archives

Feature Article

STANDARDS STAKEHOLDERS: WHO SHOULD, AND WHO DOES, SET STANDARDS?

There are many identifiable groups that are affected by the creation of standards, each with its own reasons for being interested in the outcome of the development process. The nature of these distinct motivations leads some types of stakeholders to make greater investments in that process than others in order to gain larger influence over these outcomes. The results are far reaching, and sometimes limiting.

STANDARDS WARS: SITUATIONS, STRATEGIES AND OUTCOMES

While some standard wars are destructive, others can better be seen as competitive contests in emerging network-dependent technologies. And, as in the real world, there are not only wars, but lesser conflicts and escalations as well, each of which can represent a messy, but ultimately effective path to reaching consensus.

CASE STUDY: THE UNRULY EMERGENCE OF THE DIGITAL HOME

New standards are being developed in multiple areas to enable the emergence of the digital home, from environmental controls, to networking, to home entertainment, and more. The rapid evolution of the ecosystem of standard setting organizations (both old and new) that is creating these standards provides a current example of how standards infrastructures rapidly develop to address new commercial opportunities.

STANDARDS 2005: THE YEAR IN REVIEW

There was far too much news in 2005 to summarize in one story (or issue), so in this third annual review of the news we pick the most newsworthy standards development organization, standards story, open source story, and more.

WSIS, ICANN AND THE FUTURE OF THE INTERNET

For the last four years, the nations of the world assembled in the WSIS process have spent more time wrangling over “who should govern the Internet” than how to bridge the Digital Divide. Perhaps now that a compromise (of sorts) has been reached, they will be able to get down to the real work for which the WSIS process was intended.

STANDARDS FOR A SMALL PLANET

Standards have traditionally addressed discrete, immutable problems that derive from the laws of physics and nature. The regulations and standards that will be needed to address complex environmental issues will face a greater challenge: how to achieve desired results where there are not only multiple variables, but we don’t even know what all of the variables are.

MASSACHUSETTS AND OPENDOCUMENT: A BRAVE NEW WORLD?

On September 21, 2005 Massachusetts became the first government in the world to adopt strict rules intended to break its dependency on software applications that create documents that they fear may become inaccessible over time. We interview all of the major players to present the details on how this radical new policy came about and what it does (and does not) mean.

STANDARDS IN SPACE: AN INDUSTRY AND A PROCESS AT A CROSSROADS

More than 50 SSOs create standards that are needed to create and support space missions. In this article we describe those that are most involved and their areas of expertise, in order to present a picture of standard setting for space applications as it exists today. We also review a recent report on inadequacies in the U.S. aerospace standards infrastructure, and the challenges confronting U.S. leadership in space as a result.