Fun with Anonymous Recipient

GNU Privacy Guard, or GnuPG has interesting feature called anonymous recipient.
If you know OpenPGP message format enough, you know that the message contains user ID of recipient. So when you receive such message and try to decrypt using your own private key, OpenPGP implementations know which key to use.
This also allows traffic analysis, as perpetrator can skim through the message. He or she may not have any idea what’s included in the message, but it is possible to figure out where the message is intended to.
Anonymous recipient basically masks key ID with 0×0000000. Consequently, recipient will have to try to decrypt message using all the key he or she has, and there’s even possibility that the message is not addressed to that person at all! You’d never know.
You can use anonymous recipient with the following command:

gpg -R keyID1 -ea

Make sure you use upper case R option to specify, instead of lower case. You can mix upper case and lower case option so some of them will have their keyIDs included in the message.
This is useful in the case you want accomplish same type of effect like in E-mail’s BCC feature. Only difference is that you cannot hide the fact that the message is addressed to someone else as well, as you can with E-mail BCC. (BCC addressees are hidden in their headers.)
Only problem with this system is that commercial PGP solutions do not this support, and not sure if it’ll be ever supported. (PGP will treat as if the message is addressed to keyID called 0×00000000, you probably wouldn’t have in your keyring…)
There are some message floating around in my note sometimes using this technique. If I know you use OpenPGP, it may or may not be addressed to you…

Social Network Analytics of Japan

Google Insights for Search reveals rather interesting fact about social network system’s in Japan.

Overall, Japanese social network scene is dominated by mixi, and Google Insights filtered to Japan do show that trend as well. (In world wide trend, mixi is nothing.)

Filtering the result to year to date 2009, it starting to reveal rather interesting fact.
The overall trend shows that mixi’s gradually losing its popularity, while Facebook is increasing, in Tokyo, Facebook already has surpassed mixi early June, and YTD average shows Facebook is already as strong as mixi. (and if this trend continues, by next month, Facebook will become most popular social network system in Tokyo.)

Tokyo’s shift in trend is unique, as even Okinawa, showing strong MySpace support than rest of Japan, although, mixi is still dominating the popularity there. (I speculate presence of US military base for high support of MySpace in Okinawa.) Okinawa’s overall trend has been following somewhat close to rest of Japan, but perhaps with Facebook and MySpace competing for shares.

Regional comparison for Facebook in major cities in Japan shows that overall popularity volume in Tokyo is much higher than rest of places. (and likewise, comparison with MySpace shows significance of MySpace in Okinawa.

So, it seems like, in Japan, many people are starting to migrate to something other than mixi, perhaps for the fact mixi’s more focus on mobile phone market (and especially, if they use carrier menu to access to mixi from their mobile phone, it won’t show up in Google Insights) as well as more push to Facebook from different sectors (for example, DSi support of photo upload to Facebook.) Somehow, this trend is showing in Tokyo drastically than in different places. This may be mean that there are more international relationship dynamic happening in Tokyo, requires more global communication. (mixi do not allow sign-up without Japanese mobile numbers now)

A Major Defect of the Android Platform

I haven’t bad mouthed too much of the Android platform, because I think I had some expectation that they are probably working on this to fix the problem. It has been some update release and they still haven’t figured out probably the most critical defect of the platform, so I will dump it out here now.

It’s the fact that on memory is constantly full that it causes all kind of nasty problems. Yes, I’m talking about storage space. If you have paying attention to my status, you know I have 8GB of memory. That won’t help me at all. It’s because software can only be installed on the device memory, and not to SD card. Yes you heard it right, even if you have many gigs on your SD, it doesn’t help. You have to rely on your on board storage space of, oh, 128MB or so.

Even if you have software library of 10000s on the market place, well there’s no point of it, because you can’t possibly get more than, perhaps 10 of those apps. Oh, forget about games, they take up too much space. Yeah, so if the big sales point of this device is extensibility by software, that’s big disappointment, because your device simply won’t let you do that.

I heard their side of story on this. It’s because of protected storage for paid apps. They basically have area in internal memory which has “do not let other applications copy this region.” In other word, they are putting this limitation, because if they’d allow installation of apps to SD rather than onboard memory, users will be able to copy softwares otherwise not accessible if they were saved in the protected storage. Hey Google, if that the only way you can implement DRM, I think it’s your time to start firing some of your engineers. You should have smarter people than that.

This not only causes inconvenience, but affects usability, too. Because, when this happens, it stops receiving E-mail, too. (Probably because E-mails are stored in the internal memory, too.) So newest E-mail in my mailbox is now two days old.

For those considering any Android phones, just because of the severity of the problem, at this point, I would recommend to wait until they fix this problem, if ever. I really like the platform and I want them to succeed, but I just had to make some rant on it, as the design is simply retarded.

Online Marketing in Japan?

When I was helping out figuring out what would be the best way to marketing the video game product online in Japan, I was disappointed I could hardly find any options.

I’m talking about something other than those banner ads, but what I’m talking about is thing like Facebook page system. For example, there’s big Japanese SNS mixi, but problem of their system is that their “community” system is nothing more than “group” feature of Facebook (which means, there is no expectation that the community is “official.”)

What people use in Japan to do these marketing? Is it because those are happening all in their mobile realm, that I can’t see them, because I can’t access to them? Or they don’t simply exist? Or perhaps, only way to get on any online media in Japan is to utilize some sort of agencies?

I’d appreciate if anyone with information enlighten me!

My Take on Religions

Since someone asked.

I don’t have any problem with religions. I appreciate all my friendship with people who are religious or not. (And my friends are awesome!)
What I have problem is when people don’t accept the fact there are beliefs outside of their own. (Note I’m not saying I have problems with people who’s not believing in something outside of their beliefs. What people actually believe is not my business, as long as it’s not coming in contact with and conflicting with my life.)

Though, I’m not particularly religious, I am still somewhat spiritual. I think there’s some supernatural causing both good and bad things.

Pretty much, I embrace many of different religious concepts (and this is particulary how many Japanese perceive religion as well), making Unitarian Universalism somewhat close to what my position would be, although I do not officially practice religion there. I don’t have any problems with person just because of difference in beliefs, and I respect their beliefs as much they respect my view.

So, that how I get my Facebook profile is way it is. I thought I just had to write this…