Nicofarre – Nico Nico Douga To Reincarnate Legendary Roppongi Disco

Nico Nico Douga, Japanese online movie sharing service which differentiates itself against YouTube with comments overlay-display, announced some news [J] at its first user conference in oversea, Taipei, Taiwan [zh].

One of the news is that Nico Nico Douga is planning to open a nightclub with 5 huge LED wallscreens with projecting its movies and user comments, named “Nicofarre” at Roppogi in July.

The name “Nicofarre” easily reminds Japanese people a nightclub “Velfarre”, which was the Asian largest when opened in 1994, closed at the end of 2006. The new Nicofarre will use the exact same building where Velfarre was.

The teaser site has a movie. Someone copied onto YouTube,

Nicofarre might be a new tourist place where you can experience latest culture on Japanese web from this summer.

Moedroid – Android Apps Review Site Only For “Moe” Apps

Moedroid [J] is a Japanese Android review site which introduces “moe” applications only. “Moe” is a Japanese slang which means “little, adorable and cute” mostly in the context of Anime. So the site is dedicated for introducing cute Android applications.

The main content is “moe” Android app reviews. There are app rankings, featured corner to teach how to customize your Android with cute themes, icons, etc. So far, 80 applications and 7 comics are reviewed, all “moe” but no pornographic.

Unfortunately, this niche review site is only serviced in Japanese.

Copyright Mark May Mean “Miss” For Japanese Teens

You know what copyright mark © means, don’t you?

It should be common for all cultures that young generation try to differentiate themselves by changing their languages from adult. In this case with Japanese teenager girls, they have been using © for totally different purpose since mid 1990’s.

Here is an image from monthly teens’ fashion magazine Loveberry [J]

The model have their name on their side. The letters in braces are nicknames. And their Kanji names followed by ©

This does not mean that they claim copyright on their name. On this magazine, this © means “-chan”, casual form of “-san”, which is a title of respect.

So some young girls who are reading the magazine use © character after their friends’ name on (usually mobile) web, too. It is totally unbelievable even for Japanese adults.

See Also:

“www” has another meaning in Japanese Web

Google Japanese Input Drops Beta Tag, Does Even Fortune-Telling

If your language has much more letters, say 3,000 characters, than multiple times (shift/crtl/alt) of number of keys on keyboard, you need an input method environment(IME) to tell computers what letter you want to type.

There are many IMEs exist for Traditional/Simplified Chinese and Japanese. These days operating systems have those IME bundled, on Windows, MacOS and Linux. But as it affects your writing speed, some users use non-default IMEs from other vendors. In Japanese case, long-time ex-word-processor champion Just System still sells royal fans for its IME ATOK. Two world biggest search engine companies, Google and Baidu, also offers free IME applications which utilize their massive language data collected for search engine.

On December 16th, Google Japanese Input [J], which was released by Google Japan one year ago, officially shed its beta tag after a year [J].

Google Japan’s promotion video shows you how it works on browsers/text editors/office tools. You type Japanese by pronounce, then choose the appropriate conversion from suggested selections.

Because that is conversion based on dictionary, there are a lot of enhanced conversion are integrated, too. For example, conversion between western calendar year and imperial calendar year, current time to several different notations, correct word suggestion, zip code to address, letters-based emoticons, etc. Many of those functionality are also on OS-default and other third-party Japanese IMEs.

However, one quite new, and somewhat weird conversion is embedded on the Google Japanese Input. 2-channellers pointed out that you can get fortune telling on it.

When you try to find “fortune telling” Chinese and/or Japanese word on it, its suggestions list has “(Your) today’s luck” at bottom.

For me, it is strange that the Google offers such illogical “information”. I also tried to convert zodiac names and Japanese favorite blood types but it did not give me any prophecy, yet.

See Also:

Google Japan Makes Comic Of Japanese Input Method Development

New Japanese IME Has Come From The Origin Of Chinese Characters – Baidu Japan also has Japanese Input Application

ex-Yahoo! Japan Employee Blogs About Irrational Cost Saving And Micro Management

An Engineer, who recently resigned Yahoo! Japan, the country’s most successful web company, wrote his experiences in his 4 years – as a foreigner in English.

From the article by Jon Keating (@emostar ), he wrote many interesting observations which can be applied to many Japanese establishment companies.

“Creating quarterly goals that must be met creates a culture of procrastination. Instead of making harder to meet goals, people opt to take the conservative route. This makes everything much slower and projects take longer than they should.”

“Paying hourly for overtime encourages laziness and procrastination. All while punishing the workers that are efficient.”

That’s why many Japanese work until the last train.

“Is it really necessary to pay someone to keep track of how much each printer is used, and warn people when the number of pages printed have increased over a monthly basis? I’m not sure you are really saving any money by doing that.”

I remember that Yahoo! Japan removed free water servers from their Roppongi head office (the rent must be pretty expensive) in early 2009.

At that time I noticed the incident because a famous tech blogger (subtly telling he works for Y!J) wrote an article “How to choose a good handy water filter for case your company remove free water from office”, and many other tech bloggers (vaguely implied they work for Y!J) made “Oh! You, too? My company also took away free water server” comments. I was amused to see it, but also sad that the top-level engineers running the nation’s most successful service got such ill treatment.

# this guy already left Y!J so I think it is safe for him to link 😉

“Having everyone try to make bug free software is ambitious (i.e. impossible), but does making quarterly bonuses correspond to the bug count make sense?”

This was corrected by other that it is not by number of bugs but by number of failure on deployed services, but still…

Yahoo! Japan is a typical conservative Japanese company, which means that most employees are Japanese, work in Japanese language. There should not be so many foreign workers and the work style is not so internationalized. If he was a Japanese, he would probably not write these direct words. His this article was translated to Japanese by a blogger Nokuno and got over 1,000 Hatena bookmarks.

According to the database on Yahoo! Finance, the average age of Yahoo! Japan employers is 33.1 yo and the average salary of them 4,981 people is 5.91 million yen, which is 72,000 USD (for all type of jobs, but generally in Japan, engineers’ salary is not so different, even lower than average). That 72,000 USD is by recent strong yen, which rose 50% in last 4 years. It was about $50,000 value and that value stayed same for Japanese, even its dollar value became higher.