Google

Google’s Street View cameras are taking spooky selfies in museums around the world

Google’s Street View cameras are taking spooky selfies in museums around the world

It turns out that there are a surprising number of mirrors in museums, so when Google unleashed its Street View cameras to catalog the insides of museums around the world, more than a few of them ended up accidentally taking pictures of themselves, we learn via Quartz.

Spanish artist Mario Santamaría noticed this happening quite a bit and did exactly what one should do upon noticing a trend: build a Tumblr around it.

Titled “The Camera In The Mirror,” Santamaría’s site catalogs the eerie moments in which Google’s cameras photograph their own reflections. You get a peek at them wrapped up in silver cloth or exposed to reveal a surprisingly robot-like body.

Read More

Google sends winners of Pokémon Challenge ‘Pokémon Master’ business cards

Google sends winners of Pokémon Challenge ‘Pokémon Master’ business cards

Google Maps‘ elaborate April Fools joke got even better. On April 1, Google launched its Pokémon Challenge game, where users could search real world locations on Google Maps and catch the original 151 Pokémon to complete a Pokédex.

Players who successfully completed the Pokédex received a message from Google Maps to fill out a form for a “surprise.” It turns out their efforts weren’t for naught, as several players, including Reddit user “tinygrump” received a congratulatory letter from Google Maps software engineer Tatsuo Nomura and 10 business cards with the title “Pokémon Master.”

Read More

【TBT】Pigeon people flock to Google Street View in Tokyo

【TBT】Pigeon people flock to Google Street View in Tokyo

If you happen to be looking for directions around Mitaka Station in Musashino, Tokyo you might be in for an eerie surprise. As Google’s Street View camera strapped to a guy’s back passed through the quaint tree-lined path alongside the Tamagawa Aqueduct, it was momentarily surrounded by a group of people standing around wearing pigeon heads.

Read More

TwitchPlaysPokemon: Here’s one of the weirdest subcultures on Google’s video game streaming acquisition

TwitchPlaysPokemon: Here’s one of the weirdest subcultures on Google’s video game streaming acquisition

Google is reportedly in talks to buy Twitch.tv, the live video-game streaming site that has exploded in popularity over the last year, currently ranking fourth in U.S. Internet traffic, behind only Netflix, Google, and Apple.

Twitch is a site where users can view other users playing popular video games. The site is also the host of Intel’s Extreme Masters World Finals, the “Champions League” of e-sports (organized video-game competitions). More than 23 million people tuned in this year to see the world’s best players square off in Counter-Strike, StarCraft II, and League of Legends.

The Twitch phenomenon was punctuated in March by one of the weirdest online experiments in recent memory. For over three weeks, nearly 1.1 million video game players collectively beat Pokemon Red on Twitch after 390 hours of game-time.

Read More

Google’s three most-searched Japanese foods in other countries surprises Japan

Google’s three most-searched Japanese foods in other countries surprises Japan

Last December, while conducting a study on the number of characters input into Google’s search engine, the company compiled various statistics on people’s search habits between January and November, 2013. Among them were the most-searched Japanese foods outside of Japan.

We’ll get number one right out of the way because it’s not really a shocker: “sushi.” Number two, however, was a little more unexpected. Can you guess what it is?

Read More

Enjoy the beauty of Angkor in your underpants thanks again to Google Street View

Enjoy the beauty of Angkor in your underpants thanks again to Google Street View

It seems Google Maps and Google Street View is truly unending in their quest to walk around and take panoramic photos of some of the Earth’s most beautiful locations. So far we’ve witnessed the eerie wonder of Gunkanjima and the spectacular sights of Mt. Fuji’s summit all courtesy of Google. And now we are treated to a place found on many people’s bucket list: Angkor, Cambodia.

Read More

“How do you google using Yahoo?” and other amazing questions from Japan’s Yahoo! Answers

“How do you google using Yahoo?” and other amazing questions from Japan’s Yahoo! Answers

Japan has its own version of Yahoo! Answers, the question and answer site where you can ask anything and receive a quick reply from other users. The Japanese site is named Yahoo! Chiebukuro (“Yahoo! brains” or, more literally, “knowledge bag”), and as this collection of the best Q&A sets shows, the questions people ask range from the bafflingly inane to the unexpectedly profound!

As we’re about to see, Japan has its fair share of loveable idiots as well as geniuses!

Read More

Google ad wins praise for touching on troubled history of India and Pakistan

Google ad wins praise for touching on troubled history of India and Pakistan

On 13 November, Google India posted a three-minute advertisement on YouTube titled Google Search: Reunion. In the span of only two days it reached nearly one and a half million views and as of this writing is swiftly approaching four million.

All along the way, it’s received overwhelmingly positive reviews such as “NOT just an ad”; “This little 3 minute video is better than all the movies I have seen this past year”; and  “I am not from India, but I still appear to have something in my eye that is making it water.”

Read More

Google Street View captures view from top of Mt. Fuji, negates only reason to climb it

Google Street View captures view from top of Mt. Fuji, negates only reason to climb it

There’s a saying in Japan about Mt. Fuji that goes to the tune of, “You ought to climb it once, but only a fool would climb it twice.”

That’s because, as yours truly learned just last weekend, climbing Mt. Fuji is  a lot like spending up to eight hours repeatedly swinging a mallet into your knees as hard as you can. It’s also – at least this year, after having been declared a World Heritage Site – so crowded you’re guaranteed to be spending the climb with your face in dangerous proximity to someone else’s ass at all times.

Lucky for those that haven’t climbed it yet, Google Street View strapped some poor sucker with 100 pounds of weird Google robot gear, maybe gave him a bottle of water and some peanuts, and told him to walk right on up and take some pictures from the top. “It’ll be cool,” they probably said. “We promise.”

Read More

Unfortunate Google employee forced to wander alone on eerie abandoned island for Street View photos

Unfortunate Google employee forced to wander alone on eerie abandoned island for Street View photos

Google Street View seems to have its priorities all out of whack. While only just getting around to snapping the more remote areas of mainland Japan and having yet to cover the majority of Canada, Google sent out one intrepid employee to explore the completely abandoned Japanese island of Gunkanjima.

Read More

Pigeon people flock to Google Street View in Tokyo

Pigeon people flock to Google Street View in Tokyo

If you happen to be looking for directions around Mitaka Station in Musashino, Tokyo you might be in for an eerie surprise. As Google’s Street View camera strapped to a guy’s back passed through the quaint tree-lined path alongside the Tamagawa Aqueduct, it was momentarily surrounded by a group of people standing around wearing pigeon heads.

Read More

Police in Japan pull over Google Street View car, presumably not for speeding

Police in Japan pull over Google Street View car, presumably not for speeding

The Google Street View car, once something that people would have simply watched roll by while scratching their heads in confusion, has become so ingrained in popular culture that should we ever spot it trundling down our own street many of us would immediately bound in its direction like excited golden retriever in an attempt to get our ugly mugs plastered on the internet for all eternity.

It’s rare, though, to see the the famous car running into trouble with the law.

Read More

Can you understand me now, Google Glass? A Japanese perspective

Can you understand me now, Google Glass? A Japanese perspective

By now, you’ve surely heard about Google Glass, the head-mounted computer that allows the wearer to interact with data while going about their day thanks to a tiny display that hovers in the top-right corner of their vision. While this all sounds like a wonderful little slice of the future, the product has come under scrutiny recently amid privacy concerns raised by politicians, and many are wondering about the possible implications of using it in the real world.

While most reviews have been from the perspective of native English-speakers, today we stumbled upon an interesting review written by a Japanese speaker. Despite the country being considered by many to be the home of computer wizardry, Japanese people are often a little shy of new devices at first (the iPhone was positively ignored for its first year on the market), so we were keen to get a Japanese perspective.

Just a couple of paragraphs into the writeup, however, we noticed that the reviewer had stumbled upon a couple of minor problems with Google Glass.
Read More

Japanese Man Places Ad For “Girlfriend” on Google – Nabs Himself 5 Girls at Once

Japanese Man Places Ad For “Girlfriend” on Google – Nabs Himself 5 Girls at Once

Google’s Ad Words service is a tool used for displaying adverts based on the keyword one enters into the Google search engine. For example typing in “sushi” would yield a selection of sushi-related adverts at the top of your search. The actual price of placing an advert is rather on the reasonable side, and increasingly not just organizations but individuals are jumping on the band wagon.

For an individual wishing to use the service, perhaps the most typical course of action would be to post information about an item you were selling or looking to buy. However when it comes to technology, there will always be unintended methods of use that have up until now eluded even the most creative of minds.

Let me introduce you to a young Japanese man who found a rather obscure use for the Google Ad Words tool by placing an advert for, wait for it… a girlfriend!

Read More

Google Maps Easter Egg Lets You Street-View Famous Open-Air Hot Springs Bath

Google Maps Easter Egg Lets You Street-View Famous Open-Air Hot Springs Bath

On 15 January, a tweet emerged revealing a secret Google Maps Street View available nestled deep in a valley in Nagano Prefecture.  The tweet simply read “Open-air bath on full display in Street View.”

Read More

Which Company’s Employee Would You Like to Marry? Nintendo Tops Rankings in Japan

Which Company’s Employee Would You Like to Marry? Nintendo Tops Rankings in Japan

An Internet survey asking Japanese men and women aged 20 to 39 which company they would like a potential marriage partner to work for ranked Nintendo number one.

The survey, conducted November 28 and 29, 2012, received 500 valid responses. Filling out the top five were All Nippon Airways (ANA), Tanita (electronic scales), Google and Apple. Reasons given for choices were wide-ranging including, “It’s a hot company,” and “My partner is unlikely to gain a middle-aged bulge (working there).”
Read More

[Election 2012] Google Sets Up Face Time between Japanese Politicians and Voters

[Election 2012] Google Sets Up Face Time between Japanese Politicians and Voters

With Japan’s general election looming on 16 December, the tension in Japan is so thick you could cut it with a noodle. Yes, the country has been mired in a political malaise of apathy since the days of Koizumi.

The Prime Minister’s seat has been a musical chair for the past 6 years with no dynamic leadership on the horizon to guide the country into the future. Government in Japan is largely a good old boys club where people rise to positions of power simply by being the grandson of some great leader way back when.

Google has set up a campaign to help politicians get more in touch with their electorate and hopefully hash out a plan for Japan’s future that people can get behind – not to mention help promote the social network Google+.  Google Japan will be putting regular people face to face with representative of the major political parties for a little Q & A session on 14 December.

Read More

Cool Japanese Music Video Brings Back 8-Bit Google Maps…Kinda

Cool Japanese Music Video Brings Back 8-Bit Google Maps…Kinda

Remember Google’s 8-bit Google Maps April Fools’ prank from earlier this year?

Japanese four-piece all-female rock band, Negoto, have taken the idea to the next level by integrating their new music video with an 8-bit map of Tokyo so that it tracks the singer’s location as she goes on a grand adventure across the city.

Read More

Face-Blurring Tech Goes Rogue: Google Maps Shows Its Respect For Colonel Sanders’ Privacy

Face-Blurring Tech Goes Rogue: Google Maps Shows Its Respect For Colonel Sanders’ Privacy

Remember the first time you zoomed in on Google maps and realised that you could see actual photos of your street? When you discovered that you could take a virtual stroll down pretty much any road in the world, or check out the street in front of that new apartment you just spotted an ad for?

While all of the images taken by Google’s magical multi-direction photo car were technically taken on public property, there have been numerous complaints over “invasions of privacy” as, in the process of snapping the world’s streets, many ordinary people going about their day- be it gardening, walking the dog or leaving a sex shop with an armful of porn mags- were caught on camera and immortalised forever for the entire world to see.

Naturally, Google took steps towards protecting the privacy of the unlucky few caught in embarrassing situations and blurred out the faces of those who happened to be out and about, so it’s not unusual to see shots of busy cities like Tokyo populated by people who look like they could be in a Japanese Adult Movie.

But when they go so far as to blur out KFC’s Colonel Sanders’ face, it just looks weird…

Read More

Google Maps Invades Tokyo Sushi Shop so You Can Too

Google Maps Invades Tokyo Sushi Shop so You Can Too

We’re not quite sure of the story behind this one, but if the map below is a signal of things to come you may soon be able to tour the inside of restaurants or other buildings from the comfort of your own home. Read More

  1. 1
  2. 2