The Standards Blog


Monday, September 5th, 2016 @ 10:07 AM
Contributed by: Andy Updegrove
Views: 1,156

Fieseler Fi-103 im Deutschen Museum, courtesy of Softies/Wikimedia Commons, GNU Free Documentation LicenseI'm pleased to report that I've finished my last draft of the third book in the Frank Adversego thriller series. It's now in the capable hands of a half dozen Friends of Frank who have kindly agreed to be beta readers. Pre-launch ("beta") readers are a huge asset for to authors, helping them catch not just typos, but all the other sorts of gremlins that can be hard for an author to ferret out and banish because the author has become to immersed in the text to spot them.

Friday, August 12th, 2016 @ 01:05 PM
Contributed by: Andy Updegrove
Views: 3,161

French Ballot Box, courtesy of Rama/Wikimedia Commons - CeCILL licenseToday the old Gray Lady, the New York Times, no less, weighed in on election hacking in an Op/Ed piece titled The Election Won't be Rigged. But it Could be Hacked. Of course, anyone who's read my second cybersecurity thriller, The Lafayette Campaign, a Tale of Election and Deceptions, already knew that.

The particular focus of the NYT article is that since voting can be hacked, it's vital to have a way to audit elections after they occur to see whether that has been the case, and to reveal the true electoral result.

Friday, July 29th, 2016 @ 11:42 AM
Contributed by: Andy Updegrove
Views: 4,629

One of the big political stories this week is that experts believe that Russia has hacked the Democratic National Committee’s servers in an effort to help Trump win the presidential election. Today, security expert Bruce Schneier went further, in an editorial in the Washington Post, suggesting that Putin’s next move may be to exploit the woefully inadequate security of US voting machines to hack the election itself.

That’s a warning worth heeding, because the possibility is all too real. So far, though, no one has focused on another vulnerability that may have already been exploited as the first step towards stealing the election. That’s surprising, because the hack is so obvious.

Wednesday, April 13th, 2016 @ 03:20 PM
Contributed by: Andy Updegrove
Views: 6,520

Sisyphus, public domain, courtesy of Wikipedia/Wolfd59Well, that's a blog title I never expected to use here.

Back in 2003, over 800 blog posts ago, I decided to launch something I called the Standards Blog. Not surprisingly, it focused mostly on the development, implementation and importance of open standards. But I also wrote about other areas of open collaboration, such as open data, open research, and of course, open source software. Over time, there were more and more stories about open source worth writing, as well as pieces on the sometimes tricky intersection of open standards and open source.

Sunday, April 10th, 2016 @ 03:38 PM
Contributed by: Andy Updegrove
Views: 2,781

In principle, every author (self published or otherwise) should be in favor of diversity and competition in the book distribution marketplace. The reason? Because competition in any area of commerce fosters continuing innovation, more choices, and more price competition. Unfortunately, sometimes a competitive marketplace turns into a monopolized one. When that happens, idealism may have to take a back seat to pragmatism, and an author may have to just make the best of what she’s got.

Saturday, March 26th, 2016 @ 05:45 PM
Contributed by: Andy Updegrove
Views: 2,565

This article is by Ellie Martin. You can find Ellie's web site here.

169th page of the Peer-Codex. Public domain, courtesy of Wikimedia Commons and hu:User:Data destroyerWhen one thinks of a good book, it’s quite rare that the first thing that comes to mind is the book’s design. Why would it? It’s generally agreed that a good book is all about the words on the page and the power of the story between the two covers. It makes sense, then, that an author’s main focus is on the content of the book. The story is and rightly should be any serious author’s number one priority, but it should not be the only priority.

Sunday, February 21st, 2016 @ 04:36 PM
Contributed by: Andy Updegrove
Views: 2,108

Or so we might hear Sarah Palin taunt a liberal. Just about every other pundit in the media, however, continues to scratch their heads in wonder, asking themselves, “Can this many people really, I mean really, be voting for Donald Trump?!?  Well, if they had taken the time to read a recently released thriller by an unknown political satirist, they’d know that the answer could be, well, maybe not.


Tuesday, February 9th, 2016 @ 09:40 AM
Contributed by: Andy Updegrove
Views: 2,079

Courtesy Alexius Horatius/Wikimedia Commons - Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.So far, the 2016 US presidential election has borne an eerie similarity to the plot of my book, The Lafayette Campaign, A Tale of Deception and Elections. Totally improbable candidates have shot to the top of the polls, and then succeeded in the Iowa caucuses. Which raises an interesting question: would you rather think that an election could be hacked, or that Americans really would vote in droves for someone like Donald Trump? If that’s too depressing a question to confront, you can escape from that disquieting reality for a few minutes by seeing how the New Hampshire primary unfolds in my book instead. Here goes.



Sunday, January 31st, 2016 @ 01:50 PM
Contributed by: Andy Updegrove
Views: 2,783

There’s a heart-warming story in the New York Times this morning that tells the tale of a brand new independent author with a flair for marketing who not only turns her first erotic novel into a best seller, but goes on to start her own imprint and build similar success for equally talented Indie authors who don’t have that special marketing gene. Great! you say? Well, maybe not so great.  Read on.

Monday, January 18th, 2016 @ 02:15 PM
Contributed by: Andy Updegrove
Views: 2,137

It seems as if more and more entrepreneurs are jumping into the book promotion e-newsletter business. The good news is that there are many services to choose from. Predictably, the bad news is that most produce few sales, and sometimes none at all. As with almost everything else in the self-publishing world, there’s no convenient source to consult to find out what works, and what doesn’t. In this post, I’ll provide the results of my own experiences as a starting point for others to work from. I’ll also provide advice on how to choose the services that may work best for you, and how to get accepted by the most competitive services.