Joi Ito's Web

Joi Ito's conversation with the living web.

Polobutton
The New York Times says that VW is upset about the fake ad showing a suicide bomber and a Polo. I'm sure everyone has seen a reference to this in their local papers. (In a Japanese newspaper, they had a hand-drawn story-board of the ad.)

For your reference, Wizbang has links to the video.

And just for old time's sake, here are the snopes.com pages for the Ford SportKa and the Nokia fake ads. (They have links to the videos.)

People used a lot of flash and video during the elections to express their views online. With more bandwidth and easier and easier video editing, video as a form of expression will continue to grow. It's interesting how the TV ad as a form is perfect for twisted humor because it is designed to be short and strong and people are used to the format.

Jeff Jarvis has blogged his thoughts on this.

Copyfight
What Can't I Do Today? (Donna Wentworth)

A Slashdotter, on Endangered Gizmos and the threat to harmless "me2me" uses:


At this point, I've accepted that there are things I do that may someday be considered a crime. ...:
  • Record TV shows from my DirecTV reciever that I pay a monthly subscription fee for into my computer using a Hauppauge PVR250 card for archival purposes (to show friends and family when they come over)
  • Rip all CDs that I buy to the infinitely more convenient Ogg Vorbis format so that I can listen to my music anywhere
  • Stream any audio or video from my house to wherever I happen to be using a VPN connection and broadbad. This means I can listen to my music collection, watch my DVDs or even DirecTV as long as I have an internet connection
  • Build custom digital media devices that don't have the limitations that commercial products do

...It's a wonder it's not illegal to use a hammer, nails, screwdriver, drywall, plaster and screws to build or modify your house any way you want.
Basically, the notion of "owning a song" when you buy it in some format is going to be over if Hollywood has any say. In the old days, if you had an album, you could tape it and listen to it in your car or anywhere you wanted to. You basically "owned the song." Now you own the song on your Mac/iPod. Or own the song on Microsoft... or own the DVD in Region 1... If you've purchased thousands of tracks on Apple Music Store and decide you're going to stop using iTunes and iPod, you're shit out of luck. Or if you have a thousand DVDs and you move from the US to Japan. Yes, there are workarounds, but they will try to make more and more laws to prohibit people from building workarounds.

So my question is... Does this INCREASE or DECREASE the likelihood that I'm going to want to build a massive music or movie collection?

The Japan Times
Promotion just for Japanese: supreme court

South Korean civil servant's suit fails

The Supreme Court on Wednesday overturned a high court ruling and supported the Tokyo Metropolitan Government's decision to bar a civil servant from taking a managerial promotion exam due to her South Korean nationality.

They are upholding a Tokyo ban on allowing foreigners to take positions of authority in public services. the ruling is "Based on the (constitutional) principle of national sovereignty and in view of the fact that the people should in the end be responsible for how the central and local governments govern, (the Constitution) should be viewed as presuming that Japanese nationals in principle will assume local civil service positions." This is basically a paranoid notion that involving foreigners in running the country or performing important national services is a threat to sovereignty and national security. She was a NURSE for God's sake. She is a second generation Korean, her father forced to leave Korea for Japan and her mother a Japanese national. I don't know what's worse, this sort of discrimination against foreign workers in Japan or the fact that many third generation Koreans can't even naturalize.

This reminds me a bit about Richard Curtis who joined the volunteer fire department in Kanazawa and became an a true member of the team, but cannot participating in official ceremonies or drive the fire trucks because he's not a Japanese citizen. (Mirror of WSJ article on him here.)

Ugh. We're going to figure out how to make foreigners more welcome in Japan before we turn into a bankrupt and forgotten country with a lot of starving old people.

Thanks Ado for the link to the JT article

Xeni @ Boing Boing
Jenna Bush, Spawn of Satan

Th Satannnnnn
Is it me, or is Jenna Bush holding up the sign of Satan next to her father's face in this photo? Choose picture #7 in this MSNBC slide show.
Here's the original MSNBC Link, and here's a link to a copy of the photo I saved locally (it's now offline at MSNBC) (thanks Jeremy)

Update: BB reader Charles Bestal says, "As a University of Texas student, we hear a good bit about the party animal around campus -- but it should be noted that she is most likely invoking the school's hand-sign (Hook 'em Horns, they say), rather than the devil, or her father."

The Houston Chronicle confirms that it was the University of Texas "Hook'em, Horns" but it appears to have offended some people in Norway.

Houston Chronicle
Norway reads something sinister in 'Hook 'em' sign

..."Sjokkhilsen fra Bush datter," read an outraged headline on Norwegian news Web site Nettavisen. Translated: "Shock greeting from Bush daughter."

...The "Hook 'em, Horns" that Bush flashed when The Eyes of Texas was played at the Black Tie and Boots gala Wednesday was misconstrued by some in Norway as a sign of the devil used by a musical scene that terrorized the country in the late 1980s and early '90s.

...Death metal's history
In Norway the horns carried a greater menace. The country has long been a hotbed of death metal, a subgenre of music with a sordid history of church burnings, murder, inadvertant bludgeonings (with sheep skulls), pet sacrifices and sundry behavior best described as anti-Christian. There the gesture has little to do with sports rivalries.

...Needless to say, Norway's more prudish contingent was aghast upon seeing the daughter of the American president flashing a sign associated with such behavior.

It could be worse ...
..."I suppose it can mean different things to different people in different parts of the world," Clark says. "I guess the Norwegians and Italians should be happy that our mascot was a longhorn and not a unicorn."

This sounds like something from a Douglas Adams book. Luckily it didn't mean anything offensive to our future Alien Overlords.

Thanks to Glenn to the Houston Chronicle link

UPDATE: David Weinberger's "Forgive me" gesture and "The Shocker" via AG.

People have been pinging me about this, so I guess I should post something about it. I'm not going to Davos this year. I wasn't invited this year. Not sure exactly why... But I'm in pretty good company... Anyway, I posted some thoughts on the Forum over on Omidyar Network which I'll post here as well.

Joi Ito
This may sound like sour grapes, but I didn't get invited to Davos this year, but after going for 4 years, I was also planning on possibly not going. It's great fun meeting old friends, but I'm finding many of the smaller conferences more interesting these days. A number of people I know are going to the World Social Forum this year instead. Having said that, I'm sure something will happen this year that makes me wish that I was there. Please say hi to everyone for me.
Lars
Joi, thanks for your insight. I'd be curious about your thoughts in terms of collective: has the WEF been a mechanism that enables actors to work more intelligently and in partnership across sectors? this is something i've been longing to understand better; there is a sense among participants at places like the World Social Forum that the WEF is exclusionary and serves only the interests of the multinationals. What seems most vital about the forum is the capacity to pool intelligence and coordinate action in a way that reduces global risk. is this happening?
Joi Ito
I think that a lot of the good things that happen at the forum on not intentional and not visible. It's bridge building across sectors. Although the forum has tried to be more and more inclusive, I think it has shifted away from its humble, somewhat academic roots to a conference where there is more participation by powerful people. Also, there is the official program, then there are special groups (like the Media Leaders group I spoke to last year) and then there are secret meetings. In many ways, it is more of a meeting place than a "movement" with something concrete to accomplish such as the WTO or G8, although I've never been to either.

I would disagree that it "only serves the interests of the multinationals" but it does have sponsors that allow it to exist and they obviously get special treatment and access. Having said that, the social entrepreneurs, for instance, include many legitimate social entrepreneurs who are doing a lot of great things that the forum enables in many ways.

So net-net, I would say the forum is a good thing, but I think your mileage may vary.

Finally, I would add... looking at the various lists of people who get invited and un-invited... the process, from my perspective, is close to random, athough there are clear biases. If you've never been invited, don't worry about it. Many many important and interesting people have never been invited. If you get invited and you've never been, give it a go, especially if you don't have to pay. If you go for a few years and get tired of it, you're not the only one.