smartphone

Japanese Line users unleash their inner troll after popular messaging app gets hacked

Japanese Line users unleash their inner troll after popular messaging app gets hacked

Although still relatively unknown in the West, Naver Company’s Line is by far the most popular messaging application in Japan right now, with millions of active users. But when an app comes to be embraced by so many people, it’s often only a matter of time before someone with too much time on their hands decides to spoil the fun for everyone by hacking users’ accounts in an effort to make money.

Cases of Line accounts being taken over have been on the rise since May this year, with many people claiming to have received messages from both anonymous users and those already in their contact list, asking them to purchase pre-paid WebMoney cards and send a photo of the card’s number over to them so that they can claim it.

Thankfully, most Line users are bright enough to recognise a scam when they see it, and know exactly how to respond…

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Give your smartphone the rest it deserves with its very own Japanese futon

Give your smartphone the rest it deserves with its very own Japanese futon

Your smartphone has a busy day, what with being called on to make phone calls, take pictures, play strange fashion-based touchscreen games, and surf the Internet in order to access mankind’s greatest font of knowledge. Doesn’t it deserve some rest? And we don’t mean a short little nap while you’re eating dinner, but a good night’s sleep, snug and comfy inside a Japanese futon.

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The emoji you send actually say a lot about you

The emoji you send actually say a lot about you

Sometimes words just aren’t enough to convey what you have to say.

People tend to use emoji in both normal and unorthodox ways, and the emoji you use actually says a lot about you. 

Enter Emojinalysis, a Tumblr blog that tells you what’s wrong with your life based on your recently used emoji.

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Samsung’s new Smart Bike features lane-marking laser pointers, a rear camera and more

Samsung’s new Smart Bike features lane-marking laser pointers, a rear camera and more

Cycling in the city can be a genuinely unpleasant experience at times. As well as having to breathe in exhaust fumes for the duration of your journey, our car-centric cities often leave scant room to dedicated bike lanes, meaning cyclists have to share the road with vehicles big and small, often resulting in accidents and near misses.

Thankfully, Samsung thinks it may have a solution to city cyclists’ woes: its new Smart Bike, which incorporates a bevy of technological wizardry and is being built in conjunction with one of the best bicycle designers in the world.

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Brass section rejoice! Your ideal smartphone accessory has arrived

Brass section rejoice! Your ideal smartphone accessory has arrived

This classy metallic smartphone accessory is currently in development by RepeCan a maker of custom instrument parts. For saxophone or brass instrument players that little thing should be instantly recognizable, and for many more it should conjure up an odorous memory or two of middle school music class.

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Find 707 animated frames in the “Haruhi Hunting” campaign to unlock a new animated clip!

Find 707 animated frames in the “Haruhi Hunting” campaign to unlock a new animated clip!

Gotta find ‘em all! should be the catchphrase for the campaign attached to the new The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya animated video. Even though it’s the first new Haruhi animation in four years, its creators aren’t just screening it for free–they’re making fans actually work to see it! That said, the campaign is actually more like a treasure hunt than anything else. Introducing “Haruhi Hunting,” in which the residents of Japan must work together to unlock the new promotional video. 

Do YOU have what takes to find all 707 missing frames of the animation?

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“3 bottles available” – Life’s Good when you can mail your fridge to ask if there’s any beer left

“3 bottles available” – Life’s Good when you can mail your fridge to ask if there’s any beer left

Electronics giant LG has announced that its line of “HomeChat”-enabled appliances – a refrigerator, washing machine, and Lightwave oven that can be communicated with and operated via messaging service Line — is now available to buy in its native South Korea.

By using the popular smartphone app, users can chat with their various gizmos as if they were ordinary human contacts, asking them questions as well as providing additional information to alter their functions. Thanks to the technology built into the appliances with which the app communicates, it’s possible not just to remotely check the temperature inside the fridge or put on a load of laundry, but to find out how many beers you have or delay your usual wash cycle by 30 minutes simply by telling the machine you’ll be home late.

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Your smartphone could kill you: Phone-related deaths on the rise in Japan

Your smartphone could kill you: Phone-related deaths on the rise in Japan

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.

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Kinoko Girly: the weirdest time-waster you’ll play all day

Kinoko Girly: the weirdest time-waster you’ll play all day

If you’re struggling with the fact that it’s still only Tuesday and the weekend is but a dot on the horizon, Kinoko Girly (‘Mushroom Girly’), a free mobile game currently generating a lot of buzz here in Japan, might be just the thing to keep you going at least until Hump Day is over.

Featuring illustrations by popular fashion designer Hajime Yoshio, Kinoko Girly is one of the simplest smartphone games you’ll ever play. Asking you, the person in charge of feeding a bevy of frighteningly shaped mushrooms to a woman with a penchant for fungi, to choose which of the two ‘shrooms offered up at any one time is delicious and which is poisonous, it’s simply a case of guesswork for the sake of it, but it’s surprisingly addictive. And altogether weird.

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The extreme lengths Samsung must go to make sure your Galaxy phone works perfectly

The extreme lengths Samsung must go to make sure your Galaxy phone works perfectly

The last thing you want when you drop a few hundred bucks on a new phone is for it to fail on you within a few days.

That’s why manufacturers go through lengthy testing processes to make sure every aspect of their devices work. Samsung does the same with its Galaxy line of phones, including the new flagship phone the Galaxy S5.

We visited Samsung’s testing facilities at its headquarters in Suwon, South Korea. There, engineers test everything from how well phones can survive a fall to how many times you can push the home button before it breaks.

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This ‘Wonder Material’ Could Make Your Next Phone Super Thin With Internet That’s 100x Faster

This ‘Wonder Material’ Could Make Your Next Phone Super Thin With Internet That’s 100x Faster

A group of Samsung Electronics researchers claim they’ve made a breakthrough discovery.

They’ve found a technique that could help the company make your future smartphone thinner, more durable, and even a deliver Internet 100 times faster.

The “wonder material” is called graphene— a substance that’s stronger than steel and so thin it’s considered to be two dimensional.

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Japan Self Defense Forces hoping to entice new recruits with… dancing avatar smartphone app

Japan Self Defense Forces hoping to entice new recruits with… dancing avatar smartphone app

In our modern world, with the sometimes questionable motives of our political leaders and the abundance of often conflicting information available online, it’s perhaps not surprising that countries’ armed forces have a hard time finding new recruits.

While the United States Army opted to take a rather gung-ho approach to recruitment by releasing a free-to-play tactical first-person shooter video game in the form of America’s Army, Japan – who, following its defeat in World War II, is permitted only to have “Self-Defense Forces” that remain on Japanese territory – has its own methods of rallying support and enticing potential new recruits. Its latest recruitment drive, for example, is so fantastically quirky that is positively screams “Japan”.

Say hello to the JSDF “cheerleading shout” app that allows future soldiers, sailors and pilots to take selfies and insert them into Mii-like avatars that dance around when special augment reality (AR) cards are scanned.

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I used the giant Samsung phone that Apple wants to kill — and I’m never going back to a tiny screen again

I used the giant Samsung phone that Apple wants to kill — and I’m never going back to a tiny screen again

When I first started using Samsung’s Galaxy Note 3, almost everything about its enormous size annoyed me. I couldn’t text with one hand. It barely fit in my pocket, or didn’t at all. I felt silly holding it up to my ear to talk on the phone. It was the least subtle or elegant phone I’d ever seen.

Even my friends were horrified. I’d plop the Note onto a table or I’d whip it out to take a picture, and anyone I was hanging out with would double-take.

“What is that thing?!” they’d gasp.

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Japanese netizens get creative with custom iPhone unlock screens

Japanese netizens get creative with custom iPhone unlock screens

With the advanced state of the technology at our fingertips these days, our tech lives have never been so customizable. But one thing users may have never thought to get creative with is the iPhone’s humble lock screen. The most a typical user will ever aspire to is replacing the standard background with a picture of their cat or something. Or so I’ve observed of my more technologically inclined friends; I still use a rotary phone.

But did you know that with a little creativity and a photo editing tool, you can actually make some pretty cool custom unlock screens? Just ask these Japanese netizens that squandered their creative talents making anime characters say appropriately anime-ish things on their unlock screens:

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Serious accidents from walking while using smartphone up over 50 percent in Tokyo

Serious accidents from walking while using smartphone up over 50 percent in Tokyo

It doesn’t matter where you are in the world, you’ve certainly seen it and may have even done it yourself a few times. Walking while staring down at a smartphone has become a troubling pedestrian habit, even in Japan where it’s called aruki-sumaho. As the technology rapidly becomes more widespread, you’d expect people to get a little savvier and a little safer while using it. However, a study by the Tokyo Fire Department revealed that the number of accidents where a victim had to be taken away in an ambulance after walking while using a smartphone last year has increased to 1.5 times the number in 2010.

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Guard your smartphone with a tiny ninja accomplice

Guard your smartphone with a tiny ninja accomplice

Lurking in the shadows is a mysterious figure. He conceals himself behind a giant kite, a flipped tatami mat, or a sliding door. Only his eyes are visible from beneath his dark robes. Yes, it’s a tiny ninja, and with a distinctly modern purpose: to protect your smartphone from would-be assailants!

There are three different warriors to choose from, each using a different ninja art to fend off attacks:

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Love disembodied women’s hands? Here’s a great iPhone case for you, you big weirdo

Love disembodied women’s hands? Here’s a great iPhone case for you, you big weirdo

I wouldn’t know personally because I basically use two plastic cups with some string attaching them for all my not-in-person communication, but I hear people with smartphones spend a lot of time and money trying to find the perfect case to protect and customize their technological doohickey.

There’s a lot to consider, after all: Will others enjoy the design as much as you do? Does the case affect the overall weight, size and shape of the phone to an unacceptable degree? Can you still fit it in your pocket after you snap the case on? Will people think you’re a creepy weirdo based on your choice of case? These are all questions normal smartphone users ask themselves.

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Playing with middle-aged men: What’s with the new rash of “oji-san” smartphone apps?

Playing with middle-aged men: What’s with the new rash of “oji-san” smartphone apps?

You might think that middle-aged is synonymous with uncool, but middle-aged men in Japan, or oji-san, are currently something of a hot item.

Young Japanese women find a certain type of dorky oji-san to be “totes adorbs, yo” and are driving a boom in oji-san-related goods, including quite a number of apps featuring cutely crotchety oji-sans. Here are a few we’ve recently discovered.

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Connect to sushi-poo Wi-Fi using smartphone or tablet devices

Connect to sushi-poo Wi-Fi using smartphone or tablet devices

Looking for a way to give those in your immediate area looking for Wi-Fi a delicious treat? No? Well, me neither. But I do enjoy some pointless yet fun tricks to do with devices like Apple’s iPhone or iPad. Take, for example, this incredibly easy way to make your device show up on others as pieces of sushi and poo – or more!

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“This is embarrassing” – Japan named number one market for smartphone apps

“This is embarrassing” – Japan named number one market for smartphone apps

Generally it’s nice to have your country or town be number one in something. Even if it’s for something as despicable as bag snatching, you can at least gain a slightly twisted sense of pride for toughing it out in such a rough-and-tumble locale.

However, when a recent study reported by Bloomberg Japan declared that Japan had overtaken the U.S. in smartphone and tablet app purchases, people we less than enthused leaving comments such as “Japan’s screwed,” and, “This is sad news indeed.”

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