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Siri now speaks Japanese in iOS 5.1

Posted by Andru Edwards Categories: Apple, Handhelds, Software,

Siri Japanese

At today's iPad event, Tim Cook announced that iOS 5.1 would be publicly available today, and included in the release is a new language for Siri: Japanese.


[Photo: GDGT]


Emoji frostyplace Emoticons

typing genius

Emoji were such a hit in Japan that the emoticons are now available for everyone. The app is called Typing Genius. After you download it, you should play with it for a few minutes to activate it, then hit your settings “> General > International > Keyboards > Japanese” and click on the Emoji option. You are ready to text any other iPhones. No jailbreak is needed and the application is only $.99. Happy happy, joy joy.

Read More | Typing Genius

TV’s Turning Japanese!

Posted by K.C. Morgan Categories: Games, Prime Time, Reality, ABC, Cable, FOX, Gossip,

I Survived a Japanese Game ShowI think we’re turning Japanese. Flip your TV to ABC and you’ll see weird costumes and almost unbelievable stunts on and I Survived a Japanese Game Show, two series based on popular Japanese game shows. FOX plans to release a similar show, their version of Japan’s Hole in the Wall, this coming fall.

What do these shows bring to the U.S. gaming table? In two words, shock value. Anyone who has viewed the You Tube clips can see that Japanese games are daring, daunting…and at times very, very bizarre. Hole, for instance, makes competitors face off against solid walls with strangely-shaped openings offering the only survival. And if they fail? They fall into water, and lose the game. Many Japanese game shows require extreme physical exertion, along with an element of the oddly and brutally funny, in equal measure. If you laugh when you see someone fall down and possibly hurt themselves, for instance, Japanese game shows are probably your bag.

Click to continue reading TV’s Turning Japanese!

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TV on DVD: May 6, 2008

Here are some of the options available this Tuesday.

The 4400, Season Four

Become a Speed Cuber

Posted by Sheila Franklin Categories: Toys,

Speed Cubing Kit

As we know by now, Rubik’s Cube devotees actually compete to see who is the fastest. Want to up your game and join the ranks of a speed cuber? MegaHouse’s kit comes with a cube, screwdrivers to dissect it and make it respond quicker, lubricant, and a manual on how you can achieve your goal. And you thought the competitors were just nimble-fingered. Although the instructions are in Japanese, we figure there must be illustrations. The Speed Cubing Kit is available for 2,625 Yen (~$26.00>.)


Read More | Rubik's Cube (translated)

Akira to Get Live-Action Spin

AkiraAnime fans are in luck.  Katsuhiro Otomo’s , will be the next graphic novel to get a live-action treatment.

Warner Bros. has plans to turn the classic manga - which had been released in six volumes - into two films.  The first of which is scheduled to be released in 2009.  will serve as one of the series’ producers.

Although the original storyline was based in a post-nuclear “New Tokyo”, this updated version will be set in “New Manhattan”.  The city was rebuilt with Japanese money after being destroyed decades earlier.

Otomo, the man who also directed the 1988 animated adaptation, will be on board as executive producer for the two installments.

Casting has not been announced for the projects.

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Kewpies Not So Cute Anymore

Posted by Sheila Franklin Categories: Accessories, Cell Phones, Toys, Videos,

For those who never got over the eerieness of kewpie dolls, we have found PQ Creepy Doll phone straps. There is a whole collection, including the Buff Q, the Melting Q, Grandpa, Skinny, Gross, Fat, and Nyoru. Did we forget to mention that they come in a food, samurai, and bondage series, too? The straps are priced anywhere from 609JPY ($5.69.) to 658 JPY ($6.14.) The only thing creepier than these Qs is their accompanying commercial.


Read More | Strapya World

Q Watch for Mathematicians

Posted by Sheila Franklin Categories: Wearables, Misc. Tech,

Q WatchOur friends from Tokyo Flash have informed us that they have a new watch in town. Twelve 5-9’s Q comes in a gun metal or brushed silver finish with a stainless steel strap and 26 multi-colored LEDs. Push a button once for a random pattern, twice to skip that function. As with other watches from TF, it will take a bit of work to be able to tell time with its 12-5-9 method. The first two lines show the hours, the next line depicts increments of ten minutes, and the bottom two show single minutes. Available with both Japanese and English instructions, it comes with a year warranty with a price of ¥15,900 ($144.72.)

Read More | Tokyo Flash

Turn Your Cell Phone into a Translator

NEC TranslatorNEC recently brought their software that translates cell phone speaking from Japanese to English out to play. Although it has been in existence since the 80’s, apparently this is the first time they felt comfortable enough to display it in public. The 50,000 word dictionary was put into a DoCoMo phone. We understand that some of the bugs still have yet to be worked out since it still will not turn English into Japanese, but perhaps they will have that down over the next twenty years.

Read More | Akihabara News

Kaz Hirai Hits the Interview Circuit

Posted by Paul Hamilton Categories: PlayStation 3, Sony,

Kaz HiraiSony Computer Entertainment President Kaz Hirai has been speaking out about the including the reported development troubles some studios have had and ‘s commitment to the Japanese market.

Regarding the difficulty in development Hirai said he’s seen this before when the drew similar criticisms early in its lifecycle and that it doesn’t concern him. He said to The Official PlayStation Magazine that, in fact, he welcomes the news:

If they came back and told me, ‘PS3? We can do this in a heartbeat,’ that would be worrying because what it is telling me is that we’re not pushing the envelope from a technology standpoint.

In another interview with a Japanese website he said that developers working on cross-platform games ought to take advantage of the PS3’s extra capability to give PlayStation owners extra value. For example, “[W]ith the PS3, you’ve got the controller, or you could utilize the extra capacity provided by Blu-ray to add more levels, put on interviews with the developers or have your videos able to play in .” He said he understood why developers were choosing to work cross-platform considering the cost of making modern games.

Later in the same interview he tried to reassure Japanese gamers that they weren’t being overlooked:

Just because the foreign market is bigger than the domestic one, we don’t intend to take strategy of just making what would have been considered previously as ‘Western games’ and saying ‘We’ve got no choice but to do this’ to our Japanese users. If we did that, there’d be no point in having the Japan Studio.

Read More | Develop via Game | Life