Earth Rising

When business slows down around Christmas and the New Year, I

often find myself searching out old books and thinking (or trying to

think!) a little bigger about things. This Christmas Eve, I found a great

present in my newspaper - a beautiful piece by Oliver Morton, the

chief news and features editor of the journal Nature. 


Don't link to this until you can get yourself a hot cup of tea in a quite

place to sit down and enjoy it properly. (New York Times記事)

Unfortunately, the weblink doesn't include the original photo that was

in the paper - but I found it at a different site for everyone (here ).


Print this big in color first, then sit back and ENJOY!

jeffjapan at 11:28コメント(0)トラックバック(0)Ideas 



今月、東工大の社会人向けMOTコースCUMOTで、「BRAND MARKETING」のテーマで3回にわたって授業を担当しました。田町駅から1分しか離れていないキャンパス・イノベーション・センター(素晴らしい!)で実施。





シミュレーションの終了後はもちろん反省会(=飲み会)。アメリカの場合、ここでTrash Talkingになりそうですが、今回はTeasing程度の上品な集まり。でも3月にまた同じグループに当社のプロジェクトマネジメント系のシミュレーションをやっていただくことになっていますので、少しだけ「次回は結果を出してやるぞ」というムードとなっていた気がします。。。


jeffjapan at 10:10コメント(0)トラックバック(0)Simulations 


Text-to-Voice Japanese Study Aid

As an advanced Japanese speaker, I am even now frustrated at

not being able to pronounce kanji combinations that I see for the

first time. In most cases, I need to ask a native speaker or spend

time counting strokes and locating characters in my kanji dictionary -

which means in most cases that it is too troublesome, and I never

really get around to memorizing the words correctly. I notice this

most when trying to read Nikkei Shimbun articles or similar texts

that are outside my immediate area of expertise.


So I was excited to run across a very good Text-to-Speech engine

this past month when visiting the DevLearn08 conference in San Jose

where I gave a speech on international e-learning programs. The engine

is made by Neospeech, and on their website you can paste in up to

200 words of text for immediate playback. Check it out - but be sure

to choose the smooth-sounding "Misaki" for Japanese, because the

male voice named "Show" (!?) still clangs like a robot. 


Now when I run across something I can't pronounce, I copy/paste a

short section of text (about a paragraph) and have Misaki-chan read it

back for me. Kind of like a personal tutor - although I have to get the

meaning from somewhere else. I have tested it with difficult place names,

technical terms, katakana catchphrases, etc. and my Japanese

colleagues also confirm that it passes with flying colors. Give it a try!


They also have English (which seems fair enough - but my ear for that is

probably more critical), Korean, Chinese, and Spanish on the site as

well. If anyone can provide any input, I would be interested to know

whether the accents are natural for those languages as well.


For those out there that want to hear recent news in English, I suggest

you check out the website of my daily newspaper the International

Herald Tribune (IHT). There you can automatically play the audio for

any article right there on the site - although again to my ear the English

is a bit stilted...

jeffjapan at 19:21コメント(0)トラックバック(0)LearningFree Links