Archive for January, 2010

Tokyo Ramen according to the NY Times

January 30th, 2010 No comments
Categories: food, Tokyo

15th Anniversary of Bad Design & Construction Catastrophe in Kobe

January 17th, 2010 1 comment

1995-01-17 05:46+09, fifteen years ago this morning, a major earthquake hit Kobe and a very large number of impressive structures designed and built by, serious, credentialed adults collapsed, killing over 6,000 people in a land obsessed with disaster preparedness. My friends who were there survived, the city has recovered well, but the impact it had on the local economy and Japan at large is still being felt today. As the old saying goes, earthquakes don’t kill people, buildings do.

We were living in Menlo Park, California at the time, and I had just welcomed my first official partner, a former Apple Japan employee, to my consultancy, something I should have done six years earlier when Third Culture Enterprises began. The earthquake severely damaged his father’s business and he had to return to Japan immediately, ending our partnership. A year later we moved away from Silicon Valley to a suburb of Sacramento and within a year of that my primary Japanese consulting contract was canceled. Just as the worldwide web began to boom, my career went into a tailspin.

For a spoiled first-world 白人 with all the advantages of a good education, family and health, any blame for career setbacks rests with me. Today, considering the negative impact an earthquake on the other side of the globe had on my life, the trauma of those whose lives are at the epicenter of these catastrophes is unimaginable.

Architecture matters.

Categories: Uncategorized

Google Japanese IME

January 16th, 2010 No comments

Google Japanese Input product icon

I’ve started playing with the Google Japanese input method first released last month. Even in beta it is stable and fast enough to use as my primary IME, and the dictionaries built from Google’s search index seem to work well. When I tried inputting my name, the first suggestion it offered after typing 「じょえ」 was French chef ジョエル・ロブション (Joël Robuchon), something that would never have happened out of the box with Kotoeri.


Categories: computer, Japan, software