Schwartz: Why Free Standards Matter
Mar 11, 2006, 05:00 (7 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Jonathan Schwartz)
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"Imagine you live on a sleepy street in a coastal town, say Rio
de Janeiro. And a hurricane or tsunami hits your shores. And the
government agency responsible for telling you how and where to get
relief, for provisioning aid and emergency services, sends out a
curious message: if you can't afford a copy of Microsoft Windows,
we're sorry, we can't help you.
"That's exactly what happened in New Orleans a few months back.
Which led many folks to see the convergence of telecommunications,
technology and media in a very personal, and dissatisfying
way--while demonstrating the vanishing distinction between web
services, social services and emergency services. The network is
all about moving data around, whether purchase orders, tax forms or