Open source initiative helps determine appropriate licenses -- and more tech news briefs

Short takes on this week's technology news

Proposals to help clarify open source licences

The Open Source Initiative has published a draft plan aimed at reducing the proliferation of different open source licences. It said the aim of the proposals was to help the open source community determine which licences are useful in which circumstances.

Microsoft faces SQL Server patent dispute

Microsoft is facing a fresh patent lawsuit over its SQL Server database. Software firm Timeline has alleged that SQL Server infringes its patents by creating databases for online analytical processing and that Microsoft has breached the terms of an earlier agreement that gave it a limited licence to use Timeline's technology.

Number of voice over IP subscribers rockets

Use of voice over IP services is rocketing, with an 83% increase in subscribers to retail VoIP services worldwide last year. The number of subscribers rose from 10.3 million to more than 18.7 million during 2005, said analyst firm Point Topic.

New method promises faster wireless chips

Engineers at the University of Southampton have developed a method to make bipolar transistors used in mobile phones and wireless hardware twice as fast as current devices. Researchers used fluorine implants to create a 110GHz chip.

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