NHK World updates app to issue disaster alerts in English

Tourists and residents in Japan who don’t speak Japanese no longer need to be concerned about missing out on earthquake and tsunami alerts.

Thanks to a new feature added on Feb. 1 to an app offered by NHK World, an English news channel provided by the public broadcaster, travelers or residents who don’t speak Japanese will be able to receive emergency warnings on their smartphones in English.

They will have the choice of turning on notifications for earthquake and tsunami warnings as well as breaking news alerts. The breaking news alerts will include J-Alert warnings and updates on weather-related incidents, such as volcanic eruptions and typhoons.

English-only at the moment, Chinese is in the works.

I’ve had this installed on my iPad for a while and it works well. I installed the app on my iPhone for Apple Watch notifications. Let’s see how it works.

I use Duet to leverage my iPad (latest generation) as a second, very laggy, display. My employer-issued MacBook Air is hoisted on a Roost laptop stand.

I need something similar for said iPad to get it to an adjustable eye level.

Enter the Spider Monkey! <- Great movie title, by the way.

I’m about to pull the trigger on this based on reviews and direct feedback. Here is the Amazon US link and the Amazon JP link. I will let you know how this works for me.

By the way, I pan to soon update my overall kit post for in the office, on the road, and at the home. Stay Tuned!

I talked at length yesterday about the chocolate milk that was spilled down my back.

It turns out that I was right. The two people were trying to rob me. The difference was that they succeeded.

They stole my iPad.

I did almost everything I was supposed to. My bag was on my front. I was hyper aware of who was touching me. I had too much to defend and they were skilled. The one extra step I could have done was lock the zipper pulls in the carabiner I have on either end of the bag. That was an $800 lesson learned.

I stopped by the concierge desk on my floor. She and the duty manager, Gaston Mourrut de Beauverger, told me they would help me file a report with the police. It could take several hours and the odds of the iPad’s recovery was slim. I opted to enjoy my vacation.

The manager did offer to pay for my dry cleaning. As I returned to the room this evening my jacket, trousers, and shirt hung in my closet clean as a whistle.

The staff in this hotel epitomize good customer service. Everything has been top notch, but this was above and beyond the call.

Note: this is the first blog post I’m doing on my iPad with the onscreen keyboard only. I’ll let you know how I like it at the end.

We use SameTime instant messaging from IBM/Lotus in my organization. It’s tied into our corporate calendars, so it dynamically marks one as away during scheduled meetings. I make use of this and don’t think much about it.

I noticed that two of my peers are almost always in meetings according to their status, yet they have no more meetings and conference calls than I do. It’s an annoyance that they’re not always available in IM, but that usually means I’ll send them an email if it’s not urgent or call them on their cell phone if it is.

I was in a meeting with one of these two colleagues the other day. I can’t remember what topic we were on about but it came around to finding time for some testing. I think I said something like “I know you’ve got about as much free time for this as I do”. He said, “That’s okay. I’ll book it in my calendar”.

Scheduling certain work related things in one’s calendar is nothing new. But what my peer does is block out recurring blocks of time for certain activities. He’s in application development so finding time to test and squash bugs is really important. You need uninterrupted time, so this method is effective for him. He recommends to his team that they do the same.

My reaction was “my schedule is too hectic, too unpredictable. There’s no way I could do that”. The more I’ve thought about it the more I think that the dynamic nature of my schedule is exactly why I need to do this, too.

Back to the SameTime instant messenger, that is where this gets interesting. That tool sends the message that I don’t want interruptions but I’m around if needed when “in a meeting”. It delays low grade issues or general questions instead of me breaking focus on what does demand my attention and focus. Now all I have to do is find the blocks of time in my schedule and set them. I think I’ll start modestly, booking meetings with myself for two or three slices for email processing a day and a few more for project work a week.

I am thinking about doing something similar for my personal time, too.

This isn’t earth shattering stuff. Sometimes the effective things aren’t. They’re just new ways of using the tools you already have in a new way.

How do you manage your unstructured time? What tools to you use?

Update on posting this from my iPad: The typing experience wasn’t horrible but the corrections and edits were hard. The cursor doesn’t always go where you want it to. I also learned that the POP email integration with my WordPress doesn’t work.