July 2003 Archives

I met Seth in Aspen. He's a "keeper". It turns out that he's a good friend of Halley's. I could have guessed.

During the marketing discussion in Aspen, Seth was one of the few people who I thought really "got it".

He has a thread on his blog about the purple polar bear that "increased visitor numbers to the zoo by 50%."

Some people argued that it was a hoax, then Seth dug in and is now convinced that it is true. He says he doesn't want anymore email about it. ;-)

Where's Halley's blog?!?

A very obvious thing that I keep forgetting. Blogging standards are not nearly as important as AIDS, global warming, peace in the Middle East and poverty. Having said that understanding blogging does have a lot to do with my perspective on the commons, democracy and the future of media. Debates on the web about details and going to conferences with lots of bloggers can lead to a narrowing of perspective. Conferences like Brainstorm where 9 out of 10 people ask me, "what's blogging?" is essential for me to keep my perspective. ;-)

I just uploaded more photos to the TypePad photo album. The great thing about digital cameras and blogs being one of the things I love to talk about is that I can take pictures as part of my conversation. ;-)

Today we went around the room and everyone got up and said their name, title and affiliation. I was Joi Ito, CEO, Neoteny, Japan. The coolest was, "I am Noor Al Hussein, Queen." ;-)

Unfortunately, Bill Clinton's discussion was "off the record" so I can't blog it, but it was the most intelligent, moving and inspirational presentation I've ever heard. I almost cried afterwards. He's absolutely amazing.

PS : I took notes so if anyone is interested, iChat me. ;-)

Just posted some photos from Aspen. Will post more later.

David Kirkpatrick : "Everything is on the record."

This means I can blog! ;-)

Panelists: Madeleine Albright - the 64th Secretary of State of the US, General Wesley Clark - Former Supreme Allied Commander of NATO, Paula Dobriansky - Under Secretary for Global Affairs of the US Department of State and Kishore Mahbubani - Singapore's Ambassador to the UN.

Question: "Are we safer now since the war in Iraq?"

Madeleine Albright, "was Saddam Hussein was an imminent threat? No. So we are less safe now than before the attack. Understood the 'why' but not 'why now'. I'm now concerned about where (WMD) they are now. Many people in the US hate the UN, because it is full of foreigners, which can not be helped. (laughs) Support Bush's notion of more democracy in the middle east."

Paula Dobriansky: We are safer. The issue of what brought us in. 9/11. I don't think anyone would have thought that what took place on 9/11 was possible before that. The topic is new world order. We are not safe from a variety of threats. From rogue nations, or terrorists. There was a false sense of security. Then we look at Iraq specifically. 12 years of negotiation. Over several US administrations. Some security resolution. Hundreds of investigators. Inspectors who were on the ground in and out. The uncertainty of our security. The kind of volatility that exists out there. The environment has a great deal of vulnerability. The question is, are we better with Saddam's removal. The answer is "yes".

Kishore Mahbubani, "If you come from outside the US, for the rest of the world, the key question, is 'what now'. what is the impact of the Iraq war on the rest of the world. In the rest of the world, there are more questions being asked than has ever been asked before. Part is due to the Iraq war. "Friends of America" want America to succeed and would like some introspection in America to figure out how to get it right and how to reach out to the rest of the world. "What percentage of the world in their hearts of hearts want American to succeed vs. fail in Iraq." Many allies want American to fail and many others want America to succeed because we need a world order. "Tipping point". What can America do to make sure it doesn't reach the tipping point.

Wesley Clark, A few days after 9/11 Clark went through the Pentagon to check on his commentary. A joke was going around. "If Saddam didn't do 9/11, too bad, he should have, we're going to get him anyway." Those seized on that event to take out Saddam. Going after Sadaam cost us a year on the war terror. 40,000 troops who should have gone into Afghanistan were being held by Rumsfeld for Iraq. "It doesn't matter why, or how it comes out, but we went in there and kicked some ass, and boy they'll respect us now." The UN is not a world government, but it is an important part of creating legitimacy. I am concerned about WMD, but where are they? Not enough intelligence. The impact of instability of the action. There were some erroneous assumptions made. "I" for Iraq. Incomplete and indeterminate. Policy problems, bad planning, slow and cumbersome. We have a threefold problem. Al Qaeda, Iraqis trying to live, the Shia are organizing and deciding what to do. While we are worrying about terrorism and WMD, North Korea has crossed the redline. I'm happy Saddam is gone, but we have a plateful of stuff to do, but I think it's arguable whether we're more safe or not.

Paula : AIDS... After 9/11 worried that heath issues would get marginalized or sidetracked.

Albright : I sympathize for Paula who has to defend uni-dimensional administration policy. Defending the Bush administration is difficult, defending the UN is more difficult. Need for UN has never been greater.

Some quotes...

In America, we have the constitution. If something is socially unjust, Americans say 'It's unconstitutional'. In Islam, the equivalent is, 'this is un-Islamic'.

I regard Osama Bin Laden as the Robin Hood character. If we had a democracy in Saudi Arabia, Bin Laden would run for office.

There was a study that came out in June. The question was how the rest of the world views the US. Bin Laden was one of the top 4 on the list of who could help change US behavior. The approval rating, even in Europe has gone down over the last year.

The American Muslim community can help interface with the Muslims in the rest of the world. The American Muslim leaders and the American Jewish to work on issues such as the Palestinian issue.

Q: What about the role of women in Islam

A: Ideals and realities often have a gap. Even the framers did not really give people equal rights at the beginning. The ideal equality, but it didn't end up that way. The prophet was very much a feminist. The problem was when the Koran was implemented, local culture became law. Over 95% of law in the middle east is not from the Koran. The industrial revolution and the spreading of wealth increased the role of women. You can see this in the Middle East as the countries become wealthier, there are more lobbies to allow more equality for women.

If the Islamic world were more democratic and were more economically healthy, you wouldn't have many of the problems you have now. The rage in the Muslim world is focused on local issues. The war on terror should be focused on creating a light at the end of the tunnel and helping people raise themselves up.

I DID NOT know that. That's amazing. ;-p
Picture taken in Denver airport
Just arrived in Aspen. The day of silence was interesting. It accidentally coincided with the Blogathon, making me an anti-blogathon. oops.

I had to say a few things navigating the airports and other people talking was distracting, but sitting in the plane not watching movies, reading or doing anything except thinking and staring out the window was interesting. What was the most interesting was that after the initial discomfort, I wasn't bored and started exploring a very nostalgic space in my head. The scenery outside the window and the clouds were actually really interesting.

I spent the first hour or so thinking about how I was going to blog this or that thought, then I decided not to think about blogging or really think about anything particular. I tried to just "hang out with myself." Anyway, it was a lot of fun and I should do it more often. A few things to remember next time. Don't drink and eat a lot before the "day of silence". I spent the first half of the day getting my head clear. Although the plane was a good place to be quiet, I would have liked to walk around in the woods or something. Even if you are silent, noisy people around you are distracting.

Anyway, I arrived quietly in Aspen and saw a fox run across the airport parking lot. That was cool. Then I felt dizzy and realized that Aspen is at 8000 feet and that I felt dizzy last year too. Anyway, the conference will start this evening. I hope that have wifi at the Aspen Institute so you can all be there with me. ;-)

Halley suggested that we all need a day of silence to hear our own voice. I'm going to be on a plane for most of it, but I'm going silent in a few hours for 24 hours. No email, no blogging, nothing. Just a gray marble stone to keep me company. Halley has begun her silence already. When I come out silence hopefully I'll have something interesting to share. ;-)

Having some mail problems. If you sent email in the last few hours, please send again. I am now forwarding to a variety of mailboxes so even if you get a bounce, it's likely I'll be getting it in one of my other mailboxes. I'll let you know when it's all working again.

I can't believe it's been a year since I went to Brainstorm 2002. Brainstorm 2002 was one of the best conferences I went to last year. Brainstorms is a conference where the editors of Fortune Magazine invite 100+ people to discuss a variety of issues. I think that the 100-150 number is a very special number for conferences. It's just the right size to get a great deal of diversity, but also be small enough to allow people to get to know each other. This year, Fortune is holding the conference jointly with the Aspen Institute.

My favorite speaker last year was Shimon Peres. I blogged the event last year. I think it was the first conference I blogged live. A few quotes from my own blog.

The King of Jordan just said, "We find ourselves between Iraq and a hard place." ;-)
Shimon Peres

First, he told us that he had just received a call from the Prime Minister and that another bomb had gone off in a University...

"I have no hatred in my heart for the Palistinians."

He thinks that maybe the Palestinians may be able to build the first real Arab democracy since they are building from scratch and have watched other Arab nations and their problems.

"We are just two tragedies meeting in the same place. I hope that this doesn't turn into a third tragedy."

"I believe that the greatest liberation in the 20th century was the liberation of women."

"Since we can't build a world government, let's build a world NGO. Have the companies come together and pay insurance. Have a board of directors with members such as Bill Clinton, Nelson Mandela. Totally based on volunteering. No one forcing. This may be able to handle the problems that globalization is creating."

"Television made dictatorship impossible, but it made democracy intolerable."

"What can you learn from History? Very little... History was written with red ink, wth bloodshed. We should educate our children how to imagine, not how to remember."

Some students and a Rabbi were discussing how you can tell when night is over and day has come. One student said that when you can tell the difference between a lamb and a goat, day has come. Another student said that when you can tell the difference between a fig tree and and an olive tree, the day has started. The Rabbi says, when you see and white man or a black man and you call him your brother, the day has come. When you see a rich man or a poor man and you call him your brother, the day has come.

Jack Kemp also said something like, "It doesn't matter what you know if you don't care."

If this year's conference is as interesting as last year's, I'll have a lot to blog about. I also got an OK to bring Hecklebot with me, although I haven't confirmed that there will be Internet access for us at the Aspen Institute. I'm leaving for the aiport in 5 hours. Hope to see you there or along the way.

Scoble blogs about secrets. I'm really bad at keeping secrets. That's part of the reason why I love to blog so much. I love sharing information and ideas because the feedback increases my information. I remember attending a conference on intelligence and one of the US intelligence officers said that Bill Clinton complained that he would get "top secret" reports from the CIA only to see them on CNN the next day. The value of many "top secret" documents that he couldn't talk about with anyone was quite low in a world of exceedingly fast information.

I do see the need for secrecy and as someone who is concerned about privacy and security, I think about secrecy a lot. This also ties in with the issue of who should be allowed to have secrecy and that we should limit, if possible, the secrecy of those in power in order to limit their ability to abuse power.

Liz Lawley's recently moved her blog from: www.it.rit.edu/~ell/mamamusings/ to mamamusings.net. Much nicer. She's still going through many of the problems with moving a blog. You have to make sure your permlinks don't break. Static files and images need to move over. People's blogrolls need to be updated. It's lots of work. That reminds me again why I picked the URL joi.ito.com. It is a bit egocentric, but I've gone through this URL changing process enough times now that I decided I'd pick one that I'd most likely stick with. Also, more generic names such as my "Netsurf Japan" mailing list turned into public spaces where I was no longer the owner, but more like a custodian. I decided to make the assertion this time that this blog was clearly closer to my living room than a public park. Ito.com has its problems. A lot of spam is sent with ito.com as the return address for some reason. It's also a 3 letter URL so I constantly get queries whether I'm using it. Doh.

Anyway, for all of you who are thinking of starting a blog. Think carefully about your URL. It's easy to think, "hey, I'll just give it a whirl first and see if I like it." But if you do end up liking it, you're going to be stuck with that URL. Also, be careful about where you upload images and other things. Try to keep your directory structure tidy so you can move these files easily.

Boris aka Bopuc has been working on fixing the look and making the page more valid based on lots of feedback I've received. It's still a first pass and we are going to work on the navigation and other things, but let us know what you think.

Please post feeback on wiki page if possible.

Rebecca MacKinnon, CNN Tokyo Bureau Chief
I was interviewed at CNN today by CNN in Atlanta in a "live to tape" format. The segment is about generational changes in Japan and the youth culture. I was part of the "studio discussion" after they watch the video. I think I'll be on for about 10 minutes. We talked about a variety of things including the export of Japanese culture to the rest of the world. The interviewer asked whether I thought Japanese music would be the next big thing after anime. I said that I thought Japanese music is a good export. I said I thought mobile device culture where the producers are the consumers was more interesting and that this culture would be the bigger export. It was "live" so the question caught me off guard and I didn't express myself well. I didn't get a chance to say "mobblog" on CNN. ;-p

The show should be aired on CNN International next week or so depending on whether there is other "breaking news". I will be a talking head in my own little box. I've been on CNN before, but this is my first "Max Headroom" appearance.

Rebecca, the Tokyo Bureau Chief is a fellow GLT and a friend. I set her up with an IRC client and got her logged into #joiito. She has an exciting and sometimes dangerous job. It definitely looks like a lot of fun. She had a gas mask and a helmut in her office...


On July 4, I mentioned here that I thought it would be cool if we made a hecklebot and I started a wiki page about it. Many people from #joiito contributed. Then on July 12, David Beckemeyer aka twostop actually built one. I received it yesterday and got it running. The same day, the hecklebot project was mentioned in the New York Times.

New York Times
In the Lecture Hall, a Geek Chorus
By LISA GUERNSEY
July 24, 2003
[...]
Meanwhile, Mr. Ito is already creating a new riff on the concept. He said he was working with a group on designing a "hecklebot," a light-emitting diode screen that displays heckling messages that are typed during online chats at conferences. "I want to make something that I can put in a suitcase and take to conferences," he said. He describes it as a subversive device that will get people thinking about the significance of the back channel. From the chat room, he said, "you could send something like, 'Stop pontificating.'
What's so great about all this is that it's like the good old days of TCP/IP and HTML when most projects are small enough that one person can hack together really useful tools and everything moves quickly without proposals, flowcharts and approvals. The idea to working demo time cycle is SO short right now. With weblogs, wikis and IRC, feedback, support and testing is extremely efficient.

Ross blogged about the article first and Liz has some thoughtful comments about the article and the idea of the back channel.

Dan also blogs about the article.

My investors, my readers and a variety of other people keep trying to get me to explain what I'm interested and why I'm interested in it. Here's a first shot at this. Thanks to Steph, Kevin Marks and others on #joiito for a first pass edit. I've put it on the wiki as well so we can continue to work on this.

Context instead of content

Attention is moving from commercially produced content to dynamic or contextual content. An example of this is the shift of Japanese youth spending from CD purchasing to karaoke to cell phone messaging. CDs let you passively consume content produced by companies. Karaoke is more interactive - you are part of the content. With Cell phone messaging, the customer creates the content. From a copyright viewpoint, CDs are strongly protected. Karaoke is less protected and usually licensed in bulk, and messaging has very few copyright issues. With 20 million camera phones in Japan alone, text messaging is adding photo sharing, making conversations look more and more like content publishing. Small morsels of content, created by users and shared is called micro-content, as opposed to expensive commercially produced and protected content.

Networked consumer electronics devices will make PCs less relevant

With each new wave of computing devices, from mainframes to mini-computers to PCs to game consoles to consumer electronics devices, there is a huge increase in volume causing a dramatic decrease in cost. The users and application developers also shift to these new platforms for better performance and smaller sizes. We still have mainframes and mini-computers but they are less relevant. PCs will become less relevant as the number of consumer electronics devices with networking features increases. Eventually digital cameras, phones, TVs, PVRs and other devices will all be connected to the Internet. People will be publishing, sharing, viewing and hearing content from the Internet without having a PC. They will be as irrelevant to consumers as mainframes.

New open standards for micro-content and metadata

The third important trend is the blossoming of open standards built for creating, publishing, syndicating and viewing/hearing micro-content. Open standards have been around for a long time, but the weblog community is making them popular. These open standards are currently being tested and developed primarily for PCs, but many of the standards could be used in consumer electronics devices, allowing smaller developers to write applications and web services for consumer electronics devices. This is very similar to the way in which TCP/IP allowed the developer community to write software for communications leapfrogging the large telecommunications companies. There are many standards for consumer electronics devices, but they are complex and mired in committees, rather like CCITT's x.25 standard that TCP/IP quickly replaced in many applications.

Multimedia

As broadband becomes cheaper and computing power increases, everything we're learning and building around text micro-content and metadata will be useful in dealing with multimedia micro-content and metadata. Because it is more difficult to extract meaning from images and audio, metadata about this content will become vital.

So what's going to happen?

Microsoft will continue to dominate the desktop, but it will become less relevant as consumer electronics companies embrace open standards and use Internet web services and applications to make consumer electronics devices rich with content. The content will be micro-content such as photos, audio clips, video, text, location information and presence information of friends. Digital rights management and copyright will become less relevant. Organizing your network of friends and your network of trust become more important, so that you publish to the people you wish to hear you and you are able to sort information which is relevant to you. These trust networks will require privacy and security as well as methods of managing and using the networks for a variety of applications.

As web services and metadata create a more and more decentralized and semantic web, searching will become more decentralized and contextual and less about html page scraping and one dimensional page rank.

In the future, you should always be able to see the status of your friends (if they choose to let you), create any kind of content you wish to share or communicate and publish it easily from any device. You should be able to find and view/hear any content you have access to, using your network of trust, location, keywords and timing to search for the information. The boundaries between email and web publishing will become blurred and you will be having conversations with the web.

Key Technologies:

  • Creating and managing identities while protecting privacy
  • Creating and managing networks of friends and trust
  • Searching metadata and creating context for metadata
  • Design and interface for publishing and viewing micro-content
  • Syndication standards and technologies
  • Network infrastructure to enable location and mobility
  • Technologies to move and share micro-content, especially as it grows larger
  • Web services that interact with micro-content and the physical world such as photo printing, purchasing of real world products, connecting people, etc.

The cutting edge:

Audio blogging (Audblog), mobile picture blogging with location information (Tokyo Tidbits), personal information and information about your friends in web pages (FOAF), machine readable copyright notices allowing micro-content aggregation and sharing (Creative Commons), Amazon book information and affiliate information embedded in blogging tools ( TypePad ), convergence of email and micro-content syndication (Newsgator), searching for micro-content based on context (Technorati)

Ever since Reverend A. K. M. Adam aka AKMA started hanging out on IRC, I've started to think that #joiito is a lot like M*A*S*H, the American TV show about the people in a medical camp during the Korean War. As a Japanese who never went to Western churches, my first exposure to a chaplain was on M*A*S*H. AKMA plays a great chaplain on #joiito. ;-) Like the TV show, there is funny chatter like the doctors chatting during surgery. There are visits by guests who pop by to say hi. There are even battles waging on blogs and the wounded show up at #joiito to hang out and recharge.

Anyway, I'll stop pushing the metaphor now.

Technorati reads the FOAF file from your blog and creates a profile. Your picture from your FOAF file and a link to your profile shows up when you appear in people's cosmos listings. A good reason to get a FOAF file. TypePad has FOAF built in. If you want to build a FOAF file, you can go to this foaf-a-matic site (thanks for the link Sifry) and make a FOAF file. Put the FOAF file on a server and point to in from your blog with a link tag like this:

<link rel="meta" type="application/rdf+xml" title="FOAF" href="http://joi.ito.com/foaf.rdf" />

FOAF stands for "Friend of a Friend" and it is a project to create a machine readable format for putting information about yourself and your friends on web pages.

Here's Marc Canter's profile

Update: As Dave Sifry says in the comments section, you must get an account on Technorati and "claim your blog" before it will make a profile from your FOAF. You can do that here.

David Weinberger blogs about some of the negative comments from "The Net" to Howard Dean's blogging. He says:

David Weinberger
Before this, what would you have had to do to get the ear of a potential president of the United States? You could have a column in a national newspaper or you could get a hernia toting sacks of cash to the campaign headquarters.

Can we at least pause for a moment of delight before we become blasé?

I totally agree. This is SO MUCH BETTER than what we have today with other candidates. I don't think we need to necessarily "cut him a break" but I think we can be more encouraging.

I'm curious; perhaps someone out there knows...

Has anyone yet attempted to create "RSS email", where the "feeds" served to a feedreader might be automatically synthesized from the emails themselves as things such as Person (from or to), Thread, Folder, etc?  (One could probably easily implement this as a straight layer on top of IMAP.)  Rather than just inserting RSS into an email client paradigm as in Newsgator, it might be amusing to invert the solution and explore the usability issues of rethinking email as being just another form of feed served up to a reader, with plug-ins for creating & replying, etc.  Hmm.

Has anyone yet attempted to create what I guess I'd refer to as a "Hyki" - that is, a character-by-character real-time collaborative (Hydra-like, Groove Text Tool-like) editor with automatic creation of real-time linked sub-documents when CamelCase words are typed, etc.  ??

I'm curious too. That would be great.

Ray, if you find something or someone else knows. Let me know too!

I met Kris and Maciej of netomat at Supernova and just got around to downloading and playing with the beta. It looks interesting. It's like an email/wiki/link sharing tool. It's written in Java and runs on Mac and Windows. It's pretty easy to use and is more "rich" than a wiki because it has things like drawing tools that let you annotate pages in a way similar to a white board. You create pages with your netomat client. You can publish it with editing enabled so anyone can modify it. It keeps a history of changes. You can email pages to people. You can include lots of things in pages including audio, images, links, etc.

If anyone else is running the beta, send me netomat mail so that we can mess around. I am jito on netomat. My first netomat page is here.

Software and music piracy linked to terrorism!

The RIAA was trying to assert this last year and I thought it was pretty silly. Now the head of Interpol is saying it.

News24
Piracy linked to terrorism
16/07/2003 14:27  - (SA)  

Paris - The head of Interpol called on Wednesday for a global crackdown on software and music piracy, saying the illicit proceeds help finance al-Qaida, Hezbollah and other terrorist networks.

No wonder they're trying to make file sharing a felony. :-(

Via IP

"Mac Canter is a very silly man" -- Lisa Rein
;-) Yup.

Update: Lisa has posted the movie of this. ;-)

I've set up a wiki page to try to heckle conferences more strategically. We should post information about conferences we are going to remote-heckle, list of speakers, past presentations from the speakers, what they are likely to speak about, hard questions we should ask, etc.

I just scanned and uploaded to TypePad, my photos from the First International Moblogging Conference.

Photos taken with a Hasselblad 503CW with a CFE 80/2.8 lense and a Hasselblad D-flash 40 on Fujicolor New Pro400 negative film. Images were scanned with a Nikon Super Coolscan 8000.

Dave Winer moved the RSS 2.0 spec from Userland to the Berkman Center for Internet & Society at Harvard Law School. It is now licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike license. There is now an advisory board.

The initial members of the board are Dave Winer, Berkman fellow and author of the RSS 2.0 spec; Jon Udell, lead analyst for InfoWorld and columnist for the O'Reilly Network; and Brent Simmons of Ranchero Software, author of NetNewsWire, a leading RSS-based application. When the board makes a decision it will be by majority vote.

I think this is a great step toward a peace process in the "great RSS debate". Dan Gillmor writes about this in more detail on his blog.

I think we should call a cease-fire at this point...

Today they were webcasting the AO2003 conference. They had a chat that they put on the screen every once and awhile. Many of the regulars from the #joiito IRC channel dropped in to the chat to do our usual heckling. During the journalists panel that Tony was moderating, the hecklers got quite active. It was "the usual". Some people were a bit rough on Tony, but he was a good sport about it. He did say, "we should charge you guys" to the hecklers, but I was thinking that they should pay US. During a discussion about telecommuniting and the Internet enabling distributed workflow, I mentioned on the chat that I was in my underwear in Tokyo. Then someone, I think Ross, put JoiTV on the big screen. Then Tony started teasing me. Heckleback! So I thought I was hecklejacking the conferencing and then I got hecklebacked. We need start a lobby for hecklers rights. ;-P

Anyway, it was good fun. Thanks Tony.

Happy Birthday Cory!

Yesterday, I gave a talk to approximately 150 IT vendors who will be installing the national ID systems at the local government offices and will the the "privacy advisors" to the local governments.

Almost a year ago, I was handing out leaflets and protesting with a megaphone in Ginza to try to stop the national ID. Then the bill passed and I joined the oversight committee for the national ID to try to increase their awareness of security and privacy issues. Then I started working with the local governments who "opted out" of the national ID. Now that the system is in place full swing, I am working hard to increase the awareness of the people who will be installing and training the people who are in charge of one of the weakest links in the system, the point of entry into the database. At the same time, I am working on educating the ministry and the awareness in the public so that we can prevent "function drift", or the use of the national ID # beyond the scope of its original intent, which is to use it only for government services.

I am supportive of my colleagues who are still working on protesting the system and local governments resisting it, but I am focusing my attention on future systems that the government is planning to implement and to try to do what I can to improve the security and privacy of those systems that have already been deployed or will imminently be deployed.

There is a lot of talk about identity these days. You MUST remember that identities are like names. You are NOT your identity. Your identity points to you. Everyone has multiple identities. Roger Clark describes this as the difference between entities and identities. You are an entity. Your name, your role in the company, your relationship with your child, they are different identities. Multiples identities isn't just about having more than one email address or chat room nym. A multitude of identities is an essential component in protecting privacy and interacting in an exceedingly digital world.

When the privacy guidelines of the OECD were created, (over 20 years ago) we had main frames and no Internet and most of the personal information was collected and kept by governments, banks and very large institutions in big central computers and data mining this data was expensive and clunky. The notion of "data protection" and "control" made sense back then. They no longer do. With ubiquitous computing, decentralize databases, information stored and disseminated everywhere, it is exceedingly important to know that 1) once information is created, it exists forever and can not be "erased", 2) data mining will become cheaper and easier, 3) transborder data flows will become seamless, 4) profiling will become a common way for businesses and governments to efficiently focus their attention on people and groups that meet certain criteria.

What does this mean? The risk now is that you can be profiled and categorized in a variety of ways that can hurt your ability to travel, get a job, get insurance, get married, etc. for things that match a profile that increases risk to the establishment even if only in a statistical way. Interaction with radicals or reading of radical material could get you in this profile so the chilling effect on dissent will be real. It means that trying to "control information" once it is created is nearly impossible. The trick is to create as little information as possible and to make it as difficult to data mine as possible. If you need to prove you are old enough to drink, there should be an ID that does just that. The library doesn't need your national ID, just a membership card with a picture so they can authenticate you. If you're doing a cash/cash foreign exchange transaction, you should only need to prove that you have the cash or the underwriting of an institution with the cash to complete your end of the transaction. (Don't get me started on why I think money laundering laws are stupid. I'll do that in another post.)

My point is. We should have different ID's for our different roles. Each of these ID's will have a different bit of authentication and collateral attached to it.

If you deconstruct the different types of ID (got this from Eric Hughes) you get 4 basic types. Your physical ID (doctors knows this best), your network ID (phone number or IP address), financial ID (your bank has this info), and your legal id (government, school. IE are you married? A citizen? A graduate?) Different transactions require different attributes. If you're getting married, you probably care most about whether they are married to someone else. If you're doing a financial transaction, you are probably most concerned about whether they can cover their end of the transaction. If you are trying to identify a blogger, you probably care if they are the owner of the URL. You don't care if my real name is Joi Ito or where I live exactly. As a blog reader, you probably care if it is the same blogger that has posted all of the other blog entries on this blog.

That's why I have a problem with central ID systems. If some gives me a certificate from Verisign that says, "I Verisign assert that this is Joe Shmoe from the Canary Islands and I Verisign do not guarantee or offer any liability coverage if he hurts you or even if it turns out that he's not REALLY Joe Shmoe." How much use is that? Even if he IS Joe Shmoe, I don't care where he lives if I can't do anything about it. I'd much rather see a link from a blog that I know saying, "this Joe Shmoe and I vouch for him!" Or go to a party and have everyone say, "you should meet Joe Schmoe, I've know him for years and I think he's great." Or if I'm trying to have a financial transaction, have his bank provide my bank with a guarantee. You get the idea. The only people who need access to your "entity" are people who have the power to throw you in jail or need to collect on long term contracts and liabilities. for MOST transactions, your physical location is not relevant or useful.

The other important thing from a privacy perspective is that you don't want all this stuff getting linked together. Organized crime is already using personal information to blackmail people. One common "query" is, "find me all company directors who are in debt and have families." They buy these liabilities and "collect" using blackmail. Your "I'm a papa" ID and your "I've borrowed money" ID and your "I am a board member of Foo. Co." ID don't necessarily need to be linked. Life would go on without these links. Yes, it would slow down projects like TIA and yes central id's are convenient, but traditional investigative crime fighting has more tools than ever before without making it so easy that criminals can use it and political groups in government can abuse it.

In Japan there is a left-wing newspaper called Akahata. The list of subscribers is tracked by the police and leaked to big company HR divisions. If you subscribed, you often can't get a job at a big company. If your parents subscribed, you can't become a public prosecutor. Now imagine that they do this by hand now. Imagine what would happen if they could instantly come up with "negative profile queries" and "filter." What you read today, write today, who you meet, have lunch with, post on your blog and later erase, where you wandered, who you rented your apartment too. They could ALL cause you children to be "filtered".

There is another issue. Identities are easy to forge. You can make the technology as robust as you want, but the chain is as weak as the weakest link. Biometrics on a ID card only prove that you're the one that the card was issued to. It doesn't prove that the issuer issued it to the right person. (Good article in The Register about this. Thanks Peter.) The point of data entry is still VERY weak in most systems. Over 10% of Canadian SS#'s are fake. These centralized ID systems to be used for "everything" increase the value of compromising the point of entry into the database. The better architecture is a variety of ID's suited and designed for specific types of transactions and interactions with a distributed network of authenticators and points of data entry.

If you need an id with biometrics and for financial transactions, a bank and a hospital should jointly issue ID's. This would be much more robust than some biometric ID issued at some government office.

Anyway, I rant and rave about this stuff in my "privacy experts" circles, but I realized that I hadn't ranted here recently. So as we think about FOAF, cameras pointing at my face, location moblogging, it is essential not to forget that WE need to be in control of what information we create and how this information is tagged stored and authenticated. Peer-to-peer / end-to-end thinking is essential for privacy as well. Make client software that collects information from catalogs and locally recommends stuff to you, not central servers of user profiles. Empower the people, not the merchants and the governments.

Got the idea for the title of this item when acrobat told Anita that she wasn't Anita, but that was her name. ;-)

Pete made a iJoiTV pop-up window for me!

Thank you Pete!


Lots of Cheese and other goodies at the French Embassy Bastille Day Party this evening. I have no idea who invited me, and I was worried that I wouldn't know anyone. Luckily I knew a few people and got to chat with Idei-san. We talked about blogs. I asked him to be my guest blogger.

Happy Bastille Day!


Luna and Eamon play with Pete over iChatAV with my new iSight.

I got my iSight today and downloaded QuickTime Broadcaster. I've set up streaming from my streaming server. I guess this is sort of a JoiItoTV. ;-P

Pretty boring, but if you want to see a full motion video stream of me sitting on the phone, sitting in meetings or working on my computer, check it out.

Now I've got to figure out something useful to do with this. The cool thing is that I should be able to carry this contraption around wirelessly. "Now, for our on-the-spot broadcast..."

Click more to see the stream. (If I'm broadcasting.)







If there is video here, it is live.


David Beckemeyer built a hecklebot! It's called UcHeckle.

I've been thinking about how I am going to use TypePad. Boris mentioned the permalink issue of switching, but I think we could probably solve that. However, I am leaning toward keeping my main blog on Movable Type so I can hack it directly and run bots and stuff. I think this site just needs a serious overhaul. There are a lot of cool features on TypePad that deal with non-text content and metadata so I'm thinking of moving my audblog, moblog, photos and my "reviews" over to my TypePad site. Anyway, I'll be messing around for awhile.

I am going to stop cross posting between this blog and TypePad because it is confusing. I was with Mena last week and she helped me answer "gee, I wonder what my site would look like on TypePad?" I couldn't resist the opportunity to have template-master-Mena design my site. ;-)

Anyway, feedback is appreciated as I try to figure out how to make all this work together. Also, please remember that TypePad is still in beta. Lots of features and documentation still to come so please be patient.

Howard Dean is going to guest blog for Lawrence Lessig while he is away on vacation. It is VERY cool that a presidential candidate is blogging. It's also cool that Six Apart can now say that a presidential candidate uses Movable Type. And how cool is it to be able to say, "Howard Dean's taking care of my blog while I'm away." Nice one Larry!

Let's all welcome Howard Dean to the blog world!

Japan Times
Behead parents of boy suspect, minister says

Yoshitada Konoike, state minister in charge of deregulation zones and disaster management, said Friday the parents of the 12-year-old youth suspected of slaying a 4-year-old boy in Nagasaki should be dragged through the streets and beheaded.

"It is better to have the parents decapitated for punishment after dragging them around town," said Konoike...

Konoike's remarks drew a barrage of criticism, but he refused to apologize.

"You better not do that, or we'll drag your parents around town and chop of their heads..." Sheesh.

I got Cory to say "Boing Boing" into my Olympus voice recorder. Here's the mp3. Maybe I should start a collection of people saying their blog or product names... Maybe not...


Also got Cory saying, venti mocha latte americana frap espresso-chino

While I'm being bashed on my blog for misrepresenting the banning of the use of camera phones to copy publications in book stores as banning moblogging, my sister gets quoted in the CNN article about camera phones. ;-P

Thanks for the link Jefu!

Work Anywhere!

Your life on the road just got a lot easier. With the first and only WiFi detector on the market today, you no longer need to cross your fingers as you wait for your notebook to boot up. Just press a button and the Kensington WiFi Finder lets you know if your location is "hot"...instantly. No software or computer needed. What could be easier

I MUST get one of these.

via Bopuc on IRC

I just got back from Supernova in Washington DC. It was great. It was great hanging out with old friends, making new ones and meeting online friends for the first time. It really reminds me of the "good old days" of The Source. At the party, people had to tell each other their IRC nicknames to recognize each other.

"?"

"rojisan"

"oh! I'm mamamusings"

"oh! hi!"

Or in the case of bloggers:
"Halley. As in Halley's Comment"

"oh!"

Now there are three tiers of relationships. Normal relationships, people you know through their blogs and people who you know from IRC. I felt a little bad about the people who are not "in" this network because I'm sure a lot of our chatter and giggles were meaningless to them, but IRC is pretty open and inclusive so I decided not to worry about it.

Many of us were on IRC during the conference. I didn't get the hecklebot done, but there was a great deal of heckling going on on IRC. There is definitely a kind of attention drain in the room when everyone is on IRC. There is even more attention drain when the panelists are on IRC. ;-)

I thought about this a bit and my conclusion is that in most cases, it is better to let people be on IRC (or some other chat room) during a conference. Several reasons. If people are bored, they will do something else anyway, like sleep, do email, pick their nose, whatever. At least IRC keeps everyone semi-focused on the time/place of the conference. As Kevin Marks says, the problem with conferences is that only one person (usually) can speak at one time. On IRC everyone can talk at the same time. This is inclusive and useful. People can post useful links, give feedback to the speaker without interrupting them and everyone can contribute. One of the most important reasons for going to a conference is networking and meeting new people. The best way that I've found for meeting new people is saying something smart. It's easy if you're a speaker, but usually you have to ask some intelligent questions so people want to talk to you. IRC is great because it give everyone an opportunity to say something smart during the conference. It also lets people get to know each other during the conference without having to escape into the lobby and miss the conference entirely.

Kevin Werbach, the organizer was a good sport about all of this. He hung out on the IRC channel himself and let Liz put the IRC channel on the screen during the wrap up. It will be interesting to see how these social software tools get integrated into conferences by conference organizers themselves. There is something "naughty" about unauthorized back channels that make them fun, but better integration and more reliable connectivity would probably make them more useful. It's also easier to include everyone if it's run by the organizers. I can't remember who said this, but "in the future, the room will be the back channel for the IRC chat."

I guess my next goal should be to get a hecklebot into Davos.

My TypePad weblog is live and thanks to design help from Mena, it "feels" like this blog, but is light and clean. Let me know what you think. I'm considering making TypePad my main blog.

I'll cross post for awhile, but lets keep the comments on this blog so I can keep them in one place until I do the final export.

Hally and Liz dancing with the belly dancer
Photo by Jason DeFillippo
We had a party in DC the other day. It was great seeing everyone. Thanks for coming. Special thanks to people who contributed on the wiki page and especially to rojisan who coordinated the venue.

There are some great photos on Jason DeFillippo's blog.

People are using digital cameras and camera phones in Japan to photograph pages of magazines and books instead of buying them.

Starting on Tuesday, bookstores across the nation will put up posters urging magazine readers to "refrain from recording information with camera-mounted cellphones and other devices".

I know several people who use digital cameras as document storage devices. Just yesterday, I saw a very cool camera mount for taking pictures of documents with your digital camera. In the context of copyright, there are some very interesting issues here that tie into the whole area of photography copyright.

via imajes via #joiito bot blog

My plane took off, flew for an hour and did a U-turn. Electrical problems. We're switching planes now, but I'm stuck in Japan again. Anyway, I've created a tentive outline of stuff I want to talk about on the panel. Please take a look and feel free to comment. It's here.

I got this idea of using a wiki from Cory

All packed up an ready to go. I'm off to Supernova 2003. Please join me in the #joiito channel on irc.freenode.net at 10am July 8 in DC (UTC -0400) if you want to heckle me during our panel. I'll be on IRC. Hopefully, we'll be able to get it up on a projector. ;-)

See you in DC!

The Logo
All dressed up an nowhere to go
When I was in Switzerland, I met someone who was protesting the Davos meeting I attended in January. He gave me one of the hooded sweatshirts that they wore. At first glance, it looked like a normal hooded sweatshirt, but when you zip it up, it quite conveniently covers most of your face. Best looking "protest wear" I've seen. My theory is that most protesters protest to get stuff like this and because it's fun.

Update: etoy.ROCK gave me the sweatshirt. Thanks ROCK!

Hirata just demo'ed an experiment we did with Sony. It's a moblog gateway. It receives email from a cell phone with a photo attached. The Sony team made an XML RPC metaWeblog API interface to Sony Image Station. We take the picture, talk to Sony Image Station using metaWeblog API and post the picture in a photo album. Then the gateway talks to Movable Type using the metaWeblog API to create an entry with the thumbnail from Image Station that clicks thru to the full picture on the Image Station site. The text and the title get entered into Movable Type and the category is pre-set. We are using the metaWeblog.newMediaObject (which Movable Type current supports) to send the images. Please support this standard so photo sites can use the API.

We'll continue doing tests with the research group and hope to do some syndication stuff soon. ;-) This is not a product and is really just an experiment. I'm hoping more and more groups in Sony start looking at the open standards and that the open standards people start thinking photos, video and audio as micro-content. Totsuka-san from Sony CSL Content and Applications Lab (sorry about the mistake Totsuka-san!) had an interesting comment today. He said that pictures are attached to email as second class citizens and the text is still the core of the data. I think the idea is to try to get multi-media micro-content to be more important. ;-)

PS I don't have a URL for this since we have only received an OK to demo it at the conference. Stay tuned.

Hot off IRC. Jeff Jarvis on AOL's blog tools. You will be able to blog from IM. Hey, but we can blog from IRC. ;-)

Thanks for the link Sifry

Today is the First International Moblog Conference in Japan. It's nice having an interesting conference in Japan for a change. It's also nice cuz it's an excuse for a lot of blogger types to make it over to Tokyo. IRC has made my relationship to many bloggers more personal so it's fun seeing people I've been chatting with the last month or so. So anyway, "welcome to Tokyo mobloggers". I'm moderating a session at 11am with my brother-in-law Scott Fisher from University of Southern California, Yuichi Kawasaki of JNutella, Takashi Tostuka of Sony. I think they're going to have a blog/wiki going up which I'll blog once I know. Until then, please feel free to splatter stuff on my unofficial 1IMC wiki page that I've put on my wiki. I'll try to put stuff up from the conference. Also, I'll try to be on #joiito on irc.freenode.net as well. For more information on getting on #joiito check out the IRC channel wiki page.

Too bad we don't have a hecklebot yet.

Most people have probably already seen this, but Pete turned me on to a very funny edit of GW's State of the Union address. A must-see if you haven't seen it already. Streaming QT file.

Many conferences have wifi for the audience these days. People blog the conferences or chat during the conferences. There is definitely a back channel and a lot of people who track conferences online. At a recent conference in Helsinki, Kevin Marks, who was in California, wrote a limerick heckling Tom Coates on IRC. The difficulty is feeding some of the good stuff back to the speakers. This is where HeckleBot comes in. HeckleBot is an IRC bot that sits in the IRC channel for a conference. You give it commands like "?heckle Stop pointificating!" on IRC. The bot talks to a linux box connected to an LED display facing the speakers. The LED displays the message to the speakers. This way, the speakers can get immediate feedback from the audience as well people watching a video stream or reading people blogging the event.

I promise to try to get the HeckleBot set up at as many conferences I attend if people will help me build it. There are some links to the various pieces on the wiki page about HeckleBot. Please sign up or contribute on the Wiki.

JesseE suggested that we should have rules on #joiito. He's started a list of ideas on the wiki. I'll give everyone a day or so to add to the list and call a real-time summit on the channel to discuss the rules.

rvr just modified jibot, the resident bot on the #joiito irc channel to allow you to post to #joiito bot blog from IRC. (It's using the Blogger API). #joiito bot blog is running on Bloxus, a blog package developed by rvr.

rvr - alchemist 1st class

After reading the last post to Halley, acrobat asked if I was an alpha male. I don't think so. But I'll ask Halley. He asked me if I had take the Myers-Briggs test. I hadn't heard of it. It's very cool. I'm an ENFP. Hmm...

Halley of Halley's Comment, author of "How to Become an Alpha Male" is going to be in DC for Supernova and we're finally going to get to meet. We have some mutual friends like Dave and Gnome-Girl. I read Halley's blog, but I rarely link to it because she writes about all of the things I tend to avoid writing about these days. She writes about emotions. She writes about men. She writes about dating. Yesterday she wrote about me, and now I'm going to try to write back. ;-)

First of all, anyone who hasn't read "How to Become an Alpha Male", must. When I read it, I started reading it with "academic curiosity" but ended up learning a lot and reflecting on my past, present and future.

So Halley, I don't know many alpha males, but I know a lot of alpha females. In some ways my childhood was the reverse of yours. You grew up with an alpha male dad. I grew up with an alpha female mom. My name, Ito is my mother's name that I took when my parents divorced so that my mother could pursue her career. My mother's side of my family has had a female head of the family for just about as long as anyone can remember. There is a jinx that every other generation, there is no male head and the male is brought in from the outside. My great grandmother was a well known feminist and built the first trade school for girls in Iwate during the war. My grandmother was also a tough women. She stood up to the US soldiers who used our home as the local HQ and told us a story of how she had her men saw off half of a building that protruded into our property because the building owner thought he could take advantage of us because our grandfather had died. My mother was also tough. She had tuberculosis as a child which she caught from my sick grandfather and spent most of her childhood in a wheelchair. When we were very young, she got cancer and I remember being told several times as a child that she was going to pass away soon. She was always in and out of hospitals, but she managed to survive until we were grown up and passed away after asking us if it was OK if she could go now. She was a housewife until she was 35 or so, then joined the company my father was working at. She became head of personnel, VP of International, president of the Japan subsidiary, left to become the US rep of NHK (Japan's public broadcasting company) and grew to become a fairly influential "player" until the cancer finally took over.

During high school we lived in a big house in Tokyo. I was the only male. My mother, my aunt, my sister, our secretary, her sister, our dog were all female. When our dog had 8 puppies, they of course were also all female. They were all also "tougher" than me. ;-) Most of my friends in high school were girls.

But let me talk about my ego. I was born in Japan, but I moved to the US when I was 2 or 3 years old. (I don't remember.) When my father got a job at ECD in Troy, Michigan, where we lived until I was 13, I was the first Japanese kid in a school full of catholics. We lived in a school district that overlapped with an area of Michigan that had a bunch of trailer parks. Nothing against trailer parks, but back in the 70's, people were losing jobs because of Japanese cars and most of these bitter people ended up in trailer parks and their kids ended up in my school. My mother's love and our family friends were the only thing that kept my fragile ego alive. I was regularly beaten up by guys, tripped in the hall by girls, taunted, called "colored" and generally made to feel miserable.

When I moved to Tokyo with my mother my third year in Jr. high school, I was in heaven. I finally realized that being Japanese wasn't that bad. I found that I could melt in with the Japanese, but could hang out with the American's too. Being bilingual and looking Japanese I could get the best of both worlds. I kissed my first girl, had my first date and started going to night clubs. High school was even better. It made up for a lot of lost time in ego building, but I was still very insecure.

University in the US was tough. I dropped out twice and ended up as a DJ at Limelight in Chicago. The streets of Chicago rebuilt an important part of my ego. I became part of a great community of extremely diverse people who loved each other and supported each other through really tough times. It was when AIDS was hitting the scene and helping and being helped built my faith in people.

After that, I watched my mother slowly and painfully die. Then I watched my mentors, Dr. Fukui, Tim Leary, John Lilly, Chairman Shima of NHK, and others all die. For awhile, I had at least one death close to me every year. I realized that a lot of my confidence was still propped up by my mother and later my mentors who assured me that I was fine and that didn't have to worry about it. Now I was on my own. I realize now that it wasn't until the death of my mother that I really started to develop my sense of responsibility that would eventually get me over my self-pity that had haunted me since my childhood in Michigan.

I'm still a bit insecure, but secure enough to not let it show too often. My ego is a bit slapped together, but it's stable enough so I don't have to actively work on it anymore. My sense of responsibility showed up late, but probably overshot a bit and now I feel responsible for everything and everyone. I just lost 14 kgs, I probably have a drinking problem, I am in a happy and stable relationship, just bought a house in the countryside where I will move in the fall and will see you in DC on Monday!

PS Thanks for triggering this gush of memories Halley. It was fun to write. Apologies to anyone who finds this [insert negative word here]. Now back to regularly scheduled programming...

According to the Swedes on #joiito, a Japanese space probe just crashed in Sweden. I can't find anything about on English or Japanese language sites. Anyone know anything about this?

Erista has blogged about it in Swedish with a link to the to the original article. Manne first discovered the link.

Should I move my sidebar to the right so that the content of the blog loads first?

I apologize for the light blogging the last several weeks. All of my spare time has been consumed by IRC. acrobat on #joiito compared it to a well placed water cooler. I drop in in the morning with my coffee, between meetings, from cab rides and after dinner before I go to bed. Some people who work in front of computers for a living "park" themselves in the channel. There are about 40 people on the channel now, only a half dozen or so are actually focused on the conversation. We've got a pretty interesting distribution of people. Most major time zones are represented and there are quite a variety of personality types and professions. It's also interesting to note that there is probably an equal distribution of people who are using IRC for the first time, rediscovering IRC and are IRC regulars. The conversation is much more random than my blog, ranging from total silliness to heated debates about RSS. I do think most of us agree that IRC today (or at least my #joiito channel) is much different from the IRC we used to use. I think the blogs help people identify each other and the wiki creates a bit more context and memory for the channel. IRC has definitely reduced my blog output, but in exchange, it has helped me make a much stronger emotional link to many of the people I blog/email with. I think it is the sense of spending time with people that creates this new sense of connection. It's almost like Sims Online. You see people drop off to take care of kids, cook, shower, go to work, come home, etc. Some of the more persistent personalities update people on what's happened during the "day" when you check back in after a being away. It's like being flat-mates with 50 people from around the world. "Hey, if you see so-and-so, tell them I'm looking for them and if so-and-so drops by while I'm out, be nice to them and introduce them to everyone..."

A useful thing about the IRC channel is that it is a 24 hour support system for a variety of issues. Just this week, Dave Sifry "held court" about Technorati, Mark Pilgrim explained python unit testing to me, Doc talked about the 17" PowerBook he was testing out, I got rojisan to book the venue for the DC party, I got Kevin Burton promise to finish the OSX version of NewsMonster and sniffles wrote a bot to remind me not to drink too much. ;-)

A controversial, but interesting thing in IRC are the bots. They are programmed to do a variety of tasks. There are bots that log, take notes, post stuff to wikis, answer questions or annoy people. The bots are probably how IRC will be integrated better into blogs and wikis. There are a few bots on #joiito. Jibot has become a collaborative effort with regulars pitching in via CVS on Sourceforge to add features to the bot.

As I continue to be immersed in IRC, the question that I am struggling with is how better to integrate IM, IRC, wikis and blogs. There are so many ways to do this yet no one seems to have done it well. There is also the issue of the metadata and meta-services like reputation tracking, search, identify management, etc. I'm sure different communities will find different combinations of tools useful.

Even though I call my blog "a conversation" I now realize after using IM and chat a lot that it still looks more like publishing or giving a speech although the comment threads are like conversations. IM chats can be like transactions. IRC is conversation or even "hanging out" with friends. The wiki is where we collaborate. The core strengths of each of these tools is very important and I think we all do a little bit of each of these activities. The alchemy of these tools is really interesting and I urge people to get over the hump and try these tools in combination and join us in thinking about what this all means. ;-)

GaiaX, a company that sells community Net services to ISP's and portals filed for a trademark for "Blog" on March 6 of this year. They issued a press release on June 28 saying that they would reserve the right use the word blog in products and services, but would allow people to use it freely in writing. I think some people have doubts as to whether they will be granted the trademark, but stranger things have happened in Japan. In the past, I think someone trademarked "groupware". I think GaiaX also has a trademarks in some categories on "Avatar."

Anyway, I'm glad SixApart and MovableType don't include the word "blog" in the tradename. ;-P

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