"joi ito"

Nightwork: the extraordinary, exuberant history of rulebreaking at MIT

MIT has a complicated relationship with disobedience. On the one hand, the university has spent more than a century cultivating and celebrating a "hacker culture" that involves huge, ambitious, thoughtful and delightful pranks undertaken with the tacit approval of the university. On the other hand -- well, on the other hand: Star Simpson, Bunnie Huang, and Aaron Swartz. In Nightwork, first published in 2003 and updated in 2011, MIT Historian T. F. Peterson explores this contradictory relationship and celebrates the very best, while suggesting a path for getting rid of the very worst.

MIT Media Lab announces $250,000 "Rewarding Disobedience" prize

Linkedin founder Reid Hoffman has bankrolled an experimental, one-time prize of $250,000 that the Media Lab will award for research that harnesses "responsible, ethical disobedience aimed at challenging the norms, rules, or laws that sustain society’s injustices?" Read the rest

EFF is suing the US government to invalidate the DMCA's DRM provisions

The Electronic Frontier Foundation has just filed a lawsuit that challenges the Constitutionality of Section 1201 of the DMCA, the "Digital Rights Management" provision of the law, a notoriously overbroad law that bans activities that bypass or weaken copyright access-control systems, including reconfiguring software-enabled devices (making sure your IoT light-socket will accept third-party lightbulbs; tapping into diagnostic info in your car or tractor to allow an independent party to repair it) and reporting security vulnerabilities in these devices. Read the rest

MIT panel on the W3C's decision to make DRM part of the Web's "open" standards

The World Wide Web Consortium spent more than 20 years making standards that remove barriers to developers who want to make Web technology; now, for the first time, they're creating a standard that makes it a crime to make Web technology without permission from the entertainment industry. Read the rest

MIT Media Lab will default to permitting student code to be free/open

Historically, MIT Media Lab students who released their work under free/open licenses had to get approval from a committee (that always granted it). Read the rest

Anti-DRM demonstrators picket W3C meeting

The World Wide Web Consortium, the decades old champion of the open Web, let down many of its biggest supporters when it decided to cater to Hollywood by standardizing DRM as part of the spec for HTML5. Read the rest

Joi Ito on DRM, the World Wide Web Consortium, Net Neutrality and other tech policy

Joi Ito, director of the MIT Media Lab and former CEO of Creative Commons, founder of the first ISP in Japan, has penned an outstanding editorial describing the ways in which narrow corporate interests and legislative capture produce bad tech policies that threaten the net. Read the rest

Timothy Leary on youth culture and Japan (c. 1990)

In the early 1990s, BB pal Joi Ito (now director of the MIT Media Lab) hosted bOING bOING patron saint Timothy Leary on a trip to Japan. At the time, Tim was energized by the intersection of youth culture and digital technology to empower the individual. Above, video that Joi and friends shot of Tim in fine form. Man, I miss him, and those cyberdelic days. Bonus shout-out at 8:25 to Anarchic Adjustment, Nick Philip's surreal and inspiring clothing line that evolved into today's Imaginary Foundation!

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The annual WELL State of the World, with Bruce Sterling and Jon Lebkowsky

Jon Lebkowsky writes, "Bruce Sterling and I are at it again... State of the World 2016 started today and runs for two weeks." Read the rest

Celebrating three decades of amazing innovation from the MIT Media Lab

This Wired video interview with former director Nicholas Negroponte and current director Joi Ito is a mind-blowing tour through the Media Lab's storied history: from e-ink to touchscreens to multitouch to in-car GPS to wearables. The current Media Lab administration is pretty amazing, and the research just keeps getting more mind-blowing. Read the rest

Syria secretly sentenced free software developer Bassel Khartabil to death

Khartabil has been imprisoned in a Syria's Adra Prison since 2012, though as of October, he has been transferred to an undisclosed location. The free software/open culture activist was the lead for Creative Commons Syria and has contributed to Wikipedia, Firefox and many other projects. Read the rest

Jimmy Wales calls UK's proposed crypto ban "moronic"

The Wikipedia co-founder is also the UK government's special Internet advisor. In the previous election cycle, Tory PM David Cameron promised to ban strong crypto if re-elected, and when the US surveillance establishment dropped its demands for a ban on crypto, Cameron doubled down on the proposition. Read the rest

The Internet may not be the question, but it's the answer

My latest Guardian column looks at the fiction and reality of "Internet Utopianism," and the effect that a belief in the transformative power of the Internet has had on movements, companies, and norms. Read the rest

Copyfighting, jailbreaking legend Ed Felten is the White House's new deputy CTO

He'll serve under the brilliant Megan Smith, the CTO. Read the rest

Principles for 21st century living

A list of principles for the 21st century, from Joi Ito, presently running the MIT Media Lab:

Ito: There are nine or so principles to work in a world like this:

1. Resilience instead of strength, which means you want to yield and allow failure and you bounce back instead of trying to resist failure.

2. You pull instead of push. That means you pull the resources from the network as you need them, as opposed to centrally stocking them and controlling them.

3. You want to take risk instead of focusing on safety.

4. You want to focus on the system instead of objects.

5. You want to have good compasses not maps.

6. You want to work on practice instead of theory. Because sometimes you don’t why it works, but what is important is that it is working, not that you have some theory around it.

7. It disobedience instead of compliance. You don’t get a Nobel Prize for doing what you are told. Too much of school is about obedience, we should really be celebrating disobedience.

8. It’s the crowd instead of experts.

9. It’s a focus on learning instead of education.

We’re still working on it, but that is where our thinking is headed.

Joi Ito of MIT Media Lab Read the rest

Apple's Siri vs. Japanese-accented English

An increasingly frustrated native Japanese speaker discovers Siri can't parse the spoken word "work" when voiced with a Japanese accent

Zynga tanks

Zynga CEO Mark "just copy what they do" Pincus dumped $200m worth of company shares recently, safely in time for its stock to tank. Yahoo:

In April, Zynga conducted a "secondary stock offering" in which insiders dumped 43 million shares of stock at $12 a share, raking in about $516 million. Yesterday, four months later, Zynga reported a horrible quarter, and the stock plunged to $3. In other words, Zynga insiders cashed out at exactly the right time.

Though its treadmill-like browser games are crummy enough, I always thought gamers' collective hatred for Zynga oftentimes sprang from a misunderstanding of the company's business. Many saw it as a creator of low-quality, highly addictive products that were supplanting the market for well-made traditional computer games.

But Zynga isn't the new Civilization, even if Brian Reynolds did take a job there. Zynga is the new Video Poker--also technically a computer game, but so completely alien in marketing and demographic terms that no-one who plays games would ever notice that there was a billion dollar market out there for that sort of thing.

So, gamers, feel free to stop worrying about Zynga! Unless you invested in it, in which case you now have my permission to die.

Zynga Insiders Who Cashed Out Before The Stock Crashed [Yahoo. Photo: Joi Ito] Read the rest

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