Home Again (Shanghai/Great Firewall dept)

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Twenty three hours after I got up in Chicago, I drag into one of the nicest hotels in Shanghai and think, Back home! Fire up the computer to say hello to my family and find.... there are all sorts of sites I can't reach and links that give time-out errors. Something wrong my computer or with the connection in this posh hotel??


And then I realize, with a Doh-style slap of the forehead, of course! You can bring a gala World Expo to Shanghai, but you still can't bring the "real" Internet, not even to a top-end venue like this. Will re-up my Witopia "personal VPN" subscription (which I had innocently let lapse on moving out of China) after I've slept and am conscious enough to enter the right credit card info.  I guess I really have been gone for a while, or am really tired, to make this rookie mistake. 
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James Fallows is a national correspondent for The Atlantic and has written for the magazine since the late 1970s. He has reported extensively from outside the United States and once worked as President Carter's chief speechwriter. His latest book is China Airborne. More

James Fallows is based in Washington as a national correspondent for The Atlantic. He has worked for the magazine for nearly 30 years and in that time has also lived in Seattle, Berkeley, Austin, Tokyo, Kuala Lumpur, Shanghai, and Beijing. He was raised in Redlands, California, received his undergraduate degree in American history and literature from Harvard, and received a graduate degree in economics from Oxford as a Rhodes scholar. In addition to working for The Atlantic, he has spent two years as chief White House speechwriter for Jimmy Carter, two years as the editor of US News & World Report, and six months as a program designer at Microsoft. He is an instrument-rated private pilot. He is also now the chair in U.S. media at the U.S. Studies Centre at the University of Sydney, in Australia.

Fallows has been a finalist for the National Magazine Award five times and has won once; he has also won the American Book Award for nonfiction and a N.Y. Emmy award for the documentary series Doing Business in China. He was the founding chairman of the New America Foundation. His recent books Blind Into Baghdad (2006) and Postcards From Tomorrow Square (2009) are based on his writings for The Atlantic. His latest book is China Airborne. He is married to Deborah Fallows, author of the recent book Dreaming in Chinese. They have two married sons.

Fallows welcomes and frequently quotes from reader mail sent via the "Email" button below. Unless you specify otherwise, we consider any incoming mail available for possible quotation -- but not with the sender's real name unless you explicitly state that it may be used. If you are wondering why Fallows does not use a "Comments" field below his posts, please see previous explanations here and here.
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