Been a busy week, not much happening since the last post, but yesterday (Monday) 620 participants from 46 countries blew into Riga for a major international shindig on e-inclusion. At first I was skeptical, this was another event for the (to use politically incorrect speech) lame, halt, blind and the huddled masses yearning for bandwidth. However, the event seems more than relevant, with the European Union's main information society honchess (and scourge of roaming fees)Viviane Reding saying that inclusion in the form of bandwith can boost your country or region's GDP by up to 1 percentage point. She also ranked out (haven't used that expression since junior high school) Latvia as no 23 for enterprise use of the internet and IT (outta 25 EU member nations, one has to at least whisper shit under one's breath which I didn't, as I was sitting across from the lady at a press breakfast). Meanwhile, household internet use ranked no. 13 in the EU, which is not so bad as one would have to want to whisper shit under one's breath.
Anyway, for those of you who wonder what exactly a press breakfast is, aside from the information and quote gathering opportunity for us journalists, it consisted of cookies, tea and coffee. Somewhere, in the real press room for this event, there was a rumor of croissants.
As far as the objects of this conference (at the Hotel Reval Latvia), I noticed two wheelchair bound people eating at ad hoc tables (one at the juice and water table for lunch, the other at an internet access desk). Everyone else was supposed to eat at stand-up tables. Rather bizarre, given the subject of the conference and the exhibition of various software and other gadgets for assisting those with special needs – computerized lip reading, even a data base and management tool for re-integrating and rehabilitating ex-convicts (good to know where the fuckers are and what they are doing, at least).
Anyway, came away from that event – much other stuff to do for my day job, wish they would finally hire another IT capable journalist– quite impressed.
Music behind this semi-coherent post: The Eagles, Take it Easy; Jefferson Airplane, Come Up the Years; Jimi Hendrix, Freedom; Boston, Smokin; Grateful Dead, Dark Star (live version).
Mind altering substances: Ballantine's whiskey, around 100 grams/
Wished for, but unavailable mind-altering substances: Northern Light, one joint, or a bowl of dark and dreamy hash.