Don't have an account yet? Sign up as a New User
Lost your password?
Welcome to ConsortiumInfo.org
Tuesday, October 25 2016 @ 10:56 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
“This is big. Really big
-Patrick Moorhead, writing in Forbes about the new OpenCAPI standard See all Quotes
Latest NewsTech Giants Create New OpenCAPI Standard For The Hottest Server-Accelerated WorkloadsPatrick MoorheadForbes.com
October 25, 2016 - ...Today, a bevvy of tech industry giants announced a new server standard, called OpenCAPI, and includes support from Advanced Micro Devices, Dell EMC, Google, Hewlett Packard Enterprise, IBM, Mellanox Technologies, Micron Technology, NVIDIA and Xilinx. This is big, really big.
This announcement comes on the heels of the recently announced datacenter open standards CCIX and Gen-Z, just showing how much is at stake and in motion in the datacenter...OpenCAPI is a new standard to enable very high performance accelerators like FPGAs, graphics, network and storage accelerators that perform functions the datacenter server’s general purpose CPU isn’t optimized for. Acceleration is what all the cool kids are doing... ...Full Story
Major new British Standard for Cyber Risk and Resilience
Continuity Forum October 25, 2016 - BSI Cyber Risk and Resilience Standards BS 31111A major new British Standard [BS 31111] is in development to help senior executives and risk managers improve their cyber risk management and build the cyber resilience of their organizations.
Over the past year, the BSI Risk Management Committee has been working on developing new guidance that aims to help top executives better understand and manage the technology risks to their organizations...The new standard is at the public draft stage and comments are being sought...The standard takes a different approach to others covering the technology sector by focusing and supporting good decision making by top management rather than concentrating on technical details... ...Full Story
Business Green October 24, 2016 - Global corporate reporting body GRI yesterday launched a new global standard for sustainability reporting, hailing it as the first standard to provide companies with a "common language" for disclosing non-financial information.
The GRI Sustainability Reporting Standards will help companies better disclose information about their impacts on the economy, the environment and society, the organisation said, while also supporting corporate efforts to contribute to the UN's Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
The launch came in the same week as new data from the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) revealed adoption of the popular ISO 14001 environmental management standard rose eight per cent last year to nearly 320,000 accredited organisations....
The group said the new standards feature an improved format and new modular structure and will replace the G4 Guidelines, which will be phased out by 1 July 2018.... ...Full Story
How to Hack a Presidential Election
ITWire October 24, 2016 - A recently published novel lays out a very clear path showing how someone might steal the upcoming US election....The novel, The Lafayette Campaign, a Tale of Deception and Elections, is based on domestic protagonists but could easily be about foreign players....[the author] delves into some very cunningly designed hacks (as a security writer, the NFC one is especially troubling)...
As an aside, one has to wonder if this explains how we ended up with the two candidates that we have. Who knows? It certainly offers some food for thought... ...Full Story
Dutch govt ordered to use open standards for comms from 2017
The Register October 20, 2016 - Government bodies in the Netherlands will have to use open technology standards for communications after next year, following a vote by the nation's parliament.
The requirement for open document standards has already been adopted by the Netherlands Senate, but a motion by Member of Parliament Astrid Oosenbrug has now unified the policy. She said the lower house would be the first government body to standardize around the use of Open Document Format (ODF)...As part of the new legislation, the government will also promote the use of open source code across government and the private sector.... ...Full Story
Study: ‘Open source coders more aware of security’
EU Joinup October 19, 2016 - Developers of open source software are generally more aware of code security issues than developers working for the European institutions, according to a study conducted on behalf of the European Commission and European Parliament. Developers working for the European institutions have more tools available for management and testing of code security, but using them is not yet standard practice.
Open source developers should have more testing environments, and should perform more security testing, the study recommends....To compare code security methods used by open source communities and software development projects in the European institutions, the study looks at ten segments commonly found in software development, such as project management, release management, software testing, and incident management. For each segment, the report lists conclusions and recommendations. For example: project management is more efficient at the European institutions, and the study recommends that, if possible, free software groups improve in this area.
To shore up software security, the authors suggest that the European institutions and free software groups standardise their security definitions and that both use standard authentication mechanisms.... ...Full Story
ETSI releases first SDN software stack as open source
EU Joinup October 18, 2016 - [Last] week, standardisation organisation ETSI published OSM Release ONE, an open-source software stack to implement Software-Defined Networking (SDN). SDN, or network virtualisation, brings the management of computer networks to a higher level by abstracting the physical infrastructure. This allows network administrators to manage their networks in a more flexible, or even a fully automated, dynamic way.
The OSM software was developed by ETSI's Management and Orchestration (MANO) group in close alignment with the Network Functions Virtualisation (NFV) Industry Specification Group, in which industry and ETSI collaborate on standards for SDN.
The OSM community aims to deliver a production-quality open-source MANO stack that meets the requirements of commercial NFV networks. According to ETSI, the platform has been tested and documented to allow rapid installation in operator labs. The OSM group is currently building a network of remote labs connected over a virtual network to test the compatibility and interoperability of multiple types of infrastructures. ...Full Story
France to develop a toolbox for Open Government
EU Joinup October 17, 2016 - Etalab, the French government agency in charge of Open Data and Open Government, and the French authorities are currently working, in collaboration with other OGP members, on an Open Government toolkit....Etalab said that the toolbox should include Open Data portals, forums, tools to assess the implementation of commitments drafted in the Action Plan and some civic tech. A free public consultation platform will also developed to be part of the toolbox,... ...Full Story
IBM, Microsoft, Oracle beware: Russia wants open source, sees you as security risk
ZDNet October 14, 2016 - Russia is drafting a new law requiring Russian government agencies to give preference to open source and to block US software from computer systems, citing security concerns.
Just weeks after Moscow committed to removing Microsoft Outlook and Exchange on 600,000 systems under orders from Russian president Vladimir Putin, the nation's lower house, the State Duma, is drafting a bill to make it harder for agencies even to buy Russian software products that are based on foreign-made proprietary middleware and programming frameworks.
The bill marks Russia's latest attempt at substituting imported software with local products, but casts a wider net than existing restrictions on IT procurement by agencies and state-run enterprises.
If passed, the law will require local agencies to give preference to open-source software and justify any purchases of proprietary software. As reported by Russian news site, Kommersant, the Duma views products based on closed-source software as costly and unsafe to public IT infrastructure.... ...Full Story
The Apache OpenOffice Project Announces Apache® OpenOffice™ v4.1.3
Apache Foundation October 13, 2016 - Apache OpenOffice,...announced today Apache® OpenOffice™ v4.1.3, now available in 41 languages on Windows and OS X...."As an Open Source project led by an all-volunteer community, occasional lulls in momentum are not uncommon," said Marcus Lange, Vice President of Apache OpenOffice. "Such was the case with OpenOffice until recently. We wanted to change this, starting with a new bugfix release."Apache OpenOffice 4.1.3 features include:
- Key security vulnerability fixes;
- Support for new language dictionaries;
- Numerous bug fixes, including installer and database support on Mac OS X; and
- Enhancements to the build tools (for developers)
"This release symbolizes a resurgence in the project," said Patricia Shanahan, Release Manager for Apache OpenOffice 4.1.3. "We are proud to continue development of one of the most visible and widely used Apache projects."... ...Full Story