Today, the day after the big news, there are more headlines than I can count regarding Microsoft's sponsorship of an open source-based translator for converting Office Open XML formatted documents to OpenDocument Format (ODF) formatted documents. I think it's important to point out that many of the headlines and stories either got the news wrong, or they have a different definition of support than I have.
Between the Lines
Larry Dignan and other IT industry experts, blogging at the intersection of business and technology, deliver daily news and analysis on vital enterprise trends.
Larry Dignan is Editor in Chief of ZDNet and SmartPlanet as well as Editorial Director of ZDNet's sister site TechRepublic.
Rachel King is a staff writer for ZDNet based in San Francisco.
Zack Whittaker writes for ZDNet, CNET, and CBS News. He is based in New York City.
The hi-tech world woke up to news this morning that Microsoft has finally decided to put some wood behind the OpenDocument Format (ODF). I deliberately chose the word wood instead of support even though most reports are construing this as some form of support.
The blogosphere can have a powerful network effect. Sometimes it reveals what gets the blogosphere hot under the collar.
In the just released Sophos Security Threat Management Report (requires registration), the dominant cybersecurity threat is from Trojans, which the report said outnumber viruses and worms by 4:1, compared to 2:1 a year ago. In light of the Trojan horses and the dominance of Windows-based threats, Sophos suggests that home users should consider purchasing a Mac if they haven't already.
Having recently switched computers because of a hard drive failure, I can completely relate to Tim Bray's angst over what I'll call the prompt of despair (he calls it the prompt of doom): the one where your browser asks you if you want it to remember the password your putting into some site for you. Saying "yes" is leads you down a worse path than the hell that lurks in the autodial feature of your cordless phone.
In the Honestly, we don't make this stuff up department, as retail sales of its CDs get whittled away by a la carte downloads (both legal and illegal on the Internet), Universal Music is apparently revamping the packaging of its CDs to spruce up their sales. Included in the plan are stronger, more durable jewel cases called "super jewel boxes.
LexisNexis, IBM, the United States Secret Service, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Carnegie Mellon University Software Engineering Institute's CERT/CC, Indiana University's Center for Applied Cybersecurity Research, and Syracuse University's CASE Center, and Utica College in New York have joined forces to create a research center to combat identity theft. Heaven knows this is a topic that could use some fresh thinking.
Next week's Mashup Camp (the unconference for the uncomputer) at the Computer History Museum in Mountain View, CA is fully-booked at 400 people and a waiting list is forming (here's the registration page to get on the waiting list). Last February, everyone who showed up at the door on the day of the event got in due to cancellations and no shows.
On the heels of what I believe can best be described as a faux pas on Microsoft's behalf (and I've already said as much), the Redmond, WA-based company is now the subject of two separate class-action suits due to the behavior of its Windows Genuine Advantage (WGA) software. Classification of WGA as spyware, which is illegal in many states (there is no federal law yet) is central to both cases.
The extended spring tech conference season is beginning to wind down. I have done my share of time watching panels, keynotes and pitches, and hanging out in hallways and lobbys looking for fresh material, seeking out the strongest signals that portend what’s in store for the future.