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Thursday, July 30 2015 @ 03:15 PM CDT

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An Open Source Project for Drones (now how cool is that?)

Open Source/Open Standards

It was only two weeks ago that I wrote here about the launch of a new Linux Foundation consortium, called the Open Platform for NFV Project. That's an extremely important development on the telecommunications front, with a mission "to develop and maintain a carrier-grade, integrated, open source reference platform for the telecom industry." But if you're not of the technical persuasion, where does that rate on the register of cool? Well, maybe not so high.

Today's announcement, on the other hand, should be enough to catch the eye of anyone. This time, the effort being launched is called the Dronecode Project, and the code it supports controls a much hotter platfrom than a telecom backbone: unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), more popularly known simply as "drones." So just how cool is that?  (Disclosure: my firm and I represent the Linux Foundation and the Drone Project).

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Now Available as a Free Download: Research on Open Innovation

Open Source/Open Standards

It would be easy, and even no surprise, to spend a year in Washington, D.C. and never hear the word "open" used during a high level policy discussion. That wasn't as true at the beginning of the first term of President Obama, when open source software and open data were mentioned frequently on the White House web site, at least. But that was then, and this is now.

It's quite the opposite in Europe, where all things open (standards, source code, data and research) have been the subject of lively discussion and incorporation into core policy goals and directives. Nor has that happened by coincidence.

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Linux Foundation Announces Major Network Functions Virtualization Project

Open Source/Open Standards

The Linux Foundation this morning announced the latest addition to a rapidly expanding list of ambitious open source initiatives that are seeking to transform the way the world does business. The newest project on the block is called the Open Platform for NFV Project (OPNFV), and its mission is to develop and maintain a carrier-grade, integrated, open source reference platform for the telecom industry.

The project is launching with thirty-eight founding companies, including many of the largest IT companies in the world. Importantly, they include not only cloud and service infrastructure vendors, but telecom service providers, developers and end users as well. (Disclosure: my firm and I represent the Linux Foundation and OPNFV).

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Revisiting DRM: What about Books?

Intellectual property Rights

Capt. Henry Morgan, courtesy of the Wikimedia CommonsMention the letters "DRM" and you're likely to immediately evoke two opposing and emotional reactions. The battle lines have become so fixed, in fact that you almost don't hear those letters debated at all any more. That's also because the war has already been fought, and largely lost, when it comes to music.

But what about books, now that they've become digitized? Should the arguments, the answers, and the result (entrenched, opposing camps) be the same?

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OpenForum Europe Challenges Governments to Walk the Open Format Walk

Adventures in Self-Publishing

OpenForum Europe, an advocacy group focusing on IT openness in government, issued a press release earlier today announcing its launch of a new public Internet portal. At that site, anyone can report a government page that offers a document intended for collaborative use for downloading if that document is not available in an OpenDocument Format (ODF) compliant version. The portal is called FixMyDocuments.eu, and you can show your support for the initiative (as I have) by adding your name here (the first supporter listed is the EU's indominatable digital champion, Neelie Kroes).

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The Alexandria Project: Prologue

Alexandria Project (a Cyber Thriller)

I've been re-working The Alexandria Project in preparation for approaching a literary agent.  One thing I'm toying with is whether the book needs to get to a quicker, edgier start than the original first chapter provides - such as what follows below.  What's your opinion?

Courtesy Guillaume Paumier, CCA3.0 UnportedLate in the afternoon of December 11, 2010 a large panel truck backed up to a chain link fence topped with concertina wire in a run-down section of Richmond, Virginai. The words “Lowell Wholesale Paper Goods” were spread across the sides of the truck, as well as across the back of the gray coveralls worn by the truck’s driver, Jack Davis.

Jumping down from behind the wheel, Davis entered a number on the battered keypad set on a steel post rising from the cracked pavement, and a section of the fence began to clank slowly to one side. A moment later, and he had backed the truck up flush against the loading dock of the nondescript warehouse inside. By the time he was done, the fence had closed once again behind him.

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Alexandria Proj. Chap. 29: The Death Defying, Incredibly Exciting, Final Chapter!

Alexandria Project (a Cyber Thriller)

What follows is the the first draft of my first cybersecurity thriller, The Alexandria Project. You can buy the final, and much revised eBook and printed versions, here and at all of the other usual on-line outlets.

 
Civil Defense Poster“Marla, if the FBI has spotted him, we’ve got to get him someplace safe – maybe somewhere in West Virginia if he’s already back east. Where is he now?”
 
“I don’t know for sure. I just know he’s headed into town.”
 
“Into Washington? Is he out of his mind?”
 
“He figures D.C. is the last place the FBI will look for him - they won’t believe he could get past them.”
 
Washington! If Frank carried that line of reasoning far enough, he’d probably head for his own apartment!
 
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Alexandria Proj. Chap 28: A Car Chase is the Sincerest Form of Flattery

Alexandria Project (a Cyber Thriller)

What follows is the the first draft of my first cybersecurity thriller, The Alexandria Project. You can buy the final, and much revised eBook and printed versions, here and at all of the other usual on-line outlets.

Constellation  GPS - courtesy Wikipedia“What do you mean that Web site doesn’t exist? I’m looking at its log-in screen right now.”
 
George Marchand was on the phone with the director of IT services at the U.S. Geological Survey.
 
“No it doesn’t George. You know what I’m saying.”
 
“I know you’re saying you know something you’re not telling me.”
 
“No, George. You know I’m saying I know something I can’t tell you. C’mon, be reasonable.”
 
“OK, have it your way. Then how about giving me a user ID and a password that don’t exist for this Web site that doesn’t exist?”
 
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The Alexandria Project, Chap. 27: Here's to the Company!

Alexandria Project (a Cyber Thriller)

What follows is the the first draft of my first cybersecurity thriller, The Alexandria Project. You can buy the final, and much revised eBook and printed versions, here and at all of the other usual on-line outlets.

Courtesy prinsje  from stock.xchng at: http://www.sxc.hu/photo/1008254Frank Sr. swung his ancient Land Rover back onto the highway, a server humming in the back and Frank Jr. tapping away in the front on his laptop. Power and connector cables passed between the two seats. 

“I’ve only got an AirCard to work, but if we’re lucky I’ll have Foomjoy’s entire hard drive replicated by the time we cross the Mississippi. I’ve already got the CIA’s list of hacked sites from the CIA, so let’s see what that shows.”
 
Frank pored over the data as they drove eastward into the night. There seemed to be no order or pattern to the 492 sites that had been attacked to date. Every type of host had been hit - newspapers, universities, retailers, government sites, non-profits – you name it. After the first few high profile targets, the most obvious conclusion seemed to be that the hits had been chosen at random. 
 
What to make of that?

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U.K. Cabinet Office Adopts ODF as Exclusive Standard for Sharable Documents

OpenDocument and OOXML

The U.K. Cabinet Office accomplished today what the Commonwealth of Massachusetts set out (unsuccessfully) to achieve ten years ago: it formally required compliance with the Open Document Format (ODF) by software to be purchased in the future across all government bodies. Compliance with any of the existing versions of OOXML, the competing document format championed by Microsoft, is neither required nor relevant. The announcement was made today by The Minister for the Cabinet Office, Francis Maude.