✈ Behind the façade

The architect who designed this church in Venice (Chiesa di San Vidal) tried to hide the building behind it, but ordinary life goes on behind the façade. There’s an ice cream shop doing brisk business, and the apartments above the shop seem to have no relation to the huge church window on the façade.

So it is everywhere. Religious or secular, business or personal, male or female, gay or straight. No matter how impressive the façade, real life goes on behind it if you look. It has to.

✈ Gondola Yard

I was in Italy on business this week and as I was flying in and out of Venice airport had the chance to spend a half-day in Venice. It was foggy and damp, but still enjoyable to walk around for a while. While I was there I stumbled on the gondola maintenance yard. It had to be there in Venice somewhere, but I’d never seen it before. It was clearly a place that had been there for a very long time – since the 17th century, apparently.

✈ Available For US Engagements

I expect to be in the USA in early-to-mid May (and possibly again in July). If you would like me to speak at a private or public event, or to provide consulting services, I would be pleased to hear from you.  Combining multiple engagements saves money, saves energy and is good for us all!  Please use my contact form to get in touch and I or my agent will get back to you.

✈ Yosemite HD

I need to go back.

✈ T-DOSE in Eindhoven

I’m just setting out for Eindhoven in The Netherlands, where I will be delivering the keynote at 10:00 tomorrow (Saturday November 5th) at T-DOSE. I’ll be considering how open source springs from a wider trend that also includes the Occupy* movement, and explaining why businesses should specify software freedom in their procurement activities. I’d love to see you there!

✈ Liberty and Vigilance

In the Place de la Bastille in Paris, this statue stands at the top of a column commemorating the citizens of France who took up arms to finally rid themselves of a hereditary monarchy. Despite accepting its reinstatement a few years before, the king was creating unjust, self-serving laws without accountability and the citizens mounted “Occupy Paris” to end the problem. Hundreds died in the defence of liberty and the defeat of the unaccountable.

Which is why I find it deeply ironic to find surveillance cameras on the column.

✈ Modern Hero Revisited

Great Wall of the Ming DynastyAbout a decade ago I started a “spool” of the comments I had been making on my personal website (which had been running since the late 90s – I actually started editing web pages in 1992, for IBM’s Person to Person product). It became a regular feature, and I decided I needed to manage it more competently so used a handy website by Pyra Labs called Blogger which I moved to. The rest, as they say, is history.

Back in those early days, I wrote an essay describing two visits to the Great Wall of China.  It still seems to bear relevance to several things that continue to hold my interest, so to celebrate a decade of “blogging”, I’ve moved the article – Modern Hero – to this site along with some of the photos I took back then. I hope you enjoy it.

✈ In Sunlight

Today has been a beautiful day in Paris, spent walking and talking in the brilliant autumnal sunlight with dear and charming friends – which has been the theme for the whole weekend, actually. The distance between here and the things that usually hold my attention could hardly be greater and it’s an unusual but welcome break from routine.
All the devices with me are perfectly capable of relaying the e-mail, social networks, instant messages and more, but the combination of the HADOPI-inspired absence of open WiFi hotspots and the self-destructively over-priced 3G data roaming (hey Orange: if it was cheaper people would buy it and you’d make more money, not less) means I spend my vacation days here in the heart of Europe blissfully unaware of the rest of the electronic world.

Which I suppose is by way of apologising for not answering any e-mails this week!

✈ Mandatory Car Share?

Mandatory Car Share, première mise en ligne par webmink.

Is it a requirement for users of this parking garage in Paris to share their cars with others?

[Note to non-geeks: “GPL” in software is a popular open source license that requires software developers to share their work with others]
[Note to geeks: Yes, I am very well aware that “GPL” means liquified petroleum gas in French]

✈ Heading West To SFO

The Sierra NevadaYosemite - Half Dome and Vernal FallsDrawbridge, the ghost-town in San Francisco BayIMG_0283New Facebook CampusIMG_0292

Heading West To SFO, a set on Flickr.

A delightfully clear afternoon flying across Nevada to San Francisco allowed me to take some splendid photographs. Check out especially the shot of Half Dome and the colours of the salt pans in San Francisco Bay.

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