I will be at the Canadian Semantic Web Working Symposium 2006 in Quebec City the 6th June

Kone Mamadou Tadiou that co-chair the event with Daniel Lemire contacted me two days ago to know if I would be there: sure I will! I registered yesterday and I am impatiently waiting after that event.

The CSWWS will be in conjunction with the Canadian AI-2006 and the International workshop on agents and multiagent systems. If you are interested in Artificial Intelligence, in multiagent systems or in the Semantic Web, you have to be in Quebec City from the 5th to the 9th June.

The computer science department of the Laval University worked hard to get things done with that major Canadian event of 2006. It will be a great opportunity to meet new people, talk about fascinating subjects and to discuss about new academic and commercial projects related with these domains.

I hope to met you there, in one of the most beautiful and enjoyable city on the planet.

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Mesh – Canada’s Web 2.0 conference

Yup, we finally got one! Thanks to Mark Evans, Mathew Ingram, Mike McDerment, Rob Hyndman and Stuart MacDonald for this initiative.

I will try all my best to be there; I should register in a couple of days.

Mesh will take place in Toronto at the MaRS Collaboration Centre the 15th and 16th May 2006.

Many people will be there like Steve Rubel, Tara Hunt, Om Malik, Jason Fried, Stowe Boyd, Amber MacArthur, and many others.

The agenda is not fixed at the moment, but Stuart will put it on their blog as soon as it is nailed down.

For the attendees, you should use the tag Mesh06 when blogging about that event.

Who are currently talking about that event? Check out the Technorati Tags; however, at the moment you can find more results using Talk Digger.

I just found via the Remarkk blog that there is a BarCamp in Toronto the 13th and 14th May 2006, just before the conference. It could be a good warm-up, and it could be a good place to present a new major feature of Talk Digger (in fact it is far more ambitious than the meta-search engines I created with Talk Digger, and in my humble opinion, it have far more potential to connect people and find/follow/enter into discussions evolving on the Web). The only thing I hope is being able to finish a demo by the 12 May; otherwise I could simply talk about Web discussions.

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Better English, better blog posts

You will probably notice that the English of my blog post will upgrade considerably in my next posts. This is not magic, and no I didn’t implement an English language micro-chip in my brain. Everything is the grammar correction work of Jon Husband, a good friend of mine. He told me: “Fred, if you want that I continue to read your blog, I will have to correct your posts, otherwise I stop, I can’t continue anymore!”

Okay, it is not exactly what he said, but I would have understood! Nah, Jon kindly told me that he would be willing to correct my blog posts before I publish them, so I would be able to know the English errors I make habitually, and thus begin to accelerate the improvement of my English skills. Naturally, I said yes to his proposition!

That said, it’s a win-win game: I will continue to upgrade my English skills (and there is a lot of room for that) and you will begin to read better-written English blog posts.

Thanks Jon.

Back from the Himalaya

As you probably know, I was on a trip in India for the next months. However, as expected, nothing gone as expected: thanks God!

There is only one word to describe my trip: Adventure.

It was awesome.

Everything started in India. I have been there for 3 weeks: 3 weeks of pure adventure. It was awesome and really an experience to live for an occidental. Nothing is familiar and everything can happen in India. My motto was: expect the unexpected.

I will not write everything here (I wrote about 40 or 50 pages in French just in emails, to my friends and family, to describe what happened, and not really expected, during the last 5 weeks). However I can say that it was awesome and I would do the same trip anytime.

As I said, I was supposed to be away for 2 or 3 months, and I came back after 5 weeks, so what happened?

Everything ended with my last adventure in the Himalaya. There is the short story:

I flew from Kathmandu to Lukla (the last airstrip before the Everest) and was suppose to go to Gokyo, then getting the Chu La Pass (if the weather conditions were good) then heading to the Everest base camp. (Have in mind that I have been alone all the trip long, meeting a incredible number of people from all around the world).

Click here for a map of the region

So I headed to Gokyo without any Acute Mountain Sickness problems: I was at 4700m of altitude. Everything was going as expected and without any problem except for a could that started 2 days ago, so I woke up the morning after my first night at Gokyo, started to climb the Gokyo Peak (5400m), expecting to go to the Chu La Pass later in the day.

Then the unexpected happened.

I get a HAPE (High Altitude Pulmonary Edema): water in lungs. I had only one thing to do from that point: climbing down of 1000m of altitude in the next hours or I could get permanent injuries to the lungs or worse death if I keep myself at that altitude for too long. The problem is that I had to climb down to Phortse to climb down of 900m and it is a 12km or 15km of walk in the mountains, with 25kilos of stock, 50% to 60% of the sea level oxygen, malfunctioning lungs and I was alone, unable to find a porter or even a tourist to help me to carry by pack-sac.

To make a short story, I got to Phortse after around 11 hours of walk: I never been that exhausted. Then the next day I got to the doctor in Kunde ( if the day before I was exhausted, now I was dead after the walk from Phortse to Kunde). Then I found that everything was okay vis-a-vis my lungs, but I got an alimentation intoxication.

It was the worse… I haven’t been able to eat during my last 3 days in the Himalaya because of this intoxication, and I was spending around 5000 calories to get me out of there. So I was not able to go back at the Everest base camp because I wasn’t able to eat, so getting back my energy. My antibiotics were not effective and I wasn’t able to restart to eat after a couple of days so I decided to get out of there in case that it wasn’t a bacteria that I had in my belly. So I found a cargo Helicopter that was flying near from where I was (Namche Bazard) to Jiri (a beautiful old 1960 helicopter drove by by Colonel I. Tchekov).

So I got back to Kathmandu 4 days after my ascension of Gokyo peak, my belly started to get back on track after 10 days, and I am now in Quebec.

My trip was awesome; I lived many many fabulous things during these 5 weeks.

Now I am back, full of energy and ready for the next steps.

Right now I am digging in 5 weeks of web feed aggregation, trying to check what happened in the Blogsphere during the last 5 weeks. So my next posts will probably be in relation with the interesting writings I found.

Put yourself in a radical new environment to stimulate creativity: I am going to India in one week

Many creative people will tell you to change your environment, in a radical way, to find inspiration and to stimulate your creativity. That way new sensory-motors inputs will be processed by your brain and could lead to radical new ideas. Amy Tan said: “Memory feeds imagination”.

It is what I am going to do: feeding my memories with new sensory-motors inputs: views, smells, noises, tastes, touches, social interactions, etc. Four months of new social interactions, of new visions of the world, of new ideas, and all this in a constantly changing environment.

I am thinking about this trip for about 2 years now; things changed many times since then: I was going… I was not going… I was going… I was not going… etc. However, I told me: Fred, if you want to make it, you have to take the time, however you will never do it. It is what I decided: I will take the time. I will be in India for the next 2 to 6 months.

Do not ask me what I will do in India, what my itinerary is, or anything else: I have no idea. The only thing I know is that I arrive in New-Delhi. Why bothering to plan a trip when you know that nothing will go as expected, particularly in India. Go with the flow and take opportunities, this is the only way you can live fabulous things in your trip. So, this is how I see it, this is how I will live it.

So, what happen with my blog, with Talk Digger, and all the other things I work on since 6 months? In 2004 there were 50 000 cyber-coffee in India. I would bet that there are approximately 75 000 in 2006. India is the country with the greatest number of Bachelors in the World. So, do not worry, I will keep myself informed of what happen. If something goes wrong with Talk Digger, I will be able to fix it without any problems. The only thing vis-à-vis Talk Digger is that I will not add new features as long as I come back in Quebec.

The content of this blog will change a little bit. Right now it mostly talk about social softwares, the semantic web and related technologies, and Talk Digger. For the next months, I will try write about the IT industry in India. This is one of the goal of this trip: trying to understand how the IT industry in India works, how the management works, how they are able to efficiently work with people coming from everywhere in India: how they manage around 200 religions of above 1 millions and more adepts, 150 languages and dialects, people from different casts (yes, cast system is always present in the Indian culture and society: a Brahmin is a Brahmin and an Untouchable is an Untouchable).

Probably that some Indian people will read my entries (yup, I have you in mind Sudar) and laugh at my prejudices and misconceptions: please forgive me and correct me with a comment on these blog posts. In fact, India is quite mysterious to the Occidental world. Rare are the people that have been there and few know what happened and what is happening in the country. One of the things that make the headlines News in America is the Indian outsourcing industry. People do not understand it and do not know what it is all about. The only thing they say is that: they pick our job and this is bad. The only thing that they forget is probably that the Canada, specially the Quebec, is the #1 outsourcing country for the United-States (with the IT industry at least). So, it is what I will write about in the next few months on this blog: Who is the emerging middle class? How is it possible? How the IT (outsourcing) industry works? How do they manage their people (in relation with their multiple languages, religions, casts, etc)?

So, I hope that you will like what I will have to write about in the next few months.

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