Joi Ito's Web

Joi Ito's conversation with the living web.

Britney Spears's fans don't think the pop star's chewed gum is "Toxic" - they're buying wads of it on eBay. There are more than two dozen auctions of used gum on eBay, each claiming their product has been spit out by the 22-year-old singer. Prices go as high as $14,000, but most are for significantly less. Though there is no way to verify the authenticity of the various wads, many postings include photos of a small piece of chewed gum, a copy of a ticket stub from the "place of finding" and a personal story of procurement.
eeeww... I wonder what people do with this used gum when they buy it. Or maybe I shouldn't ask...
Ars Electronica , the oldest, largest, and most prominent art and technology festival in the world, today launched a web site inviting participants to make predictions about the next 25 years, year by year, and to vote on predictions already posted.
Looks interesting. Give it a try.
Ars Electronica 2004
Video Streams

In addition to the proceeding of the Ars Electronica Gala, the panels of the TIMESHIFT Symposium and the Prix Forum as well as the speech by Itsuo Sakane, the Re-inventing Radio Symposium and the launch of Creative Commons Austria will be available online as video streams.

The program is online here. I'll be on the DISRUPTION panel.

Now listening to: Anarchy in the UK by the Sex Pistols

I reported back in September 2003 that an Indian newspaper reported a local company receiving an outsourcing contract from the Republicans for fund-raising calls. The Republicans denied this at the time. Dvorak has an update.

The Telegraph - Calcutta
Indian voices in Bush pitch - Geography error blows lid off campaign outsourcing

The Texas outfit may have actually got away with its outsourcing exercise if it had not been for the poor training given to Indian telemarketers who handled the job. Sources here said the India-based operation was exposed when one American who received a fund-raising phone call on behalf of the Republican Victory Committee wanted to know where the call was coming from.

“The Washington DC of Virginia,” the caller answered. Washington, the US capital, is actually in DC, short for District of Columbia, and Virginia is its neighbouring state.

I personally have nothing against outsourcing to India, but it probably looks bad for the RNC.

Philadelphia is considering investing $10M to blanket 135 square miles with wifi coverage.

I agree with David Weinberger that the wifi project in Philadelphia is a good thing. Like David, I hear and understand the arguments against government running things that businesses can do, but I think that in the case of some of the low cost basic infrastructure like this, I think municipal governments can often deploy and run it just fine. I think that we need to start thinking of parts of our network as assets like roads, which can and should be run by government.

I will add that in most cases I believe in free markets and competition for this sort of thing.