Joi Ito's Web

Joi Ito's conversation with the living web.

I'm off to the US again for a longish trip. Will be going first to Utah to hang out with some friends. After that, I'll be bouncing around the Bay Area until the end of the month. Not sure how the connectivity will be in Utah, but I'll probably be able to moblog. See you on the other side.

0262090392.01. Aa240 Sclzzz
My sister, the smarter half of the Ito family duo is an expert on Japanese youth culture and mobile culture. Her book just came out from MIT Press. I've been running around in a scatterbrained fashion all my life trying to reach into academia. She has been immersed in academic rigor but has been reaching out to the public from the inside. Recently, we've begun to cross paths more and more. This book is another step in bridging our worlds.

Anyway, I'm totally biased and very proud of my sister, but you should still take my recommendation and buy this book. ;-) (Or at least download the introduction.)

Mizuko Ito
Personal, Portable, Pedestrian: Mobile Phones in Japanese Life

The book I edited with Daisuke Okabe and Misa Matsuda is out from MIT Press and available on Click here for a pdf of a draft of the introduction.

The book is an edited collection of social and cultural studies of keitai (mobile phone) and pager use over the past decade or so in Japan. We included our own research as well as research by a variety of mostly Japanese scholars whose work we translated from Japanese.

The borg-like look that I have is the look of someone trying to hit command-shift-4
without moving my head or shaking the camera.
I just finished my short appearance on the "Situation Room", a new show on CNN hosted by Wolf Blitzer. I think today was the inaugural show.

The Situation Room, anchored by Wolf Blitzer, assembles top CNN correspondents, analysts, contributors and guests for complete, up-to-the minute coverage of the day's events. Modeled on the concept of the White House Situation Room, the program combines traditional reporting methods with the newest innovative online resources, making the entire process of newsgathering more transparent and placing the latest news and information at the viewers' fingertips. The Situation Room airs weekdays from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. (ET)

My interviewers were Abbi Tatton and Jacki Schechner.

Abbi initially contacted me for the interview because she had read the New York Times op ed. Interestingly, she found it via Jeff Jarvis at Buzzmachine, not in the paper. I answered two questions. The first question was about perception in Japan about the anniversary of the bombing. I pointed out that the Japanese news media were less obsessed about the anniversary ceremony than the Western media. The Japanese media were more focused on the failed vote in the Diet to pass Koizumi's Postal privatization bill. (Actually, I think Stewart on #joiito first noticed this.)

The segment started with Wolf Blitzer saying in the backchannel, "Make sure you explain what a web chat is because most people won't know what it is... We don't want people to think we're cheap." Well, it IS cheap. It's free. ;-) But what really is important about this is by using cheap Internet technology, they will be able to reach people all over the world on very short notice. I think that there are a lot of interesting possibilities and I hope they experiment with the format and break some new ground for CNN. Good luck folks and nice chatting with you!

I just finished an iChat AV video test with CNN in Washington DC. I will probably make a short appearance on CNN Domestic (US) sometime between 5:30PM and 6:00PM ET via iChat AV. It is pretty nifty that CNN is starting to do interviews by iChat. This surely expands the selection of people they can interview and makes it easier for the interviewees as well.

Web cams are old news. I remember how excited I was when I first played with slow scan TV and then with CUSeeMe. I stopped looking at web cams lately, because staring at a coffee pot got boring after awhile.

Kenji Eno just sent me a link to the Aizu Wakamatsu station web cam. Again, the content is not that interesting. It is just a train platform. However, the speed and the resolution are so high that you can see people walking and things flapping in the wind. You can hear the announcements and listen to the trains come and go. It's amazing how far we've come. I'm sorry if this "wow" is out of sync, but this web cam made me realize how far we've come.

UPDATE: I think it's getting a bit choppy as people hop on the stream. Be nice to their bandwidth please.

UPDATE 2: There is a steam locomotive (SL) that shows up sometimes.