Posts Tagged 'japan'

New PSP, should you buy it?

Sony showed off it’s new and improved PSP. Changes: a nicer screen, and a slightly different case … that’s it. So you gonna buy it? At least the pricing is the same. Is this Sony’s answer to the Nintendo DS (which is totally dominating BTW)? 

“Sony has sold about 41 million PSP machines globally – 10 million in Japan. Nintendo has sold 77.5 million Nintendo DS handheld devices worldwide, nearly 23 million in Japan.” (link)

Sony needs a radical change if it wants to make a dent in Nintendo’s market. Change the experience, not just add features. If you want to compete you either do on a price level or content. Either way Nintendo wins. So you have to compete outside of the box because the regular rules don’t apply here. Get better games and the gamers will come.

Gadget: wooden USB memory sticks … er animals

Neat! Just plain neat! It’s amazing the things Japanese manage to innovate. (now if I can only figure out the whole manga/hentai thing)

“Marubeni InfoTech, Japan has launched “ANIMAL USB Flash Drive” 1GB capacity USB drives. These cute animal shaped USB memory drives are made from natural wood in different animal shapes. Maple and walnut wood is used. Total 10 different types of animal-shaped silhouette extracted from the wood block are available.” (link)

Japan investigates iPod nano fire risks

Japan on Tuesday warned users of Apple iPod nanos of a potential fire risk after two new instances in which the popular portable music players overheated.

The economy, trade and industry ministry has received two new reports of minor fires in August in Tokyo caused by overheating iPod nanos, said ministry official Hiroyuki Yoshitsune.

There were no injuries and the cause is still unclear, he said.

Japan had already launched an investigation in March after another Apple iPod nano sent out sparks.

According to the ministry, Apple Computer has been notified of a total of 14 similar cases in Japan. Out of those, two users suffered minor burning. (link)

Styrofoam: homes of the future

While styrofoam may be most commonly associated with disposable coffee cups, meat trays and packaging, prefab home manufacturer Japan Dome House Co., Ltd. uses it to construct easy-to-assemble modular kit homes.

Dubbed the “habitat for the 21st century,” the Dome House is an igloo-shaped structure built from snap-together wall sections made of 100% expanded polystyrene foam (styrofoam). It might seem like an odd choice of material for a house, but the company lists a number of advantages that styrofoam has over traditional materials. Unlike wood and metal structures, for example, the styrofoam Dome House does not rust, rot or attract termites. It is also highly resistant to earthquakes and typhoons. In addition, the walls, which are treated with a flame retardant, emit no toxic fumes in a fire. (link)

Japan loses key military data on USB drive, commits hara-kiri

The paper tells us that Japan’s military has confessed to losing a USB device that contained troop deployment maps for a joint Japan-US military exercise. Well, actually, the USB drive was stolen, recovered, then accidentally thrown away.

In February of last year, a 33-year-old captain of the Ground Self-Defense Force (GSDF) reportedly stole the memory stick along with 2,000 yen in cash and a 10,000 yen airline coupon.

The GSDF previously announced a one month suspension for the apprehended officer for stealing the cash and coupon, but never mentioned the USB drive to the public.

According to Defense Minister Shigeru Ishiba, the force withheld the information because they didn’t want people on the internet searching for the data.

Shortly after, a lieutenant colonel borrowed the USB device and lent it to a sergeant first class. The sergeant left it on his desk, where it was accidentally tossed.

All three were reprimanded according to the GSDF. The data in question is considered sensitive, but not touchy enough to pursue criminal penalties just for losing it. (link)

Smallest karaoke toy debuts in Japan

A Japanese toy maker will launch a karaoke machine measuring a mere seven centimetres (2.8 inches) this year, letting pop star wannabes — particularly children — hone their skills on the go.

Tomy Co. Ltd. said it would begin sales of the world’s smallest karaoke machine in October in Japan, targeting those who are too young to enter the karaoke parlours that dot the country’s cities.

The Hi-kara machine comes with headsets, meaning that only the users can hear the music.

“Absorbed in the music from the headphones, I found myself singing in an embarrassingly loud voice,” Tomy spokeswoman Mei Kudo said.

The machine, which can also be used with a second set of headphones or put on speaker mode, targets elementary school girls who adore pop stars. (link)

A new use for copyright infringement

A student who allegedly spread a computer virus has been convicted of copyright infringement in a case that has highlighted the lack of laws in Japan to police cyberspace.

Masato Nakatsuji, 24, a graduate student at Osaka Electro-Communication University, was charged with maliciously spreading a virus by embedding it in an image from a Japanese animation film he illegally copied and distributed.

The virus he allegedly used, the “Harada virus,” is one of Japan’s top viruses, and Nakatsuji’s arrest in January was the first in Japan involving the making or spreading of viruses.

Downloading the Harada virus and the image destroyed data on victims’ computers and moved information stored on their computers onto the Internet, according to police. (link)

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