Brian is a researcher, technologist, and futurist working in Kyoto, Japan as a programmer, web developer, and software engineer. He has a CS degree from VT in VA plus several years experience and a wide interest in many topics. Oportunities and Interest Always Welcome.
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Words about Japan, Technology, Politics, and Entertainment seldom spelled correctly
Sunday, April 27, 2003 permanent link
  Scanning for SARS by Infrared

This story says, "Quarantine officers at Tokyo's Narita airport, the main international gateway to Japan, will introduce an infrared thermography this week to detect passengers with a fever in an attempt to prevent the spread of the SARS virus in the country, an official said Wednesday." Its already being done in China for outgoing passengers. I could hardly find any news sites in English about Japan doing this, thats why I'm linking to the Borneo Bulletin. I didn't even know where Borneo is! I do now though.

Thursday, April 24, 2003 permanent link
  Gone? but not forgotten.

Here is a very funny parody of an Eminem song, gone Hussein in the Membrane

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Sunday, April 20, 2003 permanent link
  Pop Religion. Just two links I really like. The Athiest Game and Get Out of Hell Free cards and a Lego church. I beat The Athiest Game... sort of. If you hit the Y key and hold, and then quickly hit the space, and hold, you will hop off the back edge and get stuck in mid fall. My very liberal "artistic impression" is that this equates to living forever. Your kind of stuck however, but it doesn't seem much less boring than being on the block.

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Tuesday, April 15, 2003 permanent link
Masked Wrestler Wins Japan Assembly Seat.

Jesse Ventura has nothing on this guy.

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Monday, April 14, 2003 permanent link
  There is no reason to watch TV. The internet just has more good stuff than I can process. Here are two must see video clips (3 actually). The first is Terry Tate, Office Linebacker and the second is Britney selling drinks in Japan (2 clips). Normally I hate most commercials done by foreign celebrities in Japan because most of them would never do that commercial in their own country, and because they are usually among the lamest of all Japanese commercials. Mind you, I don't hate the celebrity, just the commercial. For some reason however I like these Britney ones... I wonder why...
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  Two Sides of Every War. I have succumbed to posting about the war again. Here are two links to concider.

The first is the "intended and achieved" result of the war in Iraq. This is the result that many people believed in and hope for. No matter what you think about the war itself or the Bush-administration (I myself am not a fan), if you think American's are supporters of "wars of aggression", whatever that means, then you are simply wrong and deluded. We have a long tradition, correct or not, of believing that freedom is the most important thing on earth. "Give me freedom, or give me death" is engrained in our cultural fabric. And if many Americans have been duped, pity them, don't hate them. Only time, perhaps many many years, is going to tell, however if we were duped or not.

The second however balances out the first and gives us a clear and graphic reason to make absolutely sure the war was worth it. warning: extremely graphic pictures. There are innocent casualties of every war. As sad and terrible as it is however, people die every day for no good reason. If in the end, however, the result that is hoped for by those supporting it and those figting it, is reached, then the loss of life will not be in vain. Even those who do not support the war, should hope and pray that the ends will justify the means, instead of hoping and praying they were correct. Last but not least, remember that coallition force are loosing their lives also, for something they believe in.

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Thursday, April 10, 2003 permanent link
  Update on Googlewashing

Joi Ito posted a very good link to some very good remarks made by Kevin Marks regarding the previous Register story about Googlewashing.

Here are my two yen: I also felt that the original article was bit over the top and seemed a bit like a professional journalist lashing out at the blogsphere he is not a part of. Perhaps the author just wanted to hold onto his little precious term for his specific cause de jour and not share it with people who are more interested in thoughtful discussion than daily protests with inane slogans. Despite the flaws of the article however, I did find the underlying theme, if not the tone, of the article very interesting. This emergent power of the intertechies(TM) to influence the discussions on the worlds most powerful communications medium is very interesting to think about. Because journalists themselves are also using the net for information and ideas, the internet and google affect the traditional information sources also. Of course (maybe) not everyone on the Internet uses Google all the time. However because all these sources of information and ideas influence each other, the power of Google due to its dominance on the Internet is undeniable. A good friend of mine here in Japan made an excellent point over a pint of beer only yesterday, what if a government was to take control over the search engines beyond even the filtering that China does? This could have dramatic influence over the information associated with different words and topics, and therefore influence the debate and discussion of a topic. What if the emergent democracy could be hijacked?

Separately from this, I still like the term "googlewash" and I bet its here to stay. The word doesn't have to be derived directly from a predecessor such as whitewash. Its meaning can be inferred independently. However, I personally thought of it as being derived from to "brainwash", which put crudely, is to wash away one set of thoughts and replace it with another one. And if Google is the brain of the blogsphere, then the definition seems to fit.

Lastly, I have an answer to the criticism that the discussions so far which, to be fully candid, I have yet read, are "vague and elusive and fail to describe how the 'emergent' democracy might form a legal framework, a currency, a definition of property". Well let me just opine that the "emergent" in this case has a double meaning. The first is that of "emergent behavior" and "emergent networks", etc. The second is that the concept of an "emergent democracy" is itself a concept that is being developed and thought about by many people. It other words, the description the author seeks is still emerging!

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Tuesday, April 08, 2003 permanent link
  A double hit of anti-racism for Asians
1.) If you meet any Japanese, Koreans, or Chinese who think they are a special unique race that looks significantly different than other Asians, give them this test.
2.) Here is a person trying to break down the barriers of a seldom discussed social problem in Japan, that is also little known about outside of Japan, the Korean-Japanese (Zai Nichi Koreans).

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Monday, April 07, 2003 permanent link
A (blogless) friend pointed me to a cool article on astrophysics, but most people are going to just intersted in the pretty pictures (click image).
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Media Consolidation is Bad!

Click here to read about why the FCC is about to make some very big decisions that every citizen should be concerned about. I wish I had the time to educate on the subject. But the importance is clear to anyone who has taken an introduction to communication studies course with Professor McAllister. I think such courses should be mandatory at the highschool level.

Here is the slashdot story
Here is a great place to get involved

I sent my comment to the FCC (Docket: 02-277). You should too. After you get informed, please.

Friday, April 04, 2003 permanent link
  Googlewashing - meme of all memes

Patrick Tyler described the global anti-war protests as the emergence of "the second superpower"... Anti-war campaigners, peace groups and NGOs took to describing the global popular protest as "the second superpower"... And in less than a month, the phrase was being used by UN Secretary General Kofi Annan...And a week ago, a Google search for the phrase would have shown the vigorous propagation of this 'meme'... Look what the phrase... produces on Google now... it took only a handful of webloggers to spin the alternative meaning... And this Googlewash took just 42 days... Moore's subversion of the meaning of "Secondary Superpower"... derives from followers of 'A-list' tech bloggers linking from an eerily similar "Emergent Democracy" discussion list, which in turn takes its name from a similarly essay posted by Joi Ito... But the real marvel is that they did it with so few people... the number of Internet users who look at blogs is... about four per cent... [but actually just] a small sub-genre of blogdom, the tech blogs... 'A list' [are responsible]... Which means that Google is being "gamed" - and the language perverted... enough to make a "meaning" disappear.

Wednesday, April 02, 2003 permanent link
  I usually try to avoid posting things about the war much. To many people are doing it already and I'll just be lost in the static. The war has really brought the Blogging scene into a limelight of sorts. However the use of depleted uranium (DU) shells by the "good guys" is worrying.
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Top 100 April Fool's Day Hoaxes of All Time
Hosted by the Museum of Hoaxes.
I only read the top 20 or so, but I'm particularly like NPR's reporting that Ex-president Nixon was running for election again with the slogan, "I didn't do anything wrong, and I won't do it again."
Cats in Hats
The Japanese are taking their cosplay actvities too far.
Yeah! I'm sure your average cat is going to sit still for that!

If you think so, then you would probably
test positive for coke!

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