domingo, 4 de julho de 2010
TOKYO (AP) -- A quake with a magnitude of 6.3 jolted northern Japan early Monday, but there was no danger of a tsunami, the Japan Meteorological Agency said.
The quake occurred off the coast of Iwate, some 310 miles (500 kilometers) north of Tokyo at 7:08 am (2208 GMT) Monday. The quake's center was 19 miles (30 kilometers) below the sea surface, the agency said.
Iwate police official Takahiro Fujibayashi said there were no reports of damage.
''I felt the tremor, but nothing fell off from bookshelves after the quake,'' he said.
Japan is one of the world's most earthquake-prone countries. In 1995, a magnitude-7.2 quake in the western port city of Kobe killed 6,400 people.
Security is tight in Urumqi in China's Xinjiang region ahead of the first anniversary of deadly ethnic riots.
Armed police have been deployed in the city and thousands of "riot-proof" CCTV cameras set up in public places.
A government-run website said that all police leave had been cancelled.
The violence that erupted on 5 July 2009 between Uighur Muslims and Han Chinese was the region's worst ethnic violence in decades. Almost 200 people were killed.
Clashes ended after huge numbers of troops were deployed in the remote western region.
After the riots, the government suspended the region's communication links to the rest of the world, including international phone calls, text messaging and the internet.Local tensions
Witnesses reported a heavy police presence on the streets of Urumqi on Sunday ahead of the anniversary.
All holidays had been cancelled for Urumqi police officers between 20 June and 20 July, a government-run website said.
Some 5,000 police officers have been recruited in Xinjiang since the clashes, China's state media reported.
Urumqi's police chief Wang Mingshan said officers had been staging drills to deal with any emergencies.
Surveillance cameras in protective casing had been put up in stations, schools and shops, and were being monitored around the clock, Xinhua news agency said.
China has blamed last year's violence on the local ethnic Uighur population, saying most of the recorded dead were Han Chinese.
But Amnesty International has challenged the official Chinese version of events, saying police used unnecessary force against Uighurs, followed by mass arrests and torture.
More than eight million Uighurs live in Xinjiang, which borders Central Asia.
Many are unhappy about the large influx of Han Chinese settlers which they say has increasingly marginalised their interests and culture.
Acting Polish president Bronislaw Komorowski received 51.32 percent of the vote after 80.39 percent of ballot papers casted in Sunday's presidential elections in Poland were counted on Monday.
His main opponent Jaroslaw Kaczynski, the late Polish president Lech Kaczynski's brother, is some 2.6 percent behind, with 48.68 percent of the vote.
National Election Commission chairman Stefan Jaworski said the turnout stood at 54.18 percent.
The first round of early elections, forced by President Kaczynski's death in the April air crash in western Russia, was held on June 20. It was narrowly won by Komorowski (41.54%), a pro-EU, moderate member of the governing Civic Platform party.
Polish pollster TNS OBOP said earlier exit polls from presidential runoff showed a lead for Komorowski with 53.1% after surveying voters, while 46.9% was for Kaczynski.
General Elections Monitoring Body said Sunday it found the most violations in Saturday’s gubernatorial election were committed by incumbent governor Agusrin M. Najamuddin, seeking a re-election.
The next top violator was provincial General Elections Commission (KPUD), which the monitoring body said had acted in favor of Agusrin.
“We found and continually received reports of power abuse and money politics committed almost transparently by Agusrin M. Najamuddin from the campaigning stage to election day,” the body’s legal and violation reports division chief Wirdyaningsih said.
Monitoring the election process for three days, the body reported that among those serious were Agusrin’s promise to deliver 600,000 gas stoves and dozens of hand tractors for free to Bengkulu residents who voted for him for the second term.
Wirdyaningsih said the body also received reports that the Agusrin camp gave cash to thousands of supporters during campaigns.
On election day, she added, the body found a flyer with Agusrin telling people to go to polling booths, which is illegal.
“As the incumbent candidate, Agusrin should show respect to the law,” she said.
Backed by the Democratic Party and the National Mandate Party (PAN), Agusrin and his pair Junaidi are among five tickets who contested the Bengkulu gubernatorial seat.
Simultaneously, Bengkulu people also cast their votes for new regents in seven regencies: Lebong, Rejang Lebong, Muko-Muko, Kaur, Seluma, Kepahiang and South Bengkulu.
Quick counts held by several consultants show the Agusrin-Junaidi ticket had the most probability to win the gubernatorial election.
Helmy Hasan, a local PAN politician, also member of Agusrin’s campaign team, denied the accusations of massive violations, alleging it was part of the campaign by one of Agusrin’s contenders who knew they would lose.
The social networking site encourages users to upload a picture of themselves every day. 'Boothers' use snapshots instead of snippets of text to express what they are thinking, feeling and doing
By Jessica Guynn
reporting from San Francisco —Every day for six years, New York photography student Noah Kalina took a picture of himself with a digital camera.
He toiled on the art project in obscurity until 2006, when he strung together all 2,356 self-portraits into a five-minute, time-lapse video and posted it on YouTube.com.
The video surged in popularity, touching off a global phenomenon. More than 15 million people have viewed it, and the video inspired dozens of others to turn their cameras on themselves. Kalina's digital exhibitionism was even spoofed on an episode of "The Simpsons."
Where others just saw photos, British entrepreneur Jon Wheatley saw opportunity. "You could see these people actually grow and evolve. You could watch their style and fashion change over time. It was the most compelling thing to sit and watch," Wheatley said.
He and co-founder Ryan Amos launched DailyBooth.com in February 2009 as "your life in pictures" and asked users to upload a photograph of themselves every day. The social networking site now has nearly 6 million photos and the tally is growing quickly.
Tech-savvy Hollywood celebrities Ashton Kutcher and wife Demi Moore, along with some of the Internet's biggest names — Twitter's Jack Dorsey, Digg's Kevin Rose and Flickr's Caterina Fake — have embraced the online photo booth.
Kutcher, who plugged DailyBooth.com during a recent appearance on Howard Stern's radio show, routinely uploads his movie star mug to the site, encouraging his more than 32,000 followers to take pictures of themselves whistling or holding up the book they are reading.
"Snapping photos on DailyBooth has become a part of my day almost every day," Kutcher said.
Kutcher is one of DailyBooth.com's rabid users, more than 85% of whom are younger than 24. They spend hours each day building a vibrant online hangout that revolves around snapshots instead of snippets of text to express what they are thinking, feeling and doing.
Dorsey, the maverick entrepreneur who thought up Twitter and is now running mobile payment start-up Square, usually snaps up the common username "Jack" because he's often among the first to sign up for new online services. On DailyBooth.com, he had to settle for "JD" after 15-year-old Jack Moore wouldn't give it up, even for Dorsey.
Now Dorsey's just as hooked as Moore.
"Once something becomes that kind of fascination for me, it's hard for me to let go of it," said Dorsey, who advises DailyBooth.com. "This is a whole new way to communicate and behave".
Sometimes described as Twitter for photos, DailyBooth.com is similar to the micro-messaging site that allows users to update their followers in blurbs of 140 characters or less, except users upload photos for friends and strangers to follow. Over time, the series of snapshots transforms into a textured portrait of a person, like pixels in a digital image or tiny brushstrokes in an Expressionist painting.
"Boothers," as they call themselves, have come up with some creative ways to use the site. One with the handle "knockedup" documented her pregnancy by taking a picture of her profile every week. Even a 12-year-old cat named Shadow has an account.
Part of what draws them to DailyBooth.com is the sense of community. Boothers use photo comments to engage in fun activities. They form virtual conga lines. They act out favorite scenes in"Pulp Fiction" or "Toy Story" that they watch in unison as part of DailyBooth.com's film club.
They compete in goofy contests. Justine Ezarik, a.k.a. iJustine, a 26-year-old "vlogger" (or video blogger) from Santa Monica, got 2,700 photo comments, the site's longest thread, after challenging fellow Boothers to post pictures of themselves touching their noses.
They celebrate one another in pictures. One user wrote the names of all of his followers on paper leaves and made them into a tree mural on his bedroom wall.
In April, Boothers joined in a more serious effort to raise money to fight a killer disease in Africa, taking pictures of their hands on which they scrawled the message "end malaria".
DailyBooth.com is one of a new wave of social networking sites that reflect a shift in how young people communicate. Julie Albright, a digital sociologist at USC, calls it the rise of visual culture in social media.
Bombarded by text messages, instant messages, tweets and blog posts, young people have gravitated toward pictures as a simpler, faster and more expressive medium to talk about themselves and to tell stories.
"People are basically social animals. They are curious. They want to see and be seen. This space gives them a way to do that," Albright said.
For them, the Internet is not a destination but an extension of their lives. With a bevy of digital tools at their fingertips, they snap pictures of themselves, their friends and their surroundings on mobile phones, laptops and digital cameras and post them to social networking sites for all their connections to see.
The advent of new features, such as front-facing cameras in mobile phones, including the new iPhone, has only made it easier for them to document themselves and their lives in pictures. Some new cameras have share buttons that let users tag photos and upload them to Facebook and other social networking sites, and face recognition that can tag pre-registered faces.
Photo sharing is already one of the most popular features on social networking sites.
Caterina Fake's Vancouver start-up scrapped a game it was developing after an engineer created a tool to share photos. Fake and her former husband, Stewart Butterfield, transformed the project into Flickr, which quickly became one of the Web's fastest-growing properties. They sold it to Yahoo Inc. in 2005 for $35 million.
Facebook, the world's most popular social networking site, saw its engagement levels skyrocket after it began allowing users to upload photos and tag their friends.
Cat Valdes, a.k.a. Catrific, a popular 21-year-old vlogger on YouTube, was one of the first to discover DailyBooth.com. She has since posted more than 500 photos of herself and spends hours each day on the site. In fact, she is so taken with DailyBooth that she has joined the company as an employee.
"When people first hear about it, they say, 'I don't want to take a picture of myself every day, that makes me feel conceited.' But it's not about taking a picture of yourself. It's a log of your life," Valdes said.
Some photos are casual, snapped in just a minute or two. Others are assiduously stylized and staged.
Christina Rose Leon, 24, whose DailyBooth handle is Rosiehart, spends up to four hours elaborately staging her photographs from her home on the west coast of Scotland.
Late one night while changing her bed sheets, Leon decided to challenge her fellow Boothers to a pillow fight. So she took pictures of herself swinging the pillow, redoing her hair and makeup for each shot, and edited them together to make it look as if she was having a pillow fight with herself.
"I barely knew how to use Photoshop last year," Leon said. "Now I regularly send messages on DailyBooth teaching younger Boothers how to do little tricks".
DailyBooth.com's founders said last year that the site was getting 6 million monthly unique visitors, with that number growing by about 35% a month. They declined to give current statistics. Compete.com analyst Chris Bulger estimates that the stay per visit at DailyBooth.com averages seven minutes. He says the site's traffic and engagement are on a steady upswing.
A down-on-his-luck British Web developer, Wheatley came up with the DailyBooth idea in December 2007 during a desperate late-night brainstorming session to earn money after being laid off from his job in Edinburgh. Wheatley moved back in with his mom in the south of England.
With his brother camped out in his old room, Wheatley holed up in a closet, his imagination lit by the glow of his laptop. The project hit some snags getting off the ground but took flight in December 2008, when Wheatley hired Amos, a talented Web designer from the Midwest, to build DailyBooth.com, eventually bringing him on as a co-founder.
The two landed $15,000 in seed funding from start-up incubator Y Combinator, where their project caught the eye of influential angel investor Ron Conway. DailyBooth has raised $1 million from Conway and other blue-chip investors. Brian Pokorny, one of Conway's handpicked lieutenants, was so taken with DailyBooth.com that he joined the San Francisco company as its chief executive in March. With Wheatley stranded in London awaiting a work visa, Pokorny has assumed a large role.
Kalina, a 29-year-old professional photographer in Brooklyn who still snaps his own picture every night, said he was thrilled that he helped inspire DailyBooth.com.
"That's beyond my wildest expectations," he said.
With the easing of visa requirements for Chinese citizens, Japanese companies are preparing for a tidal wave of new tourists, but experts say these seemingly free-spenders will not do much for Japan's economy.
Although the Japan Tourism Agency predicts the number of Chinese tourists to Japan this year will increase 80 percent from last year to 1.8 million, their spending habits so far have not lifted personal consumption in Japan, which accounts for more than half of the nation's gross domestic product.
"The effects (of the Chinese tourists) are limited in increasing domestic demand," said Ryoji Maku, a senior researcher at Mitsubishi Research Institute Inc.
The institute estimates that Chinese tourists have each spent on average 130,000 yen ($1,470) during their trips in Japan.
But those tourists have been mainly rich Chinese. The eased regulations that took effect Thursday are targeted at middle-class Chinese looking to travel to Japan as individuals. They will not have as much purchasing power as their predecessors.
"Wealthy Chinese people have bought more than the Japanese when it comes to shopping. But the (middle-class) tourists who are expected to increase from now will not necessarily be the same," said an executive of a major department store.
One positive effect from the tourist numbers, according to Wang Min, professor of Japanese affairs at Hosei University, could be improved relations between the two countries and a better mutual understanding.
"If Chinese people experience Japan by themselves, the number of ways to judge Japan will increase drastically. If understandings about Japan spread (among Chinese people)," their sentiments toward Japan will improve, she said.
Animosity between Chinese and Japanese soared when Junichiro Koizumi was prime minister and repeatedly visited Yasukuni Shrine, which honors Japan's war dead and Class-A war criminals.
Although anti-Japan feelings run deep in China, even after Koizumi's reign ended in 2006, Chinese who have traveled to Japan are helping to improve the situation.
Some messages on the Internet from Chinese tourists include, "Japanese people are polite and serious" and "Japan is beautiful because it harmonizes historical heritage and modernization".
Companies in Japan's travel and retail industries are doing their best to make the Chinese feel welcome.
All Nippon Airways Co. on Thursday started a Chinese-language version of its website that allows users to buy tickets in yuan, while Prince Hotels Inc. made Chinese-language broadcasts available in all rooms of its three hotels in Tokyo.
In the city of Kyoto, the travel information center for foreigners was moved from the ninth floor of the JR Kyoto Station building to the second floor, with Chinese-speaking staff always available.
Takashimaya department store in Nihonbashi, Tokyo, in cooperation with a nearby hotel, started offering free interpreters and delivery services for Chinese shoppers on June 25.
The China Union Pay debit card popular among Chinese tourists can be used in at least 17,800 stores and facilities in Japan. Sumitomo Mitsui Card Co., which is in a business tie-up with the operator of the card, said this number will increase.
But Chinese tourists do not come to Japan only to buy cosmetics, electric appliances and other brand-name goods.
"The popular spots are onsen hot springs. Tokyo Disneyland and Mount Fuji are also highly popular," said an executive of a travel agency in Shenyang in northeast China. "Many people also want to go to Hokkaido where the popular 2008 Chinese movie 'If You Are the One' was set".
A 43-year-old man in Shenyang welcomed Thursday's relaxation of the visa restrictions and suggested he might travel to Japan for a completely different reason.
"I want to go to Japan with my parents. I feel proud that China's status is being recognized by Japan," he said.