Protecting the good citizens of China from the moral cesspit that is WordPress

May 23, 2007

So.. the reason I have not posted for a week and a half is that I have been in Beijing, where WordPress seems to be blocked. I couldn’t even read my own blog. Blogger on the other hand, seems to be fine. I guess this is to do with the deal Google did, but what did WordPress do wrong ? I also got Brit-news withdrawal symptoms, as BBC News was blocked, but CNN wasn’t. (Doesn’t this just make you trust the BBC ??). Even on the CNN site, when I did a search for “China News” I got a list of links which somehow didn’t work….

So I tried other sites. Wikipedia in English – nope. Wikipedia in French – ok. Technorati – nope. Digg – ok. Bad Astronomer and Astronomy Blog – just fine. Guardian – ok. How they decide to ban the BBC but the Guardian is beyond me. I kinda doubt that the Guardian has done a special deal. Maybe they are just too small beer, whereas everybody has heard of the BBC and is out looking for it.

IVOA Exec having dinner in Beijing. Anyhoo. Despite the techno-censorship I had a fine time. The people are great and the food is fantastic.
I was at the twice yearly “interoperability workshop” of the International Virtual Observatory Alliance.

Its all about standards, standards, and standards. And just a smidgeon of politics. Oh and did I mention standards.

This year’s fashion is SOAP bashing. We are all fed up with writing WSDL and want to be a bit more RESTful. Ultra-geeks nod knowingly. Regular astronomers and others, nod patronisingly, as if understanding perfectly well but having better things to do.

St Lawrence about to be martyred on the Grid. Found at So anyway. I am a semi-geek. It was fun but hard and the politics and personality clashes got a bit intense. All I will say is that more than one person has pointed out to that St Lawrence was martyred on the Grid.