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 Monday, February 01, 2010

ITU together with the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) will host a Web Accessibility Workshop for United Nations systems and other international organizations 2 – 5 February at WIPO headquarters, Geneva.

The objective is to promote encourage webmasters within the United Nations system and other international organizations to take accessibility into account in their daily work. Specifically, it aims to promote article 9 of the recent United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities which requires that measures are taken to ensure that accessibility is taken into account in the design of new information technologies and systems.

More information available at http://www.wipo.int/meetings/en/2010/wipo_itu_wai/

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Monday, February 01, 2010 2:38:12 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Beyond the Internet? Innovations for future networks and services is the title of the third ITU-T Kaleidoscope academic conference. The event will examine whether a clean slate approach is necessary for the internet of the future.

A call for papers has been issued and invites submissions until 30 April 2010. A prize fund totaling $10,000 will be awarded to the three best papers. The winning papers will be featured in a future special edition of IEEE Communications Magazine, with all papers available from the IEEE Xplore online catalogue.Young Author Recognition certificates will also be issued.

Organized by ITU-T with IEEE ComSoc as Technical Co-Sponsor and supported by Cisco and Nokia Siemens Networks, Kaleidoscope 2010 will take place in Lonavala, Maharashtra, India, 13-15 December.

Thus far, the Internet has proven to be robust and flexible and its continuous evolution has seen growth from a small experiment into a giant collaborative network capable of meeting the demands of more than one billion users. The rise of mobile access and its integration with optical transport networks present new challenges. Some experts question whether the current underlying architecture is sufficiently strong to address future demands or if a “clean slate” approach is needed to develop a really innovative internet of the future.

Kaleidoscope 2010 will highlight multidisciplinary aspects: technologies enabling future ICTs for future services and applications, their standardization, as well as their social and economic impact. The focus will be on innovative technologies and contributors are invited to challenge the fundamental networking design principles of the Internet.

This year, in addition to an exhibition for local universities and the presence of outstanding keynote speakers and invited papers, ITU-T Kaleidoscope 2010 will host Standards Corner, a series of standardization tutorials and Jules Verne’s corner, a special space for science fiction writers and dreamers.

Kaleidoscope events are peer-reviewed academic conferences that aim at increasing the dialogue between experts working on the standardization of information and communications technologies (ICTs) and academia. The first Kaleidoscope event – Innovations in NGN - was held in Geneva, 12-13 May 2008, and the second one - Innovations for Digital Inclusion – was held in Mar del Plata, Argentina, 31 August – 1 September 2009.

For sponsorship opportunities please contact the ITU-T Kaleidoscope secretariat at kaleidoscope@itu.int. For additional details see the event webpage at: www.itu-kaleidoscope.org/2010.

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Monday, February 01, 2010 12:53:44 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, January 28, 2010

Leading standards bodies, ITU-T and ISO/IEC have launched a new project that seeks to better the Emmy award winning Advanced Video Codec ITU-T Rec. H.264 | ISO/IEC 14496-10.

The announcement on the new Joint Collaborative Team (JCT) accompanies finalization of a recent call for proposals on a successor to the H.264/14496-10 codec that has been widely adopted by the telecom, broadcast, and digital storage media industries.

ITU-T and ISO/IEC-MPEG are the pre-eminent standards bodies in the area of digital video compression and have collaborated in the past to produce H.264/14496-10 and the MPEG-2 Video and Systems Standards (also known as ISO/IEC 13818, and ITU-T H.262 and H.222.0).

The Video Coding JCT will consist of a group of video coding experts from ITU-T Study Group 16 (VCEG) and ISO/IEC JTC 1 SC 29 / WG 11 (MPEG). The group will meet to coincide with meetings of ITU-T SG16 and/or MPEG and aims at the new standard for 2012.

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Thursday, January 28, 2010 11:20:34 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, January 20, 2010

The ITU-T group working on home networking specifications under the G.hn banner has agreed on some specifications for smart grid products. G.hn is a next generation wired home networking standard developed by ITU-T, which supports high-speed communication over power lines, phone lines and coaxial cable.

 

The recent agreement included a ‘low complexity’ profile targeted at smart grid applications. The profile offers a minimum set of G.hn parameters and specifications that define a specific system to meet a targeted range of applications.This will allow multiple manufacturers to develop products that deliver the low power consumption, low cost, performance, reliability, and security that is required for Smart Grid and other lower bit rate applications.

 

Additionally, the low complexity profile also specifies minimum requirements for features such as signal bandwidth, data modulation methods, transmitter linearity requirements, and forward error correction, or “FEC,” while maintaining interoperability with fully-featured G.hn products.

 

Some of the smart grid products that will benefit from G.hn specification include:

  • Smart Meters
  • In-Home Displays and smart thermostats
  • Plug-in Electrical Vehicles and Electrical Vehicle Supply Equipment
  • Smart household appliances such as washing machines, dryers, dishwashers, heating, ventilating, and air-conditioning systems
  • Energy System Interface devices

Smart grid applications that will benefit from G.hn include:

  • Utility-based Demand Response programs via broadband internet connections or Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI) systems
  • Remote troubleshooting to minimize cost
  • Support for realtime demand response systems that compensate users depending on their usage
  • Flexible control of appliances to reduce power consumption during peak periods


Also agreed was an Appendix to the G.hn standard that provides guidelines for using G.hn in smart grid applications and on how they work with other G.hn-connected consumer devices in the home. The Appendix provides guidance to G.hn product developers and users and describes how G.hn devices can be used as part of application layer Energy Management System software that resides above the G.hn physical layer and data link layer. Additionally, the appendix shows how G.hn smart grid devices interface to a service provider's smart grid access network via the Energy Service interface to support secure end-to-end smart grid services between the service provider and home.

 

In October, HomeGrid Forum, an independent body set up to promote G.hn announced that the standard has received approval from the National Institute Standards Technology (NIST) for use in various smart grid applications in the US. Given this announcement, HomeGrid Forum formed a smart grid initiative group, which will help to bring a range of G.hn-based devices to the smart grid market and home energy management applications.

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Wednesday, January 20, 2010 4:48:58 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Measuring and Reducing the Standards Gap is a new report introducing the ITU-T's current research project on building standards capacity in the developing world.

 

The document authored by Dr. Laura DeNardis, Executive Director, Yale Information Society Project and Lecturer in Law at Yale Law School presents country case studies that answer questions such as; is there a national standards body; is there any participation in international standards development and what level of standards education is available? Based on these case studies it recommends actionable steps for improving national standards capacity in the developing world.

 

Inequality in national standards capability continues to be a contributive factor to the persistence of the digital divide between the developed and developing worlds and to diminished opportunities for economic development and technological innovation.

 

The overarching goal of ITU’s Bridging the Standardization Gap program is to facilitate increased participation of developing countries in standardization, to ensure that developing countries experience the economic benefits of associated technological development, and to better reflect the requirements and interests of developing countries in the standards-development process. One specific objective of this project is to understand the primary gaps that must be overcome to improve the standards development, implementation, and usage capacities of developing countries.

 

Bridging the standardization gap home: http://www.itu.int/ITU-T/gap/

Report

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Tuesday, January 19, 2010 4:59:50 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, December 07, 2009

A new ITU-T Technology Watch Report titled Biometrics and Standards surveys biometric recognition as a key form of authentication made possible by powerful information and communication technologies (ICT).

Biometrics are used in forensics (e.g., for criminal investigations), government applications (more than 60 countries issue electronic passports containing biometric information) and commercial applications. The latter category includes deployments in the banking sector (secure access to ATMs, credit cards, e-Business), with other sectors gaining momentum. For instance, social-networking websites including Facebook and Picasa have integrated face recognition algorithms to make it easier to search and display all photos featuring one’s friends. Biometric systems embedded in cars of a vehicle fleet can help to identify the driver, adjust seat, rear mirrors, and steering wheel to meet individual preferences.

Technologies commonly used in biometrics include recognition of fingerprints, faces, vein patterns, irises, voices and keystroke patterns.

The Report discusses the advantages of biometric authenticators over their knowledge- and possession-based counterparts, describes different physiology- and behavior-related biometric traits and how they are used in biometric systems. A choice of biometric recognition applications is highlighted, and an overview of standardization work in the field of biometrics is given.

"Biometrics and Standards" can be downloaded here.

The authors welcome your feedback on this Report and all other publications of the Technology Watch series. We invite all interested parties to submit paper proposals for future Technology Watch Reports. The Technology Watch secretariat can be contacted at tsbtechwatch@itu.int.

Monday, December 07, 2009 3:44:13 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     |