If you've been following my various rantings on this blog, particularly the ones about file formats (OpenDocument Format vs. Microsoft's Office XML-based formats) or digital restrictions management (DRM) [sic], or a lot of what I've written over the last five years about open standards and intellectual property, then you'll know that for the benefit of technology buyers (ZDNet's audience), I'm a strong advocate of open standards.
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.
As 2005 comes to a close, my colleague at CNET Esther Dyson is busy planning PC Forum, her annual March executive conference. The theme for PC Forum 2006 is "Erosion of Power: Users in charge.
Worth reading: Declan McCullagh writes about the proposed renewal of the Patriot Act, describing the 219-page conference report as a political version of a Christmas tree, ornamented with dozens of senators' pet projects. Here's a sample of the ornaments tacked on to the Patriot Act: Reduces the amount of contraband cigarettes that qualifies as a federal crime.
Nick Carr gives Sun one of his tongue lashings and a bit of advice in a recent blog post:Sun Microsystems is a funny company. It jumped directly from hyperactive adolescence to midlife crisis, complete with ponytail.
Steve Lohr's New York Times article "Can this man reprogram Microsoft" doesn't offer much that hasn't already been endlessly reported about Ray Ozzie's background and mission to bring the services economy to Microsoft.
A lot has happened since I last wrote about the OpenDocument vs. Microsoft file formats drama that is clearly turning out to be one of the most important beachheads in the computer industry.
By now, you've probably tired of hearing about Sony BMG's rootkit-based DRM and may have come to the conclusion that this was one bad actor in a sea of less intrusive and maybe even effective DRM strategies. In his usually clear style, Ed Felton has explained why this isn't so.
The black market for malware visited eBay briefly this week. A seller who goes by the handle "fearwall" started auctioning a Microsoft Excel vulnerability on Wednesday, and it reached $56 before eBay shut it down.
For a guy whose legendary mobile messenging network could be forced to shutdown due to a patent battle with NTP, Research in Motion (maker of the BlackBerry) president and co-CEO Mike Lazaridis (pictured left) seemed incredibly undistracted in his discussion of the company's more recent innovations as I interviewed him by phone yesterday morning. Sure, he's legally embargoed from discussing the case as long as it remains unresolved.
I was reading The Register's coverage of a talk given by Creative CEO Sim Wong Hoo who claims that implementations of side-scrolling hierarchical menus such as those found on Apple's iPods are infringing on his company's recently awarded patent (US patent 6,928,433). Apparently, the first appearance of such a user interface showed up on one of Creative's early generation MP3 players in 2000.