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 Sunday, November 06, 2005

The U.N. isn't a threat to the net: an op-ed piece by Kofi A. Annan on internet governance.

Sunday, November 06, 2005 3:36:03 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

For the upcoming Global Symposium for Regulators (GSR) to be held in Hammamet, Tunisia, 14-15 November 2005, just before the second phase of the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS), the ITU has released a paper by John Palfrey entitled Stemming the International Tide of Spam: a Draft Model Law, which will be presented at the GSR:

This discussion paper primarily takes up the question of what – beyond coordinating with technologists and other countries’ enforcement teams and educating consumers – legislators and regulators might consider by way of legal mechanisms. First, the paper takes up the elements that might be included in an anti-spam law. Second, the paper explores one alternative legal mechanism which might be built into an anti-spam strategy, the establishment of enforceable codes of conduct for Internet Service Providers (ISPs). Third, this paper also examines a variant of the legal approach where ISPs are formally encouraged by regulators to develop their own code of conduct. ISPs should be encouraged to establish and enforce narrowly-drawn codes of conduct that prohibit their users from using that ISP as a source for spamming and related bad acts, such as spoofing and phishing, and not to enter into peering arrangements with ISPs that do not uphold similar codes of conduct. Rather than continue to rely upon chasing individual spammers, regulators in the most resource-constrained countries in particular would be more likely to succeed by working with and through the ISPs that are closer to the source of the problem, to their customers, and to the technology in question. The regulator’s job would be to ensure that ISPs within their jurisdiction adopt adequate codes of conduct as a condition of their operating license and then to enforce adherence to those codes of conduct. The regulator can also play a role in sharing best practices among ISPs and making consumers aware of the good works of the best ISPs. While effectively just shifting the burden of some of the anti-spam enforcement to ISPs is not without clear drawbacks, and cannot alone succeed in stemming the tide of spam, such a policy has a far higher likelihood of success in the developing countries context than the anti-spam enforcement tactics employed to date.

Sunday, November 06, 2005 3:19:47 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, November 04, 2005

Virus scanners made moot by new exploit.

Recently, researcher Andrey Bayora revealed that it is possible to fool the scanners into thinking that a file under scan is one kind, when it is in actuality something entirely different. Bayora (of www.securityelf.org), a Russian-born Israeli, has issued an advisory that details how to bypass many popular Windows AV programs.

The London Action Plan of spam enforcement authorities has a new website with news. A spam enforcement workshop is now taking place in London:

The Office of Fair Trading, through the UK presidency of the European Union, has invited members of the London Action Plan (LAP) network and the Contact Network of Spam Authorities (CNSA) to participate in a two-day ‘spam enforcement workshop’. The workshop will be held in London at the Department of Trade and Industry Conference Centre on Thursday 3rd and Friday 4th November 2005.

Friday, November 04, 2005 3:37:28 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Two recent papers from academic institutions have been released on internet governance in preparation for the upcoming negotiations just prior to the World Summit on the Information Society to be held November 16-18 2005:

Friday, November 04, 2005 11:46:14 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

The Anti-Spyware Coalition (ASC) has released the Final Working Report of the Spyware Definitions. In addition, ASC has released a number of supporting documents, including a Vendor Dispute Resolution Process, a Glossary and a set of Safety Tips for Users. A summary of the almost 400 comments used to help finalize the Report is also available for review.

Friday, November 04, 2005 11:36:20 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Botnet Detection and Response: The Network is the Infection by David Dagon at the OARC Workshop, 2005. A botnet scammer has just been arrested in Los Angeles and it is charged that he peddled his "botnets to other black hats, for use in launching denial-of-service attacks or laundering spam".

Friday, November 04, 2005 10:52:17 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, November 01, 2005

James Seng's blog points to a recent paper published in the Internet Protocol Journal by Tony Hain regarding IPv4 allocation exhaust and references another recent paper by Geoff Huston on the same topic.

To this can be added a recent presentation by K. Claffy at ARIN entitled apocalypse then: ipv4 address space depletion:

Tuesday, November 01, 2005 4:22:50 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

These comparative pie charts demonstrate an ongoing shift in Internet demographics from the Americas to the Asia-Pacific region. In 2001, the Americas had 38% of the world's Internet users and Asia-Pacific had 32%. In 2004, this is essentially reversed with Asia-Pacific having 37% and the Americas with 31%. Europe has kept a relative 29% share but Africa has seen a slight gain from 1% to 3%. Because of their much larger populations and potential for growth, the Asia-Pacific region will continue to take a larger and larger percentage of the world's Internet users.

Tuesday, November 01, 2005 2:31:28 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, October 31, 2005

According to the ITU-T Newslog, a roadmap identifying NGN management specifications has been published on the ITU-T SG 4 website.

Monday, October 31, 2005 2:02:45 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

The ITU-T Newslog has a post on work in ITU’s Study Group 17 work on Relayed Multicast Protocol (RMCP), that uses a peer-to-peer type model. RMCP allows the live broadcast of video or audio piggy-backing off other users (or servers). So in a scenario where 100 people are demanding a live broadcast, instead of serving each one of these clients their own video stream, only one stream has to be provided and each user will be served from another in the network. This has significant implications for instance for businesses broadcasting live events, where a previous scenario demanded 100 users be fed individual feeds, RMCP allows the broadcast of just one.

ITU-T has published one Recommendation (ITU-T Rec. X.603) on the topic outlining requirements, framework etc. The next two Recommendations due in 2006 will focus on the technical specifications. One focusing on one broadcaster to many clients, and the other on many broadcasters to many clients.

Monday, October 31, 2005 10:47:06 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

The ITU-T Newslog has a detailed post on the recent home networking workshop and related ITU-T home networking standards. The event, held at ITU 13-14 October 2005 met concurrently was the Home Networking-Joint Coordination Activity (HN-JCA), a group of ITU-T experts aiming to coordinate standardization effort on home networking across ITU-T Study Groups.

The high quality and breadth of the contributions resulted in a wealth of material much of which is not available anywhere else in the world, according to the event’s steering committee chair Charlie Sandbank. Because of time constraints not all this material could be presented at the workshop but it is now available, including the key conclusions, at the workshop website.

Monday, October 31, 2005 10:46:16 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

The ITU-T Newslog has a post on ITU's standards work on large screen digital imagery (LSDI), a family of digital imagery systems that includes very large screen presentation of programmes similar to the non-digital IMAX and OMNIMAX systems. LSDI is described as an optimal approach to the presentation of high-definition television (HDTV) programmes, to a collective audience on cinema-like screens in a cinema-like environment.

An ITU-T Recommendation defines how "super HDTV" images – up to four times the quality of standard HDTV - can be delivered to cinema-like venues, bypassing traditional distribution methods. It defines transport technologies for LSDI with resolutions 3840 x 2160 and 7680 x 4320 pixels.

Monday, October 31, 2005 9:42:55 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, October 28, 2005

NetWizard's Blog points to an Email Battles interview with Meng Wong, creator of SPF and his ideas on using RSS for email presented at the recent MAAWG meeting in Europe.

Friday, October 28, 2005 1:30:11 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Aux armes, citoyens: Cyber security and regulation in the United States by James Andrew Lewis, Center for Strategic and International Studies, Washington, DC

Abstract: Government policy for cyber security in the United States relies on voluntary and cooperative action by the private sector and has, until now, explicitly rejected the use of mandate or regulation. This stands in contrast to other defense and homeland security issues, such as those involving border protection or transportation, where government intervention is the norm. The decision to rely on voluntary action for cyber security reflects influential trends in security policies, deregulation, and the government's relation to the Internet that continue to shape US policy even after the attacks of September 11. The result is an ineffectual policy that underestimates the role of government.

Federal initiatives for homeland security have profound implications for how the government will interact with the economy. Efforts to protect security undertaken by the US (and now being considered by many other countries) have become a check on the larger tide of deregulation. The experience of the National Strategy shows that these efforts will need to engage in a more complex interaction with private sector actors than was the case in the past. The mix of security concerns, deregulation and privatization has led to a new kind of public policy, where governments share responsibility for some functions with the private sector and seek to manage this responsibility through public/private partnerships.

Adam Smith wrote that there are some functions that the market will not necessarily provide, or provide well. He used the example of highways and mental institutions as activities where the market would not adequately provide for society's needs. The Internet is one such activity. While governments were initially leery of regulating the Internet, a period has now been entered in which governments actively intervene in Internet governance and in which the Internet is moving to a more regulated environment. The unavoidable problem of determining where and how to regulate for cyber security will grow more complicated as the US moves ahead with a major reorientation of its security policies.

Friday, October 28, 2005 1:22:36 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

This recent presentation What2what (was end2end): the future of the Internet by Scott Bradner discusses the disappearing end-to-end nature of the Internet and the reasons, evolution to NGN, as well as his views on how innovation may slow down.

Friday, October 28, 2005 8:29:08 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Warren New's Washington Internet Daily is reporting on the recent ITU-T Study Group 17 meeting activities that related to IDN and countering spam: 

Facilitating internationalized domain names and new measures to counter spam via technical means are part of an ITU push to meet member states' demands for more security standardization.

Last Oct.'s World Telecom Standardization Assembly in Brazil added 2 work items to the agenda of the group, called ITU-T SG-17: The first is to study IDNs, which raise a major security issue because "some national characters can make a user think he is going to one place, but really going to another place," said Herbert Bertine of Lucent, chmn. of SG-17: "We are looking to make sure that when you use internationalized domain names, the possibility that users can be confused, misdirected," will be reduced.

"The belief is that IDN implementation will contribute to easier and greater use of the Internet in those countries where the native or official languages are not yet represented in ASCII characters," documents said. Andrzej Bartosiewicz, head of the DNS Div. at Poland's NASK has been named the group's reporting member on IDNs. The SG will assess ITU members' needs in light of existing standards, he said.

SG-17 has seen "an enormous increase [of work] in the area of security," said Bertine. SG-17 published 5 security recommendations in the last 4-year study period, which ended late in 2004. Bertine said the SG may produce 15-20 during the next period, but said much of the work is in its infancy.

Countering spam by technical means is a new security area for SG-17. Spam has policy, regulatory, legal and technical aspects, but the SG will address the technical side of spam fighting. "A lot of work has been done by IETF," said Bertine. "There's a lot of [standards] material out there. We don't want to duplicate work. We want to leverage and reference" what's other standards bodies have done and fill gaps, said Bertine, "but we have a lot of countries -- particularly developing countries -- who are really looking for the ITU to provide this information."

How spammers do what they do is under consideration; but more important is that spam is not only unwanted e- mail but now a vehicle for viruses and other malware, said Bertine.

SG 17 is working with the ISO/IEC (the International Organization for Standardization and the International Electrotechnical Commission) on new to be designated as the 27,000 series and dealing with information security management systems, officials said. Bertine thinks the new series will result in companies finding that "it's in their best interest to be certified, whether it means better insurance rates, less liability because you can claim conformance... plus the most fundamental, if you've got vulnerabilities, you sure want to catch them because it's going to cost you a pile of money if somebody discovers a major weakness."

"The field of information technology and the field of communications continue to overlap and merge more and more every year. That's why collaboration is so important," said Bertine.

At this meeting it was also decide to adopt OASIS' Security Assertion Markup Language (SAML) and Extensible Access Control Markup Language (XACML) into ITU-T standards.

A list of documents from the last meeting of SG-17 is available here.

Wednesday, October 26, 2005 8:58:12 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, October 21, 2005

Anti-Spam: les actions menées au plan international (PDF), Robert Shaw, ITU Strategy and Policy Unit, 18 October 2005, presented to Coalition Anti-Spam Nord–Sud: Atelier de travail (Rabat, Morocco).

Friday, October 21, 2005 2:17:34 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
The ITU runs High-Level Panel on The Information Society 2015: Building the Way Forward. The panel will take place during World Summit on the Information Society in Tunis, 15 November 2005 .
 
The ITU High-Level Panel at WSIS will discuss the implications of the convergence of telecommunication, media and information technology sectors as well as the impact of rapid innovations on the achievement of the 2015 connectivity goals.
 
The WSIS Geneva Declaration of Principles and Plan of Action set ambitious goals for bridging the digital divide by 2015. They will require strong commitments from all stakeholders at national, regional and international levels.
 
Chair: Mr. Yoshio Utsumi, ITU Secretay General

Moderation: Ms. Aiko Doden, NHK, Japan Broadcasting Corp. presenter, WSIS Goodwill Ambasador of Japan

Panelists
  • H.E. Dayanidhi Maran, Union Minister for Communications and Information Technologies, India
  • H.E. Pedro Cerisola Weber, Minister for Information and Communication Technologies, Mexico
  • H.E. Philippe Mvouo, Minister for Post, Telecommunications and New Information and Communication Technologies, Republic of the Congo
  • Dr. Yeongi Son, President of the Korea Agency for Digital Opportunity and Promotion
  • Dr. Sabiletso Mokoe-Matabane, CEO of Sentech, South Africa
  • Mr. Simon Beresford Wylie, Executive Vice President and General Manager of Networks, Nokia
  • Dr. Stephen Collins, Director, Government and Regulatory Affairs, Skype
  • Mr. Peter Bladin, Vice President,Grameen Foundation, USA and Director of Technology Center

For more information on panel, please click here.

For more information on ITU activities related to WSIS, please click here

Friday, October 21, 2005 7:21:21 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, October 20, 2005

NTT Docomo has announced a new 3G handset that can receive S-band satellite broadcasting. Korea has also deployed what it calls Digital Multimedia Broadcasting (DMB) to handsets in its native market. The definition of DMB according to a proposal from Korea to the ITU Standardization Sector to include DMB in the reference architecture for NGN Release 2 efforts is:

DMB Service is the next generation digital broadcasting service for indoor and outdoor users. The DMB users can enjoy CD quality stereo audio services and real-time video/data streaming services anywhere while moving at the speed of up to 200 km/h. ...There are two kinds of DMB services, terrestrial DMB and satellite DMB.

Thursday, October 20, 2005 11:38:20 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Dr. Tim Kelly, from the ITU Strategy and Policy Unit recently spoke on South Africa’s Position in Global Telecoms, at the 2nd Colloquium on Telecom Prices in Johannesburg, South Africa. For the presentation given by Dr. Kelly, click here.

The South African press also quoted Dr. Kelly; "According to Kelly price is an easy variable to measure. The ITU use a formula based on 30G per month with an average of 30 hours per month."

When measuring South Africa against 40 other economies South Africa is ranked 38th. China for example, typically offers this type of package (30G with 30 hours of usage per month) for around $10 (R66). South Africa is ten times more expensive with figure of $100 (R660) per month for the same service.

Kelly said, "South Africa is paying far too much for broadband.” A good way of measuring the cost of broadband is to use the average income of the population (GMI). The percentage quoted by Kelly as an internationally acceptable measure is for broadband to cost 1% of the average income per capita for a 1Mbps service (currently the fastest service available in South Africa). South Africans are currently paying around 100% GMI for their 1Mbps service. When considering the exorbitant prices South Africans are forced to pay for an ADSL service it is no wonder penetrations sits at 0.2%. Another factor inhibiting broadband usage according to Kelly is bit caps.

"Wherever bit caps are applied it deters the use of broadband," said Kelly. He stated clearly that South Africa needs to abandon bit caps and that there is no reason why residential ADSL users should be subject to a bit cap. Kelly highlighted that the price of broadband and the enforcement of bit caps are the two factors that deter South Africans from using the service. With government and the private sector becoming increasingly restless regarding liberalization of the telecoms sector and specifically broadband provisioning it is time to start addressing some of these issues. 

For the full article, click here.

Thursday, October 20, 2005 7:53:00 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, October 19, 2005

According to BBC News: A third of the UK's top companies are not complying with the European Union's (EU) regulations on unsolicited emails, or spam, a report has alleged.

The Information Commissioner's Office - an independent body appointed by the Crown - said that while it has the power to fine transgressors up to £5,000 it often proves impossible to track them down.

Wednesday, October 19, 2005 10:20:20 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, October 18, 2005

The Economic Impact of Telecommunications on Rural Livelihoods and Poverty Reduction: A study of rural communities in India (Gujarat), Mozambique and Tanzania. Project managed for the UK's DFID by Commonwealth Telecommunications Organisation.

The last five years have seen tremendous growth in telephone ownership and use in developing countries. Until the mid-1990s, telephones were only available in the urban centres of poor countries. Some African countries had telephone densities as low as one per thousand people. Since then, mobile telephone networks have spread rapidly in most low income countries. Many people, even in low income communities, now own telephones; and most adults make some use of them, wherever they are available, usually relying on public kiosks, phone shops or airtime bought from individual phone owners. The mobile phone has become a symbol of the use of new information and communication technologies (or ICTs) in the developing world.

But what impact has the telephone had on livelihoods – on how people live their lives, protect themselves against vulnerability and take opportunities for a more prosperous future? Do people use the telephone for social or business purposes? How important is it to them in emergencies? Does it make a difference to how they obtain the information they need to run their lives? And how does it fit into the pattern of other communication channels they have available?

Tuesday, October 18, 2005 7:20:58 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, October 17, 2005

Austrian Regulatory Authority (Rundfunk und Telekom Regulierungs-GmbH) released the Guidelines for VoIP Service Providers on 10 October 2005.

For more information and documents, please click here.

Europe | NGN | VoIP
Monday, October 17, 2005 12:53:48 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

ITU has handed over "55 Inmarsats satellite phone sets to Pakistan to be used for communication in the Quake-disaster zones. Minister for Information Technology Awais Ahmad Khan Leghari Friday lauded the help received and coming in from world agencies, particularly the ITU to restore and re-install telecommunication links in earthquake hit areas."

"Restoration of telecommunications links is extremely critical for supporting the disaster relief operations in the earthquake struck region", said he. "We are doing all we can with the help of world agencies to put these links back in place."

For more information on the story, see Pakistan Times.

Monday, October 17, 2005 7:04:10 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

The Finnish technical research center VTT has developed a new technology that makes it possible to identify the user based on their physical movements such as walking style. This feature is said to prevent unauthorized use of portable devices such as laptops or mobile phones. The research center said that in the future this technology could also be used for credit cards to verify a user's identify based on their physical movements before approval of payment transactions.

The new identification system provides users with the advantage of increased security and reduced risk in situations where a portable computer, mobile phone or other digital device has ended up in the wrong hands due to loss or theft. The technology makes the device non-usable in the wrong hands. For example, the identity of a mobile phone user can be verified before the phone can be used for banking transactions. Compared with passwords and traditional bio-identification, the new method is simple: confirmation of identity takes place as a background process without any need for user's intervention.

For more information go to IT News Online.

Monday, October 17, 2005 6:56:27 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, October 14, 2005

Home Networking is the linking of all types of electronic devices for applications such as entertainment, telecommunication, home automation systems and telemetry (remote control and monitoring systems). And given the wide range of previously unrelated technologies involved, standards that allow for interoperability are seen as key to the successful marketing of the concept.

Now taking place at the ITU is a workshop on Opportunities and Challenges in Home Networking. The event is organized by ITU-T Study Group 9, in cooperation with several other ITU-T study groups and various organizations outside of ITU. It follows the Workshop on Home Networking and Home Services held 17-18 June 2004, Tokyo.

Study Group 9 has been working on standardization in home networking systems for more than four years. It has already approved three ITU-T Recommendations in the field, particularly dealing with IP-based multimedia services over cable networks. A current focus is a new Recommendation that will specify ways to bridge conditional access systems (that ensure payment in pay TV for example) to digital rights management (DRM) systems, an important step toward smooth operation of fully integrated home networking.

This workshop will bring together experts from all over the world who are pushing forward the frontiers of this fast-moving field. It will provide an overview of the technology as well as an examination of standards that address access, services, performance, Quality of Service, electromagnetic interference and security issues. The workshop will deal with current technology and future trends to provide a framework for moving forward standardization work. Attention will be given to both the technology and service aspects of this new technology.

The programme can be found here with links to the presentations. Highlights include:

  • Worldwide Status of Home Networking
  • Home Network Architecture and Technologies (including an update on UPnP and DLNA)
  • Home Networking Services and Business Models
  • Security and Digital Rights Management
  • Quality of Service in the Home Network
  • Electromagnetic Interference in the Home Environment
  • The Home Networking Future: Efforts and Challenges
Friday, October 14, 2005 10:13:19 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, October 13, 2005

The ITU Strategy and Policy Unit, in collaboration with the Italian Ministry of Communications, the Ugo Bordoni Foundation and the Aosta Valley regional authority, organized a Workshop on “Tomorrow’s Network Today” on 7-8 October 2005.

The workshop considered five broad themes:

• International Visions of Ubiquitous Networks and Next Generation Networks
• National Visions of Ubiquitous Networks and Next Generation Networks
• Creating an Enabling Environment
• The Italian Path Towards Ubiquitous Networks
• An example of Italian best practice: "Being Digital in the Aosta Valley"

Now available on the workshop website  are the agenda, with links to presentations as they were delivered and the two Case Studies on Italy – “Bridging the Gap: Taking Tomorrow’s Network Today” presented by Marco Obiso and “Ubiquitous Networks Societies: The Case of Italy” presented by Cristina Bueti - as well as background papers and voluntary contributions produced for the workshop.

During the event, Tim Kelly, Head of the Strategy and Policy Unit (ITU) presented “Tomorrow’s Network and the Internet of Things”, showing some of the outcomes of the forthcoming ITU Internet Reports publication that this year will be dedicated to the theme of the “Internet of Things “.

A final report of the workshop will be available in the next few weeks at the workshop website.

Thursday, October 13, 2005 3:46:42 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
Countering Spam, PDF, Cristina Bueti, ITU Strategy and Policy Unit, 11 October 2005, presented to ITU-T Study Group 17 Meeting (Geneva, Switzerland).

Thursday, October 13, 2005 1:48:55 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Update: The ITU-T Newslog has a related article entitled ITU powers the iPod Generation.

Nice to see Apple's new iPod supporting the ITU-T H.264 video codec which came out of work in the Joint Video Team. Or as it is referred to in ITU-T official related standards (which are called Recommendations):

Congratulations to the JVT team for producing an incredibly efficient codec for both streaming and stored formats.

H.264 is "no doubt the best codec there is, offering a great coding efficiency," Tim Schaaff, vice president of the interactive-media group at Apple Computer Inc., said at IBC last week.

More from the ITU-T's News Flash in 2004: Video Codec's March Continues

Following the news that H.264/AVC (Advanced Video Coding) has been adopted for use in next generation high definition DVDs, the codec's popularity seems to be growing daily. Recent reports have shown a raft of companies announcing deployment plans and demos at industry events.

The video compression standard (full name H.264 or MPEG-4 pt.10/ AVC) jointly developed by ITU-T and the Moving Picture Experts Group (
MPEG) is now being deployed in products from companies including Apple, Sony, BT, France Telecom, Intel, Motorola, Nokia, Polycom, Samsung, Tandberg and Toshiba.

"Apple is firmly behind H.264 because it delivers superb quality digital video and is based on open standards that no single company controls," said Philip Schiller, Apple’s Senior Vice President of Worldwide Product Marketing in a company press release.

Apple’s website describes H.264: "This ultra-efficient, fully scalable video technology produces higher quality video at lower data rates for everything from 3G to HD."

Reports from the recent National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) show in Las Vegas say that there were dozens of announcements and demonstrations of H.264.

H.264/AVC is the first truly scalable video codec, delivering excellent quality across the entire bandwidth spectrum - from high definition television to videoconferencing and 3G mobile multimedia. The dramatically increased compression performance of H.264 will enable existing applications like videoconferencing, streaming video over the Internet, and digital television on satellite and cable to offer better quality video at lower cost. It will also allow new video applications such as High-Definition TV on DVD, video on mobile phones, and videoconferencing over low bandwidth connections that were previously impractical because of economics or technology.

Thursday, October 13, 2005 12:36:38 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, October 11, 2005

News from the wonderful world of the directories (PowerPoint) presented to ITU-T Study Group 17 by Erik Andersen, Denmark gives an update on:

  • X.500/LDAP X.500 enhancements
    • Concept of Friends
    • Attributes
    • Paging on the DSP
    • Maximum alignment with LDAP
    • Enhancements to Public-key and Attribute certificates
  • Enhancements to ITU-T Rec. E.115 (2005) Computerized Directory Assistance 
    • OSI stack removed
    • Home grown TCP/IP support integrated in text
    • Specifies two versions of the protocol
    • Version 1:
      • The 1995 edition + all agreed extensions
      • All keywords specified in Annex
      • Complete rewrite and restructuring of 1995 edition
      • Added clarifications ASN.1 BER encoding
      • Support mandatory
    • Version 2:
      • Keywords replaced by new fields – keyword concept no longer used
      • Several new enhancements
      • ASN.1 BER and XML (or ASN.1 XER) encoding
      • Future extensions using ITU-T procedure
Tuesday, October 11, 2005 12:50:27 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

The WSIS Executive Secretariat has announced that under the Chairmanship of the President of PrepCom of the Tunis phase of WSIS, a Negotiation Group will meet in two consecutive sessions from 24 to 28 October 2005. In its first session, on 24 and 25 October 2005, its objective will be to finalize the negotiation on the Political Chapeau and on the paragraphs remained in brackets of Chapter two of the Operational Part.

In its second session, from 26 to 28 October 2005, the Negotiation Group will aim to finalize the negotiations on Chapters one and four of the Operational Part of the final documents of the Tunis phase. It will be an intergovernmental negotiation process, to be held every day from 10.00 - 13.00 and from 15.00 - 18.00 hours in the Palais de Nations, Room XX, Gate 40. Interpretation in the six UN working languages will be provided. After each session, the President of PrepCom will inform the observers on the advancement of the work. Participants without badges should contact the Executive Secretariat with a completed badge request form by Friday 21 October 2005 at the latest.

The resumed PrepCom-3 will be held back to back to the Tunis Summit. The Prepcom Bureau decided that PrepCom-3 of the Tunis phase of WSIS will be reconvened on 13 November 2005, at 10.00 hours, in Tunis, for a three-day session (13-15 November 2005). Information about the venue will be provided at a later stage. The resumed PrepCom-3 will start with a short organizational Plenary meeting. The modalities of work of the resumed PrepCom-3 will follow the Rules of Procedure of the PrepCom, including the participation of observers in Plenary and Subcommittee meetings. Interpretation in the six UN working languages will be provided.

More information will be made available here.

Tuesday, October 11, 2005 11:38:28 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     |