Joi Ito's conversation with the living web.

December 2004 Archives

Bloggers tortured in Iran, says ex-VP »

Bloggers tortured in Iran, says ex-VP via Jeff Jarvis...

Bloggers without borders launched »

Bloggers without borders has just launch. Here's the first post from Jonas.Tsunami Outreach Submitted by Jonas M Luster on Thu, 2004-12-30 05:23. We have found our compassion in this one. Yet, one thing remains and is badly needed, says a friend of mine who just arrived in Sri Lanka and will be contributing what he learned in eight years in Uniform. People. Not the odd-job bystander, not the “activist”, and certainly not the journalist. What is needed most, today, are qualified specialists. Demolitions experts to safely destroy dangerous structures, Doctors, guys and gals who know how to handle a syringe...

Uh-Oh »

BarlowFriendzA Tale of the Uh-Oh's: Amelia Takes A Fall At the dawn of this psychotic decade, I proposed, on instinct, that we should call it the Uh-Oh's. Decades need names. How else are we map their unique zeitgeists in our subsequent reflections on them? Imagine, for example, how awkward our historical recollections would become if we could not refer to "the 60's," a decade which needed no adjective, unlike, say, "the Roaring 20's?" The name is the frame, and the frame says it all.I totally agree. I have several uh-oh's going on right now and see several longer-term uh-oh's developing....

21C3 update »

My apologies for not blogging much substantive stuff. 21C3 is like no other conference I've been to. There are thousands of people. The center is open 24 hours a days with food 24 hours a day. People are sleeping in the halls and there is activity 24 hours a day. In a way, it is the perfect conference for jet laggy people like me. I can sleep when I want to, wander over at 3AM and there are people there hacking, talking and working. I've met some incredibly interesting people and have put faces behind a bunch of projects I've...

Fortune Magazine's blog article »

Fortune Magazine's David Kirkpatrick and Daniel Roth have just posted an excellent article about blogging. There are interviews with the usual suspects. A lot of the stories will be familiar to heavy blog readers but it's a great summary of what's going on and a "must send" link to people you know who still don't understand blogs. Extra credit for making the article accessible with a permalink and no registration. Minus points for not linking to the bloggers they interview. Apparently the print version has lots of cool charts so I'm going to pick up the newsstand version too....

Internet to ITU »

Ross Rader writes a passionate response to the ITU "Beyond Internet Governance" paper. This is the struggle/debate that we face today and good for Ross for articulating the position many people have but are either not in a position to say or are not informed enough to say. I would be very interested to hear the ITU's response to Ross....

Off to Berlin »

I'll off to Berlin in a few hours. I'm going to the 21st Chaos Communication Congress. I will be speaking about the State of Emergent Democracy. (I am working on my talking points on my wiki.) I usually print out the conference schedule in case the immigration officer wants to know what I am going to be doing in their country, but I noticed that the schedule has stuff like: Lockpicking, Bluetooth Hacking, GameCube Hacking, Hidden Data in Internet Published Documents, Practical Mac OS X Insecurity, SAP R/3 Protocol Reverse Engineering... Maybe I won't carry a printout of this schedule...

The death penalty »

From today's paper...Tegucigalpa, Honduras (AP) - Unknown assailants opened fire this week on a public bus in northern Honduras, killing at least 23 passengers and wounding 16 others ... The assailants left a note that said they represented a revolutionary group that opposes the death penalty... Beijing (AFP) - The Chinese authorities have sentenced two Hong Kong men to death for smuggling digital player components into the southeastern city of Xiamen...I don't want to be judgmental or anything, but killing 23 people to protest the death penalty and sentencing to death people for smuggling digital player components both seem a...

Gokurousama blog »

iMorpheus has a great blog called the Gokurousama blog.GokurousamaGokurousama means "Thank you for your troubles" in Japanese and it is also the name of this blog. Gokurousama celebrates and recognizes the hard work of others.I say gokurousama when I get out of taxis, when someone as completed a chore or when I pass a gardner. It's similar to, but slightly different from another great Japanese word, otsukaresama. Otsukaresama is less about thanks but still acknowledging someone for some hard work. This is often said when toasting after a hard day of work or after working together on a hard project....

Season's Greetings and Global Voices »

It's 6AM Christmas morning in Japan right now. Today I'm reflecting on the past year and thinking about the future and I'm thinking about Global Voices. Hopefully most of you are with your family with some time to relax, think about priorities and reflect. I'm sure there are a lot of TV shows about "Peace on earth, goodwill to men," and you've probably sent and received a lot of UNICEF Christmas cards. You should be in the perfect mood to think about Global Voices. In the past, we had to rely on TV shows to try to feel empathy for...

My tattered passport »

I stupidly got a 10 year passport (instead of a 5 year) which is now approaching the final year in its life. It has become reasonably tattered. In particular, there is a corner of the passport cover just where the row of OCR characters starts. This corner is also the closest to my picture. It started as a minor peel. However, several immigration officers have picked at it trying to see if it was a fake (making it worse). Each time a brutal agent swipes it through the OCR scanner, it gets a little worse. I figure a little bit...

Barlow 4th Amendment fight update »

Barlow blogs about his day in court trying to defend his 4th Amendment rights. The judge ruled against him, but it's just the first step in a much longer process. Good luck Barlow. EFF's staff technologist Seth David Schoen, danah boyd and Rob Kiser and also posted their accounts....

Amazon's tail was a bit shorter »

Chris updates some figures from his original article where he had written that "57% of Amazon's book sales are of books not available in stores". He writes in an update, "I've now spoken to Jeff Bezos (and others) about this. He doesn't have a hard figure for the percentage of sales of products not available offline, but reckons that it's closer to 25-30%. That would put it in line with Netflix's and Rhapsody's figures." There is an interesting discussion going on in the comments as well....

Americans and Civil Rights for Muslims »

Kuro5hinThe glass is half empty: Americans and Civil Rights for Muslims The Media and Society Research Group of Cornell University conducted a survey in November of Americans with respect to their attitudes towards Muslims. Nearly half (44%) of respondents favored restricting the civil rights of Muslims in some way. The press release, with links to the report, is available at [link]My next question is, of the 56% of the people who didn't favor restricting the civil rights of Muslims, what percentage are going to do anything about trying to stop this trend?...

Nokia Python »

Feet Up!More Nokia Python It looks like people haven’t been slow to get using Nokia’s Python project, and Matt Croydon has been collating projects and news on his Python for Series 60 wiki page.Seeing as there’s no central clearing house(other than Forum Nokia) for Nokia Python projects right now, I reckon this is as good a focal point as any.The official public release of Python on Series 60 just came out on the 22nd of December. You can get it on Forum Nokia site....

BloggerCorps first success story »

Rebecca blogs about the first BloggerCorps success story. BloggerCorps is project to try to hook up local bloggers with important local projects who need help from bloggers. It's a great idea which just needs a bit more momentum I think. It ties in well with the Global Voices stuff. (The first version of the manifesto is done.)...

The Long Tail the book and the blog »

Chris Anderson is writing a book about The Long Tail which started as one of my favorite articles that he wrote for Wired. He has also started a blog about the Long Tail. The original article is online at Wired....

New Lab for Social Computing at RIT »

Liz has announced her new Lab for Social Computing at RIT over on Many-2-Many. I'm excited to be on the advisory board and look forward to seeing some great work from lab....

Technorati Japan »

Technorati and Digital Garage just announced that they will work together to set up Technorati Japan which will be established as a subsidiary of Digital Garage and will distribute Technorati services in Japan. I am a co-founder and former co-CEO of Digital Garage. Digital Garage was a company that Kaoru Hayashi and I established in 1994 and we merged his advertising business and my Internet business together. We ran the company together and did a bunch of things like bring Infoseek to Japan. I later left the company to help run Infoseek Japan when it was spun out. This is...

Happy Trolls »

Hugh has a great post about "The Happy Troll". I've been thinking about this recently as well and I think he hits the nail on the head. This blog is my living room and if you can't behave, I'll ban you. It's not about censorship. I just don't have time to deal with all of the "Happy Trolls". Maybe I should put together a new comment policy that deals with the notion of "The Happy Troll."...

MT in a box »

Six Apart Japan together with Softbank just started selling Movable Type in a box. Actually, it's a folder. Anyway, it's doing surprising well and is currently ranked #1 on Softbank's ECBuyers online store right now. Sorry if this sounds boastful, but we're pretty stoked....

The edge of Orkut »

I just got the following message on Orkut.Limit reached for number of friends You have 1024 friends. You can only have up to 1000 friends. Before you can add more friends, you need to remove friends.Partially because I was getting sick of social networks systems, partially because they were trying to be "exclusive" with invite only and partially because it was easy, I took the policy of saying yes to every friend request that didn't look like a fakester. Now I've found the edge of Orkut. According to Orkut, you can only have 1000 friends. I guess that's OK compared...

Global Voices manifesto draft »

There is now a draft of the Global Voices manifesto on Hoder's wiki. It will eventually be moved, but we're working on it there for now. Here is the current draft.We believe in free speech, both in protecting the right to speak and extending access to the tools of speech. We define speech broadly to include many media that facilitate expression. The broadest right of free speech has always extended primarily to those who owned technology for publishing and distribution, beginning with the printing press. It is now possible for anyone to publish and have access to a distribution channel...

New Apple Signature iPods »

First the Special Edition U2 iPod. Now this. ;-) via Michael...

The top 1,000 things to know »

Seth blogs about the top 1,000 things for a 13 year old third grader to learn. I agree with him. The most important thing I learned in school was how to touch type. UPDATE: Thanks to Liz for pointing out that Seth said 3rd graders, not 13 year olds. Sorry! UPDATE 2: Ado says that Seth's post originally said 13 year old......

Blogroll »

Does anyone use my blogroll? People seem to like the random faces, but I have a feeling people don't look at the blogroll. I admit it's rather hidden, but it's become unwieldy....

Thermodynamics and Evolution »

Susan Crawford quotes an essay by John W. Patterson called "Thermodynamics and Evolution", part of a volume of scientific responses to creationism. She ties it neatly to Internet governance at the end.Susan CrawfordHere is Patterson's conclusion: "In reality, ... the 'uphill' processes associated with life not only are compatible with entropy and the second law, but actually depend on them for the energy fluxes off of which they feed. Numerous other kinds of backward processes in simpler, nonliving systems also proceed in this way, and do so in complete accord with the second law." This all ties to internet governance....

EPIC 2014 »

EPIC 2014 In the year 2014, The New York Times has gone offlne. The Fourth Estate's fortunes have waned. What happened to the news? And what is EPIC?An image of the future of journalism as a historical movie. Well done and rather interesting perspective on how it might go wrong. Took a few tries to get it to load. via Dean and Jessica...

Google adding major libraries to database »

New York TimesGoogle Is Adding Major Libraries to Its Database By JOHN MARKOFF and EDWARD WYATT Google, the operator of the world's most popular Internet search service, plans to announce an agreement today with some of the nation's leading research libraries and Oxford University to begin converting their holdings into digital files that would be freely searchable over the Web. It may be only a step on a long road toward the long-predicted global virtual library. But the collaboration of Google and research institutions that also include Harvard, the University of Michigan, Stanford and the New York Public Library is...

Interview in OhmyNews International with Dan Gillmor »

OhmyNews International interviews Dan Gillmor about his new project. via Howard's del.icio.us...

ICANN board resolutions »

We just finished an ICANN telephone board meeting. The resolutions have been posted to the ICANN web site. The resolutions were posted just a few hours after the meeting completed. Good hustle folks. (People have complained about the delay.) I did not participate in discussions about or vote on the .mobi application because of my relationship with Nokia....

AIM account restored »

Ryan Naraine at eWeek who has been covering the AOL Instant Messenger account suspension SNAFU just contacted me to ask if my account had been restored. Apparently he was talking to AOL and they had said that the accounts had been restored. I checked and I still got the "Your screen name has been suspended and cannot be used to log in" error. Ryan contacted AOL and they fixed my account somehow. AOL didn't explain exactly why I was suspended and how I was cleared, but it appears that for now my account is back. Thanks Ryan. Is anyone else...

ACS Sues Google Over "Scholar" Trademark »

Donna Wentworth @ CopyfightACS Sues Google Over "Scholar" Trademark Because when we think about scholarship and online research, we think about the American Chemical Society (ACS). Or maybe not. Story here.Not. As Jon Stewart would say... Please stop. Can't we just get along. Ugh....

Global Voices »

I participated in the Global Voices session at the Berkman Center and promised earlier to post my thoughts. The bad news is that we didn't get far enough to come up with a conclusive plan, but the good news is that I think we have enough momentum to move forward. The discuss was quite sober and practical and was not nearly as techno-utopian as we are often criticized of being and often tend to get. I think the key difference between this meeting and others that I have attended was the large number of mediums (Wikipedia, OhmyNews, traditional journalism, human...

Peculiar Japanese »

I just got back to Japan after a few weeks abroad. It's the longest trip away from Japan that I've taken in awhile. When I was in the waiting area before boarding the plane, which was mostly Japanese, I noticed that the Japanese people seemed peculiar. I remember feeling this in the past after long trips. It's like suddenly I'm aware of weird Japanese body language, fashion, behaviors and facial expressions. It made me self-conscious too. I'm sure this is a pretty common phenomenon, but it was odd because it was disproportionately stronger compared to a one week trip away....

Back to Tokyo... »

I'm at Logan Airport on my way back to Tokyo. It was great meeting everyone and thanks for the very stimulating discussions. I'll try to write up some of my thoughts on my flight back. I just got through security at Logan and I didn't notice until the guy at the security check looked at my boarding pass and said, "you have been selected by the airline for additional screening." Yikes. I looked at my ticket and it had the dreaded "SSSS" on it. Crap. It wasn't that awful. I got a pat-down and a very thorough examination of my...

New bill to crack down on digital peeping Toms »

AP"The bill, which President Bush is expected to sign, would make it a crime to videotape or photograph the naked or underwear-covered private parts of a person without consent when the person has a reasonable expectation of privacy. Conviction could lead to a fine of not more than $100,000 or imprisonment for up to one year, or both."via Emily at Smart Mobs I wonder what they're going to do about mobloggin' Aibos... On a more serious note, although "it carves out exceptions for law enforcement, intelligence and prison work," what does this mean exactly? How about private security cameras? I...

Barlow's fight for his 4th Amendment rights »

U.S. Constitution: Fourth AmendmentFourth Amendment - Search and Seizure The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.Barlow has gone public with his fight for his 4th Amendment rights. Please read the story on his blog. I commend Barlow for discussing this in public and for fighting for his rights since you lose rights that...

AIM update »

Following up an earlier post about how my AOL Instant Messenger account is hosed... eWeek has another update. eWeek interviews David Ferris from a market-research company who says, "One of the things that ought to happen is that companies need to be prepared to pay for more reliable service, but they're generally not prepared to do so." Ooo. Scary. Actually, maybe that should read "companies need to prepare to run their own IM servers that use interoperable standards." I wonder if AOL is thinking of charging for IM. This reminds me of a comment by someone from AOL at a...

Google Suggest »

Google Suggest beta. Wow....

Dan Gillmor leaving San Jose Mercury News »

Dan Gillmor blogs that he is leaving the San Jose Mercury News next month to work on a citizen-journalism project. Awesome. Practice what you preach. Good luck Dan and let us know more about your new project when you can.#harvardbitsjoho - I'm VERY excited about the possibilities. E.g., OhMyGillmor....

Off to Boston »

I'm off to Boston today to participate in the About Internet & Society 2004: Votes, Bits & Bytes conference at the Berkman Center. Lots of interesting folks seem to be coming. The theme of the meeting is:How are technologies changing politics, both in the U.S. and abroad? The purpose of this conference is to take a skeptical, results-oriented look at the current state of politics after the 2004 election and from an international perspective in terms of issue-based campaigns, emerging business models, and new tools that affect politics both online and off. The conference will focus on the following questions:...

Artists Agree -- P2P Lawsuits Are Not the Answer »

EFF DeeplinksArtists Agree -- P2P Lawsuits Are Not the Answer Cynthia Webb of the Washington Post synthesizes the discussion about the new Pew study [PDF] reporting that while many artists believe file sharing should be illegal, they don't necessarily believe that 1.) it's actually hurting them, 2.) the RIAA lawsuits are doing anything to help the situationInteresting report and another blow to the RIAA's argument that they are doing it for the artists....

AIM account suspended »

I'm getting an error that says "Your account is currently suspended" when I try to log into my joiitosk AIM account. Does anyone know what this error means and how I resolve it? Update: Article in eWeek about this, but it doesn't say whether AOL is going to give us our accounts back. Thanks to Cours for the link....

Time for Reformation of the Internet? »

James Seng and Elliot Noss have interesting responses to an anonymous post on Susan Crawford's blog calling for the reformation of the Internet. Read the anonymous post first, then Elliot, then James. They all represent a small view into the diversity of intelligent opinions on the future of the ICANN....

Post ICANN meeting thoughts... »

I'm now at Frankfurt airport waiting for my connection to fly to San Francisco. I slept through most of the 12 hour flight here catching up on my nearly no sleep week in Cape Town. As I've said before, I'll try to pick topics as I get my head around them and blog them, but it feels like I learned more during this one week at the ICANN meeting in Cape Town than I've ever learned in a single week. The scary thing is, the more I learn, the more I realize how little I know. People who participate in...

Blogging ICANN »

It looks like I have lots to learn and a lot of work ahead of me. I had some discussions with the ICANN staff and board about my blogging and everyone has been very supportive and encouraging. I will try to blog as much as possible. I think the only real constraint that I have will be in areas where I have privileged and confidential information or where we have an odd relationship. For example, since there is an ongoing litigation with Verisign, I won't be blogging about how they suck like I used to. I will try to reset...

ICANN board and committees »

We just finished the board meeting where I was officially appointed to the board of ICANN. In addition, I was appointed to the Audit Committee, the Committee on Reconsideration and the Finance Committee. The Audit committee is "responsible for (1) recommending the selection of external auditors to the Board, (2) receiving, reviewing, and forwarding to the Board the annual financial report of the external auditors, and (3) such other matters as may warrant its attention." The Committee on Reconsideration is "responsible for handling requests for reconsideration of ICANN Board and staff actions. Consisting of five Directors, the Reconsideration Committee has...

Former CIA head wants to limit Internet access »

UPI via The Washington Times Tenet calls for Internet security [...] The way the Internet was built might be part of the problem, he said. Its open architecture allows Web surfing, but that openness makes the system vulnerable, Mr. Tenet said. Access to networks like the World Wide Web might need to be limited to those who can show they take security seriously, he said. If the Internet were not open, it would no longer be the Internet. it is exactly the "vulnerabilities" that Tenet refers to that allows the Internet to promote free speech, innovation and growth without asking...

The amazing scribes »

The scribes at this ICANN meeting are amazing. They are using steno keyboards to type what people are saying in realtime and it is being projected on a big screen. What is amazing is that they are typing in English, even when the speakers are speaking French. I wish I could pipe the text into the IRC channel. I wonder if there is a way to get the scribe text via jabber or something... UPDATE: Someone noticed that the "jp" macro completes to "Jon Postel" so they can been seen quickly fixing it when the Japanese are speaking. ;-)...

Santa Claus is on instant messenger »

If you have an AOL Instant Messenger account, try messaging SantaClaus. via Snowchyld...

ICANN meeting coverage »

Susan Crawford is providing very good blow by blow coverage of the ICANN meeting on her blog. My apologies for not blogging anything substantive. I'm still doing a lot of listening and don't have enough context make intelligent statements. I'll try to write a summary after the entire meeting. Anyone else blogging ICANN? It would be great if all of the different constituents would blog since ICANN can only be understood by listening to all of the perspectives. Also, as I posted earlier, the meeting is being webcast. There are a bunch of public forum meetings with an open mic...

Report shows increase in support for radicals Islamics after US actions »

Report of the US Defense Science Board Task Force on Strategic Communication September 2004 (PDF)American direct intervention in the Muslim World has paradoxically elevated the stature of and support for radical Islamists, while diminishing support for the United States to single-digits in some Arab societies. [...] What was a marginal network is now an Ummah-wide movement of fighting groups. Not only has there been a proliferation of “terrorist” groups: the unifying context of a shared cause creates a sense of affiliation across the many cultural and sectarian boundaries that divide Islam.We knew this would be true, but this comes from...

The 21st Chaos Communication Congress »

I am extremely psyched to have been invited to speak at the Chaos Computer Club's 21st Chaos Communication Congress on December 27th to 29th, 2004 at Berliner Congress Center, Berlin, Germany. I will speaking on day 2. There are lots of really interesting speakers including Jimmy Wales, founder of Wikipedia on day 1, Donatella Della Ratta about Arab media also on day 2. Also, don't miss the eight annual German Lockpicking Championships. Anyway, it looks like an amazing event so if you're in Europe and feeling materialistic and boring after Christmas, come on over to Berlin and join us. I...

China blocks Google News »

Reporters Without Borders says that that China has started blocking Google News just a few weeks after Google started self-censorship on their search results. via We The Media...

Blog defined »

David Pescovitz @ Boing BoingBlog defined Meriam-Webster declared yesterday that based on lookups in their online dictionary, the "#1 Word of the Year for 2004" is (drumroll and eyeroll)... "blog."Blog noun [short for Weblog] (1999) : a Web site that contains an online personal journal with reflections, comments, and often hyperlinks provided by the writer.Also-rans include "incumbent,""insurgent,""hurricane," and "peloton," defined as the "main body of riders in a bicycle race."LinkNow stop complaining about how stupid "blog" sounds....

Cape Town ICANN meeting webcast »

Meetings in the main auditorium at the ICANN meeting in Cape Town, South Africa December 1-5 are being webcast. Right now, the Workshop on the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) is on. I will be hanging out on #icann on irc.freenode.net when I'm available....
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