Joi Ito's conversation with the living web.

August 2004 Archives

Skype for Mac »

Skype for Mac is out. Yay!...

David Weinberger, a small person »

Warning to conservative readers: partisan thoughts belowDavid WeinbergerI don't think I'm going to have the fortitude to watch the Republican Convention. I know that makes me a small person, but I just can't take it.I'm getting some blow-by-blow commentary from Mitch via IM right now and I can understand David's feelings.Mitch on IMMitch: sorry, distracted by the glaring whiteness of the RNconvention. no people with any color while Rudy talks Mitch: pretty wretched talk -- it is ugly in several dimensions, suggesting anyone who disagrees with Bush is an appeaser Mitch: he literally just said "either you are with us...

Encouraging Cameraphone Use -- For Less Than Encouraging Reasons »

The FeatureEncouraging Cameraphone Use -- For Less Than Encouraging Reasons Instead of banning them, Chinese authorities have creatively adapted cameraphones as yet another tool to control its citizens, if the latest allegations prove to be true. Authorities there reportedly threatened pro-democracy radio talk show hosts, after which they all quit. This didn't involve cameraphones until new reports emerged that authorities have contacted the families of callers to these shows still living on the mainland. They have been told to convince their relatives to vote for pro-Beijing candidates and then snap a picture of their ballots with a cameraphone to send...

New Technorati politics page »

We've updated politics.technorati.com. Lots of new features and a new look. More info on Dave's site....

The New York Post »

I've never actually picked up and read The New York Post. I first heard about it when their front page story was: "Kerry's Choice, Dem picks Gephardt as VP candidate" and now this.Xeni @ Boing BoingReader Mike Harris says, "The New York Post is reporting that it was spray paint, instead of a water-soluble chalk mixture. Users might want to ask that they correct their reporting. The online edition/news editor's name is Chris Shaw, at cshaw@nypost.com."I wonder where they get their facts?...

RNC-NYC: Update on arrest of Joshua Kinberg, Bikes Against Bush »

Xeni Jardin @ Boing Boing: RNC-NYC: Update on arrest of Joshua Kinberg, Bikes Against Bush...

RNC protests: Bikes Against Bush organizer arrested »

Xeni Jardin @ Boing BoingRNC protests: Bikes Against Bush organizer arrested A post on an indymedia website says activist Joshua Kinberg -- inventor of a wireless, bike-mounted, dot-matrix printer for spraying protest messages in the street -- was arrested yesterday at the RNC in NYC. At the time, he was reportedly being interviewed by Ron Reagan, covering the convention for MNSBC. Kinberg's invention allows users to spray messages transmitted to the bike-printer by way of the 'Net or SMS. They're painted in a water-soluble chalk solution that washes away with water (not spray-paint, as misreported elsewhere). Link to indymedia post,...

Wikipedia attacked by ignorant reporter »

Al Fasoldt, staff writer at The Post-Standard in Syracuse, writes about how untrustworthy Wikipedia is based on an oh-so-trustworthy email from a librarian. Mr. Fasoldt asserts that Wikipedia is not a verifiable authority and that it is it is not trustworthy. Mike from Techdirt tries to explain Wikipedia to Mr. Fasoldt and receives insults in return. For those of you who haven't yet taken a good look at Wikipedia, you should. It is a community built encyclopedia where anyone can edit any of the 300,000+ articles in it. The fact that anyone can edit the pages appears to be why...

9/11 toy found inside candy bags »

AP Photo via CNNSee CNN for full sized imageAP via CNN9/11 toy found inside candy bags Wholesaler recalls 14,000 bags it bought from Miami import firm MIAMI, Florida (AP) -- Small toys showing an airplane flying into the World Trade Center were packed inside more than 14,000 bags of candy and sent to small groceries around the country before being recalled.First NROjr and now this. For some reason, all of my posts today are about the US government and the last two are very weird messages to kids... via Adam...

NROjr.gov - a message to kids from the US intelligence community »

Since I can't get onto the GW site, I guess I have to settle for the NROjr.gov site. The NRO? National Reconnaissance OfficeThe NRO designs, builds and operates the nation's reconnaissance satellites. NRO products, provided to an expanding list of customers like the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) and the Department of Defense (DoD), can warn of potential trouble spots around the world, help plan military operations, and monitor the environment. As part of the 14-member Intelligence Community, the NRO plays a primary role in achieving information superiority for the U. S. Government and Armed Forces.So what is NROjr? It's a...

CAPPS II is back »

The US Transporation Security Administration (TSA) announced that CAPPS II, the controversial passenger profiling system is back looking a bit more shy and sporting a new name, "Secure Flight." It still sounds bad and they'll start testing it within the next 30-60 days. via Kevin @ EFF: Deep Links...

Japan blocked from George W Bush site »

I still can't see the George W Bush site from Japan. I wonder if the Japanese are blocking Bush or Bush is blocking Japan... ;-) via Jim...

Technorati will be at the RNC »

CNN has invited Technorati back to provide real time analysis of bloggers blogging about the Republican National Convention. Thanks CNN! More on Sifry's Alerts....

Free speech vs buying influence - Joho on 527's »

David Weinberger blogs about George Bush denouncing 527 groups. David links to Roji pointing out that this is a serious flip-flop from his original position. David's point is that on the one hand, the 527 groups represent a way to buy influence. On the other hand, limiting the ability for a 527 group to be formed and express a point of view is limiting free speech. I think the reason we have this conflict is the nature of media today. It shouldn't cost millions of dollars to get your message out; the system should be transparent enough so we know...

Radio Taiso »

10,000,000 people doing radio taisopicture via KampoOne of the participants of Fat Club uploaded an mp3 of radio taiso (morning radio exercise show) and I just set it to my alarm clock sound. radio taiso was banned by the US Occupation after WWII along with shogi (Japanese chess), all martial arts and a bunch of other things that were considered militaristic. I remember hearing a story on the radio that the original radio taiso came from the US. When life insurance just started as a business in the US, there was an uproar about "betting on people's lives." As part...

Sell side advertising »

As someone who was heavily involved in introducing the theory of CPM (Cost Per Thousand Impressions) to Japanese ad agencies, I've been spending a lot of time recently thinking about what comes next after Google AdSense. Ross tried CPI (Cost Per Influence), trying to come up with an index that included the influence of the blogger or site where the ad was placed. This reminded me of the "branding value" or cluster value argument. Also, the idea would be that an influential blog would trigger a word of mouth diffusion. Anyway, inspired by Ross, John Batelle came up with a...

Patenting punctuation »

Ernest Miller @ CopyfightPatenting Punctuation (Ernest Miller) Well, it seems that someone has patented some new forms of punctuation: WIPO Patent Publication No. WO9219458:Using two new punctuation marks, the question comma and the exclamation comma: and respectively, inquisitiveness and exclamation may be expressed within a written sentence structure, so that thoughts may be more easily and clearly conveyed to readers. The new punctuation marks are for use within a written sentence between words as a comma, but with more feeling or inquisitiveness.Seems that this is sort of an addition to the faddish punctuation known as the Interrobang.via I/P Updates This...

ecto goes wysiawyg »

ecto, the blogging client developed by Adriaan at my company Kula has just released the beta of the next version which has "What You See Is Almost What You Get" (wysiawyg). This means that you can now do things like drag, drop, resize images into posts. You can also create links, change font information and lots of other stuff without looking at or dealing with html. (More info on the ecto blog.) ecto 2.0 has a bunch of other cool features. Adriaan says it should be ready for general release of the OS X version in about two weeks....

WQD Forums hit 100 »

In December, I announced that I quit drinking. I got a flurry of comments of support. Several of us who had decided to be sober, thought a group blog about quitting drinking would be interesting so we started We Quit Drinking, the blog. Soon, due to some weird Google magic, the blog became the first result for "quit drinking". A wide variety of people who were looking for support and help dropped in and commented. Jonas, who among other things works with addiction as a counselor, decided that a more private space, a message board requiring login might make...

Conference call surfing »

I have my PowerBook on my insTand next to my bed with a clock screen saver alarm clock. Usually, I wake up before my alarm goes off and wake up the computer instead. As soon as my status on my IM clients goes from idle to available, I get a little flurry of requests for contact. "Did you see my email?" "When can we talk?" "Don't forget our conference call coming up." "We're on a conference call right now you might want to join." I queue up these real-time requests like some sort of air traffic controller, put on my...

The Search Engine Belt Buckle »

I remember when I was Chairman of Infoseek Japan, I would get a weekly list of the top 100 search words. I remember loving this list. You could see watch trends and stuff, but mostly it made you realize just how sick people were. When I was around, the only US search term that beat adult content phrases was "Olympics" and the only Japanese query was "Tamagocchi" when it was all the rage. Now uber-gadget-hacker Phillip Torrone has brought this experience to the street via the Search Engline Belt Buckle. It uses the SearchSpy service which shows real search queries...

Interview with Craig from Craigslist »

I blogged earlier about the sale of 25% of the stock of Craigslist to eBay. Out of context, some people might not understand why this requires explaining or someone with a casual understanding might think Craig sold out. Here's some more context. (And no, Craig has not "sold out".) Craig is a very unique individual and this interview and his site are a testament to that. In March, on the way to SXSW, I was with a group which had an airline nightmare at SFO. Craig negotiated with the extremely unhelpful Mesa Airlines for the whole group of us and...

USB weight sensor »

PhidgetsWeightSensor Wow! A USB weight sensor. Now we can automatically add our weight to the sidebar and make RSS feeds of our weight changes. Who wants to write the mt-weightsensor plugin? via Daiji Current Mood: chipper Current Weight: heavy Listening to: You Trip Me Up by The Jesus and Mary Chain from the album Psychocandy...

Army Okays Computer Spying »

Donna Wentworth @ EFF Deep LinksArmy Okays Computer Spying JetBlue ignited a huge privacy scandal when the news broke that the airline secretly provided more than 5 million passenger records to Torch Concepts, a military contractor. Yet the Army Inspector General Agency concluded [PDF] that JetBlue did not violate the Privacy Act. The reason: Torch never looked up individuals by name, but instead used a computer to dig through and analyze their private information. This is quite disturbing. I guess this means that taking massive amounts of data and crunching through them to create "profiles" is OK. I wonder how...

Emergent Democracy paper in German »

The folks at Ars Electronica have translated a shortened version of Jon Lebkowsky's edited version of my Emergent Democracy paper into German. It will appear in this year's book for Ars Electronica. Thanks for coordinating this Ingrid and thanks for the translation Susanne!...

Fat Club redux »

Omron HBF-354Yesterday, Mutsumi in our office told me half a dozen times that I looked "bigger". I'd been thinking about how to lose some weight and I remembered Fat Club because Jane linked to a Fat Club entry on her blog. For some reason, I seem to be able to motivate myself to lose weight when I'm competing. I asked everyone in our office if they wanted to join Fat Club 2004. Kuri, Jim and Nob agreed to participate. The race is to see who can lose 10% of their body weight first and sustain it for one week. The...

RNC protestors and their rights »

UPI via The Washington Times reports that the Weather Underground are planning some action during the RNC. UPI says:United Press International"These people are trained in kidnapping techniques, bombmaking and building improvised munitions," the source said. "They're very bad people..."Someone who asked not to be named emailed me and says that they heard that, "it's planned on being a nonviolent action. Something about leaflets and random covert protesters." If this is indeed the case, there is a pretty high likelihood of some really wound up police running into some pretty innocent people. If you are at risk of looking like a...

Pierre invests in Socialtext »

Pierre Omidyar the founder of eBay has a new project called the Omidyar Network. They just invested in SocialText, a wiki company that I've invested in and am on the board of. Pierre blogs about the Omidyar network and the investment in Socialtext. If you have heard of the Omidyar Network:Omidyar NetworkWe believe every individual has the power to make a difference. We exist for one single purpose: So that more and more people discover their own power to make good things happen. We are actively building a network of participants because we know we can't do this alone.Other investors...

Urban legend diffusion »

Mizuka just asked me if I had heard about some guy who was busted for making tons of money trading stocks who claims to be a time-traveler. The story was that he would show them the time-machine if they let him go. She said her Japanese friends were talking about it. I laughed and checked Google News with an assortment of keywords with no results. I wandered over to #joiito. Soon enough nichlas came up with a link to a WWN article from March, 2003 about the story. Just as I was wondering if this was something to blog about,...

Memories of vinyl »

test press of Communicate with notes from MarkI've been thinking about audio files lately. There are lots of interesting audio blogs these days and I realized that putting audio interviews for my sharing economy research online would be a neat thing to do. For the last month or so, I've been diving into audio gear and software. (I'll write about all this in another post when I figure out what I'm doing.) During this journey into gadgets past, I stumbled into my vinyl records from my DJ days. Most are promotional records that Rockpool sent me when I was reporting...

Reverend AKMA almost arrested for stealing public wifi »

Image from Gary TurnerOK He wasn't almost arrested, but he was told that he couldn't be use computer within range of the open wifi network of the public library by a policeman. The officer cites some law against it and describes all of the terrible things Reverend AKMA could be doing. When AKMA asks whether this was a state or federal law, the officer says, "It’s a federal law, sir; a Secret Service agent came and explained it to us.” Anyway, it's worth reading his entire post. What law is this officer referring to and how can we undo damage...

Identifying authors in feeds »

I have been doing my blog reading and writing primarily with Net News Wire for my reading and Ecto for my writing. A simply copy paste will paste html which is a very good start for a blog post. The biggest problem is the multi-author blogs. I bugged Boing Boing about it, and they put the name of the author in the text, even though it was already in their creator tag. This makes it much easier for me because the name of the author is in the html when I copy from Net News Wire. So Brent, and other...

Looking for Adam Curry's Rocket Car of Death »

Adam Curry samples a portion of Halley's interview with me on Memory Lane on his Daily Source Code Aug 17 2004 - (1.2MB mp3 of relevant section). I'm talking about how I showed the chairman of NHK (Japan's public broadcast network) a video that I downloaded from Adam Curry's MTV.COM. I think this was around 1994 or 1995... It was one of the few video files on the net at the time. I used to show this video all the time and I told this to Adam when I met him at Bloggercon. He said he wanted a copy of...

Jonah Peretti and Jane's Blog »

Warning: rambling diary style entry to follow Jonah, a friend of Neeru and Joshua emailed me that he was going to be in Japan and wanted to talk about Eyebeam, a very cool art R&D project he is working on. He was leaving the day after I came back to Japan so we decided to meet for lunch at the airport. I printed out Andrea and Jonah's picture from Andrea's photo blog, taped it into my moleskine notebook and headed for the airport. I've been mastering the shortcuts from my house to the airport since I make the trip so...

Olympic athletes banned from blogging »

The AP reports that the IOC bars athletes, coaches from writing first-hand accounts This reminds me of the (now defunct) rule that companies couldn't report earnings and other reports on the Internet until after newspapers had time to print. This was supposed prevent an "unfair advantage" for people who use the Internet. Protecting traditional journalists by muzzling first-hand reports from athletes and coaches is so wrong and stupid. via Smartmobs...

Police raid US high school at gunpoint »

meta-rojiteach your children well, at gunpoint ap via abc news, august 20, 2004Justice Says Guns-Drawn School Raid Legal A guns-drawn raid at a high school last year did not violate civil rights laws and the case is closed, the U.S. Justice Department said. ... Fifteen officers entered Stratford High School's main hallway and ordered 130 students to the floor Nov. 5 of last year. They used plastic ties to handcuff 18 students and school officials opened and searched 17 book bags using a drug dog. Police found no drugs or weapons, but the raid frightened children, provoked marches and lawsuits...

Back to Tokyo »

I'm at SFO on my way back to Tokyo. It definitely feels like Silicon Valley is "waking up" again. Hopefully, we've learned from our mistakes and the "recovery" will be a better managed one. See you again from Japan....

Reverend AKMA on the cave of John the Baptist »

Reverend AKMA has an interesting post on the front-page story claim that someone has discovered the cave of John the Baptist and why he isn't into archaeology anymore. AKMAThis story reflects several problematic tendencies in the popular (biblical) archaeological market. We get their textual siblings over in literary historiography, so I’m not casting stones only at the other interpreters. But there have been heaps of hermits (I just spent way too much time trying to devise a collective noun for anchorites) in the Judean wilderness about whom we know absolutely nothing. We happen to know a little about one of...

EFF wins Grockster case »

Xeni @ Boing BoingEFF wins GroksterBig news: The EFF prevails in the long-fought Grokster case. Court decision is available here (PDF). Link to 9th Circuit Court of appeals ruling in Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer v. Grokster, issued August 19, 2004.This is great news. Congrats to the whole EFF team who worked on this! More on Corante: Powerful Language from the MGM v. Grokster Decision - Posted by Jason Schultz...

Wired CC benefit concert in New York »

Creative Commons WeblogWired presents a Creative Commons benefit in NYC, Sept 21st Tuesday, September 21, 2004, Wired Magazine will throw a benefit for Creative Commons featuring a concert by David Byrne (with the Tosca Strings) and Gilberto Gil. It will take place at 8PM at The Town Hall in New York City. Proceeds from the concert will go to support the non-profit efforts of Creative Commons. Tickets are available now from Ticketmaster or, after September 1st, at the Town Hall box office. If you're in NYC and want to help support the work of the Creative Commons, come on...

Joking about horrible things »

The post by Xeni about Stealth Lynndie-ing reminded me of a story I heard recently from a unnamed source involved in Israeli and Palestinian relations. Apparently after an official meeting, an Israeli and Palestinian were having coffee and the Israeli asked the Palestinian to tell him a joke. Here is the joke the Palestinian told: So there's this young guy from Hebron (I guess they make fun of people from Hebron...). He goes to the PLO and says he wants to become a suicide bomber. The PLO gives him a gun, a belt-bomb and a cell phone and tell him...

Japanese fashion »

Xeni @ Boing BoingWhat are the cool kids in Harajuku wearing? Glad you asked. Link to an online photo gallery with street snapshots from Harajuku station in Tokyo. (Thanks, Todd!) Sailor Bubba Pete sent me this picture. Marc, were you in Harajuku recently? UPDATE: Brian reports in the comments that the picture is not Marc, but Sailor Bubba....

The first ChangeThis manifestos »

The first ChangeThis manifestos are up. They're definitely worth reading and commenting on. I have the honor of being one of the advisors who gets to read them and make comments before they come out.

Electronic voting machine fails in public demo »

EFF DeeplinksE-Voting Mistake Caught on Paper In news at once frightening and reassuring, a Sequoia electronic voting machine suffered a very public failure last week during a live demo. The machine worked fine with an English-language ballot, but failed to record votes with the Spanish-language ballot.I still think electronic voting is a bad idea. Here is yet another example of a failure....

Memory Lane interview with Halley Suit »

I was interviewed by Halley Suitt for Memory Lane. Memory Lane is Halley's new program on IT Conversations. Halley writes about the program on her blog....

chatango »

Chatango is a lightweight flash based chat program that lets you put a chat window on your web page. If I'm online, you can chat with me. Otherwise you can leave me a message. I'm going to try it out in this post. If it proves to be useful, I'll give it a more thorough testing in my sidebar. This button should let you know if I'm online or not....

eBay Acquires Minority Interest in craigslist »

eBay Acquires Minority Interest in craigslist SAN FRANCISCO & SAN JOSE, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Aug. 13, 2004--eBay, The World's Online Marketplace (Nasdaq:EBAY) (www.ebay.com), and craigslist, an online community featuring classifieds and forums (www.craigslist.org), announced today that eBay has acquired a preexisting minority ownership interest in craigslist of approximately 25%. The resulting relationship will allow eBay and craigslist to share expertise, resources, and creativity on behalf of online communities everywhere.Craig shares his account of this about it on his blog. Craig mentions on his blog that it was a former employee who sold his shares to eBay and that the company was not...

ABC on Cryptome »

Cryptome is one of my primary sources of documents that get released to the public through a variety of sources. I link to it quite often from my blog. ABC News questions the value of the public's right to know, vs the risk of "helping the enemy." I have a feeling that terrorists are pretty good at using the Internet and probably already have access to most of the stuff on Cryptome. I think that it could be argued that they are helping terrorists by making the information so easy to find, but I personally think that Cryptome and other...

California Supreme Court voids gay marriages in SF »

AP @ San Jose Mercury NewsCalif. Supreme Court voids gay marriages in San Francisco SAN FRANCISCO - The California Supreme Court on Thursday voided the nearly 4,000 same-sex marriages sanctioned in San Francisco this year and ruled unanimously that the mayor overstepped his authority by issuing licenses to gay and lesbian couples.In February I remember all of the happiness when the Mayor decided to allow same sex marriages in San Francisco. I had friends who were married that day and even saw the line of happy couples lined up at City Hall. At the time Dan Gillmor voiced concern that...

Off to the US »

It's been nice to spend time at home, but I'm off again today to Wasatch, Utah to a retreat and then to San Francisco for a short visit. It's the summer obon season so the airport's probably pretty busy today. So I may check again at the airport, but if not, see you on the other side. I'm going to end up in the mountains in Wasatch for a few days so depending on the connectivity, you may not hear from me for a few days... UPDATE: I'm at the United lounge in Narita and the wifi here is free...

Too many buddies »

I use MSN Instant Messenger, AIM, Yahoo, ICQ and Jabber and generally tried to keep groups of friends distributed across the different networks so that I wouldn't run into the buddy list limit. Today I hit my AIM buddy list limit. I think the limit is 150. For some reason, people aren't supposed to have more than 150 friends. Now, every time I want to add a friend on AIM, I have to delete someone else. I guess this might be good discipline, but I think this is a stupid feature/bug....

How much the RIAA and the MPAA cost the media industry? »

An interesting survey based project to try to answer the question of whether the cost of what the MPAA and RIAA does exceeds their forgone revenues to piracy....

Extreme Democracy online »

Extreme Democracy is a book being edited by Jon Lebkowsky and Mitch Ratcliffe. They've just put the book online in a blog format. The book will included a version of my Emergent Democracy paper edited by Jon. I really need to write another version of this paper that incorporates all of the new stuff and feedback that I've received... Adina has put up a wiki page with additional thoughts on the book....

Writing about your friends »

Over the years I've become quite friendly with many professional journalists. It's interesting that two of my best friends are journalists and they both have told me, "the only bad thing about becoming your friend is that I can't write about you any more." As a blogger, I don't think I have any trouble writing about my friends if I explain my relationship. The issue of professionalism aside, I think the first person tone of blogging makes it easier to write about your friends in the context of providing information. It's probably much harder or impossible to write about your...

Growing anti-Japanese sentiments among Chinese »

China Photosvia ReutersThe New York Times has an interesting story about the rowdy anti-Japanese crowds at the recent Asian Cup soccer match in China between China and Japan.The New York Times"Kill! Kill! Kill!" the Chinese fans yelled. Or, echoing a patriotic song from another era, they shouted, roughly: "May a big sword chop off the Japanese heads!" What's surprising is not that there were anti-Japanese sentiments, but that the article asserts that such sentiments are on the rise. According to the article, "... increasingly, the most strident criticism of Japan now comes from a generation born long after the end...

Accident at Japan nuclear plant »

BBC NewsAccident at Japan nuclear plant Monday, 9 August, 2004, 10:32 GMT 11:32 UK At least four people have been killed in the worst ever accident at a Japanese nuclear power plant.Ooops. Why is it that I don't trust them when they say stuff like, "In the aftermath of the accident, no evacuation order was given to residents living near the plant, and city official Nobutake Masaki denied there was any danger to the surrounding area." This is probably because they lie. At least some people are brave enough to blow the whistle....

Hello Kitty flashlight for Doom 3 »

Cory @ Boing BoingHello Kitty flashlight for Doom 3 Doom 3 has only just come out and already the modders are revving up their engines. My favorite so far: a Hello Kitty flashlight mod that makes your gun's built-in light cast a kawaii beam on the objects it alights upon. Link (via Oblomovka)Doom modder culture has become truly sophisticated. ;-) How very Boing Boing....

Technological diffusion patterns »

I get this feeling that the diffusion of new services and technologies such as blogs and social network services are not normal. Normal diffusion patterns are sort of bell curves that track mass media attention and other factors including effort on the supply side. With social network systems, there seem to be regional explosions of users. Orkut now has more Brazilians than Americans and I have yet to hear a good explanation of why. There are very uneven proportion of bloggers in different regions. The last I looked, Poland and Iran seem to have an unnaturally high number of blogs....

Woody Guthrie's family likes JibJab, but copyright doesn't care »

It has already been widely reported that music publisher Ludlow Music has threatened copyright litigation against JibJab for their animation "This Land" which uses Woody Guthrie's "This Land is Your Land." Corante, Boing Boing and NPR report that the kids like JibJab. Wendy Seltzer makes an interesting point that when Congress passed the Sonny Bono Copyright Term Extension Act, they said it was "for the children." Wendy says, "It's worth remembering, again, that artists and copyright holders aren't always the same people."...

Fireworks for free »

Last night I went to see fireworks. There were approximately 22,000 fireworks ignited and an expected turnout of about 320,000 people. You could pay 30,000 yen (around 300 dollars) and get a special seat as a sponsor. Otherwise, you could, like the 320,000 or so other people, find a nice spot and watch the fireworks for free. In fact, there were two other fireworks festivals (Japanese love fireworks) going on within view of the nice spot in the park that we had chosen. Fireworks shows in Japan are sponsored by companies and local governments. The sponsors usually get the...

NPR summer reading series interview »

I did an interview for NPR's summer reading series where we are supposed to talk about books to read over the summer. I ended up talking mostly about blogs. ;-) It's about a month old. What do YOU recommend we read this summer? UPDATE: Here are my notes on Orientalism by Edward Said, thoughts after reading Science In Action by Bruno Latour, and my short review of We the Media by Dan Gillmor....

Sheriff misusing FBI computer can't be sued »

Declan McCullaghSheriff misusing FBI computer can't be sued A federal appeals court said this week that the sheriff of Shawnee County, Kan., could not be sued for snooping through an FBI database for dirt on political enemies.Oh yay. The FBI's Interstate Identification Index (III) he abused has 50.5 million people. I wonder what happens when they have even better information on people. So much of the law protects the police and assumes they are "good". In Japan, when I talk about the possibility of cases like this, people laugh. Information collected about people by the government is and will be...

Note taking in the Google age »

I had a breakfast meeting with Professor Hirotaka Takeuchi about my doctorate program and I was taking notes in my moleskine notebook. I was jotting down just names and keywords and I think the professor thought it was a bit odd. I realized that taking notes with the intention of googling everything later is very different than taking complete notes. I had never noticed that I had started doing this....

Presidential Freudian slip? »

President George W. BushPresident Signs Defense Bill REMARKS BY THE PRESIDENT AT THE SIGNING OF H.R. 4613, THE DEFENSE APPROPRIATIONS ACT FOR FISCAL YEAR 2005 Our enemies are innovative and resourceful, and so are we. They never stop thinking about new ways to harm our country and our people, and neither do we.Ooops. A Freudian slip? via George via IP UPDATE: mp3 file of this from Lauren Weinstein's blog....

IM from Markoff re We The Media review »

"The New York Times is my blog" Markoff just IMed me with this funny comment from Slashdot about Dan Gillmor's We the Media. I would have gotten more defensive if it weren't so funny. Anyway, keep laughing Markoff. Just you wait and see. ;-) Yes... I did photoshop out the end of his AIM nickname....

Creative Commons licensed mural »

These pictures taken by Brad Neuberg Mona Caron has created a beautiful mural on Church street near Market in San Francisco with a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.0 License. So cool. More pictures on Brad Neuberg's site and her site. via Creative Commons Weblog...

Creative Commons We the Media ready for download »

Dan Gillmor's , We the Media was published under a Creative Commons license. You can download the entire book in PDF format on the O'Reilly page. It's an Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 2.0 License. Excellent!...

Letter to Thomas Kean from Sibel Edmonds »

Whistleblower Sibel Edmonds has sent an open letter to Thomas Kean, the Chairman of the 9/11 Commission continuing to up the ante on allegations of a massive coverup.9/11 CitizensWatchAugust 1, 2004 [...] Dear Chairman Kean: [snip] Unfortunately, I find your report seriously flawed in its failure to address serious intelligence issues that I am aware of, which have been confirmed, and which as a witness to the commission, I made you aware of. Thus, I must assume that other serious issues that I am not aware of were in the same manner omitted from your report. [snip] Considering what is...

Hyote captured alive »

I know people are tired of this story, but this post gives us some closure on the discussion in my previous flippant post about the Hyote.Boing BoingHyote captured alive! The Hyote, a magical mystery animal that's been running around central Maryland, has apparently been captured. (Previous post here.) Amazingly though, this Hyote--a male red fox with sarcoptic mange, according to veterinarians--is most likely the offspring of the larger animal caught on video last month. Once the baby Hyote is well again, animal control will release it back into the wild. Link (Thanks, Soupie!)...

Mimi on keitai culture »

Mimi Ito (my sister) has some interesting research about mobile phone and Japanese youths on the Vodaphone site. Ironically via Gen Kanai (Mimi never tells me anything)...

Does Fark.com sell their editorial? »

Jason Calacanis claims to have discovered that for $300 to $400, you can buy an editorial on Fark.com, one of the most popular blogs. In an email exchange with Jason, a sales person Gogi (who Drew, who runs Fark explains is a 3rd party ad sales rep) writes:GogiHowever, if you look at any news source, they are influenced by PR agencies, wine & dine’s and similar events. Take a look at the Graydon Carter as example #1. I challenge you to find a pure editorial voice in news today. Also, its not news, its Fark.com. ;-) We run stories that...

Technorati update from Sifry »

Dave has posted an update on the situation at Technorati. Quick summary: Fixed a bunch of things to get the CNN thing done on time, but broke some other things in the process. We're very sorry. Apologies also for being unresponsive. Thank you very much for your feedback and patience and we'll try harder to address the issues....

Team America - World Police »

Team America - World Police, from the creators of South Park. "Putting the 'F' back in freedom". Coming October 2004 via Juche...

We the Media hits the shelves »

Dan Gillmor's We the Media has hit the selves. O'Reilly, the publisher, has created a blog for it. I just posted my review on Amazon.com......

Gapingvoid on how to be creative »

Hugh, aka Gapingvoid has a great post on creativity. He's one of the few artists/cartoonists who have taken advantage of blogs and has been successful in creating his own back of a business card cartoon format. I use a blog card designed by him....

David Weinberger video blogs response to Cooper »

David Weinberger video blogs a reply to Charles Cooper's article at CNET. Charles Cooper criticizes the credentialed DNC bloggers as bad journalists and David responds. If the text of his response had been in his post, I might not have watched the video, but after watching the video, I realized that it was worth it. I keep forgetting how funny David is in full motion. ;-) I made a BitTorrent torrent of the 11MB Quicktime version of the post. The torrent is here. I'm still trying to debug my tracker so I'd appreciate comments about any success or failure you...

Barlow proposes dancing flashmob to protest RNC »

John Perry Barlow, former Grateful Dead lyricist and Republican city council chairman has an interesting idea.BarlowFriendzDancing in the Streets: Revolution with a Smile ...Maureen Dowd recently observed that the Republicans had become so obsessed with rejecting the 60's ethic of doing it if it feels good that they have taken up an ethic of doing it if it makes someone else feel bad. Moreover, the GOP strategy of basing their root-level organization on Hot Protestantism has infused their ranks with a lot of chilly Puritanism, which, as H.L. Mencken defined it, is "the haunting fear that someone, somewhere, is having...

Sudan: a failure of will »

The Passion of the PresentA failure of will Forces from across the world are poised to help the people of Darfur, but no nation has the will to move forward. We are in a tragic and signal moment, a catalytic moment, where the world sees the need, has the means, and yet continues to experience a failure of will. ...Now it is the public's turn. It is our turn. The time is now for our action. We must ask our leaders to act now, not in 30 days. All key elements are in place, except the will to launch the...
Whiplash by Joi Ito and Jeff Howe

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