QuickLinks - Standards
Issue no. 289 - 26 October 2003
- IPv6 - Tackling the net's numbers shortage
In the early days of the internet, it seemed improbable that all of the four billion available IP addresses would be used, but that is exactly what is happening. Every mobile phone, PC and server has an address which, like a phone number, needs to be dialled when it is accessed over the web. But as more people log on around the globe, the available number of IP addresses is dwindling. A taskforce of experts hope to solve the problem by creating what is called IPv6 and would provide 64 billion extra IP addresses.
Issue no. 288 - 19 October 2003
- EU - World Standards Day, 14 October: Global standards for the Global Information Society
World Standards Day on 14 October will focus on the role of Standards for the Information Society. Information and Communication Technology (ICT) standards have a direct bearing on almost all aspects of our life: business and commerce, finance and banking, healthcare and education, transport and tourism, and public administration. This year's World Standards Day will also pave the way to an EU-US dialogue on ICT standards to exchange early warnings on potential technical barriers to global solutions for the Information Society. Europe's contribution to this dialogue include a recognition of the importance of open standards in order to stimulate competitive innovation in ICT goods and services worldwide
Issue no. 286 - 3 October 2003
- EU-China Regulatory Co-operation
Mr Erkki Liikanen Member of the European Commission, responsible for Enterprise and the Information Society. Introductory Speech at Joint EU-China WTO Conference on Chinese Compulsory Certificate System and International Practice on Certification, Beijing, 17 September 2003.
- ETSI publishes its work on mobile signatures
Mobile commerce has taken a major step forward with the completion of an important project on mobile signatures by the European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI). Electronic signatures are used to authenticate the identity of a person doing business over the Internet in the same way that a written signature guarantees the identity of a person signing a written contract. Electronic signatures created for use on a mobile telephone have become known as 'Mobile Signatures'. ETSI's work on m-Signatures has just been published as two Technical Specifications (TSs): TS 102 204 on a web service interface and TS 102 207 on roaming in m-Signature services; and an ETSI Technical Report on security requirements for m-Signatures (TR 102 206).
Issue no. 285 - 28 September 2003
- New ISO fees on the horizon?
Information technology standards groups are raising warning flags over a proposal that could raise fees for commonly used industry codes, including two-letter country abbreviations, used in many commercial software products. At stake is a tentative proposal from the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) to add usage royalties for several code standards, a move that opponents say could weaken standards adherence by forcing software providers to pay a fee for each ISO-compliant product they sell. The standards cover country, currency and language codes, respectively.
Issue no. 272 - 24 May 2003
- W3C Adopts Patent Policy
After years of wrangling over whether it should recommend standards which could include royalty conditions, the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) created a policy which provides a narrow method for including non-royalty free technology in exceptional circumstances. The W3C ratified its new W3C Patent Policy based on widespread member endorsement, agreement in the W3C Patent Policy Working Group, and support from interested members of the public.
Issue no. 270 - 11 May 2003
- eBusiness Standards Issues - Results from the Open Meeting
The Draft Report on key strategic aspects for e-business standardization in the framework of eEurope 2005 - prepared at the request of the European Commission DG Enterprise in the framework of eEurope 2005 - has been produced by the CEN/ISSS eBusiness Standards Focus Group. An open meeting to discuss this draft Report and draft Recommendations was held on 28 April 2003. The draft notes and presentations from this open meeting are now available. Comments on the draft report and the draft Recommendations should be sent before 15 May 2003.
Issue no. 267 - 21 April 2003
- Web services standards facing a split?
IBM, Microsoft and BEA Systems plan to submit a high-profile Web services proposal to the Oasis standards body, company executives said, despite an ongoing effort by the World Wide Web Consortium to sort through similar proposals.
Issue no. 266 - 6 April 2003
- W3C - Microsoft leaves standards group
Microsoft has pulled out of a working group within the Web's leading standards organisation, the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) focused on establishing rules for how businesses will send and receive data to one another via Web services. The company withdrew from the W3C's so-called choreography group because it determined that the scope of the group did not align well with the work of two Microsoft researchers.
Issue no. 262 - 9 March 2003
- Customization and Personalization through RDF
At a meeting in Luxembourg, a project was launched to develop a new RDF application that: supports multiple content classification vocabularies; can be applied to multiple media types such as text, audiovisual materials and multimedia presentations; works with multiple device types such as desktop PCs, handheld devices, mobile devices and a wide range of consumer electronics such as MP3 and DVD players. The aim is to use XML/RDF to create a common platform through which metadata can be fully utilised across all digital media and device types for a variety of purposes. These include but are not limited to: parental control using a variety of classification schemes applied through a single delivery method, automated locating of resources (i.e. search engines) and educational use.
Issue no. 256 - 18 January 2003
- W3C approves mobile graphics standard
The Web's leading standards group put its seal of approval on a new specification for graphics technology tailored for use by mobile phones and other small networked devices. The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) recommended Scalable Vector Graphics (SVG) 1.1 and two subsets of the recommendation for mobile phones and handheld computers. Vector graphics are more flexible than the common bitmaps that form many of the graphics on the Web.
Issue no. 255 - 6 January 2003
ENUM is a protocol that is the result of work of the Internet Engineering Task Force's (IETF's) Telephone Number Mapping working group. The charter of this working group was to define a Domain Name System (DNS)-based architecture and protocols for mapping a telephone number to a Uniform Resource Identifier (URI) which can be used to contact a resource associated with that number.
Issue no. 251 - 24 November 2002
- W3C - Turning up the heat on Web privacy
When Microsoft introduced version 6 of its Internet Explorer browser, many Webmasters were puzzled to find that their cookies were being blocked in increasing numbers. The culprit was IE's default implementation of the Platform for Privacy Preferences (P3P), and for that, the irate Webmasters had Lorrie Cranor to thank.
Issue no. 250 - 17 November 2002
- W3C bows to royalty-free pressure
The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C), a standards body that oversees some Internet protocols, has released a last-call working draft of its policy on patents. In an earlier draft, the proposal allowed companies with patent rights on technology behind standards authorized by the W3C to demand royalties from companies using those standards. It now states that all members who participate in a proposed standard must agree to license any relevant patents on a royalty-free basis. If members aren't willing to do that, the working group involved with that standard has a few options, including investigating the validity of the patents, designing around the patents, or transferring the standard to another standards organization.
Issue no. 247 - 19 October 2002
- US - Finance firms push messaging standards
Seven top brokerage firms formally announced a coalition, the Financial Services Instant Messaging Association (FIMA), formerly known as the Instant Messaging Standards Board (IMSB), to promote the adoption of standards in the fragmented instant messenger industry. The committee, which also includes representatives from Credit Suisse First Boston, Lehman Brothers, Merrill Lynch, Morgan Stanley, and UBS Warburg, publicly touted its lofty goal of fostering technical harmony among IM providers Yahoo, AOL, MSN and others. For the Wall Street firms, IM is vital for internal and client communications; a lack of IM interoperability has been a source of increasing frustration.
Issue no. 244 - 7 September 2002
- W3C members: What standards?
The second biannual survey, conducted by Finnish Web designer Marko Karppinen showed that only 21, or 4.6 percent, of 454 sites of members of the World Wide Web consortium passed the W3C's own HTML validator, which tests for grammatically correct HTML.
Issue no. 243 - 31 August 2002
Issue no. 241 - 24 July 2002
- Liberty Alliance offers Internet technical specs
The Liberty Alliance, backed by Sun Microsystems, announced technical specifications to allow Web surfers to move easily between different Internet merchants without having to sign in each time. It is possible the specification could be submitted either to the OASIS or W3C standards bodies. It would be up to the 16 members of the Liberty Alliance management board to decide.
Issue no. 240 - 14 July 2002
- Royalties may force standards stalemate
Tthe World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) is bracing for a vote next week that could decide once and for all how it will handle patented technology that comes with royalties attached.
Issue no. 226 - 3 March 2002
- W3C retreats from royalty policy
World Wide Web Consortium has retreated from a proposal that would have allowed companies to claim patent rights and demand royalties for technologies used in its standards.
Issue no. 225 - 24 February 2002
Issue no. 224 - 16 February 2002
- Critics clamor for Web services standards
Discontent on the Web services front is hitting the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C). In a sign of the growing impatience that software companies have regarding Web services, Microsoft, IBM, BEA Systems and Intel launched the Web Services Interoperability Organization (WS-I), a consortium aimed at boosting Web services.
- Search engines losing popularity
Internet surfers are increasingly favoring direct navigation and bookmarks over search engines and Web links. WebSideStory, a San Diego, California-based company that measures Internet audiences, said that as of 6 February, nearly 52 percent of Web surfers arrived at sites by direct navigation and bookmarks, compared with about 46 percent during the same period last year.
Issue no. 217 - 16 December 2001
- Tech group backs Microsoft's .Net tools
Microsoft said a technology standards body has endorsed programming tools key to expanding the appeal of the company's .Net Web services plan. Microsoft said the European Computer Manufacturers Association (ECMA), an international technology standards organization, has ratified Microsoft's C# (pronounced "see sharp"), a Java-like programming language, along with a component of its .Net Web services framework called the Common Language Infrastructure (CLI).
Issue no. 210 - 14 October 2001
Issue no. 209 - 1 October 2001
- New Standards for Cooperation
(Multichannel News International)
Things are looking up for the cable and broadband industries thanks to a recently signed cooperative agreement between the Society of Cable Telecommunications Engineers (SCTE) and the European Telecommunications Standards Institution (ETSI). Founded in 1969, the Philadelphia-based SCTE is the lead body for developing cable standards in the United States. Meanwhile ETSI - headquartered in Sophia Antipolis, France - plays the same role in Europe. Together, the two hold considerable weight on a global scale.
Issue no. 208 - 24 September 2001
Issue no. 205 - 3 August 2001
- Pushing the envelope on IM
As its competitors Microsoft and Yahoo scramble to add scribbling, speech and video to instant messaging, industry leader AOL insists consumers want text-based chat, not bells and whistles.
Issue no. 204 - 27 July 2001
- AOL files "open" messaging plans with FCC
America Online will test a new system later this summer that would allow users of its popular instant messaging service to communicate with users of other products, like Microsoft's MSN Messenger.
Issue no. 203 - 19 July 2001
- Standards group ignites common-code war
Web standards advocates are declaring victory in their battle over browsers, but as they turn up the heat on their next adversary it's clear that their longstanding crusade on behalf of elegant design principles is far from over.
Issue no. 202 - 5 July 2001
- Phone makers align on games standards
Wireless phone makers Nokia, Motorola, Ericsson and a Siemens business unit jointly announced a new effort to create common standards for wireless games
Issue no. 201 - 26 June 2001
- No Harmony on Streaming Standards
The Internet Streaming Media Alliance hopes to challenge both Microsoft and RealNetworks over the creation of a digital standard for streaming. The reason: They don't believe that either one will act in the best interests of streaming companies.
Issue no. 197 - 21 May 2001
- FCC, tech group tackle wireless speed
The Federal Communications Commission and the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, are working to make wireless standards technology faster for Internet connections in homes and businesses.
Issue no. 195 - 8 May 2001
Issue no. 194 - 23 April 2001
- The Semantic Web
A new form of Web content that is meaningful to computers will unleash a revolution of new possibilities
Issue no. 189 - 5 March 2001
- Das WWW soll intelligenter werden
Mit einer Reihe von Standards will das W3-Consortium (W3C) Anbietern von Websites die Möglichkeit bieten, ihre Inhalte genauer zu beschreiben. Derartige Metainformationen sollen die maschinelle Verarbeitung von publizierten Daten erleichtern. Ein Ergebnis dieser Anstrengungen könnten unter anderem intelligentere Suchmaschinen sein.
Issue no. 187 - 17 February 2001
- Microsoft readies "Hailstorm" against AOL
Microsoft hopes that with new software called Hailstorm, instant messaging will expand beyond being a vehicle for simple chitchat to becoming the infrastructure for a range of Web services, including Web-based e-mail, real-time stock quotations and calendar functions.
Issue no. 186 - 3 February 2001
- Gnutella spreading itself thin
Predictions that Gnutella would quickly offer an effective file-swapping alternative to Napster have proven premature, with the technology's own developers admitting more work is needed before it will take off as a way to trade free music and other digital wares. see also Gnutella: Alive, Well, and Changing Fast (O'Reilly)
Defying reports of its demise, Gnutella is evolving and usage is growing in response, although significant technical challenges remain.
Issue no. 183 - 14 January 2001
- A LAN line
Almost unnoticed, a new wireless data networking standard, unmemorably called 802.11b, has been gaining ground on more widely touted ways of gaining wireless access to the Internet.
Issue no. 180 - 3 December 2000
- European Free Software Foundation created
A European "sister organisation" to the Free Software Foundation (FSF) was announced by programmers from Germany to cater for the complexity and diversity of the international open source community.
- Microsoft, VeriSign team on e-commerce security
Microsoft, VeriSign and WebMethods have developed technology designed to make it easier to use digital signatures and other online security tools with e-commerce applications. The software trio is aiming to make the new technology, called the XML (Extensible Markup Language) key management specification (XKMS), a standard. The companies intend to submit it to the appropriate Web standards bodies for consideration as an open Internet standard.
Issue no. 175 - 29 October 2000
- Net standards group puts XML to the test
The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) has opened its XML (Extensible Markup Language) schema specification to public comment, and is encouraging member companies to begin using it in commercial applications. see Press release.
- Setback for IM standard
The technical group that has been developing a standard protocol for instant messaging (IM) now says it will not choose a final standard and will leave that task to other bodies. The delay will affect firms that communicate using different IM systems and want to standardise.
Issue no. 167 - 6 August 2000
- iTV industry creates forum to set standards
A forum has been established with the aim of agreeing standards and practices within the interactive TV industry. The forum, interactive-forum.org, is the brainchild of two iTV agencies, Phosphorus and Cylo and has already recruited the likes of ntl, Saatchi & Saatchi and Microsoft as participants in its consultation process, and will launch formally in September.
Issue no. 166 - 30 July 2000
Issue no. 165 - 22 July 2000
- France legalises Bluetooth
France's National Agency of Radio Frequencies (ANFR) removed a major obstacle to the introduction of the Bluetooth wireless standard, raising a controversial ban on military range radio frequencies.
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