Joi Ito's Web

Joi Ito's conversation with the living web.

I'm at the Stanford Law School conference on Spectrum. I just set up a Topic Exchange channel for the conference.

U.S. plan: Threat level for every flier ACLU objects, calls background checks unconstitutional

Friday, February 28, 2003 Posted: 1:55 PM EST (1855 GMT)

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Civil liberties groups are objecting to a government plan for a new system that would check background information and assign a threat level to everyone who buys a ticket for a commercial flight.

This affects everyone in the world.

There already exists a Global Regulatory Information Database (GRID) which tracks potential criminals globally based on a variety of profiling techniques. It would be seem natural to expand this international database.

Recently, the US and Canada have created the Advance Passenger Information and Passenger Name Records (API/PNR) database on "high-risk travelers" traveling between US and Canada. The API/PNR system will in place Spring 2003. Citizens won't know how they get on this list so they won't know how to get off. You don't have to be a criminal to get on this list. You just have to fit the profile.

As the world starts to create blacklists based on various profiling techniques, the databases held by a variety of countries will contain data about citizens from other countries, who by default, have no rights Even if you have rights in your own country, this doesn't help you much when you find yourself at some airport in some other country on some blacklist for some reason which you have no access to.

I wonder if this blog post increases my "threat level"...

even more stupid dsico mashups, remixes and pop destruction: even better than the real thing
I recently discovered this new form (Feel free to tell me that this is old news and I'm totally out of it. I have no idea...) of remix on Takemura-sensei's blog. These are remixes which mash together weird combinations of artists making a totally strange, but really cool new version. There are two site dsico and ritmic which have a bunch of these remixes that you can download. Have no idea who "owns" this stuff, but totally weird and cool and great for testing my new E5c's. ;-)

Here are some examples:

Celine Dion+Sigur Ros
Whitney Houston+Kraftwerk
Eminem+Britney Spears
Kylie Minogue+New Order

e5c_leftbar1.jpg I wrote that the Shure E2cs were the best headphone/earphones I've ever had. Well, today I just got my E5cs and they're better. There's this amazing feeling when you think you're in heaven and you find there is something better. I've had similar experiences with wine and Chinese tea. When you taste the good stuff, you can't go back and then you start wondering if there is anything better.

Anyway, the details...

The E5cs main difference is that it has a cross-over circuit and fits 2 drivers in each earphone so you get an amazing dynamic range. The bass reverberates through you head like you're in a disco or something. The E2cs were great on the high ends, but these E5cs do the whole range amazingly well.

The cord is shorter and lighter, not exactly sure why. You can use the triple-flange sleeves which seem to go deeper into your head. They feel a bit weird, but I think I'm going to like them better than the normal flex sleeves.

The only thing is that they're $500 vs. $100 for the E2cs. Are they 5X better than the E2cs? Well, think of the power law and wine. It costs more and more as you get closer and closer to the peak. It's a matter of your priorities I guess. I don't think that they will be worth $500 to some people, but I'm happy. You could get a round trip ticket between SF and Tokyo for $600 or you could go and buy a few expensive Japanese musk melons. it all depends on what makes you happy I guess. ;-)

You can buy them on Shure's site. And, no, they don't pay me to do this. ;-p

UPDATE: Matt from Shure has started a blog. Check it out!

UPDATE: I've started a new gadget blog called Joi Ito's Stuff

Well, I'm leaving in 10 minutes for Narita airport to go to San Francisco. I look forward to seeing many of you in the Bay Area. I'm completely booked for the week I'm there, which is nice, since I will be seeing a lot of people, but not nice because I can't book any addition meetings. I need to spend more time in Silicon Valley. There's so much going on there these days. I'm sure I'll see many of you at the Stanford Law School - Spectrum Policy: Property or Commons? conference.

I'll be moblogging 'till I take off and should be able to moblog when I land with my Danger SK. So hopefully, I will "be in touch". I hope nothing important happens while I'm flying. If something happens, I hope it doesn't involve my plane.