Japan Today

Seiryu comments

Posted in: 15-year-old girl killed by train while running across tracks in Osaka See in context

I love subways/the metro but I HATE open platforms below-ground, not least for the reason that people can shove you onto the tracks to try to kill you, and I've always wondered why there aren't more platform doors. At the SFO Airport BART station they have to put signs and cones up because apparently people try this all the time!

This falling-into-the-tracks problem tends to be less of an issue with aboveground light rail systems such as VTA in California; the rails are at street level, they tend to be a lot cleaner and the open ticket system is really a convenience. The airport-style people movers are much better with the trains behind a large wall with doors. Given the alleged cost of train suicides perhaps they need to get with the times and upgrade the station.

Hey, don't they usually sound a horn when the train goes through, and have a safe crawl space?

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Posted in: Muslim countries seek blasphemy ban See in context

They've been trying to pass something like this for years. And it looks like they're still at it...

you can do something about anti-Semitism but Islamophobia is out of bounds

No, it doesn't work that way. Or at least the way Butt wants it to work, which is probably discriminatory in itself as many commentators have noted. Why should we agree to not criticize Islam, until the followers of Islam will not criticize the Christians and atheists and all it's dissenters.

(that being said, Muhammed was a kind cat lover and I don't he would approve some of the things people do for "him". ditto for christ and others who have their images hijacked for a cult. )

There has to be a balance between freedom of expression and respect for others

Apparently the Islam countries don't know about the Streisand effect or the Internet yet. Take a example of how it works in America:

John publishes a racist sexist blog blasting the government, the jews, buddhists, islam, atheism, redheads and canadians, whatever. John is freely ridiculed by his fellow man and nobody takes him seriously. Problem solved.

John publishes some forbidden things such as the encryption keys for some DRM system or incriminating photos. Corporations and/or governments try to censor John. Information gets RTd and topic is trending on twitter in less than an hour.

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Posted in: Amazon cuts Kindle price, adds global version See in context

people just don't understand the hardware market. Apple makes about 12 cents a song

Margins on hardware vs. consumables vary between markets and vendors for various reasons. For Apple, their iPods are their highest margin item, but iTunes is razor-thin.

In game consoles, client hardware such as the Xbox 360 and the PlayStation 3 are commonly sold below build cost. The increased royalties made from the games (ARV $50) offset the revenue loss.

The Kindle allegedly costs about $189 to build (Slattery). Amazon sold it at what the market would bear, $350, to milk the early adopters, and then lowered the price to widen the tie-in market. I don't know the margins on traditional publisher eBooks, but books through Amazon's Digital Text Platform (DTP) net them 65%, with little overhead and the other 35% as royalty.

eBooks can be anywhere from $0.00 to around $9.99 top ARV. There is one for $6000 though - some nuclear physics book o__O...

As for usage, Kindle SUCKS for academic and reference use due to fragility, slow page turning, lack of color, etc. However, it is perfect for reading scanlations and browsing web on BART. So finally you can get caught up on Kuroshituji!

In conclusion, I would expect Kindle prices to be down for the holiday season, and they may be further depressed in response to SONY activity. $199 may be in the works!

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Posted in: Hassle-free espresso machine See in context

The hassle-free espresso machine is not only very common now, but it is not really novel either. Fully automatic espresso machines are everywhere, such as the Mastrena (and formerly the Verismo) used at Starbucks, and the popular Franke series used by Sodexho, McD and other places.

I personally have a Magnifica, which grinds, tamps and pulls shots with a single buttonpress. The used grounds are deposited into a convenient bin. But my favorite is still the La Marzocco series.

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Posted in: Behind the scenes with Windows 7 See in context

Behind that great marketing cant, anyone else wondering where they got all this data from?

Microsoft's Customer Experience Improvement Program, available since Windows XP and now implemented across a wide family of Microsoft products, allows users to voluntarily and anonymously send clickstream data to Microsoft. I assume this is where the "billions" of data is coming from.

In additon to CEIP, Microsoft utilises a large number of user study groups and other feedback to examine the usability of each feature. Take for example, Windows Online Crash Analysis with OS integration, another Microsoft innovation.

I can't wait for the production ("RTM") build of Windows 7. It will be exciting! :D.

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Posted in: Yoshinoya to take control of steak house Don See in context

Haha, a "tender" offer, to acquire a majority "stake" ;)

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Posted in: Senate bows to Bush and approves surveillance bill See in context

Did anyone else happen to monitor the ping times between the US and Europe during the weeks after the tall buildings fell? ... BTW, the ping times grew significantly, and haven't diminished since, and the trace routes no longer tell you where the packet is being monitored

I assume that many peering points on the Internet existed in datacenters in the buildings. Therefore, it could be expected that latency would increase if those links went down, and eventually replaced by different routes.

You might as well get used to it--electronic information will be monitored from this point out, period, whether it is legal or not to do so. We need to get used to the idea.

Gee, you mean like the secret police (Stasi, SS, etc) do in fascist societies?

For one, monitoring is too easy to do.



For two, it is impossible for a government to supervise the flow of information to prevent the monitoring of information.


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Posted in: DoCoMo to sell BlackBerry to individual users from August See in context

Seiryu -hearts- crackberry :D....

for medium sized frames, packet size = 512 bytes, then 80,000*512/1,000,000 = 41MB ...41 megabytes.

Mobile phone apps, though, tend to send in bursts of very small data packets (think e-mail, maps, etc), not to mention "chatty" protocols like IM and push-pull e-mail (fake push mails).

Just leave Outlook, MSN Messenger and AIM running 24/7 and see what your data bill comes up to. I think they call this "pakeshi" :P.

Any word on MTU?

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Posted in: Gelato See in context

The name of the store is "La Mer Riche", so blame the French, not the Japanese.

What is lamb raisin? Is it a lamb that has been fed only with raisins? Has anyone tried it to explain how does this flavour taste?

I don't know if it's been fed raisings, but rum is probably involved ;).

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Posted in: Masako and Aiko See in context

how nice to see mum and daughter together should happen more often


Has Masako really escaped the imperial jailhouse?

But apparently, you can't escape news agency paparazzi

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Posted in: Man dies after being hit by truck, several cars in Ibaraki See in context

These driving laws are frightening; I'll stick to the train.


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Posted in: Bush says world should condemn Myanmar's handling of cyclone See in context

Fortunately, the U.S. seems to be better at giving humanitarian aid to other countries than in our own.

Maybe the Myanmar military is afraid that FEMA will get involved and make it worse :O.

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Posted in: Supermarket operator Seiyu starts selling Dell PCs See in context

What is Seiyu?

It's like Meijer...

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Posted in: Asahi, Kagome to launch fizzy, low-alcohol vegetable drink See in context

I always knew that alcohol was healthy for you. And now this!

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Posted in: 'Yong-sama lunch box' to be sold at Seven-Eleven See in context

Convenience store Seven-Eleven Japan on Monday started accepting reservations

Table for two, please

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Posted in: Convenience store robber repents after 5 minutes See in context

What's "diversion"?

Usually some kind of community service, counseling classes, etc. Typically seen for juvenile offendors, petty violations and paricularly for DUI/DWAI types of crimes. Don't know if Japan's criminal justice system even has this, seems they are more interested in gaijin bike theft crime than drunk drivers?

horseshizer.... he was unemployed, so he probably wanted some free accomodation care of the government...

It's happened before.

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Posted in: Rescuers dig for thousands buried in China quake as death toll nears 12,000 See in context

I can't believe people are even putting the Olympics in the same conversation.

Agreed. In tragic times like these, there should be no political or diplomatic considerations, only concern for the citizens who are affected. Most victims of any natural disaster have nothing to do with any national circumstances, all they want is a bottle of water, maybe a cloth bandage, and shelter.

I wonder, is ICRC on this, or are they still held up with the Myanmar (Burma) hurricane aid situation?

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Posted in: McDonald's Japan eyes price hikes See in context

さすが 日本。。。 - as expected. Food in Japan has always been more expensive, just as it is on the East/West coasts of the US.

Food is going up EVERYWHERE, fast food included. It was already rare to find Jr. Whoppers/Dbl. Cheeses for $1 in the LAX area, and when prices for fries went up across the board nationwide, I knew it was coming to Japan soon. FYI, McD medium (8oz box) french fries used to be $1 in most locations, but that is now $1.40 on average, for $1 you get a 4oz bag.

Blame ethanol? Blame global warming? Blame Canada?

2. Why go to McD in Japan, when you can have a nice, BSE-free gyudon or tamagoyaki?

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Posted in: Cindy McCain says she'll never release her tax returns See in context

Anyone with a brain

... will not use ad-hominem attacks and other such fallacies. Thus leaving the idiots (liberal AND conservative pundits alike) out of the conversation. Don't be a hater.

Now, anyways. If someone were to release their tax documents voluntarily to the public and not part of any legal requirement or investigation, then how do we know the documents are accurate?

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Posted in: What advantages does married life offer in an era of increasing divorce rates? See in context

Tax breaks anyone? Surprised nobody's mentioned the financial side of it.

One advantage marriage has is the chance to get divorced.

Absolutely correct.

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Posted in: Japan to propose copyright fees on iPods, digital hard disk recorders See in context

It just looks like Japan wants to make money off of products that they didn't invent.

Record companies != Japan. And besides, many of the portable music players that woudl be taxed are designed and manufactured in Japan. Even many of the iPods contain a 3.5" Toshiba notebook hard drive from Japan (along with other sources such as Samsung, WD, etc).

It would be interesting to see how much of that money goes to SONY MUSIC.

and JVC (Victor), Avex, etc?

Every wonder why Iphone isn't here in Japan?

Because Japan uses WCDMA, and iPhone is originally a GSM 2G device, so it will need a new radio core to work here? (Or maybe because users feel the hardware and services here are good enoguh already).

Flat out, bottom line is....when it comes to creativity the Western world rules. We make better products for life. This is the truth.

Are you including Europe? When it comes to creativity, I would say Ikea hardly "rules" in that regard.

We invented the fork while they still eat with sticks. They cut down forests and hurt the environment while we were smart enough to make cutlery that's reuseable.

Those "sticks" (hashi, and by other names) are typically made of bamboo, a fast growing grass, and are typically reuseable. I find it more versatile than forks and you don't have to have a different size for the salad and the main course. On the other hand, plastic forks are made from petroleum distillates and degrade very slowly in landfills.

Many innovations such as paper were invented in Asia. So, on that note, do you use paper from FSG certified forests, with post consumer content and a bleach-free process, or are you just a hypocritical bigot?

Japan must learn it can't ice skate uphill.

Technically, you CAN skate uphill. It's just a matter of the incline versus the amount of power you can produce.

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