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Saturday, July 23 2016 @ 02:19 PM CDT
Saturday, April 05 2008 @ 10:41 AM CDT
Contributed by: Andy Updegrove
Not so very long ago, most standards were set in a largely collegial atmosphere by career professionals who met in face to face meetings over a period of years. Along the way, they came to know each other as individuals, and established relationships that helped the process move forward and allowed for productive give and take.
While this process was not without its back scratching and game playing, at least the impact on interests other than those directly involved tended to be limited. After all, if performance standards for light bulbs had settled out at 45, 65 and 95 watts rather than 40, 60 and 90, no end user’s ox would have been gored on the desktop, when it came to lighting.
Wednesday, April 02 2008 @ 12:01 AM CDT
Contributed by: Andy Updegrove
Yesterday, I sent out the latest issue of my eJournal, Standards Today. Not surprisingly, it focused on the OOXML process, and what can be learned from it. Below is the Editorial, and you can find the complete issue here. You can sign up for a free subscription here.
Updated: ISO has now issued its confirmatory press release. The full text (less biolerplate) is appended at the end of this entry. I note with some interest that the press release includes the following language:
Subject to there being no formal appeals from ISO/IEC national bodies in the next two months, the International Standard will accordingly proceed to publication.
The last issue of Standards Today was titled, ODF vs. OOXML on the Eve of the BRM. That issue focused on the Ballot Resolution Meeting (BRM) about to be held in Geneva, Switzerland as the penultimate act in the Fast Track approval process of DIS 29500, the specification submitted by Ecma and based upon Microsoft's OfficeOpen XML document formats (OOXML).
My editorial in that issue was prophetically titled The Overwhelming of ISO/IEC JTC1, due to the fact that only one week had been allocated to resolving more than 1,100 separate comments (some 900 of them substantive) that had been registered by National Bodies from around the world during the voting period that failed to approve OOXML during the initial balloting period in mid-2007.
Without exception, every fear that I raised in that editorial was realized, and worse. Here is a sampling:
Tuesday, April 01 2008 @ 03:35 AM CDT
Contributed by: Andy Updegrove
1. I have now received confirmation from a second source that these results are accurate.
2. Microsoft has issued a press release announcing that OOXML "Appears to Win Approval" (text below)
3. (1:00 PM EDT) I have now received a copy of the ISO communication from a National Body source entitled to receive it, and can confirm the data below.
4. Ecma's press release confirming approval is here
Open Malaysia has posted a final update of their vote registry, based upon an email from the OpenDoc Society to which is attached what they say are the final numbers on the OOXML vote. The document looks authentic, and I should have an independent verification some time this morning. You can see the final totals reflected in the Open Malaysia chart, which can be found here. The summary in the document reads as follows:
Result of voting
P-Members voting: 24 in favour out of 32 = 75 % (requirement >= 66.66%)
(P-Members having abstained are not counted in this vote.)
Member bodies voting: 10 negative votes out of 71 = 14 % (requirement <= 25%)
Monday, March 31 2008 @ 11:47 AM CDT
Contributed by: Andy Updegrove
Updated 4/1: A press release has been issued by Standards Norge defending its decision. An English translation of that press release is posted at Steve McGibbon's blog, and can be found here. Geir Isene has posted a partial response here.
One of the things that most of us learn at our mother's knee is that you shouldn't rush things. If you do, you'll make silly mistakes. Mothers also tend to tell their children to play by the rules, but some apparently listen better than others to that advice as well.
The wisdom of the first truism was demonstrated most clearly during the Ballot Resolution Meeting in Geneva, although its effects had been evident throughout the entire Fast Track process. In the latest evidence of the other truism, the first formal protest has been filed with ISO over a National Body vote. The National Body in question is Norway, and the protest has been filed by...(wait for it)...Norway itself.
How can all of this be true in a country like Norway? Elections this flawed usually only occur in Florida.
The complete story has been developing at the blog of Geir Isene, who left a comment at my blog yesterday, pointing tohis account of what had transpired on Friday at a meeting of Standards Norge, the Norwegian Standards Intitute. That entry read in part as follows:
Saturday, March 29 2008 @ 07:14 AM CDT
Contributed by: Andy Updegrove
Updated: (8:45 AM EDT 4/1): OOXML has been adopted
Updated: (1:45 OM EDT 3/31): Reuters has just reported that ISO will not announce the results of the OOXML vote until Wednesday April 2
Updated (3:30 PM EDT 3/29): Unless thus-far unannounced votes that were formerly "approve" or "abstain" switch to "disapprove," it appears that OOXML will be approved. See details in the cumulative "updates" section below
Like many I'm sure, I'm trying to keep track of the votes on OOXML as they become known. I've set up a spreadsheet where I'm recording votes as they become known, whether they are formal and confirmed, or coming to light from other sources, and therefore to a greater or lesser extent possibly not accurate, what the sources are, and any associated comments (mostly from Pamela's articles at Groklaw, the most recent of which is being updated with new votes as news comes in to her). You'll find the most information about specific country voting there, and at several of her prior blog posts, including this one, this one, this one, and this one.
For the benefit of those that want to get a quick look throughout the weekend, I'll post the running tally here of which votes have switched, what the net change has been, now many votes have come to light, and how many remain to be announced. It is likely that it will not be possible to know the final vote until all votes are in, due to the complicated, double test way in which the vote is counted, which is complicated by the fact that the final number of abstentions, and whether they move from "yes" or "no" votes, can decrease the number of votes that need to switch to "yes" votes. For that reason, I also include an explanation of how the omplicated two-part test for approval will be calculated.
You may also want to read my last blog entry, which discusses the impact (or non-impact) of a vote to approve OOXML, called The Future of ODF and OOXML.
Friday, March 28 2008 @ 08:09 AM CDT
Contributed by: Andy Updegrove
Tomorrow is the last day that a National Body (NB) can change its vote on OOXML. Only a few NBs have announced what they have decided, and of those, not enough have changed their votes to reverse the outcome of last summer, in which DIS 29500 (a/k/a OOXML) failed to gain approval. It will not be until Monday that the final vote will be announced by ISO/IEC JTC1 (or become public through disclosure by an NB committee member, as the case may be).
Many journalists and others have asked me whether I have a prediction on what the outcome will be, and also what I think it will mean if OOXML is approved. I don’t have an answer to the first question, as there are too many countries involved, and too much may change until the last minute. But I do have an answer to the second question, and that answer is the same one that I have given every time that a new decision point has loomed in the ongoing quest for a useful format standard that can bring competition and innovation back to the desktop, as well as ensure that the history and creativity of today will remain accessible far into the future.
That answer is this: if anyone had asked me to predict in August of 2005 (the date of the initial Massachusetts decision that set the ODF ball rolling) how far ODF might go and what impact it might have, I would never have guessed that it would have gone so far, and had such impact, in so short a period of time. I think it’s safe to say that whatever happens with the OOXML vote is likely to have little true impact at all on the future success of ODF compliant products.
Here are ten reasons why I believe this prediction will be borne out.
Thursday, March 27 2008 @ 06:18 PM CDT
Contributed by: Andy Updegrove
With fewer than 48 hours to go throughout most of the world, only a small percentage of the 87 countries that voted last summer on OOXML have announced whether they will stand by, or change, the votes that they cast during the original six month voting period. To my knowledge, only one National Body (NB) has formally announced a change of vote thus far (Czechia has changed from "disapprove" to "approve"). Pamela Jones earlier today posted an informal report that Kenya, a P member, has switched its vote from "approve" to "abstain." And Pamela also reported that Cuba has not only announced a "disapproval" vote, but that it's earlier vote to approve was incorrectly registered, placing it in a unique category of its own. In yet another category can be found reports that a committee has recommended one action or another, but is not itself the committee that is able to make the final decision for the NB (the United Kingdom is an example).
All other reports, official and informal, of which I am aware are to the effect that the prior vote will stand, including the United States (approve), Brazil and India (both disapprove). And I've now learned that Germany can be added to the "no change" category as well, although the vote was not only very close, but, as has become almost more the expected rather than the unusual, was also unique to the circumstances and decisions made within the NB committee about what options would be permitted in the vote. The following is the message that I received a few hours ago from a German expert that I know personally who sits on the relevant DIN (the German standards body) committee:
Wednesday, March 19 2008 @ 05:11 PM CDT
Contributed by: Andy Updegrove
As regular readers will have noticed, I haven’t blogged in awhile. This is in part because I’m on the road for most of six weeks, but also because the news about OOXML continues to be both more predictable as well as more intense. At some point, the single events of the day become less individually meaningful, because they are simply part of the same fractal pattern that has replicated itself over and over since September of 2005, when Massachusetts adopted ODF, putting document standards on many powerful companies’ strategic maps. Since then, that pattern has spread dramatically, engulfing more companies, affecting more National Bodies in more countries, and invoking more campaigning on both sides. Only rarely is something now written or said that cuts through this fog of war. A few days ago in South Africa, someone did just that, and that’s what I’ve written about today.
Sunday, March 09 2008 @ 05:45 AM CDT
Contributed by: Andy Updegrove
On February 29, about an hour after the OOXML Ballot Resolution Meeting closed, I posted this blog entry, based on information available at the time. Corrections were made over the next two days to take further information into account as it became available; those corrections are duly noted in the text. Due to the extent and energy of the debate that has erupted around the BRM, I turned that blog entry into an ongoing resource page, adding first-hand accounts of many delegates to the BRM, the views of selected non-attendees, the text of public statements and press releases by ISO/IEC JTC1, Ecma, various National Bodies and other interested parties, and more.
In order to make that material easier to use, I've now moved that material to this new entry, reorganized it, and added the Table of Contents immediately below (the original blog entry, as corrected, now stands alone at the original date of posting, with a forward link to this resource page). You can also view the many press articles that continue to be written as I add them to the News Picks column to the right, as well as hundreds of additional articles from the past several years about ODF and OOXML, by bookmarking . You can therefore stay current on further developments and statements relating to the BRM by bookmarking this blog entry.
My thanks to all of you that have pointed me to much of the data that appears below. Please continue to send me links to information as you find it or provide it, and I'll add it below. NOTE: you must click through to the full text of this entry for some of the Table of Contents links to work
Table of Contents
I. Updated Blog Entry - As posted on February 29
II. Comments to Blog Entry - Includes an extensive exchange with BRM Convenor Alex Brown
III. Daily Updates - Supplemental notes on the materials as added
IV. BRM Accounts by Delegates (interested and neutral) - Blog postings and interviews of delegates with their details and perspectives
V. BRM Commentary by Others - Both interested and neutral; for press accounts, see the ODF/OOXML News folder
VI. Public Statements and Press Releases - ISO/IEC JTC1, Ecma, National Bodies, and more
Friday, February 29 2008 @ 05:53 AM CST
Contributed by: Andy Updegrove
I have now created a very extensive, indexed BRM Resource Page to hold the many links, press releases, delegate statements and other material that were originally found here. You can find that extra materials here.
A rather incredible week in Geneva has just ended, bringing to a close the Herculean task assumed by the over 100 delegates from 32 countries that attended the BRM. That challenge, of course, was how to productively resolve the more than 1,100 comments (after elimination of duplicates) registered by the 87 National Bodies that voted last summer with respect to a specification that itself exceeded 6,000 pages.
I have spent the week in Geneva, and have spoken with many delegates from many delegations on a daily basis. Each believed that a body that purports to issue "global open standards" should not impose an obligation of secrecy on how the standards that people must live with are approved on their behalf. It would be fair to say that, notwithstanding all of the charges and counter charges that have been made leading up to the BRM regarding how National Body votes were taken last summer, how delegations have been selected, and how they have been instructed to act and vote at the BRM, there has been a good faith effort by all to try to achieve a successful result. The same appears to have held true within delegations, even those that contained representatives of the most opposed parties.
There are two ways in which you may hear the results of the BRM summarized by those that issue statements and press releases in the days to come. Perhaps inevitably, they are diametrically opposed, as has so often happened in the ODF - OOXML saga to date. Those results are as follows:
98.4% of the OOXML Proposed Dispositions were approved by a three to two majority at the BRM, validating OOXML
The OOXML Proposed Dispositions were overwhelmingly rejected by the delegations in attendance at the BRM, indicating the inability of OOXML to be adequately addressed within the "Fast Track" process
[Paragraph updated] In this blog entry, I will explain why the following is the best characterization, and help you read the various press releases and statements that may be made with the benefit of the appropriate context:
Only a very small percentage of the proposed dispositions were discussed in detail, amended and approved by the delegations in attendance at the BRM, indicating the inability of OOXML to be adequately addressed within the "Fast Track" process
Quote of the Day
“We are certain that the Internet of Things will only be successful if it is built on open technologies
-Eclipse Foundation Executive Director Mike Milinkovich See all Quotes
Latest NewsA Data Model to Support the Publishing of Legislation as Linked Open DataJens ScheerlinckEU Joinup
July 22, 2016 - Citizens, professionals in the legal domain, businesses as well as civil servants need to know what legislation is in force. Legislation is often amended, repealed and codified, making it difficult to have a clear view of what text is in force at any specific point in time. In this context, the Hellenic Ministry of Interior and Administrative Reconstruction and the Italian Anti-corruption Agency contacted the ISA Programme of the European Commission to develop a pilot that has the two fold objective of making legislation available in both human and machine readable format and visualising the evolution of legislation over time, to enable user friendly consultation.
In order to allow legislative information to be published as Open Data, a data model was proposed to support this publishing process. The suggested data model is based on the ELI ontology and extended with concepts from Akoma Ntoso and the Core Public Organisation Vocabulary, thereby facilitating interoperability with other EU Member States. The full pilot can be downloaded or forked from the SEMICeu Github repository and the documentation on the data model can be consulted on the pilot website.
The data model has been put in public deliberation by the Ministry until 15 July 2016. ...Full Story
TC260 Drafts New Standard for China's Cloud Security Review Regime
USITO.org Weekly July 21, 2016 - Recently, TC260 has published the draft "Information Security Technology - Security Capability Evaluation Methods of Cloud Computing Services" for comments. The public comment period will end on August 11. This draft standard aims to provide guidance for third-party agencies on how to conduct cloud service capability evaluation via interviews, inspections and testing.
This standard, along with two others, cover guidelines for cloud service provider's size and operational experience, business dealings between cloud service providers and government customers, cloud computing services cybersecurity management and a range of other issues. The three standards have also been adopted as main references in the CAC's Cloud Computing Services Cybersecurity Review, which was announced on June 26, 2015 and targets services for Party and government departments. ...Full Story
IoT Security: What IoT Can Learn From Open Source Businesses are hugely concerned about IoT
Datamation July 20, 2016 - When personal computers were introduced, few manufacturers worried about security. Not until the early 1990s did the need for security become widely understood. Today, the Internet of Things (IoT) is following the same pattern -- except that the need for security is becoming obvious far more quickly, and manufacturers should have known better, especially given the overwhelming influence of open source.
The figures speak for themselves. In 2014, a study by Hewlett-Packard found that seven out of ten IoT devices tested contained serious security vulnerabilities, an average of twenty-five per device. In particular, the vulnerabilities included a lack of encryption for local and Internet transfer of data, no enforcement of secure passwords, and security for downloaded updates. The devices test included some of the most common IoT devices currently in use, including TVs, thermostats, fire alarms and door locks.
Given that Gartner predicts that 25 billion smart devices will be in use by 2020, no one needs to be a prophet to foresee a major security problem that will make even the security problems of the basic Internet seem insignificant....how have IoT manufacturers failed to be more security conscious?...
That smart devices, like OpenStack before it, are being built on the shoulders of open source, is too obvious for anyone to doubt. In early 2015, VisionMobile's survey of 3,700 IoT developers indicated that 91% used open source in their work.
This figure suggests that, without open source, the development of the IoT would be much slower if it happened at all. If nothing else, the use of open source and open standards helps to reduce compatibility problems between manufacturers' devices.... ...Full Story
Ultracode Standard Introduced by AIM
AIM July 19, 2016 - AIM announced today the release of the Ultracode international standard, establishing a significant enhancement in barcode technology for the automatic identification and data capture (AIDC) industry and consumerization.
Ultracode is the first 2D, error-correcting color barcode which can either be displayed on smartphones or printed by using a digital color camera or smartphone app. Its development was motivated by the ubiquitous use of color electronic displays, digital cameras and especially the development of the smartphone. Using Ultracode, standard color technology can create an image that encodes the same data in less than half the area of a QR Code, minimizing display space required.
The effort to develop Ultracode as a formal standard began more than a decade ago.... ...Full Story
ITU announces new standard for High Dynamic Range TV
ITU July 18, 2016 - ITU has announced a new standard for High Dynamic Range Television that represents a major advance in television broadcasting. High Dynamic Range Television (HDR-TV) brings an incredible feeling of realism, building further on the superior colour fidelity of ITU’s Ultra-High Definition Television (UHDTV) Recommendation BT.2020. ITU’s Radiocommunication Sector (ITU-R) has developed the standard – or Recommendation – in collaboration with experts from the television industry, broadcasting organizations and regulatory institutions in its Study Group 6.
This latest ITU-R HDR-TV Recommendation BT.2100 brings a further boost to television images, giving viewers an enhanced visual experience with added realism. The HDR-TV Recommendation allows TV programmes to take full advantage of the new and much brighter display technologies. HDR-TV can make outdoor sunlit scenes appear brighter and more natural, adding highlights and sparkle. It enhances dimly lit interior and night scenes, revealing more detail in darker areas, giving TV producers the ability to reveal texture and subtle colours that are usually lost with existing Standard Dynamic Range TV.... ...Full Story
New NERC Rules for Critical Cyber Assets Expand the Scope of U.S. Federal Regulation to New Facilities and Practices
Lexology July 15, 2016 - As a result of federal legislation enacted after the large Northeast/Midwest blackout in 2003, electric utilities and other electric market participants in the United States are subject to mandatory reliability standards developed through stakeholder processes by the North American Electric Reliability Corporation (NERC) and enforced by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) with substantial financial penalties of up to US$1million per day for each standard violation.
Among the categories of mandatory electric reliability standards are Critical Infrastructure Protection (CIP) standards that were first adopted in 2008. Those standards required owners and operators of “Critical Cyber Assets” (CCA)1 to develop, maintain, and implement cybersecurity policies that cover, among other things, training and access restrictions for personnel with access to CCAs, procedures for managing electronic and physical security perimeters, software security, incident reporting and response planning, and recovery plans to restore CCAs following an incident.
In 2013, NERC proposed and FERC approved version 5 of the CIP standards, a wholesale revision and significant change in approach under the standards. The new standards will be phased in, starting on 1 July 2016. The most significant change in the version 5 standards is the methodology to be used and the requirements for identifying assets subject to the standards, as described below for standard CIP-002-5. The scope of the new standards are significantly broader than the prior version and owners and operators of smaller electric generation and transmission facilities and generation control centers will now be subject to the CIP standards for the first time.... ...Full Story
Automotive Grade Linux wants to help open source your next car
Tech Republic July 15, 2016 - ...The [Linux Foundation] started Automotive Grade Linux (AGL) to create open source software solutions for automotive applications. Their initial focus is on In-Vehicle-Infotainment (IVI) and their long-term goals include the addition of instrument clusters and telematics systems. Already AGL has the likes of Ford, Jaguar, Land Rover, Mazda, Mitsubishi Motors, Nissan, Subaru, and Toyota on board and that list will only continue to grow....Instead of depending on a separate device to serve as the operating system to drive the platform, AGL will be a stand-alone platform...Because AGL is open source, car manufacturers won't be dealing with a collection of proprietary code that will work for a single model, only to have to turn around and purchase another collection of proprietary code for the next model. Instead, the manufacturer downloads the source for AGL and makes it work to their exact specifications each time. Couple this with the idea that, according to Emily Olin, senior PR representative for the Linux Foundation, most auto manufacturers don't want to hand over control to the likes of Google or Apple and AGL starts to make a lot of sense.... ...Full Story
A Call for Developing—and Using—Consensus Standards to Ensure the Quality of Cell Lines
NIST July 14, 2016 - Mainstays of biomedical research, permanent lines of cloned cells are used to study the biology of health and disease and to test prospective medical therapies. Yet, all too often, these apparent pillars of bioscience and biotechnology crumble because they are crafted from faulty starting materials: misidentified or cross-contaminated cell lines.
Writing in the June 2016 issue of PLOS Biology, scientists from the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) call for “community action” to assemble a “comprehensive toolkit for assuring the quality of cell lines,” employed at the start of every study.
As important, they assert, more researchers and laboratories should use the tools that already exist. The NIST authors point to the American National Standard for authentication of human cell lines, which can be implemented to detect cell-line mix-ups and contamination before embarking on studies of cancer or other research using human cells.
Unfortunately, the four-year-old standard has not been widely adopted, even though cell-line authentication is a growing priority among funders and publishers of research.
Cell lines are populations of clones: genetically uniform animal or plant cells that are bioengineered to proliferate indefinitely in culture....A “high level of confidence” in published research results requires valid underpinning data on methods and materials—cell lines, instrument performance and more, explain the researchers, who work in the Biosystems and Biomaterials Division of NIST’s Material Measurement Laboratory. “One might argue that these control data are as important as the study data themselves.”...The authors advocate using inclusive, consensus standards-setting processes—like the one used for human cell-line authentication—to address these needs as well as to seize new opportunities that are arising with the commercialization of genome-sequencing technologies.... ...Full Story
Automotive Grade Linux Releases Unified Code Base 2.0
AGL/Linux Foundation July 13, 2016 - Automotive Grade Linux (AGL), a collaborative open source project developing a Linux-based, open platform for the connected car, today announced the release of AGL Unified Code Base (UCB) 2.0. Built from the ground up through a joint effort by automakers and suppliers, the AGL UCB is an In-Vehicle-Infotainment (IVI) platform that can serve as the de facto standard for the industry.
The latest version of the Linux distribution includes new features such as audio routing and rear seat display. Ideal for deploying navigation, communications, safety, security and infotainment functionality, the AGL UCB distribution is supported by a broad community of participants with significant contributions from AGL members.... ...Full Story
Agencies push for open standards across cloud services
GCN.com July 13, 2016 - Agencies are adopting a growing range of cloud solutions, but more-robust open standards would better support hybrid clouds and integrate cross-vendor workflows [according to the International Trade Administration’s CIO Joe Paiva]....While the open standards for web services and application programming interfaces allow ITA to easily move and exchange data on the web, Paiva said, there are no standards for workflows across multiple clouds’ application programming interfaces....Additionally, Paiva said he is pushing industry for open standards for workflow metadata as well, which would eliminate the need to use each vendor’s proprietary coding and settings and allow agencies to easily modify workflows, data and the way data is presented.... ...Full Story