Don't have an account yet? Sign up as a New User
Lost your password?
Welcome to ConsortiumInfo.org
Thursday, August 28 2014 @ 08:13 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
“The most absurd thing you can say
-Document Foundation co-founder Italo Vignoli on the belief of some developers that good products don't need marketing See all Quotes
Latest NewsHappy 20th Birthday, Simon! Standards Boost Smartphones Then and NowANSI Weekly News
August 28, 2014 - This month marks the twentieth anniversary of the Simon Personal Communicator, a revolutionary device that incorporated elements of personal digital assistants (PDAs) and cellular phones into what many have called the world’s very first smartphone. The Simon, developed by American National Standards Institute (ANSI) member IBM Corporation, weighed 1.1 pounds and featured a stylish leather cover....One exciting feature of the Simon—unique when it was released—was its ability to send emails.... ...Full Story
Why FIDO Alliance Standards Will Kill Passwords
Dark Reading August 27, 2014 - Bill Gates predicted the demise of passwords more than a decade ago. But the FIDO Alliance believes its proposed new authentication standards are a game changer that will transform the computing landscape in just three years. Phillip Dunkelberger, President & CEO of Nok Nok Labs, tells why he believes that the time is finally ripe for a password-free computing experience. [video] ...Full Story
Internet Industrial Application Committee Established in Beijing
USITO.org August 26, 2014 - on August 12, the inaugural meeting of the China Internet Society Internet Industrial Application Committee ("the Internet Industrial Application Committee") was held in Beijing.
Co-founding organizations include:
Internet Society of China (ISC),
Information Center of the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT),
China Household Electrical Appliances Association (CHEAA)
Key objectives of the Committee include piloting and expanding the application of internet technologies in industrial supply chains, bolstering information security, as well as promotion of breakthroughs in critical technologies including Internet of Things (IoT), cloud computing and big data.
As of August 12, more than 50 organizations had joined as members, including companies in a variety of sectors such as equipment manufacturing, electronics manufacturing, household electrical appliances, and software, as well as basic telecommunications operators, internet industry giants, and relevant industry associations and media.... ...Full Story
China Developing an Operating System to Take on Microsoft, Google and Apple
NYT.com August 25, 2014 - China could have a new homegrown operating system by October to take on imported rivals such as Microsoft, Google and Apple, Xinhua, the government news agency, reported.
Computer technology became an area of tension between China and the United States after a number of run-ins over cybersecurity. China is now looking to help its domestic industry catch up with imported systems such as Windows from Microsoft and the mobile operating system Android from Google.
The operating system would first appear on desktop devices and later extend to smartphone and other mobile devices,... ...Full Story
Three Open Source Hardware Projects' Challenges and Successes
Linux.com August 25, 2014 - While open source practices have come to dominate the software industry, they're still fairly new to hardware. Many open source hardware projects are now seeing some early success but there are still many challenges ahead,...MakerBot VP Anthony Moschella, Open Prosthetics Project Founder and Iraq war veteran Jonathan Kuniholm, and IBM Power Systems General Manager Doug Balog each had a unique take on open source hardware. But all agreed that open source principles will speed technological innovation whether it's in 3D printing, prosthetics, or servers. Here are some of the successes and challenges they highlighted and the opportunities they presented for the open source community to get involved and make a difference....
1. MakerBot's Thingiverse boasts a community of about 13,000 makers, designers and engineers who download and share open source designs for printed objects. The Robohand, for example, is a 3D-printable prosthetic hand for children who are continuously outgrowing their prosthetics and can't afford to replace them. The open source design allowed for rapid iteration and improvements that made it easier to assemble and share....
2. Open Prosthetics Project
The promise: Open source designs can help make more affordable prosthetics with much improved capabilities in dexterity and manipulation than are currently available, to amputees around the world.
Success: The Open Prosthetics Project has started a small open source project that includes hardware, firmware, and software, and is primarily working with two university laboratories....Challenge: Finding financing is difficult because the prosthetics market is too small to attract venture capital. And even though their code is open source, the cost of entry for developers is fairly high because participation requires approximately $20,000 in Matlab tools to get started.... ...Full Story
The Impact Of The New HDcctv AT 2.0 Standard
SourceSecurity.com August 22, 2014 - Editor's Note: HDcctv Alliance has announced that Dahua has opened its patented HDCVI technology to the global video surveillance industry as the basis for HDcctv's AT 2.0 standard. For additional elaboration on what the move means to the growing market for higher-resolution CCTV, we approached Todd Rockoff, chairman and executive director of HDcctv Alliance....
SourceSecurity.com: Given that Hikvision, the number one competitor in the video market, is unveiling a different technology (i.e., HDTVI), is there any plan to “converge” the two technologies or make them compatible? What might the HDcctv Alliance’s role be to accomplish that?
TR: We are delighted that Hikvision shares our recognition of the growing importance of plug ‘n’ play (PnP) analog HD surveillance equipment....
SourceSecurity.com: Might not a proprietary non-standard technology from the market’s largest player undermine the positive impact of the standard? (i.e., set up a Beta vs. VHS type competition?)
TR: Absolutely! It compares to having to stock inventory in multiple formats (Beta/VHS or DVD/Blu-Ray/3D Blu-Ray) which inevitably multiplies the costs of running a video shop. And format confusion decreases revenues. A good example is a customer who accidentally brings a 3D Blu-Ray disc home but can't watch it on his DVD player.
Format confusion inevitably has the same kind of impact on the video surveillance market. Therefore, it is in the commercial interest of every company who has invested in HD surveillance equipment to fully support the open, global PnP standards for local-site transport of HD surveillance signals.... ...Full Story
The Connected Car, Part 3: No Shortcuts to Security
Jack M. Germain
TechNewsWorld August 21, 2014 - The connected car is becoming a reality, but the gadget-filled roadways it travels will be paved with several options for in-car technologies. These choices pose challenges for carmakers. Whichever technology wins the race, one of the biggest concerns for OEMs is their electronic security.
The Linux Foundation wants an open source platform in the pole position. The nonprofit consortium already has a fully functional Linux distribution, called "Automotive Grade Linux," or AGL. It is a customizable, open source automotive software stack with Linux at its core.
Google has its own plan for connecting cars to mobile devices and the Internet. Google's Android Auto is a dashboard navigation and entertainment system powered by an Android smartphone. It is very similar in concept to competing designs from Apple and Microsoft....To handle this traffic jam of data, car manufacturers are testing technologies like Broadcom's Automotive Ethernet and The Car Connectivity Consortium (CCC)'s MirrorLink among others. Similarly, QNX Software Systems has a foot or two in some vehicles with its QNX Car Platform for Infotainment.... ...Full Story
UK government backs consortium's search for IOT standard
ComputerWeekly.com August 20, 2014 - The UK government has awarded £1.6m to a consortium of 40 British companies tasked with finding a standard specification for the internet of things (IOT).
The money – awarded by the government’s innovation agency, the Technology Strategy Board – will go towards developing a publicly available universal standard for interoperability for IOT....The HyperCat consortium, comprising BT, ARM, KMPG and other UK companies including Flexeye, will focus on IOT solutions for business....The British Standards Institution will publish an independent publicly available specification (PAS) based on the consortium’s specification.... ...Full Story
6 emerging standards battling it out for the Internet of Things The Boardroom
CBR.com August 20, 2014 - Which group will solve the interoperability problem?
1. The Thread Group
Developed by Google's Nest Labs, ARM and Samsung, Thread is designed to build a low-power mesh network as an alternative to Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and more.
Thread, which uses 2.4GHz unlicensed spectrum, is built on existing standards, such as IEEE 802.15.4, IETF IPv6 and 6LoWPAN, meaning that existing devices which use ZigBee / 6LoWPAN etc. can easily migrate to Thread.... ...Full Story
Army turns to open architecture to plot its future in robotics
FederalNewsRadio August 19, 2014 - The Army's emerging strategy for buying and modernizing its ground based robotics systems relies heavily on open architectures, open standards and open source software....to keep costs down and maximize flexibility, the service is employing a strategy that emphasizes open architectures, reusable, interchangeable components and common, publicly defined interfaces between individual subsystems,...One significant employment of the strategy, which Shyu formally approved last week, will be the replacement of the Army's TALON system, which is nearing the end of its service life. A full-fledged successor, increment two of the Man Transportable Robotic System (MTRS) isn't expected to be fully deployed until 2021. It will enforce a set of open standards and interfaces the Army is adopting, but a "bridging strategy" will also insist on the use of open architectures and technology reuse, while the Army fields intermediate systems in the meantime...."The architectural standard was worked in conjunction with industry. It wasn't something we just thought up ourselves and threw up on the table," she said. "And the plug-and-play interface will be provided to industry to enable competition."
The Army has been working since 2011 to build what it calls the Unmanned Ground Vehicle Interoperability Profile (IOP), a collection of both hardware and software standards that will define how individual subsystems like radios and cameras within a robotic system communicate with one another, plus the hardware specifications those components will need to meet.
The first version of the still-evolving standard set aimed to document all of the interfaces in the systems the service already owns in an effort to break them down into discrete, identifiable modules.... ...Full Story