Thursday was the second full day of conference. In the first session a lawyer did an amusing analysis of the state of digital signatures in Sweden. I know it was amusing because the audience was in stitches for much of the time.

However, the translation unfortunately did not work for me – in fact, I abandoned my head 'phones as I was getting a headache! I later learned that the presenter was fairly difficult to follow, even in Swedish, as he spoke quickly, with frequent asides and subject changes.

Next the International delegates gave short presentations of issues being addressed in their countries. All were well-received. I went last, mainly covering the Socitm reorganisation.

Anna-Karin Jönbrisk, who ran a research project on the subject for the European Union, spoke on "Green IT", which she defineds as "achieving maximum benefit with the least negative environmental impact".

Her slides referred to eutrophication, which she didn't explain, and I hadn't heard of so I looked it up in Wikipedia…

Eutrophication, strictly speaking, means an increase in chemical nutrients -- typically compounds containing nitrogen or phosphorus -- in an ecosystem. It may occur on land or in water. The term is however often used to mean the resultant increase in the ecosystem's primary productivity (excessive plant growth and decay), and further effects including lack of oxygen and severe reductions in water quality, fish, and other animal populations. Eutrophication, strictly speaking, means an increase in chemical nutrients -- typically compounds containing nitrogen or phosphorus -- in an ecosystem. It may occur on land or in water.

The term is however often used to mean the resultant increase in the ecosystem's primary productivity (excessive plant growth and decay), and further effects including lack of oxygen and severe reductions in water quality, fish, and other animal populations.

The other notable points from her presentation, for me, concerned recommendations to use computers' sleep function as much as possible. Figures were presented that showed that the difference in power consumption between computers switched-off and in a sleep state were negligible. I always thought the savings from the sleep function were negligible, and that we should turn equipment off.

More information is at an associated web-site… http://www.ecocomputer.org/

There were presentations on Government priorities for ICT from SKL – the Swedish County Council and Local Authorities Federation – and what, in the programme, was listed as "International T.B.A.".

Apparently, this turned-out to be an excellent session, which is a pity, as I missed it. Claes-Olof Olsson travelled up from Malmo to meet we international delegates – a four or five hour drive in each direction.

He had been commissioned by the Swedish Government to make recommendations on Shared Services, and was anxious to hear our experiences. Finally, there was a "Talk Show", with representatives from various interest groups, on "Long-term and Sustainable IT".

In the evening we went to dinner with our hosts in town.

Christian gave me a lift back to Landvetter Airport, with a small diversion to see the beautiful sea-side town of Marstrand, where he spent much of his childhood, and where his family still have a summer home. I had several hours' wait at the Airport, which was useful to catch-up with e-mail and phone calls. Someone wrote to say I had missed the best UK weather for 18 months but, no, the weather in Sweden was also fantastic.

On the 'plane home I read, in the International Herald Tribune, that Professor Jonathan Zittrain, professor of Internet governance and regulation at the Oxford Internet Institute at Oxford University, says that "gadgets (such as the iPhone) stymie innovation". Unlike home computers, new Internet-enabled gadgets do not lend themselves to the sort of tinkering and collaboration that leads to technological advances, he says.

The latest must-have devices are "sterile" boxes that stifle creativity and turn consumers into passive users of technology. "I don't want to see a two-tier world where only the experts can survive, and the non-experts are stuck between something they don't understand and something that limits them," Zittrain said Thursday. Hmmm.