Monday, June 29, 2009

Rick's Picks (weekly)

  • At least that is what they tell me! I like Japan and have had some interesting, enjoyable and indeed unique experiences here, otherwise I would not have stayed in this country since 1987. But over the years, I've had an earful of people telling me directly or indirectly how unique Japan and its people are, and I've had to burst more than one person's bubble. Sometimes incorrectly.

    tags: rick cogley, nihonjinron, culture, japan, intestines, snow, pregnancy

  • Mezamashi TV had a segment on the lastest gyaru language. If you're not familiar, gyaru are the sort of schoolgirls who hang out in Shibuya or Harajuku, dress in the latest fashion and speak in a sort of code. Here's the three I remember: * ムカTK mukaTK - mukatsuku, to be pissed off. The original's just as easy, ladies. * モレる moreru - um, to be dressed up, with your hair in a bun with cute accessories. Comes from "moritsukeru" to decorate. * シカメ shikame - from shikato and meeru, ignore mail. To have blown off answering someone's text message. I hear that a large percentage of schoolkids get really stressed about "shikame", in all seriousness. At any rate, remembering these is one thing, but using them is another, so remember this: if an "oyaji" (middle-aged guy) like me uses gyaru-go, he's ostracized by his daughters and subjected to the "uzai" label for all time. :-)

    tags: gyaru, Rick Cogley, harajuku, shibuya

  • I went to a Softbank shop in Shibuya, Tokyo and asked how much it would cost to upgrade an iPhone 3G to an iPhone 3GS. The clerk told me that for the 16GB model it would be an additional JPY 780 per month for 24 months, totaling JPY 18,720, assuming the continuation of my current contract. That sounded about right to me, given the US prices. I wanted to see if I could just buy one outright, and slipped into another general electronics store that was selling iPhones from Softbank and other phones. Unfortunately, the clerk in the second store told me that the "discount" you get with a new contract is not valid for the upgrade, so you end up paying a total of about JPY 70,000. Additionally, you cannot just buy a phone in the US and have it activated for use here. Yep. That's a whopping USD 700.00 for an iPhone 3GS from Softbank Japan, and the "after discount" pricing is only for new contracts, not for upgraders. Wow, I'm stunned (while at the same time I'm hoping I'm wrong) at being penalized for wanting to upgrade. What a way to engender loyalty, Softbank. I guess the only thing to do is to wait until Softbank change the pricing, which they eventually did for the 3G, after some time had passed. I feel like a lifeless husk that's been trampled on and ground into dust. :-/ Rick Cogley

    tags: iphone, 3GS, gadgets, softbank, expensive, unfair, upgrade, japan

  • Japan morning TV reported that "One Coin" (ワンコイン) services are all the rage these days in Japan, due to the down economy. What this phrase means is that you can buy a good or service with a single 500 yen coin, or about USD 5.00. Indeed, you can see them here and there: * "Makudonarudo" McDonald's has a 500 yen value set. * "One Coin" lunches at salary-man lunch joints. * Short foot massages for 500 yen. * "Test Esthe" at Miss Paris Esthetic Salon for "one coin". * Yoshinoya and Matsuya meat bowls for 500 yen. Next time you're out and about in Tokyo, keep an eye out for "one coin" ワンコイン services. Rick Cogley

    tags: trends, Engrish, 500, ワンコイン, economy, inexpensive

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

Monday, June 22, 2009

iPhone 3GS Unfairly Expensive in Japan for Upgraders

I went to a Softbank shop in Shibuya, Tokyo and asked how much it would cost to upgrade an iPhone 3G to an iPhone 3GS. The clerk told me that for the 16GB model it would be an additional JPY 780 per month for 24 months, totaling JPY 18,720, assuming the continuation of my current contract. That sounded about right to me, given the US prices.

I wanted to see if I could just buy one outright, and slipped into another general electronics store that was selling iPhones from Softbank and other phones. Unfortunately, the clerk in the second store told me that the "discount" you get with a new contract is not valid for the upgrade, so you end up paying a total of about JPY 70,000. Additionally, you cannot just buy a phone in the US and have it activated for use here.

Yep. That's a whopping USD 700.00 for upgrading to an iPhone 3GS from Softbank Japan, and the "after discount" pricing is only for new contracts, not for upgraders. Wow, I'm stunned (while at the same time I'm hoping I'm wrong) at being penalized for wanting to upgrade. What a way to engender loyalty, Softbank.

I guess the only thing to do is to wait until Softbank change the pricing, which they eventually did for the 3G, after some time had passed.

I feel like a lifeless husk that's been trampled on and ground into dust. :-/


24 June 2009 - I've heard conflicting reports on this situation, stating that you can upgrade and that you cannot upgrade in Japan, and that you can or cannot buy iPhones from the US or China and bring them here to use. However, from the Japan Times newspaper this AM, it appears that you will be able to buy an iPhone 3GS with no contract. I assume this is from Apple. The question is, can I just pop my existing SIM in there.

As for the cost, the 16 gigabyte model is priced at ¥11,520, and the 32 GB is ¥23,040, on a special campaign offer, while it retails at ¥23,040 (16 GB) and ¥34,560 (32GB) for those wanting the phone out of contract. —Japan Times 24 June 2009

26 June 2009 - I went to Apple, who told me that, no, despite the statement in the Japan Times you must have a contract. They concurred with Softbank's statement that you'd lose the discount on your 3G, and that you'd end up paying the approx JPY 70,000 yen over two years. What I did learn was that you could do a "kishu henkou" (model change) after you've completed paying off the original 3G. Wow, what a blow.

Rick's Picks (weekly)

  • Artist Bunpei Yorifuji (寄藤文平) is creating a series of manner posters for the Tokyo metro, around the theme of "Do It At Home". Yorifuji was born in Nagano Prefecture, Japan, in 1973, and founded Bunpei Ginza in 2000 to specialize in mainly Art Direction, Illustration and Book Design. Yorifuji's manners posters address the most common complaints heard by the Metro, such as people who apply makeup, party, sit on the floor, take up too much room, jump through the closing doors at the last minute, wear Everest-assault-sized backbacks and so on. I have to chuckle at the rather awkward and sometimes double-entendre Engrish, but that's what gives them charm, I suppose. I even found a spoof poster. See the thumbs below for the spoof poster and the official website.

    tags: Bunpei Yorifuji, Rick Cogley, manners, posters, Tokyo Metro

  • Sounds good, if it will eliminate the numbness. —Rick Cogley || From the site: What is an ISM saddle? - The original ISM saddle was designed to create a seat that would eliminate, or at least reduce, the discomfort most riders experience on a traditional bike saddle. The concept was patented by 1999. In 2008 alone, ISM has seen success with 11 Ironman wins, 2 Olympic silver medals, 1 World Duathlon Championship, 1 Lifetime Fitness Series overall win, and countless age group victories. Pros and amateurs alike are finding riding and competing comfortable again. Why is an ISM saddle so comfortable? Our patented saddles are unisex and remove pressure off the pudendal nerve and arteries in both male and female riders for un-paralleled comfort. Click here for more information: FAQ ISM.doc Click here for set up instructions: adamo_setup.pdf Ready to order a saddle? Email us at : info@t1bicycles.comshapeimage_2_link_0shapeimage_2_link_1shapeimage_2_link_2 Race Saddle JPY 19,000 Peloton Saddle JPY 14,000 Medical Information: On an annual basis, bicycle riding involves several hundred million people worldwide. Studies have linked perineal pressure caused by straddling traditional bicycle seats to numbness, urinary tract and yeast infections, prostate inflammation and impotence. For male riders, in addition to the discomfort and numbness associated with a traditional saddle, there is an increased susceptibility to restricted blood flow, which can lead to arterial occlusion and permanent erectile dysfunction. For women, the restricted blood flow and hardening of the genital arteries can lead to an inability to reach orgasm. It has been found that as little as 11% of a person’s body weight can compress the genital artery! IN 2004, Dr. Frank Sommer at the University of Cologne tested the ISM saddle. Dr. Sommer is a noted expert in the area of arterial occlusion resulting from bicycle saddles.

    tags: ISM, Adamo, Saddles, t1bicycles, roppongi, perineal, pressure

  • I purchased Ray-Out's reasonably-priced leather "Jacket" case, model RT-P1LC4/B, perhaps three months ago from Yodobashi Camera. I was looking for a case that had a "strap loop" so that I could hang the iPhone around my neck for going to meetings or lunch, as I don't trust myself to put the iPhone in my pocket and have it survive even one day! The Ray-Out leather jacket was one option, and the other was so bling-bling it wasn't even a choice for me. DIY Fix for the RT-P1LC4/B Loop Problem Unfortunately, the D-ring that came attached to the case by a leather loop came off, sending the iPhone plummeting to the ground. At least the case's leather hit the ground instead of the actual phone, so my iPhone still works. Ray-Out should re-design that little loop for the D-Ring, because after even a couple month's of use, it became weak and ripped.

    tags: RT-P1LC4_B, Ray-Out, Leather, Case, iPhone, Rick Cogley, DIY

  • A tutorial video from Nikon on the D90's video capability. —Rick Cogley || From the site: A new idea for D-SLRs, the D90 offers a movie function, allowing you to shoot movies in three different motion JPEG formats: 320 x 216 pixels, 640 x 424 pixels and 1,280 x 720 pixels. Now you can capture life’s moving moments with added drama by using many of Nikon’s NIKKOR lenses, including the AF DX Fisheye 10.5mm f/2.8G ED and the Micro-NIKKOR lenses. The shallow depth of field can give your movies a more creative and emotional impact. An additional benefit is the D90 image sensor, which is much larger than a typical camcorder for higher image quality and exceptional high ISO performance during low-light shooting.

    tags: Nikon, Photography, D90, D-Movie, Video

  • "Drop" is a horror story novella written by Koji Suzuki, the writer of best-selling horror stories such as "Ring" and "Rasen" (Spiral). Suzuki san was born in 1957 in Shizuoka Prefecture, Japan, and his books have sold more than 8 million copies. —Rick Cogley

    tags: drop, koji suzuki, novella, horror

  • Test your mettle against the Network World Quiz-o-Matic. —Rick Cogley || From the site: Whether you love Apple or could live without it, the company holds an iconic place in IT history. Most people think they know that history pretty well. But here are 10 trivia questions with answers that might surprise you. After you take the quiz, head over to Yoni Heisler's iOnApple blog and share your score.

    tags: network, world, quiz, mythology, apple

  • Apple released yesterday an updated iPhone operating system, iPhone OS 3.0, with a number of useful improvements. For me, the update itself was seamless, and took about 15 minutes after clicking the update button in iTunes. I upgraded first thing in the morning, but colleagues who tried later in the day had some delays. I guess it's to be expected when so many people try to download at the same time. Some Tips for iPhone OS 3.0 I took some screenshots of the obvious and not-so-obvious (by pressing the home and power buttons simultaneously in case you aren't aware how), so I'll introduce those to you now.

    tags: iPhone, OS, 3.0, Tips, Rick Cogley

  • From the site: Born in Kobe City Education : Kyoto City University of Arts Lives in Kyoto In 1993 , held solo exhibition in Kyoto Since 1996, participated exhibitions in Europe and U.S.A. Create The "My Grandmothers" series which visualize the self-perceived notions of several young women when asked to imagine what type of woman they themselves might become fifty years later. In 2004 , held solo exhibition in Deutsche Guggenheim and Marugame Genichiro-Inokuma Museum of Contemporary Art. In 2005 , show "Fairy tale" series which are tales about girl and elderly woman in Hara Museum and Ohara Museum of Art. In 2007 , held solo exhibition in Chelsea Art Museum (New York). In 2008 , held solo exhibition in The Museum of Fine Arts (Houston).

    tags: yanagi, miwa, profile, bio

  • Miwa Yanagi is showing at the Japanese Pavilion, at the The 53rd Venice Biennale 2009. The installation is called "Windswept Women:The Old Girls' Troupe".

    tags: miwa yanagi, venice, biennale, 2009, windswept women

  • Chuck Dillon posts some prescient and hysterical drawings of the 16 breeds of art student. —Rick Cogley || From the site: I know 10 years is not a long time, but by this time in my teaching career I think I have had just about every type of student. Earlier this year to relieve my stress I started categorizing and sketching out each student type (Comic artist Daniel Clowes already touched on this categorization in his great comic, Art School Confidential). What I wound up with are these 16 types. Over time, I may discover that there are more types or new names for them (ie: goth is now something called emo). Originally I had excluded the average/good students because average/good is not very funny but with much pleading and begging I added it in.

    tags: chuck dillon, blog30x30, art students

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

Friday, June 19, 2009

iPhone OS 3.0 Tips on Parade

Apple released yesterday an updated iPhone operating system, iPhone OS 3.0, with a number of useful improvements. For me, the update itself was seamless, and took about 15 minutes after clicking the update button in iTunes. I upgraded first thing in the morning, but colleagues who tried later in the day had some delays. I guess it's to be expected when so many people try to download at the same time.

Some Tips for iPhone OS 3.0

I took some screenshots of the obvious and not-so-obvious (by pressing the home and power buttons simultaneously in case you aren't aware how), so I'll introduce those to you now.

If you have MobileMe you can enable Find My iPhone and track where the phone is if it is stolen, via GPS. You can also remote-wipe and send messages and sounds to your iPhone. Maybe you won't get the iPhone back, but you can at least antagonize the thief! The sounds and messages will play even if it's locked, so this will help if the iPhone is in "manner" mode.

I suspect it will be useful for when it's in manner mode but lost somewhere in the nether regions of your sofa.

"Find My iPhone" via MobileMe

iPhone OS 3.0 now finally has select, copy and paste, and it works in and across various applications. Even the new TweetDeck for iPhone that was just released supports it already. Press and hold to get the selection "handles" and various commands.

Select and Copy

Once something is on the clipboard you can paste. You can see I copied from TweetDeck to Mail. The new clipboard also honors rich text, which means you can copy something like formatted text from a webpage in Safari, to a Mail Message, and it will paste it in just as you saw it on the web. Slick!

You can also select in mail to "quote" part of a message before replying. It works more like Leopard OS X.

iPhone OS 3.0 Select, Copy, Paste

iPhone OS 3.0 now has Spotlight. You can swipe the left-most home screen right to get spotlight search, and you'll see that the page icon (the dots at the bottom) is actually a magnifying glass. Spotlight search works across apps, and like big sister OS Leopard OS X, also works to find apps so you can launch them. Check your settings as well - you can link "home button double-press" to Spotlight search if you like.

Lastly, you'll find that many apps with lists, like Address Book and Mail have a search box at the top. This is Spotlight, but as you scroll down through the entries, you can double-tap the very top of the screen (near the clock) to jump back to the top. Try it!

Spotlight Address Book, iPod, Notes

Spotlight Music and Podcasts

In Address Book you can now send an Address Card as a vCard entry via Email or MMS (which Softbank Japan supports). Scroll down to the bottom of a contact to find the share buttons.

Share via Email or MMS

Here's what a shared vCard in .vcf format via Email looks like. Note also another new feature: the Landscape keyboard is available in more apps, negating the need for apps like EasyWriter.

Landscape and Vcard

While we're on Mail, you can move messages instead of just deleting them in the Edit screen. Convenient for stuff like spam.

Move Messages

Neat stuff on the podcast front, too. In iPod, you can control podcast playback better, with the "jump back 30 seconds" and the speed changer buttons. There's also a button for emailing the actual link to the podcast so you can share it with friends.

Podcast Controls

When you click the email icon from the podcast, you get a pre-formatted email with a link to the podcast.

Mailing a Podcast Link

There are plenty of tiny new tweaks, including this almost incomprehensible one, showing you a very small thumbnail of the last photo you snapped. Maybe it's fuzzy because I merely have a 3G and not a shiny new 3GS.

Teeny Little Thumb

A couple more things:

  • MS Exchange integration is much better, but note that the interface in Address books allows you to "view all", so it might look like you have duplicates if you keep your MobileMe and Exchange address books synced.
  • iTunes now lets you buy & download whatever's in the iTunes store.
  • iPod lets you "shake to shuffle".
  • There's a new basic Voice Recorder app that lets you record and share voice memos. Nice.
  • They've improved the keyboard "secret" hold-to-see shortcuts. Check it out by going to the numbers and symbols keyboard, then holding down various keys.
  • While browsing in Safari, you can press and hold a link to get a popup that lets you open the link in another tab.
  • You can shake to undo in the main applications like Mail or Messaging.

If you own an iPhone, you can upgrade for free, and there's a small fee to upgrade if you have an iPod Touch. Try it, I'm sure you'll like it. It really makes the iPhone an even more attractive platform. Enjoy!

Monday, June 15, 2009

Rick's Picks (weekly)

  • It's so funny it speaks for itself. Check out Anil Dash's predictive expose of how the Facebook username debacle might go down. FU! —Rick Cogley || From the site: Exclusive: The Future of Facebook Usernames 10 Jun 2009 The whole world A small number of super-geeky obsessives is abuzz over the upcoming launch of Facebook Usernames, an exciting new feature that will let you put some parts of your name into a web address.

    tags: facebook, usernames, username, anil, prediction, dash

  • TOSBack is an useful service that monitors changes in various web services' Terms of Service. Click "Subscribe to RSS" on the site to monitor it in your RSS reader (such as NetNewsWire or Google Reader). —Rick Cogley From the site: TOSBack keeps an eye on ... website policies. Every time one of them changes, you'll see an update here.

    tags: privacy, TOS, legal, security, tosback, google, terms, changes, rss, terms of service

  • John Gruber's Daring Fireball WWDC 2009 predictions. —Rick Cogley || From the site: WWDC 2009 Predictions - Sunday, 7 June 2009 What I know, don’t know, and know I don’t know about tomorrow’s WWDC announcements. As usual, please, no wagering. iPhone 3GS Everything I wrote about last month in “The Next iPhone” still stands. I expect Apple to announce updated iPhones with significantly faster processors, twice the RAM, and twice the storage. I expected prices to remain the same as the current lineup: $199/299 for 16/32 GB, respectively. The video camera is going to be a major selling point. One additional tidbit I’ve heard is the new hardware’s code name: iPhone 3GS. I’m not certain that’s what it’ll be officially named, but my hunch is yes. I have no idea what the S stands for.1 The other new tidbit is battery life: 15-20 percent longer than the iPhone 3G.

    tags: daringfireball, john gruber, wwdc, 2009, predictions

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

Monday, June 08, 2009

Rick's Picks (weekly)

  • This is Mike Reed's humorous look at the various personalities you'll encounter on the Internet. Very funny! —Rick Cogley || From the site: Some years ago a minor spat ignited a searing flame ware that threatened to consume a once-placid discussion forum. While the forum burned I amused myself by caricaturiing the chief antagonists. Confounded at seeing themselves thus revealed, the combatants fled the field in disarray. ...

    tags: humor, warriors, flame, humour, blogging, forum, cartoon, culture

  • I've seen this good, energetic "Street Jazz" trio at JR Shinjuku before, but today I waited for a good moment and got some materials from them. The musicians were George Kano on drums, Chikara Saito on Alto Sax, and (probably) Sousuke Kawamoto on upright bass. The flyers I got were pretty clear on who the sax and drum players were, but I'm not so sure about the bass player. Either way, they are all really good musicians. —Rick Cogley

    tags: snapjapan, cogley, chikara saito, george kano, sousuke kawamoto, street, jazz

  • Josh George did the paintings for the album art for Pat Metheny's Day Trip and Tokyo Day Trip EP. —Rick Cogley || From the site: Earlier this year I did the CD cover and interior art for Pat Metheny's newest release "Day Trip". It was great fun having almost complete creative freedom. During the bands world tour they did a live recording of their gig in Tokyo and decided to release it as an EP. Again they contacted me to do a variation on the cover but set in Japan. I don't do to many illustration jobs but working with a respected musician like Pat was very rewarding. Didn't have to do a sketch first! So here is the cover for "Tokyo Day Trip". You can find it in your local non-chain music store. I buy all my music at "Music Matters" in Brooklyn.

    tags: josh george, pat metheny, day trip, tokyo day trip, painter, metheny

  • Text substitution tools. Personally, I use Text Expander which is quite excellent on the Mac, but LifeHacker recommends ActiveText for Windows. —Rick Cogley || From the site: These days, most of us end up having to type at the computer on a daily basis. Some of us are fast and some are slow - but regardless of your typing proficiency, text substitutions can save us all an unbelievable amount of time. The basic idea is to replace a small bit of text with a larger bit of text. So maybe you set 'name' to 'your full name'. Admittedly, this is probably overkill, but it gets the idea across. Apply a small amount of effort and simple text substitution becomes a tool more powerful and dynamic than you might have imagined. Let's see just how much we can streamline your time at the keyboard.

    tags: lifehacker, substitution, text, activetext, textexpander, smileonmymac, productivity

  • Every year, we have a family reunion during the New Year holiday "oshogatsu". The photo in this post is of the 2009 edition. This is A Big Deal for the family here, and they do it without fail. Missing it is also A Big Deal, so I think we've missed it once in the past 15 years. I gather it's an Asian thing to have these big family gatherings, but I always feel like the odd man out, when the conversation turns to whatever it is that 60-ish-year-old Japanese folks like to talk about. Though I enjoy the company and drink and food, great food, these also make me long for home, to see my Mom and Dad, Sister and Brother and everyone's families and friends. Ah, if only Star Trek teleportation was possible! Oshogatsu omedeto!

    tags: resident, snapjapan, reunion, oshogatsu, cogley

  • Squarespace offers a turnkey way to build and publish a site and blog online from 8 USD / month, with some really good-looking results. Seems like it would be perfect for people who do not want to use software and upload via FTP. —Rick Cogley || From the site - In 2003, after being unable to find a way to elegantly publish his personal website, Anthony Casalena began work on the software that is now the Squarespace Platform. Since its inception, Squarespace has blossomed into a product that powers tens of thousands of sophisticated websites for businesses, bloggers, and professionals worldwide and currently serves hundreds of millions of hits per month. Squarespace has been mentioned in both the Wall Street Journal and BusinessWeek, as well as on countless other blogs and news sites. Our small team consists of solely bio-worthy names, and due to our entirely organic revenue growth, we operate free from the restrictions and obligations of organizations controlled by outside investors.

    tags: squarespace, anthony casalena, web, publish, blog, online

  • Creative Commons founding member Lawrence Lessig's long retort to the ill-informed attack by Mark Helprin on Creative Commons. —Rick Cogley || From the site: This is an insanely long review of Mark Helprin's book, Digital Barbarism (HarperCollins 2009) (Note: if you buy from that link, Creative Commons gets the referral fee). You can download a PDF of the review here. Exactly two years ago today, the New York Times published an op-ed about copyright by a novelist. The piece caused something of a digital riot. As we learn now from his book, Digital Barbarism (HarperCollins 2009), Mark Helprin was at the time completely ignorant about the hornets nest he was about to kick. For him, the op-ed was a professional rapprochement with the New York Times, a chance to make things right once again (though why they were then wrong is a story left mysteriously (and thankfully) out of the book).

    tags: helprin, lessig, solipsist, digital, barbarism, creative commons, cc

  • Mark Bernstein, creator of TinderBox, writes in defense of "everything buckets" that Alex Payne rails against in a blog post. —Rick Cogley || From the site: What Payne misses — what nearly everyone has missed in thinking about the question — is the process of finding and creating structure. Yes: you want to keep things organized. Yes: you want specialized tools for special tasks. But things don’t arrive with structure (and, when they do, they have the wrong structure!) and the kinds of structure you want are always changing.

    tags: bernstein, tinderbox, payne, everything buckets

  • Alex Payne makes a case for using the file system on computers, and against "everything buckets" like Journler, Yojimbo, DEVONthink, Together, Evernote. —Rick Cogley || From the site: Why Everything Buckets Are Not A Good Idea - Computers work best with structured data. Everything Buckets discourage the use of structured data by providing a convenient place to commingle “structureless” data like RTF and PDF documents. Rather than forcing the user to figure out the rhyme and reason of their data (for example, by putting receipts in a financial management application and addresses in an address book), Everything Buckets cry: “throw it all in here! Search it! Maybe I’ll corrupt my proprietary database, but maybe I won’t and you’ll have the joy of sifting through a mire of RTF documents. Doesn’t that sound great?” This proposition should not sound great. If you think you’re going to save time in the long run by throwing your data into a big bucket now, then sifting through it later, you are mistaken. There are better ways.

    tags: payne, buckets, everything buckets, journler, yojimbo, devonthink, together, evernote

  • On the unfortunate loss of focus at Journler, and Doug's consequent "dating" of DEVONthink. —Rick Cogley || From the site: Journler was the answer, but as I’ve just learned, unfunded solo developers are very risky. Who else to turn to? Together concerns me because it gags on data sets over a few thousand items. Evernote’s business model is committed to datalocking you into the application, which is intolerable. Yohimbo is a starter tool not a long haul application for a serous user. Lastly the Lit / Citation managers, like Papers, Zotero, Endnote and Sente are indexers, not writer’s base pads. So yea, DEVONThink. She’s good right now, but I’m lookin’

    tags:, dougist, devonthink, journler

  • A wonderful story of a visa denied, and a community's response. Long live the small shops! -- Rick Cogley From the site: A French couple came to town several years ago in search of something. Here, amid the swelling mountains and struggling businesses, the Red Sox hagiography and Yankee taciturnity, they were looking for just the right place to sell madeleines. And croissants. And tarts. And long, thin loaves of French bread that all but dare you to tear at their heel before you’re out the door.

    tags: baguettes, colebrook, ounis, visa, denial, reconsideration

  • The Pharmaceutical Affairs Law "PAL" was revised to allow convenience stores like 7-11, Lawson, Family Mart or others to sell most over-the-counter drugs, so long as they have a clerk who has registered and qualified with the local government. The fact that they no longer need a pharmacist is a big cost-saving difference from before, that also allows a big new income stream for the conbinis. -- Rick Cogley

    tags: resident, snapjapan, snap!japan, rick cogley, otc, pal, mhlw

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

Saturday, June 06, 2009

Artist Josh George's Cool Album Art

Pat Metheny Trio, "Tokyo Day Trip" Album Art by Josh GeorgeI bought the Pat Metheny Trio's "Day Trip" album and "Tokyo Day Trip" EP today, and really loved the album art. It's by New York-based artist Josh George, and if you click through to the image in this post that I uploaded to Flickr, you can see my annotations of the Japanese in his art. There's even "Cat Metheny" in there, too. Check out Josh's website or blog, and then go buy some of his art.

So how's the music? The Pat Metheny Trio with Pat on guitar (what else?), Christian McBride on bass, and Antonio Sanchez on drums is stellar. If you're a jazz fan you're sure to love it.

Monday, June 01, 2009

Rick's Picks (weekly)

  • Interesting in-depth interview of Rickie Lee Jones in Musician, about her wonderful album The Magazine. -- Rick Cogley || The first reason I called it The Magazine was because the opening line of the song, the first lyric bit that came to me-"Homeboys calling from the corners, station to station, for the magazine..." That line was so important, because in terms of mood it set up everything that was about to happen. Homeboys is a street community drug term; homeboys are lookouts on the corners, and the magazine was the type of dope that they sold. But that's not what it was when I wrote it. It wasn't these guys on the corner, selling drugs. It became the poetry of hope. The words continue: "but her pages are turning out the lights in the windows," so immediately I made the song something else, something less down and out, more forward looking.

    tags: rickie lee jones, the magazine, interview, musician

  • Loved this rant by M. LeBlanc on Bitch Ph.D. about purposefully mispronouncing Sotomayor. -- Rick Cogley || From the site: The idea that your name is somehow the property or the business of others, and that not only should they not be required to pronounce it correctly, they should purposely pronounce it incorrectly is one of the more brow-furrowing and staggering assertions I've heard come out of a conservative in months. It would be one thing if Krikorian was complaining about people getting lambasted for pronouncing it incorrectly, but he's not. What he's saying is that, despite knowing how to pronounce it correctly, people should nevertheless say it in a way that sounds wrong to the bearer of the name because to pronounce it correctly would be displaying too much "adapting to the newcomer."

    tags: bitchphd, sotomayor, rant, mispronounce

  • So much for MobileMe backing up my Mail account data! I had a another weird crash, which has been plaguing me since I upgraded OS X Leopard to 10.5.7. The crash happens when I wake the computer from sleep, and plug in my firewire then USB hard drives. When the USB hits the socket, sometimes I get the grey screen of death, in which the only way to recover is a hard reset. This happened again today, but this time, the hard reset broke Mail. After booting up, I started Mail and the only account I had was my MobileMe account. My Google accounts were gone. I thought, ah hah!, I'll recover from MobileMe's copies of my Mail Accounts. No dice. It must have quickly pushed to MobileMe, the change that happened when the system crashed, so syncing MobileMe did nothing to recover. Searching the web a little, I found various information about restoring the entire mail folder and so on, but it turned out that my mail data, in ~/Library/Mail, seemed intact. So, I decided to try to restore my Mail plist file first, from Time Machine backup, and see if that would fix the problem. Here's how to restore it...

    tags: cogley, rick cogley, time machine,, mail, mobileme, account

  • More insane, zany bike designs, c/o Tom - Rick Cogley || From the site: Designers with a deathwish are pushing the boundaries of bicycle design far beyond the realm of practicality into preposterous new worlds. The following 10 bikes are some of the most outrageous concepts to spring forth from this movement, and should only be operated in a controlled environment by stuntmen and circus folk.

    tags: gizmodo, juicerhub, bikes, cycling, diy

  • My brother Tom sent me this wonderful photo essay of the freakiest bikes on the planet! Awesome! -- Rick Cogley || From the site: Tall bikes, choppers, cargo bikes, freak bikes, art bikes, clown bikes…much more than just two wheels, two pedals, and a chain.

    tags: freakiest,, photo, essay, bikes, cycling, diy

  • Wow, Kaki King is quite the guitarist! -- Rick Cogley || From the site: Kaki King, the first female on Rolling Stone's "guitar god" list, rocks out to a full live set at TED2008, including her breakout single, "Playing with Pink Noise." Jaw-dropping virtuosity meets a guitar technique that truly stands out.

    tags:, kaki king, infinity, playing with pink noise

  • LibriVox is a useful service that makes recordings of public domain books available via PodCast or download. -- Rick Cogley || From the site: What We Do - LibriVox volunteers record chapters of books in the public domain, and then we release the audio files back onto the net for free. All our audio is in the public domain, so you may use it for whatever purpose you wish. Volunteering for LibriVox is easy and does not require any experience with recording or audio engineering or acting or public speaking. All you need is a computer, some free recording software, and your own voice. We accept all volunteers in all languages, with all kinds of accents. You don’t need to audition or send us samples. We’ll accept you no matter what you sound like. We operate almost exclusively through Internet communications on our forum, where all your questions will be answered by our friendly community. We have a flat structure, designed to let people do just what they want to do. For more detailed information, see our FAQ. We’d like your help. Click to learn about volunteering for LibriVox.

    tags: librivox, public, domain, podcast, books, recordings

  • Interesting article about the reverse psychology involved in failing at someone if you tell people you'll do it. I've believed this for years. -- Rick Cogley || From the site: They suggest that when people announce an intention to commit to an identity goal in public, that announcement may actually backfire. Imagine, for example, that Mary wants to become a Psychologist. She tells Herb that she wants to pursue this career and that she is going to study hard in her classes. However, just by telling Herb her intention, she knows that Herb is already starting to think of her as a Psychologist. So, she has achieved part of her identity goal just by telling Herb about it. Oddly enough, that can actually decrease the likelihood that Mary will study hard.

    tags: succeed, psychology, today, reverse

  • This is the milkyway as seen from death valley.

    tags: deathvalleysky_nps_big, 4000x1290, death, valley, milky, way

  • The catch phrase says it: "Real time collaborative shopping with friends".

    tags: browseology

  • A hysterical video describing the benefits of the Palm Pre. Worth your time! :-D -- Rick Cogley || What can the Palm Pre really do? Watch Jon Rubinstein and Roger McNamee figure out the right marketing message for the Pre. Published on 5/28/2009

    tags: allthingsd, Roger McNamee, Jon Rubinstein, Palm Pre, Video

  • Moblin v2.0 Beta makes me want to buy a netbook! -- Rick Cogley || From the site: * New, visually rich user experience, optimized for Netbook and Nettops, building on the latest open source graphics technology, such as Clutter, DRI2, and KMS. The user experience is provided mainly through the toolbar and panels, available at the top of the screen. * The m_zone, acting as the 'home screen' panel. It provides instant access to your synchronized calendar, tasks, appointments, recently used files, and real-time updates from your friends on social networking sites. * Aggregation of your social networking content. This provides you with the ability to see your social networking activities on one screen, easily interact with your friends, and update your status and site information. Twitter and are the currently supported social networking sites, with more to come. * A web browser optimized for the Moblin 2.0 Netbook user interface. Based on the latest Mozilla browser technology revised into a Clutter shell, the browser gives you access to the whole internet, as well as advanced features, such as video embedding and the latest Flash plug-in, while integrating seamlessly into the user interface. * A 'Zoomable' media player. This player brings your media collection to life as you zoom from viewing all media down to focusing on an individual picture, movie, or audio track. The media player can detect and index media on external USB devices, as well as UPnP devices on your network. * A user interface for connection management and an updated connection manager (ConnMan). * And, of course, support for Linux desktop applications. Moblin is built using GNOME Mobile Technologies and supports existing Linux desktop applications. From here on out, we will focus on performance, bug fixing, fine tuning, and polishing. We post beta builds weekly in the download area. Moblin images should work on Intel based Netbooks and Nettops, we've been testing with the following platforms: Acer Aspire*One,

    tags:, nettops

  • If you need to convert AVI files to MOV (i.e. something authorable in Final Cut or iMovie), you can use MPEG Streamclip from Squared5. -- Rick Cogley || From the site: MPEG Streamclip is a powerful free video converter, player, editor for Mac and Windows. It can play many movie files, not only MPEGs; it can convert MPEG files between muxed/demuxed formats for authoring; it can encode movies to many formats, including iPod; it can cut, trim and join movies. MPEG Streamclip can also download videos from YouTube and Google by entering the page URL. You can use MPEG Streamclip to open and play most movie formats including MPEG files or transport streams; edit them with Cut, Copy, Paste, and Trim; set In/Out points and convert them into muxed or demuxed files, or export them to QuickTime, AVI, DV and MPEG-4 files with more than professional quality, so you can easily import them in a DVD authoring tool, and use them with many other applications or devices. Supported input formats: MPEG, VOB, PS, M2P, MOD, VRO, DAT, MOV, DV, AVI, MP4, TS, M2T, MMV, REC, VID, AVR, M2V, M1V, MPV, AIFF, M1A, MP2, MPA, AC3, ...

    tags: converter, software, mpeg, mac, tools, convert, osx, ipod,, streamclip

  • I need to get this cover-cum-battery-pack for my iPhone. Cool-looking product that seems to be sold out! -- Rick Cogley || From the site: The juice pack air™ is a rechargeable external battery concealed inside of a protective form-fitting case for the iPhone 3G. It offers you the full protection of a hard-shell case while providing virtually twice the battery life of the iPhone alone; all in an ultra-thin, light-weight, low-profile design. • The world’s thinnest Apple certified “Works With iPhone” external battery for iPhone 3G! • Rechargeable 1200mAh lithium polymer battery virtually doubles your time to rock, talk, surf and send. • Pass-through USB charging and sync with iTunes • Extended smart battery and full case protection • On/Off switch offers choice of battery or case • Integrated 4 LED charge status indicator

    tags: mophie, juice pack air, iphone, 3g

  • This mobile linux "moblin" from Linpus makes me want to buy a netbook! -- Rick Cogley || From the site: While we've been getting a pretty good look at Moblin 2.0 as of late, we haven't been hearing much about the end-user distributions that'll actually be winding up on netbooks and nettops as the Linux-based OS moves out of beta. Linpus now looks set to change that, however, with it announcing that it'll be showing off a Moblin version of its Linpus Linux Lite OS at Computex next week, which is apparently the first such end-user distribution to emerge. What's more, while the initial batch of screenshots don't exactly offer many surprises, Linpus says that it has indeed put its own touch on the interface, and that it's version will boot in just 15 seconds and give users access to a live desktop that'll let them quickly access a range of websites and applications. Not many more details beyond that, unfortunately, but we're sure this is just beginning of Moblin talk that'll emerge out of Computex.

    tags: linpus, moblin, mobile, linux, netbook, engadget

  • One hundred and fifty years after the opening of the port of Yokohama, the city is putting on the "Y+150" exposition, a series of events from 18 April to 29 Sept, 2009. -- Rick Cogley From the site: Theme Events Celebrating the 150th Anniversary of the Opening of the Port of Yokohama A Grand Exposition for Yokohama’s 150th Year Experience 150 years of Yokohama at our grand exposition celebrating the past and the future. A full program of events will be held to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the 1859 opening of the Port, based on three themes that are the lifeblood of Yokohama − the sea, the city and nature.

    tags: yokohama, 150th, y+150, perry

  • Ira Winkler's interesting article on why the FTC should investigate apple's security claims in regard to security. -- Rick Cogley | From the site: I have come to the conclusion that either the FTC must investigate Apple’s advertising claims with regard to security, or people must begin releasing proof-of-concept code on a regular basis. European Union and Canadian regulators can certainly step in as well. With Apple selling more Macs, its attitude is putting more people at risk. And just to be clear, it is not that Apple’s software has security vulnerabilities that is the problem; all commercial software does. The problem is that Apple is grossly misleading people to believe otherwise.

    tags: ftc, ira, winkler, Internet, security, apple, investigate

  • Thought-provoking article and video about Royal Dutch Shell oil working with the Nigerian military to oppress the Ogoni. -- Rick Cogley | From the site: For over thirteen years, multinational oil giant Royal Dutch Shell has done everything in its power to stop a trial from taking place at which the company must answer to charges that it colluded with the Nigerian military to commit serious human rights abuses to quell peaceful resistance to its operations in the Niger Delta region called Ogoni, including conspiring to bring about the conviction and execution of Ogoni leader Ken Saro-Wiwa and eight of his colleagues.

    tags: alternet, ogoni, nigeria, niger, delta, ken, saro-wiwa, shell

  • The TEDxTokyo site.

    tags: tedxtokyo

  • TED sounds like quite an interesting organization. -- Rick Cogley | From the site: TED stands for Technology, Entertainment, Design. It started out (in 1984) as a conference bringing together people from those three worlds. Since then its scope has become ever broader. The annual conference now brings together the world's most fascinating thinkers and doers, who are challenged to give the talk of their lives (in 18 minutes).

    tags: technology, ted, design, innovation, ideas, creativity, talks, activism

  • Use OS X's Automator to automatically send Twitter status updates.

    tags: twitter, automator, status, update, automated, automatic

  • A Japanese site that has instructions on how to make a DIY wind cover for a flush-mount mic. -- Rick Cogley

    tags: スキー大好き, 風雑音, tv業界, wind, noise, cover, fur, videocam, camcorder, mic

  • Another post on migrating from New Blogger to Wordpress 2. -- Rick Cogley | From the site: Import your posts with comments from New Blogger to WordPress 2. New Blogger Import tool is ease and simple to use; no more manual pains.

    tags: techcorner, blogger, wordpress, migrate

  • Post describing why Small Business Trends made the migration from Blogger to Wordpress. -- Rick Cogley | From the site: Small Business Trends started out using Blogger software. In the summer of 2003 when I was first experimenting with blogging, Blogger was one of the better options. It was simple to set up and use. Both the software and hosting were free. And with Blogger having been acquired by Google earlier that year, my business intuition told me it might be an advantage for getting the site indexed and ranked in Google. Blogger seemed like a deal I could not refuse.

    tags: wordpress, blogger, migration, smallbiztrends

  • Another blogger-to-wordpress migration plan. -- Rick Cogley | From the site: I recently moved a friend’s medium-size blog from Blogger to hosted WordPress (on DreamHost, not, and I thought I’d share a few tips for making the transition smooth.

    tags: wordpress, blogger, blogging, blog, jotsheet, web

  • Good guide to migrating from Google's blogger platform to self-hosted Wordpress. -- Rick Cogley | From the site: I made the move from Blogger to self-hosted WordPress more than a year and a half ago. At the time, I wrote the original ultimate guide to migrating, but a few things have changed in the intervening months. So I present the fully updated, all new, ultimate guide to migrating from Blogger to WordPress!

    tags: mamablogga, wordpress, blogger, migration

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