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Life in Japan - Beating Mosquitoes and Biting Midges

I live on the second floor of a central Tokyo apartment building.  The advantage of this?  I enjoy a brief daily elevator ride (or welcome stair climb) and can escape the building quickly in case of an emergency--I can literally jump off my balcony if necessary.  The disadvantage of this?  Mosquitoes and biting midges host wild vampire parties at my place during the scorching Japan summer months.  Despite my fine-meshed screens and personal policy of only opening the windows when absolutely necessary, they still get in.  Dammit.  Given how aggressively I'm targeted, my American blood must be the finest, first-class epicurean indulgence for a suckling mosquito muzzle.  Here is my series of mitigating measures for dealing with Japan's biting pests.

Read more: Life in Japan - Beating Mosquitoes and Biting Midges

Flaw in LINE Causes Unintentional Identity Theft

Everyone's raving about LINE--especially here in Japan.  It's the hot trendy free communication app all the cool kids are using these days, which means I just HAVE to try it too.  What do you have to lose?  It's totally free.  Right, Mom?

So I sign up.  I was drawn into the feature that "scans" my phone's address book for other friends and frienemies already on LINE.  Additionally, the app will add me as a friend to anyone else that has my phone number saved in their contacts.  How convenient, right?  This way I wouldn't have to tediously search for friends like I did with Friendster and MySpace.

Read more: Flaw in LINE Causes Unintentional Identity Theft

How to Get Your Computer Repaired in Japan

You live in Japan, and your computer is acting up.  Perhaps you prefer communicating about the problem in English.  Perhaps you manage or work in a branch office of a foreign firm with lots of English-speaking employees.  Perhaps you just want some IT advice or training.  Perhaps you have a few questions regarding Japan's technology atmosphere.  Perhaps your computer imploded.  Perhaps you still wet your bed from time to time (like me).  Perhaps not.  Either way you need some IT help, and Japan's native offerings are not overly preferable.  Let's see what we can come up with...

Read more: How to Get Your Computer Repaired in Japan

Life in Japan - English-Speaking Internet Service Provider Asahi Net

Great Internet service is not difficult to find here in Japan as this country is known for its hyper-sonic, yet stable Internet infrastructure.  What can sometimes be an intimidating task for foreigners is the language skills necessary to complete the sign-up procedures and/or obtain customer support.

Enter Asahi Net.  They're an English-speaking Japanese ISP, making it easier to sign-up and obtain support in good ol' English.  Their English website, refreshed with a modern look and clear descriptions, does a bang-up job of explaining the various options and offerings.

I myself have been an Asahi Net customer for quite a number of years now, and I've had a more than satisfying customer experience with them.  If my memory serves me correctly, my service only went down once during my entire history with them.  The cause was a faulty modem, which was promptly replaced by NTT.  My service even survived the 2011 earthquake without much more than a brief hiccup.  Coolest for me is that they also offer an optional static IP address, making IT guy me the envy of my IT guy cronies.

Even more awesome is that as an Asahi Net customer myself, I can offer my readers deep sign-up discounts.  Simply provide my Asahi Net user ID when you sign-up --> sb8d-pvln

More info on the discounts here: http://asahi-net.jp/en/service/campaign/syokai.html

Best of luck to you, fellow foreigner!