Joi Ito's Web

Joi Ito's conversation with the living web.

I'm going to Berlin for the 22nd Chaos Computer Congress. I'll be in Berlin the 27th-30th of December. I'm going to be working on my notes for the talk on my wiki. I also made a page for my schedule. If you'd like to get together or can recommend events that I should attend, please add them to the wiki. Thanks!


English was already the lingua franca of science, business and academia. Now English appears to be fast emerging as the media language of choice. Al Jazeera is preparing to debut a 24-hour news channel in English. A TV station in Russia also started English broadcasting this month (but got hacked down).

Recently, an ex-FIFA sports official praised the French newspaper, L'Equipe, for some of it's hard-hitting doping coverage, including revelations about Lance Armstrong. But, he added, they just don't get the same notice because their reporting is in French.

His implication: If news is not in English, it didn't happen.

Have you seen any examples of growing use of English in media or backlash against it?

Disclosure: This question is asked in preparation for writing a story for the IHT, so I may get back to you for follow-up.

Mitch Kapor has been working with Todd to scratch and itch that I think all Firefox users with more than one computer have had - synching bookmarks. They're now starting a serious beta of Foxmarks. Foxmarks is a service that allows you to upload and synch your bookmarks to their WebDAV server. Up until now, I was using a utility to sync my bookmarks to Safari and .Mac to sync between computers. Much better now. Thanks Mitch and Todd!


Turns out that disasters nowadays do not seem to turn away tourists for long.

From a story I wrote on trends in Disaster Tourism that is in today's paper:

The number of leisure travelers visiting tourist destinations hit by trouble has in some cases bounced back to a level higher than before disaster struck.
"This new fast recovery of tourism we are observing is kind of strange," said John Koldowski, director for the Strategic Intelligence Center of the Bangkok-based Pacific Asia Travel Association. "It makes you think about the adage that any publicity is good publicity."

Is the acceptance of disaster a good thing - because it shows people are no longer so frightened to travel - or is it a bad thing - because it shows a tolderance for bad things happening in the world?


Looming French copyright law may not be as dire to Open Source as Cory Doctorow suggested on Boing Boing.

In one strongly worded post entitled France about to get worst copyright law in Europe? Cory said French lawmakers had "run amok" and were "subverting the lawmaking process" to pass a law that would hinder the development of Open Source and even ban some software.

It appears that the main source for Cory's assertions are statements by an Open Source advocacy group EUCD.

Kevin J. O'Brien, my colleague at the International Herald Tribune, contests that stance in an article on the law:

BERLIN: In the places on the Internet where free-software activists hang out, discussion groups are abuzz with news of the French government's plan to ban open-source software.
The problem is that there is no such plan. But the French do have some proposals to revise copyright law, changes that could affect programmers.

Any reaction to the clashing perspectives?