Home > Standards Blog

Advanced Search 

Welcome to ConsortiumInfo.org
Saturday, September 20 2014 @ 05:13 AM CDT

Email Article To a Friend View Printable Version

Openness is Alive and Well (and Living in Europe)

Open Source/Open Standards

 Have you discovered The Alexandria Project? 

Last week I took something of a trip back through time. The transition began somewhere over the dark Atlantic, on my way to Brussels via Heathrow, when the person sitting next to me struck up a conversation. Improbably, I found myself discussing ODF – the OpenDocument Format – with a former Sun engineer who had followed the ODF–OOXML contest with great interest back in 2005 - 2007. I was sorry to tell him, and he was sorry to hear, that things had not gone so well in the years that followed, and that many of the bright hopes of those that had supported ODF remained to be realized.
 
The conversation set me thinking about how much of the energy that had surrounded open standards back then has faded from view in the U.S.  
 
Email Article To a Friend View Printable Version

A "Dream Act" Executive Order for Cybersecurity?

Cybersecurity

 

Have you discovered The Alexandria Project?

We all know that the threat of cyber attack is growing dramatically (don’t we?), and that the most urgent duty of government is to protect the populace (isn’t it?) Assuming that’s the case, how are we to explain the recent collapse of an effort to pass essential cybersecurity legislation? And what, if anything, can be done about it?

Well, that’s a poser, as they say. A rightly heralded accomplishment of the Founding Fathers of the United States was their creation of a tri-partite form of government with carefully balanced powers. Those powers were intended to prevent any one of the branches – executive, legislative or judicial – from becoming too powerful.  Unfortunately, checks and balances can only stop things from happening, and our forefathers weren’t quite as successful at creating a system where one branch can goad another into action when it’s falling down on the job.  

Email Article To a Friend View Printable Version

Leading Standards Organizations Assert Principles of a "New Global Standards Paradigm"

Standards and Society

 

Have you discovered The Alexandria Project?

 
The big news in the standards arena yesterday was a joint announcement by five of the standards setting organizations (SSOs) that have been most essential to the creation of the Internet and the Web: IEEE, World Wide Web Consortium (W3C), Internet Architecture Board (IAB), Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF), and Internet Society (the last three being closely affiliated entities).
 
Joint announcements by SSOs are rare, and the subject matter of this announcement was more so: each organization was joining in the endorsement of a set of five principles that they assert support a “new paradigm for standards” development. 
 
Email Article To a Friend View Printable Version

Apple, Samsung, and the White Queen's Gambit

Intellectual property Rights

"Alice laughed: "There's no use trying," she said; "one can't believe impossible things."
"I daresay you haven't had much practice," said the Queen. "When I was younger, I always did it for half an hour a day. Why, sometimes I've believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast."
Alice in Wonderland.

Have you discovered The Alexandria Project?

Illustration by John Tenniel of the Red Queen lecturing Alice for Lewis Carroll's "Through The Looking Glass, Courtesy of the Wikimedia CommonsNow that the jury has given Apple almost everything it asked for in its infringement suit against Samsung, what should we expect to happen next?  I think it's a given that Samsung will appeal.  Given the damages awarded and the obvious determination of Apple to defend its patents, Samsung has little choice but to press forward wherever it can in court. 

This doesn't necessarily mean that it's ultimate goal is to prevail through litigation, because it will constantly be running into existing and new Apple patents for so long as they remain competitors in the marketplace.  Ultimately, what should make the best sense for Samsung is to negotiate the most comprehensive patent cross license with Apple that it can, and maintaining a full court press throughout the world's legal venues is the best way to ensure that it can get the best terms possible in such a license.

Email Article To a Friend View Printable Version

Office to Become Fully Open XML Compliant (at last)

OpenDocument and OOXML

Have you discovered The Alexandria Project?

Yesterday, Microsoft made an unobtrusive announcement that brings a degree of closure to a seven year long epic battle between some of the largest technology companies in the world.  The same saga pitted open source advocates against proprietary vendors, and for the first time brought the importance of technical standards to the attention of millions of people around the world, and at the center of the action were Microsoft and IBM, the latter supported by Google and Oracle, among other allies. 
 
The standards in question described the format specifications that can allow documents created by one proprietary software product to be opened, edited and saved in another. 
Email Article To a Friend View Printable Version

Senate Holds Hearing on "Standards Essential Patents"

Intellectual property Rights

Have you discovered The Alexandria Project?

If you've been following the ongoing mobile operating system wars between companies like Motorola Mobility, Apple, Google and Samsung, you may recall that the biggest hammer a patent owner can wield is to prevent a competitor from selling a product.  In the regular courts, this is achieved by pbtaining an injunction, which is a court order that bars such sales from occurring.  In this situation, the patent owner claims that it can't be adequately compensated after the fact by damages.

But the US courts haven't been favorable to this approach since a key Supreme Court ruling in 2006, leading companies to seek an alternate route to a similar result: a judgment by the International Trade Commission (ITC), barring the competitor from importing any product into the U.S. that infringes on the patent.  If that patent is essential for implementing a standard that is, in turn, essential to performing the device's function, then you've effectively barred its competitor from being a competitor at all - at least in the U.S.

Email Article To a Friend View Printable Version

EU Clears Way to Use Consortium Standards

General News

Have you discovered The Alexandria Project?

While the decade long debate in the European Union over the definition of “open standards” has been well-publicized, it may come as a surprise to some that EU member nations are required to utilize a second standards filter in public procurement as well. 
 

That filter relates to whether a standard has been developed by a “formal” standard setting organization (SSO).  In other words, by either an EU SSO, such as CEN/CENELEC or ETSI, or by one of the global “Big Is” (ISO, IEC or ITU).  If it doesn’t, then it’s supposed to be off limits - until now.

Email Article To a Friend View Printable Version

U.S. Role in Stuxnet Attack Revealed

Alexandria Project (a Cyber Thriller)

 Have you discovered The Alexandria Project? 

Courtesy of Makki98, Wikimedia Commons, GNU Free Documentation License 1.2 or laterEver since the Stuxnet worm was first discovered in the wild by cybersecurity experts, the world has wondered who had developed the worm, and why.  Once it became known the primary target of the worm was Iran’s Natanz nuclear enrichment facility, suspicion immediately formed around Israeli and/or U.S. involvement. 

Now, a stunning article in this morning’s New York Times recounts in surprising detail the origins of the cyber weaponry development and deployment program – code named Olympic Games – launched under President George W. Bush, and continued under the administration of Barack Obama.  The article is based on a book to be published by Crowne on Tuesday, titled Confront and Conceal: Obama’s Secret Wars and Surprising Use of American Power,” to be published by Crown on Tuesday.
 
Email Article To a Friend View Printable Version

Flame and DuQu: Precursors to “Weapons of Mass Cyber Destruction?”

Alexandria Project (a Cyber Thriller)

 Have you discovered The Alexandria Project?

 
The BADGER explosion on April 18, 1953, as part of Operation Upshot-Knothole, at the Nevada Test Site.. courtesy of Conscious at the Wikimedia CommonsUp until now, the ultra-sophisticated Stuxnet computer worm has held pride of place as the most impressive cyber weapon known to have been launched against an international opponent. Unlike the usual criminal attack, which usually takes a shotgun approach to exploit common weaknesses, the Stuxnet worm demonstrated the type of exceptionally convoluted access and attack plan that a fiction writer might well admire.
 
Happily, while the number of garden variety cyber attacks continues to rise, malware with the sophistication of Stuxnet has been extremely rare.  Recently, though, two new programs have been uncovered that appear to equal or exceed the complexity of Stuxnet.  And that's not good.
 
Email Article To a Friend View Printable Version

Adventures in Self-Publishing: The Electric Kool-Aid Book Promotion Test

Adventures in Self-Publishing

 

Have you discovered The Alexandria Project?
 
It’s been awhile since I last provided an update on my adventures in book self-publishing, but that doesn’t mean that I haven’t been busy. Quite the contrary – I’ve been as busy as ever. That said, the questions for me are the same as for you: where exactly have I been, and where should I go next?
 
The reason for such uncertainty is this: what I’ve found is that trying to self-promote a book is the ultimate exercise in pushing a string: no matter how much effort you put into it, your ability to achieve the desired result is extremely slight. Matter of fact, your ability to do more is, in all likelihood, close to nil.
 
But what the hey. One reason I started this site, this blog, and my law firm, was to see how things work, and what I could achieve. This has been especially interesting in the case of my Internet-based efforts, since the Webscape continues to evolve rapidly, and there’s no substitute for trying things out yourself and seeing what works best.