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Wednesday, April 26 2017 @ 10:37 PM 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 simple answer is that PAX will be judged by the company it keeps
-Me, quoted in a ZDNet article about Google's new PAX defensive Android cross-license program See all Quotes
Latest NewsNISO Releases Draft STS: Standards Tag Suite for Public CommentPress ReleaseNISO.org
April 26, 2017 - The National Information Standards Organization (NISO) announces the release of a draft version of NISO Z39.102-201x, STS: Standards Tag Suite, for public comment. STS provides a common XML format that standards developers, publishers, and distributors can use to publish and exchange full-text content and metadata of standards. It is expected that this "standard for standards" will be published in the fall as an XML document marked up in the STS standard after comments on the draft version are addressed and it is approved by NISO Voting Members and by ANSI, the American National Standards Institute....Adoption of STS will offer significant benefits at every step of standards development and use,... Different groups will be able to co-publish standards much more easily, and the advantages continue through to distribution.... ...Full Story
ANSI Seeks Organizations to Participate in Development of New ISO Technical Committee on Governance of Organizations
ANSI.org April 25, 2017 - ...A newly proposed International Organization for Standardization (ISO) Technical Committee, (TC) 309, Governance of organizations, focuses on the increasingly important field of governance relating to aspects of direction, control, and accountability of organizations. Governance is a crucial factor in enabling organizations to achieve goals in a professional, ethical, and legal manner....As the U.S. member body to ISO, the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) encourages organizations to actively engage in this important endeavor by participating as a member of the U.S. Technical Advisory Group (TAG).
TC 309 will focus on topics related to anti-bribery, conflicts of interest, due diligence, whistleblowing, compliance, remuneration structures, external reporting and more. Additionally TC 309 will be responsible for providing ongoing guidance, support and communications for the recently published standard ISO 37001, Anti-Bribery Management Systems, to promote further awareness, adoption, and revisions, as needed.... ...Full Story
5.0 out of 5 stars - One of the best action thrillers I've read in years [The Alexandria Project]
Amazon Reader Reviews April 24, 2017 - Well written action, one of the best action thrillers I've read in years! The plot never stops drawing you in, the cyberterrorism details are accurate, and the character development is perfect.
After finishing this book in one day of reading adventures, my next step is to begin to read the second book in this series. ...Full Story
ANSI Seeks Input on Proposed Revisions ANSI Appeals Procedures
ANSI.org April 23, 2017 - The American National Standards Institute (ANSI) seeks public comments on draft revisions to ANSIís Appeals Procedures: ANSI Appeals Board, ANSI Board of Standards Review (BSR), and ANSI Executive Standards Council (ExSC).
The proposed revisions presented in ExSC_029_2017 are the next iteration of the proposed revisions announced in 2016 as ExSC_053_2016. Some public comments received in response to ExSC_053_2016 were accepted and incorporated by the ANSI Executive Standards Council (ExSC), while others were not.
Public comments are invited on new revisions presented in ExSC_029_2017. For reference, ExSC_029_2017 displays the proposed revisions available for public comment and ExSC_029_A_2017, which follows it, incorporates the new revisions as clean copy. ...Full Story
HTTPS Certificate Issuance Becomes More Secure Thanks to New CAA Standard
BleepingComputer.com April 18, 2017 - Last week, the CA/Browser Forum voted to implement CAA mandatory checks before the issuance of new SSL/TLS certificates, as a measure to prevent the misissuance of HTTPS certificates.
According to CA/Browser Forum ballot 187, 100% of all browser makers and 94% of all certificate authorities voted to implement CAA mandatory checks starting September 8, 2017.
CAA stands for Certificate Authority Authorization and is a new extra field that can be added to DNS records, as approved by the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) via RFC 6844....According to the new CAA checking procedure approved by the CA/Browser Forum, the organization that oversees HTTPS certificate issuance operations, certificate authorities (CAs) must check the CAA field in the DNS record for the domain for which a customer asks a new certificate for.
Domain owners can leave instructions in the CAA field to prevent rogue actors from requesting SSL/TLS certificates in their domains.... ...Full Story
Industrial Wireless Guidelines Technical Working Group
NIST.gov April 17, 2017 - Starting in May 2017, the intelligent Systems Division of the NIST is forming a technical working group (TWG) to develop best practices guidelines in selecting and deploying industrial wireless solutions within industrial environments such as process plants and discrete manufacturing factories. Guidelines will consider the entire wireless ecosystem within factories with emphasis on wireless systems operating on the factory floor. This includes factory/plant instrumentation, control systems, and back-haul networks.
The guidelines will be technology and vendor agnostic and will address the current needs of industry to have independent guidelines based on user requirements and measurement science research. The guidelines will be kept concise and will be targeted to the plant/factory floor for tracking of materials, observation and control of processes, improvement of personnel safety, and improvement of plant/factory operational objectives. Classes of control systems will include both feedback and supervisory forms of control....The user community and system integrators are strongly encouraged to participate.... ...Full Story
IFX Version 1.9.1 Published: Accommodates Changes in ATM Processing, Including PCI SSD Requirements and Dynamic Currency Conversion
IFXForum.org April 14, 2017 - The IFX Forum announced today that it has published Version 1.9.1 of the IFX specification. The focus of the new version is to accommodate changes in ATM processing....Release 1.9.1 includes two new features. The first introduces functionality for remote key loading compliant with the requirements recently introduced by the PCI Security Standards Council, which are to be rolled out in 2017. The second feature provides new mechanisms to support dynamic currency conversion, which provides the user of an ATM with information about the cost of a currency conversion in advance of the transaction, so that the user can choose to complete or abandon the transaction.... ...Full Story
Microsoft Closes Its Open Source Code Hosting Service CodePlex, Asks Devs To Move To GitHub
Fossbytes.com April 13, 2017 - Microsoft has announced that itís shutting down its open source code hosting service CodePlex. The website will be completely shut down in December, 2017. The backups will be made available to the users in common, transferable formats. Microsoft has also published a guide to help the devs shift their code to Github.
In 2006, Microsoft launched CodePlex as an alternative to SourceForge. Back then, it was being seen as Redmondís one of the biggest steps into the world of open source. But, on Friday, Microsoft announced that CodePlex will be closed down.... ...Full Story
Sir Tim Berners-Lee, Inventor of the World Wide Web, to receive the ACM A.M. Turing Award
W3C April 12, 2017 - The ACM, the
Association for Computing Machinery, today named Sir Tim
Berners-Lee, inventor of the Web and Director of the World Wide
Web Consortium, as the recipient of the 2016 ACM A.M. Turing
Award. The ACM Turing Award is recognized as the highest
distinction in Computer Science and is sometimes referred to as
the "Nobel Prize of Computing." The Award is named for the
British Computer Scientist Alan Turing who is known as the
key founder of theoretical computer science and artificial
intelligence as well as for the development of the Turing
machine, considered a model of a general purpose computer.
Sir Tim is being given this award for inventing the World Wide
Web, the first web browser, and the fundamental protocols and
algorithms allowing the Web to scale. Considered one of the
most influential computing innovations in history, the World
Wide Web is the technical infrastructure of society and has
already become the universal connectivity platform.... ...Full Story
W3C responds to UNESCO concerns about Encrypted Media Extensions
w3c.org April 11, 2017 - UNESCO recently published a letter and an article about Encrypted Media Extensions. Since we didnít have an opportunity to set the record straight with them, we are responding here.
The spirit of the letter is anchored in UNESCOís values and the concept of Internet Universality. We agree on the concept of Internet Universality. We even believe that those who are trying to restrict movies from the Internet are violating the concept of universality by preventing certain content from being on the Web.
We note that EME does in fact provide improvements in privacy, security and accessibility over the alternatives....
When UNESCO suggests that laws such as DMCA are against UN principles, we note that their colleagues at WIPO have been a motivating force behind such laws. We would urge UNESCO to use its own weight to insist that Member Statesí laws on the Internet are always reasonable and proportionate and respectful of human rights. We are a technical standards organization but litigating the laws of a single country or many nations (like the WIPO treaty) is the role of legal advocates such as the EFF or UNESCO.... ...Full Story