Japan: this is why we are so behind #tech

This perfectly epitomizes what is wrong with Japanese tech.

So I received a snail mail invite to supposedly one of the largest tech events:  Japan IT Week Expo.
There are exhibitions and key-notes on: cloud computing, big data, security, web + mobile marketing and something about the 3rd annual Smartphone and Mobile Expo.

First of all, what is the difference between a smartphone and a mobile?
Or does ‘mobile’ mean tablet?? What is this… web and mobile marketing they speak of??? Why are they separate???? It’s 2013 — have you heard of responsive design? GET ON THAT.

Then please take a look at the brochure, jam packed with text.
This looks like a conference for bankers.

photo 1

And can we talk about one of the keynote speakers?
Does that man down there look like he can teach anyone anything about mobile tech and trends??

photo 2

To top it off, they showed some photos from last year’s exhibition:

photo 3

I mean seriously.

No wonder monster corporations like Sony, Panasonic,  Nintendo and et al., can’t get their shit together. The people on top are old farts who learn about ‘the web’ from other staunchy old farts at venues like these.

God. Sometimes, I’m so embarrassed for this country.

Goes to show how much opportunity for disruption there is.
Reason no bajillion I’m in Tokyo :)

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The BBB’s Creepy PR Video #unnecessary

I came across disturbing news about The Better Business Bureau, and how they were accepting bribes for grading businesses.

It’s a bummer, since the BBB is quite useful for online shopping when I need to check if a merchant is legit. Now that I think about it, the main alternative to the BBB is Yelp…another offender of selling out the public but at least Yelp posts reviews from real people.

Anyway, the BBB addressed the public by responding on Twitter and linked us to their public apology. The press release with all that PR bullshit was expected but they included a video message from the President/CEO. While I highly commend them for attempting to connect with the public, that post and video creeped me the fuck out. The President/CEO guy’s body language, mannerisms and intonation reminded me of the guy from America’s Most Wanted. Note: I couldn’t embed the BBB video here but you can watch it by clicking this. YouTube clip of America’s Most Wanted is here.

Sorry (well not really) but once an organization catering to the public breaks my trust, it takes a lot to regain it…and that lame video didn’t do anything for me. Actually, the correlation between the CEO guy and America’s Most Wanted makes me distrust the BBB even more.

That’s me though. Will you still trust the Better Business Bureau?

FACEBOOK USERS: READ. NOW.

facebook-fail

URGENT: I’ve been robbed and need help.

Imagine logging into Facebook and seeing a friend’s status message set to the above. What would you do?

Joaquin Grech saw his friend’s status message set to an urgent cry for help and immediately logged on to Facebook chat to ask: “What can I do to help?” The “friend” told him how she was robbed at the airport, needed to get back home, and asked him to wire her $600 to a certain address.

Luckily, Joaquin decided to ask questions confirming her identity before transferring the funds. When the “friend” couldn’t answer his questions, he knew her account was hacked and commented on her status message: “XXX’s account was hacked. Don’t send money.”

The hacker, deleted him from the account to prevent him from warning more people. At this time, he and I have no idea if people fell for it or if the scam artist received money. But the fact remains: her account was hacked and people may have been scammed.

The problem with Facebook is this:

Only after I Googled, revealed this phishing scam is old news. TechCrunch covered it on the 20th and WSF (Wall Street Journal) covered it yesterday.

Facebook knew of this scam for over three full business days. Why haven’t we been notified by Facebook?
How many people need to be scammed before Facebook finally notifies us? Well we’ll soon find out — on the six o’clock news. Unacceptable.

Google had four design choices but picked THIS favicon? WHY?

When I first saw Google’s new favicon, I was shocked. I couldn’t believe the ugliness of the re-design. Giving them the benefit of the doubt, I thought of various scenarios. Maybe it’s color blind friendly? Or Marissa Mayer was on vacation? Or perhaps it was uploaded by mistake.

After reading this post on Google’s official blog, I was even more confused. You see, Google encouraged users to submit their designs while incorporating their (Google’s) vision in June of 2008. Seven-ish or so months later, they revealed the new favicon (unannounced). Then the Google team showcased some of the contenders.


Pretty.

These designs are easy on the eyes – soft, subtle colors, unobtrusive “G” logo. It’s almost… dreamy. -sigh- Can you blame me for being so confused at Google’s heinous choice? Look at this:
favicon3

Even the original design looks better than their final design.
Still giving Google the benefit of the doubt, I looked for the author. If Marissa Mayer’s name isn’t included, there could be some hope – right?

favicon4
Sigh. Guess not.

I really dislike the distracting favicon. So much so, I asked the FriendFeed and Twitter communities for an alternative search engine. If interested, there’s TONS of great feedback here.

This particluar solution: “Dude, just adblock that bitch. – Leather Donut !” made me LOL but as PJ and many others said, GreaseMonkey scripts for Firefox seems the most feasible option. That or finding a new search engine. -double sigh-

Do you guys like the new favicon? If not, are you blocking it? Do you even care?