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You can tune into CNN, MSNBC, Northwest Cable News or any number of cable channels for the latest news on the 8.9 magnitude earthquake that hit Japan. But if you want to get a Japanese perspective on the tragedy, Comcast early this morning unencrypted the signal for TV Japan. That means digital cable customers can now watch broadcasts from the 24-hour news channel.

Washington state digital cable customers can tune in on channel 245, which is normally a premium cable channel. It will be available for one week, free of charge to digital cable customers in the state, according to a spokesman.

Meanwhile, YouTube is showcasing videos of the earthquake on its “Citizen Tube” channel, including this one of the destruction inside a grocery store.

The massive earthquake is drawing huge response on Twitter and other social media channels, including from some technology luminaries in Seattle.

“My heart goes out to everyone in Japan affected by the quake/tsunami,” wrote Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen in a recent Tweet.  “Hoping my friends there are ok.”

Cnet also reports on how social networks are helping to fill the gap on the overloaded communications infrastructure in Japan.

Meanwhile, mobile phone users can help the relief efforts with a $10 donation by texting REDCROSS to 90999, with all proceeds going to the Japan earthquake and pacific tsunami.

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