Joi Ito's Web

Joi Ito's conversation with the living web.

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Add international money transfers to my list of activities that are now easier
online than in the "real" world.

I had always found bank transfers a pain because they generally required a
visit to the bank with stacks of forms to fill in. If lucky, my money disappeared
for up to eight working days before arriving in the destination bank at a horrible exchange rate.

Recently I wrote about my experiences using an online foreign currency exchange service that was easier, cheaper and faster than the bank.

Since it is easy to transfer small amounts, I now find the service a lifesaver.

What other new Web-based services could be useful for people who live abroad?


Note: I may cross-post comments on the IHT blog and they may be reproduced in the paper for publication.

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For me, e-mail has long been the Internet's killer application, but isn't it ready for a makeover or update?

Some things I would like to include:

-- Delayed sending of e-mail to hit people at the most appropriate time (sometimes to myself as a reminder)

-- Conversely, a smart filter that knows when to send me what sort of e-mail. This system would alert me by SMS when I had an urgent message and hold some messages until Monday if I checked my e-mail over the weekend.

What features would you add to e-mail?


Note: I may cross-post comments on the IHT blog and they may be reproduced in the paper for publication.

Teach-Splash
Today Elisabeth Shue hosted a Creative Commons screening of Teach by her husband Davis Guggenheim. Davis is a fellow board member of Creative Commons. The documentary is available for download and is licensed under a Creative Commons BY-NC-ND license. It is a short excerpt of a longer documentary and is extremely moving. Download it, view it and share it please.

Creative Commons
Teach
A Creative Commons-licensed film by Davis Guggenheim

Experts predict that the US will need more than two million new teachers in the next decade. So, how do we inspire today’s young adults to become tomorrow’s educators?

In 1999, director Davis Guggenheim and producer Julia Schachter undertook an ambitious project — to document the experiences of teachers in the Los Angeles Unified School District. In examining the trials and rewards that come with educating our children, the filmmakers created two powerful documentaries: the Peabody Award-winning The First Year; and Teach, a short film created to attract talented and passionate people to the teaching profession.

Teach is available under a Creative Commons BY-NC-ND license and is offered online to the public for free. By using a CC license, Guggenheim and Schachter are allowing people to legally download and share Teach, so that its inspirational message can be easily seen by anyone in the world.

Download Teach via Bittorrent
(hosting provided by LegalTorrents).

I've generally stopped making new investments other than in particularly exceptional situations. However, last.fm is one of those exceptions and I wanted to let you know that I invested together with Reid Hoffman, CEO of LinkedIn and Stefan Glänzer, CEO of 20six Weblog Services AG in the UK in October. It is the first time I've invested in this trilateral formation, but with the company in the UK, a lot of potential partners in the US and a big market in Japan, this team seems to make sense. Apologies for the late announcement, but we've been working on some deals that made it difficult for me to talk about our investment publicly. I wrote about the first in 2004 and later in 2005 after they did the redesign. I'm really happy that after working with them for years now, our relationship is now more formal and aligned. Please see the links above or go to their site for more information about the service.

I'll be in SF briefly for a Creative Commons board thingie this weekend. I'm arriving on the 16th and if I'm not too tired, I'll try to make it to the Supernova Party. Maybe see here there.

Details:

Thursday, February 16
5:30-9:30pm (come whenever you can)
Cha-Am Thai, 701 Folsom St. (at 3rd), San Francisco

Cost is $20 per person, which includes a full Thai dinner and non-alcoholic drinks. RSVP and pre-payment details at the wiki URL above.

UPDATE: A dinner meeting ran late and I'm too sleepy to go tonight... I'm sorry.