Joi Ito's Web

Joi Ito's conversation with the living web.

Dan Gillmor has started posting 1 minute sound clips. It's an interesting form. One "Minute with Dan" is less than 1MB and short enough to listen to while browsing through your daily feeds. It's not "save it for my train ride" size. Also, probably for people who don't know Dan's voice, it will create a voice behind the words he writes.

I also noticed that VoIP in various forms on my Mac have caused me to be in an environment where I can listen to audio as my default. One year ago, I had sound turned off 90% of the time. Now I have it on 90% of the time...

A Minute with Dan: Bad Behavior

A Minute with Dan: Graduation Day

Hoder, our favorite Iranian blogger is going back to Iran. He needs our help to get there as well as possibly keep him out or get him out of jail. See his blog for details.

For the last several days, I haven't been able to access the English Wikipedia from home. This has happened in the past. The reason is that the DNS that my ISP provides me is returning an error when looking up en.wikipedia.org.

dig en.wikipedia.org
;; Truncated, retrying in TCP mode.
;; communications error to 210.130.232.1#53: end of file
The odd thing is that jp.wikipedia.org and other Wikipedia subdomains resolve. Also, when I try another DNS server, en.wikipedia.org resolves. The DNS server I am using, DNS.CDN-JAPAN.COM (210.130.232.1) is run by IIJ, my ISP. Has anyone else had similar problems either with other domains on IIJ or problems with en.wikipedia.org on other DNS servers?

Sorry, for this obscure and geeky post, but being prevented from using Wikipedia has become extremely irritating.

UPDATE: en, fr, nl, de, pl fail. ja, eo, ko, es, zh work. It appears that the ones which are failing use geodns.

UPDATE 2: I caught up with a senior guy from my ISP IIJ at the Internet Association meeting yesterday and explained the problem to him. He said that MAYBE it is because they are running a load balancing thing that might interact weirdly with geodns. He's looking into it for me.

UPDATE 3: I got a response from my ISP. They said that the "AUTHORITYSECTION" was being returned making the record longer than 512 bytes forcing it to respond via TCP instead of UDP. They said that they thought my firewall was blocking TCP responses from dns. They changed the setting on the nameserver not to add the AUTHORITYSECTION and now it appears to work for me... I've asked them to provide me with another long domain entry greater than 512 bytes so I can see if I can replicate the error...

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Ever since I blogged about the anti-Japanese protests in China, I have been having a dialog with a number of people about Japanese history. One of my Chinese friends recommended "Hirohito and the Making of Modern Japan" (Herbert P. Bix) for a more objective and critical view of the Emperor's role in the War. I am reading the book now. I believe this book does a great job of uncovering a fairly systematic coverup by the US occupation and the Japanese media of the role of the Emperor in World War II. However, I do think that Bix tends to makes some conclusions based on the facts he uncovers that I would not necessarily agree with. It is, in any case, a very good book for anyone interested in Japan to read.

With this fresh in my mind, I visited Kyoto, my home town, and was amazed at just how much Japanese tradition is organized around the Emperor. The Emperor went though various levels of influence in the governing of the nation, but has remained in place for 125 generations. Regardless of his level of influence, the Emperor has been the center of most of Japanese culture. Kyoto, for instance, is divided into the "Right Kyoto" and the "Left Kyoto". This has nothing to do with East or West, but is the right or left side of the city when viewed from the Emperor. The bullet train "climbs" from Kyoto to Tokyo (the new capital) toward the Emperor and any road that points away from the Emperor is pointed "down". All kinds of symbols and names allow you to understand exactly what each Temple's relationship to the royal family is. Maybe it was just our guide, or maybe it was that I was sensitized, but I think he talked about the Emperor in almost every explanation he made.

I question whether we should still have an Emperor in Japan and I believe that the facts about the Emperor's involvement in the war should be more publicly known. However, I wonder how the cultural foundation of Japan will change if the Emperor and the royal family were removed.

I have Flickr'ed the trip.

UPDATE: Movie of geisha dance uploaded to archive.org and part 2. (And an older one from a previous trip...)

UPDATE: Related Article - Sanji-Chion-Ji

The new Technorati beta is live. It's a redesign of the main site. Congrats to everyone who worked on it. It's much nicer looking and hopefully easier to use than before. We'd love you feedback on it. Thanks!

Lots more about this on Sifry's Alerts.

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