New Backpack

37signals have released a new version of Backpack and it’s pretty spiffy. Search is awesome and the increased draggability is nice. However, they seem to have screwed up the one feature that I’ve been waiting two years for: moving things between pages. They’ve added this feature but you can only move entire lists, not individual list items. This is particularly import to us GTDers who need to move items around between our Next Actions, Waiting For, and Someday/Maybe lists. I may be moving to Remember the Milk, which does this and has keyboard shortcuts and lets you move individual items.

Comments on Mass. IT Policy Due Tomorrow

The Massachusetts Information Technology Division recently announced its intention to add Microsoft’s OfficeOpen XML specification to its list of approved open formats. The ITD created a firestorm in 2005 when it announced that the state would standardize on ODF as its document file format, effectively dumping Microsoft Office and adopting the free OpenOffice.org. After two years of intensive lobbying by Microsoft the ITD is set to reverse that decision. The deadline for public comments on the new draft policy is tomorrow. I urge you to comment, and you might want to check out Andy Updegrove’s comments for inspiration.

Connector and Slingshot Open-sourced and Free

Joyent’s Connector web-based groupware has been open sourced. You now have a few options for open source, web-based calendar and email. I’m sure Chandler Server will be nice when it’s finished, which should be any year now, and Novell has abandoned Hula so Connector is looking pretty good. Unfortunately, it doesn’t have any keyboard shortcuts that I can find and I really need one-key archiving in order break my Gmail habit. [via Hack the Planet]

Organic farming could feed the world

Ivette Perfecto of the University of Michigan in the US and her colleagues found that, in developed countries, organic systems on average produce 92% of the yield produced by conventional agriculture. In developing countries, however, organic systems produce 80% more than conventional farms. Perfecto points out that the materials needed for organic farming are more accessible to farmers in poor countries.

Link [via Red State Green]

Net Radio Rates

Tim Quirk details how the new Internet radio royalty rates will cripple Rhapsody’s radio stations. The rates take effect in two days and it seems that the only thing you can do about it is contact your representatives and try to get the Internet Radio Equality Act through Congress.

Update: Net radio got a bit of a reprieve yesterday when SoundExchange told Congress that it wouldn’t enforce the new royalty rates on Sunday and would instead negotiate new rates with web broadcasters. What the new rates will be and how they will be determined in the future is still up in the air.