All posts on November, 2015

Tattooed travellers in Japan beware

MINE is barely three inches long but gives people a case of the vapours at Japanese swimming pools. Invariably, a lifeguard will tut-tut from his high chair before demanding it be covered up. Tattoos come freighted with taboos in Japan. They have long been associated with “anti-social elements”, code for yakuza mobsters. That makes the law-abiding among us collateral damage in a cultural war against body art.

Gyms, pools and public baths typically ban them, or insist they be concealed. Some even provide bandages and sticky tape for that purpose. The mayor of Osaka, Japan’s second city, felt so strongly he launched a witch-hunt against tattooed civil servants in 2012. Employees were required to fill out a form describing their tattoos and exactly what part of the body they decorated.

For foreign business travellers, this can be a nuisance. Most of us can survive a few days off from the gym, but what about Japan’s matchless hot spring resorts? Every good guidebook recommends a soak in a country onsen but the best of luck getting in: a survey released last month by the…Continue reading

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Tech Law

Airbnb Holds its Breath as San Franciscans Vote on Prop F

San Franciscans will vote Tuesday on Proposition F, also known as the “Airbnb Initiative,” which seeks to restrict short-term rentals. Polls will open at 7:00 a.m. At first glance, it appears that the fight is about short-term rental aggregators such as Airbnb. However, the battle lines are muddy. On one side, landlords support Prop F. However, many tenants also support it.

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Take-off delayed

Boarding begins in 2019, maybe

SINCE the 1990s the global market for full-sized commercial airliners has been a duopoly. The market, which by some estimates will be worth $4.6 trillion over the next 20 years, is dominated by Airbus, a European firm, and Boeing, its American competitor. But in theory, at least, airlines will soon have a wider choice of planes. On November 2nd COMAC, a Chinese state-owned planemaker, revealed its C919 plane (pictured, next page), a competitor to Airbus’s A320 and Boeing’s 737, the two most popular airliners in the skies. COMAC says the C919 will have its maiden flight next year—two years later than first scheduled—and enter service around 2019.

The Chinese are not the only ones who think they can break the duopoly. After several delays, Irkut, part of Russia’s state-owned United Aircraft Corporation (UAC), hopes to launch its MC-21 aircraft, another potential rival to the 737 and A320, into service in 2017.

Many aviation analysts remain sceptical about whether these rivals, even with generous state backing, will ever put a significant dent in the bulging order books of…Continue reading

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Las estrategias mobile y multicanal en retail, foco de la III Edición del Mobile Commerce Congress

La transformación y retos que ha supuesto la irrupción del comercio online y los dispositivos móviles en la relación cliente-retailer serán analizados el próximo jueves 5 de noviembre en la III Edición del Mobile Commerce Congress ( – #MCCES15), que reunirá a más de 500 profesionales y 300 empresas del sector ecommerce y retail de […]

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Vota a tus candidatas para ganar la primera edición de los M-Commerce Awards

Ecommerce News organiza la I Edición de los M-Commerce Awards, premios que reconocen las mejores estrategias digitales para dispositivos móviles en tres categorías: “Pure Players”; “Omnichannel” e “Innovación”. Necesitamos tu colaboración para elegir a los mejores. Las respuestas serán totalmente anónimas. Recibiremos las respuestas entre el 31 de octubre y el 3 de noviembre. El miércoles 4 […]

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Online Advertising

The New York Times May Get Technical With Ad Blockers

The New York Times Company last week indicated would take steps to circumvent ad-blocking tools. “As you know, the Times‘ digital subscription revenue stream means that we are less exposed than most publishers to the impact of ad-blockers,” said NYT Company CEO Mark Thompson during an earnings call. “Nonetheless, let me make it clear that we oppose ad blocking.”

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Treating flyers well is bad for airlines’ business

FOR all the frequent travellers out there just aching for airlines to make the flying experience slightly less unpleasant, there’s one fundamental obstacle: you. The airline industry recently undertook a wide-ranging study of passenger satisfaction, surveying 60,000 passengers on 30 airlines in 39 hub airports around the world, and examining 75 factors that contribute to a flyer’s satisfaction level.

The results make for sobering reading. The study concluded that there is no correlation between customers’ happiness and an airline’s commercial success. In other words, airlines can do all they want to pamper travellers—provide friendlier service, roomier seats, more movie options, better food, greater punctuality—and none of it is likely to lead to higher profits.

“We saw there is no link,” Tim-Jasper Schaaf of the International Air Transport Association said in an address at the group’s World Passenger Summit in Hamburg, as reported by the travel news site Skift. “We couldn’t really prove…Continue reading

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Tech Buzz

Using Tech to Fix the Horrid US Political Debates

I watched with interest last week’s Republican debate and realized very quickly that whatever that was on my TV, it sure as hell wasn’t an actual debate. The idea is for us to be able to compare the qualifications and positions of a variety of candidates and then make a more informed choice — but if every candidate is asked a different question, then how do we compare the answers?

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