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Contents contributed and discussions participated by Paul Merrell

Paul Merrell

Firefox 3.5 benchmarked: Twice as fast as Firefox 3 - Crave at CNET UK - 0 views

  • So it makes sense that Firefox 3.5 called its rendering engine TraceMonkey, and with it has made the browser more than twice as fast as Firefox 3, by our own measurements. Using the SunSpider Javascript benchmark tool on a Windows PC, Firefox 3.5 scored 1,426ms, which is significantly faster than Firefox 3 which scored 3,250ms. Safari 4 and Chrome 2 scored 910ms and 709ms respectively.

    The average user will not find the previous version slow, and so may not notice version 3.5 working much harder. But it is, and pages are loading closer to the speed of Chrome now.

Paul Merrell

Martian Headsets - Joel on Software - 0 views

  • You’re about to see the mother of all flamewars on internet groups where web developers hang out. It’ll make the Battle of Stalingrad look like that time your sister-in-law stormed out of afternoon tea at your grandmother’s and wrapped the Mustang around a tree.
  • The flame war will revolve around the issue of something called “web standards.”
Paul Merrell

MSDN Blog Postings » Blog Archive » Semantic interoperability - Dream or r... - 0 views

  • Last week, European Commission and the Ministry of Health from Germany, with the support of Microsoft, organized a two days workshop on semantic interoperability in EHRs.  The initiative was triggered by the work performed by 12 countries in the project epSOS - the large scale pilot conceiving and testing a EU shared EHR and ePrescribing solution. The workshop involved experts in terminologies from Europe, United States and from international organizations such as WHO, European Commission and International Health Terminology Standard Development Organization (IHTSDO).
Paul Merrell

Chromium Blog: Developer Tools for Google Chrome - 0 views

  • Since the initial launch of Google Chrome back in September we have had the Elements and Resources tabs of WebKit's Inspector available. We are now ready to present Inspector's Scripts and Profiles panels built on top of the V8 engine providing web developers with full-featured Javascript debugger and sample-based profiler in the dev channel release of Google Chrome. We are also re-introducing the Elements and Resources tabs running out of process for better robustness, security and support for the new debugger and profiler setup.
Paul Merrell

Working to Fulfill our Legal Obligations in Europe for Windows 7 - Microsoft On The Issues - 0 views

  • Earlier today CNET reported that Microsoft had sent a memo to computer manufacturers and retailers about our plans for Windows 7 in Europe.  We’re getting quite a few calls on this, so we thought it would be helpful to explain our plans.
  • In January the European Commission provided its preliminary view that Microsoft’s “bundling” of Internet Explorer in Windows violated European competition law.
  • Windows 7 will be offered in Europe in all of the versions that will be available here in the United States, both 32- and 64-bit, with an “E” at the end of the product name (for instance, Windows 7 Home Premium E).  The E versions of Windows 7 will ship at the same time as Windows 7 ships in the rest of the world, and they will be available in 23 European languages.

    What does this mean for European consumers?  The E versions of Windows 7 will include all the features and functionality of Windows 7 in the rest of the world, other than browsing with Internet Explorer.  Computer manufacturers will be able to add any browser they want to their Windows 7 machines, including Internet Explorer, so European consumers who purchase new PCs will be able to access the Internet without any problem.  Consumers will also be able to add any Web browser to their PCs, to supplement or replace the browsers preinstalled by their computer manufacturer. 

    Most importantly, the E versions of Windows 7 will continue to provide all of the underlying platform functionality of the operating system—applications designed for Windows will run just as well on an E version as on other versions of Windows 7. 

  • ...2 more annotations...
  • Our decision to only offer IE separately from Windows 7 in Europe cannot, of course, preclude the possibility of alternative approaches emerging through Commission processes.  Other alternatives have been raised in the Commission proceedings, including possible inclusion in Windows 7 of alternative browsers or a “ballot screen” that would prompt users to choose from a specific set of Web browsers.  Important details of these approaches would need to be worked out in coordination with the Commission, since they would have a significant impact on computer manufacturers and Web browser vendors, whose interests may differ.   Given the complexity and competing interests, we don’t believe it would be best for us to adopt such an approach unilaterally. 
  • In January 2009 the Commission sent Microsoft a “Statement of Objections.” In it the Commission advised Microsoft of its preliminary view that the inclusion of Web browsing software in Windows violates European competition law. The Commission said in this document that it intends to impose a fine for this. The Commission also said that, with hindsight, the remedy adopted in its 2004 decision was not effective because there was very limited consumer demand for the versions of Windows without media player. We were, of course, disappointed to learn that the approach we took in September 2008 would not adequately address the Commission’s concerns.

    Microsoft filed its response to the Commission’s Statement of Objections in April. We believe we made a strong showing that including Internet Explorer in Windows is lawful so that no remedy is needed. We hope that the Commission will ultimately agree with us. In the meantime, we have to move forward with final planning for the release of Windows 7, so we’ve decided that instead of including Internet Explorer in Windows 7 in Europe, we will offer it separately. As noted, we will continue to discuss browser issues and other matters with the Commission.

    Note the emphasis that this is a unilateral move by Microsoft and a different remedy may still be forthcoming from DG Competition. In particular, not only the remedy as to bundling may be different, but other related issues remain, such as Opera's complaint that Microsoft had been undermining Open Web standards with inadequate support.
Paul Merrell

Europe to get Windows 7 sans browser | Beyond Binary - CNET News - 0 views

  • Microsoft plans to remove Internet Explorer from the versions of Windows 7 that it ships in Europe, CNET News has learned.
  • "To ensure that Microsoft is in compliance with European law, Microsoft will be releasing a separate version of Windows 7 for distribution in Europe that will not include Windows Internet Explorer," the software maker said in the memo
  • Microsoft confirmed the authenticity of the document but declined to comment further.
  • ...1 more annotation...
  • Update, 12:20 p.m.: Microsoft has posted a blog on its law and policy Web site, in which one of its lawyers responds to our story.
Paul Merrell

Nokia Targets Web Developers -- Web Developer Tools -- InformationWeek - 0 views

  • Nokia on Tuesday introduced a set of developer tools that seeks to make it easier for Web developers to create widgets for mobile phones.

    Nokia released Web Runtime plug-ins for Microsoft's Visual Studio, Adobe's Dreamweaver, and Aptana Studio, enabling third parties to create mobile widgets using HTML, CSS, JavaScript, Ajax, and other standard Web development code. The company said this should streamline the development process, as well as attract a new set of content creators who may not have mobile experience.

Paul Merrell

OASIS Protects Open Source Developers From Software Patents [on Simon Phipps, SunMink] - 0 views

  • OASIS seems to have taken it to heart, because it has today announced what looks to me like the perfect basis for technology standards in an open source world.

    Their new rules2 include a new "mode" which standards projects can opt into using. In this new mode, all contributors promise that they will not assert any patents they may own related to the standard the project is defining. Contributors make this covenant:

    Each Obligated Party in a Non-Assertion Mode TC irrevocably covenants that, subject to Section 10.3.2 and Section 11 of the OASIS IPR Policy, it will not assert any of its Essential Claims covered by its Contribution Obligations or Participation Obligations against any OASIS Party or third party for making, having made, using, marketing, importing, offering to sell, selling, and otherwise distributing Covered Products that implement an OASIS Final Deliverable developed by that TC.
  • The covenant described in Section 10.3.1 may be suspended or revoked by the Obligated Party with respect to any OASIS Party or third party if that OASIS Party or third party asserts an Essential Claim in a suit first brought against, or attempts in writing to assert an Essential Claim against, a Beneficiary with respect to a Covered Product that implements the same OASIS Final Deliverable.
  • There's a redline PDF document showing the changes - the new stuff is mainly in section 10, although other areas had to be changed to match as well, I gather.
  • ...1 more annotation...
  • OASIS Protects Open Source Developers From Software Patents
    This new technical committee IPR mode may not make much sense to the legally-inclined without reading the new section 2.7 definition of "Covered Product." There we learn that the patent covenant extends only so far as the implementation is conformant with the standard. I count that as a good thing, curing a defect in the Sun Covenant Not to Sue in regard to ODF, which at least arguably extended far enough to confer immunity on those who embrace and extend a standard. But the reciprocity provision allowing contributors to counter-sue for infringement if sued clashes with many definitions of an "open standard" adopted by governmental entities for procurement purposes. So a question remains as to who must bend, government or OASIS members.
Paul Merrell

White House preparing 2.0 -- Government Computer News - 0 views

  • White House officials plan to release Version 2.0 of the new government data portal,, in the next couple of months, federal chief information officer Vivek Kundra said today.

    The federal Web site, which makes government data available for public reuse, will likely feature new tagging capabilities and an expanded array of information tools, Kundra said., which debuted May 21, has 87,000 data feeds from various government agencies. That number is expected to top 100,000 by next week, Kundra said.

Paul Merrell

Google to slip SVG into Internet Explorer * The Register - 0 views

  • Microsoft might be hesitating on Scalable Vector Graphics (SVG) in Internet Explorer 8, but Google's pressing on.

    The search giant's engineers are building a JavaScript library to render static and dynamic SVG in Microsoft's browser. Google promised that the library, a Javascript shim, will simply drop into IE.

  • SVG has a huge presence on the web. This facet of the World Wide Web Consortium's HTML 5 spec is supported in Firefox, Safari, Opera, Chrome, and Apple's iPhone, and is used in Google Maps and Google Docs. It also topped a list of features wanted by developers in a OpenAJAX browser wish list last year.
  • There's suspicion, though, that the reason has more to do with Microsoft's internal politics, with the company wanting graphics and drawing in IE done using Silverlight instead.

    SVG Web is more than an answer to Microsoft's foot-dragging, however. Google has declared for HTML 5 on the web, proclaiming last week that the web programming model has "won".

    Support for graphics capabilities in HTML 5 should also be seen as Google's partial answer to Adobe Systems' Flash. Google has complained that Flash is not open source and its development is not driven by the community. Google said the benefit of SVG Web is that it would sit inside the DOM whereas Flash "sits on top of the web, it's not part of the web"

Paul Merrell

US Justice Dept probing company recruiting-source | Industries | Technology, Media & Te... - 0 views

  • WASHINGTON, June 3 (Reuters) - The U.S. Justice Department is investigating a possible no talent-poaching pact by big tech businesses, a tech industry source with direct knowledge of the matter told Reuters on Wednesday.
  • Genentech said it was cooperating with the probe.
  • A Google spokesman confirmed that the search engine giant had been contacted and was cooperating but had no further comment.
  • ...2 more annotations...
  • "My sense of it is that there are as many as a dozen companies that have been sent CIDs (civil investigative demands)," the source said, referring to requests for information sent out as part of a formal probe. "There's an open question of who are the other companies."
  • The Justice Department is also looking at Google's deal to digitize millions of books, and the U.S. Federal Trade Commission, which also has antitrust responsibilities, has a probe into Google and Apple Inc's overlapping board members.
    More details on the new DoJ investigation, including confirmations from Google and Genentech.
Paul Merrell

Antitrust Probe Targets Tech Giants, Sources Say - - 0 views

  • The Justice Department has launched an investigation into whether some of the nation's largest technology companies violated antitrust laws by negotiating the recruiting and hiring of one another's employees, according to two sources with knowledge of the review.

    The review, which is said to be in its preliminary stages, is focused on the search engine giant Google; its competitor Yahoo; Apple, maker of the popular iPhone; and the biotech firm Genentech, among others, according to the sources, who spoke on condition of anonymity because the investigation is ongoing.

Paul Merrell

Oracle to gain quick OK for Sun purchase (Dealscape - Pipeline) - 0 views

    The Justice Department's antitrust division is preparing to give a quick thumbs up to Oracle Corp.'s proposed $7.4 billion purchase of Sun Microsystems Inc., according to a lawyer briefed on the case.

    Swift approval surprises the many antitrust experts who predicted a long, scathing review. A difficult investigation was expected for two key reasons. First, Assistant Attorney General Christine Varney, who has a special area of expertise in high technology matters, rode into office promising vigorous antitrust enforcement. Second, skepticism lingers among DOJ staff about Oracle's business practices. Oracle CEO Larry Ellison thwarted the DOJ in 2004 when he defeated an attempt by the agency to block his purchase of rival PeopleSoft Inc.
Paul Merrell

The Top 6 Game-Changing Features of Google Wave - 0 views

  • Without a doubt, the product that has the entire web buzzing right now is Google Wave (Google Wave reviews), the search giant’s newly announced communication platform. Earlier this week, we brought you detailed information on the new Google (Google reviews) product in our article Google Wave: A Complete Guide, but now we want to explore exactly why everyone is so excited about Google Wave.

    You’ve probably heard people talk about Google Wave being a game-changer, a disruptive product, or maybe even as an email killer. But while keywords and phrases like these grab people’s attention, they don’t explain why or how Google Wave could be a paradigm-shifter. In this article, we explore these questions by highlighting some of Google Wave’s most unique and promising features. By exploring these features, we can better understand the potential of this new technology.

Paul Merrell

InfoQ: Google Wave's Architecture - 0 views

  • Operational Transformation

    This is the crucial part of Wave’s technology. Google Wave makes extensive use of Operational Transformations (OT) which are executed on the server. When an user edits a collaborative document opened by several users, the client program provides an Optimistic UI by immediately displaying what he/she types but it also sends the editing operation to the server to be ratified hoping that it will be accepted by the server. The client waits for the server to evaluate the operation and will cache any other operations until the server replies. After the server replies, all cached operations are sent from client to server in bulk. The server, considering operations received from other clients, will transform the operation accordingly and will inform all clients about the transformation, and the clients will update their UI accordingly. Operations are sent to the server and propagated to each client on a character by character basis, unless it is a bulk operation. The server is the keeper of the document and its version is considered the “correct” version. In the end, each client will be updated with the final version received from the server, which is the result of possibly many operational transformations. There are recovery means provided for communication failure or server/client crash. All XML documents exchanged between the client and the server carry a checksum for rapid identification of miscommunications.

Paul Merrell

Google Wave Developer Blog - 0 views

    A must-see video if you're interested in the dance of sugar plum documents, what can be done with HTML5-plus, and an outside-the-box approach to online collaboration. Google just may have a winner in Wave.
Paul Merrell

Chrome Experiments - Home - 0 views

    Page after page of links to experiments using advanced features of the Webkit-based Google Chrome. But update to Chrome 2.x before playing.
    Flash just died. Webkit and HTML-plus are the winners.
Paul Merrell

Obama Set to Create 'Cyber Czar' Position - - 0 views

  • WASHINGTON -- President Barack Obama will announce on Friday the creation of a "cyber czar" position, stepping up his administration's efforts to better protect the nation's computer networks.

    The White House appointment will be followed in coming days by the formal creation of a new military cyber command that will coordinate the defense of Pentagon computer networks and improve U.S. offensive capabilities in cyberwarfare.

  • The cybersecurity chief will report to both the National Security Council and the National Economic Council, a compromise resulting from a fierce White House turf battle over the responsibilities and powers of the new office.

    Mr. Obama won't announce on Friday the person who will fill the new job. That isn't expected for at least a few more days.

Paul Merrell

Christine A. Varney to Participate in Eighth Annual International Competition Network C... - 0 views

  • Christine A. Varney, Assistant Attorney General in charge of the Department's Antitrust Division, will participate in the eighth annual International Competition Network (ICN) conference in Zurich, Switzerland, from June 3-5, 2009. At the conference, senior government antitrust officials, private-sector antitrust experts from around the world, and representatives from intergovernmental organizations will meet to discuss competition issues.
  • The ICN conference will focus on the recent accomplishments of its five substantive working groups which address: unilateral conduct, mergers, cartels, advocacy and competition policy implementation. Conference panels will include discussions on proposed Recommended Practices for Substantive Merger Analysis and the analysis of tying and discounting arrangements, and will promote the general exchange of views regarding competition law and policy among the participants. Members also will finalize work programs for the coming year.
  • In October 2001, the Department of Justice and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) joined with antitrust agencies from 13 other jurisdictions around the world (Australia, Canada, the European Union, France, Germany, Israel, Italy, Japan, Korea, Mexico, South Africa, the United Kingdom and Zambia) to create the ICN. The ICN now includes 107 member agencies from 96 jurisdictions. The goal of the ICN is to provide a forum for antitrust agencies to address antitrust enforcement and policy issues of common interest and formulate proposals for procedural and substantive convergence through a results-oriented agenda and structure.
    Look for more Obama Administration antitrust policy announcements to flow from the June 3-5 conference announced here. This is the annual conference where antitrust policy changes can be announced to all competition regulators globally. The Obama Administration will not waste that opportunity.
Paul Merrell

Opera: Web standards could eclipse Flash - - 0 views

  • The next revision of the HTML web language will make Adobe's Flash technology largely redundant, according to the chief executive of browser company Opera.

    The open web standards included in HyperText Markup Language version 5 (HTML 5) provide a viable alternative to Adobe's proprietary Flash for the delivery of rich media web content, Jon von Tetzchner told ZDNet UK on Wednesday.

  • Von Tetzchner said that HTML 5's handling of rich media meant that Flash — Adobe's ubiquitous, proprietary multimedia platform for the web — is becoming largely unnecessary. "You can do most things with web standards today," von Tetzchner said. "In some ways, you may say you don't need Flash."
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