September 2006

This blog was launched in January 2006 so I’d have a place to post stories, pictures and videos from my family’s trip back to China earlier this year, but in early May I decided to take a break from the travelogue itself.

In the meantime, this blog replaced my Chinese Outpost site’s monthly newsletter as the online corkboard where I stick notes and observations on other China-related topics. (Blogs are so much easier. Maybe too easy.)

But today, we’re re-christening this as the “2006 Trip to China” blog for the rest of this year, just like the site title has said all along: Postcards from China: An American who taught in China in 1993-94 returns for an extended visit with his native Chinese wife and their two pre-schoolers.

And an interesting thing: In going back and looking at the pictures and videos I took in China earlier this year, a number of them that didn’t seem worth posting then now strike me differently, so before we continue the story where we left off in May–just about to head to Quanzhou–I’m going to spend just a little time backtracking for some snippets that didn’t make the first cut.

In other news, the handwritten journals I kept and 35mm snapshots I took during my first year in China, some 13 years ago, are now going online at their very own site–just for fun, please don’t take it too seriously–under the descriptor of China Grunge: Tales of a Gen-X Expat in China, 1993-94. If you’re into China Blogs, this one may be a decent sounding board for What’s Changed and What’s The Same in China vs. thirteen years ago–and because the entries were selected with much hindsight, there’s hardly any whining. 😉

Jake Ludington used to be a contributor at Chris – Pirillo’s – Lockergnome, back before both Jake and Chris moved here to the Seattle area. These days, Jake publishes at his own site, Jake Ludington’s MediaBlab: “Audio and Video Answers for your Digital Lifestyle”.

Earlier this week I ended up back at Jake’s site after a long hiatus (I guess I haven’t had any digital problems lately that–I shudder to type this–couldn’t be solved by YouTube). There, I found that since my last visit he (1) has started learning Mandarin Chinese and (2) is in Beijing this very week reporting from the ‘DEMO China’ conference.

To quote Jake:

Like the DEMO conference here in the United States, DEMO China represents a showcase of some of exciting new companies. This is the first DEMO ever held outside the U.S. and I’m documenting all the companies presenting over the course of the three-day event.

And to quote Jake’s quote of the DEMO China site:

DEMO China showcases a market with explosive growth potential – the People’s Republic of China. With growing support from VCs, numerous successful tech companies in China are now publicly traded on the NASDAQ, including SINA, SOHU, NETEASE and BIDU. And there’s much more growth ahead. New technology companies are launched everyday in this booming market. DEMO China will screen the entire country for the Annual Top 70 companies.

The conference ran September 6-8, and Jake has posted just a handful of entries in his DEMO China blog so far, but I rather suspect he’ll be adding more as time allows.

In my favorite post, “Mvox Duo Wearable Voice-Dialing Communicator,” Jake reports on a technology that its creator, Silicon Valley’s MVox Technologies, apparently doesn’t want you to know about yet if you live in the United States. Says Jake:

In a rather dramatic introduction, Mvox walked through a demonstration promising to throw out all your existing wired communication devices and replace it with a hands-free voice activated solution for dialing, talking, and communicating (in the demo they called Yao Ming). The Mvox DUO is both a Bluetooth headset and hands-free car kit with speaker phone. The speaker phone capability allows it to double as a portable conference room phone and it integrates with VoIP over Bluetooth, assuming your computer is Bluetooth equipped….

[A]fter the company found out I was American, they wouldn’t let me take better shots because they haven’t announced the device in the U.S. just yet. Someday, companies need to remember that the Internet has no borders. (emphasis mine)

A couple other posts you China-looking techies and marketers and wireless experts might like (Hi, Karl!) include:

And since I’m trying harder to follow the “Each Post Must Say Something Unique, Not Just Copy, Paste and Link” rule of blogging:

The Mvox DUO doesn’t look like a Star Trek communicator so much as it does one of those theft-prevention devices clamped to clothing in certain mid-scale department stores:

Photo by Jake Ludington

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