Friday, April 14, 2006

Weekly Reading Notes 14 April 2006

Corporate Alzheimer's: Coping With Forgotten File Formats. John K. Waters. April 4, 2006.
What if the file formats of our text documents, spreadsheets, charts and presentations were not supported by future versions of the programs used to create them today, or by other future products? Could the inability to read file formats cause a kind of corporate Alzheimer’s that threatens our ability to recall contracts, insurance policies, financial records, payroll data and other critical documents? In some ways, this is happening today. Some documents that are only 10 years old are inaccessible now. If the baseline file format continues to evolve as it has done, formats may be unusable in 10 or 11 years. We need a standard for documents that need to be kept indefinitely, and two are being discussed: OpenDocument Format for Office Applications (ODF), which was developed by the OASIS standards consortium, and Microsoft's Office Open XML. Both are based on XML. Microsoft has promised that their version will be compatible with their older document formats, that they would give it away, and that it would be controlled by an international standards body.

Sony reveals more details of Blu-ray Disc PC. Martyn Williams. IDG News Service. 13 April 2006.
Sony has released some details about its first desktop PC to include a Blu-ray Disc drive. It will include reader/writer Blu-ray Disc drives that support single-layer 25G-byte discs or double-layer 50G-byte discs. They plan to make them available in "early summer" in the U.S.

Library of Congress preserves Motown recordings. Alison Bethel. The Detroit News. April 12, 2006.
Library of Congress selected 50 sound recordings for preservation because of their cultural, historical or esthetic significance. The National Recording Registry was established by the Library of Congress as part of the 2000 National Recording Preservation Act to preserve the most significant recordings and to highlight the need to preserve the country's sound recording legacy before it deteriorates.

Microsoft to Make Virtual Server Free. Peter Galli. April 3, 2006.,1759,1945069,00.asp
Microsoft has announced that it will make its Virtual Server product available on the internet for free. They also plan to incorporate this into the server operating system.

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