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Thursday, September 18 2014 @ 10:43 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
“It’s time to treat our digital ecosystem the way we do public health
-Amy Webb, writing at Slate.com See all Quotes
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September 18, 2014 - The EXI Working Group published the Efficient XML Interchange (EXI) Profile for limiting usage of dynamic memory as W3C Recommendation. EXI 1.0 is a very efficient format to represent an XML Information Set. It is highly customizable to fit the need of diverse use cases, ranging from B2B applications down to embedded-systems use. It satisfies compactness and processing efficiency requirements, while preserving all the information contained in the XML InfoSet. As a representation of XML, it is by design naturally extensible.... ...Full Story
MIG and IEEE SA produce new standard for IoT, e-health, connected vehicle, aug. reality
IEEE.org September 22, 2014 - IEEE announced the availability of the IEEE 2700-2014 “Standard for Sensor Performance Parameter Definitions,” recently approved by the IEEE Standards Association (IEEE-SA) Standards Board. With sensors being one of the primary technologies to help improve the lives of every connected person in the world, IEEE 2700-2014 is intended to provide a common methodology for specifying sensor performance in the ever-expanding sensor technologies in the consumer electronics industry....The IEEE 2700-2014 fulfills the need for a common methodology to define sensor performance, and eases non-scalable integration challenges and burdens across manufacturers. Because sensor framework and technology span not only sensor vendors and ISVs, there are numerous types of sensors that require specification terminology, units, conditions and limits, including: accelerometers, magnetometers, gyrometers/gyroscopes, barometers/pressure sensors, hygrometers/humidity sensors, temperature sensors, ambient light sensors and proximity sensors.... ...Full Story
Global security association helps translate NIST framework
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'Open and Libre Office projects should reunite'
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The current division between the two groups risks creating more instead of less incompatibilities, Brunner warned last week, speaking at the LibreOffice conference, which took place in the Swiss city of Bern. "I had to test this presentation in both suites, to see if it would work."
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TC260 Releases Two Critical Information Security Cloud Computing Standards
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"Information Security Technology - Security Capability Requirements of Cloud Computing Services" (GB/T 31168-2014)
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Patents and Standards, or: How a Court Case Will Affect Our Everyday Lives
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NIST Helps Develop New Standard for Microsensor Technology
NIST Techbeat September 17, 2014 - The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) has contributed to the development of a new standard for defining the performance of micromechanical sensors—a field that is expected to expand rapidly in coming decades as these versatile sensors increasingly become part of electronic networks.
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OECD unveils public sector innovation portal
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New Forensic Subcommittee on Digital Evidence Added to Organization of Scientific Area Committees
NIST Techbeat September 16, 2014 - Digital evidence, one of the fastest growing areas of forensic science, will now have its own subcommittee in the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST)-administered Organization of Scientific Area Committees (OSAC). NIST is establishing the OSAC to identify and develop national standards and guidelines for forensic science practitioners to strengthen forensic science in the United States.
Forensic science practitioners, academic researchers and others with expertise in digital evidence are encouraged to apply for one of up to 20 voting positions on the new Digital Evidence Subcommittee by Sept. 30, 2014. Those who previously applied for membership on other subcommittees should reapply if they wish to be considered for the Digital Evidence Subcommittee....Digital evidence also will be a priority for the NIST-sponsored Forensic Science Center of Excellence, which will be dedicated to collaborative, interdisciplinary research. NIST is accepting applications from accredited institutions of higher education and nonprofit organizations through Dec. 11. 2014.... ...Full Story
DEATH TO TCP/IP cry Cisco, Intel, US gov and boffins galore
The Register September 15, 2014 - The US National Science Foundation, Cisco, Verisign, Panasonic and boffins from around the world have thrown their weight behind a new “Named Data Networking Consortium” that aims to develop “a practically deployable set of protocols replacing TCP/IP that increases network trustworthiness and security, addresses the growing bandwidth requirements of modern content, and simplifies the creation of sophisticated distributed applications.”...Work on the Named Data Networking (NDN) has been going on for some time: the National Science Foundation has been pumping in cash since 2010. The significance of this launch is that industry is now involved, and the consortium is committed to producing open-source software to take researchers' work beyond the hypothetical....The consortium says today's internet lacks security because it “ … was designed as a communication network so the only entities that could be named in its packets were communication endpoints.”.
Under NDN, the name in a packet “can be anything — an endpoint, a chunk of movie or book, a ...The consortium also says its approach won't break the current internet,... ...Full Story