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 Monday, May 22, 2006

The joint ITU/UNESCO Global Symposium on Promoting the Multilingual Internet closed with the chairman encouraging the two organizations to take a lead role in promoting international cooperation for developing the multilingual internet and encouraging interested relevant organizations as well as individuals to actively join these initiatives and strengthen their cooperation in this regard. Specifically it was said, there is a need for increased ITU/UNESCO involvement in the harmonization of standards, in addition to their specific programmes to promote multilingualism and local content throughout the digital world.

There is, it was agreed, a huge demand for the support of multiple languages and responding to this in a more coordinated way, experts concurred is a key way to avoid fragmentation of the Internet.

Chair, Direk Charoenphol, National Telecommunications Commission, NTC, Thailand: “It is fundamental that, in the end, multilingualism – whether using IDNs, keywords or contents – be natively supported in operating systems and browsers, not retrofitted, to avoid the need for plug-ins, which creates a constant source of user and operational difficulties.”

Houlin Zhao, Director, Telecommunication Standardization Bureau, ITU said: “By organizing this event, ITU has demonstrated its determination to work on these issues.” He thanked UNESCO for its support in the organization of the event.

Elizabeth Longworth, Director, Information Society Division, UNESCO: "We should not talk about culture as a feature of communications technology - rather, the internet is a domain of human activity in its own right, where language and content are manifestations of the users' cultures and so the focus should be on the users' ability to participate, to become content providers and to navigate across linguistic boundaries."

A roadmap or guidelines highlighting steps towards a multilingual Internet is seen as an important initiative. It was agreed that this is a complex task that requires substantial and strengthened cooperation between relevant bodies.

During the three-day Symposium, a number of presentations were made and discussions focused on standardization activities and technical solutions for internationalized domain names (IDNs), for equipping non-scripted languages and allowing them to be present on the internet, the development and promotion of local contents, and measurements of the current linguistic diversity on the internet. Perspectives of domain name registries and an overview of the associated intellectual property issues that arise when multilingual domain names are deployed were also presented.

Monday, May 22, 2006 10:30:43 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, May 19, 2006

SAM'06, is the short title for the Fifth Workshop on System Analysis and Modelling (formerly SDL and MSC Workshop). The event will be held May 31st - June 2nd, 2006, University of Kaiserslautern, Kaiserslautern, Germany.

The event, which serves as a platform where the evolution and use of system design languages (SDL) and technologies is discussed, is targeted at academics and others involved in these areas. The SAM Workshop is organised every second year by the SDL Forum Society, which is a non-profit organisation established by language users and tool providers to promote and develop ITU-T modelling techniques. SDL Forum activity is closely aligned with ITU-T, which recommends and publishes the languages ASN.1, MSC, SDL, eODL, TTCN and URN. Study Group 17 is ITU-T’s Lead Study Group on Languages and Description Techniques.

For more information about SAM'06, please see the web page.

SDL Forum also organises the SDL Forum event every other year that addresses topics related to the modelling and analysis of reactive systems, distributed systems such as telecommunications, automotive, aerospace and web-based applications, where SDL are used. The intended audience includes users of modelling techniques (in industrial research and standardization contexts), tool vendors, and language researchers.

For more information about the thirteenth SDL Forum to be held 2007, please see the web page.

Friday, May 19, 2006 9:09:49 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, May 11, 2006

The Security Assertion Markup Language (SAML) and Extensible Access Control Markup Language (XACML) authored by OASIS (Organization for the Advancement of Structured Information Standards) have been consented as internationally recognised ITU-T Recommendations. The announcement is the first result of the formal relationship between the standardization sector of ITU and OASIS.

The standards (ITU-T Recommendations X.1141 (SAML) and X.1142 (XACML)) address the concern of how to allow safe single sign-on, a system that enables a user to authenticate once and gain access to the resources of multiple software systems. While solutions existed in this space, all were proprietary, and therefore not addressing the problem on a global level.

SAML and XACML are designed to control access to devices and applications on a network. The need for standards in this area has become more of an issue as business networks increasingly use the public Internet.

SAML addresses authentication and provides a mechanism for transferring authentication and authorization decisions between cooperating entities, XACML leverages this information to determine access to resources by focusing on the mechanism for arriving at those authorization decisions.

An additional feature of SAML is that it allows organizations to communicate information without any change to their own internal security architectures.

Thursday, May 11, 2006 8:44:29 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, May 09, 2006

SG16 completed work on a new scalable voice codec - G729.1 - that will significantly improve voice quality in VoIP calls by offering wideband quality. Wideband telephony gives more natural sounding voice and greatly improves intelligibility and listening comfort.

G.729.1 extends the ITU-T G.729 speech coding standard widely used in VoIP systems and is fully interoperable with it. It will allow smooth transition from narrow band (300-3400 Hz) "PSTN" quality telephony to high quality wideband (50-7000Hz) telephony over IP and efficient deployment in existing infrastructures.

G.729.1 can operate at 12 bit rates from 32 kbit/s down to 8 kbit/s with wideband quality above 14kbit/s to dynamically provide the optimum voice quality according to service and network constraints: The bit rate can be adjusted "on-the-fly" during a call by simple truncation of the "embedded" bitstream at any point of the communication chain such as gateways or other devices combining multiple data streams. This highly flexible bit rate adaptation will avoid network congestion and the dropping of packets that severely impair the overall quality.

 

Tuesday, May 09, 2006 2:26:58 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, May 04, 2006

Study Group 17 meeting in Korea, April, gave final approval to the Question on Internationalized Domain Names (IDN) that provides direction and focus to ongoing work. 

The news comes as ITU makes final preparations for the Global Symposium on Promoting the Multilingual Internet it is convening together with UNESCO, 9-11 May. 

ITU-T was mandated to work on IDN at the 2004 World Telecommunication Standardization Assembly in Brazil. IDN will contribute to easier and greater use of the Internet in those countries where the native or official languages are not represented in ASCII characters.

Andrzej Bartosiewicz, representing Poland and acting as Rapporteur for IDNs said: “We have received a number of contributions in this area and have been impressed with the level of interest and the productive nature of discussions. There are a number of organizations working in the field and I believe coordination will be an important focus of any work. The upcoming workshop will be a particularly useful tool for facilitating networking between experts in the field and furthering the study in general.”

Bartosiewicz said that a webpage will be published shortly with news on ITU-T study in the area, as well as related events and technical documents. An official ‘circular letter’ will be sent sent to Member States he said, requesting information about their experiences on the use of IDN. Given the response to this communication SG 17 will be able to better assess the current situation and needs.

 

Thursday, May 04, 2006 9:53:00 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

The first meeting of the Focus Group on IPTV (FG IPTV) will take place 10-14 July in Geneva.

The official announcement is here, and a new webpage has gone live detailing how to participate, significant dates and news among other details.

FG IPTV will coordinate and promote the development of global IPTV standards taking into account the existing work of the ITU study groups as well as Standards Developing Organizations, Fora and Consortia. It is open to any individual from a country which is a member of ITU who wishes to contribute to the work.

 

Thursday, May 04, 2006 9:50:19 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     |