YouTubing in Japan

The Japan Times has a piece up that looks at the popularity of foreign YouTubers in Japan, with a focus on a Canadian called Sharla, and her YouTube channel “Sharla in Japan.” It’s interesting to see how things have changed since we were seeing the start of stuff like this a decade or so ago (late 2000s), and how YouTube/Google in Japan is now actively supporting these people — in part with the “YouTube Space” at the Google offices, designed by my ex-employers, Klein Dytham architecture.

Google Span 2016

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Today (October 6, in Japan) in Tokyo is Google Span 2016, a conference featuring “conversations about design and technology,” and I’m blown away by the fantastic lineup, that not only includes a lot of smart people I know, but also a PechaKucha session. The space looks beautiful too. The entire thing is being livestreamed here (from 11:00 JST).

Tsunehisa Kimura

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You probably recognize the poster on the right, for the movie Oblivion (which I quite liked). On the left is a work from the 70s by artist Tsunehisa Kimura, and yes, I think we can see where the inspiration for the visual on the movie poster came from. Found via this post, that includes a few more examples of Kimura’s work — and you’ll find much more in this Google image search.

A Fresh Start

It wasn’t enough that I’ve had to deal with the strongest sunburn I’ve had in 10-15 years — from hiking on Mount Tanigawa (2000m) this past Sunday — but last night’s attempt at installing Mac OS X Lion on my MacBook Pro ended up in my having to reformat my drive. It was damaged during the installation process, and all attempts (over the course of hours) to try to repair it or to get back to my original installation — or to simply re-install Snow Leopard over it — proved fruitless. Reformatting seems to have fixed the issue with the drive, and after doing a fresh install of Snow Leopard, I tried installing Lion again — I had nothing to lose at this point — and it worked without a hitch.

Now, of course, the hitch on my part is that I’ve been bad with backups, and so I have lost more than I’d care to admit, but most importantly two years of personal photos, and my entire music collection. Since my daily workflow rests on the use of Google products, my work hasn’t been affected much, and for that I’m thankful. 

Despite all of this, I’m trying to frame it as a forced “fresh start” on my digital activities. Maybe it was meant to be.

Oh, and I have Time Machine back in action (I’d stopped because of lack of space on my external drive) — lesson learned.

Google Push in Japan

When it comes to searching on the web, Google is king pretty much everywhere in the world, but not Japan. Nope, here, Yahoo! still reigns supreme, and Google has just started a new big push in the country to try and get more people using the G-rated search engine. The new campaign includes of course plenty of TV commercials (like this one), but also free wi-fi access in a few participating chains (Tully’s, Pronto, and Lotteria) in Tokyo and a few others places — but the catch is that you only get 30 minutes of use. Japan Probe has more.