Research, standards and thoughts for the digital world

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MPAI MPEG ISO

No one is perfect, but some are more accomplished than others

In quite a few of my articles on this blog I have described how well MPEG has managed to create generic standards for the media industry, how many new standards keep on being produced to support the expansion of the media business and how much the expansion has brought benefits to that industry. The first part of the title, however, reminds us that MPEG is an organisation created by humans and populated by humans. As MPEG is not and cannot…

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Einige Gespenster gehen um in der Welt – die Gespenster der Zauberlehrlinge

Introduction The title of this article is inspired by two masterpieces of German philosophy and literature. The first is Karl Marx’s “The Manifesto of the Communist Party” with the metaphor of the spectre (of communism) going around in Europe while the powers of conservation try to stop it. The second is Johann Wolfgang von Goethe’s “The Sorcerer's Apprentice”, the story of an apprentice who thinks he can enchant a broom and get it to do some work for him, because…

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Does success breed success?

Introduction Most readers will answer yes to the question asked in the title. Indeed, very often we see that success of a human organisation breeds success. Until, I mean, the machine that looked like it could produce results forever “seizes”. But don’t look elsewhere for the causes of failure: it's not the machine, the causes are humans inside and/or outside. In an age when things move fast and change, MPEG has been in operation for three decades. Its standards have…

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Dot the i’s and cross the t’s

Introduction In Book 2 of the Georgics, the Latin poet Virgil writes “Felix, qui potuit rerum cognoscere causas”. This maxim was true in 29 BC when the Georgics was written and remains true 2030 years later. For those who did not have the chance to study Latin, the verse means “Fortunate who could know the causes of things”. Virgil's maxim will be used in this article to draw some conclusions on current matters. Before getting to the things, however, I…

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