Japan

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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Henn na: Japan’s first robot hotel

Henn na: Japan’s first robot hotel

Located within Huis Ten Bosch theme park, Henn na Hotel will be staffed by robots. Not entirely by robots - not at first - but at least in past by what the company calls "Actroids". These actroids come from the Kokoro, the animatronics division of Sanrio (better known for their brand Hello Kitty!) The actroid has been developed over the course of the past 11 years, having first been developed by Osaka University in 2003. These androids will greet you, carry your luggage, and make you a lovely cup of coffee.

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Netflix says it’ll be available in Japan in Fall 2015

Netflix says it’ll be available in Japan in Fall 2015

Netflix is a force to be reckoned with, and there's no sign of that slowing down. The video streaming service is making a massive push for original content, the likes of which it has largely found success with (so far), and at the same time it is also working to expand its audience. Netflix revealed in the recent past that it'll be arriving in Australia and New Zealand next month (though there's debate about how effective that will be), and likewise the service arrived in France last year. Now it has set focus on Japan.

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Toshiba plans to ditch North American TV market

Toshiba plans to ditch North American TV market

Toshiba has been selling TV in North America for a long time with mixed success. The company has never been one of the top brands in the business mostly unable to compete on pure performance and unable to sell at prices as low as other TV makers. The company has now announced that it plans to pull out of the North American TV market altogether.

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Lucky Bag: Apple hasn’t given up on TV just yet

Lucky Bag: Apple hasn’t given up on TV just yet

Apple’s Lucky Bag promotion for Japan is underway, and the contents of the bags have been revealed. This year, the top-end bags will get an 11-inch MacBook Air with 128GB memory, as well an Air Jacket case, Incase Slim backpack, Powerbeats2 wireless headphones, a Mophie Powerstation Juice Pack, and a TwelveSouth PlugBug. There are second and third-tier bags as well (Apple’s not just going to give out MacBooks to everyone), but one aspect of the Lucky Bag promo stuck out to us: the Apple TV.

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Apple ‘Lucky Bag’ coming back to Japan this year

Apple ‘Lucky Bag’ coming back to Japan this year

Apple has announced their “Lucky Bag” promotions are coming back to Japan. The deal, which brings a bag full of goodies for a remarkably lower price than normal, has a history of success with Apple fans. The mystery bags offer up equipment and other goodies like accessories, and no two bags are alike. Last year, we heard some of the bags may have had Mac Pros inside, so who knows what Japanese customers may see this year. They’re not cheap, though — the bags sold for around $340 last year.

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