Joi Ito's conversation with the living web.

July 2005 Archives

T42 with Ubuntu »

I bought a discounted IBM T42 ThinkPad and installed Ubuntu on it. I decided that I would try to get switched over to Linux (for now) before I headed off to OSCON later this week. It was amazingly easy to install and wifi, suspend and various hardware goodies seem to work. I still haven't gotten my printer set up or my DVDs to play... Anyway, we'll see if I'll be able to make this trip without bringing my PowerBook....

Elected to board of CPSR »

I was recently elected to the board of Computer Professionals for Social Responsibility (CPSR). I had been a member for quite awhile and have been the Treasurer of the Japan chapter since we started it in 2002. CPSR has thousands of members and has incubated a number of important projects including the Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC). I hope that I can help CPSR mobilize more members for what I believe is a very important mandate that CPSR has. I'll keep you all posted on the activities, but take a look at the web page if you are interested in...

Similarity between contracts and open source code »

Karen Copenhaver, Black Duck Software, speaking at Mass Open Source Special Interest Group And since there are a lot of attorneys in the room, I always tell this story, but it's just to level set everybody, because sometimes I'd look out and see a sea of attorneys, and they're acting like you developers that put this Open Source into the source code, like you're drunk and disorderly or “Oh! They're out of control, putting all this source code into their source tree.” But if I ask the lawyers in the room how many of you would ever start writing a...

Yak shaving my way to Ubuntu »

All I wanted to do was forward my telephone calls. I decided to dive into Asterisk. I realized that all of the "easy configure" setups were limited for my purposes. Then I realized I should probably get my head around what Asterisk is actually doing and play with Linux. Before I knew it, the folks on #joiito had convinced me to install Ubuntu Linux. I finally routed my first call from my bottom-up install of Asterisk. What a Yak shave. So... what's the best laptop for running Linux?...

Pieter Hugo's photos: Hyena people of Nigeria »

Copyright Pieter Hugo Xeni Jardin @ Boing Boing BlogPieter Hugo's photos: Hyena people of Nigeria The thought that popped into my head when I first saw this incredible photo was, "next time you feel smug or badass, remember this and say -- no you are not tough. This is tough." Pieter Hugo's photo series "Hyena People of Nigeria" is the result of a ten-day trek the South African photographer took with a group of wandering minstrels and their animal companions: three hyenas, two pythons and four monkeys. Shown here: "Mallam Mantari Lamal with Mainasara, Nigeria, 2005" Here's a snip from...

Typhoon to welcome me home... »

Joint Typhoon Warning CenterSpain was beautiful. Dry and sunny. Last night Paris was a bit wet, but nice. I landed today in a hot, muggy Tokyo lined up for a direct hit by a Typhoon. (Technically, I think it's a tropical storm.) I am about to head out to go to a Ryuichi Sakamoto concert where my cousin Cornelius will be joining him. I am trying to figure out the route that is least likely to get shut down. Various trains routes have been shut down. I can already imagine the frustrated crowds of Japanese office workers stranded in Tokyo,...

The War on Terror - As viewed from the Bourne shell »

The War on Terror - As viewed from the Bourne shell. Some geeky fun for a serious issue. via MetaFilter...

False positives »

AP via YahooMan Killed in London Not Linked to Blasts By PATRICK QUINN, Associated Press Writer Sat Jul 23, 7:16 PM ET LONDON - Police identified the man who was chased down in a subway and shot to death by plainclothes officers as a Brazilian and expressed regret Saturday for his death, saying they no longer believed he was tied to the recent terror bombings. [...] The man shot at the Stockwell subway station was identified as Jean Charles de Menezes, 27. Witnesses said he was wearing a heavy, padded coat when plainclothes police chased him into a subway car,...

Menorca »

I am on the island of Menorca attending a friend's wedding. Right now, all I can seem to connect to is expensive gprs. My apologies if my blogging is a bit light and email responses slow and terse. I'll have real connectivity again on Monday on my flight back to Japan. ;-) Until then, I'll try to moblog some pictures....

My dear trolls »

I have tried very hard not to delete comments, even if they are abusive. I believe in free speech and don't like the idea of censorship. However, I've recently received numerous requests from readers of my blog to address the issue of abusive and hateful comments. Here is the rule. If you have something to say, say it without racial slurs. Otherwise, I will consider deleting it. If you post a comment which does not contribute to the conversation or is completely off-topic, I will delete it. And a special rule for Mr. ICANN Troll. Please limit your criticisms of...

One hour left... »

One hour left of my Connexion service. I was using my PHS and Narita Airport wifi before I boarded the flight and they were both slower than this connexion service aboard this flight. I have a feeling Frankfurt airport will be about the same, but it will be more expensive. (I only paid $30 for 12 hours of access on this flight.) I'm on my way to Menorca for a friend's wedding, where the last time I was there, even GSM was spotty. Anyway, gprs roaming, as I found out awhile ago, is ridiculously expensive. Connectivity, at least for this...

Skypecast from the sky »

I just completed my first successful Skypecast from an airplane. I used Audio Hijack Pro, Skype and the Boeing Connexion service on Lufthansa flight 711. Special thanks to Jeremy Wagstaff for being the guinea pig for this experiment. Joi-JeremyLH711.mp3 (1.7MB)...

Free... as in beer »

GNU Free Software DefinitionThe Free Software Definition [...] "Free software" is a matter of liberty, not price. To understand the concept, you should think of "free" as in "free speech", not as in "free beer".Actually... Free as in beer.Vores ØlHow can beer be open source? The recipe and the whole brand of Our Beer is published under a Creative Commons license, which basically means that anyone can use our recipe to brew the beer or to create a derivative of our recipe. You are free to earn money from Our Beer, but you have to publish the recipe under the...

Poor Harry Potter... »

The new Harry Potter books has been pirated and posted online in 24 hours and there is a video of man spoiling the ending for people standing in line to buy the book. via Boing Boing and MetaFilter...

PhoneGnome »

I am on the advisory board of and an investor in TelEvolution which has just announced a device called the PhoneGnome. PhoneGnome is the brainchild of David Beckemeyer. He was co-founder of EarthLink, where he was Vice President Engineering and Chief Technology Officer. I first met David on #joiito and got to know him when he built the Hecklebot. Later, he approached me with his PhoneGnome idea and I was immediately fascinated. The PhoneGnome is box that you connect to your phone line and your Internet connection and attach a phone to. The magic happens when PhoneGnome figures out your...

Khalid Jarrar: Iraqi blogger detained »

Global VoicesBlogger Khalid Jarrar, author of Secrets in Baghdad, remains in custody of the Iraqi intelligence service, known as the Mukhabarat. As we reported yesterday, Khalid’s brother Raed says their family was relieved to hear on Thursday morning that Khalid is still alive after going missing for two days. On Sunday, Khalid described on his blog how his apartment in Baghdad had been broken into and his hard drive was stolen. Soon after that he disappeared. Khalid’s family are calling for his release, or at very least that he be charged and tried for something. Raed says: “Our goal now...

Skype from the plane »

I just Skyped from the plane using the Boeing Connextion system. It worked. ;-) It was a bit laggy and I probably should use a better headset, but it works. Yay!...

WGIG Report »

The Working Group on Internet Governance has issued its final report. The WGIG is a group of experts tasked by the United Nations to think about and come up with a report about Internet governance. Many people were concerned because the meeting was kicked off by the Secretary General of the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) saying that this was about questioning ICANN. The comments gave me the sense that the ITU was trying to take over ICANN's role and wanted a report to justify this. In fact, the group of experts represented a broad range of opinions and have produced...

A week of ICANN »

Sorry about the light blogging the last few days. It's been a tough week at the ICANN meeting and it's finally over. I would like to express my appreciation to everyone in the community who took the time to explain their issues and gave us the opportunity to try to address these issues. I think we took a step in the right direction, but we have a large number of outstanding issues still left to address. I appreciate everyone's continued participation in the process. My commitment will be to deliver on the various promises that I have made this week....

Eyebeam R&D Call for Fellows »

I'm an advisor to Eyebeam R&D and they have recently posted a Call for Fellows.EyebeamCall For Fellows Eyebeam R&D seeks inaugural fellows to work on creative technology projects in the Eyebeam Open Lab. The fellowship is a unique opportunity to participate in a new kind of research environment and contribute to the public domain. The Open Lab is dedicated to public domain R&D. We are seeking artists, hackers, designers and engineers to come to Eyebeam for a year to develop pioneering work. The ideal fellow has experience creating innovative creative technology projects, a love of collaborative development, and a desire...

ICANN IDN Workshop »

There is a very important and interesting IDN Workshop going on right now. There is a web case. If you're interested, I suggest you tune in. We're talking about it on #joiito and #icann on irc.freenode.net....

Press batter McClellan about Rove »

Full transcript of press conference where the press batter McClellan about the Rove/Plame link. 41 questions about one issue in 35 minutes. via Lessig...

Global Voices redesign »

Global Voices has undergone a redesign. Nice look. Congrats to all involved....

New Harry Potter embargoed in Canada »

Raincoast BooksRaincoast Books Obtains Injunction Against Early Disclosure and Reviews of Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince [...] Madam Justice Gill of the Supreme Court of British Columbia granted to Raincoast Books Distribution Ltd., Bloomsbury Plc and JK Rowling, a John/Jane Doe injunction against the copying or disclosing of all or any part of Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince or any information derived therefrom including without limitation the story, plot or characters of Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince to any person prior to 12:01 a.m. local time on July 16th... IMPORTANT NOTICE TO ALL HARRY POTTER FANS [...]...

The internets »

I don't know how much deep thought was involved when George Bush called the Internet "the internets" but this reflects a real risk that we face today. If you look at the traffic of many large countries with non-English languages, you will find that the overwhelming majority of the traffic stays inside the country. In countries like China and Japan where there is sufficient content in the local language and most people can't or don't like to read English this is even more so. I would say that the average individual probably doesn't really notice the Internet outside of their...

Discussing new top-level domains »

icann.orgICANN Posts New gTLD Questions Paper 6 July 2005 In September 2004 ICANN published a strategy for the implementation of new top-level domains (TLDs). The strategy called for the implementation of a strategy that would appropriately take into account many relevant technical, economic, socio-political and cultural issues. In light of several new developments regarding DNS operations and structure, ICANN has developed a plan to facilitate implementation of the strategy for the designation of new TLDs. The staff paper has been drafted to inform about the current status of the implementation of the "New gTLD Strategy". It is also intended to...

Do US visa requirements for journalists cover bloggers? »

Dennis Howlett brings up a good point. Do US visa requirements for journalists cover bloggers? Foreign journalists visiting the US, even from friendly countries, have to obtain a special "I visa". This is a rule from 1952 (according to Slate) which hadn't been enforced until the Department of Homeland Security took over INS in March 2003. According to the same Slate article, "at least 15 journalists from friendly countries have been forcibly detained, interrogated, fingerprinted, and held in cells overnight—with most denied access to phones, pens, lawyers, or their consular officials." This is something to consider before declaring ourselves journalists...

Connextion on LH711 »

This widget suddenly become a bit more interesting...Lufthansa just upgraded the plane they use for LH711, the flight from Tokyo to Frankfurt. This is the flight that I use for nearly all of my European travel. The new seats are nice, but more importantly, they now have they have Internet on the flight as well as a multi-standard AC plug. Many of my friends have already been on flights with wifi, but this is my first time. I'm also excited because LH711 is probably one of flights I take the most. It's $29.95 for the whole 12 hour flight. See...

One venture capitalist's view on software patents »

I am glad that Europe has once again rejected software patents by voting 648 against and 14 for the ruling of the patent - software directive. I hear that arguments have been made that software patents are helpful for innovation and that venture businesses may in some way benefit from software patents. I can of course imagine cases where software patents might be helpful for startup companies, but from my personal experience, they are generally more of a burden on innovation at the venture level than a benefit. Generally speaking, filing for patents is an expensive and time consuming task....

London Explosions »

Anyone who is tuning in right now... about 2 hours ago a series of explosions were reported in London involving the Underground and a bus. The BBC reports "Large numbers of casualties have been reported after at least six explosions on the Underground network and a double-decker bus in London." UPDATE: Most big media sites are slow or down. You can get to many of the blogs post via Technorati for queries such as "London explosions". Lots of pictures on the Flickr London Explosions Group / Flickr Bomb tag. Wikinews article. (Note: I think Wikinews has had the fastest and...

Avian flu nightmare »

I was just reading an email from the ProMED medical mailing list I'm on. It was a monthly report on Avian flu outbreaks in Eastern Asia. Part of the report reads: Source of outbreaks: - introduction of new animals/animal products; - illegal movement of animals. Control measures A. Undertaken: - quarantine; - movement control inside the country; - disinfection of infected premises/establishment(s). B. To be undertaken: - partial stamping out; - vaccination. Treatment of affected animals: no.I read in the Wall Street Journal in the "We think this is sort of funny" section of the front page the other day,...

Grokster... »

As Wendy says... Grokster... EFF: MGM v. Grokster Technorati Tags: Grokster...

Africans on Live 8 »

Ethan Zuckerman has posted roundups on Africans talking about Live 8 here and here and blogs about it himself. Please do read these. They are an important voice. Ethan is clearly weary and skeptical as are many of the Africans. I can understand this. However, I think Live 8 is a good thing. Although the concert may not have the effect on the G8 meeting that some people hope it will, I think that the concern will reach a broad audience and increase awareness. We should not forget how few people even realize there is a problem in Africa. I...

US-VISIT »

I'm sure many people who have been traveling in the US have noticed the US-VISIT kiosks. The exit kiosks are scattered around various airports. When you go to an exit kiosk, it asks you to insert your passport and it takes your fingerprint. Then it spits outs a "receipt". These exit kiosks appear to be placed randomly and are not in any critical path between you and your gate. If you look carefully at the signs, it says you "must" go through exit procedures. I was curious about why they were saying that it is mandatory, but not enforcing it...

My Nokia 6680 »

After some begging, Nokia sent me one of their new 6680 phones. (As one of my business partners used to say, "never beg... unless it helps.") Thanks! I'd been trying to get my hands on one because it runs Symbian, is fast, and works on 3G networks. (My old 7600 worked on the Japanese 3G network too, but it wasn't Symbian and was a bit clunky to use.) Since J-Phone/Vodaphone and NTT DoCoMo have rolled out 3G in Japan and have roaming agreements with carriers like T-Mobile, which I use, I've been hoping that I could get a good phone...

HonorTags »

Dan Gillmor and crew have announced HonorTags. This builds on his citizen journalists pledge, but is basically a way to tag posts to describe context and role of the author. Currently they have: HonorTagJournalism, HonorTagProfessional, HonorTagAdvocate, HonorTagPersonal, HonorTagFiction, HonorTagUnTag. They are soliciting feedback. Maybe I should suggest HonorTagJoker....

Municipal networks, the great equalizer »

Micah Sifry has written a nice piece about why wifi and cheap broadband is an essential enabler and more important than direct aid for communities which need help. He references various examples and source. I completely agree. I remember speaking to a UN diplomat who said that the Internet has changed the face of global policy making. He told us that the Anti-Personal Land-mine Treaty would not have happened if it weren't for email and the ability for NGOs to get information, organize and pressure governments and the UN using the Internet. I believe that at every level, it is...
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