File Information Tool Set (FITS) is the Harvard Library's "Swiss army knife" for file characterization. Created originally for use with the library's Digital Repository System (DRS), it's been made available as open source, and several other institutions have made use of it.
The typical digital artefact or complex object does not function (render, execute, ...) without a certain software environment. Emulation-as-a-Service (EaaS) provides original environments running in platform emulators. Depending on the (complex) object to be handled, several software components are required to reproduce an original environment.
As many of you already know, I have taken over the role of Chairman of the Board of the Open Planets Foundation from Adam Farquhar as of February 1, 2013.
Clearly, Adam has already presided over an enormous achievement, first in conceiving and establishing the Open Planets Foundation, and second in bringing the OPF to the point where it is a stable, viable organisation that is both self-sustaining and debt-free. On behalf of the Board, I thank him and applaud his efforts.
The SPRUCE Unified Characterisation Hackathon in Leeds brought together a group of developers to discuss the digital preservation community's approach to characterisation and to consolidate and improve existing toolsets.