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Friday, April 29 2016 @ 02:51 PM CDT
Monday, April 02 2012 @ 12:01 AM CDT
Contributed by: Andy Updegrove
Have you discovered The Alexandria Project?
For years now, China has annually invested hundreds of millions of dollars in developing and implementing a sophisticated IT standards strategy. That strategy is intended to advance a variety of national interests, most obviously to enable Chinese manufacturers to retain a larger share of domestic market sales, and gain a larger and higher margin share of global sales. But there are other motivations at work as well, one of which ensuring that Chinese authorities can keep a close watch on the Chinese people.
Thursday, December 09 2010 @ 05:53 AM CST
Contributed by: Andy Updegrove
The following is a position statement I contributed to an on-line forum that will launch at 11 EST today focusing on policy reform within the Chinese standardization system. You can join in that discussion here
A variety of constituencies from the West have taken it upon themselves to reach out to China to "educate" the Chinese about the existing global standards development infrastructure, and to urge them to take part in that infrastructure in the same way as do other countries. Clearly, having China, with a single national vote, participate in ISO, IEC and ITU would be best for the status quo players that have become skillful in participating in those organizations through decades of effort. It's interesting to ask, however, whether that course of action, without more, would truly be best for China and its people.
If I were a policy maker in China, the most obvious question that I would be asking would be what strategy Chinese industry should follow as regards consortia, as well as the "Big I's." To date, China has participated primarily in the latter, and in only a few of the former (e.g., OASIS and the W3C). But China has launched a number of domestic consortia open either largely, or only, to domestic companies, to develop "home grown" standards. And that seems backwards to me.
Monday, July 21 2008 @ 02:05 PM CDT
Contributed by: Andy Updegrove
Updated: A story on a press event was posted at a Chinese site (in Chinese) on July 22. I've run it through the Babelfish translator, and you can get the gist of the story at this page. I am told by someone local that the story summarizes a high-level meeting at the EIOffice, with representatives of both SAC (the standards National Body for China) and CESI, as well as representatives from many other government agencies, all there to recognize the release of the first office suite to fully support UOF. The story also reports on various agencies that have announced that they will be converting to the new EIOffice 2009 product.
Long time followers of the ODF-OOXML story will recall that there is a third editable, XML-based document format in the race to create the documentary record of history. That contender is called UOF - for Uniform Office Format, and it has been under development in China since 2002, although I first heard and wrote about it back in November of 2006. Last summer, UOF was adopted as a Chinese National Standard, and last Friday the first complete office suite based upon UOF was released. It's called Evermore Integrated Office 2009 (EIOffice 2009 for short), and here's the story.
Wednesday, May 14 2008 @ 05:48 AM CDT
Contributed by: Andy Updegrove
I'm hardly a veteran "China Watcher" in the State Department sense of these words, but I have had a Google alert in place for three or four years to snag standards-related news emerging from this most powerful of emerging economies. This has led me to read a great many articles from the Xinhua state news service over that period of time. I've also read the English version of the Peoples Daily in paper form from front to back during five visits to speak at conferences in Beijing. As a result, I've had a fair opportunity to get a feel for how the state press likes to present its news to the West, and how it makes its points, not only generally, but over the course of ongoing stories as they develop. Every now and then I see an article that really wants to make a point, and today was one of those days.
Friday, December 21 2007 @ 01:04 PM CST
Contributed by: Andy Updegrove
One of the topics I'm behind writing on is the state of IPR concerns and standard setting in China in general, and the current status of UOF – China's "Uniform Office Document Format" entry in the document format sweepstakes – in particular. I recently spoke at two conferences in Beijing, and got back up to speed in this regard direct from the source. Here's an update (you can find background on UOF here and here).
While ODF and OOXML continue to generate news and heat, the progress of UOF has proceeded with much less fanfare and reportage. I gave a keynote presentation called the Beijing 2007 Open Standards International Conference, and also moderated a panel on IPR and interoperability. That conference was organized by the dominant software industry standards association in China, the Changfeng Open Standards Platform Alliance, and was co-sponsored by the China National Institute of Standardization and the China Electronic Standardization Institute. Several panels were dedicated entirely or in part to open document formats.
Friday, August 17 2007 @ 07:04 AM CDT
Contributed by: Andy Updegrove
Microsoft has seemed to be flying high in the Peoples Republic of China lately. Bill Gates spent several days in Beijing earlier this year in meetings with high-level officials, after hosting Chinese President Hu Jintao the spring before at Gate's own home. And legitimate copies of Microsoft products appear to be at last gaining ground in comparison to pirated copies, albeit at the price of discounting them to almost unimaginable levels (students can now reportedly obtain a Windows/Office bundle for the incredible price of $3). Many credited Microsoft's pragmatic decision to accept Chinese realities and not insist on having everything its own way.
Others, though, wonder whether the Chinese are smiling all the way to the bank, taking everything they can get, and giving little in return. David Kirkpatrick asked that question in the title of his April Fortune piece, titled How Microsoft conquered China: Or is it the other way around? Kirkpatrick hitched a ride on Gates' April trip to Beijing, and witnessed the rock star status and high level access Gates enjoyed. In the end, Kirkpatrick concluded that both sides are doing just fine, thank you, even if China may be doing a bit "fner."
But perhaps not. One story I've been following in China for some time is the development of China's own home-grown open document format standard, called UOF (for Unified Office Format). Now, two stories involving UOF, OOXML and ODF have appeared in the last ten days in the English language version of the state-owned Xinhua news service that provide an interesting temperature reading on the warmth of the Redmond-Beijing relationship. (You can read more about UOF here and here.)
Wednesday, November 22 2006 @ 04:04 AM CST
Contributed by: Andy Updegrove
The slides are now available for the Chinese standards/open source conference I wrote about on November 8. The most interesting news I learned there was that China has been actively developing its own open document specification, which it calls Uniform Office Format (UOF). You can now see the full UOF case study presentation by WU Zhi-gang here.
The full index of presentations may be found here, and it's worth taking the time to scroll through the various slide sets. If you do, you will see Chinese perceptions and strategies relating to open standards and open source software developed quite fully by government officials, professors and the development community. The following excerpts, for example, are taken from a presentation by Guangnan Ni, a member of the China Academy of Engineering. Note how the points made weave together Chinese strategies as diverse as increasing intellectual property protections for the benefit of local industry rather than simply as a concession to foreign interests, promoting the development of domestic office suites through development and adoption of open document formats, and benefiting domestic industry through the power of government purchasing:
1. Promoting Legal Copy of the Software is Advantageous to Innovation in Software Industry
In order to promote independent innovation in the software field, China has strengthened the protection of IPR. On April 10, 2006, Chinese four Ministries jointly dispatched a request to all homemade PC manufacturers in China to pre-install legal copy operation systems. It is important to point out that, this action is not simply to reply to foreign requirements of strengthening protection of IPR.
The next basic software to eliminate piracy rapidly may be the Office Suite. Recently, in China the number of people involving in developing Office software may be only fewer than that of US. After the governmental support during the period of 10 th 5 Year Plan, many homemade Offices have realized their breakthrough, such as Evermore Office, WPS Office, Red Office, etc. They have entered the governmental market in big batches.
Wednesday, November 08 2006 @ 06:16 AM CST
Contributed by: Andy Updegrove
Last week I was a keynote speaker at a conference in Beijing convened by the Chinese National Institution of Standardization, and learned quite a bit about the objectives and strategies of government and private industry in the PRC for utilizing open standards and open source software. I'll blog at a later date on many of these topics, but today I'll focus on just one: the news that the Chinese have developed their own open document format.
Here's what I learned at the conference, and what I've been able to find out since. I'll start with the basic details, and then offer a few thoughts on the significance of the news.
What UOF is: It's called the Uniform Office Format (UOF), and it's been in development since January of 2002; the first draft was completed in December of last year. It includes word processing, spreadsheet and presentation modules, and comprises GUI, format and API specifications. Like both ODF and Office OpenXML, it is another "XML in a Zip file" format.
From what I understand, UOF was developed with less compulsion to follow the lead of Microsoft Office and its fifteen years of accumulating features, allowing UOF to be simpler rather than slavishly faithful to (and therefore constrained by) what has come before. I'm also told that the UOF format is based on existing Web standards, such as SVG. I believe that the presentations from the conference will be posted at the CNIS site sometime this week, and I will post the link to the UOF Case Study presentation of Mr. Wu Zhigang when it is available, which contains additional technical details.
Saturday, June 10 2006 @ 12:39 PM CDT
Contributed by: Andy Updegrove
Standards wars are not usually considered to be very newsworthy outside of the technical niche in which they occur, but occasionally there's a breakout story that receives much wider attention. A recent example was the frontal assault of multiple countries directed at wresting control of the root directory of the Internet - a small but very important standard - from the United States. That skirmish completely monopolized press coverage of the Tunis meeting of the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) last November.
But before that, there was an even higher level confrontation, this time over a close-range wireless networking standard. That dispute involved the IEEE 802.11 standards family commonly referred to as WiFi, on the one hand, and a Chinese-origin standard called WLAN on the other. More particularly, it involved a security protocol (called WAPI) included in WLAN that China contends provides superior security protection than does WiFi.
The original WiFi-WAPI conflict arose from the announcement by China that only WAPI-enabled equipment could be sold in the Peoples Republic of China beginning in 2004, which would reverse the situation from one requiring Chinese manufacturers from paying high patent royalties to companies like Intel to one where Western vendors would find themselves in the opposite position.
Publicly, Intel and other chip vendors announced that they would refuse to sell microprocessors in China if the requirement was imposed. Privately, they headed to Washington for help, since of course they had no desire to lose access to so vast a market. The dispute worked its way up through diplomatic channels until ultimately then-Secretary of State Colin Powell became involved. Eventually, China postponed the effectiveness of the home-grown standards requirement.
But what had been brokered was only a truce, and not a final resolution to the dispute. Now, that dispute is flaring up again, and it is the Chinese standards delegation this time that is calling in the diplomatic corps to engage with the opposition.
Thursday, March 16 2006 @ 09:18 AM CST
Contributed by: Andy Updegrove
As noted in my post of a
few days ago, it was expected that last week's ISO vote on whether to
adopt the IEEE WiFi specification or the Chinese WAPI submission would
come out in favor of WiFi. As early as Sunday,
word began to leak that the vote had in fact favored the IEEE
alternative — and decisively so (with 86% in favor of WiFi and only 22%
for WAPI). Later in the week, this result was confirmed, and China
state forcefully that it would not take the vote as the last word.
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Quote of the Day
“A difficult issue that needs to be solved
-Ian Skerrett, VP of Marketing and Ecosystem at the Eclipse Foundation, commenting on the challenge of making the IoT secure See all Quotes
Latest NewsSurvey Highlights Security Concern Among IoT DevelopersPatricio RoblesProgrammable Web
April 29, 2016 - According to the second annual IoT Developer Survey, security is the top concern of IoT developers. The survey, which polled 528 IoT developers, was conducted by the Eclipse IoT Working Group in partnership with the IEEE IoT and the AGILE-IoT research project.
Of developers working in organizations that have deployed IoT solutions, nearly half (48.3%) identified security as their leading concern. In the same group of respondents, interoperability and performance were the second and third biggest concerns, with 31.9% and 21%, respectively....
Not only can vulnerabilities in IoT applications be the source of privacy breaches, as the IoT extends its reach to things like cars, security vulnerabilities could theoretically put lives in danger....In this year's IoT Developer Survey, nearly half (46%) of those polled indicated that their company is developing and deploying IoT solutions, and 29% indicated that their company plans to within the next 18 months, suggesting that adoption of IoT technologies is accelerating.... ...Full Story
The advantages of open source in Internet of Things design
DesignWorldOnline April 28, 2016 - The Internet of Things is booming and with millions of devices to be connected over the coming years, many developers are focusing on the IoT opportunity....There are many commonalities between IoT solutions across different applications—the need for wireless connections, communication between devices and back-end systems, and data collection/interpretation are a few examples. But the proliferation of proprietary systems that are often in silos makes developing and building these solutions more complex and time consuming than needed. In a fast-moving, fragmented industry, open source technologies will play an increasingly fundamental role in mitigating these challenges and enabling seamless systems to further fuel innovation.
One way to circumvent the interoperability challenge is by establishing and using standards. Thoughtful and collaborative standardization improves choice and flexibility. As a result, developers can use devices from multiple vendors to build a solution that is innovative and meets their specific needs. We’ve outlined a few key channels that are essential to unlocking the potential of open source in IoT development.
Standards are necessary across the whole ecosystem and are being addressed by the industry in multiple ways. For example, industry standards organizations, like oneM2M (a consortium of industry stakeholders), has developed technical specifications to address the need for a common M2M Service Layer that can be embedded within various hardware and software and relied on to connect a wide range of devices to M2M application servers.
Another complementary approach to standards development is the release of designs and specifications into the open source community as open hardware and interface standards for others to adopt. Examples include Arduino, Raspberry Pi, and Beaglebone, which enable quick prototyping, as well as the mangOH open hardware reference design, an open source design that is more easily scalable in commercial settings and is built specifically for IoT cellular connectivity.
Open source platforms like these enable developers that may have limited hardware, wireless or low-level software expertise to start developing IoT applications in days—rather than months. If executed properly, these can significantly reduce the time and effort to get prototypes from paper to production by ensuring that various connectors and sensors work together automatically with no additional coding required. With industrial-grade specifications, these next-generation platforms not only allow quick prototyping, but also rapid industrialization of IoT applications.
On the software side, using widely supported open source software application frameworks and development environments, such as Linux—itself an open source solution—can be extremely helpful by providing developers the head start that is required to get a product to market faster. When it comes to proprietary solutions, support for its development framework tends to rest on the original vendor, whose agenda may not align with the needs of the community. Open source solutions ensure a future-proof investment and longevity, so that resources and tools are available and continually enhanced for years to come....
To further advance the industry, we must commit to a standards-based and open-source strategy. Not only will it continue to be critical to the health of IoT innovation, but it will lay the groundwork for real innovation. Just as it supported many other areas of technology development—including nothing less than the Internet itself—open standards are the key to realizing the unforeseen benefits of a more connected world. ...Full Story
ANSI Energy Efficiency Standardization Coordination Collaborative (EESCC) Releases Roadmap Progress Report
ANSI.org April 27, 2016 - The American National Standards Institute (ANSI) Energy Efficiency Standardization Coordination Collaborative (EESCC) announced today the publication of a Progress Report detailing the standardization community’s activity to advance recommendations outlined in the EESCC’s Standardization Roadmap: Energy Efficiency in the Built Environment. Published in June 2014 to serve as a national framework for action and coordination, the roadmap identified gaps where standards and codes were needed to improve energy and water efficiency in the built environment.
Available as a free resource, the Progress Report features updates on 71 of the 109 standards-based gaps identified in the roadmap, demonstrating significant progress within the standardization community to advance energy and water efficiency through standards-based solutions. The report also includes a summary of all of the standards-based roadmap gaps, including those for which there is no known progress at this time, so that readers may easily identify opportunities to take action on closing the gaps.... ...Full Story
Anti-innovation: EU excludes open source from new tech standards
Ars Technica April 27, 2016 - As part of its Digital Single Market strategy, the European Commission has unveiled "plans to help European industry, SMEs, researchers and public authorities make the most of new technologies." In order to "boost innovation," the Commission wants to accelerate the creation of new standards for five buzzconcepts: 5G, cloud computing, internet of things, data technologies, and cybersecurity.
The key document is one entitled "ICT Standardisation Priorities for the Digital Single Market," which says: "Open standards ensure ... interoperability, and foster innovation and low market entry barriers in the Digital Single Market, including for access to media, cultural and educational content." The word "open" occurs 26 times in the document, and is also frequently found in the other "communications" just released by the European Commission: on digitising European industry (9 times), and on the European Cloud Initiative (50 times).
"Open" is generally used in the documents to denote "open standards," as in the quotation above. But the European Commission is surprisingly coy about what exactly that phrase means in this context. It is only on the penultimate page of the ICT Standardisation Priorities document that we finally read the following key piece of information: "ICT standardisation requires a balanced IPR [intellectual property rights] policy, based on FRAND licensing terms."...
The problem for open source is that standard licensing can be perfectly fair, reasonable, and non-discriminatory, but would nonetheless be impossible for open source code to implement. Typically, FRAND licensing requires a per-copy payment, but for free software, which can be shared any number of times, there's no way to keep tabs on just how many copies are out there. Even if the per-copy payment is tiny, it's still a licensing requirement that open source code cannot meet....Ars has asked the European Commission for comment on its decision to use FRAND, rather than a royalty-free approach. We'll update this story when the EC responds.... ...Full Story
Open Data Barometer 2015: 5 European countries in the Top 10
EU Joinup April 26, 2016 - Five European countries ranked in the top 10 of the 2015 Open Data Barometer, recently published by the World Wide Web Foundation.
The UK is still at the top of the barometer, but is now followed by the USA and France, both ranked second. France, which was third in 2014, received good marks in three criteria: government action, political impact and, citizens and civil rights.
Denmark ranked 5th and moved up by four positions. The Netherlands ranked 7th and Sweden 9th, with both losing ground (-1 for the former, -6 for the latter)....Other conclusions from 2015 include the fact that “Open Data is entering the mainstream”, with 55% of the 92 countries listed in the survey now having an open data initiative in place. However, almost 90% of data are still locked, the report said. Only 10% of the published data are open (following the open data definition) but are also of poor quality, “making it difficult for potential data users to access, process, and work with it effectively”.
Lastly, this Open Data Barometer warns about “open-washing” behavior, which is “jeopardizing progress”. “Open data initiatives cannot be effective if not supported by a culture of openness where citizens are encouraged to ask questions and engage, and are supported by a legal framework”, the report said. “Disturbingly, in this edition we saw a backslide on freedom of information, transparency, accountability, and privacy indicators in some countries.” ...Full Story
European Cloud Initiative to give Europe a global lead in the data-driven economy
European Commission April 25, 2016 - Europe is the largest producer of scientific data in the world, but insufficient and fragmented infrastructure means this 'big data' is not being exploited to its full potential. By bolstering and interconnecting existing research infrastructure, the Commission plans to create a new European Open Science Cloud that will offer Europe's 1.7 million researchers and 70 million science and technology professionals a virtual environment to store, share and re-use their data across disciplines and borders. This will be underpinned by the European Data Infrastructure, deploying the high-bandwidth networks, large scale storage facilities and super-computer capacity necessary to effectively access and process large datasets stored in the cloud. This world-class infrastructure will ensure Europe participates in the global race for high performance computing in line with its economic and knowledge potential.
Focusing initially on the scientific community - in Europe and among its global partners -, the user base will over time be enlarged to the public sector and to industry. This initiative is part of a package of measures to strengthen Europe's position in data-driven innovation, to improve competitiveness and cohesion and to help create a Digital Single Market in Europe (press release)....The European Cloud Initiative will make it easier for researchers and innovators to access and re-use data, and will reduce the cost of data storage and high-performance analysis. Making research data openly available can help boost Europe's competitiveness by benefitting start-ups, SMEs and data-driven innovation, including in the fields of medicine and public health. It can even spur new industries, as demonstrated by the Human Genome Project.... ...Full Story
ANAB and ASCLD/LAB Merge Forensics Operations
ANSI.org Weekly News April 25, 2016 - The ANSI-ASQ National Accreditation Board (ANAB) has signed an affiliation agreement with the American Society of Crime Laboratory Directors/Laboratory Accreditation Board (ASCLD/LAB), merging ASCLD/LAB into ANAB.
Like ANAB, ASCLD/LAB provides accreditation based on international standards for public and private sector crime laboratories. Both ANAB and ASCLD/LAB are grounded in conducting scientific and technical assessments and committed to assuring competent and credible test and inspection results. The merger with ASCLD/LAB allows ANAB to enhance its expertise in the field of forensics accreditation while providing uninterrupted service to the customers of both organizations.... ...Full Story
Commission publishes reports on eGovernment and Standards public consultations
EU Joinup April 22, 2016 - Today the European Commission published the analysis reports on two public consultations: eGovernment Action Plan 2016-2020 and Standards....The majority of the respondents to the consultation on standardisation in the Digital Single Market supported the Commission’s initial problem analysis on ICT standardisation, in particular the need to define clearer priorities for core ICT related technologies. These recommendations to the Commission, along with the advice of the European Multi-Stakeholder Platform on ICT standardisation will form the basis for the Communication setting up priorities on ICT standardisation for the Digital Single Market.
Building on today's results of the public consultations, the Commission proposed measures on the digitisation of European industry on the 19 April. ...Full Story
LocalGovDigital agrees 15 service standards
UKAuthority.com April 22, 2016 - Agile methodologies, consistency with other government digital services, open standards and making use of common platforms are among the key features of the final draft of the Digital Service Standard for local government, which was released by the practitioners' group LocalGovDigital late last week....Open standards are highlighted as important, along with using existing data and registers, and where possible making source code and service data open and reusable.... ...Full Story
NIST Releases New Document on its Cryptographic Standards and Guidelines Process
NIST Techbeat April 21, 2016 - The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) has released the final version of a document outlining its process for developing cryptographic standards and guidelines. NIST Cryptographic Standards and Guidelines Development Process (NISTIR 7977) is an integral part of NIST’s effort to ensure a robust, widely understood and participatory process for developing cryptography, which is the technology used to store and transmit data in a particular form so it can only be read or processed by the intended recipient....The “global acceptability” principle was added to this final draft in response to public comments and reflects the global nature of today’s commerce. The document also explains the different types of cryptographic publications NIST releases and how they are made available for public review, as well as how they are managed over their lifecycle....NIST acknowledges the “possibility for tension between NIST’s mission to promulgate the use of strong cryptography, and the law enforcement and national security missions of other agencies,” and affirms that it makes independent decisions and is committed to using open and transparent processes.... The final document can be found on NIST’s website. ...Full Story