Joi Ito's Web

Joi Ito's conversation with the living web.

I was interviewed by Halley Suitt for Memory Lane. Memory Lane is Halley's new program on IT Conversations. Halley writes about the program on her blog.

Chatango is a lightweight flash based chat program that lets you put a chat window on your web page. If I'm online, you can chat with me. Otherwise you can leave me a message. I'm going to try it out in this post. If it proves to be useful, I'll give it a more thorough testing in my sidebar.

This button should let you know if I'm online or not.

eBay Acquires Minority Interest in craigslist

SAN FRANCISCO & SAN JOSE, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Aug. 13, 2004--eBay, The World's Online Marketplace (Nasdaq:EBAY) (, and craigslist, an online community featuring classifieds and forums (, announced today that eBay has acquired a preexisting minority ownership interest in craigslist of approximately 25%. The resulting relationship will allow eBay and craigslist to share expertise, resources, and creativity on behalf of online communities everywhere.

Craig shares his account of this about it on his blog. Craig mentions on his blog that it was a former employee who sold his shares to eBay and that the company was not sold or money invested into craigslist.

I can imagine some people complaining about this, but I think this is a good direction for craigslist to go. Congrats to all involved. I look forward to seeing how these communities will interact and how eBay helps craigslist and vice versa.

Cryptome is one of my primary sources of documents that get released to the public through a variety of sources. I link to it quite often from my blog. ABC News questions the value of the public's right to know, vs the risk of "helping the enemy." I have a feeling that terrorists are pretty good at using the Internet and probably already have access to most of the stuff on Cryptome. I think that it could be argued that they are helping terrorists by making the information so easy to find, but I personally think that Cryptome and other sites like it are important in fighting against the natural tendency to hide behind secrecy.

AP @ San Jose Mercury News
Calif. Supreme Court voids gay marriages in San Francisco

SAN FRANCISCO - The California Supreme Court on Thursday voided the nearly 4,000 same-sex marriages sanctioned in San Francisco this year and ruled unanimously that the mayor overstepped his authority by issuing licenses to gay and lesbian couples.

In February I remember all of the happiness when the Mayor decided to allow same sex marriages in San Francisco. I had friends who were married that day and even saw the line of happy couples lined up at City Hall. At the time Dan Gillmor voiced concern that Mayor Newsom had overstepped his the bounds of his executive power when he declared a state law prohibiting same sex marriages unconstitutional. Larry Lessig chimed in and wrote that at times the executive must push those bounds if they believe something to be genuinely unconstitutional. The last paragraph in Lessig's post has an important caveat.
One critical caveat: The rule of law requires some coordination. So if a court decides that a law is constitutional, while an executive has the right to disagree, and even push to have the decision changed, it is important that the executive follow the law at least with respect to that case.
...Thus, if California courts decide the marriage law is not unconstitutional, then Newsom should then obey that law as ultimately interpreted.