#japan

Takashi Amano:

Apple boosted iPhone shipments in Japan to 36.6 percent of the market in the year ended March, up from 25.5 percent a year earlier, according to Tokyo-based MM Research Institute Ltd. The Cupertino, California-based smartphone maker shipped 14.43 million phones in Japan the past fiscal year, the researcher said.

The number two player, Sharp, has 13 percent of the market. It’s really too bad that the Japanese hate the iPhone, or Apple could probably control 100 percent of the market. *Snicker*

secondverse
secondverse:

theatlantic:

The World’s Newest Island, Niijima

The Earth is geologically dynamic. Mountains and oceans are created and destroyed over millions of years. Almost nothing is permanent on the face of the planet.
In a human lifespan, it’s easy to ignore this reality. That is, until a volcano creates a new island.
In late November, a few days before Thanksgiving, an eruption began in the Pacific Ocean about 600 miles south of Tokyo in the Ogasawara Islands. Over the last few weeks, an island has formed at the volcanic site. People are calling the new land mass Niijima. 
The island has an area of about 14 acres and it continues to grow. NASA’s Earth Observatory released new images of it today. 
Read more. [Image: NASA]


This is frankly amazing. Human time and geologic time rarely intersect.

Insane.

secondverse:

theatlantic:

The World’s Newest Island, Niijima

The Earth is geologically dynamic. Mountains and oceans are created and destroyed over millions of years. Almost nothing is permanent on the face of the planet.

In a human lifespan, it’s easy to ignore this reality. That is, until a volcano creates a new island.

In late November, a few days before Thanksgiving, an eruption began in the Pacific Ocean about 600 miles south of Tokyo in the Ogasawara Islands. Over the last few weeks, an island has formed at the volcanic site. People are calling the new land mass Niijima. 

The island has an area of about 14 acres and it continues to grow. NASA’s Earth Observatory released new images of it today.

Read more. [Image: NASA]

This is frankly amazing. Human time and geologic time rarely intersect.

Insane.

Anonymous asked:

If Apple were to buy Nintendo, how do you think Nintendo would be managed?

The only way I think it would work is if the company is allowed to run autonomously. That’s obviously not in Apple’s DNA — though Steve Jobs largely did allow Pixar to operate that way (as a stand-alone separate company, of course), and now Disney seems to as well.

The big issue that everyone brings up with regard to this is Nintendo’s unwillingness to sell, and certainly not to an American company. I just can’t see how this would ever work if Apple tried to buy the company and forced them under the control of Cupertino. The blood would probably be bad on both sides. 

Pete Wells:

I could go on against tipping, but let’s leave it at this: it is irrational, outdated, ineffective, confusing, prone to abuse and sometimes discriminatory. The people who take care of us in restaurants deserve a better system, and so do we.

That’s one reason we pay attention when a restaurant tries another way, as Sushi Yasuda in Manhattan started to do two months ago. Raising most of its prices, it appended this note to credit card slips: “Following the custom in Japan, Sushi Yasuda’s service staff are fully compensated by their salary. Therefore gratuities are not accepted.”

A million times “yes!” From Japan to Uber, the future is clear: death to tips.

Eric Pfanner on the social messaging app Line:

The stickers may seem silly, but they were the first step in Line’s plan to expand beyond cheap communications and turn itself into a broader media and entertainment platform. Many other companies’ mobile applications, messaging and beyond, have yet to generate any revenue in the United States. Line gives some stickers away; others cost 170 yen (about $1.70) for a pack of 40. Sticker sales alone make about $10 million a month in revenue, Line says.

Games are Line’s biggest moneymaker, accounting for about $25 million a month in sales, or slightly more than half the company’s revenue. Though games were added only about a year ago, offerings like Line Pop and Line Bubble quickly moved into the Top 10 lists on Google Play and the Apple App Store.

$10 million a month. In stickers. Also, the move into games while leveraging the Line brand and platform is smart.

A fascinating, in-depth look by Wesley Yin-Poole for Eurogamer.net. One humorous bit at the beginning from 2001 when Bill Gates was about to give the keynote at the Tokyo Game Show:

Backstage, Gates turned to Kevin Bachus, at the time Xbox director of third party relations and the man charged with getting all those Japanese executives out there in the audience to make games for Microsoft’s new console. “Here, hold this,” Gates said, pulling out his wallet. “I don’t like having anything in my pocket when I’m talking.”

Suddenly, Bachus was holding the wallet of the richest man in the world. It felt thin, as if only a credit card and a driver’s license were inside. “I was terrified to even open it,” he remembers over a decade later. “But of course that’s all you need when you’re a billionaire right?”

Chico Harlan, reporting for The Washington Post:

The pace of problems is accelerating. Sony hasn’t made a profit in four years. Panasonic has lost money in three of the past four. Along with Sharp, the companies’ combined market value, according to Bloomberg, is $32 billion — making them one-fifth the value of Samsung and one-twentieth the value of Apple.

The smartphone angle here is obvious. So is the pricing squeeze angle. Not-so-obvious: the complete and utter failure of each of these companies to understand the importance of software tying in with hardware.

connectedtravelling

connectedtravelling:

In 2004, due to typhoons, the Shinkansen total annual delays were 42 seconds. It was a disgrace to Japan. (source)

If a train were to be late for 5 minutes, everyone receives a free journey and an apology from the conductor. If a train is delayed 10 minutes, it would be in the newspaper.

So to say train delays are serious business would be an understatement. And last week, knowing what I knew about trains and average delays, I began snapping the following photos, unfolding in time, to mark the first major delay of a Japanese Shinkansen in 2011.

This was one of my favorite things about Japan. Everything was exactly on time. Always. 

I also love that there are no tips. You pay exactly what is on the menu.

What you see is exactly what you get.