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Monday, April 21 2014 @ 10:03 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
“What the Federal Communications Commission’s local number portability rule is to telecommunications
-TechPageOne's Dennis Smith offering an analog for interoperability standards and Cloud Computing See all Quotes
Latest News5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant characters with an explosive plot line definitely worth a read!!!lizzy.bAmazon.co.uk Reader Reviews
April 18, 2014 - Oh boy, I was definitely hooked. When I first started the book I had no idea where I would end up! It seems however that I have fallen hook, line, and sinker for this marvelous book of mystery and cyber-panic. One thing to note is that Updegrove really knows his stuff! I couldn’t believe the attention to detail that has been used in this book and the way that it is described and told to the reader.... ...Full Story
The Apache Software Foundation Announces 100 Million Downloads of Apache(tm) OpenOffice(tm)
Apache Foundation April 18, 2014 - The Apache Software Foundation (ASF), the all-volunteer developers, stewards, and incubators of more than 170 Open Source projects and initiatives, announced today that Apache OpenOffice™ has been downloaded 100 million times.
Apache OpenOffice is the leading Open Source office document productivity suite, available in 32 languages on Windows, OS X, and Linux. OpenOffice includes a word processor ("Writer"), a spreadsheet ("Calc"), a presentation editor ("Impress"), a vector graphics editor ("Draw"), a mathematical formula editor ("Math"), and a database management program ("Base"). As Open Source software, Apache OpenOffice is available to all users free of charge; the C++ source code is readily available for anyone who wishes to enhance the applications....Official downloads at openoffice.org are hosted by SourceForge, where users can also find repositories for more than 750 extensions and over 2,800 templates for OpenOffice.... ...Full Story
6 standards that shape open-source cloud computing
TechPageOne April 18, 2014 - Open source, cloud computingAs cloud computing matures, the early stages of open cloud standards are taking shape – partly in response to IT’s concerns for increased security and lockout prevention. Alternately, the discussion continues around whether open source is the answer, especially given the number of firmly entrenched closed cloud players including Amazon, Google and HP....We’ve identified six standards areas that could influence the future of open-source cloud computing:... ...Full Story
XML Entity Definitions for Characters (2nd Edition), and Mathematical Markup Language (MathML) Version 3.0 2nd Edition are W3C Recommendations
W3C.org April 17, 2014 - The Math Working Group has published two W3C Recommendations
* XML Entity Definitions for Characters (2nd Edition). This
document defines several sets of names, so that to each
name is assigned a Unicode character or sequence of
characters. Each of these sets is expressed as a file of
XML entity declarations.
* Mathematical Markup Language (MathML) Version 3.0 2nd
Edition. This specification defines the Mathematical Markup
Language, or MathML. MathML is a markup language for
describing mathematical notation and capturing both its
structure and content. The goal of MathML is to enable
mathematics to be served, received, and processed on the
World Wide Web, just as HTML has enabled this functionality
for text.... ...Full Story
XQuery 3.0, XPath 3.0, XQueryX 3.0, XDM 3.0, Serialization 3.0, Functions and Operators 3.0 are now W3C Recommendations
W3C.org April 17, 2014 - The XML Query Working Group published "XQuery 3.0: An XML Query
Language," along with "XQueryX," an XML representation for
XQuery, both as W3C Recommendations, as well as the "XQuery 3.0
Use Cases" and "Requirements" as final Working Group Notes.
XQuery extends the XPath language to provide efficient search
and manipulation of information represented as trees from a
variety of sources. ...Full Story
Can the semantic web revolutionize healthcare analytics?
EHR Intelligence April 17, 2014 - There’s nothing easy about building an analytics infrastructure in the healthcare industry. With data piling up in petabytes every couple of months and few organizations currently capable of wrestling their troves of clinical and financial into an actionable format, the analytics landscape looks hopelessly complicated and prohibitively expensive.
But what if data scientists could help healthcare organizations understand the value and deep interdependence of their data stores in an intuitive manner based on standards and natural language? Jay Shah, Executive Vice President at Octo Consulting, believes that the newly-emerging concept of the semantic web will provide a powerful boost to the problem of organizing and understanding healthcare data by creating new connections and leveraging the latest in cutting-edge data theory.... ...Full Story
SCTE Launches ‘Corporate Alliance Program’
MultiChannel News April 16, 2014 - In an effort to drive new technology training tools and education programs while also expanding its base of individual members, the Society of Cable Telecommunications Engineers (SCTE) has launched a Corporate Alliance Program, naming Comcast, Time Warner Cable and Suddenlink as the initiative’s charter members.
According to SCTE, the new program will focus on the development of training and education for emerging technologies, and offer discounts on individual employee memberships, access to online courses, and seats at the SCTE Leadership Institute programs at the Tuck School of Businesses at Dartmouth and the Georgia Tech Scheller College of Business.... ...Full Story
NIST Advisory Committee 2013 Annual Report Highlights Cybersecurity and Manufacturing
NIST Techbeat April 16, 2014 - The Visiting Committee on Advanced Technology (VCAT) of the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) has sent its 2013 annual report to Congress. The committee focused its primary attention on NIST's role and programs in two key administration priorities—advanced manufacturing and cybersecurity.
The committee report supports NIST's ongoing and planned work in cybersecurity and recognizes the level of effort and planning NIST puts into its outreach and partnership mechanisms for cybersecurity. The report applauds the success of NIST's execution of Executive Order 13636—Improving Critical Infrastructure Cybersecurity and other collaborative efforts. The committee recommends NIST continue its involvement in the framework's future.... ...Full Story
Take F2: NIST’s Latest, Most Accurate Time Standard Debuts
NIST Techbeat April 15, 2014 - The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) has officially launched a new atomic clock, called NIST-F2, to serve as a new U.S. civilian time and frequency standard, along with the current NIST-F1 standard.
NIST-F2 would neither gain nor lose one second in about 300 million years, making it about three times as accurate as NIST-F1, which has served as the standard since 1999. Both clocks use a "fountain" of cesium atoms to determine the exact length of a second.
NIST scientists recently reported the first official performance data for NIST-F2, which has been under development for a decade, to the International Bureau of Weights and Measures (BIPM), located near Paris, France. That agency collates data from atomic clocks around the world to produce Coordinated Universal Time (UTC), the international standard of time. According to BIPM data, NIST-F2 is now the world's most accurate time standard. ...Full Story
World's first Water Stewardship Standard is released
Click Green April 15, 2014 - The first international Water Stewardship Standard, a global framework to promote sustainable freshwater use, has been released by the Alliance for Water Stewardship (AWS).
The Standard defines globally applicable, consistent criteria for sustainable management and use of the world’s limited freshwater resources.... ...Full Story