Sunday, August 24, 2008

Why iPhone will not do well in Japan, at least initially...

Having just come back from Japan:

When the iPhone 3G finally came out, I didn't think it would do so well in Japan for a wide variety of reasons. I haven't heard any statistics about how it is doing, but there are a number of things the iPhone will have to address for the Japanese market:

- First, a lot of mobile phone use in Japan is while riding the train. iPhone, on the other hand, needs two handed input. It's impossible to use the iPhone while riding the train, unless you happen to have a seat.

- The iphone doesn't support the very important QR code, which is used to scan for more information. By scanning the QR code in a magazine, users don't have to type in URL, and can simply get a hyperlink to the required info. This can be fixed quickly, and someone is probably already writing the app.

- The iPhone doesn't support the wide practice of using emoticons to indicate a person's emotions. But this can be fixed easily, assuming Apple is paying attention.

- There are a number of hardware design issues. There is no IR port for easy contact information exchange, no FeliCa electronic wallet for paying for train tickets and conv. stores, and there are no holes for hanging trinkets, especially for the ladies. Worst of all, the iPhone has much worse battery life than a standard Japanese mobile phone.

On the other hand, the iPhone has piqued people's interest in Japan. What it has going for it:

- Great screen, and awesome web browser. This is so far ahead of other handsets, and is the one thing that gets people really interested.

- Applications. The app store is bringing out a bunch of great games and utilities that people will find interesting. This makes the mobile phone into a true platform, which has not been done very well in Japan so far.

Check out these links for more info:

Wednesday, August 20, 2008


"The purpose of architecture is to shelter and enhance man's life on earth and to fulfill his belief in the nobility of his existence." — Eero Saarinen

Monday, August 18, 2008

猪, 男人, 女人

I received this from my brother he found somewhere online:

猪=吃飯+ 睡覺,

男人=吃飯+ 睡覺+挣錢
豬=吃飯+ 睡覺

女人=吃飯+ 睡覺+花錢。
豬=吃飯+ 睡覺。


Sunday, August 17, 2008

Using Google to check on the true age of China's gymnastics competitors

So, there has been a great deal of controversy about the true age of the Chinese female competitors in the Olympic games. Apparently, the younger the competitors, the more likely their center of gravity is advantageous in the competition. The development during puberty changes their body shape and this makes a huge difference.

I had the thought of using search engines to check on the likely age of these competitors. I first found their Chinese names, and then searched for their name with the years to see which is more likely to be their true birth year. Here are the results:

For 何可欣 (He Kexin), 1994 gives 4000 results, while 1993 gives only 2730 results.

For 江钰源 (Jiang Yuyuan), 1992 gives 11500 results, while 1991 gives only 5220 results.

It seems quite clear that while the Chinese NGO can change the passports of the competitors, they can't change the documents that are already on the web. In fact, browsing through the web documents written before this past year, there is plenty of evidence that it was broadly known the true age of these competitors. For the IOC to not investigate this problem, it seems they're damaging their own authority.