Monthly Archives: August 2007

Arrived in San Francisco!

We finally made it off Iceland to Narsarsuaq, Greenland and then hopscotched across North America via Goose Bay, Canada; Mont Tremblant, Quebec; Duluth, Minnesota; Rock Springs, Wyoming and finally San Francisco. Four days of flying, with 24 hours in the air. Upon arrival, I immediately jumped on a 12 hour flight to Hong Kong, where I have just arrived. Ready to be earth-bound for a while now.


Grounded in Reykjavik

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Having joined friends for the delivery of a propeller aircraft from Europe to the US, we are currently grounded in Reykjavik, Iceland by the weather at our next landing point: Narsarsuaq, Greenland.

We left Paris yesterday by commercial flight to Billund, Denmark – home of Legoland – to pick up the aircraft. The co-pilot’s HSI, an electronic compass, had burned out mysteriously and needed to be replaced. The replacement also burned out shortly after we left. The pilots (I am the only passenger on this voyage) tell me that they have 5 separate GPS devices between them (including a GPS for jogging), so the compass is not actually vital.

Even if GPS and HSI fail, we apparently have Gmail for navigation – photo below. Should I be reassured?

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The photo of the three of us was taken at our first stop, Wick, which may be the northernmost airport in Britain. Andrew Bruce, in photo below, seems to do everything at the airport – from refueling to flight training to air traffic control.

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According to Andrew, there are 37 flights like ours that stop at Wick each month. There are quite a few single engine aircraft and about three aircraft per year perish. “You can blame the weather, but in reality it is almost always due to bad planning and doing things in a rush.”

Wick serves as the winter loading point for North Sea oil platforms, since it is flat enough for helicopters to land in very bad weather. While we were there an oil platform helicopter was clattering overhead doing various exercises.

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Teach a Qwerty Mac to speak French


Los Angeles, written in French as a joke by the SNCF (Merci à Jean-Francois Paris pour le photo)

As a frequent contributor to Loic Le Meur’s blog – which is consistently ranked among the top blogs in France – I face frustration with adding accents to my postings. (I own a Qwerty keyboard Mac, not the French-style Azerty keyboard that has handy one touch accents).

Here’s the solutions (All suggested by readers of Loic’s blog)

1- Use Bon Patron to add accents and correct your French. A Canadian website that specifically looks for typical anglophone errors in French, I highly recommend it. (Grand merci à Sylvain Pellier)

2- Use Mac accents thanks to this handy table (Grand merci à Cedric)

æ = Option (alt) + ‘
à = Option (alt) + ` + a
â = Option (alt) + i + a
ç = Option (alt) + c
é = Option (alt) + e + e
è = Option (alt) + ` + e
ê = Option (alt) + i + e
ë = Option (alt) + u + e
î = Option (alt) + i + i
ï = Option (alt) + u + i
ô = Option (alt) + i + o
ö = Option (alt) + u + o
ù = Option (alt) + ` + u
û = Option (alt) + i + u
ü = Option (alt) + u + u
« = Option (alt) + \
» = Option (alt) + Shift + \
½ = Option (alt) + ½

3- Install Rainer Brockerhoff’s program that simplifies the adding of accents. Have not tried this because I am extremely wary of jamming up my computer with too many programs. (Grand merci à Thy)

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Reporting Dalian, Open Source-style


I will experiment with a new style of Open Source reporting while attending the World Economic Forum’s Dalian meeting in September. (China’s People’s Daily newspaper refers to the meeting as a “Summer Davos”.)

After more than a decade as a reporter for the International Herald Tribune/New York Times, I resigned last month to start a new career as an Asia-based entrepreneur.

My DNA, however, remains that of a reporter and I plan to report from the conference as intensely as I would for the newspaper.

This time, however, I will fully disclose my intended articles on this blog and post a video of every interview.

Some videos will be interviews of people with compelling ideas or stories whom I encounter at the conference and at the Young Global Leaders meeting beforehand, but I plan to concentrate on specific strands of reporting.

To make this process fully Open Source, I will also blog the progress of my reporting as well as solicit tips and ideas. Please leave comments and suggestions!

For these interested in journalism, this project will show how raw material turns into an article (and – no doubt – how a reporter’s perspective is changed by the very act of reporting).

Since I will follow my own agenda rather than the conference, this system varies slightly from the excellent posts on conference blogging by uber-bloggers Ethan Zuckerman and Bruno Giussani.

Here’s my current ideas for two themes (which may vary with reporting):

INTERNETS OF ASIA: Contrary to popular perception among many in technology, culture matters. Countries with similar high levels of technology – Sweden and South Korea, for example – can use that technology in radically different ways. This holds especially true in Asia, with numerous interesting variations: The text message obsession in the Philippines, the reluctance of Hong Kong residents to “show friends” to strangers – and even their friends – in social networking websites. Need many striking examples!

TECHNO CHINA: What are the biggest Internet trends in China and which ones could be exported from China?

A quick selection from the participant list (Further suggestions welcome):

Those watching the Internet and blogosphere:
Magid Abraham co-Founder and CEO of Comscore
Dave Sifry, founder and CEO of Technorati
Kaiser Kuo of Ogilvy in China

Telecom experts:
Yoon Songyee Vice-President, SK Telecom, Republic of Korea
Tero Ojanpera Executive VP and Chief Technology Officer, Nokia, Finland

Web 2.0 Entrepreneurs
Ailin Anshe Graef Chair of Anshe Chung Studios, China
Tariq Krim CEO and Founder, Netvibes, France

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