This is a good article I came across just now: Losing My Jihadism.
I also read this blog every now and then because of posts like this.
Google is leading the way (followed by other big names like Yahoo!) in killing the horrible duopoly of internet service in the US by pledging to bid 4.6 Billion dollars on a new spectrum if the goverment forces the "owner of the spectrum bands to allow access to any device, meaning that users would not be locked into subscribing to a carrier in order to use a mobile device, such as a smartphone." I knew I wasn't the only one upset about having to choose between cable internet with TV I don't want and DSL with a phone plan I don't want.
The US candidates for the presidency are embracing technology to try and get their messages out and have meaningful debates that answer questions from real people. People sent a massive amount of videos into YouTube to ask the candidates real questions about a variety of issues. A small number are going to be played in a debate.
Meanwhile, Japan is still using campaign law from the 50's. The use of internet for campaigning is illegal in Japan. Here's a choice quote from a Japanese student: "YouTube is more casual; you watch music videos or funny videos on it, but if the government or any politicians are on the web it doesn't feel right." Give me a break! I don't even know where to begin on what's wrong with this statement. Instead, let me mend this quote for a bit of perspective: "The TV is more casual; you watch music videos or funny videos on it, but if the government or any politicians are on the TV it doesn't feel right."
So if they can't use the internet, Japanese politicians can hand out information, right? Wrong. Pamphlets can only be passed out to 3% of the voters. The only way they can get their message out is the old fashioned loudspeaker. Let me be perfectly clear: I HATE the loudspeaker. I really loathe the intrusive and relentless noise blasting at every major train station in Tokyo. I can handle some people bowing and handing out pamphlets, but turn the damn speaker off! I literally could not hold a conversation a hundred meters away from some political speaker near the exit of Ikebukuro station in Tokyo. Come on people! Organize a venue at a stadium or park and get people who want to listen to come! I miss the laws against noise pollution in the US.