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Saturday, April 18 2015 @ 03:51 PM 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
“Pulling an open-source project upon which people may depend is total jerk behavior
-Anonymous hacker commenting on Apple's pulling the FoundationDB codebase off of GitHub
“Apple is essentially saying that everything that FoundationDB, and its community, created during the lifetime of the project is now wrapped up and for the sole benefit of Cupertino. Ouch
-Ben Keppes, writing in Forbes Magazine following Apple's acquisition of open source vendor FoundationDB See all Quotes
Latest NewsUK Government Now Main Driver of ODF Advance: KudosGlyn MoodyComputerWorld.uk
April 17, 2015 - Back in July last year, I wrote about an incredible opportunity for the open source world. After years of disappointments, and despite the usual lobbying/threats by a certain large US software company against the move, the Cabinet Office announced that it was officially adopting the Open Document Format (ODF) for sharing or collaborating on government documents. At the time I exhorted everyone involved to do their utmost to make this work, since it was the biggest chance to show that open standards and open source were not just viable as a government solution, but actually better than the alternatives.
Since then, we've heard very little - either in terms of the move being a raging success or a dismal failure. That makes this update from Francis Maude, who has been one of the key people driving this move, particularly welcome, as it seems that real progress has been made:..."A number of departments are starting to publish in open formats, including the Department for Transport, Department for Communities and Local Government, Department of Health, Department for Work and Pensions, and HM Revenue and Customs. Many more departments will follow by the end of the year."
Clearly, those are huge wins.... ...Full Story
Core Technology for WhiteSpace Alliance Wi-FAR™ Specification Approved to Become ISO Standard
WhiteSpace Alliance April 17, 2015 - The WhiteSpace Alliance (WSA) ®, a global industry organization enabling sharing of underutilized spectrum, today announced that the core technology underlying its Wi-FAR specification has been approved to become an ISO standard.
The International Organization for Standardization (ISO), an independent, non-governmental membership organization and the world’s largest developer of voluntary International Standards, announced this decision on 8 April. The approved standard will be referred to as ISO/IEC/IEEE Std. 8802-22:2015.
Wi-FAR, a derivative of the IEEE 802.22 Standard, provides industry-recognized, cost-effective broadband Internet access through dynamic allocation of underutilized TV band spectrum (“whitespace”). Wi-FAR is an inter-operability and certification point-to-multipoint wireless broadband specification optimized for operation in the VHF and UHF TV bands, in the frequency range between 54 MHz and 862 MHz. Incorporating learnings from the TV broadcast community, the Wi-FAR specification is the first and only specification that has seriously addressed the requirements of long distance, non-line of sight transmission for Internet traffic to provide cost-effective backhaul and middle mile solutions.... ...Full Story
HDMI Forum releases 2.0a specification that adds HDR support
Jan Willem Aldershoff
MYCE April 16, 2015 - The HDMI Forum has announced the HDMI 2.0a specification has been updated to enable transmission of High Dynamic Range (HDR) formats. Users can likely upgrade their devices to the updated specification through a firmware update.
HDR should provide enhanced picture quality by simultaneously enabling greater detail for both the dark and bright parts of an image. The HDR-related updates include references to CEA-861.3, CEA’s recently published update of HDR Static Metadata Extensions.
The HDMI Forum isn’t really clear on whether the new standard requires new hardware, however TP Vision previously stated that it should be possible to get support for the new standard through a firmware update. HDMI 2.0 was announced in 2013 and allows 4K video at 60FPS. Most Ultra HD TVs released in 2015 will support HDMI 2.0....Although the first TVs with HDR support were demonstrated at CES this year hardly no HDR content is available. ...Full Story
Linux Foundation to Host Open Encryption Project
Linux Foundation April 16, 2015 - The Linux Foundation, the nonprofit organization dedicated to accelerating the growth of Linux and collaborative development, today announced it will host the Internet Security Research Group (ISRG) and its Let's Encrypt project, a free, automated and open security certificate authority for the public's benefit. Let's Encrypt allows website owners to obtain security certificates within minutes, enabling a safer web experience for all....A tremendous amount of data is passed over the Internet every minute of every day. This data includes usernames and passwords, credit card information, cookies and other types of sensitive or personal information. Encryption can help ensure this information doesn't land in the hands of hackers or identity thieves. However, the SSL certificates required for encryption on the Internet have historically been very difficult for website owners to obtain. Let's Encrypt will allow website owners to obtain SSL certificates through a free and simple process that will take no longer than a few minutes to complete.... ...Full Story
Please welcome the UHD Alliance: We've enjoyed assisting this broad representation of industry players create and launch a new consortium whose impact will be reflected in televisions worldwide.
UHD Alliance Calls for Contributor Members to Define the Next-Generation Entertainment Experience
UHD Alliance April 15, 2015 - Founding members of the UHD Alliance, representing leading companies in entertainment, technology, consumer electronics and distribution, today issued a call for contributors to join their mission to advance a new and differentiated entertainment experience for Ultra HD including high dynamic range, wide color gamut, high frame rate and advanced audio.
The goal of the Alliance is to ensure these technologies, coupled with performance metrics, will deliver a premium entertainment experience throughout the Ultra HD ecosystem from content creation to consumer enjoyment.
In addition to working discussions around technical specifications and certification details, the UHD Alliance will help develop industry-standard branding so that consumers can clearly identify certified premium UHD content and devices offered in the marketplace....Companies that want to join the UHD Alliance as contributing members can request membership information from the UHD Alliance at www.UHDAlliance.org/ ...Full Story
Eclipse Announces First Release of Eclipse OM2M Project
Eclipse/OneM2M April 15, 2015 - The Eclipse Foundation and the Eclipse IoT Working Group announce the first release of the Eclipse OM2M open source project. OM2M, led by developers from LAAS-CNRS, implements the ETSI SmartM2M standard and plans to migrate to the new oneM2M standard.
OM2M is a standardized service platform that implements critical service capabilities required for M2M and IoT applications. It allows these services to be implemented independently of the network and the underlying hardware environment, making it easy for M2M and IoT developers to develop applications that integrate different types of devices and networking protocols.
OM2M 0.8 implements the ETSI SmartM2M standard. Later this year, OM2M will migrate the implementation to the global oneM2M standard. oneM2M is a global standards organization involving over 200 companies, including the key regional ICT standards bodies ARIB, ATIS, CCSA, ETSI, TIA, TTA and TTC, and the leading industry consortia Broadband Forum, Continua, HGI, Next Generation M2M Consortium and the OMA. oneM2M released its first specifications in January 2015.
A key issue for IoT is interoperability between different devices that use different protocols. This is particularly important for industries such as eHealth, Industrial Automation, and Home. OM2M 0.8 supports out-of-the-box integration and protocol interoperability with HTTP and CoAP enabled devices. OM2M’s extensible framework allows for easy integration with devices using protocols such as Zigbee, Zwave, 6LoWPAN, Modbus, and more.... ...Full Story
State Council Strengthens Energy Saving Standardization Work
USITO.org Weekly April 15, 2015 - On April 4, the General Office of the State Council published the "Opinions on Strengthening the Standardization Work on Energy Conservation," setting 2020 goals for establishing comprehensive standards on energy consumption limits for all major energy-intensive industries, and ensuring 80% of China's energy efficiency standards are internationally competitive.
The Opinions called for an accelerated development of national compulsory standards for energy efficiency and energy consumption limits, which would serve as market access regulations and force industry transformation. The Opinions require the State Administration of Standards, National Development and Reform Commission and Ministry of Industry and Information Technology to improve the mechanism of state-led mandatory standards and guiding technical specifics development, and explore ways for government to directly adopt market-driven consortia standards as national standards, so as to drive rapid transformation of new energy-saving technologies, products and services into standards.
The Opinions require all relevant government agencies to take responsibility for promoting and enforcing energy efficiency standards, and mandate that enforcement of mandatory energy efficiency standards will be included in all levels of government energy-saving performance assessments. ...Full Story
Five Stars: A skillfully crafted cyber-terrorism thriller
Amazon Reader Reviews April 14, 2015 - I found Mr. Updegrove's book from a posting on the Passive Voice website. I've found several good books written by indie authors on this website. This was an exciting thriller with well developed interesting characters involved in a timely cyber-terrorism attack. Updegrove knows his subject well, so the information about Internet security or the lack of it has been presented clearly and woven skillfully into his story. I found myself jumping to Wikipedia and Google Maps to dig deeper into the setting and movements of his characters as well as read further about some of the information Updegrove used to develop his plot structure. I look forward to his next book and encourage anyone seeking a well written contemporary thriller to give this book a read. You will not be sorry. ...Full Story
SIPO Seeks Comment on Fourth Draft of China Patents Law
USITO.org Weekly April 14, 2015 - On April 1, the State Intellectual Property Office (SIPO) released another draft for public comment of the China Patents Law with a deadline of April 28. This is the fourth comprehensive revision since SIPO started revision work in 2011. Previous drafts were released June 2016, November 2012 and January 2013.
The new draft includes substantial revisions to 30 articles, and adds a new chapter on patent applications. The major changes include:
- Expansion of administrative powers in investigating patent infringement, issuing injunctions, and levying fines
- Introduction of "punitive damages" and double or triple the compensation amount for the purpose of "punishing," rather than just "compensating," in the case of willful infringement
- Strengthening the legal system for patent attorneys and patent agencies and imposing strict regulation on patent attorneys/agencies without administrative licensing ...Full Story
Dash Industry Forum Publishes Version 3.0 of Its Interoperability Guidelines
Dash Industry Forum April 14, 2015 - DASH Industry Forum (DASH-IF)...announced today the publication of Version 3.0 of its Interoperability Implementation Guidelines.
The new DASH-IF V3.0 guidelines include interoperability points for enhanced live, on-demand and time-shifted video streaming using AVC/H.264 and HEVC/H.265 codecs. The guidelines support default HE-AAC and optional multichannel audio codecs, SMPTE-TT and CEA-608/708 closed caption formats, as well as common encryption (CENC) to support various digital rights management (DRM) systems.
Based on the second edition of the ISO/IEC 23009-1 (MPEG-DASH) standard, and incorporating enhanced live and ad insertion features, these guidelines enable deployment of live services and dynamic ad insertion with a single set of technologies. This means that a common DASH client implementation can be used to receive content for various streaming use cases and applications, enabling service and content providers to reach more DASH clients with the same set of publishing guidelines.... ...Full Story