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Tuesday, May 24th, 2011 @ 05:38 AM
Contributed by: Andy Updegrove
Views: 9,125

Oh my goodness. It's happening again. Will there be anywhere to hide this time, or are we already trapped — tied like poor little Pauline to the railroad tracks as the engine of another high tech bubble barrels down upon us.

Until last Thursday, there was some cause for hope. True, the day before the New York Times had written a piece reporting on the growing prevalence of "acqhire" transactions. That's where a company (like Facebook) buys a company for millions of dollars, only to promptly shut it down. Why? Because it wants the employees — $500,000 to $1 million per engineer is the current going rate. That's not quite as high as it was during the Internet Bubble years, but the same companies are doing lots of big-ticket acquisitions as well. Whether or not these transactions pay off in new revenues, the dilution to existing stockholders will be the same.

Monday, May 16th, 2011 @ 07:00 AM
Contributed by: Andy Updegrove
Views: 8,974

At intervals, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and Department of Justice (DoJ) have undertaken public initiatives intended to support the standards development process from the antitrust perspective.  In each case, I've found the regulators to be open minded and genuinely interested in understanding the marketplace.  Often, the goal of their information gathering efforts is to later issue guidelines that encourage good behavior, and make clear what they consider to be over the line.  The result is that it makes it easier and safer for stakeholders to participate actively in the standard setting process.  Regulators in the European Union follow the same practice.

Last week, the FTC announced a new standards development process fact-finding effort, this time announcing a workshop intended to help them better understand whether "patent holdup" is causing a problem in the marketplaceIt's open to the public, and you're free to submit written comments as well.

Friday, May 13th, 2011 @ 11:40 AM
Contributed by: Andy Updegrove
Views: 5,502

Long time readers will know that I have been reporting on the Semantic Web for many years - since June of 2005, in fact, when I dedicated an issue of my eJournal to The Future of the Web.  The long interview I included with Tim Berners-Lee remains one of the most-read articles on this site of all time.  Ever since then, I've periodically given an "attaboy" to the Semantic Web.  And guess what?  It's that time again.

Why?  Because the more the Web is capable of doing, the more we can get out of it.  And given how much we now rely on the Internet and the Web, we can't afford to allow either to be less than they are capable of being.

Friday, April 22nd, 2011 @ 09:10 AM
Contributed by: Andy Updegrove
Views: 9,060

It’s very rare for me to write a blog entry directed solely at what someone else has written, but there’s an exception to every rule. This one is directed at a posting by Alex Brown, entitled UK Open Standards *Sigh*. 

The short blog entry begins with Alex bemoaning the hard, cruel life of the selfless engineers that create technical standards:   It can be tough, putting effort into standardization activities – particularly if you're not paid to do it by your employer. The tedious meetings, the jet lag, the bureaucratic friction and the engineering compromises can all eat away at the soul.  

Poor Alex.  It does sound tough, doesn’t it?  

Tuesday, April 12th, 2011 @ 05:49 AM
Contributed by: Andy Updegrove
Views: 8,381

If you’re a regular reader of The Standards Blog, there’s an excellent chance that you already know that Pamela Jones – "PJ" to one and all – announced on Saturday that she would post her last article at Groklaw on May 16. Certain aspects of the site will remain available indefinitely.

It’s difficult to know where to begin in saying “goodbye” to Groklaw. What PJ and her many cohorts accomplished there has been unique in my experience. In many ways, Groklaw exemplifies the transformational power that the Internet has brought to law, society, technology, and the advancement of all things open.   
Tuesday, March 22nd, 2011 @ 06:49 AM
Contributed by: Andy Updegrove
Views: 6,838

 

This morning brings news of what may become another new and important consortium – the Open Network Foundation (ONF).  This time the goal is to adapt network architecture to streamline its interoperation with cloud computing. And while the news is intriguing, the way in which it has been broken is a bit odd, on which more below.   According to the press release announcing the new entity:   Six companies that own and operate some of the largest networks in the world — Deutsche Telekom, Facebook, Google, Microsoft, Verizon, and Yahoo! — announced today the formation of the Open Networking Foundation (ONF), a nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting a new approach to networking called Software-Defined Networking (SDN). Joining these six founding companies in creating ONF are 17 member companies, including major equipment vendors, networking and virtualization software suppliers, and chip technology providers.   
Friday, March 18th, 2011 @ 09:49 AM
Contributed by: Andy Updegrove
Views: 7,067

 Have you discovered The Alexandria Project?

This week a new consortium was launched that may signal who will finally own the last great, unclaimed consumer computing platform – the automobile. The new organization is the Car Connectivity Consortium, and the winner is . . . well, we’ll come back to that a little later. Suffice it to say for now that the fifteen year battle to control the digital future of the automobile could be at an end, and that its resolution may tell us something about the future of the digital desktop as well.  
Friday, March 4th, 2011 @ 12:23 PM
Contributed by: Andy Updegrove
Views: 11,110

Photo Courtesy of FUDsec.comAs I noted last week, the British government recently came out strongly in favor of royalty free standards and active consideration of open source software in public procurement. As expected, this decision was greeted with less than universal enthusiasm. One trade group that predictably reacted negatively was the Business Software Alliance, an association that supports the robust preservation of rights in patents. The BSA had previously lobbied actively (and successfully) to delete a similar position from the new version of the European Interoperability Framework (EIF). 

According to a story posted at ZDNet.co.uk this Tuesday, the BSA released objections to the new British government policy, stating in part:   BSA strongly supports open standards as a driver of interoperability; but we are deeply concerned that by seeking to define openness in a way which requires industry to give up its intellectual property, the UK government's new policy will inadvertently reduce choice, hinder innovation and increase the costs of e-government.   
Friday, February 25th, 2011 @ 07:51 AM
Contributed by: Andy Updegrove
Views: 9,349

The U.K. has become the latest country to conclude that for information and communications technology (ICT) procurement purposes, “open standards” means “royalty free standards.”  While apparently falling short of a legal requirement, a Cabinet Office Procurement Policy Note recommends that all departments, agencies, non-departmental bodies and “any other bodies for which they are responsible” should specify open standards in their procurement activities, unless there are “clear business reasons why this is inappropriate.”

Monday, February 21st, 2011 @ 12:01 PM
Contributed by: Andy Updegrove
Views: 9,650

For some time now, I have been meaning to write a series of blog posts setting forth my views on best practices in forming and governing open source foundations.  Why?  Because despite the increasing reliance of just about every part of our modern world (government, finance, defense, and so on) on open source software (OSS) and Free and Open Source Software (FOSS), there has been very little written on the subject.

That means that neither a community nor a corporation has much to refer to in creating the kind of governance structure most likely to ensure that the intentions of the founders are carried out, that the rights of contributors are respected, and that the code upon which end users will rely is properly maintained into the future.