Home > Standards Blog

Advanced Search 

Welcome to ConsortiumInfo.org
Thursday, July 02 2015 @ 01:20 PM CDT

Email Article To a Friend View Printable Version

The Other Side of the ODF Coin: an interview with Mass. Supervisor of Records Alan Cote

OpenDocument and OOXMLOne of the most vocal opponents of the Massachusetts ODF policy has been Supervisor of Records Alan N. Cote. Last week, Alan suggested that we have a chat, and here's what he had to say.
Email Article To a Friend View Printable Version

Upgrading the Internet - a Sobering Assessment

Semantic & NextGen WebA report by a U.S. Department of Commerce Task Force concludes that transitioning the Internet from IPv4 to IPv6 will be much like all too many other IT upgrades âₓ long, tedious, expensive, doubtful in their ultimate benefits âₓ and ultimately unavoidable.
Email Article To a Friend View Printable Version

Mitt Calls the ODF Coin Toss Right

OpenDocument and OOXMLMitt Romney is betting that supporting ODF will prove to be a smart political move, as he grooms himself for a run for the presidency. It looks like that bet is paying off.
Email Article To a Friend View Printable Version

Romney Appoints New CIO, Emphasizes Commitment to ODF

OpenDocument and OOXMLIn an important new development, the administration of Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney has not only appointed a permanent replacement to State CIO Peter Quinn, but also dedicated the press release announcing that appointment to reconfirming its steadfast commitment to the implementation of the OASIS OpenDocument Format.
Email Article To a Friend View Printable Version

State Lobbying in the Age of Abramoff

OpenDocument and OOXMLIt has been interesting observing how lobbying works at the state level as the ODF situation has developed here in Massachusetts. The types of antics engaged in by those who log in their expense vouchers on K Street normally seem far away from most state capitals, but I expect that's because the level of scrutiny is much lower in the provinces than inside the Beltway.
Email Article To a Friend View Printable Version

The State of Play on ODF in Massachusetts: Milestones, Due Dates and Status

OpenDocument and OOXMLI've been gathering information from a variety of knowledgeable sources on the critical issues and milestones affecting the continuing implementation by the Massachusetts Information Technology Division (ITD) of its OpenDocument Format (ODF) policy. Here are those milestones that I'll be watching for, the state of play of each on as I understand it, and the approximate date to look for an announcement on each
Email Article To a Friend View Printable Version

ODF Update - The Week begins with both a Bang and a Whimper

OpenDocument and OOXMLThings were pretty quiet last week on the OpenDocument Format front last week, but this week began with a bang. Here's an update on the latest news.
Email Article To a Friend View Printable Version

Sleeping with Big Agnes

Not Here but There: A Wilderness Journal

Winter nights in the desert are spectacular, but cold. To get a good night's sleep, you need Big Agnes.

One of the great joys of hiking in the desert is sleeping under the brilliant, ever-present stars and the even more prominent planets, accompanied by gentle breezes, the smells of the desert, and often, the serenade of coyotes. In the crystalline air far from the light of cities, the dazzle of the stars and planets is unparalleled, and the experience one to savor.

There are other sights and sounds as well, especially when camping near an air force bases (which is likely to be the case, given how many are spread around the Southwest, and the fact that the word "near," in this context, can mean pretty far away). Last night four jets streaked and wheeled overhead while I looked up at the sky, two almost wingtip to wingtip, and the second pair much farther apart, and farther ahead. Each had strobe lights that flashed in a manic syncopation reminiscent of a 1970's disco. Others flew silently at supersonic speeds at extreme altitude, seeming to travel more swiftly than could be possible.

Email Article To a Friend View Printable Version

Catching the Ocotillo

Not Here but There: A Wilderness Journal

As I've grown older I've come to dislike hiking trails -- one of the reasons I've grown to love the American Southwest. Here, you can find vast stretches of public land that extend to the horizon and beyond, so sparsely vegetated that you can strike out in any direction you wish. When one canyon or another piques your fancy, there is nothing to prevent you from simply parking your car and climbing in, taking as much gear and food as you need to explore for an hour, a day or a week.  

What you find may disappoint as well as please, but the scenery is so compelling that "disappointment" is a relative term. For wherever you venture, the terrain will be challenging and interesting, and the worst that can happen is that the way becomes impassable sooner than planned, or the drama that unfolds is not quite as dramatic as hoped. When this happens (which it does when you're hiking off the beaten track), what you do encounter will still be fresh and unexpected. And you'll never see a soul along the way.  

A trail, in contrast, provides the predictable – invariably with company. You probably know in advance how far you will walk (to the tenth of a mile), what the vertical rise will be, and even the degree of difficulty, presented on a helpful numerical scale. You can also assume that the rough places will have been made smoother, and that the steep places will have been tamed with switchbacks. And you'll also know what the "attractions" will be (e.g., a waterfall) along the way, as well as the reward you'll enjoy if you reach the end – perhaps a mountaintop view that will let you see four states (four!) at once, as if the transposition of political boundaries over geography will make natural wonders more wonderful. You'll also almost certainly see other hikers, unless you're hiking early in the morning (always a good idea for many reasons), or on a weekday in the off-season. The footprints of those that came before, of course, will still be everywhere.

Email Article To a Friend View Printable Version

On the Border

Not Here but There: A Wilderness Journal

At night, the animal life of the desert comes out of hiding. And along the Mexican border, so do the illegal immigrants and the drug runners. The result is a National Monument "under siege."

Organ Pipe National Monument is legally remote (on this unusual distinction, more below), which makes it the kind of place I like to visit -- big, empty, lightly visited and beautiful. It is 142 miles by two-lane road from Tucson and about the same distance from Phoenix, and is surrounded on all sides by areas that do not draw a crowd: the Tohono O'odham Indian reservation to the East, and the vast Barry Goldwater Air Force testing range to the North and West. To the South is the Sonora State of Mexico. And once you get there, it has nothing to offer besides a unique species of cactus, a few hiking trails, and average Arizona scenery (much of it gorgeous), making it one of the least frequented parts of the American Southwest.

When I arrived for a few days of hiking and camping to start my trip, I found that it was both more and less used than before, as well as even less easy to get around in than in the past.