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Tuesday, April 21 2015 @ 06:35 AM 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
“Pulling an open-source project upon which people may depend is total jerk behavior
-Anonymous hacker commenting on Apple's pulling the FoundationDB codebase off of GitHub
“Apple is essentially saying that everything that FoundationDB, and its community, created during the lifetime of the project is now wrapped up and for the sole benefit of Cupertino. Ouch
-Ben Keppes, writing in Forbes Magazine following Apple's acquisition of open source vendor FoundationDB See all Quotes
Latest NewsTC260 Discloses 2015 Standards Formulation and Revision PlanUSITO.org Weekly
April 21, 2015 - On April 7th, the National Information Security Standardization Technical Committee (TC260) released a Notice on Application Guidance for 2015 Formulation and Revision Projects of Network Security National Standards.
The Notice highlights the prominence of network security and indigenous innovation in this year's plan for standards development and revision, with the stated aim of implementing key tasks designated by the China Leading Small Group for Cybersecurity and Informatization and the standardization reform agenda led by the State Council.
The Notice outlines six main focal areas of standardization:
- network security review
- critical information infrastructure protection
- network trusted ID management
- new technology/application security
- other urgent issues... ...Full Story
ANSI Announces June Webinar Series Highlighting the American National Standards Process
ANSI Weekly News April 21, 2015 - This June, the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) is offering a number of webinars that will provide information and guidance on topics of interest to ANSI-accredited standards developers and those looking to learn about the American National Standards (ANS) process. The webinars are coordinated by ANSI’s Procedures & Standards Administration Department.
Participants may take part in these webinars at no charge, but are required to register online in advance in order to participate.... ...Full Story
SAIC Releases Rules on Anti-Monopoly IP Abuse Prohibitions
USITO.org Weekly April 20, 2015 - On April 13, China's State Administration for Industry and Commerce (SAIC) added another piece of anti-monopoly regulation in the IPR field, with the official release of Rules on the Prohibition of Abuses of Intellectual Property Rights for the Purposes of Eliminating or Restricting Competition, which will take effect August 1, 2015.
This final version of the Rules shows little change from previous drafts, leaving in place a number of key concerns, most notably that the Rules could allow charges of IP abuse for legitimate exercise of intellectual property rights. Outstanding issues include:
- Provisions that would mandate compulsory licensing by dominant companies
- Disclosure and licensing obligations with regard to standard essential patents that go beyond the relevant standard-setting organization's patent policy and broadly recognized international norms
- Vagueness and uncertainty of the standards for determining IP abuse... ...Full Story
ANSI Launches Redesigned Standards Portal Website
ANSI Weekly News April 20, 2015 - The American National Standards Institute (ANSI) is pleased to announce the redesign of its Standards Portal, an online resource and educational tool for global trade which provides answers to critical standards, conformance, market access, and trade-related questions that companies require for U.S. and international operations. The updated site, at www.standardsportal.org, features a new interface with links to need-to-know information on international trade.
Standards Portal originally launched in 2006 as part of a collaborative effort between ANSI and the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), in cooperation with the Standardization Administration of China (SAC). Designed for industry stakeholders and policy officials, the portal initially focused on U.S.-China trade, and has since expanded to include resources for export markets in India and Korea....Site visitors can also find links to access a database of national, regional, and international standards and guidelines that are considered integral to successful international trade. Dual-language (Mandarin and English) educational materials on the structure, history, and operation of the U.S. and Chinese standards systems are also available, in addition to helpful standards information for India and Korea in the portal’s export markets section. ...Full Story
UK Government Now Main Driver of ODF Advance: Kudos
ComputerWorld.uk April 17, 2015 - Back in July last year, I wrote about an incredible opportunity for the open source world. After years of disappointments, and despite the usual lobbying/threats by a certain large US software company against the move, the Cabinet Office announced that it was officially adopting the Open Document Format (ODF) for sharing or collaborating on government documents. At the time I exhorted everyone involved to do their utmost to make this work, since it was the biggest chance to show that open standards and open source were not just viable as a government solution, but actually better than the alternatives.
Since then, we've heard very little - either in terms of the move being a raging success or a dismal failure. That makes this update from Francis Maude, who has been one of the key people driving this move, particularly welcome, as it seems that real progress has been made:..."A number of departments are starting to publish in open formats, including the Department for Transport, Department for Communities and Local Government, Department of Health, Department for Work and Pensions, and HM Revenue and Customs. Many more departments will follow by the end of the year."
Clearly, those are huge wins.... ...Full Story
Core Technology for WhiteSpace Alliance Wi-FAR™ Specification Approved to Become ISO Standard
WhiteSpace Alliance April 17, 2015 - The WhiteSpace Alliance (WSA) ®, a global industry organization enabling sharing of underutilized spectrum, today announced that the core technology underlying its Wi-FAR specification has been approved to become an ISO standard.
The International Organization for Standardization (ISO), an independent, non-governmental membership organization and the world’s largest developer of voluntary International Standards, announced this decision on 8 April. The approved standard will be referred to as ISO/IEC/IEEE Std. 8802-22:2015.
Wi-FAR, a derivative of the IEEE 802.22 Standard, provides industry-recognized, cost-effective broadband Internet access through dynamic allocation of underutilized TV band spectrum (“whitespace”). Wi-FAR is an inter-operability and certification point-to-multipoint wireless broadband specification optimized for operation in the VHF and UHF TV bands, in the frequency range between 54 MHz and 862 MHz. Incorporating learnings from the TV broadcast community, the Wi-FAR specification is the first and only specification that has seriously addressed the requirements of long distance, non-line of sight transmission for Internet traffic to provide cost-effective backhaul and middle mile solutions.... ...Full Story
HDMI Forum releases 2.0a specification that adds HDR support
Jan Willem Aldershoff
MYCE April 16, 2015 - The HDMI Forum has announced the HDMI 2.0a specification has been updated to enable transmission of High Dynamic Range (HDR) formats. Users can likely upgrade their devices to the updated specification through a firmware update.
HDR should provide enhanced picture quality by simultaneously enabling greater detail for both the dark and bright parts of an image. The HDR-related updates include references to CEA-861.3, CEA’s recently published update of HDR Static Metadata Extensions.
The HDMI Forum isn’t really clear on whether the new standard requires new hardware, however TP Vision previously stated that it should be possible to get support for the new standard through a firmware update. HDMI 2.0 was announced in 2013 and allows 4K video at 60FPS. Most Ultra HD TVs released in 2015 will support HDMI 2.0....Although the first TVs with HDR support were demonstrated at CES this year hardly no HDR content is available. ...Full Story
Linux Foundation to Host Open Encryption Project
Linux Foundation April 16, 2015 - The Linux Foundation, the nonprofit organization dedicated to accelerating the growth of Linux and collaborative development, today announced it will host the Internet Security Research Group (ISRG) and its Let's Encrypt project, a free, automated and open security certificate authority for the public's benefit. Let's Encrypt allows website owners to obtain security certificates within minutes, enabling a safer web experience for all....A tremendous amount of data is passed over the Internet every minute of every day. This data includes usernames and passwords, credit card information, cookies and other types of sensitive or personal information. Encryption can help ensure this information doesn't land in the hands of hackers or identity thieves. However, the SSL certificates required for encryption on the Internet have historically been very difficult for website owners to obtain. Let's Encrypt will allow website owners to obtain SSL certificates through a free and simple process that will take no longer than a few minutes to complete.... ...Full Story
Please welcome the UHD Alliance: We've enjoyed assisting this broad representation of industry players create and launch a new consortium whose impact will be reflected in televisions worldwide.
UHD Alliance Calls for Contributor Members to Define the Next-Generation Entertainment Experience
UHD Alliance April 15, 2015 - Founding members of the UHD Alliance, representing leading companies in entertainment, technology, consumer electronics and distribution, today issued a call for contributors to join their mission to advance a new and differentiated entertainment experience for Ultra HD including high dynamic range, wide color gamut, high frame rate and advanced audio.
The goal of the Alliance is to ensure these technologies, coupled with performance metrics, will deliver a premium entertainment experience throughout the Ultra HD ecosystem from content creation to consumer enjoyment.
In addition to working discussions around technical specifications and certification details, the UHD Alliance will help develop industry-standard branding so that consumers can clearly identify certified premium UHD content and devices offered in the marketplace....Companies that want to join the UHD Alliance as contributing members can request membership information from the UHD Alliance at www.UHDAlliance.org/ ...Full Story
Eclipse Announces First Release of Eclipse OM2M Project
Eclipse/OneM2M April 15, 2015 - The Eclipse Foundation and the Eclipse IoT Working Group announce the first release of the Eclipse OM2M open source project. OM2M, led by developers from LAAS-CNRS, implements the ETSI SmartM2M standard and plans to migrate to the new oneM2M standard.
OM2M is a standardized service platform that implements critical service capabilities required for M2M and IoT applications. It allows these services to be implemented independently of the network and the underlying hardware environment, making it easy for M2M and IoT developers to develop applications that integrate different types of devices and networking protocols.
OM2M 0.8 implements the ETSI SmartM2M standard. Later this year, OM2M will migrate the implementation to the global oneM2M standard. oneM2M is a global standards organization involving over 200 companies, including the key regional ICT standards bodies ARIB, ATIS, CCSA, ETSI, TIA, TTA and TTC, and the leading industry consortia Broadband Forum, Continua, HGI, Next Generation M2M Consortium and the OMA. oneM2M released its first specifications in January 2015.
A key issue for IoT is interoperability between different devices that use different protocols. This is particularly important for industries such as eHealth, Industrial Automation, and Home. OM2M 0.8 supports out-of-the-box integration and protocol interoperability with HTTP and CoAP enabled devices. OM2M’s extensible framework allows for easy integration with devices using protocols such as Zigbee, Zwave, 6LoWPAN, Modbus, and more.... ...Full Story