The advent of the Internet and the Web has unleashed a "Big Bang" of information that continues to expand exponentially. More than better search engines will be needed to reap its harvest, and the solution may lie in the tools of the past.
The creation and use of "commonalities" (of which standards are but a recent example) has been part of human history for thousands of years. What we can learn from this phenomenon merits closer and more serious study.
With this issue we announce the public launch of the Standards MetaLibrary - the most comprehensive research tool available for the serious study of standards, and what they mean to society, commerce, and life in the modern world.
Standards can constrain or enable innovation. Sometimes the balance comes out just right - as when Laurens Hammond reinvented the pipe organ and Don Leslie conceived the perfect speakers to give it voice. The result was the Hammond B-3 Organ. You may never have heard of it, but you've certainly heard it.
New Memory, Holographic Storage, VoIP , Security, and Grid Computing Consortia are Launched; the Pacific Rim Flexes its Standard Setting Muscles; Europe Struggles with Software Patents; OASIS Launches an OS-Friendly IPR Policy; Rambus Sues Again; the U.S. Government Asks for Health Care IT Standards; Service Oriented Architecture Gets a Standards Boost; and much more