Belgium adopts a new format

Belgium may become the first national government to mandate the use of the Open Document Format (ODF), with a full-scale trial...


Belgium may become the first national government to mandate the use of the Open
Document Format (ODF), with a full-scale trial to begin next year.
Belgiums Council of Ministers on Friday approved a proposal that could see ODF
adopted for all document exchange. The move follows similar tests by other
government bodies, such as the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, and the
endorsement of ODF by OASIS and its adoption as a standard by ISO, the
International Organization for Standardization.
Every federal government department must be able to read ODF documents
beginning in September 2007, and ODF will become the standard for external
document exchange a year later, if analysis by Fedict, the Belgian e-government
service, shows the trial to have been a success.
The decision leaves individual departments to decide how ODF compatibility is
implemented; current possibilities include a plug-in for Microsoft Office as
well as the open-source OpenOffice.org suite, which uses ODF as its native file
format. Microsoft has said it has no plans to support ODF directly in Office,
due to lack of demand, a decision that has attracted criticism from many
quarters.
Officially, the plan endorses ODF but doesnt exclude other XML-based formats,
so the government could add Microsofts XML-based Open XML document format to
the list, if it becomes convinced the format is open and standardized enough.
Other formats will be allowed for internal use, according to Fedict. And the
government is free to decide against adopting ODF once the trial is complete.
Even so, the decision is a significant step, according to Thierry Stoehr,
president of the Francophone Association of Linux Users (AFUL) and a prominent
activist for open document formats. "This decision is a very good thing, and it
should be welcomed," he said in an analysis of the announcement.
He said it remains to be seen what will come of the decision, since many
significant details remain to be worked out, and because the move is likely to
meet heavy opposition behind the scenes.
IT finds a heart
By Michael Friedenberg, CIO (US)
For many reasons an improving economy, avian flu anxiety, the war in Iraq the
issue of the digital divide has, unfortunately, been placed on the back burner.
But that doesnt mean it has gone away. The numbers speak for themselves.
According to a presentation given by Intel President and CEO Paul Otellini, of
the 15 percent of the worlds population that has access to the Internet, less
than 5 percent have broadband. Of the fortunate 800 million people in the world
who earn more than US $ 25,000 a year, 70 percent have PCs. But of the 4.7
billion people who earn between $ 1,000 and $ 25,000 annually, only 10 percent
have PCs. And of the 1 billion who earn less than $ 1,000 a year, almost none
have a computer. Thats why it is so refreshing to find that two rivals, AMD
and Intel, are now competing to address this issue, each in its own way. AMDs
50x15 initiative is intended to build alliances to enable affordable Internet
access and computing capability for 50 percent of the worlds population by the
year 2015 (50x15.amd.com/en-us). In tandem with this announcement, AMD has
launched the Personal Internet Connection, or PIC, which the company describes
as "a new category of affordable consumer devices designed to provide managed
Internet access... to enhance communications, entertainment and education
opportunities." Not to be outdone, Intel has launched its own initiative, the
World Ahead Program (intel.com/intel/worldahead). Its five-year goals are to
extend wireless broadband PC access to the worlds next billion users while
training 10 million more teachers on the effective use of technology in
education, with the possibility of reaching another 1 billion students. Intel
has committed $ 1 billion to this program over the next five years. I dont
know if this is an exercise in one-upmanship between AMD and Intel. Truthfully,
who cares? The bottom line is that hopefully, in the near future, a greater
percentage of the worlds population will be able to have its voice heard. And
thats a good thing. Because if this issue is not resolved, and soon, the
consequences will be devastating for people and nations on both sides of the
divide.
Shark Tank: Who ya gonna trust?
By Sharky, Computerworld (US online)
This pilot fish is responsible for setting up new servers at his company, and
when one manager orders three new machines for a project, fish goes to work.
"The first two servers are set up, configured and then placed in the server
rack, ready to go," says fish. "When I open up the third box, a yellow tag is
attached to the serial number tag: Lin 16 CMOS POST ERROR FINAL TEST. "The
server doesnt even look brand-new it looks a bit like a remanufactured server
being pushed as new." Concerned, fish contacts the manager and explains his
suspicions. "Impossible," manager tells him. "The server is brand-new." But he
agrees to stop by the data center. Fish shows manager the tag. Ill call to set
up returning it, fish suggests. Manager responds, "You need to learn to read.
The tag says CMOS PAST ERROR, which means that it passed that final test error
it was getting." No, says fish, pointing to the tag. That says POST error, as
in "power-on self-test." Besides, "pass" is spelled P-A-S-S. "I know that,"
manager quickly replies, "but obviously the person who wrote the note
misspelled the word pass, so please go ahead and install the server and get it
up and running. We need it as soon as possible." Fish tries one last time: But
shouldnt the word be "passed," not "pass"? Manager: "Ive been doing this for
20 years. Ive seen those tags before. Its all about quality control. Trust me
and set up the server." Fish installs the server and after a few seconds, a
message appears: "Lin 16 CMOS POST ERROR."
Belgium adopts a new format full-scale plný rozsah, celoplošný
trial zkouška
government bodies vládní orgány
endorsement schválení
plenty spousta
significant významný, důležitý
work out vyřešit
IT finds a heart avian flu ptačí chřipka anxiety strach
back burner zadní hořák (na sporáku)
outdone překonán
one-upmanship umění trumfnout truthfully po pravdě bottom line rozhodující
faktor
Shark Tank: Who ya gonna trust?
tag visačka
concerned znepokojený
suspicion podezření
misspelled nesprávně napsaný
quality control kontrola jakosti
Zveřejněné zprávy v původním znění prošly redakční úpravou a byly vybrány z
celosvětových informačních zdrojů vydavatelství IDG. Texty jsou určeny všem
zájemcům o zdokonalování se v odborné angličtině. Sestavil: pat(pat) 6 1051









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