Given the way the US Constitution has been interpreted/repurposed/redefined/stretched recently, isn’t it a cruel joke be awarded ex aequo the distinction of being World’s Most Enduring Government Institution? Apparently not.
World Changing: « A new international agreement will make easier the import and deployment of telecommunications equipment in disaster zones:
‘Victims of disasters will now be able to benefit from faster and more effective rescue operations, thanks to the Tampere Convention on the Provision of Telecommunication Resources for Disaster Mitigation and Relief Operations that comes into force Saturday, 8 January 2005, following ratification by 30 countries.
‘Until now, the trans-border use of telecommunication equipment by humanitarian organizations was often impeded by regulatory barriers that make it extremely difficult to import and rapidly deploy telecommunications equipment for emergencies.’
See also ReliefWeb for more info
Continuing their support for open source development, IBM will give away 500 patents.
This is an new pragmatic middle way in the software patent debate:
U.S. patent leader IBM said late on Monday it plans to donate 500 patents for free use by software developers, marking a major shift of intellectual property strategy for the world’s top computer maker and a challenge to the high-tech industry.
[…] The IBM move is meant to encourage other patent holders to donate their own intellectual property in order to form what the company refers to as a ‘patent commons,’ a modern twist on shared public lands set aside under traditional laws.
‘We think the way it’s going to evolve is that other companies will want to pledge,’ Stallings said. ‘I think they will come together and decide how to manage the commons,’ he said, stressing that IBM was hoping to jump-start but not control any resulting organization to manage this process.
CNet News – IBM offers 500 patents for open-source use; Slashdot – IBM Opens Their Patent Portfolio to Open Source; Washington Post – IBM to Help Open-Source Developers [pdf]; NYTimes – I.B.M. to Give Free Access to 500 Patents