The other day while out shopping for computer parts like that-thing-that-connects-an-old-type-iPod-to-a-PC, one Twitter user stumbled upon a truly great deal. For only 200 yen (US$1.70) you can get…um, you know…one of those “things-that-let-you-make-a-USB-into-a-plug.”
Although offering up high-tech features and services to their customers seems like an obviously good idea, businesses must always be wary of alienating the less technologically inclined. Such is the case with Japan Post (JP) who once had to come up with a low-tech solution to a high-tech problem.
What with desktops, laptops, all-in-ones and tablets, we now have an enormous amount of choice when it comes to buying a new computer. While many of us enjoy the raw power that giant desktops have to offer, others prefer the simplicity and convenience of tablets with their slim designs and fingerprint-absorbing touchscreens.
With the Kira L93, Japanese electronics giant Toshiba is clearly hoping to cover all of its bases and please even the most indecisive computer buyer. With a 13.3-inch touchscreen that can be rotated 360 degrees, stand, detachable keyboard and stylus, the latest entry in the Dynabook series can be used up to seven different ways, making it one of the most versatile machines on the market.
There’s nothing particularly wrong with RocketNews24’s “.com” domain name. We haven’t declared ourselves an autonomious principality (yet), so .gov is out of the question. And while some (me) might argue that .handsomeandwittyreporterswhowritesuchgreatarticlesthatmenareinspiredandladiesswoon is the most accurate description of what we do around here, for some reason that’s not available for official use.
So we ended up with plain old .com, our only logical option out of the top-level domains recognized by the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers, or ICANN. But if only RocketNews24 had come into existence a little later, we could have taken advantage of ICANN’s recent approval of .ninja as a domain name.
So let’s imagine you had horrible parents. They never told you to eat your vegetables or wash your hands after you go to the bathroom, and you grew up without being warned about judging people based solely on their appearance.
One day you’re walking along the beach, winded from your lack of nutrients and itchy because of your filthy hands, when you come across the woman pictured above. What do you think she does for a living? She’s got a model-quality beauty, the lithe build of a yoga instructor, and the easy grace of a singer/songwriter. It’s got to be one of those three, right?
Don’t let the lack of a neckbeard fool you. Jin Ying Gang, the woman you see here, puts food on the table working as a programmer in China.
Despite having a name that induces chuckles in many English speakers, Kinki University (Kinki being the name of the region around Osaka) is a well-respected school, with roots stretching back to 1925 when it came into existence as Osaka Technical College.
In keeping with the school’s long history of pursuing technological advancement, a team at Kinki University has recently developed a mouse that allows users to operate their PC with nothing more than their breath.
Go on, take a wild guess. What is the kit above used for? More tellingly, do you know how to use these items yourself? Are you an experienced user, a semi-pro, or do you just like to watch others use them?
The object on the upper left features a beautifully rounded tip and a convenient finger grip for when you need to give it some extra oomph. The vial of clear fluid on the right may help you to achieve your, er, goal more smoothly. Then we have what appears to be a packet of wipes to mop up with. These days, these things are not common, but ten years ago they were used frequently. Most likely, your parents used them. But what did they use them for, exactly…?
I think we can all agree that Akira Toriyama’s Dragon Ball is one of the most popular and well-known animes in the world. Well, here in Japan, a good understanding of the story and characters of Dragon Ball is considered basic knowledge on the Internet, so much so that it has become routine practice for Japanese Internet users to ask someone to explain a complex story or situation by using the story and characters from the series as comparison. Yes, you’ll see people on message boards literally saying, “I don’t quite understand that. Can someone explain it to me in terms of Dragon Ball, please?”
Now, it seems this practice has spread beyond Japan, and a tweet from Spain comparing some pieces of electronic and gaming equipment to Dragon Ball characters has fans of the anime laughing out loud. Read More
When away on travel for either business or pleasure, there is no greater treasure than a free Wi-Fi hot spot. However, be warned that in recent years there’s been an increasing number of cases wherein these blessed havens are used to steal people’s personal information! People traveling abroad are said to be at an even greater risk for damage caused by suspicious Wi-Fi providers. Read More
On April 8, 2014, Microsoft will end support for its XP operating system which is still installed on one-third of PCs in Japan. After that date, the company will no longer provide corrective updates should any security flaws be discovered, meaning users will be more susceptible to risks such as information theft and leakage. Though local governments are moving ahead with replacement plans, “cost concerns” and “worries about human error” are weighing heavily on some municipalities as talk of strategies including simply unplugging vulnerable machines and duct taping their ethernet ports becomes worryingly common.
Ah, Japanese bakeries. Rows and rows of delicious, fresh-baked treats ready for you to harvest—if you can decide among all the variety. And if you think choosing which bread to place on your tray is hard (I usually spend at least 5 minutes walking in circles with hungry tongs in hand), imagine how stressful it must be for part-time bakery staff who need to remember the names of every baked good in the store.
Luckily, Japanese web development company Brain Corporation has teamed up with the University of Hyogo to develop a POS system that uses a camera to instantly identify the kind of baked good customers have on their tray.
Check out the video below, it looks a lot more impressive than it sounds.