Joi Ito's Web

Joi Ito's conversation with the living web.

If you're wondering why I haven't been blogging the last few days... I've been at the Creative Commons Summit with this amazing group of people.

Last night I got Asterisk working on my PowerBook with the help of Benjamin who runs Asterisk is an open source PBX. It allows your computer to send, receive, route and provide services on a wide variety of voice connections including SIP, IAX and various interfaces for normal phone lines. I've always had fairly complicated phone line and call management needs and now I can program everything myself. There is an amazing feeling of liberation when you realize how much control of your phone system you can actually have. Asterisk is a bit difficult to do without some help, but once you start to get your head around it, it feels like you're running a mini phone company. They even use legacy words like "trunk lines" which were named after the cabinets in the phone companies that held the groups of 9999 lines. It's going to take me awhile to get it completely configured, but I'm not going to feel truly VoIPy until I am in total control of my phone system.

Take THAT telephone monopolies! ;-)

UPDATE: François asked for more detail in the comments.

I'm using the PowerBook now mostly to play around. It will eventually be on a stationary machine. The first step will be to forward all of my calls to Asterisk. These include Vonage, Free World Dial, Voice Pulse and a few other VoIP things that I have. I will also try to find a service provider who will take all of my business lines and convert them to VoIP and forward them to my PBX. Vonage and Sound Pulse will allow me to dial out. The idea is to have all of my calls aggregate at my Asterisk PBX. Then, I can have various profiles on Asterisk that I can change in a number of ways. I'm hoping I can use, email, phone, Jabber presence, SMS and various other methods of changing my profile. The profiles will be set up to forward calls appropriately to me or my assistants. The calls can forward to a soft phone on my computer, my cell phone or any other phone that I register with Asterisk. I can also send calls to voicemail. If I can get caller ID working properly, I can set up different groups to allow me to let certain people through for emergencies.

Because the system is so flexible, there are a variety of configurations so I'm trying to figure out what I really want and how best to do it before investing in a bunch of interface cards. One key point will be whether I do the POTS termination myself or have a service provider manage my POTS lines. (POTS = Plain Old Telephone Service)

We just launched the Technorati Live 8 site.

Technorati has teamed up with Live 8 to bring you the latest conversations about the campaign to Make Poverty History. Read first hand accounts of the concerts and events, and get all the news and opinion from the blogosphere.

We've also put together some resources to help you find your way around Live 8 and the blog world:

What is Live 8? Which organisations are behind Live 8?

Are you new to blogging? Find out what it's all about.

Get a Live 8 badge for your blog.

Join in the conversation and find out how to make your posts show up on Technorati.

Do more than just blog - contact the G8 leaders.

The posts listed on the Technorati Live 8 site have been written by bloggers worldwide and appear in real time from Technorati's index of 1.1 million blogs. Find out more about Technorati.

Joe Trippi called us about two weeks ago with this idea. Thanks to a guest appearance of Suw Charman as the producer of the site and extra hard work by the Technorati team, we were able to get this site out in time.

This is such a good opportunity for nations like the United States and Japan to helped their damaged images and also show their solidarity to a cause that they shouldn't have to think twice about. I'm amazed at how poor the response of some of the developed nations has been to this call. Hopefully this concert and the voice of the blogs will help get their attention.

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Dan Gillmor has created a Citizen Journalist Pledge for contributors to Bayosphere.

Citizen Journalist Pledge

By submitting this form, I agree to be accurate, complete, fair and transparent in my postings on Bayosphere. I will operate with integrity.

I work in the community interest.

I report and produce news explaining the facts as fairly, thoroughly, accurately and openly as I can.

  • Fair: I'm always listening to and taking account of other viewpoints;
  • Thorough: I learn as much as I can in the time I have, and point to original sources when possible;
  • Accurate: I get it right, checking my facts, correcting errors promptly and incorporating new information I learn from the community;
  • Open: I explain my biases and conflicts, where appropriate.
I may also provide reviews (such as a critique of a movie or book) and commentary with a point of view based on facts, but I will have no significant financial or otherwise direct connection (membership, affiliation, close relationship, etc.) with an interested party.

If I do have such connections, I'll disclose them prominently, and my work may be labeled and/or categorized appropriately.

I agree, as an active member of this community, to help uphold the integrity of this pledge by challenging and reporting inappropriate postings or abuse.

I think this is a reasonable pledge. One real difference between a citizen journalist and someone who isn't is whether they make such a pledge or at least agree to adhere to principles like this. I will also agree to a pledge.

One modification that I would have to make is conflict of interest disclosures. We've talked about this quite a bit on this blog. At one time, I started disclosing conflicts on every post, but people thought it sounded boastful. Lately, I try to make it clear by saying "we" or "I" when it is an organization that I am involved in, but assume that most people who read my blog understand my primary affiliations. Most of them are disclosed on my wiki page. Any new affiliation or minor affiliation to something I am writing about will be prominently disclosed.

The only other type of article that may not fit "citizen journalism" are posts where irony or some joke is the point of the post. I used to think that such material would be obvious, but I find that irony is often missed an taken seriously. I don't have a good solution for this.

I chose to be a mage on Warcraft. Mages are pretty cool, but they can only fight with one enemy at a time. They are useful in groups, but not good for playing alone. What's funny is that it's really hard for me to make friends on Warcraft. According to my sister, many people join Warcraft together and hang out with the real-life friends. Anyway, it's a humbling experience. I'm begging people to let me join their group and casting nice spells on people trying to earn their friendship.

If anyone has been considering starting World of Warcraft, please join Khadgar and be my friend. ;-)

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