Do domestic ferry companies in Japan sell “standby” tickets when passengers cancel very late or don’t show up for their reservations?

I’m in Hokkaido, Japan and it’s Golden Week so many things are booked out, including longer distance ferries.

Japanese ferry websites have always been quite bad. No English version, text as images in Japanese version so no Google Translate, etc. No English speaking staff at the terminal is also usual.

I’d like to take a ferry from Hokkaido to Honshu tomorrow. My first choice seems to be booked full for the cheaper berths.

What I’m wondering is if I get to the ferry terminal at boarding time is there a chance they sell “standby” tickets for no-shows?

Is this unheard of in Japan? Pretty normal? Or some do and some don’t?

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How do companies store private keys offline but still sign code with them?

I’ve heard that companies store their private keys offline “in a safe that will never be opened” and stuff like that (the context for this is a console developer like Microsoft keeping the Xbox private keys offline in a safe).

How would they still sign code with their private keys if they’re fully locked away? Does someone go and physically get the keys to sign the code? Is this a figure of speech that I don’t understand?

Do web companies use the master replica in data center nearest to the user to do writes?

I am interested how multi datacenter (multi homing in Google terms) systems handle writes to strongly consistent user data? Is the master replica for each user placed in the same datacenter and writes are done through log structured queue (or directly forcing the user to wait)?

Alternatively, do companies use an architecture when the user has some “home” cluster dependend on user location? Do they migrate user data if she travels around the globe?

For this question’s purposes, exclude Dynamo like databases with eventual consistency.