need more acronyms in the world) was last week. The conference was intended as a forum to discuss the information technology revolution, and more
specifically, the growing "digital divide" between rich and poor nations.
In practice, this resulted in a rather diverse set of talking points, as interest groups strove to link their pet issue to the central theme with
varying degrees of success (among them a group that went by the name of The Geneva03 Collective, who was most notable for filling my inbox with "out
of office" replies from every person registered as a member of the press).
Of particular interest, however, was a moderated debate on the issue of preferential treatment for open source products in government procurement, a
topic I have discussed in the past. Four of the panelists were pro-preference, and represented Malaysia, Cuba, Peru and Kenya. The lone voice opposing
such preferences was Bob Kramer, Vice President for Public Policy from the Computing Technology Industry Association (CompTIA), a group upon which
Bruce Perens has trained his ever-present "Microsoft is the source of everything bad that happens" machine gun.