one of my most beloved conversations on technology takes place in the dead of winter. unlike SXSW where wine runs free and clothing is an optional choice, the lift conference in geneve is a lovely reminder that the best ideas are not in America.
for the past two years, the lift team has matured into a lovely curated event. combined with shift (Portugal) and reboot (Copenhagen), these three conferences rock the ideological limestone that dominates the normal technology banter.
over the past few months, lift metamorphosised from an annual conference to "a series of events gathering observers, explorers, and builders from around the world to discuss the current challenges and creative solutions presented by emerging technologies."
if you are in soul, or more importantly know friends in soul... please pass along that on 12 Sept from 16h to 18h - adam greenfield, bruce sterling and yoo suk yeon will talk about space, from real to digital.
the event is free, and without a doubt, it should be interesting!
(btw, the new lift blog is all in drupal...)
quick question, does your ISP/hosting provider have a blog? while you might wonder why it's important, check out network redux's rationale for starting up a blog...
This weblog serves several purposes for our community; an inside perspective into the operations underlying common dicussions and issues on our NOC List, behind the scenes discussion on the fundamentals of managing a web hosting company, and most importantly an open door of communication to our user base.
Founded in November, 2004 — we have noted substantial improvements in our service levels as a result of multi-channeled communication with our customer base. This has taken fold via our Network Operations List, our Community driven forums, and our Wiki style FAQ.
...and here's my advice...
i'm really glad to see that you guys are starting a blog. i hope that you take the time not just to discuss the technical operation, but i also hope that you talk about the grander issues that face small businesses, the environmental impact of running a server farm, and the government regulation impacting small business/ISP/hosting companies.
i look forward to hearing more from you guys and look forward to hearing the brain dribble.
network redux should also set up a twitter account to send out updates about server status, notes to this blog, and events/things you guys like!
many thanks for being so awesome!
ps - network redux is contributing their services and host luckofseven.com
it's been a month and a half since i left NYC and now i am in cairo!!
after a 15 hour bus ride from tel aviv, i have finally made it to africa. upon arrival and in the confines of the Sheraton Cairo business center, i discovered that i had no place to sleep. the super kind attendant, imat, hooked me up with an internet connection and offered a special hotel rate with the price tag of $260 USD. in all honesty, i thought about it... and decided to let my fingers to the walking.
twenty mins later, i discover a little hostel named Lialy. after a herroing taxi cab ride that ran three lights with one featuring a near head on collision, i "arrived" at 3am. with complete understanding of my situation, the midnight attendant shepherd me into freezing three bed room.
waking at 9am, i was presented with two options...
1. wait to see if a room is available.
2. make my own booking at another hostel.
in haste, and after looking at fellow blogger reviews, i have made arrangements at Meramees hostel but have also been told that there is no availably after tomorrow. so, if you are reading this and know someone in cairo... help a brudda out and have someone contact me via my american sim (+1.917.657.6999).
in the meantime, i'm going to find an egyptian sim, check into the meramees, find an internet connection and start pounding away in some IRC chat rooms.
well it appears that i have more night in the luxurious accommodations of midan talaat harb square. in a striking similarity to columbus circle in manhattan, cars, scooters, motorcycles, bicycle peddlers, street merchants, and pedestrians all vie for the right to pass. littered with parked cars, torn up sidewalks and air conditioning water droplets, the sidewalks wreak of mayhem.
there is one sad passing note that i should mention about the little hostel named lialy. when i went back to pick up my bags, the day attendant told me he now had a room for me. a little shocked, i told him that i already had found accommodations and that i would be moving on.
after already charging me a egyptian pound (EL) for one hour's worth of internet usage (25 US cents), he proceeded to ask for payment. despite the fact i had already paid him 50 EL (10 USD), he now wanted 150 EL (30 USD). full aware of this scam, i politely told him to check his records. after confirming my payment, he asked that i hurry up and clean my barely used room.
in the room, i was pleasantly surprised to discover the two other travelers whom i awoke at 3am. (btw, they also loved staying at the big apple hostel in istanbul.) in my departure i mentioned the small billing snafu, and they proceeded to tell me about another little shamble. apparently, while my roomies were eating their falafel breakfast, a group of three arrived. at 100 EL per person (twice the normal price), the three french started their negotiations to secure a room. after a few fleeting moments of delight, one of the day attendants noticed my roomies and ended negotiations.
note to fellow travelers in cairo, be armed with a big smile and distain for comical negoiations. don't be rude, but be prepared for the unexpected.
first - get a receipt!
two - once you have decided to move around, get to a hostel quickly. while many people might have great things to say about their experience, most of these places are on a first come first serve basis. while hostelworld.com really does not overtly tell you, the small deposit you are charged is just a shrewd formality for the possibility of a booking. hostels are not big chain hotels and are frequently owned and operated by a family or a few friends. things change at a moments notice.
three - always remember, get in good... get good service...