Amazon and iTunes MP3 prices

As I am interested in purchasing “Sleater Kinney” ‘s new album “No Cities to Love”, I checked Amazon Japan,  Amazon US and iTunes for prices.

Can’t understand why:

1. Japanese version has one additional song “The Fog and filthy Air”

2. Price is $7.99 in the US, while ¥1600 in Japan
(According to current currency rate, $7.99 should be ~¥950)

3. iTunes (Japan) is also ¥1600, but no additional song, just a booklet

Screen captures below

Sleater Kinney Amazon US
Sleater Kinney Amazon US


Sleater Kinney Amazon Japan
Sleater Kinney Amazon Japan


Sleater Kinney iTunes
Sleater Kinney iTunes


With the recent Technology “advances” of being online all the time, getting emails on smartphones, I feel we lost our accuracy.

Why bother being accurate and concise in emails when you can fix that later. We definitely engage more, respond more but it takes more of our time.

I try to practice the following when writing/answering emails:

1) Do I really need to send this over email? Can I get a better result with a simple call ? If so, call

2) Read again before sending. Is it clear enough ? Is my point or questions emphasised  correctly ?

3) Is my “To:” list good enough. Target , not broadcast

4) When responding, apply (2) but also Do I really need to respond to this ?


I was thinking about a credit system of each employee getting a specific “email credit” per day. For each email sent, the credit goes down until the employee is blocked to respond to urgent email only.

Obviously, this is difficult to implement without understanding the contents of the email. Would not like to block an employee from working, but still thinking how to improve effectiveness.




iPhone Google+

Maybe apparent from my age, but I remember the times when programmers were working extra time to make sure their application “weight” is minimal.
Either memory consumption or actual binary size (for embedded systems with limited storage).

Was surprised (shocked) to see the new Google+ update is 111MB.
Yes, 111MB of application which shows content from the web.
Not a game, Google+.

I assume it is due to Retina display graphics, but I still think this is not the right way to do it.
Application can get the necessary files after loading, can’t it? Why everyone need to waste storage for unnecessary data ?


On Literature and Twitter

Started reading Chihaya Akane’s “Male Friend”  (千早茜、男ともだち).

Though I am struggling a bit with slang and figure of speeches, I enjoy the writing.

Telling a story of a successful illustrator, cheating on her husband , meeting sometimes with her old University friend. A Male friend. I like the way she created the characters and tells their story, although I feel annoyance reading some parts.

Searched for information about the writer, I found her twitter page. I agree it is not that interesting, but was shocked to see she has only 1115 followers (well, 1116 if I decide to follow her as well).

There is something really strange in our culture if a valued writer has 1115 followers and a TV personality has 3.73 Millions

Chihaya Ariyoshi


Japanese Elections

As I can’t vote, I have little to no interest in the elections.

I do however have interest in the process, culture and discussions.

A few observations:

  1. None of my Japanese Facebook friends express their political opinions. This obviously in contrast to Israelis
  2. It is not surprising to bump into candidates in front of the train station talking, but very few people stand to listen (as they rush to work)
  3. The election cars are hilarious . Had an Israeli visitor this week and it took me sometime to explain the concept
  4. TV coverage is as boring as anywhere else in the world
  5. No Political comedy. None!

Japanese Dena’s “Secret” clone

Could find very few references to this in English based blogs/media so I guess it is worth the blog post.

Dena apparently published a “Secret” clone called “Rumor”.

I actually like the design better than “Secret”, but have very little motivation to actually use it.

The good:

  • Can add friends from Facebook, twitter or manually
  • “Popular” tab which does not limit to friends of friends
  • “Search” tab

The bad:

Zero friends from Facebook and Twitter which means very few people actually use it.

Friends screen
Friends screen

In the following sample post a Girl complains that her boyfriend does not excite her and she is ashamed to be seen with him.

A Sample post
A Sample post

Sankei Shimbun apologizes over Aversfor “Jewish Conspiracy” books

From the WSJ (link)

Sankei Shimbun ran an Ad for books which describe “a conspiracy by the Jewish-controlled U.S.”

From the WSJ report:

The books that are the subject of the advertisements are authored by Richard Koshimizu, a self-claimed freelance journalist. In one book, he argues that the 2011 Tohoku earthquake was set off by a U.S. military bomb, while another says the Holocaust was a myth spread by the Soviet Union. A third book claims the election of Mr. Abe’s government in 2012 was part of a Jewish plan for global domination.

Could find some of Richard Koshimizu’s books on Amazon, but not the controversial ones.

The following is an image from his Facebook page:

Richard Koshimizu


It is not my first time to encounter Jewish conspiracy stories and books. I still hope that there are very few people who actually believe this stuff.


On memory and remembering

I am always puzzled how our mind plays tricks on us. Extracting memories, hiding others.

Was waiting for the train when I saw a woman smile to her friend. Her smile reminded me of  a former Japanese teacher who is no longer with us.

In a split of a second, a smile turned into a painful memory

GDP Per Capita

Was interesting for me to compare the GDP per capita between Israel and Japan.

Search on Google provides the following information:

GDP Per Capita Japan (2013): 38,492

GDP Per Capita Israel : 36,151


While Israel is growing, Japan is shrinking.


Gdp Per Capita comparing Japan Israel