Posts by chaojumori:

    Summaries Of Viewing “What’s New In Android?”

    June 28th, 2012

    Here we go again, the once in a year big Google event, Google i/o 2012 is happening very early this morning (Japan time). Believe it or not, I stayed up till midnight just to watch the announcement of the new Nexus7. For the price of USD$199, this tablet is not a bad investment to begin with.

    So, what’s new in Android? The Name, obviously! 4.1 Jelly Bean is now official. It’s not Android 5.0, Android 5.0 is “code-named diabetes” according to friends on twitter. I guess the engineers are humble about their results this year.

    I’d like to summarize the note I’ve taken for the sessions that Google is going to carry out in the event. Here are some highlights of topics that will be focused in the Google i/o 2012 sessions later on.

    1) Performance: Smooth performance, speeding, streaming inputs, etc. For some reasons they use “butter” to describe how great it is.
    2) Widgets & Wallpaper: Mostly about widgets can be resized.
    3) Animation: Ability to animate layer, view property animator, automatically remove or react any layout changes.
    4) Framework tidbits
    – Improved textview,
    – Transfer rich text,
    – “Better” memories management,
    – Grid layout: one can now create complex UIs in an easy way.
    – Text view : one can swipe back and forth between the picture taken. There is a “live preview” of camera running and spinning around. Mainly about things that cannot do with surface view.
    5) New API
    – Activity Animations (One can now create your own animation)
    – Navigation: task stack Builder : helps create task stacks.
    – Automatic ‘up’ navigation for activities
    – It is now available in support library.
    6) Aligning XML attributes and Java Properties: More “toolable” API.
    7) Internationalization: New locales and fonts with Arabic and Hebrew. I guess it can be a good thing to improve world peace.
    8) Improved support for Right to left text, ie, “textview”, edit text, static layout, canvas. Dance anyway with your fingers on the screen.
    9) Performance improvements with RTL text. Well, the expert knows what was to improve before.
    10) Accessibilities, swipe any direction until the content focus, double tap activate current elements, text reading by words, line, paragraph, etc.
    11) Able to detect: Limiting Costly Downloads. Save your money and time for unnecessary things.
    12) Support for Neon (Renderscript compute)
    13) Media: API access to low-level Codec data, one can see also the “Media Codec APIs in Android Jelly Beans” for more information. Not much change on the audio latency improvement. As for NFC, there are large payloads over Bluetooth, one can move files with a tap. Tap-to-pair for Bluetooth headsets and speakers will be in the session at the “Up Close & Personal: NFC and Android Beam”
    14) Google Play: it is now respond to user comments.
    15) More: new seller countries, team access to the Android Developer Console, sales reports, Android Expansion files (APK up to 50 MB, Expansions files up to 4GB), optimized APK updates, “Unlocked” device available on PLAY… all that can be seen on “Android Apps in Google Play” later on.

    The topic then talks about some changes on the Notifications 4.1
    Changes in Tools
    – Improvement on Emulator with x86 virtualization
    – Great ways to test the new features with GPU support for the emulator
    – Sensor and Multitouch Support: Using USB cable to plug in, the phone can send all the data in the emulator and run the application very easily in different screen sizes.

    New! Tools
    – linit, Tracer for Open GL ES, Device Monitor, System Trace.

    ADT : One can now Debug your application inside the ADT.

    Notifications in 4.1
    – One can now add new things: Big Content View, Priority Spot. (Everything looks big, if you ask me)

    Notifications are separated as “Priority Buckets” in 3 categories: Max, High-Default-Low, MIN
    Max : very urgent tasks like emergency alert (typhoon, earthquakes) , incoming calls, turn-by-turn directions (Something can be life threatening)
    High-Default-Low: Most notifications go here, like e-mails, etc (What most people gets usually, I guess new TL from my twitter followers or direct messages from Facebook in my case)..
    MIN: calendar events that are expired, suggestions, detailed status, app promotes (Things like the movie I went last week).

    For everything else, it goes to Priority Defaults( Reminders of my next bill payment, that is really the things I hate to be reminded).

    Content View : Same as before except it is now 4 times the size of Big Content View, big Canvas for text, photos, lists.
    Actions : are added upto 3 buttons. Uses, Protips, etc.
    Big Text Style, Big Picture Style: Ok, we all have eyes problems for playing too much computer, so I guess these are necessities. Images is less or equals to 450dp wide, 2:1 aspect.
    Inbox Style: Great for any kind of list, for example, 3 new messages show at the same time on the screen.
    With all the above mentioned available, users can also choose NOT to get notification. Yes, we can now disable or uninstall all notifications from the package. Users hate to be annoyed.

    Finally, the talks go on about other Jelly Bean i/o sessions as follows:
    -Media Codecs in Android Jelly Bean.
    -Android Fireside Chat
    -What’s New in Android Developer’s Tools
    -For Butter/Worse: Smoothing Out Performance in Android Uls.
    -Doing More With Less- Being a Good Android Citizen.

    In conclusion, the sessions will start from now on till Thursday the 28th of June (29th, Friday in Japan). I am looking forward to my next assignment (Please pick something easy for me to understand, boss!)

    1 Comment "

    Making App of “Japanese Only” Can Push English Speaking Buyers Away

    June 13th, 2012

    My first impression with Japanese Culture was introduced by my piano teacher back in Taiwan. There were Japanese comic books in the piano class waiting room for the students and every book was read at least “N” times as far I as I remembered. Of course, all books were translated in Chinese so that I could understand the contents of the stories. Although most were with obscure meanings at that time, I was still fascinated by the craftsmanship of the comic books and wanted to spend more in order to read their sequels and series. Even now, many foreigners are interested in Japanese cultures because of the comics they read or the animated features films they watched. The Japanese culture fan club has evolved even larger with the developments of the computers, tablets and smart-phones.

    Recently, I came across some comments on the mobile site about people complaining that there weren’t enough English for those who wanted to shop for Japanese products on Amazon.co.jp. It made me felt the same way because I used to experience such frustration before learning the language. How could people develop the Amazon.co.jp mobile app leave out the possibilities of selling products elsewhere in the world? The fact was, the English part was taken care if you access the Amazon.co.jp site from the computer. I was just surprised that Amazon.co.jp didn’t include English on their mobile site. With the increasing population of smart-phones users, those who downloaded the Amazon.co.jp app were obviously for the reason of hoping to purchase the “original” videos or books directly from Japan through their finger tips. What would be the point of selling merchandise from the smart-phone app without considering the range of your potential customers? It would be a lie if a developer doesn’t know the people who use smart-phones or computers aren’t just limited to Japanese only.

    The same goes with our company’s lines of smart-phone apps. I for one want to see our company’s AR apps for the the kindergarten (Hakodate Bus Guide), parking space, hotel, or even educational apps like “Fun!Fun!ABC”, “My Favorite Books”, and the future educational AR aquarium thingy to become not just good but phenomenal.

    The irony of the business is, sometimes getting recognition from the market outside of your own country can reverse the trend back to your homeland. Many smart-phone users are in global scale now and most people download local apps as part of the cultural experience without traveling. As a foreigner in Japan, I have such habit of buying local apps prior to my trips to Taiwan, Korea, and America in order to get ideas or become acquainted with the towns. Sometimes, I even download the local grocery website from Europe just to get a taste of how the town life is like without going there. It was interesting enough if I find anything with English.

    One commented badly about the Amazon.co.jp app and I quoted: “Japanese is a dying language”. I could not have agreed more. IMHO, people are watching the apps you have created and they are not just limited to those who speak your language. It would be regretful if you know the market is out there for you and you push it away just because “No Speaking English”. Believe it or not, sometimes your local app can lead to any business opportunity that is even beyond its development.

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    “Is Email Evil?”Even A Problem For Users To Consider?

    April 4th, 2012

    Is Email Evil? (BBC-Future-Technology)

    E-mail didn’t exist during my school days. I can just imagine what I would have been doing all the time if it did exist. With this tool so convenient, there is no need to get in a queue for stamps or ask for registered mail when an application for college or resume for a job needs to be on time.

    I first started an e-mail account with AOL (I had to pay for the service), it was a really great experience to me. This title caught my attention because I didn’t think anyone would see such convenient creation as a polemical issue.

    The article used the word “evil” to draw tentative conclusions of our e-mails. Sure, if you want to dig deep into it, there are many bad things you could say about our e-mails. “e-mail wants you to do nothing” is part of the “evil” what this article about. I think in some degree this article is for the professional people to do the re-thinking of our technology in use, but to user like me, its speed and efficiency of getting the messages outweighed the worries and I intended to think it lightly. Let the genius worry about the authentication and the users should be contented with what they have. Why, because I believe that’s what the creator wants us to think in the first place: let’s do nothing but writing messages on e-mail, let the professions worry about the rest of the evil.

    The company that I am working for , atWare, Inc., is fully capable of managing mass emails for our clients. Pro like our company has knowledge of handling overflowed inbox messages. Please feel free to contact us. We can help!

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    Laptops to All American Students From 6 to 12 Grades -SXSW Event

    March 13th, 2012

    U.S. Secretary of Education, Arne Duncan

    SXSWedu 2012 Keynote

    Entrepreneur + Educators + Technologies 

    South by Southwest EDU (SXSW) March 6-12, 2012

     

    There’s been a talk about the event SXSWedu  (South by Southwest E.D.U.) on twitter recently and its location caught my attention because the Aggie (Nickname for Texas A&M) was partially involved.   Over a decade I grew up there in Texas so the big technology event like that certainly sounds very unusual to begin with (stereotype of country folks).

    There had been a lot of obstacles regarding the American education policies and funding under the Government of President Obama and even the administration before him.   Many debated whether investing technologies could bring more promises to our future generation.  How could we raise bars of our teachers to a higher level in education and create more talents in order to benefit the world we live?   The tax payers usually have the ideas but the politicians tend to go toward the opposite direction.  At this keynote by the US Secretary of  Education, Arne Duncan, (see U.S. Secretary of Education Keynote on SXSWedu) I see the new thinking of education is being focus on getting entrepreneurs involved by providing the technologies as a tool to assist our teachers and students.   It makes more sense now and here are some of the highlights of his speech:

     

    1)     Education becomes cheaper when using technology as platform for education.

    There’s been a study that school district like Mooresville, North Carolina, with the technologies as tools to their school systems, the average is about $225/student/ year on funding education.  Roughly $1.25 per day per student. It is said that 100 out of 120 schools in terms of funding, Mooresville school district is at the bottom for spending.  It is less to spend on children in any other school district.  The result on technological support for schools shows spending in education is now becoming lower but smarter.

    2)     The US Government plan on giving every kid in the US to have his or her own laptop computer. 

    At this point, I learn that many states like Maine giving laptops or forms of internet access for all middle school children.  Some schools in Utah completely switch to digital contents, providing 6-12 grades laptops.  In the state of Florida, for example, around 100,000 students attended virtual school.  In the state of Idaho, it is the first state in the US to require students to get at least 2 high school credits through on-line courses. US is now phasing to all laptops for students and teachers nationwide.

    3)     Study shows technologies encourage students to learn.  A student in the state of Missouri didn’t want to come to school because of a devastated storm struck her hometown.  After she learned that the school was going to give her own laptop to study, she actually came back for classes.  Students in Math class with computers were seen studied quietly by themselves.  The teachers were roaming around the classroom without troubles of giving each students support.   It seems technology has certain impact on children’s motivation to learn. 

     

    4)     Goals for having technologies involve with education:

    .   With the access of internet, it is now hopeful to provide quality education for low income children and students with disabilities to learn.

    .   Parents will be able to keep track of what their children are studying at night, connecting teachers with their peers, sharing information interactive with entrepreneur for a better and real education.

    .    Tailored education is now possible for all talents at anytime.

     

    Wait, does that mean attending college is a bad idea now?  No, in fact, as Arne Duncan stated in his talk, college can be made affordable to all students if we combine with our efforts on technologies and education.  It does not make any sense for a student to start a career with a student loan which could not be paid off.  I certainly hope so because within 5 years I would send my first daughter to the college and hope to support her without any student loan.  It is not going to be cheap if I had to spend so much on paper back books (not mentioning how many trees we are going to chop for that) and yakky dorm food that are going to make her fat.  She wouldn’t be good looking and not able to find a job to pay off her debt and I would be doomed to let her stay with me for the rest of my life, of course, just kidding.

     

    The most important thing is, I am hoping to see quality education with fine educators for our next generation in a shorter time span.  $4 billion US dollars is said to be invested to support American schools with up-to-date technologies and we are going to see that happen.  Technologies won’t wait and neither do parents across the nation. With this money, hopefully they will build more colleges instead of more jails to lock up bad people who could not go to school and mess around.

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    (日本語) IT 英会話 One Small Company Reinvents a $30 Billion Market (読む練習2)

    December 27th, 2011

    Sorry, this entry is only available in 日本語.

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    Hangman Game RSS (Real-Time News Flash)

    December 21st, 2011

    Holiday season is near and here is another tip for the last minute game which you can download for free if you have an iPhone.  Ever played the English spelling game when you were little?  My favorite was the “hangman”.  There is a free version of “ The Hangman RSS “,  developed by Finger Arts.     The rule is to guess a word from the given space bars, simply place any alphabet on the space.  If you guessed the word wrong, a part of the hangman drawing (started with head) will be shown on the app. The little man will not be “executed” if you guess the word correctly.   Sounds too simple?  Not this one.  This is a hangman which you play with real-time news flash (RSS).  With the game center setting, you can also play this game with real player on the net.  If you don’t read the news, well, it will be hard to play.

     

    The fun part is, you can select the news origins from the menu (I am sorry, there is no Japanese news).  The game gives you some clues on the bottom of the screen where you can somewhat guess the meaning of the words.  I have tried many times and end up with a little man gets hung in result.  Even the “Easy Level” was moderately hard since I am not familiar with the contents of the American news. (Hello, I am living here inJapan).

     

    This app would be great to play with friends and family at the party if you can connect it with TV Screen.  I can imagine how many people in my family are going to crash the TV screen when their hangman is completed in 5 seconds. Ho ho ho!

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    All I want for Christmas is Anpanman

    December 19th, 2011

    Christmas is near, you are busy and out of ideas for the game on Christmas Eve.  Here is a last minute surprise you can get for your kids if they are Japanese Animation fan:  Soreike! Anpanman, developed by Forecast Communications Inc.

     

    Anyone who is little kid in Japan knows this famous animated character called Anpanman (a Super hero made by the red beans paste bread. Please, don’t ask me why).  There is a free app available which you can take a glance of Anpanman’s world, coloring, and book mark your events or friend’s birthday with the character of Dokukin Chan and Anapanman.  Inside the Anpanman’s world, it takes you to Yanasetakashi’s blog,(the creator of Anpanman), the story books introduction, movies, histories, and list of characters in the animation.

     

    One of the 2 free features, coloring, can be stored in the album and sent to mails, or post on Twitter and Facebook. I thought this is cool because you can send the projects for your kids as a show-and-tell to their grand parents, or friends.  It will be an annoyingly habit because many proud parents love to show off their kids’ drawings to people.

     

    Another free feature of this app also allows you to book mark your calendar with  selective Anpanman character.  It includes a function for countdown from the date of the event. Yeah, write Mommy’s and Daddy’s anniversary down so that neither of them will have any lame excuse of forgetting it.  Your kid knows it, too, because Anpanman said so.

     

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    (日本語) IT 英会話 Agile Conference 2011 :(読む練習)

    December 6th, 2011

    Sorry, this entry is only available in 日本語.

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    (日本語) atWare IT英会話ーPreposition (前置詞篇 )

    November 22nd, 2011

    Sorry, this entry is only available in 日本語.

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    (日本語) IT 英会話 : 空港からホテルまでの案内篇(初心者)

    November 11th, 2011

    Sorry, this entry is only available in 日本語.

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    (日本語) IT英会話 コーディングの問題篇 (中級)

    November 1st, 2011

    Sorry, this entry is only available in 日本語.

    1 Comment "

    atWare English Lesson for IT Engineer (Beginner)

    October 28th, 2011

    Sorry, this entry is only available in 日本語.

    1 Comment "

    atWare English Lesson for IT Engineer (Beginner)

    October 27th, 2011

    1 Comment "

    AR 2011 Munich, Germany Searching the fit for AR

    October 12th, 2011

    There is link that I’ve just come across last week from twitter about reports from the AR 2011 conference in Munich, Germany earlier in October. Through this video there were many apps related to edutainment, appliances, cars, or furniture sales (interior arrangement), and last but not least – games. It was quite fun to see how much the AR technology has progressed so far.

    It appeared to me at this conference, the AR marketing is now focusing to make apps that are with more “game like characteristic” to attract users to interact with. By doing so, the developers are hoping with more users experience can lead to a better direction of AR development. Apparently, people are still searching to find the fit of this modern technology.

    I think a good technology means nothing if it doesn’t show the cash cow at the end. It would definitely repel developers from investing further if the search is taking too long. However, if you ask a parent like me, this market would be great for education uses. AR would be a very attractive feature on any e-book product to encourage children to study. Imaging the reaction you get when children see pop-up e-books from a tablet with 3D images at the show and tell reading time, at the same time using AR to pin point the location of an art or subjects on a book and show the contents of it in motions. Of course it would also go well with the advertisements, such as movies and products promotions…Anything that catches people’s eyes of paying attention can certainly make this technology more famous. Well, if there is any big bank starting to use it for its advertisement or Pokemon Cards to read in AR, I think there is hope for this technology to make money in the near future.

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    RIP Steve Jobs, Apple’s Visionary, True Genius of Our Time

    October 6th, 2011

    As I was riding the train this morning, the news released from Apple once again stunned the world; it wasn’t anything about yesterday’s iPhone4S, nor about the future iPhone5. It was the death of their founder, Steve Jobs that had made the headline.

    I was a big “Apple Fan” ever since PC was invented. My first Apple computer was “Apple IIe” (Ok, stop guessing how old I am, I still won’t tell you when I own it). My brother and I first came to live in the USA and learn this genius invention by Steve Jobs. My first computer lesson at school (thought you can trick me to tell you of which school, ha ha!) was using his invention. Come to think of it, there are many schools in the states now using iPad for education purpose, Steve Jobs and his genius members at Apple Computer made those changes in our world.

    Steve Jobs was known as a visionary of Apple, the things he had done had truly changed the way of our living, even our thinking. He once said: “Design is not just what it looks like and feels like. Design is how it works.” This golden phrase had revolutionized the way we make things in nowadays, and we owe it all to Steve Jobs.

    If you are a great fan of Steve Jobs or Apple products and want to make a condolence directly. Please write your message to rememberingsteve@apple.com (please see official Apple’s Web Site)

    Someone said on twitter and I quoted: “ RIP Steve Jobs. You left your mark on our desk, on our ears & in our hands”. This is so true in my case. I used to own an Apple IIe, now I have ipod for music, iPhone4 and iPad2 in my hands. If yesterday’s announcement of iPhone4S is about “iPhone for Speed”, I’d say today’s is “iPhone for Steve”. Steve Jobs, a true genius of our time, you will be missed.

    4 Comments "

    The World Largest Mobile Development Community : mobiForge

    October 6th, 2011

    As a foreigner in Japan, many times I have heard people asked me , “where can you get this cool Japanese game, phone, or application …in English” I find it very disturbing to learn that genius apps in Japan can not spread globally simply because they are limited to develop something at their own market. As for a mobile app developer, especially when smart phones/tablets markets are flourishing in the world, I think it’s crucial to find a proper testing ground to reach out more fans and users of the apps in order to keep the stead on the trend.

    When I was playing the word “Emulate” on the internet today (Fun IT word for my self study, well, at least to me it was fun). I’ve noticed there was a community called mobiForge popped on my screen many times. As I link further to the site, I found out it was a mobile development community created by a very popular domain – dotMobi. The impression I got from this domain was their clientele: Facebook, Amazon, ESPN, Time, Sony, etc., you name it! Almost all the big names are listed under. So, it’s not hard to imagine how easy it would be to test on a new mobile app with these famous customers conveniently available under its domain.

    In Japan, most of the mobile development communities were scattered under many different mobile services; however, none of them were united as one big standardize mobile development community. mobiForge is probably “ the world largest independent mobile development community” I can find so far that could be of use to a small company like us. I only wish that my colleagues know better in English to learn how to join mobiForge and how to get involve with such community. Well, I guess my next project should be more research on “ how to speak proper Japanese to convince people without pointing fingers”, seriously.

    1 Comment "

    Ever notice how to use “Evernote”?

    September 30th, 2011


    Evernote

    This morning on the train, I was trying to look for a photo which I’ve downloaded from twitter and it took me about 10minutes to find it! Jesus Christ, no wonder it took so long! There are currently 1,172 photos in my smartphone photo file! Imagine if those photos were in real prints, I’d be diving in for hours just to search for the right one…but, am I the only lazy person on earth?

    So I asked my friends what they usually do with their mobile photos/videos taken for their kids’ school events, most of them replied as ” didn’t do anything” or simply “still in the photo files of their PC”… The way I see it, busy moms just don’t have the time to do anything to organize or “clean” those photos/videos up (T T).

    Let’s not get panic here, I am working in an IT company (sounds a bit stuck-up myself), as you know, so, there must be a solution to take care of mess like this. After all, this is what my company does best: helping other people organize. One of my colleague suggested me to try on an app called “Evernote”. I found it quite useful. It seemed free at the beginning but only allowed me to use 1MB to play with…Well, I don’t think to manage 1,172 photos can be free so I decided to pay 4500yen for an extra annual usage of 50MB. It didn’t hurt a bit cause it was charged by my husband’s card anyway.

    At the beginning, I didn’t know what to do with that application, The Evernote logo of the elephant sort of gave me a hint that this app was somewhat related to the cloud thing. With one click of the + sign, I instantly made a file name and put a simple description under the content. It was fun just to make one file. Good thing that I remembered to view the Evernote demo video for more options… How stupid of me, I could just check many photos together under a file I made! At one time I’ve gathered 65 photos which I took during my vacation in Hokkaido and the job was easily done by one instant touch to Sync! 65 down, 1107 to go. People! I know what I am going to do this weekend.

    Now I start to imagine many things I can do with this app., I can also help my kids to organize their photos of note taking from their tutor school. Yeah, I know, my kids are as lazy as me. In nowadays, kids don’t write proper note anymore, but what is a note taking in 21st Century anyway?

    Besides Evernote, there are currently so many other similar products in the markets, well, same concept of using “cloud” to sort and store data off line, it’s with great potential of developing a super mobile credenza for everyone to use at anytime, anywhere. I believe there will be no job title as “secretary” in the near future. Basically, you won’t need a secretary to do such job because the “cloud” won’t lose your documents or notes unless you dropped your phone or PC in the toilet. In that case, all you have to do is to get an access to a device to retrieve those information. Oh, how I love 21st Century modern technology. Now my husband won’t have any excuse to hire a long legs secretary for me to get jealous.

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    ANA Hong Kong Has an AR Game

    September 3rd, 2011

    Check out this video of the ANA, Hong Kong. It is a promotion game for ANA Mileage members in Hong Kong to win a chance to receive the limited versions of ANA aircraft models. Well, in this case, you can’t play the game unless you are a Hong Kong Residence. It seems to me that the game isn’t available in Japan for some reason.

    First of all, you would need a web cam in order to play. The game will then ask whether you are an ANA mileage club member and required to input the card numbers. Right at this point you received an instant 2000 points. After the game is ready, what you do is to hit as many stars as you can in the AR screen. The more you hit the stars, the further miles can be received. This is one good example of using AR to promote company’s campaign.

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    Taiwan AR Promotion on the Movie Green Lantern

    August 30th, 2011

    This “Green Lantern” AR game in Taiwan was placed right in front of the movie theater. It was sponsored by Coca Cola for promoting the movie. Imagine we could have put this AR game promoting Japanese movie like “Gantz”. Anybody thought of that? Hello?

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    Finally! Google Money can be used through Suica!

    August 27th, 2011

    suica annoucement of Android smartphone

    I just found out today, Suica had made an announcement earlier this May that the Android’s Smartphone would be included with their application started from 7/23/2011. Ever since Google made that announcement about adding NFC to its smartphone, this news about “Suica is made available on Android’s Smartphone” certainly brought the new hope of using the NFC technology to a global scale.

    Japan is perhaps one of the most conservative nations I know in terms of using innovated financial products. There are still many local stores accept only cash instead of any other forms of payment. The breaking news of using Suica with Android’s smart phones are most welcome cause people will soon realize the good points of making the currencies flow quickly without printing paper money. I am seeing the future of charging my phone instead of cards or paying cash to make a living. Viva NFC! You know what that means? No big stupid wallet is needed, only your phone strap! Oh, but wait, I can’t let my kids know my phone can be zapped easily and purchase juice from the vending machine or Seven Eleven. “Child-Lock!” on my Google Money, please!

     

    1 Comment "

    Augmented Angel From The Sky!

    August 25th, 2011

    Before I started this job, the word “Augmented Reality” was totally alliance to me. Most of the time, people think it is just another virtual reality game or film that really doesn’t do much but 3D images, with “Augmented Reality”, it definitely brings more than just 3D images because users can interact with it given by the images or data .

    The video of that AR game in a rail station of Victoria, London, gives me the hint of having the same thing in Haneda Airport or Narita Airport. Instead of Angel, I suggest we put a Samurai on the spot. Can you imagine the flow of the international visitors who would love to drop by just for the game? It would be even more fantastic if you make the visitors dress like a Samurai on the screen.

    Or, in the Airline’s VIP Club, put a Geisha walking around the guest playing the game of paper scissors, rocks…Oh ho ho ho…

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    Can NFC Really Change the Phase of Mobile Wallet?

    August 22nd, 2011

    No NFC Coming to eBay

    2 days ago (7/27/2011, to be exact), there is an article about eBay’s president made a comment that “PayPal” is not yet ready to adopt the NFC into its system: Well, this news really comes in as a shock to me. Despite the fact that there are already several expectations made about this smart-phone payment technology, one of the biggest Internet Retail Business Tycoon says “Not Yet” to NFC. What could this possibly means?

    It seems that eBay’s CEO, John Donahoe, does not believe that NFC will make any major change of our mobile payment behavior although right now it is making a wave to many frantic IT users. He believes the type of transaction technology in NFC can only attract certain merchants/users in the limited markets. No doubt NFC is currently making a trend but he is skeptical about how fast it would replace the entire mobile money market.

    I have to say, with 9-million users around the world, e-Bay certainly has the privilege to make such statement. At the same time, I started to speculate e-Bay is coming up with something new to compete with NFC. Who knows, maybe “that something” will be even better and e-Bay may be holding the power to make the payment trend. Whatever it is, I am seeing the future of my internet shopping getting faster and faster to dig my money directly from my saving. Is that good or bad?

    1 Comment "

    iTriage – An “I Need A Doctor” Smart Phone App

    August 18th, 2011

    Click to view iTriage


    I have always wondered how smart phone can be of useful in a practical way. To me, since my Dad was left alone at home after my mom passed away, monitoring his health has always been my greatest challenge.

    Here is an app that I’ve just come across on YouTube video today. iTriage. It’s an application that use an avatar to help you pinpoint your symptoms, helps people identify, triage, and find nearest hospital/Emergency with GPS for treatment when needed.

    Sure, you probably say, there are many similar applications out there already. However, nothing I find so far really tells me what type of doctors or hospitals I should visit or gives references according to the detailed description of my symptoms. Too bad this app is only available in the U.S. and I wish someone in Japan can create one with the Japanese version; either on the Android tablet or on an iPhone… Of course, there is no need to make an appointment in Japan because you can just go visit a doctor anytime you want. True, but, how do you know you are going to the right hospital when you have certain symptoms and are out of town? Especially the doctors in Japan, they don’t suggest you what other possibility of your symptoms might lead you to unless you ask the right question. If anyone or anything that can advise me with 2nd opinions, I’d feel much better and comforting to know what is happing in my body before visiting.

    I tested on a symptom which my Mom used to have before she found out she got cancer: Unsteady gait (Trouble walking). Guess what, the phone lead me to Brain tumor, cerebral palsy, cerebral vascular accident, etc.. When I tab on “Testing”, the words CT scan, MRI, Biopsy showed up. Under “Specialist”, it has directed me to Neurosurgery, Pediatric Neurosurgery. If an iPhone would be invented earlier, my mom’s health would be monitored constantly and she would be still alive. At least that is what I would do with this app since I am busy and far away from her all the time.

    Hey boss! I think if you can use the same technology in Japanese, I am sure the Health Department of Japan will give you an award for reducing the risk of getting serious chronicle diseases and the social health insurance department will then less likely to waste its medical expense because people would get the right treatment from the right doctors. It’d be even fancier if you can use our Augmented Reality to apply on the GPS and makes it look appealing for user to download it.

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    Searching Solutions for Accuracy in mobile GPS

    August 15th, 2011

    GPS(Global Positioning System) in mobile, makes many people happier because no longer have lame excuse of not finding the place for a date. But, many of you have probably encountered the problems like I did before: GPS telling you that your friend’s house is right on top of a highway and there is no way you are following the direction to get there.

    The hypothesis of how GPS works is based on the data at ground received from the Satellite that is roving in space. The receivers on the ground synchronize themselves to the clocks of GPS satellites. Therefore, my understanding is every GPS receiver is like an extremely small accuracy clock.

    Theoretically, the more precise of the time, the more correct of the GPS data you can get. Depending on the device you use, some instruments for fishing are utilizing DGPS technology (Differential GPS) which involve the cooperation of 2 receivers that are fairly close to each other (within 100 kilometers). This is widely used in Japan and there are about 27 stations around the coastal areas of the island. It functions like synchronize watches or tuning the same channel. However, technology like this can not be used on smart phones because it will take up too much batteries to contacts all satellites to fix the errors, encodes information, etc. Hey! I still want to use my smart phone to make phone calls in case I was lost in the middle of no where.

    Another type of GPS device is using the WAAS (Wide Area Augmentation System), known as dramatically improves the accuracy of GPS pinpointing. It claims to improve the positioning accuracy to within less than 3 meters. It sounded pretty nice but still many factors like building, noises, hills, rock formations, trees, can degrade the functions of this technology…I don’t think this is a good one to use for mobile either.

    Well, personally, I can care less about accuracy because I am the person who is wearing watch like this

    So what kind of situation would we want the exact location from the GPS? Let’s say I am taking my kids to a zoo for the first time and I want to know exactly where that popular polar bear’s swimming show is at, I will be mad if GPS led me to a whole bunch of monkeys and made me missed the show.

    So how do we do that? Is there any application that we can make in order to eliminate the bias or errors of time and spaces? If timing is everything to do with GPS, exact time/position and then correct the differences manually is probably the only way we can do to make everyone a happy camper. One of our genius engineer thought of using NFC and AR to make that happen. I thought it is a great idea. Please, for extra money I will pay for this app if it can also include the data on how to be the first one to get there. I do want the best spot for my family.

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    aNobii Kanobee! (More on Layar Challenges)

    August 5th, 2011

    2 days ago I was told to post some information about the prize competition on the new version of layar. For a moment I thought, gee, my job can’t be easier than this, just making an announcement for someone else and I can call it a day. Well, think again, woman, it turned out my boss wanted me to give ideas about the challenges: 100 of them! You must be kidding me! I don’t think my job is worth giving that much of ideas as a part timer. Besides, I don’t think that tiny brain of mine ever fit 100 things at the same time. However, for the sake of the souvenir chocolate he brought back from San Francisco, I will give it a try.

    My idea is: aNobii + Blogs +Social Network+ Layar: For those who don’t read often may not necessary know this application: aNobii. I’ve just started using this app recommended by my twitter friend very recently. Many of you probably have the similar experiences like this: make the purchase of books by reading the reviews or recommendation from celebrities or a famous news media and screwed by them because it wasn’t interesting at all. So, who do you trust when it comes to recommendation? I’d say, normal people like me are the good choice: In fact, the more, the merrier.

    So this app aNobii on the smart phone is really simple: you grab a book from the regular book store, scan the bar code from the book cover, it would automatically store the info of the choice of the book on the “book shelf” of the app. You may start making comments about the book if you read it or look for comments about the book before buying. The best thing of this tool is, it allows you to connect the readers to your blogs or the other way around.

    From this point on, you can connect the readers and sell the books you’ve just read as used books or the app will link to the stores you bought the book from. Think of this as if layar comes in the picture with its almighty mapping function, the rest is for the app to lead users to the pop up info of the stores that are nearby and people don’t even need to look into too many internet pages for the bargain.

    There, I think I have given you a pretty good idea to start with. So, please someone in this company, do something about it and start coding! Let me know when the $15,000 grand prize arrive, I think I deserve half of it. As for the naming, see my title :aNobii Kanobee.

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    Prize Winning on New Layar Creation Challenges!

    August 3rd, 2011

    This just in! Folks! The new version of layar is posting a price winning competition (US$55,000 give away in total) for you geniuses to make the challenge! The contest is focusing on ideas for publishing industries which related to books, magazines, and self publishing. Here is your opportunity of the first price of US$15,000 (¥1,200,000)…..for some reasons, it looks better in yen…

    Too bad I can’t write any programs, otherwise, I’d have whole bunch of ideas of purchasing books/magazines from the internet. I don’t know about the place in your area, but, in Japan, we have options of purchasing books and magazines from the used book stores: Book Off. All applications should be connected to those shops for me as soon as they recognize my profile as a cheapskate. Can I have options not to purchase the entire magazine and just pay for a portion of the pages to download? CDs make that choice possible in the iTune shops, can it be done in magazines as well? I mean, hey, 800yen is too much for a fashion magazine with too much commercials. Why should I pay the same price like the paperback?

    Back to the subject on Layar, the competition is looking for certain criteria of your design (Please see details on layar’s link). How well your application fits in demands is the essence of winning the competition.
    • First Place: $15,000
    • Second Place: $10,000
    • Third Place: $7,500
    • Fourth & Fifth Place: $5,000 each
    • Sixth through Tenth Place: $2,500 each

    Submission is going to be opened on 8/15/2011 and the dead line is a month later on 9/15/2011. Hurry Up, people! You don’t have too much time from now!

    3 Comments "

    Android Feel 0.2 : The Most Exciting Android PMS Solution for Moody Woman

    July 7th, 2011

    See demo display of Android Feel, deviantART, by alexandru-r-ghinea

    For those who experienced PMS out there, Hey! This may be an interesting app that you can look forward to every sometimes of the month… It is developed by alexandru-r-ghinea, a member from DeviantArt( some sort of online web page artists shop),with Nexus as platform. I was trying to run the demo but the designer said it is not out on the market, yet. Hopefully, we would be able to see it within 2-3 months. So, it was like a “Movie Premiere” I saw on his page, telling me there is going to be an interesting “Feeling Detective Screen Display” on the Android 2.0 and above. Sounds really awesome, right?

    Imaging this with “Android Feel”, it takes us into a life with our “sidekick smart phone” all the time, making suggestions to experience new or old things. A “fortune telling” function that is supposed to give ideas and direction for restaurants, books, etc. according to my mood or emotion of the day. How clever!

    Let’s say I am feeling like I need to punch someone in the face today, the app. will probably suggest me to a nice relaxed spa for massages, or, propose to read an encyclopedia of the new IT terms and make me fall asleep to forget it. I wonder if the users have to go through so many questionnaires in order to be accurate in such personal logic…I certainly don’t and wouldn’t spend money on an application for a sidekick who gives you the same advice like everyone else, not a dime for it, I tell ya.

    Right now, I am feeling extremely sleepy because the air is suffocating me in this office. Any idea? “Android Feel”?

    1 Comment "

    AugSatNav: I’d Use This App For Walking Now, Not Driving

    July 1st, 2011

     

    http://youtu.be/WC5-gQGvTfc

     

    The AugSatNav, another type of Augmented Reality application from Android Market, with this application I can go anywhere without further complicate my sense of direction.  The video I watched was demonstrated on a moving vehicle.  It made me wondered which country allowed people to temper their phone while driving?  Wasn’t that a dangerous move?

     

    It seems this application is even better than the application of Wikitude Drive because it’s free.  Wow, that will make Panasonic out of navigator business if it is really happening in Japan.   I am sure in the near future we’re all going to put a little cubby exclusively for iPad or Android tablet.   It makes more sense to use it because it is free.

     

    By all means, I love these types of technology to be used on the road, but at the same time, the question remains on how safe it is to use on a small device like smart phone?  You know I am no programmer but at least I know it would take up so much memory spaces when there is anything related to videos…Sometimes the screen would freeze without warning…what is going to happen?  Would I be crashed into an accident when I get panic under such circumstances?  Many countries prohibit people from using the mobile on the road.  It’s simply too dangerous to keep eyes on a small screen instead of a road. I wonder what would be the merit of developing this app. if it can be used only for walking instead of driving.

     

    Personally, I think it makes sense to use it on tablets with screens that are big enough to view. It’s not good for the eyes when you stare at small prints or pictures too long if you asked me.  The automobile maker should consider making a space in car for I am sure this is going to be a hit in the near future in Japan. Developer should make it available only with tablets in a specific format of screen instead of a smart phone. Ok, fine! If you must make money from the smart phone users, please do put a warning sign or there will be lawsuits next if someone gets into a serious car accident because of it.

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

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    My Dream AR Application: Wikitude Drive

    June 29th, 2011


    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ReH9dmqfOqA

    I have been searching for interesting topics for my new column and this 2 minutes demo video of Wikitude Drive , some sort of AR technology, real time road navigation smart phone application got my eyes wide opened!  This is “the” navigation app that I have been waiting for such a loooooooong time! Here are the reasons why I don’t think the traditional navigator is good to me:

    1)     Me No Japanese: You think a person like me who married a Japanese husband definitely knows how to speak….No…Let’s put it this way, the only conversation I had with my husband was like this: “Good morning! “  “Need Dinner?”  “Oh, you’re back!”  “Good night!”  Yap, that’s pretty much it.  For 15 years I spoke only 4 regular patterns of Japanese daily.  How can my Japanese be good enough to understand the voice from a Japanese navigator or make any command?  No way.   I am sure tourists in Japan encountered the same language barrier.

    With this Wikitude Drive app I can solve that problem instantly.  I think it’s great because the app is run on a smart phone with a voice command...I am sure my phone would be so “smart” one day it will speak more than 200 languages in the world whenever and wherever I need it.

     

    2)     Can’t Keep My Eyes On The Road While Watching Navigator. Anyone   has a driving experience knows how difficult it is to read the map on the screen and watch the road at the same time.  The traditional navigator always try to tell you the road ahead but you still miss it somehow if the car in front of you is making you stop for no reason. Then, what happen was, you lost tract of times and missed the road, especially when my kids were fighting on the back seat of the car.  Besides, all that colorful drawings on the map can be pretty annoying sometimes because I can’t tell which one is the real color to pay attention to.

    So, with this Wikitude Drive, the road you see is being viewed at real time through your smart phone video camera.  The only drawing you would be seeing is the color of your navigation arrow.  Hey, I can even use it for cycling.  Here is a thought, if you suppose the screen is too small to view from a phone, perhaps using Android tablet is a better idea.  iPad is a little bit “big” if you place it in front of a windshield as far as I concern.  Unless you have a box built in for your iPad in a car or something like that.  Yeah, here’s the  job for you car maker, make a space available for iPad in the car!

    3) Japanese Navigator is Too Expensive

    The similar navigator cost around ¥200,000 in the market.  The application cost about ¥1142 to download if you purchase it through the iPhone shop.  The app is not yet available in the Japanese market but I assume it would be around the same price range.

    Too bad it is currently available only in the countries like Italy, France, Austria, Switzerland, Spain, and Great Britain.  This could only mean there are many chances for AR developers to do further with this app… As a consumer, I will pay ¥1500 for this.  No problem!  Good news is, around June 2nd, 2011, LG had announced to deliver 3D reality browser on smart phone through Wikitude. Glasses free, of course! How cool can this be for 3D lovers?

    Summing up all the above reasons, boss, I think this is one of the things you should really look into.  This is one AR app that I think is worth of making other than parking spaces and hotel vacancy. With this app I am sure it can bring more fun experience for end users, regardless they are tourists or residents.    I am an idiot with no sense of direction even by walking…Please! Please! Please! Make it available in Japan!

     

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    Smart Phone Means Everything To Go

    June 29th, 2011

    2011/06/24

    Last weekend I bought an UK published magazine of reviews on iPad and iPhone new Apps, tried to look for “useable” free stuffs, you know, like Karaoke, fruit Ninja Lite, etc.; just when I thought about getting one from the Apple Store, my boss suggested to write columns on business management app for small and private company, something that are “useful” to him and not yet available in Japan..

    Ok, define the word “Useful” I said. Think about this, it can’t be good when your boss wants something “useful”.  Why, because it only means he wants to find tools to save time and money during the bad economy.   Or “reasons” to get rid of you if you were caught snoozing during the office hours, right? Boy oh boy, if I really find it, my colleagues are going to kill me for sure. So, I am going to find other “helpful” apps to generate his cash income quickly.

    1) Invoice2go : Price US$9.99, Developer: invoice2go.com, Version Reviewed: 4.0

    I find this app can be used when you’re dealing business contracts that are based on estimated value…It seems to me the contracts we made with the customers prefer to be “on the progress all time”… so what it does is that it can be functioned as a contract memos even when the business deal is on the preliminary stage. The app contains 20 templates to choose from and can be customized with any choice of logos.  It’s easy to print instantly on site with the customers.  How convenient! The magazine gave a 9/10 rating.

     

    It can also keep track on accounts…including functions such as credit memos for you to trace the unpaid businesses.  There is a desktop version for you to sync with your mobile one… I am not sure the PayPal support can be used in Japan but just the invoice part is good enough to utilize for private/small business.

    2)Pocket Scanner – Documents on the go,  Price: US$0.99, Developer: Kdan Mobile Software Ltd., Version reviewed: 1.5

    I am getting additive to the name “On the Go”, it gives me kind of “ luxury”and “intelligent” feelings of owning a smart phone.  I thought this Pocket Scanner is nice because not only it works as a simple scanner, it can actually sync any imported (scanned) images to Word, Powerpoint and Excel…Manipulate the documents in many ways…You can zoom in and out by pinching the screen, make multi-page PDFs, download PDFs through the built in browser, text search, provides landscape and portrait support.  It’s kind of similar to the CamCard app. except you can actually make a real document from it. With that price I think it is worth of having one.  The editor gives this app a 8/10 rating.  I think this review is very close to my standard.

    I haven’t found any similar business app like the above in Japanese, if you ever found one, well, please tell my boss.

     

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