Joi Ito's conversation with the living web.

Recently in the Technology Controversy Category

Edge Question 2017 : What scientific term or concept ought to be more widely know? A: Neurodiversity »

John Brockman's EDGE asks a tough question every year. For 2017 the question was "What scientific term or concept ought to be more widely know?" My answer was: Neurodiversity Humans have diversity in neurological conditions. While some, such as autism are considered disabilities, many argue that they are the result of normal variations in the human genome. The neurodiversity movement is an international civil rights movement that argues that autism shouldn't be "cured" and that it is an authentic form of human diversity that should be protected. In the early 1900s eugenics and the sterilization of people considered genetically inferior...

Conversation with Julia Reda, MEP and Pirate Party of Germany »

I learned about Julia Reda reading Kaz Taira's blog post about her visit to Japan for a Movements for Internet Active Users (MIAU) meeting. Julia Reda is a Member of the European Parliament representing Germany, and she also serves as a Vice-President of the Greens/EFA group, president of the Young Pirates of Europe and a member of the Pirate Party of Germany. She is was the rapporteur of the Parliament's review of 2001's Copyright Directive. We set a Skype call and some of the EU's secret conversations about copyright leaked just as the call was starting so we used...

A recent discussion about DRM with Richard Stallman, Danny O'Brien and Harry Halpin » »

LibrePlanet 2016 and the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) happened to be having meetings at MIT at the same time so Harry Halpin from the W3C thought that it would be a great opportunity to have a public discussion about Digital Restrictions Management* (DRM). The W3C was having a discussion about DRM and the World Wide Web and considering Encrypted Media Extensions (EME) which would build DRM support into the Web standards and various parties were trying argue against it. They didn't have room over at CSAIL so he approached me about having it at the Media Lab and...

Testing Facebook Instant Articles »

Sitting at home and looking out the window was a bit other-worldly. A snowy day in April is rare even in Boston. I seem to have gotten myself sick again. (After being mostly immune to everything for years, I've had a series of colds and flues this year. More on my theories about this in another post.) For the last few days, Boris, Daiji and I have been following in the footsteps of Dave Winer and have been trying to get my RSS feed from my Movable Type Blog to become compatible with Facebook Instant Articles so that it...

Why anti-money laundering laws and poorly designed copyright laws are similar and should be revised »

Published this on pubpub.ito.com. Please comment there. Abstract: Intentionally or unintentionally, poorly crafted or outdated laws and technical standards threaten to undermine security, privacy and the viability of our most promising new technologies and networks, such as Bitcoin and Blockchain. We should vigilantly be reviewing and revising laws and standards for the public good and working to prevent the creation of fragile and cumbersome systems designed to comply with these poorly crafted or outdated laws. In this post, I discuss the Digital Millennium Copyright Act's Anti-Circumvention provision, Digital Rights Management, Anti-Money Laundering Law, Know Your Customer Laws and security backdoors....

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...

Free Wifi for New Orleans! Can it last? »

By Thomas Crampton New Orleans mayor just announced free Wifi for the city. John Dvorak says vested interests are just too great from telecom providers to let it last. Can free Wifi survive?...

Web x.0 »

As the Web 2.0 bandwagon gets bigger and faster, more and more people seem to be blogging about it. I am increasingly confronted by people who ask me what it is. Just like I don't like "blogging" and "blogosphere", I don't like the word. However, I think it's going to end up sticking. I don't like it because it coincides with another bubbly swell in consumer Internet (the "web") and it sounds like "buzz 2.0". I think all of the cool things that are going on right now shouldn't be swept into some name that sounds like a new software...

Internet to ITU »

Ross Rader writes a passionate response to the ITU "Beyond Internet Governance" paper. This is the struggle/debate that we face today and good for Ross for articulating the position many people have but are either not in a position to say or are not informed enough to say. I would be very interested to hear the ITU's response to Ross....

Former CIA head wants to limit Internet access »

UPI via The Washington Times Tenet calls for Internet security [...] The way the Internet was built might be part of the problem, he said. Its open architecture allows Web surfing, but that openness makes the system vulnerable, Mr. Tenet said. Access to networks like the World Wide Web might need to be limited to those who can show they take security seriously, he said. If the Internet were not open, it would no longer be the Internet. it is exactly the "vulnerabilities" that Tenet refers to that allows the Internet to promote free speech, innovation and growth without asking...

Someone sabotaging EFF at WIPO »

Cory blogs from the WIPO meeting about position papers from IP Justice, EFF, and the Union for the Public Domain being repeatedly stolen and thrown in the trash. Someone is obviously upset about their position on the Broadcast Treaty. Cory quotes Gandhi, "First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win." Good luck Cory!...

Where did Microsoft Passport go? »

Anil points out that Microsoft Passport seems to have withered away silently....

Sony dumps CD DRM »

Gridle @ Slashdot"In a complete reversal of their policy and on the heels of Avex's partial cessation of copy protected CDs (translation), Sony Music Entertainment in Japan has announced that it will abolish its Label Gate CCCD format (translation) beginning in November 2004 and move back to normal CD-audio format discs for all future releases. Reasons cited are music users' increased consciousness about copyrights and maintenance of legality (conformity to the CD-audio format specification). In related news, Sony also released a slightly updated HD walkman (translation) due to pressure from the iPod, but because of hardware limitations the device still...

Electronic voting machine fails in public demo »

EFF DeeplinksE-Voting Mistake Caught on Paper In news at once frightening and reassuring, a Sequoia electronic voting machine suffered a very public failure last week during a live demo. The machine worked fine with an English-language ballot, but failed to record votes with the Spanish-language ballot.I still think electronic voting is a bad idea. Here is yet another example of a failure....

BitTorrent of Hearings on the INDUCE Act »

Lawrence Lessigno potential for a substantial noninfringing use? Here's a BitTorrent file that will get you, p2p, the video of the Hearings on the INDUCE Act, prepared by Tom Barger. Watch, and blog the substantial noninfringing use. BitTorrent is one of the most efficient p2p systems and is great for distributing movies and other large files. The Induce act is trying to make illegal basic technologies such as p2p which "could induce" people to break copyright law. With more powerful cameras and PCs, video and Flash have become important mediums for free speech. They are increasingly being used for political...

The US constitution with DRM »

Lessigthis is the constitution on DRMSo jump over here to Amazon.com where you can purchase an electronic version of the Constitution, fitted very nicely to a Microsoft Reader (not Mac compatible), and protected quite completely with DRM. The description says you're not permitted to print it. The reader reviews report you're permitted to print it twice a year. And don't try to hack the code to print it more than twice -- until Boucher's H.R. 107 passes at least. (Though the ranking is higher than for my book. Maybe free fails after all?) (Thanks Paul!)Now who in their right mind...

Iran's Net Censorship »

Dan GillmorIran's Net CensorshipHoder points me to "Stop Censoring Us" -- a site about the increasing level of government intervention in what was emerging as relatively free speech in Iran. I'm not sure what individuals outside Iran can do about this except to offer support to the Iranians who want to speak their minds.I once sat next to a guy from Sun Federal, a Sun Microsystems subsidiary, who was on his way back from selling a filtering system to a government. I think that most of this censorship technology is built in the US. I guess it makes sense, but...

Cory's drm rant wikified »

Cory's excellent drm rant which he presented at Microsoft Research has now been wikified to allow people to comment and add to it. Excellent....

EFF and Stanford Law School to the rescue against DirecTV »

Dan GillmorDirecTV Reins in the Legal Attack DogsIn one of the uglier "intellectual property" abuses, DirecTV has been suing people for possession of tools it claims can be used to get TV shows without paying for them. The Electronic Frontier Foundation and Stanford Law School's Center for Internet and Society have challenged the satellite TV company on this conduct, and on Monday DirecTV agreed to modify its approach, according to this press release, which says in part:The company will no longer pursue people solely for purchasing smart card readers, writers, general-purpose programmers, and general-purpose emulators. It will maintain this policy...

Microsoft patent on double-clicking? »

AKMAIncredible - Perhaps Not True Somebody tell me that the Patent office hasn't actually granted Microsoft's application for a patent on double-clicking.This is why I don't like software patents....

Michael Powell on censorship and VOIP »

The RegisterFCC chairman hails VoIPMichael PowellIf you're a big incumbent and you've sort of enjoyed a competitive advantage . . . you, in my opinion, ought to be terrified. [...] I think it's going to be the very, very best and biggest breakthrough in our ambitions and dreams about competition ever.via Kevin Werbach Exactly. ReutersOxygen Media Inc. CEO and founder Geraldine Laybourne criticized the FCC's enforcement effort during the National Cable & Telecommunications Assn.'s (NCTA) annual trade show. "I don't think we should use the word indecency; we should call it what it is: censorship," Laybourne said Tuesday during one...

Interview in The Tech with Jack Valenti »

There's a short interview in MIT's The Tech newpaper with Jack Valenti about DMCA. I'm glad that Jack is still willing to have discussions like this. This is what I meant when I said that I think Jack should be respected. Even if you don't agree with him, he's still willing to try to discuss his position with you. via Creative Commons weblog...

E-Voting Machines Get Official Thumbs Down »

Mercury NewsE-voting panel wants to dump troubled system SACRAMENTO - Less than seven months before the presidential election, an advisory panel Thursday unanimously recommended an unprecedented ban of touch-screen election equipment used in four California counties. The panel also urged Secretary of State Kevin Shelley to seek a criminal or civil investigation into the conduct of Diebold Election Systems, the Ohio-based firm that manufactured the troubled voting system.Yes! We really need to get rid of e-voting. It's such a bad idea and until now, I thought we were losing the battle. We need to make sure this doesn't end with...

Essay about trends »

Several crucial shifts in technology are emerging that will drastically affect the relationship between users and technology in the near future. Wireless Internet is becoming ubiquitous and economically viable. Internet capable devices are becoming smaller and more powerful.Alongside technological shifts, new social trends are emerging. Users are shifting their attention from packaged content to social information about location, presence and community. Tools for identity, trust, relationship management and navigating social networks are becoming more popular. Mobile communication tools are shifting away from a 1-1 model, allowing for increased many-to-many interactions; such a shift is even being used to permit new forms of democracy and citizen participation in global dialog.While new technological and social trends are occurring, it is not without resistance, often by the developers and distributors of technology and content. In order to empower the consumer as a community member and producer, communication carriers, hardware manufacturers and content providers must understand and build models that focus less on the content and more on the relationships. Smaller fasterComputing started out as large mainframe computers, software developers and companies “time sharing” for slices of computing time on the large machines. The mini-computer was cheaper and smaller, allowing companies and labs to own their own computers. The mini computer allowed a much greater number of people to have access to computers and even use them in real time. The mini computer lead to a burst in software and networking technologies. In the early 80’s, the personal computer increased the number of computers by an order of magnitude and again, led to an explosion in new software and technology while lowering the cost even more. Console gaming companies proved once again that unit costs could be decreased significantly by dramatically increasing the number of units sold. Today, we have over a billion cell phones in the market. There are tens of millions camera phones. The incredible number of these devices has continued to lower the unit cost of computing as well as devices imbedded in these devices such as small cameras. High end phones have the computing power of the personal computers of the 80’s and the game consoles of the 90’s.History repeats with WiFiThere are parallels in the history of communications and computing. In the 1980’s the technology of packet switched networks became widely deployed. Two standards competed. X.25 was a packet switched network technology being promoted by CCITT (a large, formal international standards body) and the telephone companies. It involved a system run by telephone companies including metered tariffs and multiple bilateral agreements between carriers to hook up.Concurrently, universities and research labs were promoting TCP/IP and the Internet opportunity for loosely organized standards meetings being operated with flat rate tariffs and little or no agreements between the carriers. People just connected to the closest node and everyone agreed to freely carry traffic for others.There were several “free Internet” services such as “The Little Garden” in San Francisco. Commercial service providers, particularly the telephone company operators such as SprintNet tried to shut down such free services by threatening not to carry this free traffic.Eventually, large ISPs began providing high quality Internet connectivity and finally the telephone companies realized that the Internet was the dominant standard and shutdown or acquired the ISPs.A similar trend is happening in wireless data services. GPRS is currently the dominant technology among mobile telephone carriers. GPRS allows users to transmit packets of data across the carrier network to the Internet. One can roam to other networks as long as the mobile operators have agreements with each other. Just like in the days of X.25, the system requires many bilateral agreements between the carriers; their goal is to track and bill for each packet of information.Competing with this standard is WiFi. WiFi is just a simple wireless extension to the current Internet and many hotspots provide people with free access to the Internet in cafes and other public areas. WiFi service providers have emerged, while telephone operators –such as a T-Mobile and Vodaphone- are capitalizing on paid WiFi services. Just as with the Internet, network operators are threatening to shut down free WiFi providers, citing a violation of terms of service. Just as with X.25, the GPRS data network and the future data networks planned by the telephone carriers (e.g. 3G) are crippled with unwieldy standards bodies, bilateral agreements, and inherently complicated and expensive plant operations.It is clear that the simplicity of WiFi and the Internet is more efficient than the networks planned by the telephone companies. That said, the availability of low cost phones is controlled by mobile telephone carriers, their distribution networks and their subsidies.Content vs ContextMany of the mobile telephone carriers are hoping that users will purchase branded content manufactured in Hollywood and packaged and distributed by the telephone companies using sophisticated technology to thwart copying.Broadband in the home will always be cheaper than mobile broadband. Therefore it will be cheaper for people to download content at home and use storage devices to carry it with them rather than downloading or viewing content over a mobile phone network. Most entertainment content is not so time sensitive that it requires real time network access.The mobile carriers are making the same mistake that many of the network service providers made in the 80s. Consider Delphi, a joint venture between IBM and Sears Roebuck. Delphi assumed that branded content was going to be the main use of their system and designed the architecture of the network to provide users with such content. Conversely, the users ended up using primary email and communications and the system failed to provide such services effectively due to the mis-design.Similarly, it is clear that mobile computing is about communication. Not only are mobile phones being used for 1-1 communications, as expected through voice conversations; people are learning new forms of communication because of SMS, email and presence technologies. Often, the value of these communication processes is the transmission of “state” or “context” information; the content of the messages are less important.Copyright and the Creative CommonsIn addition to the constant flow of traffic keeping groups of people in touch with each other, significant changes are emerging in multimedia creation and sharing. The low cost of cameras and the nearly television studio quality capability of personal computers has caused an explosion in the number and quality of content being created by amateurs. Not only is this content easier to develop, people are using the power of weblogs and phones to distribute their creations to others. The network providers and many of the hardware providers are trying to build systems that make it difficult for users to share and manipulate multimedia content. Such regulation drastically stifles the users’ ability to produce, share and communicate. This is particularly surprising given that such activities are considered the primary “killer application” for networks.It may seem unintuitive to argue that packaged commercial content can co-exist alongside consumer content while concurrently stimulating content creation and sharing. In order to understand how this can work, it is crucial to understand how the current system of copyright is broken and can be fixed.First of all, copyright in the multimedia digital age is inherently broken. Historically, copyright works because it is difficult to copy or edit works and because only few people produce new works over a very long period of time. Today, technology allows us to find, sample, edit and share very quickly. The problem is that the current notion of copyright is not capable of addressing the complexity and the speed of what technology enables artists to create. Large copyright holders, notably Hollywood studios, have aggressively extended and strengthened their copyright protections to try to keep the ability to produce and distribute creative works in the realm of large corporations.Hollywood asserts, “all rights reserved” on works that they own. Sampling music, having a TV show running in the background in a movie scene or quoting lyrics to a song in a book about the history of music all require payment to and a negotiation with the copyright holder. Even though the Internet makes available a wide palette of wonderful works based on content from all over the world, the current copyright practices forbid most of such creation.However, most artists are happy to have their music sampled if they receive attribution. Most writers are happy to be quoted or have their books copied for non-commercial use. Most creators of content realize that all content builds on the past and the ability for people to build on what one has created is a natural and extremely important part of the creative process.Creative Commons tries to give artists that choice. By providing a more flexible copyright than the standards “all rights reserved” copyright of commercial content providers, Creative Commons allows artists to set a variety of rights to their works. This includes the ability to reuse for commercial use, copy, sample, require attribution, etc. Such an approach allows artists to decide how their work can be used, while providing people with the materials necessary for increased creation and sharing. Creative Commons also provides for a way to make the copyright of pieces of content machine-readable. This means that a search engine or other tool to manipulate content is able to read the copyright. As such, an artist can search for songs, images and text to use while having the information to provide the necessary attribution.Creative Commons can co-exist with the stringent copyright regimes of the Hollywood studios while allowing professional and amateur artists to take more control of how much they want their works to be shared and integrated into the commons. Until copyright law itself is fundamentally changed, the Creative Commons will provide an essential tool to provide an alternative to the completely inflexible copyright of commercial content. Content is not like some lump of gold to be horded and owned which diminishes in value each time it is shared. Content is a foundation upon which community and relationships are formed. Content is the foundation for culture. We must evolve beyond the current copyright regime that was developed in a world where the creation and transmission of content was unwieldy and expense, reserved to those privileged artists who were funded by commercial enterprises. This will provide the emerging wireless networks and mobile devices with the freedom necessary for them to become the community building tools of sharing that is their destiny.

California attorney general preparing to slam P2P »

Wired News just ran an article by Xeni exposing a draft letter circulated by Bill Lockyer, California attorney general slamming P2P. The metadata on the Word document shows that it has been edited/reviewed by the Motion Picture Association of America. Another example of Hollywood using the US government to push its agenda to blame and limit technology which it views as a threat. It is me, or is this pretty "smoking gun"?...

Anonymity on the Internet »

Seth says he wants to banish anonymous communications.Seth GodinVirus writers are always anonymous. Vicious political lies (with faked photoshop photos of political leaders, or false innuendo about personal lives) are always anonymous as well. Spam is anonymous. eBay fraudsters are anonymous too. It seems as though virtually all of the problems of the Net stem from this one flaw, and its one I’ve riffed on before. If we can eliminate anonymity online, we create a far more civil place.I disagree. Although most vicious attacks I have received have been anonymous, I still believe there is a role for anonymity and...

Identity and justice »

As a former student, I sure wish I had had RateMyTeachers.com (via Seb) when I was in school. I would have had a lot to say and I would have felt justified. Maybe I wouldn't have had to start our underground newspaper. On the other hand, I can see how this might be abused. There are some thoughtful comments from many people about the "Adopt A Reporter" idea over on PressThink. This is not a new issue, but an old issue that continues to accelerate. As Loic points out, blogging helps you manage your own identity instead of leaving it...

Cato gets it wrong in their analysis of Dean Net policy »

David Weinberger describes how the Cato Institute's analysis of the Dean Net policy is wrong....

Are blogs just? »

Lou Marinoff described one definition of Justice as "doing the right thing at the right time." He continued by explaining that it means you have to define "right thing". There are at least eleven ways of being right. deontology - rules tell us what is right and wrong teleology - The end justifies (or sanctifies) the means virtue ethics - goodness comes from virtues, which are like habits humanistic existentialism - what we choose to do determines what we value nihilistic existentialism - "God is dead." And we killed him. So all moral bets are off analytic ethics - "Goodness"...

You remind me of those people who said they'd never get cell phones »

I remember when everyone shouted into their cell phones and thought that their batteries drained faster when they made long distance phones. I remember when people (who now have cell phones) swore to me that they'd never have a cell phone. I remember when cell phones looked more like military radios. I think it's fine to gripe about technology, but I would warn those people who swear they'll never use a technology. Technology evolves and so do social norms. We've been having a dialog recently about the relationship between social norms and technology. I think this is part of the...

Judgmental technology »

It's kind of funny when Basil's TiVo thinks he's gay and Kevin's Outlook thinks Scoble's writing is junk, but it won't be funny when CAPPS II thinks you're a terrorist....

CSS in RSS removed »

I've removed the CSS Stylesheets in my RSS feed until further notice. I'll let the discussions play out and will wait for the tool builders to decide what is best before I start pushing on this. Thanks for all of the interesting feedback everyone....

SurfControl protects you from viewing this site »

Dan Gillmor writes about how censorware blocks his site. It's blocking mine too.Dan GillmorSimon Phipps alerts me that one of the big censorware outfits, SurfControl, is blocking this and other blogs as a default setting for some customers. He points to Jon Udell's report of a surrealistic conversation with a company salesdroid upon his own such discovery. Good grief.SurfControl puts all blogs under Usenet, a fairly bizarre characterization of the genre, but par for the course for the censorware mavens. They tend to sweep big categories into their filter, and then let you try to find your own way to escape.

Speaking of false positives »

Speaking of false positives, I'm also against blacklists because they can also cause false positives that are difficult to correct. Smartmobs was blacklisted by Verio and it took Roland two months of hell to get it sorted out.I know I use a blacklist for my comment filtering. It's a stop-gap measure until someone figures out a better solution.

Weird dream about standards »

I had a weird dream last night. I had a dream that I was spinning records and I had a little chart. On one axis was the record label and on the other was the record player. When ever I played a record, I had to check the label and cross it with the record player to know what the right speed setting for the record was. In real life, I remember being annoyed when records didn't have 45 rpm or 33 rpm on their labels when I was a DJ.Anyway, a few observations. I'm totally losing it because I remember thinking in the dream, "oh, I should blog this..." Which, I think, is a bad sign. This dream was probably partially triggered by my discussion with James Seng yesterday about identifier standards (which I will blog about later when I understand exactly what we talked about) and partially triggered by thoughts about CSS incompatibilities when trying to redesign my blog. (Which luckily Boris is handling for me right now.) The little chart I had in the dream reminded me of the CSS/browser support charts in the O'Reilly CSS Pocket Reference.Anyway, isn't it great when we have standards that work and really ugly when we have bad standards or no standards at all? I'm not trying to take a political stand here, just observing and paying homage the the necessity of good standards.

Verisign's Doomsday Machine »

Lauren Weinstein has a great mp3 Fact Squad Radio rant on the Versign Site Finder issue.

Broadcast Flag Bad »

Cory and the EFF have been leading the charge to stop the broadcast flag proposal. Lessig chimes in. The broadcast flag is a bad thing which is anti-end-to-end. Fight for the Stupid Network!If this entry is cryptic to you, you need to learn more about the broadcast flag and why it is bad. Click on the links.

Dan Gillmor on conference call with Verisign about Site Finder »

Dan GillmorThe ultimate outrage: Rusty Lewis of VeriSign says this is a test for the Net, to see whether the infrastructure can be innovated. It's a threat: Let us do what we want or we won't invest in upgrading infrastructure, he implies.In response to a question, he bascially indicates that ICANN doesn't have the power to keep VeriSign from doing what it's done. The company will have a dialogue with whoever wants to talk, but it plans to "reintroduce" Site Finder.I think VeriSign has already won the key part of this war. It has persuaded reporters to call Site Finder a "service" instead of what it truly is, a misuse of its monopoly.This sounds really bad. How can a company that tries to sell trust act in such a blatantly untrustworthy way...

VeriSign shuts down Site Finder »

After ICANN's formal letter asking Verisign to shut down Site Finder, VeriSign has temporarily shut the service down. They don't sound very happy about shutting down a "service has been well received by millions of Internet users". Good job on this one ICANN.Via Lauren Weinstein's Blog

The meta discussion about metadata »

Tim Oren rants about how metadata is NOT the next big thing. He quotes Cory's 2001 often cited Metacrap rant. Both good rants. But I disagree. I think that blogging tools allows the producer of the content to enter metadata about the micro-content much more easily than ever before. If you're writing about a book, you'll enter the ISBN number because you want to get the cover art and the affiliate link to Amazon. You'll insert the GIS info into a picture you take on your camera phone because it's just one button away. You'll create your FOAF file so you can search for friends of friends near you. I agree that the discussion about the name spaces and the semantics is messy, but I think it's silly to write off metadata as a pipe dream. Have been to All Consuming lately? How do you think that works? MusicBrainz and Creative Commons are also non-metacrap metadata projects.

US Treasury Senior Special Agent thanks you for fixing Verisign SiteFinder "bug" »

Andrew FriedI have been following the various threads relating to Verisign and wanted to make one comment that I feel has been missing. Simply put, I would like to publicly express my appreciation to Mr. Vixie for taking the time to add the "root-delegation-only" patch for Bind. I'm fairly new to NANOG, but I'm sure that others beside myself also feel a thank you is appropriate.Andrew Fried, Senior Special Agent for the US Treasury Department posted this on the NANOG list regarding Verisign and the SiteFinder thing. Very cool that someone "patched" Bind to fix the "bug". Also very cool that someone like Andrew is speaking in his own voice in a public forum about this issue.Via Boing Boing Via This demands work

If I were Microsoft... »

If I were Microsoft I would probably like micro-content and metadata. IE and the browser wars were the pits for them. They should hate html by now. Microsoft also hates Google. Google hates metadata. Google likes scraping html, mixing it with their secret sauce and creating the all-mighty page ranking. Anything that detracts value from this rocket science or makes things complicated for Google or easy for other people is probably a bad thing for Google.If the Net started to look more and more like XML based syndication and subscriptions with lots of links in the feeds to metadata and other namespaces, it would be more and more difficult to create page ranking out of plain old html.My guess is that Microsoft knows this and intends to be there when it happens instead of totally missing it at the beginning like when the Internet got started. I have a feeling they will embrace a lot of the open standards that we are creating in the blog space now, but that they will add their usual garbage afterwards in the name spaces and metadata so that at the end of the day it all turns funky and Microsoft.Just a thought...

IEEE members: save democracy from a broken standards-committee! »

A very important message from Cory Doctorow about the broken process at the IEEE on electronic voting machine standardization. If you are an IEEE member or have influence at the IEEE you should read this.

VeriSign sued for SiteFinder »

ReutersVeriSign Sued Over Controversial Web Service Thu September 18, 2003 09:13 PM ET SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - An Internet search company on Thursday filed a $100 million antitrust lawsuit against VeriSign Inc., accusing the Web address provider of hijacking misspelled and unassigned Web addresses with a service it launched this week.I blogged earlier about SiteFinder and everyone agreed it was a "bad thing." VeriSign just got sued for it.Thanks for the link Peggy!

Verisign modifies the infrastructure of the Net to point back to themselves »

dejah420@MetaFilterVerisign modifies the infrastructure of the net to point back to themselves. Verisign has rigged all .com and .net mistyped domains to reroute to their branded search page. This makes them effectively the biggest cybersquatter on the net, and will make it impossible for most spam filters at the network level to operate as well as seriously complicating the lives of network administrators everywhere.posted by dejah420 at 8:07 PM PSTI wonder if someone at Verisign thought this was a clever hack. It's stupid stuff like this that makes it very clear to everyone that Verisign is in a position to abuse their power.

According to Sifry, the RSS controversy is over the name »

Dave Sifry, whose opinion I greatly respect, has been trying to get to the bottom of this RSS controversy. He has talked to Dave Winer on the phone in length and it appears that the issue is really the use of the name, "RSS". Please read the very interesting post (for those of you who care about RSS. ;-) ) by Sifry.

MS supports RSS - Dave approves »

Just in case you missed this, Microsoft is supporting RSS and is letting the developers lead. Dave Winer approves. If you don't know what RSS is, here is a great article describing RSS and how to make a feed.

Stupid Michigan Laws make VPN's illegal - Dan Gillmor reports »

Dan Gillmor has a short entry about the stupid new bill in Michigan that basically makes firewalls and VPN's illegal. According to Dan, "And guess whose greasy fingerprints are all over it? Right, the movie studios."

World of Ends »

This has already been blogged to death so I apologized to the heavy bloggers, but I have some readers who don't read other blogs so...

The future of moblogging and open standards »

I think we're at a very exciting point in the history of the future. Dave wrote a great essay to kick of the year just as I was trying to collect my thoughts. Let me also be a bit optimistic for a moment and share with you what I WISH will happen. Consumer electronics and mobile devices are where computer networking was before TCP/IP. Nothing talks to anything else and everything is vertically integrated and "intelligently" organized. TCP/IP changed that for telecom/computer networks. We all know the story.Same thing with consumer electronics. It's a very different market with lots of different constraints like power consumption, price, etc. There are a lot of people working on various layers trying to standardize with mixed results. Apple is clearly making the move into consumer electronics. Sony is trying very hard to integrate network services into its hardware. It still doesn't work well. They're too "smart". The Tivo Rendezvous support is an example of a step forward and shows the potential of open standards in this space. Apple's Safari which is based on KHTML, from KDE's Konqueror open source project is also an interesting example as well.So, here's what I think. We all know that the network should be stupid. Network providers will be a basic utility like electricity, but they'll still make money if they stick to the network. Where is the next focus? In the hardware, content and tools. If the hardware companies are smart, they will support open standards and let the users create the content, let the community create the tools and provide API and support for open standards. Yes, they will give up some control and yes they will eventually become more of a commodity like the network, but the scale will increase and they will make money.So here's my offer. I'll focus on trying to pitch the hardware companies in Japan to look at the MetaWeblog API and other standards that we are developing. I will TRY to invest the rest of the $15mm I have into companies that develop things are end-to-end stupid network oriented, open standards compliant, blog community supportive, non-proprietary OS based and generally un-evil. I will also try to get others to invest with us. I'm going to try as hard as I can and still be fiduciarily responsible to my investors. I want everyone else to try very hard too. Let's see if we can make this happen. Think twice before going to work for you-know-who. If you go work for you-know-who, try to get them to support open standards. If you can choose, choose something open. If you can buy/license something from the developer community vs. building it do so. And most importantly, now that we have blogs to talk on, engage us in the dialog and try to break open mobile devices and consumer electronics platforms and get them to take advantage of the most talented group of unemployedself-employed developers since before the bubble. Let's convince the consumer hardware guys to open up and focus on their strengths and benefit from this just like IBM and others were able to benefit from the Internet by supporting and embracing the developer community.I know this is rather obvious and I'm probably preaching to the choir, but I'm serious. ;-)

Lessig's Code changes bureaucrat's views »

A bureaucrat that with whom we have had numerous debates suddenly visited my office today wanting to talk. Gohsuke had told him to read Lawrence Lessig's book, Code. The bureaucrat read the book over the holidays and wanted to see me right away to tell me about it. (Today is the first day of work after the Japanese holidays. He said he, "got it." He liked the book very much and finally realized the scale and the context of the issues we had been debating and now understood what we were talking about. This story has several lessons... Focusing on specifics before you share a framework is futile; a well written book by an important person (the bureaucrat insisted on confirming the social status of Lessig) can change everything; the "meta-discussion" is less threatening than specific issues with responsibilities and associated budgets. ;-) Anyway, thanks Larry!

Search Engines and retiring old information »

Wired NewsKristen Philipkoski 02:00 AM Nov. 01, 2002 PST The journal Science retracted eight of Hendrik Schon's discredited research papers on Thursday, but the information still lurks on the Internet. In September, an investigative committee found that 17 papers authored by Schon, considered to be major breakthroughs in physics, were mostly fabrications. But a Web search on Schon's name turns up more pages touting those "accomplishments" than his firing in September by Bell Labs, the result of his fabricating that data. So this is an important issue, but not an impossible one. It relates to the story about "The...

Microsoft Switch 1.0 »

VS I found this on David Farber's list. Aparently Microsoft tried to do a "switch" campaign like Apple did using "real people" to explain why they switched from Apple to Microsoft. Readers on Slashdot found the women in the ad in a catalog of stock photos and she is aparently not a "real person." Microsoft has since taken down their page, but Google has a cache....

Australians trying to use phone number single identifier »

Spotted on David Farber's IP Australian ITPhone system could have your number Kate Mackenzie OCTOBER 07, 2002 A SINGLE telephone number doubling as an email address could soon be available in Australia despite fears the technology could become a de facto identification number. Under the ENUM system being analysed by the Australian Communications Authority, one number could track down a person via a home or mobile phone number, or an email or website address. This is SOOO bad. Where is my favorite Australian privacy expert Roger Clarke? In Japan the Ministry of Public Management, Home Affairs, Posts and Telecommunications (who...

Eldred v. Ashcroft »

Think... think...I was supposed to see Lawrence Lessig a few weeks ago, but he cancelled the meeting because he was busy preparing his argument for the U.S. Supreme Court. I forgive you Lawrence. ;-) This is a very important case for the future of copyright. As the digital world and all of our blogging and links show that copyright is less important when everything is live, the copyright manufacturers are trying to push the law in the other direction. All hands on deck to prevent a serious step backwards in the way we think about information. I am doing my...

Markoff on the Nakamura/Nichia suit and a quote from me »

John Markoff quoted me in his New York Times article (thanks John!) on the lawsuit between Shuji Nakamura and the company he was working for when he did the research on and filed the patents for the blue LED. This is a landmark suit for Japan and should have some interesting reprecussions in the relationship between Japanese corporations and its researchers. The New York Times A Rebel in Japan Is Hailed as an Innovator in U.S. By JOHN MARKOFF SAN FRANCISCO, Sept. 17 — Ordered to stop the scientific research he thought extremely promising, Shuji Nakamura hid the work from...

Make way for Flash »

I was interviewed yesterday by NHK to talk about the Net category winners and the jury process this year. I talked about how in the early days, we approached the category from a media theory perspective. Derrick deKerkhove and Mitsuhiro Takemura were both on the first jury and they are both very media theory oriented. The jury, over the last seven years has swung around a bit, but we had always tried to look beyond the interface to find the "webness" or the community beyond. We always used to look at flashFlash animation sites as superficial and thin. At this...

Sick off the Music Industry »

Dan Gillmor Music Industry's Death Wish Dan Bricklin has looked closely at the numbers in the music industry, and suggests that the record companies are killing themselves by stamping out music downloads. He makes a compelling case in this essay. His bottom line: "Given the slight dip in CD sales despite so many reasons for there to be a much larger drop, it seems that the effect of downloading, burning, and sharing is one of the few bright lights helping the music industry with their most loyal customers. Perhaps the real reason for some of the drop in sales was...

Decentralization, Community and Reputation »

In case you missed this in my Toshio Yamagishi entry... There is an interesting discussion going on in a Yahoo Group called Decentraliation. Rich Persaud made an interesting comment. I responded. People asked me to post Toshio Yamagishi's paper so I got permission and here it is. Toshio Yamagishi Dear Joi, I have sent the paper out for review--it will take some time for the paper to get published. Yes, I'm happy that it is widely distributed. You may do whatever you want to do with the paper. Best regards, Toshio Improving the Lemons Market with a Reputation System: An...

Stewart Alsop on GoodContacts »

Stewart Alsop (who I met recently at the Fortune Brainstorm 2002) writes in his column in Fortune Magazine about GoodContacts. When Barak was visiting a few weeks ago, he was raving about it as well. GoodContacts is basically a contact management package that talks to Outlook or Act! and spams them with email and asks people to update their info. The good thing about GoodContacts is that they don't keep your contact list, they just enable you to spam from your computer. That's why I thought about using it until I realized I would have to switch to Outlook. (and...

Science in Action - Bruno Latour »

Finally finished reading this book. Mimi recommended it to me when I was trying to write my paper for Ars Electronica. Now I can't remember the context of her recommendation. Anyway... A dense book, but a great book. It approaches the process of the progress of science and the development of "facts" from the human and social perspective. Latour starts out the book by chronicling the discovery of DNA and the development of the Eclipse MV/8000 computer. He shows how "facts" are black boxes that become fact through a process of competition that involves building networks of references until...

Ministry's Efforts to Co-Opt Me? »

Japan has a process where they make boards and inquiry panels to discuss important issues with experts and the public. These inquiry panels are defined by law and are supposed to be an important part of the law making process, but in fact they are often used to diffuse public pressure and just act like they care. I am often asked to join such panels and I find I learn a lot about what is going on and can usually influence the direction ever so slightly. I usually feel this is better than not doing anything, but I am often...

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...

NASA plans to read terrorist's minds at airports »

found on POLITECH. My comments in italics NASA plans to read terrorist's minds at airports By Frank J. Murray THE WASHINGTON TIMES Airport security screeners may soon try to read the minds of travelers to identify terrorists. Officials of the National Aeronautics and space Administration have told Northwest Airlines security specialists that the agency is developing brain-monitoring devices in cooperation with a commercial firm, which it did not identify. Space technology would be adapted to receive and analyze brain-wave and heartbeat patterns, then feed that data into computerized programs "to detect passengers who potentially might pose a threat," according to...

Commodifying Usenet and the Usenet Archive or Continuing the Online Cooperative Usenet Culture? »

Here's another example of the clash of cultures on the Internet. Google, trying to do a good thing has run into the wrath of old school Usenet types. ;-) From David Farber's Interesting People Mailing List: Abstract This article explores the conflict between the cooperative online culture of users who have created Usenet and the corporate commodification of Usenet posts by companies archiving the posts. The clash of decision-making processes is presented thorough the details of how Usenet users choose to petition a company to provide protection for the public archives it had collected. The company disregarded the petition and...

Google tells Amazon Light to Cease and Desist »

So it is a fight to be the most simple? Goggle beat Infoseek by being more simple and user oriented. Web services take that to the next level. If companies start competing to be easier to integrate, more open and more simple that's a great thing for us! Quoted from the Goggle Weblog: Google tells Amazon Light to Cease and Desist Amazon Light, a very cool new use of the Amazon Web Services recently introuced (and clearly inspired by Google's Web API) provides a cleaner-than-Amazon interface to the same data. However, they recently report that they've been asked to cease-and-desist...

Suddenly a JPEG Patent and Licensing Fee »

From Slashdot: Posted by CmdrTaco on Thursday July 18, @01:06PM from the where-have-I-heard-this-before. dept. Michael Long writes "Forgent Networks (www.forgentnetworks.com) has announced that it owns the software patent on JPEG compression technology, and has stated that it is "in contact" with computer, software, camera, and other digital imaging product manufacturers regarding licensing terms. This ambush of the digitial imaging industry will probably stand as the worst public relations nightmare a company can inflict upon itself." Thanks for sending this Sen. This is pretty intense. I wonder if this is the product of some vulture capitals, was planned from the beginning,...

IMS/ISC's bid to run the .org TLD »

The Internet Multicasting Service and the Internet Software Consortium are two well respected non-profit public engineering organizations on the Internet. I recently talked to Carl Malamud since he's in Japan for IETF doing his thing. He is one of principles of IMS and according to the IMS web page "created the first Internet radio station and put the SEC's EDGAR database on-line. A serial social entrepreneur, he's helped run a number of nonprofit organizations and committed two Silicon Valley startups. Carl is the author of 8 books, numerous articles, a few RFCs, and takes up way too much space in...

CPSR Japan Chapter Formed »

We have formed a Japan chapter of Computer Professionals for Social Responsibility. Shinji Yamane, who has been working on this project for quite a while will be the chair. Kazuo Fujimoto will be the secretary and I will be the treasurer initially. I am trying to get CPSR to help me show the technical problems with the National ID program that Japan is trying to implement. We have a local movement protesting the national ID....
Whiplash by Joi Ito and Jeff Howe
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