Cowboys Meet Rookies in China

December 12, 2009

Cowboys went to China and Hong Kong to find something interesting but also to meet their friend who met at Infinity Ventures Summit (IVS).

They have known a president of a company whose office is in ShenZhen. The company recently focuses on applications for Facebook and mobiles. So to share our experiences, they visited the office there.

There is an area of office buildings far from electronic market, about 20km or so. Buildings are really big. Also guards are found everywhere. Maybe, more protected than LA!

The office cowboys went was of 中友集団。They creates SNSs, mobiles, Facebook applications and so on.

This is the development floor.

MTK has the biggest share among Chinese mobiles. Thirty engineers developed the software for MTK.

MTK’s merit is that keeps complete backward compatibility. It is like MS-DOS.

All applications can be developed in Java.

Cowboys noticed that in China, they don’t need CMS which we develop in Japan.

The differences between devices are only colours and shapes. Specs and features are the same.  That is the characteristic of MTK platform devices.

That means it doesn’t need high-tech and complicated systems such as displaying using career depend emoticons or dividing movies which are necessary for usual mobile CMS.

This is the floor to develop Facebook applications.

We were aware again that MTK is the most popular in Japan and many mobiles are depend on it.

So, they didn’t know Youtube. Also, instead of Twitter, they develop their original “tweet” systems!

Although Great Firewall in China is usually disliked, it surely protects domestic IT development. They welcome the Great Firewall protecting their business and life in China. So they dare not use international services.

They said that the Wall is as “customs barrier” of Web applications.

Generally the barrier is applied to trades in special products like liqueur to protect domestic business. However, it has not been applied to the trade of Internet of information technology and domestic business were not protected.

That is why JustSystems in japan was trampled by Microsotf, and the sales of Cybozu, the biggest japanese groupware development company,  is only a few billions. Sales Force, IBM, or Microsoft is in the same trade of Cybozu, but their sales are much higher than it.

Some say that is faults of Japanese companies, some say it is of the government.

Japan also copied web contents for Japanese market. For example, main services of “hatena” are not completely original. Language played a role of barrier and made it look original at that time.

There is no customs barrier for web so web services in Japan are completely out of law.  Pornography come across the Pacific ocean to Japan. Online casinos make illegal profits.

On the way to hotels, the CTO of the company showed them a building.

There was a huge building from a distance. far.

He told it was the headbrunch of QQ, and about 10 thousands work there.

QQ users are a billion. The number is almost the same as the population in China. Because all use QQ to use the internet in China. It is the standard.

QQ’s stock prices is now 160 yuan, 40 times of the price 4 years before.

However, general salary for university graduates are about 50 thousand yen in China. In Japan, it is about 200 thousands.

He was surprised at the salary and said that is because Japanese work hard.

However, Keith couldn’t agree with that. He thinks that Japanese worker nowadays are a lazier than before and lost a kind of ambition to create their own companies. They were rather tamed and only follow to their company’s will. Also, “Hikikomori,” being unsocial and doing nothing productive,  or NEET is problem in Japan. There are few people who work really hard.

There is surely the gap between the image of Japanese that was often described in movies or books decades ago, and of current Japanese.

The recent problem in Japan is lack of motivations. People can live even they don’t work hard. “Richness” causes further lack of motivation.

However, in China, people are suffering from lack of jobs. Even people who obtained PhD, they cannot find better job and work for grocery shops.

Though cowboys were a little shocked by what he said, but felt a kind of relief. Because, current Shenzen is like Akihabara 50 years ago. The city, originally for black markets, grew up to the most active electronic market in the world.  The electronic market assisted the development of high-tech in Japan, and Japan became, I think, a one of leading technology developed country. Now, we believe Shenzen is as electronic market in the World.  In the city, there are many smart and industrious people like him.

When cowboys said such things to him, he showed smiled shyly.

We think people in Japan do not work hard as before. They seem not to be enthusiastic about their work. Contrary to that, people there were really studious, active, and smart. Their presentation was impressive. They effectively exchange their opinions with their president. He said that status doesn’t matter to express their opinion. Keith thought that such company will goes well.

That is why we thought that people in China would be richer than us in near future. Also, felt a kind of anxious that Japan would be a “formerly” tech influential country.

Cowboys were shocked at what they said and thought then.  At the same time, though ambiguously had, they clearly noticed that it is truly possible for Japan to be a following country in the world.

Thinking Chinese population, its influence, and earnest of the people, we cannot but felt that we were in a critical phase. We should take an action and should not be satisfied with current situation.

From the conversation with him, cowboys and we could realize such things. It was really nice meeting with him! Thank you Shenzen!

As their annual visiting, cyberspace Cowboys went to Shenzen and Hong Kong looking for something interesting. 

Mr Yamane, a specialist of mobile phones, guided them. He showed and is showing really interesting things there. 

The first thing cowboys saw was a felt case for iPhone looks like iPhone. Other members got it the day before their arrival. How well made it is! We were really impressed that details of iPhone design was well realized on the felt, such as Bluetooth. 

It is a fake and smaller iPhone.

After such a surprize, they arrived Shenzen. Contrary to their concern that travellers may be victims to robbers, the place was so calm and not danger for traveller so much. The prices are not high, there are less beggars. Situation of Shenzen are surely changing.

OPhone is one of things cowboys wanted to get during this travel. Mr Yamane took them to the shop and they could get it easily, though he said OPhone is really popular in China and he concerned that it might be sol out. 

Customers are buyers from  all over the world. So many professionals gather there. The place is so flank and there are no dress code, people casually came there as if they come to groceries for vegetable or fruits. The place is such electric device market.  

We thought that inside of shops are similar to a radio department store in Akihabara, Japah. Shops gather closely. Many small shops are in one big building. They eat on the counter of the electronic shops.  They don’t waste their time, they do other things in their free time.

 Many shops are  being specialized, for instance, this shop specializes in stylus pens.

Here is a mock-up specialized shop, iPhone cases shops,etc.

iPhone cases are so popular there and really fashionable. They found many cases which we may not find in Japan, also its quality is good and the price is cheap. About 250 yen (2.8 USD) per one! They found a building where all shops of a floor sell the cases.  

Next, look. What do you think are they?

 They are all mobile phones!

These are fake “iPhone”s!! But they work as mobile phones properly… :-O 

Cowboys were trully satisfied with visiting there. When they returned to Hong Kong, cowboys asked unlimited mobile connection. Mr Yamane told them to buy the device of Android and SIM cards and took them to a high-tech devices market.

They got HTC TATOO, the latest HTC device. HTC TATTOO was a device for Android which equipped with unique ODP, HTC SENSE. 

This is a SIMs shop.  The number lined on the table is phone numbers of the SIMs.  The price goes high if the number is a pun or a lucky number. They got a pay&go SIM for 3 days unlimited internet access, supporting HSDPA. costed 65 HK$. It would be much cheaper than LAN connection in hotels.

Mr Yamane said that, a Tiwanee chip maker, called MTK, has the biggest share in China. So more OS for devices in China become the OS which MTK distributes for free. The shipment of MTK based device is 100 millions per year! Incredible! Because chip-set Android is yet expensive so there are less kinds of it than other ones. However, more Android devices, like OPhone, will be developed in the future tanks to its free OS.

Though some expected, we actually realized the merit of Android in China and Hong Kong. Because, only in Japan there is no pay&go unlimited access SIM. In America or Europe, pay&go unlimited SIM is already available.  Everytime we go abroad on business, we should concern how much will international access cost by using our Japanese mobiles. But with such unlimited SIMs, using Androids would be much more convenient and cheaper. So global executive would prefer Android.

Also, we realized another thing. In this trip, Keith spend time watching Twitter and Hatena blogs with Japanese DoCoMo’s device. If compared with it, the Android device, HTC TATTOO, is really useful and has good UI though still less than iPhone. 

When we uploaded photos took with TATTOO, we were surprized with its high speed though its resolution is low. 

However, some features of Japanese mobile are still better. One is “decoration mail.” Android lacks the feature  to decorate its text or e-mail and that makes Android a bit unattractive. We hope an app to write decoration mail will be released soon.

The Android Market in HTC TATTOO was automatically upgraded and surprisingly it is far better than Google’s Android Market. But, there are no apps like Simeji or Twitdroid, so we suppose the Market might be developed only in China.  Such development would be popular in the world, rather, we hope that because of its convenience. 

Some apps like Simeji can be downloaded and be installed directly from maker’s page.  (We tried to install Simeji in OPhone, but failed… OPhone is not Android itself but Android based OS, that would be the reason of the fail.)

HTC TATTOO was so popular in Hong Kong. It is about 2900HK$, cheaper than HTC HERO for 900HK$. Also, the features are almost the same. These points might catch the attention of people. 

We are really looking forward the futures of Hong Kong, China, and Android. After several years, if MTK device sold in Shenzen changed into Android devices, we would use them anywhere by developing Japanese mode. Furthermore, when we suddenly become need mobile phones in foreign country, we will definitely buy Android mobile and install Simeji in it so that we can use it in Japanese. 

Android is certainly a potential device!

For further information of mobiles in Hong Kong, let’s visit Mr Yamane’s page!

For more pictures in Shenzen, please visit Shin Ishimaru’s blog :D

The World Computer Cowboy Championship (WCCC) the 3rd was successfully finished. It was held on August 29th and 30th 2009. Last 2 Championship were both held only for a day, but the 3rd was for 2 days! So that the contents of it were really variety, informative and exciting for all people!!

The theme of the 3rd Championship was “Code is Love.” Falling love with code, cowboys always thinks only one thing, code, code, and code! 

code is love

The Championship includes keynotes, Cowboy Rodeos and 180 Rodeos. In Cowboy Rodeos, computer cowboys gave presentations on their specialties. 180 Rodeos is the time for general persons and students to show their research or development to the public in 180 seconds.

After the Competition, Alty Party, the party “famous” to cowboys, was held.

For next a few posts, I will write about it. People both couldn’t and did go must check it! 

 

Day 1

The day 1 started with the opening ceremony by Shi3z and S-Ishimaru. 

Keynote 1

After that, a keynote was given by Furukawa Susumu (a professor of Keio University). The title was ‘Messages by an old cowboy, for those who continue the soul.’ (translation is mine.) It was truly informative keynote.

keynote 1

He spoke about his career and, based on it, talked about the movement and the prospective of technology recently used popularly or start to be used. On broadcasting devices, smartphones,  electronic paper market, problem of IP-TV, leadership, and so forth, his speech topics were various.

After working for Ascii publisher, he became the first president of Microsoft Japan.
Also, he emphasized the importance of clear vision statement to accomplish something. Some aspects of current computer were already mentioned by him thirty years ago in the postscript on Ascii magazine! 

 

180 Rodeos: Students

After such a big water fall information, it was exciting time for young and fresh cowboys,or “those who continue the soul” which Mr Furukawa just told. Takashi Aoki won the 1st prize and 2nd was won by Yasuhiro Takeda. The following is the brief introduction of their names and rodeo topics. You have to check these diamonds before they were caught!?    

180 rodeos

Kiyohiro Yamaguchi (The University of Tokyo)
An application of hit ranking on Tumblr.

Kimihiro Mizutani  (NAIST)
An program for all PCs which construct exclusive network such as only for management staffs.

Yuki Ikuta (Kyushu University)
Question and suggestion for Thunderbird; lack of showing the threads and narrowness of edit space.

Yasuhiro Takeda (Chuo University)
A solution for muscle training. “Muscaras” sends the training date to Twitter and cheering message will automatically twitted on Twitter.

Takashi Aoki (The University of Tokyo)
Virtual Time Machine that transform 2D photos into 3D one.

180 rodeos 2

Makoto Kondo (Keio University)
“iPhone Hack” uses the iPhone’s Voice Over feature and composes voices. The composed voice can “read”and “sing.”

180 rodeos 3

 

Cowboy Rodeos

After break time, the Rodeos were given. Those were, of course, all interesting and  we were all impressed!  

Toru Nishikawa (the president of Preferred Infrastructure)
He talked about searching systems. Because he spoke not with jargon but with plain words, his speech was easy to understand for non-expert. Also, what surprised the audience was the SSD type Sebue with 100,000 yen (1,100 US $) server. It searches the whole information in Wikipedia all over the world in 0.03 second!!

Nishikawa

Eiji Kamiya (the president of Ibis)                                                                                          His rodeo was about self-moving robotics. He researches and develops an original self-moving robot, Aibi, as his “hobby!” But well studied and based on the popular ways of robot development, his robotics skill is worth to be called an “expert.”

Kamiya

Tatsushi Yamada (known as Hacker Dude-san, “Kami-sama”)
He is the one who made the Palm popular in Japan. In addition to the reason why the Palm became not so popular, he talked about the project of “free office.”  He emphasized that it is important to construct comfortable working environment as well as the abolition of own desks.

Yamada

Katashi Nagao (a professor of Nagoya University)
His presentation was about the system to raise the productivity and effectively of meetings. The system transforms real meetings into contents. Also certain gestures by audience make it easy to judge the topic is new or succeeded one. The one of interesting points of his speech is that he used the interface which is hacked Wii controller!

Nagao

Kazuki Ota (the CTO of Preferred Infrastructure)                                                                        He just finished the internship of development IBM’s super computer, Blue Gene, so his topic about the future of computers was hot not only for us, but also for him! He introduced the trend of super computer and importance of developing anti-brakedown for the future super computer possibly with million cores.  He predicts that super computer in 2025 can emulate with human brain.

Ohta

 

Eichi Furukawa (the technical director of Ubiquitous Entertainment Inc.)
He was the final rodeo presenter of day 1, and talked with Shi3z and Shin Ishimaru. He has already focused on the Java application before it was supported by Japanese mobile phone systems. In addition to about Java application for mobile phone, he has already written 19 (!!) books about programming for Microsoft Robotics Studio, Adobe Air, Arduino, XNA, Android, and so forth since 2000.
“To prevail the technology.” For such a simple reason, he writes about complicated programming and makes it understandable for us.

Furukawa

 

The day 1 was closed with talking session by Satoshi Endo (Ascii Media Works) and Shi3z. 

talk session

As you have seen, the above all are the contents of only day 1! How variety and rich program! But I will write about day 2 (also about Alty Party!!) too not to be overcome by such a big programs.

Hi, sorry for kept you waiting so long! 

 

But now, songs and sound tracks by CSC are available on iTunes Store all over the world! Wow! Yatta!

 

Do you remember CSC, Cyberspace Cowboys? They are music band and Akihabara citizen computer cowboys. In my last article, I told you about their karaoke song. As I’ve mentioned, we use their music on our YouTube videos.

Music: ‘DENNOU-KUUKAN’ by CSC

 

At that time, their songs were available only on iTunes Store Japan. Many people around the world asked us and Shin Ishimaru (the leader of the band) what the music was and where they could get the music, and he decided world-wide distribution of their music. So from now, it doesn’t matter whether you are in Asia, America, Europe or any other country. You can download them on iTunes Store! If you want to listen more, search “Cyberspace Cowboys” on iTunes Store.

 

CSC’s adventure in the wilderness of computer desert has already started. And now, they started on adventure in the world. I expect them to succeed in their adventure and their music become one of your favorite.

 

Von Voyage CSC!

 

Also, ZeptoPad2.0 is used to draw Sad Mac 2.0 above!

 

Karaoke Cyberspace Cowboys

January 30, 2009

“DaDaLaLaDaLaLaTa~ Denno-kukan Cowboys~♪”

Do you like Karaoke? I love it very much! As you know, Karaoke is really popular in Japan. Every month, hundreds new songs are added to the Karaoke list. The catalogue becomes thicker and thicker month by month. That troubles me which song I sing. But next month, we must check out at least this new one, 

‘CyberSpaceCowboys v.3.02′ !!!! by Cyberspace Cowboys

CSC is a band of wild computer cowboys formed in the electric city, Akihabara, Tokyo. The group comprises Shin Ishimaru, the learder, Togusa Akizuki, Keith Yodobashi and Rick Tsukumo.  The song above is the theme song of a Podcast programme, Akiba-keiDenno-Kukan Cowboys(アキバ系!電脳空間カウボーイズ/Akiba-kei Cyberspace Cowboys).

Some readers may have already heard the music. Because the songs by CSC are also used in videos of Zeptotools!

‘Cyber CityAkihabara’ and ‘8Bit Song’

I know the song is difficult to understand without seeing the lyric… so, why don’t you try the song to know what they say;-) Karaoke distribution of CSCv.3.02 is starting by DAM from February 24th (in Japan, maybe later in USA!?). Enjoy it!

“Denno-kukan Cowboys~”♪

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