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WTF?

Japan aims to exploit sea-bed methane, end life as we know it
Thursday, August 21, 2008
Read the full story Household | Japan | Off Topic | WTF? 03:34 AM JMLH • Permalink
Tagged with: energy environment methane hydrate

Worrying news from the Nikkei this morning as the august organ reports that Japan has made concrete plans to exploit methane hydrate deposits on the ocean floor 1km down in a wide area off its coast.

Japanese salty dogs watch fish prices online to get best prices
Read the full story Internet | Japan | Wireless | WTF? 12:57 AM JMLH • Permalink
Tagged with: fishing kanazawa

As fish supplies dwindle and competition among commercial fishing boats intensifies, a group of Japanese trawlermen have turned to the internet to give themselves an edge.

Iron Man, Hancock, Dark Knight ... Retarder Elf?
Friday, August 01, 2008
Read the full story Japan | Off Topic | Transportation | WTF? 11:57 PM JMLH • Permalink
Tagged with: trucks

Picture. Thousand words. Etc…

Humping Dog 2.0 - new breeds, new era of USB tackiness
Read the full story Toys | WTF? 02:18 AM JMLH • Permalink
Tagged with: humping dogs usb

Who needs boring old floppy-eared USB Humping Dogs when you can have a kennel full of all-new pointy-headed love hounds!

They’re back and they’re bad - USB Humping Dogs are here again!
Saturday, July 26, 2008
Read the full story Toys | WTF? 02:36 AM JMLH • Permalink
Tagged with: humping dogs usb

Just in time for that well-known summer gift-giving season, we’ve managed to get our paws on a small supply of USB Humping Dogs and they’re yours for the asking.

Spreadable electronics mean OLED TVs may power themselves
Friday, May 16, 2008
Read the full story Displays | R&D | WTF? 03:04 AM JMLH • PermalinkComments
Tagged with: mitsubishi oled solar sumitomo

Not satisfied with a future vision that already includes flexible screens and wafer-thin phones, a pair of Japanese companies has pushed the envelope to come up with far-fetched gadgets that do all of the above without ever going near a power socket.

Paranoid simpletons welcome all-seeing car nav system
Thursday, May 15, 2008
Read the full story Household | Transportation | WTF? 12:48 AM JMLH • PermalinkComments
Tagged with: 1-seg gps panasonic sat-nav strada tv

Come the end of next month, one of the last refuges of escape from the digital onslaught of the modern world will be cruelly ripped from us, when Panasonic’s new, fully connected car navigation system goes on sale.

Mobile barcodes now speak to us – quite literally…
Wednesday, April 02, 2008
Read the full story Wireless | WTF? 11:14 AM JMLH • Permalink
Tagged with: qr codes voice qr

Like many Far-Eastern technologies, Japan’s QR Code gets attention in the West more for being exotic than for any real benefit it brings, so we fully expect the latest all-singing version of the 2D barcode to follow suit.

Electric TV scaffold helps gamers Wii standing up
Friday, March 07, 2008
Read the full story Gaming | Household | WTF? 09:52 AM JMLH • Permalink
Tagged with: thanko tv wii

If you’re in Japan, a Wii fan and have ¥69,800 ($675) to spare, you might want to bung it towards the chuckle brothers who run Thanko, that great purveyor of all things ridiculous.

Crazy or crazy smart? Toshiba boss bets house on standard DVD
Wednesday, March 05, 2008
Read the full story Home theater | Video | WTF? 11:01 AM JMLH • PermalinkComments
Tagged with: blu-ray hd dvd toshiba

Anyone familiar with the conservative nature of big Japanese business will tell you that Toshiba’s decision to drop HD DVD like a hot brick was almost unseemly in its haste, even though the firm had little choice.

Cholera, ‘flu and many more diseases tackled by eating rice
Monday, March 03, 2008
Read the full story Household | R&D | WTF? 08:17 AM JMLH • PermalinkComments
Tagged with: disease medical university of tokyo

A seemingly bizarre experiment in genetically engineering plants has come up with a strain of rice that could make vaccination injections a thing of the past.

Panasonic Blu-ray boss says HD DVD death was suicide
Tuesday, February 26, 2008
Read the full story Home theater | Interviews | Video | WTF? 09:34 AM JMLH • PermalinkComments
Tagged with: blu-ray hd dvd panasonic pontifications toshiba

One of the marketing bigwigs behind Blu-ray has gone public with an astonishing claim that Toshiba has only itself to blame for the flop that was HD DVD.

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.

Casio plans to kill off camera shutter button, eliminate feeble humans
Wednesday, January 30, 2008
Read the full story Digital cameras & camcorders | WTF? 08:35 AM JMLH • PermalinkComments
Tagged with: casio ef-x1 feeble humans

Casio’s new 60 frames-per-second EX-F1 super camera may have some impressive numbers backing it up but what we didn’t expect was a claim from the Japanese company that it might be the first step towards doing away with shutter buttons on digital cameras.

Samsung patronizes half world with rubbish ‘female’ phones
Thursday, January 24, 2008
Read the full story Wireless | WTF? 08:50 AM JMLH • PermalinkComments
Tagged with: patronizing samsung

Hey ladies – are our normal, well-specced phones too much for your pretty little heads? Thought so – you should try our new handsets made just for you. They’re rubbish, but y’know – they’re sparkly.

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’?

Polaroid mashes DVD player into iPod dock for some reason
Friday, December 07, 2007
Read the full story Displays | Transportation | Video | WTF? 03:55 AM JMLH • PermalinkComments
Tagged with: dvd ipod polaroid

We’d have thought that most people who watch movies and TV shows on their iPods have probably moved on from carrying about portable DVD players as well, but apparently - judging by its latest product - Polaroid Japan missed that meeting.

NEC spy camera draws its power from fluorescent light tubes
Monday, December 03, 2007
Read the full story Digital cameras & camcorders | R&D | WTF? 08:54 AM JMLH • Permalink
Tagged with: fluorescent nec power

The latest prototype product from NEC Japan has to be one of the most novel uses of alternative energy we’ve ever seen - it’s a wireless security camera that draws its power directly from fluorescent light tubes.

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.

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.

Smelly screens selling beer on the streets
Thursday, October 18, 2007
Read the full story Displays | R&D | WTF? 09:05 AM JMLH • PermalinkComments
Tagged with: beer kirin city ntt smells

We’ve devoted a lot of space recently to coverage of the latest in display technology, from thin screens to all manner of touch-sensitive displays, but this is the first time we’ve been able to say that a new product really stinks.

Bone-conduction cellphone eliminates ears
Tuesday, October 16, 2007
Read the full story Wireless | WTF? 07:39 AM JMLH • PermalinkComments
Tagged with: au bone conduction kddi pantech

Japan’s second most popular cellphone provider, KDDI, chose today in Tokyo to unveil the winter handset line-up due to hit its au-branded shops in the next few weeks.

Robotic massages available from metal man
Wednesday, October 10, 2007
Read the full story R&D | Robots | WTF? 10:09 AM JMLH • PermalinkComments
Tagged with: massage

Next time your curiosity is piqued by one of those street-corner calls of ‘Fancy a massage?’ just remember to bring along a can of WD-40, lest your would-be manipulator turn out to be more machine than masseuse.

World's first talking TV complains when used
Friday, September 21, 2007
Read the full story Film, TV, manga & anime | Video | WTF? 07:57 AM JMLH • PermalinkComments
Tagged with: 1-seg e-revolution sarcasm tv

If there’s a product as bizarre as the Segnity pocket television from E-Revolution then we’ve yet to see it.

Portable shower in a box for life's filthier moments
Thursday, August 30, 2007
Read the full story Household | Off Topic | WTF? 04:55 AM JMLH • Permalink
Tagged with: showers

Next time you’re done surfing at a remote beach (or trapped in a collapsing building after an earthquake) you’ll probably wish you had one of these to wash the sand (or brick dust) off - a portable, battery-powered shower.

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.

Panasonic Pixi elevates drunk photography to artform
Friday, August 24, 2007
Read the full story Digital cameras & camcorders | R&D | Wireless | WTF? 06:05 AM JMLH • PermalinkComments
Tagged with: crap mixi panasonic pixi

We see a lot of prototype and concept devices here but few are as obviously pointless as the Pixi, an add-on for mobile phones devised by Panasonic of Japan working with two British design companies.

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.

Sony Rolly viral website goes live, irritates like hell
Monday, August 20, 2007
Read the full story Audio | Events | WTF? 08:49 AM JMLH • PermalinkComments
Tagged with: dap ipod rolly rumors sony

What looks like the latest attempt by Sony to knock the iPod off its throne appears to have kicked off in Japan this morning with the launch of a new website called Rolly World.

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.

Japanese soccer star Shunsuke Nakamura now available as tasty rice topping
Monday, August 06, 2007
Read the full story Household | Japan | Off Topic | WTF? 02:59 AM JMLH • PermalinkComments
Tagged with: celtic japanese food nakamura

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?

Levitating keyboard uses magnets to float keys
Friday, July 27, 2007
Read the full story Desktop PCs | Peripherals | WTF? 04:58 AM JMLH • Permalink
Tagged with: keyboards korea magnets

Until Apple stuck a magnetic holder for its multimedia remote control on the side of the most recent iMacs, it was generally accepted that magnets should be kept well away from computer screens. Now that’s no longer a consideration, we’re starting to see more magnetised material in peripherals, such as this first magnetic keyboard.

Fresh like sushi — Japanese fridge magnets good enough to eat
Thursday, July 12, 2007
Read the full story Household | Off Topic | Toys | WTF? 10:33 AM JMLH • PermalinkComments
Tagged with: cool magnets sushi

Slightly classier than the flashlight turds we saw the other day, these tiny (1in) sushi magnets from Japan are so authentically detailed you can almost smell the North Atlantic brine off them.

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.

Nissan cars to politely suggest that drunks not drive home … please
Wednesday, July 04, 2007
Read the full story GPS | Transportation | Wireless | WTF? 06:06 AM JMLH • PermalinkComments
Tagged with: drunk-driving nissan

Recidivist lawbreakers and people who need to be told what to do will probably benefit most from the latest Japanese car-navigation system from Nissan, which warns drivers of the dangers of drink-driving whether they’re Methodist ministers or hotel-chain heiresses.

Japanese sea monkeys just fish in a barrel – well, shrimp in a cube

Nothing beats keeping innocent wildlife captive for one’s own entertainment, especially when there’s a retro feel to the cruelty, which is why I couldn’t resist these Japanese versions of those old canards known as Sea Monkeys.



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