Monday Sep 14, 2009

FOSS.IN Bangalore 2009

I see things gearing up for FOSS.IN in Bangalore in December. I went to FOSS.IN two years ago and really enjoyed the entire experience. And I learned a great deal as well. FOSS.IN was one of the best conferences I've been to. Perfect size. Interesting people. Real community feel.

Also note the excellent blog from Atul Chitnis outlining the changes being planned for this year's event. What seems core to the organizers at FOSS.IN is the concept of contribution. It's easy to get distracted and drift from foundational principles when you grow, but it's great to see FOSS.IN getting the basics right. Participation. Contribution. Doing -- not talking.

See a recent Atul video on just these issues.

Sunday Jun 28, 2009

Japan OpenSolaris Community Meeting 062709

The Japan OpenSolaris Community together on Saturday. Nice day (and night). About 60 people came by for the three sessions, two of which were in Japanese and the third in English. Then all three groups came together for a nomikai. I think the model works well to start integrating the Japanese and international OpenSolaris communities.

I used a new lens for this event. My f/1.4 lens is getting fixed, so I borrowed Jon`s 50mm f/1.2, which is one scary smart lens. It`s a tad expensive, too, so I was more than a little nervous shooting with it. Anyway, at f/1.2 the focus is just razor thin. Focus on someone`s glasses and their entire face is out. I messed up a few images that way, but by the end of the night I was getting used to it. Amazing piece of glass. By the way, you can see Jon`s stuff here. He`s one of the best photographers around.

Tuesday Oct 28, 2008

Tokyo OpenSolaris User Group Opens

The Tokyo OpenSolaris User Group is now open. We are a local user group in Tokyo, but Tokyo is a massively big city with interesting connections around the world. So, as we grow we intend to grow globally. If you are interested in Japan or Japanese technology or if you ever come to Tokyo, then subscribe to our list and talk to us. We'll be talking about all things OpenSolaris and FOSS. All communities welcome. All technologies welcome. All nationalities welcome. All languages welcome. All skills welcome. Everyone has something to contribute.

Monday Jul 28, 2008

Japanese or Chinese?

Ok, what language is more difficult to learn for western adults -- Japanese or Chinese? The consensus seems to be that Japanese grammar is more difficult than Chinese grammar, but Chinese pronunciation is more difficult than Japanese pronunciation. I would agree. Now, can you imagine a language that combines the most difficult aspects of Japanese and Chinese and includes the complexity of their character-based writing systems? I still think telepathy is the way to go.

Sunday Jun 08, 2008

Koreans Going After English

Some South Korean parents are so motivated to get their kids into English classes that they are willing to split up their families to do it -- For English Studies, Koreans Say Goodbye to Dad. That's just very sad. The Korean government has stated that it will start addressing the problem by hiring more English teachers. I also didn't know that there are now more than 103,000 South Korean students in the United States -- the highest population of foreign students in the country.

Friday Feb 01, 2008

Sun Growing in Asia

Sun Micro's Asia brightens amid U.S. gloom: Sun is growing -- and hiring -- in rapidly expanding markets in Asia.

Tuesday Jan 29, 2008

China and Korea Coming to Japan

Chinese flock to Japan in tourism boom: "The number of Chinese visitors to Japan exceeded the number of Americans for the first time in 2007, data published on Monday showed, highlighting a boom in regional tourism fuelled by Asia’s growing wealth ...  South Koreans remained the most numerous visitors at 2.6m, up 22 per cent from 2006, followed by Taiwanese at 1.39m. Mainland Chinese were third, followed by visitors from the US, Hong Kong and Australia." -- Financial Times

Cool. The more diversity here the better.

Friday Dec 28, 2007

Stiglitz and Friedman on Globalization

Here's an interesting conversation between Thomas Friedman, Op-Ed columnist for the New York Times, and Joseph E. Stiglitz, winner of the 2001 Nobel Prize in Economics, discussing globalization -- Transcript: A TimesSelect/TimesTalks Event on Globalization. It's from April of 2006, but it hardly feels dated at all. The entire word is discussed, of course, and it's fascinating. But I think India and China probably grab the lion's share of air time.

At one point in the conversation, Friedman talks about getting three things right -- education, infrastructure, governance -- in the context of how some countries are modernization and globalizing more effectively than others. From Friedman:

"China and India, China in particular, actually increased the pace of its reform in a lot of those areas. So Mexico went from being right on our border to a thousand miles away, and China went from being thousands of miles away in some ways to right on our border. But -- And I’ll just finish this one point because this is important. People have to make choices. Governments have to make choices. Priorities. Look at India. Today they’re about, I think, 70,000-80,000 Indian foreign students in the United States. There are roughly a similar amount from China. I think there are about 10,000 from Mexico. Those are also choices societies are making in terms of how to get educated, what language to learn and how to become a competitor and a collaborator on this platform. So you have to -- Development is a choice. It’s not some inevitable thing. You have to choose to bring your infrastructure, your education and your governance to the level where you can access this whole new technology platform."

They are obviously talking about why Mexico has not fully realized the benefits articulated by proponents of NAFTA (North American Free Trade Agreement). And although that issue is certainly complex, what shoots out at me is actually a country not mentioned in this 15,000 word conversation: Japan. Why is Japan not mentioned in the context of globalization? I think it has a lot to do with the quote I cite from Friedman: choices. Both government and individual. Now, many would argue that what India and China are experiencing is simply the result of their economies rapidly growing due to modernization and that Japan is already a mature market. Heck, many at Sun make that argument to me when I bring this up. Sorry. I don't buy it. That's only a small part of the issue. The biggest part is attitude. China and India want to globalize. You can read it in their political rhetorical can you can hear it and see it where you go there. Japan, on the other hand, shows little interest in globalizing compared to some of its biggest neighbors in Asia. Also, the "mature market" bit falls apart when you look at the United States the last two decades. To say that mature markets can't grow and change and continually modernize is just wrong. It's all comes down to attitude. Well, ok, it's more complex that than, of course, but that's where it starts.

Anyway, check out Stiglitz and Friedman. Very interesting stuff. Extremely complex, though. Can you predict where things will go? I can't. It's very cool working at a global company right at the foot of two massively emerging markets, though. There is such huge potential throughout all of the Asia Pacific region. 

Sunday Dec 16, 2007

China and India

"I don't think Americans have any idea about the scale of the shift going on in China and India." -- Robyn Meredith, author of The Elephant and the Dragon: The Rise of India and China, and What It Means for All of Us. Interesting discussion about globalization, democracy, communism, capitalism, developing markets, and politics. 

Tuesday Oct 30, 2007

Intel OpenSolaris Engineering in Beijing

I went along with Jim Hughes, Kathy Jenks, and John Jiang to meet Intel's OpenSolaris engineering team in Beijing yesterday. These guys are part of Intel's team in Shanghai working on the OpenSolaris project. I met Gerry Liu, Kan Liang, Tony Su, and Zhong Hui. Great to associate names with faces as we explore OpenSolaris on Intel.

Intel Beijing Intel Beijing

Intel Beijing Intel Beijing

Wednesday Sep 19, 2007

Sun Flying in China

Sun Aims to Double Sales in China: "China is a market of huge importance to us strategically," said Don Grantham, Sun's executive vice president of global sales and services. "The plan here is to grow our business very, very significantly." -- Wall Street Journal (subscription required)

It's great to see Sun aggressively moving into emerging markets around the world, especially right here in Asia where I live, and especially because I'm trying to focus on Asia for the future. Also, I think China (and India as well) will help reform the Japanese market since competition is good.

Saturday Sep 01, 2007

Emerging Markets

Emerging Markets in BRIC Nations are Focus of Technology Firms: "Forget everything you know about today's computer industry. Future technology growth will be driven by emerging markets rather than Europe, North America or Japan, and consumers in these emerging markets will probably use handheld devices rather than the desktops or laptops that have been our gateways to cyberspace." -- San Francisco Chronicle

It's been that way here in Japan for years.

Thursday Jul 19, 2007

Project Blackbox Coming to Tokyo

I see that Project Blackbox is coming to Asia and will swing by Tokyo in mid November. Very cool. I wonder where they'll put this thing, though. There's not much room left in Tokyo. But it's a good thing Sun is doing earthquake testing (here, here) as a part of Project Blackbox. Seems like that would be an absolute requirement in the Japanese market. Anyway, when the big black box arrives, I hope to grab a snap or two.
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