Joi Ito's conversation with the living web.

December 2002 Archives

New Year's moblog going »

The New Year's Moblog is going. Please take a look...

Democracy 101 with Professor Lessig »

As I struggle to prepare my thoughts for the Davos Blueprint for Japan 2020 panel, I keep ending up at the conclusion that Japan is not a functioning democracy. Although it is a loop, the lack of transparency, the lack of an open function market, the lack of a free and independent media, the lack of a functioning judiciary... All of these things point to the fact that we don't have a democracy. I'm not blaming anyone for this and I think that many people are sincerely trying to reform Japan, but I do believe that it is much deeper than just some stimulation packages and lip service to transparency.Larry talks about the "Framers" in "The Future of Ideas" and what he says about them sounds pretty good. It sounds like the "Framers" really tried very hard to structure a democracy that is robust against corruption and able to self-correct. So, I decided to ask Professor Lessig about democracy. (It sure is nice having a comparative constitutional law professor in the neighborhood. ;-) )Professor Lessig gave me some great things to think about which I thought I would share. (This may not be very new to people who don't live in a totalitarian state... if there is such a think these days...)

The struggle for privacy in Japan »

I'm sure it's bad everywhere, but the struggle for privacy is very tough in Japan. The privacy bill as it is currently written has the risk of limiting the freedom of journalists in collecting information. For this reason, privacy advocates have been at odds with the mass media generally and journalists in general tend to be negative about privacy issues. (Although some journalists have been doing a great job covering stuff.) Privacy debates in Japan tend to be rather emotional without dealing with the technical issues very much. It's kind of like arguing in court without an understanding of the law. Since I began protesting the national ID in Japan I have found that I am now able to convince most technical people about the merits of having privacy built into the system and it is now mostly non-technical and "interested parties" arguing...

Hidden face recognition cameras in Narita and Kansai international airports »

The Asahi reports (in Japanese) that Ministry of Finance has installed hidden cameras in Narita and Kansai international airports. They were installed for the World Cup but are now used to automatically match your face against a database consisting of their blacklist as well as blacklists from other ministries. It appears that the cameras are installed in the passageway after people get off of the plane and are on their way to baggage claim and customs. The Asahi points out that people are constitutionally protected in Japan from being photographed secretly by the government except in special circumstances and it is unlikely that this would qualify. The Japanese government is notorious for being sloppy with sensitive information often leaking secrets to foreign governments and personal information to criminals. Recently a tape containing records from the National ID system were stolen from a car. My question is, WHY WERE THEY IN THE CAR IN THE FIRST PLACE. The procedure for handling the destruction of the tapes in the airport is still a black box. I assume this is a security measure. bah!Thanks for this link Tai

Hiroo Yamagata's translator's notes for The Future of Ideas »

Hiroo's notes are worth reading. It's a good summary and frames the issues in Japan well. Activism in Japan died with the student activists of the 70's. It's quite "un-cool" to be an activist. If Larry can get people like Hiroo to become activists and support important issues, I think we still have a chance.From Larry Lessig's blog.Larry LessigThe Future of Ideas has been translated into Japanese. As sometimes happens, the translation improves the book. Not only is the title better ("Commons", which the American publisher vetoed), but it also has a great and revealing introduction by the translator, Hiroo Yamagata. As always, the translator reveals as much about the work he translates as the world he translates into.

PGP key transition announcement »

This is my pgp key transition announcement. If you don't know what this means, you should. You can go to the pgp web site and Rich and Bob explain the key transition process to my on my blog.The key is here.

Hacking traffic lights »

I love that the "tone" of phrack articles is the same as Cook's Illustrated articles. ;-)phrackA more environmentally friendly way of traveling by car. As some of you might recall in almost all the hacking movies, books, TV shows, etc. there has been a case of someone fiddling with traffic lights. Well we all just giggled at the unrealistic aspect of it and didn't think twice. Well in my quest for a more appealing planet for our children I felt compelled to think of a way in order to reduce the amount of pollution emitted by vehicles of today.Standing at a intersection, nobody else around, you're still stuck behind the red light, and this invisible barrier of governmental guilt has enough power to let you wait there and pollute the air more and more, just for a measly green light. Wouldn't it be leet having a laptop in the car where you could just select the intersection off a list, change the timing or current stream running, and ride off with fewer time wasted and fewer pollutants exhausted and a clear conscience.Now, enough crap about the reasons, now for the technical shit.Today's traffic controlling system is a well oiled redundant network that utilizes the same protocols that we are all aware of. Yes it is hackable and it is like in the movies. :) here we go!

Moblog New Year's Countdown! »

We're going to have an open moblog for people to post pictures to on New Year's Eve to welcome 2003. It is "open" but please use common sense when sending stuff. The URL is http://www.bloggers.jp/. The email address to send stuff to is mailto:misoka@bloggers.jp. The site and the email address will be running between GMT 2002/12/31 0:00-23:59.Send jpeg images as attachments with the title of the item as the subject. The template will resize the height to 120 pixels. 120x120 is probably the best size.Pass it on. ;-)"Misoka" comes from "Omisoka" which means New Year's Eve in Japanese

Low cost GPS jammer »

This may not help Sadaam, but just in case you're put under GPS surveillance house arrest by an oppressive government, you'll need to learn how to build your own GPS jammer.phrack A low cost device to temporarily disable the reception of the civiliancourse acquisition (C/A) code used for the standard positioning service(SPS)[1] on the Global Positioning System (GPS/NAVSTAR) L1 frequency of1575.42 MHz. This is accomplished by transmitting a narrowband Gaussian noise signal,with a deviation of +/- 1.023 MHz, on the L1 GPS frequency itself. Thistechnique is a little more complicated than a simple continuous wave (CW)jammer, but tends to be more effective (i.e. harder to filter) againstspread spectrum based radio receivers.

The about Time and CoValue of eBay Reputation: 7.6% of Price »

Great reference by Howard on Smartmobs to a paper about the value of reputation....

Why the US dropped the bomb on Japan »

a picture of the professor from professor Hasegawa's web page Doc Searls writes about an article in the Santa Barbara News-Press about UCSB history professor Tsuyoshi Hasegawa and his theory. The newspaper says:Santa Barbara News-Press The historical record holds that Japan surrendered in response to the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki by the United States. Revisionists argue that the Japanese were already defeated at the time, and the atomic bombs were used simply to intimidate the Soviet Union. Mr. Hasegawa dismisses both views as "very, very American-centric." ... It was Josef Stalin's final-hour declaration of war on Japan that marked...

moblogging resources »

I'm starting to get bashed about not crediting for or getting too much credit for moblogging. A lot of stuff is out there and stuff is happening in parallel. I've tried to organize what I know about moblogging into an outline of stuff about moblogging and stuff about how to moblog. This is by no means complete. Can people please take a look and help me complete this resource list? I will keep it up to date. moblog resources...

Dinner with Governor Domoto »

Governor Domoto on the left and Merle Okawara on the right

Lunch with Mrs. Morita »

Shigeaki Saegusa and Yoshiko Morita

mail2entry script for MT moblog »

I've been getting a lot of attention for my moblog even though it's not such a big technical feat really. All you need is a script to convert email into MT entires. We're going to make the code available so that hopefully more people can experiment with moblogging. It's being made available under a standard GPL v.2 license. Please let me know what you think. We hope to continue to improve it. The file is available at: http://joi.ito.com/archives/src/mail2entry-2002-12-25.tgz Here are some notes about installation.Warning This is a first attempt -- there are some things missing, but someone w/appropriate UNIX experience...

Steve Mann on glogs »

image by Steve Mann Steve Mann, who was the first person that I know to have a mobile device uploading images to the web writes about the difference between blogging and glogging.Steve MannThe main difference between weBLOGS and cyborGLOGS is that blogs often originate from a desktop computer, wheras glogs can originate while walking around, often without any conscious thought and effort, as stream-of-(de)consciousness glogging...

Japanese National Police Agency General Security Response Council »

This is a picture of Suguru Yamaguchi smiling when I told him I'd blog him.

Yahoo getting ready to kick Google off portal? »

saw this on David Winer's Scripting NewsDave WinerPress release: Yahoo to acquire Inktomi. Clearly they're getting ready to kick Google off their portal.Yahoo Inc. Press ReleaseYahoo! to Acquire Inktomi Monday December 23, 9:19 am ET Creates the Most Comprehensive Search Offering on the Web with Largest Global Audience, Unmatched Breadth and Depth of Online Services and World Class Technology I had heard rumors that Yahoo was trying to steal stuff from Google and was being generally un-supportive even though they were an investor. (Unconfirmed theory. Will edit this if someone tells me this is wrong...) But I think that Google...

Time Magazine Person of the Year - The Whistleblowers »

saw this first on Dave Winer's weblog The whistleblowers at WorldCom, Enron and the FBI, Cynthia Cooper, Sherron Watkins and Colleen Rowley won the honor from Time Magazine this year. This is great. They deserve it. They must be protected and honored. You can't have whistleblowers without privacy and the whistleblower protection bill that I am working on is also an important component. I've missed the last few meetings and I feel guilty. I see the bill headed towards bureaucratic mumbo-jumbo that won't help anyone. Mental note to myself to make comments on the current draft which I don't agree...

Moblogging update »

The Guardian ran a piece on moblogs and I got a link. Cool. Thanks for sending me this link Howard We recently moblogged a wedding for Kana & Toshi. It's in Japanese, but you can get the idea. It was fun because a lot of people posted. Planning to have a massive New Years Eve moblog. I will post the email address and instructions one we have the site ready......

Blogmapping »

My brother-in-law Scott Fisher is really into location based stuff and does a lot of stuff with augmented reality and virtual environments. He's at USC now, but is visiting for Christmas with my sister Mimi. Anyway, we were talking about blogs and location and he sent me the link for Blogmapper which lets you associate blog entries with locations on a map. Scott interested in doing something in the area and so am I. Does anyone know of any other work going on in the area of tagging blog entries with location data? Obviously, location based moblogging is something we...

The Science of Christmas »

Very funny kuro5hin The Science of Christmas An analysis of Christmas has been wending it's way across the Internet for a few years now. This analysis purports to debunk Christmas by showing that Santa could not possibly visit each and every house to distribute presents on Christmas Eve. But the analysis is deeply flawed because it is written from a pure physics perspective Full Story...

Sean Penn's visit to Iraq »

NYPOST.COMPenn's trip into the heart of enemy territory disgusted many Americans and won him the nickname "Baghdad Sean," a takeoff on the "Hanoi Jane" moniker Jane Fonda earned by visiting North Vietnam in 1971. Good for Sean. It tooks guts for him to go to Iraq and I commend him for it. Shame on Iraq for screwing it up. I first met Sean in 1991 or so when I was associate to the executive producer for the movie, Indian Runner which Sean Penn directed. The movie did OK at Canne, but ended up not doing well in the box...

Report: up to 1,000 Mideast immigrants jailed yesterday in So. CA »

saw Xeni's post on Boing BoingReutersTop Stories - Reuters Hundreds of Muslim Immigrants Rounded Up in Calif. Wed Dec 18, 8:47 PM ET By Jill Serjeant LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Hundreds of Iranian and other Middle East citizens were in southern California jails on Wednesday after coming forward to comply with a new rule to register with immigration authorities only to wind up handcuffed and behind bars. Shocked and frustrated Islamic and immigrant groups estimate that more than 500 people have been arrested in Los Angeles, neighboring Orange County and San Diego in the past three days under a new...

Interview with Cameron Marlow of Blogdex »

found on megnut.commegnut.com There's an interview with Cameron Marlow, creator of Blogdex and researcher at MIT Media Lab over at kiruba.com. Good stuff. Also, that's where pb was interviewed last month.Blogdex is one of my favorite tools which is now an essential part of my morning RSS fix. This meta-blog space is quite interesting. I have a feeling that blog space is screwing up Googles Page Rankings a bit because there are so many links inside and between blogs. On the other hand, if you think blogs are important, I guess the rankings aren't screwed up. I guess as blogs...

Blogger API v2 »

For you serious bloggers... Blogger announced their new API 2.0 to the developers mailing list. Dave Winer urges Blogger to support the MetaWeblog API. Ben Trott comments as well. Evan explains that it is a preliminary release and they are requesting feedback. On the other hand, Evan explains that the feedback is generally positive. Ben Trott says he have received feedback from Steve Jenson. Ben talks about security a bit. For those of you who don't know, Ben wrote some of the PGP stuff for PERL I think... So, here is an amazing dance. One of the greatest things about...

George Bush Talking to Condoleeza Rice »

I just got this in the mail from Louis. Sorry if you've seen it, but I thought it was really funny. I don't know who wrote this, but would be happy to credit them if someone knows....

the FUD of QoS »

From Gen Kanai weblog Gen Kanai weblog Joho the Blog: Quality of Service First, QoS is impractical. Second, QoS is the wrong solution. Third. QoS violates the principle of the Internet's architecture. David Weinberger ruminates effectively on why "Quality of Service" is essentially FUD (fear, uncertainty, doubt) that the phone companies use to confuse customers. It's important to understand that the phone companies want to confuse you and make you buy stuff you don't need. So ignore this QoS stuff whenever you hear it- or at least investigate it carefully. Totally agree. I have many friends that use VoIP over...

World Blogging Forum and the Tao of Conferences »

After returning from a week in the US and realizing how important the trip was and how useful Supernova was, I started thinking about next year. I have enough conferences and meetings to fill the whole year with schmoozing. How do I cut this down to a few high quality meetings? If I am in conferences all year, I surely won't get any REAL work done. A healthy balance of networking and real work is essential. When I was at Supernova, Dave and I talked about the World Economic Forum. He wrote a nice essay on an idea to create...

PGP Key »

I just uploaded my PGP Key because Cyrus mentioned that I didn't have one my web page. It's quite an old key that I created in 1997. The good thing is that it's signed by many people. The bad thing is that since it has been sitting around for a long time, It's more likely to have been stolen. So I'm trying to figure out whether I should dump the key and start using a new one. I have made a new one, but no one has signed it and I never end up using it. It's also kind of...

Journey into Radio Userland »

OPML - Outline Processor Markup Language Dave Winer's really into this. So am I. (after I figured out what it was...) I've always wanted to figure this out, but I could never get my head around Radio Userland enough to get it to do what I wanted with my outlines. Marc Canter has also been raving about Outlines. So today, I finally got around to R'ingTFM and found activeRenderer by Marc Barrot which renders your OPML files into cool collapsable outlines in Radio Userland. Actually, OmniOutline (Which Chris Adams turned me on to in my entry about my switch to...

Remapping my brain to Joi.jp »

I'm back in Tokyo after quite an interesting week in Silicon Valley. As I landed in the airport, I noticed that the "gee, I'm back in Japan" feeling that I usually have was much less. The airport smell was "normal" and I didn't feel I was really "back" but that it was just another normal day. I think it is because I have been traveling SO much these last few months. So here is my theory. I think that when you SWITCH infrequently, there is a literal switch. I remember when I used to only travel once or twice a...

Enterprise Moblogging »

The Nikkei has an article about cellphones with cameras being used in enterprise/business. Found this on Gen Kanai's weblog...

Fotolog »

Found Fotolog while surfing around during the session. I just set up my fotolog. Supernova has a fotolog as well. Fotolog is nice because it does the thumbnailing and lets you have friends like LiveJournal....

Broadband Media Distribution/Can't We All Get Along? »

Some notes and thoughts on Broadband Media Distribution/Can't We All Get Along?

SUPERNOVA »

Just arrived at Supernova...

Brewster showing us the Bookmobile »

Brewster showing us the BookmobileBrewster instructing us on how to print and bind the booksThe Connection Machine at the Internet Archive data centerA rack of PC's running Linux at the Internet Archive data center

San Francisco Update »

Brewster Kahle of the Internet Archive showing us books printed in the Bookmobile Cory Doctorow of Boing Boing and Howard Rheingold of Smartmob SmartMobs talking about the future of blogging...

Marc, John and Paul »

Marc Canter in full-motionJohn Markoff and Paul MercerBarak and Markoff gadgeting

Met The Woz »

Met Steve Wozniak who is recently founded Wheels of Zeus. I can't tell you what we talked about. ;-) I had done an interview of him for a Japanese magazine years ago at a Macworld Japan. He remembered......

Telco Powered Products (tm) »

So I wrote earlier about the power company providing free telecom... Well, what about the telephone company providing free power? (Although probably not intentionally.) This site may be a joke, but it is VERY funny. It is a site/catalog of products that use power that the telephone company provides on their phone lines to power appliances. ;-) They are called Telco Powered Products(tm).Telco Powered ProductsOur Chief Scientist, Dr. Emil Drizzlenik PhD from the renowned Chernobyl Electrical Institute in Russia, developed this patented technology after an accident at the power plant left all of the homes and businesses in his area...

Photo of our panel yesterday »

Shirai-san sent me a nice image of our panel discussion yesterday. Thanks!...

Live from the New Business Forum »

Since I was the chair of the Forum planning committee this year, I had to give the opening speech. (not really a speech, but an announcement) I had been dreading this for a whole year, but it's finally over. I was visibly nervous, but I got through it OK. The panel later with Oki Matsumoto, CEO of Monex, Hiroshi Mikitani, CEO of Rakuten, and Professor Takeuchi from the Hitotsubashi Business School was a lot more relaxed and fun. There were about 1200 people in the audience... Takeuchi-san is like a talk show host and it was a lot of fun....

See ya later windoze! »

I switched. I promised myself I would do this before I left for the US on Tuesday. I spend the day today moving stuff and tweaking. The only thing I couldn't get right was the kanji (Japanese character) files in my contact list and my Japanese email moved over. It was much easier than I thought and having switched, I feel euphoric. I'm now listen to music on iTunes (which tell me that I have 3.5 days of music), am syncing my Treo with my contacts, creating a this blog entry with Kung-Log staring at my brand new Dell Latitude...

Jon Udell on power law distributions and a funny quote from the WSJ »

Read a great blog entry by Jon Udell about "power law distributions". It is the notion that when you link everything up into a network, you don't get an egalitarian world... power accumulates just like in the real world. We thought a lot about this when we were building Infoseek Japan... I'm going to have to think about this more before I can contribute something intellectually to this, but you should read the entry. He also quotes the WSJ at the end of the entry. I add this to add some holiday cheer here...John UdellJon Udell: Scale-free networks and mirror...

Demotivators »

A poster from Despair Inc. There is a poster section called "demotivators". It is a parody of motivational posters. I think these posters are a very American phenomenon. I always thought it was strange that anyone would read "Great Place to Work" on the wall and really think it was a great a place to work... On the other hand, a lot of Japanese companies have the philosophy or the rules of the company on the wall. Also, common is the picture of the founder glaring down at you. Saw this first on Doc Searls Weblog...
Whiplash by Joi Ito and Jeff Howe
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