Joi Ito's conversation with the living web.

January 2008 Archives

Larry's last talk on Free Culture »

Larry blogs that:Last Free Culture lecture, first thought about what to do about political corruption So this Thursday, January 31, at 1:00pm, at Memorial Auditorium on the Stanford Campus (directions) (map), I will be giving my last lecture about "Free Culture." The event is a bit staged (literally), as it is being sponsored by an entity making a film about these issues, and they want the lecture to use in the film. But the venue is beautiful, and I will also use the opportunity to map out one plan for addressing the problem of "corruption" (as I've described it)...

Last.fm frees the music »

Last.fm just announced that:As of today, you can play full-length tracks and entire albums for free on the Last.fm website. Something we've wanted for years--for people who visit Last.fm to be able to play any track for free--is now possible. With the support of the folks behind EMI, Sony BMG, Universal and Warner--and the artists they work with--plus thousands of independent artists and labels, we've made the biggest legal collection of music available to play online for free, the way we believe it should be.That's very cool, but what I'm also very excited about is:Free full-length tracks are obviously great...

Video message about Burma »

Disclosure: I'm on the board of WITNESS which is one of the non-profits that does work in Burma. Related links: WITNESS website Read about Burma in Japanese Human Rights Watch Amnesty International...

TCHO Beta »

My TCHO Beta arrived. YUM! TCHO is one of my rare non-Internet investments. Several years ago, my old friend Timothy Childs told me he was starting a chocolate factory. I thought he was totally crazy. I sort of tried to ignore it for awhile, but he didn't give up and appeared to continue getting more and more excited. Finally he said he had sort of gotten things set up and invited me over to his super-secret lab and showed me around. I was really impressed. He told me his secret plans and said that my old friends Jane and...

Cory Doctorow's Little Brother »

When I was in London, Cory gave me a copy of his new book Little Brother. I read it mostly on the plane and while traveling through London, Hong Kong, Macao and Tokyo airport security. The book is about a future where there is a terrorist attack on San Francisco and DHS in the US gets overzealous and starts abusing their power. The hero of the story is a teenage hacker who decides to declare war on the DHS and take back his civil liberties. It's a great story about teenagers, net culture, security, activism and politics and was a...

We invested in Twitter and are bringing them to Japan »

I Twittered this but forgot to blog it. :-P From the Twitter Blog:Despite the fact that Twitter is in English, we continue to see exciting growth from all over the world. Japan, in particular shows a very strong and growing demand for Twitter services. Movatwitter and Twitterpod are great examples. To support continued growth in Japan, Twitter has formed a partnership with Digital Garage to create the official Twitter Japan service. As part of this arrangement, Digital Garage has made an investment in Twitter, Inc and will commit engineering and other development resources to help us bring Twitter to Japan....

Japan and its GDP »

I find that the Japanese, myself included, use the phrase, "Japan is the world's second largest GDP" as some sort of mantra to try to keep Japan relevant in a world that is exceedingly uninterested in Japan. I was talking to Oki Matsumoto, a good friend and the CEO of Monex about this. He told me about a talk he gave at Keio University about the increasing irrelevance of Japan and showed me the following slides which I post with permission. This first slide is the percentage of the world GDP of various countries in 2004 and projected in 2050....

Japan braces for UFO attack »

I was going to write about this earlier, but I let it slip and now it's old new... but I still find it funny/sad. First the Chief Cabinet Secretary and now the Minister of Defense of Japan announce that they believe in UFOs. The Minister of Defense is trying to figure out how to prepare for an alien invasion under the current Japanese pacifist constitution... *sigh* Don't they have better things to do? Bloomberg and Yahoo both covered it....

John Lilly to take CEO role at Mozilla Corporation »

John Lilly is moving from the COO role to the CEO role at Mozilla. Mitchell will continue to work with the organization in her various roles such as Chairman of the Mozilla Foundation, Chairman of the Mozilla Corporation, and Chief Lizard Wrangler of the project. This change was driven by Mitchell as much as anyone else and is a very friendly an natural thing as the organization grows. Anyway, congrats to everyone involved. Please see John's blog post and Mitchell's blog post for more details....

New Years Beethoven-a-thon »

Last night, Mizuka, Sachiko-mama and I went to see the special New Years performance produced by our friend Shigeaki Saegusa. This was the 5th year of the event where the theme of each year is to perform Beethoven's 1st through 9th Symphonies in one day as we pass into the New Year. The event started at 2PM on December 31st and ended at 1AM on January the 1st. The conductor was Kenichiro Kobayashi and the Concert Master was Mr. Shinozaki. There were a number of other concert masters playing various roles in the orchestra which was quite an all-star...
Whiplash by Joi Ito and Jeff Howe

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