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NTT Docomo iPhone 5s and BMobile LTE

I noticed a pattern on B-Mobile's website--a pattern that seemed to show that all Docomo Xi phones can get LTE.  Since Docomo just started selling the iPhone 5s and 5c, my theory was that Docomo iPhones would get LTE on B-Mobile.  I couldn't get LTE on my unlocked iPhone 5 (a thorn in my side), and I just love testing IT-related theories, so...

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Life in Japan - Streaming USA TV Shows

After conquering the challenge of watching USA Netflix in Japan (explained here: How to Watch Netflix in Japan), there unfortunately still remained a minor dent in my USA TV streaming desires--watching things like NBC Nightly News with Brian Williams.  No one keeps me in touch with my home country's news dramas like good ol' Brian Williams, so my mission was to get him streaming to my Tokyo living room.  While it is relatively easy to watch USA news and TV shows on a computer connected to the Internet, my goal here was to have it on my TV screen.

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Life in Japan - Minimalist Zen Living Spaces

Being American living a minimalist "Zen" lifestyle is not something that comes naturally to me.  I'm used to ample space, spacious lawns and backyards, and a commodious garage packed full with crap I barely ever use.  Over the years Japan has worked wonders on me.  Its overpriced cramped living spaces have afforded me the privilege of aggressively implementing a minimalist Zen lifestyle.  Thank you, Japan.  You can be a pain in the ass sometimes, but I still love you.

I'd like to share some things I've learned along the way that have both allowed for space maximization, as well as life simplification.  Because face it--at least half the stuff you own could probably be thrown away with minimal impact to your quality of daily life.  And life simplification is like a breath of fresh air inhaled into lungs you never knew you had.

I'm writing this not to serve as any professorial lecture or authoritative "how to," but merely as a list of things that have worked for me thus far.  I still am, after all, a consumerist American living in consumerist Japan--an American boy that struggles constantly with reducing the amount of crap he owns.

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Life in Japan - Getting Costco Delivered

Once in a while I'm in the mood for Kirkland.  Ahhhhh, Kirkland.  Smooth and lovely Kirkland goodness.  If you too know and love Costco, then you certainly know the Kirkland of which I speak.

Yet another great thing about Japan is that Costco is indeed here.  But unlike those I knew and loved in Los Angeles, they're unfortunately outside the center of the city centers; and doubly unfortunate is that like many Tokyo-ites, I do not own a car.  These 2 combine to create a disheartening logistical challenge.  In other words, it's not easy hauling home that insanely inexpensive 48-pack of Coronas on the train.  I don't care how big a backpack you have--a car-less trip to Costco will likely end in disappointment.  I managed to carry home a giant can of macadamia nuts and equally giant can of multivitamins, but that 2-pack of 42-inch flat-screen TVs just wasn't gonna happen.  Damn...

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Life in Japan - How I Cut My Mobile Phone Bill In Half

I had had enough of Softbank.  I wanted out.  I had to free myself from their oppressive chains of subjugation.  Oh, and I also detest their obnoxious commercials.  But at the same time I was married to the iPhone.  Au was my other option, but I would be trading one oppressor for another.  I wanted freedom--total, complete freedom from contracts, obligations, over-priced sub-par service, and that stupid white dog.  I ascertained the only way to achieve such freedom was with a SIM unlocked phone plus a SIM-only pay-as-you-go (PAYG) service provider.  With these 2 things I would be able to escape from Softbank's dictatorial rule for good.

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How to Watch Netflix in Japan

NOTE: Yes, I know that Netflix is now available in Japan.  However, the services I explain below have proven extremely valuable to me for viewing streaming services from other countries, such as the USA.  Since Netflix Japan doesn't have nearly the content library that Netflix USA has, I am most definitely keeping my Smart DNS subscription.

Living abroad in Japan I often miss out on cool stuff that my home country comes up with.  Netflix USA and Pandora are prime examples.  On one trip back to the States, my friends demonstrated the infinite advantages of an all-you-can-watch flat-rate streaming service.  I wiped the drool from my lips.  I too wanted this magic boom stick; however, for various legal reasons various streaming services do not work in various countries.  My next home IT project was clear...

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