July 16, 2008

Man arrested for kicking baby chihuahua to death

AICHI — Police on Tuesday arrested a 44-year-old man for killing a 4-month-old Chihuahua in Chikusa, Aichi Prefecture. Yoshiyuki Tanaka, 44, was arrested in the act of kicking the dog to death on the street around 4:50 p.m. when the 40-year-old owner was walking his dog.

According to police, Tanaka was walking ahead of the owner and the dog, but suddenly turned around, approached the dog and kicked it. He was restrained by the owner and a passerby and handed over to police.

Tanaka reportedly said, “I was scared by the dog.” Police said the Chihuahua was about 20 cm tall and didn’t bark at the time of the incident. Local residents said Tanaka has had trouble with other dogs in the neighborhood

July 3, 2008

Japan is the No.1 country for blogging

The survey shows that the total number of blog articles reached about 1.35 billion, providing enough information to fill many millions of books.

The number of Internet blogs in Japan stood at about 16.9 million as of January 2008, with about 20 percent of Japan's 88.11 million Internet users involved in blogging, a survey by the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications has found.

The survey by the ministry's Institute for Information and Communications Policy found that the total number of blog articles reached about 1.35 billion, providing enough information to fill many millions of books.

It was the first full-scale survey in Japan on blogs, or Web logs, whose numbers have dramatically increased in recent years.

The report also introduced the results of a survey by an American company that included deleted blogs. The number of blogs across the world totaled about 70 million, it was found. By language, Japanese topped the list, accounting for about 37 percent of all blogs. Second was English, at around 36 percent, while Chinese stood in third place at roughly 8 percent. The figures highlight the popularity of blogs in Japan.

The survey was conducted in February, using systems that automatically collected information from the Internet and through a survey of people aged 15 or over who had the experience of starting a blog.

It was found that blogs used for self-expression, in which people listed daily events like a diary to relieve stress, were the most common type in Japan, accounting for 30.9 percent of all blogs. About 40 percent of the people who started these blogs were aged in their teens and 20s.

Another 25.7 percent of blogs were community types in which people sought acquaintances under themes in which they held an interest. Archive-type blogs in which users organized and released information relating to their interests stood in third place, at 25.0 percent. These blogs were used not by young people but also by users in a wide range of age groups, including those in their 30s and 40s.

It was found that slightly under 20 percent of all blogs in Japan (about 3 million blogs) were updated at least once a month. About 400,000 to 500,000 new blogs appeared each month. Viewers posted an average of roughly 1.5 comments per article, showing that information was being actively exchanged.

About 12 percent of the 3 million blogs that were updated at least once a month were "spam blogs." Of these, 38.3 percent encouraged people to buy goods, 17.1 percent were designed to collect advertising revenue, and 7.0 percent directed people to adult or matchmaking sites.

Blogs started to spread widely across the world from about 2004.

June 24, 2008

25-year-old wife arrested for selling nude photos of herself

She is doing this because she wanted to buy clothes?. Hmm

AICHI-Police on Monday arrested a 25-year-old woman for selling nude photos of herself in Kasugai City, Aichi Prefecture. Yoshimi Yamahashi, 25, was arrested after she was found by police to be in possession of nude photos of herself saved on a SD card of her cell phone.

According to police, Yamahashi, who is married, has sold nude photos and movies taken by her handset to more than 100 people through the Internet since May, 2005. Police said she has earned about 1 million yen so far. In other photos, she was wearing school uniforms at her clients’ requests, she said.

Yamahashi was quoted by police as saying, "I started this business because I wanted to buy clothes."

June 23, 2008

Softbank announces Japan prices for iPhone

Tokyo-based Softbank Corp., Japan's No. 3 mobile phone company, said people will get a discount in their mobile phone bills that will calculate to their paying 23,040 yen for Apple Inc.'s iPhone over two years.

TOKYO (AP) -- Softbank, the carrier that won the coveted right to sell the iPhone in Japan, said Monday it will sell for 23,040 yen -- comparable to the marked down U.S. price for the hit gadget.

Japan will be among the overseas nations awaiting the global rollout of a new version of the iPhone promised for July 11. That will mark the iPhone's debut in this nation reputed as loving gadgets, including Apple products such as the iPod portable digital-music player.

Tokyo-based Softbank Corp., Japan's No. 3 mobile phone company, said people will get a discount in their mobile phone bills that will calculate to their paying 23,040 yen for Apple Inc.'s iPhone over two years.

Whether the announced price will be seen as a discount by Japanese gadget fans is still unclear.

For years, some mobile phones were practically given away for free as carriers were eager to win market share and earn revenue through phone fees.

But recently, as the market here saturates, mobile phones have gone up in price, and the more sophisticated ones can cost about 50,000 yen. Cheaper models are still also available.

Softbank spokesman Daisuke Muranaga said the iPhone Japan price was comparable to other high-end mobile phones at the carrier.

Apple has given the U.S. price at US$199 for the 8-gigabyte iPhone and US$299 for the 16-gigabyte version. Analysts say that compares favorably to rival products.

In Japan, the 16-gigabyte version will cost 34,560 yen, although consumers won't be buying the phone outright but with the payment being combined with discounts for the fees.

Apple says it has sold about 6 million iPhones so far this year, and has a goal of selling 10 million.

The new iPhone is going on sale in more than 20 countries, including Australia, United Kingdom, Germany, Canada and Hong Kong.

Softbank has been on aggressive push to gain market share from rivals NTT DoCoMo and KDDI Corp. by slashing prices and airing catchy ads as those starring Cameron Diaz. Signing with Apple on the iPhone is a major coup for Softbank.

Japan has long had high-speed Internet-connecting mobile phones, which give restaurant searches, e-mail, electronic shopping, novel and comic book downloads and other services.

Nearly all Japanese mobile phones come with digital cameras, which can also take short video clips. The latest ones also have digital TV broadcast reception, which the iPhone will not have.

Ryuki Omura, 16-year-old crowned pen-spinning king

TOKYO (Reuters) - A pen is spun in the hand, flicked from the little finger to other fingers, then tossed and bounced off the thumb before being twirled in the palm.

Ryuki Omura, a 16-year-old Japanese high school student, has become the first nationwide pen-spinning champion with such slick maneuvers, a group devoted to the pastime said on Monday.

Omura was among the 16 finalists chosen from 276 video entries to showcase his moves in Tokyo on Sunday in a contest organized by the Pen Spinning Association Japan.

"The most important thing is to make the combination of tricks as smooth as possible," said Mitsuhiro Nakamata of the group.

Contestants, performing a 30-second routine in front of a crowd of 400 including journalists and other pen-spinning aficionados, were assessed for technique and artistry.

Toy maker Takara Tomy Corp has even designed a pen specifically for spinning, which is longer than ordinary pens and has adjustable weights on both ends.

According to the Pen Spinning Association's Web site, spinning tricks range from "normal" -- resting the pen on the side of the middle finger, then flicking it to writing mode -- to "sonic" -- holding the pen between the middle and ring fingers, and twirling it so it rests between the middle and index fingers.

Champion Omura went a step further, showing off a quick combination of tricks that takes the pen from his little finger to the rest of his fingers, then to his palm and the back of his hand. The video clip he submitted for the contest is posted on the group's Web site (http://ptj2008.pen-spinning.org/).

"Pens are always around, so you can practice and enjoy pen-spinning anytime, anywhere," said Nakamata.