Posts Tagged With ‘business&8217


LINE Overwhelmingly Beating Twitter and Facebook in Japan

The Bridge on LINE basically destroying the social networking competition even though its nothing like Twitter or Facebook:

Similarly, when asked “Which service on average do you use most?”, 40.4% of respondents said it was Line, with Twitter and Facebook polling at 32.6% and 23.5% respectively.

One of the reasons that Line has done so well is that it has managed to attract female users as well as male. The cute characters have helped its popularity in Thailand and Taiwan especially, where the service has 22 million and 17 million registered users respectively. A number of other ‘kawaii’ Japanese apps , including CocoPPa and Snapeee have won some attention in those regions as well, where made-in-Japan cuteness appears to be popular.

Anyone who has ever used LINE will understand why. It’s simple, to the point, and cute – perfect for the Japanese market.

This post is part of the thread: Japan – an ongoing story on this site. View the thread timeline for more context on this post.


Cybereason’s Continuous Monitoring Platform for Detecting Security Attacks Comes Out of Stealth Mode

Natasha Lomas reporting for TechCrunch on Cybereason exiting stealth mode with their new platform for detecting potential security attacks:

Cybereason has built a pro-active security platform for enterprises to continuously monitor systems with the aim of detecting hacker actions and intentions as they attempt to prepare their data heist, and thus give businesses the opportunity to cut hack attacks off long before hackers have the chance to carry off their corporate crown jewels.

So Cybereason’s platform is not looking to detect malware per se, but rather the tell-tale signatures of malicious operations, whatever they might be — such as an incongruous sequence of program installations on multiple machines in a network that perhaps don’t fit the user profile, or other subtly unusual activities.

“Malware can be a part of a malicious operation [but] we’re really looking at a series of things that a hacker or hacking operation would do to accomplish their end goal,” says Taper. “We’re looking for minute traces [of hacker activity]… to uncover the operation and stop it in its tracks.”

This post is part of the thread: Security – an ongoing story on this site. View the thread timeline for more context on this post.


Lenovo Acquiring Motorola Mobility from Google

Google on selling Motorola Mobility to Lenovo:

The purchase price is approximately US$2.91 billion (subject to certain adjustments), including US$1.41 billion paid at close, comprised of US$660 million in cash and US$750 million in Lenovo ordinary shares (subject to a share cap/floor). The remaining US$1.5 billion will be paid in the form of a three-year promissory note.

Lenovo, which in 2005 acquired IBM’s PC business and its legendary PC brand, will now acquire world-renowned Motorola Mobility, including the MOTOROLA brand and Motorola Mobility’s portfolio of innovative smartphones like the Moto X and Moto G and the DROID™ Ultra series. In addition to current products, Lenovo will take ownership of the future Motorola Mobility product roadmap.

It will be interesting to see how Lenovo integrates Motorola Mobility into their existing product line. Having a decent mobile hardware business ought to boost Lenovo and make them a formidable opponent for Samsung, HTC, and LG. Although I don’t like their convoluted product line, Lenovo does have some very nice hardware.

What an utter waste of time and resources this detour has been for Google. After spending a ton of cash to acquire Motorola Mobility, they essentially accomplished nothing together. Now that they’re dumping the business on Lenovo, it’s quite obvious what Google was after in the first place.

Google will maintain ownership of the vast majority of the Motorola Mobility patent portfolio, including current patent applications and invention disclosures. As part of its ongoing relationship with Google, Lenovo will receive a license to this rich portfolio of patents and other intellectual property. Additionally Lenovo will receive over 2,000 patent assets, as well as the Motorola Mobility brand and trademark portfolio.


Jelly-Belly Introduces Beer-Flavored Jelly Bean, Causes Uproar Among Stupid People

International Business Times on the introduction of a beer-flavored jelly bean:

Jelly Belly says customers have requested a beer-flavored bean for decades. The Draft Beer bean took three years to develop.

“The effervescent and crisp flavor is packed in a golden jelly bean with an iridescent finish,” Jelly Belly says to describe the Draft Beer jelly bean. The flavor is said to be clean with notes of wheat and a touch of sweetness, with a bread-like aroma.

The taste of the candy is said to resemble a German Hefeweizen ale. I am not really into Hefeweizen’s but I will most definitely give these a try. On no planet will I turn down an opportunity to try a beer-flavored candy.

Unfortunately Americans don’t like nice things. The introduction of this new beer-flavored candy has some idiotic and neurotic parents freaking out:

The new flavor has unexpectedly polarized candy lovers. Thousands are thrilled by the new flavor, but a number of people are outraged by it, saying it will encourage kids to try alcohol and could even trigger a relapse for recovering alcoholics.

“I am so angry and disappointed about this decision,” Facebook user Mindy Chemaki wrote on the company’s Facebook page. “I have been a big fan of Jelly Belly since I was 13. And now you have developed a flavor that that may encourage minors (like I was 20+ years ago or my own children today) to develop a substance abuse problem. Just as bad, have you though about recovering alcoholics who are harmed by such an influence?”

Amy Mehalko added, “It’s just so wrong to have this flavor. Very disappointed. Why not just make a cigarette flavor while your at it.”

Several people said they would be boycotting the brand for introducing the new flavor, which is formally called “Draft Beer.”

Can people in the U.S. get any more stupid about something absolutely benign? Flavor is not the same as affect, with the latter being the primary reason people smoke cigarettes or drink until intoxicated.

As if the flavor of a jelly bean will cause recovering alcoholics to have relapses while the hundreds of varieties of beers on-sale at stores everywhere has no affect whatsoever.

When are people in the U.S. going to grow up and start acting like responsible adults?


“Rent-A-Gaijin” Allows Japanese Locals to Rent Gaijin to Fulfill Any Legal Need

Tofugu on a peculiar service being offered to Japanese locals to rent gaijin to fulfill just about any desire, so long as it is legal limits of Japanese law:

A little while back someone sent me a link to an interesting website. On it, they said you could rent a gaikokujin (foreign person) who will do various things for you, depending on the person. They could speak English with you (seems like the most obvious application), be a model, DJ, write, be a bartender, hang out with you, etc., etc. As long as it is legal and the gaikokujin is willing, your imagination is the limit.

Sounds like a peculiar business model. Sometimes the weirder ideas turn out to be the more successful ones but this seems a tad suspect.

It looks like anyone can sign-up to offer their own services on the site:

Customers read your profile here and rent you. They choose the number of hours they want to rent you and send along their preferred meet-up place, time, and requests to us at Gaikokujin Rental. We then forward these details, along with your new customer’s contact information, to you. You then contact your new customer to seal the deal. Customers have agreed to pay you in cash. Your business with them is yours, as well as what you earn from them. Gaikokujin Rental is not involved.

So the site merely acts as a middle-man between the Japanese local and services-offering gaijin. I think the idea is noble but sounds ripe for abuse. Of course that could be said about any services driven site, but there is something about this particular idea that seems different than others.

If I were to offer up my services, knowing my luck I would end up getting stuck having to clean some hoarders apartment or something worse, if that is even possible.

This post is part of the thread: Japan – an ongoing story on this site. View the thread timeline for more context on this post.


WTF: NHK Chief Claims Japanese Comfort Women only Wrong Based on “Today’s Morality”

The Japan Times on controversial remarks made by the NHK chief regarding World War II comfort women:

Asked about the women who were forced to provide sex to Imperial Japanese soldiers before and during World War II, Momii said such an institution existed in “every country” and that it is only considered wrong based on “today’s morality.”

“Things are complicated because South Korea says Japan was the only country that forcibly recruited (comfort women),” Momii, a former president of Nihon Unisys Ltd. and vice president of trading house Mitsui & Co., said, noting he was only stating his personal view.

Why is it that people in positions of power have no idea how to control the stupidity flowing from their mouths? Even if he actually believes what he’s saying, would it not be prudent to keep that to himself?

This post is part of the thread: Japan – an ongoing story on this site. View the thread timeline for more context on this post.


Chocolatory, The Worlds First Kit Kat Store Opens Today in Ikebukuro

Kotaku on the worlds first Kit Kat store opening in Japan:

Japan is famous for its Kit Kats. The country has a slew of unique flavors that simply aren’t available elsewhere. On this month, it will get the first Kit Kat specialty store on Earth.P

Called Kit Kat Chocolatory, the store will open on January 17 at the Seibu Department Store in Tokyo’s Ikebukuro. It will be located in Seibu’s basement, along with the department store’s other food sellers (In Japanese department stores, the basement is typically home to amazing and delicious food vendors.)P

According to IT Media, the Kit Kat Chocolatory will offer special Kit Kats that are aimed at adult tastebuds and suit each season. The specialty shop is teaming up with sweet shop Le Patissier Takagi for its gourmet Kit Kat store, with pastry chef Yasumasa Takagai overseeing and developing new Kit Kats.

I would expect the lines at Kit Kat Chocolatory to be unreal, and probably worse than waiting for Splash Mountain at Disneyland in August.

This post is part of the thread: Japan – an ongoing story on this site. View the thread timeline for more context on this post.


Apple’s Bid to Stay Monitorship Denied

Reuters on Apple losing its bid to stay the request of the monitorship due to his interest in accessing documents and personnel outside the scope of their e-book business practices:

At a hearing, U.S. District Judge Denise Cote in Manhattan denied Apple’s request to stay an order requiring an external compliance monitor pending the company’s appeal.

“I want the monitorship to succeed for Apple,” she said.

The judge also said there was “nothing improper” about a declaration filed by a lawyer chosen to serve as monitor, Michael Bromwich, that became the basis of Apple seeking his disqualification.

Expect Apple to appeal this ruling, as this fight is far from over. What the government is trying to do here makes absolutely no sense in the context of Apple’s e-book business, which was the focus of the trial and the reason for the monitorship in the first place.


iPhone Helps DoCoMo Add More Subscribers Than Competition for the First Time in Two Years

Mariko Yasu and Takashi Amano of Business Week on the iPhone helping DoCoMo add more subscribers than KDDI and Softbank for the first time in two years:

Japan’s largest carrier added more subscribers than rivals for the first time since December 2011, gaining 279,100 net users last month for 62.2 million total customers. That compares with 222,600 more for KDDI Corp. (9433) and 224,300 additional users for SoftBank Corp. (9984), the companies reported yesterday.

It’s a sign Docomo can compete against carriers that have been swiping its customers since they started carrying Apple (AAPL:US) Inc.’s smartphone. Docomo started selling the iPhone 5s and 5c when they were released in September, ending a holdout that saw smaller competitors win market share and lure customers with Apple’s handsets.

This should not really be a surprise. General speaking, DoCoMo has the best mobile network with the widest range of coverage in Japan. Many people switched away from DoCoMo because of the iPhone, and were more than happy to return to the service upon it finally deciding to offer the best smartphone around.

SoftBank, which almost tripled in value last year, rose 1.1 percent in Tokyo trading yesterday. KDDI, whose market value more than doubled in 2013, dropped 0.6 percent yesterday.

Mobile carriers in Japan are doing exceptionally well, primarily thanks to the iPhone and other smartphones. It’s only going to get better because post-PC is where the money is at these days.


Winter Catches United Airlines by Surprise for 27th Straight Year

Perfect.