The Standards Blog

Home

Wednesday, August 17th, 2005 @ 12:48 PM
Contributed by: Andy Updegrove
Views: 2,864

If you look at the Northwestern corner of Nevada, you’ll see that it’s bounded on the south by Interstate 80. Depending on the map you’re looking at, you may or may not see any roads at all in this quadrant. If you do, what the map is showing you are all gravel roads, with the exception of state route 447, which in turn converts to gravel at Gerlach.

 

Normally, Gerlach has a couple of hundred inhabitants in and around town (maybe). There’s a gas station, a small motel, a bar (of course with slots, this being Nevada, and that’s about it. But that’s enough to make Gerlach the hub of this neck of the woods (except, of course, there are no woods -- too dry), with only a handful of isolated ranches scattered across the whole corner of the state like buckshot. Stop at Bruno’s Texaco before you leave Gerlach, and take a look at the small photo tucked away on the back wall. You’ll see Bill, the man in charge, and a very impressive mountain sheep he’s just taken. If you look carefully down the mountain behind Bill in the picture, you’ll see the Gerlach. Probably Bruno’s Texaco as well, if you look hard enough. You have to be pretty isolated to shoot a mountain sheep in your back yard.

Tuesday, August 16th, 2005 @ 12:49 PM
Contributed by: Andy Updegrove
Views: 2,610

This trip had its genesis some four years ago, when I was flying back from San Jose on a nearly empty flight to Boston. Looking down, I saw the usual mountains, canyons and rugged terrain of the southwest: there were no jeep trails. In most parts of the West, jeep trails are everywhere, snaking across deserts, scaling mountains, and leaving their scars behind for decades even if the area is declared off limits to vehicular travel.

 

When I landed, I pulled out a map and saw that it was Nevada I had been traveling over: the state that's easy to forget, because there is so little there (quick -- name five things in Nevada. Odds are you couldn't -- unless you’re from Nevada). It is one of the largest and emptiest states in the country, with areas as large as some eastern states without a single town, and more than 100 miles between gas stations more often not.

Tuesday, August 9th, 2005 @ 12:51 PM
Contributed by: Andy Updegrove
Views: 7,829

A long-running drama has taken a new and relatively unusual turn that is worth noting. That drama is the long (and ultimately unsuccessful) struggle that was waged within EPC Global to maintain a royalty-free environment for RFID standards. And that new turn is the announcement today that a patent pool is being formed by some 20 companies to establish royalty rates and manage royalty payments on implementations of EPC Global RFID standards.

Saturday, August 6th, 2005 @ 12:52 PM
Contributed by: Andy Updegrove
Views: 3,077

The current U.S. patent system is something that just about everyone loves to hate, particularly if they have anything to do with software. Now, there is hope, as well as some trepidation, that significant reforms will take place. Hope, because there is a bill in Congress to take such action, and trepidation over whether Congress will get it right.

Wednesday, August 3rd, 2005 @ 12:54 PM
Contributed by: Andy Updegrove
Views: 3,357

Announcing the answer before knowing and understanding the facts is an increasingly popular pastime. My, but it does get tedious living in a world filled with experts.

Sunday, July 31st, 2005 @ 12:56 PM
Contributed by: Andy Updegrove
Views: 2,604

An article by Randall Stross in the Sunday Business Section of the New York Times today called Why Bill Gates Wants 3,000 Patents put me in mind of the classic John Lennon song, "Imagine", one verse of which reads as follows:

Imagine no possessions,
I wonder if you can,
No need for greed or hunger,
A brotherhood of man,
Imagine all the people
Sharing all the world...

Unlike a world with no possessions, though, a world with no software patents isn't really that hard to imagine -- especially by those of us that can remember what it was like when there were no software patents, or those that live in Europe today, where software patents are not accepted, as reaffirmed by a recent vote by the European Parliament, despite a protracted effort by the software industry to drop this restriction.

Thursday, July 28th, 2005 @ 12:57 PM
Contributed by: Andy Updegrove
Views: 4,677

In 1991, it was the PowerOpen Consortium, and the goal was to create open standards on top of a proprietary architecture. Now, in 2005, its Power.org, and the processor is the same (the IBM PowerPC), but this time the name of the game is "Open Hardware." Will the model take off like open source?

Wednesday, July 27th, 2005 @ 12:57 PM
Contributed by: Andy Updegrove
Views: 2,616

What is the historical analogue that's mostly likely to predict the future relationship between developers and end-users in open source? Will it be union and management (I hope not)? Amateur and pro athelete (Marc Fleury thinks so)? [more]

Monday, July 25th, 2005 @ 12:58 PM
Contributed by: Andy Updegrove
Views: 2,433

In the great, ancient saga known as the Epic of Gilgamesh, the gods send a powerful foe to vanquish the mighty Gilgamesh, but after a great battle, they become allies. Will the just-announced SEEMesh group vanquish the Wi-MESH Alliance, or may they yet join forces?

Saturday, July 23rd, 2005 @ 12:59 PM
Contributed by: Andy Updegrove
Views: 5,188

Standards wars have been around for a very long time, and with a real (if not an admirable) reason: if you can successfully set a de facto standard around your patented technology, you can make a lot of money. But when that happens, someone often loses -- big. Just ask Topsy or Hayden.