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Tuesday, September 27 2016 @ 03:44 AM CDT
Friday, January 10 2014 @ 01:47 PM CST
Contributed by: Andy Updegrove
Ask someone of a certain age today how politically engaged they think young adults are, and they’re likely to respond “not very.” And in fact, the current U.S. political system is dysfunctional enough that someone of any age could be forgiven for simply turning away in disgust. Of course, that does no one any good. Or, as we used to say back in the 1960’s, “If you’re not part of the solution, then you’re part of the problem.”
All of which makes me happy to bring your attention to a Web site called Ideas Today, Politics Tomorrow, for which my daughter Nora is a staff writer. She writes primarily about foreign affairs, and like everyone else at the site (including the founders), she’s unpaid.
Tuesday, November 02 2010 @ 12:01 AM CDT
Contributed by: Andy Updegrove
Better run for cover . . . it's Election Day in the USA
Heaven help us all (all us Americans, anyway) — it's election time again. That means we've once again descended into a morass of partisan invective, not to mention lies, damn lies, and (of course) statistics. Except that this election year it seems that everyone is behaving even worse than last time, when everyone acted even worse than the time before, when, well, do you sense a trend here?
One hallmark of this year's political "discourse" (to abuse a term) has been the number of astonishingly angry and ill-informed accusations made by some candidates against their opponents (and others). Nothing unusual about that, sad to say. But what is different is the degree of acceptance, and even approval, exhibited by many voters that in earlier years might have rejected these candidates as well as their statements.
Monday, September 27 2010 @ 12:03 AM CDT
Contributed by: Andy Updegrove
Have you discovered The Alexandria Project?
Page through a major newspaper (remember newspapers?) today like the New York Times, and you’re likely to run into two enormous ads, one by Google (almost two full pages) and one by AOL (a full two pages). Leaving aside the irony of Google advertising in a form of media that it has almost competed out of existence, there’s something potentially transformative going on here that’s worth exploring.
Thursday, May 21 2009 @ 05:52 AM CDT
Contributed by: Andy Updegrove
Saturday, July 26 2008 @ 05:14 AM CDT
Contributed by: Andy Updegrove
Ever since Steve Jobs addressed the adoring crowds at this year's Apple Worldwide Developers Conference, the press, Apple fans - and most especially, Apple investors - have been concerned over the state of his health. The reasons are obvious: Five years ago, Jobs announced that he had been diagnosed, and cured, of a rare and happily less pernicious form of pancreatic cancer (the more common variety is almost never discovered before it has become incurable). And, when Jobs took the stage this June, he was far thinner and more haggard than he had ever looked before.
Since then, although rumors have swirled, Apple has refused to state whether or not Jobs has had a recurrence of his cancer - or disclose any meaningful details at all. Even on calls with securities analysts, Apple's response has only been that "Steve's health is a private matter."
Thus you might think that if you were a journalist, and you got a call from Steve Jobs yourself, giving you, and you only, the private scoop on the status of his health, you might feel like a pretty lucky guy, and take that news to the public within whatever constraints you had agreed to with the Apple CEO. Or would you write a different story entirely, and bury that news in the penultimate paragraph of a long story, and write at length instead about how stockholders were entitled to know the news that you had just buried?
With that lead in, you can guess which way New York Times business page columnist Joe Nocera called the coin toss. So here's the good news about Steve Jobs (up front), and the bad news about a Journalistic decision.
Quote of the Day
“[R]etirement of the project is a serious possibility
-Dennis Hamilton, vice president of the Apache Foundation, referring to the OpenOffice open source project See all Quotes
Latest NewsNIST Releases New 'Family' of Standardized GenomesNIST.gov
September 27, 2016 - With the addition of four new reference materials (RMs) to a growing collection of “measuring sticks” for gene sequencing, the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) can now provide laboratories with even more capability to accurately “map” DNA for genetic testing, medical diagnoses and future customized drug therapies. The new tools feature sequenced genes from individuals in two genetically diverse groups, Asians and Ashkenazic Jews; a father-mother-child trio set from Ashkenazic Jews; and four microbes commonly used in research.
NIST issued the world’s first genome reference material (NIST RM 8398)—detailing the genetic makeup for a woman with European ancestry—in May 2015....Reference materials are critical to properly evaluate the next-generation of gene sequencing and genetic testing methods that will increase the reliability and effectiveness of precision medicine (also known as “personalized medicine”), in which a person’s genetic profile is used to create treatments and therapies unique to that individual....However, biases and "blind spots" for certain sequences contribute to uncertainties or errors in the sequence analysis. These biases can lead to hundreds of thousands of disagreements between different sequencing results for the same human genome.... ...Full Story
ANSI Seeks Organizations Interested in Serving as U.S. TAG Administrator for ISO Technical Committee on Blockchain and Electronic Distributed Ledger
ANSI.org September 26, 2016 - The American National Standards Institute (ANSI) is seeking organizations interested in serving as the U.S. Technical Advisory Group (TAG) administrator to the newly approved International Organization for Standardization (ISO) Technical Committee ISO TC 307, Blockchain and electronic distributed ledger. As the U.S. member to ISO, ANSI requests that interested organizations respond by October 3, 2016.
As ANSI recently reported, blockchain and electronic distributed ledger technologies are emerging peer-to-peer data base tools for managing and recording transactions. To that end, blockchains—driven by open source technology—offer the prospect for sharing financial, legal, physical, or electronic information more readily across multiple sites (nationally and internationally), and from government to business or business to business.
Currently, ANSI is an observing member of ISO TC 307. To join the committee as a participating member, ANSI requires an ANSI-accredited U.S. TAG and a U.S. TAG administrator. Based on feedback from the initial stakeholder group, ANSI anticipates that there may be multiple organizations interested in serving as the U.S. TAG administrator and will arrange a webinar to discuss the application process.... ...Full Story
Global cyber standards aren't enough to secure central banks
IT News September 23, 2016 - It took the theft of US$81 million earlier this year from Bangladesh’s central bank before others across the world felt compelled to take action to tighten security.
Months of investigations have revealed weaknesses all across the banking industry, while revelations of insiders being directly involved in the heist have now led to the banks setting up a taskforce that will creat[e] a set of standards to bolster the banking network against the threat of cyberattack.
While this sounds at face value like a good outcome, the question is whether standards are enough when other standards and legislation don't seem to be preventing successful attacks in other industries....while standards and legislation certainly help to focus a business on which controls are needed to protect their information, unless the business intrinsically follows these standards at every layer of its operations, not just in a few key high-profile areas of focus, then the extreme complexity of a modern organisation will almost certainly ensure that the security they feel is nothing more than a platonic relationship with the standard....
Businesses need to stop kidding themselves that compliance and standards are the answer to the cybersecurity problem. Start by focusing on what’s important: looking into the depths of your technical systems for the vulnerabilities that, if discovered by an attacker, will be the chink in your armour.
No standard will tell the banks how to attain this level of visibility in their security. Don't hide behind the façade of standards and legislation and tackle the problem head on. ...Full Story
NIST Seeks Comments on Cybersecurity Reports
EE Times September 22, 2016 - The US National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) has recently issued two draft reports on cybersecurity issues of interest to industrial IoT users, and is seeking industry comment before making their final revisions. One report describes the proposed manufacturing profile for NIST's Cybersecurity Framework. The other addresses cryptography standards and practices for resource-constrained processors....The recently-released draft Manufacturing Profile focuses on the desired cybersecurity outcomes for manufacturing systems and provides an approach for achieving those outcomes. It defines specific cybersecurity activities and outcomes for the protection of the manufacturing system, its components, facility, and environment....The second cybersecurity report, DRAFT NISTIR 8114 -- Report on Lightweight Cryptography, outlines NIST's effort to develop a strategy for the standardization of lightweight cryptographic primitives such as block ciphers, hash functions, and message authentication codes. Such primitives can help developers achieve a better balance between security, performance, and resource requirements in specific resource-constrained environments than the more general-purpose conventional cryptographic standards.... ...Full Story
CEN and CENELEC position on Standard Essential Patents and Fair, Reasonable and Non-Discriminatory (FRAND) commitments
CEN/CENELEC September 21, 2016 - ...In this position paper, CEN and CENELEC also present their first reply to the call by the European Commission to enhance the collaboration with the European Standardization Organizations, the European Patent Office and European industry to find suitable solutions regarding the use of essential patents in standards. This request was made in the recently published communication on "ICT Standardization Priorities for the Digital Single Market"....As per the main findings of this Paper, CEN and CENELEC:
- consider as indispensable that patent holders commit to grant a licence under FRAND conditions;
- consider that it is not in their role to undertake the assessment of patent essentiality, scope, validity and strength;
- insist that standardization organizations shall never interfere with licensing negotiations;
- do not support initiatives to provide guidance on, or impose compliance with, FRAND pricing, valuation and rate-setting methodologies;
- stress that FRAND has no precise pricing content, but instead is a “comity device” designed to promote good faith negotiation between patent owners and prospective licensees;
- welcome the EU Commission Communication’s and promote an open, strong and effective disclosure policy.... ...Full Story
Open Source and Open Standards
OMA September 20, 2016 - The traditional means of innovating the mobile network has been through the thoughtful and consensus-based efforts of technologists working in a standards setting environment. However, the maturation of the Internet as an application platform and the related rise of Internet-enabled device and service providers, especially on the Web, have helped renew a focus on innovation and differentiation. The development of 5G networks and the Internet of Things (IoT) will employ a process likely to be dominated by agile development of technology and platform prototypes often in Open Source, collaborative projects, which put a premium on “code first”. In light of this industry shift, the Open Mobile Alliance has embarked on a survey of mobile and IoT industry professionals to shed light on trends towards cooperation between the Open Standards and Open Source communities....As the results of this survey show, Open Source software is a growing trend in the next generation mobile and IoT industries and standardization will continue to be the foundation on which interoperable products and services are built. The vitality of the wireless ecosystem demands that the standards development community and the Open Source community bridge the gap in work practices and deliverables to ensure efficiency and interoperability across the mobile value chain. ...Full Story
Qualcomm Follows Ericsson’s Lead in Joint Patent Licensing
Wall Street Journal September 19, 2016 - Five big holders of cellular patents, including Qualcomm Inc., are joining an effort proposed by Ericsson AB to jointly license patents in an emerging field called the Internet of Things....
Companies that hold such “standard essential” patents, as they are called in the industry, have at times gotten into disputes over licensing policies at industry forums or lawsuits with other technology giants. Ericsson and Apple Inc., for example, engaged in almost a year of patent litigation in several countries before reaching a settlement in December. ...Full Story
New standard instructs on acceptance of classifying machine vision systems
Vision Systems Design September 16, 2016 - Liquid lenses can be used to maximize imaging system flexibility across a wide variety of applications requiring rapid focusing. By integrating a liquid lens, the imaging system can change the plane of focus in milliseconds in order to provide sharp images, regardless of the object’s distance from the camera....The standard, which uses examples from industrial inspection technology as a guideline and is intended for users and suppliers alike, discusses the advantages and disadvantages of different acceptance concepts, such as acceptance involving sample catalogues and acceptance on the basis of products from current production.... ...Full Story
NFC Forum Forms Partnerships with Three Industry Consortia
NFC Forum September 14, 2016 - The NFC Forum announced today the signing of liaison agreements with the Car Connectivity Consortium (CCC), the FIDO (Fast IDentity Online) Alliance, and the Smart Ticketing Alliance. The goal of the alliances is to collaborate on joint projects to advance the adoption and usability of Near Field Communication (NFC) in key markets and technology sectors, including automotive, public transportation, and digital identity.
All of the collaborations are focused on educating the market, unleashing innovation, and removing barriers to interoperability. For consumers, they will help ensure that NFC's benefits of greater ease, simplicity and enhanced security will be available in more places and more ways -- when driving in their cars, taking public transport, or seeking to engage in secure online activity.... ...Full Story
CompactFlash Association aims for a comeback with another new card format
Imaging Resource September 15, 2016 - A decade or two ago, CompactFlash cards were where it was at. The flash card format won out over rivals thanks to a tradeoff that allowed -- by the standards of the time -- generous capacity and relatively compact dimensions....Then the cost of flash memory went through the floor, capacities for the rival -- and far more compact -- SD and Micro SD card formats soared, and CompactFlash suddenly found itself to be something of a relic, consigned only to a handful of cameras that were mostly aimed at pros....Now, the CF Association is back for another try, promoting its new CFexpress format as the answer.... ...Full Story