Japan

Japanese robot readied for nuclear reactor

Japanese robot readied for nuclear reactor

Robots have their many uses, and one of the most important relates to disaster response efforts. One such unit was sent by the US to the Fukushima power plant after it was damaged by the earthquake and flooding last year, but Japan is hard at work creating its own such units. A robotics lab has created a second prototype that will eventually be used at Fukushima once it has been fully completed.

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comScore: smartphones surpass feature phones in Japan

comScore: smartphones surpass feature phones in Japan

While you may think that Japan has been ahead of the rest of the world for some time when it comes to technologically advanced phones, a new study might surprise you. comScore has put out statistics that show smartphone acquisitions surpassed feature phones for the first time in Japan during February. As for the top cellphone manufacturer, it’s a company we don’t see mentioned often in the US or Europe: Sharp.

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‘Akira’ bike taking a road trip across Japan

‘Akira’ bike taking a road trip across Japan

If there’s one thing that can be universally agreed in geekdom, it’s that the bike from Akira is pretty damn cool. There have been various real life replicas of the bike built across the years, but only one has been officially recognized by Akira creator Katsuhiro Otomo. It was built by Shinji Tejima at the Showa Studio repair shop, taking him seven years, and at an overall cost of ¥10 million (~$121,310).

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Google Street View Japan reveals fabulous Cherry Blossom Edition

Google Street View Japan reveals fabulous Cherry Blossom Edition

So you'd like to do one of two things: travel through Japan during the season when the Cherry Blossoms blast, or have a lovely time glancing upon them from afar - Google has you covered either way! With Google's Street View, you're able to see where you're going before you get there - if you use it with Google Maps. If on the other hand you'd like to explore the world through Google's special camera cars, clicking through the streets of residential and rural areas around the globe, you can do that too! A fantastic example of where Google is using Street View to the utmost visual advantage is in their 2012 guide for Japan's Cherry Blossom Season.

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Leica $31,792 camera is…expensive

Leica $31,792 camera is…expensive

Leica, a luxury German camera manufacturer, has announced its latest creation - a digital camera that has a retail price of 2,620,000 yen. That's around $32,000. What's so great about this? Well, for that kind of price, it's hard to really sell it, but it is a limited edition of the Leica M9-P, which retails for around $8,000. So basically you're paying an extra $24K for special casing, color, and styling.

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NTT DoCoMo tips new SH-06D smartphone and Medius Tab N-06D tablet

NTT DoCoMo tips new SH-06D smartphone and Medius Tab N-06D tablet

NTT DoCoMo has a pair of new Android compatible mobile devices that include a new smart phone called the Aquos Phone SH-06D and a tablet called the Medias Tab N-06D. These devices are the first in Japan to be compatible with V-High multimedia broadcasting service. Both devices will be offered in Japan only, with the smartphone launching in March and the tablet launching in April.

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Japanese scientists create Avatar in real life, sort of

Japanese scientists create Avatar in real life, sort of

A group of Japanese researchers have developed technology that allows someone to wear a visor and a special pair of gloves to control a nearby robot. It's like putting yourself in place of the robot, from the comfort of sitting down. If that sounds at all confusing, how about we put it this way - it's like the movie Avatar but in real life. Oh yeah; you knew it was only a matter of time, right?

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Nintendo DSi trials speech recognition for classrooms

Nintendo DSi trials speech recognition for classrooms

The Nintendo DSi isn't what you'd expect teachers to want in classrooms, but that may change as the handheld gaming device explores new uses in education. Along with Japanese telecom company NTT, Nintendo is testing speech-to-text and speech recognition technology on the DSi for students with hearing impairment or other disabilities.

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NEC to chop 10,000 workers from payroll

NEC to chop 10,000 workers from payroll

The axe is set to fall over at NEC Corp in Japan with just about one in 10 of its workers to be cut. NEC has announced that is set to lay off 10,000 workers as it attempts to claw its way out of the red and back into the black. One reason cited for the job losses is stiff competition posed from rivals from foreign countries such as Apple. NEC blames the poor performance and the job cuts on soft demand for its mobile phones.

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