Wednesday, January 3, 2018

The Economic Machine (summary of Ray Dalio's video)

Been a fan of Ray Dalio since his TED talk. Took a couple months, but finally finished watching his How the Economic Machine Works YouTube video:

Sure, it's only about 30 min long, but I think it's chock-full of helpful info. While the ideas described are deceptively simple -- largely due to copious illustrations and animations -- I think they really capture the essence of an economy. Definitely didn't learn this in Econ 101. Anyway, sharing my notes in hopes that someone else finds it useful:


Economy

Like machine, made up of few parts and transactions repeated numerous times. Transactions are driven by human nature.

3 main forces that drive economy: productivity growth, short-term debt cycle, long-term debt cycle.


Economy is sum of transactions. Each transaction consists of buyer exchanging money or credit with seller for goods, services, or financial assets. Money + credit is total spending. Total spending / total quantity sold = price. Understand transaction, understand economy.


Market consists of all buyers and sellers making transactions for same thing. Economy is consisted of all markets.


Credit

Most important part of economy. Biggest and most volatile. Lenders (want to grow their money) and borrowers (buy things they can't afford, like houses, cars, businesses) engage in transactions. Credit is created when lender believes borrower's promise to pay principal + interest in future. Number of borrowers proportional to interest rate. When credit is created, it becomes debt: asset to lender, liability to borrower.

Borrower, with credit, increases spending and drives economy. One person's spending is another's income. When one's income rises, lenders more willing to lend them money. Creditworthy borrower has ability to repay and has collateral. Cycle:


Inventive and hard-working people raise productivity faster, get more income. Not always true in short run. Productivity growth (matters in long run) doesn't fluctuate much, not big driver of economic swing like debt (matters in short run). Debt, when acquired, allows more spending than we produce, forces less spending when we pay back.

Debt swing occurs in 2 cycles: 5-8 years, 75-100 years. Can't observe if too close.

In economy without credit, increasing productivity only way to increase spending (growth). With credit, can borrow. Credit creates cycle, borrowing from future self. Credit sets in motion mechanical and predictable series of events.

Money settles transaction. Credit delays settlement. 50 trillion dollars credit in US, 3 trillion money.

Credit is bad when financing transaction that can't be paid back. Good when efficiently allocating resources to produce income to pay back debt.

Short-Term Debt Cycle

First phase: expansion. As economic activity increases (people borrow and spend more), so does price (spending/quantity=price, and quantity not increasing). Inflation. Central bank raises interest rate. Credit more expensive, less borrowing.

Second phase: recession. Less spending, price decreases. Deflation. Central bank lowers interest rate.

Typically 5-8 years, primarily controlled by central bank. Each cycle has higher top and bottom growth than previous. Human nature to borrow and spend more instead of paying debt.

Long-Term Debt Cycle

Over time, debt rises faster than income. People generally optimistic and short-sighted, only see things go well. Lenders lend more money. Income and asset/stock value rise, so borrow more money, and bubble.

Ratio of debt to income: debt burden. So long as income keeps up with debt, burden manageable. Can't last forever. When debt too large, need to cut spending, which cuts income of another, and trend reverses (at long-term debt peak).

Happened in 1929 and 2008 in US. Economy in deleveraging. Less spending, less income, less wealth, less credit, less borrowing, vicious cycle. Not same as recession, interest rate already at 0 and debt burden too big.

4 ways to help:
  1. Cut spending. Austerity. Causes income to fall.
  2. Reduce debt through default and restructuring. Banks (lenders) can't get debt paid, get squeezed by clients withdrawing money. Depression. Bank's asset value lower than previously believed. To avoid asset completely disappear, restructure debt (pay back less, over longer time, or at lower interest rate). Causes income and asset value to lower faster.
  3. Redistribute wealth. Lower income, less tax for govt, but needs to spend more to keep economy going, deficit. Tax rich more. Haves and have-nots resent each other. Social disorder if depression lasts long. Can be across countries.
  4. Print money. Only method stimulative and inflationary (all 3 above are deflationary). Central bank prints money but can only buy financial assets. Central govt can't print money but can buy goods and services. To work together, central bank buys govt bonds, essentially lending money to govt. Print money to cover for disappearing credit.

Risky. Policy makers need to balance deflationary and inflationary measures to achieve beautiful deleveraging. Need income growth higher than interest rate (debt growth).

As debt burden rebalances, enter reflation. Deflation typically 2-3 years, reflation 7-10 (other 50+ is leveraging). Reflation sometimes called lost decade.

Conclusion

Simple model of laying short-term debt cycle over long-term debt cycle, then over productivity growth.

3 rules of thumb:
  1. Don't have debt rise faster than income. Debt burden will crush.
  2. Don't have income rise faster than productivity. Will become uncompetitive.
  3. Do all I can to raise productivity. Matters most in long run.

In case you're interested in his TED talk:



Looking forward to reading his latest book, Principles (will share my thoughts when I'm finished):


Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Review and Notes on How to Win Friends & Influence People (Dale Carnegie)

picture of book How to Win Friends & Influence People

REVIEW
Dale Carnegie (1888-1955) was an author and a creator of courses on self-improvement, public speaking, corporate training, etc. His most acclaimed book, How to Win Friends & Influence People, was first published in 1936 and remains popular today. The book focused on changing another person's behavior by changing one's own behavior toward them. It was divided into four parts: handling people, making them like me, winning them over to my way of thinking, and changing them without arousing resentment. In each part, a number of principles was presented. As proof and applications of the principles in the real world, Carnegie recounted examples from his personal experience, anecdotes of students who took his classes, and stories of historical figures from his research. One of the first on the subject of self-help, this book was as influential as it was successful, with more than 30 million copies sold to date.

I first bought the book in 2001, lost it before I could finish it, and bought another copy in 2004. Took me about 13 years, but I can finally say I've read the book. The long time speaks more to my lack of motivation to read it than the quality of its content. As a matter of fact, the book is written in a simple language that's easy to read and understand. The stories are interesting to follow. There're also some great quotations, of which I'm a sucker for, from famous people. Dividing the content into parts and principles works fairly well, but with 30 principles total, a handful cover similar grounds, so some of the later materials start to sound very familiar to the earlier stuff. I mean, how many ways are there, really, to teach someone to treat others nicely? Some tightening up, perhaps, would've been beneficial. The book mainly targets professionals, as most examples are about how we deal with employees, coworkers, and bosses. But human-to-human interactions are so pervasive in our daily lives that these lessons are probably useful to all of us, except the most reclusive.

Since the book was written long ago, some of its materials had become common sense by modern standard. Who doesn't know that everyone likes to feel important? In fact, a few things aren't as applicable today anymore. For example, one of the principles to win someone over is to get them to say "yes" ASAP. But, these days we're so accustomed of being sold to that if a stranger tries to get us to say "yes", we immediately think they're trying to sell something and put the wall up. Today's negotiators actually recommend getting people to say a string of "no" first to make them feel safe, since an early "yes" is just a false agreement. Regardless, most of the book's teachings are still valid, and, it's one thing to know the right thing to do, it's quite another to actually do it. Only way to really make the lessons part of our core is to review and practice them frequently.

However, while it probably won't take me 13 years each time to review the book, re-reading the whole thing is still a hassle. So I've put together this post to distill the book to its essence, for easy review later. It's mostly for my own benefits, but if others find it helpful, all the better.


DISCLAIMER
The following summary and notes are my interpretation of the book's lessons. As much as I try to be objective, I can't help but be limited by my own life experience. What's important to me may not be important to you. For example, I've only included a selective few of the quotations that I think illustrate the principles well. You may disagree and prefer others.

I take notes in a succinct form, skipping words like "the" and "a". My notes don't read like full sentences, they aren't. I also paraphrase quite a bit. This post should only serve as a starting point to get you interested and familiar with the subject matter. To truly internalize the materials, I recommend you read the book, make your own notes, review, and practice.

Since the book's debut in 1936, there was a major revision in 1981, and another in 2011. Obviously, having purchased the book in 2004, my notes are on the 1981 edition. The 2011 revision is titled How to Win Friends and Influence People in the Digital Age, and it covers how the principles are applied to the digital age. I've not read that edition.


SUMMARY
Use these principles when interacting with others to get them to like me and do what I want. Not manipulative; must be genuine and sincere. Don't expect these to always work, but they increase likelihood. Most principles adhere Golden Rule: "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you."

Be friendly, smile, and listen. Make them feel important by showing respect and appreciation. Be interested in them, talk about their stories using their name, and not about me. Empathize. Praise their accomplishments, big and small. Explain how their wants align with my goals, ask questions instead of giving orders, and let them participate in decision making and idea ownership.

Don't argue, never tell them directly they're wrong. On other hand, if I'm at fault, admit quickly and emphatically. Don't criticize, but if must, precede with praise, call attention to mistake indirectly, show vulnerability by stating my own mistakes, give them reputation to live up to, and emphasize on things done right while minimizing fault.

Sometimes need to employ dramatic techniques (such as using props) or throw challenge to get point across. Don't overpromise, and be clear what I need from them.


PRINCIPLES
* Not necessarily exact phrasings used in the book.

Part 1: Techniques in Handling People
Principle 1: Don't criticize, condemn, or complain.
Principle 2: Give honest and sincere appreciation.
Principle 3: Arouse in other person eager want.

Part 2: 6 Ways to Make People Like Me
Principle 1: Become genuinely interested in other people.
Principle 2: Smile.
Principle 3: Most important sound to someone is their name.
Principle 4: Be good at listening. Encourage others to talk about themselves.
Principle 5: Talk in terms of other person's interests.
Principle 6: Sincerely make other person feel important.

Part 3: How to Win People to My Way of Thinking
Principle 1: Only way to get best of argument is to avoid it.
Principle 2: Show respect for other person's opinions. Never say, "You're wrong."
Principle 3: If I'm wrong, admit it quickly and emphatically.
Principle 4: Begin in friendly way.
Principle 5: Get other person saying "yes, yes" immediately.
Principle 6: Let them do most talking.
Principle 7: To get cooperation, let them feel idea is theirs.
Principle 8: Try honestly to see things from other person's point of view.
Principle 9: Be sympathetic with other person's ideas and desires.
Principle 10: Appeal to nobler motives.
Principle 11: Dramatize my ideas.
Principle 12: If nothing else works, throw down a challenge.

Part 4: Be a Leader - How to Change People without Giving Offense or Arousing Resentment
Principle 1: If I must find fault, begin with honest praise and appreciation.
Principle 2: Call attention to their mistake indirectly.
Principle 3: Talk about my own mistakes before criticizing other.
Principle 4: No one likes to take orders. Ask questions.
Principle 5: Let other person save face.
Principle 6: Spur people on to success by praising every and slightest improvement.
Principle 7: Give other person fine reputation to live up to.
Principle 8: Use encouragement to make fault seem easy to correct.
Principle 9: Always make other person happy to do thing I suggest.


NOTES
To get most out of book:
  1. Develop strong desire to master principles of human relations.
  2. Skim chapter quickly, then read in details, before going to next chapter.
  3. As I read, stop frequently to think how I can apply concept to my situation.
  4. Make notes. Underscore important ideas.
  5. Review book every month.
  6. Apply at every opportunity. Knowledge used sticks in mind.
  7. Make game. Every time friend catches me not following principles, I pay $1.
  8. Do weekly review of mistakes I've made, what I've learned.
  9. Keep notes on how I've applied these principles. Be specific.

Part 1: Techniques in Handling People

Principle 1: Don't criticize, condemn, or complain.
People don't criticize themselves, so criticizing others is futile - puts them on defensive and makes them justify themselves. Wounds pride, hurts sense of importance, and arouses resentment.

Rewarded for good behavior learns more effectively than punished for bad behavior. Criticizing doesn't make lasting changes. People thirst for approval but dread condemnation.

Criticisms are like homing pigeons. They always return home.

Lincoln: "With malice toward none, with charity for all."

Benjamin Franklin: "I will speak ill of no man, and speak all the good I know of everybody."

Any fool can criticize, condemn, and complain — and most fools do. But it takes character and self-control to be understanding and forgiving.

Instead of criticizing, more profitable to understand and figure out why they do what they do. Breeds sympathy, tolerance, and kindness.

Principle 2: Give honest and sincere appreciation.
Only way to make anyone do anything is to make them want to do it. Threat has undesirable repercussions. Give them what they want — desire to be important.

What most people want: health, food, sleep, money, afterlife, sex, well-being of children, and feeling of importance. All except last one are usually satisfied.

Everyone likes compliment. William James: "The deepest principle in human nature is the craving to be appreciated." Distinguishes mankind and animals.

Drives achievements. How one gets feeling of importance determines one's character. Some even become invalids or go insane to get it.

Charles Schwab: "I consider my ability to arouse enthusiasm among my people the greatest asset I possess, and the way to develop the best that is in a person is by appreciation and encouragement. There is nothing else that so kills the ambitions of a person as criticisms from superiors. I never criticize anyone. I believe in giving a person incentive to work. So I am anxious to praise but loath to find fault. If I like anything, I am hearty in my appreciation and lavish in my praise."

Average people bawl out subordinates if they don't like something, say nothing if they like it.

People do greater work under spirit of approval than criticism. Sincere appreciation of assistants was key to success of Andrew Carnegie and John D. Rockefeller.

Crime to let someone have no food for six days, but would let them go much longer without appreciation that they crave almost as much. Nourishment for self-esteem.

Appreciation not flattery. Comes from heart, not teeth. Unselfish.

Principle 3: Arouse in other person eager want.
Bait hook to suit fish. Everyone interested in what they want. Only way to influence people is to talk about what they want and show them how to get it.

Harry A. Overstreet: "Action springs out of what we fundamentally desire... First, arouse in the other person an eager want. He who can do this has the whole world with him. He who cannot walks a lonely way."

Before persuading someone, ask myself, "How can I make this person want to do it?"

Henry Ford: "If there is any one secret of success, it lies in the ability to get the other person's point of view and see things from that person's angle as well as from your own."

Don't state what I want. Focus on their wants. Customers like to feel they're buying, not being sold.

Most people are grabbing and self-seeking. One who unselfishly serves others has advantage.

Not manipulating other to do something only for my benefit and their detriment. Each party should gain from negotiation.

William Winter: "Self-expression is the dominant necessity of human nature." When I have idea, let others cook and stir it themselves, regarding it as their own.

Part 2: 6 Ways to Make People Like Me

Principle 1: Become genuinely interested in other people.
Can make more friends in two months by becoming interested in other people than in two years by trying to get people interested in me.

Alfred Adler: "It is the individual who is not interested in his fellow men who has the greatest difficulties in life and provides the greatest injuries to others. It is from among such individuals that all human failures spring."

To make friends, do things for other people that require time, energy, unselfishness, and thoughtfulness. Greet people with animation and enthusiasm.

Find out birthdays of friends. Put in calendar and send them wishes.

Publilius Syrus: "We are interested in others when they are interested in us."

Show of interest must be sincere. Must benefit both parties.

Principle 2: Smile.
Action speaks louder than words. Smile says, "I like you. You make me happy. I'm glad to see you."

Must come from within, not mechanical.

Even comes through phone.

Force myself if have to. Act as if I were already happy. Action doesn't just follow feeling, they go together.

Thinking about being happy, not outward condition, makes me happy. Shakespeare: "There is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so."

Costs nothing. Brightens lives of all who see it.

Principle 3: Most important sound to someone is their name.
Remember and call name is effective compliment. Forget or misspell it is sharp disadvantage.

Most obvious way to make good will, makes people feel important.

Principle 4: Be good at listening. Encourage others to talk about themselves.
Listen intently. Listen because I'm genuinely interested.

Successful business intercourse - exclusive attention to person who's speaking, nothing's as flattering.

Activity, not silence. Sit erect, listen with not just ears but eyes. Listen with mind and attentively consider.

"I'm far more eager to hear this than you are to tell it."

Many don't listen attentively, much more concerned about what to say next.

Often when we're in trouble, hurt, or irritated, we don't want advice, we just want sympathetic listener.

People who talk only of themselves think only of themselves.

To be interesting, be interested. Ask questions others enjoy answering. Encourage them to talk about themselves and their accomplishments.

People are 100 times more interested in their wants and problems than in mine.

Principle 5: Talk in terms of other person's interests.
Royal road to person's heart is to talk about things they treasure most.

Principle 6: Sincerely make other person feel important.
Most important human-conduct law: Always make other person feel important.

Golden Rule: "Do unto others as you would have others do unto you."

Use phrases like oiling cogs of everyday life: "I'm sorry to trouble you." "Would you be so kind as to...?" "Won't you please?" "Would you mind?" "Thank you."

Almost all people feel themselves superior in some way, and sure way to their hearts is to let them realize their importance is recognized sincerely.

Disraeli: "Talk to people about themselves and they will listen for hours."

Part 3: How to Win People to My Way of Thinking

Principle 1: Only way to get best of argument is to avoid it.
Being argumentative makes other person uncomfortable and people around embarrassed. Most arguments end with both sides more convinced they're right. Even if I win, other person's pride's hurt and will resent me, so I still lose.

In arguments, one gets feeling of importance by asserting authority. If importance acknowledged, ego allowed to expand, becomes sympathetic and kind.

Buddha: "Hatred is never ended by hatred but by love." Misunderstanding is ended by tact, diplomacy, conciliation, and sympathy.

Lincoln: "Better give your path to a dog than be bitten by him... Even killing the dog would not cure the bite."

When argument arises, be thankful of other person; if we agree on everything, one of us isn't necessary. Refrain from being defensive and angry. Listen. Look for areas of agreement. Apologize for any error. Postpone action until both sides have time to consider each side carefully.

Even if I'm right, is price of winning worth it?

When both sides yell, there's no communication but noise. At least one side needs to listen.

Principle 2: Show respect for other person's opinions. Never say, "You're wrong."
Telling them they're wrong doesn't make them want to agree with me. Same as telling them I'm smarter. Makes them combative. To prove something, don't tell. Do it subtly.

Alexander Pope: "Men must be taught as if you taught them not. And things unknown proposed as things forgot."

Galileo: "You cannot teach a man anything; you can only help him to find it within himself."

Lord Chesterfield: "Be wiser than other people if you can; but do not tell them so."

Use phrases like "I may be wrong. I frequently am. Let's examine the facts."

Few are logical. We may admit mistakes to ourselves. If we're handled tactfully, may admit to others and even take pride in being frank.

Martin Luther King: "I judge people by their own principles — not by my own."

Jesus: "Agree with thine adversary quickly."

Principle 3: If I'm wrong, admit it quickly and emphatically.
When I condemn myself, other person, wanting to feel important, can only nourish self-esteem by showing mercy (and may even defend me). Easier to listen to self criticism than to bear condemnation from alien lips.

Any fool can defend his mistake, and most do.

"By fighting you never get enough, but by yielding you get more than you expected."

Principle 4: Begin in friendly way.
People don't want to change minds. Can't be forced to agree with me. But may be led to, if I'm friendly and gentle.

"A drop of honey catches more flies than a gallon of gall."

Principle 5: Get other person saying "yes, yes" immediately.
Begin by emphasizing on things we agree. We want to stay consistent. Start in affirmation direction.

Principle 6: Let them do most talking.
Let them talk themselves out. They know more about themselves and their problems, just ask questions. Don't interrupt. Listen sincerely.

La Rochefoucauld: "If you want enemies, excel your friends; but if you want friends, let your friends excel you."

Principle 7: To get cooperation, let them feel idea is theirs.
We put more faith in ideas we've discovered ourselves than those given to us.

We don't like feeling being sold something or told what to do. We prefer acting of own accord or being consulted.

Ralph Waldo Emerson: "In every work of genius we recognize our own rejected thoughts; they come back to us with a certain alienated majesty."

Laozi: "The reason rivers and seas receive the homage of a hundred mountain streams is that they keep below them... So the sage, wishing to be above men, putteth himself below them; wishing to be before them, he putteth himself behind them. Thus, though his place be above men, they do not feel his weight; though his place be before them, they do not count it an injury."

Principle 8: Try honestly to see things from other person's point of view.
Ferret out reason they act or think that way, and I have key to their action or even personality. How would I feel and react if I were in their shoes.

Everyone is much more interested in own affairs than in others'. Sympathetic grasp of other's point of view is solid foundation for interpersonal relationships.

Cooperativeness in conversation is achieved when I show that I consider their ideas and feelings as important as my own.

Have clear idea of what I'm going to say and what they're likely to answer, based on my knowledge of their interests and motives.

Principle 9: Be sympathetic with other person's ideas and desires.
"I don't blame you at all for how you feel. If I were you, I'd feel exactly the same."

People hunger for sympathy and love those who give it to them.

Principle 10: Appeal to nobler motives.
We usually have 2 reasons to do something: one that sounds good and the real one. We know real reason, no need to emphasize. To change someone, appeal to nobler motives that sound good.

Most want to be honest and fair, give them benefit of doubt.

Principle 11: Dramatize my ideas.
Merely stating truth isn't enough. Truth has to be made vivid, interesting, dramatic. Use showmanship.

Present data not with abstract charts and tables, but with physical props.

Principle 12: If nothing else works, throw down a challenge.
Way to get things done is to stimulate competition, in desire to excel.

"All men have fears, but the brave put down their fears and go forward, sometimes to death, but always to victory."

Successful people love the game, chance for self-expression, chance to prove their worth, to excel, to win, to feel important.

Part 4: Be a Leader - How to Change People without Giving Offense or Arousing Resentment

Principle 1: If I must find fault, begin with honest praise and appreciation.
Praise and appreciation make them feel good and at ease. Easier to accept fault.

Principle 2: Call attention to their mistake indirectly.
Pointing out fault directly, even if preceded by praise, can be difficult to accept. In fact, "......, but " makes praise sound contrived. Instead, use and and change criticism to recommendation for improvement.

Lead by example also effective to call attention to their mistake.

Principle 3: Talk about my own mistakes before criticizing other.
Admit first that I, too, am far from impeccable. Won't be as difficult for other to hear their mistake.

Humble self, praise other.

Principle 4: No one likes to take orders. Ask questions.
Instead of "Do this or do that," ask, "Have you considered this?" or "Do you think that would work?" Saves their pride and gives them feeling of importance. Encourages cooperation instead of resistance.

Resentment caused by brash order can have big impact and last long time.

Asking questions invites them to participate in decision. Stimulates creativity.

Principle 5: Let other person save face.
If need to reprimand or discharge someone/employee, take minute to think about how to be considerate and show genuine understanding of other's situation.

Blame lack of experience, not ability.

Principle 6: Spur people on to success by praising every and slightest improvement.
Praise is more effective than criticism in changing other's behavior.

Few words of praise can sharply change one's future. Encourages one to maximize their potential.

Make praise specific. Too general sounds insincere.

Principle 7: Give other person fine reputation to live up to.
To improve someone's attitude or behavior, act as if that trait were already one of their characteristics (perhaps citing past accomplishments).

Shakespeare: "Assume a virtue, if you have it not."

Principle 8: Use encouragement to make fault seem easy to correct.
Praise things they do right and minimize their errors. Tell them they have natural flair. Makes them want to improve.

Principle 9: Make other happy to do as I suggest.
Make them feel important, provide incentive, suggest alternative (if turning down request), give title and authority (even if trivial).

To change attitude or behavior of other:
  1. Be sincere. Don't promise anything I can't deliver. Focus on benefits to them.
  2. Know exactly what I want other person to do.
  3. Be empathetic. What does other person really want.
  4. Consider benefits other person will receive upon completion.
  5. Match benefits to wants.
  6. When requesting, put it in form that conveys their personal benefits.

May not always get favorable results, but more likely when applied. Even 10% improvement is significant.


VERDICT
Must Re-read Monthly
Should be Reviewed Quarterly
Worth a Couple Reads
Worth a Read
Waste of Time
B+


P. S.
I also keep these notes in my Evernote. If people find that handy, I can share the Note.

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Dead or Alive Xtreme 3 (i)FAQ

UPDATE (9/7/16): I've started a new website, AnimeRetroGames.com, to focus my love for anime and video games. This post has been moved there as well. Check it out!


Here's a FAQ no one asked for. In fact, these questions are asked so rarely -- possibly only ever by me -- that this is an "iFAQ," or inFrequently Asked Questions. Enjoy.

1. What is Dead or Alive Xtreme 3?

DOAX 3 for short. It's an upcoming video game and the second sequel, as the name implies, to the beach volleyball spin-off of the Dead or Alive (DOA) fighting game series. Similar to its predecessors, the game focuses on the girls of DOA, as they take vacation on a beach resort island and participate in various activities, mini-games, and a not-so-serious 2-on-2 beach volleyball game.

2. What platform is it for?

There are two versions. DOAX 3: Fortune is for PlayStation 4 (PS4), and DOAX 3: Venus is for PlayStation Vita (PSV). "F" for four, "V" for Vita; simple as that. Both versions are pretty much the same. The PS4 version obviously has better graphics, but the Vita version uses the touch input to let player directly touch the girls. Yes, it's as lewd as it sounds.

3. When is the game coming out?

March 24, 2016. Ya, in just a few days. However, it's only going to be released in Japan, and Asia in general. There was some talk about localizing it for the western markets, but ultimately the publisher decided to keep it in Asia. The prequels never sold well in the west and got panned by the critics for the game's subject matter, so history probably would've repeated itself anyway. As we all know, the American game market is too mature and classy for games like this.

4. Is this game worth playing?

Not really. The beach volleyball game is OK (based on my experience with the prequels), the other competitive mini-games, even one with a cool name and concept like "butt sumo," are forgettable, and the casino mini-games aren't for entertainment -- their only purpose is to rack up money to buy swimsuits for the girls. So, if you're looking for deep gameplay and rich content, there isn't any here.

The whole point of the game is to ogle. The DOA girls have been infamous for their well-endowed and bouncy boobs since the series' debut on the original PlayStation. For generations (of video game consoles), we.. I mean the fans of the series.. have been mesmerized by the girls' anime-style angelic faces and their polygonal yet inexplicably alluring bodies. The DOAX series exists only to give fans another way to fantasize about the girls.

5. Who made the game?

It's developed by Team Ninja, the developer of the Dead or Alive fighting game series, and published by Koei Tecmo. I'd still get the game no matter who makes it, but I guess Team Ninja is the only developer in the industry care enough to improve boob and butt physics (they call the technology Soft Engine 2.0), so I'm glad it's by them.

6. I'm a DOA/DOAX fan (brave of you to admit it). Which of the DOA girls are in the game?

This is the sad part. Only NINE girls are in this game, and there's no plan to release the other girls as DLC later. These were selected out of the 15 girls from Dead or Alive 5 Last Round (latest in the DOA series) based on whose paid character themes were downloaded the most on the Japanese PlayStation Store:

1. Marie Rose (17.6%)

2. Honoka (14.9%)

3. Kasumi (12.0%)

4. Ayane (8.2%)

5. Kokoro (8.0%)

6. Nyotengu (7.6%)

7. Hitomi (5.9%)

8. Momiji (5.1%)

9. Helena Douglas (4.9%)

Unqualified
10. Leifang (4.7%)
11. Tina (3.9%)
12. Mila (2.6%)
13. Rachel (1.8%)
14. Christie (1.5%)
15. Lisa (1.4%)

The top two, Marie Rose and Honoka, are the girls on the game covers. Japanese lolicon at its finest.

7. How can I play the game if the game's not released in North America?

PS4 and PSV aren't region-locked, so you can play Japanese or Asian games with your US machine no problem. Of course, for a non-Japanese speaker, there's the language barrier, and you also need to know where to get the game. Good news is I've got you covered on both fronts... Read on!

Which Version of DOAX 3 and Where to Buy

Even if you know you want to get Fortune or Venus, or both, there are a couple of options to consider. As mentioned, there's a Japan and an Asia version (Hong Kong, Taiwan, Korea, etc.) of each game. For non-Japanese speakers, I highly recommend the Asia version, as it comes with Chinese, English, and Korean subtitles!

Then, for each game, there's a regular edition and a collector's edition. The regular edition just comes with the game. The more expensive collector's edition includes a lot of goodies like art book, playing cards, 3D mouse pad, etc. (more details below). If you feel like splurging, there's also a Saikyou Package, which literally means "The Strongest Package," that includes the collector's editions of both Fortune and Venus, as well as nine B2-size "bath posters" (meaning they're waterproof), one of each of the girls.

As for where to buy the game(s), I highly recommend Play-Asia.com. Disclaimer: I'm a Play-Asia affiliate, so please order through following links to help support more quality posts like this in the future :) However, I recommend Play-Asia not just because I'm an affiliate. I've been a long-time customer of theirs, and while they're Hong Kong-based, I've never had any problem with my orders, despite the long-distance shipping. They're also very responsive with emails (and English friendly). Finally, I find their prices mostly reasonable --- especially for DOAX 3: they're the only reputable online retailer I know of that sells the Asia versions of the games at reasonable prices. Click on the photos below to order yours!

Asia

Fortune Regular Edition:


Fortune Collector's Edition:


Extra goodies include:
  • 48-page Fortune Gravure Photo Book
  • Xtreme Sexy Costume F Set (digital download code)
  • Marie Rose Xtreme 3D Mouse Pad (small boobs)
  • Fortune Playing Cards

Venus Regular Edition:


Venus Collector's Edition:


Extra goodies include:
  • 48-page Venus Gravure Photo Book
  • Xtreme Sexy Costume V Set (digital download code)
  • Honoka Xtreme 3D Mouse Pad
  • Venus Playing Cards

Saikyou Package:


Includes both Fortune and Venus Collector's Edition, and nine B2 posters:

Japan (if you insist)

Fortune Regular Edition:


Fortune Collector's Edition:


Extra goodies same as the Asia version.

Venus Regular Edition:


Venus Collector's Edition:


Extra goodies same as the Asia version.

Saikyou Package:


This is pretty rare, only released on Amazon Japan and GameCity, but otherwise it's the same as the Asia Saikyou Package.

Finally...

With any version of Venus, if you order now, you get a code to download the "Angel" swimsuit for Honoka. Likewise, with any version of Fortune, you get a code to download the "Little Devil" swimsuit for Marie Rose. The two versions support cross-play, so you can transfer swimsuits around if you like.


To use these codes, as well as the swimsuit set codes from the collector's editions, you probably need a Japanese PlayStation Store account. Let me know if you need help doing this. Have fun!

Sunday, January 3, 2016

Another 12 Anime to Watch

UPDATE (9/7/16): I've started a new website, AnimeRetroGames.com, to focus my love for anime and video games. This post has been moved there as well. Check it out!

Happy New Year!

Thing with next to no readers is I don't feel pressured to write. Nonetheless, it's enjoyable to consolidate thoughts into a cohesive post. Juggling a handful of exciting projects, life continues to be interesting. More shall be revealed in time. As for this post, I think more anime recommendations are in order.

First, a few words about the top ten list published in my lonesome 2014 post. Since that post, Yowapeda has concluded its season 2 (Grande Road). The heart-warming, feel-good trope has worn thin a bit, but the series continues to keep me, literally, at the edge of the gym cycling machine seat. It's one of the better anime to watch while working out. I don't know if there'll be a season 3, but there're compilation films of the seasons, with extra footages, for those who want more.

Similarly, JoJo's Bizarre Adventure has concluded its third story arc - Stardust Crusaders. If you haven't checked the series out, I recommend watching this arc at least. I pray to the anime gods that there'll be more seasons, but I'm not holding my breath.

Kuroko's Basketball also concluded its third season, and it was as spectacular and exciting as one could expect. The show has more or less become basketball players with superpowers duking it out, but it's just popcorn-worthy fun watching those abilities getting revealed and countered. The last episode hints at a new season, and I'll definitely be courtside when it airs.

On a slight down note, Hunter x Hunter has concluded, and I have to say, regrettably, that everything since my post has been a let down. As mentioned previously, the whole Chimera Ant arc has been head-scratching, and while the ending is a little cheap, at least the story's complete. The worst is the Hunter Chairman Election arc that follows. It introduces whole bunch of new characters, raising my expectation way high for some interesting and intricately weaving storylines, only to end abruptly, leaving me high, dry, and unsatisfied. Well, At least the second-chair lead, Killua, to whom I've taken a liking more than the main character because of his more believable characterization and motivations, gets a chance to shine. The manga is of course on-going and seemingly never ending, but honestly, if the later story arcs are as weird and disappointing as these last two anime ones, I don't think I'm missing much if they don't do further anime adaptations.

Lastly, I want to issue a rare correction. Upon further reflection (and some rewatching), I've concluded that I've given Kill la Kill a much lower rank than it deserves. My reasoning at the time was that it contained too much blood, nudity, and general craziness to be recommended for the "mainstream." However, I think a unique characteristic that separates anime from other entertainment media is its liberal use of silliness and hyperbole, so if you're an anime fan, the outrageousness of this show shouldn't bother you. I hereby officially change its rank to #2. It's a show that simply shouldn't be missed.


On with the new recommendations!

12. Cute High Earth Defense Club LOVE! (Binan Koukou Chikyuu Bouei-bu LOVE!)
12 episodes (season 1 complete).
I'm a huge comedy fan, so we begin the list with this silly show about five beautiful and magical high school boys, each with a nature-based superpower granted by a pink wombat from outer space, forming the "Earth Defense Club." Their mission: prevent the "Earth Conquest Club" (run by other weirdly colored cute animals) from conquering Earth. If this sounds like Sailor Moon, that's the whole point. If this doesn't sound like something you want to watch, you're wrong and missing out. Parody at its best. Season 2 has been announced.

11. Mobile Suit Gundam SEED
50 episodes (complete).
Yes, an oldie. I've always had an interest in Gundam (you -- or I for that matter -- don't want to know how much money I've spent on Gundam models and toys), but I've only watched a few Gundam series in entirety. I found this full series subbed on YouTube with decent quality, so I gave it a look. If you can get over the cliched whiny main character, who refuses the mission at first but reluctantly accepts his calling later, the story's surprisingly good and mature. Similar to other Gundam series, there's a general theme of moral ambiguity, and characters aren't always clearly delineated as good or evil. The apparent "bad guys" don't seem so bad once viewer is introduced to their side of the story and given a chance to understand their motivations. Yes it's a long series, but there aren't really any filler episode like other long-running shows. Give it a try. By the way, probably due to its popularity, there's a sequel series called Mobile Suit Gundam SEED Destiny that furthers the story. I've watched a few of its episodes, but I find it too similar to the original that it has become boring. Maybe in a few years, after I've largely forgotten about the original, I'll return to it.

10. Ushio and Tora
26 episodes (season 1 complete).
While there have been few OVA adaptions in the 90s, this is the 2015 TV series based on the eponymous manga, which, if I remember correctly, has been around since I was in elementary school (some 25 years ago). It's about a boy, Ushio, who by chance (or fate?) frees the "Beast Spear" and unleashes a monster called Tora (tiger in Japanese). Ushio and Tora form an uneasy friendship and unlikely bond, as they take on other enemies, be they monsters or humans. The monsters are usually based on Japanese folklores, giving the show a very oriental theme. Season 2 coming in April. Title song is pretty metal.

9. Arpeggio of Blue Steel (Aoki Hagane no Arupejio)
12 episodes (complete).
Fleet of Fog Military naval vessels personified as girls. The concept is similar to Kantai Collection, a popular Japanese web game and franchise. There's even a canon KanColle anime, but that show is trash. Arpeggio is far superior. The main character, the typical high school boy genius who excels at military tactics (if Japan had all these high school boy geniuses, how could they have lost the war), is bland if not annoying. However, the supporting cast, especially the "mental models" (personifications of the vessels), are terrific. The plot is gripping too. A lot of times an episode ends on a cliffhanger that leads to the "just one more episode" phenomenon. Fantastic animation and great character designs (I love you, Takao). The story of the anime differs from that of the manga, even has an alternate ending. There're also two movies.

8. Akame ga Kill!
24 episodes (complete).
A boy travels from the countryside to the city to make money, only to be brutally awakened to the truth by the cruelty of the city folks. One thing leads to another, he joins the assassin group Night Raid, whose purpose is to end the current regime and its corruption. There're few moments of comic relief, but overall it's a pretty dark and mature show (both theme-wise and content-wise... you've been warned). Great action and fight sequences. Colorful and memorable cast, with one of the more sadistic yet beautiful antagonists in anime history.

7. Is it Wrong to Try to Pick Up Girls in a Dungeon (Danjon ni Deai o Motomeru no wa Machigatteiru Darou ka, DanMachi for short)
13 episodes (complete?).
Story revolves around a boy adventurer, the sole member of the Hestia familia, who works hard in the Dungeon making ends meet. He falls for a fellow elite adventurer, while oblivious to the affections of other women toward him. Especially that of his own patron, the goddess Hestia. Plenty of references to mythologies of various cultures, most notably Greco-Roman. Yes, it's yet another anime with the typical one-guy-many-girls trope, but the main character is hardly noticeable next to the tenacious and ever-so-cheerful Hestia, otherwise known as "lolipai," or "loliboobs," or "ribbon boobs" (you'll get it first time you meet her). Don't worry, the show has more meat than the apparent fan service.

6. No Game No Life
12 episodes (complete?).
The entire show is about games -- not just video games but games in the most general sense. A brother and sister pair of undefeated gamers, bored by the lack of challenge in the human world, enter a fantasy world where playing games is the way of life. As an avid student of game theory, I watch this show almost as an educational program, if not for the excessive and sometimes border-lining illegal fan service. At least the art style is unique.


Now we're moving from the "worth a watch" to "must watch" territory. Still with me?

5. Food Wars: Shokugeki no Soma
24 episodes (season 1 complete).
Think: Iron Chef on steroids. Never have I seen food rendered and animated so well in non-photorealistic rendering. I mean, I get hungry after watching each episode. Anyway, the story is once again about a young boy, but this time the said boy wants to be a better chef than his old man, so he goes to an elite cooking school to improve his culinary skills. Oh yeah, there's fan service too, in that almost every time someone tastes a good dish, he or she (most of the time a "she") voluntarily gets naked and undergoes an orgasmic reaction, at least mentally. I know I make the show sound like a B-rated porn, but I promise, it doesn't disappoint.

4. Haikyu!! (Haikyuu!!)
38 episodes (season 2 on-going).
This show would've made it to my 2014 list had I not just started watching it at the time I wrote that post. I knew it was good even back then, but I wasn't comfortable placing it in the ranking until I watched more. Well, better late than never. It's a sports anime about volleyball. However, unlike Kuroko's Basketball, this is more realistic. On a scale of 1 to 10, where 1 is life-like realism, and 10 is complete fantasy, if Kuroko's Basketball were a 10, then Haikyu!! would be about a 3. Besides a good balance of comedy and feel-good sports theme, the animation and art direction really let the viewer feel the intensity of the back-and-forth of a match. The music is pretty good too, gotta hunt down a copy of the OST.

3. Fairy Tail
265 episodes (season 2 on-going).
Ah, one of the arteries of the anime scene. Besides Naruto, One Piece, and the waning Bleach, Fairy Tail has to be one of the bigger long-running series around. Took me long enough to finally get into this show, and I must say, it's worth every minute! If Naruto is about ninja, and One Piece is about pirates, then Fairy Tail is about wizards. No, not the long-beard, pointy hat, Gandalf kind, but more like young, sexy, superhero style. Colorful cast (doesn't hurt that most female characters are well endowed), good story, decent animation and music. On the surface Fairy Tail sounds like a typical long series with above-average production values. However, what sets it apart for me is the comedic timing. While series like Naruto and One Piece also try to be funny, they hit the spot inconsistently. Fairy Tail nails it. It's so good at it that even the filler episodes are fun to watch. I've yet to find another similarly structured long series (i.e., non-episodic) for which I can say the same. At a time when watching Naruto feels like work (when will you end??), and One Piece drags its feet, I'm glad this show is there. I love you, Erza Scarlet.

2. Assassination Classroom (Ansatsu Kyoushitsu)
22 episodes (season 1 complete).
An octopus-like creature named Kurosei, who can move at Mach 20 (20 times the speed of sound, or more than 15,000 miles/hr), is teaching a classroom of "delinquent" students. As if that isn't weird enough, Kurosei has destroyed the moon -- making it a crescent permanently -- and threatened to destroy Earth in a year. Since all attempts to kill him by the world's governments have ended in failure, the only hope is for these students to assassinate him (now you get the title?). Besides the blatant mistake that just because most of the moon is destroyed doesn't mean it's always going to look like a crescent when viewed from Earth, this is a brilliant show. Again, a good mix of comedy, action, and some seriousness. Great music. But, the biggest draw is that the audience really feel the love Kurosei has for his students. He recognizes that each student is different and should be taught in a unique way (not unlike Confucius, I dare say), even though these are reject students of an elite school and abandoned to a remote classroom. It's the underdog theme done right. Season 2 begins this week!

It's difficult not making Assassination Classroom #1 of the list because I like it so much. In the end, though, I think my #1 pick pulls ahead just slightly because I can relate to it a bit better. So, without further adieu, here's what I think the best show you should watch right now.

1. Himouto! Umaru-chan
12 episodes (complete?).
Why would a show about a spoiled, entitled, princess-brat named Umaru be my #1 pick? Simple. she's that game and anime otaku that lives inside all of us (well, maybe not all...). Not only does she read manga, play a game all night 'til sunrise, she even blows into the Famicom (NES) cart! Despite her age, she has an old (gamer) soul like me. She just gets it. As I get older, social and familial obligations (not to mention physical limits) kick in, so I can no longer be the carefree gamer I once was... Ah, good ol' days... Wait, what were we talking about? Oh ya. Umaru, despite seemingly selfish, actually shows a lot of love toward her friends and her older brother, who works hard as a salaryman and takes care of her (since she's still in high school). I also like that the show doesn't explain every feeling or incident in narration or dialogues. Some things just don't need to be said, you know? And, of course, being probably the most adorable anime I've ever watched doesn't hurt. I really hope there's a season 2.

BTW, the word "himouto" is a pun combining "imouto" (little sister) and "himono," which literally means "dried fish," but in Japanese slang can mean a woman who is proper in public but lazy at home. Learn something everyday.

There you have it. Let me know if you like these recommendations. I know I went over 10 titles this time, but gimme a break, I only post like once a year. Before you go, just two more things. First, the #1 anime of my previous list, Attack on Titan, is starting its season 2 this April, so mark your calendar!

Second, I've started an Instagram channel called Anime Retro Games, where I post photos, videos, and music related to games and anime, with a bias for the retro. Sometimes I go into details about a game or anime that I really love, so I try to make it informative as well as entertaining. If you use Ig, check it out and follow me! Until next time, happy anime watching.


Saturday, April 26, 2014

My Top 10 Anime of Recent Years

UPDATE (9/7/16): I've started a new website, AnimeRetroGames.com, to focus my love for anime and video games. This post has been moved there as well. Check it out!

Watching anime has been a major entertainment activity personally the past couple of years. I watch anime when I take a break from coding, and even more often right before I go to sleep. In fact, I probably spend more time watching anime than playing games nowadays. Getting a paid Crunchyroll membership is a little expensive ($11.95 per month), but I'm addicted to the ease and convenience of watching the latest anime --- many of which available as soon as they're broadcasted in Japan --- on all my mobile and non-mobile devices.

Since I've watched a lot of anime, I want to recommend the better ones to other fans of the medium. Here are the top 10 anime series I've watched the last few years.

10. Chronicles of the Going Home Club
12 episodes (complete). Comedy with high school students. For those who love non-sensical, over-exaggeration style humor. And "Mohawk Seal."

9. Witch Craft Works
12 episodes (complete). Starring high school students that know sorcery. Nice character design and art work. Especially the well-endowed female lead.

8. Kill la Kill
24 episodes (complete). Unique art style (slight hint of retro), over-the-top action... not that I expect anything less from the creators of Gurren Lagann. Get ready to be showered by gallons of blood, and bouncing boobies (and sometimes male butts) --- of high school students. Love the music too.

7. Tonari no Seki-kun: Master of Killing Time (My Neighbor Seki)
16 episodes (ongoing). Each episode runs only about 7 minutes. A high school girl is constantly distracted by the boy sitting next to her in class because he's always engaging in some weird activities (like playing Chess vs. Shogi). She really can't blame him entirely though, as she has too vivid an imagination. Brings back memories. Funny and cute.

6. Girls und Panzer
12 episodes (complete). High school students (girls only) who pilot tanks and compete in mock tank warfare. The characters are adorable. Their friendship is touching at times, and it feels good watching how they overcome hardship together. Panzer vor!

5. Yowamushi Pedal (Yowapeda)
28 episodes (ongoing). High school cyclists competing in tournaments. The character designs are a bit weird, and the main character really isn't very charismatic, but like many other feel-good sports anime, seeing the characters work hard to grow just inspires me to do the same. I'm seriously this close to getting a racing bike.

4. JoJo's Bizarre Adventure
30 episodes (ongoing, 1 season complete). Story centers around the misadventures of the Joestars, a family of English roots, as members from different generations of the family battle vampires, zombies, or otherwise superpower beings hell-bent on ruling humankind. Based on the long-running manga of the same name that started back in 1986. Although two OVAs and a movie based on different arcs of the manga have previously been made, this is the first time they attempt to anime-ize the entire manga. We're currently on the 3rd and most popular arc, Stardust Crusaders, where the story first introduces the series' signature attraction, the Stands. Even though the characters over explain everything, and it's funny to see sound effects written out on screen (in Japanese no less), as if one's reading the manga, if you like crazy fight action with equal parts cunning and brawn (and muscular men that for some reason like to strike weird poses), then you shouldn't miss this one. The music is also fantastic.

3. Kuroko's Basketball
50 episodes (ongoing, 2 seasons complete). High school basketball players compete in tournaments. Unlike other sports anime, the main character, Kuroko, has no athletic talent in basketball whatsoever, but he's very good at not getting noticed, hence making him the perfect assist player. I have a soft spot for sports anime that have characters with unique and sometimes superhuman abilities, and basketball happens to be my favorite sport anyway. It's fun watching the protagonist team struggling and overcoming opponents that seem much stronger initially. It's like defeating difficult bosses in games. Can't wait for the next season.

2. Hunter x Hunter
126 episodes (ongoing). Elementary school students(?) and adults (and sometimes bugs made from humans) fight and kill each other. It's more interesting than it sounds. Based on a manga, this is the most recent anime adaptation that started back in 2011 (previously, a 62-episode TV series and some OVAs were made). I'm pleasantly surprised that characters actually get killed (and not brought back to life willy nilly like in Dragon Ball), or in some other cases severely mutilated (physically and/or psychologically). Like many other anime I enjoy, the one-on-one fights are the main attractions, but unlike most other anime, often it's the side most prepared -- and analyzes the situation the best -- wins. It's almost like game theory applied to anime fights. I don't particularly like the designs of the main characters (one of the reasons I didn't watch the initial anime adaptation), but the story has me glued that I binge watched the first few story arcs. Despite it being a long-running series, each episode actually progresses the plot, not many filler episodes. However, the current arc seems to be dragging, hence losing a bit of my interest, but I'll give it the benefit of the doubt and see how it ends.


1. Attack on Titan
25 episodes (complete). Bunch of high school students... oh wait, maybe some are older, but anyway, bunch of people fighting human-eating giants in humanity's desperate last attempt at species survival. Very slick fighting action, with Spider-Man style swinging movements (achieved with gas-powered apparatus known as "Vertical Maneuvering Equipment"). Dark and serious throughout, with occasional out-of-place humorous spots to break the tension. I know the story continues in the manga, but I wish they make more seasons. So much left unexplained.

Note the absence of One Piece and Naruto Shippuden (and Bleach, but that ended in 2012). I'm a fan of those series as well, and I'll definitely watch them to the end. However, they're already hugely popular that they don't really need recommendation. And, to be honest, they have so many filler episodes that sometimes watching them simply isn't as interesting as watching those in my top 10 list.

Strange I like so many series starring high school students. Most anime series probably star high school students, since that's probably their target audience. Wish they make an anime about a 30-something-year-old computer programmer, then I can really relate.

There are plenty of other series that I've watched or I'm watching that either aren't good enough to make this list, or I haven't watched enough of them to form an opinion. For example, I've watched the entire Sword Art Online series, and while I know it's popular, I just think the story and characterization are too flat and generic. Maybe I would've appreciated it more if I played an online RPG. Of the ones I'm following currently, Nanana's Buried Treasure and Black Bullet have some potential. And, of course, I've been meaning to get into other popular series like Fairy Tail and Bakemonogatari (and its numerous sequels). Just a matter of time. I'll be sure to share my thoughts later.

Do you like any of the anime in this list? If you think we have similar tastes in anime, what else would you recommend me watch?

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Disposable Phone Numbers

Ever since 24, I've liked the idea of burner phones --- phones with unique numbers that you use to make only the necessary calls and then throw away. However, it's quite expensive to throw away perfectly good cell phones, even if they're just the "feature" and not the "smart" kind... not to mention the guilt I get for adding to my carbon footprint. On the other hand, our technology isn't advanced enough yet that we can print phones on papers like in that terrible Milla Jovovich movie. Seemed like it would be a while before I could have my own disposable numbers.

That is, until I got Burner, the iPhone app that creates and manages disposable numbers! For the purchase price of $1.99, the app gives you a starting number that expires in 7 days, or after 20 minutes of talk time. Use in-app-purchase to extend the life of a number or to buy other numbers. The app also manages text messaging for each number. Very convenient. Just remember that the intention here is to create short-term numbers, so it can be quite expensive if you want a longer term solution. You might consider using TextNow or Google Voice in that case.

"Well, I'm no bad-ass like Jack Bauer, why would I need disposable numbers," you ask. Oh, I admire the naivete. Next time you think you like a stranger and give him your number, give a disposable one instead, in case he turns out to be another stalker who calls you 24-7, like the one you're having a hard time getting rid of right now. More practically though, in a situation where phone or text communication is more convenient, but the other party is a stranger, and you know this is a one-time deal, a disposable number can be, pun intended, in-disposable. Think CraigsList, AirBnB, etc. Anyway, have fun, and remember to call your mom, preferably from your permanent number.
Burner - Disposable Phone Numbers - Ad Hoc Labs, Inc