Joi Ito's conversation with the living web.

November 2002 Archives

MS to give access to source code to Japanese government »

Japan TimesThe Japan Times Online Microsoft to reveal source code to Japan, which has eyed Linux Microsoft Corp. will disclose the source code of the Windows operating system to the Japanese government in line with the government's e-Japan project, company officials said Wednesday. I recently made a public comment on the record at the oversight committee for the National ID about Microsoft and trying to get them to open up the source code. I wonder if this had any effect. I guess we must all have had an effect. I assume many people have been saying this. It's a great...

Lessig/Yamagata/Ito discussion for Chuo Koron »

So yesterday's discussion with Hiroo Yamagata and Lawrence Lessig went well. It was a lot of fun and I think a constructive discussion. Hiroo was in good form. But he usually is... in person. ;-) He had written something negative about Mr. Ikeda in the afterward of translation of "The Future of Ideas" and had gotten in a dispute with Mr. Ikeda. He had just finished the battle and I guess they have both gotten over it now. Maybe Hiroo was just tired from that. I do generally agree with Hiroo's position, although maybe not the way he said it....

Thanksgivings with the Lessig's »

Had the Lessig's, Jiro Kokuryo, Sen, Yoon and Neeraj over for Thanksgivings Dinner. Didn't cook the turkey ourselves this year so it wasn't a REAL Thanksgivings, but it was better than no turkey. Sen and Yoon... Thanks for doing all of the work. Funny thing is, I'm seeing Jiro Kokuryo at the i-mode council, Neeraj at a meeting and Larry for an interview tomorrow night. Small world... or maybe just narrow taste in friends. ;-p...

The Future of Ideas »

I am embarrassed to admin that I had scanned The Future of Ideas by Lawrence Lessig, but had not READ it carefully. I find I do this with books where I know the author's position quite well in an area I know something about. I KNOW that the book is worth reading, but it feels like patting myself on the back. I tend to like reading books written by the enemy. ;-) Anyway, enough lame excuses. Tomorrow, I have a magazine article discussion with Larry and the translator of The Future of Ideas Hiroo Yamagata, who as I've said...

Joi's Moblog »

I've been meaning to try to aggressively blog with my new phone and Justin's article and his phrase "moblog" pushed me over the edge. My guys set up this "moblog" for me. It's still a test site, but you get the idea......

Presenting our vision to Nagano »

Tanaka-san's office is in a see-through case in the waiting room of the prefecture building.Tanaka-san greets our teamPresenting our vision to Governor Tanaka and the division heads Today, Seki and I visited Nagano with Goto-san and Yamazaki-san of the Ministry Economy Trade and Industry special region group. This special region project was created by the central government to allow local governments get waivers on regulations and laws in order to build new businesses. My pitch was/is heavily influenced by the discussion with David about who should run the network and Larry Lessig's thoughts on The Commons. I talked about trying...

Roger Clarke on ENUM »

Roger Clarke, one of my favorite privacy experts and the person I learned the notion of separation of "entities" and "identities" has written a paper about the problems with ENUM. I wrote about ENUM when Australia announced their initiative. I am on a mission to make sure that Japan doesn't try to link ENUM with the national ID...Roger ClarkeFrom: Roger Clarke Subject: Glitterati: ENUM: Case Study in Social Irresponsibility I've just finished a paper on a proposed Internet scheme that will have extremely serious implications if it's implemented: ENUM - A Case Study in Social Irresponsibility http://www.anu.edu.au/people/Roger.Clarke/DV/enumISOC02.html As always, constructively...

DARPA pays SRI $60,000 to try to rid Net of anonymity »

Heavy bloggers will have already seen this article. As we push for more privacy in Japan and I try to get the Japanese government to take a serious look at the value of anonymity, this sort of thing makes it difficult. It looks like a the group of experts were about to be "looks like co-option" fodder, but managed to make enough noise to get word out. I wish I had collaborators like these on my study groups in Japan.New York Times SURVEILLANCE Agency Weighed, but Discarded, Plan Reconfiguring the Internet By JOHN MARKOFF he Pentagon research agency that is...

Moblogs »

Justin does a good job describing blogs and what happens when they go mobile. From Weblog to Moblog by Justin Hall, Nov 21 2002 Marc Canter blogs about it......

The Hydrogen Economy »

This week was an energy week for me. Stan Ovshinsky, the CEO of ECD, Bob Stempel, the Chairman (and the former chief executive of GM) and Iris Ovshinsky, the co-founder of ECD and Stan's wife were visiting Tokyo this week. We talked a lot about the relationship between energy and information and the fact that information was codified energy. The more I think about it the more it all starts to fit together into an amazing unified image. The picture above is ECD's vision of the Hydrogen Economy. Get Carbon out of the picture. Reduce the cycle to the...

Met David S. Isenberg »

(picture by Carver Mead's Foveon Camera) Thanks to Gen Kanai for introducing me to David Isenberg. David is famous for many things including his paper "The Rise of the Stupid Network" David was talking a lot about Oil. He says that "Hubbert's Peak", when oil production will begin to drop, will happen in 2003. On the other hand, world energy consumption will increase 66% (USA Today, 1/10/02) from 1999-2020. It's OBVIOUSLY time for the Hydrogen Economy that we're starting to get very excited about. David was extremely bright and gave me an interesting view into the "prosultants" (vs "consultants") who...

H.I.H. Prince Takamado Norihito passed away »

A picture of the Prince that I took with my P504iS just several hours before he passed away

Gen Kanai on smoking in Japan »

Yikes. I'm glad I stopped smoking. We were just talking yesterday about smoking in Japan.Gen KanaiUpdate on Japan smoking LA Times - The Land Cigarettes Call Home In Japan, half of all men smoke, and lung cancer is a leading killer. But then, the government owns 67% of the big tobacco seller. The Finance Ministry owns 67% of Japan Tobacco, or JT, which until 1985 was a government monopoly. In an era of tight budgets, tobacco contributes $19 billion a year to government coffers in taxes and dividends, making it among the largest revenue sources. The ministry, not health authorities,...

Beyond PC's »

Today I was hanging out with Leonard Liu, one of my good friends, investors in Neoteny and advisory board members. He was once the chief architect for hardware and software at IBM and architected SNA and SQL. He later became the chairman of Acer and is now the chairman of the ASE group which is one of the biggest IC testing and packaging companies in the world. Anyway, he is one of the most energetic and thoughtful computer scientists I know who can actually run companies. He said an interesting thing that is sort of obvious, but quite exciting. He...

Cool aluminum case for Powerbook G4 »

There is a cool site in Japan that sells a great aluminum case for G4 Powerbooks. I just ordered one. Hirata turned me on to these......

Kung-Log an MT client for OS X »

Our guys just upgraded our server to MT 2.5 and I just installed Kung-Log on my Mac. It's nice with all kinds of pull down menus and stuff. It makes up for the fact that one click URL'ing doesn't work in MT on the Mac....

Just pre-ordered my Ginger »

I just ordered my Segway Ginger on Amazon.com. They say delivery will be 2003. So I have the rest of the year to figure out how to smuggle it into Japan......

Palm watch »

I definitely DON'T need one of these. WHAT is palm thinking?Entry in Russell Beattie's blog where I first saw thisFOSSIL Online - specs on this thing...

A comic strip about "What is a blog?" »

We've been debating in Japanese about what a blog is and whether it is any different from diary sites or other web pages. I've had quite a difficult time defending the position that blogs are really anything special. Here is a funny comic strip of a discussion between a grumpy girl and a questioning ant on that topic. Seen first on for the sake of clarity....

Japanese government considers dumping Windows »

I just gave my opinion at a government meeting about considering alternatives to Windows. I've been pushing them to do this for years. I'm glad they are finally taking a serious look at it. China is far ahead with their Linux project, but it's never too late to start!Kyodo NewsGov't considers abandoning Microsoft Windows Sunday, November 17, 2002 at 07:30 JST TOKYO The Japanese government is reviewing the possibility of no longer using Microsoft Corp's Windows operating system as part of its plans to boost computer security within the government, the Asahi Shimbun newspaper reported Saturday. Most of the government's...

Samsonite suitcase with bluetooth »

Found this on IP... Samsonite's 625 Series Hardlite ICT has bluetooth built in. It supposedly keeps track of your travel info, owner info and has an alarm mechanism for theft control... I wonder if I need one......

Hiptop Nation Halloween Scavenger Hunt »

Hiptop Nation is a blog forDanger's Hiptop owners. They recently had a Halloween Scavenger Hunt. Smartmobs blogs about it and one of the members of one of the teams has written a paper about it. Teams, games, wireless devices, photos. Cool stuff for blogs moving forward. Speaking of games, although this is a bit old, I thought Survivor Blog was very cool. We have a lot of different wireless devices in Japan that let you take pictures and email them. We should try to think of some cool games too....

Net Culture.... sigh... »

Since I live in Japan and most people here read mostly Japanese, I've been trying to write in Japanese and read Japanese blogs. (Although I speak Japan fine, my reading and writing has never been that good.) I just spent the last few hours reading a bunch of articles and entries about myself and my friends that were quite negative. I'm pretty good at taking criticism and I actually believe that reading it is important for self-improvement. Having said that, it's quite tiring. Especially in Japanese. One thing I've noticed is that people have more "local conversations" behind your back...

Top 10 English and Japanese Pages according to Google »

Saw a cool trick on Boing Boing. If you search for "http" on Google, the results are sites ranked by page ranking. As Boing Boing notes, the tops sites are search site. Asahi.com, the online news paper is number one and that most of the top Japanese sites are mass media sites. I love that tabi no madoguchi makes it into the Top 10 in Japan. It's a great site and is all about conversation on the living web come true. Top 10 Overall 1. Yahoo! 2. Google 3. Microsoft Corporation 4. Adobe Systems Incorporated 5. AltaVista - The Search...

Lunch at the new Marunouchi Building »

The XBOX CafeThe view of the Palace from the 36th floor restaurant we ate at

Putting The Boots In - Photo Lab Grasses Up Pot Growers »

Plastic Putting The Boots In — Photo Lab Grasses Up Pot Growers found on BBC News written by holgate, edited by John (Plastic) excerpt A house in Leith, near Edinburgh, was raided by police, leading to the arrest of five people, and the seizure of marijuana plants 'valued' at £15,000, after receiving a tip-off from photo-processing staff at the local branch of Boots. It's believed that a lab technician identified the plants when developing a set of prints, and got on the phone to the boys in blue."While you can understand photo-labs wishing to protect themselves from obscene images, given...

Photo.net »

Floor of temple in Koyasan taken while listening to a speech by a monk about the mandalas

Dinner at Gonpachi »

That's Yanai-san on the left and Hasegawa-san on the right

Trying "The Switch" »

Just installed OS X 10.2 and am trying to "Make the Switch"... I'm using Mizuka's old Powerbook G4 with the broken "/" key, not the cool new one that just came out. I just ordered office and all of the Adobe stuff, so until that arrives, I can't completely switch. I feel totally screwed up right now though. I have a Sony Vaio C1MRX with a great form factor and excellent battery life, I have a Dell Latitude coming that I'm going to configure with with Windows 2000 in a very security conscious mode (after talking to Chris Goggan...

National ID and privacy issues continue »

Facing off with the bureaucrats.. Sorry I didn't blog anything yesterday. I've been in overdrive this week with Jun (my chairman) in town and a continuous stream of extremely early morning meetings... Jun was mentioned I that I was spending too much time on this non-work-related stuff. He's right... Anyway... Yesterday, I started the day with a meeting of our anti-national ID group. I reported on my thoughts of how we should connect the privacy movement with the whistle blower protection law. Since I had the second National ID security oversight committee meeting later in the day, I wanted to...

CPSR-Lessig Dinner »

Hiroo and Larry with the hand on the chin "intelligent" look

Dinner with Lawrence Lessig »

Just finished having dinner and am in the cab on the way home... DInner was so interesting that I forgot to take a picture. Joi "always-takes-a-picture" Ito forgot to take a picture. Oh well. You all know what he looks like and we ate in the same restaurant that I took Dan and Noriko to. It's really great having someone like Larry in Japan. Kara, Megan, Dan... We're on a roll! Larry can really help push some of the issues I find most frustrating working in Japan. Japanese lawyers don't understand technology and technologists don't understand law. IP is still...

Protecting Whistleblowers »

I'm sitting on the inquiry committee where we are revising the consumer protection law. We're discussing provisions to protect whistleblowers. I'm very passionate about this issue. I think that with increasing ability to track people and profile them, we need to protect the identities of whistleblowers. I am proposing that anonymity and pseudonymity using privacy technology should be considered when writing the new law. Certain types of interactions with the government should be allowed in an anonymous way. Currently all whistleblowing and FOIA is on a fully disclosed ID basis without clear protection of the "list" that is created...

Antenna for wardriving... »

802.11b Networking NewsSuction cup 7 dBi antenna: Mike from Signull Techologies sent me the URL of a spec sheet for their 7 dBi suction cup antenna pictured deployed on automobiles! Wardriving made easy.I want one of these......

RIAA was right... not. »

Found this on Marc's Voice today...Mitch RatcliffeListen to your market, stupid internetnews.com writes: RIAA Was Right ... The Sky Is Falling. It appears the music industry's fears were justified; new figures show that e-commerce music sales are down 25 percent as file sharing and CD-burning become commonplace. Oh, come on. The RIAA wasn't right, instead the RIAA has alienated music audiences so much with the difficult and limited access to online music that sales dropped. It's not due to file sharing and CD-burning, it's because buying online is an even worse deal than buying CDs at the store, where sales...

Blog Politics! »

Found this on Dave Winer Scripting News. Tara Gubb has a streaming video message talking about the "webolution". She's running for US Congress from North Carolina and directs you to a blog. ;-) Blog Politics!...

The links go round-and-round... and the procrastination goes on-and-on »

Ruseel Beattie's excited that I blogged his blog. So I blog him again since I'm excited that he blogged me. I found a bad link on John Patrick's Blog so he was nice enough to put a link back to me. (This entry is a perfect excuse to return the favor. ;-) ) And as the links go round-and-round, and our google rankings go up-and-up, it feels great, but are we really getting anywhere? Well, the discussion about the Semantic Web is important and slightly relevant to what I do for a living. Dave Winer quotes Russell in the context...

The Semantic Web »

There is an interesting discussion going on various blogs about "The Semantic Web". Russel Beattie starts a discussion about it. Les Orchard makes a nice attempt at explaining it on his blog. According to Les, Tim Berners-Lee talked about it on NPR Science. I thought about it a lot when I was running Infoseek Japan and I was thinking about how XML would impact search engines. Thinking about how metadata and schema for metadata will evolve is a very interesting topic. It is as much political and social as it is technical. When you run a search engine, there is...

Court posts MS Ruling on web before it was supposed to »

This reminds me of the incident where the Ministry of Finance leaked information vital to the market on their web page in August. The other funny similarity is that the newspaper called me the night before the article and asked me for a comment. I guess they wanted something like what David Farber said to the Post. However, I said something more like, "it's not a big deal. I'm much more worried about the leakage of information about citizens," which I guess wasn't realy what the paper was looking for. ;-) I also love the "Internet enthusiasts" label. Sitting here...

Strolling in the park with my Hassy »

Walking with my FE 60-120 zoom lens on my Hasselblad 205FCC fixed to my tripod.The entrance to Komazawa Park is one of the nicest views in the park. The leaves are just starting to turn yellow.Yakiimo is the great portable food of the fall/winter in Japan. These little trucks roast the sweet potatoes in ovens billowing smoke with this great tape recorded message going on and on about how nice, sweet and hot the potatoes are.Another great outdoor food is grilled corn. The corn has soy sauce on it that burns and smells like... burnt soy sauce. All Japanese are conditioned to salivate when they smell burnt soy sauce.The Japanese made a mistake and Japlish took over on this one. "free market" and "flea market" are generally used interchangeably. Some web sites talk about "free markets" being more "open" "flea markets"... So here is a "free market"...The local right wing truck showed up to join the festivities with speakers blaring on about the Japan flea market economy...Komazawa Park has these great bikes for 2 people that you can cruise around in. Mizuka wanted to ride one, but we got turned down and told that they were for kids.

New Hasselblad H1 »

I just LOVE Hasselblad Cameras. I have two of them, a 503CW and a 205FCC. The 503 was my first Hasselblad and I used it for several years before I bought the 205FCC. (I read an article on photo.net that said that the 205FCC was great, but that it was a waste for newbies. ;-) )Hasselblad is really the ultimate medium format camera with such a great design that they haven't changed much in over 50 years. The 503CW is requires no electricity. The 205FCC has an amazingly accurate internal spot meter that allows me to do fancy stuff like...

Books about Japan »

Dogs and Demons by Alex Kerr. Click on image to go to the Amazon.com entry.The Enigma of Japanese Power by Karel Van Wolferen is also still very relevant. It is about the power structure behind Japan.I was already feeling pretty bad about Japan and the job ahead of us, but after Dogs and Demonsby Alex Kerr, I feel worse. I feel like moving to an island somewhere or killing myself. The most difficult thing about the book is that it's probably all true. Alex Kerr is a Japanologist who talks you through the problems with modern Japan from the viewpoint...

Over-the-counter version of Prilosec delayed »

FT.comFDA request slows launch of cheap Prilosec By Christopher Bowe in New York Published: October 29 2002 21:38 A potential cheap version of Prilosec, the blockbuster heartburn medicine, is to be delayed after Procter & Gamble said it did not expect US regulatory approval of its over-the-counter product until late next year. Postponement of the final approval stems from the US Food and Drug Administration's request for a study to make sure consumers understood that the treatment was long-acting and once-per-day. That study will take eight more weeks and six months for regulatory review. The FDA has otherwise tentatively approved...

Search Engines and retiring old information »

Wired NewsKristen Philipkoski 02:00 AM Nov. 01, 2002 PST The journal Science retracted eight of Hendrik Schon's discredited research papers on Thursday, but the information still lurks on the Internet. In September, an investigative committee found that 17 papers authored by Schon, considered to be major breakthroughs in physics, were mostly fabrications. But a Web search on Schon's name turns up more pages touting those "accomplishments" than his firing in September by Bell Labs, the result of his fabricating that data. So this is an important issue, but not an impossible one. It relates to the story about "The...

Joi Ito's conversation with the living web »

What do you think of the slogan, "Joi Ito's conversation with the living web"? I got the conversation part from The Cluetrain Manifesto and the living web part from 10 Tips to Writing the Living Web. People kept asking me what the difference was between a blog and a web site. I said it was different because I wasn't publishing, I was having a conversation. I didn't have "readers" I was part of a "living web". I have no idea if that gets the message across, but I sure like the sound of it....

Talk at Doyukai »

I gave a talk today at the Keizai Doyukai (Association of Corporate Executives) Secretariat study group meeting. I talked about Neoteny, venture capital and... blogs. ;-p Many of the older guys fell asleep. At the lunch, I sat next to Yotaro "Tony" Kobayashi. I'm a big fan of Tony's. He's very smart, nice, well-dressed and important. He is the chairman of the Keizai Doyukai and Fuji-Xerox. Tony also represents the Keizai Doyukai to the World Economic Forum so I gave him an update on the Blueprint for Japan 2020. I told him that we were discussing the issue of women's...

So it'll be microsoft, not aol... »

Nooo! Stop! Pleeeeez.... Not so soon... I feel like a little kid playing with my blocks and hearing my mean big brother come home to dash my little castle to bits... Elizabeth Lane Lawleyso it'll be microsoft, not aol... Looks like the possible "aoling" of blogspace that I discussed earlier might come from Microsoft, not AOL. Anil Dash has an article about Microsoft's easy-to-install-and-use "Sharepoint" software, which is basically a blog tool. But, of course, they don't call it that (shades of the conversation on Joi Ito's blog about whether this will be called "blogging" when it goes mainstream). They...

Takasuka-san and Funaki-san »

Takasuka-san on the left, Funaki-san on the right

Judge amends decision after reading correction on blog »

I know some of you are not as excited about this whole "Blog Thing" as some of us, but this is really amazing. This is the kind of thing that I think shows how the speed and the "feed-like" nature of blogs can short circuit mistakes and create new communication channels that traditional web pages just weren't fast enough to do...Boing BoingJudge amends decision after reading correction on blog A former law clerk noted an error in a Fifth Circuit decision on his blog. The judge who wrote the decision turns out to be a regular reader of said blog,...
Whiplash by Joi Ito and Jeff Howe

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