Joi Ito's conversation with the living web.

September 2004 Archives

Japanese Schools Use Computer Chips to Keep Tabs on Children »

Technology ReviewJapanese Schools Use Computer Chips to Keep Tabs on Children TOKYO (AP) - Cutting class just got harder but schools are safer thanks to computer chips that help track students, Japanese officials say. Some schools here this month began trial runs in which students carry chips that have tiny antennae and can be traced by radio, with some of the kids attaching the tags to their backpacks. The chips send signals to receivers at school gates. A computer in the system shows when a student enters or leaves. School officials say rising concerns about student safety prompted the idea....

ACLU and EFF strike down part of PATRIOT Act »

Cory @ Boing BoingACLU and EFF strike down part of PATRIOT Act EFF has helped the ACLU overturn one of the worst elements of the USA PATRIOT Act, the "National Security Letters," which were secret warrants that the Justice Department could write for itself without judicial oversight and then bind the recipients to indefinite silence. That's right: secret, no-oversight warrants with perpetual gag-orders. The ACLU brought suit against the DoJ on this one, and we filed briefs on their side, and today, a federal court struck down this part of PATRIOT as unconstitutional. BooYAH."Today's ruling is an important victory for...

Uncovered: The War on Iraq - Interviews Torrent »

Gary LerhauptUncovered: The War on Iraq - Interviews Torrent In a follow-up to the licensing of the Outfoxed movie under a Creative Commons license, Robert Greenwald has also agreed to release the interviews from his previous movie, Uncovered: The War on Iraq under the Creative Commons. The files can be downloaded directly (also available in higher quality format) from archive.org, or you can join the torrent hosted on Torrentocracy.com at uncovered_interviews.torrent. Hopefully we can match the over 700 downloads of Outfoxed that its torrent has already generated. Either way, the truth is free. (free as in beer AND as in...

Cornelius and Joi photo by Kishin Shinoyama »

Click photo for higherresolution on flickr I just got my picture taken with my second cousin Keigo. Keigo is aka Cornelius and is a pretty well known musician. The picture for a magazine called Brutus and the series is about cool people and their relationship with someone else. So I was the "someone else" for this article. The photo was taken by Kishin Shinoyama who is well known for his portraits. His confidence and efficiency were quite amazing. He found this cool spot to take the photo in our offices in 5 minutes. Then he set up his 8X10 camera...

First day of school »

Today was my first day of school. The requirement for getting an university email, intranet and wifi account requires a course in netiquette. The course focused on "don't spread viruses." OK. I showed up a few minutes late as Professor Takeuchi was talking about how tardiness would not be tolerated. (Sorry Professor Takeuchi!) Strike one. I sat in my student chair feeling very guilty. Next was the session where we were going to get our accounts. Instructor A: "So does everyone have have ICS IT Handbook?" I didn't have one. Me: "No. I didn't get one. Can I have one?"...

I'm investing in flickr too »

Esther scooped me and announced that she is investing in flickr. So am I. I haven't been blogging about flickr too much, even though I'm addicted because I wanted to wait to announce this first. I'm just a passive investor, but wanted to disclose this relationship. You can see my photos on my flickr photo page. You can even subscribe to it in RSS 2.0 or Atom. Remember to check out the Tags page. There is also my personal tags page. Things have been getting very taggy around here ever since I started using del.icio.us. Thanks for the opportunity to...

last.fm »

During Ars Electronica in Linz, I got a chance to hang out with Michael from last.fm. I would have blogged about this earlier, but they have been having server problems and they wanted me to wait until they had stabilized the situation. Last.fm has been around for awhile now and they've even been covered in Wired so many of you may already know about them. It is a music site based on collaborative filtering. Using one of the many Audioscrobbler plugins, you can set your music player to upload the titles of the music you are playing to their site....

Anti-bootlegging booted »

Lessig blogs about a very important case: A district court in the Southern District of New York has struck down the anti-bootlegging provision of the copyright act....

Video of strike on group of people in Fallujah »

Here's another Iraq war video. This one appears to be a strike on a group of people walking down a street in Fallujah. Does anyone else have more information on this video? Has it been aired on any TV network? If they are civilians, it's quite disturbing. The "aw dude" in the audio doesn't seem like a very appropriate reaction. The embedded Windows Media Player window didn't work for me in Firefox on OS X, but worked fine in Internet Explorer. You can also use this link to view it directly in Windows Media Player. Via Paul...

Wikipedia inacessible from China »

As of yesterday, Wikipedia is inaccessible from most of China. It appears to be inaccessible from 11 out of 12 points in China. It was blocked for a few days back in June or so, but this block appears to be broader than the last one. Hope this one gets resolved quickly too....

Plazes and wallop »

Yes. Yet another social networking site... I decided to play with this one for awhile before blogging it to make sure it was significantly different. I think it is. Plazes takes your IP address and tries to figure out where you are asks for the address of where you are and maps it to the MAC address of the router you are connected to. If you are in a new "plaze" you can register it by entering the address, uploading pictures, making comments. You can see who is online and where they are. You can see people by how far...

How to take digital photos from a kite »

Ever wanted to take digital pictures from a kite? Phillip Torrone who brought us the Search Engine Belt Buckles shows us how. He makes it sound so easy....

Back to Japan »

In a few hours I'll be leaving New York to go back to Japan. Met so many interesting people this trip and the weather was beautiful. Thanks!...

The Horn Guy »

Sorry about the light blogging. I've been a bit busy in New York. Here's something to to fill the void. Presenting, The Horn Guy (Windows Media Player) from eBaum's World via Scott...

Wired/Creative Commons concert »

The concert tonight was amazing. I hope people got a chance to watch the video feed. Gil/Byrne were amazing and were eventually able to get a house full of somewhat tired old people on their feet and dancing. It was also amazing to realize how much Talking Heads songs were a part of my DNA... anyway. Maybe more when I'm less tired. Need to go to bed. Oh, and David Byrne dedicated "Road to Nowhere" to the Repbulicans....

Commons-based peer production is not communism »

Adina has a nice essay about why participants in what Benkler calls commons-based peer production are not necessarily communists. If you don't have time to read Benkler's 80 page Coase's Peguin paper, I suggest you read Adina's essay which picks up some important points that you don't get in the abstract....

Wired Creative Commons compilation CD »

Wall Street JournalThis Compilation CD Is Meant To Be Copied and Shared By ETHAN SMITH Staff Reporter of THE WALL STREET JOURNAL September 20, 2004 For more than a year, the music industry has held firm on its zero-tolerance position on online file swapping, suing 4,679 alleged digital pirates to drive its point home. But now, 16 high-profile artists, many of them signed to the same global music companies that have brought the lawsuits, are participating in a project that will allow music lovers to freely copy and trade some new songs without risking legal retaliation. Next month, songs by...

Packing »

Main WaterField bag that I put everything else into I realized today when I was packing that just about everything I pack is in a little sub-bag. I'm not normally an anal person, but having bags in bags with a proper place for every cable and plug helps me structure my packing and pack without thinking too hard. One of the most important components of this system is my WaterField bag gear. I've been using these bags for awhile since Reid turned me on to them, but I keep buying every new specialized pouch they come out with. I'm an...

Off to New York »

I'm off to New York today to attend the Creative Commons board meeting and go to the Creative Commons benefit concert organized by Wired Magazine. Hope to see you there! UPDATE: At airport now. It was very crowded getting through. I was looking through my passport while waiting in line and I noticed that on my last trip the old U.S. Immigrations stamp I used to get when entering the US changed to U.S. Customs and Border Protection. Similar, but definitely has a different ring to it. Also, I've been stuck waiting in line enough these days and have started...

Wikipedia reaches one million articles »

Wikipedia has just announced that it has reached one million articles. Congratulations Wikipedians! Wikipedia is in more than 100 languages with 14 currently having over 10,000 articles. It is ranked one of the ten most popular reference sites on the Internet according to Alexa.com (trumping Reuters, the Wall Street Journal and the LA Times). At the current rate of growth, Wikipedia will double in size again by next spring. Wikipedia is a volunteer effort supported by the non-profit Wikimedia Foundation. Please contribute to their fundraising effort. Coincidentally, this is the 3000th post on this blog....

Kamelopedia en launched! »

Kamelopedia, originally a German parody of Wikipedia, has launched in English. Kamelopedia uses the same MediaWiki software that Wikipedia uses, but it is a joke encyclopedia based on puns and mistakes. Wikipedia has an english language description of Kamelopedia. I just signed up, but I'm not sure which is more fun... trying to be funny, or writing in the Wikipedia deadpan tone about something that is funny. (I'm working on this style on the Stealth Disco article.) There is also the Wikipedia Bad jokes and other deleted nonsense page. via Jimbo...

Trucks »

Seth and Xeni write about this new American monster pickup truck, the CXT. According to Xeni it is "about 2 feet taller x 4 feet longer than the honkin' Hummer H2. Which, btw, it could tow along with that yacht, if need be." (MSNBC article and debut site) I just bought a 10 year old Daihatsu HiJet pickup truck. I got it because it's small enough to drive on the narrow paths between the rice fields. It can carry as much gravel or dirt as I would be willing to move on any given day. Just about every single...

Tighter screening in US airports starting Monday »

USA TodayFliers face tighter screening for explosives WASHINGTON — Starting Monday, the government will intensify airport screening... More discretion. TSA screeners will be given greater authority to refer passengers for extra scrutiny if clothing looks bulky, misshapen or otherwise suspicious. Some passengers also will receive expanded pat-downs when screeners consider it warranted. Currently, they concentrate mostly on arms and legs. Now, they'll be able to pat other areas if they look suspicious. TSA spokeswoman Yolanda Clark would not elaborate, citing security. ...Critics say additional pat-downs could make some people, especially young women, feel uncomfortable.Just in time for my trip to...

Google and Iowa Electronic Markets say Bush »

Graph of Bush vs Kerry on Iowa Electronic MarketsIowa Electronic MarketsThe Iowa Electronic Markets are real-money futures markets in which contract payoffs depend on economic and political events such as elections. These markets are operated by faculty at the University of Iowa Tippie College of Business as part of our research and teaching mission.Jimbo told me about IEM when I met him in Linz. A paper (PDF) describes the past elections and how the markets have been amazingly good at predicting their outcomes. IEM has a current market quote which is updated every 15 minutes. As of this posting, it...

Iran cracks down on reformist web sites »

Hoder reports government crackdowns on reformist websites and bloggers....

P2P over SIP »

Dr. Mark Petrovic and David Beckemeyer at Earthlink R&D have developed a proof of concept P2P application using SIP called SIPshare. SIP stands for Session Initiation Protocol and is one of the key technologies for the open standards around Voice over IP (VoIP). This application is pure P2P use of SIP. It is completely decentralized. According to David Beckemeyer this project is quite important.David Beckemeyer in emailThis may not sound like that big of a deal, as file sharing has been done, but I think this is a really big event. It's not about file sharing. Nobody is really going...

Feeling like a cog with a rubber stamp »

Two years ago I marched in protest against the Japan National ID. Last year, after we failed, a few cities and prefectures resisted. Yokohama took the position that the bill was illegal because it required privacy protection and the privacy bill had not passed. They allowed citizens to opt out and an whopping 24% of their citizens opted out. Now that the privacy bill of the central government is in place, Yokohama is being forced to "normalize" with the central government. Last year, I accepted an appoint to the Yokoyama personal information protection committee which would oversee their integration of...

Metroblogging Tokyo launched »

Metroblogging Tokyo just launched. I'm a contributor, but I haven't written anything yet....

Outfoxed interviews available under CC license via Bit Torrent »

torrentocracy - blogOutfoxed Torrent (torrentocracy exclusive) In working with Lawrence Lessig, Robert Greenwald has agreed to release the interviews within Outfoxed: Rupert Murdoch's War on Journalism under a Creative Commons non-commercial license (press release). This means that among the rights now granted, interviews balancing out the fair journalism of Fox News can freely be used as anyone sees fit. To see the full movie, you can purchase the Outfoxed DVD or check it out in theaters. Torrentocracy (along with archive.org) has exclusive initial access to distribute these interviews in their digital form due to the work undertaken to promote a...

Creative Commons Developing Nations license »

Creative CommonsDeveloping Nations license launched Today the Creative Commons launched a new standalone license, dubbed Developing Nations. The deed lays it out simply: it's an attribution-only license that applies within developing nations. The legal code defines developing nations as "any nation that is not classified as a 'high-income economy' by the World Bank." which according to the World Bank's site means it does not apply in these countries. This license can be used in a few ways. It can be combined with something currently licensed under a more restrictive license, so that your photographs could be protected from commercial use...

Creative Commons benefit concert will be webcast »

Creative CommonsFor those of you who can't make the Creative Commons benefit concert in New York next week, WIRED will present a Webcast of the show by David Byrne and Gilberto Gil, LIVE from the Town Hall, at 8 pm EST on September 21st.For those of you who WILL be there. I'll be there too....

Our web cam from 1995 »

Insert-Coin blogged a time lapse movie of our Eccosys web cam which was in my apartment in 1995. Talk about a walk down memory lane....

Moving Joiwiki »

My new wiki using Socialtext (based on the open source Kwiki) is up and running. We've implemented a login if you want to edit as a short term fix for wiki spam. We will convert it to self-registration soon, but for now, if you want an account, email Adina and she'll set you up. The old Moin Moin wiki is eventually going to be shut down and is already being infested by spam as the attention on it wanes. If there is anything on the old wiki that you'd like to keep, please move it over to the new wiki....

Lian ai zhong de Bao Bei - Baober in Love »

Last night, I saw Lian ai zhong de Bao Bei, or "Baober in Love" directed by Shaohong Li. It was a shocking, emotional and amazing love story set in Beijing. The movie captures the stark contrast of the rich and ultra-modern with the poor and traditional parts of the city. Having just spent a few days wandering from ultra-modern buildings to streets with bombed out buildings and meeting some of the young and rich in Beijing, the movie seemed to capture the strange cultural situation that people must be facing in China right now with the explosive growth in...

Nokia Lifeblog to use TypePad »

From Christian Lindholm who is in charge of Lifeblog at Nokia:ChristianLindholm.comLifeblog will blog to TypePad - some reflections Our team today announced that we are partnering with Six Apart to make TypePad the preferred destination when you blog from Lifeblog.Yay!...

The Chinese Firewall »

I was wondering why so many of my favorite feeds weren't coming into my news reader and I realized (duh!) that I'm in China and Blogger and TypePad are blocked. It's one thing blogging about it from Japan, it's another thing actually being blocked and realizing how much of my world just sort of disappears. There are proxy servers, but I hear that even then, if you use one for too long, they get tracked down and blocked literally while you're surfing......

Email jam »

It looks like my backlog of email has reached a critical level. I will try to get to it in the next few days, but apologies to people waiting for replies from me....

Michael Song on Chinese music industry »

We just had a very interesting meeting with Michael Song, managing director of Taihe Rye Music. He is Chinese, but spent six years at Texas A&M and returned to China in 1996 to work in the budding music scene in China. He is in the agency business and represents the #1 male musician in China. He explained that the legal music CD business in China is about 5%. In other words, 95% of the CDs on the market are pirate copies. He said that it was the teenagers who were passionate about the artists and liked to hang out in...

My favorite applications »

When I was at Linz, a bunch of people made me provide a list of all of the applications that I'm running on my Mac. I realize I do this to people too. I've seen people make lists of their favorite applications on their blogs, but I realized that it might be better to do on a wiki. I've made a list of my favorite applications. Feel free to click on any of the application links and comment on the page for the application. Also, feel free to make a similar page for yourself and list YOUR favorite applications. If...

Off to Beijing »

It's been nice hanging out in Linz meeting all of the cool people here. I'm off to Beijing today via Frankfurt and Narita. I have a feeling this multi-airport flight is going to suck. Anyway, maybe see you along the way if I can find some wifi. UPDATE I said I had a feeling it would suck and it is sucking.Airport - Linz, AustriaGate Agent: Our computer is broken. I can't check you through to your final destination. Me: OK, but please check my bag through to Bejing via Tokyo. Gate Agent: My computer is down. I have to look...

Stickers on our PowerBooks »

As usual, there were a lot of PowerBooks at this conference. Interestingly, Esther Dyson, Lawrence Lessig, Bruce Sterling and I were the only people I noticed who had stickers on our PowerBooks. Other people who I know who have stickers on their PowerBooks are Mena Trott and Cory Doctorow. I wonder what this means? What do those of us who are willing to vandalize our pristine PowerBooks with stickers have in common? Anyway, just an observation......

Leadership and authority »

I was just on a panel with Jimmy "Jimbo" Wales, the founder of Wikipedia. We've been talking the last few days about communities and it turns out the #wikipedia IRC channel is about the same size as #joiito. (approx 100 people online. Wikipedia has many other sub channels though so in aggregate they are much bigger...) Anyway, Jimmy noticed that I didn't have a Wikipedia article and he decided to go to his community and see if he could get an article written while we were on the channel.#wikipedia-- Jimbo has joined #wikipedia Jimbo: Just a fun experiment... Jimbo: Joichi...

Wikipedia heals in 5 minutes »

IBM History Flow visualization of the "Islam" article on Wikipedia.I think the gaps are where the page has been erased and restored.See the IBM History Flow page for more details and examples. I think this has been mentioned in the press already, but I confirmed with Jimmy Wales that a study done by IBM (The group that did the history flow work) tried to measure how quickly vandalism on Wikipedia was identified and corrected. They searched for pages where suddenly all of the content disappeared or a huge amount was deleted. They found that the median time for such a...

Moleskine mania »

When Jim gave me my first Moleskine notebook, I didn't realize that I would become part of the Moleskine mania. Since then, I see these notebooks everywhere. I have recently been added to the fan blog, moleskinerie. Antoin has some interesting thoughts on the narrative and branding by Mondo e Mondo, the Italian firm making these things....

Chart of terror alerts and Bush's approval ratings »

Interesting chart showing how terror alerts in the US seems to coincide with drops in Bush's approval ratings. via JuliusBlog...

I )( Wi-Fi bumper sticker »

Christoph Wimmer asks where I got my "I )( Wi-Fi" bumpersticker. I got it from www.bumperactive.com. It's a very cool site with lots of great bumpersticks. Part of the money is donated to a variety of non-profits. This bumpersticker benefits Creative Commons. The "I )( Wi-Fi" bumper sticker can be found on the Tech Culture page....

Britney Spears used gum on eBay - $14,000 »

IHTBritney Spears's fans don't think the pop star's chewed gum is "Toxic" - they're buying wads of it on eBay. There are more than two dozen auctions of used gum on eBay, each claiming their product has been spit out by the 22-year-old singer. Prices go as high as $14,000, but most are for significantly less. Though there is no way to verify the authenticity of the various wads, many postings include photos of a small piece of chewed gum, a copy of a ticket stub from the "place of finding" and a personal story of procurement.eeeww... I wonder what...

Timeline + 25 »

Press ReleaseArs Electronica , the oldest, largest, and most prominent art and technology festival in the world, today launched a web site inviting participants to make predictions about the next 25 years, year by year, and to vote on predictions already posted.Looks interesting. Give it a try....

Ars Electronica Festival webcast »

Ars Electronica 2004Video Streams In addition to the proceeding of the Ars Electronica Gala, the panels of the TIMESHIFT Symposium and the Prix Forum as well as the speech by Itsuo Sakane, the Re-inventing Radio Symposium and the launch of Creative Commons Austria will be available online as video streams.The program is online here. I'll be on the DISRUPTION panel. Now listening to: Anarchy in the UK by the Sex Pistols...

Republicans outsourcing fund-raising calls to India »

I reported back in September 2003 that an Indian newspaper reported a local company receiving an outsourcing contract from the Republicans for fund-raising calls. The Republicans denied this at the time. Dvorak has an update.The Telegraph - CalcuttaIndian voices in Bush pitch - Geography error blows lid off campaign outsourcing The Texas outfit may have actually got away with its outsourcing exercise if it had not been for the poor training given to Indian telemarketers who handled the job. Sources here said the India-based operation was exposed when one American who received a fund-raising phone call on behalf of the...

Government wifi in Philadephia is a good thing »

Philadelphia is considering investing $10M to blanket 135 square miles with wifi coverage. I agree with David Weinberger that the wifi project in Philadelphia is a good thing. Like David, I hear and understand the arguments against government running things that businesses can do, but I think that in the case of some of the low cost basic infrastructure like this, I think municipal governments can often deploy and run it just fine. I think that we need to start thinking of parts of our network as assets like roads, which can and should be run by government. I will...

RNC-NYC: reported presence of long-range acoustic device (LRAD) at protests »

The NYC police are reported to have a weapon-like acoustic device called an LRAD at the RNC protests. Here is a picture from Indymedia.August 30 AP StoryEarlier this month, the New York Police Department showed off a machine called the Long Range Acoustic Device, developed for the military and capable of blasting at an earsplitting 150 decibels -- as loud as a firecracker, a jet engine taking off or artillery fire at 500 feet, according to the Noise Center at the League for the Hard of Hearing. The NYPD said it would use the machine to direct crowds to safety...

Barlow's dancemob update »

John Perry Barlow promised to organize dancemobs to disrupt the RNC and he has. He sends a quick update from the dancemob front lines....

walking around passport control »

I'm at an airport lounge in Frankfurt Airport and just had a weird experience. There was a huge line and passport control to get into the terminal with my departure gate for my next flight. I decided to go to the lounge. It was sort of a long walk, but when I arrived and asked how to get to my gate, they said it was around the corner - with no security or passport control. Somehow I just "walked around" the passport control. Now I realize that this is inter-terminal passport control so I have no idea what sort of...

audiomashupblogging »

Inspired by Maciej's anti-audioblogging manifesto, I started working on an audioblogger mashup. I'm not very good at this yet, but here's what I've got so far. (1.8 MB mp3). I'm going to keep working on this, but if anyone wants to pitch in and give me a hand... hint hint... UPDATE: I'm taking this down because Maciej says it's freaking him out. ;-)...

Off to Austria »

I'm off to Linz, Austria in a few hours. I'll be attending Ars Electronica. My schedule in Linz is on my wiki. After that, I'm going to Beijing. My travel schedule for the year is also on my wiki. See you all there....

kerryrocks.net »

kerryrocks.net, a video of a Kerry kigurumi performance on the guitar. Pretty neat, but not sure if this will really convince people to vote for Kerry. ;-)...

Japanese P2P software developer pleads not guilty »

Japan TodayCreator of file-sharing software pleads not guilty to piracy KYOTO — The creator of a program for anonymous file-sharing over the Internet pleaded not guilty on Wednesday at the Kyoto District Court to the charge that he developed the software knowing it would facilitate Internet piracy. Isamu Kaneko, 34, who developed the Winny peer-to-peer file-sharing program, is the first person in Japan to stand trial for creating software that can be used for the unauthorized reproduction of movies and video games over the Internet.In the US, they are trying to pass a law making it illegal to induce people...

Audioblogging Manifesto »

Maciej has posted an audioblogging manifesto about why he thinks audioblogging is a stupid idea. Very funny. He makes good points, but I'm not convinced that audioblogging doesn't have a future. Listening to his audioblog makes me want to make a mashup of all of the audiobloggers he mentions. ;-) (4.1MB mp3 / text version)...

Movable Type 3.1 released »

We (Six Apart) released Movable Type 3.1 today. Some important new features including a dynamic pages and sub-categories. It comes with a plugin pack which includes MTBlackList 2.0. MTBlackList 2.0 is my favorite comment spam zapper. (More on Mena's Corner.)...

Soros responds to drug money insinuation »

George Soros responds to Republican House Speaker Dennis Hastert's insinuation that Soros received funding from drug money.via New York Daily NewsYou know, I don't know where George Soros gets his money. I don't know where -- if it comes overseas or from drug groups or where it comes from," Hastert mused. An astonished Chris Wallace asked: "Excuse me?" The Speaker went on: "Well, that's what he's been for a number years -- George Soros has been for legalizing drugs in this country. So, I mean, he's got a lot of ancillary interests out there." Wallace: "You think he may be...

Friendster cans coder for blogging »

Cory @ Boing BoingFriendster cans coder for blogging Joyce Park is a coder who worked at Friendster, leading the charge to re-engineer the poky, Java-based back-end with fast PHP. She blogged about it, got slashdotted, got written up in the press -- and got fired. Even though there was nothing confidential in her blog posts, the new CEO shitcanned her. [I]t's especially ironic because Friendster, of course, is a company that is all about getting people to reveal information about themselves... Link, Link to Jeremy Zawodny's instructions for resigning from Friendster (Thanks, Jeffreyp!)I can't find any more information on this...
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