Don't have an account yet? Sign up as a New User
Lost your password?
Welcome to ConsortiumInfo.org
Sunday, March 09 2014 @ 11:08 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
“Announcements about standards committees tend to rank just above earnings calls and chipset specs on the excitement scale
-Susie Ochs, writing at TechHive [Ouch!] See all Quotes
Latest NewsAre you a member of GoodReads If so, then I'm running a giveaway of 10 signed copies there right now. Below is the latest review (40 reviews, 4.9 stars average)http://bit.ly/1gft8Ix
5.0 out of 5 stars A Thinking Person's Cyber-Thriller
Amazon Reader Reviews March 7, 2014 - This review is from: The Alexandria Project: A Tale of Treachery and Technology (Kindle Edition)
If you think a mystery novel containing elements of international espionage, politics, finance, cryptography, law, Internet technology and inter-governmental agency turf battles might appeal to you, I highly recommend this novel. It contains all this, plus much more (did I mention the Mother Of All Hacker Attacks and plot twists that will have you calling your chiropractor)? It will make you think twice (thrice?) about U.S. data security almost every time you read the international headlines. And the protagonist -- Frank Adversego -- may become your new anti-terrorist fictional hero. Highly recommended. ...Full Story
President Xi's Central Cybersecurity and Informatization Leading Group Approves Work Plan
USITO.org Weekly March 7, 2014 - China's Central Cybersecurity and Informatization Leading Group (CCILG) approved its work plan and priorities in an inaugural meeting on February 27th, according to a report on the State Council website. The leading group is led by China President Xi Jinping and two deputy heads, Premier Li Keqiang and party propaganda department head Liu Yunshan, and is comprised of ministerial leaders. The leading group will play a central leading role in coordination of China's cybersecurity and informatization strategies, plans and policies.
At the meeting, Xi emphasized that cybersecurity and informatization play a strategic role in China's national security, economic development, and the daily life of the people. Xi said that China's development as a cyber power would require a focus on the overall landscape, ministerial coordination and innovative development....[Announcement is in Chinese] ...Full Story
New GAO Report Finds Need for Increased Support for U.S. Participation in the Development of International Nanomanufacturing Standards
ANSI Weekly News March 7, 2014 - The U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) recently issued a report, titled “Nanomanufacturing – Emergence and Implications for U.S. Competitiveness, the Environment, and Human Health,” that found that additional financial and organizational support – particularly in connection with U.S. involvement in the development of international nanomanufacturing standards – is required to ensure U.S. competitiveness in the this emerging field.... ...Full Story
As smart as it gets
STR Team/Business Standard
AFAQS March 6, 2014 - In January this year at Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, Google announced the Open Automotive Alliance (OAA), which aims to bridge that gap by plugging cars - and their amazing capabilities - into the same mobile ecosystem that powers your Android smartphone, tablet and television.
At Consumer Electronics Show earlier this year, Google announced the Open Auto Alliance, a partnership with Audi, GM, Honda and Hyundai to bring Android to the dashboards of these car manufacturers. Apple is working with both BMW and Mercedes to bring its iOS into the cars. Then there is Ford's Sync, a platform developed by Ford and Microsoft, which provides real time information on traffic, directions among other things. What do 'smart dashboards' mean for the consumer and what opportunities do they open up for brands?.... ...Full Story
OECD Crafts Global Standard for Sharing Tax Information
ComplianceWeek March 5, 2014 - Stepping up efforts to curb international tax evasion, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), a global economic policy forum with 34 member government, has unveiled a new data-sharing initiative aimed at exposing the practice.
Responding to a mandate from G20 leaders to reinforce action against tax avoidance and evasion, OECD developed a new global standard for the automatic exchange of information between tax authorities worldwide.The standard calls for information from financial institutions to be automatically shared with other countries on an annual basis. The protocol details the account information to be exchanged, the financial institutions that need to report, the different types of accounts and taxpayers covered, and common due diligence procedures to be followed by financial institutions.... ...Full Story
Significant changes to public procurement rules: Recently, the U.S. Office of Management and Budget (OMB) proposed changes to the rules that govern not only participation by agency personnel in standards development, but also all procurement by government agencies as well. These changes are far-ranging, and some could have a significant negative impact on consortium-developed standards unless the proposed changes are modified. Public comments will be accepted through May 14.
The American National Standards Institute (ANSI), which seeks to facilitate all standards development activities in the U.S., will be holding a Webinar tomorrow which outlines the proposed amendments. The Webinar is free, and open to non-members as well as members of ANSI. As I will be filing comments with OMB, please contact me if you would like to participate in those comments.
ANSI to Host OMB A-119 Revision Webinar for Members on March 6
ANSI.org March 4, 2014 - The American National Standards Institute (ANSI) will hold a free, members-only webinar discussing proposed revisions to White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Circular A-119, "Federal Participation in the Development and Use of Voluntary Consensus Standards and in Conformity Assessment Activities,” from 2:00 pm to 3:45 pm on Thursday, March 6, 2014....
The circular...was last updated in 1998 and is being revised again to reflect notable changes that have occurred in the ensuing years in connection with voluntary consensus standards, conformity assessment activities, and government regulatory work. A draft of the proposed update has been published online.
The March 6 webinar will look at the proposed revisions to OMB Circular A-119 in connection with intellectual property rights (IPR), incorporation by reference (IBR), standards development organization (SDO) process issues, and conformity assessment, among other topics....
All individuals interesting in taking part in the webinar must register in advance....Given the importance of the proposed revision, ANSI will develop a consensus response on behalf of the standardization community. Stakeholders are encouraged to review the draft revision – which is available online – and to submit input on the proposed changes to email@example.com by March 21, 2014. ANSI also encourages organizations to submit their own comments in direct response to OMB’s Federal Register notice.... ...Full Story
Now comes the acid test for the government's open standards policy bryang
ComputerWeekly.com March 4, 2014 - The UK government's consultation on the use of open document formats has closed, and we now wait for the acid test of the Cabinet Office commitment to open standards.
The outcome of this process will determine the government's ability to break its lock-in to proprietary software for years to come....The responses are overwhelmingly in favour of the proposed use of ODF as the standard for documents - a format support by Microsoft Office, and by plenty of other non-Microsoft applications.
The controversy arises from the omission of OOXML - the standard proposed and designed by Microsoft, used (in one of its forms) as the default for Office, and by, well, not very many others....So, what happens next?
The government has only two options - to stick with its proposal and exclude OOXML, or accede to Microsoft's wishes and allow both ODF and OOXML.
If they choose the latter, the Cabinet Office will stand accused of crumbling in the face of the big supplier power it has said so often it wishes to break away from. The open standards policy would be in tatters.
If they stick to their preferred option, then it must be likely that Microsoft will formally challenge the outcome of the consultation process, leaving it mired in legalities for ages - and possibly until a change of government in 2015 decides it's not worth the hassle.... ...Full Story
China Establishes Central Cybersecurity and Informatization Leading Group
USITO.org Weekly March 4, 2014 - On Feb. 21st, Mr. WU Hequan, Academician of the Chinese Academy of Engineering, stated at the ICT In-depth Observation Conference 2014 hosted by the China Academy of Telecommunication Research (CATR) that the Central Cybersecurity and Informatization Leading Group has been established, as reported by a website under the Shanghai Information Security Association.
Domestic media, including Aastock, a well known stock market media organization, previously reported on January 23rd that China was drafting a National Information Security Strategy and would release it following the establishment of a Central Cybersecurity and Informatization Leading Group. ...Full Story
97% of SaaS Vendors Backing SAML-based Single Sign-on
Cloud Security Alliance March 4, 2014 - OneLogin...and the Cloud Security Alliance today announced findings from their OneLogin 2014 State of SaaS Identity Management survey, which was conducted to better understand the maturity of SaaS vendors in their implementation of identity management solutions, security standards and assurance certifications....Most notably, the survey results point to the widespread adoption of SAML standards by SaaS vendors for single sign-on identity management, in response to customer demands for fast, simple and secure employee, customer and partner access to applications in their environments.
By eliminating all passwords and instead using digital signatures for authentication and authorization of data access, SAML has become the Gold Standard for single sign-on into cloud applications. SAML-enabled SaaS applications are easier and quicker to user provision in complex enterprise environments, are more secure and help simplify identity management across large and diverse user communities.... ...Full Story
UK Gov garners 400 comments on ODF proposal, extends deadline
EC Joinup March 3, 2014 - ...more than 400 comments have been submitted to the UK government, in response to its proposal to use the Open Document Format and HTML standards for sharing and editing electronic documents....the proposal and comments will be evaluated by a panel of experts. The panel will advise the Open Standards Board, which in turn will make a recommendation to the government's Chief Technology Officer....comments were submitted by a range of stakeholders, including representatives from UK government agencies, the proprietary software vendor of a ubiquitous office suite, developers of free and open source office alternatives, and advocacy groups such as OpenForum Europe and the Free Software Foundation Europe.
Many participants commend the UK government for proposing to adopt the Open Document Format (ODF) as the standard.... ...Full Story