Joi Ito's conversation with the living web.

February 2004 Archives

Ethan and Ben »

That' me holding BenDan GillmorEthan and Ben At the Emerging Tech conference, more than one person noted the striking resemblance between Ethan Zuckerman and Benjamin Franklin. Coincidence? You decide.A lot of the people working on emergent democracy look founding fatherish. I wonder if you start looking like a founding father after you start pondering or whether looking in the mirror each day causes you to go down the "pondering about democracy" path. Where does that put me?...

Mustached Japanese soldiers in Iraq and Oshin »

Interesting article by Mike Rogers describing the influence of the popular Japanese TV drama Oshin and mustached Japanese soldiers in Iraq. Also some interesting perspectives about the ability to identify with suffering and Japan's relationship with the Middle East. Alright, think about Oshin. Think about that story and that kind of suffering. I don't think Americans can relate to that. Of course Japanese can. And, get this: Oshin has been broadcast in most Middle Eastern countries for at least the last 12 years. Iran? Sure. According to the Nikkei Shimbun News Oshin scores a remarkable 82% viewer rating; Iraq? Of...

A text message from Iran »

Newsweek"We will not take part in the funeral for freedom." A cell-phone text message circulated in Iran to protest against a clampdown on reformists in last weeks of parliamentary elections....

Avantouinti! »

I woke up this morning with a headache and decided I needed to get my circulation going. I told Marko and he suggested avantouinti. Hmmm... Marko took me to the Finnish Sauna Society sauna where we hung out in traditional smoke saunas for awhile with a bunch of naked Finnish men. The saunas were covered in soot from the way they prepare them using real wood fires. The experience was about as similar to saunas back home as eating real sushi in Japan is similar to eating California supermarket sushi. After we were thoroughly heated, we sauntered out to a...

I'm in Orkut jail »

I was making fun of Marc Canter because he kept on ending up in Orkut jail, but I got this message today when I tried to invite a friend into Orkut.OrkutTo keep orkut.com a trusted community, we have implemented an automated system that tries to identify members who may be abusing it. While your account is being reviewed, you will still be able to login, but the system will prevent you from performing any actions such as inviting friends or posting messages. If your account has been flagged by mistake, we're very sorry. Certain actions can trigger our alarm by...

Loic in Germany »

Loic's going to Germany and is trying to hook up with bloggers there. brought to you by #joiito meetupster...

grps roaming works... technically »

I spent last month so excited by my Nokia 6600. Land in a random city, flip open my PowerBook, click, "connect" and I was immediately online via bluetooth, gprs and my T-Mobile roaming. Internet everywhere. It was sooo cool... until I got my bill. $3500 for one month of mobile abandon. At $3500 / month, I would say that it works, "technically" but is totally unacceptable socially and economically. It's like having a PowerBook stolen from the carriers and being beaten over the head with the stupid stick. It reminds me of the "good old days" of x.25. What's the...

Python on the 6600 »

I just saw python running on the Nokia 6600. Soo cool. I can't wait to get my hands on it. You may have heard, but python is coming first, not perl. My next python script will be a bot from my phone....

TV wayback machine »

A cool site with TV clips from the 60's. via Markoff...

Echoing some echo chamber thoughts »

At risk of being labeled an echochamberist, I'm going to agree that danah has a good point in her post about echo chambers. (See David Weinberger's article for more background.) I think it is natural to communicate most with people whom you share context and I believe that if you separate strong ties and weak ties a la Granovetter's Strength of Weak Ties, there is definitely a lot of "strong tie" hang-out-with-your-friends action that goes on on blogs. I think that's natural. Most blogs are conversations between a small group of friends. It's clear that it's fun and easy to...

Off to Helsinki »

I'm off to Helsinki. See you on the other side. Thanks for all the sushi!...

Seven years in the search business »

Yesterday I visited Google Japan's offices then later had dinner with Yajima-san, the CEO of Digital Advertising Consortium (DAC). We talked a lot about the future of blogging as well as the good old days. Sato-san who was recruited by Google to get the Tokyo office going and Mr. Yajima both worked with me in the early days of getting Infoseek Japan going. We recruited Sato-san from Asatsu to startup Infoseek Japan inside of Digital Garage and Yajima-san was at Hakuhodo in charge of looking at the Internet advertising business. My company Digital Garage had just lost our offer to...

We are not an echo chamber! »

NO NO NO No No no no! We're not an echo chamber!...

Einstein on intellect and personality »

Albert Einstein'We should take care not to make the intellect our god; - it has, of course, powerful muscles, but no personality.' via JV...

Flashmob supercomputer »

A flashmob supercomputer. ;-)...

Jimmy Carter blogs Africa »

Jimmy Carter blogs Africa via Ross Mayfield...

Caring about the rest of the world »

As a child I travelled a lot, but mostly between US and Japan. I dealt with a lot of bicultural issues, but the rest of the world seemed far away. In the 90's I started going to Europe and Asia more, but it was always to "civilized" places. Several years ago, I became actively involved in trying to reform Japan and I was allowed to be quite vocal about this. Last year, I gave a rant at Davos about how broken Japanese democracy was. Afterwards, Ms. Ogata, the former UN High Commissioner for Refugees told me that I should stop...

Charging for vanity »

I was excited when I got my entry in the Internet Movie Database. I was thinking about how vain it was to be excited by this. It felt like being in some sort of elite Orkut. Just like Orkut, there was a "click here to add photo". *click* $35 - Submit a Person's Headshot or a Film's Poster Replace the "no headshot" or "no poster" icon on their main page with a headshot/poster or change the current headshot/poster to a new one. $10 - Submit a Gallery Photo for a Film or Person Add an image to your film's...

mozCC »

Larry showed me mozCC, a cool plugin for Mozilla based browsers that shows the Creative Commons license of a page on the browser window margin and also lets you examine the license in more detail. Can someone make this for IE and Safari?...

Help me find sites for the Webby Awards Community Category »

I'm a Nominating Judge in The Webby Awards Community Category. Help me out by suggesting cool community sites.Community: Sites creating and facilitating online community, connectedness and/or communication around shared interests. These sites can target either a broad-based or niche audience. Please use this web form to submit your suggestions to me....

NKzone needs citizen-reporters in Tokyo and Seoul »

NKzone, the North Korean blog needs citizen bloggers to cover the Life Funds for North Korean Refugees (LFNKR) in Tokyo on Feb 22 and two human rights events in Seoul on Feb 23. If you're available, please help us out....

Bloggers will be reporters tomorrow in Iran »

hoderBloggers will be reporters tomorrow in Iran I'm trying to encourage Iranian blogger to go out tomorrow, the election day, and report what they see and hear in their city and blog it. I also plan to gather all posts related to it in one place either in my own Persian blog or in Sobhaneh, the collective news blog. I also consider a place in iranFilter for those Iranian who know English to provide translations the reports that are gathered in Persian. This can be the 9/11 for Persian blogosphere. It's the first event that potentially engages every body in...

Back to Tokyo »

I'm at the San Francisco airport about to leave for Tokyo. See you on the other side. It's been fun hanging out in the US with everyone....

Yahoo Search »

I'm sure everyone's seen this by now, but Yahoo has just rolled out their own search engine. I wonder what this will mean for Google. It sure does look a lot like Google, which I guess is good....

How to get free iTunes from Pepsi with every bottle »

Boing BoingIf you tilt a sealed, new Pepsi bottle at 25 degrees and squint at the underside of the cap, you can tell whether it's a winning free-iTunes-track bottle or a try-again bottle. Link (via Futurismic)I guess this means the bloggers will be getting the music. ;-)...

mobloggin' aibo »

Phillip Torrone has programmed his aibo (robot dog) to moblog....

Welcome to my blog NYU Digital Journalism course »

Welcome to my blog NYU Digital Journalism course, Spring '04. ;-) via Radio Free Blogistan...

Anonymity on the Internet »

Seth says he wants to banish anonymous communications.Seth GodinVirus writers are always anonymous. Vicious political lies (with faked photoshop photos of political leaders, or false innuendo about personal lives) are always anonymous as well. Spam is anonymous. eBay fraudsters are anonymous too. It seems as though virtually all of the problems of the Net stem from this one flaw, and its one I’ve riffed on before. If we can eliminate anonymity online, we create a far more civil place.I disagree. Although most vicious attacks I have received have been anonymous, I still believe there is a role for anonymity and...

So Much for The Kerry Rumor? »

Statement from woman and parents about rumors linking her to Sen. John Kerry - The Associated Press, Monday, February 16, 2004 via Dan Gillmor...

Presidents’ Day lesson: the mayor’s duty »

Friends of mine who have been waiting for a long time were finally married as San Francisco allowed same-sex marriages. It was a day of joy. We drove by City Hall here and saw a huge line of people waiting to get married. This is a great thing. Dan Gillmor has sparked an interesting discussion about the legal ramifications of the Mayor's decision and Lawrence Lessig comments on this.Lawrence LessigPresidents’ Day lesson: the mayor’s duty The Mayor of San Francisco has decided that a state law is unconstitutional under the state constitution, and has therefore ordered city clerks to disobey...

Six Apart makes Fast Company 50 »

Six Apart makes Fast Company 50. Yay and congrats! My company Neoteny is an investor in Six Apart....

Social chaff »

I was talking to Peter yesterday about the risk of accidentally getting on weird lists or being profiled as a threat. Hanging out with, or communicating with the wrong people online or on the phone could land you on a list that might get you hassled at the airport or worse. They apparently used social network theory to find the person who would know where Saddam was. Similarly, I could see people using all sorts of social network theory to figure out who to wiretap or hassle. The thought was that if you hang out with enough people, you might...

asianmediawatch.net mobilizes against "Lost In Translation" »

asianmediawatch.net has started a campaign to petition the movie industry to vote against "Lost In Translation" for the Academy Awards. My sister blogs about the negative depictions of Japanese in "Lost in Translation". She links to a UK Guardian and New York Times article that point out similar issues with the movie. When I first saw the movie, I thought it was funny. After reading the articles and the asianmediawatch site and thinking about how much influence Hollywood has on the way the world views cultures, I can see their point....

Communities and echo chambers »

Shelly asks the question "What part of you, the writer, is part of a community? Where, within yourself, does community leave off and you begin?" and says, "But I guess we're accountable to each other, and that's the most dangerous censorship of all -- it's the censorship of the commons." This is an interesting question that Shelley has pointed out to me and I have been thinking about. In the comments on Shelley's blog, Doc ties it to the notion of the "echo chamber," the effect where we're all just talking to each other oblivious to the outside world. Many...

Photo blogging ETech »

I knew I would not be able to compete with the other bloggers in covering the content of ETech so I focused on photos. I've finally uploaded most of the decent photos here. I took the photos with my Canon 300D. I used a 55-200mm telephoto zoom lens which helped me be more invasive and catch people off-guard. It looks more like a collection of snapshots of my friends than anything resembling photojournalism. For some real photojournalism, take a look at the World Press Photo awards....

The power to offend »

This is not interesting unless you're tuned into the blogsphere sit-com so I'm posting my thoughts on my Live Journal....

Drudge Report on alleged Kerry infidelity »

Drudge Report: CAMPAIGN DRAMA ROCKS DEMOCRATS: KERRY FIGHTS OFF MEDIA PROBE OF RECENT ALLEGED INFIDELITY, RIVALS PREDICT RUIN Wow. via lovebot...

Orkut in action »

I finally met someone who went on dates with three people she met on Orkut. So far so good she reports.Orkut is supplying me with a life so, via orkut, I got comped into Etech, I got a meeting with VCs, 3 dates had, three arranged, and lots of people have walked up to me and said, "oh! hi!"...

Moblogging from the Nokia 6600 with Atom API »

Christian is "Mr. UI" of Nokia. He gave me this cool application yesterday. Christian LindholmPertti Korhonen, Nokia’s new CTO introduced PhotoBlog for Series 60 in his keynote at ETech in San Diego. This application proof-of-concept is supporting the Atom API enabling users to post to leading blog platforms. The application was developed by Futurice, who is developing a Photblog platform.This lets you post photos to your TypePad (or any other Atom API compliant) photo album directly from the phone without going through email....

Pecking at ETech? »

Jeremy ZawodnyRussell says: RussellInteresting conference - too bad I wasn't there to get a longer impression, but boy it seemed like there were some serious pecking orders there. And someone else I know there said this via IM last night: You are missing some good conferences this week here, although I have come to the conclusion that a lot of the bloggers are pretty pompous.I'm not sure what to make of that. Pecking orders? Pompous? It bothers me, I guess.That's odd. I haven't noticed pecking or being pecked. Pompous? Nothing more or less than I would expect. I wonder if...

Tribe to support FOAF and RSS »

I just heard from Paul Martino, the CTO and Founder of Tribe.net, that they were working on FOAF and RSS support for Tribe. Cool. There are going to be a lot of issues such as privacy, but I think that having companies like Tribe seriously working on FOAF will bring these issues front and center and make some of these theoretical discussions very concrete and productive....

Emergent blogging from Iran »

Yesterday, Jeff Jarvis introduced us to the Iranian blogger, Pedram Moallemian. Pedram blogs at the eyeranian. He is one of the outspoken Iranians who blogs in English and help us understand what's going on on the incredible number of Persian blogs. He explain that the Persian blogs can be traced to the short explanation written by Hoder at Hoder.com explaining how to use Blogger in Persian. There are now over 100,000 Persian blogs. Most of the blogs are about politics and sex as well as other things like poetry. The suppression of free speech in Iran is one of the...

What is a blog? »

Is this an interesting question? What's the difference between a journal, a diary and a blog?...

Technorati talk »

Sifry, "Blog this link." Cool Amazon hack. Dave whipped it together at 2am last night after a chat with John Battelle. The cosmos that shows the people who have just blogged the link is here. "Do you know about power laws? Well fuck it, I've got the data." An interesting point David made was that there are a huge number of blogs with 4 links....

Emergent Democracy Worldwide »

Ethan prepared some notes for our session which starts in 2.5 hours....

Porn Commons »

The Porn Commons - New York Times Via Mimi...

Photos from ETech »

Rob Kaye is promoting bluetooth this year... My ETech 2004 photo album (feel free to use any of the photos) I'll be uploading through the day....

ETech day 1 starts »

Arrived at ETech. Lots of people and not enough time to blog. The Internet in my room isn't working, but hopefully, they'll fix it today. Today is the Digital Democracy Teach-In. Should be fun. I'll try to post notes. A few one liners I scribbled in my notebook: "I wanted to be a revolutionary, but all I got was this stupid blog." "I'm not an academic, but I play one on my blog." UPDATE: from gapingvoid...

Leaving... »

I was going to write "hitting the road now, see you on the other side," but I realized that I'm going to be flying, not hitting the road, and I'll probably see you a few times along the way. Leaving on a trip is really not an important event anymore except that the likelihood that something bad is going to happen to you increases for a period of time. Anyway, for those of you who are going to ETech, see you you face to face soon....

Looking for examples for our Emergent Democracy Worldwide discussion »

Please help Ethan and I find some projects that might be examples we could use when talking about Emergent Democracy. Ethan describes more clearly what we are looking for....

Cats and dogs... »

I was playing with Bo all afternoon, thinking about what her blog would look like and was reminded of this funny comparison between cats and dogs. Thanks to Google, it was easy to find....

Australian Govt Tries To Make Face-Recognition Look Good »

Roger Clarke, one of my favorite privacy experts, rips apart the Australian Government's attempt to make their face recognition technology trial look good. Face recognition systems have not been found to work well and are very intrusive. Here's another attempt to make them look better than they are....

Busted in Tokyo for riding Segway »

Japan TodayFriday, February 6, 2004 at 14:00 JST TOKYO - Tokyo police sent papers to prosecutors Thursday on a businessman over use of the U.S.-made Segway scooter vehicle on a public road, an unusually strict move that marks the first time in Japan that police have taken action over people riding the two-wheeled novelty. The police allege that the 42-year-old president of an import company in the capital's Setagaya Ward violated the Road Traffic Law by having a person drive a Segway on a public road in July last year for advertising purposes.Last year I tried to get the government...

Why the rover failed... »

In case you were wondering why the rover failed... movie via Markoff...

Eisbrecher including 2 blank CD-Rs with new album »

EisbrecherTwo blanks against the trend! The band has decided to make a statement for its fans and for music consumers in general and is releasing the album including a bonus DVD with 2 blank CD-Rs which have the same label as the CD itself. Alexx Wesselsky (singer and head of the group): "We are of the opinion that the music buyers are criminalized enough and have been made responsible for the wretched state in the music industry. We are giving them the chance to make 2 legal copies for private use with 'official blanks'. It can't always be that the...

Pepsi / Apple Superbowl Parody »

A great parody of the Pepsi / Apple Superbowl commercial. (Thanks RS!) You can see the original Pepsi / iTunes ad here. (Thanks Shawn!) It's also on the Apple site. I guess, as Boris says, it's not so much a parody as what they really wanted to say, but couldn't. Those kids probably got paid more to do the ad than they paid the RIAA. The RIAA is getting so stupid that it's getting cool to make fun of them. Sounds like the beginning of the end when your business involves being cool. Don't forget to check out whatacrappypresent.com...

Rebecca launches a blog about North Korea »

Rebecca, from CNN, who is now at Harvard on sabattical, has just launched a new blog about North Korea. It's an cool experiment in blogging/journalism by someone who has a lot of on-the-ground experience covering difficult topics like this.This is an experiment in interactive, participatory journalism. And in the new age of internet web-blogging, we are ALL journalists. NKzone is NOT a conventional news or information website. Our members will build NKzone collectively with unique, personal, and (whenever possible) first-hand insights about the world's most mysterious country. Please approach this site not as a "viewer" or "reader", but as a "participant"...

DFA continues to move on »

Jim Moore blogs about the lessons that DeanforAmerica has learned and how it continues to evolve. He gives the example of MoveOn.org which started as a movement to "move on" from the Clinton impeachment, then broadened its mission to counter the selling of the Iraq war, and now is purchasing ads to get Americans to think. Obviously, Jim and everyone at DFA is still hoping for a Howard Dean victory, but Jim also muses about the idea of DFA continuing to gain momentum and power.Jim MooreDFA's role in American politics DeanforAmerica will have powerful mission in American politics.  DFA will...

Rational ignorance »

LagoRational Ignorance Academic life is ruining the internet for me. An example: Today I read Joi Ito’s wandering entry on money, economics, and physics, and the first thing I thought of doing was to post a bibliography of all of the reading that should have been done before that post was made. And then I realized that posting such a bibliography is the equivalent of shouting at the television. It doesn’t matter what I say about it. The TV (and the internet) can’t really hear me.Lago reacts to an interesting point that I in fact pondered yesterday before posting my...

Lunch, the universe and everything with Seth Lloyd »

John Brockman, literary agent extraordinaire and editor/publisher of Edge introduced me to Seth Lloyd via good old fashioned email. I had lunch with Seth today. Seth is known for his seminal works in the area of quantum computing and is visiting Japan for a year. We talked a bit about Japan, but I jumped at the opportunity to talk to him about some of the loftier things that are puzzling me these days. My first love was physics, but I dropped out when college physics turned out to be more about math than the art of physics. I'm now a...

Wireless Future, Austin, March 13-16 »

I'll be in Austin, Texas in March (13-16) for a conference called Wireless Future, actually a "mini-conference" that's part of South by Southwest Interactive. I think I'm on two panels. According to Jon Lebkowsky, who's one of the organizers, the conference focuses on developers, entrepreneurs, and creative thinkers who're interested in wireless technology and mobility. The program includes major presentations by Howard Rheingold (the keynote, called "Mobile Communication, Pervasive Computing, and Collective Action") and Kevin Werbach (the opening presentation, called "The Open Spectrum Revolution"). Other presenters include Cory Doctorow, Dewayne Henricks, David Weinberger, David Isenberg, Dave Hughes, and Justin Hall....

Ethan Zuckerman begins Emergent Democracy Worldwide discussion »

Ethan and I will be leading a discussion called Emergent Democracy Worldwide at the Digital Democracy Teach-In in San Diego on February 9. Ethan has posted a critique of Jim Moore's Second Superpower and my Emergent Democracy paper. He asks some important questions. One of the questions, which gets developed more in the comments is what made Salam Pax successful? One of the most difficult things that the we face is getting people to care about people in developing nations. Somehow, Salam Pax was able to get Americans to read his blog and get them to care in a way...

Thursday, April 1 - Keynote speech at MILIA in Cannes »

I'll be giving a plenary keynote at MILIA in Cannes, France on Thursday, April 1 at 9:30 AM. The title of the talk will be "Mobile Lifestyles" but, I'll build on the presentation at I gave at the Sony Open Forum and add some stuff about mobility. I'll be in Canne from March 31-April 3. If you're going to MILIA this year, let me know. Wiki page of talking notes. Please make suggestions here....

Dvorak on Sir William of Redmond »

I've been hanging out with knights lately and had been thinking about British knights vs honorary knights and how strange the idea of American knights was. Just when I was pondering the weirdness of Bill Gates becoming a knight, Dvorak rants....

Gapminder »

Gapminder is a truly amazing site of visualizations of stunning facts and statistics. Thanks for the link David!...

Is my obsession a feature or a bug? »

A: How many people with ADD does it take to change a light-bulb? B: I don't know? How many? A: Want to go to the movies? Since I quit drinking, I've been doing a lot of talking and reading about addiction and the psychology of obsession. One path of inquiry lead me to the notion that obsessive compulsive disorder was often behind addictive behavior and that replacing one type of obsessive behavior with another wasn't a "cure" for the "disease". They seem to have a name for just about every kind of behavior, and interestingly enough, a medical "cure" for...

Our ETech logistics »

I received a request to help figure out a way to organize people hooking up at ETech. I set up a wiki page for that. I've posted my schedule. Feel free to add your stuff and post things. I guess we could have used to ETech Wiki, but I wasn't sure what was appropriate behavior there. If there is already such a page set up, let me know and I will refactor. In particular, I'd like to know how the participant session date/times are supposed to be decided. Does anyone know? Also, people planning parties, please post them on the...

WDFA - Radio Dean for America »

WDFA - Radio Dean for America Lots of stuff going on at the Dean campaign, but the Net team just keeps chugging along. Zack has been working on the idea of "happenings" for the Dean Campaign, combining chat and Internet radio. They just did the first trial run and it was great. Anyone who has any thoughts or ideas, please contact Zack directly. Zack is uberzacker on AIM and his email is zrosen at deanforamerica dot com....

Identity and justice »

As a former student, I sure wish I had had RateMyTeachers.com (via Seb) when I was in school. I would have had a lot to say and I would have felt justified. Maybe I wouldn't have had to start our underground newspaper. On the other hand, I can see how this might be abused. There are some thoughtful comments from many people about the "Adopt A Reporter" idea over on PressThink. This is not a new issue, but an old issue that continues to accelerate. As Loic points out, blogging helps you manage your own identity instead of leaving it...

Our ETech panel »

I will be moderating a panel at ETech at 2:45pm on Feb 10 called "Untethering the Social Network or What Happens to Social Networks in the Untethered Wilds?" The panelists are danah, Scott, Mimi and Howard. It should be one of the less geeky panels at this geek-a-thon. And yes... Mimi is my sister and Scott is my brother-in-law. This is what happens when you talk about work at home too much. This is the first time my sister and I will be on a panel together....

JoiTravel »

I just updated the JoiTravel page on the wiki. As you can see, I continue to burn a lot of jet fuel and I apologize for that. Also, apologizes in advance to people I will be missing along the way. Feel free to add to the wiki if we're crossing paths, particularly in Tokyo....

ecto 1.0 released »

Version 1.0 of ecto, the blogging client for Mac OS X has just been released. It was written by Adriaan Tijsseling who works for me. What "version 1.0" means is that you can now pay real money for it. PS In case you were wondering, this is a shameless plug....

Orkut - Reverend AKMA likes it »

The "hot" Reverend AKMA says about Orkut, "That’s the way, uh-huh uh-huh, I like it."...
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