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ODF back again?

February 23, 2014 — BarryK
Microsoft almost killed off ODF many years ago, or rather managed to get it shoved into obscurity.

The UK Government is looking at making ODF a requirement, see here:

I have learned to be pessimistic, when idealism/altruism, well just plain common-sense, are up against big business. Will I be pleasantly surprised this time around?


Why is the tea darker?

February 14, 2014 — BarryK
I drink green tea, boiled in water, nothing else added. For awhile now, I have been boiling it, allowing to cool, then pour into bottles and put in the refrigerator -- a refreshing cool drink -- it is summer here.

I had recently been using tap water, despite years of drinking only spring water or rain water. Then a few days ago, I decided to go back to using spring water -- no access to rainwater these days.

That is when I noticed something. I always boil the tea twice, allowing to stand for a short time between boils, to extract more from the tea leaves. I followed this exact same regimen with the spring water, and this is the result:

...the tea on the left is boiled in tap water, on the right in spring water, "Aussie Natural" brand.

So, I wondered, was the tap water causing more to be extracted from the tea leaves, or was there some kind of chemical reaction between the chemicals in the tap water and the tea leaves?

I conducted another experiment, boiled the tea in spring water three times, allowing to stand over an hour between boils, and this is the result:

...the bottle on the extreme right has been boiled three times in spring water. Darker, but still nowhere near the tap water.

So, I am left wondering. A bit of a google around did not really reveal why the tea boiled in tap water is darker.

I am using Nerada organic green tea:

This is what Aussie Natural have to say about their spring water:


$2B Android royalties

November 25, 2013 — BarryK
This is quite depressing:

As I understand it, Microsoft didn't have to really prove that their patents are valid, they just threatened and bullied the companies using Android to pay royalties.

Software patents should become illegal in the US (and Australia and everywhere else), as has been done in New Zealand:

However, there is this sobering assessment of what has really taken place in New Zealand:

Some analysts claim that the US is teetering on the verge of bankruptcy. That being the case, US judges are likely to bend (alright, break) the rules in favour of US companies wherever possible -- and given that patent royalties are such a nice earner for Microsoft, no way will the US ban software patents, or curb patent trolls.

Except if it works against a US company...

There was a software patents case recently between Samsung and Apple in the US. The President himself intervened in a court decision against Apple: