Saturday, July 31, 2010

Google Publications


Friday, July 30, 2010 at 7/30/2010 11:41:00 AM

First Wikileaks, now Facebook. Is this the death of privacy?


The parallels between the Wikileaks saga and the openness of Facebook's user data are striking.

By Milo Yiannopoulos
Published: 3:49PM BST 30 Jul 2010

wrote a few days ago about an appalling misjudgment by Julian Assange, founder of Wikileaks, who released over 90,000 documents leaked to him relating to the war in Afghanistan. Well, it looks like another scandal is about to blow up. This time concerns personal privacy rather than national security – but the parallels are striking.
On Wednesday, Ron Bowes, a Canadian security consultant, “harvested” the names, profile addresses, and unique ID numbers of 100 million Facebook users – a fifth of the network’s total user base. He collated the information in a single 2.8GB file and posted it on BitTorrent, a peer-to-peer file-sharing network. Like Assange's Afghanistan dossier, it was immediately accessible to anyone with an internet connection – including corporations. Check out this list of the firms who have downloaded the database so far.
My name appears in Bowes' database. So does my mum’s. And so, probably, does yours, unless you're super-vigilant about your Facebook privacy settings. Because, though you might not be aware of it, chances are that certain elements of your Facebook profile are set to appear publicly.
It emerged on Wednesday afternoon that Bowes conducted this exercise to help him learn how to break passwords – very unsettling, I’m sure you’ll agree. But Bowes is not the villain in this piece, because his act of mischief – and we can’t call it more than that, because the information he collected was freely available to anyone who cared to search for it – was only possible because Facebook itself has repeatedly and shamelessly betrayed its users’ trust, instituting rollback after rollback of privacy settings. Finally, in May, Facebook listened to user complaints and simplified its privacy settings, requiring far less information to be public by default.
Julian Assange and Mark Zuckerberg have a great deal in common. Both sit at the helm of powerful organisations that use technology to disseminate massive amounts of sensitive data. Both have clear, and, to my mind, very unsettling, ideologies that are starting to define social norms on the internet.
Assange is an outspoken opponent of the war in Afghanistan, which surely informed his decision to send the Afghanistan dossiers directly to Left-wing, anti-war newspapers rather than simply publish them on the site as had previously been Wikileaks' method of disseminating information.
And Zuckerberg has repeatedly said that he wants Facebook users to learn to embrace openness. “We decided that these would be the social norms now,” he once said about the growing trend for sharing information online.
Over the last year or so Facebook has repeatedly changed its privacy settings, on occasion changing users' previously private settings back to public and offering a bewilderingly complex array of settings. Even deleting one's account can be needlessly complicated. The update last May simplified things considerably but many users, including me, remain confused about what their privacy settings actually are. Given all the changes it would be fair for users to wonder how long it will be before the current settings are superseded and how the next set of rules will work.
Well, I’m sorry, but it isn’t for Mr Zuckerberg to decide what I choose to do with my private information. I want controls: easy to understand, easy to use controls that respect my privacy decisions permanently. And it’s not good enough to tell me: “Oh, well, you made that stuff public,” when the shifting sands of Facebook's privacy settings make it impossibly difficult for me to understand or keep track of who can see my stuff and how.
Remember, it isn’t just Facebook that uses Facebook’s data: advertisers are already able to “target” ad based on my age, location, gender and – distastefully – my sexual preferences. Now, you may not mind that and it's true that Facebook does not give advertisers access to identifiable data. You may even find targeted ads useful. But demographically targeted advertising is just the start. If we reach a point where pretty much all of Facebook’s data is available to be pulled via the Facebook API or “scraped” from search engine-friendly profiles, there will be no hiding from those who want to find out more about you.
And then there are the implications for people’s online reputations. In April, TechCrunch’s Mike Arrington declared online reputation dead, in part thanks to the behaviour of social networks like Facebook that refuse to respect our wishes when it comes to privacy. “Twitter, Yelp, Facebook [...] are the new printing presses, and absolutely everyone, even the random wingnuts, have access,” wrote Arrington.
We have arrived at a point in the internet’s history where we have to decide whether we care about our privacy and security or not. This week, both ordinary domestic privacy and the lives of troops in Afghanistan have been threatened by a mixture of technological drift and ideology. If we capitulate to the Web 2.0 ideologues now, we can look forward to a future in which our personal information, our contact details and our private photos and other content are considered fair game for companies to mine for profit and for other internet users to abuse. We will also be welcoming an era in which the blogosphere, hungry for “the truth”, will regularly risk national security and the lives of our troops in their mischievous quest to get one over on the government.
We should draw a line in the sand now. Otherwise, we will be complicit in hastening this new vision for the internet: one in which every embarrassing photograph and every indiscreet remark (including ones we thought we’d made privately, among friends) – not to mention everything other people have said about us – become permanently and publicly available. And they'll be searchable, too.
Tech blogs are already giving up. Just today, VentureBeat wrote that being private “increasingly means that you have to choose to drop out of society”. So don't look to the industry's thought leaders for inspiration. It's going to be up to us – the users of these services – to vote with our page impressions.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

ANIME NEWS: Lost masterpiece 'Anne of Green Gables' anime opens nationwide


Translated by The Asahi Shimbun from the website of Anime Anime Japan Ltd.

The animation film "Anne of Green Gables" opened in Japan on July 17. It was re-edited in 1989 from the first six episodes of the 50-episode animated series "Akage no An" (Anne of Green Gables) that were broadcast in Japan in 1979.

The re-editing was done by series director Isao Takahata. In addition, luminaries of Japanese animation, such as Hayao Miyazaki on screen layout, Yoshifumi Kondo as animation director and Masahiro Ioka as art director, also took part in making the series.

This re-edited version, however, was not officially released at theaters when created in 1989. It has since been regarded as a "lost masterpiece." After more than 20 years, the film is making a comeback as part of the Ghibli Museum Library series.

To commemorate its release, a special preview was held at the Canadian Embassy in Tokyo on July 12. Canada's Prince Edward Island province was home to "Anne of Green Gables" author Lucy Maud Montgomery and also the setting for the novel. Moreover, Canada is noted for promoting animations, videogames and other creative industries.

At the preview, director Takahata spoke to the audience, sharing stories behind the production and of his relationship with Canada. He recalled that when the plan to turn "Anne" into an animation came up, he wondered how it could be done, since his prior anime works, "Heidi a Girl of the Alps" and "Marco: From the Apennines to the Andes," were about young children, while "Anne of Green Gables" focuses on a teenage girl and had a lot of dialogue.

He reminisced about the original novel and his visit to its location prior to producing the series. "Anne of Green Gables" appears to hold a special place in Takahata's heart and he cannot say enough about it.

As this remarkable film adaptation attests, "Anne of Green Gables" is a classic novel that stands the test of time.

ANIMAGE-DON: A somewhat biased review of 'Karigurashi no Arrietty'



I went to see "Karigurashi no Arrietty," a new feature based on British novel "The Borrowers" and created by animation house Studio Ghibli Inc. that hit theaters nationwide on July 17. It is the directorial debut of animator Hiromasa Yonebayashi, 37. The project was originally conceived by Hayao Miyazaki, who also wrote the script.

The film tells the story of the love that develops between 14-year-old Arrietty, a tiny girl who lives underneath the floorboards of an old mansion, and a 12-year-old human boy named Sho, who moves into the house.

photo(c)2010 GNDHDDTW "Karigurashi no Arrietty"

To tell the truth, when I first saw the trailer a while ago, I had a bad feeling about this film. Arrietty looked energetic, but Sho seemed to wear a bland, inanimate expression, as if his soul had been sucked out.

I thought, "Hmm, I hope it won't be like 'Tales from Earthsea.'"

But I needn't have worried. The director intended to make Sho look "inanimate." The human boy has been suffering from a heart disease for a long time and is gripped by a sense of powerlessness.

At first, Sho is described in a way that makes the audience feel he is a cold automaton. But after he meets Arrietty, he gains the courage and joy to live.

The movie turned out to be just as cute a story as Arrietty, who is red-blooded and has an air of dignity. Thank goodness!

The hidden home under the floorboards where Arrietty lives is filled with plants and flowers, as well as miniature furniture of all sorts and sizes. It is a fantasy of European country style.

In contrast, the outside world of the humans is a place of adventure, where a cupboard and table loom imposingly on the floor like sheer cliffs. Gigantic monsters (crows and cats) also pounce upon the tiny people.

The brilliance of Arrietty, who flits around the outside world as free as a bird, is the best part of the film.

When she goes outside, Arrietty looks dignified with her long hair held up with a clothespin. And when she is at home, she looks sweet with her hair down.

Director Yonebayashi skillfully interweaves the changes in her appearance into the drama. It works best in the final scene. With the use of the clothespin (which I thought it was, but it might be a different size), as well as a "heart" as a symbol, the protagnists' love is expressed elaborately.

Their romance is reserved and simple, but gracious and straightforward, too. It is rich in suggestion, typical of Miyazaki's scripts.

But I got a kick out of the ending especially because it pays homage to Miyazaki's 1995 anime film, "Whisper of the Heart," which I love. Miyazaki wrote its script and drew the storyboard. Master animator Yoshifumi Kondo, notable for the "Anne of Green Gables" TV series, directed the anime. I found a similarity in the combination of Miyazaki writing the script and an animator directing.

The cat that lives in the house with Sho looks just like Moon, the cat that plays cupid in "Whisper." Near the end of "Arrietty," when she and her family are about to move out of the house at night, the cat leads Sho to--wait, I won't reveal all.

I never imagined that the introduction of "Whisper" and its well-known ending could be intertwined in such a way and be brought back to life in a new form after 15 years.

Objectively speaking, I wouldn't be surprised if the audience feels the new anime is weak in dramatic development and a little too bland. But for those who love "Whisper," it is irresistible. My impression was that the 94-minute story is presented in a humble way without being too ambitious.

According to the press kit, director Yonebayashi was motivated to join Ghibli when he saw "Whisper" because he "felt adolescence" in it. He dropped out of Kanazawa College of Art, the school that produced game designer Shigeru Miyamoto and animation director Mamoru Hosoda, in addition to painter Naohisa Inoue. I found this an interesting link because Inoue was in charge of background art for "Baron no Kureta Monogatari" (The story Baron gave me), a fantasy sequence within "Whisper."

Before writing this review, I watched the DVD of "Whisper" late one night. Actually, after viewing it once, I played it again from the beginning because I wanted to indulge myself (I ended up going to bed after 3 a.m.).

It brought back memories of when "Whisper" was released, when I was working at the company's Nagoya office. After finishing my shift for the evening paper, I raced to a movie theater next door to watch "Whisper" repeatedly for hours.

So, I humbly ask you to note that my impressions of "Arrietty" can hardly be described as unbiased.

ANIME NEWS: Robot impact on culture showcased in traveling exhibition


Translated by The Asahi Shimbun from the website of Anime Anime Japan Ltd.

An art exhibition exploring the cultural impact of robots runs July 10 to Aug. 29 at Aomori Museum of Art in Aomori Prefecture.

"Robots and the Arts: Visual Images in the 20th Century Japan" focuses on robots and their relationship to art, science and technology as well as the human body. The show will also examine the history of robots and their significance in modern culture.

The exhibition brings together industry bigwigs from at home and abroad. The exhibition features "Evangelion: 1.0 You Are (Not) Alone," "Mobile Suit Gundam," "Hatsune Miku" (singing synthesizer application software), "Tetsujin 28-go," "Astro Boy" and "Cyber Troopers Virtual-On." Loaded with rich content, the show offers visitors the chance to look into robot culture in Japan from various angles.

Particularly worthy of mention is an original short anime to be shown. The film's story takes place in near-future Japan and revolves around vehicle-type robot "Chari" and a girl.

The anime was directed by Romanov Higa, who is known for producing three-dimensional computer graphic anime. For this project, he took a shot at making a 2-D anime for the first time.

Masaki Tanaka served as character designer, and Kenji Teraoka, mechanical designer. The music was produced by Satoru Kosaki.

The DVD of the anime is sold at the venue. It comes with the exhibition catalog, and only 150 copies will be available at each venue in the traveling exhibition.

In addition, a special exhibition featuring illustrator Shin Ueda and avant-garde artist Tetsumi Kudo, which opened on June 30, is now on at the Aomori museum. Ueda, whose works are displayed at the robot exhibition, will give a talk on Aug. 15.

The exhibition later travels to Shizuoka Prefectural Museum of Art (Sept. 18-Nov. 7) and Iwami Art Museum in Shimane Prefecture (Nov. 20-Jan. 10).

South Korea, China overtaking Japan in 'cool' culture battle



In industry as well as sports, Japan has found itself trailing in the footsteps of China and South Korea.

Those two neighbors are now threatening Japan's place in the cultural realm as well.

Between July 1 and 4, the Japan Expo in Paris attracted manga and anime fans from around Europe. In recent years, about 150,000 people have taken part.

In one section of the event, however, signs were displayed for manhwa, the Korean term for manga.

For the first time in the 11-year history of the expo, the manhwa sign was displayed through the efforts of the Korea Creative Content Agency, a South Korean government agency.

Tetsuya Watanabe, the official in charge of the Cool Japan section at the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry, could not hide his shock at the strides being made by South Korea.

"There may come the day when this event is overwhelmed by manhwa," Watanabe said.

South Korea has been stressing the fostering of its cultural industry from the 1990s and the Korea Creative Content Agency plays an important role in that effort.

The agency operates mainly through about 180 billion won (about 13.3 billion yen or $152.1 million) in government subsidies. Among its main roles are drawing up a strategy to move into foreign markets as well as to develop individuals in the cultural industry.

Agency President Lee Jae-woong said, "In the 21st century, the cultural industry will lead all industries. That is the recognition of the South Korean government."

In addition to manga, South Korea is also making major efforts in film, even as Japanese directors such as Hayao Miyazaki and Takeshi Kitano have received international acclaim.

A new base for South Korean cinema is now under construction at the Haeundae seaside resort area in Busan.

A roof measuring about 1.5 times the size of a soccer pitch is supported by what looks like tree limbs.

The site will eventually become the main venue for the Pusan International Film Festival.

The film center is scheduled for completion in September 2011 and the South Korean and Busan city governments have invested a total of 162.4 billion won.

An area of about 60,000 square meters, including the film center, will also eventually house facilities to train animators. Two years from now, government agencies in charge of the film industry will move to Busan from Seoul.

South Korean government officials want to turn the area into an Asian film hub.

In the background lies the success of the Pusan International Film Festival which began in 1996.

The scale of the festival expanded with the aggressive backing provided by the national and local governments.

From 1998, a new project was begun to bring together movie producers and investors from various Asian nations.

From 2005, a program was begun to have movie directors and others give lectures to individuals aspiring to careers in the movie industry.

Such efforts rapidly improved international recognition of the film festival.

One result is that the number of world premieres offered at the Pusan International Film Festival reached 98 last year, far outpacing the 26 presented at the Tokyo International Film Festival, which has an older history, having begun in 1985.

This year's Pusan International Film Festival, to be held in October, will have a budget of about 10 billion won (700 million yen), about 4.5 times the budget of the first festival. Three-quarters of the budget is being covered by the central and city governments.

The Korea Creative Content Agency's Lee said, "When moving into global economic markets, efforts should also be made to improve the level of cultural industry. Improving culture will improve the image of a nation and heighten the product value of manufactured goods. The South Korean government is well aware of that connection."

China is also making efforts to improve its cultural industry. In 2007, the Communist Party convention placed cultural soft power as a major national policy.

In addition to movies and publishing, China has in recent years emphasized anime. Anime industrial bases have been constructed in about 20 locations in China, including Dalian, Tianjin and Changsha.

A number of anime companies with more than 1,000 employees have since emerged.

Those efforts were evident at the Tokyo International Anime Fair held in March in the Ariake district of Tokyo.

Of the 59 companies from abroad, 38 were from China, while only 16 were from South Korea.

The Chinese city of Chongqing held meetings at a Tokyo hotel during the fair that brought together anime companies based in Chongqing with Japanese companies.

Wu Jiangbo, deputy director of the Cultural Market Department of China's Culture Ministry, said, "The anime fair is an important platform to publicize China's works and companies."

The central government has a heavy hand in developing China's anime industry.

A high-ranking Culture Ministry official said, "The market has grown to 100 billion yuan (1.3 trillion yen), about six times the Japanese market."

However, Chinese officials are not satisfied with the current situation.

Wu said, "Although there are now about 5,000 anime companies in China, there is no company recognized around the world. We want to foster a first-class company on a global scale."

In the past, Chinese companies were nothing more than subcontractors for the Japanese anime industry.

Now, there is more equality in the relationships.

In June, a news conference was held in Shanghai to announce the start of production of a Chinese-language anime movie based on a Japanese TV anime, "Ikkyu-san," that was popular during the 1980s in China.

The movie version will be jointly produced by Toei Animation Co. of Tokyo and the Shanghai Media Group.

Hidenori Oyama, senior director at Toei Animation, said of the project, "It will be a first step to move into the Asian market."

However, those on the Chinese side have bigger plans in mind.

They are targeting the generation that grew up watching Ikkyu-san, an anime about a Buddhist monk, as well as their children.

Wang Lei, a vice president with the Shanghai Media Group, said, "If this succeeds in China, we want to sell it in Southeast Asia."

Chinese Cultural Minister Cai Wu said, "We have learned a lot about cultural policy from Japan and South Korea. In particular, the policy of South Korea has been wise because even though it is a small nation it has achieved economic development and has exported many aspects of South Korean culture."

Trying to keep up, the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry established the section for Cool Japan in June.

One official said, "We want to heighten Japan's brand image through a strategic overseas marketing move in such areas as anime, design and fashion, and tie that into economic growth."

photoA South Korean "manhwa" booth at the Japan Expo in Paris in July (KAZUYA OMURO/ THE ASAHI SHIMBUN)

3 groups shine in the J-Pop Anime Singing Contest


First Posted 11:03:00 07/27/2010

MANILA, Philippines—The search for this year’s nation-wide J-Pop and anime singing idols came to an exciting and upbeat conclusion with the Grand Final of the 2nd J-Pop Anime Singing Contest held at the Cyberzone Activity Center of SM North Edsa on Saturday, July 24.

The group Himitsu from Manila emerged as the best group from among the 10 finalists in the Grand Final followed closely by the group Anibeat Rocks! Landing third place in the contest is the group XOR from Cebu. Himitsu likewise went home with the Hero’s Choice Award and the TOEI’s Favorite Award. Joining the roster of winners are the groups ProjectM Band, AJA, Morning Star, and 4th Edition Family Band which secured the fourth, fifth, sixth, and seventh place respectively.

The ten finalist groups, eight coming from Manila, one representing the Visayas region and one representing Mindanao, pulled the audience in and had them cheering with their enthusiastic and youthful performances. The ten finalists were judged according to the following criteria: Voice quality – 30 percent, Diction and pronunciation – 30 percent, Interpretation – 20 percent, Stage Presence – 10 percent and Audience Impact – 10 percent for a total of 100 percent.

The top three winning groups received Japanese language scholarships from the Nihongo Center Foundation and singing lesson scholarships from the Center for Pop Music as well as the certificates from the Embassy of Japan. The top seven groups received attractive gadgets and gizmos from Canon, Panasonic, Sony, and Toshiba as well as lunch/dinner vouchers from Heritage Hotel. Hero TV handed a gift bag to the group which best performed a song from an anime title recently and currently aired on their channel while TOEI presented rare toys to the group of its choice. All the finalists received gift products from Ajinomoto and Yakult.

The “Name the Cat” winners were also announced and awarded during the Grand Finals. Mr. Von Carlo Lasam whose entry “Torara” was chosen as the best name for the orange cat mascot of the J-Pop Anime Singing Contest. Ms. Laarnie Marilao’s entry “Popcat” and Mr. Francis Ian Quito’s entry “Torenji” won second and third place, respectively. The winners each received Doraemon items from Animation International Licensing.

Aside from the performance of the ten competing groups, the audience was also treated to an anime-making demonstration by TOEI, anime-showing at the Hero TV booth and got the chance to have their pictures taken with Doraemon and cosplayers.

This event, geared toward the youth and the young at heart who appreciate Japanese popular culture and music, was co-organized by the Embassy of Japan and the Japan Foundation Manila with the cooperation of SM Supermalls, SM North EDSA, SM Cyberzone, Toei Animation Philippines, Nihongo Center Foundation, Center for Pop Music, Yoshinoya, Animation International Licensing, Ajinomoto, Canon, Heritage Hotel, Panasonic, Sony, Toshiba, and Yakult, with Hero TV and Max FM 103.5 as media partners of this year’s Philippines-Japan Friendship Month Celebration.

Peter Fernandez dies at 83; helped bring Japanese animation to American audiences


Fernandez voiced the main character of 'Speed Racer' and adapted the concept from the Japanese anime children's series in the 1960s.

July 25, 2010|By Valerie J. Nelson, Los Angeles Times

Peter Fernandez, who helped introduce the U.S. to Japanese animation in the 1960s by adapting the series "Speed Racer" for American audiences, has died. He was 83.

Fernandez, a voice actor who was also a writer and producer, died July 15 of cancer at his home in Pomona, N.Y., said his wife, Noel.

"He was a major pioneer of anime," said William Winckler, a Tarzana-based producer of English-language anime films. " 'Speed Racer' was once the most popular Japanese cartoon in America, and he did a wonderful job with it."

He gave voice to fast-talking action hero Speed Racer and wrote the English lyrics to the catchy theme song that can still cause many now-grown fans to bust out a line from the chorus: "Go, Speed Racer, go!"

A former child actor who had worked in radio, Fernandez was specializing in English dubbing of foreign films and animation when he was asked to adapt "Speed Racer," which first appeared in Japan as "Mach Go Go Go."

"The only instructions I had was to 'Americanize it,' which meant I could name all the characters and write the dialogue the way I wanted," he told the Houston Chronicle in 2008.

The 52-episode series debuted in 1967 and featured voice-overs by Fernandez and three other actors who took Speed Racer and friends on adventures in the Mach 5 super-car.

Naming the characters was the most fun, Fernandez often said. He called villains Cruncher Block and Guts Buster, and he delighted in writing such lines as "The secret film was filmed secretly."

Corinne Orr, the only surviving member of the dubbing cast, recalled that "he sent us through the Crooked Strait" and wrote rapid-fire dialogue to try to match the English to the fast-paced Japanese " mouth flaps."

"He loved his wordplay," Orr said, "and he got such joy later in life appearing at cartoon conventions all over the country, where people worshiped the fact he was the voice of Speed Racer and Racer X," the mysterious masked racer.

Born Jan. 29, 1927, in New York City, he was one of three children of Pedro and Edna Cooper Fernandez.

When his father's import-export business failed during the Depression, Fernandez started modeling at 7 to bring in money.

By 11 he was acting on Broadway with Ethel Barrymore in "Whiteoaks" and toured the country in the production.

As a teenager he appeared in several Broadway shows, including "Watch on the Rhine," which led to what Fernandez later called a "thrilling" experience: performing at the White House and dinner with President Franklin D. Roosevelt.

During World War II, Fernandez served in the Army and was assigned to the Pentagon, where he worked in communications, his wife said.

After the war, he sold stories to pulp magazines and acted in radio, television and film. The Times called Fernandez a "new-found film star" in 1949 after he appeared in the movie "City Across the River" with Tony Curtis.

  • Tatsunoko Production Co.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Square Enix To Sell Electronic Versions of Manga in U.S.


Square Enix, the publishing studio most widely known for its "Final Fantasy" series of video games, will electronically publish "localized versions" of its manga series to U.S customers.

Beginning this fall, Square Enix will tap its online store that it originally developed for its games business, and deliver manga series like "Fullmetal Alchemist" to its Web site. Square Enix also said that it would provide the first chapters of several popular manga titles to U.S. customers for free.

Square Enix did not say what the manga titles would eventually cost. Users will be required to sign up for a free membership to the store to buy manga, but users can visit the dedicated Square Enix manga site and download the first chapter for free.

Free versions of the manga series "Fullmetal Alchemist," "Soul Eater," "Black Butler," and "O-Parts Hunter" are currently on the site, Square Enix said. Four others - "The Record of a Fallen Vampire," "Pandora Hearts," "Sumomomo Momomo," and "Spiral: Bonds of Reasoning," are listed as "coming soon". (A note on the site currently says that the next update would be Aug. 2.)

Square Enix said that the number and the name of the manga titles it will eventually sell will be released later. The store, however, will be shown off at the Comic-Con convention in Los Angeles, which runs through this weekend.

Interestingly, Square Enix did not list Windows 7 or Linux as supported operating systems. Instead, either Windows XP, Windows Vista, or Mac OS X 10.4 or above will be required. Users can use either the Firefox 3.x or Safari 3.x browser to access the store, or Internet Explorer 6 (with Windows XP) or IE7 (with Vista). Adobe Flash Player 10 is required for all browsers.