Joi Ito's Web

Joi Ito's conversation with the living web.

Skypechange
Skype's Echo / Sound Test Service (echo123) used to have a woman with a wonderful Estonian accent. They've replaced it with a faceless corporate sounding voice. (via pt) Eek. Kerli has many fans. We want Kerli! Anyway, for any geeks who miss Kerli, you can fine an Echo Test with a face for Chinese Skype. Just call echo-chinese.

Update: There is now a Japanese soundtest. (soundtestjapanese) The voice is definitely a Japanese woman, but she is also incognito. Also, if you IM "callme" to any of these sound test accounts, they will call you.
via Kengo


Sleeping with Bo

Mizuka took this awhile ago. Just found it on my camera.

The MetaBrainz Foundation is a 501.(c).3 tax-exempt non-profit based in San Luis Obispo, California that operates the MusicBrainz project.

MusicBrainz is a user maintained community music metadatabase. Music metadata is information such as the name of an artist, the name of an album and list of tracks that appear on an album. MusicBrainz collects this information about music and makes it available to the public.

With the creation of the MetaBrainz Foundation, the MusicBrainz project enters its second phase of life. In the first incarnation, the project was privately maintained and focused primarily on basic music metadata described above. Today the MusicBrainz project has the legal backing and infrastructure of the MetaBrainz Foundation, which will allow it to embark on a mission to expand its scope.

This is a very important project because, unlike CDDB, MetaBrainz is protecting the data from capture by corporate interests and if successful, will allow us to make information about music interoperable and the data will provide a foundation for this interoperability. This will allow people to share playlists across languages, meta-search on music across services, etc. I have joined the board together with Dan Brickley, Cory Doctorow, Lawrence Lessig and founder Robert Kaye. They are doing a fundraiser and we'd be happy for your support. Congratulations Robert.

Listening to: You Trip Me Up by The Jesus and Mary Chain from the album Psychocandy

There is a good blog post by Andrea about bloggers in China talking about the anti-Japan protests.

As a Japanese who has a great deal of sympathy and empathy for China, what I find difficult is trying to understand the various threads and how Japanese people can try to make a difference. In particular, the hateful and extreme actions of some of the Chinese make it difficult, if not scary to even try to open a dialog. At the same time, the extremes in China are fueling the nationalists in Japan and not helping the cause for the more moderate voices. I believe hate will never help communications.

One of the biggest problems is that most Japanese don't understand the issues. Another point is that most Japanese are not great supporters of the military. When I think about the military in Japan, I don't think dirty nationalist thoughts. Rather, I think about May 15, 1932 when Prime Minister Inukai was assassinated by the military which ended party-based politics in Japan until after WWII. I think about the Japanese military taking over the government and sending Japan into one of the worst periods in its history. I think about the small children being sent off to war as Kamikaze or human torpedos and I think about the letters homes from them that are enshrined in Yasukuni Shrine. There are letters from terrified little boys writing about how scared they are about going to war. Most Japanese do not trust the military and most Japanese believe that the military run government of the 30's was an illegitimate government as a result of a coup. Many Japanese believe that the Japanese people were victims of the military.

Having said that, I do think that the text books and teaching in Japan underplays the actions of the military in China and I believe the Japanese text books are a real problem that should be addressed. I really think that the Japanese don't understand how victimized the Chinese and Koreans were and I believe this education needs to occur. I would point out that it is not just this aspect of Japanese textbooks that is broken. Japanese text don't use the word "revolution" or "civil war". It was the "Meiji Restoration", "The American fight for independence", the US Civil War is the "North South War" etc. There was a move to simplify Pi to just 3. In other words, the Japanese ministry of education needs an overhaul. Maybe they should use Wikipedia instead.

I'm not trying to trivialize the issues that are being protested by the Chinese, but if they are trying to cause change in Japan, maybe some of them can try to talk to their allies in Japan like me instead of trying to force or scare into submission their enemy. A reasonable bridge building effort between activists and experts on both sides to try to address the issues through tactical maneuvers might be useful.

Or am I missing the point completely?

I'm off to Kuala Lumpur today. I've been invited to give a talk at a Philips meeting tomorrow. I will be meeting up with some bloggers tonight in KL. Sign up on the wiki if you'd like to join us.

UPDATED: I uploaded the pictures, but I need help with people's names. Sorry. Can someone help me?