Week in Standards

Welcome to the first ever week in standards. Week in standards is a weekly summary of interesting links and posts we see from all over the Web for the current week.
The world of standards is evolving and we hope that this weekly summary will help you to keep in touch with the latest developments in standardization.
Initially we will cover standardization news in Government, Health care, Cloud, Smart Grid, Web, Privacy and other related domains. But we would also like to hear from you and your views on the areas we should cover.
Many thanks.
Kind rgds
Ajit Jaokar

Royalty-free H.264 may clear way for HTML5 standard

MPEG LA, the firm that controls licensing for a number of video and other standards, announced on Thursday  that it will never charge any royalties for Internet video encoded using the H.264 standard that Apple favours, as long as that video is free to end-users.
This is great news, even if it’s wrapped in some technical language. When you watch video on your Mac (or your iPhone, iPad, or any other device), it’s been encoded using one of many standards. Just as with popular audio formats like MP3 and AAC, video formats aim to find the sweet spot between video quality and file size–they want to get as high as they can on the former, and as low as they can on the latter.

Two years on, Chrome reshapes browser market

It’s been two years since the first public version of Chrome appeared, but in some ways, Google’s browser remains a novelty.On Thursday, Google released the sixth stable version of Chrome (Windows | Mac | Linux), though only the second for  Mac OS and Linux users.
In others’ hands, it would be called Chrome 6, but Google sees things differently.To the company, a version number is a passing milestone on an indefinitely long road to improvement. By default, the browser is updated behind the scenes and automatically, downloading new versions and installing them after a browser restart. It sees the practice as similar to how Web applications are updated constantly, usually without the user being involved and often without even being told.

Emerging Web Standards: Keeping Up to Stay Ahead

Twenty years ago when the web was young, the topic of standards was mainly the purview of computer scientists,  engineers, and enterprise technologists. But these days, emerging web standards have become everyone’s business.
Part of the reason is that the sheer number of standards with which a web entity must comply has mushroomed in the past decade. Mark Rogers, CEO of PowerMapper Software, a U.K.-based software company specializing in website analysis tools, compares the current state of standards to planning a night out at a pub. “In the old days, it was two people trying to figure out when to meet. Now it’s much more complicated, because there are a hundred people who have to agree when to meet, and it has to work for every single one of them,” Rogers says
Jeff Whatcott, SVP of marketing at Brightcove, an online video platform, agrees that the current dynamic environment for web standards is unique. “I’ve never seen it like this,” he says. “It’s like the browser wars all over again.”
For content companies, choosing which emerging standards to embrace requires staying up-to-date with multiple standards bodies, customer environments, commercial implications, federal regulations, and timing challenges. Leveraging standards means getting comfortable with the trade-offs between what’s possible now and what’s on the horizon.

Korean Standards for Mobile Web for Smartphones to be Established to Address User Inconvenience

The mobile web will be standardized to address inconveniences in accessing web contents through smartphones and other various mobile devices, and to resolve the problem of having to create different web contents for each device.
Mobile web standardization will offer web contents creation guidelines that will enable mobile websites to be constructed faster and at lower costs, and allow users to easily access mobile contents through various mobile devices.
Mobile web standardization is necessary because web standards cannot be applied to the mobile environment due to the various properties of mobile devices (e.g. screen, memory, etc.) KATS held a hearing on the establishment of Korea Standards on mobile web at the Korea Education and Research Information Service(KERIS) on July 9, for the general public and experts in the industry, academia and research areas.
During the hearing, mobile web standard technology and actual application cases were introduced, in addition to presentations on the need for a national standard in this area, background of the decision to establish a national standard, and future plans.

Internet Explorer 9 (IE9) Navigation on Steroids, from the UI to Tabs

Come September 15th, and the Beauty of the Web launch event in San Francisco, IE9 will take a major step in its evolution, and one that will bring with it major advances across the table, from modern web standards support, to enhanced performance, improved UX, etc.
Recent information made public by Microsoft Russia revealed that IE9 Beta will kick up a notch the navigation experience from a redesigned UI to augmented tabbed browsing.
It’s extremely interesting to give some extra thought on the details shared by the Redmond company, inadvertently, and still not confirmed officially, navigation-wise.
Granted, the automated translation from Russian, performed by tools such as Google Translate or the Bing Translator is bound not to be fully accurate. Still, the details are better than nothing.

User interface of Microsoft’s Internet Explorer 9 to be modernized

Microsoft Russia has given an advanced look at the beta version of the Internet Explorer 9, consisting of a preview of the full, almost finished interface. The new product is an important revamp of the browser in order to obtain a minimalist look and scraps even the text toolbars.
Microsoft promises a layer meant to deeply integrate the browser with Windows. Its users will have as an option tear-away tabs like those found in Firefox, Chrome or Safari and will be able to create direct OS shortcuts only by dragging tabs into the taskbar of Windows. The browser should also take advantage of Windows 7’s Aero Snap so that two pages could be displayed side-by-side to save desktop space.

Canada’s info, privacy bodies want open government

Canada’s information and privacy commissioners have become advocates for open government, issuing a joint resolution to support open government ideals and a call for all levels of government across the country to follow their lead.
“Governments at all levels in Canada should embrace open government principles to enhance transparency and accountability,” states the commissioners in a call released at the annual meeting of Canada’s Access to Information and Privacy Commissioners in Whitehorse, Yukon on Wednesday.

Report Says Heat, Not Smart Meters, Hiked Bills

After Pacific Gas & Electric, the giant California utility, began installing smart meters in the state’s Central Valley, the company was swamped with complaints from residents that their utility bills had increased.
But an independent review of the smart meters released Thursday found that the devices were functioning properly and attributed the high charges to a heat wave last year that coincided with their installation as well as poor customer service by P.G.&.E.

Microformats are Awesome, Now Put Them to Work for Your Site

We’ve written a good deal about Microformats and now they’re are beginning to show up all over the web. Microformats will likely be an essential element of the open social web and already the Tails and Operator add-ons for Firefox allow you leverage microformats for easy address collecting and more.
But for many people Microformats remain a vague and nebulous idea — yes, there’s these standard formats for marking up addresses and stuff, but what can I do with them?

One app fits all: The FOKUS MEGASTORE enables the preparation of apps for different end-devices

Fraunhofer FOKUS is working on the app store of the future. The FOKUS MEGASTORE will be showcased to the public for the first time at the IFA 2010. Berlin, 31. August 2010 – Apps have become an integral component of everyday life.
However, so far these applications could only be purchased in manufacturer-specific stores and as a general rule used for particular device classes and operating systems. At the IFA 2010 in Berlin, TecWatch Halle 8.1, Fraunhofer FOKUS will, for the first time, demonstrate the functions of the FOKUS MEGASTORE which provides one and the same application for different cell phones, TVs, PCs and other end-devices.

Red Hat proffers Deltacloud in regard of Industry Standards

Red Hat in a bid to reaffirm cloud based interoperability that proffers Deltacloud cloud platform as a base of industry norms.
Reuters, claims that the firm in order to gain advantage over the cloud computing and work hand in hand with co-dependence with respect to cloud standards.

Cloud Target Architecture : Government Cloud standards

Business transformation is the ideal skill set for an IT organization to adopt to become more commercially oriented.This is because it quantifies project management in terms of business outcomes, such as cash flow improvements and cost reductions, and manages work against these goals. For the IT organization this means they can more easily link their projects to these business outcomes, the essential mechanic in establishing business/IT alignment.

NIST finalizes initial Smart Grid Cyber Security Guidelines

The US National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST)has issued its first ‘Guidelines for Smart Grid Cyber Security’, which includes high-level security requirements, a framework for assessing risks and additional information for businesses and organizations to use as they craft strategies to protect the modernizing power grid from attacks, malicious code, cascading errors, and other threats.

ANSI Members Collaborate to Develop Smart Grid Standard

Two members and accredited standards developers of the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) have teamed up to jointly develop a standard under the national Smart Grid effort.The standard from the American Society for Heating, Refrigeration, and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) and the National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA) will provide a common basis for electrical energy consumers to describe, manage, and communicate about electrical energy consumptions and forecasts.

Magid: Online privacy standards for parents and employers should not be the same

Two social media stories caught my eye last week. One was AOL’s announcement of its SafeSocial service that, for $10 a month, will allow parents to see what their kids are posting and what’s being said about them on Facebook, Twitter and MySpace.

People born after 1981 have low privacy standards

People born after 1981 are likely to have different standards for online privacy than those born earlier, according to the chief executive of Loopt, a geolocation app.Sam Altman of Loopt said an in interview with nytimes that, “The magic age is people born after 1981 cut-off for us where we see a big change in privacy settings and user acceptance.” Loopt is an app that allow users to tell their friends where they are. The service is wildly popular with young people but the older population seems to stay away.

Reality Check: Mobile marketing’s rules of engagement

Protecting the consumer refers to protecting the consumer’s privacy, giving the consumer choice in terms of the timing and model of engagement, providing the consumer with clear and conspicuous notice of what they can expect when they engage in your marketing program and being clear about how they can opt-out of your program(s) when they want. In other words, let the consumer be in control and follow the rules of engagement.