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Thursday, November 26 2015 @ 08:18 AM CST
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.
Monday, September 15 2014 @ 09:57 AM CDT
Contributed by: Andy Updegrove
OpenForum Europe, an advocacy group focusing on IT openness in government, issued a press release earlier today announcing its launch of a new public Internet portal. At that site, anyone can report a government page that offers a document intended for collaborative use for downloading if that document is not available in an OpenDocument Format (ODF) compliant version. The portal is called FixMyDocuments.eu, and you can show your support for the initiative (as I have) by adding your name here (the first supporter listed is the EU's indominatable digital champion, Neelie Kroes).
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 need to adopt ODF is a no-brainer
-Nico Westpalm van Hoorn, chairman of the Netherlands government body responsible for selecting IT standards for government See all Quotes
Latest NewsMIIT Vice Minister Huai Provides Overview of Big Data StrategyUSITO.org
November 25, 2015 - Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT) Vice Minister Huai Jinpeng participated in a discussion forum in Shenzhen on big data development, offering keynote remarks that were subsequently published on the MIIT website. In his remarks, vice minister Huai emphasized that data is one of China's strategic resources, a critical factor behind modern innovation and an engine of China's future social and economic development.
Huai then introduced the seven key objectives for China's big data industry development, as articulated in the Action Plan to Promote Big Data Development, which was published in early September 2015:
- Implement China's Big Data national strategy, starting with top-level leadership coordination
- Support key Big Data technology R&D and commercialization
- Integrate China's Big Data strategy into the Internet Plus and China Manufacturing 2025 strategic framework
- Promote the establishment of a Big Data standards system
- Encourage the application of Big Data technologies, including through the creation of special experimental or pilot areas
- Strengthen Big Data infrastructure development
- Improve the legal system governing Big Data ...Full Story
IEEE Introduces New Regulations to Standardize 3D Printing Software Used in Medical Settings
3DPrint.com November 24, 2015 - 3D printing is becoming a pretty player in the medical industry, with 3D printed prosthetics, surgical models, and implants being used with increasing regularity in hospitals, dental offices, and clinics. With new technology, of course, comes new regulation. The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Standards Association (IEEE-SA) has recently unveiled new interoperability standards for 3D printers and other electronic devices used in the medical field.... ...Full Story
IoT Groups Merge Efforts OIC taps UPnP, eschewing rival AllSeen
EETimes November 23, 2015 - The Open Interconnect Consortium will acquire assets of and combine its technologies with those of the Universal Plug and Play Forum, a fifteen-year old group focused on automating links between PCs and peripherals typically over Wi-Fi. By adopting the UPnP’s widely used service discovery software and likely many of its members, OIC will bolster its position as an applications-layer software stack for the Internet of Things.
All sides agree the IoT is encumbered with too many competing and overlapping platforms, networks, protocols and frameworks as the result of a land grab for what is seen as the next big thing.... ...Full Story
How open source can bring agencies to the cloud
Federal Times November 23, 2015 - Cloud computing has fundamentally changed how the world works, innovates and connects .From businesses and governments to individuals, we are all finding ourselves interacting in new and meaningful ways .Yet, according to IDC, only 6 percent of federal government applications run in the cloud.
Open source could be the key in spurring more cloud adoption across federal agencies. Here are two examples:
- GSA’s internal digital consultancy, 18F, recently launched Cloud.gov, a Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) built on the open source framework Cloud Foundry.
- The Department of the Interior recently relaunched DOI.gov using the open source software Drupal as a PaaS to create a better approach to managing website content.
With open source comes open standards and application programming interfaces (APIs) that enable the extensibility, interoperability and portability needed for federal agencies to meet higher expectations in launching new services quickly, adding infrastructure when needed and identifying new opportunities to engage citizens .The GSA and DOI examples represent a dramatic shift for the federal government as many agency innovators seek to employ agile methods and drive faster cloud adoption.
The open architecture that open source provides is critical for agencies to build, ship and run applications across the cloud .New applications can be spun up in seconds, dynamically changed, scaled and are portable across different cloud environments.... ...Full Story
ANSI Requests Comments on SAC’s “Association Standardization—Part 1: Guidelines for Good Practice”
ANSI Weekly News November 20, 2015 - The American National Standards Institute (ANSI) requests stakeholder comments on the draft guidance document “Association Standardization-Part 1: Guidelines for Good Practice,” published by the Standardization Administration of China (SAC). The promotion of association standards is a key component of China’s plan for deepening standardization reform. ANSI members interested in contributing to ANSI’s submission should use the linked form and provide their comments to firstname.lastname@example.org no later than Wednesday, November 18.
Earlier in 2015, China’s State Council released a plan for deepening the reform of China’s standardization system....While association standards are a relatively new category of standards in China, the guidelines, which ANSI has been closely monitoring, will play an important role in shaping their growing influence under the reformed system.
ANSI will use the ANSI Essential Requirements and accreditation of U.S.-based standards developing organizations as the basis for its feedback and encourages members to submit their comments to ANSI for consideration while developing its submission. ANSI also encourages members to submit comments through their own organizations, or to send comments and feedback to ANSI for information, rather than inclusion in its submission.... ...Full Story
Home › Policy & Industry News Policy & Industry News MIIT Issues Cloud Standardization Guidelines
USITO.org November 19, 2015 - The Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT) published the "Cloud Computing Comprehensive Standardization System Construction Guidelines," a detailed plan aimed at enhancing China's cloud computing development and standardization.
The Guidelines include a section that compares China's cloud technology development levels with foreign technology, as well as sections covering hardware, software, services, networks and security.
The Guidelines also identify four cloud areas in which China is aiming to develop a total of 29 cloud-related standards. The four areas are:
- Cloud foundation
- Cloud resources
- Cloud services
- Cloud security ...Full Story
NASA, FCC, USDA lean on open source to propel IoT forward, DoD less so
Molly Bernhart Walker
Fierce Goverment November 19, 2015 - As the sensors and connected technologies that make up the Internet of Things find a home in the federal government, many agencies believe the adoption of open source technology will ensure that innovation isn't happening in silos.... ...Full Story
Book Review: The Lafayette Campaign
The Security Sceptic November 18, 2015 - ...The Lafayette Campaign is entertaining beyond how Frank discovers and ultimately thwarts election fraud. It's quite the maze of twisty turns passages. But Updegrove mercilessly lampoons primary campaigns and campaign funding, and given how the 2016 presidential campaign is proceeding, you may find yourself wondering just how closely art is imitating life here. Frank's investigation is technically credible yet plainly explained for Average Joes and Josettes. And Andrew's character development of Frank and the supporting cast continues to be refreshing. The good guys are people you'd like to meet in real life and the villains are manipulative, greedy bastards you'd like to avoid.
Andrew Updegrove has veered from the customary formula for a suspense novel but his formula is fun. I'm looking forward to future adventures with Frank Adversego. ...Full Story
What Happened to the Semantic Web?
Blogspot.cz November 18, 2015 - Over the last 15+ years, the same question about the Semantic Web has been posed innumerable times: "Are we there yet?"
In this post, I will demonstrate that as expected , its arrival was without fanfare, but we are inarguably there.
In recent times, major search engine vendors (Google, Microsoft, Yahoo!, and Yandex), in collaboration with the W3C and others, created a shared vocabulary referred to as schema.org . This contribution to the ongoing evolution of the Web was an effort to include islands of structured data, constructed to be comprehensible by both humans and machines, within HTML documents. Rather than taking a "bottom up" approach, Schema.org went "top down" from the outset, and Web Masters were their chosen target audience.
Schema.org doesn't mandate any specific notation for construction of these structured data islands, since it's basically an application of RDF's abstract language, and fundamentally represents structured data as subject->predicate->object sentences ("triples") or Entity-Attribute-Value (EAV) data structures.
By leveraging the fact that RDF Language is notation agnostic, structured data islands can be constructed and embedded within HTML documents using: "POSH" (Plain Old Semantic HTML), HTML5+Microdata, RDFa, JSON-LD, RDF-Turtle, and others. As a consequence, no perceived problem with any specific notation gives cause to indict the entire project, and there is likewise no need to go on a distracting quest for a single golden notation....The fundamental goal of the Semantic Web Project has already been achieved. Like the initial introduction of the Web, there wasn't an official release date — it just happened! ...Full Story
Radio spectrum allocated for global flight tracking
ITU-T November 18, 2015 - Agreement has been reached at the World Radiocommunication Conference in Geneva on the allocation of radiofrequency spectrum for global flight tracking in civil aviation.
The frequency band 1087.7-1092.3 MHz has been allocated to the aeronautical mobile-satellite service (Earth-to-space) for reception by space stations of Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast (ADS-B) emissions from aircraft transmitters.... ...Full Story