Joi Ito's Web

Joi Ito's conversation with the living web.

Posted by Thomas Crampton

In reporting stories in Casablanca this week I have faced a unique problem due to Moroccan mobile phone habits.

More than any other country I have ever visited, Moroccans used caller ID.

It seems to be part of the phone answering process to closely look at the number of the person calling before deciding whether or not to answer. Often they will let it ring if they can't figure out whose number it is. In most places people look at caller ID and then answer.

From my point of view the result has been that my money-saving tactic of using a local pre-paid card does not work.

Three times now (I am a slow learner) people whom I was supposed to meet for an interview simply did not answer their phone until I called using my French mobile phone on costly roaming. It was a fairly good cross section of society: One was a politician, the other a university academic and the other a musician.

Nobody here has so far been able to explain why this habit exists here. I get a similar reaction when I ask about it here: People in Morocco just presume that everyone uses phones in the same way.

(I have previously reported on other national characteristics of mobile phone usage, including the reluctance of Spanish to use voicemail, the reluctance of English to speak on the phone in places where their conversation can be heard and the way in which the French turn off their phones during meals.)

Any other national habits to add to this collection?

Heres the skinny: Blizzard adds in a new instance, Zul'Gurub. Inside is the god of blood, Hakkar. Well, when you fight him he has a debuff called Corrputed Blood. It does like 250-350 damage to palyers and affects nearby players. The amazing thing is SOME PLAYERS have brought this disease (and it is a disease) back to the towns, outside of the instance. It starts spreading amongst the genral population including npcs, who can out generate the damage. Some servers have gotten so bad that you can't go into the major cities without getting the plague (and anyone less than like level 50 nearly immediately die). GM's even tried quarantining players in certain areas, but the players kept escaping the quarantine and infecting other players.
via Boris Via Wonderland

Then, I ask Jonas about this and:

It was a sight to behold. Some tell me, IF was finally usable and that the lag was gone for once, but Orgrimmar was fun nevertheless. Red blobs splashing everywhere, healing and renew/regrowth was being mass-spammed, and there were more bodies and skeletons around than I've ever seen, and I've raided IF before.

My biggest fun was screwing with those incompetent GMs. Some used their own chars to herd us, which made the plague transfer even faster, others messaged and threatened consequences if we did certain things. The idea was, to move all infected players into instances, where we could be by ourselves, so we hooked up into large raid groups, rezzed instead of corpse walked, and re-infected ourselves before hearthstoning back into Org. Bog Troopers, a huge horde guild in Org, raided Stormwind, which was almost empty, and killed the child king (no HK, there, you have to kill the Guardian) before walking into the Stockades, farming gold. The GMs congregated up on Honor's Stand, so we had a handful of players up there, stealthed, and infecting them. It was more fun than any other world event EVAR!.

Not much to add. Just hilarious.

BBC
US teens 'reject' key freedoms

A significant number of US high-school students regard their constitutional right to freedom of speech as excessive, according to a new survey.

Over a third of the 100,000 students questioned felt the First Amendment went "too far" in guaranteeing freedom of speech, press, worship and assembly.

Only half felt newspapers should be allowed to publish stories that did not have the government's approval.

It's a bit scary when "normal" shifts like this.

Here is an old Encyclopedia Britannica Films video clip from 1946 (I think) about despotism that they showed to children in schools. Amazing how things have changed. I wonder what kids would think now watching this clip.

Via Greg Elin

Posted by Thomas Crampton

North Korea, exaulted member of George W. Bush's axis of evil, just invited me to a festival, but I don't think I can make it.

I have, however, attended three previous Kim Jong Il birthday party.

Based on my experience, I can say that Pyongyang shows a declining level of party sense.

The first I attended was the snazzy party at the Hong Kong jockey club in 2002

The pretty fancy birthday party in 2003

And the distinctly downmarket event party in 2005 (terrible wine!)

For the record, I crashed the party each time. The North Korean government didn't seem to like publicity about their luxury birthday parties while people were starved back at home.

Below is the invite to the festival in North Korea which includes 100,000 people in a synchronized dance!!

INVITATION TO "ARIRANG PERFORMANCE"

The grand mass gymnastic and artistic performance "Arirang" which was premiered on August 16 is going on before full audience at the May Day Stadium with capacity of 150, 000 in Pyongyang. A stream of working people of all walks of life in the capital and other parts of the country as well as the tourists from the all over the world is coming to the stadium to appreciate the performance. The current "Arirang" which depicts the Korean history, fully reflects the eight beautiful sceneries with a flawless masterpiece for the combination of music, dances, gymnastics and acrobatics consistent with deep national emotions and high artistic skills, rhythmic background scenes, peculiar stage settings, electronic displays, laser lightings and other representation means and elements. About 100,000 people consist of world prize laureates, skilled artists, acrobats, youth, students and children are participating in the performance.

After appreciating the performance, people do not stint their praise, saying that it makes them feel national pride.

More than 800,000 of Korean people at home and abroad and foreigners have seen the performance since its premiere.

It will go on until 17th of October except Sundays. In addition to enjoy the performance you will be also able to visit the historical places arranged by the travel agencies in Korea.

The cost of the performance
Special seat 300 USD
First standard 150 USD
Second standard 100 USD
Third standard 50 USD

The cost of the accommodation and the lodgings for 1 day (inclusive of local transportation, guide fee, sightseeing fee)

1 person 150 Euro
2-5 people group 116 Euro
6-9 people group 68 Euro
over 10 people 55 Euro

The duration of stay (Optional)
2 nights and 3 days
3 nights and 4 days

If you are interested please don't hesitate to send us your personal data and visa will be issued within 3 days after your application. Please don't miss the rare chance.

The Consulate General of DPR Korea

Posted by Thomas Crampton

Been immersed in the world of fashionistas lately:

1- Writing about fashion: Hermès, belle of the ball, denies liaison

2- Attending a fashion party in Paris.

Well, attempting to attend a fashion party would be more accurate. I went with a friend who works for fashion magazine W to the launch of Lanvin's Arpege for men cologne. I am not much of a cologne type myself, but thought it would be fun to go along.

The event took place at the Ledoyen Pavillion on the Champs Elysees. Built in 1842 with a client list running from Emile Zola to Hillary Clinton it is one of the top restaurants in France, according to some.

When we arrived at the party, however, the Paris fashionista scene looked like a crowd of refugees fighting for the last piece of bread. About 150 or so people were pushing to get in the front door with one of the company's top executives standing on a chair or something to shout at people to back off and calm down. Insane.

We checked out the scene for a little while from a distance and finally determined that it was not worth our while to push in with the crowd to go to a party promoting a product.

The aggressive bouncers reminded me of when I was covering the Cannes Film Festival where film directors would be refused entry to the parties celebrating the launch of their own films.

Do humans need to feel rejection in order to think something is worthwhile?

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