October 21, 2003

What the heck was that? A USB wristwatch?

I just saw an engineer take his watch off, untuck a small USB cable, and pass it to another. The second guy plugged the watch into his notebook.

I'm a little stunned and puzzled by this. I suddenly feel like I've been living in an electronics junk yard. What are these USB watches? Do they just store data (like a keychain "disk")? Contact lists? Porn?

I need to look into this. I also need to get out and around here to see what other cool miniature toys people are playing with. Japan always has amazingly cool and small toys.

Posted by jzawodn at 10:30 PM

Bad Google, No Biscuit

The network connection we're using during the development conference in Japan is provided by Y! Japan BroadBand. No surprise there. The real surprise came when I switched over to a terminal and typed:

$ lynx http://google.com/

Google "helpfully" noticed that I'm in Japan and sent me to their Japanese site. The problem with this, of course, is that I neither read or speak Japanese.

The solution is quite simple:

$ lynx http://search.yahoo.com/

Using Yahoo! Search gives me an English with a Google back-end. Remarkably, that's what I was expecting Google to provide for me.

The lesson here is that IP-based geo-targeting doesn't always do what you expect. Is it really intended to be a substitute for proper branding and marketing of www.google.co.jp? Beats me. Are the Japanese too dumb to try visiting a native language site on their own? I think not. Maybe Google does?

Update: Retarded. If I accept Google's cookies it works. But when I block them I end up on the Japanese site. Why on earth are cookies necessary when a simple redirect will do? I dunno.

Posted by jzawodn at 10:09 PM

Y! Japan Day #2

Day #2 went well. I did my ~1.5 hours of MySQL presentations in the afternoon. (Rasmus did PHP in the morning.) Initial feedback is good except for the fact that I spoke too quickly during the first talk. Luckily someone reminded me to slow down for the second one.

In the evening, we headed downstairs to celebrate the Y! Japan earnings announcement (they kicked some ass). All the non-Japan folks got to stand up on stage to get recognized. However, the food ran out quickly, so a group of us headed out to a local bar called the Cavern Club which had a Beatles cover/tribute band called the Silver Beats performing. Read more about them here. They were pretty entertaining.

One of the locals at a table next to us was amusing as hell. He was really getting into the show. The picture at the left is Arturo and the crazy guy.

More pics are in the gallery.

Posted by jzawodn at 09:47 PM

Y! News RSS is Big in Austrailia?

I've not been checking referer logs much this week (duh), but Tara Calishain and Anna Featherstone pinged me to say that the Sydney Morning Herald recently picked up on the announcement.


Posted by jzawodn at 07:18 PM