Don't have an account yet? Sign up as a New User
Lost your password?
Welcome to ConsortiumInfo.org
Wednesday, June 28 2017 @ 02:28 PM CDT
Friday, January 04 2008 @ 06:24 AM CST
Contributed by: Andy Updegrove
This is the fifth chapter in a real-time eBook writing project I launched and explained in late November. Constructive comments, corrections and suggestions are welcome. All product names used below are registered trademarks of their vendors.
Chapter 5: Open Standards
One of the two articles of faith that Eric Kriss and Peter Quinn embraced in drafting their evolving Enterprise Technical Reference Model (ETRM) was this: products built to "open standards" are more desirable than those that aren't. Superficially, the concept made perfect sense – only buy products that you can mix and match. That way, you can take advantage of both price competition as well as a wide selection of alternative products from multiple vendors, each with its own value-adding features. And if things don't work out, well, you're not locked in, and can swap out the loser and shop for a winner.
But did that make as much sense with routers and software as it did with light bulbs and lamps? And in any event, if this was such a great idea, why hadn't their predecessors been demanding open standards-based products for years? Finally, what exactly was that word "open" supposed to mean?
To answer these questions properly requires a brief hop, skip and jump through the history of standards, from their origins up to the present. And that's what this chapter is about.
Friday, December 28 2007 @ 12:07 PM CST
Contributed by: Andy Updegrove
This is the fourth chapter in a real-time eBook writing project I launched and explained in late November. Constructive comments, corrections and suggestions are welcome. All Microsoft product names used below are registered trademarks of Microsoft.
Chapter 4 – Eric Kriss, Peter Quinn and the ETRM
By the end of December 2005, I had been blogging on ODF developments in Massachusetts for about four months, providing interviews, legal analysis and news as it happened. In those early days, not many bloggers were covering the ODF story, and email began to come my way from people that I had never met before, from as far away as Australia, and as near as the State House in Boston. Some began with, "This seems really important – what can I do to help?" Others contained important information that someone wanted to share, and that I was happy to receive.
One such email arrived just before Christmas in 2005. In its entirety, it read:
Enjoy reading your consortiuminfo blog ... keep it up.
Happy New Year,
This was a pleasant and welcome surprise. Until the end of September, Eric Kriss had been the Massachusetts Secretary of Administration and Finance, and therefore Peter Quinn's boss. Together, they had conceived, architected and launched the ambitious IT upgrade roadmap that in due course incorporated ODF into the state's procurement guidelines.
Monday, December 10 2007 @ 07:05 AM CST
Contributed by: Andy Updegrove
This is the third chapter in a real-time eBook writing project I launched and explained in late November. Constructive comments, corrections and suggestions are welcome. All Microsoft product names used below are registered trademarks of Microsoft.
This chapter was revised at 8:30 AM on 12/11/07, most significantly by adding the "Lessons applied" section.
Chapter 3: What a Difference a Decade Can Make
In 1980, Microsoft was a small software vendor that had built its business primarily on downsizing mainframe programming languages to a point where they could be used to program the desktop computers that were then coming to market. The five year old company had total revenues of $7,520,720, and BASIC, its first product, was still its most successful. By comparison, Apple Computer had already reached sales of $100 million, and the same year launched the largest public offering since the Ford Motor Company had itself gone public some twenty-four years before. Microsoft was therefore far smaller than the company that Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak had formed a year after Bill Gates and Paul Allen sold their first product.
Moreover, in the years to come, PC-based word processing products like WordStar, and then WordPerfect, would become far more popular than Microsoft's own first word processing (originally called Multitool Word), providing low-cost alternatives to the proprietary minicomputer based software offerings of vendors like Wang Laboratories. IBM, too, provided a word processing program for the PC called DisplayWriter. That software was based on a similar program that IBM had developed for its mainframe systems customers. More importantly, another program was launched at just the right time to dramatically accelerate the sale of IBM PCs and their clones. That product was the legendary "killer app" of the IBM PC clone market: Lotus 1-2-3, the spreadsheet software upon which Mitch Kapor built the fortunes of his Lotus Development Corporation.
Sunday, December 02 2007 @ 02:07 PM CST
Contributed by: Andy Updegrove
This is the second chapter in a real-time eBook writing project I launched and explained last week. The following is one of a number of stage-setting chapters to follow. Comments, corrections and suggestions gratefully accepted. All Microsoft product names used below are registered trademarks of Microsoft.
Chapter 2 – Products, Innovation and Market Share
Microsoft is the envy of many vendors for the hugely dominant position it enjoys in two key product areas: PC desktop operating systems – the software that enables and controls the core functions of personal computers - and "office productivity software" – the software applications most often utilized by PC users, whether at work or at home, to create documents, slides and spreadsheets and meet other common needs. Microsoft's 90% plus market share in such fundamental products is almost unprecedented in the technical marketplace, and this monopoly position enables it to charge top dollar for such software. It also makes it easy for Microsoft to sell other products and services to the same customers.
Microsoft acquired this enviable position in each case through a combination of luck, single-minded determination, obsessive attention to detail, and a willingness to play the game fast and hard – sometimes hard enough to attract the attention of both Federal and state antitrust regulators. Early on, Bill Gates and his team acquired a reputation for bare-knuckle tactics that they sometimes seemed to wear with brash pride. Eventually, these tactics (as well as tales of Gate's internal management style) progressed from industry rumors to the stuff of best sellers, like Hard Drive: Bill Gates and the Making of the Microsoft Empire.
With the emergence of the Web, of course, the opportunity for widely sharing stories, both real (of which there were many) and apocryphal, exploded. Soon Web sites such as Say No to Monopolies: Boycott Microsoft enthusiastically collected and posted tales of alleged technological terror and dirty deeds. More staid collections were posted at sites such as the Wikipedia. The increasing tide of litigation involving Microsoft, launched not only by state and federal regulators but by private parties as well, generated embarrassing documents. Such original sources were not only difficult to deny, but almost impossible to repress in the age of the Web - and of peer to peer file sharing as well.
Moreover, while Bill Gates and his co-founders rarely displayed the creative and innovative flair of contemporaries like Apple's Steve Jobs, neither were they troubled by the type of "not invented here" bias that sometimes led other vendors to pursue unique roads that sometimes led to dead ends.
Sunday, November 25 2007 @ 02:51 PM CST
Contributed by: Andy Updegrove
For some time I've been considering writing a book about what has become a standards war of truly epic proportions. I refer, of course, to the ongoing, ever expanding, still escalating conflict between ODF and OOXML, a battle that is playing out across five continents and in both the halls of government and the marketplace alike. And, needless to say, at countless blogs and news sites all the Web over as well.
Arrayed on one side or the other, either in the forefront of battle or behind the scenes, are most of the major IT vendors of our time. And at the center of the conflict is Microsoft, the most successful software vendor of all time, faced with the first significant challenge ever to ione of its core businesses and profit centers – its flagship Office productivity suite.
Quote of the Day
“The garden is a good place for testing technology
-Semcon project manager Anna Funke on testing the new Bluetooth Mesh standards See all Quotes
Latest NewsOn cyber, Trump team needs this Dodd-Frank piece to succeedAlan D. GrodyThe Hill
June 27, 2017 - The U.S. Treasury’s common sense regulatory initiative, "A Financial System That Creates Economic Opportunities Banks and Credit Unions," includes a cybersecurity initiative that would have financial regulatory agencies standardize cyber security regulations. It also includes using a "common lexicon" to aid in that effort....The most critical data standard in financial cyberspace is that which describes the identity of large scale financial market participants. They, as well as corporations and other commercial users, use large payment systems to conduct business and pass value payments between themselves.A unique, unambiguous and universal identity code is critical as the first line of defense in preventing cybersecurity breaches. Hardening that identity so that it is unalterable, using encryption, public/private keys, hashing and other more advanced cryptology techniques should follow....To this end, the Office of Financial Research’s (OFR’s) legal entity identifier (LEI) initiative is well on its way to becoming that underlying identity code,...The OFR was created through the Dodd-Frank Act, which House Republicans want to replace with The Financial CHOICE Act. This act would eliminate the OFR. The rationale for eliminating the OFR focuses almost exclusively on its economic analysis function which, it is claimed, is duplicative of analysis done by multiple federal agencies.
This rationale fails to recognize the OFR’s key role in driving data standards throughout the financial system, a fundamental requirement for organizing data — particularly, identity data — to prevent cybersecurity breaches.... ...Full Story
Insurance industry making the leap to blockchain
Business Insurance June 26, 2017 - Blockchain is making inroads into the insurance sector with the announcement of new initiatives aimed at expanding the use of the digital ledger technology.
Last week’s news of the initiative between American International Group Inc. and Standard Chartered Bank P.L.C. was the latest in a recent run of activity around the insurance sector’s potential use for the budding technology.
AIG and Standard Chartered, together with IBM, said they had used blockchain technology to create a multinational “smart contract” by converting a multinational, controlled master policy written in the United Kingdom and three local policies in the United States, Singapore and Kenya, into a format that provides a shared view of policy data and documentation in real-time, allowing visibility into coverage and premium payment at the local and master level as well as automated notifications to network participants following payment events.
Third parties, such as brokers, auditors and other stakeholders, can also be included, giving them a view of the policy and payment data and documentation. The pilot solution was built by IBM and is based on Hyperledger Fabric — a blockchain framework and one of the Hyperledger projects hosted by The Linux Foundation.
Results were promising, according to observers.... ...Full Story
China Is Driving To 5G And IoT Through Global Collaboration
Forbes June 23, 2017 - Telecoms and cloud service providers are gearing up for two of the largest functional changes in decades: The Internet of Things (IoT) which is happening now and 5G which is on the horizon. Both will require substantial investments in capital and operations for today’s networks to be competitive and thrive in this connected future. No single vendor can deliver the full stack, and proprietary technologies will not keep pace with these future needs. This transformation will be delivered in virtualized (not physical) technologies, open source and multivendor, relying on significant integration work across many in the industry to be successful. Chinese players like China Mobilenull +0%, Huaweinull +0% and ZTEnull +0% are emerging as leaders in this space, through something not traditionally expected from the region: global collaboration.... ...Full Story
New Open Standard Makes Home Connection Simpler
Semcon.com June 22, 2017 - The lack of joint standards makes home connection of products expensive and awkward. Semcon and Husqvarna have evaluated the new Bluetooth Mesh as part of their GRASS research project. The results show benefits in terms of range, simplicity and economy – and opportunities for broad usage.... ...Full Story
How open source is advancing the Semantic Web
OpenSource.com June 21, 2017 - The Semantic Web, a term coined by World Wide Web (WWW) inventor Sir Tim Berners-Lee, refers to the concept that all the information in all the websites on the internet should be able to interoperate and communicate. That vision, of a web of knowledge that supplies information to anyone who wants it, is continuing to emerge and grow.
In the first generation of the WWW, Web 1.0, most people were consumers of content, and if you had a web presence it was comprised of a series of static pages conveyed in HTML. Websites had guest books and HTML forms, powered by Perl and other server-side scripting languages, that people could fill out. While HTML provides structure and syntax to the web, it doesn't provide meaning; therefore Web 1.0 couldn't inject meaning into the vast resources of the WWW.
Next came Web 2.0 and the emergence of user-generated content like blogs, wikis, video sharing, social media, and so forth. Dynamically generated content created two-way interaction. Sites like Flickr and Twitter employed user-generated tags (called folksonomies) to organize content into categories. While this represented a vast improvement in both interface and interaction over Web 1.0, it's not the full level of interactivity envisioned by Berners-Lee's definition of the Semantic Web.
The urgency to realize the Semantic Web has gained steam with the rapidly expanding Internet of Things (IoT), as each of these devices forms a web of semantic data that can be queried with appropriate tools. The intersection of artificial intelligence, big data, the IoT, and connected web technologies is creating the opportunity to derive more meaning and context from the data we share in our increasingly interconnected world. As this web of data continues to grow, we need software tools and frameworks to create and read this information...How does a web page distinguish information? How can my web content literally talk to other content in a way that the receiver knows my intent? How can information in a wiki's text and multimedia files, for example, be queried to determine what active projects took place in 2016? One open source tool that enables this type of interaction is Semantic MediaWiki.... ...Full Story
Opening up the way to industry transformation
GTB.com June 20, 2017 - There’s a deep cultural change rolling through the industry. The way things have been done for the past century and a half – with vendors and operators doing their own R&D and competing vigorously – is being replaced by a new spirit of collaboration. At the heart of this is the move to software-defined networks (SDN) and network functions virtualisation (NFV) – two abbreviations that mean, in short, using IT industry-standard hardware in the network with software to define and run the services...[Historically,} Operators were usually locked in. If you had opted for Siemens switches in your network then it was a big task to introduce Ericsson or Alcatel alongside them. Now, the watchword across the industry is “open source”: software is free, developed by volunteers from the industry, and used by all who want to on standard hardware that is created by IT giants. Competition – for there will still be competition – has moved to different levels...
Full article: https://www.globaltelecomsbusiness.com/article/b13bt7b66lqc2h/opening-up-the-way-to-industry-transformation?copyrightInfo=true
Visit http://www.euromoney.com/reprints for additional distribution rights. For more articles like this, follow us @euromoney on Twitter. ...Full Story
World needs 1.8 million more cyber-security pros in the next five years
V3 June 19, 2017 - Companies and organisations across the world will need another 1.8 million more cyber-security pros to protect themselves by 2022.
That's according to market researchers Frost and Sullivan. The deficit of security pros is revealed in the 2017 Global Information Security Workforce Study that the organisation has spent some time putting together...
Two-thirds of respondents said that they did not have enough skilled workers in-house to cope with current threats, and it's fair to assume that current threats are only going to get worse... ...Full Story
Potent malware targets electricity systems
Business Standard June 16, 2017 - Hackers have developed powerful malware that can shut down electricity distribution systems and possibly other critical infrastructure, two cyber security firms announced today, with one report linking it to Russia.
Slovakia-based ESET said the malware is the most powerful threat to appear since Stuxnet, the hacking tool used to sabotage Iran's nuclear program believed developed by US and Israeli intelligence...
The company said Industroyer's potent threat is that it works using the communication protocols designed decades ago and built into energy, transportation, water and gas systems around the world...
Making use of these poorly-secured protocols, Industroyer can take direct control of electricity substation switches and circuit breakers, giving hackers the ability to shut down power distribution and damage equipment. ...Full Story
Public sector benefits from LibreOffice bug hunting
EU Joinup June 15, 2017 - The software development community working on LibreOffice have greatly scaled up their bug-hunting efforts, using automated software test tools made available by Google. Beneficiaries include the many European public administrations that use up-to-date versions of this suite of office productivity tools.
The Internet search engine giant is sharing some of its computing capacity to help open source projects find bugs. This markedly increases the number of tests, and so turns up software problems much faster...These tests are helping to improve the upcoming next version of LibreOffice, says Michael Meeks. All users of LibreOffice, including the many European public sector organisations, can reap the benefits. “If they stay up-to-date”, he adds. “Public administrations should make sure they have support and long-term maintenance for LibreOffice.” ...Full Story
Deadline Approaching: ANSI Nominations for 2017 Leadership and Service Awards
ANSI.org June 14, 2017 - Reminder: Nominations due by Friday, June 16, for the American National Standards Institute (ANSI)’s 2017 Leadership and Service Awards. The awards, which are presented in conjunction with World Standards Week (WSW) 2017, honor individuals who have made significant contributions to voluntary consensus standardization and conformity assessment programs and have consistently demonstrated a commitment to their industry, their nation, and the enhancement of the global standards system... ...Full Story