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WidgetBucks – the New Adsense?

Earn $$ with WidgetBucks!

The new ad program WidgetBucks has been getting a lot of buzz—both the good kind and bad. (but who was it who said ‘any publicity is good publicity’?)
Some people have complained about being kicked out of the program (presumably for violating the T&Cs). Others have complained they haven’t actually received a penny, but from the start WidgetBucks has said the first payout will be in December. WidgetBucks is a part of the Mpire empire which has a good reputation and a lot of internet experience. It is still too early to know for sure, but WidgetBucks does look promising.
It started in October and I’ve been trying it out pretty much from then, buy only on this blog. The ‘selling point’ for me was they were offering a $25 bonus for signing up. You have to earn another $25 to get to the payout level of $50, but if you have a semi-popular website, that shouldn’t be a problem. I haven’t made much, but this site doesn’t have a lot of traffic; plus I’ve kind of buried it to the bottom right. Thinking about it, I may try removing the ad to the right and adding a banner ad at the top to see how it performs. (done)
You may want to give a try, it seems to work very well for many people. Plus, at least for now, they are still offer $25 for new signups.

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Using the Nintendo DS to Learn Japanese: Kanji Sono Mama DS Rakubiki Jiten

Learn Japanese with the Nintendo DS Rakubiki jiten
漢字そのままDS楽引辞典 kanji sono mama DS rakubiki jiten

First a bit on the title:
漢字 kanji kanji
そのまま sono mama as is (just like that)
DS DS
楽引 rakubiki easy to lookup [楽 means ‘easy’ and 引く hiku with regard to dictionaries means ‘to lookup’] 辞典 jiten dictionary

‘Kanji as you see it, Easy to lookup DS Dictionary’
This is the software that almost turns your Nintendo DS into an electronic dictionary. Well, I guess it does, but it still can’t touch a standalone denshi jisho. The Kanji Sono Mama (henceforth abbreviated as such) contains three dictionaries:

  • Genius E-J 3rd Edition (95,000 words)
  • Genius J-E 2nd Edition (82,000 words)
  • Meikyou J-J

The Cons…
These are decent dictionaries, but despite the title there is no kanji dictionary. You can, however, lookup any kanji that is found in any of the three dictionaries. Also there are much larger dictionaries out there with better example sentences. Usually the most important dictionary for the English speaker is the Japanese-English since it is easy to come up with English synonyms to do lookups in a limited E-J dictionary, but if you are looking up a Japanese word you don’t know, the synonym trick won’t work.
The Pros…
Much, much cheaper than buying a standalone dictionary. Plus it can play games too! (Yes, the Nintendo DS actually has game software!) The Genius dictionaries are standard and of good quality, albeit a little small. You can write unknown kanji! The handwriting recognition is pretty good. I haven’t used it extensively, but just about every lookup I’ve done has displayed the right kanji the first time. I have heard some native Japanese speakers complain about it not choosing the right kanji, but I suspect the kanji drawn must be pretty complicated.
I made the following video a few months back.
[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F2McMUatkYM] I would recommend this for those who at least have hiragana down pat and know the meaning (and most pronunciations) of about 100-200 kanji. Keep in mind it is made for native Japanese speakers. Still, as you can see in the video, it is very useful for looking up Japanese words even (especially) when you don’t know the reading.
Here is our store link for more information.

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Nintendo DS to Learn Japanese

Learn Japanese with the Nintendo DSAbout a year ago I bought a Nintendo DS and a few kanji training ‘games’ from Japan. I was immediately impressed and decided to add several to our store’s line up. In the next few posts (sequential unless something else tickles my fancy), I would like to do a few spotlight reviews for each specific DS software I’ve tried.
The short of it all is none of the games are great for beginners. Upper beginners may make good use of any of them, but intermediates and advanced students will get the most out of them.
If you don’t have a DS, I would highly recommend it for study and play. Take a look at the reviews at Amazon for the Nintendo DS Lite. The ‘Lite’ means it is smaller than the original in size not power. It is the newest version and is not only lighter but has a better screen. The best thing is the US version (or any other country’s version – except China) will work with Japanese DS software! The touch screen with a stylus makes it ideal for language learning. Way to go Nintendo!

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TJP Site Move Part II

One reason I haven’t been consistent in posting here is most of my ‘free’ time is spent working on moving theJapanesePage.com to the new server and new setup.
The need for the move has been accelerated by the current server having Error 500 problems. Basically every few refreshes will give the viewer a white screen that simply says ‘Error 500’. Needless to say, this is annoying and not in the least bit good.
Finally, my host let me know we are using too many resources and an Error 500 is basically the server shutting us off when we spike. After looking at the logs, it looks like we had a major increase in viewership the last two months. A ‘Unique Visit’ represents an individual person visiting (but the same person may visit every day and thus count as ’30’ for the month).
2007unique-visits.png
TJP has been on a shared server but will be moving to a dedicated server shortly! Back to working on it…

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