DuckDuckGo is a private search engine that doesn’t track you

DuckDuckGo's quacking logo

DuckDuckGo is a search engine that has made a name for itself due to its claim that it is the “private” search engine. Let’s explore what that means and what makes it a compelling alternative to Google. 

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The Rise and Fall of Japanese Electronic Dictionaries

Remembering Japanese Electronic DictionariesI want to reminisce about Japanese electronic dictionaries or 電子辞書 (denshi jisho). Seeing these things was pretty rare outside of Asia, or at least where I lived in the US. I don’t remember where I originally found out about them, but I really wanted one when I started looking into them online. Before I get into my experience, let’s quickly go through why these devices were/are a big deal.

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The State of American Animation in Japan

american animation japanPeople around the world are most likely familiar with Japanese animation and know that it comes from Japan. Some people are really into it and others are not. Regardless, it has spread all over the world. However, let’s take a moment to think about the reverse. What about American animation in Japan? What shows are available and what do people like? You might be surprised by the results.

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GeoCities Sites: The Internet in the 90s

geocities sites logoBeing a kid and growing up in the 90s was amazing. So many things were changing. A big change was the Internet and how it was rapidly expanding and spreading all over the world. I was really lucky because my mother was a school teacher and had access to the Internet pretty early compared to my friends.

This meant that I also got to experience websites and the Internet starting in 1996. In my opinion, a big part of being online in the 90s was coming across GeoCities sites. What is GeoCities? email animated gifWell, grab a cup of tea and have a seat. coffee animated gifLet’s go!computers email
download ICQ old realplayer best viewed with netscape internet explorer button notepad made with macintosh

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Batman in Japan: Does it need The Dark Knight?

batman in japanIt can be interesting being a Batman fan when outside of the U.S. Let’s dig deeper and talk about Batman in Japan. He is (or was?) the most popular superhero in American pop culture. So how does he stack up in the land of the rising sun? You might be surprised!

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How to make a Japanese iTunes Account for exclusive content

japanese itunes cardsFor Japan-exclusive content, you’re going to need a Japanese iTunes account. Sometimes, there are things that are not available in our own store. I have two iTunes accounts, an American one and a Japanese one. You don’t have to know Japanese or live in Japan to make a Japanese iTunes account! I’ve made a visual guide to help those that want to make one and you don’t need a credit card to do it. Totally free!

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A guide to switching to a Japanese MVNO

Switching a sim card into the phone

If you live in Japan, you might be paying too much for a Japanese cell phone contract. I recently switched to a Japanese MVNO (Mobile Virtual Network Operator) and couldn’t believe the difference in my monthly bill. What if I told you that your monthly bill could go from 4000-5000 yen ($40-$50) to something around 1600 yen ($16)? That’s some major savings. I’m going to talk about the current major carriers, the differences, and how to switch to an MVNO.

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JLPT July 2015 Results

tryyourbestThe results for the JLPT July 2015 have been announced online. I took the N1 in December 2014 and July 2015. Long story short, I didn’t pass. However, I didn’t miss passing by too much, so let’s look at my score compared to the previous test and see how I improved and what I need to do for the future.

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Japanese Pizza: Weird, Expensive, and Fantastic

japanese pizzaI want to talk about something that is near and dear to my heart. Japanese Pizza. It’s essential for parties. It soothes your soul after a long, stressful week at work. It doesn’t judge you and is a good listener. Oh yeah, it also (usually) tastes  good.

Today I want to talk about Japanese pizza and how it differs from the way people see pizza in the US. Follow along with me as I use this post as a great excuse to talk about pizza.

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How to make Japanese friends online

make japanese friends online resources

Great, so you’re studying Japanese but have no one to talk with?

Have you considered trying to make Japanese friends online? When I was in high school in the US, I lived in an area where there were few opportunities to meet Japanese speakers or anyone from Japan. Instead, I used the Internet to find people my age that I could talk to.

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