Archive for June, 2011

Date: June 6th, 2011
Cate: Photo of The Day

Setsuden – Tokyo Metro Way

Tokyo Metro informing today’s electricity supply from the Tokyo Electricity Power Company (TEPCO), using one of their many displays placed next to ticketing gates. The bar shows in proportion to the electricity generated, how much are consumed today.

And the image below is another information displayed alternatively to the image above. This informs that at moment, save for the peak hours, they have reduced frequency of trains by 20%. Note that the icons on the left showing today’s weather, which often has the substantial implication on the electricity consumed by companies and houses thus becoming an immediate threat of maximizing the power usage.

While the intention is noble, we have to remind ourselves that such data has been available for the general public in many countries already. Countries like UK and USA provide many alternatives to who would supply electricity at your home, and such information or even the source of supplies have been clearly stated by the provider. Gas and electricity companies, though became private, still have traces of being a public sector, and primarily a monopoly. As a result, until the Fukushima became an issue, there were not much need in informing others in any open manner.

Many application developers are trying to make use of the data. It is a first step, but before we start praising them, should remind ourselves that there are companies like EDF, and how much more could be done.

Date: June 6th, 2011
Cate: Photo of The Day

Vending machines, Japanese urban landscape without lights

Vending machines are urban landscapes of Japan, where you will find these machines filled up with drinks are placed at almost every corner of the street. Since the Fukushima Powerplant incident, vending machines have turned its light off.

Then, an obvious consequence. Many people thought that the vending machines are not operational and business is not as usual. This vending machine has a bright orange sign placed emphasizing “on sale.”

And some vending machines have subtle but sure signs of social impact. Ito-en, a beverage company known for producing green tea, announces their shortage of supply. We have also known from the media that the company was prompt in distributing their tea bottles to Tohoku region immediately after the earthquake struck. The sign, though simply states that there is not enough tea to be provided in Tokyo area, also brings us to think of their social actions behind.