, at least if your downloads source from the UK.

British Balk at Government Getting a Discussion Database

The UK is up in arms this week — complete with torches and pitchforks — over the latest plan by the increasingly unpopular government's plan to build a database to hold copies of every email sent in the UK along with recordings of every phone call in the country.

Yahosoft is Back, On the Light Menu

Microsoft's maniacal desire for an even greater monopoly has brought it back to the table with Yahoo, and now details are starting to leak out about just what the new deal might look like.

When Tragedy Begets Tragedy

Nearly two years ago, a vicious practical joke ended in tragedy when 13-year-old Megan Meier committed suicide after receiving hateful messages via MySpace — messages posted by the mother of a former friend and others, posing as a 16-year-old boy. Now, the method used to bring the perpetrators to justice threatens to create even more damage.

What's in the Water at OLPC?

The One Laptop Per Child program has been in a steadily increasing tailspin over the past few months, from dumping multi-billion dollar sponsors to driving away key staff. Now it appears the whole project is about three steps away from the handbasket.

Everybody Wants a Piece of Yahoo

It seems like everybody suddenly acquired an interest in Yahoo last week, with two different parties launching proxy bids, Google continuing to collude on an advertising deal, and Microsoft suddenly deciding they're still interested. About the only group who haven't been sniffing around Yahoo HQ is AOL, but 10:1 it's just that they've been too busy.

The C in CNET Stands for CBS

The former Colombia Broadcasting System — better known to viewers as CBS — has decided it's not doing enough to reach the technology market, and with a swish of the pen, have found a remedy: Buy CNET for just under $2 billion.

Charter Trades Privacy for Pocketbook

Internet Service Provider Charter Communications has cooked up a new scheme to fill the coffers, and are rolling it out with a letter campaign to customers advising that the new policy will be pennies over privacy.

MySpace Cashes in Spam to the Tune of $234 Million

MySpace — the social networking site raking in mountains of cash on the backs of indie bands and emo kids everywhere — has found a new way to fill their coffers: spam. No, they're not sending it, they're suing — and it's making them a bundle, at least on paper.

Google Shoos the Trustbusters Away

By now, we've all heard about — and grown tired of — the anticlimactic end to the Microsoft-Yahoo deal. The new news, however, is the ultra-secret to-be-determined deal between Yahoo and Google.

Skype Dumps GPL Jump

Skype, the beleaguered VOIP provider-cum-white elephant owned — and if they could line up a buyer, unloaded — by eBay, gave up on a GPL-compliance lawsuit has been fighting in Germany today, signaling another victory for the forces of Free Software everywhere.

More Than the CAPTCHA is Broken at Gmail

Two months ago, the big Gmail news was that spammers had broken Google's extra-heavy-duty CAPTCHA and had begun to run amok offering "private" enhancements and Nigerian fortunes. This month, it's the news that they wasted their time.

"We'll Stop Fighting" Means Something Strange for Microsoft

About nine months ago, Microsoft was handed its — er — bum by Europe's Court of First Instance, with the court ruled that Microsoft's nearly decade-long fight against the European Commission's antitrust decisions must end, and that the company must pay the $1.43 billion fine that has been accruing since 2004.

AMD Calls Out Intel...We Think.

Second-place chipmaker Advanced Micro Devices added fuel to its anti-trust fire against Intel this week, filing a pre-trial brief with the court overseeing the company's anti-competition suit that claims...well, something we're pretty sure is salacious.