Joi Ito's conversation with the living web.

May 2004 Archives

Sudan »

Passion of the present is covering the genocide in Sudan. See Jim's blog for more information on how you can help googlebomb to stop genocide....

Garbage day in the village »

May 30, or 530. 5 3 can be read "gomi" in Japanese which means garbage. So what does May 30 mean in our village? Garbage 0 day. This morning, I participated with most of the village in picking up trash and junk around the village. Along one of the roads, there was an area that was clearly being used as an illegal garbage dump by many people. There were mufflers, car batteries, toilets, beds, bicycles and even a car dumped there. We spent the morning hoisting this junk out of the mud and carrying it in trucks to a...

Hearing conservation and earphones »

Today I met the founder and president of Sensaphonics, Michael Santucci. He is a hearing conservation expert and audiologist. He is one of the few audiologists who work with the music industry. The relationship is interesting. Hearing conservation is about protecting your ears from continued exposure to loud sounds in order to preserve your hearing. He told us that baby boomers have a higher rate of hearing loss than senior citizens, probably because of devices such as portable music devices. He shows us pictures of a healthy inner ear and a damaged inner ear and had the same effect on...

Chopping pinkies and swords grips »

I recently started Kendo and had a sore left pinkie after my first practice. The proper grip of a Japanese sword relies on a grip focused on the pinkie of the left hand. Today, I learned that the tradition of chopping the left pinkie as punishment for disgrace was based on this fact. Without a left pinkie, it's quite difficult to grip a Japanese sword. In the May 15 incident the Prime Minister of Japan, Tsuyoshi Inukai was assassinated by eleven young Naval Officers. After the court martial, eleven severed fingers were sent to the court house. Today, the...

Meeting up in the UK June 6? »

Planning on arriving in the UK on June 6th. Anyone want to get together in the evening? I've set up a wiki page to plan this....

Creative Commons 2.0 »

After considering a lot of the feedback and statistics from the original Creative Commons licenses, we (I personally was only a small part of this) have launched the 2.0 licenses which I think make them easier to use and easier to understand. Congratulations and thanks to the team for all the work and an excellent step forward. The details are on the Creative Commons page. I have changed the license for this blog from the 1.0 Attribution, Noncommercial, Share Alike license to the 2.0 Attribution license....

Something for Nothing: The Free Culture AudioBook Project »

Suw has a nice essay describing Lessig's Free Culture and the audio book project that emerged from that. It describes the whole process and really helps show Free Culture in action. It's a longish post, but worth reading, even for those with short attention spans. Her 15 word summary of this essay is:SuwFor the terminally short of attention out there, here's my Free Culture audiobook essay in 15 words: Lessig++ RIAA-- Free culture = more creativity New publishing models Download, read, buy = sales up Discuss!...

"Targeted" ads on CNN terror warning story »

The CNN "Transcript: Ashcroft, Mueller news conference" story has travel ads from Overture. "Targeted" advertising at its best. via redheadatwork UPDATE: Hmm... Seems the travel ads are gone now. ;-)...

RTMark reports false arrest of artist by FBI who mistakes art for bioterrorism »

RTMarkFBI ABDUCTS ARTIST, SEIZES ART Feds Unable to Distinguish Art from Bioterrorism Grieving Artist Denied Access to Deceased Wife's Body DEFENSE FUND ESTABLISHED - HELP URGENTLY NEEDED Steve Kurtz was already suffering from one tragedy when he called 911 early in the morning to tell them his wife had suffered a cardiac arrest and died in her sleep.  The police arrived and, cranked up on the rhetoric of the "War on Terror," decided Kurtz's art supplies were actually bioterrorism weapons. Thus began an Orwellian stream of events in which FBI agents abducted Kurtz without charges, sealed off his entire...

Woman racing through Chernobyl a fraud? »

I blogged about a woman taking a motorcycle through Chernobyl and her web page. It looks like it was a fraud.Neil GaimanA fraud exposed, and a true thing... Found this on the infiltrate.org forum - thought you might find it interesting. You'd wonder why somebody would go to the lengths to fake something like this. deeChornobyl "Ghost Town" story is a fabrication TOP e-POSHTA subscriber Mary Mycio writes: I am based in Kyiv and writing a book about Chornobyl for the Joseph Henry Press. Several sources have sent me links to the "Ghost Town" photo essay included in the last...

Weblogs and Authority »

OverstatedWeblogs and Authority This week I'll be presenting a paper at the International Communication Association Conference in New Orleans titled Audience, Structure and Authority in the Weblog Community. The paper is an analysis of two different metrics for measuring authority within weblogs: * Blogroll: A link from one weblog to the top-level of another, (e.g., links to http://overstated.net, http://www.overstated.net or http://overstated.net/index.asp). I assume this is a proxy to popularity. * Permalink: Any link from one weblog to deep content on another (e.g. a link to http://overstated.net/04/05/24-weblogs-and-authority.asp). I assume this is a proxy to influence. The following table shows the top...

freekaneko.com »

About freekaneko.comthis web site 'freekaneko.com' was created by official Isamu Kaneko supporters. We are consisted by software engineers who deeply concern our freedom to create and research software. We are conducting a publicity, and fund raising. We need a lot of attention from the people of the world. You can help us by telling the issue to your family, friends, and co-workers. Also, translation volunteers (and English proof readers) are needed to let the people know this issue. Freekaneko.com marked a million hit only a day after an opening. Also, we raised 10 million yen ($100,000) in 2weeksIsamu Kaneko is...

Rumsfeld bans camera phones in Iraq »

News24.comRumsfeld bans phone cameras London - Cellphones fitted with digital cameras have been banned in US army installations in Iraq on orders from Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, The Business newspaper reported on Sunday. Quoting a Pentagon source, the paper said the US defence department believes that some of the damning photos of US soldiers abusing Iraqis at Abu Ghraib prison near Baghdad were taken with camera phones. "Digital cameras, camcorders and cellphones with cameras have been prohibited in military compounds in Iraq," it said, adding that a "total ban throughout the US military" is in the works. via Smartmobs The...

Off to Helsinki »

Last minute change in plans and I'm off to Helsinki for two days... too much travel......

Creative Commons presentation in Helsinki on May 24 »

Lawrence Lessig will be giving a public Creative Commons presentation in Helsinki. It will be at Korjaamo organized by Aula. It will from 5:30PM on May 24. It's open to the public and will be in English. Details are on the Aula web page. I'm leaving for Helsinki tomorrow and will be there....

Bill Gates talks about blogging »

ReutersMicrosoft's Gates Touts Blogging as Business Tool Gates described to his audience, which included Warren Buffett, Jeff Bezos, Michael Dell, Carly Fiorina, Barry Diller and other top business executives, how blogs worked and suggested that they could be used as a tool for businesses to communicate with customers. [...] Microsoft, which has already amassed more than 700 employee bloggers talking up its products and software in development, is embracing blogs and RSS technology because they are yet another potential threat and opportunity, said Joe Wilcox, analyst at Jupiter Research. [...] Instead of RSS, however, Google is also promoting a rival...

Anil takes responsibility for MT 3 mess and moves to SF »

Anil DashTo use the requisite automotive analogy, if Six Apart were a shiny new car, I feel like I was the person who put the first dent in it, and then a couple thousand people stood around pointing and saying "It's totalled!"It's been a hard week for everyone at Six Apart with the difficulty with the launch of the Movable Type 3 and the licensing and communications about this. Anil seems to feel quite responsible. It sounds a bit like Rummy getting set up to be the fall guy, but fine. It was Anil's fault. ;-) Having said that, I...

Email problems »

I've been having email problems and have been missing email the last few weeks. I'm pretty sure I'm caught up on my email so if I haven't responded to an email you've sent, can you try sending it again? Sorry about this!...

Technorati Meetup in Tokyo May 27 »

Dave Sifry, the CEO of Technorati is coming to Tokyo next week. We're having a meeting for users and developers. Dave and I will speak and Dave will give some cool demos etc. If you are a Technorati fan, want to know more about Technorati or just want to hang out with Dave, please sign up and come. We will be charging 2000 per person for simple drinks and snacks. There will be wifi. The details are below: 5/27 Thursday, 18:00-21:00 18:00-19:00 Demo, Talk & Discussion 19:00-21:00 Reception with drinks & light snacks Place, Tokyo 21c Club, 7th Fl of...

What should I do between June 4 and June 10? »

As you can see, I have to be in Naples on June 4 and Helsinki on June 10. It's kind of a waste to fly back to Japan and turn around and fly back to Europe again. Is there anything interesting going on, or can we make something interesting happen in Europe between June 4 and June 10? I've started a wiki page to think about what to do between the 4th and the 10th. If you have any ideas, let me know. Thanks!...

Panel in Helsinki June 10 »

I will be on a panel at a conference in Helsinki on June 10. It is the Annual Meeting of the International Network of Private Business Organizations - COMPETITIVENESS THROUGH CREATIVITY. I will be representing the Keizai Doyukai (The Japan Association of Corporate Executives) and will be speaking about "Creativity and Innovation - Rare Virtue or New Standard?". I'm not sure who they're inviting to participate, but if you're going, please let me know....

Speaking at Weblog Conference in Naples June 4 »

I will be speaking at a Conference in Naples on June 4. The conference is called: Culture Digitali: I WEBLOG E LA NUOVA SFERA PUBBLICA, or Weblogs and New Public Opinion. The Conference has a blog and here is the entry with the program. The conference registration is not yet open, but I will blog about it when it opens. Some of us are thinking about getting together for lunch on June 5. If you want to hang out with us, please fill out this form. Look forward to meeting everyone....

Lamborghini police car in Italy »

italiaspeed13.05.2004 Lamborghini have donated one of their Gallardo sportscars, complete with siren & flashing lights, to the State Police on the occasion of their 152nd anniversary For the first time, Italian State Police (Polizia di Stato) will use a Lamborghini Gallardo Police Car. The supercar, in State Police colours, with a siren and flashing lights on the roof, has been donated by the House of Sant’Agata Bolognese to the State Police on the occasion of its 152nd anniversary, held in the customary setting of the Piazza del Popolo in Rome on the 14th, 15th and 16th May 2004. The Gallardo...

Rubik's cube solver done in Lego »

CubeSolverThis robot solves the 3x3x3 Rubik's Cube®. I started to think about this problem in about August of 2000. In Jan 2001 fellow Mindstorms forums user 'agiecco' announced his intention to work on a robotic solution and, simultaneously, I saw that Rubik's Cubes were on sale at www.target.com. So I bought a couple of cubes and started getting down to business... I produced a 'late beta' version in mid-April 2001 that was a little clunky. The final version (presented here) is smooth and fairly reliable.Amazing. via Brian...

We, the Media by Dan Gillmor »

Just finished reading the Galley Proof of We, the Media: Grassroots Journalism by the People, for the People by Dan Gillmor. O'Reilly is the publisher and it should be coming out mid-July. The book will be published under a Creative Commons license and you will be able to download it free for non-commercial use. Dan is one of the few professional journalists that really understands the impact of blogs and other new technologies on journalism. It's amazing how many professional journalists I know pooh pooh blogs and keep on chugging like nothing is changing. We, the Media is a excellent...

Report: "Rumsfeld and Rice Approved; Bush Knew" »

Lauren WeinsteinReport: "Rumsfeld and Rice Approved; Bush Knew" Greetings. Seymour Hersh of The New Yorker, who exposed so many aspects of the Iraqi prisoner abuse story, now reports that U.S. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and national security advisor Condoleezza Rice secretly approved the expansion of a clandestine program that encouraged physical coercion, sexual humiliation, and blackmail of Iraqi prisoners, setting the stage for the abuses that these same officials have recently been condemning so publicly. According to the report, President Bush was kept informed regarding this program. The Department of Defense called the accusations in the story "outlandish, conspiratorial, and...

Mena answers some questions about MT 3.0 »

Most people are aware that Six Apart got a lot of feedback on the release of Movable Type 3.0 and there was a bit of confusion as well. Mena has a good post that addresses many of the issues people have been asking about....

Full Red Cross Report »

I'm sure most people have seen it, but the full Red Cross report on Iraqi Prisoner Abuse is online on Cryptome. Red Cross Report on Iraqi Prisoner Abuse...

p-p-p-powerbook! »

Another funny example of scamming a scammer. This time on eBay. (PDF file of the scam | Web Site) via user0 UPDATE: The links above seem to be blocked now. Maybe they got too much traffic. I'm uploading the PDF here....

Off to Tokyo »

I'm off to Tokyo today. See you later Switzerland and thanks for all the cheese!...

etoy uses 2D barcodes at etoy.DAY-CARE »

"etoy.DAYCARE is operating. A first group has been graduating from our camp in Amsterdam." - etoy.TALKUnique use of 2D barcodes by etoy. Using them to match parents with their kids at etoy.DAY-CARE in Amsterdam. etoy is an art group that won the Golden Nica in the net category at Ars Electronica in 1996....

La Claustra »

Our host Jean OdermattAs usual the etoy.AGENTS arranged an interesting excursion this year. This year, we tried to go to La Claustra in Andermatt. (Check out the video on their site. It's the last link on the left.) Unfortunately, there was 8 meters of snow at La Claustra with avalanche warnings so we couldn't go. We stayed at a nice chalet in Andermatt instead. La Claustra is this amazing project that Jean Odermatt just completed. He purchased an old Swiss Army base built into the mountains of Gotthard. Inside of these caves, he built an extremely modern hotel and meeting...

ISC Pre-conference session with Martin »

I'm here in Switzerland at the University of St. Gallen ISC-Symposium again. I spoke at a leadership session last year about Emergent Democracy, but felt I didn't get the most out of the conference because I didn't get a chance to get to know the students who were attending, which is why I came. The 200 or so students attending this conference are chosen from hundreds of paper submissions from all over the world and they are an diverse and interesting group. In the addition to the students, there are a lot of government and business big-shots, but I get...

Dodgeballed awake »

I woke up at 7:30AM when my phone beeped with an incoming SMS. It was a message telling me that Min had just checked in. I forgot to turn off dodgeball and the SMS was telling me where Min was in SF and that she had checked in. Now I know why they call it "dodgeball". ;-p For those who haven't tried it yet, dodgeball is a cool new service that is a location based SNS that lets you "check in" and it sends a SMS to your friends to tell them where you are. But it's not very useful...

Those Sexy Iranians »

photo from Hoder's photo blogThe New York TimesThose Sexy Iranians ...True, girls and women can still be imprisoned for going out without proper Islamic dress. But young people are completely redefining such dress so it heightens sex appeal instead of smothering it. Women are required to cover their hair and to wear either a chador cloak or an overcoat, called a manteau, every time they go out, and these are meant to be black and shapeless. But the latest fashion here in Shiraz, in central Iran, is light, tight and sensual. "There are some manteaus with slits on the sides...

Government trying to use hostage crisis to squash NGO's in Japan »

The Japan TimesKidnap crisis poses a new risk In Japan's case, laws are being proposed to punish those entering designated "danger zones" without an official reason. Victims -- or their families -- will foot the bill for their rescue, which will amount to airfare, if not more. "This is standard practice for mountain rescues," one line of reasoning goes. But consider two things: One is that an aid mission to a danger zone is not a forest stroll gone astray. The very comparison indicates a misunderstanding of what aid missions do. The second is policy overstretch and political abuse. This...

Off to Switzerland »

Off to Switzerland in a few minutes. See you on the other side. Going to St. Gallen....

Developer of Japanese P2P system arrested »

Today, an associate professor at the most prestigious university in Japan, Tokyo University was arrested today for developing a tool that enables piracy. The program is a P2P system cally Winny. Previously two of the users had been arrested. I got a call from Asahi Shimbun (Japanese newspaper) today asking me for a comment for the morning news tomorrow. I hope the print it. I think it's an absolute disgrace to Japan. While the US is fighting in congress, Hollywood pushing to ban P2P and Boucher et al are fighting for DMCRA, Japanese police go and arrest someone developing P2P...

Halliburton Pulling the Plug on GI Communications »

Kathryn CramerHalliburton Pulling the Plug on GI Communications A week after a scandal broke involving photos of American troops torturing Iraqi prisoners, Halliburton subsidiary Kellogg, Brown, & Root is pulling the plug on private electronic communications with the folks back home, apparently at the request of the Department of Defense.via Jim Oh right! If it weren't for that pesky Internet... I haven't seen this in mainstream media so I may be jumping the gun. Anyone who finds any other information about this, please let me know so I can update....

DMCRA Congressional hearing scheduled »

Congressional Hearing Called on Fair Use; 321 Studios President Asked to Testify Now Is the Time for Consumers to Effect Change Through www.protectfairuse.org WASHINGTON, April 30 /PRNewswire/ -- A Congressional Hearing for H.R. 107, the Digital Media Consumers' Rights Act (DMCRA), has been set for Wednesday, May 12, at 10:00 AM Eastern. The DMCRA has been acknowledged and endorsed by major industry players like Intel Corp., Philips Consumer Electronics, Sun Microsystems, Bell South, Verizon, SBC, Qwest, Gateway, and the Consumer Electronics Association, among others, as a necessary balancing mechanism to restore consumers' fair use rights in the digital era. The...

Orientalism by Edward W. Said »

Just finished reading the famous introduction to Orientalism by Edward Said. Said was a professor of comparative literature at Columbia University and was a well known Palestinian scholar who died in September of last year. Orientalism was written in 1978, but probably continues to become more relevant.Basically, he argues that the whole notion of the "Orient" or "Orientalism" is a body of culture, academic work and politics that tries to identify the East as "them" in terms that have evolved through Western imperialism. He makes the point that even work that doesn't appear immediately political had political impact and was part of the larger process of the development of Orientalism. Reading it brings back memories of Trader Vic's and pictures from British Museum exhibits of "Headpiece from dead savage."He points out some important issues which ties into the racism as stereotype discussion we had about Lost In Translation. The simplistic stereotypes and the images of the the East leads to a kind of fascination with the Orient, but also creates a false sense of understanding and fake academics upon which many ignorant, racist and imperialistic political decisions are made.A version of the introduction is available on The Guardian Unlimited Books web site so I'll give you a few quotes from there.Edward W. Said...Orientalism is very much a book tied to the tumultuous dynamics of contemporary history. Its first page opens with a description of the Lebanese civil war that ended in 1990, but the violence and the ugly shedding of human blood continues up to this minute. We have had the failure of the Oslo peace process, the outbreak of the second intifada, and the awful suffering of the Palestinians on the reinvaded West Bank and Gaza. The suicide bombing phenomenon has appeared with all its hideous damage, none more lurid and apocalyptic of course than the events of September 11 2001 and their aftermath in the wars against Afghanistan and Iraq. As I write these lines, the illegal occupation of Iraq by Britain and the United States proceeds. Its aftermath is truly awful to contemplate. This is all part of what is supposed to be a clash of civilisations, unending, implacable, irremediable. Nevertheless, I think not.I wish I could say that general understanding of the Middle East, the Arabs and Islam in the US has improved, but alas, it really hasn't. For all kinds of reasons, the situation in Europe seems to be considerably better. What American leaders and their intellectual lackeys seem incapable of understanding is that history cannot be swept clean like a blackboard, so that "we" might inscribe our own future there and impose our own forms of life for these lesser people to follow. It is quite common to hear high officials in Washington and elsewhere speak of changing the map of the Middle East, as if ancient societies and myriad peoples can be shaken up like so many peanuts in a jar. But this has often happened with the "orient", that semi-mythical construct which since Napoleon's invasion of Egypt in the late 18th century has been made and remade countless times. In the process the uncountable sediments of history, a dizzying variety of peoples, languages, experiences, and cultures, are swept aside or ignored, relegated to the sandheap along with the treasures ground into meaningless fragments that were taken out of Baghdad.[...]The major influences on George W Bush's Pentagon and National Security Council were men such as Bernard Lewis and Fouad Ajami, experts on the Arab and Islamic world who helped the American hawks to think about such preposterous phenomena as the Arab mind and the centuries-old Islamic decline which only American power could reverse. Today bookstores in the US are filled with shabby screeds bearing screaming headlines about Islam and terror, the Arab threat and the Muslim menace, all of them written by political polemicists pretending to knowledge imparted by experts who have supposedly penetrated to the heart of these strange oriental peoples. CNN and Fox, plus myriad evangelical and rightwing radio hosts, innumerable tabloids and even middle-brow journals, have recycled the same unverifiable fictions and vast generalisations so as to stir up "America" against the foreign devil.[...]Think of the line that starts with Napoleon, continues with the rise of oriental studies and the takeover of North Africa, and goes on in similar undertakings in Vietnam, in Egypt, in Palestine and, during the entire 20th century, in the struggle over oil and strategic control in the Gulf, in Iraq, Syria, Palestine, and Afghanistan. Then think of the rise of anti-colonial nationalism, through the short period of liberal independence, the era of military coups, of insurgency, civil war, religious fanaticism, irrational struggle and uncompromising brutality against the latest bunch of "natives". Each of these phases and eras produces its own distorted knowledge of the other, each its own reductive images, its own disputatious polemics.My idea in Orientalism was to use humanistic critique to open up the fields of struggle, to introduce a longer sequence of thought and analysis to replace the short bursts of polemical, thought-stopping fury that so imprison us. I have called what I try to do "humanism", a word I continue to use stubbornly despite the scornful dismissal of the term by sophisticated postmodern critics. By humanism I mean first of all attempting to dissolve Blake's "mind-forg'd manacles" so as to be able to use one's mind historically and rationally for the purposes of reflective understanding. Moreover humanism is sustained by a sense of community with other interpreters and other societies and periods: strictly speaking therefore, there is no such thing as an isolated humanist.[...]Speaking both as an American and as an Arab I must ask my reader not to underestimate the kind of simplified view of the world that a relative handful of Pentagon civilian elites have formulated for US policy in the entire Arab and Islamic worlds, a view in which terror, pre-emptive war, and unilateral regime change - backed up by the most bloated military budget in history - are the main ideas debated endlessly and impoverishingly by a media that assigns itself the role of producing so-called "experts" who validate the government's general line. Reflection, debate, rational argument and moral principle based on a secular notion that human beings must create their own history have been replaced by abstract ideas that celebrate American or western exceptionalism, denigrate the relevance of context, and regard other cultures with contempt.[...]The terrible conflicts that herd people under falsely unifying rubrics such as "America," "the west" or "Islam" and invent collective identities for large numbers of individuals who are actually quite diverse, cannot remain as potent as they are, and must be opposed. We still have at our disposal the rational interpretive skills that are the legacy of humanistic education, not as a sentimental piety enjoining us to return to traditional values or the classics but as the active practice of worldly secular rational discourse. The secular world is the world of history as made by human beings. Critical thought does not submit to commands to join in the ranks marching against one or another approved enemy. Rather than the manufactured clash of civilisations, we need to concentrate on the slow working together of cultures that overlap, borrow from each other, and live together. But for that kind of wider perception we need time, patient and sceptical inquiry, supported by faith in communities of interpretation that are difficult to sustain in a world demanding instant action and reaction.Humanism is centred upon the agency of human individuality and subjective intuition, rather than on received ideas and authority. Texts have to be read as texts that were produced and live on in all sorts of what I have called worldly ways. But this by no means excludes power, since on the contrary I have tried to show the insinuations, the imbrications of power into even the most recondite of studies. And lastly, most important, humanism is the only, and I would go as far as to say the final resistance we have against the inhuman practices and injustices that disfigure human history.I just picked out some paragraphs there were particularly interesting to me, but the whole thing is really interesting so I suggest you read the intro in its entirety.

Louisiana to ban saggy, butt-crack-exposing pants »

Louisiana to ban saggy, butt-crack-exposing pants via Boing Boing. This is really funny because many years ago I had the honor of being with the mayor of New Orleans during Mardi Gras. I distinctly remember the mayor talking about his new "moon pants". They were pants that you could easily zip down the back of and moon people from the balcony. I guess he can't wear them anymore......

Soldiers moblogging from the frontlines »

James Hong of Hot or Not and Yarfo has a page of links to moblogging from soldiers on the front line in Iraq on Yarfo. via Greg...

EU planning to pass stupid software patent law without discussion »

ffiiEU Council Plans to Scrap Parliamentary Vote without Discussion 2004/05/07 For immediate Release The EU Council of Ministers is demonstrating that the concept of democracy is alien to the EU. This Wednesday, the Irish Presidency managed to secure a qualified majority for a counter-proposal to the software patents directive, with only a few countries - including Belgium and Germany - showing resistance. The new text proposes to discard all the amendments from the European which would limite patentability. Instead the lax language of the original Commission proposal is to be reinstated in its entirety, with direct patentability of computer programs,...

Damn you Japanese politicians! »

AP, Reuters, NYTScandal drives out Koizumi aide Fukuda, 67, the son of a prime minister, had been widely regarded as a conservative pillar in a government dominated by Koizumi's freewheeling style. His resignation highlighted the damaging disclosure over the past two weeks that a third of the cabinet members have failed to pay their pension premiums - just as the government is trying to pass a bill that would increase most citizens' premiums and reduce retirees' benefits.I rarely say "fuck" on my blog, but "Fuck you Japanese politicians!" (Lucky the FCC doesn't control my blog... yet.) I've paid about 1/2...

N Korea's Kim criticized at home for apology to Japan »

Japan TodayN Korea's Kim criticized at home for apology to Japan Friday, May 7, 2004 at 04:00 JST WASHINGTON — North Korean military hardliners have been critical of leader Kim Jong Il for apologizing to Japan for the abduction of Japanese nationals, a U.S. expert who visited North Korea in April said. This makes it difficult for the North Korean leader to make a decision to break the impasse over the abduction issue with Japan, said Selig Harrison, Asian project director at the Washington-based Center for International Policy. He said the hardliners were angry because they think North Korea should...

Pakistani council aproves rape to avenge honour »

MetafilterPakistani council aproves rape to avenge honour. "A village council in Pakistan permitted a landlord to rape the sister and sister-in-law of a man he accused of an illicit relationship with his daughter, police said Thursday. (...) The council members, all of them landlords themselves, ruled that Ghaffar, who uses only one name, could avenge his honour by having sex with the farmer's daughter, who is 16, and daughter-in-law, who is 22." (BBC version here). "An estimated 80 percent of women prisoners in Pakistan are in jail because they failed to prove rape charges".This is totally disgusting. Is my blog...

TypePad Spain online »

Welcome on board TypePad Spain!...

Geek Dreams »

Boing BoingDo IT workers dream of electric sheep? This hilarious site compiles the nightmares and dreams of coders.IT dreamsOne of the scariest nightmares I've had in the past decade or so was about me being stuck in a Nethack dungeon. Everything was green on black (I'd been playing on a Facit VT100-clone) and in 7-bit ASCII. I distinctly remember being chased by a lower-case x, scared out of my wits and at the same time feeling ashamed of being such a wimp that a mere grid bug was a threat.I have a lot of weird dreams. Sometimes I'm a contract...

Some people don't think US soldiers did anything wrong in Abu Ghraib »

The Daily TelegraphGood ol' girl who enjoyed cruelty By SHARON CHURCHER in Fort Ashby May 7, 2004 POINTING crudely at the genitals of a naked, hooded Iraqi, the petite brunette with a cigarette hanging from her lips epitomised America's shame over revelations US soldiers routinely tortured inmates at Abu Ghraib jail near Baghdad. Lynndie England, 21, a rail worker's daughter, comes from a trailer park in Fort Ashby, West Virginia, which locals proudly call "a backwoods world". She faces a court martial, but at home she is toasted as a hero. At the dingy Corner Club Saloon they think...

American's accused to have participated in the killing of thousands of Afghan POW's »

Canadian Broadcast CorporationConvoy of Death There’s only one war on our television screens now – that other war, the one from just a year ago, has been forgotten – but not by everyone. In Afghanistan, filmmaker Jamie Doran has uncovered evidence of a massacre: Taliban prisoners of war suffocated in containers, shot in the desert under the watch of American troops. After screening the videotape last fall, the European Parliament called for an investigation. The United Nations has authorized an official investigation into the film’s allegations, but only if the security of its members can be guaranteed. And security is...

NYT says IRC is evil »

The New York Times has an article about how evil IRC is.New York TimesStill, I.R.C. perhaps most closely resembles the cantina scene in "Star Wars'': a louche hangout of digital smugglers, pirates, curiosity seekers and the people who love them (or hunt them). There seem to be I.R.C. channels dedicated to every sexual fetish, and I.R.C. users speculate that terrorists also use the networks to communicate in relative obscurity. Dvorak's ragging on chat and IM too. Give me a break. Are people running out of new technologies to bash? via Ross Mayfield UPDATE: Dan Gillmor chimes in and points out...

Michael Powell on censorship and VOIP »

The RegisterFCC chairman hails VoIPMichael PowellIf you're a big incumbent and you've sort of enjoyed a competitive advantage . . . you, in my opinion, ought to be terrified. [...] I think it's going to be the very, very best and biggest breakthrough in our ambitions and dreams about competition ever.via Kevin Werbach Exactly. ReutersOxygen Media Inc. CEO and founder Geraldine Laybourne criticized the FCC's enforcement effort during the National Cable & Telecommunications Assn.'s (NCTA) annual trade show. "I don't think we should use the word indecency; we should call it what it is: censorship," Laybourne said Tuesday during one...

Will porn save 3G? »

Will porn save 3G? Vodaphone seems to think so. International Herald Tribune - Pornographers to ring up more profit Antoin doesn't think so. I agree with his analysis....

U.S. Army report on Iraqi prisoner abuse »

U.S. Army report on Iraqi prisoner abuse Complete text of Article 15-6 Investigation of the 800th Military Police Brigade by Maj. Gen. Antonio M. Taguba [...] 6. (S) I find that the intentional abuse of detainees by military police personnel included the following acts: a. (S) Punching, slapping, and kicking detainees; jumping on their naked feet; b. (S) Videotaping and photographing naked male and female detainees; c. (S) Forcibly arranging detainees in various sexually explicit positions for photographing; d. (S) Forcing detainees to remove their clothing and keeping them naked for several days at a time; e. (S) Forcing...

Prix Ars Electronica prizes announced »

The winners of the Prix Ars Electronica have been announced. I was on the Digital Communities jury this year for Ars Electronica. Thanks to the two jury pre-selection and final jury process, we were able to spend a lot of time on the 60 or so entries that were selected from hundreds of submissions by the first jury. We had an awesome jury. The final jury was me, Andreas Hirsch, Shanthi Kalathil (co-author of Open Networks, Closed Regimes: The Impact of the Internet on Authoritarian Rule), Jane Metcalfe (co-founder of Wired), Dorothy Okello (Coordinator of the Women of Uganda Network),...

"Kicking butt is mandatory. Taking names is optional." »

John Perry Barlow"Kicking butt is mandatory. Taking names is optional." So runs the headline on a current U.S. Navy recruiting ad. This may sum up current U.S. military philosophy pretty neatly, whatever the branch of service. No one from the Pentagon knows, or seems particularly interested in finding out, how many civilians we have killed in Iraq so far. I would guess it exceeds many times over the number who died here on September 11. One of the liabilities of conducting a military operation that is so heavily based on "death from above" is that, even with our surgical new...

Insultingly Stupid Movie Physics »

Insultingly Stupid Movie Physics THE NOBLE CAUSE Technonerds go to movies strictly for entertainment, and of course, the most entertaining part comes after the movie when they can dissect, criticize, and argue the merits of every detail. However, when supposedly serious scenes totally disregard the laws of physics in blatantly obvious ways it's enough to make us retch. The motion picture industry has failed to police itself against the evils of bad physics. This page is provided as a public service in hopes of improving this deplorable matter. The minds of our children and their ability to master vectors are...

A War for Us, Fought by Them - New York Times »

Opinion SourceA War for Us, Fought by Them by William Broyles Jr. New York Times, 05/04/2004 If children of the political elite were fighting in Iraq, a resolution to the current military imbroglio would soon be found. The author, a Vietnam War veteran, proposes reinstating the draft to ensure the US military gets the support it needs and to relieve pressures on an over-extended volunteer force. Most importantly, he argues, a draft would also prove the ultimate test of Americans' support for the war in Iraq. William Broyles Jr., the founding editor of Texas Monthly, wrote the screenplay for "Cast...

Dali on intellectual property »

Salvador DalíIdeas are made to be copied. I have enough ideas to sell them on. I prefer that they are stolen so that i don't have to actually use them myself.I wish Dalí has said, "works" or "art" instead of "ideas", but this still rocks. via danah...

Quoted on Al Jazeera »

My, "traditionally, the (content) industry has been wrong about how consumers use these devices" comment at Milia seems to have become a popular quote in the media and has made it all the way to Al Jazeera. ;-) via thewirelessweblog...

Dogs online »

Emily @ Smart MobsDog Blog Red Ferret's dog blog. (Thanks Anil). Peter Steiner's original "dog on the Internet" cartoon can be viewed in the Cartoonbank of the New Yorker. My puppies are more into moblogging, and of course Bo and Pookie have recently joined Dogster....

Authenticity of the Mirror's torture photos in question »

The Mirror ran a story about British soldiers torturing Iraqi prisoners with photos. There is a lot of question about the legitimacy of the photos. The BBC has a organized list of the claims against their authenticity and the rebuttals.BBC NewsWhat the papers say The Express says soldiers who originally tried to sell the story of mistreatment were told it would be "worth a fortune if there were corroborating pictures and weeks later they produced them".This sort of commercial and unethical behavior by the media is really disgusting. I guess The Mirror is still standing by their claims, but it...

My new Nokia 7600 saves the day »

I bought a new Nokia 7600 when I was in Helsinki. When I landed in Tokyo, my Docomo phone was not working. (I think I missed a bill payment.) But my Nokia 7600 roamed on the J-Phone WCDMA network without a hitch. Probably only people who have travelled to Japan from GSM countries will understand how cool it is to be able to use your GSM SIM card in a phone in Japan where we don't have a GSM network. More about the phone on my stuff blog....

Interesting discussion about the new Iraq flag »

Interesting discussion about the new Iraq flag over at Design Observer. via Oli...

The New Yorker on the torture at Abu Ghraib »

In case anyone missed this, there is a detailed article on the torture at Abu Ghraib in The New Yorker. Unlike the sniper rumor, this one is pretty much documented fact. I realize that this is obviously not standard behavior, but it is not a single wacko, but a group of soldiers. It's really quite appalling. How can something like this happen? What is the mood like among American soldiers in Iraq? Is there a general hatred or is it really isolated behavior? I can't imagine an occupying force being very successful without some basic respect for the local citizens....

Article in Guardian about why the US should be forced out of Iraq »

An interesting article in The Guardian about what we should do in Iraq. She argues that the UN should not support the US in Iraq and should join the mutiny against the US and force the US out of Iraq.Naomi Klein, Saturday May 1, 2004, The GuardianMutiny is the only way out of Iraq's inferno The UN betrayed Iraq by becoming the political arm of US occupation. Now it must redeem itself Can we please stop calling it a quagmire? The United States isn't mired in a bog in Iraq, or a marsh; it is free-falling off a cliff. The...

Working hard, light blogging »

Light blogging today. Lots of work to do....

Loic's rant at the European WEF (Davos) meeting »

Loic's rant at the European WEF meeting. With his French accent, Loic criticizes France and is our designated agitator at the Warsaw meeting. Wish I had been there to heckle him. ;-) Interesting talk. Loic's soliciting comments on his blog....

Whom did Bush consult before going to war? »

MSNBC Hardball with Chris Matthews April 29 with Donald RumsfeldMATTHEWS: Mr. Secretary, let me ask you about the war in Iraq and the boldest question I could put to you here in the Pentagon. Did you ever advise the president to go to war? [...] RUMSFELD: You ought to get a life. You could do something besides read those books. MATTHEWS: This is my life. Let me ask you about something a little more... RUMSFELD: Let me answer your question. MATTHEWS: Did you advise the president to go to war? RUMSFELD: Yes. He did not ask me, is the question....

Amaretto »

I just got Amaretto, Python for the Nokia series 60. I've got it running on my Nokia 6600. I'm so excited. Not I have to figure out what to write....
Whiplash by Joi Ito and Jeff Howe
Freesouls by Joi Ito

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