Joi Ito's Web

Joi Ito's conversation with the living web.

I have my PowerBook on my insTand next to my bed with a clock screen saver alarm clock. Usually, I wake up before my alarm goes off and wake up the computer instead. As soon as my status on my IM clients goes from idle to available, I get a little flurry of requests for contact. "Did you see my email?" "When can we talk?" "Don't forget our conference call coming up." "We're on a conference call right now you might want to join." I queue up these real-time requests like some sort of air traffic controller, put on my headset hooked up to my Vonage phone and get started. Today, I started the morning with an conference call on the fly with a few people on a one of the many free conference call bridges. During the call, I got an IM that I might want to drop into another conference call in progress. After my first call, I joined the second conference call which was already well on its way. I got the URL of the wiki page of the agenda and notes via IM, scanned them, and made a few comments. Then I was off again to my next call which I had queued with someone on IRC.

My question is, am I a weirdo or an edge case for how people will work once we all have IM and voice and conference calls are free.

I remember when I was Chairman of Infoseek Japan, I would get a weekly list of the top 100 search words. I remember loving this list. You could see watch trends and stuff, but mostly it made you realize just how sick people were. When I was around, the only US search term that beat adult content phrases was "Olympics" and the only Japanese query was "Tamagocchi" when it was all the rage.

Now uber-gadget-hacker Phillip Torrone has brought this experience to the street via the Search Engline Belt Buckle. It uses the SearchSpy service which shows real search queries and is provided by Dogpile, the metasearch engine.

I suppose this is slightly more useful than an RSS feed of my weight, but definitely harder to build.

I blogged earlier about the sale of 25% of the stock of Craigslist to eBay. Out of context, some people might not understand why this requires explaining or someone with a casual understanding might think Craig sold out. Here's some more context. (And no, Craig has not "sold out".)

Craig is a very unique individual and this interview and his site are a testament to that. In March, on the way to SXSW, I was with a group which had an airline nightmare at SFO. Craig negotiated with the extremely unhelpful Mesa Airlines for the whole group of us and was amazingly effective. I was moved by how he insisted that we were a group and was not willing to settle for anything that left anyone behind.

Cory Doctorow @ Boing Boing
Craig of Craigslist interview
Wired Magazine ran an interview this month with Craig Newmark, the founder of Craigslist and an all-round mensch:

Google's touchy-feely corporate mantra is "Don't be evil." What's yours?

Give people a break.

A break from what?

A break from how difficult our lives are. It's like, if you're walking out of your apartment building and somebody is coming the other way with an armful of groceries, you hold the door. It feels good - it's the neighborly thing to do. And our species survives by cooperating.

What poses the major threat to that survival?

Kleptocrats and sociopathic organizations that have the almighty dollar as their only goal.


Wow! A USB weight sensor. Now we can automatically add our weight to the sidebar and make RSS feeds of our weight changes. Who wants to write the mt-weightsensor plugin?

via Daiji

Current Mood: chipper
Current Weight: heavy
Listening to: You Trip Me Up by The Jesus and Mary Chain from the album Psychocandy

Donna Wentworth @ EFF Deep Links
Army Okays Computer Spying

JetBlue ignited a huge privacy scandal when the news broke that the airline secretly provided more than 5 million passenger records to Torch Concepts, a military contractor. Yet the Army Inspector General Agency concluded [PDF] that JetBlue did not violate the Privacy Act. The reason: Torch never looked up individuals by name, but instead used a computer to dig through and analyze their private information.

This is quite disturbing. I guess this means that taking massive amounts of data and crunching through them to create "profiles" is OK. I wonder how small the clusters can be? Can they, for instance, profile companies, race, occupation, address or other kind of groupings for profiling?

There was a case in Japan where the Japanese government kept a list of Freedom of Information Act requesters in a list on a network with their backgrounds and this was found to be "legal".

I don't know enough about the JetBlue case to make a judgment on just how bad I think it is, but it seems to be part of a larger trend pushing the limits of the law.