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.
. 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.
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.