Latenights comments

Posted in: Man arrested after applying for driver's license renewal while drunk See in context

No more apologies or excuses please, there is no justification for drinking beer and shochu before driving, whatever the time of day or night.

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Posted in: Apple's Jobs unveils $499 iPad tablet See in context

@ PenelopePitstop: Yup! I can't believe they went with iPad. Here's a video from 2007 that should have killed that idea...

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Posted in: Tokyo university gives away iPhones to nab truants via GPS See in context

All they have to do is disable the wireless mode and then claim the battery died, which it actually does, if you leave the wireless and GPS running all day.

How many PhDs got their heads together to come up with this nugget?

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Posted in: All your movies on a single DVD See in context

This sounds like another positive step on the inevitable path towards a complete overhaul of music, movie, picture and book licensing laws! The companies have to accept that the days of us suckers handing over cash for a piece of plastic containing a singe album or movie are dwindling away. With disc storage on this scale the only economical option will be to download material from the internet: if the license holders want their cut they'll have to make it fast, easy, of exceptionally high quality and CHEAP!

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Posted in: Proposed resident registry card for foreigners creates Big Brother concerns See in context

Noborito (and others): obliging foreign workers to join the national health insurance and pension schemes will have no impact on the companies employing them. Companies only pay contributions to the SOCIAL insurance and pension schemes, and then only for contracted "full-time" employees, which most eikaiwa and dispatch teachers are not. Even if the English translation of your contract describes your position as "full-time", under labour law it technically isn't, because it isn't a permanent "sha-iin" position. Japanese people who don't have permanent contracts have to pay into the NATIONAL insurance schemes, and they pay the full amount. Contracted company employees, Japanese or otherwise, pay into the SOCIAL insurance schemes, and their employers pay half.

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Posted in: Wife, two children arrested for father's murder in Hiroshima See in context

Cop: Yes, this is domestic abuse. You ought to seek protection.

Victim: Er, I thought I just did...?

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Posted in: Man held for stealing women’s underwear; police find 1,600 items in Tochigi home See in context

Sudo told police that he felt relaxed when he surrounded himself with the underwear

This is the best euphemism ever! It's up there with all the pervs who take up-skirt photos to "relieve stress".

1,600 - yuk!

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Posted in: Crews hoist ditched plane from Hudson River See in context

“That’s extremely rare,” Dickey said. “The chance of it hitting both engines, I’d guess it is less than 1 percent.”

You'd "guess" right, Dickey, since LaGuardia hosts 71 flights per hour, if one percent of them were rendered inoperative by birdstrikes it would happen roughly every 90 minutes or so. It's like saying that Starbucks sold more than a thousand lattes last year...

Now that's out of my system, kudos to the pilot! I thought happy endings like this only happened in Hollywood!

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Posted in: Man returns to Japan after stay at Mexico airport See in context

At least it sounds like someone got him to have a shower before getting on the plane, can you imagine having to sit next to a tramp for 12 hours? If I had money for flights to and from Mexico and three months to spare I'd be off the plane and out of the airport like a bat out of Hell! What a depressing waste.

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Posted in: Man dressed as woman arrested for shoplifting in Ikebukuro See in context


Sorry, mate, he has no talent as a thief: he got caught. A female shrink would only "understand him better" if she were also a cross-dressing, incompetent shoplifter. A cautionary note for others considering relieving their stress in public: either dress to turn heads or seek to be inconspicuous when committing petty crimes, you can't do both!

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Posted in: Woman standing on platform dies after being hit by passing train in Fukuoka See in context

likeitis -

No, it's not just the money I'm worried about: my point is that spending the money won't solve the problem of people not paying attention to the hazards around them. If money was all it took we could put up barriers by the roadside with gates that only open when the traffic has come to a stop, but many people might feel that paying attention in the street is easier and less obtrusive.

Of course I value this lady's life, her entire family is about to embark on probably the worst New Year they could ever have imagined, and I'm sorry that they have to go through that. But I stand by my original comment that awareness and thoughtfulness prevent more accidents throughout a person's life than a barrier at their local station.

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Posted in: Group seeks to scrap Google's Street View See in context

Japan may have strict legislation for protecting privacy, but it is BS in practice! My Ward Office has twice released my address to groups of elementary school kids (or teachers, I never got a straight answer out of them) whose homework was to interview a foreigner.

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Posted in: Woman standing on platform dies after being hit by passing train in Fukuoka See in context

Since no part of the train or station malfunctioned in any way I see no reason to spend a billion yen putting up barriers and gates. This is entirely the fault of the lady who drank to the point of being unable to take care of herself. This story is spreading rapidly around Fukuoka and lots of people will remember it when standing close to the yellow line on the platform. Awareness and thoughtfulness are more effective than any physical barrier (because they extend beyond the train station into every area of life) and they cost nothing.

Keep the stories circulating and make sure your kids hear them!

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Posted in: Moving alarm clock See in context

The next time the alarm sounds, you’re forced to jump out from under the duvet and embark on a bracing wake-up walk across the frozen wastes of the bedroom.

Not unless my "hitting snooze" sends it over my 8th floor balcony. How can anyone hate themselves enough to even try out an evil device such as this?

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Posted in: Yakuza may also be eligible for jury duty See in context

Yup, judicial progress: one step forward, two steps back...

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Posted in: Commuters' stamping harnessed for power See in context

I don't know if anyone is already doing this... The trains moving through the tunnels create strong winds, and the tunnels are fitted with fans to extract smoke in the event of a fire or other disaster. Bearing in mind I'm neither a physicist nor an engineer, would it be unreasonable to fit those extractor fans with bearings and connect them to generators, so that when they are not extracting smoke they could spin freely in the winds created by the movement of trains, generating electricity the whole time the trains are running?

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Posted in: 42-year-old police officer quits after flashing woman in Hokkaido See in context

I think if I was subjected to sexual abuse by a police officer in my own apartment, the last thing I would do is call more cops...

What a sad, sorry little man it is who can't handle the sight of a bit of underwear drying on the line without whipping it out and hoping for the best. God forbid he might be expected to exercise a little self-control once his willy gets hard.

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Posted in: Two members of train groping gang grabbed on Saikyo line in Saitama See in context

jbro888- Apart from the "cultural" aspect of shaming a company there is also a strong legal one: all employment contacts in Japan contain a clause concerning behavior which may bring the company into disrepute. That means that if you are arrested for a social offense, such as groping, and your name and employer are released to the media, you can safely be fired regardless of whether or not you are actually convicted of that crime.

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Posted in: 7-year-old boy killed in car crash in Fukushima See in context

My childhood was dominated by "Public Information" films on TV about such subjects as playing near railway lines, crossing the road, talking to strangers and wearing seatbelts. I really think Japan needs more of this information... I haven't seen these films for 30 years but I still remember them clearly enough to be cautious. Here's one of the more famous ones about seatbelts, but if you browse through the site you'll find lots more...

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Posted in: Mizuho Financial opens in-house day-care facility See in context

Sorry, I don't see this as either a good start or a step in the right direction. It's just enough for the Mizuho PR team to appear to be taking positive action, but not enough to actually provide ongoing, reliable support to working parents. The article here doesn't specify if "one day" means "every Tuesday" or "one day whenever your name reaches the top of the waiting list". This system doesn't appear to offer any kind of continuity for a working mother to hold down a regular job for any length of time. My other beef is that it is for the benefit of female employees: i.e. working fathers need no support because they have wives at home to raise their kids. This project does not treat employees as part of a family unit. Imagine, for example, a male employee whose wife has recently given birth to a second or third child, might that family not benefit from the eldest child entering day care at the father's workplace to 1) meet and mix with other children before starting school, and 2) allow the stay-at-home mother to cope better with her new baby? This project looks good on paper, but it fails to meet the real-life needs of working parents and it relieves Mizuho of any obligation to take further action. Nice try, but I'm not buying it.

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Posted in: Softbank boosting efforts to shore up sales of Apple Inc.'s iPhone 3G See in context

I don't suppose Softbank have considered the number of existing customers, like me, who intend to buy the iPhone but are tied into 2-year contracts with our existing phones...? They were foolish to expect crowds to run out and snap up the latest gadget when they themselves set out the 2-year discount plan! I will buy one, but softbank will just have to wait until next spring, and the way things are going now, I'll be getting a much better deal for the wait.

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