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Saturday, November 20, 2010

LibreOffice Is Taking Shape With Third Beta - PCWorld Business Center

OpenOffice.org_logoImage via WikipediaLibreOffice Is Taking Shape With Third Beta - PCWorld Business Center
It's been less than two months since the Document Foundation announced that it was launching its own "fork" of the OpenOffice.org productivity software suite, but already its new LibreOffice alternative is beginning to take shape.
On Thursday the third beta version of LibreOffice 3.3 was released, and it's available for download for Linux, Mac OS X, and Windows. While not intended for production use, the current version of the free, fully open source software gives an early glimpse at LibreOffice's reinterpretation of office productivity, and it's an exciting one.
‘Our Code Base Is Getting Old'
LibreOffice 3.3 is based on OpenOffice.org 3.3, but it adds numerous code optimizations and new features that offer a first preview of new development directions for 2011 and beyond.
First, developers are now working full steam at improving the overall quality of the OpenOffice.org code, with a focus on easy testability and quality assurance. New developers and code hackers are handling the bulk of this activity, the group said.
"Our code base is getting old," explained Charles Schulz, a member of the Document Foundation's steering committee, in a recent blog post. "Worse, the whole frigging software looks and feels like we're stuck in the Bush area. Many things were not fixed, some others need a complete rewrite."

Monday, November 15, 2010

Mobile Broadband at 115MHz of Spectrum Gets Fast-Tracked - PCWorld

Mobile Broadband at 115MHz of Spectrum Gets Fast-Tracked - PCWorld
The National Telecommunications and Information Administration has identified 115MHz of spectrum that can be made available for commercial mobile broadband services within the next five years.
Obama's broadband stimulus: Will wireless fit the bill?
In a report issued Monday, the NTIA said that it had identified portions of two spectrum bands that could be opened up quickly for commercial use, as well as another band that could be opened up in the near future pending further evaluations.
Artwork: Chip TaylorThe first band identified by the NTIA, ranging from 1695 to1710MHz, is currently used by radio transmitters on weather balloons, as well as for weather satellites. NTIA says that the band could be used for commercial broadband services as long as the government sets exclusion zones that prevent commercial services from interfering with government agencies that receive data over the spectrum.
The second major band identified by the NITA is in the range from 3550 to 3650MHz and is used mostly by the Department of Defense for a wide variety of high-power radars. NTIA says that this spectrum can be safely licensed for broadband "outside certain coastal areas and test and training areas" without interfering with Defense Department operations.
The NTIA also examined spectrum in the 4200 to 4220MHZ and 4380 to 440MHz bands but concluded that they couldn't be opened up from commercial use before the year 2016. The administration also says that it could open up spectrum on the 1755 to1780MHz band but it would need more time to evaluate the spectrum since it is used by multiple government agencies throughout the country.
The federal government has made opening up new spectrum for commercial wireless data use one of its major goals in furthering the spread of mobile broadband. The Federal Communications Commission recently projected that growth in wireless data demand will lead to a "spectrum deficit" of 275MHz if no new spectrum is released by 2014.

Adobe launches Acrobat X Pro, new cloud services | Office | Creative Notes | Macworld

Adobe launches Acrobat X Pro, new cloud services | Office | Creative Notes | Macworld
Adobe on Monday launched its much-anticipated Acrobat X Pro program, along with a pair of two new cloud-based subscription services to enable the creation and sharing of PDF documents.
Acrobat X Pro offers users new features such as the Quick Tools customizable toolbar and the Action Wizard, which allows the automation of multi-step tasks that can then be applied to a single document or batches of files.
Acrobat X Pro also offers new customization options for PDF portfolios, allowing professional users to create and share custom layouts and themes for consistent branding. The program's printing options and preview tool have also been upgraded, and the company promises Acrobat will have tight integration with its services at Acrobat.com. Acrobat X Pro costs $500—or $200, if upgrading from a previous version of Acrobat—and is compatible with Macs running OS X 10.5.8 or 10.6.4.
The cloud-based services are Adobe SendNow and Adobe CreatePDF. SendNow is a document exchange service available that lets users send, download, track, and manage documents; the service helps users avoid e-mail gateway issues, FTP servers, or the need to print documents and send them through the postal service.

Facebook's new in-box brings MS Office support | Microsoft - CNET News

Image representing Facebook as depicted in Cru...Image via CrunchBaseFacebook's new in-box brings MS Office support | Microsoft - CNET News
Confirmation arrived this morning for earlier reports of Microsoft's Office Web apps product being integrated into Facebook's new in-box product.
At Facebook's San Francisco press event this morning about the overhaul of its messaging service, the company detailed how users can now view and share attachments on the service. Included on that list is Microsoft's Office Web Apps service, which means Facebook users will be able to open up Word, Excel, and PowerPoint attachments without having to have Microsoft's software installed locally.
The "view on Office.com" feature appears below each file attachment as an option, and opens up documents within Microsoft's Office Web App viewer in a new browser tab. Presumably more partnered services will be added to this list as time goes by, but for now this is the only option on these file types.
Last week, Microsoft pushed out support of its Docs.com service within Facebook's recently introduced Groups feature, adding sharing for MS Office docs and PDF files within groups.
Facebook began rolling out its new messaging system to select users and members of the press earlier this morning, and intends to bring it to the rest of its users over the next few months.

AppleInsider | Chinese lawsuit seeks to invalidate Apple's iPhone design patents

iPhone, iPhone 3G and 3GSImage via WikipediaAppleInsider | Chinese lawsuit seeks to invalidate Apple's iPhone design patents
As Apple looks to halt the sales of Meizu's iPhone lookalike in China, the company must now defend its patented iPhone design from a new lawsuit.
According to The Beijing Times, Luoen Network Information has sued Apple over the design of the iPhone, alleging that the patents owned by the company in China are invalid. As translated by MeizuMe, Chinese law makes it possible only to apply for product-specific patents.
"If one applies for a patent covering different types of products, the patent will be invalid," the report said.
Apple's patents reportedly covered three products originally. When it was discovered Apple did not specify a product, the nation's patent bureau helped the company register the filing for the iPhone.
Apple's patent applies to the shape of the iPhone -- rectangular with round edges, a vertical display, and the singular home button. But Luoen Network Information hopes to prove in its lawsuit that Apple's patented design is too broad. It also argued that MP3 players and phones released before the iPhone had a similar design.