Latest News: From all Sources
Italian military move first 8000 PCs to LibreOffice
EU Joinup – September 13, 2016: The Italian military have switched the first 8000 PC workstations to Libreoffice, an open source office productivity suite, reports Sonia Montegiove, a software analyst working for the Italian province of Perugia who is helping the military with the switch to LibreOffice.
Over the next four years, the LibreDifesa project aims to migrate all of the Italian military's well over 100,000 desktops PCs to LibreOffice. This would make it the largest free software transition involving desktop PCs by a European public administration. The LibreDifesa project should help save EUR 26 to 29 million.
For the military, the main motives for the switch include interoperability and long-term accessibility of documents and information.... ...Full Story
Apache OpenOffice VP discusses exit strategies as volunteers jump ship
The Register – September 13, 2016: OPENOFFICE could be about to fall under a bus of disinterest as its contributors leave in droves.
The Sun Microsystems open source productivity suite, now in the hands of the Apache Foundation, has suffered, at least in part, from the more organised LibreOffice forked from the original but being run on a more formalised release schedule.
The result is that OpenOffice has fallen behind and is in a potentially inescapable spiral. Meanwhile, LibreOffice has attracted corporate customers and the UK government....Hamilton then goes on to outline possible options for retirement, ranging from protecting the codebase to the stopping of social media interaction. It suggests that OpenOffice could release a final version that would be definitive, to all intents and purposes, and leave a final point of contact for anyone interested in the brand....the last major release for OpenOffice was in October 2015. ...Full Story
SEMIC - Semantic Interoperability Community
EU Joinup – September 9, 2016: You are kindly invited to participate and contribute in the public review of the three new specifications that the ISA▓ Programme has developed in close collaboration with relevant EU and Member State services and a broad community of contributors: StatDCAT-AP, the Core Public Organisation Vocabulary (CPOV) and Core Criterion and Core Evidence Vocabulary (CCCEV). The specifications have entered their public review period on 30 August 2016. This review period will last for eight weeks, until 23 October 2016. The feedback received will be discussed during Working Groups meetings in late October and mid November. The final publication of the specifications is foreseen for December 2016.... ...Full Story
Web consortium weighs work on blockchain standards
FedScoop – September 8, 2016: The World Wide Web Consortium,...is looking at possible standards for blockchain — the technology underlying bitcoin and other digital currencies.
In a report published last week, the consortium... announced the formation of a new Blockchain Community Group. The group will evaluate uses for the technology beyond currencies and payment systems, and study possible standards that would ensure the interoperability of different blockchain implementations....Interoperable standards would ensure, for instance, that particular functions of one blockchain could be understood and replicated by others.One example of a possible future standard is an implementation called Chainpoint,..."it's a digital receipt that ... verifies the the existence of a document at a particular point in time" and provides a cryptographic guarantee that it hasn't been tampered with or altered since,... ...Full Story
EU's net neutrality guidelines get published
BBC – September 7, 2016: BBC - The EU is taking a tough line on net neutrality.
The Body of European Regulators for Electronic Communications (Berec) - which represents all the EU's communications regulators - has finally published guidelines clarifying how telecom companies should treat the data they handle, months after a law concerning the matter was published.
In the past, apps and other online services could, in theory, pay more to ensure their products ran smoothly. That appealed to network providers, who saw it as a way to boost profits.
But Berec says only a limited number of services will be able to ask for special treatment, and then only so long as it is not to the detriment of others.
The new rules also set out consumers' right to be free to access and distribute information and content, run applications and use services of their choice, so long as they are not illegal.
The publication has been welcomed by digital rights experts.... ...Full Story
New Standards Should Help in Filling Cyber Jobs, OPM Says
FEDWeek – September 6, 2016: One of the key changes in the administration's recently announced Federal Cybersecurity Workforce Strategy which will aid agencies in filling those jobs is setting standards for such work, OPM has said.
"A relatively new field, cybersecurity lacks standard job titles, which makes writing and reading resumes difficult for both job seekers and hirers. Designating and implementing commonly used titles will facilitate communication between job seekers and employers and mitigate common unemployment challenges where qualified candidates are simply not being matched with job openings," an official said in a post on the CIO Council site.
"Ensuring that everyone is speaking the same language and instituting widely-recognized standards will enable the cybersecurity field as a whole to grow and mature," the post said, touting the use of a tool that "provides mix-and-match, modular job descriptions that can be easily plugged into job descriptions and posted to job boards."
OPM said it also is working to increase awareness of alternative hiring authorities and is examining ways to streamline background investigations and security clearance processes.... ...Full Story
China Establishes Online Information Portal for Association Standards
ANSI.org – September 6, 2016: In May 2016, China established a public online portal in Chinese for information and links related to the country's association standards (although officially translated as "association standards" in several policy documents, they are more commonly known as "social organization standards"). The portal was established in accordance with China's plan for deepening the reform of its standardization system, which the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) has been closely monitoring.
The reform plan promotes association standards, a relatively new category of Chinese standards, and the government has released several policy documents regarding the development and use of these standards, including "Association Standardization—Part 1: Guidelines for Good Practice" [see related news item] and the "Guiding Opinions for Fostering and Developing Association Standards." A reference translation of the Guiding Opinions is available in the Member Library.... ...Full Story
CAC Cybersecurity Standardization Work
USITO.org – August 29, 2016: On August 22, the Cyberspace Administration of China (CAC) released Several Opinions on Strengthening National Cybersecurity Standardization Work. The opinions encourage more coordination and collaboration among standards bodies, a stronger overall system, better quality standards, and an improved implementation method. They also ask for a greater involvement in international standardization work.
Specifically, the outline says to optimize standards across all levels by streamlining and simplifying mandatory standards and establishing national standards for critical information infrastructure security, national security related networks, and personal information protection. Additionally, it calls to optimize recommended national standards at the basic and general levels as well as develop recommended standards to meet special industry needs. ...Full Story
Brilliant, Fast Paced Page Turner (Five Stars)
Amazonn Reader Reviews – August 26, 2016: The Lafayette Campaign is a masterfully crafted satirical page turner. In this cyber thriller, our hero "Frank," a quirky and eccentric "cyber geek" will keep you smiling and at times laughing out loud when he tries to figure out who is manipulating the election polls, while attempting to write a novel about his previous adventures.
Andrew Updegrove does a brilliant job of creating likeable characters one can relate to, while weaving a gripping story with constant twists and turns you never see coming. The story moves at a very fast pace, but it's easy to follow, enjoyable and impossible to put down.
This is one the best and most entertaining books I have read this year, and I would highly recommend it not only to "cyber geeks" and anyone interested in cyber security issues, but also to anyone with any interest in politics, elections, or anyone who is simply looking to read a fun yet technically accurate book with unforgettable characters you can't stop thinking about long after you have finished the novel.
I loved how Andrew Updegrove was able to make such a technical subject so fun and entertaining, and can't wait for "Frank's" next adventure! ...Full Story
NISO Launches New Project to Create a Flexible API Framework for E-Content in Libraries
NISO.org – August 25, 2016: Voting Members of the National Information Standards Organization (NISO) have approved a new project to modernize library-vendor technical interoperability to improve the access of digital library content and electronic books. Building upon a set of API (Application Programming Interface) Requirements developed by Queens Library, a new NISO Working Group will create a foundational API set that the library community can build on. This set will fulfill an array of user and library needs, including quicker response times, flexible item discovery and delivery options, improved resource availability, and more seamless integration of electronic and physical resources.... ...Full Story
US.gov to open-source made-to-order software, allow contributions
The Register – August 18, 2016: United States chief information officer Tony Scott and chief acquisition officer Anne E Rung have issued a joint memo decreeing that henceforth all government agencies need to consider open-sourcing any bespoke software they commission....The policy therefore implements a three-year pilot during which US government agencies will be required to open source a fifth of their bespoke code. Security agencies are exempt from the policy.
The policy also calls for any bespoke development effort to "acquire and enforce rights sufficient to enable Government-wide reuse of custom-developed code." There's also a requirement to keep an up-to-date inventory of code and to lodge open source code at code.gov.
Elsewhere the policy suggests that when sharing code, agencies should engage with existing communities whenever possible, rather than trying to create their own. Which sounds like a shout-out to whoever provisions storage at GitHub, if nothing else. There's even a section 5.2.F in which agencies are encouraged to ready themselves for code contributions from third parties within and without government, creating the potential for citizen coders to help build government apps.
The memo also insists that whenever agencies need new software they must consider "whether to use an existing Federal software solution or to acquire or develop a new software solution." Agencies must also consider whether it is possible to get what they need by mixing government and commercial code.... ...Full Story
From eCars to cybersecurity: standards seen as natural enemy of the tech industry
DW.com – August 17, 2016: Not enough charging stations? That's not the problem. The problem is knowing which adapter fits your car.
Imagine you're driving your shiny new eCar to the beach and you come to charge it at one of ABB's electric vehicle (EV) charging stations. Don't get me wrong, it looks like they have done their level best to cater for every possible standard, but it's a confusing array of options.
First, do you want AC or DC?...AC won't give you as much juice as DC, a fast-charging option. So you pick DC. But are you a CHAdeMO or a CCS? That depends on who made your car...."These standards are driven by the car manufacturers," says Robert Itschner, managing director of Business Unit Power Conversion at ABB Switzerland. "CHAdeMO is the standard used by Asian car makers and CCS is the European equivalent."... ...Full Story
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