Joi Ito's Web

Joi Ito's conversation with the living web.

Xeni @ Boing Boing
More on blocked sites for .mil websurfers

Following up on this BoingBoing post about rumors that access to TheMemoryHole is being blocked on military computers in Iraq...

[John continues:]If the request was denied due to the Content Filter configuration is a sentence fragment, but with The content category reported is Gen. News. and If you feel this site was blocked in error, please contact the Help Desk the meaning is clear enough. For whatever reason, "General News" is not fit for our troops. I've been meaning to send her a list of links and ask her if she'd be willing to try to access them (Newsweek? New York Times? Common Dreams? [a conservative site]? [another conservative site]?) I'm also curious what other kinds of sites she can't visit (geek news? music news? yahoo? wikipedia?) and whether she's prohibited from visiting these sites at work because she's /at work/, or if she's encouraged not to pursue the news in general.

Zaku, can you or anyone in the military in Iraq corroborate this or look into this?

Thanks to all of the newspapers that picked up the somewhat embarrassingly nice article by Yuri Kageyama of AP. AP syndication is really amazing.

One thing. The article doesn't contain links to Six Apart, Movable Type and TypePad mentioned in the article.

I'm going to try to help plan a dinner/party that I can't attend. David Beckemeyer et al to are working on Heckelbot so I can be there virtually. The dinner/party is scheduled for June 23, the day before Supernova 2004 at the Westin in Santa Clara. I ALWAYS go to Supernova, but this year I just can't make it since I have to be in Tokyo for a shareholders meeting.

Here a wiki page for the planning.

Speaking of Supernova, I'm hoping I will be able to participate in the conference via rigged Hecklebot as well. Stay tuned for more on this. ;-)

Going to Naples today, the UK on the 6th, Helsinki on the 9th, Stockholm on the 11th, back to Helsinki on the 13th and back to Tokyo on the 17th. Speaking at Culture Digitali on the 4th and the EVA conference in Helsinki on the 10th. Meetups in Naples on the 5th and UK on the 6th. See you then!

Thanks to everyone who gave me ideas for stuff to do in Europe this trip!

In the comments on an earlier post on this blog about an artist suspected by the FBI of bioterrorism, there was a great deal of speculation about the incident and the facts. (Read the link above to my previous post for the background.) I emailed the artist, Steven Kurtz, asking him for the facts, and here is his reply.

Deleted by request.

Many people talked to me about this incident and strongly support the FBI's position on this. I still don't know enough details on the FBI's handling of the matter, but I DO think biotech as art is a legitimate form of art. At Ars Electronica, we did a whole festival on Life Science as art. Artists, including Steve, publish their works, talk about the impact, and often teach. Terrorists do not.

One famous example of biotech art is the bioluminescent rabbit created by genetic engineering, adding genes from a jellyfish to a rabbit to make it glow in the dark. This created a great deal of controversy and debate. It was the intention of the artist to cause this debate with an extremely tangible project.

I believe this form of expression is important and mistaking artistic expression for something else is a great risk to society. However, I suppose it would be prudent for artists to be aware of the risks involved in handling the "supplies" they use for their art.