EU and Japan take action to make the Internet safer for children

Europe and Japan will work together on a strategy to make the Internet safer for children and teenagers.

The new strategy was announced by Digital Agenda Commissioner Neelie Kroes on Wednesday. On Thursday, she met with Tatsuo Kawabata, Japanese minister for Internal affairs and Communications to discuss how the European Union and Japan could collaborate on such plans.

Although the strategy is for industry self regulation, the digital agenda spokesman said in an email that the European Commission would intervene if self regulation does not deliver. However “a regulation-only approach would fail,” he said.

Read the rest of the story: EU and Japan to make the Internet safer for children.

Internet Kills the Video Star

According to CyberMedia in Japan, and goo research just published results from their latest studies about ‘PC internet usage at home’. The results are not too surprising to me, but boy are the numbers staggering!

Concerning the results, 98.3% of Japanese have a fixed internet connection at home and over 70% use internet at home more than 1h every day. And when it’s blazing fast, why not? Well what is the alternative to the internet–TV? Not really, not anymore. And what are people in Japan saying about TV? It’s boring and there is nothing interesting on…and it’s showing…the major networks in Japan are losing money and advertising dollars that could support more interesting programming daily. But, then again no ones even tuning in through the tube anymore it’s all online through sites that offer the same content or phones that pick up the signals. And it’s not just the internet…it’s mobile internet and gaming that’s eating out the holes in those television execs pockets with an estimated 28% of Japanese playing mobile games. And what about the video and computer gaming industry? It’s getting bigger and bigger everyday. Needless to say there are tons of alternative entertainment to television and it’s not just the tube or even movies, anymore. Heck it’s not even google searches and the results telling us things anymore, when you can go and twitter another person for information. What it is…It’s technology connecting us in new ways and disconnecting us in others.

Oh, but at least we still see our families and friends on Holidays, right? Think again…

It doesn’t stop for holidays, either. When it comes to holidays or days off an astonishing 22% of Japanese become hardcore internet users with a usage of more than 6h per day. About 25% of these hardcore users surf the web even more than 12h per day, when off. Compared to the last survey at the end of 2008 the heavy user ratio increased by more than 1%. So to rephrase the question asked by CyberMedia–Did the internet turn into an alternative to going out and meeting people on holidays in times of recession or did it just take over? I think it took over with the help of the recession keeping more of us at home and not going out and using the technology in our homes as our entertainment.

What will be more interesting is to see what innovation comes out of all this new ‘heavy’ user interaction. And, if when the recession is over, what sticks around, what’s been created, and what has improved.

And when this recession ends…will people be going out again or will they stay isolated with their technology?

Photo by: PP@flickr