April 2003 Archives
Very interesting thing just happened. (Once again, standard disclaimer... I'm obviously not the first person to have this experience, but it's new to me...)I got a trackback on my iTunes entry (the first trackback there...) from a Japanese MT blog. Anyway, I went over to the site and it was indeed an entry about iTunes, but no mention of me or my blog. Also, no link back.
Does McLuhan explain why some people think Wiki's are beautiful and some people think they're ugly? »
I was talking to someone today about Marc Canter and all of the other people who think Wiki's are ugly. I was talking about how Marc Canter was a "media" guy and how Wiki's are for text people. Then, it hit me. (Apologies to everyone else who already thought of this before...) McLuhan talks a lot about how "looking" at TV is different from "reading" text. When you read a book, your eyes are focused a bit above the text and the text sort of just goes into your head to create symbols. With TV, you actually LOOK. You really care if the font on the TV is ugly, but you rarely remember the font of a good book you just read.
I just downloaded iTunes 4, set up my .mac account for the music shop and started browsing around the music shop. Ooo, I don't have that Orb CD, "click", I wonder if they have.... "click"... "downloading..." "hey..." "click".Now maybe I'm not a good sample, but iTunes 4 is to music downloads what iPod was to mp3 players. Of course you have to download iPod patch to play the AAC protected music format and you are not downloading sharable mp3's.
Meeting with Mayor Nakada of Yokohama and first meeting of personal information protection committee »
Today was the first meeting with the Mayor of Yokohama and the committee for personal information protection. I wrote about it before here. I was happy to finally meet the 4 other committee members who turned out to be very smart and a good variety of backgrounds. One human rights expert, one lawyer, one law professor, one computer security professor and me.
Had lunch with Adam Greenfield. I met Adam online and recently have developed a relationship with him. This was the first time we shared a meal together. Recently he protected me against Richard B., coined the term moblog, launched a new site called Margin Walker and has a cool site called v-2 where he blogs. He wrote a paper called a minimal compact about open source constitutions for nation-state sized governance. He's currently organizing a moblog conference in Tokyo in July which I plan to attend.We talked about a lot of things, but we agreed on two things. He is yet another person who thinks wikis are butt ugly (YAPWTWABU) but I said he should try Wiki's. So I agreed to try to read everything in Margin Walker and contribute and he agreed to post on a Minimal Compact Wiki Page on my Wiki and we'd both try each other's new sites out. Anyway, enjoyed the conversation, but you will hear more about it on Margin Walker and my Wiki. ;-)
Marc CanterThe Japanese have elevated prostitution to a fine art. There are many grey areas - between pure hooker (who are usually Chinese or Phillipina girls) versus Geisha. Hostess bars plop a beautiful woman down - in between each business man - who put their hand on your knee, laugh at your jokes and pour your drinks. They then accompany you outside and hail a cab for you. But sex is never a part of the equation. Lots of blond and buxom American and Europeans are imported for both hostess bars and strip joints, but only a pure bred Nippon Jin (Japanese) can be a Geisha (do don't believe that Shirley MacClaine movie!) Japanese actually take pride in their Geisha tradition. I'm not going to take a moral stand here, but will try to point out some interesting facts and thoughts that this quote from Marc Canter highlights.First of all, it's amazing what gets lost in the translation and the difficulty I am having in explaining the whole geisha thing really shows how different cultures can be.I think almost all cultures have prostitution and I don't think Japan's sex industry is any different, but you're more likely to get a Jr. High School girl in Shibuya offering sex for many than a geisha.
So I took my FX77 that I griped about here because my Mac couldn't talk to it. It turns out it's a nice camera. It is fast and take much better photos than any digital camera so far. There are a lot of settings that allowed me to deal with unusual lighting. I tooks lots of pictures of snapping turtles and geisha.
Mizuka and I went to Daiichi, my favorite restaurant to eat Japanese snapping turtle, or suppon. I've written about Daiichi before here. So I'll focus on photos for this entry...Here is a 176K MPEG movie of the boiling stew...
Mizuka and I attended the 131rd Annual Miyako Odoro. We have attended every year since we met. It is the annual event where the geisha of the Gion district perform their traditional dance. The event is open to the public, but is a lot about the patrons of the tea houses getting a chance to see the geisha and maiko perform their art that they practice so hard to perfect through the year.
Pierre Omidyar, my classmate from Tufts, founder of eBay, an advisor to and investor in Neoteny and a good friend, recently started a blog. (A Movable Type blog. I think he started his blog before he knew we were investing... ;-) )He responds to my entry about blogshares. He seems to be thinking about the money vs. influence / markets vs. democracy issues as well. Being a billionaire philanthropist geek is an interesting position to be in when thinking about whether having more money should mean you have more influence and he's clearly been thinking about this a lot.Welcome to the blogging community Pierre.I'm going to comment on his comments when I have more time. I'm eating turtle stew right now...
I've decided to put my English language audblog posts in my moblog. You will see audio interspersed between the photos from my camera. I will try to put some audio about the photos that I post. It would be cool if I could have the audio attached to the photos themselves, but that's a pain to figure out right now. Also, since I usually shoot photos in clusters around events, I think maybe a series of photos followed by some audio might be the right format for this.I'm going to start audblogging on my main Japanese blog since my written Japan sucks and maybe I can be a bit more interesting via audblog.
Thanks to an MT plugin by David Raynes, I now have my Blogshares shareholders listed on my page. (See bottom of my sidebar). Now all I want is for the people's names to be clickable...
Gave a talk at the American Chamber of Commerce of Japan yesterday. Americans living in Japan are the most fun to speak to because they generally agree with what I say. ;-) It's a bit like preaching to the choir and obviously, I'm not adding as much value as when I'm debating with my opponents, but the Q&A session after my talk was good and there were a lot of good comments and thoughts. In addition to my "ad hoc society of Japanese revolutionary wannabes" maybe I should try to participate in more meetings about democracy with foreigners living in Japan...
Had a nice chat on the phone with Seyad, the creator of Blogshares. He says that it's been much more popular than he had originally anticipated and this popularity has both positive and negative repercussions on his life. ;-)
A new group weblog authored by Elizabeth Lane Lawley, Ross Mayfield, Sébastien Paquet, Jessica Hammer and Clay Shirky to focus on social software was announced at ETCon I hear. Great team and looks interesting. It's also great that Clay is finally blogging after all of that "it's not for me" business. ;-)
audblog audio postMy first Audblog post. It finally works with MT! So now I have to figure out the style. Do I post in my main blog? I can't set the categories, add titles or text from the phone so it initially appears in my blog as just an clickable audblog logo with no text, title or category. Hmmm...You know what would be neat? If I could voice annotate the photos in my moblog. So... How to link the photos with the audblog entries... I guess I could write a Python script to search for moblog entries and audblog entries within 10 minutes of each other and cross-link them. ;-)
Six Apart (Ben and Mena's company, the creator of Movable Type) just announced their hosted service, TypePad. They also announced that Anil has joined the team. Also somewhere in the announcement is a bit about my company, Neoteny investing in Six Apart. I'm very excited both as a Movable Type user/fan and as an investor.This is probably one of the most exciting investments we've made and I particularly like the fact that I started as a user, sponsor, friend and finally an investor. I really like Ben and Mena and wish we could find more deals that were as cool as this.Congratulations and lots of thanks to the whole team who worked to make this deal happen!Cheers!
I just got my DSC-FX77, the new Sony camera that does bluetooth. I was bracing myself for wirless iLife... then. Suckage. The FX77 uses Bluetooth BIP (Basic Imaging Profile) to talk to the computer. Mac OS X has bluetooth, but of course... it doesn't know what the hell BIP is. A close examination of the Sony web page says it doesn't work with the Mac. I just saw the bluetooth logo on my Mac and on the Sony web page and didn't read the fineprint. Stupid stupid stupid...So, does anyone know if Apple is thinking of implementing BIP or if there is some software that will let my USELESS Mac bluetooth talk to my useless-to-me new camera?
You have all probably heard about the Open Source Applications Foundation release of Chandler 0.1. I just downloaded it. I saw it on Mitch's blog a few days ago, but I was SOO immersed in writing a birthday database in Python that I didn't take a close look at Chandler until this morning. To my pleasant surprise, Chandler is written in python for the Mac and even handles birthdays. ;-) It doesn't run without spitting out lots of Python errors along the way, but I can actually understand them now! Hoho. Haha. Python is VERY cool and I'm glad OSAF is using Python. We used it a lot at Infoseek and our team at Infoseek/Digital Garage actually wrote some of the first Japanese language handling for Python.I'm currently using Mark Pilgrim's Dive Into Python to learn Python. It's a great tutorial. Thanks for recommending it Sen.. Of course I've bought the numerous O'Reilly books as well.
Today was the opening party for the new Mori Buildings Roppongi Hills development in Roppongi. "The project, covering approximately 11 hectares, with a total floor area of 724,000sq meters, is the largest currently planned redevelopment project in Japan." I was on one the Cyber 66 committee at one time which was a planning committee to try to figure out what to do about the radio spectrum "shadow" the building would cast and what to do about the IT infrastructure.
Good article by Xeni (a boing boing blogger) in Wired about the role of SMS in disseminating information about SARS and the attitude among Asians about SARS.As SARS gallows humor is forwarded from cell phone to cell phone throughout the region, are "cough" ring tones next? <cough><cough>
Hirata just set up a web page that lets you register your blog and receive an email address that you can use for moblogging. It's based on the mail2enty Python script I'm using for my moblogging.
I spent the day learning Python and wrote a script to make a category index of my blog on my WikiThanks for the help Sen!
Mizuka and I went to see the last cherry blossoms last week and I shot some Provia 100 with my Hasselblad. I got sick of the poor quality of the Photo CD's considering the cost and bought a Nikon 8000ED film scanner so I could do my own scans instead. Here's my first attempt. I'm still trying to figure out how to get it right and it does take a lot of time, but you have control and obviously much more tender loving care than the people scanning for you onto Photo CD's. I've posted a few pictures on my .mac site. I can't figure out what the white space is that gets inserted when I publish from iPhoto.Anyway, my iLife just got better thanks to Nikon.
In an EXTREMELY feeble attempt to integrate my Wiki with my blog, I have created a little link at the end of each entry that sends you to a page on my Wiki linked to the blog entry. The problem is, I have not figured out what I should call each of the Wiki pages. I thought about category/entry ID or something, but everything I could think of was kind of clunky. I ended up with just JoiBlog/EntryId(Entry#) which is REALLY ugly. Any thoughts on this would be greatly appreciated. These thoughts will then probably force me to learn Python so that I can actually build something useful. The other thing that I will need to do is actually put something useful in the Wiki pages that are created instead of just the current "Would you like to create this page?" thing. BTW, please click on the Wiki links and go ahead and make pages if you feel like it. My guess is that most people won't feel like it. ;-p
As a Quaker, I wonder if you're allowed to think about hard-on's in church and joke about people's deaths on your blog. Or maybe being an A-List blogger forces you to resort to deadpan humor to tighten up your style. ;-|Doc SearlsOther dead Atkins headlines I'm still on the Atkins diet. Dr. Atkins isn't , of course. I mentioned that a couple days ago under the headline Ultimate Diet . Since then I've regretted not using either of two other headlines that came to mind at the time: 100% weight loss Dead weight Anyway, both Doc and I are on the Atkins Diet which is basically a low-carb diet. Many people swear by it, but many people continue to warn me against it. It's too bad that Dr. Atkins died, but at least he died of an injury and not of something that could be tied to the Atkins diet.
Brian Barry writes in The Economist about how little Japan has leveraged IT and how this is still the source of inefficiency. He also gives some examples of companies that are using IT to change Japan. I agree with him totally and think that in addition to unwiding some of the big companies that don't make sense anymore, improving the cost performance of the exisiting companies can greatly increase the profitability of Japanese companies which is key.
Had dinner with Brian Behlendorf and his wife Laura La Gassa. I met Laura for the first time last night wondering on the way to dinner what type of person she would be and I found that she was even a bigger geek than Brian and that they both LOVED food. I LOVE to go to dinner with people who appreciate food so we hit it off right away, talking about blogs, food and geekiness the whole evening.
Margin WalkerJust to confirm the buzz: yes, the First International Moblogging Conference has been scheduled for Saturday, the 5th of July at super-deluxe on Roppongi-dori here in Tokyo.
Just found Maledicta Press Online on Metafilter. There is Maledicta, the International Journal of Verbal Agression.Maledicta discusses language honestly: no dashes, no asterisks, no moralistic pussyfooting. Our motto: "They say it -- we print it. This brings back some memories. I remember I was REALLY into the study of maledicta in High School. I wrote about it online on The Source and almost got kicked out. A good curse involves religion, scatology and sex. The following is the curse that I posted I guess 20 years ago. Please don't read the rest of this post if you are easily offended.
I'll write more tomorrow when my brain is a bit more fresh, but thanks for showing up to Moda tonight. It was great. I didn't get everyone's name/blog URL who came so please leave a comment here with your URL if you feel like it.
Bill Emmott, the editor of The Economist on the left and Brian Barry, the Tokyo bureau chief of The Economist on the rightBill Emmott, the editor of The Economist visited Japan on his tour through Asia. Ever since I met Bill, I've become subscriber of the paper version of and an avid reader of The Economist. Bill is a Japan expert and has written numerous books about Japan. It's great having someone who knows as much as Bill as the editor The Economist since Japan is not getting much coverage these days. We talked about the feedback Bill has been getting on the strong stance The Economist took on the war and how interesting and useful the feedback was. Brian noted that Bill got more feedback because his articles had his name on them. I explained that a lot of bloggers link to articles in The Economist and that if they used Technorati, they could track bloggers writing about the articles and get feedback more quickly and in more detail.We also talked a lot about Japan and many of the problems Japan faces. Bill is very supportive of our efforts and I hope that with Brian's help, we can get The Economist to cover Japan in an objective way. Media coverage will be essential in our efforts to push for more transparency.
Happy Birthday Liz! Thank you for showing people how t use my new public To Do List.BTW, She's a tuppeware lady. Funny because I call the "you have to try it to understand why it is useful" aspect of Internet and blogs the "tupperware syndrome".
Scoble, who was doing TabletPC's at NEC has left and joined Microsoft. He's an important part of the blogging community and I hope this ends up changing Microsoft in a good way. Good luck Scoble. I have mixed feelings, but I've shared them with him. I think it's the right think for him though.
I've moved my Wiki to a semi-permanent server and started adding content. The URL is: http://joi.ito.com/joiwiki/ One page, I thought might be interesting was a public To Do List. Anyone who wants me to do something or who wants to reach me should feel free to add to my public To Do List. I promise to check it every day. Please make sure you sign the To Do entry and also create a homepage on my Wiki with your contact info so I can track you more easily. This is an experiment so any constructive thoughts would be greatly appreciated.
My sister blogs a great view of the US occupation of Japan from the perspective of how it affected our family. Very relevant to the current situation in Iraq.
Independent record sales increase, major labels lose markets, RIAA blame P2P, stats show RIAA is lying »
Tim O'Reilly fowards a rant about how the RIAA unfairly blames P2P as the reason for their drop in sales and how their statistics show otherwise.
So, my plan is to take notes locally on my PowerBook and paste publishable stuff onto my public Wiki. Using the same software lets me keep the punctuation which seems to be different between Wiki's.
My old buddy Tomo from Jr. High (we used to throw parties together in Jr. High) runs a bar in Harajuku called Moda. I haven't DJ'ed for awhile, but I've decided to try messing around a bit. I'm going to be DJ'ing from 8pm until around 10pm this coming Wednesday so drop by if you want to hang out and see me try to DJ. There's no cover charge. He has a web page.
New York TimesGlobetrotting Traveler Infected With SARS[...]Airlines have been saying that the filters aboard modern planes do a good job of removing viruses from the air. But according to the health department here, at least 13 people have fallen sick with SARS after they shared a flight from Hong Kong to Beijing last month with an elderly man who had become infected with the disease while visiting his brother in a hospital here.
ABC NewsSARS could be biological weapon: expertsRussian infectious disease experts say Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) may be a man-made biological weapon.
I think that as we design tools for social networking, some of these nuances are going to become important. Different circles have different cultures. Some people thrive on ego and put-downs. Some people thrive on humility. How does this affect the design of the tools...
mp3 and transcript of CNN's Kevin Sites' account of near-death capture and release by Iraqi solders »
text transcript of CNN's Kevin Sites' account of near-death capture and release by Iraqi solders on Xeni's site and the audio of his account on CNN today (MP3, 1.34 MB)Thanks Xeni!
Took Reid to go see Jay Dvivedi, the Chief Information Officer of Shinsei Bank yesterday. Reid is one of the coolest entrepreneurs that I know and as the former COO of Paypal, also one of the few people I know who gets off talking about payment systems with me. Jay is the smartest CIO I know and is ALWAY extremely inspiring when I see him.
Adriaan just finished the new release of Kung-Log, the MT client for OS X. He's implemented the thumbnailing feature I asked for and it is now perfect. I can do ALL of my primary blogging from Kung-Log. One thing that is not documented but very useful is the proportionalization of the thumbnail. Enter either the width or the height and tab or click the other box to have it calculate the proportional size for the other field.It's talking the MetaWeblog API so it works for other CMS/blog systems as well, but well tuned for MT
Everyone should help Dan Gillmor write his book.
Appointed committee member of the Committee for the Protection of Indentification Information for the City of Yokohama »
I was just appointed committee member of the Committee for the Protection of Identification Information for the City of Yokohama.
Ross provides an improved picture of the Ecosystem of Networks and ties in the idea of Social Capital.
I'm late blogging this, but Dave Winer's speech about why programmers need to work with laywers, why Napster failed and why weblogs will allow us to do an "end-run" around the "fat smelly execs" of the media companies. Very funny and inspirational.
Robert Kaye of Musicbrainz arrived in Tokyo yesterday. The cherry blossom season is about to end, but Robert had cherry blossoms in his hair so the season will be a little longer this year. We had dinner and talked about RDF.
Chris giving me his new Tokyo University name card with Professor Yasuda looking onProfessor Yasuda and "Visiting Associate Professor" Chris Goggans visited our office today. Professor Yasuda has invited Chris to Tokyo University as a Visiting Associate Professor to help educate Japan about security and to break into a few computers.
Hasegawa-san, the CEO of Global Dining, at the La Boheme barHad dinner last night at G-Zone Ginza Global Dining's new restaurant complex in Ginza. It's a HUGE space with a Gonpachi, a Zest, a Monsoon, and a La Boheme, all Global Dining restaurants.
(c) Ted Kaehler 2003Here is a site with a graph of the SARS epidemic. Incidentally, it is powered by Squeak.Epidemics usually follow S-shaped curves. The predictions here are based on pure exponential growth. When the middle of the S-shaped curve is reached, the rate of infection will slow, and exponential growth predictions will no longer be useful. The reported data shows that the epidemic is still in an exponential growth phase.
I've used a cool Flash tool called Indy Junior to render a clickable map of my travels this year. Indy Junior was developed by Bryan Boyer based on similar map done by my friend Joshua Davis. Requires Flash.Via Megnut
I have to admit that I've been feeling guilty about talking so much about RSS and RDF without REALLY understanding what I was talking about, a state which I think I fixed today.
A few quotes from the proMED-mail, which is a good list to follow for on the ground updates from the global medical community.
Yesterday, I officially weighed in at our gym with witnesses and I came in at 67.3kg with my clothes on. My target was 68.5kg so I cleared it comfortably. (Again, flashbacks from my wrestling days.) I had challenged myself to stop drinking alcohol completely until I reach the target weight. I was off of alcohol for exactly 2 weeks. It was a good experience. I lost a lot of weight, found out that I was an alcoholic (addicted to alcohol) and that alcohol was lowering my productivity and my general emotional quality.
Christopher CoulterNo taking over, peaceful co-existence, if stripped of all the Valley-drunk Buzzwords, Cultic Groupthink and wacky utopian half-baked utter-nonsense mushed-oatmeal theories like ‘Emergent Democracy’.
I was invited to a breakfast with Keiko Higuchi by Merle Okawara. Ms. Higuchi is an outspoken anti-war feminist who was one of the first people to try to deal with the aging population issue in ernest. She is running for the office of the Governor of Tokyo as an independent against Shintaro Ishihara, the current Governor of Tokyo. She is characterized as a anti-war liberal and Ishihara is a well known nationalist.
Just in case you missed this, Microsoft is supporting RSS and is letting the developers lead. Dave Winer approves. If you don't know what RSS is, here is a great article describing RSS and how to make a feed.
I am now 9kg lighter than when I started my Atkin's Diet program about a month ago. I weighed in this morning at home at 68.4kg which is just barely under my target of 68.5kg.
I just had lunch with a friend from Hong Kong. He said people are pretty freaked out. All of the schools are closed and hotels are at 10% capacity. He says that you can actually trace the infections back to a doctor from China who visited Hong Kong for a wedding. He sneezed in an elevator and all of the people who were in the elevator are now dead. There was a rumor that the people who got the disease from him all died, but the people who got the disease from those people haven't all died and that...
Kevin Marks has written a nice rebuttal to Andrew Orlowski's article about googlewashing.
Andrew Orlowski has an article in The Register about how Jim Moore's paper about the Second Superpower spread so quickly it now ranks #1 on Google. Talks about how A-List blogs contribute to the ability for a single entry to quickly outrank versions of the word.
Some more SARS stuff.
smh.com.auChina coming clean on spread of killer illness By Hamish McDonald, Herald Correspondent in Beijing, and agencies April 3 2003 China's wall of silence on the lethal pneumonia epidemic started to break open yesterday when health officials in southern Guangdong province reported 361 new cases of the illness and nine more deaths during March. This appears to contradict earlier claims that the outbreak was "under control". At the same time, a team of four experts sent by the World Health Organisation was given permission to visit Guangdong, the suspected origin of the new disease, after waiting five days in Beijing...
China as the winner of US v. Iraq
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Great paper by James Moore at the Berkman Center for Internet & Society about how the "will of the people" is the emerging second superpower. He talks about emergent democracy, the Internet and gives a bunch of great examples.Jim is one guy who I was HOPING would start a blog. Thanks to Dave and Doc, he's got one now.
Aaron and Daiji Hirata talking about UTF-8Had lunch with Aaron Swartz.
The last time I saw Ben and Mena, I showed them the "the cork trick".
So, it's April 1 in Japan and I was sitting around trying to think of something clever for my April Fool's blog entry. Then Xeni sent me a link to Joy of Being Ito Web. Haha. Very funny Jim. I'm going to give up trying to write someting funny today... ;-p
Dan Gillmor has a short entry about the stupid new bill in Michigan that basically makes firewalls and VPN's illegal. According to Dan, "And guess whose greasy fingerprints are all over it? Right, the movie studios."
Magic Box Productions Logo designed by Susan KareWhat a blast from the past for me. I just read on Slashdot about Susan Kare's web page.
The New York Times, The Washington Post and USA Today report NBC News fires Arnett Over Iraqi TV Interview. Via The Command Post, here is the official word from National Geographic which co-fired him.Update from The Command Post: "Peter Arnett, the American reporter fired by MSNBC and National Geographic earlier today has reportedly (Fox News) been hired by the Daily Mirror."
Short flash animation about the liberation of Afghanistan. Turn up the sound an take a look at this link.Via Tom Hammer
Interesting message on Politech about the freedom of speech issue of the recent banning of Mr. Irwin Schiff's book on how not to pay taxes.