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To combat the increasingly dense layer of dead satellites and miscellaneous space debris that are enshrouding our planet, no idea -- nets, lassos, even ballistic gas clouds -- seems too far-fetched to avoid. Now, an international team of researchers led by Japan's Riken research institute has put ...

3 days ago 0 Comments
April 17, 2015 at 8:43PM
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The Central Japan Railway company reports that its magnetic levitation bullet train topped 366 miles per hour on Thursday during a test run along a length of test track in the Yamanashi prefecture. This was enough to break its own 12-year-old, 361 mph world record set back in 2003. The train repor...

3 days ago 0 Comments
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JINS is a glasses maker on a mission: to make glasses worth talking about again. That usually entails a dash of technology thrown in; a few years ago, for instance, the company dotted spectacle-selling vending machines across Tokyo. Yes, it's a Japanese company. Yes, they're also dabbling in smart...

12 days ago 0 Comments
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Have you missed white Kindle e-readers ever since they disappeared in 2012? So has Amazon. The internet retailer has quietly unveiled a white version of its basic Kindle reader that's headed to at least China on April 8th, and Japan on April 20th. It's virtually identical to the $79 black model, i...

19 days ago 0 Comments
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BitSummit has been at the forefront of Japan's independent gaming scene for the past two years, hosting an event that shows off projects from small studios and industry veterans alike, plus live music and an awards show. Last year's showcase attracted 5,000 fans and 130 game developers, including ...

20 days ago 0 Comments
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The feature phone. Still big in Japan. Still being sold in the millions. Still relevant, though? And does it even matter what a 30-something tech writer at a Western tech site thinks? Japan's large elderly population -- people who haven't even heard of Angry Birds, Gmail or Uber -- they're the one...

26 days ago 0 Comments
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Iron Man isn't the only one 3D-printing artificial limbs these days. But unlike the mechanical hand delivered by Robert Downey Jr, this recently unveiled prosthetic from Japanese manufacturer Exiii costs just $300 and leverages your mobile device's computing power to act just like the real thing. ...

27 days ago 0 Comments
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The world's biggest mobile tech show has just finished. You were probably poring over all those new big-screened smartphones, but you still remember what came before those all-screen oblongs, right? When was the last time you saw a flip phone being used? Not a Nokia clamshell buried away in a draw...

1 month ago 0 Comments
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The idea of powering humanity by gathering an endless supply of solar energy from space has taken a huge step towards becoming a reality. Scientists working for JAXA, Japan's space administration, have announced a major breakthrough in wireless power transmission ... in that they've actually been ...

1 month ago 0 Comments
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My friends and family don't let me wear Crocs. But still, I'm in the middle of Tokyo to see Crocs send a drone flying to pick up a (hypothetical) customers' shoes. It's all to do with promoting the shoemaker's new range of lightweight Norlin footwear -- they're not the Crocs you're thinking of -- ...

1 month ago 0 Comments
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It's 2024. An older Japanese gentleman wants to watch the International Space Station's closing ceremony, but he can't get out of bed. No problem! All he has to do is call Robear to help him get up. Yes, that's his caregiver's name, but you see, Robear isn't human: it's a bear-like robot. This mac...

1 month ago 0 Comments
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Softbank's adorable robot may be short and cute, but it'll still cost the price of a secondhand car to bring one into your home. The Japanese network has revealed that the first Pepper devices on the market will cost just over nine grand to buy. Similar to Google's Glass Explorer project, Softbank...

1 month ago 0 Comments
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In an alternate universe where up is down and black is white, more feature phones get shipped year-on-year while its replacement, the smartphone, sees sales stall. That's apparently what happened in Japan last year though, according to MM Research Institute. For the first time in seven years, flip...

2 months ago 0 Comments
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Now that the independent company's got rid of those pesky excess components, it's time for VAIO to make something new. And it's not a smartphone. Yet. The PC maker has announced two new PCs here in Tokyo: the VAIO Z and VAIO Z Canvas. The latter is actually eventual final version of the prototype ...

2 months ago 0 Comments
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In the hope of drawing attention to its Androidify app (and the fact that you've been able to make your own for almost four years now), Google programmed 300 devices (and their Android character) to 'sing' (and flail the limbs around, roughly in time, in the middle of a classy shopping center in u...

2 months ago 0 Comments
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IBM's publicity-loving supercomputer Watson has a new job in Japan for wireless carrier SoftBank doing... something? Its job description is vague so far, but first it'll need to learn Japanese, no small feat for a machine that has remained mostly occidental so far. Watson is first and foremost a c...

2 months ago 0 Comments
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Going to Japan? Here's a bit of advice: if you're absolutely terrified of eerie human-like robots, think very hard before visiting Nagasaki prefecture's Henn-na Hotel that's slated to open its doors in July. Why? Because the high-tech hotel will employ 10 robots, three of which are multilingual gy...

2 months ago 0 Comments
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How do you make an iPhone Lightning cable at a tenth of the price of what Apple charges? In short, you can't. Cupertino holds claim to the design patents, not to mention that there's an authenticator chip built into the cable, which means Apple can charge to license out the design (in turn bumping...

2 months ago 0 Comments
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During Netflix's last earnings call executives announced plans to reach 200 countries (up from the 50 or so currently served) over the next two years, and now CNBC's Julia Boorstin is hearing that will include Japan by this fall. Hulu actually beat Netflix there back in 2011, but sold off its serv...

2 months ago 0 Comments