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Japan

Toilet transformer zaps old-style Japanese squatters into the 21st century
Wednesday, July 11, 2007
Read the full story Household | Japan | Off Topic 03:40 AM JMLH • PermalinkComments
Tagged with: squatting toilets transformers

Japanese residents tired of squatting when they go to the smallest room can get themselves all Westernized thanks to the latest in new-fangled toilet converters from Inax.

Scanning pen reads out loud to speed up language learning

Learning a new language isn’t always the most fun activity for many people, especially during the endless hours of repetitive listening to tapes or CDs needed to learn how to understand the spoken word. Fortunately, a novel study aid from Japanese firm Imajinsha aims to make the time-consuming donkey work a little easier with its new polyglot pen.

Japanese nano-tech breakthrough gives us world's first turd-themed flashlight
Tuesday, July 10, 2007
Read the full story Japan | Off Topic | Toys | WTF? 06:10 AM JMLH • Permalink
Tagged with: straps turds unchi

We all know Japan loves its fake turds, particularly atop buildings or dangling from cellphones, but this is the first we’ve seen that doubles as a flashlight.

Japan's high-def space camera to orbit the moon
Friday, July 06, 2007
Read the full story Japan | Video 09:18 AM JMLH • PermalinkComments
Tagged with: jaxa moon satellites

Those tedious arguments about whether or not the Apollo moon landings were staged could be all over next month when Japan launches its Selene satellite on the most extensive lunar mission since the US program ended in 1975. On board the probe will be the first space-going high-definition movie camera to be pointed directly at the moon.

Apple employee reveals iPhone launch plans for Japan
Read the full story Japan | Wireless 05:39 AM JMLH • PermalinkComments
Tagged with: iphone rumors

Sure, it’s still speculation, but we give some credence to suggestions of an iPhone launch in Japan when it comes straight from the horse’s mouth. The horse in this case is an Apple Japan account exec looking to place an ad in a particular Tokyo-published magazine.

We Heart Tokyo: When East and West collide and get all gooey
Wednesday, July 04, 2007
Read the full story Announcements | Japan | Off Topic 10:09 AM JMLH • PermalinkComments
Tagged with: dating launches matchmaking we heart websites

Regular visitors might have noticed - via links like the one at the page head, at the end of stories or over there on the far right - that we’ve moved into the dating website business and you might wonder why…

Japanese homes get earthquake-alert boxes
Friday, June 29, 2007
Read the full story Household | Internet | Japan 09:29 AM JMLH • PermalinkComments
Tagged with: earthquakes warnings

We’ve already seen a Japanese system that uses mobile phones to give advance warning of the earthquakes that plague the seismically hyperactive archipelago, so it was inevitable that something similar would arrive for domestic use.

PlaceEngine Wi-Fi mapping spreads wings beyond Sony
Thursday, June 28, 2007
Read the full story Gaming | GPS | Internet | Japan | Software | Wireless 05:41 AM JMLH • PermalinkComments
Tagged with: mapping placeengine psp sony wi-fi

Confirming the promise we saw in Sony’s GPS-shunning PlaceEngine application recently, comes the news that Japanese mapping giant Edia will use it in its next round of navigation software.

First iPhone muggings reported - and it hasn't even launched yet ...
Wednesday, June 27, 2007
Read the full story Audio | Japan | Wireless | WTF? 09:24 AM JMLH • Permalink
Tagged with: apple fiction iphone

Reports from Japan say the first incident in a predicted wave of iPhone-centric street robberies has occurred a full two days before the US launch of Apple’s world-changing, famine-ending, disease-curing ‘Jesus phone’ that is destined to be all things to all men.

Nintendo rocks stock market, outperforms Sony for first time
Tuesday, June 26, 2007
Read the full story Gaming | Japan 09:03 AM JMLH • PermalinkComments
Tagged with: capitalism ds nintendo sony wii

If you’re even just marginally into video games, you’ll know that Nintendo has been taking all the plaudits over the last year or two thanks to the runaway success of its DS handheld machines and the more-recent Wii console.

Networked drinks machines keeping the peace

The largest city in western Japan has just seen the start of an unusual security trial that uses IC tags, GPS and drinks vending machines to make the streets a little safer.

Book tour: Japanamerica by Roland Kelts
Monday, June 25, 2007
Read the full story Events | Interviews | Japan | Robots | Toys 09:07 AM JMLH • PermalinkComments
Tagged with: books culture japanamerica manga

DWT friend and all-round good-egg Roland Kelts has a new book out about the bizarre and intriguing bonds between the cultures of Japan and the US. Japanamerica touches on everything from manga to maniacs, so get your click on and hear what Roland has to say for himself after the jump. PS If you’re in Tokyo, don’t miss the chance to get it straight from the horse’s mouth tomorrow night - details at the end.

Nostalgic Japanese schoolbag case for iPod shuffle
Friday, June 22, 2007
Read the full story Audio | Japan | WTF? 06:24 AM JMLH • PermalinkComments
Tagged with: cases ipod knapsack landoresu shuffle

Trading on nostalgia never hurt any company with an eye on the bottom line, which is obviously what Digital Cowboy had in mind when it created its ‘iPod shuffle Randoseru Carrying Case’ - a faux leather shuffle cover in the style of an elementary-school satchel.

Softbank helps drunks find missing cellphones, moms locate kids
Tuesday, June 19, 2007
Read the full story GPS | Household | Japan | Wireless | WTF? 04:04 AM JMLH • PermalinkComments
Tagged with: lost phones softbank toilets

Here in Japan, Softbank Mobile - the brand Vodafone Japan transformed into last year - is about to launch a service that will surely appeal to the nation’s legendary drunken Friday-night salarymen who seem to have a habit of leaving their phones anywhere but their pockets.

Say it ain't so: stick-on goatees for follicly challenged Japanese men
Friday, June 15, 2007
Read the full story Household | Japan | WTF? 06:48 AM JMLH • PermalinkComments
Tagged with: bald chins beards fake goatees

Everyone knows that when it comes to wasting money on unnecessary luxuries there’s gullible and then there’s plain stupid - you can be the judge on this one, as I’ve lost all sense of what passes for normal here in Japan.

Undead Japanese gadgets provoking fear and loathing at 30,000 feet
Monday, June 11, 2007
Read the full story GPS | Japan | Transportation | Wireless | WTF? 09:04 AM JMLH • PermalinkComments
Tagged with: airlines big brother paranoia safety

The tense security climate that airlines worldwide currently operate in is now bringing an unexpected technical challenge for both passengers and staff, as Japanese carriers have been finding out recently.

Japanese cellphones to warn of earthquakes, bring down email systems?
Thursday, May 31, 2007
Read the full story Japan | Wireless 05:57 AM JMLH • Permalink
Tagged with: docomo earthquakes kddi softbank

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Anyone who’s ever been through a major earthquake will immediately recognize the value of an early-warning system being planned by Japan’s largest mobile phone operators.

Coin-op drinks machines vend free with ads
Friday, May 11, 2007
Read the full story Displays | Japan | WTF? 01:33 AM JMLH • PermalinkComments
Tagged with: advertising bargains vending machines

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If you thought commercialism of all sorts and advertising in general were pervasive in the West, then you’ve probably never been to Japan, where inducements to buy have been elevated to an art form.

Sony will sell PlayStation Network Tickets at Japanese corner stores
Wednesday, May 09, 2007
Read the full story Gaming | Japan 07:17 PM JMLH • PermalinkComments
Tagged with: gaming playstation ps3

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Sony Japan announced yesterday that it would make life a little easier for gamers wishing to use their PS3 consoles to buy and download online games and other content from the PlayStation Store by providing pre-paid cards exclusively for that purpose.

Japan unlearns how to use computers
Monday, May 07, 2007
Read the full story Desktop PCs | Japan | WTF? 07:05 PM JMLH • PermalinkComments
Tagged with: mixi yahoo

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When it comes to Japan, it’s commonplace to see a lot of drivel and preconceptions pushed as fact by ill-informed Western media, particularly when it comes to stories about technology and how it is used there.

Japanese quantum computer breakthrough heralds end of weak, fleshy humanity
Saturday, May 05, 2007
Read the full story Japan | R&D | WTF? 01:44 AM JMLH • PermalinkComments
Tagged with: quantum computer qubits subatomic particles

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Quantum computers that manipulate subatomic particles to perform lightning-fast calculations came closer to reality recently when a Japanese team demonstrated that it had created a quantum circuit that could control the building blocks of atoms.

Ordinary cellphones to make satellite calls to Japan’s 50m dish in the sky

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Satellite phone calls are set to come to the masses within a few years through the Japanese government’s plan to launch an orbiter with a ‘mega antenna’ so large ordinary cellphones will be able to pick up its signal with only slight modifications in their design.

Japan’s QR barcodes soon to include images and video to attract fickle idiots
Wednesday, May 02, 2007
Read the full story Japan | Wireless 08:20 PM JMLH • Permalink
Tagged with: barcodes qr codes

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Last month we looked at the next-generation barcodes commonly found in Japan and pondered why few people seem to actually use them. It seems we aren’t alone in thinking that something can be done to encourage their use, as the latest versions of the QR Codes now include images and video.

ISP offers home security updates by mobile phone

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Mid-sized Japanese ISP and telecoms provider J:COM is launching a domestic security package that will rival, at least in part, the U-Consento service we saw from NTT last week in the intelligent-home stakes.

Anti-AIDS red RAZR phone arrives in Japan
Saturday, April 21, 2007
Read the full story Japan | Wireless 02:40 AM JMLH • PermalinkComments
Tagged with: docomo razr red

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The continuing march of the limited-edition (Product) Red goods that are part of the eponymous charity’s drive to raise funds for AIDS relief and research across the world reached Japan today, when Motorola unveiled its red RAZR for the market here.

Japan’s pedestrians to show up on in-car sat-nav systems
Thursday, April 19, 2007
Read the full story GPS | Japan | R&D | Transportation 01:41 AM JMLH • PermalinkComments
Tagged with: nissan safety

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Nissan, which is apparently on a mission to push cars into a new era in Japan, this week announced the latest stage in ongoing research into using technology to reduce traffic accidents, particularly those involving pedestrians.

USB Humping dogs in down ‘n durrty foursome
Friday, February 16, 2007
Read the full story Japan | Toys | WTF? 06:24 PM JMLH • Permalink
Tagged with: humping dogs

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Looks like YouTuber pireze has been up to no good with his USB Humping Dogs — just check out the sordid scene he’s coerced them into in the vid after the jump.

Cellphone novels bring kinky storytelling to the hard of seeing
Thursday, November 30, 2006
Read the full story Internet | Japan | Wireless 05:02 AM JMLH • PermalinkComments
Tagged with: novels publishing

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Cellphones in Japan are so much better than yours — heck, they even allow you to ruin your eyesight by squinting at FULL NOVELS on those tiny screens.

Bird flu bites the dust thanks to Panasonic’s filters
Tuesday, September 26, 2006
Read the full story Household | Japan 02:27 AM JMLH • Permalink
Tagged with: flu health panasonic

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Panasonic reckons it has found the perfect way to make us all feel safe in our own homes at last — it claims that its air-filtering Super Alleru-Buster technology can all but eliminate the bird flu virus from air it comes into contact with.

Preparing for earthquakes the high-tech way
Sunday, September 03, 2006
Read the full story Household | Japan 05:58 PM JMLH • PermalinkComments
Tagged with: earthquakes

060903_Japan_earthquake_tn.jpg

Japan is well known for its many peculiar festivals but not so many people are familiar with the regular large-scale drills held here to prepare for earthquakes and other natural disasters. Naturally, these drills now involve cellphone companies and other services reliant on technology.

Find out more in our video report on exactly how it’s done in Nippon after the jump.

Biometric tagging of criminals raises hackles
Monday, August 28, 2006
Read the full story Japan | R&D 01:17 AM Steve Trautlein • PermalinkComments
Tagged with: biometrics

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As Japan’s mania for vein-authentication technology shows no signs of slacking off, the country’s first private-run prison has announced plans to keep tabs on its inmates by encoding their biometric info on IC cards.

World’s first battery-powered manned plane takes regular AAs
Wednesday, July 19, 2006
Read the full story Japan | R&D | WTF? 07:39 PM JMLH • PermalinkComments
Tagged with: aircraft batteries oxyride panasonic

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Biometrics hit Tokyo library
Wednesday, December 28, 2005
Read the full story Japan | R&D 06:01 AM JMLH • PermalinkComments
Tagged with: biometrics

Fujitsu_Palm_Vein_ATM.jpg

Japanese library users are set to make the rest of the world feel even more low-tech than usual when they start checking out books using palm-vein authentication technology.

Inevitable Snoopy iPod nano
Sunday, December 25, 2005
Read the full story Audio | Japan 03:35 AM Paul Kallender • PermalinkComments
Tagged with: audio ipod japan nano snoopy
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With about the same predictability as night following day, a Japanese company has come up with a Peanuts-themed iPod. Runa is offering a run of 1,000 of these customized 2GB nanos.



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