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Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Leaving Books in Public Places for Others to Read

I love books.

Now whenever I finish reading a book while on a GO train, in a park or on a Airplane, I leave it behind and hope that somebody will find it, pick it up and read it. If you have found a book on a bus in Toronto, a train in California, a Ferry in British Columbia or in a bar in Texas in the last few years, chances are that it was one of mine. I hope you enjoyed it and read it.

When leaving books in public places, I have the  imagination of somebody finding it whose life will be touched, or even changed, by the book.  I am aware that the book is probably more likely to end up in the garbage or never recovered, but still each time I leave a book behind, I wonder who will read it next. This is where i found that helps us make it all worthwhile.

Just show your Passport and get free Japanese Wi-Fi - Japan responds to travellers concerns

What is your first necessity at an overseas destination? This depends on where you are visiting and the purpose of your trip, of course, but for many people the deal-clincher is a free-to-use Wi-Fi environment. Let’s take a look at the convenient free Wi-Fi services that are increasing throughout Japan.
When the Japanese government asked foreign travelers about their “difficulties during travel” as part of a questionnaire survey*, the need for “free public wireless LAN environments” topped the list of responses. There were also many responses such as “difficulty in obtaining information about public transportation and places to eat and drink” or “difficulty in getting around due to lack of maps and pamphlets”, but even these problems can mostly be resolved if there is an environment in which travelers can connect to the Internet.
Free Wi-Fi services for foreign tourists are increasing throughout Japan. This article gives an in-depth guide to convenient services that are being provided by one of Japan’s major communications carriers. Check it out and get connected!

*“Results from Questionnaire Survey of Foreign Tourists” by Japan Tourism Agency
These days, mobile devices such as smart phones and tablets are perhaps the items people rely on most when traveling, as they can be used to check sightseeing information in hotels, research train transfers to your destination while sitting in a cafe, e-mail family and friends, and so on. Many people also now want to immediately upload comments and photos from wherever they are, via SNS such as Facebook and Twitter. In all of these scenarios, a real-time Internet-connected environment is very important.

Of course, there are many handy and useful apps now available, including essential map applications that will guide you right to your destination. There are apps enabling English-language train route searches, apps introducing areas of Japan to foreign visitors, and much more besides. Locally obtained fresh information will add an extra level of enjoyment to your trip.

Progressive maintenance of Wi-Fi spots in Japan’s cities

Over the past few years there has been a rapid increase in the popularity of smart phones and tablets within Japan as well, which has led to progressive maintenance of Wi-Fi spots in Japan’s cities, ensuring a highly convenient and comfortable environment for foreign tourists.

Let’s take a look at the services provided by NTT East - Japan’s oldest major telecommunications company and current market leader in construction of fiber optic networks, etc. Foreign visitors can relax now that NTT East has started to provide full-blown free Wi-Fi services specifically for foreigners who are traveling in Japan.

Free use of Wi-Fi spots around Japan for 14 days (336 hours)!

We will begin by explaining how to use these free Wi-Fi services, although there are no difficult procedures involved. Basically, you just need to pick up a free Wi-Fi card from one of the counters established at facilities such as airports and tourist information centers (see illustration below). Simply show your passport and you can receive one of these cards. The ID and password necessary to log-in are printed on the card, so you just need to enter these as directed at an access point with the NTT East Wi-Fi signal (0000FLETS-PORTAL). Having done that, you can then make free use of Wi-Fi spots provided by NTT East for 14 days (336 hours). Simple and easy!

There is no need to fill out any application forms, so this service is perfect for first-time visitors to Japan. You don’t even have to send an e-mail to begin - all you need is your everyday Wi-Fi-supporting mobile device. There are already more than 17,000 NTT East Wi-Fi spots around Japan (as of January 2013) and all of these are based on fiber optic lines, guaranteeing fast and stable communications.

Traveling to Japan - You need WiFi

Also please be aware that to get a access account to wi-fi should be done in advance. If you arrive at a Starbucks you cannot get access unless you registered in ADVANCE!

Is it the same coffee? I will let you know

Not sure yet but Boingo may be a good choice!


The number of Wi-Fi spots and connection options continue to increase as service providers make it easier for tourists to connect while travelling in Japan.
The Osaka Government Tourism Bureau provides "Osaka Free Wi-Fi", a convenient internet service that tourists can use on their smartphones and tablets. The service is available in a number of tourist destinations across the city, from Kansai International Airport to hotels and restaurants. Users also have access to the free Osaka Enjoy Rally service that provides access to rewards and benefits at participating retailers through coupons won in free online games. Find out more on the Osaka Tourist Guide website.

In cooperation with New Chitose Airport, Wi-Ho® and TelecomSquare have joined forces to launch their Hokkaido Spring Festival Campaign. For only JPY 888 a day, you can connect up to 10 devices simultaneously through a mobile Wi-Fi router. The router is a portable Wi-Fi base station, allowing you to connect smartphones and tablets on the road or in your hotel. Pick up your device at New Chitose Airport to qualify for the discount. For more information, visit TelecomSquare's website.

Nippon Telegraph and Telephone East Corporation (NTT East) and NAVITIME JAPAN Co., Ltd. have launched "Free Wi-Fi Spot Search," a convenient offline feature in the NAVITIME for Japan Travel app. In addition to signing up for NTT East's free 2-week Wi-Fi service, users will now also be able to search for nearby Wi-Fi hotspots, including information on the name, address, and telephone number of the hotspot location. Searchable hotspots will not only include the 40,000 shops and facilities covered by NTT East's network but also the 10,000 FREESPOT locations provided by Buffalo Co., Ltd and approximately 1,000 Starbucks locations nationwide. You can download the NAVITIME for Japan Travel app at the App Store or Google Play. For more information, read the NTT East press release.

Friday, May 16, 2014

What does my roaming data cost me?

What does my roaming data cost me?

Let’s take a look at the amount of data it takes to perform some common tasks on your smartphone/tablet when roaming in the USA based on charges from your Cellular Carrier (Canadian). Unfortunately, data is not free and its understandable that cellular carriers need to make a profit and it is actually cheaper than back in 1999 when data was $750/MB   yes per 1MB of transit.

Sending an all-text email: 1 to 10 kilobytes. 50 cents however, when you sync and download 10MB of emails and attachments it just cost you $50

Sending an email with high-resolution photo attachment: 2 to 5 megabytes. $10-$25

A single web page visit: 1 megabytes $5

Uploading photo to a social media site: 1 to 5 megabytes, depending on resolution. $5-$25

Uploading a 3-minute video to a social media site: 5 to 15 megabytes. $25-$75

Making a 10-minute video call: 24 megabytes. $120

Watching a 30-minute standard-definition video: 30 to 90 megabytes. $150 - $450

Sending a SMS message: 75 cents

Usage is based on a $5/MB data rate

How can I save money?

  • Enjoy your trip without the data plans
  • Enjoy a coffee and free Internet at coffee shops and restaurants
  • Buy Travel packs and plans to lower your costs
  • Unlock your phone and buy a local SIM card with a local plan
  • Use a burner telephone from Radio Shack and prepay by the minute and MB
  • Use a national hotspot service like Boingo for a reasonable monthly fee $8
I just got off the telephone with my provider and their rates have dropped again and that will entail some analysis however, not sure how that plays out in Tokyo

What does Sir Richard Branson rely on to create Success?

It was an Aha moment when I met Sir Richard, or actually heard him speak at a conference and how he had so many struggles in his life. At that time things were changing for Virgin and it didn't seem to look good. But he is still the Virgin Group billionaire and owns his own island in the British Virgin Islands, and he has had great success. The Virgin Group has over 300 companies and I think he bootstrapped many more and some worked and some failed miserably but in the end he is truly a leader that inspired his staff and was not the fearful Boss. I am a big note taker and read somewhere that he was as well and its these notes that i refer back to his keynote.

He has stated that he had much success and failure over the years and he distilled it to three principles


Live for something that will make a difference or an impact for your business, your customers and community. Focus Point #1


This is the fuel that drives you when you are tired, sad or disappointed. This passion gives you energy to move forward. Focus Point #2


It comes in dribs and drabs and cycles up and down and there are times where you think you are not performing where you actually are. Performance is not just revenue or profit driven but its the focus on what you are good at. Sir Richard did not just focus on short term profits but looked at the holistic long term viability of every business he created. Focus Point #3

When the three elements come together that can be great focus and its that synergy that brings greater success in an opportunity that will succeed or fail, but you gave it your best.

Who would ever think that people would be buying a Virgin branded water bottle or fly on one of his airlines.

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