Joi Ito's conversation with the living web.

August 2005 Archives

The Japanese blog "boom" »

I find Japan to be extremely "faddy" and the media and consumers tend to jump onto new toys very quickly. Trends tend to die very quickly as well. Things that you are excited about only temporarily are often referred to as "my boom". For example, you might say, "blogging is 'my boom' right now." There are now television ads about blogs. The other day I heard a radio commercial where they read out the URL, but added that you could post comments and send trackbacks. Yes. Trackbacks. I have yet to hear a radio commercial in the US on a...

Damn "Cool Biz" »

In an effort to cut down on energy consumption, Japan has implemented "Cool Biz". Cool biz facilities keep the temperature at around 28 degrees Celsius (approx 82.4 Fahrenheit) in the summer. It often feels hotter than that. In these offices, people don't wear suits. Most government buildings and many public facilities are now cool biz. First of all, 28 degrees is hot, even with a t-shirt. Second, when you travel around buildings requiring various dress codes, this system doesn't really work. This isn't a new thing, but it appears that it is being implemented with renewed vigor this year. I...

Is it a Smallworld? »

Posted by Thomas Crampton Wrote an article on the Smallworld website. Idea behind the site is that there is a group of interconnected people around the world who have similar interests, concerns and problems. These people are wealthy, well-traveled and well-educated. They smallworld is the invitation-only community for these people. Could gated communities grow more common on the Internet? Counterintuitive for an open medium, but it does allow creation of self-selected target groups for advertisers, kind of like luxury magazines. Could almost be seen as the next generation of online publication. UPDATE: Xeni's Wired article on ASW....

Live on FOX: Man Says “None of Your Fucking Business” (VIDEO) »

I apologize to the people who are covering Katrina seriously and to all of the people who are affected by it. I just got this from Xeni and I think it's priceless.The Political TeenSHEPARD SMITH: You’re live on FOX News Channel, what are you doing? MAN: Walking my dogs. SMITH: Why are you still here? I’m just curious. MAN: None of your fucking business. SMITH: Oh that was a good answer, wasn’t it? That was live on international television. Thanks so much for that. You know we apologize.Xeni in IMCool. I love that SOME people in america are not media...

Stalled blog »

Apologies (if anyone actually cares) about my stalled blog. This is probably the longest I've gone without writing. I'm a bit travel weary and extremely busy with lectures/talks every day for the next few days. I'm going to try to catch my breath over the weekend and I hope I feel a bit more inspired then. ;-) (And NO. I haven't been playing World of Warcraft.)...

Upgraded to MT 3.2 »

Boris just upgraded this blog to Movable Type 3.2 which just came out. It has a bunch of new features and is very stable. One important new feature is advanced community management that deals with comment spam. Anyway, for people who have been waiting to upgrade, I think it's time. The upgrade is pretty easy and free for current licensees of 3.x. The new license also allows an unlimited number of blogs. If you need help, Boris is helping people out (for a fee). Disclosure: I'm an investor in Six Apart and Chairman of Six Apart Japan....

Football otaku »

CruftNFL Widower Michele loves her football something fierce. Over the years it's gotten worse, growing from watching the occasional Sunday game with Cincinatti (her hometown team) to watching Thursday Night Football to this year with her enrollment into fantasy football in July. Last year for her birthday I bought her a special quilting table and she had it placed in the living room so she could quilt while watching football. For the Superbowl this year, we bought an HDTV so the game could be as good as possible. Now we have the NFL Network, the DirecTV NFL Sunday Ticket, and...

My World of Warcraft registry »

I'm trying to keep track of my friends on World of Warcraft. If you have a character on WoW and want to hang out, please register on my World of Warcraft wiki page....

"Anti-Japan War Online" Game »

Interfax ChinaPowerNet and China Communist Youth League develop "Anti-Japan War Online" game Shanghai. August 23. INTERFAX-CHINA - PowerNet Technology, a Chinese online gaming firm, has developed a new online game in cooperation with the China Communist Youth League (CCYL) named "Anti-Japan War Online," which will begin commercial operation by the end of 2005, a PowerNet official said Tuesday. "The game will allow players, especially younger players, to learn from history. They will get a patriotic feeling when fighting invaders to safeguard their motherland," a PowerNet Project Manager, surnamed Liu, told Interfax. The background for "Anti-Japan War Online" is the Japanese...

Wearing Firefox »

When I was over at the Mozilla offices, I got some Firefox shirts. Since I'm mostly couch surfing this trip (thanks to everyone for letting me sack out at their places) I've been wearing machine washable schwag [WP]. What is interesting about wearing the Firefox shirt is that I get a special "look" from people. It reminds me of the "look" people gave me when I was wearing a teamsters jacket in downtown Detroit. It's the "I'm on your side" look. I get compliments and "looks" wearing schwag for other organizations I'm affiliated with, but the Firefox "look" includes the...

Myanmar/Burma »

Posted by Thomas Crampton I wrote a story on the Global fund deciding to pull out of Myanmar on Friday. The fund fights HIV/AIDS, malaria and TB, diseases that are the scourges of many developing nations. Click here for their press release. The fund had been criticised by some for going into the country (some feared they could be seen as providing a support for the goverment) and they were also criticized for pulling out (they did not try hard enough). Who is correct? BREAKING NEWS: Rumor is that general Maung Aye has ousted general Than Shwe. If true, we...

Wikiwyg »

SocialText just developed Wikiwyg. A way to edit a wiki by double-clicking on a section and just editing it directly. The code is open source and they are working on getting it working with other wiki systems. Currently it only works in Firefox. Disclaimer: I'm on the board of the Mozilla Foundation which produces Firefox and I'm on the board of Socialtext....

Susan Crawford blogging FOO »

Susan Crawford is doing a great job blogging FOO camp. Better than any notes that I'm taking......

Honesty and tough questions »

At FOO Camp they handed people a piece of paper asking three questions. 1) What do you make? 2) What is your favorite tool/toy? 3) Who are your technology heros? These were posted on a board with people's photos. Everyone had very clever answers. When I was pondering the answers to mine, someone at my breakfast table mentioned that the REAL answer for most people was probably "me" for all three questions....

2 states in EU ease sales of songs over Internet »

Posted by Thomas Crampton Had to crank out a story on tight deadline about digital music rights in Europe: 2 states in EU ease sales of songs over Internet Selling music online in Europe could currently require an online music operater to get up to 25 licenses (one from each country) in order to operate, a situation Brussels seems strongly bent on changing: Collecting agencies in other European Union member states could face fines of up to 10 percent of their total revenue if they fail to open up in a similar manner, the official said. Interesting to see the...

False positive - Part II »

Earlier, I blogged about the Brazilian man who was shot by officers in the UK in the Stockwell subway who suspected him of being a suicide bomber. The reports has said that he was wearing suspicious clothing, that he ran away from the polices, etc. We had a lively discussion in the comments of that blog post. Mike B, just posted a link to an article in Scotsman.com. I don't know this publication so don't know the accuracy of their reporting, but they tell a different story. Scotsman.comBlunders led to police killing of an innocent man Key points •...

Thomas Crampton - guest blogger »

[Note from Joi: Please welcome my first guest blogger ever, Thomas Crampton from the International Herald Tribune I've blogged about him in the past.] Posted by Thomas Crampton Civil wars, deadly disease outbreaks, natural disasters and foreign cultures have been standard fare in my career of newspapering. Now, at the suggestion of Joi, I intend to enter a new foreign culture and experiment with a foray into Blogging. This marks the first Blog posting by this journalist. Who am I? My career has been pretty hard core international reporting: A foreign correspondent for the International Herald Tribune, reporting from five...

Andy Stern »

I recently had the opportunity to meet Andy Stern [WP] and and hear him speak. Andy is the president of the Service Employees International Union, the largest and fastest-growing union in the United States and Canada. He recently walked out from the AFL-CIO and Matt Miller in Fortune Magazine recently commented that, "Stern's move is possibly the most significant economic event of the year." Andy's speech was passionate and compelling and made me think that he should be leading a political party. I wish we had people like him in Japan. He fielded a number of tough questions about the...

Hilary Rosen guest blogging at Lessig's »

Hilary Rosen [WP], the former president and CEO of the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) is guest blogging over at Lawrence Lessig's blog. She follows Jimmy Wales, founder of Wikipedia, on the slate of excellent guest bloggers during Larry's summer vacation....

last.fm »

Last.fm has done a re-design and has fully integrated with Audioscrobbler. You can tag music now too. Good job guys. Disclaimer: They are friends and I've been "helping them out" a bit... Not that I should get ANY credit for the great stuff they are doing....

Asphyxiation and deep thoughts »

Jet lag woke me up at 4AM today and I've been sitting in my cabin in the high altitude mountains of Utah reading blogs and chatting with people. I just finished chatting with reverend AKMA about my last post, trying to see if there was something similar to good theologians and open source leaders. We talked about the importance of humility and the risks of greed. (AKMA pointed out that he was by far the most humble person on the planet.) I noticed that my thoughts seem to be somewhat more spiritual than usual. Then I remembered reading somewhere that...

Open source leadership »

One of the great things about going to OSCON was getting to know some of the interesting people involved in the various open source projects. The OSI team and Mitchell Baker, the Chief Lizard Wrangler of the Mozilla Foundation introduced me to a lot of people in the context of having joined both of their boards recently. One meeting that Mitchell set up was with Allison Randal - the president of the Perl Foundation, Zak Greant - the former MySQL AB Community Advocate, and Cliff Schmidt who until recently managed standards and open source strategy for BEA's WebLogic Workshop product....

Off to the US »

I'm off to the US again for a longish trip. Will be going first to Utah to hang out with some friends. After that, I'll be bouncing around the Bay Area until the end of the month. Not sure how the connectivity will be in Utah, but I'll probably be able to moblog. See you on the other side....

Personal, Portable, Pedestrian: Mobile Phones in Japanese Life »

My sister, the smarter half of the Ito family duo is an expert on Japanese youth culture and mobile culture. Her book just came out from MIT Press. I've been running around in a scatterbrained fashion all my life trying to reach into academia. She has been immersed in academic rigor but has been reaching out to the public from the inside. Recently, we've begun to cross paths more and more. This book is another step in bridging our worlds. Anyway, I'm totally biased and very proud of my sister, but you should still take my recommendation and buy this...

Just iChat AV'ed to the Situation Room »

The borg-like look that I have is the look of someone trying to hit command-shift-4without moving my head or shaking the camera.I just finished my short appearance on the "Situation Room", a new show on CNN hosted by Wolf Blitzer. I think today was the inaugural show.ABOUT THE SHOW The Situation Room, anchored by Wolf Blitzer, assembles top CNN correspondents, analysts, contributors and guests for complete, up-to-the minute coverage of the day's events. Modeled on the concept of the White House Situation Room, the program combines traditional reporting methods with the newest innovative online resources, making the entire process of...

iChat AV with CNN tomorrow »

I just finished an iChat AV video test with CNN in Washington DC. I will probably make a short appearance on CNN Domestic (US) sometime between 5:30PM and 6:00PM ET via iChat AV. It is pretty nifty that CNN is starting to do interviews by iChat. This surely expands the selection of people they can interview and makes it easier for the interviewees as well....

Aizu Wakamatsu station web cam »

Web cams are old news. I remember how excited I was when I first played with slow scan TV and then with CUSeeMe. I stopped looking at web cams lately, because staring at a coffee pot got boring after awhile. Kenji Eno just sent me a link to the Aizu Wakamatsu station web cam. Again, the content is not that interesting. It is just a train platform. However, the speed and the resolution are so high that you can see people walking and things flapping in the wind. You can hear the announcements and listen to the trains come and...

New York Times Op Ed on the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki »

In the middle of my slightly insane two sleepless days at OSCON, I got an email from the New York Times asking me to write an op ed. They wanted me to write about my thoughts about the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki for the occasion of the 60th anniversary of the bombing. They said the deadline was Friday. "You mean next Friday?" "No, the day after tomorrow." "Oh." My mind was full of open source and the future of the Internet. The atomic bomb and World War II were definitely not on my mind. It would be an interesting...

Where am I? »

Plazes has a cool new feature called "Where is". So you can see "Where is Joi Ito?". It relies on Google maps which is a bit sketchy with addresses for Japan, but otherwise it seems to work quite well. On the other hand, it doesn't show the routing as well as the old map using IndyJunior....

New PGP Key »

I realized that I haven't made a new PGP key in a while. I just installed the new PGP and made a new key. I've signed it with all of the old keys that I can remember the passwords for and revoked the second to the oldest one. The most recent one still works, but please switch to this one as soon as you can. Here is the public key: joi.asc and here is the fingerprint: B652 199B 6996 219B 62AE 6364 E349 8387 783D 4E0A I keep wondering if I should make expiring keys, but it seems like it...

Bye OSCON »

OSCON was surprisingly one of the best conferences I've been to in a long time. I learned a ton of new stuff, met a bunch of great people and found everyone to be extremely friendly and fun. This is definitely going to be on my list of regular conferences to attend. Thanks everyone! I'm on my way back to Tokyo now. See you on the other side....

OSCON 2005 »

I'm at the O'Reilly Open Source Convention in Portland. Perfect weather, nice town, good conference, good folks. This is my first time in Portland (I think), and my first OSCON. Having recently joined the OSI and Mozilla Foundation board, I'm getting to know the open source community and I am enjoying it very much. I have always had a respectful, but slightly distant relationship with the community having found it a bit intimidating. I'd always been a supporter, promoter and friend, but now I am becoming a participant. I saw Steve Gillmor and Doc Searls wandering the halls of OSCON...

A blog per second »

A blog is created every second, according to the BBC which cites Dave Sifry / Technorati....

New York Times on Mozilla announcement »

Markoff at the New York Times broke the embargo and scooped the Mozilla announcement. Markoff got a few things wrong which maybe weren't clear. The announcement is about a subsidiary that the Mozilla Foundation is creating. He says it is a "for-profit" sub-sidiary, which I think could be misunderstood. It is a 100% subsidiary of the Foundation which is non-profit with non-profit goals. The subsidiary is a taxable entity, but has primarily the same mission as the foundation. Also, he refers to the subsidiary "offering service and support at a fee." This is not true. You can imagine the value...

National IDs and gravestones »

My graveAs I've blogged before, I spent years fighting the Japanese national ID system, pushing for a 3 year moratorium on the bill to allow privacy and security to be fully considered before rolling the system out. Even though our movement had majority support among politicians, the public and even the media, the system rolled out "because it would have caused too much confusion to stop it," according to one senior policy oriented politician. Afterwards, I had a choice of either continuing to protest a running system from the outside, or work on the inside trying to point out issues...

Postal privatization, a dead politican and Yasukuni Shrine »

"LDP lawmaker Nagaoka found hanged" read the Japan Times front page headline today. "Nagaoka who was serving his second term representing Ibaraki Prefecture's No. 7 district, was one of several lawmakers criticized by a magazine for changing positions on postal privatization, Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi's priority policy initiative. The magazine called Nagaoka a traitor for his actions... Nagaoka opposed the the bills in the ruling party's decision-making General Council but later voted for them in a crucial Lower House vote on July 5. The bills passed by a razor-thin margin of five votes." He left no suicide note and his...

Hanabi »

Fireworks, or hanabi are a hugely popular and very important part of Japanese summer. People get dressed up in traditional Japanese yukata and makes their way with thousands of other people to see hanabi. Magazines and web portals dedicate large sections for information on hanabi, which you can find somewhere almost every weekend during the summer. The Jingu hanabi show is a non-standard because it happens in the middle of Tokyo. (Most are over the beach, bays, lakes or in the countryside.) Jingu is the Tokyo baseball stadium and they pack the stadium with people and shoot fireworks almost right...
Whiplash by Joi Ito and Jeff Howe
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