Japan

HTC J Butterfly: HTC’s most powerful phone you can’t have

HTC J Butterfly: HTC’s most powerful phone you can’t have

HTC reveals the HTC J Butterfly, a large-screened smartphone destined for carriers inside Japan. This smartphone works with many of the same specifications at the HTC One M9, but here works with a 5.2-inch WQHD display (that's 1440 x 2560), also known as 2K. This device also has a Qualcomm Snapdragon 810 processor under the hood alongside 3GB of RAM, more than enough to get you through your biggest and best apps and games. In Japan, of course. Not the United States as such.

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Drones banned from Tokyo’s public parks

Drones banned from Tokyo’s public parks

While the acceptance of privately owned drones is rapidly expanding here in the US, in some countries, such as Japan, they are only beginning to get consumers' attention. Unfortunately for budding drone enthusiasts in Tokyo, there is a new roadblock to enjoying their hobby. The Japanese capital's municipal government recently issued a ban on drones being used at all public parks. The prohibition on UAVs follows a recent political protest incident, where a drone was landed on the roof of the Japanese Prime Minister's residence.

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New smartphone uses iris scanning to replace passwords in Japan

New smartphone uses iris scanning to replace passwords in Japan

Biometrics have changed the way we use smartphones, but they haven't really revolutionized it, yet. Being able to unlock your smartphone with a fingerprint is convenient, but it has become so commonplace that the feature doesn't stand out anymore. One of the latest smartphones due to hit Japan this summer sets itself apart from the crowd by allowing users to unlock, sign in to apps, and go shopping using only their eyes. That's right, the iris-scanning technology that was once relegated to sci-fi movies and the higher echelons of government security can now be held in the palm of your hands.

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Super Mario-themed Airbnb in Tokyo is retro gaming paradise

Super Mario-themed Airbnb in Tokyo is retro gaming paradise

If you were wanting to stay a few nights in a Super Mario-themed hotel or apartment, there's few places you would think to look first than Tokyo, Japan. But what you might not expect is that instead finding it in some Nintendo-hosted location, you can book it on Airbnb for only 9,000 yen (about $75) per night. Going by the Airbnb username "Heart of Tokyo," host Parker has converted a one bedroom Tokyo apartment into a floor-to-ceiling Mario masterpiece. Now all you need to do is find some affordable airfare to Japan.

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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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