Google Japanese Input Drops Beta Tag, Does Even Fortune-Telling

If your language has much more letters, say 3,000 characters, than multiple times (shift/crtl/alt) of number of keys on keyboard, you need an input method environment(IME) to tell computers what letter you want to type.

There are many IMEs exist for Traditional/Simplified Chinese and Japanese. These days operating systems have those IME bundled, on Windows, MacOS and Linux. But as it affects your writing speed, some users use non-default IMEs from other vendors. In Japanese case, long-time ex-word-processor champion Just System still sells royal fans for its IME ATOK. Two world biggest search engine companies, Google and Baidu, also offers free IME applications which utilize their massive language data collected for search engine.

On December 16th, Google Japanese Input [J], which was released by Google Japan one year ago, officially shed its beta tag after a year [J].

Google Japan’s promotion video shows you how it works on browsers/text editors/office tools. You type Japanese by pronounce, then choose the appropriate conversion from suggested selections.

Because that is conversion based on dictionary, there are a lot of enhanced conversion are integrated, too. For example, conversion between western calendar year and imperial calendar year, current time to several different notations, correct word suggestion, zip code to address, letters-based emoticons, etc. Many of those functionality are also on OS-default and other third-party Japanese IMEs.

However, one quite new, and somewhat weird conversion is embedded on the Google Japanese Input. 2-channellers pointed out that you can get fortune telling on it.

When you try to find “fortune telling” Chinese and/or Japanese word on it, its suggestions list has “(Your) today’s luck” at bottom.

For me, it is strange that the Google offers such illogical “information”. I also tried to convert zodiac names and Japanese favorite blood types but it did not give me any prophecy, yet.

See Also:

Google Japan Makes Comic Of Japanese Input Method Development

New Japanese IME Has Come From The Origin Of Chinese Characters – Baidu Japan also has Japanese Input Application

Evernote CEO: A Half Of The Third Party Developers Are Japanese

Silicon valley-based tech start-up Evernote, which has introduced services for note-taking and archiving for PCs and smartphone devices, announced new partnerships with seven Japanese companies on Wednesday.

Evernote CEO Phil Libin is now visiting Japan, and he says, “Our Japanese users share almost 18% of our total user accounts, which is the second place in the order of our user count by country.  The first book for Evernote was published in the U.S. just a few weeks ago, but in Japan, eight books have been available for Evernote users.”

Evernote shook hands with:

(a publishing company producing educational toys)
They provide content of science experiments for adults for Evernote’s dynamic catalog feature called the Trunk.  (cf.: Otona-no-Kagaku “Science for Adults”)

Tokyu Hands[J]
(zakka and hardware store chain)
They provide a series of quick tutorials to make your daily life better for the Evernote Trunk, which is called “Hint File[J]“.

NEC Biglobe[J]
(one of Japan’s largest ISPs)
They will integrate some of their portal sites with the Evernote Site Memory, a new feature that allows you to save webpages on your Evernote app.

King Jim
(manufacturing office stationary and simple digital gadgets)
They are well known for having developed a simple digital memo called Pomera[J].  They’ve introduced the  iPhone app[J] for transferring text from Pomera to the iPhone by reading a QR code, and it enables transferring text to Evernote as well.

NTT West
(Japan’s largest telco’s arm in charge of the western part of the country)
They introduced a tobacco sized server called N-TRANSFER[J], which allows you to connect USB devices to cloud services and to connect USB devices to remote USB devices over the Internet without PC.   Now it enables transferring images taken with PFU’s image scanner ScanSnap to Evernote.

Flight System Consulting[J]
(system engineering company)
They developed  a variety of the iPhone apps.   The latest version of TweetMe[J], their Twitter client app for the iPhone, allows you to tweet text you’ve noted on Evernote just simply by pressing a button on the app.

Just Systems
(producing a well-known Japanese word-processing software and an input method editor(IME))
ATOK Pad for iPhone, an input method editor developed by them, supported a new feature that allows you to transfer what you’ve entered with the editor to Evernote by a simple single action. (Refer to this Asiajin story for details about Just Systems.)

According to Mr. Libin, more than 2,000 third parties have developed their products using the Evernote API, some 250 products of them are available at stores on the Internet or off the Internet, and almost a half of all the third party developers are Japanese companies and individuals.

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January 2010 Japan-IT Links (part 1)

Last week our RSS subscribers passed over 5,000, which is a good milestone. Twitter followers also increased to 400. Following @asiajin also will notify our latest articles. Thank you so much.

Here is the first half of January Japanese IT/Web interesting news links we did not take as a dedicated article. (part 2 is here)

Referred pages are all in Japanese, unless otherwise noted.

If you want to know any specific news more, but unable to find them in other English blog/media, please let us know.

As you see, we know a lot things to write but contributors time are limited. So we are looking for authors. We will help Japanese research/reading part so do not worry if your Japanese is not perfect.

We also want sponsorship to keep this group blog. Ideal if from Japanese companies because our initial motivation was to introduce them to non-Japanese web. Problem is we only write in English and they do not check English sites 🙂 If you know them please suggest us to them!

Ichitaro Inventor, Just Systems To Be Subsidiary of The Osaka-Based Sensor Company

JustSystems' Logo Keyence's Logo

The Japanese word processing software pioneer, Just Systems announced today it would increase the capital by allocating new shares to the Osaka-based sensor manufacturer Keyence Corporation.   Keyence plans to buy 43.96% stake in Just Systems, and it worths USD45M.

After a full chase with the other word processing softwares like Microsoft Word, Just Systems’ money-making product Ichitaro could no longer keep its sales trend, and the company were forced to develop many kinds of new business, new softwares and new services.   Unfortunately, no attempt has grown up enough to save the company.

According to the company’s report for the latest fiscal period, Just Systems generates USD1.42B revenue, USD11M net loss, USD14M operating loss and USD11M ordinary loss.

Just Systems was founded in 1996 by Mr. & Mrs. Ukigawa.   It has been considered as the herald of Japanese IT ventures, and is listed on Jasdaq Securities Exchange.

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