Joi Ito's conversation with the living web.

January 2006 Archives

Second Life party yesterday »

Yesterday Larry asked me if I could go to a Creative Commons party with him. "Sure!" I said. "Hamlet Linden has the details. It's at 1PM in Second Life." I showed up in Second Life around 1:30PM and messaged Hamlet who teleported me to a beautiful tree house. Everyone was in kilts dancing. I clicked the play button on the music and my room was filled with the music they were dancing to. I was looking kind of drab in my semi-default gear, so I was quickly handed a kilt. Then I clicked the dance ball and I was...

Area of Effect »

The Live Door thing is dragging the whole Tokyo Stock Exchange down, but there is particularly high impact on IT companies. I'm sitting in a cab right now talking to the cab driver and he's now convinced that all Internet and IT companies are run by scoundrels. "I knew all of this new economy stuff was bullshit," he says. It will be interesting to see what the long term repercussions will be on our industry. On the other hand, we recovered from the Hikari Tsushin collapse so I'm sure we'll recover from this....

Public floggings »

Last night all TV channels were running "specials" of Horie and his rise to fame and his recent troubles. The newspapers and TV reports were so amazingly detailed you might think they had been preparing these shows for months. The shows remind me of the scenes in movies where the mob throws vegetables and jeer at the accused during public hangings. This swing from hero to villain is a common thing in Japan. However, I think Horie pissed off more than the usual share of big-shots so he's got a number of powerful constituents fueling the flames. Regardless of his...

Horie arrested »

Just watching the news. The CEO of Life Live Door and 3 others have been arrested. The TV is flooded with this news....

My personal guarantees »

I spent part of the day today in court. I was defending myself against the landlord of a friend of mine who has been unable to pay rent. I am the guarantor on the lease and the landlord has decided to come after me for the money. This is probably the fifth time that I've had debt collectors of various sorts come after me because of guarantees that I've made. I'm sure people wonder why the hell I keep guaranteeing things. The odd thing is that it is so common in Japan. It is as good as required for any...

High Tech Elevators, Low Tech Solutions »

By Thomas Crampton Interesting that Toshiba Elevator and Building Systems Corp. will use so-called mag-lev technology in an elevator for the first time. Mag-lev allows near frictionless movement by suspending objects in midair through a combination of magnetic attraction and repulsion, but the story's kicker is that while the mag-lev elevators will be quieter and more comfortable, Toshiba said conventional elevators can travel more than three times faster. Meanwhile, Fujitec has announced a system to organize elevator riders in order to stop bottlenecks and speed the flow of people to the correct floor. I have seen such systems in Hong...

Irving Wladawsky-Berger's definition of Open Standards »

As part of my work with the Open Source Initiative, I've been thinking a lot about open standards. Open standards are a really important part of the open source, open network, open society ecosystem, but there is also a risk that big companies use the word "open standards" to attack the open source movement. For instance, many companies such as Microsoft would argue that even if they control a standard, just making it "open" makes it an open standard. One of the biggest players in this space is IBM and I had the opportunity to ask Irving Wladawsky-Berger the Vice...

Live Door raided last night »

Copyright Jiji Live Door, one of the large Internet portal/verticals run by the now well-known maverick Horiemon, was raided last night the Tokyo District Public Prosecutor's office on suspicion of illegal securities trading. (Japan Times artice) Apparently they raided around 6PM last night and were there until this morning. One person who was visiting for a meeting reported that he was not allowed to leave for a long time and had to leave his papers there. Unlike the US, Japanese courts do not have a "discovery" process and often have to rely on these surprise raids to get necessary documents....

Nishimachi board meeting »

I blogged earlier that I had joined the board of my junior high school, Nishimachi International School in Tokyo. Yesterday was our first board meeting. I hadn't been to the principal's office there for over 20 years. We had the board meeting in the library. The last time I sat there, I was probably 3 feet tall. I know from my wrestling weight class that I weighed around 101 pounds at the time. I felt a bit like Alice in Wonderland after she drank that potion that made her into a giant. It was a weird experience talking about my...

Lighthouse vs USS Lincoln »

Lighthouse Amazing FactsThe lighthouse station called Arctowski is probably the most southerly lighthouse in the world. Built at the Polish research station in Antarctica named after Henryk Arctowski, the famous 19th century Polish geographer and Antarctic explorer. Situated on King George Island in the South Shetlands group, its geographical position is 62o10'S, 58o28'W. The following is the transcript of the actual radio conversation of a US naval ship with Canadian authorities off the coast of Newfoundland: Canadians: Please divert your course 15 degrees the South to avoid a collision. Americans: Recommend you divert your course 15 degrees the North to...

Next Gen Publishing »

By Thomas Crampton As a journalist, I admit to having more than a passing interest in the future of media/publishing. For "next generation" publishing, I currently see two main technical developments... -wireless connections for ubiquitous Internet, and -smaller and easier-to-read screens, ...that are bringing two main social changes... -increased trust/reliance on peer-to-peer communication, and -a more conversational style of journalism that contrasts with the previous model (that more resembled lecturing). You can see the changes already having a concrete effect, with U.S. news magazines responding to the Internet -- in part by cutting back their foreign staff and editions. What...

MAKE and #joiito Macworld meetup at Moscone Center SF »

MAKE BlogMAKE and #joiito Macworld meetup at Moscone Center SF! Come to the MAKE and #joiito IRC channel MacWorld Meetup, Thursday, January 12, 2006 (12:30 PM - 2:30 PM). Moscone Center, San Francisco, Ca. The plan is to meet at the O'Reilly Media Booth #1017 where we'll will be hacking iPods and showing how to get DVDs and videos on your iPod - then we will all migrate from there." Link. If you need a free pass to get in, here's a PDF.I won't be there, but I expect a full report. Have fun. I'll try to be online if...

mp4 of Larry's Google Book Fair Use presentation »

Lawrence Lessig has posted a torrent to an mp4 file of his presentation about whether Google Book Search is Fair Use. It's a typically great presentation, but his description on how he put the presentation together is also very cool....

IHT Blog Launched! »

By Thomas Crampton It is now official! The IHT blog has been launched. Check it out. Comments on the IHT Blog may be used in a column that will run in the International Herald Tribune's technology pages - print and Internet - if we get enough good comments....

Center for Citizen Media »

Dan Gillmor has launched his Center for Citizen Media. According to his post on Bayophere, "Starting in 2006, I'll be putting together a nonprofit Center for Citizen Media. The goals are to study, encourage and help enable the emergent grassroots media sphere, with a major focus on citizen journalism." I have joined his board of advisors. Good luck Dan! I think this direction is perfect for Dan....

World of Warcraft update »

As many of you know, I've been spending most of my free time in World of Warcraft. We started the guild on September 3 and the guild is now 67 accounts and 109 players big. I've hit level 60 which is currently the maximum level for the game. My sister pointed out to me that most people really aren't that interested in the details of what goes on inside these games, but I thought I'd give you a short update. It turns out that although it's quite a struggle to get to level 60, it's really just the beginning when...

HICSS »

I'm off today to attend the 39th annual Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences in Poipu, Kauai, Hawaii. I will be giving a keynote at the conference. Not sure how my connectivity will be but hopefully I'll be able to post some pictures or something....

22C3 Podcasts »

I did a postcast with Tim Pritlove at the 22C3 meeting. He had an incredible podcast setup which I think I'm going to try to copy exactly. He's been doing radio for years and it shows. He's uploaded the podcast. Most people who read this blog won't find much new stuff in the interview, but it's on Tim's site. It starts with a German intro, but the interview is in English. I should say that it was a slip when I said that "my teachers in High School were mediocre" when I was talking about one of my incentives for...

Emergence of Digital Socialization »

By Thomas Crampton Currently in rural southern Ireland and unable to connect to my Gmail account. Problem could be Gmail server overload with so many people on holiday or it could be the slow dial-up connection. It has been interesting, however, to see how I quickly turned to my blog as a form of communication to reach the outside world. As someone who is a relatively recent convert to blogging, it reminds me of the adage that once you go digital, you never return to analog. Having been a sceptic about blogs, I am now a convert. This is a...

Broadband addiction »

I just returned from Berlin on LH710. LH710 is one of the long-haul Asian flights that is supposed to have the new Boeing wifi connection. I took an early flight to Frankfurt so I would have time to use broadband in the lounge. I arrived in the lounge with several hours before my flight and I found a lounge full of very frustrated businesspeople unable to log into the wifi network. The landing page wasn't even showing up. The customers were irate, but the staff in the lounge just sort of shrugged. (I'm not blaming them...) I was able to...
Whiplash by Joi Ito and Jeff Howe

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