Floppy disks still used to store data at some U.S. government agencies

To most, the floppy disk symbol means save. But for some United States government agencies, it still means store, CBC News reports. According to a New York Times report, the Federal Register — the official journal of the U.S. government — receives some of its information for publication on the ubiquitous 3.5-inch device and its seemingly archaic successor, the CD-ROM. As it turns out, legal and security requirements are outdated at some government agencies, compelling the Federal Register to work like it’s 1995. Some agencies scan documents on to a computer and save them on antiquated floppy disks that are couriered to the register…

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New Zealand bans software patents

CBC News reports that in a move widely seen as a boost for innovation and competition in the technology sector, New Zealand has passed a law that will prohibit the patenting of computer software. The reformed Patents Bill, which was first drafted five years ago, passed third reading in the New Zealand Parliament Wednesday. The new law states that “a computer program is not an invention” and hence cannot be protected by a patent. “This bill marks a significant step towards driving innovation in New Zealand,” said Commerce Minister Craig Foss in a press release on his ministry’s website. “It replaces 60-year-old legislation and introduces a patent system suited for the 21st century.”

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