Latest News: From all Sources
State Council Strengthens Energy Saving Standardization Work
USITO.org Weekly – April 15, 2015: On April 4, the General Office of the State Council published the "Opinions on Strengthening the Standardization Work on Energy Conservation," setting 2020 goals for establishing comprehensive standards on energy consumption limits for all major energy-intensive industries, and ensuring 80% of China's energy efficiency standards are internationally competitive.
The Opinions called for an accelerated development of national compulsory standards for energy efficiency and energy consumption limits, which would serve as market access regulations and force industry transformation. The Opinions require the State Administration of Standards, National Development and Reform Commission and Ministry of Industry and Information Technology to improve the mechanism of state-led mandatory standards and guiding technical specifics development, and explore ways for government to directly adopt market-driven consortia standards as national standards, so as to drive rapid transformation of new energy-saving technologies, products and services into standards.
The Opinions require all relevant government agencies to take responsibility for promoting and enforcing energy efficiency standards, and mandate that enforcement of mandatory energy efficiency standards will be included in all levels of government energy-saving performance assessments. ...Full Story
Five Stars: A skillfully crafted cyber-terrorism thriller
Amazon Reader Reviews – April 14, 2015: I found Mr. Updegrove's book from a posting on the Passive Voice website. I've found several good books written by indie authors on this website. This was an exciting thriller with well developed interesting characters involved in a timely cyber-terrorism attack. Updegrove knows his subject well, so the information about Internet security or the lack of it has been presented clearly and woven skillfully into his story. I found myself jumping to Wikipedia and Google Maps to dig deeper into the setting and movements of his characters as well as read further about some of the information Updegrove used to develop his plot structure. I look forward to his next book and encourage anyone seeking a well written contemporary thriller to give this book a read. You will not be sorry. ...Full Story
SIPO Seeks Comment on Fourth Draft of China Patents Law
USITO.org Weekly – April 14, 2015: On April 1, the State Intellectual Property Office (SIPO) released another draft for public comment of the China Patents Law with a deadline of April 28. This is the fourth comprehensive revision since SIPO started revision work in 2011. Previous drafts were released June 2016, November 2012 and January 2013.
The new draft includes substantial revisions to 30 articles, and adds a new chapter on patent applications. The major changes include:
- Expansion of administrative powers in investigating patent infringement, issuing injunctions, and levying fines
- Introduction of "punitive damages" and double or triple the compensation amount for the purpose of "punishing," rather than just "compensating," in the case of willful infringement
- Strengthening the legal system for patent attorneys and patent agencies and imposing strict regulation on patent attorneys/agencies without administrative licensing ...Full Story
Dash Industry Forum Publishes Version 3.0 of Its Interoperability Guidelines
Dash Industry Forum – April 14, 2015: DASH Industry Forum (DASH-IF)...announced today the publication of Version 3.0 of its Interoperability Implementation Guidelines.
The new DASH-IF V3.0 guidelines include interoperability points for enhanced live, on-demand and time-shifted video streaming using AVC/H.264 and HEVC/H.265 codecs. The guidelines support default HE-AAC and optional multichannel audio codecs, SMPTE-TT and CEA-608/708 closed caption formats, as well as common encryption (CENC) to support various digital rights management (DRM) systems.
Based on the second edition of the ISO/IEC 23009-1 (MPEG-DASH) standard, and incorporating enhanced live and ad insertion features, these guidelines enable deployment of live services and dynamic ad insertion with a single set of technologies. This means that a common DASH client implementation can be used to receive content for various streaming use cases and applications, enabling service and content providers to reach more DASH clients with the same set of publishing guidelines.... ...Full Story
New Forum latest to promise IoT unification
Rethink Wireless – April 13, 2015: As the internet of things (IoT) becomes ever more diffuse and politically charged, it might seem that the last thing anyone needs to address fragmentation is another industry alliance. However, the Wireless IoT Forum says its mission is just that - to counter fragmentation by creating a common platform that will bring scale and unity to the sector, because it will be heavily driven by operator requirements.
The new Forum is not as broad-ranging as its name suggests. It will focus on the low power wide area (LPWA) segment of the IoT, avoiding the battles over short range wireless connections in the home (though it will have to take efforts like Thread and Bluetooth Low Energy into account). It will cover licensed and licence-exempt spectrum solutions, and a wide range of use cases from smart city to consumer branded services.
However, its chosen area is hardly free from politics and competing technologies, with Sigfox, Plextek, the LoRa Alliance, the Weightless SIG and others all battling to establish themselves as alternatives to cellular solutions, mainly harnessing the unlicensed ISM spectrum bands.
The new group aims to address this potential chaos by adopting the blueprint created by another alliance, the Small Cell Forum (founded as the Femto Forum in 2007 to bring harmony to another emerging area of wireless technology).... ...Full Story
ZigBee Alliance and Thread Group Collaborate to Aid Development of Connected Home Products
Zigbee Alliance/Thread Group – April 10, 2015: The ZigBee Alliance and the Thread Group today announced they are collaborating to enable the ZigBee Cluster Library to run over Thread networks. By working together, ZigBee and Thread can jointly provide an interoperable solution to help streamline product development and ultimately improve the consumer's experience in the connected home....The ZigBee Cluster Library standardizes application level functionality for a wide variety of devices used in smart homes and other markets. Thread is a wireless networking protocol that can support multiple low-bandwidth, IP-based application protocols to provide secure and reliable networks, simple connectivity and low power in the home.... ...Full Story
4 keys to success for LibreOffice as a services
InfoWorld – April 10, 2015: ...The open source community needs a truly open alternative to current mainstream online document collaboration solutions, all of which are compromised by lock-in. LibreOffice Online will offer the full flexibility to deploy in-house or hosted cloud instances while using true open standards for its documents.
Moreover, the rich capabilities of LibreOffice -- which include support for the enterprise content management interface CMIS and cloud storage -- mean the offering can rapidly mature and adapt to changing enterprise conditions. Contributions will be needed to package the software for various delivery formats, but there's a good chance the work will attract multiple contributors wanting to escape the tentacles of Microsoft and Google....The test of LibreOffice Online will be whether we see wide deployment. Will it be easy enough for both users and service providers to deploy? Contribution will surely need to be proportional to deployment for such a project.... ...Full Story
Lack of Effective Timing Signals Could Hamper 'Internet of Things' Development
NIST Techbeat – April 9, 2015: Our fast-approaching future of driverless cars and "smart" electrical grids will depend on billions of linked devices making decisions and communicating with split-second precision to prevent highway collisions and power outages. But a new report* released by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) warns that this future could be stalled by our lack of effective methods to marry computers and networks with timing systems.
The authors...are concerned about the way most modern data systems are designed to process and exchange data with one another and what that could mean for a world of discrete processors and mechanical devices linked by an information network—the "Internet of Things" (IoT)....The trouble is that these applications frequently will depend on precision timing in computers and networks, which were designed to operate optimally without it. For example, for a driverless car to decide whether what it senses ahead is a plastic bag blowing in the wind or a child running, its decision-making program needs to execute within a tight deadline. Yet modern computer programs only have probabilities on execution times, rather than the strong certainties that safety-critical systems require.
In addition, many IoT systems will require precision synchronization across networks....Networked components need a way to combine time-sensitive processes and those that can be done whenever the system gets around to them....Additionally, systems need to be designed from the ground up to accommodate updates to computer applications and networks where timing is critical, updates that are virtually inevitable as systems change and grow. Currently, systems need to be rebuilt and recalibrated every time they become obsolete, costing time and money.... ...Full Story
NHS rolls out Vendor Neutral Archive initiative to open source records
Chris Meriman – April 9, 2015: NHS ENGLAND HAS been talking about the latest strand of its move toward open digital solutions to provide interoperability between the myriad departmental systems that are proprietary, incompatible or just plain disparate.
The organisation is to adopt Vendor Neutral Archive (VNA) as a standard format to store everything from X-rays to scanned letters and patient notes, in order to avoid lock-in with proprietary systems and allow easy sharing of data across the NHS.
VNA is not a format in its own right, but rather a standard of the Picture Archiving and Communication System. This is tailored to meet the needs of the medical community and based on common standards which are yet to be defined but revolve around incompatibility.... ...Full Story
EC launches new alliance between IoT players
Cities Today – April 8, 2015: A new platform to boost Europe's potential in the Internet of Things (IoT) field has been launched by the European Commission (EC) in Brussels during the Net Futures 2015 conference.
Günther H. Oettinger, European Commissioner for the Digital Economy and Society, officially launched the Alliance for Internet of Things Innovation, along with other partners, including Bosch and Philips. The Alliance brings together different industries, sectors and some of Europe's largest technology and digital companies.
Its main remit, through various working groups, will be to promote interoperability and convergence between standards, facilitate policy debates and prepare a Commission's initiative for large scale testing and experimentation, tabled for 2016.... ...Full Story
A Cautionary Open Source Tale, Apple Buys And Shutters FoundationDB
Forbes.com – April 8, 2015: On Tuesday, it was announced that Apple has snapped up FoundationDB, maker of the eponymously named database technology. Apple acquired the company and technology in order to help it crunch the ever-increasing quantities of data that it holds....[Apple] almost immediately...seemingly excised its very existence from GitHub, the repository where the code for open source projects like this is stored. The FoundationDB repository was devoid of any content after the move. This is in contrast to the day before when the repository was a typical bustling ecosystem of contributors and code.
FoundationDB wasn't a research project – this was a real project that was being used by developers to build projects. Taking down the FoundationDB repository could potentially put any of those projects at risk – while people scrambled to find recent forks of the repository, FoundationDB's (and by extension, Apple's) decision to nix the project looks like a king hit for developers....
There was no warning for this move...Apple is essentially saying that everything that FoundationDB, and its community, created during the lifetime of the project is now wrapped up and for the sole benefit of Cupertino. Ouch.... ...Full Story
'EC should replace PDF by HTML5 for its online forms'Submitted
EU Joinup – April 7, 2015: The European Commission should stop using PDF for online application forms, say five European groups campaigning for open standards and free and open source software. The EC should instead switch to modern web tools such as HMTL5 and XForms. The EC's PDF forms often include elements that are only implemented in proprietary software from a particular vendor, the groups say.
"This is a problem for many applicants who end up bereft of choice or excluded from the process altogether. It does not have to be this way, when a number of efficient alternatives exist that are entirely based on open standards", write OpenForum Europe, the FSFE, April, Edri and the Open Source Business Alliance. The coalition represents privacy and civil rights organisations, ICT firms, software developers and users of free and open source. Their open letter to the EC was published on Document Freedom Day, 25 March.
The groups are asking the EC to adhere to its promise to use open standards. "(These) are formats and protocols which everybody can use free of charge and restriction and for which no specific software from a particular vendor is required", the groups write. "They are essential for interoperability and freedom of choice based on the merits of different software applications."...In particular, the coalition writes, the EC should lead the way, and use open standards in all its digital communication and services.... ...Full Story
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