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Tuesday, August 04 2015 @ 05:00 PM CDT
Monday, June 08 2015 @ 01:20 AM CDT
Contributed by: Andy Updegrove
Last July, the UK Cabinet Office adopted a rule requiring government purchasers to limit their technology acquisitions to products that implement an established list of “open standards.” Last week, Sweden took another step down the same road as it further refined a list of information and communications technology (ICT) standards. That list currently comprises sixteen standards. A posting at the European Commission EU Joinup Web site reports that other standards are to be added this year.
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
“Open standards are simply better for developers
-Professor William Webb, CEO of the Weightless SIG, announcing the SIG's first standard See all Quotes
Latest NewsStandardisation process should be open, study showsGijs HilleniusEU Joinup
August 04, 2105 - Organisations setting ICT standards should be open, as this improves their standards and contributes to their implementation in software, concludes a group of Swedish researchers....
The study provides important insights for legislators and policy makers, the researchers explain. ICT policies should take into account the interactions between standards and their implementations in software.
The group has found an ideal example, they say, that illustrates the affect software implementation and standardisation organisations have on each another.
Their study looks in detail at the RDFa XML and HTML metadata standard and its implementation in the Drupal content management system. By tracking comments and contributions from Drupal developers on the RDFa standard, and following the trail of interactions with the W3C standardisation organisation, the researchers show how developers from small and large, private and public sector organisations contribute to standardisation of W3C RDFa via their contributions to Drupal.
The open process adopted by W3C, attracts contributions from many organisations including a number of micro enterprises, they show. And small and large private companies, as well as public sector organisations contribute the W3C RDFa standar, by contributing to Drupal.... ...Full Story
UK teams with France on open data
UKAuthority.com August 03, 2105 - The UK and France are to look at cooperating on open data as part of a joint Data Taskforce announced today.
Chancellor George Osborne and French economy minister Emmanuel Macron unveiled the plans with a claim that it could provide the basis for up to €60 billion (£42 million) in economic growth across the EU.
The taskforce will focus on three objectives, including increased cooperation between the UK and France on making government data available for public use....The task force will also look at establishing a set of principles for the use of data and data science by small and medium enterprises, and at how to provide consumers with more control and portability of their data. HM Treasury said the taskforce is due to report by the end of the year with recommendations on promoting greater competition between new entrants and established data-based service providers.... ...Full Story
OMB developing cyber guidance for contractors
FCW July 31, 2015 - The Office of Management and Budget is drafting guidelines intended to bolster the cybersecurity of contractors in the aftermath of damaging compromises of federal information via third-party vendors.
The draft guidance will be published at CIO.gov, according to a Federal Register notice. “The increase in threats facing federal information systems demand that certain issues regarding security of information on these systems is clearly, effectively and consistently addressed in federal contracts,” the notice stated.... ...Full Story
Trade groups tell Congress to keep its hands off IoT
IDG July 31, 2015 - The U.S. Congress should take a hands-off approach toward the burgeoning Internet of Things industry and let vendors figure out how to deal with privacy and security issues, representatives of four trade groups said.
The IoT industry offers great potential for growth and for innovative new products, but that growth “requires government restraint,” Gary Shapiro, president and CEO of the Consumer Electronics Association, told lawmakers Wednesday.
Government has a role in an ongoing debate about issues such as who owns the data moving over the IoT, but decisions about security and privacy should be driven by vendors, Shapiro told the Internet subcommittee of the House of Representatives Judiciary Committee. “It’s up to manufacturers and service providers to make good decisions about privacy and security, or they will fail in the marketplace,” he added.... ...Full Story
Open Source Is Going Even More Open—Because It Has To
Wired July 30, 2015 - Google often gives its software away for free. It has long believed in open source software.
But last week, the company took this idea to the next level. It gave away all rights to Kubernetes, a cloud computing system originally designed by Google engineers, asking a non-profit to manage its development. It didn’t just share some software code with the world. It agreed to let an independent party oversee the development of the code.
Dubbed the Cloud Native Computing Foundation, the organization is just the latest in a series of high profile new foundations now stewarding opens source projects created by large tech companies. In the past year, we’ve also seen the launch of the Cloud Foundry Foundation to govern a project originally released by VMware, the establishment of the Node.js Foundation, thanks cloud services company Joyent, and the founding of the Open Container Initiative, thanks to several different companies, most notably Docker and CoreOS. All four of these new organizations are under the umbrella of the Linux Foundation, the organization originally founded to manage the Linux Kernel, the core of all Linux operating systems.... ...Full Story
International Standards Organizations Issue Updated Guidelines for Common Patent Policy Implementation
ANSI Weekly News July 29, 2015 - World Standards Cooperation (WSC) partners the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC), the International Organization for Standardization (ISO), and the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) have issued updated guidelines for implementation of the Common Patent Policy for ITU-T/ITU-R/ISO/IEC intended to address patented technology in international standards....The WSC organizations instituted the patent policy in 2007, with the goal of promoting greater awareness and practical guidance for participants of technical bodies in the case that patent matters arise. The policy encourages early disclosure and identification of patents that may relate to standards under development, as greater transparency promotes efficiency and helps avoid potential patent right issues in standards development....As part of this implementation, ISO, IEC, and ITU jointly adopted Guidelines for the Implementation of the Common Patent Policy and a Patent Statement and License Declaration Form to support implementation of the patent policy. Additionally, the WSC organizations each maintain an online patent information database intended to facilitate the standards-setting process.... ...Full Story
ANSI and Mexican Accreditation Body Sign MoU, Strengthening Collaboration for Global Climate Action
ANSI Weekly News July 28, 2015 - The American National Standards Institute (ANSI) and the Entidad Mexicana de Acreditacion, AC (EMA, Mexico) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) pledging to mutually work together to harmonize their accreditation processes for greenhouse gas (GHG) programs. This agreement will enable each accreditation body to provide the validation and verification bodies operating in both countries greater flexibility, consistency, and value. The signing is a response to the July Climate Summit of the Americas conference, hosted by the Government of Ontario, Canada, which set out to foster and strengthen partnerships among jurisdictions for global climate action and build motivation and support for carbon pricing.
The signing will ultimately help bolster a spectrum of GHG programs and other businesses that rely on accreditation to operate with optimum efficiency in their efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Since 2008, ANSI has offered an accreditation program for organizations providing third-party validation/verification services for the reduction and removal of greenhouse gases. The ANSI Accreditation Program for Greenhouse Gas Validation/Verification Bodies operates according to requirements defined in the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) standard ISO 14065:2013, Greenhouse gases - Requirements for greenhouse gas validation and verification bodies for use in accreditation or other forms of recognition.
EMA, the Mexican accreditation body, is Mexico’s first non-government body for the accreditation of conformity assessment bodies, which comprise testing laboratories, calibration laboratories, clinical laboratories, inspection bodies and certification bodies, proficiency testing providers, and GHG emission verification/validation bodies. Since 2010, EMA has offered an accreditation program for third-party validation/verification of greenhouse gases in the Mexican market....
ANSI and EMA are both members of the International Accreditation Forum (IAF) and PAC, and operate ISO 14065 accreditation programs. ...Full Story
Tech Giants Boost Open Source Container Collaboration
Jack M. Germain
LinuxInsider July 27, 2015 - The Linux Foundation this week announced the formation of the Cloud Native Computing Foundation, a consortium dedicated to developing a new set of common container technologies and driving their adoption.
CNCF aims to make it easier for businesses to build and deploy containerized cloud applications oriented to microservices. The goal is to develop cloud-native applications that allow Internet companies to make scaling their businesses more practical.
The group's founders -- more than two dozen major technology companies -- include AT&T, Box, Cisco, Docker, eBay, Goldman Sachs, Google, Huawei, IBM, Intel, Red Hat, Twitter and VMware. Additional members will join the group in the coming weeks....The announcement of the new technology foundation comes on the heals of another major Linux Foundation-sponsored group. CoreOS and Docker last month announced the formation of the Open Container Project, a nonprofit coalition of 21 industry leaders aiming to establish minimal common standards for cloud storage software containers.
Many of the companies banding together in OCP also signed on to found CNCF....Open source container-packaged applications are important, Messina emphasized. They give organizations moving from building monolithic applications to a distributed application a way to separate applications from the constraints of the infrastructure. ...Full Story
Updegrove, The Lafayette Campaign (Book Review)
ValueWalk July 27, 2015 - ...Andrew Updegrove, author of The Alexandria Project, is back with another Frank Adversego cyber-thriller, The Lafayette Campaign: A Tale of Deception and Elections. If you (well, only if you're a Republican) think that the worst case scenario is that Donald Trump decides the next presidential election, assuming that he runs as a third-party candidate, think again. Elections can be tipped or determined not only by third-party candidates (Ralph Nader is often said to have been the spoiler in 2000) and Supreme Court decisions but also by hackers.
The more electronic elections become, the more hackable they are. Competing rogue forces can devote funds and skills to shaping their outcome. Indeed, just think about it. Why give millions of dollars to PACs, money which is often wasted, when you can fund a bunch of hackers? The Chicago “vote early and often” pols and the RNC Watergate crew worked in the pre-digital era. Today their exploits seem laughably primitive. Elections can be stolen much more elegantly with a few lines of code.
The Lafayette Campaign is a fast-paced thriller that takes the reader through the machinations of election cyber-fraud. A perfect beach book. ...Full Story
Apple and Samsung may help make the SIM card disappear
the Verge July 25, 2015 - The SIM card as we know it may be about to disappear. According to the Financial Times, Apple and Samsung are in discussions with mobile carriers to help develop and implement a new SIM card standard that could make it easier to switch between service providers. The report refers to the new standard as an embedded SIM — or an e-SIM — which would remain inside the phone and give consumers the ability to switch carriers without getting a new card, rather than locking them into a specific carrier, as they do now. That means no more swapping SIMs to switch phones or carriers; it would all be done through an interface on the device....The GSM Association, an industry group that represents mobile operators, tells the Financial Times that "the majority of operators" are on board with the shift over to e-SIM. That reportedly includes AT&T, T-Mobile owner Deutsche Telekom, Vodafone, Telefonica, and Orange, as well as other international carriers. The association confirmed Apple and Samsung's participation in developing the new standard, but the companies' involvement may not yet be final. The association says of Apple: "While we are optimistic, a formal agreement with them is still in progress."... ...Full Story