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Japan

Shoppers to Toshiba: You shouldn’t have bothered
Monday, February 25, 2008
Read the full story Home theater | Japan | Video 09:29 AM JMLH • PermalinkComments
Tagged with: hd dvd surveys toshiba

Even though we’ve heard of some fantastic customer service for Japanese early adopters of the failed HD DVD format, it seems not everyone’s happy with the brave face being put on by Toshiba.

Biotech nose filters keep delicate nostrils oh-so clean
Friday, February 22, 2008
Read the full story Household | Japan | Off Topic | WTF? 10:44 AM JMLH • PermalinkComments
Tagged with: hay fever pollen

The impending hay fever season here is kinda uncomfortable in a ‘contents of your sinuses pouring out of your nose’ way, so it’s a joy to report that the geniuses at Bio International Japan have come up with a high-tech way to keep all that runny junk up there where it belongs.

Honest / insane retailer swaps old HD DVD for new Blu-ray gear

Amid the rush to wring the last few pennies out of HD DVD’s rancid and yellowing corpse, at least one retailer has had the decency to front up and look after its unfortunate customers.

Japanese PC makers say crappy MacBook Air design drives cost up
Thursday, February 21, 2008
Read the full story Japan | Mobile computing | WTF? 08:31 AM JMLH • Permalink
Tagged with: apple macbook air teardown

Whatever your feelings on the MacBook Air – underpowered fancy Dan or a gorgeous lust bauble – it’s an undeniably superb feat of engineering. Or is it? A team of Japanese engineers has other ideas.

Brethalyzer phone keeps watchful eye on Japan’s truck drivers

Big tech companies like NTT DoCoMo come up with dozens of unusual applications for their gear every year, but most tend to end up consigned to glossy brochures that describe some anodyne ‘perfect’ future. One bizzaro contraption that is apparently out in the wild is Big D’s FOMA-based Videophone Alcohol Check System - as the above photo shows, it’s in use on at least one truck round these parts.

Please refrain from entrance of a man
Read the full story Japan | Off Topic | WTF? 04:45 AM JMLH • PermalinkComments
Tagged with: engrish

Splendid Engrish seen not in Shinjuku ni-chome, but in the childcare room at Diamond City shopping mall.

Tenga’s sexy-time toys lend hand in self-pleasure game
Tuesday, January 15, 2008
Read the full story Japan | Off Topic | WTF? 09:23 AM JMLH • PermalinkComments
Tagged with: gross sex tenga

OK, what have lukewarm cup noodles, dead squid, drilled watermelons, piping hotdog buns and creepy rubber dolls all got in common with the wonderfully named ‘Tenga New Adult Concept’?

Study shows Japanese children are addicted to phones
Monday, January 14, 2008
Read the full story Household | Internet | Japan | Wireless 08:18 AM JMLH • PermalinkComments
Tagged with: docomo kids

The latest research on the mobile phone habits of Japanese children may be music to the ears of phone providers, but the depth to which the gadgets have penetrated the lives of the young there is bound to set alarm bells ringing elsewhere.

Year-end figures show massive growth in Japanese gaming
Wednesday, January 09, 2008
Read the full story Gaming | Japan 06:42 AM JMLH • PermalinkComments
Tagged with: ds microsoft nintendo ps3 sony wii xbox

To the surprise of no one, the just-revealed sales figures for games hardware and software in Japan last year underline what a massive 12 months it was for the industry as a whole and Nintendo in particular.

Japanese public to Blu-ray, HD DVD - “Who the hell are you?”
Friday, December 14, 2007
Read the full story Home theater | Japan | Video 08:29 AM JMLH • PermalinkComments
Tagged with: blu-ray hd dvd surveys

We saw recently how Japanese sales figures for high-definition video recorders make worrying reading for the backers of HD DVD, so it’s no surprise that the latest data on the market for players and recorders as a whole shows more of the same.

Toshiba and Matsushita out of OLED TV race ... for now
Tuesday, December 11, 2007
Read the full story Displays | Japan | R&D 09:22 AM JMLH • PermalinkComments
Tagged with: oled toshiba matsushita

According to Japanese business paper the Nikkei, Toshiba and Matsushita’s much-vaunted plans to join Sony in the OLED TV market have been shelved after problems moving from the research lab to mass production.

Blu-ray wins 97 percent of Japanese high-def recorder market
Friday, November 23, 2007
Read the full story Home theater | Japan | Video 05:22 AM JMLH • PermalinkComments
Tagged with: blu-ray hd dvd hd tv

It’s hard to know what to make of the latest statistics on the battle for supremacy between Blu-ray and HD DVD because of the fact that they’re from Japan, home of so many of Blu-ray’s biggest backers. Nevertheless, the degree to which HD DVD has fallen behind in Japan in sales of the crucial high-end HD TV recorders is stark.

Roll-up solar panels power disaster rescue kit
Friday, November 09, 2007
Read the full story Household | Japan | Mobile computing | Wireless 04:10 AM JMLH • PermalinkComments
Tagged with: disasters earthquakes powerbanksystem solar

The latest piece of disaster recovery equipment to come out of Japan is an ingenious feat of engineering featuring one of the most unusual applications of solar technology that we’ve seen.

Sony uses Wi-Fi to pinpoint noodle shops
Thursday, November 01, 2007
Read the full story GPS | Japan | Software | Wireless | WTF? 08:59 AM JMLH • PermalinkComments
Tagged with: petamap placeengine ramen sony

Sony’s a strange company - on the one hand it appears every inch the industry giant striving to return to its former glory yet, on the other, it produces really bizarre products like its latest piece of software that uses Wi-Fi to locate noodle restaurants.

Rainbow of washlets to brighten up your toilet moments
Tuesday, October 30, 2007
Read the full story Household | Japan 04:58 AM JMLH • PermalinkComments
Tagged with: inax passo toilets washlet

Nothing to do with gadgets really - unless you count the bidet, deodorizer auto-open and drier functions - but ain’t these some purty potties?

Stripes, car seat covers and low specs for Nissan’s laptop

Uber nerdy Nissan fans in Japan are probably in moistest ecstasy right now after NEC announced that it is to sell a special edition laptop there done up to match the local equivalent of the car company’s Micra model.

Japanese Java application uses cellphones to stop perverts
Thursday, October 25, 2007
Read the full story Japan | Transportation | Wireless | WTF? 05:03 AM JMLH • PermalinkComments
Tagged with: chikan groping trains

That fine organ the Mainichi Daily News has word on a cellphone Java application intended to help women discretely ward off the wandering hands (and, presumably, other parts) of the gropers that plague Japan’s trains.

Water bottle humidifiers gush steam in a rainbow of colors

Humidifiers are essential in Japan’s dry winter, so quirky-looking little devices like CCP’s KZ-500AS, which vaporizes the contents of a regular plastic water bottle, are most welcome.

Cognitive radio group draws up 4G plans for Japan's smart phones
Tuesday, October 09, 2007
Read the full story Japan | R&D | Wireless 09:49 AM JMLH • PermalinkComments
Tagged with: 4g cognitive radio wi-fi wimax

Next time you’re stuck in a 2 or 3G phone black spot and cursing your choice of mobile network spare a thought for the balding bureaucrats of Japan who are struggling to create a framework [Subscription link] for something called cognitive radio as they plan for 4G in the near future.

Predictive text killing written word in Japan
Thursday, September 20, 2007
Read the full story Japan | Wireless 02:16 AM JMLH • PermalinkComments
Tagged with: dictionaries japanese kanji language writing

Cellphones have been blamed for a multitude of ills from unbearable train rides to brain tumors, but none can be as surprising as the Japanese government’s discovery that they are changing the way its citizens view their own complex writing system.

Japan Media Arts Festival 2006, Part 2: Animation Division

Ever since I first discovered CG-Arts and the Japan Media Arts Festival, I’ve been delighted to find that every year the festival features at least one short that looks and feels unlike any film I’ve ever seen—my criterion for an excellent film fest.

Sony says eyeVio can show YouTube the money
Friday, August 31, 2007
Read the full story Internet | Japan | Video 09:31 AM JMLH • PermalinkComments
Tagged with: advertising eyevio sony video sharing youtube

Sony’s attempt to create a video-sharing website to rival YouTube took a step forward this week when it announced that its eyeVio service was opening its doors to companies wishing to place video advertising.

Japanese pervs really, really, really love their fish
Wednesday, August 29, 2007
Read the full story Japan | Off Topic | WTF? 05:03 AM JMLH • PermalinkComments
Tagged with: fishy tales

OK, this can’t possibly be true, but trashy Japanese tabloid Jitsuwa Knuckles reckons Japanese fishermen are totally into their prey - literally into them, if you get the idea.

Sharp funds green gadget course at Japanese university
Tuesday, August 28, 2007
Read the full story Japan | R&D 06:08 AM JMLH • PermalinkComments
Tagged with: education environment sharp

With an increasing emphasis on ecological matters when it comes to both creating and disposing of modern consumer technology, it’s logical to see high-tech firms get involved in education, which is exactly what’s happening with Sharp in Japan.

Origins of anime before Tetsuwan Atom
Monday, August 27, 2007
Read the full story Film, TV, manga & anime | Interviews | Japan 04:45 AM Emru Townsend • PermalinkComments
Tagged with: astro boy digital meme

Digital Meme’s recent Japanese Anime Classic Collection isn’t just a boxed set, it’s a godsend: it goes a long way toward clarifying things about anime’s origins, or fleshing out what we already knew.

Wrestling machine snaps players' arms in two
Wednesday, August 22, 2007
Read the full story Gaming | Japan | WTF? 07:31 AM JMLH • PermalinkComments
Tagged with: arcade games arm wrestling safety

In one of the most peculiar tech-related stories we’ve seen in recent weeks (not including satire, of course), a Japanese games company has recalled dozens of its arcade machines to stop them breaking players’ limbs.

Why Motorola and co sweat buckets when earthquakes hit Japan
Friday, August 17, 2007
Read the full story Japan | Wireless 09:13 AM JMLH • PermalinkComments
Tagged with: components motorola murata nokia

When it comes to global cellphone sales it’s no secret – but it is an eternal surprise – that Japanese handset makers have long been miserable flops.

Dancing muppet robot rocks out in Tokyo
Thursday, August 16, 2007
Read the full story Japan | Robots 07:45 AM Tim Hornyak • PermalinkComments
Tagged with: groovy keepon nict

With Tokyo in an intense heat wave, there’s nothing like a dancing robot to lift one’s spirits from the humid doldrums. The great video after the jump from Wired and my roboticist pal Marek Michalowski features the ‘creature-like’ robot Keepon developed at Japan’s National Institute of Information and Communications Technology’s (NICT) Kyoto research center.

Japanese DVD distributor reckons Ricky Gervais is a total wranker
Tuesday, August 14, 2007
Read the full story Film, TV, manga & anime | Japan | Off Topic | WTF? 05:15 AM JMLH • PermalinkComments
Tagged with: dvd gervais office

Office co-creator and Herculean foulmouth Ricky Gervais is many things, but I never knew he was such a wranker.

Cellphone novel downloads outstrip paper books in Japan
Friday, August 10, 2007
Read the full story Internet | Japan | Wireless 09:34 AM JMLH • Permalink
Tagged with: novels publishing

When we reported last year on the rapid spread in Japan of novels designed to be read on cellphones we could hardly have guessed that they would be outselling print publications within a few months, but that’s exactly what has happened in the first half of 2007.

Fujitsu’s jumbo 231in display tops them all
Monday, August 06, 2007
Read the full story Displays | Japan 09:39 AM JMLH • Permalink
Tagged with: advertising frontech fujitsu

There are big TVs, ridiculously big TVs and then those sets that just make you wonder about people who own them, but out gunning all of those categories of ways to waste money is a new 231in display from Fujitsu.

Panasonic electric car does 100km/h on 192 double AAs

We’re really hoping that if Panasonic is planning to market its new Oxyride electric car at Christmastime it manages to include a few packs of batteries in the box to keep the kids happy past lunchtime.

Japanese soccer star Shunsuke Nakamura now available as tasty rice topping

Yes, I know it’s weird and definitely not a gadget but what could be less appetizing than flavorizing your bowl of rice with the essence of Japanese sports stars?

Nissan concept car bristling with Big-Brother technology
Friday, August 03, 2007
Read the full story Japan | R&D | Transportation 08:52 AM JMLH • PermalinkComments
Tagged with: drunk-driving nissan safety

As we’ve seen before, Nissan Japan is actively developing and employing technologies to increase the safety of their vehicles, with a particular emphasis on combating drunk driving and minimizing the impact of accidents.

Japan plans car equivalent of Windows to dominate automotive market
Tuesday, July 31, 2007
Read the full story Japan | R&D | Software | Transportation 09:09 AM JMLH • PermalinkComments
Tagged with: cars jaspar os software

It’s not always obvious because we don’t directly interface with it, but even the cars we drive have their own software these days, which is why a group of Japanese companies are putting their heads together to create the equivalent of Windows to dominate the automotive arena.

Explosive mixi SNS does a Facebook in Japan, draws 1 in 7 web users
Monday, July 30, 2007
Read the full story Internet | Japan | Wireless 09:36 AM JMLH • PermalinkComments
Tagged with: facebook mixi networking sns

Unless you’ve been – in internet terms at least – hiding under a rock the last few months, you’ll be well aware of the amazing growth of Facebook, the social-networking site (SNS) that reaches people who never thought they’d fall for an SNS.

Google brings Gmail to mobile phones in Japan

As Google continues its bid for domination of the internet, particularly in the expanding mobile arena, we hear word from Japan of the US company offering a customized version of its Gmail email service to phone users there.

Japanese firms aiming to serve fresh manga to geeky iPhone owners
Friday, July 27, 2007
Read the full story Internet | Japan | Wireless 03:15 AM JMLH • Permalink
Tagged with: iphone manga monkey punch

As if Apple’s iPhone didn’t already have enough geek appeal, a Japanese company has announced a deal to bring manga comics to the tedious wonderphone later this year.

Giant robot grabbing hands grab all they can
Wednesday, July 18, 2007
Read the full story Japan | Robots 04:51 AM JMLH • PermalinkComments
Tagged with: earthquakes enryu tmsuk

Japanese robotics specialist Tmsuk has more than just a name to conjure with - it also produces one of the largest robots known to man; the all-conquering Enryu T-53 [PDF].

Sony adds bling to Walkman with Swarovski rhinestone topping
Tuesday, July 17, 2007
Read the full story Audio | Japan 08:56 AM JMLH • Permalink
Tagged with: abiste designer sony swarovski walkman

Most so-called ‘designer’ gadgets for women are thinly veiled attempts to flog existing products at the end of their life-cycles, so it’s a pleasant surprise to see a decent-looking - albeit technologically old-hat - feminine flash Walkman from Sony in Japan.



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