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Webster: April 2003

Author:Shaney Crawford, Issue: April 2003, Topic: Computers

Did you know that Tsukuba was home to the very first website in Japan? On September 30, 1992, Dr. Morita at our very own High Energy Accelerator Research Organization (KEK) launched a site that can be seen at the following address: http://www.ibarakiken.gr.jp/www/first/kek.html. The original computer that hosted the site was used as the KEK mail server until 2000. It is now on display in the Tsukuba City Information Network Center (across the street from the former University of Library and Information Science). More information can be found at http://www.ibarakiken.gr.jp, but it is unfortunately only in Japanese.

To find stuff on the enormous internet, most people use a search engine. There are two main types of search engines -- directory-based and crawlers. (Most, in fact, are hybrid, using a bit of both technologies.) Crawler-based search engines are indexed by machines that "crawl" through the web picking up new sites as they go. Directories are created manually by human indexing. The largest human-indexed directory is the Open Directory Project (ODP) which has over 3.8 million sites organized into over 460,000 categories by 55,635 editors -- all of whom are volunteers. If you like to surf the web and feel like you might be able to add your expertise to a certain category in the directory, please consider volunteering to add sites and edit descriptions. The "Japan" category has very few English editors so if you have a particular area of specialty, you will become a very valuable member of the team. Have a look at www.dmoz.org for details. Click on "become an editor" if you are interested in finding out more. (I am currently editing http://www.dmoz.org/Regional/Asia/Japan/Prefectures/Ibaraki and http://www.dmoz.org/Regional/Asia/Japan/Education/Teaching/JET_Program.)

"Lost in Translation" (http://www.tashian.com/multibabel) is a funny page that shows what happens when a sentence is machine-translated back and forth between 5 different languages. Enter a sentence and see what comes out. (Be sure to check the box for including Chinese, Korean and Japanese.) Here are some that I tried:

How are you? --> There it is a force of the impact? Super cali fragilistic expi ali docious --> Great expi flies fragilistic of the reduction docious. There was an old lady who swallowed a fly. --> With the strap sig.ra of the development one much period, of that interior transforms it into three.

Do you ever get those emails that ask for your extreme secrecy in exchange for a hefty deposit into your bank account -- signed by some very wealthy refugees of an African nation? I get a few of them every now and then, but I had no idea how widespread and varying the emails were. Have a look at www.scamorama.com to see just how ridiculous things have gotten.

<< The Cherry Blossoms are Coming: April 2003 | Master Index | Japanese Drivers Licenses, An Update >>


TsukuBlog is a daily blog for the foreign residents of the city of Tsukuba in Ibaraki, Japan. It is a sister site to Alien Times. It includes up-to-date information on events, news, living in Japan, Japanese culture, and more.

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