Alan Kotok
Publications, 2000 to 2001

White Papers

Going End-to-End: Interoperable E-Business Standards Integrated with End-User and Internal Interactions
Data Interchange Standards Association, 16 November 2001
E-business standards by and large address interactions between companies or organizations. But business conditions now demand that standards reflect the reach of technology to the end-user and within enterprises. This paper describes these conditions, as well as technical issues and security/privacy concerns, and recommends steps for extending the scope of e-business standards.

XML for Business Data – the Next Step for the Internet or a Technology Out of Control?
UN Economic Commission for Europe, World Markets Research Centre (U.K.), 22 June 2000
Official business and technology briefings for the U.N. Forum on Electronic Commerce for Transition Economies in the Digital Age

With Nick Lanyon. The OpenTravel Alliance: An e-commerce strategy to enable the seamless exchange of travel information
OpenTravel Alliance Inc., February 2000,
OpenTravel, an initiative for the seamless exchange of travel information -- especially information that centers around the traveler's experience -- is a foundation strategy for taking advantage of the increasingly universal access to the Internet. The ultimate goal is to promote the free flow of travel services through multiple distribution channels to better meet demands and expectations of the travelling public.

Magazine and Web site articles

Closing the gap between standards and government IT
Suite101.Com. 20 December  2001.
Government has long been a major user of information technology (IT), but governmental purchases of IT equipment, software, or services can have a significant impact on and play a role in determining standards for the private sector. When it comes to using existing standards, government has a history of going its own way. But presentations at a recent meeting on the Extensible Markup Language or XML suggest that the Federal government may now be giving private sector IT standards more respect.

Electronic Business XML
ActionLine Magazine, published by Automotive Industry Action Group. December 2001.
With Sig Handelman.  To make the dream of the Extensible Markup Language or XML a reality, companies soon realized that they needed more than just a markup language. They needed a more comprehensive structure of services and capabilities, mixed with a way of interchanging business terminology across industries - without sacrificing cost effectiveness and ease of operation. This tall order outlines the mission of the Electronic Business XML or ebXML initiative, an undertaking that has drawn strong support from the automotive industry.

Interoperate or Evaporate
XML.Com, 12 December 2001.
At the December 2001 Interoperability Summit, the members of standards groups told the group's managers to start working together as organizations and as technical standards ... and they mean it this time.

E-Government, a view from the front lines
Suite101.Com. 3 December  2001.
A panel discussion on 28 November in Washington, DC highlighted both the need for and challenges in applying the tools and techniques of e-business to government. Since 11 September, Federal agencies are on a wartime footing, yet they still face demands for effective and efficient public services.

U.S. warning against online Cipro sales having minimal effect
Suite101.Com. 13 November 2001.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration sent electronic letters to 11 Web vendors of the anthrax drug Cipro, warning them that they violate U.S. law in marketing their goods to American consumers. However, most of the vendors appear to be ignoring the warning.

New study shows voters want substance in Congressional Web sites
Suite101.Com. 5 November 2001.
The public would like to see their representatives on Capitol Hill put significantly more relevance and substance into the Web sites they provide for their constituents. That conclusion comes out of a series of focus groups conducted by the Congress Online Project.

ebXML: The New Spin on Old Ways that Make E-business Work
InformIT.Com . 26 October 2001. With David R.R. Webber
Collaborative e-business covers the whole range of interactions among business partners, and has shown itself to be more lucrative for companies than the more familiar consumer retail trade over the Web. A new set of standards called Electronic Business XML, or ebXML, is designed to make collaborative e-business available to companies of all sizes and across a wide range of industries.

Hacktivism: who is saving whom, and from what?
Suite101.Com. 18 October 2001.
The FBI’s National Infrastructure Protection Center or NIPC recently warned of more attacks on Web sites in the U.S. and around the world, especially those making political or social statements. Hacktivists, however, point to the more serious threat of state-sanctioned censorship that shuts off Web users from important sources of information.

ebXML: A Primer
eMarketect.Com . 11 October 2001. With David R.R. Webber
An introduction to the Electronic Business XML (ebXML) standards, for users and operators of electronic trading networks.

Council of Europe Deputies approve cyber-crime treaty
Suite101.Com. 4 October 2001.
The Council of Europe Deputies, a key policy-making body on European governmental affairs, approved the first international convention on cyber-crime, in a meeting on 19 September 2001. The convention deals particularly with infringements of copyright, computer-related fraud, child pornography and violations of network security.

ebXML e-Business Specification Offers Framework for Interoperability Across Supply Chains
STORES Magazine, published by National Retail Federation. October 2001.
With David Webber.  Electronic Business XML (ebXML) is a new Internet e-business specification that has the potential to create synergy with the retail supply chain. The industry can take advantage of these technologies to apply open standards to transactions outside as well as within the normal supply chain.

Starting now to develop a strategy on cyber-terrorism
Suite101.Com. 24 September 2001.
In the wake of the national tragedy of 11 September 2001, much of the activity across government has shifted to protecting the country against further terrorist attacks. As the nation’s economy and lifestyle have become more intertwined with the Internet, one of the concerns of policy makers is the vulnerability of our computer and communications infrastructure. However, the first reports suggest we have a long way to go to protect these important assets.

Following the money and hunting the conspirators
Suite101.Com. 14 September 2001.
The traumatic events of 11 September 2001 pointed out the vulnerabilities of our technologically-based lifestyle, but information technology (IT) can also help law enforcement agencies identify and track down the parties who helped the perpetrators plan and execute those awful deeds.

E-Government Act of 2001: The sleeper in the Senate
Suite101.Com. 6 September 2001.
Of the new bills on information technology introduced earlier in the 107th Congress, most attention has focused on the deregulation and privacy legislation, since they have high-stakes outcomes and affect a large proportion of Internet users. One bill -- The E-Government Act of 2001 (S. 803) -- has escaped much public attention, but can have as much impact or more on Internet users, and even on the public at large.

Double or nothing: new bills to regulate Internet gambling
Suite101.Com. 18 August 2001.
Internet gambling has become one of the new social issues attracting legislative interest, but like so many issues involving the Internet, making the law work as intended promises to be a challenge. Gambling, once seen as some kind of distant evil, is now found on most street corners in the form of state lotteries, and in casinos found in increasing numbers of localities.

Internet taxes: ban or simplify or both?
Suite101.Com. 3 August 2001.
A subcommittee of the House Committee on the Judiciary approved on 2 August legislation to extend until 2006 the moratorium on new or discriminatory Internet taxes. The bill, known as the Internet Tax Nondiscrimination Act and introduced by Rep. Chris Cox (R-CA) continues the ban on Internet taxes begun in 1998 and set to expire in October. The Internet tax issue has ignited a more fundamental debate about sales taxes in general, one that cuts across the familiar ideological and party boundaries.

New poll shows support for government role in policing the Internet
Suite101.Com. 19 July 2001.
A new survey by the Markle Foundation, a private philanthropic organization that focuses on media issues, shows a public growing more sophisticated in its views on setting rules for the Internet, even giving the government a role. Markle’s research shows a public that likes a lot of what the Internet has to offer yet is still concerned about much of the Internet’s content. The results also suggest that much of the public wants solutions with more substance than slogans.

Broadband bill action moves to the Senate
Suite101.Com. 6 July 2001.
With the battle over regulation of high-speed data services underway in the House of Representatives, the Senate joined the fray with two new bills introduced by Kansas Republican Sam Brownback. The two bills seek to relieve regulatory burdens from regional Bell telephone companies, in much the same way as the Tauzin-Dingell bill does in the House.

ebXML: A New Global Standard for E-Business
Australian Instiute for Chartered Accountants. Winter (July) 2001.
A discussion of the Electronic Business XML (ebXML) initiative, its impact on encouraging business collaborations, and the role that chartered accountants in Australia and elsewhere can play in its development.  Restricted access page, username = itc, password = newsletter33.

Effective 21 June: Federal technology becomes more accessible
Suite101.Com. 20 June 2001.
Information technology (IT) can provide an incredibly rich and varied source of service, information, knowledge, and entertainment. But for others who may not have all of the requisite physical skills, or with a medical condition limiting access, IT presents just more barriers to overcome. A law now taking effect intends to reduce some of those barriers, at least for people working or dealing with Federal agencies.

How smart is e-government?
Suite101.Com. 6 June 2001.
The idea of information technology empowering citizens is as old as the Internet, and with the spread of more computing and communications power throughout the population, the dream of connecting citizens more closely to the levers of political power can become a reality. One can ask, however, is government ready?

Key players square off over broadband access legislation
Suite101.Com. 23 May 2001.
With billions of dollars in revenues on the line, the major companies offering high speed Internet access have lined up behind competing bills in Congress affecting its future. This is no place for the faint of heart.

ebXML: It Ain't Over 'Til its Over
XML.Com, 17 May 2001.
Reporting from the ebXML initiative's planned final meeting, although the work on interoperable business semantics still remains.

Can XML Help Write the Law?
XML.Com, 9 May 2001.
A report from the Conference on Congressional Organizations' Application of XML, that discussed both the mechanics and the public benefits of making legislation available in XML.

Connecting the Americas, the phantom issue of the Quebec summit
Suite101.Com. 26 April 2001.
The Summit of the Americas in Quebec, 20-22 April, issued a stirring declaration on the use of information technology for economic and social development, but nearly all the media covering the summit failed to say a word about it.

ebXML Ropes in SOAP
XML.Com, 4 April 2001.
A report on the latest happenings in ebXML covers its adoption of SOAP, and takes stock as ebXML nears the end of its project.

It Takes a Thief
Suite101.Com. 27 March 2001.
Even the rich and famous got taken in one the largest identity theft cases broken by the New York Police Department. Want to bet that identity theft becomes the next hot political issue?

Can Simpler Sales Taxes Make Them Web Friendly?
Suite101.Com. 26 February 2001.
Is simpler better? Not if you like shopping on the Web without taxes. The latest attempt in Congress to keep taxes off the Web contains a provision encouraging uniform state sales taxes, and many states seem ready to do just that.

Security Threats Help Business and Government Find Common Ground
Suite101.Com. 1 February 2001.
With more hackers on the prowl, government and business find themselves in the same boat, and have agreed, for now at least, to row in the same direction.

New medical privacy rules foreshadow privacy policy changes
Suite101.Com. 23 January 2001.
Reporting on new rules governing privacy of personal medical records, with reactions from industry leaders

Should XML become a real standard?
XML.Com, 14 November 2000.
Reporting from the XML Community Process meeting, at XML DevCon. With Ed Dumbill.

ebXML: Assembling the Rubik's Cube
XML.Com, 16 August 2000.
On-the-scene reporting from the third working meeting of the ebXML initiative in San Jose, Ca.ifornia.
Selected for BEST OF XML.COM collection, published December 2000.

Even More Extensible -- An updated survey of XML business vocabularies
XML.Com, 2 August 2000.
An update of our February survey shows the number of new vocabularies doubling.

ebXML Gathers Pace
XML.Com, 24 May 2000.
Reportage of the second ebXML working meeting in Brussels, May 2000

Accessible Designs Grow Popular -- Overcoming challenges to Web access
CMP TechWeb: PlanetIT.Com, 12 May 2000.
Sound Web design makes sites more accessible to the disabled, plus a list of tips from the W3C on Web accessibility.

XML Standard Near
CMPTechWeb: PlanetIT.Com, 6 March 2000.
First detailed report of the developing ebXML standard, January-February 2000

Extensible, and More. A Survey of XML Business Data Exchange Vocabularies
XML.Com, 23 February 2000.
A snapshot of business vocabularies and schemas shows exploding use of XML but little standardization.

XML: Too Complex?
CMP TechWeb: PlanetIT.Com, 28 January 2000
XML appears to be taking the wrong road for e-business when some of its advocates say, 'let them eat code.'

XML Comes of Age
CMP TechWeb: PlanetIT.Com, 7 January 2000.
Coverage of the XML '99 conference

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29 December 2002