Video: Proprietary data is digital waste: a perspective on Green IT

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Is broadband a necessity or a nice to have?


I always look forward to my conversations with Jan Wildeboer. Simply put, he helps me look at the world a little differently. A little more.... openly. 


Last time we chatted, Jan talked about how governments can save taxpayers money by implementing open source, open content, and open standards. And how freeing data is, in fact, Green IT.


Watch the video to learn more, then tell us what you think.



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I've worked at Red Hat since 2002. I started in Corporate Training and Organizational Development, then moved to Internal Communications, lead our Digital Media team, started our Employment Branding team, and now am an Executive Producer. Before Red Hat, I worked at The Body Shop as Director, Learning and Development. The common thread?


For me as I write this I am thinking of a discussion I had with a fellow geek friend yesterday about use of FLOSS systems and data and how such systems can be found in the market place.

For many of us who live in this FLOSS idea everyday it has become second nature to know how to find a GNU+Linux powered laptop for example. The only reason I would Google search on Linux laptops today is because I might not like the options that I know of (System76, Dell, HP, etc) or I just want to see what happens in a search like that. Anyway people who know about FLOSS and see our freedom and may have even worked with old time Unix platforms years ago still might not know how to find the freedom that we take for granted today.

Of the few laptop sellers that I listed only one has the Linux option made known right on the front page of their computer configuration sales page. System76, and the reason that everyone knows why they do that is that they believe in Linux and sell it exclusively.

Geeks that do not know these things or perhaps digital IP users that want to be free but do not know how to do it. Still do not know where to look.

I am critical of the Linux Foundation's "I am Linux" video contest because I want to know when if EVER am I going to see such a video on TV. That is what these digital freedom searchers need. For now I have to tell my friend that the more he separates him self from the Microsoft influence and some times having to do that by looking out side US national borders. The more he will see digital freedom happening and the more devices there are to customers who are buying them. Every single new GNU+Linux powered device ends up being sold in the US last of all.

So on seeing the video I knew I was going to send the link to my friend as another example of how the freedom he wants is happening all the more in Europe. And if it can happen there it can happen here too. But it most likely will be from a Government use of openly readable documents. And not from a marketing perspective as that will most likely happen elsewhere in the world.

I never thought of it as "digital waste" but that makes sense!

i like the "new" definition of "migration cost".. makes alot more sense that way.

Very interesting. Jan, you mentioned PDF as an example of an open format that governments should be using. However, I attended Goscon recently, and I can recall someone talking about how the format wasn't very sustainable (it can't be easily searched) and how governments should adopt XML-based formats instead.

Agreed, PDF is not your perfect solution when it comes to indexing and search. But IMHO that is not what PDF should be used for. PDF is, as its acronym clearly states, a Portable Document Format. So it is of great use to reproduce existing documents or to store canonical versions of a document in a way that is secure and long-term.

Search and indexing etc. on PDF should be done on the metadata level, not on the actual content.

But to store documents that do not change after creation it is a good format. I would propose the distinction between living and dead data. Dead date being stored solely for the purpose of reproduction when needed but without the need to interact with the content. For such "dead" data PDF is a good format.

Living data OTOH - Data that you want to remix, re-use, mesh and re-combine should be stored different.



Ahh.. Thanks for clarifying that. Makes sense.

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