China lifts bans on Internet anonymity

China is taking steps to abolish online anonymity by passing a law which requires citizens to identify themselves when signing up for Internet and telecommunications services.

The new law, Bloomberg says, will require people to provide their full names when ordering landlines, mobile phones, and Internet connections, and it will also mandate online services such as Weibo, the Chinese Twitter, to require real names when posting or tweeting or blogging.

“The Internet is a free and open stage,” an editorial in the People’s Daily said on Dec. 24. “But absolute freedom of the network does not exist … the virtual society and social reality are inseparable.”

The editorial paints the prime issue as one of public safety and well-being, adding that with the rule of law, “the network can be more civilized, more healthy, more secure” and enhanced with more “positive energy.” Others, however, are wondering if it isn’t critique of the government’s sex scandals and shoddy handling of disasters that is more the issue.

Whatever the case, the law is certainly going to further impair online freedom in a country that already isn’t shy about censoring and restricting online communications, as Google’s Eric Schmidt said earlier this year. Although some, including Sinocism China Newsletter author Bill Bishop, say there is already no Internet freedom in the country.

Blowfish12@2012 Author: Sudharsun. P. R.


[courtesy] Mobiles are no longer an ‘old person’s nightmare’ thanks to Fujitsu!

Here’s a knee-slapper to kick off your weekend: Fujitsu is marketing a new line of smartphones for the elderly.

Some of the features might be just what the 65-and-older market needs — noise cancellation, larger text, and even speech-slowing for better parsing of fast-talking callers.

At a press conference, Fujitsu president Masami Yamamoto showed off the devices, which feature simplified home screens with just a few apps. They’re as bright and colorful as anything you’d see in a nursery, and they’re designed to be drop-dead simple for anyone who is new to smartphones or needs a little extra help with smartphone technology.

Here’s a sneak peek:

raku raku

These phones are already being sold on Fujitsu’s Japanese home turf; as Yamamoto revealed in the press conference, they’ll now be sold overseas. Fujitsu has plans to bring the phones, called Raku-Raku, into the U.S. and Europe first, with a few modifications for each new geography.

“Raku” is Japanese for “easy.” In 2009, Fujitsu rolled out the Raku Raku PC, designed for senior citizens “or any novice computer user.” The principles behind that device remain the same for the smartphone: Color-coding for ease of use, one-touch apps, highlighting of frequently used features and applications, preinstalled software and apps, and larger fonts.

The company last year rolled out a Raku-Raku feature phone. This marvel gave users a button that, when pushed, would immediately connect users to a dedicated customer support call center.

Blowfish12@2012 Author: Sudharsun. P. R.

2012 in review

The stats helper monkeys prepared a 2012 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

4,329 films were submitted to the 2012 Cannes Film Festival. This blog had 15,000 views in 2012. If each view were a film, this blog would power 3 Film Festivals

Click here to see the complete report.