Apple Maps Japan adds Indoor Mall Maps:

Apple continues their slow rollout of Indoor Maps for Japan. Tokyo Narita and Nagoya Chubu Airport indoor maps were added in September (Haneda and Kansai are still missing). Indoor Mall Maps have been added for a few Tokyo locations. So far I have identified Kitte, the old post office site next to Tokyo station, Ginza Six and Roppongi Hills. There are probably more in other metropolitan areas but we won’t know until Apple updates the iOS Feature Availability page which can take forever. Unfortunately underground station malls maps for important places like Tokyo, Shinjuku and Ikebukuro are missing. Good luck navigating those monster mazes on your own.


Every trickle of map improvement is a bonus. It’s funny to me that Kitte gets the treatment this early, but maybe the fact that it is easy to navigate without help makes it easy to add to Maps?

The exhaust fan:

In our office, the kitchen exhaust fan blows the smoke from the cooktop–back into the kitchen.

It’s a closed loop, a palliative, a noisy device that doesn’t do much except make you feel like at least you’re trying.

Most of the exhaust fans in our lives are actually part of a closed system. The detritus, pain or actions we share don’t go very far away before they turn around and head back toward us.

(Via Seth Godin)

How to Extract a Number or Text from Excel with this Function:

With the strategies above, you should be able to extract numbers or text out of most mixed-format cells that are giving you trouble. Even if they don’t, you can probably combine them with some of the powerful text functions included in Microsoft Excel to get the characters you’re looking for. However, there are some much more complicated situations that call for more complicated solutions.

For example, I found a forum post where someone wanted to extract the numbers from a string like “45t*&65/”, so that he would end up with “4565.” Another poster gave the following formula as one way to do it:


To be completely honest, I have no idea how it works. But according to the forum post, it will take the numbers out of a complicated string of numbers and other characters. The point is that, with enough time, patience, and effort, you can extract numbers and text from just about anything! You just have to find the right resources.

This formula is huge for me time-wise. I am working on better financial management here in Japan and my bank likes to add text, commas, and ¥ to the yen amounts. This strips them for me.

I’m sure my buddy Wolf would be able to do this in his sleep.