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Posted in: Plum job See in context

Going to hell in a handbasket.

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Posted in: Google plugs free PC-to-phone calling into e-mail See in context

Interesting...

Google charges $0.11/minute to call a mobile phone in Japan, while my Softbank "W White" (Double White) discount plan charges 21 yen/minute (actually 10.5 yen/30 seconds) to call a non-Softbank phone, such as Docomo or au.

For anyone with a smartphone, this is a much cheaper way to make mobile-to-mobile calls, especially given current exchange rates.

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Posted in: Rockers embark on musical pilgrimage to Mt Fuji to fight cancer See in context

These musicians climbed Mt. Everest? Is it that easy or are they exceptionally good climbers? With instruments strapped to their sherpas' backs?

No, they did the concert at base camp. Even with guides and sherpas, it isn't that easy to summit...

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Posted in: Bath robe and towel in one See in context

I can see people wearing these on the streets in the not too distant future.

With Crocs, of course...

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Posted in: Death of Maki Goto's mother followed downward spiral See in context

It's called Fukuroda no Taki (袋田の滝).

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Posted in: What behavior or habits by passengers on planes bother you the most? See in context

people who can't seem to board without a steaming, venti-sized coffee balanced precariously amongst a newspaper, paperback, several large bags and a laptop.

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Posted in: 'House' is world's most popular TV show See in context

Perhaps because the show is broadcast in other countries as well? It's on many cable networks here in Japan, but they call it "Dr. House" instead. Season 4 is just starting, and it's a great show. He's a misanthrope with a sharp tongue...

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Posted in: Ken Ishiguro to star as wrongly accused in drama about sarin gas attack in Matsumoto See in context

Maria - it was "Nippon no Kuroi Natsu - Enzai" (日本の黒い夏─冤罪).

It was indeed a good movie, and it cast the police in a rather bad light.

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Posted in: Police stymied by ineptness, lack technical savvy See in context

the police won't improve their investigation techniques until the courts demand it. as long as judges rubber-stamp guilty verdicts at a 99.9% rate based solely on single-person accusations and backroom confession tactics, there is no incentive for improvement.

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Posted in: Somali pirates vow retaliation after captain freed See in context

Interesting that the pirates make no mention of France, which has been much more aggressive in storming vessels held for ransom and killing/capturing pirates during the past few months.

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Posted in: Japan's richest man calls goverment policy 'superficial' See in context

onewrldoneppl:

Gotta disagree with you on this. While Yanai might personnally buy some foreign brand-name goods, it's difficult to argue with what he's done for the Japanese economy. Fast Retailing and Uniqlo drive an entire ecosystem of advertising, distribution, production and retail operations in Japan. And, while they manufacture wherever it makes the most sense, they also work with Japanese textile companies, and their collaboration with Toray for the development of the HeatTech line of clothing is a prime example. Also, as Japanese companies, Uniqlo and Fast Retailing pay salaries, taxes and employee benefits for more than 8,000 employees while simultaneously providing quality, low-cost clothing for Japanese consumers.

If Yanai wants to buy a few foreign cars, on which he also pays Japanese taxes, I'd say he can do so without upsetting the balance too much.

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Posted in: Masatoshi Nakamura sheds tears over son's drug arrest See in context

Nice tears. Now I'm impressed with his acting skills.

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Posted in: Is television going the way of other obsolete media? See in context

It seems clear we will eventually be getting most of our content from the net, in HD quality, when we want it. I even question the necessity of the push to digital TV broadcasts - except to sell more TVs, of course :-)

Given the switch to HDD recorders, I wonder if anyone has performed any studies to try and measure the effect that time shifting has on advertising effectiveness. The poor content aside, the ROI may be going down quickly...

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Posted in: Developing countries want say in world finance See in context

What's that old joke? Brazil is the country of the future - and always will be.

The "white people with blue eyes" gambit is similar to that used by the likes of Chavez and Mugabe...

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Posted in: Work-life balance more important than ever See in context

What is actually important is how efficiently people work during normal hours.

This is the key point, IMO. If you don't increase productivity, overtime costs continue to remain high, and the work-life balance is unachievable.

The problem is that the bucho sitting at the front desk has most likely spent most of his adult life in the present inefficient system and might not be up to the task of driving change...

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Posted in: American Airlines adds customer-recognition technology See in context

never mind names. it would be a major step forward if they could get some of their flight attendants to greet customers at all.

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Posted in: 18 people to be prosecuted over insulting messages on comedian's blog See in context

His name is Smiley Kikuchi.

This Japanese Wikipedia entry discusses the case, including today's news: http://ja.wikipedia.org/wiki/%E3%82%B9%E3%83%9E%E3%82%A4%E3%83%AA%E3%83%BC%E3%82%AD%E3%82%AF%E3%83%81

Here's his blog: http://ameblo.jp/smiley-kikuchi/

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Posted in: Life is a Big Issue See in context

Here's our man:

http://www.bigissue.jp/vendor/vendor110.html

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Posted in: Glamour girl Jessica Michibata makes the right moves See in context

ultradodgy: Try a Google image search using her name. For even more hits, enter her name in Japanese: 道端ジェシカ I think you'll find some "less manly" pics...

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