Joi Ito's Web

Joi Ito's conversation with the living web.

I'm at Narita airport now on my to Seattle for a thingie at Microsoft. I hate the immigration at Seattle. I've had more bad experiences there than any other US port of entry I've ever been to. I've seen fathers deported because the checked "tourist" and mumbled something about visiting company friends and have had friends grilled for hours. I have also been treated rather poorly several times. I heard from someone that they trained immigration officers in Seattle. In any case, I'm not looking forward to it. I know my friends in the US State Department read this blog. {{waves to State Department readers}} If you don't see me blogging about landing safely in Seattle, do you mind giving Seattle immigrations a call to see if I'm stuck? Thanks.

Anyway, I'll probably see you soon from Seattle.

UPDATE: I took my chances with a sort of mean looking officer, but he turned out to be a gas. "Who are you here to see?" "Microsoft" "Why would you want to see THEM? [sarcastic smile]" "They asked me to speak" "Well, have a few sakes for me before you go on stage. hehe."

Unfortunately, he was so busy entertaining me that he forgot to stamp my customs papers and I got turned away at the exit and had to go back and get the stamp from him.

But it was funny and pleasant so I eat my words. I don't hate Seattle airport... right now.

Cory blogged about this, but beware if you are buying music on iTunes and are prone to buying new Macintosh computers. You can only authorize three machines to play your iTunes purchased music. I recently bought a new machine and gave my old one to a friend. I have a desktop and my original PowerBook is being used by my aunt. So I had to track down my friend and have him log in as me and "deauthorize" the machine before I could authorize this machine. Which basically means, you have three lives. Lose/wreck/give away/sell three Macs and your iTunes library is no longer available, although there appears to be a "contact customer service" method of dealing with deauthorizing computers you don't have access to. Anyway, like Cory, I feel like I'm being punished for buying lots of Macs and lots of iTunes music. I can see their point, but this is yet another example of how DRM will always suck from a user experience point of view.

My current friend and former nemesis, Hiroo Yamagata and I were on a panel with Larry Lessig last week. He casually mentioned that he had decided to translate Das Kapital into Japanese. He is one of the best translators in Japan and has translated Lessig, Leary, Krugman and many others. Anyway, he said that all of the existing translations were related to the Japanese communist party in some way and were edited and filtered. For instance, violence and other things were omitted. He remembered someone in college who argued Marx with him based on a faulty translation and in retrospect, this pissed him off. He decided to make a more accurate translation. Hiroo is kind of a weirdo, but it's because of people like him that some things that are lost in translation actually get fixed. Blatant censorship is pretty scary, but this reminded me how dangerous intentional mistranslations can be as well.

pseudorandom
Correct Me If I'm Wrong...

...but I can't remember any current high-ranking member of the Bush Administration ever saying anything like what Richard Clarke said today:

Mr. Clarke began his testimony before the bipartisan, 10-member panel, formally known as the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States, with an apology to relatives of the 3,000 people killed on Sept. 11, 2001.

"Your government failed you," he said, his voice close to breaking. "Those entrusted with protecting you failed you, and I failed you."

"We tried hard," Mr. Clarke went on, "but that doesn't matter, because we failed. And for that failure, I would ask -- once all the facts are out -- for your understanding and your forgiveness."

If the President, any member of his Cabinet, or any other high-ranking political appointee of his has apologized for allowing the 9/11 attacks to take place on their watch, I'd like to know about it.

Glutter
CHINA HAS FURTHER CURBED FREE SPEECH AMONG ITS CITIZENS

THE CENTRAL GOVERNMENT HAS BANNED ALL TYPEPAD SITES WITHIN CHINA. ANOTHER BLOW TO FREESPEECH AND FREEDOM OF INFORMATION WITHIN THE COUNTRY.

THIS IS A SAD DAY.

GLUTTER TURNS BLACK AS A MEANS TO PROTEST AND BRING ATTENTION TO THIS ISSUE

If I could so much ask, I would like to suggest others who own typepad sites and other blogs to put a note on theirs as a means to spread the word.

So until TypePad blogs are unblocked, you will all have to bear with this ugly black border around my blog.

Pass it on.

Via North Korea zone

UPDATE: I'm removing the black background because it seems to mess up some browsers and loads slowly for some reason. I have begun discussions with people who might be able to help us get unblocked. I will keep you updated if there is any progress.