Joi Ito's Web

Joi Ito's conversation with the living web.

the service that delivered the joke...
This is a bit old, but I HAD to share this. ;-p I found it on BoingBoing
Wired News
Kiwi Symphony's Errant Scat Music By Kim Griggs 02:00 AM Oct. 11, 2002 PDT

WELLINGTON, New Zealand -- They had been expecting Wagner; instead, they got "Wee on My Face."

When subscribers to the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra used Internet-based media players to listen to CDs sent to promote the orchestra's musical offerings next season, the playlist was not exactly classical music. "I have received a give-away CD from the (orchestra) a few days ago called Season 2003," one subscriber wrote to complain. "However, the names of the pieces were (so) hard to handle that I cannot type (them) on this e-mail."

The titles of the eight tracks on the CD, the album's name and the name of the artist displayed on media players all revolved around urination and defecation. "Maybe I Fart on Your Face" was not what the classical fans had been expecting.

I promise that this blog isn't going to continue to revolve around urination and defecation.

It turned out that one of the 8,000 subscribers who received the promotional CD was a university student in the southern New Zealand town of Christchurch. And he'd used an Internet-based media player to listen to the tracks.

"He received the NZSO promotional CD, put it into his computer and then he was prompted to put the titles in," said Constable Todd Webley, to whom the student unburdened himself when the titles became news.

"He's on his girlfriend's computer, and he was mucking around being stupid and thinking it's just going into that computer alone and not realizing that it's going to be sent into cyberspace."

ibmtoilet.jpgSpotted on slashdot


IBM flushes restroom patent
By Troy Wolverton
Staff Writer, CNET
October 11, 2002, 2:28 PM PT

IBM has quietly eliminated a patent it received on a method for determining who gets to use the bathroom next.

The computing giant received a patent for a "system and method for providing reservations for restroom use" in December. But the company later decided to renounce all of its patent claims after a petition was made against it, according to documents released this week by the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office.

Recently, I had been telling people that even though the market has collapsed, the number of patents being filed continues to increase. This, I had been saying, was an indicator that people were now focusing on building technology instead of their stock options and that we should look forward to great technologies ahead.

This article makes me wonder... ;-p

Spotted on David Farber's IP

Australian IT
Phone system could have your number
Kate Mackenzie
OCTOBER 07, 2002

A SINGLE telephone number doubling as an email address could soon be available in Australia despite fears the technology could become a de facto identification number.

Under the ENUM system being analysed by the Australian Communications Authority, one number could track down a person via a home or mobile phone number, or an email or website address.

This is SOOO bad. Where is my favorite Australian privacy expert Roger Clarke?

In Japan the Ministry of Public Management, Home Affairs, Posts and Telecommunications (who brought us the National ID system I've been protesting) also controls all of the phone numbers. This is yet another stupid idea that links identity to some sort of government number. Why can't we all have a variety of screen name/email addresses and dump phone numbers all together. Why don't we just phone email addresses? This whole idea is backwards...

I can understand the desire to trace everything to a physical body, but don't they understand that it means that ANYONE with a PC and a brain will be able to trace stuff back to us? The risks, I believe, outweigh the benefits.

Recently Cory blogged about his bad experience with Expedia. The discussion thread afterwards got pretty heated and soon a bunch of Expedia employees jumped in. What was interesting to me was that this anonymous discussion by employees about their own company in a public place is one of the things that fuel one of the most popular sites in Japan, 2ch. On 2ch anyone can start a thread and anyone can post as anyone. About 90% is noise, but there are occasionally interesting things. One of the interesting effects is that the threads about companies often end up being flooded by posts from insiders arguing with each other. Some companies take this very seriously and try to stop it, but obviously this usually just aggravates the situation.

2ch has become quite an interesting phenomenon in Japan. I'm hoping that blogging will help channel some of this "yearning to post" energy away from anonymous back-stabbing to more productive blogging. I think 2ch proves Japanese want to express themselves in public, but the question is whether they will want to be accountable.

I will never ever look at Expedia the same way....I work for them. I am a Supervisor at Expedia. I still work for this company and they burn people everyday. In order to make money we charge stupid fees and no one cares for the customer. They give you cases to make you wait for nothing. In the end we keep your money. Cases sit in queues for weeks, and all agents are trained to give you the runaround. The managers and director are paid to sit in meetings on wednesdays and do nothing to help. They often talk of other call centers doing better in calls, they only care about calls answered not helping the customer. Managers do nothing, answer no calls, and render no solutions. The director is a fat guy who scratches his back on doors and brags about his chili beans! The company is a joke. They sell rooms when the hotels are over booked and will use any excuse in the book to not refund you. All supervisors are no help, we are purposely paid to send calls to other agents posing as supervisors, they call themselves customer care. Our customer advocate team is a joke, all day they email each other and do not resolve cases....but I need the money so I stay....sad but true. Expedia is a joke, please use travelocity.
I am an OSR agent for and have to admit. I have to say I am ticked that Expedia's employees are here bad mouthing. Expedia does not do anything illegal.

If the customer is not willing to read the rules and still books the reservation they are totally responsible for the bill.

Honestly, there are way too many people out there that should not use the computer. It would make our jobs easier.

Oki striking a pose...
Had dinner last night with Oki Matsumoto, Yu Serizawa and Yasukuni Ichikawa and his brother Takayoshi Ichikawa... We ate at Kanayuni, one of my favorite restaurants that I've been going to since I was about 13 years old...

It was kind of a wrap-up and what do we do next meeting after the Blueprint 2020 presentation Oki and I did in Geneva. Yu works for the World Economic Forum and is organizing this whole thing. Yasukuni Ichikawa did a lot of research for the presentation and prepared it for us. His brother was tagging along. ;-)

Oki Matsumoto is the CEO of Monex, an online brokerage firm. He and I were the only Japanese "Global Leaders for Tomorrow" who went to the Geneva Summit. I asked Oki what he thought about the market. He didn't think it would go down to 6000. I think we all agreed that Japan was a bit different than Argentina in that it has been able to keep people and it's GDP from fleeing. (So far.) The biggest short term problem was the balance sheet and Oki thought that with the right reforms we could fix that. The "flow" problem was a long term problem and the "stock" problem was a short term problem. I'll leave the "stock" problem up to the bankers and the economists. I'm very worried about the long term "flow" problem. Ageing, competition in manufacturing, political, military, education, media, etc.