Koenji, the world and elsewhere

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2015 Canadian Federal Election EZ-Chart

While the real aim should be to abolish the party system altogether, political parties must be indulged for the present time. They’re like that kid with hockey net who nobody likes. And somehow, even though highly undemocratic, they are paradoxically a feature of self-proclaimed democracies around the world.

But I digress… This simple chart helps illustrate where the four major Canadian federal political parties stand on selected issues. It’s quite straightforward: the checks and crosses indicate a FOR or AGAINST the corresponding issue. It makes no declaration about whether it is GOOD or BAD to be for or against said issues. The check does not indicate whether they have the “correct position” on an issue. There is no judgment here. Just the facts. Pure, unadulterated objectivity.

For example, the first issue is the environment. Does the Green Party support the environment? Well, sure. That’s pretty evident. But do the Conservatives? Well no, not really. Is that a good thing or a bad thing? That’s up to everyone to do decide on their own.


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Foursquare Battery-saving Tip is, in a word, Wrong


Foursquare’s suggestion that you should keep your WiFi on at all times is, in a word, wrong.

Apps that require location services, such as Foursquare, are already an added drain on “smart”phone battery life. To keep your WiFi constantly searching for new connections is ridiculous.

Perhaps whoever writes these tips for Foursquare are the same guys responsible for their terrible UI.

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DoCoMo blocks Skype in Japan

Japan’s phone industry has long been known as a closed-off, protectionist, xenophobic three-party system. Sure, there’s Willcom, but come on now, that’s like saying The Green Party is a player in North American politics. As such, the Big Three (DoCoMo, au, SoftBank) all feel entitled to controlling everything in the telecommunications sphere. And as such, there is necessarily room for conjecture about the capabilities of foreign smartphones in the Japanese mobile ecosystem. Such as the following.

Living overseas, far from family and friends, Skype is an integral part of my life. It allows me to spend face time with the important people in my life even though they’re on the other side of the world. After a serious accident landed me in the hospital (for five months and counting), having Skype on the iPhone was a saviour as there is no wifi permitted in my hospital rooms. 

Japanese phone carriers, of course, hate Skype. They want their customers to continue to pay 30-second increments based on 10-year-old pricing plans. However, due to its original exclusivity agreement with Apple for the iPhone in Japan, SoftBank was forced to allow iPhone users the ability to Skype.

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Bad Calls on Monday Night Football

Thanks to a labour dispute between the NFL and its referees, bad calls have been all over the place this year in the NFL. The most notable of these came during the final (game-winning) play on Monday Night Football between the Packers and the Seahawks (see photo below).

Colour commentator Jon Gruden also had his share of memorable calls, including:

“They should give Green Bay the game… there’s no way Green Bay should fly 6000 miles home after losing a game like this.”

That would make the USA wider than Russia, Jon.

Also, an NFL team should be expected to score more than 12 points if they want to bitch about losing because of bad calls.

Monday Night Fiasco