JIN-488 -- Forget about doomsday. How about "The End of Privacy As We Know It?"


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J@pan Inc Newsletter
The 'JIN' J@pan Inc Newsletter
A weekly opinion piece on social, economic and political trends
in Japan.
Issue No. 488 Wednesday October 29, 2008, Tokyo

This week I'm going to put aside all the doom and gloom on the
Japanese stock market. I could write about the 26-year low in Tokyo
stocks, or possibly the fact that the Nikkei 225 has been more than
halved since the start of the year. I could write about the fact that
the top three banks were smashed on Monday, falling more than 10
percent on that day alone – Mitsubishi UFJ, the largest, fell 15

But where would that get us? We've all read about it and it's depressing.

So instead I'm going to write about "The End Of Privacy As We Know It."

Maybe it's a bit of an overreaction but this week saw another step
towards true immediacy on the Internet – a development which has
had the tech world blogging about the technology but little actually
being written about the implications of it.

California-based mobile company Qik announced the alpha release of Qik
1.0 for Blackberry. The application will enable cellphone users to
stream video live from their phones to Qik.com and to social networking
sites such as Facebook and Myspace (possibly Mixi) and personal blogs.
It will also have a post-production feature that will enable video to be
instantly uploaded to Youtube.

Qik has been testing the software for mobile devices since November
2007. In March, it announced a tie-up with Justin.tv, a video
broadcast Website designed to enable users to chat with one another
online while watching videos.

It's not a world first – tech-heads have been doing it on "jailbroken"
iPhones for a while. Also, Websites such as Flixwagon and ComVu have
been developing similar services. But the use of the technology is yet
to be widespread.

The implications of the Qik applications are significant. In the
November issue of J@pan Inc magazine we are running an in-depth
feature on the Akihabara massacre. The significance of the tragedy lay
in that it was the first time that technology such as video streaming,
mini-blogs (twitter) and mass forums (2-channel) came together in
such a way that the citizen media truly overtook the traditional
media. The technology wasn't new but the fact that so many people were
connected meant that people could see the scene of the massacre via a
laptop's camera, an emobile card and a connection to Website
Ustream.tv. If streaming from mobile devices becomes popular, and I
can't see why it wouldn't, this means that basically anyone with a
cellphone will be able to stream anything, anytime to anyone with an
Internet connection. Not only that, it will be archived instantly on

It's a natural progression from video-capable cellphones but it is
quite extraordinary when you take a minute to consider what could come
next – imagine if the Virginia Tech massacre was streamed live from
inside the university by the victims – or the murderers.

Citizen journalism is about to take hold. Much has been made of the
potential but within a few years, once the majority of the population
is connected via mobile devices, mini-blogs, social networks and
video-streaming Websites the true power of instant information will be
more fully comprehended.

For the moment, the tech geeks are talking about the technology, soon
governments and conservative groups will be talking about control and
censorship. But the reality is that technology will continue to be
developed and legislation will not be able to keep up with it.
Eventually, will we see an end to control? Some would say it is
inevitable. All I can say is that in times like these, I'm glad I'm
not a celebrity.

Michael Condon

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In the seven years since its unholy birth, Metropolis'
'Glitterball' has mutated into the monster it is today:
Japan's largest and most rockin' Halloween party!

The no-holds-barred celebration boasts a frighteningly fun
atmosphere thanks to 2,000 revelers decked out in all manner of
scary, sexy and crazy costumes.
With its signature open bar, food buffet and free-for-all
dance floor, the Metropolis Halloween Glitterball is a
must attend event for any self-respecting beauty or beast
in Tokyo. Get your Freak ON!

Wear a costume to win great prizes!

WHAT: Metropolis Halloween Glitterball
- All-you-can drink, eat, meet and dance!

WHERE: Club Womb, Shibuya
WHEN: Thursday, October 31st
TIME: 19:00 - 24:00
FEE: 2,500yen (Tickets available online, at Lawson ticket
and at participating outlets)



Entrepreneur Association of Tokyo Seminar-Tuesday, November 4th

Speaker: Mr. Ricco DeBlank, General Manager of
The Ritz-Carlton Tokyo and The Park Residences

Seminar Title: 'Passion to Serve'

Are you interested in improving your customer service?
If so, then don't miss EA-Tokyo's November seminar with
Ritz-Carlton's service expert, Ricco DeBlank.

Hailing from the Netherlands, DeBlank joined The Ritz-Carlton
Hotel Company in 1995 and since then, has worked in Bali,
Indonesia, Shanghai, China and Seoul, Korea as a director
of human resources.

He served as the General Manager of The Ritz-Carlton,
Sharm el-Sheikh after a stint as Executive Assistant Manager,
Rooms in Hong Kong. In 2003, he arrived in Japan as General
Manager of The Ritz-Carlton, Osaka and established the hotel as
the city' finest both in Japan and around the world.

Mr. DeBlank was appointed General Manager of The Ritz-Carlton,
Tokyo for its opening in 2007.

Please sign up early while seats are available.

Date/Time: Tuesday, November 4th 7:00 pm
Location: Foreign Correspondents' Club of Japan
Language: English
Website: http://www.ea-tokyo.com


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We've been providing this type of technology for more than 2yrs now. While it is very compelling and impressive, the average consumer is not quite yet embracing these types of features. First came the idea that you could just 'call someone' , then , with the advent of text enabled phones, 'text or email' someone. Then with the camera enabled phones people started to take picture and send that. With video enabled phones there is a slightly higher bar in terms of quality, staging and cost that must be meet. We are utilizing the literally 'built-in' feature of most 3G handsets which is the videocall to offer the same kind of instant videoblog and instant livestream without ANY hassles to the user. No applications, available on literally EVERY 3G phone and downstream compatible with the common PC user on Flash. Still, the uptake on this is quite slow - but we believe the timing is very close that users will take the final leap into motion - video that is.

Interested? You can use this now in Japan: sairis.com