Category Archives: Travel

Travel #7: Visiting Google in Mountain View, CA

Android Marshmallow was announced at Google I/O on May 28, 2015, when it was released as the Android M developer preview. Several updates to the preview came out before Marshmallow was officially named on August 17, 2015.

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I visited Googleplex in Mountain View on August 27, 2015 and was able to connect to Google’s Wifi network with my Motorola Nexus 6 just before Marshmallow was distributed and meet the famous computer scientist Peter Norvig, Google’s Director of Research, at the Android Marshmallow sculpture at Google’s campus in Mountain View, California.

Meeting Peter Norvig was fun. He was very enthusiastic and said crowd source creation of Location tags is a good idea. He said he often received emails from people with good ideas, but that he invited me because I had specific code. He said he would put me in touch with someone who works with Location for Google, but he didn’t know yet who it would be. He encouraged me to continue to develop the Piperpal web site and referred to the web site schema.org. We also talked a bit about the Location tag becoming part of the HTML specification.

Finally we talked a bit about his book Artificial Intelligence Modern Approach and that this book is the 4th edition and that he will soon publish tasks online, but he worried that the book will soon be obsolete. I told him that the book never becomes obsolete since it describes PageRank!

Pretty exciting to be on the Google campus. When we went to the Googleplex, someone exclaimed “That’s Peter Norvig!”. He also told me that he had once seen a family who had taken Google bikes traveling off campus, and that he intended to point out that, but then he discovered that it was Sergey Brin and his family. I did not see Sergey Brin myself, but Peter was a very nice guy to meet. (Sergey Brin is, as most people know, the man who, along with Larry Page, started Google.)

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Google finally unveiled Android 6.0 Marshmallow, alongside the 2015 Nexus devices, on September 29, 2015.

I have successfully installed Android 6.0.1 Marshmallow on three of my Google devices: Motorola Nexus 6, Samsung Nexus 10 and the new 2015 device Nexus Player.

Google surprised everyone on March 9, 2016 by dropping the Android N developer preview without any prior notice. You can sign up to Google’s Android Beta Program, if you have an eligible device. You can also download factory images directly from Google.

Two of my Google devices, Nexus 6 and Nexus Player, are eligble for the Android Beta Program.

Travel #6: San Francisco, Berkeley and Palo Alto

My first visit to the U.S.A., New York City and M.I.T. in Boston resulted in new friends and inspired work on the Free Software package GNOME Internet Radio Locator.

This summer I was in the U.S.A. again, this time California and visited the offices of Google in Mountain View and saw UC Berkeley, Stanford University and Palo Alto.

Travelling between Oslo-Gardermoen (OSL) and Oakland-San Francisco (OAK)

I travelled from Oslo-Gardermoen (OSL) on Norwegian DY7063 2015-08-25 12:45 (CEST) and arrived Oakland-San Francisco on 2015-08-25 14:00 (PDT).

I went from Oakland International Airport to San Francisco in the car of Greg, the son of my AirBnB host, and then went immediately on a small tour of San Francisco where I saw and went halfway over the Golden Gate Bridge.

Golden Gate Bridge

On Wednesday 2015-08-26 19:00 (PDT) I went to Salsipuedes, a newly opened seafood restaurant in Oakland with Manish Singh of Automatic, the previous maintainer of the Free Software package GNU Image Manipulation Program (also known as the GIMP).

On Thursday 2015-08-27 09:00 (PDT) I went to Palo Alto to visit Google Bldg 1900 after an invitation from Google’s Director of Research Peter Norvig.

Peter Norvig, Director of Research, Google

On Friday 2015-08-28 17:00 (PDT) I visited the campus of Stanford University.

Burghers of Calais by Auguste Rodin

On Saturday 2015-08-29 20:00 (PDT) I went to see Hall & Oates at The Greek Theatre at UC Berkeley.

Hall & Oates, The Greek Theatre, UC Berkeley

On Sunday 2015-08-30 13:00 (PDT) I went to Twin Peaks and the San Francisco Beach.

On Monday 2015-08-31 18:00 (PDT) I went from Berkeley to Redwood City in Palo Alto, where I stayed with another AirBnB host between 2015-08-31 and 2015-09-01. Then I took a Uber to Palo Alto where I stayed at another AirBnB host.

I left from Terminal 1 on Oakland-San Francisco 2015-09-15 16:00 (PDT) on Norwegian DY7064 and arrived Oslo-Gardermoen 2015-09-16 10:40 (CEST).

Travel #5: Sweden, Stockholm and Gothenburg

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In August 2015 I travelled via Stockholm to Gothenburg in Sweden and attended GUADEC at Folkets Hus in Gothenburg, where I met various contributors to GNOME and the Free Software movement.

It is easier and less expensive to travel from Oslo to Gothenburg by train, but I wanted to go via Stockholm for a short visit to the capital of Sweden and booked the trip on the Internet.

I flew with Norwegian DY812 from Oslo Airport to Stockholm Arlanda on August 7, 2015 11:50 and landed 12:50.

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In Stockholm I waited 2 hours and 55 minutes before I flew with Norwegian DY4079 on August 7, 2015 11:50 at 14:55 from Stockholm Arlanda to Gothenburg Landvetter Airport where I landed 15:50.

Landvetter

At Gothenburg Landvetter I took the airshuttle bus from Gothenburg Landvetter Airport and arrived in the city of Gothenburg.

During my stay in Gothenburg I stayed at Spar Hotel Majorna at Karl Johansgatan in Majorna. The tram was nearby the hotel and I travelled with the tram between Majorna and Järntorget where Folkets Hus is several times. The breakfast at the Spar Hotel Majorna was nice.

On August 7, 2015 I attended GUADEC at Folkets Hus, Järntorgsgatan, and afterwards I walked with the group of GUADEC hackers to a picnic in Slottsskogen in Gothenburg where I met Christian Fredrik Schaller.

I met some of the GTK+/GNOME hackers from the community, most notably Federico Mena and Alexander Larsson whom I also met at the first GUADEC in 2000 in Paris during my time with the gphoto project, gstreamer’s Edward Hervey, Wim Taymans, Sebastian Dröge and Tim-Philipp Müller, as well as Garrett LaSage and Jakub Steiner.

On August 8, 2015 I attended GUADEC, ate a veggie lunch with Federico Mena, Jakub Steiner and several others of the GNOME project. Then we went to Jerntorgets Brygghus for beers. I was served fish’n’chips with green peas.

On August 9, 2015 I attended GUADEC, said goodbye and travelled with the tram and airport bus shuttle to Landvetter
where I flew with Norwegian DY4086 at 18:15 to Stockholm Arlanda where I landed 19:15, and got some sushi.

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At Stockholm Arlanda airport I got an email from Professor Cédric Villani whom I had emailed when I was in Paris in July 2015 and asked if there is a museum of mathematics in Paris or other interesting sights, such as the place where Niels Henrik Abel stayed during his visit to Paris in the 1820s. Professor Cédric Villani wrote that Abel visited 41 rue de Rennes in Paris and that they are planning to put up a commemorative plaque.

I waited 2 hours and 15 minutes at Arlanda and flew back to Oslo Gardermoen between 21:30 and 22:30.

Travel #4: Paris, Louvre and Versailles

Between July 19th and July 22nd 2015 I travelled from Oslo to Paris in order to visit Auberge’s Flora, revisit Louvre and see Versailles and the Branford Marsalis Quartet for the first time.

In Paris I met a dog whose name is Fifi, the dog of Flora Mikula, the owner of the Auberge’s Flora in Paris’ 11th arrondissement. (Photo of Fifi by Fernanda)

I preordered the entrance ticket to Chateau Versailles on the Internet.

I travelled between the train station Gare de Javel and the Chateau Versailles train station.

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The queue of people entering the palace is very long. I estimate that I waited almost 1,5 hours.

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On the evening of July 21st I saw Branford Marsalis Quartet at a concert venue called New Morning in Paris.

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In Paris I saw Musée Rodin, the Rodin gardens and The Thinker statue.

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The Thinker by Auguste Rodin

Travel #3: MIT, Cambridge and Boston

Arrived Boston South Station from Penn Station by train.

Took the subway from BOS to Kendall/MIT.

Found the hotel and left my luggage.

Went to the MIT campus and went on the self-guided walking tour of the MIT campus.

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Went to the MIT museum. Met a Canadian woman who didn’t study at MIT. Had a nice conversation.

Went back to the hotel and checked in.

Ate at Dunkin’ Donuts.

Visited SIPB. Went to eat dinner at Meadhall with some of the SIPB members. Nice selection of beer and food on the menu.

Tried the earl grey flavored ice cream at the campus dairy.

Then had a nice conversation and said goodbye to the SIPB members and went back to the hotel.

The next day I went to a quantum computing group talk at the Institute of Theoretical Physics in MIT Building 7.

Had lunch at Flour, Too.

Went over the Harvard Bridge and saw Berklee College of Music, the John Hancock Tower and a historical building near Boston Commons.

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Went back to Cambridge.

Visited the book store The Coop and got three books by Richard Feynman, Scott Aaronson and Seth Lloyd.

Went back to visit SIPB.

Went to dinner at The Friendly Sandwich with SIPB members.

Said goodbye to the SIPB members. Brought a doggy bag with a delicious sandwich to the hotel. Went to sleep.

Went back to NYC by train. Flew home to OSL from JFK.

Travel #2: New York City and Manhattan

I took a taxi to the hotel from JFK with a cab driver from Long Island.

The cab driver was nice and introduced me to NYC on the trip from the airport.

Quickly I noticed that I had no data coverage on AT&T.

I walked from 212 East 42nd Street down to 5th Avenue and saw The New York Public Library and went to the Empire State Building 86th floor observatory. Nice view.

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I could see the Chrysler Building from the hotel room.

I tried to sleep after the flight (7 hours and 20 minutes).

Uninstalled Android apps that used lots of data over 3G/4G and chose sync via WiFi only and set a MB limit on my Nexus 5 phone. Then I tested roaming on AT&T, but no coverage with my SIM card from a Norwegian operator.

Didn’t notice any jet lag after the trip from OSL to JFK in Dreamliner.

Got up and ate breakfast. Happy after breakfast. Still no sleep.

Went to the United Nations Headquarter that was 5 minutes away from the hotel. Guided tour can be ordered on un.org according to the port guard. A queue of people was leaving and arriving UN.

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A guy was shouting across the other side of the UN, but I didn’t understand his language.

After lunch I went to the Grand Central Station and photographed the clock.

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Dave, the drummer of Fancy Color, told me about a free concert with Nicole Atkins in Madison Square Park 7pm.

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I went to the Rose Center for Earth & Space museum and saw a fulldome movie and tried to find a replica of the Mars rover. Nobody could tell me where it was, but I found it on the web afterwards.

I went to dinner at Palm Too, 840 Second Avenue. They had no formal dress code (as in United Nation), casual, so I wore a t-shirt from AMNH and ate, before I went to the concert in Madison Square Park. Perfect close of NYC.

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I had no AT&T data coverage on the phone, either due to my SIM card or general 4G network problems in NYC. Gmail caches the emails on Android. Kind of a nice feature!

Travel #1: Visiting USA – New York City and Boston

I visit NYC and Boston between 2014-06-17 – 2014-06-21.

Travelling between Oslo-Gardermoen (OSL) and New York City (JFK)

I go from Oslo-Gardermoen (OSL) with Norwegian DY7001 on 2014-06-17 18:00 (CEST) and arrive New York (JFK) on 2014-06-17 20:05 (EDT).

In New York City

I stay on Manhattan at The Westin New York Grand Central, 212 East 42nd Street, near Grand Central Station and the Chrysler Building, for two nights.
On 2014-06-17 23:00 (EDT) I visit Empire State Building, 350 5th Ave.
On 2014-06-18 09:00 (EDT) I visit Rose Center for Earth and Space at the American Museum of Natural History, 81st Street between Central Park West and Columbus Avenue. On 2014-06-18 19:00 (EDT) I go to the Palm Restaurant – NYC Too, 840 Second Avenue, and the Top of the Rock Observation Deck in the GE Building, 30 Rockefeller plaza.

Travelling from New York City (NYP) to Boston (BOS)

I go on 2014-06-19 06:20 (EDT) from New York Penn Station (NYP), 7th & 8th Avenues, between 31st & 33rd Streets, with the AmTrak Acela train to Boston South Station (BOS).
I arrive at Boston South Station (BOS) on 2014-06-19 10:05 (EDT).
From Boston South Station (BOS) I take the Red Line subway on 2014-06-19 10:24 (EDT) and arrive on 2014-06-19 10:32 (EDT) at the Kendall/MIT Station.

In Boston

I go on a MIT tour from the lobby of Building 7 on 2014-06-19 11:00 (EDT).
On 2014-06-19 15:00 (EDT) I check-in at the Kendall Hotel, 350 Main Street.
On 2014-06-20 10:00 (EDT) I go from MIT Building 10 (under the Great Dome), walking up to the east end of the 3rd floor (“infinite”) corridor, and find MIT Building 6 Room 310.
On 2014-06-20 11:00 (EDT) I attend the Farhi Group Meeting at MIT Building 6 Room 310.
On 2014-06-21 11:00 (EDT) I check-out from the Kendall Hotel.
On 2014-06-21 11:33 (EDT) I go with the Red Line subway from the Kendall/MIT Station to Boston South Station (BOS).

Travelling from Boston (BOS) to New York (NYP)

I go with AmTrak Acela train from Boston South Station on 2014-06-21 13:40 (EDT) and arrive on 2014-06-21 17:49 (EDT) at New York Penn Station (NYP), 7th & 8th Avenues, between 31st & 33rd Streets.

Travelling from New York (JFK) to Oslo (OSL)

I go from New York Penn Station (NYP), 7th & 8th Avenues, between 31st & 33rd Streets, to New York (JFK), where I go to Oslo (OSL) with Norwegian DY7002 on 2014-06-21 21:35 (EDT). I arrive Oslo (OSL) on 2014-06-22 10:50 (CEST).