Joi Ito's conversation with the living web.

Recently in the Gadgets Category

Conversation with Adafruit »

I recently visited and had a conversation with Limor "Lady Ada" Fried and Phil Torrone of Adafruit. I first met them about ten years ago at SxSW. Limor is an MIT grad that we're super-proud of and Phil is an amazing pioneer in communications, hacking and many other things. Phil and Limor are two of my most favorite people and I aways get giddy just getting a chance to hang out with them. We discussed making, electronics, business, manufacturing, hacking, live video and more. They've been doing live video daily for the last 10 years or so and are...

SwiMP3 »

I got my SwiMP3 a few days ago and have used it three times so far. I had been using Dolphin mp3 player recently. They are very different devices. Both of them mount as an external drive on my Mac and both only play mp3. (No iTunes music store for you!) The Dolphin has earbuds that double as ear plugs, but the rubber buds tend to fall off and I've almost lost them a few times. The SwiMP3 uses bone conduction. The bone conduction works fairly well, but is weak on the high-end compared to the Dolphin. The SwiMP3 also...

Tesla coil music at Dorkbot/SXSW »

Leica M8 1/30 ISO640 - Elmarit 135mm Just saw the Tesla coil music demo at Dorkbot at SXSW. It was amazing. I'm not sure exactly how the technology works, but hey use a computer to control the frequency of a tesla coil so it "plays" music. This image was taken while the coils were playing the theme from Ghost Busters....

MAKE: Open Source Gift Guide »

If you're thinking already about holiday gifts, I suggest you take a look at the MAKE Magazine Open Source Gift Guide. Lots of very cool stuff that you can REALLY "play with" after you get....

It's mylo »

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...

Radio Ga Ga »

By Thomas Crampton Has MP3 killed the radio star? A number of youth-oriented radio stations around the world have reported falling listenership. Ironically, the rising popularity of music through MP3 may be the cause. (Someone told me today that some radio stations have a playlist as short as 25 song that they play in different order, so not surprising if they are losing listeners to an iPod with more songs.) Will podcasting kill the radio station? How have people seen their radio listening habits change?...

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...

My new Nokia 8800 »

Yesterday Marko brought me a Nokia 8800. I wrote about this phone when it came out. It has special meaning for me because the sounds were designed by my friend Ryuichi Sakamoto. I'm also proud to have introduced Marko and Nokia to Ryuichi. I had read the reviews, but after playing with the phone I'm extremely excited by how cool it is. The design is beautiful and the attention to detail is stunning. Everything from the black box with the steel clasp that it comes in to the pulsating blue light at the base of the charging dock to the...

Collaborative Newspaper Column - Wiki-style? »

Posted by Thomas Crampton Tech editor of the International Herald Tribune seems open to publishing a column of blog-generated ideas. I need topics of interest our newspaper's readers (wealthy global audience of frequent travelers with diverse interests in politics, economic and culture). Conversations on this blog that might work have included my postings on Global Sociology of Online Shopping or Joi's post on ideas for new inflight software. Input welcome on: Layout - should it be in blog-style or reworked into a newspaper format. I tend to prefer reworking it, but my editor liked the idea of experimenting with a...

Mobile Phone Sociology - Morocco »

Posted by Thomas Crampton In reporting stories in Casablanca this week I have faced a unique problem due to Moroccan mobile phone habits. More than any other country I have ever visited, Moroccans used caller ID. It seems to be part of the phone answering process to closely look at the number of the person calling before deciding whether or not to answer. Often they will let it ring if they can't figure out whose number it is. In most places people look at caller ID and then answer. From my point of view the result has been that my...

PhoneGnome »

I am on the advisory board of and an investor in TelEvolution which has just announced a device called the PhoneGnome. PhoneGnome is the brainchild of David Beckemeyer. He was co-founder of EarthLink, where he was Vice President Engineering and Chief Technology Officer. I first met David on #joiito and got to know him when he built the Hecklebot. Later, he approached me with his PhoneGnome idea and I was immediately fascinated. The PhoneGnome is box that you connect to your phone line and your Internet connection and attach a phone to. The magic happens when PhoneGnome figures out your...

Skype from the plane »

I just Skyped from the plane using the Boeing Connextion system. It worked. ;-) It was a bit laggy and I probably should use a better headset, but it works. Yay!...

My Nokia 6680 »

After some begging, Nokia sent me one of their new 6680 phones. (As one of my business partners used to say, "never beg... unless it helps.") Thanks! I'd been trying to get my hands on one because it runs Symbian, is fast, and works on 3G networks. (My old 7600 worked on the Japanese 3G network too, but it wasn't Symbian and was a bit clunky to use.) Since J-Phone/Vodaphone and NTT DoCoMo have rolled out 3G in Japan and have roaming agreements with carriers like T-Mobile, which I use, I've been hoping that I could get a good phone...

Trackerless torrrent test »

I've created a torrent using the Trackerless Auto setting on BitTorrent. It's a 37MB movie of my Roomba having some trouble with cliff detection and my dogs having trouble with the Roomba. It's probably not worth downloading, but if you feel like testing trackerless torrents, give it a try. roombadogs.torrent UPDATE: I've updated the torrent with the new version of the trackerless client. Can you give it a try? UPDATE 2: I didn't have port forwarding on. I've turned it on now so it might work. However, I'll be on the road again in a few hours...Technorati Tags: BitTorrent, dogs,...

Sniffing around in Yongsan with Dan »

I just got back from a short trip to Yongsan with Dan Gillmor. Yongsan is one of two electronics districts in Seoul. One of the larger buildings full of shops was closed for some reason and there weren't very many shoppers around. This made walking around easier, but probably didn't give us the full effect. In Tokyo, we have an electronics district called Akihabara which many people compare Yongsan to. There were more similarities than I expected, but some differences. I found in Yongsan, and Seoul in general, places are more spacious than the equivalent areas in Japan. Shops generally...

Roooomba! »

The day before yesterday, I sat next to Colin Angle the co-founder and CEO of iRobot at dinner. I've had been looking for a way to get a Roomba and I asked him how I could get one in Japan. He told me that they are in fact selling them in Japan with a somewhat limited distribution and asked me for my thoughts. I said I'd have to try using one before I could give him good feedback. Japanese houses are a bit different from the US. He said he happened to have a Roomba with him that he could...

Bluetooth Valentine's Day »

A special form of "toothing" for Valentine's day. Encode your bluetooth device with your preferences, choose some images and participate in Bluetooth Valentine's Day. See the site for more details. via Sander...

MAKE »

MAKE is a mook (hybrid magazine/book) and a website for do-it-youself gadgety hacking published by O'Reilly. The team is my favorite do-it-yourself hacker Philip Torrone, Mark Frauenfelder of Boing Boing and Dale Dougherty from O'Reilly. Phillip tells me there will be a lot of audio and video coming, but it looks great already. Looking forward to getting my hands of the first issue and seeing what they have in store for us!...

My new Sony PSP »

I went to Akihabara last weekend with Gen, Jim and Boris looking for a PSP. There are rumors of production problems in China. In any event, they are in very short supply. I had heard that they could be found in some of the alleyways in Akihabara. We walked around for quite awhile but couldn't find one. Finally, Andrew came to our rescue and emailed me directions to a tiny shop in an alley that said on their web page that they had some in stock. After a bit of wandering around, we found the shop and I got...

New Apple Signature iPods »

First the Special Edition U2 iPod. Now this. ;-) via Michael...

My first Sony Walkman »

Boris blogs about his first Sony Walkman. I remember my first Walkman. It was the Sony TPS-L2 (thanks to the Vintage Walkman Museum). I was in 9th grade. I remember my favorite song was "Another One Bites the Dust" by Queen. I was living in Tokyo and just started going to discos and nightclubs. I had just moved to Tokyo. The Walkman was part of the "coming of age", becoming independent, asking a girl out for the first time and becoming Japanese part of my life. I remember the feeling of having music thundering in my head as I walked...

Can Foma phones be unlocked? »

I just tried taking my NTT Docomo Foma (3G) SIM out of my F900iC and put it in my unlocked Nokia 7600 which is also a 3G phone. The SIM worked fine, but I couldn't send international SMSs. When I put the US T-Mobile SIM into the F900iC, it said "please insert your Docomo SIM". So obviously, the phone is locked. The question is, is there a way to unlock it? And, is there a way to use it on foreign networks. The Good news for Docomo users is that it appears Docomo now has roaming agreements so you can...

My F900iC »

I spilled juice on my phone and had to get a new one. I got a F900iC. It's the first 3G phone with the new FeliCa contactless IC card built in. I just set up my Edy account and downloaded some money to it from my credit card. I think they will let you get money from your bank as well. I can wave it at the garage machine at Tokyo station, or at the cash register at AM/PMs or in a bunch of places inside of the Marunouchi building where I'm hanging out a lot lately. Not sure how...

Sony announces pricing for PSP »

Sony's has just announced the pricing for the PSP, the PlayStation®Portable. They will go on sale December 12 for 20,790 yen including tax. Sony did a big back-peddle when Nintendo announced the pricing for their competing product, the DS their hours before Sony's developers meeting where it was rumored that they would announce the price. People had estimated the price would be 29,800 - 40,000 yen. Since the Nintendo price (15,000 yen including tax) was so far below the estimated Sony price and it was announced so close to the beginning of the Sony meeting that Sony could not...

How to take digital photos from a kite »

Ever wanted to take digital pictures from a kite? Phillip Torrone who brought us the Search Engine Belt Buckles shows us how. He makes it sound so easy....

Trucks »

Seth and Xeni write about this new American monster pickup truck, the CXT. According to Xeni it is "about 2 feet taller x 4 feet longer than the honkin' Hummer H2. Which, btw, it could tow along with that yacht, if need be." (MSNBC article and debut site) I just bought a 10 year old Daihatsu HiJet pickup truck. I got it because it's small enough to drive on the narrow paths between the rice fields. It can carry as much gravel or dirt as I would be willing to move on any given day. Just about every single...

The Search Engine Belt Buckle »

I remember when I was Chairman of Infoseek Japan, I would get a weekly list of the top 100 search words. I remember loving this list. You could see watch trends and stuff, but mostly it made you realize just how sick people were. When I was around, the only US search term that beat adult content phrases was "Olympics" and the only Japanese query was "Tamagocchi" when it was all the rage. Now uber-gadget-hacker Phillip Torrone has brought this experience to the street via the Search Engline Belt Buckle. It uses the SearchSpy service which shows real search queries...

USB weight sensor »

PhidgetsWeightSensor Wow! A USB weight sensor. Now we can automatically add our weight to the sidebar and make RSS feeds of our weight changes. Who wants to write the mt-weightsensor plugin? via Daiji Current Mood: chipper Current Weight: heavy Listening to: You Trip Me Up by The Jesus and Mary Chain from the album Psychocandy...

Douglas Krone of Dynamism »

Yesterday, I met Douglas Krone the CEO of Dynamism. (I forgot my phone at home so couldn't take his picture.) Dynamism is an awesome company that takes all of the coolest gadgets from around the world, localizes them into English and sells them on the Internet. They provide support for these devices. Most high-end gadget geeks that I know have at one time or another purchased stuff from Dynamism. Anyway, we talked a lot about gadgets, blogs and Creative Commons. I got him to agree that it would make sense to put a Creative Commons license on his site so...

Sensaphonics ear molds »

Last week I got my Sensaphonics ear molds for my E5cs and a set of ProPhonic Soft 2Xs. I just blogged about them on my stuff blog....

My new Nokia 7610 »

Got a new Nokia 7610. Short review on my stuff blog....

Will airtexting BlackBerry become the mobile hecklebot? »

Smart MobsWave Messaging From the company that pioneered text messaging, picture messaging and multimedia messaging, comes new innovation - Wave Messaging, or Light Messaging, according to a Nokia press release By waving the Nokia 3220 camera phone from side to side, the LED lights of the Nokia Xpress-on FunShell light up to "write" a message that appears to float in mid-air. Related articles on airtexting-type technologies: -- In March 2003, the WSJ reported from CeBIT about a phone called Kurv, made by Kyocera Wireless Corp which featured airtexting: "The company believes airtexting will be one of it's most popular...

Hearing conservation and earphones »

Today I met the founder and president of Sensaphonics, Michael Santucci. He is a hearing conservation expert and audiologist. He is one of the few audiologists who work with the music industry. The relationship is interesting. Hearing conservation is about protecting your ears from continued exposure to loud sounds in order to preserve your hearing. He told us that baby boomers have a higher rate of hearing loss than senior citizens, probably because of devices such as portable music devices. He shows us pictures of a healthy inner ear and a damaged inner ear and had the same effect on...

Lamborghini police car in Italy »

italiaspeed13.05.2004 Lamborghini have donated one of their Gallardo sportscars, complete with siren & flashing lights, to the State Police on the occasion of their 152nd anniversary For the first time, Italian State Police (Polizia di Stato) will use a Lamborghini Gallardo Police Car. The supercar, in State Police colours, with a siren and flashing lights on the roof, has been donated by the House of Sant’Agata Bolognese to the State Police on the occasion of its 152nd anniversary, held in the customary setting of the Piazza del Popolo in Rome on the 14th, 15th and 16th May 2004. The Gallardo...

Rubik's cube solver done in Lego »

CubeSolverThis robot solves the 3x3x3 Rubik's Cube®. I started to think about this problem in about August of 2000. In Jan 2001 fellow Mindstorms forums user 'agiecco' announced his intention to work on a robotic solution and, simultaneously, I saw that Rubik's Cubes were on sale at www.target.com. So I bought a couple of cubes and started getting down to business... I produced a 'late beta' version in mid-April 2001 that was a little clunky. The final version (presented here) is smooth and fairly reliable.Amazing. via Brian...

etoy uses 2D barcodes at etoy.DAY-CARE »

"etoy.DAYCARE is operating. A first group has been graduating from our camp in Amsterdam." - etoy.TALKUnique use of 2D barcodes by etoy. Using them to match parents with their kids at etoy.DAY-CARE in Amsterdam. etoy is an art group that won the Golden Nica in the net category at Ars Electronica in 1996....

My new P900i »

My new P900i. More about it on my stuff blog....

Joi Ito's Stuff »

In order to 1) mess around with TypePad more, 2) allow me to indulge my gadget obsession with complete abandonment and 3) experiment with multiple blogs, I've decided to start a blog about Joi Ito's Stuff. It is "a blog about stuff that I have, why I have it, what I'm doing with it and how I feel about it." I have no idea if this is a good idea or not, but starting blogs on New Year's Day seems like a good idea to me....

My Nokia 6600 vs my Sony SO505iS »

I know this is comparing apples and oranges, but that's what I've got: apples and oranges. The Nokia 6600 has a 65,536 color 176 x 208 pixel display and a 640 x 480 pixel camera whereas the Sony SO505iS has a 262,144 color 240 x 320 display and a 1280 × 960 pixel camera. Both displays are bright, but the Sony display and camera win. They're about the same size and weight, but the 6600 feels much more comfortable in my hand. Warm, round and buttons in the right place. The SO505iS is cold and a bit awkward (as...

Dan's got RSS on his Treo 600 »

OK I've got gadget envy. Dan blogs about his RSS feed on his Treo 600 and says he wants a client that lets him blog easily from it too. Anyone know of anything good? Ado, want to port Kung-Log to PalmOS?

Armed for further stealth disco with a DCR-IP7 »

Browsing on my DCR-IP7 Video Camera through Hirata's Docomo PHS 663S via bluetoothWent looking for a small video camera for my continuing pursuit of stealth disco excellence. I found a Sony DCR-IP7. It uses the tiny micro Cassette Memory, has IP, a browser, bluetooth and a bunch of other stuff you'd never need for a stealth disco camera, but it was released in 2001 and I got it at a discount. It was the smallest video camera I could find.I haven't used it yet to take video, but we were able to connect it via bluetooth to Hirata's PHS mobile phone and connect to the Net and browse the web. Very cool, but almost completely useless. ;-)

I want a G5 »

I wish I had a G5 Mac... These guys have 1100...Thanks Buridan!

Matt from Shure starts blogging »

I first heard about the Shure earphones from Barak and bought the e2c's. I blogged about it. With the help of Google, people interested in e2c's including Matt, who was the product manager for the e2c's found my blog entry. When the e5c's came out, I blogged about them too. Hundreds of comments later, both of these entries have become discussions including testimonials and lots and lots of answers from Matt replying to questions about the products and distribution. This human voice dialog is why I think blogging is so great for companies with great products.Last week, I talked to Matt and Susan from Shure on the phone about experimenting with blogs. Matt's started a blog. Hopefully we can set up some combination of a wiki and a blog to help Shure reach out to us and for us to give them feedback.

iSight and QuickTime Broadcaster are a go »

I got my iSight today and downloaded QuickTime Broadcaster. I've set up streaming from my streaming server. I guess this is sort of a JoiItoTV. ;-PPretty boring, but if you want to see a full motion video stream of me sitting on the phone, sitting in meetings or working on my computer, check it out.Now I've got to figure out something useful to do with this. The cool thing is that I should be able to carry this contraption around wirelessly. "Now, for our on-the-spot broadcast..."Click more to see the stream. (If I'm broadcasting.)

Kensington Wifi Finder »

KensingtonWork Anywhere!Your life on the road just got a lot easier. With the first and only WiFi detector on the market today, you no longer need to cross your fingers as you wait for your notebook to boot up. Just press a button and the Kensington WiFi Finder lets you know if your location is "hot"...instantly. No software or computer needed. What could be easierI MUST get one of these.via Bopuc on IRC

HeckleBot - A project to support heckling at conferences »

Many conferences have wifi for the audience these days. People blog the conferences or chat during the conferences. There is definitely a back channel and a lot of people who track conferences online. At a recent conference in Helsinki, Kevin Marks, who was in California, wrote a limerick heckling Tom Coates on IRC. The difficulty is feeding some of the good stuff back to the speakers. This is where HeckleBot comes in. HeckleBot is an IRC bot that sits in the IRC channel for a conference. You give it commands like "?heckle Stop pointificating!" on IRC. The bot talks to a linux box connected to an LED display facing the speakers. The LED displays the message to the speakers. This way, the speakers can get immediate feedback from the audience as well people watching a video stream or reading people blogging the event.I promise to try to get the HeckleBot set up at as many conferences I attend if people will help me build it. There are some links to the various pieces on the wiki page about HeckleBot. Please sign up or contribute on the Wiki.

Sky-230DL Radar Detector with GPS »

Mizuka just bought a CellStar SKY-230DL radar detector. It's amazing. It has a GPS receiver built in. It knows where speed traps are and lets you know 2 km before you get there. (In Japan, we have automated speed traps that take your picture and send you the ticket in the mail.) It also lets you program new information. For the tunnel exit based traps, it lets you know before you enter the tunnel, etc. It also detects police radio and figures out whether they are heading towards you in the same direction or on the other side of the road. It has a variety of special warnings for stealth pulse radar detection, etc. These things have come a long way since the last radar detector I bought. This is a good thing since we're going on a road trip today.

Sony FSV-PGX1 Portable File Server »

I just got my Sony FSV-PGX1 Portable File Server. It's an interesting device. It a little linux box that can run on batteries. It has nfs, samba, telnet, http and ftp. It has a 20G HD. There is a web interface or you can set it up with the little lcd display and arrow buttons on the box. If you get the cradle, there is an ethernet connector. The box has 802.11b built in. It's basically a file server. It can be set up as a DHCP access point, DHCP client or fixed IP address on both the ethernet and/or the wireless ports. It can be some sort of "bridge" although I haven't figured that out yet. Obviously many uses. Too bad it doesn't do rendezvous.Story on MobileTechNews

keyboard for the thumb-generation »

Kids in Japan can't type, but they can thumb. Maybe this will get those kids to use PC's....not.Thanks for the link Adriaan

Dinner with Ken Sakamura, father of TRON »

Had dinner tonight with Ken Sakamura, the father of TRON, the realtime embedded OS which is a dominant and essential part of most embedded systems in Japan today. He is also the Director of the Ubiquitous Networking Laboratory. He brought a bunch of amazing gadgets to dinner. The most impressive were the 0.2mm 128K RFID chips in a little vial.

SO 505i »

Just got my SO505i yesterday.The good news first. It does flash. Hirata pointed out a 6K flash RSS reader written by Yasuhisa which SHOULD work on my phone. This will be very cool. The 1.3 Megapixel camera works and feels like a real digital camera. The screen faces out so that you can use it like a camera without opening the phone.The bad news. Emailing the 1280 x 960 images is impossible because of the size and because they phone doesn't let you even try making this silly mistake. It uses a new, yes a NEW memory stick format called Memory Stick Duo. I can't find it in stock anywhere and I need a NEW adapter for my Mac. Ugh.The address book still sucks for English speakers because there is only one tab for english names in the address book.Things that I MIGHT be able to get used to but are still weird: The antenna sticks out of your chin, the phone opens by twisting, not flipping, there is a little white LED that you can turn on and no flash. I can see how this might be more power efficient than a flash, but I haven't found it to be useful yet to light up subjects. Also, it's a bit big and heavy. It doesn't have GPS and location info so I'm sure I'll have GPS envy.Now I have to figure out how to thumbnail in python and add it to my moblog...UPDATE: I just found out that I can call and receive calls and talk without opening the phone. That's cool.

Vonage is cool »

I got my Vonage service going yesterday. Vonage is a serice where you sign up for a phone number in an area code of your choice and they give you a Cisco Analog Telephone Adapter (ATA) which you hook up the Internet and attach to a normal analog phone. The phone basically turns into a normal phone with a phone number in the area code that you chose. You get call waiting, voicemail, etc. It's $82.03 setup and $39.99/month for unlimited calls in the US and Canada. (There are other service plans.) They don't sell the service internationally, but Gen Kanai turned me on to Vonage. He had just moved to Japan and was using it from Japan. Frankly, it makes a lot more sense to people living internationally, I think. Anyway, it's great. I was using it today, the caller ID worked fine, call waiting worked fine and the sound quality is fine. Now the only problem is that if I give people my new 415 area code number, they'll be calling me in the middle of the night thinking I'm in San Francisco.

Spotme »

They have this Spotme device at this conference which has a very cool feature. You can see the names of the other participants who are near you and approximately how many meters they are away from you. You can also exchange business cards with people which get emailed to you.Similar to the Japanese Lovegety but a bit more serious focus. ;-)My Sony DSC-FX77 is getting flakey. It's creating those artifacts you see in the picture...

Field testing my Sony DSC-FX77 Camera and other geeknotes... »

So I took my FX77 that I griped about here because my Mac couldn't talk to it. It turns out it's a nice camera. It is fast and take much better photos than any digital camera so far. There are a lot of settings that allowed me to deal with unusual lighting. I tooks lots of pictures of snapping turtles and geisha.

Bluetooth blues... »

I just got my DSC-FX77, the new Sony camera that does bluetooth. I was bracing myself for wirless iLife... then. Suckage. The FX77 uses Bluetooth BIP (Basic Imaging Profile) to talk to the computer. Mac OS X has bluetooth, but of course... it doesn't know what the hell BIP is. A close examination of the Sony web page says it doesn't work with the Mac. I just saw the bluetooth logo on my Mac and on the Sony web page and didn't read the fineprint. Stupid stupid stupid...So, does anyone know if Apple is thinking of implementing BIP or if there is some software that will let my USELESS Mac bluetooth talk to my useless-to-me new camera?

Cherry blossoms and my Nikon 8000ED »

Mizuka and I went to see the last cherry blossoms last week and I shot some Provia 100 with my Hasselblad. I got sick of the poor quality of the Photo CD's considering the cost and bought a Nikon 8000ED film scanner so I could do my own scans instead. Here's my first attempt. I'm still trying to figure out how to get it right and it does take a lot of time, but you have control and obviously much more tender loving care than the people scanning for you onto Photo CD's. I've posted a few pictures on my .mac site. I can't figure out what the white space is that gets inserted when I publish from iPhoto.Anyway, my iLife just got better thanks to Nikon.

Chatting about Open Standards with President Ando of Sony »

Went to see President Ando of Sony. He is second in command under Chairman Idei and is more and more in charge of representing Sony in the US. He gave the speech at CES this year and some some very interesting things. First he pushed open standards.ZDNetOne of the major obstacles for Sony and others looking to establish networks and make content more widely available has been the relatively slow adoption of broadband access, but Ando noted that broadband is becoming more popular in countries such as Korea and Japan and is beginning to pick up subscribers in the United States. Ando said Sony will also work to use open standards in future products to make it easier for consumers to more widely access content on devices and urged other companies to help to establish these standards to help the industry progress. Then he complained about the difficulty of the current record label business.Steven LevyAfter the keynote, Ando unwound at a dinner for a few journalists, where talk turned to the knotty problem of digital rights. He startled everyone by speculating that in the long term, given the nature of Internet copying, record labels may not have a future. "When you have a problem like this," he says, sighing, "I really wish we were a simple hardware company."My kind of guy. We talked about blogs (of course) open standards and how cool it would be for Sony to really embrace open standards and let the blog tools and services talk to Sony products through open standards that we worked on together.

I'm back... »

I finally got my broken 15 inch PowerBook fixed and I've spent the last 2 days, messing with it to get everything installed.

My first segway ride »

Taiichi Fox brought a Segway over to the office today and let us take it for a spin. It was great.

Bang & Olufsen mp3 player to be compatible with iTunes »

Bang & Olufsen has responded to requests from Macintosh users and is making the company’s portable mp3 player compatible with Apple’s iTunes.

Woz and his Segways »

Went to see The Woz. As I reported before, he's working on some cool new technology at Wheels of Zeus. The Woz has a bunch of Segways and he is getting a license to be a Segway trainer. I got notice from Amazon that I should call them and prepare to receive my Segway. The Woz said he would give me my training course.

Shure E5c - I'm in sound heaven »

I wrote that the Shure E2cs were the best headphone/earphones I've ever had. Well, today I just got my E5cs and they're better. There's this amazing feeling when you think you're in heaven and you find there is something better. I've had similar experiences with wine and Chinese tea. When you taste the good stuff, you can't go back and then you start wondering if there is anything better.Anyway, the details...The E5cs main difference is that it has a cross-over circuit and fits 2 drivers in each earphone so you get an amazing dynamic range. The bass reverberates through you head like you're in a disco or something. The E2cs were great on the high ends, but these E5cs do the whole range amazingly well.The cord is shorter and lighter, not exactly sure why. You can use the triple-flange sleeves which seem to go deeper into your head. They feel a bit weird, but I think I'm going to like them better than the normal flex sleeves.The only thing is that they're $500 vs. $100 for the E2cs. Are they 5X better than the E2cs? Well, think of the power law and wine. It costs more and more as you get closer and closer to the peak. It's a matter of your priorities I guess. I don't think that they will be worth $500 to some people, but I'm happy. You could get a round trip ticket between SF and Tokyo for $600 or you could go and buy a few expensive Japanese musk melons. it all depends on what makes you happy I guess. ;-)You can buy them on Shure's site. And, no, they don't pay me to do this. ;-pUPDATE: Matt from Shure has started a blog. Check it out!UPDATE: I've started a new gadget blog called Joi Ito's Stuff

Switching from a 15 inch to a 12 inch Powerbook - 802.11g is a go »

The hinge on my 15 inch TiBook broke. The Powerbook display was hanging on from one hinge. I had to write a paper. My 802.11g base station had just arrived. What to do. I always use the opportunity of giving forward as my excuse to buy new stuff. So, I went out and bought a 12 inch PowerBook G4. I copied the system from my 15 inch to my new computer using Carbon Copy Cloner, which is one of my favorite utilities. No go. The new machine didn't recognize the system. I did a fresh re-install and randomly dragged folders to the new machine that looked important. That worked, but took way too much work. Anyway, I'm switched and have set up my 802.11g connection at home and I love it. I just uploaded a 1.7MB QT movie to my blog. zip... Done. ;-) I'm sitting here gloating instead of writing my paper on emergent democracy which is the excuse I gave myself for making such an impulse buy. Better get back to writing.

Shure E2c - the best headphones I've ever used »

The Shure E2c "in-ear" headphones are the best headphones I've ever used. They come with foam earplug style or rubber sleeves. They fit right inside of your ear like a hearing aid and the wire slips over your ear and down behind your back. There is no electronic noise cancellation, but the earplug-like sleeves shut out all outside sound and give you incredible sound with no outside noise. Absolutely incredible. My ipod experience just got one notch closer to a religious experience.Thanks Barak!UPDATE: Matt from Shure has started a blog. Check it out!UPDATE: I've started a gadget blog called Joi Ito's Stuff

Segway's for Japan »

Minister Takenaka talked about the special regulatory zones in Japan to stimulate new business. The Ministry of Economy Trade and Industry created a special law to allow local governments together with companies to file for regulatory waivers to help promote new businesses. We filed for two. One was a waiver to allow us to use higher power 802.11 base stations to try to create community networks.We also filed for a waiver to permit Segway's to be used on sidewalks in Makuhari, Disneyland area and Narita Airport. Everyone's pretty excited about this. We're talking to Segway, but nothing is decided yet. We're hoping to get them to come to Tokyo to meet Governor Domoto in March...

Low cost GPS jammer »

This may not help Sadaam, but just in case you're put under GPS surveillance house arrest by an oppressive government, you'll need to learn how to build your own GPS jammer.phrack A low cost device to temporarily disable the reception of the civiliancourse acquisition (C/A) code used for the standard positioning service(SPS)[1] on the Global Positioning System (GPS/NAVSTAR) L1 frequency of1575.42 MHz. This is accomplished by transmitting a narrowband Gaussian noise signal,with a deviation of +/- 1.023 MHz, on the L1 GPS frequency itself. Thistechnique is a little more complicated than a simple continuous wave (CW)jammer, but tends to be more effective (i.e. harder to filter) againstspread spectrum based radio receivers.

Enterprise Moblogging »

The Nikkei has an article about cellphones with cameras being used in enterprise/business. Found this on Gen Kanai's weblog...

See ya later windoze! »

I switched. I promised myself I would do this before I left for the US on Tuesday. I spend the day today moving stuff and tweaking. The only thing I couldn't get right was the kanji (Japanese character) files in my contact list and my Japanese email moved over. It was much easier than I thought and having switched, I feel euphoric. I'm now listen to music on iTunes (which tell me that I have 3.5 days of music), am syncing my Treo with my contacts, creating a this blog entry with Kung-Log staring at my brand new Dell Latitude...

Just pre-ordered my Ginger »

I just ordered my Segway Ginger on Amazon.com. They say delivery will be 2003. So I have the rest of the year to figure out how to smuggle it into Japan......

Palm watch »

I definitely DON'T need one of these. WHAT is palm thinking?Entry in Russell Beattie's blog where I first saw thisFOSSIL Online - specs on this thing...

Samsonite suitcase with bluetooth »

Found this on IP... Samsonite's 625 Series Hardlite ICT has bluetooth built in. It supposedly keeps track of your travel info, owner info and has an alarm mechanism for theft control... I wonder if I need one......

Putting The Boots In - Photo Lab Grasses Up Pot Growers »

Plastic Putting The Boots In — Photo Lab Grasses Up Pot Growers found on BBC News written by holgate, edited by John (Plastic) excerpt A house in Leith, near Edinburgh, was raided by police, leading to the arrest of five people, and the seizure of marijuana plants 'valued' at £15,000, after receiving a tip-off from photo-processing staff at the local branch of Boots. It's believed that a lab technician identified the plants when developing a set of prints, and got on the phone to the boys in blue."While you can understand photo-labs wishing to protect themselves from obscene images, given...

Antenna for wardriving... »

802.11b Networking NewsSuction cup 7 dBi antenna: Mike from Signull Techologies sent me the URL of a spec sheet for their 7 dBi suction cup antenna pictured deployed on automobiles! Wardriving made easy.I want one of these......

Strolling in the park with my Hassy »

Walking with my FE 60-120 zoom lens on my Hasselblad 205FCC fixed to my tripod.The entrance to Komazawa Park is one of the nicest views in the park. The leaves are just starting to turn yellow.Yakiimo is the great portable food of the fall/winter in Japan. These little trucks roast the sweet potatoes in ovens billowing smoke with this great tape recorded message going on and on about how nice, sweet and hot the potatoes are.Another great outdoor food is grilled corn. The corn has soy sauce on it that burns and smells like... burnt soy sauce. All Japanese are conditioned to salivate when they smell burnt soy sauce.The Japanese made a mistake and Japlish took over on this one. "free market" and "flea market" are generally used interchangeably. Some web sites talk about "free markets" being more "open" "flea markets"... So here is a "free market"...The local right wing truck showed up to join the festivities with speakers blaring on about the Japan flea market economy...Komazawa Park has these great bikes for 2 people that you can cruise around in. Mizuka wanted to ride one, but we got turned down and told that they were for kids.

New Hasselblad H1 »

I just LOVE Hasselblad Cameras. I have two of them, a 503CW and a 205FCC. The 503 was my first Hasselblad and I used it for several years before I bought the 205FCC. (I read an article on photo.net that said that the 205FCC was great, but that it was a waste for newbies. ;-) )Hasselblad is really the ultimate medium format camera with such a great design that they haven't changed much in over 50 years. The 503CW is requires no electricity. The 205FCC has an amazingly accurate internal spot meter that allows me to do fancy stuff like...

Casio »

I'm at Casio right now trying to get them excited about blogs... Casio makes such great digital cameras and digital cameras are SOOO important for blogs... Pleeeze give me a blog-camera....

Memories of General Magic »

found this in Marc Canter's Blog Scripting News Memories of General Magic A long time ago I offered to develop for a hot startup called General Magic. I was going to do the work for free. I wanted to explore a new platform. They turned me down, saying they already had enough developers. Yesterday they announced they are shutting down the company. Now no one knows if one developer's software would have made the difference, but it's been known for a long time that exclusive platforms die and inclusive ones have a chance. It's why the Mac worked and...

Setting up GPRS on Menorca »

I'm going to write about setting up GPRS in Menorca because: 1) The line is so slow I can't read other people's blogs or my mail easily for new things. 2) I have nothing else to write about really... 3) This MAY come in handy for someone who is struggling like me....

EnvironMission Incredible Solar Thermal Power Station »

Hirata turned me on to the EnvironMission site. EnvironMission EnviroMission owns the exclusive licence to German designed Solar Tower technology in Australia. Our first project will focus on developing this revolutionary technology into the world’s first large-scale solar thermal power station capable of generating enough electricity to supply 200,000 typical Australian homes. The technology involves a huge solar heater with a tower that takes the hot air and pulls it up through the tower and spins turbines. This SO sci-fi sexy and SO Australia... The tower will be the, "largest engineered structure ever proposed for construction." There is a...

National ID Card Technology - Popular Science »

found on Slashdot An article in Popular Science about what a national ID would look like and contain. On the issue of social security numbers on ID card, they mention that even though social security numbers on ID cards have been rejected by the federal government, "it's a good guess the Department of Homeland Security would manage it". On smart card technology, they say:For example, an ER doctor could view medical information and enter data about treatment (if the card's data storage device is read-write capable), but could not see security-related data (such as a traveler's flight history, or...

Backyard Tesla Coil »

A web page about guys who build Tesla Coils. Spotted on Slashdot John Williams Tesla Page...

Thai Anti-Mosquito Software »

CNN.com - PC-powered mozzie-buster gets upgrade - July 31, 2002 BANGKOK, Thailand -- A Thai computer programmer behind a wildly popular anti-mosquito software package has upgraded his program to also repel cockroaches and rats, the English language Nation newspaper reports. Interesting. I guess this could be true and Thailand would be a reasonable place to have developed it. Let me know if anyone tries and finds that it works! Download page for Anti Mosquitoes All OS Collection Thanks Sen for pointing this one out!...

Who Owns My Living Room? »

So who owns my living room? I have projectors, displays, satellite tuning boxes, various amplifiers, CD players, DVD players, remotes, universal remotes, a home PBX trying to do VoIP to the office, a plasma display, a home security systems, 802.11, a Sony Airboard, 100MB fiber Internet acccess, a few PC's and Mac's, a cars with a car navigation system that rips CD's and talks to the Internet, a car with GSM built in that doesn't work in Japan... None of this stuff talks to each other. In my basement I have boxes full of firewire, ethernet, power, coaxial, optical fiber,...

SliMP3 Ethernet MP3 Player »

Bill Tai turned me on to the SliMP3 Ethernet MP3 Player made by Slim Devices Inc. It's $249 device that talks to a server installed on your PC via ethernet. It has a remote control that lets you navigate through the mp3's on your PC and plays them out through RCA cables that connect to your stereo. Pretty cool device which works well. I don't know if $249 is expensive or not, but in my house where my PC is in a room in the basement and my stereo is in my living room, it's a great thing. Setup...
Whiplash by Joi Ito and Jeff Howe

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