Joi Ito's Web

Joi Ito's conversation with the living web.

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Seth and Xeni write about this new American monster pickup truck, the CXT. According to Xeni it is "about 2 feet taller x 4 feet longer than the honkin' Hummer H2. Which, btw, it could tow along with that yacht, if need be." (MSNBC article and debut site)

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I just bought a 10 year old Daihatsu HiJet pickup truck. I got it because it's small enough to drive on the narrow paths between the rice fields. It can carry as much gravel or dirt as I would be willing to move on any given day. Just about every single neighbor has one of these little pickup trucks. And no, I didn't buy it just to fit in... although I think it helps. I think my HiJet is about 130" long and about 45 horsepower. (approximately 1/2 the length and 1/5 the horsepower of the CXT)

That CXT would be completely useless in my village. So you can keep your gas guzzling monstrosity and whatever weird culture that created it. I'm happy with the spartan aesthetics of my little HiJet. (Web page about Kei class Japanese trucks)

USA Today
Fliers face tighter screening for explosives

WASHINGTON — Starting Monday, the government will intensify airport screening...

More discretion. TSA screeners will be given greater authority to refer passengers for extra scrutiny if clothing looks bulky, misshapen or otherwise suspicious. Some passengers also will receive expanded pat-downs when screeners consider it warranted. Currently, they concentrate mostly on arms and legs. Now, they'll be able to pat other areas if they look suspicious. TSA spokeswoman Yolanda Clark would not elaborate, citing security.

...Critics say additional pat-downs could make some people, especially young women, feel uncomfortable.

Just in time for my trip to the US next week...

via Cory @ Boing Boing

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Graph of Bush vs Kerry on Iowa Electronic Markets
The Iowa Electronic Markets are real-money futures markets in which contract payoffs depend on economic and political events such as elections. These markets are operated by faculty at the University of Iowa Tippie College of Business as part of our research and teaching mission.
Jimbo told me about IEM when I met him in Linz. A paper (PDF) describes the past elections and how the markets have been amazingly good at predicting their outcomes. IEM has a current market quote which is updated every 15 minutes. As of this posting, it is 40.6%/59.4% Kerry/Bush.

On IRC, crw, just pointed out a blog post on The SaltwaterPizza that used Google to see how many people said they were voting for one candidate or the other. The sample size was 104,789. This gave 46.8%/53.2% Kerry/Bush.

The results are disappointing for those of us who are hoping Kerry will win, but these alternatives to traditional polls are very interesting none the less.

Hoder reports government crackdowns on reformist websites and bloggers.

Dr. Mark Petrovic and David Beckemeyer at Earthlink R&D have developed a proof of concept P2P application using SIP called SIPshare. SIP stands for Session Initiation Protocol and is one of the key technologies for the open standards around Voice over IP (VoIP). This application is pure P2P use of SIP. It is completely decentralized. According to David Beckemeyer this project is quite important.

David Beckemeyer in email
This may not sound like that big of a deal, as file sharing has been done, but I think this is a really big event. It's not about file sharing. Nobody is really going to use the demo app Mark built. It's about demonstrating that pure P2P can be done over SIP and that SIP is about more than just voice and video.

In some sense, the SIP wars to me are about sneaking in some aspects of the original "stupid network" baack into the NAT hell we've created. If we can do what it takes to get NAT boxes to support SIP (be consistent in how they do NAT so the edges can use STUN et al), then we have reclamied the ability to have individually addressable nodes, where we use SIP as the new IP network almost. This may be getting carried away, but anyway...

SIP has been waylaid in regulatory and execution problems in the past and many people have written it off as a non-starter. I'm seeing more and more companies who are actually using it for cool stuff and proving that it's ready for prime time now. If you written off SIP and haven't taken a look at what people doing with it for the last six months, I suggest you take another look.

via David Beckemeyer