motytrah comments

Posted in: Google adds street views inside nuclear zone See in context

@Get Real That's a bit uncalled for. Google put a lot of time and resources into disaster relief, communications, technology and fund raising for Japan.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Posted in: U.S. senators want no exemptions for Japan over TPP See in context

Looking at the Big Mac Index the Yen is currently about parity with the USD right now. While China is about 40% undervalued. The Japanese need to push their currency down. Their goods had become way too expensive in the West. Korea (about 35% undervalued) and China were sticking to Japanese manufacturers.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Posted in: Puerto Rico beats Japan to reach WBC final See in context

The article makes too much about beating the US. The roster is a real mixed bag, but the real issue is the players are very concerned about getting injured with the regular season right around the corner. An injury at this point could cost a player millions. US performance is exhibition quality.

Other teams are a bit more GANBARU about the whole thing however.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Posted in: Korea’s ban on pachinko gambling sees increase in gamblers coming to Japan See in context

I don't understand why Korean tourists would go to Japan for small pachinko play when they could fly a little bit further to Macau for real gambling? Japan is certainly a bit safer but it's a much smaller operation.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: Okinawa's off-base housing may suffer infestation of Chinese bugs See in context

The Chinese gov't loves bugs. It's become very common for communist party members to bug each other in the mainland. China is quite advanced in with it's eavesdropping technologies. It should surprise anyone that they would conduct intelligence operations in Japan. The local cops at Koban aren't going to know what's going on.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Posted in: Microsoft tablet computer to go on sale in Japan on March 15 See in context

Windows RT is DOA. It's already speculated that developers are dropping right and left off the RT boat. It's far more likely that Full WIndows 8 will be the go forward for MS. There are so few apps on RT compared to Regular Windows, Android and (especially) Apple iOS.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Posted in: 2 U.S. sailors get 9-10 years for raping woman in Okinawa See in context

@umioso I don't think the US military leaving would change crime rates. If anything they'd go up per capita as US Military members are actually far less likely to commit crime.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: 2 U.S. sailors get 9-10 years for raping woman in Okinawa See in context

@Fadamor SOFA is also your best friend because you're left US custody until charged. That short circuits the normal J-Cop way of doing things. Prosecutors don't like to charge people without confessions. J-Cops like to get confessions by holding people for long durations without charge. Obviously it was open and shut for those rapists mentioned here. But for other kinds of cases the J-Cops would actually be forced to do real police work.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Posted in: Boeing stands by lithium-ion batteries See in context

Airbus has to change battery types. There's too much of a cloud around them and it becomes a risk where the FAA could hold up operating certificates if they use Li-on batteries. Airbus then is in the position where they have to depend on Boeing getting things kosher with the FAA. Using alternative batteries doesn't preclude them from using Lion later on to save weight later on. Since they are using a full bleed system they need far less batteries than the 787. It's a logical move.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Japan cast as villain in global currency war drama See in context

So a bunch of westen hedge funds that have been manipulating the currency up in the first place are whining that the yen is back to 2010-2011 rates? Cry me a river. When the exchange rate hits 140JPY to 1 USD I might start listening, but 93JPY to 1 USD? Whatever.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

Posted in: Miss Hooters Japan 2013 - vote now See in context

If you go out to the website there's a lot more girls in the vote. Including a few western girls. Though I can't imagine why a girl would work at Hooters in Japan. At least in the USA the girls can extract some pretty impressive tips.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: U.S. safety board finds clue on 787 fire; faults FAA review See in context

@Fadamor That argument would be more convincing if there was any sign that GSY has applied some sort of renforcement to the separator film. Or if they had augmented the chemistry with something similar to NMC. From what I'm reading they focused on containment measures and monitoring. And for the most part that more or less worked as the thermal runaway situation didn't seem to create a fire that spread to the rest of the plane (ala Swissair 111 fatel In-flight Entertainment System Fire.)

There's going to have to be a change in the batteries. This isn't going to be fixed just in the power/charging systems.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: TV drama captures public angst at 'Made in Japan' decline See in context

I don't see a lot of difference between Japan and Germany. Both countries firmly believe that if you don't build things than you have a shaky economy. The advantage Germany has is the Euro can't be easily manipulated like the Yen. Too bad for Germany they ended up with Greece in the Union.

The issue for these companies is they put billions of dollars into making factories for display panels. They didn't count on the Yen become so high that the Koreans could advance without really any technical or manufacturing breakthroughs. The 2000's investments aren't paying off and it's crushing them.

@slowguy2 Japan started by coping the US and Europe. Eventually they invested a lot in R&D and started pulling ahead in a number of areas. Both in terms of processing and actual technology. Together that meant quality components. To this day Motherboard makers still advertise "Japanese made Capacitors" on the box because of the quality problems that still exist with Chinese made caps.

@nihoncritic That's about right, and generally the same route the US went.

All that being said, just because they are Japanese doesn't mean they are automatically compedent. In my home state Fuji and Siemens both purchased well regarded software development companies to bolster US operations. Fuji ran theirs into the ground by trying to micromanage things from Japan eventually driving away most of the staff, while Siemens went all in with transferring many Europeans and ended up with a strong local presence.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Posted in: U.S. safety board finds clue on 787 fire; faults FAA review See in context

I think what this is going to come down to is when everybody is in charge then nobody is in charge. Boeing has some overall specifications but way too much engineering work was left to Thales and GSY.

That's not a new thing per se. My uncle worked for Panasonic Battery for a decade. It was pretty common for them to assign engineers to design the power and charging system for the customer.

The problem is we're not talking about consumer electronics. We're looking at an airplane that has all sorts of forces and dynamics that really need aerospace engineers to understand. The consequences could be catastrophic. You look at Tesla and Chevy. They are very hands on with battery design, chemistry, control and charging electronics even though they are outsourcing to Korea, China and Japan to finish the product.

Ultimately I think Boeing needed to own the engineering chain and needed to be much more hands on. And the really sad thing about this is they are solving problem that have already been solved by companies like Chevy and Tesla. This didn't need to happen.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Posted in: Japan says 2 Russian fighters breached its airspace See in context

This is standard operating procedure for Russia. They run over European boarders weekly. NATO spends a considerable about of time and money playing a game of "I'm not touching you..." It's the same thing in Asia. Russia at least has the good sense not to start a war, whereas the North Koreans are liable to actually open fire on people.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: U.S. safety board finds clue on 787 fire; faults FAA review See in context has a great detail write up. While the battery packs meet specifications, there are serious questions on if the design was up to the task.

"The lithium-ion cells within the 787 batteries use a graphite-coated copper anode and a lithium cobalt oxide-coated aluminum cathode. The anode and cathode are separated by a very thin polyethylene film known as the separator."

This is design is what Chevy went through with the Volt. The thin film can have problem where it deforms and causes a short. Next thing you know, thermal run-away. Chevy ended up applying a ceramic coating to the separator film. The 787 uses a plain film and the design is highly suspect. Bottom line, the cells are not designed half as well as the ones used in modern electric cars like the Volt or Tessa Sedan.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Posted in: AKB48 singer shaves her head as act of contrition for dating See in context

@Peter Payne That's certainly where her career is going to end up. You'll make some nice bank off that I bet!

One thing people don't understand is the talent agency has all the power. Sure idols today do much better than 80's idols. Back then they lived in nice company owned apartments and dated who the company told them to date... until the next new thing came along and they got tossed aside with almost no money or rights. Now days the idols will get paid $100K+ when they reach high level. But it's pennies compared to what a similarly popular western act would make.

A number of posts say she should just break off and become a solo act. Yeah, Japanese media isn't western media. Getting dropped by the talent agency means no media exposure at all. It's a very difficult path. She's pretty much at the mercy of the agency.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: Okinawans rally in Ginza See in context

@Wonbatto Go out to and do a search on Osprey. There are several detailed articles dealing with the technical issues and policial cover-ups that have been going on with the 20+ year R&D program.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

Posted in: Okinawans rally in Ginza See in context

As an American, i'm fine with letting Japan and Korea defend themselves. I don't think the money when get from the host nations comes close to covering out actual expenses. Which is the reason I don't think they'll even ask the US to leave.

The Osprey is a POS in my opinion. They made a number of design compromises in order to produce a plane the marines could use on an aircraft carrier. A number of reports blame the rotors being too close to why there have been more crashes than expected. I wish I could get our money back.

On a practical matter let's say things escalate between China and Japan. The US is obligated to enter the battlefield. We'll need money in order to do that. The current "bagman" for US debt is ... China. So yeah. On the other hand China getting into a war would crush their international markets both in North America and Europe.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Posted in: Yen tumbles as gov't unveils big spending plan See in context

Serrano is right. The inflated value of the Yen has become a huge drag on the economy as Japanese made products have become way too expensive in the world marketplace. This will likely be a bump. The US Congress will surely mess up the debt ceiling a little bit, and that is likely to cause a bump.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Posted in: Boeing defends Dreamliner, but safety questions remain See in context

@FPSRussia Mitsubishi is moving into the regional airline market. They received a rather large order on behalf of a US provider the other month. Speculation is they'll fly for United, American or Delta. Several Japanese companies also contributed quite a bit to the 787 program...although they may have been the cause for a lot of the delays at well.

You're spot on about those Tupolevs. Ugh.

Most Chinese use are variants of old US planes. Specifically they got the tools and plans for the DC9 and MD90 and have been making all sorts of variants ever since. They use western engines and control systems. They have been trying to get the Russians to make engines in China for a while but even they know they'll end up getting ripped off in the deal.

Despite China not exactly being a super power to making planes, many of the largest airplane maintenance facilities are in China. All you need is couple FAA and EASA certified master mechanics to sign off on the work of a couple hundred technicians.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Japan to survey Pacific seabed for rare earths See in context

@Nathaw is spot on. Before China really go involved in it the US and Australia where the biggest producers. But China can produce them for much less because they don't have the same levels of environmental protection to adhere to.

Molycorp has production issues, and they are holding back on additional investment in processing facilities until market conditions improve and they get a handle on their current upgrades and yields. Most of these companies are in a tough spot because China can easily mess with the market by creating artificial scarcity and then flood the market when other try to move in.

On the other hand the US just $120M into a rare earth research incubator because they see it as a strategic resource. I believe the Aussies are doing the same thing. Japan would be wise to throw their lot in with a couple Western countries to have various supplies to work with.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Posted in: Boeing defends Dreamliner, but safety questions remain See in context

It's politically sensitive for JAL or ANA to go on the record with concerns about the batteries. According to news reports the packs where made by GS Yuasa Corp, a Japanese company.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: U.S. cops, in-flight movies may be model for Panasonic survival See in context

I have some sympathy for the Japanese electronic makers. It's not their fault that manipulating the price of JPY became of sport of hedge funds and investment banks. The best thing that could happen to these companies is a 10-20% decline of the JPY.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Posted in: Cruising See in context

Cruise is apparently very talented with working a room in real life. Not just for his fans, but he's supposedly very nice to cast and crew. Another interesting oddity, Cruise does not read scripts. The studio arranges a full cast table read and based on the that he'll decide to do the movie or not.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Convenience store employee stabbed in botched Christmas eve robbery See in context

In Japan it's not unheard of for management to instruct employees to resist.

-4 ( +2 / -6 )

Posted in: 'Gangnam Style' hits one billion views on YouTube See in context

Psy isn't a 15 minute act. Sure he may not hit it this big around the world again, but he's been around long enough. 5 albums, 2 EPs, 19 Singles, and 6 videos. He also comes from money and a number of media outlets think that equates to better positioning on the revenue share than most KPop groups.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Posted in: Christmas message See in context

Almost certainly a Evangelical Protestant thing. You don't see the Lutherans or Catholics doing these kinds of shenanigans.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Posted in: Nintendo's TVii a replacement for the remote See in context

I have the Wii U and I have to say the Netflix and Amazon VOD applications are lightyears ahead of anything on XBox or PS3. It will be interesting to see the TVii application. HOWEVER, keep in mind that TVii in the US will be significantly different from the service in the Japan. For one, the TVii in Japan is a subscription service, and it will have a different set of Japanese companies.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: NHK to broadcast 'Kohaku Utagassen' in Super Hi-Vision at 2 locations See in context

Basically 8K, 60fps progressive, streaming in at 500mb/s. Most Digital Movie Theaters are 4K these days. Experts say that 8K is pretty much at the end game in television. The human eye just can't resolve anything more. Some people think 4K is DOA because you might as well skip to 8K.

But 8K actually poses some problems. On a wide shot people become so engrossed in being in the action that it's jarring when they switch camera shots.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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