Joi Ito's Web

Joi Ito's conversation with the living web.


If you're thinking already about holiday gifts, I suggest you take a look at the MAKE Magazine Open Source Gift Guide. Lots of very cool stuff that you can REALLY "play with" after you get.

Second Life Events
CNET Interviews Joi Ito

Come hear CNET News.com reporter Daniel Terdiman (GreeterDan Godel) interview well-known entrepreneur, venture capitalist, virtual worlds innovator, Internet visionary, Technorati executive Joi Ito. He will come to talk about his experiences using virutal worlds as a tool to manage co-workers, about his World of Warcraft guild, about his investments and so much more. Come to the CNET bureau, listen to a 1-on-1 discussion and ask Joi a question yourself. When you arrive at the CNET building, you can fly up to the top floor through the open balcony on the right side of the building. Please come and join us for what is sure to be a fun and inspiring conversation.

See you there.

David Beckemeyer's PhoneGnome just did a pretty substantial upgrade. You can now use any SIP device to call PhoneGnome users for free. The new website lets you set up the call easily. You can also register all of your phone number (mobile phone, etc.) and not just the land line that your PhoneGnome is connected to.

Here's an announcement on their blog.

Disclaimer: I'm involved in this company.


Chuou
I live in a small village in Chiba. Our village has no city water, city gas or city sewage. In other words, we have a well for water, have a big propane tank for our gas and have a septic tank that gets emptied twice a year or so. Our town has agricultural roots, but mostly these days it is a sort of sleepy town where about half of the people work for the local government in one way or another. I think we were the first "new family" to move in in decades.

About 10 minutes away by car there is an area of Chiba called "Chiba New Town". The train I take to work stops there after my stop at a station called "Chiba New Town Chuo". Chuo basically means "center". Recently, the trains and stations and other media have been plastered with a huge branding campaign which involves the invention of a new word called 中央ism or Chuoism. I'm not sure exactly what's so "ism" about living in Chuo, but they boast that it is "close" (1 hr) to Tokyo and only one train to Haneda airport (will take you longer than an hour) and by 2010 will have a direct train to Narita airport.

There are huge condos and big malls and shopping centers. I'm not sure how successful this campaign is, but it's really odd to me. People are moving 1 hour away to buy condos in high rises in the middle of a rather beautiful rural area. This "Chuoism" seems like some sort of knockoff of American suburbia with all of the favorite fast food and shop chains in convenient malls. I've eaten there a few times and none of the restaurants are as good as the wonderful small restaurants scattered around the villages nearby.

For the convenience of having city water (probably not as tasty as my well water) and city sewage, you pay approximately 40 times the price per square meter of condo floor space as I did for land at my current house. It is a pretty high premium considering you're sharing the land with everyone you're stacked with and the bulk of the value is the condo which depreciates in value over time.

I guess that they probably had to invent a whole new "ism" to justify the rather illogical behavior (to me) that this sort of satellite suburbia represents. Thanks but no thanks.

Obligatory disclaimer : I visit but don't live there so I don't know all of the perks. I am just not convinced by what I have seen or by the advertising. I apologize if you live in one of these condos and are enjoying your life. Maybe you can chime in and let me know what the appeal is and why it deserves a whole new "ism".

I'll be going to New York for this:

2nd Annual Benefit for WITNESS, Dec. 11, 2006, NYC

FOCUS FOR CHANGE
The Second Annual Dinner and Concert to Benefit WITNESS
Co-Hosted by WITNESS Founder Peter Gabriel and Gael Garcia Bernal
Performances by Paul Simon, Angélique Kidjo and Kate Pierson & Fred Schneider of the B-52's

TO PURCHASE TICKETS OR TABLES online click here. For more information or to order tickets by phone call (718) 783-2000 ext. 304; To order by e-mail events@witness.org. Pricing is below.

Click here to download an invitation.

Last year was a blast. This was the most fun I had last year while doing something for positive for human rights. It should be an amazing event this year too. We still have seats available so if you're interested, please sign up and pass it on to your friends.