Joi Ito's conversation with the living web.

December 2005 Archives

22C3 Talk »

I just finished my keynote for the 22C3 conference. I'd been mulling over what to talk about from about 2AM or so this morning. After reading the program and the amazing breadth of the 150 or so talks and imagining the 3000 leet hackers that I would be talking to, I decided to put together a brand new talk hitting a lot of the points that often skip because they are controversial or difficult for me to discuss. I was a bit nervous kicking off what I think is one of the most important conference I go to. I am...

French Attempt to Legalize File Sharing »

By Thomas Crampton I was down at the sumptuous French National Assembly (A building that looks like a Greek temple from the outside and a livingroom overdosed with red velvet on the inside) yesterday because a group of latenight legislators this week amended a bill to include a global tax for people wishing to share files over the Internet. Once a user (an "internaut" in French) has paid the fee, that internaut is free to share music or movies on the basis that they are for personal use only. Result: Hey presto! Kazaa would suddenly be legal in France. What...

Moving »

This blog is moving to a new machine tonight. I'm updating the DNS now. You may experience some slight problems in accessing it. Apologies in advance. Thanks....

eWeek: "Typo-Squatters Are Gaming Google" »

Interesting article in eWeek about the business of registering domain name typos and how they game Google. "Some of the domains move around between domain parking services or between anchor domains over time as part of a 'multi-layer redirection structure' that makes it difficult to trace". The bulk of the data and analysis comes from Microsoft Research. Again, I'm not going to "judge" this business, but clearly it's a large business that is becoming exceedingly complex with some cat-and-mouse going on. One thing I wonder about is whether there is a whole lot of incentive for the cat to catch...

Silly sushi video »

A very silly video about sushi....

Planning trip to Berlin »

I'm going to Berlin for the 22nd Chaos Computer Congress. I'll be in Berlin the 27th-30th of December. I'm going to be working on my notes for the talk on my wiki. I also made a page for my schedule. If you'd like to get together or can recommend events that I should attend, please add them to the wiki. Thanks!...

If news is not in English, did it happen? »

By Thomas Crampton English was already the lingua franca of science, business and academia. Now English appears to be fast emerging as the media language of choice. Al Jazeera is preparing to debut a 24-hour news channel in English. A TV station in Russia also started English broadcasting this month (but got hacked down). Recently, an ex-FIFA sports official praised the French newspaper, L'Equipe, for some of it's hard-hitting doping coverage, including revelations about Lance Armstrong. But, he added, they just don't get the same notice because their reporting is in French. His implication: If news is not in English,...

Foxmarks »

Mitch Kapor has been working with Todd to scratch and itch that I think all Firefox users with more than one computer have had - synching bookmarks. They're now starting a serious beta of Foxmarks. Foxmarks is a service that allows you to upload and synch your bookmarks to their WebDAV server. Up until now, I was using a utility to sync my bookmarks to Safari and .Mac to sync between computers. Much better now. Thanks Mitch and Todd!...

Disaster Tourism »

By Thomas Crampton Turns out that disasters nowadays do not seem to turn away tourists for long. From a story I wrote on trends in Disaster Tourism that is in today's paper: The number of leisure travelers visiting tourist destinations hit by trouble has in some cases bounced back to a level higher than before disaster struck. "This new fast recovery of tourism we are observing is kind of strange," said John Koldowski, director for the Strategic Intelligence Center of the Bangkok-based Pacific Asia Travel Association. "It makes you think about the adage that any publicity is good publicity." Is...

Has France been Boing Boing-ed on Open Source? »

By Thomas Crampton Looming French copyright law may not be as dire to Open Source as Cory Doctorow suggested on Boing Boing. In one strongly worded post entitled France about to get worst copyright law in Europe? Cory said French lawmakers had "run amok" and were "subverting the lawmaking process" to pass a law that would hinder the development of Open Source and even ban some software. It appears that the main source for Cory's assertions are statements by an Open Source advocacy group EUCD. Kevin J. O'Brien, my colleague at the International Herald Tribune, contests that stance in an...

Will more moblog help? »

I'm sitting in a car on the way home from the airport after arriving in Japan from New York. I had a 14 hour plane trip where I caught up on email and wrote some reports. As it has been noted, the frequency of my posts (as well as the number of blogs I read) has decreased significantly since I started playing World of Warcraft. Originally I was attributing this entirely to the addictive nature of WoW, but I'm wonder if I'm also slightly bored. I'm an early adopter type and I'm not asserting here that I represent any normal...

Podcast style issue »

By Thomas Crampton Been testing out how to most interestingly Podcast a written article. Problem: How do you best express quotes in spoken form? Newspaper stories often use quotes in these two forms: But the arrival of dot-eu is also dividing the Union. Some of those who run the domain names for individual EU countries are preparing a campaign to promote their own national addresses, arguing that .fr for France or .it for Italy conveys important cultural information. "In this case, there is an inherent competition between individual countries and the EU," said Alberto Pérez, deputy director for international relations...

Euro-battle in Cyberspace »

By Thomas Crampton Europeans seem to be taking their real-world battles online with different views on domain names. Wrote on it today: Cyberspace Unity Eludes Europeans The EU wants people to use the newly launched .eu, while the national domain registries want people to use country domain names. Neat fact: The second largest domain suffix after .com is .de for Germany, according to Verisign. Do domain names matter? Hasn't Google killed the need for them?...

WITNESS Gala »

Last night Mizuka and I attended the Focus For Change gala benefit for WITNESS in NYC hosted by Peter Gabriel and Angelina Jolie. I first became interested in WITNESS when I met Gillian Caldwell the Executive Director in Davos in 2004. I started talking to her about blogging then. I helped Gillian get her blog set up when she and Angelina Jolie were headed off to Sierra Leone to deliver the Truth and Reconciliation Commission's recommendations to the government in May. The blog was a success. We've been talking about other ways to use the Net. She invited me to...

Next steps on proposed .COM settlement »

ICANNNEXT STEPS ON PROPOSED .COM SETTLEMENT On 21 October 2005, ICANN announced proposed settlement terms between ICANN and VeriSign, including a proposed new .COM agreement. Since then, ICANN has been conducting extensive public consultations on the proposed settlement. At its 24th International Public Meeting in Vancouver this week, the ICANN Board has been engaged in consultations with the ICANN community on this topic, among others. Today at its Board meeting, ICANN Chairman, Vint Cerf, announced: "The Board has listened long and hard this week to all constituencies with regard to the .COM agreements "We are deeply grateful to the efforts...

Attending Les Blogs in Paris? »

By Thomas Crampton I will be attending the Les Blogs conference in Paris. Any readers of this attending, be great to meet you there! I'll be on a panel about new media. Look forward to learning about the latest in Podcasting, etc. lesblogs...

Joined Nishimachi International School board of directors »

I was recently appointed to the board of directors of Nishimachi International School. I attended NIS 9th grade. I had just moved to Japan from Michigan with my mother and sister. It was a turning point in my childhood. I had been attending a public school in the suburbs of Detroit as the only Japanese kid in the school. It was a somewhat miserable experience where I often regretted being Japanese. At Nishimachi I joined a small but extremely diverse group of students and teachers that rebuilt my self-esteem and taught me the value and possibility of tolerance and diversity....

Macedonia: Wireless Nation »

By Thomas Crampton The entire country of Macedonia will be covered by Wifi, according to an announcement by Strix Systems. There could be many uses for unlimited ubiquitous broadband. Some of my ideas: - Wifi webcams filming from a flock of sheep could make a great art project. - Wifi webcams facing the stove would confirm that nothing is still turned on. What other Wifi devices could be useful? (Even if it adapts current technology)....

Investigating parked domain monetization »

Yesterday, I wrote a post about the parked domain monetization business. Since then, I've begun talking to a variety of people here at the ICANN meeting. It is clearly a complex issue and I have decided to suspend judgement until I have more information. I think that these "professional registrants" are clearly a different group than "user registrants". I think we should differentiate people who buy domains as their primary business to people who use domains to use in their business. It could be argued that professional registrants "use" their domains to run ads, but I think most of these...

Free Wifi for New Orleans! Can it last? »

By Thomas Crampton New Orleans mayor just announced free Wifi for the city. John Dvorak says vested interests are just too great from telecom providers to let it last. Can free Wifi survive?...

A bit too "easy" »

When I got off the plane in Zagreb, Croatia, my phone rang. "Hello? Mr. Ito?" "Yes?" "Are you in the US, this is Richard." "No. I'm in Croatia, who's this?" "I sent you an email about speaking at a meeting about the "Knowledge Economy in Paris on the 1st of December." "I'm sorry, I can't be there. I'll be in Vancouver for an ICANN meeting." "Oh, will you have an Internet connection?" "Yes." "Will you be available at midnight?" "Ummm... I guess so." "Great. I will send more details by email. *click*" Of course, I'm probably free at midnight, but...

The "parked domain monetization" business »

I think that a large number of people buying domains can't get their first choice name because some "parked domain monetization" operation (cyber-squatter) owns it and is making money running ads on the page. The trick is to sign up for millions of domain names; set up pages and run ads on them; after 1 day delete domains that have no traffic; after 3 days delete names that have some traffic; after 5 days delete pages with marginal traffic; keep the 1% of pages that have enough traffic to be worth keeping the domain. Because of the refund policy, the...

Will Digital Communication Undermine NGOs? »

By Thomas Crampton Just read the newly crafted elevator pitch for Benetech in a letter from Jim Fruchterman, the CEO, Chairman and Founder. His pitch: Benetech creates technology that serves humanity by blending social conscience with Silicon Valley expertise. We build innovative solutions that have lasting impact on critical needs around the world. Webcams and other digital communication could give ordinary people feedback on results acheived due to donation of their money and time. This would give the power of oversight formerly reserved for wealthy philanthropists. Does this hint toward disruptive digital technology underming the NGO world with individualized philanthropy...
Whiplash by Joi Ito and Jeff Howe

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