Smartphone Fasting Camp to be Held This Summer in Japan

smartphone_gorogoro

Mainichi reports that Hyogo prefecture is to run a 5 days boot camp for smartphone addicted children in August.

Kids are still allowed to bring their smartphone, but they are kept in one place, and only be usable between 30 to 60 minutes at night when kids can not stand.

Undercover Cops Dispatched To 1,500 Cellphone Shops To Check If They Explain Kids Filtering Service

Jiji reported [J] that Japan’s National Police Agency is planning to send secret agents to 1,500 cellphone shops nationwide, to check if shop clerks ask a customer who will use the cellphone, and if s/he says it is for their children, then if they introduce kids filtering service and explain what bad things could happen without it.

The National Police Agency tells that it is to enforce “Act on Establishment of Enhanced Environment for Youth’s Safe and Secure Internet Use”, which commenced on April 1st, 2009 in Japan.The act requires cellphone carriers to set on the filtering for users less than 18 yo, but the Cabinet Office research says only 48.2% of children aged between 10 and 17 are using it.

Major Japanese mobile websites form self-regulating organization EMA(Content Evaluation and Monitoring Association) and EMA accredited members services as wholesome sites, which can be reached over the kids filter (some of the services are partially approved by excluding communication feature like forums). Small services by start-ups who do not have enough money to join EMA and foreign services like Twitter/Facebook are blocked by the filter.

Recently, the Ministry of Internal Affair sent inquiry [J] to Apple Japan not having kids filter by default. Japan’s exclusive iPhone distributor Softbank Mobile explains that it needs to get an personal ID on Apple’s website to turn it on, so they cannot force the purchaser to use the filtering app.

See Also:

“Act on Secure and Safe Internet Use Environment for the Youth” site [J] on the Cabinet Office

How much it costs to be examined by EMA [J]

7 Out Of Top 10 Mobile Sites Used For Child Prostitution Ensured By The Self-Regulating Organization EMA

A police leak about child prostitution over non-dating websites includes statistics that implies self-regulation of big mobile web companies are not working as expected, Mainichi reported [J].

In 2009, 1,136 minors under the age 18 were involved by violence of ordinance on juvenile protection, the law banning child prostitution and child pornography. 716 of them, 63% used top 10 websites.

The problem is, 7 out of those top 10 sites belong to Content Evaluation and Monitoring Association (EMA) [J] certified mobile sites. The 7 sites are Gree,

Mixi,

Mobage Town,

Daishugo Neo,

Hangame,

Slooolife(was Putige Friends)

and Mobarevo.

The organization was established to certify if a mobile website is “healthy” and safe for children.

EMA Certified sites, currently 33 sites, are excluded from Japanese cellphone carriers filtering for kids. Those certified sites are supposed to track their users age, messages on child’s diaries, community board and even direct messages among them (Gree said they are censoring them [J]).

EMA commented to Mainichi “it might be because EMA member sites have huge number of users. Who committed those crimes are users, we service providers try to prevent those criminal activities from occurring.”

There are critics that EMA members and certified service providers are much overlapped. EMA members guarantees their own web services are healthy and safe for kids. What EMA requires certified mobile site can be only managed by big companies, which also prevents new start-ups from entering to the industry, because those newcomers’ sites are not accessible from teens.

Also, some point out that this could be that police trying to take initiative over the internet and mobile contents industry. The industry is a late comer and rather free from traditional regulations and their enforcers, who are typically extra-government organizations accept parachuting retired bureaucrats.

7-Month-Old Infant Tweets On Custom Twitter App

A Japanese blogger @ueblog presented his 7-month-old daughter, who is enthralled by typing notebook keyboard, a specially programmed twitter client Rukotter in programming language Python with wxPython.

twitter-ruko-ueblog-screenshot

Video is here,

Her twitter account is @ruko_ueblog.

The client is well considered for infants,

  • runs on full screen
  • when typing exceeds a certain number of letters, automatically submits
  • if the same letter repeats more than 3 times, cut it to 3 letters (as she sometimes sticks with single key too long)

If you let your children try, it is also recommended to suppress some system key (like Windows key), for example by another Python script keyhac [J] to make you change keybinds.

via ueBLOG | Twitter Client “Rukotter” for Ruko-san [J] Thanks to @taguchi