Sometimes the Internet is sluggish and you need to find out if your connection is the culprit. The usual routine to find out the connection speed is the following. First, switch to your browser. Then type out the address of one of the speed testing sites. Finally, navigate through, usually bloated and annoying, GUI. For those who cannot be bothered to do that (and are on *nix system), I have a simple trick to test internet speed in command line. You can just create an alias called speedtest. If you use bash, then running this command will do:
The other day I saw Baldur’s Gate: Enhanced Edition on sale on Steam. Without a second thought, I decided to check it out. After all, it was one of my favourite games. To my great surprise, when I turned the game on, it was all in Japanese! I always assumed there was some kind of region restriction on Steam, because no other game I own ever came with Japanese translation.
The developers did a fine job bringing the game closer to today’s standards. The new characters are interesting and the quick loot function is something I could not live without again. And while a lot of the community mods are not compatible with the Enhanced Edition, the number of the supported ones grows by the day. Learning Japanese while playing one of the best RPGs of all time - does it not sound great? Try Baldur’s Gate in Japanese today! And if you are still hesitant, there is even a new expansion in the works to lure you. So what are you waiting for? ;)
Last year, the Attack on the Titan attraction has opened in Universal Studios Japan in Ôsaka. It featured 15 m statues of Eren and the Female Titan. Naturally, it was an immense success. Now, to celebrate one year anniversary of its opening, the publishing house has released Kansaiben version of the first manga.
It has been 4 years since the Tôhoku Earthquake already. This tragedy has extinguished countless lives, but among the continuing problems at Hukusima Power Plant and reconstruction work delays, many people are still suffering from the ruin it has brought. In reaction, NHK Radio have released a 3 part special, where they revisit these areas to look at the current situation and speak with the locals about the disaster and the future. It is quite interesting. Unfortunately, NHK delete the podcasts from the feed after 2 days. So I have decided to upload them on Youtube:
On Seeing the 100% Perfect Girl One Beautiful April Morning is one of my favorite Murakami’s works and probably my favorite short story overall. I wholeheartedly recommend everybody to read it. Unfortunately, it was not published in Czech yet. Nor does it seem it will be anytime soon, so I have decided to translate it myself.
Jak jsem jednoho krásného dubnového rána potkal 100% dokonalou dívku
Jednoho krásného dubnového rána jsem v uličce na čtvrti Haradžuku prošel okolo 100% dokonalé dívky. Upřímně řečeno, nebyla zas tak pěkná. Nebo že by na ní něco poutalo pozornost. Ani na sobě neměla nijak skvělé šaty. Vlasy měla vzadu ještě po ránu rozcuchané a co se věku týče, nebyla už úplně mladá. Mohlo jí být tak ke třicíti. Technicky vzato, už to vlastně ani nebyla dívka. Bez ohledu na to, už z 50 metrů mi to bylo jasné. Ona je pro mě 100% dokonalou dívkou. V okamžiku, kdy jsem ji spatřil, se mi srdce rozbušilo jako o závod a v ústech mi vyprahlo jako na poušti.
Možná máte mezi holkami nějaký svůj typ. Třeba se vám líbí holky se štíhlými kotníky, nebo velkýma očima, potrpíte si na pěkné prsty nebo vás z nějakého důvodu přitahují dívky, co si pomalu vychutnávají jídlo. Já mám samozřejmě taky svůj typ. Někdy když jsem v restauraci, okouzleně pozoruju tvar nosu dívky u sousedního stolu. Ale popsat dokonalou dívku, to nikdo nedokáže. Jaký měla nos, to si vůbec nedokážu vybavit. Vlastně si ani dost dobře nepamatuju, jestli nějaký měla. Jediné co si vzpomínám, že to nebyla kdovíjaká kráska. Je to zvláštní.
Lately, when I check gaming news, I rarely see something unique I could get excited about. Survival sandbox game no. 2443, another Assassin’s Creed, the same old stuff. However, on Kickstarter, you can sometimes find hidden jewels. And Cube and Me is one of them. The gameplay is something I would best describe as tamagotchi rogue-like with the battle system similar to Marvel vs Capcom. And yes, it is every bit as awesome as it sounds.
In the opening scene, you find a crashed space vessel. And inside it, strange alien lifeforms — Cubes. You take them home, because who needs cats and dogs when you have Cubes as your pets, right? Your house constitutes one half of the gameplay. Inside there, you take care of your Cubes. In order to keep them happy, you have to wash them, feed them and so on. You can equip your house with TV, sofa, pictures and other furniture to make their life even more comfortable. And where do you get money for all of that? Well, you make living by folding envelopes. Yea, that’s right. As weird as it sounds, it actually makes for a fun mini-game and becoming an envelope-folding virtuoso takes quite the skill.
Just as you settle down a bit, you see the news about another spaceship crashing near California. Naturally, you decide to check it out and learn more about these mysterious creatures. Here comes the other part of the game, dungeoneering. If you have ever played a roguelike, you will be right at home. There are randomly generated rooms with monsters, treasures and all that jazz.
But what sets Cube and Me apart is the fighting system. When I say Marvel vs Capcom, I mean the craziness of dodging gazillion projectiles and enemies coming at you from all directions, blasting them with your hypers and calling for assists to light up the screen. It may not be as mechanically intensive, but it makes up for it with careful resource management. You can hold the Cubes with your mouse to move them around and enter hyper mode. But if you hold it for too long, you the cubes will overheat, leaving them at the mercy of your enemies. Which they will not show much of. In addition, you can leave your Cubes on elevated platforms to get some breathing room. But again, leave them there for too long and the platforms will crumble. And then, there are the temporary boosts. It is crazy, it is fun, and I assure you, you will love it.
The detailed and cute 2D pixel graphics is accompanied by an 8-bit soundtrack. Combine that with the slightly far-fetched sci-fi setting and you get a game that will take you right back into the SNES days. Cube and Me is currently in alpha state, with demo available. So, go ahead and try it. If you like it, do not forget support the game on Kickstarter, so it sees the light of the day.
On 8th October, Facebook has rolled out a feature we have all been waiting for - Kansaiben version. (Everyone is a Kansaiben lover, some people just don’t know it yet ;). Here is the release statement in Kansaiben:
For example, like has become ええやん！, comment つっこむ and share わけわけ, along with bunch of other stuff. So head straight into your language settings and give it a try! And if you also like Attack on the Titan, there is Kansaiben version of that too!
Studying new vocabulary is only really good if you learn the words in context. And finding the proper context for multiple words can be quite time-consuming. So I have decided to quicken the process by writing a small plugin for Anki (a great piece of SRS software, if you have not heard about it before), that pulls example sentences straight from the Tanaka Corpus. I have been using it for quite some time. Now, I have finally come around to polish it, so that other people can benefit from it, too. So, what does it actually do? The plugin comes with a custom model, which searches the Tanaka corpus for examples and then generates cloze cards out of them. (If the you are not using cloze deletion already, you really should try it in some form). It also generates the readings, supports multiple clozes per sentence and user edits. In theory, it should cover all your needs. Using the plugin is extremely easy. Just search for a Japanese expression,
choose an example sentence
and voilà, here is your card.
For any questions or bug reports, head over to the plugin’s page. You can download the plugin from there as well, but I recommend using the built-in Anki downloader - the code is 247705873. You can find other interesting stuff on my project page.