Joi Ito's Web

Joi Ito's conversation with the living web.

I was just reading an email from the ProMED medical mailing list I'm on. It was a monthly report on Avian flu outbreaks in Eastern Asia. Part of the report reads:

Source of outbreaks:
- introduction of new animals/animal products;
- illegal movement of animals.

Control measures

A. Undertaken:
- quarantine;
- movement control inside the country;
- disinfection of infected premises/establishment(s).

B. To be undertaken:
- partial stamping out;
- vaccination.

Treatment of affected animals: no.

I read in the Wall Street Journal in the "We think this is sort of funny" section of the front page the other day, abut some guy who had invented a mass chicken slaughtering machine that picked up chickens by their feet and dragged their heads through electrified water. The machine could kill tens of thousands of chickens and was in high demand in countries where slaughtering these chickens has become an enormous task necessary to try to contain the outbreak.

Then I remembered reading that scientists are really worried that this flu is going to mutate into a version that spreads between humans as rapidly as it is spreading between birds.

Start nightmare:

Source of outbreaks:
- introduction of new people;
- illegal movement of people.

Control measures

A. Undertaken:
- quarantine;
- movement control inside the country;
- disinfection of infected premises/establishment(s).

B. To be undertaken:
- partial stamping out;
- vaccination.

Treatment of affected people: no.

Scary thought. Sorry.

As Wendy says... Grokster...

EFF: MGM v. Grokster

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Ethan Zuckerman has posted roundups on Africans talking about Live 8 here and here and blogs about it himself. Please do read these. They are an important voice.

Ethan is clearly weary and skeptical as are many of the Africans. I can understand this. However, I think Live 8 is a good thing. Although the concert may not have the effect on the G8 meeting that some people hope it will, I think that the concern will reach a broad audience and increase awareness. We should not forget how few people even realize there is a problem in Africa. I understand the arguments about nuances and stereotyping. They are valid. But I believe the benefits outweigh the costs in such an effort to "get the word out". The average person won't get the nuance. Not yet at least.

Also, I don't think it's fair to slam people for having fun or for the promoters for trying to add to their career. I think it's all part of getting things like this to happen. If you read any of the books or diaries of leaders of the various political movements and protests in the 60's, most of them were having a lot of fun. That didn't make the movements less effective or relevant.

QTVR Photo of Live 8 goers having fun in Philadelphia by Hans Nyberg

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Us-Visit Logo Sm2
I'm sure many people who have been traveling in the US have noticed the US-VISIT kiosks. The exit kiosks are scattered around various airports. When you go to an exit kiosk, it asks you to insert your passport and it takes your fingerprint. Then it spits outs a "receipt". These exit kiosks appear to be placed randomly and are not in any critical path between you and your gate. If you look carefully at the signs, it says you "must" go through exit procedures.

I was curious about why they were saying that it is mandatory, but not enforcing it so I looked in the DHS page. It appears that they are rolling the system out across the country now and that eventually, they will check your receipt when you board your flight. So it's not REALLY mandatory yet. However:

What happens if a visitor checks in at an airport where the entry procedures are operational, then tries to leave the United States from an airport where the exit processing is not yet in place?

Checking out of the country using the US-VISIT exit procedure is mandatory where an exit solution is in place at the port of departure. If visitors fail to check out through these facilities, it could affect their ability to re-enter the country.

I wonder what "affect their ability to re-enter the country" means. When I leave, they take the visa stub from my passport that confirms that I have left the country. Although US-VISIT maybe more efficient, it seems redundant with the data they are collecting from the visa forms. I suppose the US Government doesn't have to have much legal or logical requirement to explain what "affect their ability to re-enter the country" means.

When I asked a DHS officer what I should do with the receipt, he said, "Keep it. You may need it later." I'm not sure what that meant, but I didn't probe further.

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Nokia6680
After some begging, Nokia sent me one of their new 6680 phones. (As one of my business partners used to say, "never beg... unless it helps.") Thanks! I'd been trying to get my hands on one because it runs Symbian, is fast, and works on 3G networks. (My old 7600 worked on the Japanese 3G network too, but it wasn't Symbian and was a bit clunky to use.) Since J-Phone/Vodaphone and NTT DoCoMo have rolled out 3G in Japan and have roaming agreements with carriers like T-Mobile, which I use, I've been hoping that I could get a good phone that would finally allow me to have a single phone number everywhere.

So far the phone is great. It's faster than my older Symbian phones, has an application that imports data from your old phone (yay!), has 2 high quality cameras and a logical keypad. (The keypad on my 7610 was a bit too "fashionable".) The main camera has a sliding cover, which I think is a good thing. The only thing I don't like about the design is that it looks a bit like a small Treo.

I just looked at the international coverage information for Japan and it says that the "Voice Rate" is $1.99. I assume this is $1.99 / min. Hmm... Then it says the "Internet Rate" is $1.50. I looked around and haven't been able to figure out what that means. Does that mean $1.50 per packet or something? It's still expensive and I'm not sure if I'll use it much, but at least I know I can. A friend of mine mentioned that if Japan had gone with GSM instead of DoCoMo's funky PDC protocol, Japanese handset manufacturers may have had a better chance competing internationally. As it stands, the foreign markets are dominated by non-Japanese handset companies. Maybe with NTT DoCoMo's announcement that they are going all 3G by the end of the year, we'll see some of the handset guys in Japan start making cooler phones for the global market. On the other hand, I have a feeling that DoCoMo will continue to force the handset guys to cripple their phones. Right now you can't SMS anyone outside of DoCoMo from a DoCoMo phone, even though they are finally using the UMTS standard. According to a friend of mine, this is very difficult to do. You actually have to spend a lot of energy to break the system and limit SMS to your own network.

Here is a matrix comparison of the various Nokia phones. As you can see, only the 6630 and the 6680 do WCDMA 2100 which is the 3G protocol that works in Japan.

The other thing I just noticed is that I was able to navigate bluetooth and the email setup and get all of my data moved over to the new phone in minutes. I thought about how much easier things have gotten, but then I realized that the jargon and the interface were practically the same. I remember only a little while ago when I couldn't make heads or tails of any of this. I was the one who had adapted to the phone. Eek. Lock-in.