Thursday, October 30, 2008

Happy Birthday Google Toolbar

Google toolbar turns 8. Happy Birthday.

from google blog

Eight candles for Google Toolbar

10/29/2008 09:00:00 AM
Google recently celebrated its 10th birthday. As we participated in the festivities, we realized that we are coming upon another birthday: In just a few weeks, our very own Google Toolbar will be turning 8 years old. To celebrate, we wanted to take a few moments to reflect on its evolution over the past few years and how we've tried to make the web a better place for the hundreds of millions of people who use Toolbar.

Back in 1999, the Internet was a very different place. At that time, you had to fight annoying pop-up ads that would randomly appear as you navigated from one page to another. You had to fill in endless forms with your personal information in order to create accounts for websites you wanted to use. And when you wanted to find information on your airline's luggage policy, you spent more time finding the right search terms to get you there than actually packing for your trip. The Toolbar team was formed to develop tools to make your web experience better, so we created features like pop-up blocker and AutoFill. We also built a dynamic search box that automatically guesses what you're typing and offers search suggestions in real time (click on the image to see larger).

Over the years, we've been proud to see several of the features we've pioneered integrated into web browsers as well as other websites. We're encouraged by this progress, but this doesn't mean that our mission is complete. We're still working hard to make the time you spend on the web more enjoyable and productive. On that note, we'd like to announce our latest release of Google Toolbar for Internet Explorer, now launching out of beta and available in 40 languages.

Here are just a few things you can do with this latest version:
- Add gadgets to your Toolbar to bring content from your favorite websites closer to you
- Synchronize your settings online to access your Toolbar from wherever you are
- Create multiple profiles in AutoFill to keep your business and personal information separate

To learn more about the different features, visit us at We'd also love to hear your feature ideas and other Toolbar feedback, so send us a quick note with your thoughts.

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Manga legend's work set for reprint

The original version of a classic manga comic written by Osamu Tezuka (1928-1989), will be reprinted for the first time in 62 years in February 2009 by Shogakukan Creative Inc., The Yomiuri Shimbun has learned.

"Shin Takarajima" (New Treasure Island) is an action adventure drama that was first printed by a small publisher in Osaka in January 1947. The manga marked the first time that Tezuka's works were published as an independent volume.

Existing copies of the original comic are extremely scarce, so most fans have so far been unable to read it. The reprint will commemorate the original publication and coincide with the 80th anniversary of the birth of Tezuka, known as the "god of Manga," sources said.

The famed manga artist is often credited with ushering in a cinematic approach to manga, using a combination of framing, sequences and juxtaposition to convey a feeling of speed in conjunction with a fast-paced storyline. "Shin Takarajima" was a best seller at the time, with about 400,000 copies flying off the shelves.

Tezuka's comics pioneered the postwar manga industry and shot him to fame. His other famous creations include "Astro Boy" and "Black Jack."

"Shin Takarajima" was said to have greatly influenced many other young manga artists of the time, including Shotaro Ishinomori, Fujio Fujiko and Reiji Matsumoto, which lead to the phrase "Shin Takarajima shock."

However, the sources said there was some dissatisfaction over the original edition in which the pictures and storylines were rendered by Shichima Sakai, leading to modifications in "The Complete Works of Tezuka Osamu," completed in 1984.

Meanwhile, due to the small number of copies of the original manga, which can fetch as much as 5 million yen on the used-book market, manga researchers and fans have been unable to get hold of the comic.

Shogakukan Creative took three years to negotiate with Tezuka Productions Co., which holds the copyright to Tezuka's works, before an agreement was reached on reprinting the first edition, the sources added.

The reprinted manga will contain 192 pages and is expected to cost a few thousand yen.

(Oct. 29, 2008)

Crunchyroll Gets Toei Anime Titles

Tuesday, October 28, 2008
By: Ryan Ball

Leading anime producer Toei Animation Co. Ltd. has partnered with online media distribution outlet Crunchyroll to provide subscription-based and download-to-own streams of Digimon Adventure 02, Fist of the North Star, Pretty Cure and Slam Dunk. The titles are now available for $1.99 each at

“A deal with abovementioned titles with Toei Animation is fantastic for Crunchyroll and the anime industry in the U.S. and international markets,” says Crunchyroll CEO Kun Gao. “It is great validation to have one of the oldest, largest Japanese animation studios using our platform to bring anime to a much larger audience and monetize through new digital channels.”

Digimon Adventure 02 takes place three years after the last adventure of Tai and his friends. New enemy Digimon Kaise, appears in the Digital World and is out use his considerable powers to control all Digimon. The crisis gives rise to a new generation of hero, the Veemon, which is able to combine with DigiMental to create a new type of Digimon.

Fist of the North Star is set in a time when war has turned the world into a nuclear wasteland. The oceans have dried up, the land is scorched and the surviving humans have relapsed into a violent society. In this world of mayhem, a drifter in possession of a lethal fighting style known as the Divine Fist of the North Star wanders the arid desert seeking to rescue his lover, Yuria.

Pretty Cure revolves around Nagisa and Honoka, eighth graders at the Verone Junior High School for girls, who encounter two mysterious creatures that came down from the sky one night. Named Mepple and Mipple, the creatures fled their homeland, known as the Field of Light, in order to escape an attack by the evil forces of Dotsuku Zone. They grant Nagisa and Honoka the power to transform into superheroes dubbed “Cure Black” and “Cure White,” who may be our planet’s only hope in battling the evil Dotsuku Zone.

Slam Dunk is a high-school drama about a young loser who goes out for the basketball team in hopes of winning the affection of a cute girl. In his quest for love, he sparks a rivalry with the team’s star rookie as they set out to win the championship.

Headquartered in San Francisco, Calif., Crunchyroll is a leading online entertainment brand focused on Asian entertainment including anime, drama and music. The company’s distribution channel and partnership program delivers content to more than four million viewers worldwide. Crunchyroll is funded by the group Venrock. More information can be found at


Google Earth for iPhone

Great google. Keep it up.

Introducing Google Earth for iPhone

10/27/2008 12:01:00 AM
Even before we introduced Google Earth back in 2005, the team had long dreamed of being able to carry the Earth around in your pocket. Well, today that dream becomes a reality as we introduce Google Earth for iPhone and iPod touch. With just a swipe of your finger you can fly from Peoria to Paris to Papua New Guinea, or anywhere in between. It may be small, but it brings all the power of Google Earth to the palm of your hand, including all of the same global imagery and 3D terrain. You can even browse any of our 8 million Panoramio photos or read Wikipedia articles.

With Google Earth for iPhone, you can:
• Tilt your iPhone to adjust your view to see mountainous terrain
• View the Panoramio layer and browse the millions of geo-located photos from around the world
• View geo-located Wikipedia articles
• Use the 'Location' feature to fly to your current location
• Search for cities, places and business around the globe with Google Local Search

It's available today in 18 languages and 22 countries in the iTunes App Store. To learn more, check out this video tour and read the blog post on the Lat Long Blog.

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