Japan Today

Kaz Kylheku comments

Posted in: 5 Royal Marines charged with murder in Afghanistan See in context

The question is, how well do the insurgents follow the Geneva Convention?

Have they signed anything, first of all?

Wikipedia says "The Conventions apply to a signatory nation even if the opposing nation is not a signatory, but only if the opposing nation "accepts and applies the provisions" of the Conventions."

Do the insurgents accept and apply the provisions?

Because there is little sense in holding some soldiers to standards which are flouted by their enemies.

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Posted in: Facebook won't remove murder page in Australia See in context

I agree with combinibento. It is freedom of expression. If some jury members want to form their opinion in stupid ways, like based on some rant they read on Facebook, rather than paying attention to the facts of the case that they have straight from the horse's mouth, there isn't anything you can do about it. They are idiots and that is ultimately the root cause of the trial being unfair, not that Facebook refused to remove something.

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Posted in: AKB48 looking ahead to 'Kohaku Uta Gassen' on New Year's Eve See in context

AKB48 better be in the Kouhaku.

Because if not, they will be crying on TV, like that time they didn't win some lame music prize.

And that will be irritating and embarassing, watching grown girls bawl their eyes out like toddlers whose toy was taken away.


Or, no, heck, bring it on!

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Posted in: Corporate bribery crackdown around the world put on back burner in recession See in context

Transparency International tried to set me up with phoney government officials, but I ... saw right through them.

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Posted in: Chinese dust cloud improves 'smelly natto' See in context

First time I made my own natto, the smell came to me in my sleep and I woke up in the middle of the night with this oppressive feeling, haha. Then I got used to it. I should start doing it again; haven't made it in a couple of years. Don't mess with natto.

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Posted in: Baking in Japan See in context

Anyone seen raw yeast?

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Posted in: The state of kissing in Japan See in context

@ben4short "Kissing encompasses a very special, uniquely personal intimacy, one that is also found in the West. It is for this reason that a prostitute will often forbid her customer from kissing her."

ROFL. Is this personal experience, or just what you learned from Julia Roberts in Pretty Woman?

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Posted in: The state of kissing in Japan See in context

@chumura "It amazes me that public affection is so frowned upon in Japan where soap lands, delivery health, pink salons, oppai clubs are just around the corner"

Those places may be open to the public, but what goes on inside is not in public. It's behind closed doors, in private rooms. In public, some of that would not only be frowned upon but likely get people arrested.

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Posted in: The state of kissing in Japan See in context

Who cares about public? Public displays of anything are reserved in Japanese society. It's not a valid data point about how people really are. It says nothing about true behind-closed-doors intimacy.

You know, those American style public displays are actually in bad taste. This is why we have the phrase "get a room". And that, in turn, is a rude order, mutually embarassing to everyone.

Also, another thing is that surveys have to be properly conducted to eliminate the likelihood that people give dishonest answers, especially if the surveys are about something that is considered embarassing if leaked to the public. If the woman kissed 20 guys, she will put down 5 unless she's completely convinced that her answer sheet cannot be traced back to her.

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Posted in: Smokers find new haven in Japan, but for a price See in context

Funny how some of these smoking lunatics label everyone who opposes their oppression as a "puritan".

What if someone is a beer-guzzling, motorcycle-riding womanizer, but doesn't like cigarette smoke? Still puritan?

Fact is, you are careless and inconsiderate. Not only do you make bad air, but most of you litter. And start fires.

You know, how about when you see an attractive woman, who don't you just go ahead and fondle her breasts? If she doesn't like it, she must be a prude! Just a few hundreds of years ago, you could get away with that, but now the world is suddenly run by all these damn puritans. Don't do this, don't to that, geez.

Fact is, people who disregard the rights of others will say anything in defense of their beliefs.

Heck, they will even go to war. What was the Civil War in America? A bunch of loons thought it was okay to enslave another human being, and were willing to actually march into battle and die for this.

So of course it's hardly surprising that some smoker thinks it's his or her right to puff in your face, or throw butts onto your balcony, etc.

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Posted in: Whistleblower wins in Supreme Court See in context

Re: Bob Sneider:

Wow, I never realized corporations here were so backwards. They target children?

The story does not say the companies do this, but that the children become victims of discrimination.

You know how it goes.

At the dinner table, Dad says, Tanaka-san is a real jerk who makes everyone miserable in my department. The children know who he's talking about, and bring that issue to school, where Tanaka's kids also go.

Soon, they are sitting by themselves at lunch, excluded from games, etc.

Solution: don't be a jerk at work!

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Posted in: Whistleblower wins in Supreme Court See in context

The story, as presented here on JT, makes little sense.

Relaying to your bosses that a supplier is luring away good employees is not whistle-blowing.

Well, it may be department-level whistle-blowing: reporting that there is a local culture in your section of the company which breaks company rules. But, in that case, it doesn't make sense to have a fight with the company as a whole.

That is to say, you would think that the highest level of management at Olympus would agree with Hamada. I mean, are they happy if their best employees are being lured away? If so, why have a rule.

I suspect that Hamada was a problem employee who made the lives of those around him difficult, and the highest levels of management at Olympus sided with the others (probably for very good, well-informed reasons).

People who get ostracized and builled in the work place almost always deserve it. They have bad personalities, and those around them retaliate.

If 10 people "bully" 1, what is more probable? That a gang of 10 bullies was simultaneously hired in one place? Or that the problem actually lies with the 1 person?

Aggression, in its various forms, is not a tool that is used exclusively by "bad" people. If there is a dickhead in your workplace, you band together with other good people and take action.

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Posted in: Smokers find new haven in Japan, but for a price See in context

Regarding this "ippuku", it doesn't seem to be part of a counting pattern. That is to say, two and three cigs are not nifuku and sanbuku --- as far as I am able to Google up, anyway.

What if we use -fuku as a counter, and apply it to something else that is sucked or blown?

"Shigekun, nande kyou nikoniko egao shiteru no?"

"Nee, kesa, kanojou ni sanbuku hodo wo moraimashite yokatta kara da yo!"

"Sugoi naaa. Bokura amerika jin naraba, ore ga ima 'yuu da man!' to ieba ii ne."


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Posted in: Changes to driver's license test eyed after Chinese man arrested for cheating See in context

Come to Canada. In B.C., you can have a personal translator there when you're taking this exam.

No shirt, no shoes, no English? No problem!


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Posted in: Baby dead 'for a day' as mother chats on Internet forums See in context

I doubt she said "too much hassle". The original was probably along the lines of something like "sugoi tai hen da naa" which could translate as "too much hassle", but not unambiguously so, and it is not necessarily a bad thing for an exasperated parent to say.

In English when we say too much hassle, it usually has the meaning that something is very difficult or inconvenient, and consequently that we are giving up (corresponding to something like "tai hen dakara akiramechau yo").

It's better find the original if you're going to criticize what someone said, rather than quoting a translation. That's like being one step away in the game of telephone.

This poor woman is going to live a life filled with regret.

I think that after losing that first child, she was not in a sound mind any more. Ignoring a child who has a fever and not noticing that the child died is a sign of mental illness. One definition of mental illness is that it's a condition which prevents an individual from functioning.

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Posted in: Beckham fails to make Britain's Olympic team See in context

Past prime at 37? So says edojin above, but, you know, sometimes 30-somethings take the medal away from the teens or 20-somethings.

There were three spots for older players and they each went to someone; just not to Beckham.

According to Wikipedia's "Great Britain Olympic Football Team" page:

``The Great Britain squad has yet to be announced. Media sources, however, have revealed that the three over-aged players will be Micah Richards, Ryan Giggs and Craig Bellamy.''

Though Richards is only 24, Bellamy is 32 and Giggs is 38.

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Posted in: United Technologies sent military copter tech to China See in context

Pratt & Whitney Canada pleaded guilty to violating a U.S. export control law?

Canada's provinces are to the USA what the Eastern Bloc was to the USSR.

Washington fiddles and Ottawa dances.

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Posted in: What do you think of cloud computing? See in context

Storing data on some remove server does not necessarily mean that the administrators of that server have access to the data. Data can be encrypted before it is sent to the remote server. However, that depends on the kind of application.

For instance if you put a mail server into the cloud, well, it has to accept clear-text SMTP connections on port 25. So that data centre has access to all your e-mail.

One possible problem with cloud computing is putting the eggs in one basket. If a single cloud data centre is destroyed, there go thousands of servers. (But on the other hand, there is possibly an environmental benefit, as I note below.)

The main benefit of cloud computing is bandwidth. Even if you run a website out of your own office, you can save bandwidth by putting the static content like large images and videos into the "cloud". Just point the URL's there.

Basically, what is a cloud? It is vapor. And the word "vapor" has been used for a long time in computing with negative connotations: namely as part of the word "vapor ware". My domain is served by a machine that is chugging away here, right under the desk where I'm typing this and this gives me a good feeling.

Now, suppose I had to relocate. During the move, I cannot receive e-mail. Instead, I could use the cloud as a kind of temporary shelter: put everything on a cloud server until a new home is established with a solid net connection. Then, back to serving it from home.

Depending on what kind of deal you have for the service, and how much you pay for electricity if you run your own, it could be cheaper to go with the cloud.

Even if it's not cheaper, I believe cloud data centers save energy. If a million customers each operate a server computer, that requires more wattage than a farm of servers that is able to serve up one million virtual machines.

When those million computers are discarded, that creates more waste.

Basically it's a complicated question, somewhat. There are numerous issues, and it boils down to: clouds are here, in what way, if any, can I use them to my advantage, and under what circumstances, while avoiding disadvantages.

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Posted in: 'War on drugs' fueling HIV epidemic See in context

I don't agree with Opinionhated in that I don't think that the war on drugs ever had "good intentions". Controlling what people do with their lives and bodies is not good intentions. It's just oppression of the individual by the state. It is misuse of the control of power.

Grownups don't need to be protected from themselves; we reserve that for minors.

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Posted in: Facebook email switch prompts outcry See in context

Are these really "default" addresses? (If Facebook in fact changed addresses which users manually configured themselves, then it's misleading to say that a default has been changed; in that case, a user preference has been clobbered.)

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Posted in: More women in their 40s dating younger men See in context

aitsu wa, aitsu wa kawaii

toshi shita no otoko no ko!


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Posted in: 46 things that surprise foreigners in Japan See in context

I would think the implied comparison regarding the 7-11 bread would, rationally, be with its 7-11 counterpart in America. Don't you think?

Of course it's not good on some absolute scale, or compared with some proper "artisan bakery" bread, doh?

Of course convenience store stuff in general isn't great food.

But the surprise is that it's actually EDIBLE in Japan. And some of it is good. (E.g. Mini Stop's ice cream).

North American 7-11 food is absolutely not edible at all, so Japanese 7-11 is surprising in this regard.

But, this article is written from an American point of view. Some of the points are not surprising or less surprising to, say, Europeans. Would someone from Switzerland be surprised by trains being on time?

And what's with the electronic highway tolling being surprising????

Come on, transponder based tolling is used world over. It is based on 1960's technology.

In British Columbia, Canada, if you drive over the recently built Golden Ears Bridge, cameras scan your license plate and you get a bill in the mail. This is image recognition: quite a bit more advanced than receiving an ID from a transponder.

Look at the "electronic toll collection" Wikipedia article: "In the 1960s and 1970s, free flow tolling was tested with fixed transponders at the undersides of the vehicles and readers, which were located under the surface of the highway." And: "Norway has been the world's pioneer in the widespread implementation of this technology. ETC was first introduced in Bergen, in 1986, operating together with traditional tollbooths."

I suspect this article was hammered out on a typewriter and then OCR-ed by a Japan Today clerk. :)

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