July 7th, 2004

benpeek

More Student IDing.

"TOKYO - Forget the notebook and the multicolored pen, a Japanese firm has developed the latest in school supplies -- chip-embedded student ID cards.

The cards make it easier for parents to keep tabs on their youngsters, said Toru Hasegawa, a spokesman for software firm NAJ Corp, based in western Japan.

Students scan ID cards on passing through the school entrance and the time is recorded and sent via email to their parents' mobile phones or computers, he said. Parents are also alerted if their child fails to arrive at school.

The same happens when school is over, so parents know when to expect their children to arrive home, Hasegawa said.

The system, which will go on sale in August, was conceived in response to growing concern about violence in Japan, he said.

"Being able to quickly get the information that their kids are leaving school is a relief for parents," he said.

Japan has long prided itself on being relatively crime-free but has been horrified in recent years by increasingly violent crimes committed by ever-younger children."

here.
benpeek

review mentions.

Quoting from Ben Payne's review in Orb #6 of the anthology Agog! Smashing Stories:

"Thematically, the overall impression of this third Agog collection is a somewhat bleak one--there is a recurring sense of dislocation among the stories here, of protagonists not quite in synch with the worlds they inhabit; and a sense of pessimism seems to underscore a large number of the tales...

The best stories for me were the ones which gave the above-mentioned pessimism and dislocation the sharpest focus, either through tight, well-characterised relationship studies... or through vicious and powerful comedy--as in Ben Peek's witty rebuttal of censorship in R".

it's funny how i made that all look like it was about me, didn't i? i admit to being entirely self serving, as it is my livejournal, and the review is quite large. in addition to this, a few weeks ago i also got a mention in the australian by terry dowling for my piece in anthology Forever Shores which went "Other highlights include stories by Margo Lanagan, Marianne de Pierres and Ben Peek."

which is all good.
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