So far, Line has some 41.5 million subscribers, mostly under 30 years old, in Japan alone.What really sets Line apart from other globalised formats such as Microsoft's (MSFT) Skype is that it has come out of the Galapagos-like conditions of the Japanese tech scene: its wares rarely find fans abroad.This was my shot to hang out with the locals from six time zones over. He's 19 and studying natural sciences in high school. Daniel tells me I was the fourth person to call him that day."You are calling Sweden," said an automated voice as I got patched through. I learned all this after some awkward introductions. I asked him several questions about Sweden that probably seemed about as culturally savvy as asking an American if everyone loves apple pie. The other three were a Dutch person, a Turkish person, and a Trump supporter from New Jersey who allegedly opened the conversation by asking Daniel how he felt about a made-up sexual assault statistic.Here -- haaaaaaaaaahahaha -- is a starting guide: Thai: 55555 In Thai, the number 5 is pronounced "ha" -- so instead of saying "hahahahaha," Thai speakers will sometimes write "55555." Japanese: www This abbreviation, not to be confused (which is to say, often to be confused) with the one for the World Wide Web, likely originates with the Kanji character for "laugh," 笑, which is pronounced as "warai" in Japanese."Warai," in message boards and chat rooms, quickly became shortened to "w" as an indication of laughter.I've written a great deal in praise of Swedish culture, from the mandatory paid paternity leave to the high level of innovation, but I've never visited the country.So you can imagine my excitement when I learned the Swedish Tourist Association, in honor of the 250th anniversary of the country abolishing censorship, recently created a phone number that lets people from anywhere in the world instantly connect with a Swede. He goes to actual restaurants that are closer to his house.
Remember how badly you wanted to go over to them, make a witty comment, sit down and have them laugh and gaze into your eyes? When you come in you’re shown to a table with only two seats: one for a man and one for a woman.Unlike other speed dating programs, Aiseki Cafe is open all day with no reservations necessary, meaning you can stop in at any time to find the potential love of your life.You just come in, quickly fill out a form with some key information about yourself so they can verify you’re not a stalker, order your drink or food, and then you’re seated at one of the two-people tables.It would be easy to assume that giants like Apple, Facebook and the carriers will control smartphone messaging.But the reality is that the global messaging market remains fragmented with several independent players like Sequoia-backed Whats App and Korea’s Kakao TALK.