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Friday, September 04 2015 @ 08:05 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 NewsHow Linux was born, as told by Linus Torvalds himselfGlyn MoodyArs Technica
September 4, 2015 - ...In December 1986...I went to Finland to interview Linus in his flat in Helsinki. I used some of his replies in a feature that appeared in Wired magazine in August 1997; more of them appeared in my book, Rebel Code: Inside Linux and the open source revolution, published in 2001. What follows is a more detailed explanation of how Linux came into being, as told in Linus' own words.... ...Full Story
The Open Trusted Technology Provider™ Standard (O-TTPS) approved as ISO/IEC International Standard
The Open Group September 4, 2015 - The Open Group today announced that its Open Trusted Technology Provider™ Standard – Mitigating Maliciously Tainted and Counterfeit Products (O-TTPS) – has been approved as an ISO/IEC International Standard (ISO/IEC 20243:2015).
“The Open Group is pleased to have another of our standards accepted by ISO/IEC”
The Open Trusted Technology Provider™ Standard (O-TTPS) is one of the first standards aimed at assuring both the integrity of commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) information and communication technology (ICT) products and the security of their supply chains. It helps to safeguard the products and their global supply chains against the increasing sophistication of cybersecurity attacks.... ...Full Story
NISO Launches New Primer Series with the Publication of Primer on Research Data Management
NISO.org September 3, 2015 - The National Information Standards Organization (NISO) has launched a new Primer Series on information management technology issues with the publication of the first primer on the topic of Research Data Management. Two more primers on the topics of Understanding Metadata and Linked Data for Cultural Institutions, respectively, will be released in coming months, with additional Primers to be published periodically.
The primer on Research Data Management provides an overview of how data management has changed in recent years, and outlines best practices for the collection, documentation, and preservation of research data. The importance of creating a data management plan (DMP) before beginning a research data project is emphasized. Crucial questions regarding how the data will be managed are answered ahead of time in a DMP, thus making it easier for the researcher to collect and document the data properly for future use and reuse. Creating research data that is easily reproducible and transparent is the ultimate goal, and following the guidelines in this primer can help educate researchers to ensure their data is available for others. The differences between publishing papers and publishing datasets and the citation challenges the data community are working on solving are also discussed... ...Full Story
Munich Linux councillor: 'We didn't propose a switch back to Windows'
The Inquirer September 2, 2015 - ONE OF THE CITY COUNCILLORS behind the alleged "Bring Back Windows" letter to Munich City officials has told The INQUIRER that she has no desire to see the city migrate back to Microsoft.
Munich spurned Windows for its own version of Linux, known as Limux, and recent reports suggested it is once again getting high-level calls to trash the experiment and get back to the old days.
The story, which has been circulating for the past week or so, is based on a memo sent by two councillors from the city which appeared to request consideration of a return to Windows.
But in an email to The INQUIRER, one of the authors, councillor Sabine Pfeiler explained, "Our letter 'Notebooks und Tablets für den alltäglichen Gebrauch tauglich machen!' was not aimed to criticize the use of Linux in Munich....
Pfeiler denied that there was any kind of consensus towards a complete reverse migration,...
As for Munich, the story of one city's attempts to go open source seem to come up for review by media once per year, and from the response we've had, it looks like it was another storm in a teacup.... ...Full Story
LibreOffice 5.0 and Microsoft Office 2013 Full Comparison
Softpedia September 1, 2015 - The latest LibreOffice 5.0 is out for some time and it looks like the feature parity with Microsoft Office 2013 is now a lot better. The official wiki from The Document Foundation that shows off the differences and similarities between the two office suites has been updated, and it paints a pretty accurate picture of the progress that's being made.... ...Full Story
20 Nations Reach Agreement on UN Cyber Code of Conduct
USITO.org Weekly August 31, 2105 - 20 countries, including China, Russia, U.S., U.K., France, Japan, Brazil and Korea, have reached an agreement on a preliminary Code of Conduct for cyberspace, and submitted the relevant document to the General Secretary of the United Nations (UN) in time for this fall's General Assembly session.
According to the Global Times, the document indicated that all countries must use cyber technologies for peaceful purposes -- countries shall not use cyberspace to attack other countries' nuclear power sites, banks, transportation, water supply systems and other critical infrastructure, and shall not implant any "back-door" programs into IT products. The document also called for collaborative combat of cyber attacks and hacking. According to a Russian presidential special representative for international cooperation in the field of information security, there are close to a million attacks every week between China and the U.S.
Once passed by the UN General Assembly, this international Code of Conduct for cybersecurity, which was initially proposed by China and Russia with support from the member countries of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization and the BRICs, will be a voluntary, non-binding document. ...Full Story
Dietary supplement companies collaborate to form a new trade association: Coalition for Supplement Sustainability
Coalition for Supplement Sustainability August 28, 2105 - Leading dietary supplement brands and ingredient manufacturers have created a collaborative team, forming the Coalition for Supplement Sustainability (CSS). The group is a new member-driven trade association established to maintain sustainable, independently verifiable and transparent standards across the entire supplement supply chain. Originally known as the Non-GMO Dietary Supplement Working Group, the group has now formalized as a stand-alone trade association.... ...Full Story
UK launches its next OGP Action Plan
EC Joinup August 27, 2105 - Open policy making, Open Data and international cooperation are three pillars that UK Minister for the Cabinet Office Matt Hancock wants to be included in the 2015 UK Action Plan, according to a speech given by the minister to mark the launch of a new Open Government Partnership (OGP) action plan (Transcript is accessible on the gov.uk website).
The UK joined OGP in 2011 and implemented its first Action Plan for 2012- 2013 and is currently implementing its second plan for 2013-2015....Citizen participation is also on the agenda with a clear focus on increasing people’s involvement.... ...Full Story
Lafayette Triumphs (Five Stars)
Amazon customer Reviews August 26, 2105 - Smart, sharp, technical, topical, political, amusing book I devoured in a few days. Fun flashes of the past (like a reference to Butch Cassidy and Sundance), great turns of phrase (like "Pox News"), themes that struck chords in a guy with a growing pate (like me), and effective and believable computer buzz that braids with political intrigue and chess-like strategy. Romance, book-writing subplots, and threatening moments (of kidnapping and disappearance) add spice to a tasteful mix. I look forward to running into Frank again. ...Full Story
Open data critical success factors strongly dependant on context
EC joinup August 26, 2105 - It's not a given that an open data initiative will become successful. Only a limited number of datasets are actually used, user support is limited, and the generation of value is seldom demonstrated. A group of researchers from the Netherlands, Sweden, Greece and Austria have identified 64 critical success factors for the publication and use of open data. They found, however, that the criticality of these factors depends considerably on the context of the initiative.... ...Full Story