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Last modified: November 04, 2010
XML Daily Newslink. Thursday, 04 November 2010

A Cover Pages Publication
Provided by OASIS and Sponsor Members
Edited by Robin Cover

This issue of XML Daily Newslink is sponsored by:
ISIS Papyrus

Proposal for an OASIS Biometric Web Services Technical Committee
Staff, OASIS Announcement

OASIS members have formed a new discussion list as a forum for testing interest in a new OASIS Biometric Web Services (BWS) Technical Committee. The list is open to the public for subscription and dialog, and the list archives for 'bws-discuss' are publicly accessible.

The purpose of the TC under consideration (provisionally) is to define, enhance, and maintain open standards that facilitate the use of biometrics and biometric operations over a services oriented architecture, such as web services. At its inception, the TC will specifically target web services for biometric devices: a specification describing a suite of sensor- and modality-agnostic 'low-level' acquisition operations (e.g., sensor initialization, sensor configuration, data capture, data transfer).

Participants in the 'bws-discuss' discussion list are invited to comment on possible scope, focus, and deliverables for the new TC. According to an initial (draft, provisional) charter proposal, the purpose of this TC would be to define, enhance, and maintain open SOA standards for biometrics and biometric operations. Improving interoperability is a key enabler for making biometrics more viable within multifactor authentication. The TC work would help bring parity to biometrics as compared to other technologies, such as cryptographic certificate use and management, where web service standards are markedly more mature.

According to the early draft, at its inception, the TC would target creation of two different standards: (1) Biometric Devices: a standard for controlling the 'low-level' operations necessary for performing biometric acquisition (e.g., sensor initialization, sensor configuration, capture, sensor data download). (2) Biometric Workflow Description Language: a standard for describing a specific series of biometric acquisition activities, along with the conditions and rules that might dynamically change its execution.

See also: the current OASIS Biometric Identity Assurance Services (BIAS) Integration TC      [TOC]

NIST Demonstrates Wireless Biometric Sensor Interoperability Prototype
Ross J. Micheals, NIST Communication

"A recent National Academy of Sciences report Biometric Recognition: Challenges and Opportunities (2010) states that 'biometric systems should be designed to anticipate the development and adoption of new advances and standards, modularizing components that are likely to become obsolete, such as biometric sensors'. Work already underway at the U.S. National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) seeks to address this gap.

On September 21-23, 2010, NIST demonstrated a wireless biometric sensor interoperability prototype at the 2010 Biometric Consortium Conference in Tampa, Florida. This prototype demonstrated to government, industry, and academia that by leveraging web services technologies, it is possible to easily bring biometric acquisition to a wide variety of platforms, including cellular phones and tablet devices. This work has the ability to change the landscape of remote authentication and mobile identification by bringing more intelligence to biometric devices as well as facilitating re-use of hardware, software, and the communications protocols that underlie the world wide web.

The demonstration of universal biometric device control via wireless Web Services illustrated how simple Web Services can be used as a means to enhance interoperability so that the capabilities and reach of biometrics are significantly improved. Having a Web services-based biometric device interface helps to: (1) Establish multimodal biometrics—by providing a uniform electronic interface to all biometric sensors, system components do not have to change their behavior if different modalities or sensors are used; (2) Improve biometric sensor acquisition—by providing a guaranteed level of interoperability, system owners could take advantage of improvements in biometric sensor technologies by swapping one conformant sensor with another; (3) Enable mobile biometrics, because accessing web technologies is not only limited to workstations and servers: modern cellular phones, tablets, and even gaming consoles all understand the language of the Web. Using Web services means improving the overall reach of biometrics..."

NIST is participating in the technical work of the OASIS Biometric Identity Assurance Services (BIAS) Integration TC, and recently initiated a project to provide a reference implementation for the OASIS Biometric Identity Assurance Services SOAP Profile. Feedback from this effort will be fed back into the BIAS SOAP Profile draft and associated WSDL/schema, ensuring its utility and correctness. NIST representatives are also participants in the new OASIS 'BWS' discussion list to test interest in a Biometric Web Services (BWS) Technical Committee (TC), supporting the goal of using OASIS as a venue to develop this new biometrics standard.

See also: the NIST Information Access Division, Image Group      [TOC]

W3C Call for Review: CSS Color Module Level 3 Proposed Recommendation
Tantek Çelik, Chris Lilley, L. David Baron (eds), W3C Technical Report

Members of the W3C Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) Working Group have published a Proposed Recommendation for CSS Color Module Level 3. Public comment is invited through November 25, 2010. A separate implementation report contains a test suite and shows that each test in the test suite was passed by at least two independent implementations. The list of comments on the most recent Last Call draft explains the changes that were made since that draft. Comments received during the Candidate Recommendation period and how they were addressed in this draft can be found in the disposition of comments... The bibliography contains normative references to two W3C specifications that are not Recommendations at the time of publication, although they are believed to be stable. It is currently the intention to keep this specification at Proposed Recommendation level until those specifications are themselves Proposed Recommendations or Recommendations...

CSS (Cascading Style Sheets) is a language for describing the rendering of HTML and XML documents in a variety of ways, including on screen and paper. CSS uses color-related properties and values to color the text, backgrounds, borders, and other parts of elements in a document. This 'CSS Color Module Level 3' specification describes color values and properties for foreground color and group opacity. These include properties and values from CSS level 2 and new values.

CSS beyond level 2 is a set of modules, divided up to allow the specifications to develop incrementally, along with their implementations. This specification is one of those modules. The Working Group does not expect that all implementations of CSS3 will implement all properties or values. Instead, there will probably be a small number of variants of CSS3, so-called 'profiles'. For example, it may be that only the profile for 32-bit color user agents will include all of the proposed color-related properties and values...

A number of features that were present in the 14-May-2003 Candidate Recommendation are no longer present in this specification. However, the call for implementations for these features remains, and they may be included in a future level of this specification given sufficient implementations and a test suite to demonstrate interoperability. These features are: ICC Color Profile: the 'color-profile' property; the 'rendering-intent' property; the '@color-profile' at-rule; the 'flavor' system color..."

See also: the W3C Cascading Style Sheets home page      [TOC]

Energy Management (EMAN) Applicability Statement
Emmanuel Tychon, Matthew Laherty, Brad Schoening (eds), IETF Internet Draft

Members of the IETF Energy Management Working Group have published an initial level -00 Informational Internet Draft for the Energy Management (EMAN) Applicability Statement. The EMAN WG, chartered in the in the IETF Operations and Management Area, is specifying requirements for energy management to address energy management properties that will allow networks and devices to become energy aware. The EMAN WG will create a framework document that will describe extensions to current management framework, required for energy management. This includes: power and energy monitoring, power states, power state control, and potential power state transitions. The framework will focus on energy management for IP-based network equipment (routers, switches, PCs, IP cameras, phones and the like). Particularly, the relationships between reporting devices, remote devices, and monitoring probes (such as might be used in low-power and lossy networks) need to be elaborated..."

Document abstract: This memo describes the applicability of the EMAN framework for a variety of applications. We show how network elements and applications can use EMAN, describe the relevant information elements (IEs) for those applications and present opportunities and limitations. We furthermore describe relations of the EMAN framework to other architectures and frameworks.

The document explores the relation of EMAN to other frameworks and technologies, including IEC, ISO, ANSI C12, EnergyStar US EPA, DMTF (Desktop And Mobile Architecture for System Hardware - DASH), SmartGrid, NAESB, ASHRAE and NEMA, and ZigBee... Example considerations include Building Networks, Home Energy Gateways, Datacenters, and Smart Power Strips...

EMAN will enable heterogeneous energy consumers to report their own consumption, and will enable external system to control them. There are multiple scenarios where this is desirable, particularly today considering the increased importance of limiting our own carbon footprint and reducing operational expenses. Over time, more and more devices will be able to report their own energy consumption. Smart power strips and some Power-over-Ethernet switches are already able to consumption of the connected devices (proxies)... One aspect of EMAN is to enable this reporting by providing a standard framework applicable to various devices, consumers or proxy devices. Being able to know who's consuming what, when and how at any time by leveraging existing networks, and across various equipment is one pillar of the EMAN framework..."

See also: the IETF Energy Management (EMAN) Working Group Proposal      [TOC]

Is Europe Leading the Way to the Future Internet?
Lutz Heuser and Dan Woods, IEEE Internet Computing

"Over the past 30 years, the Internet has proven to be a revolutionary technology, so much so that it has run far beyond its original scope. The original Internet was designed as a network to connect academic researchers. From these humble beginnings, it grew into a global communications network as integral to our lives as roads, telephones, and public utilities. Increasingly, it's taking on roles formerly performed by other infrastructures, such as mail (email), phones (voice over IP), television, and movies (streaming video). Simply put, it's the global network of the 21st century... In this article, we briefly review US and European approaches to addressing the future Internet's core infrastructure problems.

In Europe, technology companies, government, and academics have allied together to build the infrastructure for a new service economy that ties all facets of our personal and professional lives into one end-to-end system. The general European consensus is that the future Internet must meet a wide array of challenges and opportunities.... Europe regards the future Internet as a matter of public policy; consequently, government, academia, and businesses have banded together in a collaborative research agenda. The most prominent publicly funded US research efforts tend to focus on networking infrastructure and architecture. The notion of a clean-slate approach (redesigning the Internet from scratch) animates much of the research in the US... According to David Clark, a senior research scientist at the MIT Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory, US government funding agencies tend to support research into long-term questions and put less emphasis on commercial applications.

In Europe, funding is often associated with ministries of trade or commerce and thus seeks commercial relevance. In the US, government- funded initiatives focus on architectural questions, and there's less talk of a holistic model of the future Internet. Europeans tend to consider more regulatory questions up front. According to Clark, US researchers tend to leave short-term commercial applications to the private sector (indeed, some of the biggest US Internet successes such as Amazon, Facebook, and Google were the result of smart entrepreneurs) and let the government step in later to clean up the mess...

Both Europe and the US want to build an Internet that protects freedom — but they define freedom in very different terms. Europeans talk about creating a free marketplace that prevents monopoly, lock-in, and discrimination and guarantees openness and fairness, which often means that government must set limits on company behavior. Americans often associate freedom with government getting out of the way and allowing businesses to operate with the least possible interference..."

See also: IEEE Internet Computing      [TOC]

Applying Open Source Concepts to Physical Objects: Open Hardware
Jeffrey M. Osier-Mixon, IBM developerWorks

Open source has been a successful driver in software innovation, but how does it — or how can it — apply to hardware? A number of hardware projects are testing open source concepts, from microprocessors to microcontrollers to complete single-board computers. This article discusses licensing, availability, community, and other challenges and successes in making hardware open.

Open source software is one of the biggest success stories in technology and business of the 20th and 21st centuries. The open software movement was founded by Dennis Allison in his release of Tiny BASIC in 1975 with the seminal quote, 'Let us stand on each other's shoulders, not each other's toes'...

Now the success of open source software is creating a new movement: open hardware. Since the late 1990s, engineers have sought ways to apply open source concepts to computer and electronic hardware. The main stumbling block, of course, is that software is easy to duplicate and can be copied free of charge, while hardware is made up of actual matter — 'atoms instead of bits,' as Chris Anderson said. Plus, hardware is generally patented rather than copyrighted, and patents are expensive to both obtain and defend. How can hardware be 'open sourced' to take advantage of the huge benefits open source has to offer?

Hardware can never be 'free as in beer' because duplication always costs something, and even the best-intentioned advocates can't afford to offer physical products free of charge indefinitely. However, a physical product is simply an implementation of a design, and the designs of hardware, along with permission to create a physical product from those designs, can indeed be made available free of charge with an open license, whether copyrighted or patented. The licensing is up to the owner. In fact, open hardware itself is still being formally defined. A workgroup of contributors has been honing a definition since 2009, following Bruce Perens' Open Source Definition. The new Open Source Hardware (OSHW) definition is currently at V0.4 and is under discussion in the forum on the Open Hardware Summit web site..."

See also: the draft Open Source Hardware (OSHW) Statement of Principles      [TOC]


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