Joi Ito's Web

Joi Ito's conversation with the living web.

I remember someone telling me a story about the delivery of the first copy of MS DOS to Japan. (I don't know if this story is true, but it's a good story.) The shipment contained a copy of DOS on paper tape and a blank roll of tape. They taxed just the blank one because the one with DOS on it was "used".

So... Does this make a "used comment salesman" and Six Apart a seller of "new comment space"?

I'm of course mostly joking, but I think this represents two completely different views on the "media" business. You can sell the blank media or "used media". Either the comments are the product or the ability to create comments is the product. This is what separates the professional world from the amateur world... But good amateur can exceed crappy professional in quality. Production and distribution are becoming lower cost, and two opposed views of the world are colliding harder. Clearly, clever people have managed to arbitrage/manage both of these models, but they surely produce very different types of laws, processes and world-views.

Shining remix. Excellent. ;-)

via Nick

UPDATE: NYT article about this video from Matt in the comments.

I've seen a number of posts about AOL giving access to information about its customers to the Department of Homeland Security. The posts seem to be citing an article from October 3 by Martin McKinney in "The Financial Reporter (U.K.)". The quote refers to a Department of Commerce report. I can't find the original Martin McKinney post or the DoC report. Does anyone have the original sources? Also, is AOL giving the DHS any MORE information than other consumer Internet companies in the US of that size? It seems to me that we should ASSUME that everyone is giving "unfettered access" to DHS when/if requested.

Most of the blog posts seem to lead to this post on

via Scott via kellee's blog

Good post on Global Voices describing how Gaurav Sabnis made comments about an educational institution and receives threats to sue him for 30 billion rupees (45 rupees to a USD). Gaurav leave IBM but sticks behind his words and fights for his freedom of speech. This is an important issue where, as the GV post points out, the USP of the country is its open democracy.

It reminds me a bit of my incident...

via Suresh

Veni, a fellow ICANN board member and a good friend asked me to post a plug for The Optimist - The Story of the Rescue of the Bulgarian Jews from the Holocaust. I had to ponder what the context of my posting such a link would be, but then I read Larry's post and realized that I should blog about Veni and Bulgaria to provide context.

In addition to being on the ICANN board, he is the founder of the Bulgarian Internet Society, is on the board of THE Internet Society (ISOC) and is on the board of Computer Professionals for Social Responsibility (CPSR).

What is interesting about Bulgaria? It is technically a developing nation, but an odd one. First of all, the new Prime Minister of Bulgaria is a member of the Internet Society. In fact, many of the politicians there are. (I think in great part thanks to Veni.) The Bulgarian sumo wrestler, Kotooshu, is all the rage in Japan and almost became the first European to win the Autumn Sumo Title. Veni, as a participant in many of the The World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) and Working Group on Internet Governance (WGIG) meetings helps from the perspective of a developing nation that is more Internet savvy than most developed nations.

The other day, I heard Veni and Desiree talking to each other in Serbian and I realized that I knew NOTHING about Eastern Europe. In an effort to alleviate this blind spot in my knowledge, I've accepted a speaking gig in Croatia next month and have been asking Veni to "turn me on" to Eastern European culture. Although I have a feeling that high volume of weird jokes may be Veni-specific, I am learning a great deal and it is in this context that I introduce a story about how the Bulgarian Jews were saved by the Church in Bulgaria. Hopefully, I'll be able to share more first hand stuff when I visit Croatia, my first "real" visit to an Eastern European country.

UPDATE : More information from Veni.

The new world chess champion Vesselin Topalov is a Bulgarian.

In April and May this year Richard Stallman and Larry Lessig visited Bulgaria to make sure the country is on the right track in developing a great Free and Open Source Movement ( and is part of the global CreativeCommons project. The new CC v2.5 will be released in Bulgarian very soon.

The country is also one of the not-so-many which has solved the problems with the Internet Governance and the control of the IP address alocation and DNS, which is in the midst of the WSIS. You can see what the Bulgarian government has to say about this at the WSIS PrepCom-3.