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Schwartz: Why Free Standards Matter

Mar 11, 2006, 05:00 (7 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Jonathan Schwartz)

"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 storm paths..."

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