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Tuesday, June 30 2015 @ 07:42 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
“Open standards are simply better for developers
-Professor William Webb, CEO of the Weightless SIG, announcing the SIG's first standard See all Quotes
Latest NewsCEA, LONMARK Announce New Home & Building Automation StandardsPress ReleaseCEA, LONMARK
June 29, 2015 - The Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) and LONMARK International today announced two new standards available for home and building automation. These standards provide multiple parties – including users, developers, vendors, integrators and specifiers of open building control systems – a mechanism to develop and deliver a higher level of device-to-device interoperability using any open control networking communication platform.... ...Full Story
China Lifts Restrictions on E-Commerce Foreign Investment
USITO.org Weekly June 26, 2015 - On June 19, the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT) announced that e-commerce online data processing and transaction processing businesses will be opened to 100 percent foreign ownership across China, effective immediately. According to the MIIT announcement, foreign-invested enterprises will now be able to apply for permission of to hold a 100 percent stake in e-commerce online data processing and transaction processing businesses in China, but are still subject to other requirements of approval conditions and procedures as regulated in the Management Rules of Foreign-Invested Telecommunications Companies (State Council Circular No. 534).... ...Full Story
ITU defines vision and roadmap for 5G mobile development
ITU-T June 25, 2015 - ITU has established the overall roadmap for the development of 5G mobile and defined the term it will apply to it as “IMT-2020”.
With the finalization of its work on the “Vision” for 5G systems at a meeting of ITU-R Working Party 5D in San Diego, California, ITU has now defined the overall goals, process and timeline for the development of 5G mobile systems. This process is now well underway within ITU, in close collaboration with governments and the global mobile industry.
The meeting also agreed that the work should be conducted under the name of IMT-2020, as an extension of the ITU’s existing family of global standards for International Mobile Telecommunication systems (IMT-2000 and IMT-Advanced) which serve as the basis for all of today’s 3G and 4G mobile systems.... ...Full Story
The need for industry standards in the fight against cyber-crime
SC Magazine June 24, 2015 - In order to address the threat facing the financial services industry, the Bank of England (BofE) recently created the CBEST testing framework. This framework uses intelligence gathered from commercial and government sources, and can be tailored to the business model and operations of individual firms...This is clearly a strong step forward. Yet even though CBEST has robust certification requirements for testing companies, it does not provide a certification standard for the financial services institution itself....Making these assessments voluntary highlights an inherent weakness in the financial services industry outside of payment cards. It would be stronger to make the assessments compulsory, as is the case for PCI DSS.
It is time for us to develop a similar standard across our industry – a Financial Services Industry Data Security Standard. This standard could build on the foundations set by PCI DSS to cover the full scope of financial services cyber-security. By cooperating around such a standard, the industry will be able to deliver a stronger collective response to the cyber-crime threat than any single company could do alone.... ...Full Story
Open Standard Weightless-N IoT Network Goes Live In London
TechWeek Europe June 23, 2015 - An Internet of Things (IoT) network using the open ‘Weightless-N’ standard has gone live across London, with the government-backed Digital Catapult Centre in London lending its support to the project.
Weightless-N was published only last month and is pitched as a cheaper, more innovative alternative to proprietary standards, allowing for cheaper hardware as any manufacturer can create base stations or endpoints.
The Weightless Special Interest Group (SIG) claims a terminal device can be made for as little as $2 and a base station for less than $3,000 – less than other platforms that lock users into one ecosystem.This, the S IG claims, results in excellent signal reach of several kilometres, even in “challenging” urban areas like London, and allows for multiple networks in a single location....Weightless-N is one of two standards made available by the non-profit Weightless SIG, the other being Weightless-W, which uses white spaces – unused portions of TV broadcast spectrum.... ...Full Story
NIST Releases Update of Industrial Control Systems Security Guide
NIST Techbeat June 23, 2015 - The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) has issued the second revision to its Guide to Industrial Control Systems (ICS) Security. It includes new guidance on how to tailor traditional IT security controls to accommodate unique ICS performance, reliability and safety requirements, as well as updates to sections on threats and vulnerabilities, risk management, recommended practices, security architectures and security capabilities and tools.
Downloaded more than 3 million times since its initial release in 2006, the ICS security guide advises on how to reduce the vulnerability of computer-controlled industrial systems to malicious attacks, equipment failures, errors, inadequate malware protection and other threats.
ICS encompass the hardware and software that control equipment and the information technologies that gather and process data. They are commonly used in factories and by operators of electric utilities, pipelines and other major infrastructure systems....
A significant addition in this revision is a new ICS overlay offering tailored guidance on how to adapt and apply security controls and control enhancements detailed in the 2013 comprehensive update of Security and Privacy Controls for Federal Information Systems and Organizations (NIST Special Publication 800-53, revision 4) to ICS. SP 800-53 contains a catalog of security controls that can be customized to meet specific needs stemming from an organization's mission, operational environment, or the particular technologies used. Using the ICS overlay, utilities, chemical companies, food manufacturers, automakers and other ICS users can adapt and refine these security controls to address their specialized security needs.... ...Full Story
Blueprint: Open Standards Do Not Have to Be Open Source
Converge June 23, 2015 - While ETSI has defined the labels for the interfaces between the various components of the NFV architecture, there are currently no agreed-upon standards. And although there are several open source projects to develop standards for these NFV interfaces, most have not matured to the point where they are ready for use in a carrier-grade network.
In the meantime, various multi-vendor alliances are developing their own pre-standards solutions. Some are proprietary and others are derivations of the work done by open source groups. Currently, almost all of the proof of concept (POC) trials today are using these pre-standard variations. Each multi-vendor alliance is working in conjunction with the service providers to develop interface models and specifications that everyone within each POC will be comfortable with.
It is possible and even likely that some of these pre-standards will become de facto standards based on their popularity and utility. There is nothing wrong with standards that are developed by the vendor or service provider community as long as they meet these criteria: 1) the standard must work in a multi-vendor environment since the NFV architecture model depends on multiple vendors delivering different components of the solution. 2) The standard needs to be published and open so that a new vendor can easily build its component to be compatible with the architecture....In an ideal world, standards are fixed in nature and in time, but networks are evolving and technologies like NFV continue to evolve and mature. In this world of dynamic architectures, it is essential to have standards that are dynamic and proprietary, but open. This type of standard offers a solution that can deliver functions today and adapt to the models of tomorrow. ...Full Story
NIST’s NextGen PIV Card Strengthens Security and Authentication
NIST Techbeat June 22, 2015 - The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) has updated its technical specifications and guidance for the next generation of “smart” identity cards used by the federal government's workforce. The new specifications add enhanced security features to verify employees’ and contractors’ identities, as well as new capabilities that work with mobile devices and media such as smart phones.
Government employees use PIV cards for facility access.
View hi-resolution image
Federal employees and contractors use Personal Identification Verification (PIV) Cards for secure access to government facilities and computers. The PIV Card features a microchip with the employee’s photo, PIN, fingerprint information and other details....
The revised Federal Information Processing Standard 201-2 of 2013 sets the stage for the new generation of PIV Cards by specifying new technologies for the strong authentication credential and provides enhanced support for mobile devices based on lessons learned from federal agencies.... ...Full Story
Deadline reached for switchover from analogue to digital TV for 119 countries in Europe, Africa, Middle East and Central Asia
ITU-T June 19, 2015 - The deadline for the switchover from analogue to Digital Terrestrial Television (DTT), set at 00:01 UTC on 17 June 2015, heralds the development of ‘all-digital’ terrestrial broadcast services for sound and television for 119 countries belonging to ITU Region-1 (Europe, Africa, the Middle East and Central Asia) and the Islamic Republic of Iran.
The 17 June deadline for switching off analogue television broadcasting in the UHF band was set by ITU Member States at the Regional Radiocommunication Conference in 2006, known as the GE06 Regional Agreement. Several countries that are party to the GE06 Agreement, as well as many who are not, have already made the transition. Updated information on the status of the transition to digital terrestrial Broadcasting is available here.... ...Full Story
Clever, gripping, entertaining
Amazon Reader Reviews June 19, 2015 - For me this is a very classy thriller. Superb opening to the story and what follows is an intriguing story of espionage with the cyber security expert Frank at the centre of the story. But it is much more than that. I loved Frank, a wonderfully flawed genius who I warmed to immediately. The author is skilled when it comes to characterisation across the board but Frank is the perfect example of how a writer needs to give depth to their creations....I found The Alexandria Project to be original and it carried a strength of voice that appealed to me greatly. This is a gripping, funny, clever and above all entertaining read. I am officially an Andrew Updegrove fan and cannot wait to read his next one. ...Full Story