Alphaape's past comments

  • 0

    Alphaape

    @ KnowBetter: So very true! Back in 2014, I visited the USA for a week. I have an AU contract with Global Passport, and looking at what I would be shelling out: 2980 yen day for data, 120 yen/min to call, 100 yen per sms, just by not making a call and using the data for a week I would be out of 20860 yen, and the amount of calls made probably would have added another 5000 yen.

    I went to Best Buy the day I arrived, bought a Motorola Moto G (1st gen) which was a CDMA, 3G phone for $79 that was locked to Verizon, and paid $45 for unlimited calling and texting and 3 GB data. So for $124 up front, I had a phone with a reliable connection for both voice and data, and I was able to make calls and more importantly receive local calls without the callers having to use my Google voice and me connecting to mobile data. I was still able to contact the wife back in Japan via Skype and if needed could dial a Japanese number.

    I got all of that, without having to go through the labors you described just to get a phone. No ID was required, no copying of passport or license, and none of the companies needless data call for my information that has nothing to do with me wanting to make a phone call.

    The only drawback I have is that model Moto G I was using is a CDMA model, and didn't have a removable sim so it is only able to be used on a Verizon network, but now that has changed somewhat, and the phone's storage is a bit low and has no capacity to add a SD card. But otherwise, it still is a good phone, and I can use it in the house as a very cheap wifi device that still works and I can stream music voice chats etc. Now compare that to when I leave Japan with a locked HTC J-One to AU, which they will not unlock so I can't get updates or more importantly use it on another network outside of Japan. So I will have two wifi devices, one that cost me $79 (Moto G) and another that costs me up to $600 (HTC J-One) that unless I break it down and flash it and sim unlock it will be behind in system upgrades.

    Yet AU and the rest of the Japan cell companies knows what's best for me.

    Posted in: SoftBank Mobile to offer free Wi-Fi service for visitors to Japan

  • -3

    Alphaape

    Banners, center, read: “Human rights and peace! We will not tolerate poverty and discrimination.”

    I wonder how many of them feel about gaijins living next to them or working with them, even if they have mastered the Japanese language? I think that they should be protesting more about discrimination and fixing that problem in Japan rather than worrying about the JMSDF sending a ship to the Persian Gulf.

    Better yet, ask them why the Samsung galaxy S6 sells in Japan without the name "Samsung" (Korean company) on it, but the US versions have the name on them. Start with problems that you see in the mirror rather than trying to chase after windmills as dragons.

    Posted in: Taking a stand

  • 0

    Alphaape

    Throw in the ability to SMS phones on other carriers, and then your prepaid service wouldn't such a steaming pile of ****

    @ Yoshitsune: I would recommend you try going for one of those companies like ICT (I am not sure if they are in your area) or getting a cheaper Huwaei or ASUS ZenPhone 2 from a Nojima or Kojima and picking up a data sim that will give you 3 GB for about 2 months. With that you can also refil and you can get a Brastel 050 number in the sim pacakge that will let you make and receive calls without going through softbank. Those prepaid data sims ride on the Docomo network, and there are several others out there.

    The big issue with Japan is that they have it out there, but they don't want you to know about it unless you are here only for a week or more visit, and not for the average Tanaka in the street who needs to be able to get a quality service withougt being robbed by the company. I am all for business making a profit, but if you hold back on what the consumer wants, and try to guide them to what you "think" they need does not sit well with me.

    Posted in: SoftBank Mobile to offer free Wi-Fi service for visitors to Japan

  • 3

    Alphaape

    I have often said that Japan seems to be moving "slow in the fast lane" in regards to technology issues. Glad to see that softbank is doing this but they are stil behind the rest of the world when it comes to cell phone communications and plans. Most of the world (I can speak of the USA) has gone to having phones sold unlocked or not on contract so that you can freely move from carrier to carrier to get the best deal for your situation. Even the big companies like AT&T and Verison have managed to allow virtual services to offer prepaid plans that at times far exceed what one would get from being locked to a specific carrier. For example, in the USA a service called Straight Talk (they use the same network of AT&T) offers unlimited talking and text and 5 GB data for $45 a month, no contract, bring your own phone.

    So one has the option of either going with a plan from AT&T, paying for the phone on a monthly basis paying more for the same service, or using a less expensive cell phone, bringing it to a provider like Straight talk and using the same network and come out ahead in regards to cell phone bills.

    Compare that to the lousy deal I have with AU, being stuck with a phone which happens to be from a non-Japanese company (HTC), and they are not allowing for it to be updated with the latest Android 5.0, and all the while I have to pay 8,000 yen/month for the same amount of data and calls, plus having to pay for SMS outgoing, and the whopping 9,500 yen cancellation fee if I want to find another provider (and can't get the phone unlocked either).

    As I said, Japan still has a long way to go to keep being competitive in the technology serivce industry.

    Posted in: SoftBank Mobile to offer free Wi-Fi service for visitors to Japan

  • 0

    Alphaape

    These people have nothing to worry about. If the Japanese government with it's over regulation of business activities such that there is now a shortage of butter in the stores, they can rest assured that the same government will not be able to cause harm to any other country. They can't get the price and stock of butter right, what makes them think that these are the same guys that once ran over eastern Asia.

    Posted in: Taking a stand

  • 0

    Alphaape

    These types of shortages occur when you have a political economy vice a monetary economy. If this were a true monetary economy, farmers and producers of dairy would be able to regulate how much butter they would put on the market based on demand. If the end of the year "cake baking" season is coming up, they would produce more and there wouldn't be shortages. But what we see here in Japan is a political economy, where the dairy/farming industry will rely on the politicians to enact rules and let the legislate and regulate their production, allowing them to at least keep a steady stream of income in the form of subsidies to stay afloat, and to stifle competition.

    America has a political economy at some parts and not a true monetary economy, but the difference is that American industries can weather these manipulations better than the Japanese compaines.

    Posted in: Japan braces for another butter shortage

  • 4

    Alphaape

    Why do you think a bunch of bureaucrats can do a better job of deciding how much butter consumers need than the consumers themselves?

    @ jerseyboy: Good post. I can try to answer your question by simply saying that it seems that in all businesses that occur in Japan, it is the government/industry leaders who keep the competion low and the choices slim. Not just in the food industry but other industries as well.

    As people's tastes changes, the businesses are slow to react since it could mean that they no longer have to do business with a long time associate in order to look at the new and how they try to make the consumer think that they know what's best so that they can keep things going as they have gone before. Look at industries like the cell phone telecoms and how far behind they are compared to other countries, as well as the entertainment industry and how one is forced into media or entertainment that is government approved.

    Posted in: Japan braces for another butter shortage

  • 3

    Alphaape

    People are posting about the long work hours for Japan Inc. I urge them to watch if they can what happens at 1645 on any of the military bases in Japan. When the "yabba dabba do" whistle goes off on the base where I work, it is quite funny to see the mad rush of the MLC employees bolting from the offices and making a rush to the bus stop or the parking lots. So much for the long work hours ethic for Japanese. Also, some of these places are workers who have to change from some type of work clothes to normal street clothes. They too are out of the door with a quick fashion. It takes more than 30 seconds to shut down a computer and secure an office and change clothes, but from what I have seen, at least 30 minutes before the work day ends, offices begin to shut down allowing for the workers to make that mad dash out the door.

    Surprisingly, the work still gets done. Maybe Japan inc. needs to look at that example and make a few changes.

    Posted in: Working to death in Japan: Health warning over 'no overtime' law

  • 5

    Alphaape

    Why only 40 Japanese Officers and soldiers taking part in these drills? That's not enough. How can the the SDF get any good training under their belt if they can't even get their feet wet?

    @Wc626: This group is probably made up of high level planners and big picture people. They have never done this particular type of exercise before, and they will need to take a look at the infrastructure of how the pieces all fit together, so that they can bring it back to the JMSDF and being to formulate their own plans. This exercise occurs every two years, so you can imagine that in 2017, there wil be a larger presence and the JMSDF will have a role in the upcoming exercise.

    The USN does do exercise with JMSDF but as I stated, they are based on different scenarios. So this will be a learning experience for them to take back and begin to work on.

    Posted in: Japan to join U.S., Australia war games amid growing China tensions

  • 3

    Alphaape

    What I don't get, is why the overtime? If busuiness (in the stories case sales) is such that it requires so many hours, then either the company needs to hire more or shift working hours to match their customers. If you are at a company, do you now have people working at 2300 waiting for a call from a sales representative? If so, then why don't you just shift your working hoiurs.

    In Bahrain, and other Middle East nations, the US government workers there (in this case those that have to deal with administrative issues with the East Coast of the USA) have shifted their work hours so that they come in when the office hours are working back in the USA, as a result, their hours may seem a bit weird, but they get a premium for odd hours, and get this, still have plenty of time to enjoy life. If Japanese companies need to keep people late, then they need to ask themselves why and if their customers are doing it, just shift the working hours for everyone.

    Otherwise, you have people just spinning their wheels for nothing and sitting around trying to look busy.

    Posted in: Working to death in Japan: Health warning over 'no overtime' law

  • 4

    Alphaape

    I've been on a few of these exercises down to Australia. Other than long watches and war gaming, the fun part (at least for USN) was pulling into the various ports in Australia. I imagine that in the next event, if a JMSDF ship gets to participate, they will have a fun time visiting Australia.

    Posted in: Japan to join U.S., Australia war games amid growing China tensions

  • 0

    Alphaape

    People laughed at Romney back in 2012 when he said that people will self-deport if you cut off benefits. I guess the Cameron listened. After all, people are coming to places like Britain and the US with little or no money, so I guess if they really want to get someplace they can.

    I wish that measures like this were enacted in more places in the USA. Some localities have done this, and the end result is places like CA are overflowing with illlegal immigrants who are getting paid and depress wages.

    Posted in: British PM Cameron announces new plans to tighten immigration

  • 0

    Alphaape

    I imagine that this is how those Vietnam vets felt when they watched Saigon fall in 1975. So many young men went to fight there and in Vietnam, to only be sold out by their government in regards to geopolitics.

    I will say this, instead of bashing the US for it's failed Iraq war policy, shouldn't those people be more concerned about the fact that the ISIS people had lists made up and they are going in and starting to kill off those that they oppose? So much for the US being the bad guys since where was it reported that when the US troops went in this city, that they rounded up and businesses looted the way that is being reported. You know if it would have been done under the US watch, the press would be all over it. But it didn't happen, so I don't think that these ISIS guys will be there to make Ramadi a vibrant city on the Euphrates.

    Posted in: IS militants slaughter collaborators after taking Iraqi city of Ramadi

  • -1

    Alphaape

    A very strange sentence. I'm always willing to learn something new. Please explain this.

    Jimizo: The point I was making is that the global warming group keeps saying that it is man who is changing the pattern of the weather and how the earth works. While I will admit that man does at times pollute the earth and we need to be better stewards in regards to making sure that we are not killing off various plants and animals, the earth will continue to be here in some form, whether we kill each other off.

    I would like to see the long term effects on how this island will affect the ocean currents in the area, and will that have an impact in the long run on how the ocean temperatures vary in that location, and will that kill off or enhance marine species as well as the flora and fauna that will eventually develop on the island.

    Despite all of the mess that we do to the earth, it still is able to keep on making new lands, and we are finding new species and about more about the ones we know of.

    That's what I meant.

    Posted in: New volcano island natural lab for life

  • 2

    Alphaape

    I hope that the big money tourist industry doesn't try to start booking tours to this place, and let nature take it's natural course. If anything, you will see the so called "green" people who argue for sustainable measures will be the first ones in line to try to develop an "eco" tour of this place to show us how things should be if only we paid our carbon tax.

    Funny thing, even with all of the so called global warming, the earth managed to make something new.

    Good luck to the researchers and I hope that their work will provide valuable insight on how we came to be on this planet.

    Posted in: New volcano island natural lab for life

  • 5

    Alphaape

    Ladies, watch as your man prepares a meal from scratch, washes the chopping board and other utensils while it cooks, serves something original and healthy, and does the dishes afterwards.

    My first work experience at age 17 was in KFC, and their motto was "clean as you go" in the kitchen. Don't just wait until the end of your shift to clean, while stuff is cooking a better use of your time is to clean up what you just used rather than standing over a cooker watching chicken fry. Same concept applies to cooking and cleaning as it realtes to this article. Finish one task, clean while you wait on another. Heck I can still cook and watch TV at the same time and carry on a conversation with the wife and kid.

    It's not hard. But I guess it is all in the perspective you come from. In Japan the narrative is men can't do it, but in places like Singapore or Hong Kong, the native women relay on cheap labor of maids from the PI, Malaysia and Thailand, and an article I read a few years ago was going on how your Singaporeans can't do simple tasks like making a bed or ironing their own clothes, since they have relied on a maid to do this for them so imagine the shock when they start their own homes and have very little domestic skills. Different country but basically the same problem, adults don't know how to be adults.

    Posted in: How women can manipulate clueless men

  • 8

    Alphaape

    What person (male or female) after a long hard annoying day at work, and a super long uncomfortable crowded and smelly train trip home would want to clean a toilet, do the wash etc.?

    I guess this is why I don't get these types of articles. I was single for a very long time before I married (a good 20 years after I graduated college) so while I was living alone, going out to sea in the Navy, and coming home after spending 1 out of every 4 days sleeping on the ship for duty reasons, I was still able to cook a meal, do laundry and housework, and had one heck of a time being a single man in places like San Diego, Honolulu, and every good liberty port in the Pacific. So I am not buying it totally that just becuase one works, they have to let household chores go to the side.

    As some have pointed out, they may not get done exactly at the right time that a spouse may want them to be done or in the same manner, but in my case, they get done. It seems that for too many here in Japan, they make it seem like being single and living alone is exclusive of being able to be an adult and take care of your own place.

    For the record, the places that I used to live in while I was single were considerably much more larger than any of the so called single bedroom places that singles or some families live in here in Japan. Yet somehow, I was able to get them cleaned up and on numerous occasions had to tell a date that I wasn't married just becuase I lived alone in a clean house.

    Time for both men and women in Japan to grow up a little and be adults when it comes to taking care of ones self.

    Posted in: How women can manipulate clueless men

  • 4

    Alphaape

    I for one don't see what the big deal is with doing dishes and a small amount of cleaning. I am a male, and work full time, yet I can come home and cook dinner for the spouse and kid if needed, and even tell the spouse just leave the dishes I will get them before we go to bed.

    I think the bigger issue is that most Japanese women can't cook, or don't know how to cook without making a mess and if they do it, make it like it was a major production requiring a massive amount of effort. From the time the gas is turned on to a finished product, one could make a simple beef yakiniku or chicken stir fry in under 30-35 minutes, without using every pot and pan in the kitchen. Before I married, I ran into numerous women who had no clue around the kitchen. Maybe they were "playing" me the gaijin, but when I look back over it, they really weren't.

    Yes household chores can get one tired and they can get burdensome, but that's just a part of life. Maybe if so many Japanese men didn't live at home for such a long time under the care of someone else, they may be able to do the necessary things to run a home.

    Posted in: How women can manipulate clueless men

  • 10

    Alphaape

    And they wonder why the "after hours" businesses like hostess bars and other places will never go out of business if women really take the advice from this article. Why would one put up with this when all you have to do is go to the nearest place to take the edge off, and then go home and deal with a nutcase like the one depicted.

    Posted in: How women can manipulate clueless men

  • 0

    Alphaape

    Beside the points others have brought out on what is wrong with this agreement, the biggest reason why the Dems don't want it is that once signed, a by product of it would make it so that in future trade agreements, the President can send a treaty to the Senate, and all the Senate will be able to do is vote yes or no, and not be able to amend it as it can currently be done. Therby leaving the Executive branch the sole part of the government that will be able to negotiate treaties.

    My guess is that if this would have been done in 2009-10, when Obama had first started out it would have passed, based on my assumption that they knew he was going to get re-elected in 2012 Remeber how some of the pundits back then were saying how much easier it would be if Obama just had the power to do what needs to be done to get legislation signed into law and bypass Congress. Well if this had gone through, something similar to that would have happened. The fact that it didn't tells me that the fix is in for the next elections. There will be a GOP President, just not sure who it will be. If there was another Dem that was a sure walk into the White House, they would have voted for this easily.

    They are all pretty much the same thing Demicans or Republicrats in that they are only out for themselves and the nice lobbying jobs on K Street when they get out of office.

    Posted in: Senate Democrats block action on Obama's trade agenda, putting TPP on hold

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