Joi Ito's Web

Joi Ito's conversation with the living web.

Devgatelogo
The Development Gateway Award is a prestigious award given to excellence in propagating ICT access, especially in the developing world. They've extended their deadline and are seeking additional nominations. I think $100K can go a long way, particularly in the developing world. If you know of anyone working on a suitable project, please pass this on.

From the press release:

Deadline Extended in $100,000 Development Gateway Award

Global Competition to Recognize Information Technology’s Role in Development

February 15, 2005 – The Development Gateway Foundation is extending the deadline in its global competition to reward outstanding achievement in using information and communication technologies (ICT) to improve people’s lives in developing countries. The new deadline for this year’s $100,000 Development Gateway Award is March 15.

“This competition is a global search for excellence, and we are taking every measure to find the highest-impact application of ICT to win this award,” said Development Gateway Chief Executive Officer Alan J. Rossi. “Then in June, we will profile the winner and runners-up to demonstrate for all to see the results that can be achieved using ICT to improve people’s lives.”

This year, as the number of Internet users worldwide surpasses the 1 billion mark, about half of those users will be in developing countries. “I strongly believe that access to ICT can change the lives of the poor dramatically, if we can ensure access to ICT for the poor,” said Grameen Bank founder Muhammad Yunus, winner of the 2004 award.

Grameen Bank-Village Phone was chosen from over 200 nominees for the 2004 Development Gateway Award, then known as the Petersberg Prize. The award recognized Grameen’s innovation in combining microfinance and mobile telephone service to help create a new class of women entrepreneurs in Bangladesh who raised themselves from poverty while providing rural villages with essential communication services.

For the 2005 competition, please go to www.developmentgateway.org/award for more information and nomination forms. Nominations already submitted can continue to be updated at this site.

I received the following email and this attached Word document from the lawyer at sms.ac. It looks like a form letter to me. I have no idea what activity they think is illegal and I'm waiting to hear back from them. Has anyone else received this letter from them? See the word document for the slightly different letter in its full color all caps glory.

Kevin B. Jones, Esq.
NOTICE OF INFRINGEMENT OF INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY RIGHTS

UNLESS YOU IMMEDIATELY CEASE AND DESIST YOUR ILLEGAL ACTIVITY, YOU WILL BE PROSECUTED

TO: Registrant: Neoteny Co., Ltd. Plazamikado 3F 2-14-5, Akasaka Minato-ku, Tokyo 107-0052 JP
RE: Domain name: ITO.COM

Administrative Contact: Ito, Joichi hostinfo2@ito.com Plazamikado 3F 2-14-5, Akasaka Minato-ku, Tokyo 107-0052 JP +81 3-5549-2270 Fax: +81 3-5549-2271
Technical Contact: Ito, Joichi hostinfo2@ito.com 2-14-5, Akasaka Plazamikado 3F Minato-ku, Tokyo 107-0052 JP
+81 3-5549-2270 Fax: +81 3-5549-2271

Kevin B. Jones, Esq.
Deputy General Counsel
www.sms.ac

THIS DOCUMENT CONTAINS INFORMATION THAT IS THE CONFIDENTIAL AND PROPRIETARY PROPERTY OF SMS.ac AND MAY NOT BE COPIED, PUBLISHED, OR DISCLOSED TO OTHERS, OR USED FOR ANY PURPOSE OTHER THAN REVIEW BY AUTHORIZED INDIVIDUALS, WITHOUT THE EXPRESS WRITTEN AUTHORIZATION OF AN AUTHORIZED OFFICER OF SMS.ac.

If received by mistake, please inform SMS.ac of the erroneous transmission by immediately replying to the email and then delete the mail and its possible attachments without opening, copying, distributing or retaining any copies thereof.

For more information on sms.ac see Google. I wonder if they got the letter too. ;-)

UPDATE: See Chilling Effects for a great site about how to understand and deal with these sorts of letters.

I'm on the bullet train from Tokyo headed for Kyoto to attend APRICOT. Unfortunately, I can only be there today and tomorrow. I'll be in and out of the sessions. If anyone wants to hook up, let me know.

Cory @ Boing Boing
Euro software patents: dead again! w00t!:

Aymeric sez, "I was at the Brussels demo [against software patents] today and the result, it appears, was slightly positive." That's an understatement: the software patent issue is dead again in the European Parliament and has to be rebooted from start if the other side wants to get it through!

The European Parliament has thrown out a bill that would have allowed software to be patented.

Politicians unanimously rejected the bill and now it must go through another round of consultation if it is to have a chance of becoming law.

During consultation the software patents bill could be substantially re-drafted or even scrapped.

Link

(Thanks, Aymeric!)

This is great news. I wish Japan would listen to Europe on this issue.

Follow the link to Boing Boing for more information and updates.

Reuters via News.Com
Web-only album wins Grammy

LOS ANGELES--Jazz composer Maria Schneider took home a Grammy on Sunday for her album "Concert in the Garden," without selling a single copy in a record store.

In a recent meeting with some studio execs, to the question of whether they had ever seen any "real" music come out of Internet based alternative production models, they laughed and said no. To the question of whether it was possible in the future, they made a "unlikely" gesture. If getting a Grammy doesn't constitute a recognition of "real music" I don't know what does. I hope they don't miss this stunning example of their misguided arrogance.

via Juche