Joi Ito's conversation with the living web.

August 2003 Archives

Lenz blog explaining new Japanese copyright law reform »

Karl-Friedrich Lenz explains the new Japanese copyright law reform on Lenz blog.

Referral logs and google rankings »

Malach on #joiito was talking about surfing referral logs. I took a look at mine. It's pretty cool that I'm #1 when you google for "best headphones", but it's probably not such a good thing that I'm the 4th site when you google for "glock 23"...

Baghdad Burning »

Doc links to a "Girl Blog from Iraq", Baghdad Burning by Salam's friend Riverbend.

Washlets hit 50% penetration »

Washlets are the Japanese version of the bidet. They spray a jet of water that can be adjusted in pressure, angle, temperature. The fancy ones have motion sensors to open the seat and flush automatically. Some create a smell curtain with air jets and filters, others have remote controls, seat heaters, etc. They range in price from a few hundred dollars to thousands of dollars. You really have to try one to understand the appeal, but having a focused warm jet of water is much different than a bidet.During a panel discussion the other day, professor Takeuchi explained that washlets have now reached a 50% market penetration in Japanese households. This is amazing really. So the question was, with all of the talk about culture being Japan's next big export, will washlets be the next big Japanese export?Toto, the Japanese toilet company has an English language page for their very simple washlet. Watch the video, it's great. Thanks for the link Boris!

AOL blocking Live Journal referrals? »

Slashdot reports that AOL is blocking referrals from Live Journal. I agree with Mena on this. It's probably a mistake. Lets not get all excited until we know more...

Can someone install jIRC for #joiito? »

There is some software called jIRC that appears to allow you to set up a java web applet that is serves as an IRC client. I'm behind a firewall and can't get to IRC. Any chance someone would install jIRC somewhere and point it at #joiito on freenode so I can get to the channel? I n.n.n.need my IRC fix.

The whole "there is only one God and my God is the best" thing... »

Glenn ReynoldsNOW THAT'S, ER, CHUTZPAH: Christopher Hitchens is Fisking the Ten Commandments.Frank Boosman also comments on the problem with the "Thou Shalt Have No Other Gods Before Me" commandment.Like I keep saying, all of you "I only have one God, and my God is the best" people seem to be a bit insecure about your God. As Christopher Hitchens says, "The first four of the commandments have little to do with either law or morality, and the first three suggest a terrific insecurity on the part of the person supposedly issuing them."As we Shintos like to say, you can put your god over there next to our other gods. While you're at it, why don't you get off your high horse and quit defining Good and Evil as Us and Them. ;-p

Off to Beppu for the HyperNetwork Conference 2003 »

I'm off to Beppu for the HyperNetwork conference. Had dinner with Howard who's also going to be speaking. I will be co-moderating a panel on Blogging. I'll try to be on IRC during the conference. See you there.

Infrastructure melting down in US today? »

Just a few minutes ago, I was on my vonage IP phone in my house in Tokyo sipping coffee in my air-conditioned living room listening to the birds outside. I called a friend in Virginia on his cell phone. It rang and dropped. He called me back on a land line. The Verison cell tower just went out in his area. As we were talking, his power went out. He had to switch to a phone that didn't use power. While we were talking, he did a clean shut-down of his computer and his UPS and went outside to see why his diesel backup generator didn't kick in. Then he went and started pulling out all of the oil lamps that he had just put away.What's going on over there guys? Maybe the power companies and carriers should just step aside and let some new people run the critical infrastructure...Although I can't say Japan is necessarily better, my phone still works and my air-conditioning is still working. ;-)

#joiito stats »

imajes has posted new stats for #joiito.

May you rest in peace mazeone »

Mike Lea aka mazeone on #joiito took his own life on Friday. He worked at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center. He recently started hanging out on #joiito and was a pretty active participant in our community. I think he spent more time on #unixpunx. The #unixpunx site says that Vixnix talked to his sister who said to pass this on:Mike's sisterI wish I could tell you differently, but it is true. He has been very depressed for such a long time. I went down there and stayed with him last weekend and he was just miserable. He did it this past Friday night. He was ready to go. And he's at peace now. I wish I knew what to say. I know you all will miss him, and I know that his irc friends meant a lot to him and he enjoyed talking with you all. He kept trying to get me to go on and meet all the people he enjoyed so much. I'm so glad you all were there for him. I wish it wasn't true either. Feel free to forward this to his irc friends and know that my heart is with you all in missing his wit and him.mazeone, may you rest in peace...Mike's web pageInformation about his memorial services

IBM's History Flow »

IBM has a very cool project called "History Flow" that visualizes the evolution of documents and the interactions of multiple collaborating authors. There are many interesting views. They are using wikis for this.Thanks for the link Clay!

"authenticated" my ID with Google »

I was on the phone trying to consolidate two mileage accounts on the same airline. The operator needed the address, phone number and other details of the card I had registered in 1996. I had no idea. I started googling. Bits and pieces were all over the Net. I was able to "authenticate" my identity based on this info including my phone number in a mailing list post that I found. Where would I be without Google. On the other hand, I wonder if we have to think about better authentication for the post-Google era. Don't blog about your mother's maiden name or the name of your pet. ;-p


There's a lot of talk about LOAF these days on #joiito. It's getting pretty hard to keep track of all of these new acronyms. It seems to be an emerging standard, and there isn't much about it on the web yet. jibot on #joiito seems to know the most about it. The only reference I've seen on the web is on britta's blog.

Is it FUD or is it ignorance? »

Lawrence lessigthe extremists in powerAccording to the Post, Lois Boland, director of international relations for the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, said "that open-source software runs counter to the mission of WIPO, which is to promote intellectual-property rights." As she is quoted as saying, "To hold a meeting which has as its purpose to disclaim or waive such rights seems to us to be contrary to the goals of WIPO."If Lois Boland said this, then she should be asked to resign. The level of ignorance built into that statement is astonishing, and the idea that a government official of her level would be so ignorant is an embarrassment. First, and most obviously, open-source software is based in intellectual-property rights. It can't exist (and free software can't have its effect) without it.People think that creative commons and free software are "anti-copyright". It's amazingly stupid. You can't have free software or "some rights reserved" without copyright. I wonder if people are truly stupid or whether there is some FUD (Fear Uncertainty and Doubt) machine running a "stupidity about copyright" process in the background...

Meeting with Yoshiko Sakurai and others about Japanese National ID - Jyukinet »

Had a meeting today with Yoshiko Sakurai and and other members of the anti-Jyukinet (National ID) "movement" this morning. I have been working with Sakurai-san and this group since September 2001. A lot has happened since then. We first tried very hard get a moratorium on the deployment before operation began. We got a great deal of support, but in the end operation began. Several local governments and prefectures resisted on the basis that there was a clause that privacy must be assured and the privacy bill had not been passed. A very watered down and poorly written privacy bill was passed and several anti-Jyukinet local governments lead by Yokoyama decided to participate in Jyukinet with a opt-out clause. There are still some local governments which are resisting, but such resistance is getting more and more difficult. Although we were able to raise privacy concerns when we were at the peak of our rallying efforts, people clearly do not feel too strongly about privacy issues generally.Today we discussed a new angle that appears to be more convincing to many local governments. The cost of deploying the system is very high considering limited benefits. Although the central government says that they only spent $400M or so, it appears that it really cost more like $700M. In addition, there is a fairly substantial burden on the local governments. Although we would like people to think of things in terms of social cost and privacy risk, the more simple message is whether it is worth spending all of this money on a system which is supposed to be used only for receiving local government services. This message may be easier to spread.I am in a somewhat awkward position right now. After the deployment began, I realized that it would be difficult to stop the system. While Sakurai-san continues to protest Jyukinet quite vocally and support the few local governments who are opposed to Jyukinet, I have started working within the system trying to educate the bureaucrats and trying to head of any new projects that might increase the risk. I am meeting regularly with "both sides" trying to figure out the most effective way to reduce risk. It is important that Sakurai-san continue to be vocal so that people continue to pay attention to the issues, but God is in the details. I am becoming immersed and inundated with the details. For example, early on in the process, I told the central government that they needed to educate the vendors and the local governments about privacy. I was soon presented with an "opportunity" to lecture local governments and vendors about privacy. Thanks... It's becoming physically and mentally quite difficult to continue this effort since it has very little to do with my "day job", but it's also very difficult to disengage since there are so few of "us".Someone please help me... I wish we had EPIC in Japan. OK I'll stop wining...

Kevin Marks leaves Apple »

Kevin Marks blogs "How I emailed myself into a job and blogged my way out of it". I was trying to figure out whether I should write something objective and refer to my strength of weak ties post, but I'm not going to.Kevin Marks, of MediAgora fame and a regular in #joiito is one of the most helpful and interesting people I've met recently. A lot of his job involved compiling huge pieces of code on slow machines so he would hang out and help people on #joiito. I feel a bit guilty because I think people on #joiito were a bit demanding of his time, myself included. I remember asking him to take care of my nephew and niece over iChat at 4 am in California while I did some cooking.Anyway, I think this is a great loss to Apple, but may end up being a good thing for Kevin, MediAgora and the social software space. I am obviously talking to Kevin about "his next thing" but I encourage people who are looking for partners and are interested in someone who understands streaming media, alternative music distribution theories and social software to talk to Kevin. Now is your chance. (And if you come of with something cool to do, talk to me before you talk to any other venture capitalists. ;-) )

Creative Commons presentation to Japanese copyright experts »

Yesterday, I gave a presentation about Creative Commons at a study group on copyright of which I am a member. The other members include the founding chairman, Hori-san of one of the largest talent management companies in Japan, Hori Productions, Professor Nakayama, the Tokyo University professor who invited Larry Lessig to Japan and one of the most influential copyright and constitutional law professors in Japan, Professor Iwamura, the former head of research and policy for the Bank of Japan and other professors and lawyers involved in copyright. I really like this study group because everyone is quite open-minded and frank and speaks from first-hand experience in court and law-writing.

Meeting with Kenji Yoshigo of Soka Gakkai »

Today, I met with Kenji Yoshigo, the Vice President and Executive Director of Soka Gakkai Office of International Affairs. Soka Gakkai is a Buddhist sect which is one of the largest and most influential in Japan. One of the key things that sets it apart from other Buddhist sects is their active involvement in society including education, International relations and politics. They are the force behind Komeito Party.I had hear about Soka Gakkai from a variety of people, usually with negative connotations. Some people alluded to conspiracy, others refer to them like some sort of cult. The only real first hand negative interactions that I had heard of were interactions with overly enthusiastic members trying to recruit people. I had always been curious about the Soka Gakkai, but not curious enough to overcome the FUD (fear, uncertainty and doubt) and actually approach them.Kana, a young woman who works for me is Soka Gakkai. I found out when I learned that she was marrying a staff member of the Komeito and I asked her whether she was Soka Gakkai. She is one of the hardest working people on our team and has a passion for justice that exceeds ones expectations. She invited to give the toast at their wedding. At this wedding, they showed a video of messages from the young children she was mentoring, and I met many of the Soka Gakkai people she worked with. I was very impressed with how intelligent, aware of current issues, and friendly they were. The impression I got at the wedding changed my mental image of Soka Gakkai.Early this year, Lou Marinoff, a well known philosopher who I had met several times in Davos visited Japan. He had been invited by Soka Gakkai. I had dinner with Lou and his Soka Gakkai host. Lou told me how impressed he was with their efforts and urged me to contact them and learn more about Soka Gokkai. I respect Lou's opinions greatly and he is quite knowledgeable and objective. His description of the variety of things Soka Gakkai was doing made me decide to try to contact Soka Gakkai to try to get a first hand impression.After the dinner with Lou, I asked Kana if she would help me learn more about Soka Gakkai. It took a bit of scheduling, but she coordinated this meeting with Mr. Yoshigo.

Governor Masuda of Iwate »

Today I went to see Governor Masuda of Iwate. Iwate is physically the largest prefecture in Japan. Iwate is also my "home town" where my mother's side of the family is buried. Our family house is there, the schools that my great grandmother and grandmother built, and our grave. I *think* we've been at the same grave for 14 generations. (I have to fact check this. I know it is between 14-17 generations.) The last time I visited my grave was to pour my mother's ashes into the grave. We pour the ashes on top of the ashes of our ancestors. You can see the hundreds of years of ashes when you move the stone. The generations of people buried under the stone are etched in the stone side by side. Looking at all of the names on the stones sort of puts my life into perspective. A blip in a lineage of rather interesting people.After our family property was parceled out to the locals during the Meiji Restoration, our money poured into the war effort in WWII and our heirlooms "confiscated" by the occupation, our family became a "normal" family and the city erected a little stone plaque in front of our house saying, "the former Ito residence." As an Ito who still owns the house, that's a bit disturbing. All that remains are the schools that my feminist great grandmother started building. She build one of the first trade schools for women during the war and my grandmother built a nurse school. My uncle reminded me that I must some day take over the school. I decided it was time to meet the Governor.Luckily, we have many mutual friends and Professor Takemura made an introduction. I visited the Governor today. I talked about Creative Commons, the Internet Archives and the Bookmobile. I explained that Professor Takemura and I have been trying to get support from some local governments and libraries to try to sponsor an effort in Japan. We talked a lot about the future of local governments.Governor Masuda was sharp, motivated and obviously on top of things. He is also a good friend of Governor Domoto of Chiba, who I know well. After meeting Governor Domoto of Chiba, Governor Tanaka of Nagano and Governor Masuda of Iwate, I think that the Governors of the strong provinces in Japan should start taking more control from the central government. I realize there is still a lot of reform required to allow the local governments to take more control. They need to become more financially self-sufficient. From a political perspective, the Governors are so much more accountable and representative of the people that it's a pity they don't have more resources...PS 6 hours in the train to go to a 45 minute meeting scheduled 3 months ago is UBER M-Time... ;-)

"Safe and sound, at last -- IRC and IM play a role" »

David Beckemeyer aka twostop, creator of the first hecklebot and regular on #joiito blogs the story of how his 12 year old arrived in JFK during the blackout and how the Net helped him coordinate the night's events.

#joiito RSS Roll with state info »

Brendyn has created a page that lists the online/offline status from jibot as titles and links to all of the recent blog entries of the regulars on #joiito from their RSS feeds. Very cool!Technical synopsis from Brendyn

Jobs and the strength of weak ties »

M. S. Granovetter .The strength of weak ties : A network theory revisited. In Sociological Theory (1), 1983. is an important paper for understanding social software. Unfortunately, it's an academic paper and therefore NOT ONLINE. (I'll rant about that later). In the paper, Granovetter describes strong ties and weak ties. Strong ties are your family, friends and other people you have strong bonds to. Weak ties are relationships that transcend local relationship boundaries both socially and geographically. He writes about the importance of weak ties in the flow of information and does a study of job hunting and shows that jobs are more often found through weak ties than through strong ties. This obviously overlaps with the whole 6 degrees thing. I do believe there are some "nodes" but think that it is much more complex than a simple power law with a few number of local maximums.After reading Shannon "Pet Rock Star" Campbell's piece on her quest for a job at a temp agency and the "Nickel and Dimed: On (Not) Getting By in America" page, I decided to look at all of "this stuff" from the perspective of jobs.I was recently at an advisory board meeting for a trade school. We had just done a survey of employers asking for what they their primary criteria for choosing new employees was and it was overwhelmingly about execution and character and very little about skills. Skills, they said, could be taught later. I believe that "character" in the context of a job is your self-esteem and your passion for what you are doing.What I would like to assert is that social software can help people with their self-esteem and can also help you find others who can find your assets and interests more valuable and place people in jobs where one can have "character". I wrote about this self-esteem thing earlier and in a trackback on that item, you can find a link to "Exhibit A". Boris writes first hand about the development of his self-esteem through blogs and IRC.Shannon is a really interesting "case" for me. She is witty, has great character, is a brilliant musician, is a poster-child for the Creative Commons (I first heard of her when Larry Lessig was raving on about her over lunch), and she's worried about her interview at a temp agency in South Carolina. Something's wrong here. I know several other people on my IRC channel who are looking for jobs where they are surrounded geographically by people who don't understand or are unable to "leverage" the assets of that individual.What I can see emerging is a way to amplify the strength of weak ties. (I knew this before, but it's becoming more crisp to me now.) IRC allows me to see the style and personality of many of the people online. Blogs help me see what their interests are and focus is. LinkedIn provides a professional context for referrals. I think that supporting the process of developing your assets and character and finding a job that best suits you will be one of the single most important benefits of social software. I know I've been ranting about Emergent Democracy and about level 2 and 3 in Maslow's hierarchy of Needs, but I just realized that social software may be most important in addressing level 1, finding the job that brings home the bacon. I know this is stupid of me and everyone is saying "doh" right now, but this, to me, is a big "ah ha".I recently hired two people who were IRC regulars. I felt very comfortable after "getting to know them" over the last few months on IRC. Of course face to face meetings and interviews were essential, but the time spent with them on IRC really added to my ability to judge their character. I realize now that I am actively recruiting from my network of weak ties on the Net and also using the Net to meet interesting people to connect with others who might be good collaborators for those interesting people. The Net has always been a big part of my arsenal of networking tools, but I think it's reaching a whole new level.

Adjusting to P-time »

Earlier I wrote about P-time. I'm now trying to see if I can create a work style around it. I am getting up at 5-6am, sitting in my living room with all of my IM buddy lists, IRC and mail tracking the presence of as many people as possible. I have iTunes and iChat Streaming Icon on and have applescripts letting people on iChat and IRC know what I'm listening to. I track UTC in my head and try to remember what time zone it is in the various countries and watch people wake up, go to eat, go to bed. I've started giving people my vonage phone number. I've started adding more people to LinkedIn and IM, trying to make contact with people I've lost touch with. Then, I sit around, chatting on IRC, reading email, blogging, until I see someone I need to talk to or a text conversation gets interesting enough to make a phone call, do a iChatAV video chat with or even rally a conference call around on the free conference call system, am letting my thoughts wander, immersing myself in this spew of contextual information. It's a different mode, but it's very interestingly real time and multi-modal. I'm now trying to figure out whether I should have P-time days and M-time days, or split the day into different modes...

iChat Streaming Icon »

Got iChat Streaming Icon from Kuri yesterday. It is available on the Apple site. It streams live video of you as your iChat icon. Sooo cool. You can set refresh rates from .5 sec on up. I think it's basically just changing your icon image every frame. It slows the computer down a bit, but is really amazing. All of the images move in every window, even in the buddy list. Once all of your friends get it, you get the Brady Bunch thing happening in the buddy list.I get to be Alice! ;-pSeriously though... This suddenly adds a whole new dimensions to the presence discussion.Software was written by Andreas Pardeike. Nice job!

Article in The Economist about commercialization of weblogs »

The EconomistBlogging, to the horror of some, is trying to go commercialUr-bloggers, of course, are outraged by all this. “Tony doesn't understand what a blog is; he's the opposite of a blogger,” says David Winer, a fellow at Harvard Law School's Berkman Centre, founder of UserLand and one of the first and longest running bloggers around (his site is ). The key attribute that makes a blog a blog and not some ordinary piece of web publishing is amateurism, says Mr Winer: if it is in any way edited, it is not a blog. From this, incidentally, Mr Winer extrapolates that blogging has “the potential for revolution,” democratising and liberating the world. Mr Perkins in turn feels, wearily, that he has heard such “religiously libertarian anarchists with ponytails screaming and yelling” before, in the early days of the internet. Like many in Silicon Valley nowadays, he is more interested in profits than revolutions—though that change, in its own way, is revolutionary.The article is a bit simplistic, but does start the discussion about commercialization of weblogs. I personally think that and the referral thing is where the action is. Amazon will potentially benefit more than anyone from all of this since they are the closest to the point of sale and reviews are a great way to get people to buy. Reviews are much more integrated into blog content than adwords.

Power out, but the Net still works »

I'm sure everyone's already seen this, but I just woke up (6am here) to call a journalist in New York for an interview. He told me that there had been a blackout and he was walking from Manhattan to Brooklyn in flip-flops. He asked me to look on the web and tell him if there was any more news about whether it was a terrorist attack. I told him that it appears, according to, that the affected area is wider than just New York, but that it was not a terrorist attack. We agreed to try to talk tomorrow.I was in Tokyo in my underwear on a Vonage IP phone, reading news from the web to a journalist in New York on a cell phone. Rah rah Internet!UPDATE: Joshua on #joiito is logged in from his office in Times Square. His building has backup power. Amazingly, the Internet seems mostly unaffected. It looks like data centers are starting to go down...UPDATE 2: Just talked to the reporter, Jeff, who said that he had this conversation numerous times yesterday: "It wasn't a terrorist attack." "Why do you know?" "I was talking to someone in Tokyo." ;-)

See ya later John Poindexter, it's been real... »

This may be old news for many of you, but I just found out that John Poindexter, the mastermind behind the "Total Information Awareness" project in the US, tendered his resignation August 12.Government Computer NewsJohn Poindexter’s whirlwind 20 months as head of the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency’s newly created Office of Information Awareness will end on Aug. 29, the day he will officially step down. A PDF of his resignation letter on the Washington Post site.Thanks to twostop on #joiito

Email is officially broken »

Internet NewsReport: ISPs Block 17 Percent of Legit E-mailBy Brian MorrisseyTop Internet service providers blocked 17 percent of legitimate permission-based e-mail in the first half of the year, according to a report issued by Return Path.via Scott MaceI pronounce email officially broken. If 17 percent of legit email is being blocked by spam filters, it's not officially working. No wonder I'm using blogs, IRC and IM for my primary modes of connecting with important people these days.I don't care what excuses people give. The people who made smtp should have thought more about host authentication and the people who made IPv4 should have made longer IP addresses. My guess is that there were people who were voicing concerns who had more vision.I have a feeling we are going to be kicking ourselves in the same way when we realize we "forgot" to put privacy into ID systems.

Google Japan in new digs »

In other "search news"...Heard a rumor that Google Japan has moved into new digs in the posh Cerulian Tower with a Segway, massage chair, pool table, a lava lamp and everything. Congrats to all of the Infoseek Japan alum working at Google Japan. You've reached, "search nirvana". I'm a bit envious. ;-)

Nutch, an open source search engine »

Mitch Kapor and Tim O'Reilly are among advisory board members of Nutch, a new open source search engine project which will try to:fetch several billion pages per monthmaintain an index of these pagessearch that index up to 1000 times per secondprovide very high quality search resultsoperate at minimal costSounds good to me!John Battelle at Business 2.0 says, "Watch Out, Google".via Dave Winer at Scripting News.

Google Calculator »

Aaron Swartz@Google WeblogGoogle now has a built in calculator that can tell you everything from 2+2 to speed of light in furlongs per fortnight to 2048 in binary.Very cool!Thanks for the link Alberto!

Adriaan and Jim join the team »

Adriaan aka ado of Kung-Log fame and Jim aka mmdc of "fawning parody" fame have joined the Neoteny team.And, no, writing a parody of me will not guarantee you a job at Neoteny.

On CNN Today »

I heard my interview/talking head was just on CNN. Does anyone know where I can see it. ;-)Thanks Gerfried!

Xeni on NPR talking about Friendster, LinkIn and other social networking tools »

Xeni's on NPR today talking about Friendster, LinkedIn and other social networking tools.Here's the RealMedia stream.

Ishihara says Chinese have "criminal DNA" »

I met Tony Laszlo today who pointed out an analysis on Isshoof an article by Governor Ishihara which appeared on the front page of the Sankei Shimbun (one of Japan's biggest newspapers) back in May. I didn't see it covered in any English media so I thought I'd point it out.Ishihara has done some great things for Tokyo, but he is still publicly anti-foreigner in case you had any doubts. Can you imagine Mayor Bloomberg getting away with saying this on the front page of the New York Times? And the Sankei has more circulation than the NYT...Like Don Park, this makes me want to apologize on behalf of my country.Tokyo Governor Shintaro Ishihara"Japan - Defend your Internal Flank!" (Nihon yo - Uchinaru Bouei wo), a column by Tokyo Governor ISHIHARA Shintaro which appeared on the front page of the May 8, 2001 Sankei ShimbunIn due course, the perpetrators were captured, and, just as had been suspected, the crime was one of revenge among Chinese criminals. There is fear--and not without cause--that it will not be long before the entire nature of Japanese society itself will be altered by the spread of this type of crime that is indicative of the ethnic DNA [of the Chinese].

Aspartame and alcohol off »

I've been drinking too much alcohol in the evenings and drinking too much Diet Coke during the day. Diet Coke is starting to taste weird and I'm having trouble moderating my alcohol consumption. I'm going to go off aspartame and alcohol for 1 week and try to turn alcohol on again in moderation after a week. I think this will make me feel happier and give me more energy. If this were a controlled experiment, I wouldn't do both at the same time, but I'm pretty sure that drinking myself asleep and jolting myself awake is not very good for me.This is probably more information than anyone really wants about my life, but I figured that if I blog it, I'm more likely to keep this promise to myself. Oh, and anyone who seems me drinking Diet Coke or alcohol during the next week can slap me around with a trout.

"page slapping" »

On #joiito, JMendelson asked a question and I replied with a URL. Then:Brendyn: that's a page slapJMendelson: a what?Brendyn: you were page slapped :)I wonder if Brendyn coined this word. It's a funny word.Since I blog just about anything important that I ever think of, I end up page slapping people a lot on IRC when they ask questions that I've already answered. I wonder if it's rude? I don't think so. rejects Creative Commons »

Don't you hate when the people who should most "get it" TOTALLY DON'T GET IT!Neeru@Creative CommonsWe would love to help you offer Creative Commons license to your users — it’s free, and a great way to make clear the rights and restrictions artists would like to offer their fans.Legal Department@mp3.comNothing replaces the legal protections provided by registering a copyright with the US Copyright Office--most certainly not your “free license.”This email is formal notice for you to cease and desist from further contacting our artists through our web site to solicit for your product/services, which are not sanctioned by us.Legal Department Music & MediaVivendi Universal Net USA, Inc.

Is streamripping illegal? »

Some folks on #joiito turned me onto "streamripping". This is software that stores songs played on Internet radio stations as mp3's with meta data and everything. RadioLover is streamripping software for the Mac that lets you record multiple radio stations in parallel. You can drag and drop the songs into iTunes and sync to the iPod. The quality seems fine. I can listen to my favorite radio stations from all over the world when I'm walking in the park with my iPod. Is this illegal? It is SOOO useful it MUST be illegal. ;-pUPDATE: For the record, I've just bought several albums on Apple's Music Store and Amazon that I didn't know about until I started messing around with RadioLover.

Total Recall 2003 »

Funny. ;-)Thanks Max!

Email experiments confirm six degrees, Milgram didn't »

Khalid on #joiito pointed me to the following article.New ScientistEmail experiment confirms six degrees of separation Despite enabling almost instantaneous global communication, email appears not to have made the world a more close-knit community.It's an interesting article about how an email six degrees experiment shows we are no closer than when Milgram did his famous experiment in 1967. (Milgram did an experiment which resulted in the assertion that we are only six hops away from anyone else in the world.) I referred to Milgram's famous experiment in my Emergent Democracy paper. When the paper was being reviewed by Shumpei Kumon, he referred me to Six Degrees by Duncan J. Watts and pointed out to me that Watts writes about Judith Kleinfeld who found that Milgram's experiment was flawed. I removed the reference in my paper. Milgram's six degrees experiment is so widely referenced that it has become almost an urban legend, but it DID NOT show that the world was connected by six degrees, it just got us thinking about it. I think the phenomenon is real and the "small-world problem" is a very interesting field, but people should stop quoting the Milgram study as fact. The email experiment referred to in the article is being conducted by Duncan Watts as well and he has a web page with more info.

Larry's blog is accelerating »

When people talked about how you had to blog often to be popular, others would always talk about Larry Lessig who only updated his blog once a week or so. Recently, Larry's been writing almost every day. There goes THAT anomaly. ;-)

DECONversation August 14 »

Thursday.8pm. August 14.2003DECONversation / Maurice Benayoun and Steve Mann, moderated by Derrick de KerckhoveLooks interesting. Someone go so we can heckle. ;-)

Blogs and small green pieces of paper »

I've been thinking a lot about my addiction to social software, business models and what this is all about. Frank has a great quote from Douglas Adams about small, green pieces of paper which is a really good place to start.

Japan's Gross National Cool »

I was talking to Halley today about being cool. American's think they're pretty cool, but the Japanese are getting pretty cool these days too.At the Japan dinner that I MC'ed this year, Tony Kobayashi, the former head of the Association of Corporate Executives talked about the Foreign Affairs article on Japan's Gross National Cool. Maybe Japan's coolness can save it. This was also the topic of the CNN interview that I did which should air any day now on CNN International when they find a boring day to fill. ;-pForeign AffairsJapan’s Gross National CoolJapan is reinventing superpower—again. Instead of collapsing beneath its widely reported political and economic misfortunes, Japan’s global cultural influence has quietly grown. From pop music to consumer electronics, architecture to fashion, and animation to cuisine, Japan looks more like a cultural superpower today than it did in the 1980s, when it was an economic one. But can Japan build on its mastery of medium to project an equally powerful national message?

Creative Commons Moving Image Contest »

We're having a contest to create a 2-minute moving image that describes Creative Commons' mission. First prize is a G5 Mac. More info on the CC blog.

Going P-time »

Ever since I started IRC, I've noticed that I'm reading much less email, getting a lot less structured work done, but having a much better sense of what's going on in our "space" and able to tie a bunch of pieces together that weren't tied together before. I think some people mistake this type of contextual multi-tasking as some form of ADD. I think I'm switching from M-time to P-time. Edward Hall in Beyond Culture describes the difference between P-time and M-time.

Matt from Shure starts blogging »

I first heard about the Shure earphones from Barak and bought the e2c's. I blogged about it. With the help of Google, people interested in e2c's including Matt, who was the product manager for the e2c's found my blog entry. When the e5c's came out, I blogged about them too. Hundreds of comments later, both of these entries have become discussions including testimonials and lots and lots of answers from Matt replying to questions about the products and distribution. This human voice dialog is why I think blogging is so great for companies with great products.Last week, I talked to Matt and Susan from Shure on the phone about experimenting with blogs. Matt's started a blog. Hopefully we can set up some combination of a wiki and a blog to help Shure reach out to us and for us to give them feedback.

The anti-gay bandwagon and American politics »

I got a few very thoughtful emails from Megan about the anti-gay bandwagon and American politics today. First of all, I think it's sad seeing the Pope and American politicians taking positions against gay rights and I strongly believe in gay marriages.

Radio now supports trackback »

Dave reports that Radio now supports trackback and has turned it on on his Radio Weblog.

Shelley shows MT users how to get the TypePad photo album look »

TypePad has a very cool photo album style. Shelly explains how MT users can create similar photo albums.

Happy Birthday Xeni, Jason and Reid! »

I love my birthday roll. Because of my birthday bot, I know that today is Xeni, Jason and Reid's birthday. Imagine that. Three of my favorite people have the same birthday! I also love my birthday roll, because I can send personal email to people on their birthdays and spread my "pings" over the year instead of writing hundreds of Christmas cards. I should dump holiday gifts and cards all together and switch to birthdays.

Type Preview Release Launch »

Type Preview Release LaunchTypePad registration will open on Monday, August 4 at 11:59 pm (Pacific) as a Preview Release. Features will continue to be added and the system will still be considered to be under development, but the service will be open for any user to sign up.TypePad Feature Chart

Six Apart gets an office, Anil caught wearing Blogger T-Shirt »

Glad to see Six Apart finally moved into an office and moved out of their apartment. In Japan, they call apartments apart. When we announced our investment in Six Apart to our investors, two of them asked if we were getting into real estate investments.Also, Anil says I'm "consorting with the enemy"... Well, Anil, what's up with that T-Shirt?Jeff Jarvis ratted on your T-Shirt. ;-)

Introvertster beta »

Introvertster beta is up!Via Xeni on boing boing

Mark Glaser's Guide to the Blogosphere »

According to Mark, this place is an opinionated individual weblog which is blogging oriented and liberal, but not as blogging oriented or liberal as Joho the Blog. ;-)Thanks for the link Rebecca!

Posted pictures from SF »

I'm in SF for a brief visit. Posting pictures on TypePad photo album.

N. Scott Momaday - Language itself is a Commons »

I met N. Scott Momaday, a Kiowa Indian who is a Pulitzer Prize winning novelist and a scholar at Brainstorm last year. He left a great impression on me with his great stories. This year during the session on the Commons, we were all talking about the economics of who manages the commons. He said that language was a commons and that stories that have been passed down through generations lived in these commons. I had never thought of language itself as a commons, but it's a great example.He also said that from a Native American perspective, land was a commons and language was a commons. Land was where we come from and return to. Language was where we lived. (He said it much more poetically than I can, but I can't remember exactly what he said.)
Whiplash by Joi Ito and Jeff Howe
Freesouls by Joi Ito

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