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The Problem with Vendor Industry Standards (27/08/2007 10:28:34 AM)

Hi all,

There's been a fair bit of news I thought I would comment about today that should fill up enough kilobytes to annoy you all.

Vendor Industry Standards:

Yes, as the title suggests, I am not happy with Vendor Industry Standards. Microsoft has been attempting to push their new document format, Office Open eXtensible Markup Language (OOXML), for quite some time now and thank god that at least one group gave the OOXML a thumbs down. So why am I glad? Well, Vendors are great for making software that works and integrates with each other, but there are times when big players want to take out the smaller players in the effort to create competition and promote their own products.

poisson_400With Microsoft, they want their Office 2007 format to be an Industry Standard simply so they have control over who can use the format and the types of revisions they use on it. Now, do we really need Microsoft owning any more of the Information Technology community? Lets take the humble .doc format. For those who don't know, .doc is a propietry format for Microsoft Office 95/97/2000/2003 and even older versions. Basically what that means is in order to view a document file with the extension .doc, you need special file reading algorithms to translate the document.

So why is this such a problem for the end user? Well it limits choice. For instance, loading up a document file in Open Office looks substantially different, and saving from Open Office to Microsoft Office is a conversion process aswell that isn't 100% accurate. We already have an open format called ODF (Open Document Format) that Microsoft could use, but no - they have to make their own vendor formats that mean Microsoft not only dominate our office, but they dominate our files yet again.

I mean, what kind of an open format is one that has XML tags called (and this is the most funniest one I have come across) ? This is supposed to be an open format, and it is making reference to propietry software?!?!?! The format specifications are also a supposed 6000 pages or so. I mean seriously, who wants to read 6000 pages on the format.

You HAVE to use Windows:

A man who was sentenced to five years imprisonment and a further five years confined within his house for pirating Star Wars Episode III via BitTorrent has just been sentenced yet again with having a stipulation that he MUST use the Microsoft Windows operating system simply because they require monitoring software to be installed on his computer (and currently, it only operates on Windows). His concerns aren't so much that he has to have monitoring software installed (it's part of his sentence), however to be told you can no longer use Linux is like a second sentence!!!

I mean, can a court really stipulate the type of Operating System he must use just because they cannot locate an application to monitor computer usage? Surely keyloggers exist for Linux that could monitor everything done on the computer. Oh well, more fool him in the first place for pirating stuff.

Kid cracks Porn Filter:

I love the wording that has been used lately to describe the methods in which a 16 year old kid hacked in to an application the government spent millions on developing. The software, Net Alert, is designed to prevent pornography access for children to further secure a childs life.

linuxNow I will admit, the kid did a great job finding a way around the software, but it's by no means cracking (or hacking in its pure definition). I mean, I don't consider my workings at school (breaking NetOp, bypassing Proxy Servers) hacking unlike the *two* times I found my way in portions of the school database that I shouldn't have had such easy access to and neither should this kid.

I mean the kid bypassed the filter and is a great screw you to the government on spending money on software children can find their way around (it's inevitable given the way the application is designed), but I wish the Television would stop making him out as some sort of guru over it - I especially like the offer Kochie made on Sunrise (a Television show in Australia) about the government employing him.

So yeah, the kid did a great job bypassing the filter - but it's definitely not something one should cheer about public - hell, I'd have been inundated with press if half of the things I did were ever released hehehe... like unsecured marks and family details databases... Wink

Media and Inaccurate Descriptions:

Finally, I want to complain about the media. What a pack of morons they have been this week and it's not just one news paper or TV show. For instance, earlier last week the A66-MTH-MTH Stony Point train hit a truck at Somerville and the bulls#it flying about this incident was hillarious. Here are the inaccuracies so far caught by the media:

Anyway, there has also been some inaccuracies with the horse flu thing I'll post tomorrow or something. In the mean time, I'm going to sleep!

Ciao

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