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What should the government be doing about the internet?

Tom Steinberg, the director of mySociety, has posted an excellent set of priorities for all western governments of any persuasion regarding their approach to the internet.

Tom’s to-do list is very much in stark contrast to the comments made about the web by Andy Burnham, the Culture, Media and Sport secretary, in an interview given to the Daily Telegraph just after Christmas.

Burnham put forward the idea for rating websites, much like films and video games, and duly had techies across the land up in arms – most of them concerned with the minister’s lack of understanding of how the internet technically works. MP Tom Watson, much vaunted as one of the few people in parliament who not only ‘gets’ the web but actively participates in it, gave the opportunity to those concerned to have their voice heard by offering to take their comments to Andy Burham and Lord Carter personally using his blog.

This incident highlights a few of the points Tom makes:

Continue reading → What should the government be doing about the internet?

Data centres emit 0.3% of world’s carbon dioxide emissions…

… which is about half the amount the airline industry currently emits per year, according to a recent report by McKinsey, entitled Revolutionizing Data Centre Efficiency.
They isolate the primary drivers of poor inefficiency as:

  • Poor demand and capacity planning within and across functions (business, IT, facilities)
  • Significant failings in asset management (6% average server utilization, 56% facility utilization)
  • Boards, CEOs, and CFOs are not holding CIOs accountable for critical data center facilities CapEx and data center operational efficiency

Their recomendations to improve the efficiency of data centres include transferring financial accountability of data center assets from Corporate Real Estate to the CIO and the appointment of an Energy Czar (presumably in the US).

In true McKinsey style there is a Power Point presentation (8mb) and an mp3 (22mb) that can be downloaded for those who would like further details.

UPDATE, 22/06/2009: For anyone interested in understanding the architecture and carbon footprint of data centres, this New York Times article is well worth reading.