It looks like google gmail now supports Japanese decome (デコメ) or decorated mails. These are small charset extensions added by Japanese mobile companies to allow cell phone users to exchange emotional icons in their email.
Example with a peace sign
Decome is specific to japan so most computers will not support this natively. To implement this It seems google have a public image repository which is referenced to display the pictures. This should prove useful for 3rd party mash-up applications as well.
Just recently, in America, google and t-mobile released the G1. This new phone takes advantage of googles new android mobile OS.
I have been waiting to see if this phone is worth the wait, if not I will buy the iPhone. So far things look bad. There is no sign of a Japan release and the first edition from the US does not look so promising. One review sums up G1 pretty well with 10 shortcomings. From my perspective only 5 of these issues are valid, lets see why:
Doesn't bother me
No exchange - I dont use exchange for personal mail, neither should most people
Desktop synching - This phone is meant to privide access to web services, the desktop is obsolete
Skimpy Storage - For me, 1GB is enough
No video recording - Who really uses video recording? Its a novelty item
Accelerometer quirk - I Can write my own software if I need to fix this
Wanted: 3.5mm headphone jack
Stingy data cap
For now I will be planning on getting an iPhone for me and my girlfriend and wait for the Japan release before considering android again.
As everyone knows, the Beijing olympics is over and the medal counts are in. Who is on top? If you look at news agecies from China, Australia or Great Britain they will tell you the Chinese, who have the most gold medals. But if you look at the US Olympic coverage they will tell you USA is in first with the most Total medals. Now why can't the United States of America just do things like other countries?
This chart shows China at the top with 51 gold medals
This chart shows the US at the top with
Now, these olympics were great. I just about cried during the opening and closing ceremonies as well as when the Japanese won the Softball gold. What else can I say?
Well, day 2 is over and I passed. It was not so hard. Here are some tips: drive slowly, look around and listen to the instructor. The wait was pretty long and it overlaps with lunch hour so you might want to bring some food.
Here in Japan, Americans with a valid US license can go through a license transfer process to acquire a Japanese drivers license. The process takes 2 days. One day for registering and taking a written test and one day for taking a behind-the-wheel test. See more information at Japanese Driver's License and Driving Test Tips.
Today I finished day 1.
The problem I had this morning was that all of the addresses for the places in Tokyo were only in English. This is fine, but there are not many English maps of Japan. Searching google maps for these addresses doesn't return much. So here it is, the Japanese translations and maps for the places one in Tokyo needs to go:
JAF Headquarters Tokyo
Tokyo 105-8562 2-2-17 Shiba Minato-ku Tokyo 東京都港区芝２丁目−２−１７
Samezu Driver's License Center
1-12-5, Higashi-Oi, Shinagawa-ku