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Sunday, November 23 2014 @ 02:34 AM CST
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
“Patents can promote innovation, but a patent is not a license to engage in deception
-FTC director of Bureau of Consumer Protection Jessica L. Rich, commenting on the first settlement with a patent "troll" See all Quotes
Latest NewsToo many IoT standards, or too few?Richard QuinnellEDN Network
November 20, 2014 - Interoperability and the easy exchange of data is a major concern in the buildup of the Internet of Things (IoT). To ensure those attributes, a set of commonly accepted standards will be needed. So, do we need to create those standards, or do we already have enough standards and simply need to pick and choose?...it may...be that there are enough standards already out there and what is needed is agreement on which set of standards are to be followed for the IoT. It is equally likely that a different set of standards will be in play for different use cases of the IoT, with applications such as industrial machinery using one set while telemedicine uses a different set. After all, if different types of applications have no need to share their data, then there is no reason to saddle them both with the same set of standards.... ...Full Story
State Council Pledges Support for Development of Cloud Computing
USITO.org Weekly November 20, 2014 - On November 15, China's State Council pledged to accelerate efforts to develop cloud computing innovation as a means of stimulating development of China's information industry.
According to an official State Council statement...China will actively support the integrated development of cloud computing, the Internet of Things and mobile internet. China will also promote online research and design in the education and health care sectors, stimulate innovation in intelligent manufacturing based on cloud computing, and deploy pilot applications to enhance disease prevention, disaster mitigation, social security and e-government.
The statement also indicated that China would support core technological R&D necessary to enable these innovations, and allow the market to play a greater role in pricing information technology products and services. ...Full Story
Interview with OpenStand Advocate Tim Berners-Lee: The Internet Turns 25
OpenStand November 19, 2014 - From the beginning, the Internet was built on a set of open development principles, that are now recognized as the OpenStand Principles. As the Internet turns 25 this year, Tim Berners-Lee, inventor of the World Wide Web, sat down to reflect back on the first days of its existence. In the below video, he discusses how far web information has come, and how much more ground there is left to cover.... ...Full Story
Launching in 2015: A Certificate Authority to Encrypt the Entire Web
Electronic Frontier Foundation November 18, 2014 - Today EFF is pleased to announce Let’s Encrypt, a new certificate authority (CA) initiative that we have put together with Mozilla, Cisco, Akamai, Identrust, and researchers at the University of Michigan that aims to clear the remaining roadblocks to transition the Web from HTTP to HTTPS.
Although the HTTP protocol has been hugely successful, it is inherently insecure. Whenever you use an HTTP website, you are always vulnerable to problems, including account hijacking and identity theft; surveillance and tracking by governments, companies, and both in concert; injection of malicious scripts into pages; and censorship that targets specific keywords or specific pages on sites. The HTTPS protocol, though it is not yet flawless, is a vast improvement on all of these fronts, and we need to move to a future where every website is HTTPS by default.With a launch scheduled for summer 2015, the Let’s Encrypt CA will automatically issue and manage free certificates for any website that needs them. Switching a webserver from HTTP to HTTPS with this CA will be as easy as issuing one command, or clicking one button....The Let’s Encrypt CA will be operated by a new non-profit organization called the Internet Security Research Group (ISRG). EFF helped to put together this initiative with Mozilla and the University of Michigan, and it has been joined for launch by partners including Cisco, Akamai, and Identrust. ...Full Story
Experts Predict Major Cyber Attack by 2025, According to Pew
The Open Standard November 18, 2014 - The Pew Research Internet Project asked, and cyber security experts answered.
The iconic think tank has collected and parsed experts’ thoughts on the possibility of a “major cyber attack” by 2025 — and 61 percent of the 1,642 professionals interviewed said one would occur.
“By 2025, will a major cyber attack have caused widespread harm to a nation’s security and capacity to defend itself and its people?”
Pew asked: “By 2025, will a major cyber attack have caused widespread harm to a nation’s security and capacity to defend itself and its people?” The think tank defined “widespread harm” as “significant loss of life or property losses/damage/theft at the levels of tens of billions of dollars.”... ...Full Story
German e-health working group reasserts focus on interoperability
EU Joinup November 18, 2014 - Interoperability of e-health solutions is getting renewed attention from Germany’s health care organisations. Trouble with exchanging information between medical systems is hindering e-health reaching its full potential, says the Federal Ministry of Health. The ministry made interoperability a key topic at the e-health working group meeting, part of an IT Summit in Hamburg in October.
The ministry estimates that there are around 200 different healthcare IT systems in use in the country, creating interoperability barriers. In Hamburg, the e-health working group discussed the results of an e-health interoperability study. The results include a 2013 report, describing international and national interoperability e-health initiatives and good practices.... ...Full Story
Kalorama: New Consortium Will Improve miRNA Development
Kalorama November 17, 2014 - Kalorama Information believes that a new consortium will greatly enhance the use of miRNA (or microRNA). A data management organization, the RNAcentral Consortium, now offers the website RNAcentral (http://rnacentral.org) to serve as a unified resource for all types of noncoding RNA data. Kalorama says the consortium was developed by pooling information from a variety of sources, including databases and tools for browsing, contains approximately 8 million sequences and can assist companies entering the marketplace....
miRNAs (MicroRNAs) are short, single stranded RNAs that regulate mRNA expression at the post-transcriptional level. These small bits of RNA, members of a class of non-translated molecules that do not produce protein, shut off gene transcription by base pairing with the target molecules. They are now recognized as pivotal regulators of gene expression; including development, proliferation, differentiation, and apoptosis and serving widespread functions as regulatory molecules in post-transcriptional gene silencing....there is great interest currently in the use of miRNAs as biomarkers for cancer and other diseases, given their involvement in cancer initiation, progression, migration, invasion and metastasis. Large data bases offer the opportunity to search out and evaluate large numbers of sequences. The detection of these sequences in plasma of breast cancer patients may provide new biomarkers for a number of different cancers, with the potential to develop and introduce novel and non-invasive screening tests.... ...Full Story
HDcctv Alliance Announces New HDCVI 2.0 Global Standard Based On Dahua HDCVI Technology
SourceSecurity.com November 17, 2014 - The HDcctv Alliance is announcing a new global standard of HD analog — HDCVI 2.0. HDCVI 2.0 is based on Dahua’s HDCVI technology. The standard aims to provide a stringent level of certification among manufacturers. Certification will ensure that all HDCVI products with certification label are completely compatible with each other. This gives users complete freedom of choice for security equipment using different brands.... ...Full Story
New OASIS Standard to Build Biometric Security Wonderwall
FindBiometrics.com November 14, 2014 - Non-profit IT consortium OASIS is developing a server-based biometric authentication standard. Industry professionals, government officials, and academics have been invited to help develop the standard as part of the Identity-Based Attestation and Open Exchange Protocol Specification – or IBOPS – Technical Committee.
The basic idea of the system they’re working on is to organize data storage by a server-based index system which, when accessed, would link to biometric identities that are not on the server. In other words, the data itself is not stored on the server, just indexed; and that index tells you where you can get the data, but that source is protected by biometric security measures. With this method, hackers could not access sensitive data by merely breaching the server.... ...Full Story
The Natural Security Alliance unveils new privacy rules around biometric security
Biometric Update.com November 14, 2014 - The Natural Security Alliance, an authentication standards association, has created a set of privacy rules that will help companies implement biometric security best practices and comply with data protection laws....The basis for the Privacy Rules can be attributed to the “accountability principle” established by the Article 29 Working Party, an independent advisory body established by the European Parliament to investigate concerns of personal data and privacy, as well as concepts around the application of biometrics from the EU’s National Data Protection Authorities....Additionally, the Alliance has developed two instruments: the certification and the mark, which ensure that products and organizations integrating the Natural Security Standard comply with the technical specifications. Certified products are deemed “genuine”, and able to communicate with other certified products as part of a genuine Natural Security environment. The Natural Security mark shows data subjects that the organizations that handle their data comply with the Natural Security Standard.... ...Full Story