Joi Ito's Web

Joi Ito's conversation with the living web.

Roomba Discovery Lg
The day before yesterday, I sat next to Colin Angle the co-founder and CEO of iRobot at dinner. I've had been looking for a way to get a Roomba and I asked him how I could get one in Japan. He told me that they are in fact selling them in Japan with a somewhat limited distribution and asked me for my thoughts. I said I'd have to try using one before I could give him good feedback. Japanese houses are a bit different from the US. He said he happened to have a Roomba with him that he could give me. Yay! I happily received the Roomba and today I FedEx'ed it to my house in Japan.

I'll write more about it when I actually get it working. I'm curious about how my dogs will react. I've been fascinated with the Roomba ever since I met Helen Greiner the co-founder and Chairman of the Board of iRobot. I first met her at the World Economic Forum as fellow Global Leader for Tomorrow. Later I watched a presentation she gave at ETech. She talked about military robot applications and it freaked out some of the tree-hugging hacker types there, unfortunately. Apparently, Colin is in charge of robots that scrub floors and she's in charge of robots that blow things up.

Roombas have been out in the US for awhile now and I have many friends who have them, but this doesn't make me any less excited to see one in action in my house. Thanks Colin!

UPDATE: Someone privately noted to me that it sounded like I might have pressured Colin into giving me a Roomba. I think anyone there can assure you that I didn't apply pressure. I didn't even know Colin had one with him. I was sincerely trying to find out where I could get one. I posted this note mainly because it's likely that I will be writing about my Roomba in the future and I wanted to disclose that I got it for free and in what context.

I went to the CNN office on Sunset in LA today to record an interview for a program that Aaron Brown is doing. I talked about the evolution of media, Global Voices, spectrum deregulation, Gillian Caldwell and WITNESS, Creative Commons, BitTorrent and all of my favorite topics. It will be interesting to see what survives the editors. It's suppose to air Friday next week. It's likely that I will be out of CNN reach although it should be running internationally. If anyone sees it, let me know how it went. Thanks.

UPDATE: Regarding on-air time

Scheduled to air this coming Friday, June 3.  10 pm edt is start of our broadcast. Could be aired anytime before 11 pm edt. Don't know precisely.

Lessig Blog
ccSouth-Africa: "Commons-Sense Conference"

So day two of a fantastic conference at Wits, in South Africa. Sponsored by the LINK Centre, the conference celebrates the launch of Creative Commons South Africa. The conference is being covered by 15 students and a couple staff members from the New Media Lab at the Rhodes University School of Journalism and Media Studies. The site has moblog, video links, blog, pictures and audio -- basically one of the best examples of real time conference coverage that I've seen. What they've done would be amazing enough in the core of Silicon Valley. But in this network-thin space, it is really extraordinary.

I so wish I were in South Africa for the launch of ccSouth-Africa. Thanks for the wonderful coverage. It almost makes me more jealous, but it's great to see everything that went on. Anyway, congratulations to all involved.

Seth Godin
My Secret Project and the Bounty

I need your help.

I'm looking for three special people this summer to work on a secret project. No, I can't tell you what it is. Yes, I can tell you about the internships: Seth's Summer Intern Project.

Find me someone I successfully hire and you get $1,000 and the perverse satisfaction of knowing that you made a good match. Find me two and you get twice as much!

Seth is one of the smartest and most interesting people I know. If I were looking for an internship, I'd jump on this.

Seth, if anyone gets referred through me, please do not give me the money. Please donate it to the EFF, Creative Commons, the Metabrainz Foundation and OSI in equal parts.

Now for you tax wizzed out there. If this were to happen, is this a taxable event for me?

I sat next to Dr. Roger Payne at lunch. He talked to me about the songs of the Humpback Wales that he has been recording for decades. He is the authority of this field. He explained to me that Humpback Whales sang beautiful songs. They copy from each other, remixing the songs and add to the songs. These songs evolve over time and riffs get passed from whale to whale across the world. The songs have lots of interesting variations and even have rhymes. He made an interesting observation that the whale songs of the 60's were much more beautiful than the whale songs these days.

I suggested that he made some of these songs available online via Creative Commons and he agreed that this would be a cool idea and agreed to work on this. For now, you can find three of his CD's on Whales Alive, Deep Voices and Songs of the Humpback Whale.

I look forward to when we have some whale songs on ccMixter.