Joi Ito's Web

Joi Ito's conversation with the living web.

My moblog is the first result on a Google search of "moblog" and I am feeling a bit responsible/irresponsible for not improving it much since it started. Hirata did the current template and although it doesn't work well in IE on the Mac, it works well on most browsers. It's light and simple. I don't have any good ideas about how to make it better... hmm...

BTW, we have an RSS Feed of the moblog. I don't know if it is a problem with NetNewsWire but when the name of the entry is the same (in my case "..." when I don't have a title) it doesn't go and retrieve the next picture.

Another insulting right-wing asshole, I guess

Richard Bennett posts inaccurately and insultingly about me

Mr. Bennett has a very dismissive and insulting way of engaging and is a good example of "noise" when we talk about the "signal to noise ratio". Adam has recently taken over the fight for me on my blog. My Bennett filter is now officially on so I won't link to his site or engage directly with the fellow any more. At moments he seems to have a point, but it's very tiring engaging with him and I would recommend others from wasting as much time as I have. A few of my favorite Bennettisms just so you get the general idea:
Richard Bennett
"Given that many of the advocates of "emergent" systems are also supporters of Saddam Hussein's government, I suppose this claim shouldn't be surprising."

"Geeks probably do think they understand these things despite the fact that they've never really studied them and couldn't give a coherent account of how any of these things work at a significant level of detail."

"The Well is a pay-to-play gated electronic community for Marin County-esque hot-tubbing, partner-swapping left-wing Democrats who thrive on self-deception."

In defense of House Majority Whip Tom Delay's comment: "John, we're no longer a superpower. We're a super-duperpower." he says:
Frankly, I don't see what the fuss is about. America does have a unique status in the world today, and DeLay's term captures it a lot more elegantly than "sole remaining super-power".
About an article in the Mercury News:
Editorial nonsense from Silicon Valley's paper of record is routine and unremarkable, but this seems to set a new standard of stupidity and arrogance.
IP ban warning has been served.

Aiming to expand its advertising network, Google is moving beyond selling sponsored links that appear alongside search results to selling similar links on partner sites, including on the pages of newly acquired Blogger.
If they do this right, which I assume they will, they will give part of the revenue to the blogger and and create a better revenue model to sponsor blogging.

Not to boast here, but I had this idea too. ;-) But as Carlos Ghosn says, execution is 95% of the work. Good job guys!

This evening was yet another surprising evening for me. After writing this morning about suing the tax office, this evening was my first day on the board of the National Tax Bureau's study group on IT and taxation. They served a yummy dinner which I mentally subtracted from the tax money they owed me... The irony of being threatened by some folks in the local tax office and being treated like an important expert by the head of the Tax Bureau was... ironic.

I kicked off the discussion part of the meeting with my opinion that the government should think of itself as a service and the taxes payment for those services. When you have a captive market, you forget that on one level, the citizens are your customers. When trying to think about how to tax stuff on the Internet, you have to think in terms of "how much value are we adding?", "what is it worth?", "how do we get paid?" It's probably better to think about the power law curve and marketing than to think about things in terms of the current tax framework.

My position is that consumption tax or a VAT tax should be levied since it is easier to track. Japan's consumption tax is only 5%. Dump all of those complicated taxes on things you can't track. Then provide services that you can charge for. If your services are not competitive, privatize them.

Many people think a national ID with a central record of all transaction are the way to go. I opined that a more distributed method that triggered payments on certain types of taxable transactions without tracking ID might work better and protect privacy.

Anyway, it was weird at the beginning, but turned out being a lot of fun seeing and thinking about things from the perspective of the Tax Bureau.

Recently banks began allowing people to use their basic resident ID code as a method of identification for opening bank accounts. This is exactly the "function creep" that I had been warning against and protesting in my activity against the basic resident ID code. I received a letter a few days ago from the director of local governments in charge of the basic resident ID code reporting that they have contacted the banking community and notified them that their activity was illegal and they should cease. (Sorry about the delay. I contacted him to make sure I could post a copy of the letter he sent me.) Yes! Nice job Inoue-san. If the Ministry of Public Management, Home Affairs, Posts and Telecom and continue to take a strong position to preventing the use of the national ID beyond the original scope and stick to the law that they drafted stating such, it would be a great thing that could let them turn all of the negative publicity of the national ID into positive publicity. I hope they stick to their guns and prevent other Ministries from using the basic resident code.

Many of my skeptical friends warn me to be wary, but I have to applaud positive acts for what they are. This was a great first step.