Why the Japanese Hate the…Top-Selling Smartphone in Japan?

long time ago in a galaxy farfar away

Actually, in February 2009, in a story titled “Why the Japanese Hate the iPhone”, Wired had this to say:

What’s wrong with the iPhone, from a Japanese perspective? Almost everything: the high monthly data plans that go with it, its paucity of features, the low-quality camera, the unfashionable design and the fact that it’s not Japanese.

Then this happened…

iPhone 3GS Launch in Japan (June 2009) — Photo by Danny Choo (dannychoo.com)

iPhone 3GS Launch in Japan (June 2009) — Photo by Danny Choo (dannychoo.com)

Then the iPhone 4 happened. Then the iPhone 4S happened.

Which brings us to the present day…

In March 2012, The Verge, in a story titled “Apple the number one mobile phone vendor in Japan for Q4 2011”, reports a much improved market for the iPhone in Japan:

Research firm IDC Japan has revealed that the company had the largest share of all mobile phone shipments in the final quarter of 2011, accounting for 26.6 percent of the entire mobile market.

How’d they do it? To borrow from one of Apple’s old slogans, they “iterate different”. Here’s to the crazy ones.

NY Times Reader for Mac Available. Uses Silverlight? (Update: Not any more!)

The New York Times has released a beta of their Times Reader app for OS X, but they shot themselves in the foot with one poor decision: They chose to develop it using Microsoft’s barely out of the gate Silverlight (MS’ answer to Adobe’s Flash).

It’s really too bad to see big firms make poor decisions like this, though I guess it shouldn’t surprise me.

Here’s hoping someone at The Times sees the light and re-builds the Times Reader for Mac in Flash instead. I’m betting MS paid them a chunk of change to use Silverlight to try and get Mac users to have a “need” for installing Silverlight…and if they didn’t get any payment from Microsoft for doing this, then it’s an even poorer decision.

Update:  May 8, 2009: Times Reader 2.0 sneak peek is announced. It was built with Adobe AIR.

Update: May 12, 2009: The Adobe AIR-based Times Reader 2.0 was released less than one week after the sneak peek was announced.

Time Machine Recovery to New Disk Results

Having seen the option to restore from a Time Machine back-up using the Migration Assistant, I decided to do a fresh install of 10.5.1, then give the Migration Assistant route a go since I knew the restore from Time Machine backup option in the install utilities menu has already been proven to work well.

Once I formatted my replacement drive (a 320GB Seagate “7200.10”, exactly like the drive it was replacing) and taken care of the fresh install, the usual welcome screen launched and my registration info was pre-populated with the data I had entered the first time I registered. Once past the registration screen, the Migration Assistant appeared. I selected the “from a Time Machine backup” option, then clicked “Continue”. I was then prompted to select which items I would like to transfer (choices were “Users”, with the option to select only certain users, “Network and other settings”, “Application folder”, and “Files and folders on ‘Mac OS’”). I selected all options and clicked “Transfer”. All in all, I had 73.2 GB worth of data to transfer, which took around an hour.

So far, the only oddity I’ve run across was the “Tranfser Warnings and Errors.rtf” file that appeared on my desktop after the restore alerting me that I may need to re-install “Norton Utilities”. What’s odd about that is that I had never previously installed it or anything from Norton or Symantec in the first place.

Everything I was concerned about losing is still here (including some prefs and even browser cookies for the eleventy billion sites for which I was dreading having to re-enter login info). iTunes still knew who I was, iPhoto libraries were intact, and Adobe apps were still activated.

Two nice benefits I see so far to using the Migration Assistant restore option instead of the whole shootin’ match route from the aforementioned system install utilities menu:

    1. You get a chance to do a fresh install (which means you also get a chance to apply the latest version of the available updates - a good thing since Apple has pulled and reissued updated updaters a time or two in recent history).
    2. Restore time doesn’t seem as dreadfully long since the restore step is only restoring your data, settings and applications and not the entire OS, log files, caches, etc.

One tip when you’re done restoring (and happy with the results) is to make sure you remember to re-enable Time Machine, as mine was disabled after the restore. Also, if possible, buy a back-up drive for Time Machine use only that has at least double the capacity of the drive(s) you wish to back up. Once you’ve turned Time Machine back on, be sure to visit the options panel to be certain you’re backing up all the drives you want to back up. I have two external drives that were on the exclusion list by default, so my entire music collection wasn’t getting backed up.

Kudos to the folks at Apple responsible for Time Machine! You just saved my hide.

Boot Camp Surprise After OS X Drive Failure

So…last Friday morning, I walked into my home office, sat down at my desk, shook the mouse to wake the screens on my shiny new Mac Pro, and was greeted by a pinwheel of death which refused to go away. I turned the machine off, let it sit for a few and powered her back up, only to be greeted by what sounded like a noisy front case fan and a gray screen. No apple logo, no spinning wheel. Just a gray screen. I was in a bit of a hurry to get to the office and didn’t feel like messing with it, so I just powered it back down and picked back up where I left off once I got home that evening.

No love. Drive was toast. Couldn’t boot into single user mode. Couldn’t see it in Disk Utility after booting from the System Disk. Couldn’t choose the drive from the System Installer. Couldn’t select it to restore to. You get the picture. Toast.

I packed up the drive in a paper wine bag (since I didn’t have any static bags handy…and because I found it humorous at the time) and headed to the closest Apple Store to see if they could swap it out for me. They confirmed it was truly dead, but they didn’t have any replacements in stock, so they ordered one and informed me I’d have to go without my Mac Pro for the weekend.

Rewind to the week after I bought the machine back in March. Fortunately, the first upgrade I ordered was a 750GB drive to serve exclusively as my Time Machine back-up drive…just to be safe. Thank God. I had also purchased a copy of Vista Business…just to live dangerously, but had installed it on its own dedicated disk…just to be safe. After returning diskless from the Apple Store, I fired up my Mac Pro again, this time holding down the Option key, to see if Boot Camp would work in the absence of OS X. Well, what do ya know! It worked. Looks like Boot Camp lives on the hardware and is completely independent of OS X, so Vista booted up without a hitch and I was able to use my machine over the weekend after all…though not with OS X, which is where I prefer to work.

So far, Apple replaced the drive without any hassles and Boot Camp surprised me by working independent of OS X. Next up - Time Machine’s system restore functionality put to the test.

Things to Do (and NOT Do) If You Win the Lottery

Despite my advice to the contrary, my wife continues to donate to the Texas State Education Fund on a weekly basis in the form of Texas Lottery ticket purchases. She’s convinced we’re going to win one of these days. Should you ever be so lucky, here’s some good advice to keep your newfound riches from screwing up your life.

Strangely enough, winning millions in the lottery can be the worst thing that ever happened to you. The money can strain relationships with your spouse and relatives. It can turn your friends and neighbors into leeches. It can ruin your privacy. It can cause security problems and threaten your physical safety. Paradoxically, it can lead you down the road to bankruptcy.

And, of course, it can also turn you into a raging asshole.

Since the above linked article is no longer available, I'm including it below in its entirety…


Tips for the Latest Instant Millionaire

[Bear in mind that none of us is a lawyer or a lottery millionaire, so these recommendations are anything but authoritative. Caveat emptor, you rich bastard.]

It's great to be rich, but fame is a bitch. So your primary mission is to claim the money without divulging your identity or having a mental breakdown. Here's how to do it:

  1. Don't tell anyone. The single most important rule for maintaining sanity after winning the lottery is: Do everything you can to keep your precious anonymity intact. Of course that means keeping your goddamned mouth shut. Don't share the news with your friends, neighbors, coworkers, or family. Resist even the urge to tell your spouse or significant other, at least for the time being. Otherwise you will have forever blown your one chance at being anonymous. You can always spill the beans later, after all the excitement has died down.

  2. Don't sign the ticket. After you write your name on that ticket, you might as well call up and announce the news to your local TV stations and newspapers. Remember that the state lottery commission will publicize the identity of every claimant. Toss the ticket into a clean Ziploc bag (to avoid spills, etc.) and temporarily stash it someplace away from excessive heat, sunlight, pets, children, roommates, coworkers, etc. Make sure it's someplace safe that you won't forget.

  3. Act casual. Maintain your normal routine. Continue to attend work, school, church, social functions, etc. Whatever's typical for you. When people ask you what's up, refer to rule number one.

  4. Make a few photocopies. At your earliest opportunity, take a trip to a 24-hour Kinko's around 2am when nobody's around and make six copies of the ticket, both front and back. Use one of the self-serve machines and take any and all bad copies with you (i.e. leave none in the trash). And before you leave, doublecheck to make sure you didn't leave the original in the machine.

  5. Rent a safe-deposit box. Contact your bank and see if they have any vacant safe deposit boxes, tell them you're going on a trip and need to store some documents for a few months. Make a point of asking them how much it costs, even though you couldn't care less. You're trying to keep up appearances. When you go down to the bank in person to open your box, you will probably need some ID and your bank card. Bring the ticket, along with some other (fake) papers. Don't show them the ticket, obviously. Loose lips sink ships. Stash the ticket in the box and put the box key on your keyring. Don't lose the key.

  6. Open a blind trust. Hire a tax attorney. Once you're a client, the lawyer is legally bound to maintain your confidentiality. Tell them you want to open a blind trust in order to claim the lottery prize as an anonymous trustee. Provide three photocopies of your ticket. All contact with the lottery commission will be made through your lawyer.

  7. Contact a financial planner. Rich people don't tend to stay that way without a little planning. If you have the choice between annual payments and a single large payout, you should consider the big jackpot. It's less money total, but it's probably about the same as the annuity if you take the lump sum and invest it in interest-bearing savings bonds. However, the single large payout may incur a higher tax rate. Ask your tax experts.

  8. Tie up any financial loose ends. No reason to procrastinate now. Pay all those traffic fines and parking tickets. Catch up on alimony or child support payments. Settle any debts. Instruct your financial planner to scrub those black marks off your credit score, but don't cancel your credit cards -- that'll screw up your rating. And don't think it won't matter anymore. It matters.

  9. Draft or update your last will and testament. If there were ever a time for estate planning, it's now. Be sure to remember us by including The Rotten Codicil in your will.

  10. Move away. And not just out of town. We're talking out of state, possibly out of the country. You can't expect to keep a lid on your secret forever; information wants to be free. Maybe buy a modest house with a good alarm system in a gated community with a private security force. That ought to minimize the solicitors at your door. Also be sure to get an unlisted phone number.



28 Apr 1997 – Lottery millionaire Michael Allen is bludgeoned to death in a Lewiston, Maine motel room.

22 May 1999 – Billie Bob Harrell, Jr. commits suicide. In June 1997, Harrell won $31 million in the Texas state lottery.

4 Sep 2001 – Patrick Collier randomly wins $1 million at a McDonald's in Holly Hill, Florida. "I'm getting a Harley and a couple of houses." Two weeks later, Collier is arrested for allegedly choking and punching his fiancee in the face.

19 Dec 2001 – British lottery millionaire Phil Kitchen is found dead on his couch. Kitchen had apparently drunk himself to death (whiskey).

11 Jul 2002 – British lottery winner Dennis Elwell dies at work, shortly after telling a coworker that he had drunk cyanide.

21 Apr 2003 – $25 million lottery winner Richard Krenzer is stabbed six times by Randall Hillyard and his son at the Swillburg Stop Bar & Grill outside Rochester, NY.

29 Jun 2003 – Lottery millionaire Jody Lee Taylor is arrested in Collinsville, Virginia for attempting to run over a sheriff's deputy. On the night of his arrest, Taylor was driving naked down the wrong side of U.S. Route 58 with his headlights off.

5 Aug 2003 – After lottery millionaire Jack Whittaker passes out in a West Virginia strip bar, a burglar steals his briefcase containing $545,000 in negotiable bonds. The money is located in a trash dumpster the next morning.

13 Sep 2003 – The London Telegraph reports that 16-year-old British lottery millionaire Callie Rogers has lost her boyfriend, fought with her father, been mugged, and been accused of stealing someone's man. "Some days I don't even want to leave my house because people just scream abuse at me. Two months ago I thought I was the luckiest teenager in Britain. But today I can say I have never felt so miserable."

15 Sep 2003 – In his Egg Harbor Township, New Jersey home, lottery millionaire Oscar Cordoba repeatedly stabs his wife and her mother with a kitchen knife, killing the mother-in-law.

17 Oct 2003 – In a program entitled Living with the Lottery Lout, ITV1 reports that British lottery millionaire Michael Carroll has completely alienated his neighbors in Swaffham, Norfolk by periodically staging loud, impromptu demolition derbies on his property.

18 Nov 2003 – An English court issues a bench warrant for lottery millionaire Satish Patel, charged with defrauding the government for three years' worth of unemployment claims.

6 Jan 2004 – After getting banned from Billy Sundays Bar and Grill in St Albans, West Virginia, lottery winner Jack Whittaker reportedly threatens to have the manager and his family killed.

20 Jan 2004 – Lottery winner Jack Whittaker reports that shortly after dawn, somebody broke into his SUV in Scott Depot, West Virginia and stole a bag containing $100,000 cash.

25 Jan 2004 – Lottery winner Jack Whittaker is arrested for drunk driving in Nitro, West Virginia. Police allege the millionaire blew a .190 blood alcohol on the breathalyzer.

Apr 2004 – A judge rules that broke Virginia lottery millionaire Suzanne Mullins owes $154,146.50 to the People's Lottery Foundation, a Florida lending institution specializing in loans to lottery winners.

26 Jun 2004 – At his Longmont, Colorado home, state lottery millionaire Kevin Lee Sutton allegedly shoots Cristobal Lopez in the head with a .22 caliber pistol. Lopez survives and Sutton is later charged with attempted murder.

20 Jul 2004 – In Minneapolis, MN, lottery millionaire Victoria A. Zell reportedly crashes her SUV into a truck on the way home from a bar, killing passenger Joshua Schmidt and paralyzing Amity Dimock from the waist down.

7 Aug 2004 – Incarcerated serial rapist Iorworth Hoare wins $12.9 million in the British lottery.

13 Aug 2004 – The nonprofit group Equine Protection of North America files suit against New Hampshire lottery millionaire Mary Ellen Sanderson for failure to deliver on an alleged $70,000 annual donation pledge.

24 Aug 2004 – An Arizona bird refuge, The Oasis Sanctuary, files suit against New Hampshire lottery millionaires Mary Ellen Sanderson and former husband Jason Sanderson for failure to deliver on an alleged $100,000 annual donation pledge.

Sep 2004 – Minnesota lottery millionaire Victoria A. Zell is arrested for having allegedly violated the terms of her bail and possessing 0.7 grams of methamphetamine. Zell had also reportedly wired $500,000 to a Canadian bank.

10 Oct 2004 – Seattle police officers shoot California lottery millionaire Rick Camat to death in a parking lot near Qwest Field. Officers claim that Camat refused to drop his pistol, but Camat's brother claims the cops give him no instructions to do so.

2 Oct 2005 – Having spent his $10 million prize in just seven years, Winnipeg lottery winner Gerald Muswagon hangs himself. Notable events in his monied spree include a high-speed chase in 2000 and a sexual assault arrest in 2002.

28 Oct 2005 – Million dollar jackpot winner Christina Goodenow is arrested after Oregon police discover that she had purchased the winning ticket with a credit card stolen from her dead mother-in-law. Police searching her home discover her stash of methamphetamine, but find no trace of her first $33,500 installment.

15 Jan 2006 – Bankrupt ex-lottery millionaire William "Bud" Post III dies of respiratory failure in Seneca, Pennsylvania. Post had won $16.2 million in the Pennsylvania lottery on February 24, 1988. From a 1993 interview: "Everybody dreams of winning money, but nobody realizes the nightmares that come out of the woodwork, or the problems."

Boot Camp's Hibernate and Switch Feature M.I.A.?

So…today, after the WWDC Keynote was over, I was poking around on Apple’s site to see what new bits they had on their site about Leopard.

I was excited (more excited than I was about anything discussed during the keynote itself) to see a paragraph on the Boot Camp page about a previously undisclosed feature regarding being able to hibernate the active OS and “restart into” the alternate OS instead of having to do a full restart, thus allowing for much faster switching back and forth between OS X and Windows.

Sadly, as I went to the page again tonight to grab the URL to show some fellow Mac users I was talking with in Second Life, I noticed they had removed that particular paragraph, leaving only three paragraphs and a big blank spot where this glorious new feature had been spotted only hours before.

Here’s hoping it returns, as I only use one Windows application (a crappy trouble ticket app) on my work machine and I only need to use it for about five minutes per day, so I typically am spending more time starting Windows in Parallels and waiting for it to quit so I can quit Parallels each day than I spend in the actual Windows application because I don’t want to quit all my open apps in OS X to fire up Boot Camp. This will make my life so much easier. Here’s praying that feature lives on and wasn’t actually yanked.

2007 WWDC Predictions (and First Post)

So now that Apple has already announced the ship date for the iPhone (June 29th) and they went and announced some nice updates for the MacBook Pro already, we’re all left wondering just what they have up their sleeves to announce at WWDC ‘07 next week.

Since my wife just dozed off when I brought up the topic on our walk tonight, I’ll pose my guesses here (for posterity’s sake, since this is my first official post and I suspect there will be exactly zero people who will run across this blog before WWDC actually takes place).


My first and strongest gut feeling guess is that Steve will announce and make available a new version of XCode or some other development tool that can be used by third-party developers to build iPhone apps. Probably not the first person you’ve seen suggest the same, however, I’ll go one further and suggest that the only official way to distribute iPhone apps will be through the iTunes store, which will also allow Apple the ability to require that all third-party apps go through some kind of approval process before being placed up for distribution on the iTunes store.

This will allow the platform to stay as safe and stable as possible without locking it down completely as most have understood Apple to say up until recently.

While I have seen others suggest that Apple will eventually open up the iPhone to third party apps at some point, I haven’t seen (or have missed) seeing anyone suggest the possibility of this “blessing” process and the restricted distribution for apps that I believe will happen.

Other predictions discussed elsewhere are not so exciting, but include things like a newly redesigned iMac., the retirement of the Mac Mini (and, as a result, the possible introduction of the now mythical XMac or whatever label you care to give the long begged for “more powerful, slightly bigger and more expandable than a Mac Mini but not as powerful or as expandable or as expensive as a Mac Pro” Mac.).

There will obviously be some previously unnanounced Leopard features that will have the sheets ripped off them to the delight of thousands of awe-struck developers. I have no guesses here and don’t even care to guess. The ZFS file system will apparently be playing a big part in Leopard, if not as the default file system. Some cool things will no doubt come of that if it is the default file system though.

I’d like to know what you think, particularly regarding the iPhone third-party application blessing/restricted distribution prediction. Comments after the predicted announcement of the same is welcome too. Good? Bad? Indifferent?

And…hello world!