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Comment Not Big In Japan (Score 1) 307

I live in Japan. No, fax machines are not common here anymore. Most established businesses probably still have one in case someone wants to send them a fax, but that's true everywhere. A startup wouldn't think of wasting money on one. According to the article you can still buy cassette tapes in most convenience stores. Nope. Just checked. And traffic lights here are automatic, just like everywhere else. Where there is roadwork, there may be humans present to manage traffic. Just like in the west.

There is an unending stream of "XXX in Japan!" bullshit constantly streaming out of the western mass media. Is it because they think nobody will fact check them?

Comment I'm not going to carry two phones. (Score 1) 82

I'm not going to carry two phones. For some people that might be OK, but I've only got so much pocket space and room for chargers at home.

Since I will be using the sole phone I carry for personal use, I have some set-in-stone policies:
1. I get to choose the phone that suits me best.
2. I update the hardware according to my convenience and requirements.
3. The device is completely controlled by me for security and contractual reasons.

So long as a company complies with those policies, I am quite flexible about everything else. I'm happy to be non-contactable out of hours, if the company wants. I'm happy to BYOD so long as I am properly recompensed. I'm happy to have the company supply the phone.

Comment Re:A Story about BYOD (Score 2) 82

BlackBerry, listening to their customers, dug their own grave.

No. The market has spoken and the vast majority of customers clearly do not want what BlackBerry built.
Blackberry was listening to someone, but it obviously wasn't the people who made the ultimate purchasing decisions.

This is a very important business lesson. Understand who your customers really are. They are the people who will pay money for your product or services. This sounds simple, but there are often many entities that look like customers but aren't really. The IT department who claims to represent customers may or may not be aligned with them. How will you find find? Talk to the customers.

Comment Re:Where's Michael J. Dundee? (Score 2) 136

Australia has had authoritarian, paternalistic governments since, at least, the end of WWII. Consequently, the best and brightest tend to leave the country (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Australian_diaspora). This leaves Australia with two major pastimes: digging coal out of the ground and selling houses to one another.

Comment One Weird Old Trick For Making a Profit... (Score 1) 167

Don't turn away customers. Spotify *still* (checking calendar, yes it is 2015) refuse paying customers from Japan. That's 120 million potential first world customers right there. They are ignoring China and India, which are many hundreds of millions more potential middle class customers. They *still* geofence, making their service suck for travellers. They *still* apply discriminatory pricing. They *still* provide a reduced service to people depending where they live.

Here's a suggestion. Stop your discrimination. Accept all customers. Treat them equally and with respect. Charge them all the same price. Make their customer experience awesome. You will make so much money you won't be able to eat it.

Yes, I know that there are all sorts of issues with lawyers and licences. Stop making excuses. Fix them. That's the value you add.

Guys, it really is that simple. Work out who your customers are and serve them.

Comment Re:Wait... (Score 1) 127

....forgive me, but if we're talking about EMPLOYEES installing their own software on company equipment, I think I have a better idea on how to make the workplace more efficient. It has nothing to do with with browser choice, either.

Yeah, sack the IT people who are still insisting on insecure-by-default, non-standard, closed source browsers. :-)

Comment Re:Really? (Score 1) 215

We genuinely must be looking at different maps. I can see only one station in all of Shinjuku, the one on Yamanote-dori. That's it.

You might need to recalibrate distances in Tokyo. It might take 30 to 45 minutes to drive 11km in central Tokyo.

You might need to recalibrate your cultural expectations. The ku boundaries in Tokyo are very meaningful to residents, and the distinct cities are much more than technical boundaries. Cities in Japan don't work the same way as cities in the U.S.

Off the top of my head, there are around 6 gas stations within a 10-15 minute walk (or 5 minute drive) of where I live. This is typical. That's why I called bullshit on the headline. There are simply not more charging points than gas stations in any practical sense.

Comment Re:Really? (Score 1) 215

The government of Shinjuku-ku will be surprised to discover they are not a city. Please feel free to let them know. I will look forward to my tax refund.

As for the number of charging stations, did you notice that the majority of them were not in Tokyo at all but different prefectures (states)? That's like saying that charging stations in Arizona and Nevada are in San Francisco. Of course you had to scroll down to see Tokyo. That's like saying you have to scroll down from a map of the western US to see Los Angeles.

It's hard to tell, but by eyeball estimation from the map there might be 30 stations in Tokyo 23 wards. Most of which seem to be in dealers or car parks. The latter are generally useful, but average less than 1 in a city. Hardly the immense market penetration implied by the headline. In fact there are clearly more gas stations than charging points.

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