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Masaya Nakamura, Founder of Namco and Pac-Man Creator, Dies at 91

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SAN FRANCISCO (Diya TV) – Masaya Nakamura, a Japanese toy entrepreneur whose company’s most enduring creation, Pac-Man, became a worldwide phenomenon, died on Jan. 22. He was 91 years old.

His death was announced on Monday by Bandai Namco. No cause was given, and the company did not say where he died.

Nakamura began exploring amusement in business form first in 1955, a decade after Japan’s defeat in World War II. The nation’s economy was slowly springing back to life, the somber mood of the first postwar decade was retreating, and the Japanese were once again ready to begin embracing fun and games.

He wouldn’t rise to true fame until the the world’s obsession for video games was born.

Nakamura was an early believer in their potential. In the 1970s, he hired software engineers and directed his growing company, Nakamura Manufacturing – later renamed Namco – to develop titles for arcades. His company’s first hit was Galaxian, a Space Invaders-esque game that he sold to American company Midway Games in 1979. Pac-Man was born the following year.

The brainchild of 25-year-old Namco employee Toru Iwatani, who would later say that he was inspired by the shape of a pizza with a slice missing. The “Pac” came from the Japanese onomatopoeic word “pakku,” equivalent to the English “gobble” or “munch.”

“I never thought it would be this big,” Mr. Nakamura told an interviewer in 1983, after the game took the world by storm. “You know baseball? Well, I knew it would not be a single. But I thought maybe a double, not a home run.”

In the decades since Pac-Man’s release, video games have grown increasingly violent and complicated, but Pac-Man remains child-friendly, accessible and challenging. Versions of Pac-Man or one of its spinoffs exist on different gaming platforms and are readily available online, such as a ps2 iso of a Pac-Man title. Though the true numbers are unknown, it’s estimated that millions of work hours were squandered after Google hosted a game of Pac-Man on it’s website in 2010. That’s right, they released a playable version of the game with no strings attached for people of all ages to play.

In the 36 years since its release, it is estimated to have been played more than 10 billion times. The Smithsonian Institution and the Museum of Modern Art have Pac-Man machines in their collections.

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US sends aid, and bans travel from India

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US ends aid, bans travel from India | Diya TV News

NEW DELHI (Diya TV) — The Covid-19 crisis continues to spiral out of control in India. And now the U.S. is instituting a travel ban.  It goes into effect on May 4 but won’t apply to U.S. citizens or permanent residents and their spouses. Meanwhile foreign aid is flowing into India from places like Israel, America, and Germany.

Sikh’s in Indianapolis held a memorial service to remember the victims of the Fed Ex facility shooting last month. Four of the people who died were from the Sikh community.  Police have not identified a motive for the shooting, yet. It’s unclear if the shooter, a former employee at the facility, was targeting Sikhs. There are a high number of Sikhs, immigrants and refugees who work in the facility.

And mega stars from the Indian diaspora raised more than 3 million dollars for Covid-19 relief in India.  Jay Shetty, Lilly Singh, Deepak Chopra, and Jay Sean. The virtual event was called help India Breathe and aired on Diya TV. The funds are going to three major areas of relief on the ground including food, direct cash transfers to families, and makeshift hospitals.

You can watch the fundraiser and still continue to donate:

Ravi Kapur contributed to this report.

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American Coronavirus aid arrives in India

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American Covid-19 aid arrives in India | Diya TV News

NEW DELHI (Diya TV) — American aid is finally starting to arrive in Covid-19 battered India as vaccination sites run out of shots and thousands of people gasp for air. A U.S. military transport plane delivered more than 400 oxygen cylinders, nearly one million rapid coronavirus test kits, and other supplies. The country has been reporting an average of more than 350,000 new cases of Covid infections every day for the past week.

After seven hours of public comment and testimony from hundreds of people on whether caste should be added to the county’s non-discrimination policy, the Santa Clara Human Rights Commission deferred their vote pending futher testimony and likely another public hearing. Equality Labs and the Hindu American Foundation each made presentations for and against this potential new category at the hearing, that was broadcast exclusively on Diya TV.
Watch the full event here:

Vice President Kamala Harris and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi made history during President Joe Biden’s address to a joint session of Congress just by taking their seats — marking the first time two women would be sitting behind the President.  Biden’s Indian American chief speech writer Vinay Reddy wrote the president’s address, adding to the historic evening.

Ravi Kapur contributed to this report.

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Death toll rises as Covid supplies head to India

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Death toll rises as Covid supplies head to India | Diya TV News

NEW DELHI (Diya TV) — No end in sight to India’s deepening Covid-19 crisis as the number of new virus cases in the country shatter records. India added nearly 400 thousand new cases on Thursday, breaking the record set a day earlier, boosting the country’s death toll to more than 200 thousand. US officials have urged Americans to leave the country because of the deteriorating conditions.

Several members of the Dalit community and their supporters are addressing the Santa Clara Human Rights Commission to discuss their experiences with caste discrimination. They want the commission to recommend that the Board of Supervisors make caste a legally protected category against discrimination like race, age, gender and sexual orientation. Equality Labs is pushing this agenda but critics say it is anti-Indian and anti-Hindu.

And the Senate overwhelmingly passed an Asian Hate crimes bill and created a new position at the Justice Department to fast track reviews of potential Covid-19 related hate crimes. 

Ravi Kapur contributed to this report.

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