Our Kiwi cousins will soon receive a new patent law that will ban patents on software, with one exclusion: that software is patentable when it is embedded inside of another invention.

The New Zealand Open Source Society has jumped on the move to allow the exclusion, citing it as a “betrayal” to developers and said that the NZ Government has left open a massive loophole that will be exploited by large corporations to patent their software in New Zealand.

Yesterday, WordPress announced its new default theme for 2012, titled appropriately “Twenty Twelve”.

The theme is fully responsive across the various screen sizes available, and does away with the header images that have long been a part of WordPress’ default theme. As far as default themes go, this one is very good, and the way it handles mobile visitors is a nice touch at no extra charge. Test the new theme at its demo site.

Also arriving yesterday were Firefox 15 and Thunderbird 15.

The big addition to Firefox is new silent updating, a la Google Chrome, with Mozilla showcasing the new capabilities of the browser in this 3D shooter.

For Thunderbird, the new additions are the Chat feature and a Do Not Track option. While the idea of having email and chat histories in one place is a good idea, the interface suffers from being a debutant. I played with it this morning, and the lack of desktop notifications was a big miss (this is something that GNOME 3 absolutely nails; yes, really), as was the lack of polish on the twitter implementation. You could get away with using it for XMPP-based protocols, but at the moment, I still prefer a dedicated chat client — I hope Thunderbird forces me to change that view in upcoming releases.

It’s great to see features still arriving for Thunderbird, remembering that it is currently in unthinkable territory.