Japanese telecom giant SoftBank has announced a new promotional campaign for its users starting soon called America Hodai (America Unlimited) where users traveling to the United States can enjoy the same rates on voice calls and internet usage as they do in Japan for no additional charge.
There are seemingly endless things one is not allowed to do on Japanese trains: eat or drink, put on makeup, talk on the phone, take up too much room. Most of these are sensible if strict, making life more pleasant for everybody in a jam-packed carriage. There’s one rule that’s a bit more unusual, though, and that’s the requirement that you switch your phone off near the priority seats.
Mobile phones can interfere with pacemakers, ran the conventional wisdom. So to give passengers with medical equipment a safe haven from electronic interference, most train companies asked passengers to switch phones off completely in certain areas. This summer, rail companies in Kansai more or less ditched that policy, saying it’s no longer necessary. Tokyo, meanwhile, shows no signs of changing the rules. Read More
Look down any crowded train carriage or busy street in Japan and you’re guaranteed to find the majority of people with their heads bent over their mobile phones or other electronic devices. And while there’s no end of anthropologists twittering on about the damage all this constant stimulus is doing to the youth of today, there’s also a very physical risk that can come with cell phone addiction.
A particular tunnel in Guizhou, China has been drawing attention for its unique ability to literally turn back the clock. According to reports, when one drives through the 400 meter tunnel there is a substantial chance that their clocks will go back exactly one hour.
When he realized he’d primarily been using his smartphone in bed, Nemool Smith, an au product designer and chief hardware architect, wanted a more comfortable and rewarding user experience. Coming up blank in an online search for solutions, Nemool got an idea and decided to approach his bosses at KDDI and get their permission to design a radically new hardware platform he was sure would revolutionize the way people used their phones. The result has set the tech world abuzz, and has the potential to vault KDDI to the top of the global smartphone market.
Introducing the new au zzzPhoneBed by KDDI
There are few things worse for the tech fan of the 21st century than a smartphone running out of juice while out and about. Even newer smartphones start flagging after four or five hours of constant web surfing or video watching, meaning that remembering to pack a charging cable is, for some, almost as vital as the device itself. Thankfully, dozens of electronics makers have responded to this problem by launching pocket-sized mobile batteries that can provide smartphones with a full charge simply by plugging in a cable, keeping users playing games and posting OMFG and LOLZ comments all day long without fear of their gadget falling asleep on them.
We’re not sure that a couple of bags of sand will provide all that much energy, though…
The world may well be completely besotted with iPhones and Samsung-made Android devices right now, but Sony isn’t prepared to take a back seat and watch its profits and reputation go down the U-bend. In a recent conference, head of Sony Mobile Kunimasa Suzuki pledged to step up and reclaim ground lost in recent years. Rather than making unrealistic promises and declaring out-and-out war on the iPhone, however, the Japanese tech giant is keeping things realistic and is aiming at third place in the world’s mobile market.
Remember way back when Japan was the land of mobile milk and honey. Tales of cell phones with built-it TVs and cameras were the envy of the world. Then Apple stepped in and brought the whole thing crashing down.
Now, as I stand on the train surrounded by people poking at little plastic rectangles I conceal my once luxurious Panasonic P706ie in shame.
To support these once mighty phones, an extensive infrastructure was set up across the country. However, this entire network couldn’t be exported easily and was confined to the islands which made them. They were garapagosu-ka (Galapagos-ized).
We’re sure that there are plenty of people out there who enjoyed just a smidgen too much alcohol or Christmas pudding over holidays and ended up glued to the toilet as a result. Or, if you’re situated in this writer’s native UK, perhaps you’ve recently become acquainted with the chuckle-fest that is Noro virus as it sweeps through the nation like a modern-day diarrhoea and vomit-sponsored Beatlemania.
Well now you can relive that episode of gastric hell on earth with these cute earphone jack stoppers featuring tiny black and white plastic figures clinging to the toilet for dear life while appealing to the gods to “let it stop, oh please let it stop!”
I’m sure we’d all like to think that our friends and loved ones smile whenever they see our names pop up on their phones, and that each text message or email appears alongside a cute nickname or something informal and loving. But if you caught sight of your better half’s mobile phone screen while you were calling them and “Stinky Soy Beans” popped up, you might not be too pleased.
Over at My Navi News Q&A — a service not unlike Yahoo! Answers which, as we saw yesterday, can yield some pretty interesting responses of its own — a 26-year-old woman in Japan shared her worries after discovering that her boyfriend had entered her name on his smartphone as “nattō: GM Free”, fermented soybeans renown and hated by many for their strong smell and extremely gooey texture.