Joi Ito's conversation with the living web.

December 2006 Archives

Larry's talk is on Google Video. Definitely worth watching. Standing ovation. There are some new ideas that I'd love people's feedback on.

I posted some links of videos and notes from my talk about the World of Warcraft at 23C3 on my guild forums.

Update: Emory posted it to Google Video. Thanks!

PS: I usually don't pimp my talks this much, but a few people asked for it so I'm following up. ;-P

When did Gen Kanai start working for the Viral Learning Center?

Picture of Gen Kanai.

(First spotted as an ad on Boing Boing.)

They have Powerpoint Karaoke at 23C3. Tim said they stole it from somewhere else, but I didn't catch the name.

You get up. They cue up a random presentation. You ad lib it.

In Eat to Live, there was a section that talked about "True Hunger".

Eat to Live by Joel Fuhrman, M.D.
Once your body gets to a certain level of better health, you begin to feel the difference between true hunger and just eating due to desire, appetite, or withdrawal symptoms. Your body is healthier at this stage and you won't experience the withdrawal symptoms such as weakness, headaches, lightheadedness, etc., that most people associate with hunger.
(You can read more of the section here.)

Words like "true" scare me so I wanted to wait a bit before I shared my thoughts on this.

Today is the first day of the third week of this diet, so while I am by no means an authority, my experience is becoming a bit more stable.

One thing that happened, even after the first week, was that everything tasted very different. My eyes and brain told me that "that fish looks good" or "that lettuce looks bland" or "that apple's probably sour"... However, when some fish broth ended up in my soup, it tasted oily and weird. When I ate the lettuce, it tasted sweet and rich. When I ate the apple, I felt like I was eating some sort of magic fruit. Now, I've grown accustomed to the wonderful taste of vegetables and fruits and would never have believed that I would be enjoying them so much.

In addition to the change in the way things taste, my cravings and hunger have changed a lot. First of all, I don't feel hungry very much. I feel hungry when my body starts to run out of energy. Exercising accelerates my hunger. The hunger isn't so much a craving as a sort of "running out of batteries" feeling. It actually feels good because I feel like I'm cleansing my system... sort of like when you empty a glass of water. Although this may be my imagination, when I sit down to a meal after this sort of hunger, I can feel the point (about half-way through the meal) where the energy starts to flow into my system and I become more alert and energetic.

This is a complete contrast to my former "hunger". It was often between meals (probably a drop in blood sugar) or when I saw something that looked or smelled oily or sweet. I could feel my blood sugar swinging around all day and cravings for quick calories chased it around. Also, around 5 PM every night, I would get an urge to have a drink to unwind and satisfy some other sort of craving. While I still get the "mmm... yummy smell" feeling when I smell something good, I don't get the craving pang I used to get.

I am tracking my food intake and tracking various things like my calories, my protein/carbohydrate/fat intake ratio and nutrients. Interestingly, I've noticed that even though I eat until I'm full every meal, I'm coming in slightly under my daily calorie target and my ratio is relatively balanced. When I'm eating a meal, I can feel myself getting "full" on carbohydrates, wanting more protein, etc. This may be a total hallucination, but it almost feels like I can taste the protein in that piece of broccoli or spoon of beans and my body balances my ratio through my hunger.

I realize that staring at my stats and being aware of all of this doesn't make this a very controlled experiment, but the basic notion here is rather interesting and something I'd like to explore. Is it possible to "clean your mind and pallet" to the point where your body tells you what nutrients it needs and allow you to follow your instinct instead of keeping track of everything? People who are on the ETL diet all tell me, don't worry about it, just eat what you need. At first I thought it was a way to get your mind off of the fact that you were on a diet. Now, I'm considering the possibility that your body is doing the calculations for you.

I realize that it's unlikely that your body will tell you that you need B12 and make you forage for B12 bearing bacteria or your Omega-3 deficiency will send you running for Flax Oil, but the idea that healthy bodies self-regulate is an extremely novel and obvious idea and I'm very excited to test it some more.

news on, in which China Telecom, one the biggest ISP in China, release an official statement( with my rough translation)


China Telecom has confirmed that, according to China institute of earthquake monitoring, at Dec 26, 20:26-20:34 Beijing Time, 7.2 and 6.7 magnitude earth quake have occurred in the South China Sea. Affected by the earthquake, Sina-US cable, Asia-Pacific Cable 1, Asia-Pacific Cable 2, FLAG Cable, Asia-Euro Cable and FNAL cable was broken and cut up. The break-off point is located 15 km south to Taiwan, which severely affected the International and national tele-communication in neighboring regions.


It was also reported that communication directed to China mainland, Taiwan, US and Europe were all massively interrupted. Internet connection to countries and region outside of China mainland became very difficult. Voice communication and telephone services were also affected.


China Telecom has claimed that due to the aftershock of the earthquake, the repairing works would be very tough. In addition undersea operation is also not easy to handle with. So this phenomenon is going to exist for certain period.

This really throws the notion of "cyberspace" into the physical world. My sympathies to everyone affected. Hope they figure out how to fix those cables quickly.

UPDATE: Xeni just picked this up on Boing Boing and linked to the Wikinews article and to the image above.

CC Weblog
CC Business Mixer: Calling for Creative Commons Entrepreneurs

Creative Commons and CC board member John Buckman will be hosting a CC Business Mixer on Thursday, Jan. 18th from 6pm-8pm at the Creative Commons offices in San Francisco. If you have an idea for a Creative Commons related business, this is your chance to present your idea to other like minded entrepreneurs and network with VCs. Have an idea you would like to present? Email John Buckman at

Details: Creative Commons Business Mixer for CC Entrepreneurs
6pm-8pm, Thursday January 18th
Creative Commons
543 Howard Street, 5th Floor
San Francisco

It looks like I'l be able to make it to this event. If you're in SF and have a startup that involves CC or are a VC interested in this space, email John Buckman and see you there. ;-)

I'm at Narita Airport waiting for my flight to Berlin via Frankfurt to attend the 23rd Chaos Communications Congress aka 23C3 as well as the iCommons board meeting. This is the third year that I've attended. It's one of my favorite conference with thousands of hackers converging on the Congress Center in Berlin. This year Digital Garage will be a sponsor of the conference and I will have a small team of folks including the MXTV BlogTV team covering the evening and doing some interviews. As always, the content will be released under a Creative Commons Attribution License and will be uploaded to You Tube and other places.

I'll be in Berlin until the 31st and travel back to Japan on New Years Eve just like last year. My big question is whether New Years Eve is including in the "end of the year" through which the in-flight Wifi is supposed to work.

This is the first flight I've taken since I started my ETL program and it's rather weird. Thinking about the logistics of getting tons of vegetables in Berlin feels almost upside down from the last time I went too. I'm sure I'll get used to it, but it's a bit disorienting.

I am going to be flying on Lufthanza to go to 23C3. If I'm lucky I'll have Flynet (Boeing Connexions) wifi on both legs. It's suppose to terminate on the day I return from Berlin. However... I don't have enough Watts. The Lufthanza seats (as with most airlines) only do 70 Watts. My MacBook Pro takes 85 Watts and My Dell XPS M1710 130 Watts. Arggh! This is so frustrating... If you haven't experienced trying to draw more wattage out of an airline plug, it's a pain. It looks like it's working for a minute, but it will just shut down and the LED turns red when you try to draw too much power.

It may be because of all of the complaining from people like Larry, but Apple released an airline power cable for the MacBook Pro which allows you to plug it into DC Power connectors which most US airlines use. It doesn't recharge the battery and appears to solve the problem. However, this solution doesn't help you on the airlines that just have an AC power outlet. (Most of the rest of the world.)

I wonder if it's possible for the airlines to increase the maximum power on the seats. I sure hope so.

I wrote a longish update on my diet. The one line summary is that I'm excited and enjoying it. If you are interested read the rest of this post.

I'm on my 8th day of the "Eat to Live" (ETL) diet. I'm starting with the 6 week startup plan. In summary, it is:

Eat to Live 6-Week Plan

UNLIMITED (eat as much as you want):

* all raw vegetables, including raw carrots (goal: 1 lb. daily)
* cooked green vegetables (goal 1 lb. daily)
* beans, legumes, bean sprouts, or *tofu (minimum 1 cup daily in total of these)
* fresh fruit (at least 4 daily).
* eggplant, mushrooms, peppers, onions, tomato and other non-starchy vegetables, cooked and raw (unlimited)

*Beans should be eaten daily; tofu should be eaten less frequently.

LIMITED (not more than one serving):

* cooked starchy vegetables OR whole grains--Maximum 1 cup per day (butternut or acorn squash, corn, sweet potato, brown rice, cooked carrots, whole grain breads*, whole grain cereals*)
* raw nuts and seeds (1 oz. or 28.5 grams a day) or 2 ounces avocado
* ground flaxseed (1 tablespoon a day)
* soymilk, low-sugar preferred--Maximum 1 cup a day

*avoid breads and cereals as much as possible


* dairy products
* animal products
* between meal snacks
* fruit juice, dried fruits
* salt, sugar

As part of this, I've stopped drinking alcohol (again) and increased my exercise to a target of one hour every other day. I realize that since I'm changing a number of significant variables, this is not a controlled experiment.

As my friends know, I'm rather obsessive and your mileage may vary in following my path since I tend to hyper-focus on stuff I'm excited about. However, I think the general observations echo what I hear from several other people on this diet.

First of all, as someone who normally drinks every day if I allow myself, I noticed that I don't miss alcohol at all. It could be that I'm so focused on being "pure" and it could be that the shock of the diet change took me out of some habit cycle, but for now, I am having no urge to drink. Good news.

The first few days were slightly disorienting.

I had a hard time sleeping the first night, but ended up sleeping more deeply and waking more refreshed than normal. I'm sure this is a combination of the lack of alcohol and food change. Overall, I am able to go to sleep naturally and wake up naturally. I have managed to wake up for up to three middle of the night overseas phone calls and still sleep between them.

I felt "lighter" and things seems a bit "brighter". (Could have been that the weather was just nicer. ;-P I think partially because of of the "yay! New project!" effect, I felt happy and excited. I didn't experience any energy loss and in fact started gaining a sense of having more stable happy energy.

The first few days I had mini-hunger pangs, but these disappeared and were replaced by the "true hunger" sensation that is described in the book.

The first few days also involved some cramps and stomachaches as well as overall dysfunctional digestion. After about a week, my body seems to have adapted to the change.

My taste buds quickly adapted to the no salt / no oil diet and after two days, even a little fish or meat in broth made my veggies taste funny. Sitting in front of people eating fish, meat, sweets didn't make me crave, even after the first day. After a week, while I sometimes imagine eating meats, I don't crave it.

On the other hand, fruits, which I never really enjoyed, have become a joy. I've always enjoyed vegetables, but now I love them. I'm spending lots and lots of time in the market and online browsing vegetables and comparing the different tastes of the different types and origins. This has really been a blast.

The beans... I never really liked beans, but now they are the "meaty" part of my meal and I savor them. ;-)

My skin is dry (probably from the lack of oil) and my hair has a different consistency. This also seems to be balancing out compared to the first few days.

Overall, I seem to be running slightly cool and sweating less, which is fine because I tend to feel warmer than I would like. The diet composition as well as the reduction in overall calories might have something to do with this. Not sure.

When exercising, I've noticed that I can feel the energy burning and my "true hunger" increasing as my body starts to require more energy. My metabolism seems to slow down until I consume some food and it increases again. I'm sure many people are accustomed to this feeling, but I haven't had this linkage between energy levels and food since I was wrestling in High School. Recently, before this diet, my hunger seemed to have been related to cravings and not to energy available in my body, which it is now.

I've lost 5.3 kg or 6.5% of my body weight since I started, but haven't had to feel hungry to do it. I realize my calorie intake is lower than before, but I haven't been limiting it.

The hardest part has been the logistics of getting approximately 2 pounds (about 1 kg) of fresh vegetables purchased and washed every day.

Again, your mileage may vary, but so far this diet has been fun and productive. I've started reading The China Study which is referenced in Eat to Live and appears to be a slightly more research orient approach to this diet. I'm also take a DHA Omega-3 supplement and multivitamins. I've begun tracking my nutrition intake from my foods and am considering dumping the multivitamin depending the results.

I am using NutriBase 7 to track my intake, exercise and targets and it is AMAZING. I can track, chart and compare just about any nutrient or ratio I want and while I don't understand all of the meaning behind it yet, I am now logging everything. Hopefully, as I study, I will understand more and more of the data.

I am trying to figure out whether there is a good Protein-Carbohydrate-Fat Ratio (PCF) target for the ETL diet. (I will ask on the forums.) I am also trying to figure out whether to just use the US RDA for the nutrients or whether there is something better.

Anyway, you can tell I'm obsessed with this right now. We'll see how it lasts.

Does anyone know of any good nutrition tracking software on the Mac? I want to be able to enter what I'm eating and have it produce a report of nutrients including vitamins and minerals. There are references with the information as well as nifty packages that keep track of what you eat and chart calories. However, I have yet to find something on the Mac that lets you track nutrients other than calories (and breakdown of calorie type) and a few other basics like sodium. It looks like there is a package for Windows called NutriBase.

Another requirement is that it is metric friendly.

The problem I'm having is that since supplements and diets are such a big business online, online search results are cluttered with spam... *sigh*

I suppose I could run some Windows emulator on the Mac. How good are they? I've sort of stay away from them assuming they would take up too much disk space and CPU, but maybe I should try it...

Anyway, I'll post any findings here and keep looking.

UPDATE: Decided to go ahead and get the NutriBase package and start running it on my windows laptop. Looks great. I wish I had it for the Mac. Maybe this means I need to run Windows on my Mac. Gah...

Yesterday Creative Commons celebrated its fourth birthday with parties around the world as well as in Second Life. Larry was in Portugal and I was in Japan so we hooked up with the party in Second Life. Board members Hal and Jimmy also joined us there together with a great mix of SL visitors and regulars.

In Second Life, Larry took the opportunity to pass me a digital torch as part of a ritual where he handed on the Chairman position to me after four amazing years as the founder-Chairman of Creative Commons.

When I joined the board in 2003, the licenses had been launched and the movement already had a great buzz of activity and good will around it. A the time, some products like Movable Type had already integrated Creative Commons licenses, but for the most part, CC was a movement of like-minded people with a vision. Since then Creative Commons, thanks to everyone who has supported us over the last four years, has become a standard feature in major search engines, web services, software tools and content libraries. In four short years, Creative Commons has grown from an idea to a basic part of the technical and business infrastructure of the Internet and the sharing economy.

One thing that needs to be clear is that I'm succeeding Larry, not replacing him. That's impossible. I'm jumping into the movement to try to help where I can and contribute to the leadership that Larry started. Larry remains fully committed as CEO. I'll try to give Larry more time to focus on his unique contributions to Creative Commons while I bring my own.

Creative Commons was and always will be a cultural and social movement which empowers people to share and promote free culture. In every way, it is "the right thing to do." However, Creative Commons has a new group of supporters. Many people now use Creative Commons because it makes business sense. The corporate world needs to hear this in a language they understand. I speak their language.

While I hope that Creative Commons T-Shirts will still get you free drinks in San Francisco, I think that Creative Commons will become a regular topic of conversation in board rooms, government policy meetings and living rooms of "normal people". As we lay claim to ubiquity, we need to step up as an organization and as a movement. I hope you will all join me in pressing on with renewed confidence and energy to make CC such a success that, as Larry hopes, people will look back and think that what we are saying now should have been obvious.

Please read Larry's post for his perspectives on this.

Finally I need to thank everyone for your support over these four years. It is through the broad grassroots support that CC has been able to port to over 70 countries, convince major companies to adopt the licenses and change their practices and become a key enabler of sharing and free culture. It takes real work and real money to build a movement like this. And the movement continues. Please continue to support CC and if you aren't already a supporter, it's a good opportunity to start. We've got $100,000 left to raise to meet our $300,000 goal for this fund raider. Your participation is essential to our success and contributing to our funding is an important part of this support. Thanks. CLICK HERE TO GIVE

UPDATE: Press Release

People interested in copyright and P2P will have already seen the news but the developer of the P2P file-sharing software called Winny was arrested in Japan. A Japanese court recently found him guilty because his software "assists" people in committing crimes. This reminds me a bit of the FLMASK case where the developer of reversible "mosaic" was found guilty of operating a pornography business for linking to his pornography customers. (I testified as a expert witness back when I was chairman of Infoseek Japan.)

This time it is about copyright.

This trend of charging the developers of software for crimes of their users is very dangerous. While I'm not sure how important Japanese legal precedent is at a global level, if not checked, this trend will undermine the basic architecture of how we build software and the Internet.

CPSR Japan
Immediate Release

Comment on Copyright violation assistance case Shinji R. Yamane, CPSR/Japan president December 17, 2006 version 1.1

[History] Mr. Isamu Kaneko was the first file-sharing software developer arrested in Japan. He developed and posted Winny, quasi-anonymous P2P file-sharing software(*) still runnung on more than 400,000 nodes today. He was claimed to 'assisted' two users who illegally uploaded copyrighted materials using Winny. As soon as Mr. Kaneko arrested, starts supporting activity ( CPSR Japan chapter (CPSR/Japan) has been supported and its successor, Lesgue for Software Engineers (LSE).

[Problem] The judgement passed down on him was guilty. As the ruling statement will be published some days later after the judgement in Japanese criminal court and no recordings allowed, nobody has the ruling statement yet. So some commentators in news/blog talks uncertain information.

According to the ruling, Mr. Kaneko has no willing to support copyright violation and Winny is "significant" technology that can be applied to various uses and characterized "value-neutral." However, it became guilty by expanding the concept of "assist" in criminal law and Mr. Kaneko fined 1.5 million yen.

[Future concerns] As the court recognized that Mr. Kaneko is NOT malicious developer, Winny ruling shocks Japanese industry including hobbist programmers. The border of guilty and innocent software developer is not clear.

CPSR/Japan will also support and co-operate Mr. Kaneko and LSE. CPSR/Japan will held a chapter's conference in Tokyo to discuss the effect of Winny ruling on January 13 Saturday 2007.


* Research paper on Winny network contents is available in English: Tatsuo Tanaka Does file sharing reduce music CD sales?: A case of Japan Hitotsubashi University IIR WP#05-08 (2004/12/13)

-- Comment by Isamu Kaneko December 13, 2006 (Originally in Japanese, available at )

Today, I have been found guilty as an accessory to copyright violation. Winny's usefullness is somthing that will extend into the future. Therefore, I believe that it's true value will be recognized in the future. I am dissapointed with the present ruling.

I have repeatedly warned, "do not exchange illegal files" when releasing Winny. And I have repeatedly warned against illegal file exchanges in my commnets to 2-channel and other forums. I am not sure what more would be needed to further make my case.

My biggest concern about this ruling is the chilling effect that many software developers may shy away from developing useful technologies, fearing prosecution based on this vague possiblity of becoming an accessory. This saddens me the most. Times are changing, and we need to cope with that.

I am going to appeal this ruling, in order to raise awareness on the role of technology in these times.


Almost like clockwork, hitting 40 years old seems to have triggered a series of alarms that I need to watch my health more. Blood tests show various things that I need to watch out for and I continue to be fatter than I should. I used to do low-carb diets when I got overweight, but it seems like a fat/meat diet right now wouldn't be good for my heart and other things.

I was discussing exercise plans and being fat with a friend of mine who recommended that I check out Eat to Live by Dr. Fuhrman. I googled around looking for more information. Wikipedia provided rather bland neutral results. Some people seemed critical of him, but in the comments were blasted by others who disagreed. I couldn't find anything authoritatively negative about this book or Dr. Fuhrman. (I didn't look TOO hard though.)

His website and the book come off a bit salesy, but I tend to expect that from mass market books in the US. I've just started reading the book. I apologize for blogging before I read, but I wanted to post this while I read the book in case anyone had experience with Dr. Fuhrman, his recommendations in his book or thoughts on his assertions.

It is pretty straightforward. Eat lots of fiber. Cut down on meats, fish, oil and carbs. He has a notion of health = nutrition / calories and the importance of focusing on foods that have a high nutrition vs calorie ration. Fruits are OK.

Anyway, I think I'm going to give this a try. It starts with a 6 week aggressive "detox" and then goes into a more forgiving mode that allows you to eat most anything, but requires you to take in large amounts of vegetables and fruits.

I just sent a bunch of joke gifts to people from Now it thinks I'm a weirdo/nerd who buys Devo hats and obscure programming books. Too bad I don't have any more crazy friends that I need to harass.

So a word of advice to those who plan on sending joke presents for the Holidays. Don't use your main Amazon account. ;-P

I wonder when we'll start reviving all of the old Bubble 1.0 jokes?

CC Blog
Celebrate CC globally and virtually

Melissa Reeder, December 7th, 2006
Creative Commons 4th Birthday Party is on December 15th. If you are located in the San Francisco Bay Area come celebrate with the CC SF staff at Songbird, the company that brought you the super cool media player. They have generously offered to host our party.

The details:
What: Creative Commons Turns Four!
When: Friday, December 15, 2006, 9pm until 2am
Where: Songbird – 777 Florida Street, Suite 300, San Francisco, CA
Please RSVP to as space is limited.
Since most of CC's supporters are spread out around the world we thought that it would be awesome to see how many of our international affiliates would interested in hosting CC celebrations of their own!. So even though you may not be able to attend the SF party don't fret because there are now CC Celebration parties in Warsaw, Amsterdam, Copenhagen, Lisbon, Portugal (as part of their initial launch), and New York City. If you don't see a party in you country, talk to your nearest CC affiliated jurisdiction project lead about having a party or just meeting up in an informal place like your local coffee shop, friend's house or bar.

If you are unable to make any of those locations but can make it virtually then we can accomodate that too!

Come celebrate with Larry Lessig, Creative Commons' CEO, Jimmy Wales and Joi Ito to take part in this virtual birthday bash. We will be streaming San Francisco's live festivities into Second Life. Teleport directly to our land at 9-10pm PST on Kula Island to see the live stream, listen to music, and chat with a few of our favorite progressive thinkers and free culture fans.

As a way for all the global commoners to be able to celebrate together we are asking that everyone document their celebrations with videos and photographs. Upload them with the tag "ccb-day", "city" (i.e. Berlin), and any other identifying tags, so we can pick them up and channel them through Stage6, the video and image content platform. If you would like to upload to Stage6 directly the format is DiVX. If you are unfamiliar it's easy to use and they have help for both Macs and PC. The open source application for PC's is Dr. DiVX and they have how-to videos for Dr. DiVX as well. also host informational videos. We are also encouraging commoners to support CC by uploading a short video or written testimonial about you support CC and use "cc" "testimonial" "city" and any other identifying tags. We want to know your stories and share them with the rest of the world.

See you there!

UPDATE: I will be there via Second Life

I apologize for being too lazy to search around the Internet for a discussion on this, but has anyone noticed that their MacBook Pro has gotten WORSE after the recent firmware patch to FIX issues with sleeping? I find my MacBook Pro getting into this annoying state of fan-whirring insomnia mode where it doesn't sleep, but won't wake up.

I'm randomly losing email for some reason. If you've sent something and haven't heard back, please send it again. Sorry.


This is a request for help. I'm currently using a Gmail hosted account and using Mail on OS X to retrieve my mail via POP. The setting on the Gmail side is to archive mail that has been retrieved by POP. Sometimes I browse email via the browser.

The weird thing that is happening is that blocks of mail or single messages are not showing up in the client, but are being archived in the "All Mail" section of my Gmail account.

I tried rebuilding the Inbox on my Mac, moved the messages to another folder and rebuilt with 0 messages. (Confirmed a clean .plist file.) Then I tried deleting the Inbox folder completely and allowed Mail on the Mac to rebuild it from scratch. I think I'm still getting this error.

Any ideas on what this could be and how I can resolve this?

I'm at the SFO airport on my way to Sao Paulo for the ICANN meeting. After a cancelled flight, I think I'm back on course.

There is a Sao Paulo ICANN meeting blog where I'll try to post stuff once I figure out the posting policy.

UPDATE: There is a webcast and a chatroom.

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