azurite: (cat: what the shit is this!?)
So May is the month for humor, apparently, because Wired's Humor Issue features not just SNL's Andy Samberg, but also the uproarious kicker "How Android Beat the iPhone." Being the curious sort (and someone who has been using Android phones for over 2 years, currently works for Apple, and just switched to her first-ever iPhone), I flipped to the article, and I have to admit, I'm a bit mystified. Is it really humor, or are they being serious?

A few points that they make as to why Android is "better" than the iPhone's iOS platform:

There are approximately 170 devices on the market that run the Android OS.

Uh, is more supposed to be better? I think it makes it more confusing! Sure, there are more carriers with Android devices, but how do you know who has the better PHONES? If the software is so awesome and the carriers vary depending on where you live and how much you pay, doesn't it really come down to the hardware, and how capable it is?

My mistake was sticking with a carrier that I loved, and that had good coverage where I lived. I heard good things about Android, but T-Mobile simply didn't have phones with hardware capable of running the software properly. I got stuck with a myTouch 3G (the HTC Magic), which SUCKED. It's hardly worthy of the moniker "smartphone," and is only a hair's breadth better than its predecessor, the G1.

Android gives the carrier 30 percent of app sales, minus credit card processing fees, while Apple keeps that 30 percent for itself.

Someone please explain to me why the carrier deserves ANY of the cut of app sales. Here's how apps work:

(1) A developer makes an app to work on the software's platform. Either Android's OS or Apple's iOS.

(2) The developer submits it to Apple for review, or Android for placement in the Android Marketplace.

(3) If/When it's accepted/posted, people can then download it. Paid apps result in the developer getting paid for their idea and hard programming work, while free apps sometimes include ads, and other times just test out if a good idea can compete. People download apps while on a wireless network (usually "free," as-in, a home Internet service, an office network, or a local wi-fi hotspot like at an Apple Store, mall, or coffee shop; sometimes "paid" as at an airport and hotels) or using their carrier's 3G service. Since most apps are fairly small, this barely takes any time at all--maybe a few minutes, maximum--on either network.

(4) People rate and review the app, it gets more attention, and the developer makes more money, yay! And normally the other developer--the one that built the code base that the entire phone runs on--would get the other chunk of the profits. This is how it is for Apple, but Google gives their code away for free, and they don't "need" the money, apparently, so they give it to the carrier...because the carrier is SOMETIMES used to download things like apps (or apps which result in heavy load on their networks, like Netflix) to offset the cost of things like network maintenance. Bwah? What if someone downloads an app that never needs any additional network access, for anything? What if it's an app that requires the faster connection of Wi-Fi, not the carrier's 3G? Or what if it's an app that connects, but only at the user's discretion (when they connect to Facebook to download friend lists, for example), or only downloads a minimum amount of content--not streaming movies or whatnot?

This is what I don't get: if your network is too shitty to handle the load, upgrade your damn network! Don't try and pass that cost off (in any form) to the end users, who already pay you for their service in the form of ridiculously-priced data packages, overage limits, roaming, etc.! I guess it's Google's prerogative to give what should be THEIR profits away to whomever, but honestly? I think if they want to give something away, it should be to the developers who bother to use their crappy system (because yes, it's crappy. I would say it's "the Windows of smartphone operating systems," except Windows HAS their own smartphone OS, and it's probably even shittier than Android)!

I'm so sick of carriers whining about how they have all this work to do because people are flinging their money at them, making contracts and getting plans and then wanting to use the networks the way normal, connected people do nowadays. Get with the program! The hardware (network and phone) needs to be able to handle what the software (Android or iOS) throws at it. Apple's devices never seem to have a problem with this; why do the Android's partner manufacturers?

You could argue that Android runs on AT&T and Verizon, but also on Sprint, T-Mobile, and heck-knows-how-many other carriers out there, and this is true, but bad software--whether it's the apps themselves or the Android OS--will have more of a ping on an unstable, outdated network in small numbers than great software running on the best hardware currently available on the two largest, fastest 3G networks in the country. And if Android's marketshare is growing, that's even worse--all these carriers will have to upgrade to keep up, because people are going to demand BETTER networks, networks they deserved to have from the beginning. How is it the end user's fault if the carriers underestimated the phone's capabilities, even though the hardware manufacturers and software developers (well, the OS developers, anyway) should have known better?

I guess what makes it all the more humorous is that the article pretty much concludes by acquiescing that Android has all these failings--too many crappy apps in the open Marketplace, no guarantee that any given app will work on a phone, even if it has the latest Android OS available--all because carriers muck things up in their own way. It says that the Android OS doesn't have the largest marketshare of smartphones now, even though the growth is pretty amazing, and sales did, at one point, surpass sales of the iPhone. But then again, if you're only looking at iPhone sales vs. Android on ALL its devices (smartphones and tablets), that's not really a fair comparison, is it? Better to compare the sales of all iOS devices to the sales of all Android-powered devices in the same period, and then see who comes out on top. And yes, since Android is on more devices in general, on more carriers, it may very well win...but is that marketshare the same six months down the line? Has it increased or plateaued? How long do users put up with Android's bullshit? I know I did--for too long, and now I'm happy to have finally switched.

If Android has "beaten" the iPhone, it's by pulling one of those hitting-over-the-head-with-a-chair moves like in the WWE. And the iPhone may stagger a little bit, but it's far from out for the count.
azurite: Manga illustration of Galaxia from Sailor Moon walking against a starry sky (sailormoon - galaxia)
Okay, so late yesterday I got and activated my new temporary phone, the Samsung Galaxy S. I did a bit of research beforehand, seeing as it wasn't really my CHOICE to get the phone; I was sick of using the HTC Magic (T-Mobile myTouch 3G) and basically told T-Mobile everything that was wrong with it and how I worked for Apple and could drop them like a hot rock and get an iPhone that day. They looked at my account and my amazing loyalty (always pays bills on time, one time paid a $900 international phone bill) and said they'd get me the latest phone in their line, the Galaxy S for $249.

Sure, it's 16 GB when I would have gotten a $299 32 GB iPhone 4, but it's my understanding that this is fairly close to the full upgrade eligibility price, and since I'm paying it in 3 installments, it's not so bad. If I decide I don't like the phone in 20 days or less (though shouldn't it be 30 since I'm in California? Or is that only with new contracts...?), I can mail it back and get a new phone--whether it's from T-Mobile or not. If I stuck with T-Mobile till at least July, I could reduce my Early Termination Fee to $100; if I wait until September 22, I can make it $0. Right now it's a hefty $200, which is nothing to laugh at, but when you hate your existing phone as much as I do, you might be willing to eat it...and I probably will, if the Samsung Galaxy S fails to impress.

Ring ring ring on my telephone )

So that's it...for now. The new phone is called "The Galaxy Cauldron" (almost all of my electronics are actually a geeky reference of some sort; I kind of like this one because of its potential for Badass), rather than the very boring "Nullentropy." :P

Let the hardcore testing commence!
azurite: (Default)
I'm typing this on steph's iPhone. So not much to say now except I want one! Not on the AT&T network though. I'd rather wait for that partnership to end if it ever does. ILB, I'm still working on your fic. I'll try and get it (and Scrib's prologue to AoA, too) by new year's eve. It's all planned out but I don't like the prose I wrote so far. What is my "style" I wonder?
azurite: (azureshipping - love to hate)
So, I haven't updated in what seems like ages (that HSM post doesn't count, because I'd written that more than a week ago and just saved it, hoping for a time when I COULD post it) because The Powers That Be were conspiring against me or something, and Murphy's law was in full effect-- all that jazz. So I decided to start doing something about it.

Keyboard Mayhem! )

Michael Moore is hard to find )

A little lost memory card and some movies )

Noconnectlink )

An HTC Dream G1 deferred )

MELTING, MELTING! and other problems )

Fics that like to f*ck with your brain )

And that, as they say, is that. For now, anyway.
azurite: (sam & max - max)
So I got my hands on the 2-Disc Premiere Edition Soundtrack of "High School Musical 3: Senior Year." (It's my guilty pleasure, okay?) The elevated price is supposedly for all these bonus features (a DVD with the "making of" and a music video, along with the trailer... why companies think a "trailer" constitutes "extra" material is beyond me; a "mobile superpack" for cell phones), but to be honest, it doesn't seem worth it.

(1) DVD's only redeeming feature was the "Making Of" video, and I'm sure that'll end up on the DVD of the movie when it comes out, too. The "digital downloadables" were just links to a website, and they were paltry offerings at best: some wallpapers of the cast, some AIM/MSN icons, and a screensaver. None of which caught my eye enough for me to download.

(2) The "mobile superpack" is what's got my ire, 'cause it's advertised as a "$13.95 value," which may be true, but only if you can download them! Apparently other T-Mobile customers and even people on other services (I've seen Verizon named so far) have been having trouble.

Here's how it works:
Text HSM3FRT1 for "Now Or Never" ringtone to "347-639" (DISNEY)
Text HSM3FRT2 for "Night to Remember" ringtone to the same number...
Text HSM3FRT3 for "Last Chance" ringtone (it's the excerpt of "Now or Never" featured in the song "Senior Year Spring Musical") to the same number...

The included slip mentions "Right Here, Right Now" and "Just Wanna Be With You," but the response from Disney when I first texted "SUPERPACK" to "DISNEY" was for to go to the website and get the codes I listed above (and below). The only way I can think of to supposedly get these songs from Disney is to pay for them; there are different codes for the other songs, listed here:

HSM3A3 - I Want It All
HSM3A4 - Can I Have This Dance
HSM3A5 - A Night To Remember (? - remember, this is one of the freebies from above... supposedly)
HSM3A7 - The Boys Are Back (why'd they skip 6? Maybe it's a typo?)
HSM3A8 - Walk Away
HSM3A9 - We're All in This Together (Graduation Mix)
HSM3A10 - High School Musical

Text HSM3FVT1 for a "Whoa-ho Wildcat!" voicetone

Text HSM3FVWP1 for a Chad wallpaper

Text HSM3 to "DISNEY" to check out the site and "play games, sign the Wildcats' yearbook, and vote for the 'Most Likely To...' categories!"

Even though I don't want all of these, I tried for all of them at various times. Disney responded by sending me a text saying "Rply K to get ur content, Rply X to cancel" (among other things), but when I replied "K", nothing came. And I waited and waited. And waited. I looked for a Browser Message vs. a regular text message, but still nothing. I tried to reply again, but it said there was nothing waiting for me.

And of course, none of these mobile superpack downloads are accessible on the digital downloads section of Disc 1. I tried going to the mobile site on my laptop, but there's no difference. It's "text to get your stuff," but I never have gotten the response to actually GET the damn content! And presumably your phone number only stays in their queue for a limited time, looking for some sort of response that isn't "K" or "Ok" (when I sent "ok," it said my response wasn't recognized), because that whole replying-later didn't work, either.

There's no way to contact Disney Records or whomever for help. When you text "HELP" it just tells you the prices for the different ringtones. That's it. Doesn't say anything about what to do or who to call if you can't download FREE ringtones/voicetones/wallpaper.

I guess it's not really worth it if the ringtones would basically be MP3s, 'cause I can easily rip the songs from the soundtrack and edit them myself in my cell phone program in Windows, or download FREE ready-made ringtones from Ventones.com.

If anyone does discover a solution for texting the "right" response, let me know. (Also: need HSM icons. Why didn't Disney think of "avatars" of more sizes/styles than just clips of the stupid poster? MORE CREATIVE, PLZ!)
azurite: (cat: what the shit is this!?)
Yesterday, I got so mad at myself that I had energy to burn, and decided to play DDR. I selected DDR Extreme, which, it turned out, I mysteriously had no PS2 memory card data for. After I tired of that (making new data by playing said game), I played Kingdom Hearts, which also had no data.

I can't remember what got me so mad at myself in the first place. It's probably a good thing, though, right-- I was mad for "no good reason," which is why I can't remember now, after a long, good day in which, for the first time in a long while, I haven't stayed indoors all day OR blown a boat-load of money? (I spent almost all day today at Disney's California Adventure and Disneyland, as a Guest, and managed to spend only $7 or so throughout the entire day-- and that was on lunch)

I can only consider lame possibilities, which (in retrospect) don't seem like enough to get me so mad I'd think "ARGH! I HAVE TO PLAY DDR TO GET RID OF THIS ANGER! STOMP STOMP STOMP!"
* I forgot to sign up for an event
* I forgot to go to an event
* Kaiser screwing me over with my prescriptions was frustrating me
* I'm spending way too much money on things I don't need, like a hand blender, and looking at my bank account statement frustrated me
* ??? (Do I really want to know!?)

Oh wait, I remember: OKCUPID DELETED MY ACCOUNT. BASTARDS! (I emailed them about this fiasco and hopefully they'll get back to me so it can be fixed.)

In real (as in "true, honest, genuine") bad news, and reason why today SUCKS (though not a lot): I lost my pretty blue jewel cell phone charm. The likelihood of it just happening to be on the floor somewhere is slim to nil. Considering all the ground I covered in both Disney parks today, and the likelihood that, if someone DID find it, they'd just pick it up and keep it (because ooh, it's a pretty blue gem!), I'm never going to see it again, and that makes me sad.

I want a pretty, STURDY cell phone charm that's not so huge that I'll sit on it if it dangles out of my pocket and then it comes undone and is never seen again, or gets horribly dirty or something. Suggestions?

Brr.

Nov. 22nd, 2007 11:08 pm
azurite: (autumn kitty)
Greetings from FREEZING Seattle, WA... er, technically, Bellevue, I guess. Getting here wasn't so bad, but the schmucks at Alaska Airlines somehow managed to not put my checked bag (only the one, not even that big or heavy) on my flight, so I had to wait until about a half hour ago for it to be delivered to Sally's house.

Right now, we're (meaning me, my dad & Kathleen, and a few of the other cousins and aunts/uncles) are staying at a friend of Sally's house; I guess her family's out elsewhere for the holidays. It's a bit awkward to be in the home of someone I don't even know, but they did say it's okay...

And frankly, even if Sam (cousin) did say that it's "shady," at least THEY have free Wi-Fi. Seriously, I'm not the first person to point out to Sally and the boys that NOT having Wi-Fi at their house is equivalent to living in the Stone Age. (For those of you with Dial-Up, you're prehistoric.)

The Thanksgiving dinner was DELICIOUS, even though I got a stomachache after the fact-- actually though, based on the human digestive system, there's no way anything I ate at Thanksgiving could have made me sick, even if it was something I'm mysteriously allergic to. I think it was that muffin I picked up at Sea-Tac while waiting for Dan and my bag (which never came while I was there). It was one of those Costco muffins-- delicious, humongous, and bad for you, but you eat it anyway.

Pre and slightly-post dinner, I managed to work on the DIVs for "Ace of Hearts," the Sailor V x Kaitou Ace fanlisting I just started. It's about due, and I'm glad Michael (aka Honus, aka cousin-in-law, husband of Brooke) helped me out with it. Now I understand better how DIVs and CSS can work in tandem! So far it looks great, but I need to write the About, Rules, and Extras pages, make some Codes, and then, of course, Join! And promote... kinda like I am now. Pre-promoting, anyway.

I also managed to watch CSI-- I'm glad Sara got mentioned at least a little. The way the previews made it sound, the game was overtaking the lab and no one thought twice about Sara, which would have infuriated me. I liked how the lesser-seen lab techs got more time in the limelight in this episode (and Hodges had HIMSELF killed in a scenario? Wow, talk about his ego finally having been knocked down a few pegs).

I've also made headway on my portfolio for Journalism; I need access to a printer to print everything out, though. An aesthetic question of sorts: if I have these newspaper articles mounted on papers inside a 3-ring binder, what arrangement is easiest to read; with the headline closest to the rings (and you read the columns going AWAY from the binder) or the headlines closest to the edge of the page, and you read TOWARD the rings?

Had to buy a new phone, too-- just another RAZR. The 3G phone I bought for Japan finally died. The past few days, it was getting hard to open, and then on Wednesday, the screen started to flicker until it finally died and I couldn't turn it back on, even when I adjusted the battery. While I don't consider myself a hardcore phone user, I do USE it everyday for at least one phone call... but still, a little over a year strikes me as a pretty pathetic life not just for a battery, but for a phone's casing and everything in general..

The new phone is a bit different-- mine, while still a RAZR, was a different model (the V3x, from Europe). It takes some getting used to, but because syncing is so easy on the Mac, I've already got all my old contacts back, along with my calendar. I've also set the first four of my "Fave Five," though to be honest, I have no idea who #5 should be. The rest are Mom, Dad, Jill, and Baba & Grandpa. In any case, I hope by having a branded phone now, things'll be easier for me-- I can now access T-Zones, and there's no worries about incompatible phones on the website, weird text messages, etc. (Of course, I stopped getting those mysterious text messages on my old RAZR ages ago, when they finally updated their support-- I think.) I hope it also helps bring my bill down, since I was paying extra for minutes I didn't use and unlimited text messages WITHOUT myFaves. I still have the T-Mobile Hot Spot access though, which means I can go to any Starbucks or Borders and just type my heart out. That might be a nice way to spend the afternoon, especially since I won't really be able to do any "Black Friday" shopping-- unless someone else buys for me. I have to pay for my WII deposit (though it turns out I have 10 more days, since the forms I've been stressing over filling out were the digital copies, but they just sent the paper copies today).

I didn't get to announce about being accepted into the Washington Internship Institute at dinner, like I hoped-- Dad must have heard about it from Baba & Grandpa, and then it filtered through the family grapevine. When I told Dad about the costs, he started to think it wasn't legit-- and for a minute, he really had ME worried, too. Sometimes I wonder how gullible I really am; when something really sounds great to (or for) me, I probably don't stop to consider the consequences or other possibilities out there.

But it does look legit-- I mean, it's a sponsored program from Golden Key, one of my honor societies. But what I think is a good idea is trying to contact some people who supposedly were interns in the program before and find out what they thought.

What else? I'm exhausted and still have a stomachache-- so even though I'm on a couch in a room with curtains that won't close, I think I'll go to bed. This isn't really a vacation, after all...
azurite: (cat: what the shit is this!?)
Woke up about a half hour ago because of a nightmare. So if I turn the heat off before I go to sleep, or set it on a timer, I wake up freezing. If I leave it on, I either wake up with a headache or feeling like aliens injected my brains with drugs.

In the dream, I was back at Baba & Grandpa's house, and Baba said something about me keeping my dog calm because Dad was coming over. In this, my dog was Perkins (a Gordon Setter), but female rather than male (as he was IRL). And apparently Perkins can turn into a very mean, face-eating dog when scared. So I started taking all the old pictures that hung in the rec room bathroom and barricaded that room with them. There was also a random block of heavy wood, which I covered with an ugly, thin comforter (peach, with some sort of white art deco design on it) from MY MOM'S HOUSE. Not that it would have made a difference-- it still looked like a block of wood, and why would anyone barricade a bathroom door with picture frames, anyway?

I remember seeing out the window, a champagne colored sedan (which my Dad has never owned), and retreating into the bathroom with Perkins, trying to keep her calm by petting her over and over on the head, even though she was starting to look around wildly and growl-- which was giving us away in the dark, cold bathroom.

And I heard the front door slam, and footsteps come toward us (all giant like, BOOM BOOM BOOM) and I just remember being scared that my own dog was going to eat me, or my Dad, or my Dad was going to kill us both.

...WHAT THE HELL?!

Well on the bright side, there's a part on WDKY25 about fear and nightmares that now I think I will be able to write. But still, WHAT THE HELL?!

And to add on to the mind-fuckery, about 5 minutes ago someone from Worcester, Massachusetts (I don't know anyone from Worcester, Massachusetts!) tried to call me ON MY CELL PHONE. And being somewhat freaked out due to the nightmare and not remembering how to cancel/ignore a call without opening the flip top, I did-- and it connected. So you can bet that even if I was connected for ONE STINKIN' SECOND, T-Mobile will charge me the international rate for the whole damn minute. And I don't know if people have been leaving me voice mails on my cell voicemail lately, but I don't want to pay the exorbitant amount to check! All the important people should have my Skype number anyway... (which expires on the 14th, damn).

But seriously now, what am I doing to deserve this? I can't sleep, my back or head is always hurting, and everything I do, I either get easily distracted from, blocked in, or I'm simply not satisfied with it. And yet I'm TRYING, it's really not for lack of effort or research or anything on my part. I've been trying new foods, going new places, doing my best to understand people in their native language, socializing more, keeping clean, keeping somewhat healthy, getting ready to go back to the States, preparing for all my classes -I finished that godforsaken Media paper, but I'M NOT HAPPY WITH IT!- and I'm JUST NOT SATISFIED.

Scott's right-- I wanted my last month here to be easy too, but nothing's working out like that. And I'm back to being awake, stressed out, and frankly, my chest really hurts and I'm getting sick of sounding like I'm making excuses for something that even I don't understand WHY it's happening! (And much as the idea of sleeping in --again-- tempts me, I'm actually quite sick of being holed up here in the dorms, saying I'm getting stuff done but never feeling like I'm accomplishing anything, no matter what I do. I'm also sick of transmitting those excuses onto my teacher, because even if they are legitimate, it doesn't change the fact that I need to be in class to learn and get a good grade.)
azurite: (she must have been drunk and horny)
I've only eaten a bowl of cereal (Frosties with bananas) and had some toast with scrambled eggs today, but I'm feeling strangely sick. Or I have been for the past hour or so, and I have no idea why. It sucks.

Moving on, I wonder if anyone would be nice enough to get me things I like/need from Amazon.com? It's one of the few places where shopping online is safe/secure, relatively cheap, easy, and THEY SHIP ANYWHERE IN THE WORLD. There's also Amazon.co.jp. :) Long story short, I need a few books from there (on my wishlist), and since I'm saving up for Hong Kong AND have to pay that new phone bill (le sigh, it's legit. Basically a bunch of 2 and 3 minute calls REALLY ADDED UP... to 26 minutes, at $2/minute = $56 tacked onto my $60 regular bill and all the other surcharges), I'm kind of broke at the moment.

However, as promised, I will (and have been already, actually) shopping for gifts for people, and I do believe in "fair trade." So, you scratch my back, I scratch yours. I can try and buy you a gift online and have it shipped to you, I can buy a gift here in Japan and ship it to you, or I can buy something for you and I can give it to you in person, depending on when [next] we meet. :) I actually need these books for my scholarship... a lot more than I need a pretty blue 1GB+ USB stick with some cool engraving on it. (I want that, but I don't NEED it, unfortunately). And as I mentioned before, I don't want to ask my mom for money.

...My dad, on the other hand, is way overdue for a "hit me up for some cash" call. :P

So in summary, please buy me some of the anime and/or manga-related books (that is, reference books. Not stuff like an actual VOLUME of manga or a DVD of anime, shocked as I am to hear myself say it) from my Amazon Wishlist and have it shipped to me here in Japan (need my address? email me or comment... though it IS on my Amazon account, I don't know if you can "see" it if you buy something from my list), and I will
a) love you forever
and
b) get you a cool present in return

Yes, I'm aware that I'm groveling, but it turns out that legit sources of a wealth of info that I need for my scholarship ARE NOT online, and books in English are extremely hard to find here in Japan (which makes perfect sense, really, and I'm quite the dunderhead for not considering it sooner).

...And since I feel sickly right now, I think I'll lie down, and maybe play some Star Ocean 2. If I feel up to it later, I'll have dinner.

*sniff* I miss everybody.
azurite: (chuck norris ships d/hr)
Scott text messaged me FROM TURKMENISTAN a while ago. I was so thrilled so I tried to respond to him immediately. Whether on Vodafone or DoCoMo, my short message in the Outbox refused to go through. I thought, maybe it's because I'm on a US phone (U.S. number/SIM card), using a Japanese carrier, sending to a foreign country?

So I tried to reformat the number, which had arrived as +993 (Turkmenistan's country code), the area code (6), and the number. I decided to add USA's "out" IDD prefix, 011. That allowed the message to be sent, but I don't know if it actually went to the right cell phone (Scott's host father's cell). Doesn't the cell phone concept of the + sign eliminate the need of entering an "out" number, regardless of where you are? In other words, the IDD is not necessary, right? Part of the number may have been both an area code and a city code; I'm not sure how it's formatted.

But I am confused. I don't see why +933-6-the number wouldn't have sent... but maybe SMS have different rules? Can anyone help me out?

Edit: If you are in the U.S. or another country (besides Japan), please text message me (the link should be on my LJ User Info, available for all those on my FL to see). I want to see how your number appears in my Call History, and then see if I can text back. Then you can text me again to let me know that you got my reply.

Note of absolutely no importance to anyone (I would think): So in getting ready to make pumpkin mini-pies for my shared EC group with Christine tomorrow, I bought a cupcake tray and liners to make mini-pies in. Stupid me forgot that we'd be using a multi-function microwave, which has a very limited size capacity. So of course I spent 940 yen on a tray and liners which I can't use, BECAUSE THE TRAY DOESN'T FIT! I just got back from a quick run to Kasumi to get a new 22cm normal pie tray. It's sad that I was getting hyped up about the mini-pies, but there's no other choice. I doubt people have a bigger microwave that doubles as an oven here in the dorms, and I'm pretty sure the communal kitchen doesn't have an oven-- just gas ranges.

So I'm thinking my first eBay auction from Japan will be a never-used cupcake tray with free "Color Cup" liners in delicious pastel colors! What do you think?
azurite: (grandpa will fuck 'em up)
Ugh, who would have thought that a simple taifu (typhoon) could make everything go downhill? Even though my phone (Motorola V3x) is world compatible, in terms of both networks and power, something must have happened after the taifu, because it won't charge anymore. I thought it was just because it was almost fully charged and it didn't WANT to charge any more, but that wasn't it. I tried all the outlets in my room, on my "denki plug" and in the dining room, but to no avail. And my phone is just about dead- without internet, that means no way of contacting anyone, which means DEPRESSED MER!!!!!!!!!!!

I want to get Internet hooked up, but it's much more convoluted than I remembered, and I have to assemble all this paperwork, go to FAX (yuck!) things, and then wait. In the meantime, we have rotten access here at the International Center, and both wireless at the Internet Cafe and the ethernet here are so heavily secured, we don't have the slightest clue how to connect (then again, the other machines and the instructions are in Japanese, so...)

Oh, and *ARGH! HAPPY TALK LIKE A PIRATE DAY!!!!* Yeah.

I hate being stressed.

I would have more to update with, but until I get net on MY DAMN LAPTOP, I don't particularly feel like locating the rearranged keyboard characters and trying to type out all that's been going on. It's been okay up until last night when all this electronic brou-ha-ha began. Right now, I just want a good dictionary and some sleep.

...And some Frosties.

Get more.

Aug. 18th, 2006 01:19 am
azurite: (unforgotten uranepu)
Ah, I'm a poster child for T-Mobile now! I got my Motorola RAZR V3x in the mail yesterday morning, even after all the brou-ha-ha with eBay. I don't know why they removed the listing (the specifics of wireless_experts' so-called policy violation is kept secret for "privacy reasons"), but I called WE up and told them I got the package just fine, and everything works.

I was worried for a bit-- the manual mentions a USIM card, which some places had me thinking was different and not compatible with a SIM card, but they're the same size and essentially do the same thing; since Asia and Europe are ahead of the U.S. in the features game, there are some things I won't be able to access, but nothing that I'll horribly miss.

My bill is... not small, but I can live with it. Around $60/month for unlimited text messaging, 600 Whenever minutes, Unlimited Nights/Weekends, and web access for downloading games and apps, checking my email, etc. So yay for being connected. What's weird is:
* I got about 3 strange text messages today, where the only content was a non-reply address: something that looked like this: ^@
It had no content, couldn't be replied to, and was just THERE. I got other text messages from T-Mobile just fine, but 3 TMs I didn't get at all. So if you tried to TM me or something... er, I didn't get it.

* Even though I've got the T-Zones web access enabled, when I searched through the directory for Games and Apps, nothing comes up, I just keep getting menu after menu. I talked to a T-Mobile rep earlier who made sure I had all the right software and everything, and my MPT (Mobile Phone Tools) is the latest version, but I keep getting paranoid that even if the V3x is a part of the RAZR family, that it doesn't support all the things I want (i.e. Bejeweled). I'll wait until tomorrow afternoon to make sure, then I'll call them back up again. But so far, everything works fine.

And before you ask, no, I don't think I got ripped off. I got the new Cosmic Blue RAZR V3x, a headset, data cable, OEM software, leather side case, car charger, signal booster, U.S./Japan charger, and European adapter all for $269. What killed me was the $22 sales tax because WE is based here in Los Angeles, and of course, the shipping, but other than that, it's fine. This will be my new permanent phone for use here *AND* in Japan. Sucks that I can't get one of the new "complementary to female needs" phones that are coming out next month in Japan via DoCoMo, or simply a cool phone with Osafu-Keitai, Infrared scanning, etc. But why get those things if I can't use them here in the States, anyway?

I also have to go to a Sprint Store to transfer all the data off my old A660 Vision phone; they can't do it over the phone, and they couldn't do it at the kiosk at the mall, so it's my only option. I didn't get a data cable when I first got my phone, and I had no idea what I was missing! But I've already entered some numbers manually, and it's actually not that hard to assign ring tones and pictures. Matter of fact, I already have the MIDI ringers of "Ai no Senshi" and "Motto Suteki Asa ga Kuru yo" from Sailor Moon... not that I know of anyone in particular that would MATCH those ringtones, but I thought it was cool. Actually, the sound system was so good, I probably could have used the instrumental versions of the MP3s and they'd sound tons better!

...Speaking of which, is there actually an instrumental/karaoke version of Ai no Senshi!? (I know there is for MSAKY). Oooh yes, baby, yes there is. Now, will someone tell me why people publish their playlists online? I mean, it's like bragging "Look, I got all this music, but I won't tell you where it's from!"

Actually, the Memorial Song Box has almost every damn Sailor Moon song in existence, but it's going for $433 USD on Amazon Japan right now. Can you say YEAH RIGHT!? I know I'm missing a lot of tracks, but I'm not THAT desperate (says the girl who paid $322.21 with shipping and taxes for a phone... yeah, yeah).

Something else Sailormoon-y: you know how on the manga version of the Sailor Moon S movie poster/Luna-is-human arc, Sailor Moon's hair jewel is facing the wrong way? They fixed it for the anime version (note: Diana is missing from the anime version, because they didn't introduce her until SuperS), but why didn't Naoko Takeuchi ever redo the image for the Materials Collection or somesuch? I always thought that was weird-- and I have the poster version of it (where someone gets cut off, and Luna has an unusual patch of red hair, but other than that...)

Note: links from MangaStyle and SailorMusic.Net. Not that I think bandwidth usage from my journal should be an issue, but check out the sites to see all that they have to offer. I can always host the images on my own server if requested; I only direct-linked for the sake of speed. (I also volunteered to be a mirror for SailorMusic, but the owner Michelle never got back to me. *sniff* I don't want to let cool sites like that die due to lack of hosting! I also volunteered for the Sheer Lunacy! encyclopedia, which I would *LOVE* to see completed... but again, no response).

WTF.

Aug. 15th, 2006 04:39 pm
azurite: (grandpa will fuck 'em up)
According to eBay, the listing of the cell phone that I bid on (actually, it was BUY IT NOW!) was removed for violating policy. According to PayPal, I already paid for the phone. My bank account doesn't say this, but after I called them, they said it's pending and will clear by today (so there's no point in doing a Stop Payment request, which takes 2 days to clear). I was about to open a dispute with PayPal, but since I just paid for the item yesterday and contacted the seller a few minutes ago, I'm hoping this can get resolved quickly and I can still get my phone. The seller (or a representative) got back to me, told me he was looking into it, and told me to call tomorrow.

I don't want to have to go through all the trouble of looking for other sellers with the things I need.

But I am so freaking sick of THIEVES!
azurite: (tokyo map)
I never realized until today just how many cellular retailers there are in the Northridge Fashion Center. I knew of 2 immediately-- one that I thought was Cingular was actually ANOTHER T-Mobile (I already knew about one of the downstairs T-Mobile kiosks); there were no less than 6 that we saw total (for both T-Mobile and Cingular) on both floors of the mall. That's not including Verizon and Sprint/Nextel, neither of whom are an option for Japan.

The spectrum seemed to be crappy toward the back of the mall (dodgy service, stupid representatives), with the cool guys in the middle (though the end-middle guys were desperate, to the point of trying too hard), and the geeky freakazoids (tried to hit on me, thinks he's being original with a "^_^" signature) in the front.

Still, the guys Dad and I spoke to for nearly a half hour from T-Mobile have practically sold me on the silver Motorola RAZR V3. T-Mobile's BEEN an international company, and they just recently came stateside, so they're already well-established with partners in other countries like Japan. I checked their maps, and indeed-- they have high coverage right in Mito, partnered with --yes!-- DoCoMo.

The question then is, is the RAZR V3 a 3G phone, which is required by DoCoMo?

The guys at the T-Mobile booth seemed to insist I would *HAVE* to get a SIM Card in Japan (even though the RAZR already comes with one) and get some sort of a pre-paid plan, but then what I read on some forums, you CAN'T rent a SIM card in Japan-- they don't even use SIM, they use USIM or something like that. And if T-Mobile's got such great international coverage (and the RAZR is a quad-band phone anyway... though I don't know the first thing about how frequency/bandwidth works for phones, let alone internationally), why do I have to get a new SIM card at all?

On the DoCoMo website, it says that any 3GPP (3G Partnership Project) compliant phone will work with them, and I can even keep my own phone number. I'd rather not rent a handset, because it'll be so damn expensive. But then, I don't want to pay exorbitant amounts for roaming if it's not part of my (temporary) plan. I couldn't find anything on their site about renting a SIM card, and while I think they have some sort of pre-paid plan, I'm not sure whether you need to sign up for anything if you already have a roaming-capable phone.

Is there a phone expert in the house, because I am TOTALLY lost here. I'm also a total sucker for salespeople, so I'd like an objective opinion of someone who knows when they're being bullshitted or not. Dad was a good companion to have when I went shopping, as he asked a lot of tough questions, but I really wanna make sure I don't get scammed with all this sweet talk. If it's possible to just have ONE plan, ONE PLACE TO PAY, and ONE PHONE NUMBER, I will be ecstatic. If that's not possible, fine, but I only want to deal with ONE PHONE, period.

The nutshell:
* ONE PHONE for both Japan and USA
* Preferably ONE PLACE to pay (i.e. ONE BILL) for both domestic and international roaming (if not possible, do I need to rent a SIM card? Can't I just buy a compatible-with-the-network phone, select DoCoMo, and pay international roaming? Or do I need to talk to the DoCoMo people first?)
* Coverage in Mito, Japan from DoCoMo (requires a 3G-compatible handset) - partnership with T-Mobile (the DoCoMo website says T-Mobile's only 2G, but who knows how dated that list of partners and confirmed phones is?)
* I'd like a phone that I can download BEJEWELED (the game from PopCap Games) on
* It'd be a bonus if I could get a JAPANESE <-> ENGLISH dictionary (WAP? If I use DoCoMo as my network, does that mean I can download things from DoCoMo, or would I need a Japanese phone with iMode, etc? I don't want such a phone, because it wouldn't be backwards-compatible with the USA networks/features)
* If I can customize the ringer and/or wallpaper, that'd be super-cool
* I want to be able to KEEP my current mobile phone number and phone numbers

Is this possible?

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