Laser Blog

Articles tagged "digital rights"

56 Microsoft calls IBM hypocritical on document standards

Tuesday 20th February, 2007

Following on from the earlier word processor review post, this article hints at the importance which Microsoft attaches to ODF's ISO standard rating. There are usual laughable quotes from Microsoft execs:

We see a level of hypocrisy in IBM's activities...They have long called on us to standardize formats, make the IP (intellectual property) freely available to the broader community, and we've done it.

(Emphasis added.)

Well, sorry, but in a word ... BULLSH*T.

It's the comments beneath the article which as usual, raise some interesting points:

After transparently attempting to derail HTML standards, javascript standards, java standards and XML standards, Microsoft has absolutely no credibility when it comes to standards and interoperability. Microsoft has pursued a strategy of closed proprietary formats and diversionary tactics with standards organizations for many years
why on Earth did these folks from the Redmond Campus not attend the Open Document Format Standards (ODF) parties which were sponsored by the OASIS GROUP when they were invited to
Most people working in IT know that Microsoft does everything within its powers to make it hard for others to making compatible products, when trying connect to MS-products. There are too many examples.

The same is happening at the so-called Microsoft open xml data format. Everyone concerned about the matter (including Microsoft) know their format is NOT REALLY OPEN. Let me qualify: The actual xml structure they use is open, so much is true, but not the binary information Microsoft places inside the XML, and with that the whole data format is NOT OPEN, useless to the public.

A data format that is NOT REALLY OPEN should not be a standard. The masses of people out there/the world needs ONE standard that is TRULY OPEN AND ACCESSIBLE TO ALL, not just the software of one proprietary vendor.

Etc, etc. There is lots more. My, my, so much distrust.

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54 DRM in Windows Vista

Tuesday 13th February, 2007

This is Bruce Schneier's view of DRM in Windows Vista. As usual, he has lots of very interesting points to make.

Windows Vista includes an array of "features" that you don't want. These features will make your computer less reliable and less secure. They'll make your computer less stable and run slower. They will cause technical support problems. They may even require you to upgrade some of your peripheral hardware and existing software. And these features won't do anything useful. In fact, they're working against you. They're digital rights management (DRM) features built into Vista at the behest of the entertainment industry.

And you don't get to refuse them.

Phew. Well, that's just for starters. I'll try not to spoil the whole thing for you, but here's a tasty tidbit:

... after Vista is firmly entrenched in the marketplace, Sony's Howard Stringer won't be able to dictate pricing or terms to Bill Gates. This is a war for 21st-century movie distribution and, when the dust settles, Hollywood won't know what hit them.

Just how stupid is the MPAA? Read the news, check out how they're alienating their customers.

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53 MS patent application - assuring delivery of paid advertising to a user

Monday 12th February, 2007

Who even thinks of this stuff? I mean who would be so sad as to sit down and dream up of ways to force us to watch advertising, and then go so far as to patent it?

A method and apparatus for assuring delivery of paid advertising to a user may involve asking a question about an advertisement or requiring data about the advertisement to be entered.
When the allowable number of incorrect answers has been exceeded, several response are possible, from noting a user's record but taking no action, to a follow up communication with the user, to disabling or even repossessing the computer

(Emphasis added.)

This is something to be proud of?

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52 Walmart in bed with Microsoft

Monday 12th February, 2007

Walmart's new video download service is deliberately blocking all browsers except Internet Explorer. You know, the insecure browser.

Earlier reports indicated it might be due to sloppy coding, but no, it's deliberate.

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51 More on the Novell-Microsoft pact

Monday 12th February, 2007

Jeremy Allison, most famous for Samba, recently left Novell over the controversial Novell/Microsoft patent licensing deal. In this interview, he explains some of the reason for his leaving.

... I have had people come up to me and essentially off the record admit that they had been threatened by Microsoft and had got patent cross license and had essentially taken out a license for Microsoft patents on the free software that they were using, which they then cannot redistribute. I think that would be the restriction. I would have to look quite carefully. So, essentially that’s not allowed. But they’re not telling anyone about it. They’re completely doing it off the record.

Then, the really interesting bit:

The problem with the Novell deal is -- Novell gave Microsoft what Microsoft dearly wanted, which is a public admission that they think that Linux violates the Microsoft patent. So, that’s the difference between this and the sort of off-the-record quiet deals. This one is public. This one is Novell admitting, "yes, we think that Linux violates Microsoft patents." Now, of course, Novell has come out and said, "no, that’s not what we said at all. We don’t think that." To which, of course, Microsoft publicly humiliated them and said, "oh, yes, that’s really what you were saying." It’s kind of funny. They couldn’t even wait until the press conference was over to start threatening users with a Linux system.

I wonder how this is going to pan out ...

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