Joi Ito's conversation with the living web.

September 2006 Archives

Happy One Web Day!

Had a mini party in Tokyo. Robert Pepper and Kenneth Carter joined Fumi and me. Fumi shot some video of us talking.

Robert Pepper and Joi Ito talk about the web for One Web Day in Tokyo. Parti I. September 22, 2006.
(Use this link if you have trouble viewing the video above.)

Robert Pepper, Kenneth Carter and Joi Ito talk about the web for One Web Day in Tokyo. Parti II. September 22, 2006.
(Use this link if you have trouble viewing the video above.)

I'm on the board of Pia, which organized the tickets for the Madonna tour in Japan. It was the first time that the official ticketing agent used an auction system to sell the premium seats.

Yesterday, I went to see the last show of the world tour in Tokyo Dome. We watched from the box seats or "suites". (I was probably supposed to be taking care of our VIP guests instead of playing with my camera phone but...) It as a bit weird having staff in uniforms pouring wine and bringing food while watching Madonna flipping the audience the finger and talking about the "universal 'fuck you' and 'don't fuck with me'"... ;-P In one act, she was wearing a "Japanese do it better" t-shirt. I wonder how many Japanese caught that.

It was quite an interesting event. The audience was very emotional. For me, it was a very weird experience. She mixed covers of lots of tunes from the 80's and 90's that we all grew up with and didn't do many of my favorite Madonna tunes. I'm a big fan of remix and she did a very good job of making a sort of medley of songs down memory lane. She sampled riffs, took bass tracks, melodies, and lyrics from all kind stuff. In retrospect, I guess a lot of her work has been about picking up underground trends and presenting them to the main stream. I did have a weird feeling that in the case of many of the tracks I would have rather heard the original than her version.

She did have a fairly strong "lets all get along and not fight about religion" theme, although I'm not sure how this went over with her fans. However, while waiting for the elevator leaving the stadium, I heard a girl talking about how she cried. I think "dancing with Madonna" for people who have been fans of hers for decades is an experience worth crying about.

It was a bit strange watching her doing a sexy dance on a leather saddle with a pole that moved around in the air while singing "Like a Virgin". I've probably heard more renditions of Like a Virgin by foreigners in Japan trying to find a song to sing in tiny Karaoke bars. She helped me reset the context, albeit positioned slightly off-center from where I remember it being positioned.

All in all, it was a fun concert that brought back lots of memories of being a DJ in Chicago and being a bad boy in New York.

Here are some flickr photos.

If you'll be around New York City on September 29, please join us at Irving Plaza for a Creative Commons concert presented by WIRED and Flavorpill. The show will feature Mike Patton's experimental pop supergroup Peeping Tom, DJ/producer Diplo, and mash-up/remix artist Girl Talk. Creative Commons' CEO Lawrence Lessig will be on hand to introduce the artists.

This concert is a great way to show your support for our work, as proceeds from all ticket sales will go directly to Creative Commons (please note that ticket price is *not* tax-deductible). Tickets are $25 each (plus service charge) and are available online at Ticketmaster.

The event is a part of Next Music, which kicks off WIRED NextFest, a four-day festival featuring more than 130 interactive exhibits from scientists and researchers from around the world.

Please join us if you can. Again, 100% of the proceeds from every ticket sold go directly to Creative Commons.

WIRED + Flavorpill present:
Next Music
Featuring Peeping Tom (with Mike Patton, DJ Rob Swift, and Rahzel), Diplo, and Girl Talk
All proceeds go to support Creative Commons
Friday, September 29 | 9:00 PM, doors open 8:00 PM
Irving Plaza
17 Irving Place, NYC

My sister (who is often referred to as the quiet but smarter one in the family) is working with one of my favorite people, Howard Rheingold. She gave a talk on "Amateur Cultural Production in the New Networked Age." Howard has blogged it on the DIY Media Weblog where the conversation is continuing. I've been stealing my best talk content from these two for a long time. So here is the "attribution." ;-)

Mozilla Japan will be one of the sponsors of a symposium/salon about open source art on September 24 in Tokyo. Sounds interesting. There is a post on TAB about it, but the basic details are...

DIVVY/dual Project #1 "Is Open Source Art Possible?" Open Salon

2006-09-24 from 14:00 to 17:00

Noboru Tsubaki, Kiyoshi Kusumi, Dominick Chen, Takumi Endo, Hiroo Yamagata


NTT ICC, Tokyo Opera City Tower 4F, 3-20-2 Nishishinjuku, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo 163-1404 Japan
Phone: 0120-144199

There is a related exhibition from 9/18-23: DIVVY/dual Project #1 "Type-Trace"

WITNESS and Global Voices Online just launched the Human Rights Video Hub Pilot. WITNESS has been working for years on enpowering people to make documentaries about human rights issues. Global Voices has been working, initially mostly through blogs, to provide voice to people around the world. This new project is great collaboration between the two projects, bringing the power of video expression to even more people through an online video hub.

I am involved in WITNESS as a recently appointed board member and Global Voices as one of the founding participants. We've been talking about and working on the various unique issues involved in setting up a hub like this for awhile now and it is great to see the first step launched.


(Post on Global Voices | Post on WITNESS )

Mark your calenders: On Thursday, September 14 at 5PM (SL/Pacific), (the online home of Popular Science) and Creative Commons will be hosting a special concert in Second Life featuring Jonathan Coulton as well as popular Second Life musicians Melvin Took, Kourosh Eusebio, Etherian Kamaboko, and Slim Warrior. The entire show will be licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.5 license, so feel free to record and share it. More information is available on this wiki.
People often say that the Internet destroys community be cause you don't have to go to the movie theater or the concert to watch or listen and just sit in front of your computer. In away, concerts, lectures and screenings in Second Life break that theory because these things once again become a social event where you can chat, emote and dance while watching a concert or a movie.

Steven Levy was an embedded journalist in We Know for awhile as research for an article that he just finished about the World of Warcraft for Newsweek.

Kazpah aka Catspaw put together a nice promo video for our World of Warcraft guild.

She blogged about it.

PS The voice is AKMA's voice. He's a priest in our guild.

The Sony mylo ships in the US September 15. No plans for distribution in Japan.

The mylo is a nifty little device that does wifi, Skype (you can hold it up to your ear or use a headset), GTalk (no voice), and Yahoo Instant Messenger. It also has a browser (Opera, no flash), has a photo album, plays mp3 and Windows Media Player music, and plays video formatted in the weird mp4 video format that the PSP uses. (I think. I have yet to successfully convert and play a video file.) I used it for Skype on a conference call today and it worked really well with Skype-Out. For some reason I don't see my contacts list on Skype. The other IM clients seem to work fine (GTalk and Yahoo IM).

The audio and video playback is good. The screen is a bit small but very clear. The device has a speaker on the back which is not stereo, but makes up for it in sound quality. In a relatively quiet room, playing music on speaker works well - much better than most cell phones designed for this kind of use.

It is rumored to be running some flavor of Linux inside. It mounts on your system via USB, but doesn't have bluetooth. It has wifi, but no GSM/GPRS. Definitely a downside, but an interesting twist after using the Sidekick for so long that has GPRS but no wifi. It also doesn't have email. It has about a gig of memory, but you can buy a 4 gig memory stick Pro Duo.

Overall I like it so far. The keyboard is a bit hard to use, but maybe it just takes getting used to. I like the way it flips out. The size is great. It is about the size of a largish cell phone, but much more pocketable than a PSP, DS Lite or Sidekick 3. I wish it had AIM and MS Messenger too, but I can live with Gtalk/Skype/Y!. The media playback is nice, but I wish it were more format friendly on the video. The interface is pretty fast and nice. The industrial design is pretty cool. The white bands glow in different colors for different states. When you are peer-to-peer wifi'ing, it glows orange. When you are connected to the Net in infrastructure mode, it is blue.

I'll post more updates after I play for it some more, but thought I should post this before everyone else got one and diminished the amount of envy I could muster with this post. I was able to get ahold of one though a secret source at Sony who I am not allowed to disclose. And before you ask me if I can get you one, I can't. You can pre-order them on for $349.99.

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