Todd says: My friend Brad Stone has a curious piece in today's NYTimes
. No one ever claimed Webcam site Stickam was sparklingly clean. At night on the site, things sometimes get bawdy, with the over-14 crowd imploring each other to take off their clothes in group video chats. But as Stone reports today, the LA based Stickam is owned by the same Japanese business tycoon who owns 49 webcam porn sites, and occupies some of the most premium skyscraper real estate in downtown Los Angeles. Stone did a lot of sleuthing, and he does nice job connecting the dots.
[Alex Becker, a former vice president at Stickam,] said he first learned of the extent of the pornography business last April, when Mr. Takahashi, who employees refer to as Mr. T, took him to dinner at a downtown sushi restaurant. Through translators he described some of his companies’ assets, which include at least 49 pornography sites, a pornographic film production company, nine restaurants in Japan and private planes, Mr. Becker said.
“I don’t think I discovered everything, but I learned more than enough to be able to say with certainty that they are not leaders in the video-conferencing business,” Mr. Becker said. “They are leaders in pushing porn via a Flash player and streaming porn from the United States to Japan.”
You’d be forgiven for thinking the videocassette format long-dead, but it turns out that Betamax is still around. Sony is finally going to withdraw tapes from sale, bringing a 40-year story to an end. The last recorders were sold in 2002. ベータビデオカセットおよびマイクロMVカセットテープ出荷終了のお知らせ [Sony; via The Verge]
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