Rubénerd Show 368: The Nakanoshima episode

Rubénerd Show 368

Podcast: Play in new window | Download

01:01:03 – Join Ruben as he wanders through Osaka to Namba Parks, where he procures a vending machine beverage and groks millions of Japanese train lines, ICOCA, the largest Japanese electronics chain, weebs and otaku, A4 clear files with anime and trains, roof–top landscapes, and Boss coffee. Then to Clara and Ruben on the tiny Nakanoshima island in the middle of Osaka talking about white people in Japanese ads, Yaoi, Royal Milk Tea can instrumentation, lit up bridges across the Dōjima River, Japanese department stores, learning languages, and a final wander through the middle of Osaka before we leave back for Hong Kong. Thank you Kansai ♡ . Recorded 31st July 2017.

Recorded in Osaka, Japan. Licence for this track: Creative Commons Attribution 3.0. Attribution: Ruben Schade.

Released August 2017 on The Overnightscape Underground, an Internet talk radio channel focusing on a freeform monologue style, with diverse and fascinating hosts.

Subscribe with iTunes, Pocket Casts, Overcast or add this feed to your podcast client.


That Google gender-diversity memo

If you haven’t read the furore surrounding this former Google engineer’s diversity memo, or are reading this in the distant future, Louise Matsakis broke the story in Vice’s Motherboard:

At least eight Google employees tweeted Friday about a document that was circulated within the company calling for replacing Google’s diversity initiatives with policies that encourage “ideological diversity” instead. The document, which is the personal opinion of one senior software engineer, was shared on a company mailing list but has since gone “internally viral,” according to a Google employee who spoke with Motherboard.

The person who wrote the document argued that the representation gap between men and women in software engineering persists because of biological differences between the two sexes, according to public tweets from Google employees. It also said Google should not offer programs for underrepresented racial or gender minorities, according to one of the employees I spoke to.

Motherboard since published the original memo, which borders on violating Poe’s Law. This is my favourite section, relegated to a footnote:

Yes, in a national aggregate, women have lower salaries than men for a variety of reasons. For the same work though, women get paid just as much as men. Considering women spend more money than men and that salary represents how much the employees sacrifices (e.g. more hours, stress, and danger), we really need to rethink our stereotypes around power.

If you’ll permit me a Kent Brockman editorial laugh: hahaha! Has this guy ever been to a sports car showroom, and seen the majority of their clientèle? I’m sorry, the “national aggregate” of those showrooms? Me thinks he would be well served heeding his own advice in those last dozen words.

And if you thought this kind of thing was limited to Silicon Valley dudebros, think again.


Rubénerd Show 367: The Kansai episode

Rubénerd Show 367

Podcast: Play in new window | Download

01:01:11 – Ruben wanders back from Namba to their Airbnb in Osaka, rambling about visually impaired assistance, political posters, Japanese curry, police, pachinko, lack of street names, complicated bathrooms, and Mashu/Shielder from Fate/Grand Order. Then Clara and Ruben wander around Ninna-ji in Kyoto chatting about the Rurouni Kenshin films, anime flashback episodes, and mushrooms. Then over to Arashiyama talking about soba and Kyoto tofu, beautiful scenery around the Katura River, Kyoto trolley trains, bamboo forests, rickshaws, late-opening shops, and the Togetsukyo bridge. Recorded 29–30th July 2017. Sounds from the Osaka and Kyoto subways, and some spontaneous street music.

Recorded in Osaka and Kyoto, Japan. Licence for this track: Creative Commons Attribution 3.0. Attribution: Ruben Schade.

Released August 2017 on The Overnightscape Underground, an Internet talk radio channel focusing on a freeform monologue style, with diverse and fascinating hosts.

Subscribe with iTunes, Pocket Casts, Overcast or add this feed to your podcast client.


Did you have a chance to review my last email?

I created a new filter to send anything with the above line to spam. It’s shocking how many it’s caught.

Clear icon from the Tango Desktop Project

Variants:

“Did you get a chance to review …”
“By chance, did you review…”
“Yo dawg, I heard you liked spam, so I followed up with my spam with more spam so you can…”

There must be a marketing playbook that says followup emails phrased in a specific way generate more leads, so it’s natural for spammers to adopt it.


Flaws with Sydney’s Opal card

Based on past experience and recent travels.

  1. It was introduced way too late. Singapore, Japan, and Hong Kong got their contactless smart card systems in the early 2000s, the latter of which was even originally designed for use in Sydney.

  2. It’s slow. Really, painfully, slow. When you tap an EZ-Link, or an Octopus, or an ICOCA, it registers instantly. It means you don’t slow down when you walk through the gates, you just tap and keep walking. The Opal card forces everyone to stop, tap, and walk again, so queues for gates become insane.

  3. Did I mention it’s really, really slow? This cannot be overstated.

  4. Trips are still way too expensive. Though to be fair, everything in Australia is.

Points two and three are also advantages of Amex. Their contactless cards often register and approve transactions nearly instantly, much faster than MasterCard or Visa.


Fresh spam

I haven’t done any Friday fanmail in a while. This one was a gem.

Looking for a way to get thousands of FRESH email addresses? All of them for corporate executives, influential journalists, and powerful opinion makers?

If they’re not hyperglobal thinkfluencers, I’m not interested.

These people could kick your product or service through the goal posts! Your sales would increase exponentially over night.

They know misuse of “kick off” is a pet peeve of mine, now they’re just goading me.

And you can do it ALL with this little tool. It cruises through bios and social media sites grabbing publicly listed emails.

I read that as BIOS, and got all excited.


Block Rockin’ Beats

Backlengrabdledableadamblockrockinbeats! 1997.


In fact, we do elect our Prime Ministers

We’re always reminded on Twitter and the like that we don’t elect our leaders, as the Americans or French do. Kevin07, and The Turnbull Coalition Team election symbols, were just that. It’s technically correct, assuming you don’t follow people’s thought processes. It’s also irrelevant.

We vote for local members in Australia, who are often members of a party. Parties who can form a parliamentary majority, either absolutely or in coalition, nominate a leader who becomes Prime Minister. So technically, only those in the PM’s own seat voted directly for them.

Except, the reality isn’t black and white. People do tend to vote along party lines; and a vote cast for a certain party is an endorsement for that party’s leader. You wouldn’t vote for the local member of a party you don’t want to govern, and who’s leader you don’t want PM.

Delete icon from the Tango Desktop Project

When I voted against our current PM and party, I did so by putting my local Coalition members last, even though some of his policies weren’t as bad to me. The merits of voting like this are, again, irrelevant.

So people do technically vote for the PM; they do it by proxy. Claiming people don’t, as some sort of political point score in a debate on a larger issue, counts for barely more than a thought-terminating cliché.

The only exception is a PM leaving office during their term; but the same happens in Presidential systems where we’re told people do vote for their leaders. So, again, irrelevant.


The best blog park bench in the world

The view from Victoria Peak made it the best blog café in the world, but I reckon this has to be the best park bench blog view in the world!

We’re not as far up this time, but typing away from the ninth floor of the lush new Namba Parks in Osaka, Japan. You can’t see much of the skyline in this terrible shot, but it’s pretty impressive.

The vending machine coffee is decent, too.


Rubénerd Show 366: The Kyoto episode

Rubénerd Show 366

Podcast: Play in new window | Download

45:18 – With apologies to Michael Franks, we didn't spend Christmas in Kyoto, but we did explore the hallowed grounds of the Kyoto Animation gift shop and studios (the greatest anime production house ever, obviously), then down to the market that inspired Tamako Market, the Imperial Palace, and an equally impressive convenience store. Other topics include railfans at JR crossings, cicadas, fog and monsoons, Disney, pretty anime boys, Yahoo and Infoseek, and getting lost at Kyoto station. Sounds from the Osaka-Kyoto Shinkansen, and the Kyoto Municipal Subway.

Recorded in Kyoto, Japan. Licence for this track: Creative Commons Attribution 3.0. Attribution: Ruben Schade.

Released July 2017 on The Overnightscape Underground, an Internet talk radio channel focusing on a freeform monologue style, with diverse and fascinating hosts.

Subscribe with iTunes, Pocket Casts, Overcast or add this feed to your podcast client.