China

Meeting with Dr. Meng and his team

In the afternoon of Tuesday 20 I had the appointment at CAAS to talk with Dr. Meng about the future of our collaboration with Agrovoc and the Chinese Agricultural Thesaurus. Dr. Meng introduced his new team and especially Dr. Zhang Xuefu, the new technical contact for AGROVOC and the CAT.
I presented the new development around AGROVOC, the transformation to a Concept Server and the AGROVOC conceptserver workbench.

YeeYan.com

Second visit on October 20 was to Yee Yan, (http://www.yeeyan.com), a start up founded by 3 Tsinghua students some years ago. This is not about research and automatic translation. This is about motivated people who want to bring foreign content to China, by creating a network of translators. One of the founders was motivated to start, because his father died of a rare disease by the lack of important information in Chinese language, but which was available in the USA.

National Laboratory of Pattern Recognition (NLPR)

Tuesday morning, October 20. I am guest of the Research Group of Speech and Language Technology At NLPR, CAS (Chinese Academy of Science). They are working on automatic translation, name-entity extractions, speech to speech translation. Prof. Chengqing Zong, one of the group leaders in the lab, gave us an introduction to the work of the and 2 demos of systems. NLPR by itself is amazing. More than 200 researchers in 5 research groups.

Beijing in the sun and dinner

Monday evening, just for sunset I arrived in Beijing, nice weather, warm and sunny, but fresh. Air in Beijing gets better. The airport is now enormous. I had not seen it for years.

All is new and shiny, the terminals are linked by an internal train. But, there is now also an external Expresstrain, which links the airport to the city center. But obviously :-) we took the taxi.

Asian Mirror for www.fao.org necessary

This morning, at the Harbin Institute of Technology I gave embarassed up, when trying to get www.fao.org on the screen. It was tooooo slow, much slower than other sides. I have read that 10s is the maximum time that people wait for a website. If this is true at Harbin Institute of Technology www.fao.org will not be used! To get a more objective impression I made a pinging of some websites sending 3 datablocks to www.google.com, www.johanneskeizer.com and www.fao.org.

Harbin in the Rain

Well, I arrived in Harbin on October 18th and the weather was, let's say as a normal January in Hamburg and I was stupidly dressed with a linen jacket and mocassins - just out of Rome. January in Harbin could be worse. Wikipedia says - 13 C is the medium High Temperature, they call it also Ice -City in China.
Harbin is known for it's pollution problems and the picture below, taken from my Hotel room might confirm this.

Killing the pig

Arrived in Harbin this evening and had Dinner with Burley and two of his friends. We went to a traditional popular Harbin Restaurant.
The title of the selection was "Killing the pig" and the single dishes were

- blood sausages
- boiled pig head meat
- A soup with cabbage and bacon
- small intestine with green peppers
- mushrooms and eggs
- Fried sticks of Cornbread

Non-Interference

One corner stone of the Chinese foreing policy is the principle of Non-Interference into the internal affairs of another country. If another government slaughter a minority, violates human rights, oppresses women, all this should not matter for the relationships between countries. Only the United Nations, if in unison should have the right to intervene. As getting an unison decision from the UN is difficult today and will become nearly impossible tomorrow, the cementation of national inviolability will become very strong.

Presentation at the Polytechnical University of Guangzhou

On invitation of Dr. Wang Zhong from the polytechnical University of Guangzhou I gave today a presentation with the title "The global knowledge society in the age of the Internet". More than 30 graduate and postgraduate students participates. A PDF Version of the presentation is attached. The .odp version is at http://www.johanneskeizer.com/files/GZ-University_jk_2008-08-01.odp.

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