Balloting on whether Office Open XML (OOXML) should become an international document standard closed at midnight Saturday in Geneva, in an apparently tight vote. The results have not yet been officially announced.
In order for the measure to pass, two-thirds of participating countries needed to vote in favor of the issue and less than one-quarter of observer countries in opposition to it. A total of 87 nations' standards bodies will cast votes. Neither the ISO nor Microsoft have issued a statement regarding the balloting results.
A few key vote changes ahead of the final tally could push the measure towards approval. In Europe, representatives from Finland, Denmark, and the Czech Republic all indicated they were changing their earlier votes from opposing the standard to supporting it.
Others remain in opposition.
"Standards New Zealand has confirmed its negative vote for the adoption of the OOXML specification as an ISO/IEC international standard," Standards New Zealand Chief Executive Debbie Chin said in a statement Sunday on the group's Web site. A Standards NZ spokesperson said Monday afternoon that it had no further news or statement from Geneva. A Microsoft representative in New Zealand declined comment.
Source: PC World
With the release of Firefox 3 imminent, the rest of the Firefox team is cooking up some crazy ideas for Firefox 4.
While Firefox 3 pushes the boundaries of a browser, delivering a cleaner graphical interface, numerous security upgrades, and a variety of new features, it still is far from the "perfect browser". Of course no browser on the market could earn such a distinction, be it Opera's "Kestrel" 9.5 browser, which is shaping up to be very nicely, Microsoft's Internet Explorer 8, which is sure to deliver top end performance, or Apple's Safari v3.1 browser, which although plagued with bugs of late is still one of the fastest, most compatible, browsers around.
However, perfection is exactly what Mozilla wants for its Firefox 4 browser and it intends to get it through outside the box thinking. With the release of Firefox 3 imminent, Chris Beard, VP of Labs for Mozilla, has started to talk Firefox 4. Beard is working on many features which, while their underlying components might start to pop up in Firefox 3, won't truly see the light of day until Firefox 4.
Beard's basic push is to un-isolate the browser. He says that after 10 years the browser still remains isolated from your browser on other machines and from your computer environment. This leads to the focal point of Mozilla's efforts for Firefox 4. Mozilla is pushing strongly for two very different new lines of research: Prism and Weave.
It may be the quickest $10,000 Charlie Miller ever earned.
He took the first of three laptop computers -- and a $10,000 cash prize -- Thursday after breaking into a MacBook Air at the CanSecWest security conference's PWN 2 OWN hacking contest.
Show organizers offered a Sony Vaio, Fujitsu U810, and the MacBook as prizes, saying that they could be won by anybody at the show who could find a way to hack into each of them and read the contents of a file on the system using a previously undisclosed "0day" attack.
Nobody was able to hack into the systems on the first day of the contest when contestants were only allowed to attack the computers over the network, but on Thursday, the rules were relaxed so that attackers could direct contest organizers using the computers to do things like visit Web sites or open e-mail messages.
Miller, best known as one of the researchers who first hacked Apple's iPhone last year, didn't take much time. Within 2 minutes, he directed the contest's organizers to visit a Web site that contained his exploit code, which then allowed him to seize control of the computer, as about 20 onlookers cheered him on.
Source: Yahoo News
Microsoft's latest efforts to persuade customers to upgrade to its much-maligned Vista operating system have met with a cool response from users.
Historically, Microsoft's first service pack for one of its marquee products – such as Windows – provides the impetus for users to upgrade. As Gartner analyst, Stephen Kleynhans recently noted, customers see SP1 as the sign that the OS has reached maturity and is ready for enteprise deployment.
But even the offer of free support for using installing Vista Service Pack 1 (SP1) and tools to lower implementation cost, the user response has been one of stony indifference.
Vista SP1 includes a number of fixes for bugs that have plagued the operating system, as well as improved support for drivers. It initially became available to download from Microsoft's website and will be included as part of the Window's Update feature from mid-April.
But with some users reporting initial problems with installing Vista SP1 – from problems installing the software from Microsoft's website to unexpected spikes in memory usage once SP1 was installed – the company was quick to offer customers help manage the upgrade.
Mozilla Corp. Thursday confirmed that it will release the final beta of Firefox 3.0 shortly, and that it expects to deliver the finished browser to users in June.
Firefox 3.0 Beta 5 has been code-frozen, said Mike Schroepfer, Mozilla's vice president of engineering, and is working its way toward release. "That will be the last beta for Firefox 3.0," he said. Once Beta 5 is out of the way, developers will move to the Release Candidate (RC) stage.
Release Candidate 1 (RC1) should be ready sometime in early May, said Schroepfer, assuming Mozilla meets its current schedule. "The release candidates will move a little slower than beta," he continued, noting that the company must make allowances for public feedback.
Mozilla typically tries to dissuade most users from trying betas, calling them fit only for developers and testing, but in the past has encouraged the public to try out its RC builds.
Although plans are flexible, Schroepfer said he expects version 3.0 to hold true to past Firefox form and cycle through three release candidates before Mozilla signs off on the code. The RC period is also useful to extension developers, he said, many of whom wait until the code is at that stage before tweaking their add-ons.
With Windows Vista Service Pack 1 out the door, Microsoft was largely expected to release Windows XP SP3 last week or this week. It didn't, instead making public a Refresh build of SP3 Release Candidate 2.
Microsoft says it "made this release candidate available in order to receive further user feedback prior to the release of Windows XP SP3." But many users are wondering what's taking the company so long, as SP3 is largely a roll-up of existing updates and includes no major new features.
The first SP3 RC2 build was released in February, and was slated to be the final release candidate of the service pack. Microsoft says the Refresh is simply "to validate improvements to the Windows Update experience with Service Pack 3." In turn, there's no real changes in the service pack as far as bug fixes.
Microsoft hasn't provided any further guidance as to when XP SP3 final will be available to the public, only stating its original timeline of the first half of 2008. The company has good reason: it wants the focus to remain on Vista SP1 and continuing to provide updates to XP could lead people to hold off on migrating to Microsoft's newest operating system.