Consensus standards are about meeting everyone’s needs, while proprietary de facto standards are about serving a single master. The result of neglecting the end user can be (how to say this delicately) revealing.
What could be more boring than a standard listing arbitrarily assigned three-letter codes identifying languages? You might be surprised.
Historically, products came first, and standards second. But with technology cycles becoming shorter and the technologies themselves converging, if the chicken were to wait for the egg, it wouldn’t have time to hatch.
What do sports and standard setting have in common? Much more than you would think.
Archaeologists try to extrapolate the past by inferring a lost world from the scraps its inhabitants left behind. In the future, Wikipediologists will be able to learn more about today than perhaps we know about ourselves. Assuming that someone volunteers to archive it on a regular basis…like, maybe, Google?
The enactment of international laws permitting the effective enforcement of human rights creates tension between the sovereign rights of individual nations and the values of humanity as a whole. Why are nations more willing to yield power to facilitate trade than to ensure the rights of their own citizens?
Would it surprise you to learn that 8 out of 10 Americans would give up their iPod before they would sacrifice their WiFi router? It shouldn’t. The iPod/iTunes system is proprietary and limited to what Apple wants to give you. But the WiFi standard is open, and is being implemented everywhere, by everyone, and on every device imaginable. The result? We expect Internet access everywhere, all the time – and we’d even give up our iPods to have it.
Has evolution programmed us to be born as Republicans and Democrats? If so, we are the product of the earliest, if arguably (in this regard) not the most appealing, open source project.
Fifty years ago a humble, standardized commodity product first went into action – and rapidly changed almost everything about global shipping.
It is no surprise that Minnesota, a “blue state” like Massachusetts and heir to the political traditions of the Prairie Populists, should be the next state to see an open formats bill introduced. In this case, the devil is not in the details, but in the definition of an “open standard.”