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Massachusetts Governor-elect Deval Patrick last week announced 15 transition team working groups, including one intended to advise the governor on the technology needs of the state government. Seven appointees on this group make sense. And then there's the Microsoft lobbyist that has been working to defeat ODF for the last two years.
The slides are now available for the Chinese standards/open source conference I wrote about on November 8
. The most interesting news I learned there was that China has been activelyl developing its own open document specification, which it calls Uniform Office Format. You can now see the full presentation of WU Zhi-gang here
Last week I wrote about the sorry state of IT funding in Massachusetts, so to even out the picture, I'm writing this time about the happy fact that ODF funding is unaffected, and that I've been told that all is proceeding on schedule. I also have a second reason for spreading the news, which comes from the other side of the globe.
I'm remiss in blogging on the transition in Massachusetts as Louis Gutierrez leaves his position as State CIO (Gutierrez announced that he would resign a month ago), and as Mitt Romney wraps up his single term as governor and looks forward, he hopes, to bigger political games than our small state can offer.
Once upon a time, there was something new called "the Internet," and it was an unknown quantity. While some guessed what it could become, most did not. Famously, Mark Andreessen - of Mosaic, and later Netscape fame - and Tim Berners-Lee did, while Bill Gates did not. Less publicly, those that helped to create something that came to be called the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers - or ICANN - did, and the standards analogue of Bill Gates - the International Telecommunications Union - or ITU - did not.
For over a year, ODF has been duking it out with Microsoft's OpenOfficeXML. Now there's a new kid on the block from China: the Uniform Open Format, with GUI, format and API specifications for work processing, spreadsheet and presentation modules, and plans for "related standards, such as physical storage format, application integration, etc."
For more than 200 years, moderns have sought to divine the life stories of the ancients through the practice of archaeology. Through such efforts, we can learn something about the everyday existence of not only those prehistorians that left no written descriptions of their daily lives at all, but also of our more recent forebears, who rarely saw fit to tell us what they ate for breakfast or which penny dreadfuls and broadsheets they liked to read.
Oracle's announcement yesterday of its "Unbreakable Linux 2.0" program, aimed squarely at Red Hat, understandably overshadowed another announcement Larry Ellison made in the same speech. That announcement revealed that Oracle has joined the Free Standards Group (FSG), at the highest level of membership. despite being active in Linux for many years, Oracle had not previously been a member of the FSG at any level.
Chances are you haven't heard a lot about the Unicode, or those that created it, and that's a shame. Unicode 5.0 has just been released, and believe it or not, it's a fascinating read.
The final version of the Office Open XML 1.0 draft was posted an hour or so ago at the Ecma site. It is this specification that Microsoft hopes will be adopted, not only by Ecma, but by global standards body ISO/IEC as well, in an effort to slow the adoption of OpenDocument Format (ODF) by government users, among others.
According to a short "Tech Informer" article just posted at CIO.com, Ecma, the European IT standards organization on Monday may post "as early as Monday," the final approval draft of OpenXML, the document format specification contributed to Ecma by Microsoft in an effort to counter the momentum behind the OASIS and ISO adopted ODF.
In a case of deja vu that is becoming bad news for Massachusetts residents in particular, and ODF supporters in general, another Massachusetts CIO has resigned in protest. This time it is Peter Quinn's successor, State CIO Louis Gutierrez.
Yesterday, the New York Times broke a story that suggested that IBM would put its entire patent portfolio on line, would post all of its patent applications as well, and finally, would call for an end to all "business method" patents. The only problem is, none of those things turned out to be true.
The New York Times reports that IBM will announce a new patent policy later today under which it will significantly change the way it deals with its patent portfolio. According to the Times, IBM hopes to move the industry in the same direction by its example.
[Go IBM! This editor certainly encourages other businesses to consider what they can do to join IBM in working toward patent reform here in the US. - dcparris]
In what seems to be a petty display of childishness, Google at first refused to post at its own Websites in Belgium the news of a recent defeat it suffered in a Belgian courtroom - at the cost of paying a $640,000 per day fine. A day later, it caved, saying it would appeal instead.
How much use is "fair use" when it comes to Web-based content? That's a question that I expected would receive more attention in the blogosphere when Google announced last month that it had reached a deal with the Associated Press that would permit it to continue to link to AP stories at the Google Website – for a price.
OASIS announced yesterday in Lyons, France, that it has launched a public Website "designed to serve as the official community gathering place and information resource for the OpenDocument Format (ODF)" sponsored by IBM, Sun Microsystems and, interestingly, Intel as well.
Microsoft has just posted the text of a new patent "promise not to assert " at its Website, and pledged that it will honor that promise with respect to 20 listed Web Services standards.
Last night's Nova program entitled Building on Ground Zero was memorable for many reasons, one of which was its focus on both the importance as well as the economic calculus of standards. Another was the degree to which the US is lagging in the upgrading of crucial standards identified in the wake of the 9/11 catastrophe, although a number of Asian nations have apparently taken to heart the lessons learned five years ago today.
[So how do you see this applying to open standards in the software realm? - dcparris]
Today is launch day for a new consortium I've been helping structure for the last several months – the PCI Security Standards Council, LLC. You should be happy to hear about this new organization, because its purpose is to tighten the security procedures that protect your financial data against theft and fraud, not only globally but on an end-to-end basis, from point of sale to debiting of your account.
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