lunes, 29 de septiembre de 2014

#Security #Digital #Policy Somewhere in #Digital Europe ... (29/9/2014)

The Annual Incidents report 2013

The Annual Incidents report 2013 provides an aggregated analysis of the security incidents in 2013 which caused severe outages. Most incidents reported to regulators and ENISA involved mobile internet and mobile telephony connections. The most frequent causes are system failures affecting mainly base stations and switches.

Joint mission statement of the Digital Champions

The European Digital Champions are active in EU member states. They have different profiles and are professionals in several fields. They act locally and work with citizens, communities, businesses, governments and academia in their country and advise the European Commission on the implementation of the Digital Agenda. In this declaration they describe the main challenges that they see on the road towards achieving an inclusive digital society for all Europeans.

Number One in Digital

Number One in Digital, launched September 2014, contains Labour Digital's 82 recommendations to transform Britain into a digital world-leader through investment and reform in infrastructure, investment, regulation, skills and public services.

miércoles, 24 de septiembre de 2014

Beyond #NetNeutrality (III): The new Internet data flow intermediaries

Returning again to the need to go beyond Net Neutrality. As I stated in a past post, Internet would not be what is now if net neutrality have not be adopted as one of its cornerstone principles, the problem starts when we think that it is enough to ensure free surfing in the web. Net neutrality aims to ensure that our internet service providers treat all data in the internet equally. Nevertheless, as the internet evolves, new intermediaries of the flow of data appears, and sometimes we accept this intermediaries without full knowledge of our acceptance. And these interemediaries do not have any obligation of neutrality.

One of this new intermediaries is Google. And it is begining to be in a subtle manner.

Maybe, some of you has accepted without any doubts the optimisation option for your chrome browser in your smartphone. Who would not like to decrease the amount of data, whether because we would like to decrease our mobile phone bill or because we would like to surf faster the web. Unfortunately for you, this means that you are begining to provide Google more information about yourself. First, you tell google what you search for in the web. Now you are begining to tell him all the details of your life as an internet user. Are you shocked? Take a view to this information page from google that could be sum up in the following picture. It describes how SPDY (the protocol used for the optmisation of traffic) works, because the optimisation you accepted its is not based only in the local features of your mobile phone.

What it is called a "Data Compression Service" makes Google the intermediary of all your surfing, with all the implications. It can decide which is your view of the web or which services you can access with better quality than others. And this is not a question of the SPDY protocol, the theory is that SPDY could be implemented by any server. It is because Google does not allow to configure the SPDY proxy in an easy manner (I have not discovered it yet), and this proxy is the one that makes the data compression if the original server is not SPDY compatible (which is the case of the majority of the servers, only 0,9% of the servers are using SPDY).  

How this "Data Compression Works" makes futile any enforcement of net neutrality at the internet access level. I have not found in the FCC Net Neutrality proposal or the European Commission net neutrality proposal any way to guarantee net neutrality in this new scenario. This a new case that prove the need to advance towards a principle of digital neutrality that at the same encompass net neutrality and goes beyond it.

lunes, 22 de septiembre de 2014

#Research #Innovation #Manifesto Somewhere in #Digital Europe ... (22/9/2014)

European Research Area Progress Report 2014

The establishment of an European Research Area is one of the cornerstones for closing the research gap with the USA and other European competitors. According with the European Commission report, the conditions for the completion of the European Research Area, as requested by the European Council are now in place. The ERA Progress report 2014 presents the areas where further effort is needed.

KPMG 2014 Global Technology Innovation Survey

KPMG surveyed 768 technology business leaders globally, including C-level executives (70 percent of respondents), from technology industry startups, mid-sized to large enterprises, venture capital firms and angel investors to identify disruptive technologies, barriers to tech innovation adoption, and the scope of business disruption and new monetization opportunities driven by emerging technologies.

Securing our Digital Future: The techUK Manifesto for growth and jobs 2015-2020

techUK, the leading voice for the UK technology industry, publishes Securing our Digital Future: the techUK manifesto for growth and jobs 2015-2020. It urges politicians and policy-makers to recognise the critical significance of the global digital revolution.

miércoles, 17 de septiembre de 2014

The ICT sector on the eve of the seventh negotiation round of the #TTIP

After the sixth negotiation round of the TTIP, we can expect that the seventh round will end with some announcement related with the digital sector. To cut a long story short, after the sixth round it was highlighted that "work on a consolidated text has started" on telecom services and "the two sides continue to exchange views on key concepts and scope" on ICT technical trade barriers (TBT). Therefore, it would be more strange not having any news that the announcement of some kind of agreement.

What could we expect on both issues? What would be the implications for Europe?

Related to telecommunication services, we can expect the conclusion an comprehensive chapter on the matter. "La Quadrature du Net" published a document where they listed the possible topics of the chapter:
  • Regulatory authorities;
  • Authorisation and licensing;
  • Scarce resources (spectrum);
  • Access and interconnection;
  • Anti competitive practices of major suppliers;
  • Universal service;
  • Number portability;
  • Resolution of disputes;
  • Foreign shareholding (removal of foreign equity limitation)

It is a possible list, similar to the list of the telco aspects included in the EU-USA Trade Principles for ICT, but at least I miss one topic that from my point of view should be the most important issue: Net neutrality. Both sides of the Atlantic are now involved in a review of their interpretation of the concept (the FCC is reviewing the results of a public consultation on the matter; the debate of the telecom single market is still open in the EU, including the net neutrality obligations towards operators). A chapter containing half of this issues would have a clear implication: A complete review of the telecom regulation in Europe.

On the TBT side, we can only expect a partial agreement. There are two basic TBTs related to ICTs, regulations and standards. The main regulation gap between EU and the USA is related with personal data privacy. The Lisbon Council has published an excellent report on this gap. The distance looks so big on this central issue that it is difficult to expect on this round any kind of agreement on regulations. Nevertheless, we can not expect a TTIP with some kind of agreement on data regulations before the end of the year deadline: Data is central to the digital economy and it does not look that the USA lobbies are going to allow and agreement without including this topic. But an agreement on personal data privacy could have a collateral implication: A restart of the negotiations on the renewal of the EU personal data regulation.

Related to standards, things look easier. There is a close collaboration already between standardisation organisms from both side of the Atlantic due to the importance of standards in the ICT area. As the TIA (Telecom Industry Association, USA) suggests, there are previous experiences as the Mutual Recognition Agreement that could serve as the model for an agreement of a mutual recognition for standards. It would not be a surprise to have the piece of new on a standarisation collaboration framework. The implications for the EU could be a new revision of the standaristaion framework and the current network of European Standard Organisations procedures.

An equilibrated agreement of digital issues within the TTIP could benefit the ICT sector of both sides. Let us remember some numbers. In 2012, telecommunications spending in the United  States reached $1.17 trillion and $1.24 trillion in Europe, making up almost half of the $4.90 trillion global telecommunications market. There are few doubts that the sinergies that arise from both markets could boost US and EU companies if they are able to grasp the opportunity.

lunes, 15 de septiembre de 2014

#Economy #BigData #Industry Somewhere in #Digital Europe ... (15/9/2014)

European Competitiveness Report

The European Competitiveness Report, published annually since 1997, gives a quantitative assessment of the competitive performance of EU industries. The Report uses empirical research to examine EU competitiveness, working across the whole economy as well as in selected sectors. It also assesses the impact of structural reforms on EU competitiveness, and the need for further reforms.

Big Success with Big Data

A survey done by Accenture to discover how UK organizations are using big data to transform their business today.

How can European industry contribute to growth and foster European competitiveness?

This paper, produced by Policy Department A for the ITRE Committee (European Parliament), describes, analyses, and recommends options as to how European industry can contribute to sustainable growth and competitiveness in the EU. It reviews factors that influence growth and competitiveness, and links case studies from European industry to related barriers and enablers. It presents recommendations for framework conditions that public authorities can influence in order to promote European industry in repositioning itself globally. Finally, the paper then presents relevant case studies in full.

miércoles, 10 de septiembre de 2014

Technology, the saviour of High Streets

For a complete generation of Spaniards, High Streets was one of the symbols of the United Kingdom. And it is also an icon of our lost adolescence. We travelled far less than our sons and daughters and UK was almost the only place we visited outside Spain before we had an stable job. United Kingdom was the place where we went to polish and improve our basic English. If you are around the fifties your High Streets memories are crowded with an endless number of small and medium shops full of magic things we were not able to find in Spain. In my case mainly records and books.

High Streets are not like this any more. They are not the centre of English life like in the past. One in six shops in the UK lies empty and town centre shops close every day. Many store chains that were the main characters of those central town spaces like HMV or Woolworth have disappeared. Some newspapers are putting on the table ideas to recover the High Streets. But due to its importance for the British economy, the United Kingdom Government are launching several initiatives to support the recovery of this central element of British life.

The UK Government initiatives for saving the High Streets take their roots in an independent report from 2011. As shopping activity is migrating from the High Streets to e-commerce and out-town shopping, the main aim of the Government initiatives is trying to make the High Streets in the heart of the social and cultural life of the cities. The governance of this action plan is based on Forum composed of citizens associations, public sector and private companies.

Although recovering the commercial life of high streets is not the main objective of the government initiatives, some of the actions go in that direction. Nevertheless, the idea is not turning the clock back in time and returning to physical shops only. Based on the usage of technology,  the aim is to build up Virtual High Streets.  These Virtual High Streets will show the goods and services of the physical shops, but also will be a virtual space for meeting. The creation of an hybrid space of "click & brick", with a combination of on line & off line commerce is seen as the cornerstone for recovering  the economic activity in High Streets. A public funding up to £ 8m is foreseen for this purpose.

In order to save the retail sector it is required to recognise its limitations and build up on its advantages. The personal touch of the shops of High Streets should be complemented with the insights that technology could provide in real time. The first step is the connected store and the final objective the omnichannel shopping experience, being able to "shop seamlessly across online, mobile and other digital channels as well as encouraging them inside physical stores". What is more, the synergies between the click-and-mortar shopping experience and the digital channel could bring a whole new shopping experience and new sources of revenue in a competitive market (social engagement, online research while shopping, virtual mirrors, 3D printing ...)

The shops where I bought my first punk vinyls have disappeared from the High Streets. Tower Records are not in the heart of Piccadilly Circus now. Although records and CDs were not among my purchases when I visited London some months ago, I enjoyed walking down Oxford Street and shopping other kind of things with my son and daughter. I hope that stroll will not be for them the memories of a irremediably lost world in a couple of decades. I hope technology will be the saviour of High Streets.

lunes, 8 de septiembre de 2014

#BigData #SmartPhone Somewhere in #Digital Europe ... (8/9/2014)

Teradata survey:  Big Data Anayltics

Survey on the usage and implementation of Big Data that concludes UK organisations are falling their behind French and German peers in big data analytics. Although UK seems itself as the more advanced country in EU in the usage of Big Data, the survey shows FR and DE organisations are more creative and innovative in the usage of data. (summary of results)

Wake up and plug in

A report that reveals the growing obsession with our smartphone. The study has been done only for UK, but the conclusions are applicable to any advanced country.

miércoles, 3 de septiembre de 2014

#Digital disruption in the arts

The question is not if the sector you are working on is going to be disrupted by digital technologies, the question is when this disruption is going to happen in a massive manner. One sector where few debate about digital disruption is happening is the creativity arts, besides of course the well known debate about the intellectual property and non-legal downloadings. But digital disruptions on creativity goes beyond this point.

To begin with, dematerialisation of art is bound to happen. Neither I have found statistics about the number of painters and sculptors nor about the production of paintings and other physical art items, but I am pretty sure this figures would show the decrease of physical arts. It is already happen with books, so there is no reason for not being happening in painting and sculpture. This will imply the blur of the barriers between original pieces and its copies, and a portability of exhibitions beyond the current physical limits. 2-D and 3-D pieces of art would be available in more than one point of the world at the same time. 

Although some artists have experimented with the concept of co-creation and collaborative creation, the physical limits of arts established limits to these experiences. Dematerialisation will also brings the disapperance of these limits. As a consequence, technology will pave the way to prosumers in the field of the arts in the same manner it has paved the way to web prosumers. It is easy to see that art will stop to be a one-way direction process forever. At least, the public will demand some degree of personalisation and take part in the personalisation process as part of the user experience. It is not difficult to foresee the tools that would be avalaible for the personalisation of the art user experience if we poay attention to what is happening in other mainly physical experiences (as shopping).

Dematerialisation of arts should not mean the disappearance of physical art exhibitions. This is obviously impossible due to the immense legacy of art physical objects. Nevertheless, this could be the ideal field for the experimentation with transmedia. The blend of physical and digital elements around an art event could bring a new dimension to art. This is already happening. The major exhibitions are currently combined web sites and apps with traditional paper catalogues. Pure transmedia digital events mixing apps, webs and games with 2-D and 3-D digital art objects will be the main trend in the art field.

Digital disruption is still to arrive to the arts. Maybe sometimes we think that is the front line of the digital revolution, but the years to come will show us how wrong this appreciation is.

lunes, 1 de septiembre de 2014

#BYOD #Standards Somewhere in #Digital Europe ... (1/9/2014)

Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) Collection guidance

GCHQ has provide new guidance to private and public sector organisations who want to allow employees to use personal devices at work. The guidelines go into brief detail about how organisations should plan for BYOD policies and considering the risks, while having actions in place to mitigate security breaches if phones are lost or stolen.

The annual Union work programme for European standardisation for 2015

The Commission has adopted the annual Union work programme for European standardisation, which identifies strategic priorities for European standardisation on the basis of the policy objectives set by the Commission in its planning. This Communication, which is adopted for the second year running, identifies those priority domains where the Commission has intentions to use European standardisation as a policy tool in support of the Union's new or existing legislation and policies in the course of 2015. The document has a chapter dedicated to the standarisation priorities within the scope of the Digital Agenda for Europe (3.3).

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