QuickLinks - Standards
Issue no. 120 - 14 June 1999
- Net music players closer to security
The Secure Digital Music Initiative, a recording industry-led group seeking to make music downloads more secure online is a step closer to its goal after the meeting of the portable device working group reached consensus on the "reference architecture" for the first generation of compliant devices.
Issue no. 119 - 7 June 1999
- Call for Proposals for Standardization Projects for the Information Society
The European Commission invites the submission of proposals for Standardization projects for the Information Society (ISIS). The themes are: Validation and demonstration of standards and specifications; Enhancing market transparency for users and consumers, including SMEs; Promoting industry and business networks; Supporting trust and confidence for businesses, users and consumers. The call is open until the 14 January 2000, and allows for continuous submission. The proposals will be evaluated in two lots: proposals received by 1) 9 July 1999, 2) by the 14 January 2000.
- Standardization Projects for the Information Society (ISIS )
The European Commission’s DG III/B3 (Industrial aspects of Electronic Commerce) is planning to organize an Information Day, on 11 June 1999 in Brussels. The aim of the Information Day is to provide a forum for the clarification of the workprogramme and the identification of possible partners in the context of the Call for Proposals in the area of "Standardization projects for the Information Society (ISIS )".
Issue no. 117 - 8 May 1999
- W3C rallies Web industry to defend patent claim
The World Wide Web Consortium is calling on the Internet community to help it defend a potentially hostile patent claim from communications company Intermind in relation to W3C's P3P Platform for Privacy technology. W3C is looking for information concerning any systems that predate the Intermind patent and create communications objects or data structures and transfer them from one machine to another so as to control communication of feedback information or update information between machines.
- Sun switches Java standards efforts from ISO
Sun has decided to standardise Java through the Geneva-based ECMA, now called the European Association for Standardising Information and Communication Systems (formerly the European Computer Manufacturers Association), rather than through the ISO directly. Once ECMA has approved it, it will go to ISO by a fast track.
- Schema fragmentation takes a bite out of XML
(PC Week Online)
As XML makes inroads among IT users and vendors, there's a growing concern that fragmentation will threaten the language's status as an enterprise data sharing standard. Ongoing Balkanization is not related to the Extensible Markup Language 1.0 specification itself. Instead, it involves incompatibilities among XML schematas, known as DTDs (Document Type Definitions).
- USA - W3C issues Web handicap guidelines
The World Wide Web Consortium released the first-ever set of technical guidelines for developing Web sites that are accessible to the handicapped.
Issue no. 116 - 1 May 1999
- Sun blames MS as Java ISO plans die
Sun Microsystems' long-standing plans to submit its Java language for standardization via the International Standards Organization are dead.
Issue no. 114 - 26 March 1999
- Wireless standard fight sent back to firms
After setting their sights on a single worldwide standard for wireless phones, international regulators have decided instead to endorse several different flavors of new wireless technology. A key committee of the International Telecommunications Union agreed to support several different wireless technologies backed by competing companies.
Issue no. 110 - 3 March 1999
- Giving Voice to the Web
A coalition of telecom and technology companies is pushing for an industry-wide standard to transform Web content from text into voice. The new standard would give people without computers access to online content over phone lines. A group of about 20 companies led by AT&T, Lucent, and Motorola announced the formation of the VXML Forum.
Issue no. 109 - 25 February 1999
- Electronics Companies in Pact on Digital Watermarks
(New York Times)
Five giants in the computer and consumer electronics industries announced an agreement on a "watermark" standard for protecting digital movies and videos from unauthorized copying. The agreement reconciles two competing standards - one supported by IBM and NEC, the other supported by Hitachi, Pioneer and Sony.
- WWW - W3C recommends Resource Description Framework
The World Wide Web Consortium today issued a recommendation for the Resource Description Framework, a framework for integrating various kinds of Web metadata. Metadata is data that describes data. RDF aims to extend comparable information labeling to other kinds of Web-based information. As an example, any human reader can look at this page and distinguish between the author, the headline, the text of the article, and so forth. RDF enables computers to make those distinctions as well.
Issue no. 107 - 8 February 1999
- WWW - MS Wins Patent for Web Standard
Microsoft has been awarded a patent which covers the use of stylesheets in electronic publishing. Microsoft says it will allow broad and open licensing of the stylesheets technology. The Web Standards Project, comprised of independent developers, are concerned that the patent could threaten the progress of related Web-site design standards and may ask the patent office to rescind the patent.
Issue no. 104 - 17 January 1999
- Public Enemy backs controversial new Internet standard
Hip hop group Public Enemy is to put its muscle behind a controversial new way of promoting, distributing and selling music on the Internet. The group has teamed with Global Music Outlet (GMO), which plans to announce its new music distribution format this week. The format is based on MPEG-4, which is expected to be adopted as a standard by the International Standards Organisation later this year. But controversially, GMO has trademarked the technology and dubbed it MP4 - a name that has been used informally so far as an acronoym for MPEG-4.
Issue no. 101 - 17 December 1998
- Net heavyweights push caching proposal
Four Internet technology heavyweights have teamed up to standardize a key part of the Web caching process. In a draft submitted to the Internet Engineering Task Force, Inktomi, Microsoft, RealNetworks, and Sun Microsystems proposed the Web Proxy Autodiscovery Protocol (WPAD), which automates the way in which clients locate cached, or stored, content on the Internet.
- Telecom carriers create coalition
A group of new telecommunications carriers have formed a coalition, aimed at easing the transfer of voice and data between IP-based networks and traditional circuit-switched phone networks, called the Packet Multimedia Carrier Coalition.
Issue no. 100 - 11 December 1998
- WWW - Web Authoring Spec Gets IETF Blessing
(Computer Reseller News)
WebDAV (Distributed Authoring and Versioning), a new standard that could make it easier for groups of people to collaborate on the creation of documents on the Web was granted "proposed standard" status Monday by the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF).
Issue no. 99 - 5 December 1998
Issue no. 96 - 16 November 1998
- Group forms to end software chaos
Under the aegis of major vendors, standards organizations, and government and private user groups, the Interoperability Clearinghouse is preparing to provide IT organizations with an online knowledge base of industry standards, product specifications, and examples of successful implementations from which users can model their system configurations. Users also can query the repository for interoperability data and standards conformance for technologies ranging from operating systems to networking and hardware.
- Tag, You're It! XML Supercharges the Net
(The Industry Standard)
Slowly but surely, the new Web development tool is winning friends and influencing people.
Issue no. 93 - 29 October 1998
- ICE group releases spec for content exchange, syndication
The ICE Authoring Group and Advisory Council on Tuesday released the ICE (Information and Content Exchange) specification, Version 1.0. The ICE 1.0 specification is intended to streamline the exchange of content across the Internet and enable the syndication of such information between companies in business-to-business exchanges. see also TechWeb
- Standard may speed ADSL adoption
A high-speed standard for accessing the Internet over today’s copper telephone lines passed a critical test Thursday when the International Telecommunications Union gave it the technical thumbs up. The soon-to-be standard, called G.Lite, simplifies installing necessary hardware and connecting to the Internet via a technology known as asymmetric digital subscriber line, or ADSL. Most G.Lite services offer connection speeds of up to 1.5Mbps — about 30 times that of today’s fastest modems.
Issue no. 92 - 22 October 1998
- Battle brews for Internet-linked mobile phones
A global battle in the mobile phone market loomed Friday as Swedish telecoms equipment maker Ericsson said it would retaliate if U.S. high-tech company Qualcomm Inc did not license key technologies to European rivals. The European Union has been promoting efforts to set up a common standard for the new products that would mimic the success of Europe's existing GSM mobile phone standard. This new standard, the wide band W-CDMA, draws heavily on a technology pioneered by Qualcomm known as CDMA (Code Division Multiple Access), but Qualcomm says it would not be compatible with the competing standard that it supports-CDMA 2000.
Issue no. 89 - 8 October 1998
- Two ways to simplify Web addresses
A system of simplifying Web addresses may be on its way to widespread use thanks to a pair of recently proposed Web standards. The Internet Engineering Task Force this week took under consideration proposals by Centraal and Network Solutions (NSI) that would standardize the way firms replace Web addresses, or uniform resource locators, with common or proper names.
Issue no. 86 - 25 September 1998
- Contrarian Browsers
Article explaining how companies may follow the standards process and still release a new version of a Web browser with new, and wholly proprietary features.
Issue no. 85 - 22 September 1998
- IEEE Forges Bonds With Euro Standards Groups
Formal links are being proposed between the U.S.-based Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) and Europe's three official electronics-related standard's bodies, the European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI), Centre d'European Normalization (CEN), and electrotechnical standards body Cenelec. The IEEE and ETSI agreed to co-operate in a number of areas, including electromagnetic compatibility, wireless LANs, and network signaling.
Issue no. 73 - 8 June 1998
- European standards initiative for Net authentication
A European e-commerce organization launched an initiative this week to counter Europe's fragmented policy on digital certification. The current setup puts Europe at a disadvantage in the fast-growing e-commerce market, according to the European Electronic Massaging Association. The group kicked off the European Certification Authority Forum in an attempt to drive the European industry toward common standards.
- No Accord On Copy Protection Threatens DTV
With only five months to go before the scheduled digital TV rollout, service and equipment providers have yet to achieve formal consensus with Hollywood production studios on a copy-protection scheme for consumer device interfaces. That could cripple the initial commercial prospects for DTV, which is locked into a Nov. 1 debut, as well as delay standardization of the OpenCable spec, which dictates how cable set-top boxes will "pass through" signals for high-definition TV (HDTV) and data services.
Issue no. 51 - 26 February 1998
- Commerce Standards Advance Slowly
Two proposed standards intended to grease the tracks between buyers and sellers are poised to ease electronic commerce on the Internet. The two proposals--Open Buying on the Internet (OBI) and the Open Trading Protocol--(OTP) have generic names, but they have very different missions.
Issue no. 49 - 20 February 1998
- Giants propose antipiracy scheme
Intel and four leading consumer electronics firms have agreed on a technology for preventing piracy of digital content, a major step toward allaying Hollywood's continuing fears about the ease of copyright violation. Intel, Sony, Hitachi, Matsushita Electric, and Toshiba presented a proposal yesterday that would protect content that is passed in digital form between PCs, DVD players, and eventually next-generation consumer electronics devices such as digital set-top boxes, high-definition televisions, and digital cameras.
- Online catalog protocol in air
Backers of a new Internet standard for online catalogs are gathering this week to put finishing touches on the Open Buying on the Internet (OBI) protocol, but analysts suggest OBI may be so complex that online sellers won't bother to use it.
Issue no. 48 - 17 February 1998
- EU - Europeans Delay Costly Metric Rules
High-tech companies on both sides of the Atlantic can breathe a sigh of relief this week, after the European Commission decided to delay the launch of costly rules to ban U.S. measurements on products, packaging, and literature.
Issue no. 47 - 13 February 1998
- British Giant Backs ADSL Lite Group
British Telecom is the first European company to join the Universal ADSL Working Group, the body formed last month by U.S. operators and leading PC industry players to help kick-start broadband-over-copper services for consumers.
Issue no. 46 - 11 February 1998
- DMA standard aims to bind document management systems
The Document Management Alliance (DMA) 1.0 Specification, announced last week, could soon bring interoperability to an industry known for its monolithic, proprietary systems that manage such valuable assets as government, legal, medical, and engineering documents and images.
- W3C endorses first XML standard for global use
The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) on Tuesday gave the Extensible Markup Language (XML) 1.0 specification its final approval, providing software developers and content creators a powerful new means for organizing information on the Web.
Issue no. 45 - 9 February 1998
- Sony chief calls for common tech standards
(Nando.net - Scripps Howard)
The head of Sony, the Japanese electronics company, called for the creation of a worldwide technical standard embracing computing, television and mobile telephones. But Idei's appeal was received coolly by other industry specialists.
- ITU - U.N. telecommunications body adopts new modem standard
The International Telecommunications Union will conclude a meeting in Geneva on Friday, where telecommunication industry officials hashed out an agreement to merge two competing standards for 56-kbps modems.
Issue no. 44 - 6 February 1998
- Microsoft joins group seeking XML-based Web content specification
Microsoft on Thursday joined an industry group intent on creating a specification that allows for Extensible Markup Language (XML)-based exchange of Web content, such as automated syndication of news stories.
- Net broadcasts get a boost
A new addition to technology that aspires to alleviate current difficulties with multimedia broadcasts across the Net will be floated next week at the IP Multicast Summit, in hopes of adding much-needed reliability to the equation.
Issue no. 42 - 2 February 1998
- VRML, Web 3-D graphics language, becomes standard
The International Organization for Standardization has approved a standardization of the Virtual Reality Modeling Language, a move the language's backers hope leads to the stabilization and spread of 3-D content on the Internet. Both major browsers, Netscape Navigator and Microsoft Internet Explorer, already support VRML 2.0, a programming language for creating dimensional-looking objects on the Web.
- XML Apps Target Databases, Commerce
Separate development efforts were disclosed this week using the Extensible Markup Language (XML) to ease creation of database-driven Web applications and enable the exchange of data between disparate servers.
Issue no. 41 - 28 January 1998
- Cellphones: End sought to standards dispute
A dispute over standards for the next generation of cellular phones, which is dividing Europe's telecommunications manufacturers, could be resolved in Paris this week. The 2,000 members of the European Telecommunications Standards Institute (Etsi), the standards-setting body, are expected to vote on proposals put forward by groups led by the Scandinavian companies Ericsson and Nokia on one side and Siemens of Germany on the other.
- Cracks showing in effort to create ADSL standard
Only a few short hours after three personal computing giants joined the seven largest local telephone companies in backing an effort to create a single approach to faster Internet access over copper phone lines, there were visible cracks in the picture of unity.
- Euro Vote Likely To Shape Mobile Communications Future
The future of the world's mobile communications industry could be decided in Paris on Thursday and Friday by a subcommittee of the European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI). A vote to select the air interface for Europe's approach to the next generation of mobile terminals will, in effect, decide if there is to be a dominant world standard based on harmonized Japanese and European technologies, or whether Europe will use a different radio protocol.
- Standards Group Joins Alliance For High-Speed Internet
Digital Subscriber Line technology got a surge of support on Monday when a major industry group gave its blessing to the consortium formed last week by Microsoft, Intel, and Compaq. The three technology giants announced on Tuesday they were joining with GTE, Ameritech, Bell Atlantic, Bell South, and U S West to establish standards for DSL technology. DSL allows Internet access over normal phone lines at speeds up to 30 times faster than present modems.
- W3C posts threading proposal
With email use thriving among business and personal Net users, three email software makers are teaming up in an attempt to give Web-based email a new look. The World Wide Web Consortium has posted for public review a proposal by Microsoft, Qualcomm, and Lotus Development to add threading to HTML-based email applications, the companies said today.
Issue no. 38 - 22 January 1998
Issue no. 31 - 23 December 1997
- Netscape Loses Inside Track on HTML Standard
Netscape suffered a bruise in the browser war today when the World Wide Web Consortium released its recommendation for HTML 4.0 -forging a new standard and effectively rendering the current Mozilla browser noncompliant.
Issue no. 24 - 4 December 1997
- Microsoft supports standards for online banking software
(Nando.net - The AP)
Microsoft Corp. has thrown its clout behind standards for new online banking software that could make it more practical for consumers to pay bills over the Internet. The software standards would allow banks to continue using their old computer systems, overcoming what had been a key impediment to widespread use of Internet banking.
Issue no. 21 - 28 November 1997
- Synchronized Surfing
A new standard is in the works to bring TV-like content to the Web. In a move that could portend the much-anticipated convergence of Internet- and television-based content, a new standard is in the works that promises to extend the Web's multimedia capabilities by delivering "television-like content." Synchronized Multimedia Integration Language (SMIL) describes a simple markup language that lets developers synchronize content--such as text and voice--without arcane scripting. For example, SMIL would let a developer do the following: "play audio file A in parallel with video file B" or "show image C after audio file A has finished playing."
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