Probably old news for most, but I just took a closer look at Yeswap after coming across a mention of it in Planet Mobile Web. Yeswap is a mobile news/blog portal that aggregates many of my favorite info sources in a mobile friendly way. There is heavy Winksite penetration as might be expected (it's easy to set up and feature packed, check it out if you are not familiar). IT news, mobile industry buzz, free games, more mobile portals, and all searchable. Great for commutes and boring meetings!


DoCoMo D800iDS - Direct and Smooth

With all the hype about the iPhone and a delayed release in Japan I was counting the days before I saw some of it rub off here in Japan. I didn't have to count too many days, since the D800iDS was announced by DoCoMo.

There have been a few other handsets with completely virtual stylus-free UI's in Japan. I recently worked with a guy that had an old mono-lcd KDDI handset with no mechanical controls except a manner-mode button on the side. I was especially interested in the D800iDS because I have come to love the design of the Mitsubishi 900i series. Slim sliders with huge screens and lots of extra features. KDDI seems to think it's pretty cool, too. Two AU handsets by Toshiba (W52t) and Sanyo (W51SA) coming out this spring look quite similar to it.

Anyway, the D800iDS looks pretty cool, if not a little prototypish. I wonder if it is just a coincidence that it came out on the iPhone's heels. Probably not. At first I thought the DS stood for "Dual Screen", but apparently it stands for "Direct and Smooth". The keypad area is a touch screen where contextual menus are displayed. Keypad and phone menu icons are displayed depending on what application you are using. There is a drawing program and handwriting recognition (similar to that found on the AU W42SA). There is also "Two-Touch" kana entry, as the contextual keys change when you select a kana to enter. This would be cool, since entering "se" (せ) for example takes at least 3 or 4 key presses.

I should be receiving one of these at work soon, so maybe I'll have more to say about it later.

Back in Tokyo, for now

So I'm back in Tokyo this week since Monday. Some changes at work may mean I will move to Amsterdam to help expand the business there. I'm pretty excited about the prospect of living in Europe and occasionally visiting Japan once a quarter or so. Japan is a great place to visit, but living in Tokyo is another matter altogether. Especially if you work 12 hours a day and are expected to work weekends if there are any problems.

I chatted with a coworker in Europe about quality of life versus work performance in The Netherlands and Japan. In Japan, long hours imply productivity regardless of what you are doing. This is definitely true for a lot of my Japanese coworkers. In The Netherlands, if you often work late, you might be seen as inefficient or poor at delegating. HR might come around to ask you what your problem is.

I think working in NL will allow me more of a life outside of work without instigating questions about why I leave work before the CTO does. Plus going to other countries can be a weekend trip rather than a big ordeal. Also, I hear Mobile Monday is starting up in Amsterdam, so I could still do some networking without a train ticket or rental car.

Maybe soon I will have to change my subtitle to "Working on the mobile web in Amsterdam". Fingers crossed...