Japan

Apple, IBM deal will bring iPads to Japan’s elderly

Apple, IBM deal will bring iPads to Japan’s elderly

Apple and IBM have entered an agreement with Japan Post to bring iPads to the elderly. The move is a technological step for Japan Post’s ‘Watch’ service, which leverages postal employees to check in on the elderly now and then. Watch currently costs 1,000 Yen/month ($8.50 or so). Japan Post is government-owned, and operates roughly 24,000 post offices in addition to a large bank. Japan Post is also one of the nation’s largest insurers, and hopes iPads will both scale their Watch service as well as make it easier on everyone involved.

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Japan’s new maglev bullet train is now the fastest in the world

Japan’s new maglev bullet train is now the fastest in the world

Japan Railways' latest mag-lev bullet train just broke its own record as the fastest train in the world. The bullet train travelled at 603 kph (374 mph), blowing through last week's top speed of 590 kph (366 mph). At it's fastest, the train covered a mile in 10 seconds, which is insanely fast. This particular maglev train will be able to carry just over 900 passengers per trip as it levitates above the tracks using electromagnets to create a nearly frictionless ride.

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Robear robot to take care of Japan’s elderly population

Robear robot to take care of Japan’s elderly population

Japan is known for its love of robots. Japanese inventors have been following a trend of creating a robot for every occasion. One of the newest Japanese robots is the Robear, developed by Riken, a Japanese research group. Just like the name implies, Robear is a robot bear. This bear won't steal your picnic basket. It's been especially designed to take care of the elderly and give them back some of their independence. The growing elderly population has been a rising concern in Japan due to their recent population decline.

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Final Fantasy Record Keeper: retro pixel fun for mobile

Final Fantasy Record Keeper: retro pixel fun for mobile

There's a new Final Fantasy coming to mobile devices, and this time it's not just about bringing back a classic. This will be Final Fantasy Record Keeper, a game that mashes up awesome elements from the Final Fantasy universe into one retro-styled pixelated adventure. The keeper of the histories of Final Fantasy - that's you - and you're tasked with keeping the realm safe. This game isn't about cashing in on the past - it's about keeping it in good condition - and in-app purchases, of course.

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Hotel builds giant Godzilla, puts guests in a room near him

Hotel builds giant Godzilla, puts guests in a room near him

If you've ever visited Shinjuku and thought to yourself that Godzilla would fit right in with all those towering buildings, you were right, and in the near future you'll be able to find him there -- from the shoulders up, at least. This is thanks to Hotel Gracery, a hotel above Toho Cinema (hence the mythical monster focus), which is building a large Godzilla statue -- a bust, basically -- to complement a couple of Godzilla-themed rooms. You wake up, and there outside the window is Godzilla.

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Apple’s rumored deal with JDI could bring us everything we’re hoping for

Apple’s rumored deal with JDI could bring us everything we’re hoping for

Apple loves to have a tight supply chain -- one they can control, which will yield the parts they want. They tried in earnest to get Sapphire glass up and running with a partnership with GT Advanced, which ended up a disaster. Now they’re reportedly turning to a much more solid partner for display technology. Though you may not have heard of Japan Display Inc (JDI), you’ve likely seen their work. Though the report is fairly benign, it has a lot of interesting angles (pun intended). The deal will reportedly see Apple dump just shy of $2 billion into a new plant.

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KISS’ black buns return to Japan with gooey center

KISS’ black buns return to Japan with gooey center

Remember that time we reviewed a black-bunned burger? Prepare yourself for something that may just be even more of a departure from what you'd normally call "appetizing." This is the KISS Steamed Bun, seen here courtesy of Japan's own Circle K Sunkus chain of convenience stores. They're also known as "Spicy Chili Tomatoman by KISS". They're black on the outside and "hot and spicy" on the inside. The Circle K Sunkus brand promises that these buns and their centers will be "hotter than hell" - per the KISS song and album.

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IBM, SoftBank team up to tech Watson Japanese

IBM, SoftBank team up to tech Watson Japanese

IBM’s Watson knows quite a bit — enough to compete on Jeopardy. A brilliant database of info, Watson isn’t so great at other languages. To help with learning Japanese, IBM has enlisted the help of SoftBank to train Watson in Japanese. The aim of this partnership is to bring Watson to a new enterprise space; beyond that, IBM and SoftBank either don’t specifically know what they will do with Watson, or just aren’t saying. What they do know is that Watson needs to learn the native tongue before anything else.

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Japan’s Henn-na hotel will greet you with human-like robots

Japan’s Henn-na hotel will greet you with human-like robots

Here's another one for the "only in Japan" books. A rather "forward-looking" hotel will be opening in Nagasaki later this July with a touch of high-tech fanciness you only read about in books or see in movies. But aside from the usual amenities you might imagine, there are some features that you can't, or rather, wouldn't want to imagine. In addition to the human staff that the hotel will be employing, it will also make use of 10 robots, three of which will stand, or sit, behind the check-in counter.

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This Evangelion short looks terribly realistic

This Evangelion short looks terribly realistic

This week the folks behind the Evangelion CG short collection have created a masterpiece. We're at that point, apparently, where even small-time productions like what you're about to see are able to be produced with such fantastic flare that they look real. Think about what it looked like when you first saw the young Flynn in TRON, completely made up with computer graphics. Now imagine what we'll see when it comes time to release the next Pacific Rim. Now watch this CG short and be amazed.

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