Entries Tagged as 'News'

KDDI’s Subsidiary Wire And Wireless To Offer Free WiFi At Starbucks, Starting From Tokyo

Wire and Wireless (wi2), a subsidiary of Japan’s second largest cellphone carrier KDDI, announced [J] its new free WiFi program at Starbucks Coffee chain-store in Japan.

Free WiFi at cafe? If you have ever tried to find free WiFi in Japan, you know this is a news.

The free WiFi program, “at_STARBUCKS_Wi2″, is sponsored by Starbucks Coffee Japan. What you need to provide is your mail address, when you use at registration. Although Wi2 is a KDDI company, there are no carrier restriction, which you might face at the many Japanese shops/restaurants where posting “free WiFi” stickers.

Wi2 offers English site and customer service besides Japanese, this seems reasonable as in Japan, visiting foreigners are the most likely people who need free WiFi.

They are to install the service since July 2, first from 200 stores in central Tokyo (out of 227), then by the end of this year, 850 of 955 shops nationwide will have it, according to the release. You will be able to search the free WiFi Starbucks here.

via ITMedia [J]

Amazon Japan Preannounces Kindle Coming “Soon”

Amazon Japan’s top page is showing a new text banner that says its e-book reader Kindle will be sold in Japan soon, today on June 26. The time it was displayed seemed around 15:15, 30 minutes ago, by Twitter tweets.

Amazon periodically expressed their putting Kindle to Japan market. There have been also several leaked news reporting that some publishers had agreed with Amazon for several times, which were denied or ignored by the rumored middle-sized publishers like Kadokawa.

Ascii got a comment [J] from Amazon Japan that they would be able to announce something by the end of this year. Ketai Watch was answered [J] that Amazon Japan has no comments on which model of Kindle, price of the hardware and subscription, and the detail of the service.

Japanese e-book market had been larger than US’s until recently despite its smaller population, so it means there are already many e-book players here. Some experts say that Amazon tries to bring the same or similar conditions to Japan with what they contracted with US publishers, which might keep major Japanese publishers away from table of negotiation. Device-wise, the latest Kindle already has an ability to show texts in Japanese fonts.

via Twitter trending topics

Yahoo! Japan’s Hosting Company First Server Suffering Massive Down – Possible Data Lost?

First Server, a subsidiary of Yahoo! Japan, has been having service troubles since around 17:30 June 20.

There are several web services observed to be down, who explained on temporary error pages that their services are down because of the hosting service’s glitch.

According to RBB Today [J], on the servers on 5 services, the uploaded data, configuration data and mail are reportedly lost. The company has been resuming mail data with the cleanly installed OS. The web data is unknown to be able to recovered at this point.

Yahoo! Japan owns two hosting companies, Yahoo! IDC and First Server. First Server joined to the Yahoo! Japan group in 2004 and now it is a 100% subsidiary.

Users screams on Twitter
[J] can be read on Twitter summary service Togetter.

Twitter’s long down early morning on 22 affected Twitter-loving Japan (Japanese version of apology [J], however, Twitter’s apology is being perceived as a “good apology” because of the First Server, though it is tough for them to compare hosting service for business and fun service.

[Update] Here is a list of the known companies websites seemed to be using the affected First Server’s servers, made by ICT Headline. [J]

Rakuten CEO Hiroshi Mikitani Publishes A Book “Englishnization”

Hiroshi Mikitani, CEO of Japan’s largest online e-commerce mall Rakuten, announced [J] on his twitter account that his new book on how he is letting his company and employees adapt to English.

“I have written up on how to make things into Engligh. It will be great if not only business persons but also several people read it. Same as my past two books, the royalty will be all donated. (link to Rakuten Books page), (book cover image)”

The Japanese title of the book is “Takaga Eigo!”, which means “It’s not more than English.” or “It’s merely English”, but the book cover also has a word “Englishnization”, which was used when Harvard Business Review featured Rakuten’s challenge (Language and Globalization: “Englishnization” at Rakuten).

The bottom of the cover, there is a text saying, “Global companies talk English. ‘Making English an official language’ will revive Japan. This is the manifesto for success (I) convinced by this past two-years experiment on Rakuten.”

The book is 1,050 yen and written in Japanese, I assume.

Yahoo Japan Teams Up With Recipe Portal Cookpad

Yahoo Japan, the country’s biggest website with 1.6 billion page views per day, will enter a partnership with Cookpad, a popular recipe site, according to a report by business daily The Nikkei.

Much like Yahoo in the US, Yahoo Japan runs a number of vertical services under its portal: one of them, Yahoo Recipe, will be closed by the end of the year, The Nikkei says.

Under the agreement, the “recipe” link will lead to Cookpad.com instead – even though it’s apparently not fixed yet when exactly that will happen. The Nikkei says that Yahoo Japan will also take over part of Cookpad’s ad sales and offer the Yahoo Japan Wallet payment system for paid users of the service (for about US$3.80, those members can bookmark more recipes, have better access to the site on mobile devices, etc.).

According to the report, Yahoo Japan Recipe draws 5 million users per month currently. But it seems the service, which is linked to from the Yahoo Japan homepage, wasn’t successful enough for big Y: Cookpad boasts three times that number currently.

Cookpad, as the first company of its kind, went IPO three years ago. The company was moved to the first section of the Tokyo Stock Exchange in December last year.

Cookpad’s strongest competitor is Rakuten Recipe, a service offered by e-commerce powerhouse Rakuten.