Twitter banner ads in JP UI in IE only

Now Twitter comes with the banner ads in the upper right corner when you use IE from Japan IP address (presumably).

twitter banner ad japan ie

This is a great experiment for twitter how the banner ads work. However, I personally don’t like it makes it Japanese UI whenever it finds the user from Japanese IP address (which is quite common practice though). The same exact mistake google makes.

Update: They allow you t0 choose language in the settings.  When you choose English, Japanese UI and banner both disappeared,which is nice.

Softbank Mobile 学割 student discount offers at 0 yen base charge

softbank mobile finally started offering student discount at zero yen for base charge with tiered pricing for packet usage (quite low compard with otherwise).

tiered pricing for packet usage

Quite an audacious move. They are achieving No.1 position net increase over the past 9 months in a row, ahead of docomo and au. I myself experienced the similar kind of dynamism of pricing when i was a pricing manager at one air express company in Japan. The pressure is there essentially when you already have a certain amount of revenue, just like docomo or au, accumulated over the long period of time, It’s just damn hard to compete on price, for especially the top management just can’t make a decision on revenue dilution.

softbank+mobile, white+gakuwari

It also adds a good customer segmentation scheme just by pricing.
people looking at softbank mobile phones with new

wifi “on the go” is not enough a conceptualization

Every morning at the Kikuna 菊名 station, where there is an ntt docomo wifi access point, I can not afford it because I am always busy commuting to the office. Every night at the same station, I try to get wifi but often the train arrives before getting the connection to it; so, I’d rather choose to jump in the train and head home than wifiing in the station.

After all, I started to ponder WIFI=”on the go” is a very difficult conceptualization. Getting wifi connection is not as fast as mobile phone messaging or mobile emails in this situation and, obviously, mobile phone does a far better job in messaging. Wifi “on the go” needs a few more adaptations before taking off.


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starbucks drive-through seta

OMG, no one seems to leave. I like the atmosphere and the view excellent from the second floor. Too bad so many college kids and the like preparing for the entrance/midterm/final or whatever exams occupy the space ; as a result, very little left for conventional guests like us. I think this particular shop should employ time-based pricing or what is known as drink bar but price by time. Obviously we pay for the space not much for coffee or latte in this setting. Pricing is that critical.

– Camera phone upload powered by ShoZu GMAP

starbucks seta second floor


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wifi in the lobby (or, no one but me is wifiing around here.)

Thanks for NTT docomo mzone so comfortable here. it only costs 350 yen or usd 3 or so a month if you have subscription with docomo mobile. extremely cheap compared to US counterparts – what is it ? T-zone 30 dollars a month?

You’d definitely need shozu which is very powerful in the wifi smartphone environment, would allow you to upload direct from mini sd card which is otherwise impossible without shozu.

BTW, Japan is a wifi paradise, in my opinion, thanks to Son san of softbank who has implemented whatever he believes.

The thing is it is not FON, docomo mzone, softbank mobile, google even, or any other wifi player that has extremely low awareness among conventional people. It is simply WIFI that’s not known until this day to the general public. Docomo mzone, softbank mobille, fon, google even and all the wifi providers should promote WIFI together to increase the awareness and to achieve the critical mass. Or,they all gonna fail.



wifi in the lobby, originally uploaded by kenjimori.

Open is the new proprietary

In the “Open is the new proprietary” world, the winners like Google try to be open and the losers like docomo try to be proprietary in the same exact deal.  The important lessen to be learned here is that it’s “open is the proprietary” but not that “the proprietary is proprietary.”  The proprietary is dead.

Notice from Mixi (or, “How do we know we know each other?”)

mixinotice

 

 

 

Mixi says that my invitation function is currently disabled, notifying that they ban the act of inviting, in public, someone I don’t “know” such as in the bulletin board. In my previous post (a blog, that is), I showed how to set up a mixi account in a tutorial style but I didn’t say that I will send an invitation, even though many have asked me to do so.

I think It is at best ambiguous as to if I am the one who invited the person that I don’t know; and without defining the act of “knowing” means in this context (menshiki no nai or 面識のない in Japanese again still ambiguous even in its original language.) All I can say is many if not most online friends (i dare call so) are those I haven’t met in person. Especially in an ‘open is the new proprietary’ world, I think mixi should be more clear on this.

Update: I think the real question that MIXI should ask is how do we know we know each other? I bet a substantial portion of maimiku (buddy or friend by invitation or by authorization) don’t, in fact, know each other; yet, the meaning of “know” might vary among the users of that particular term.

Update2: I learned mixi joined openID project with a bunch of other prestigious internet players in Japan.  But not sure how they will solve the problem like this.

softbank mobile recorded No.1 net increase in May

softbank mobile recored No.1 net increase in May, originally uploaded by morikenstyle.

Found this ad in the JR train a few days ago. Softbank mobile claims its No.1 net increase in May with aggressive pricing plans including WhitePlan ($10 base charge for phone), Double WhitePlan (Tiered pricing on WhitePlan), Free calls between family members 24/7.

 

 

Update: They’ve achieved No.1 in the three consecutive months May, June, and July (the photo taken at softbank mobile store in Shibuya).  The ad claiming so makes sense, given relatively low brand image held in the eyes of mobile users in Japan, relative to competitors Docomo and AU.  They spend TV ad a lot too.  Not surprisingly, reportedly both docomo and AU reacted with basically cutting the base charge in half for the new subscriber. I’d anticipate exactly the same pricing war softbank played and won at FTTH/ADSL penetration pricing in years 2001 and onwards.
softbank mobile tops 3 months in a row 

Shozu for X01HT

One of the things that are really annoying using smartphone photo is that you have to move files to PC before uploading to flickr. Today I’ve found the very useful tool called ShoZu that enables direct photo upload to flickr from smartphone (my case, X01HT, softbank mobile, Japan) :

It also allows up/download videos so I think the concept akin to dave winer et al talking a while back. I’ve found that Om Malik also likes shozu.

uploading photo via ShoZu from X01HT to Flickr

In terms of communication cost, the flat rate packet transmission for mobile plan in Japan initially increases after certain point in one step: that is, let’s say, $10 for the first some packets and the charge would increase straight until another point then becomes flat onwards. To use less packets, I tend to use wifi (of course, FON at home and outside, free of charge) and softbank BB mobile at McDonalds (which costs only $ 2 to $3 or something a month). Otherwise, I am gonna have to pay the full flat rate of JPY 4,200 (USD 35 or so) for packet in addition to mobile phone voice bill, which I don’t think so cheap as a personal use.

update: if you are in Tokyo, I strongly recommend to use NTT docomo mzone services, which costs only JPY 350 or 3 dollars a month with no extra if you subscribe to ntt docomo mobile service (that is, you have to live in Japan). This wifi service is available in most subway stations, some major trains like Toyoko line’s, Narita xpress, Keikyu Line, some Moss burgers, Tully Coffee, etc and some hotel lounge (right here I am getting access in the lobby of Nikko Hotel Tokyo).