technology

9 futuristic jobs we could see by 2030

9 futuristic jobs we could see by 2030

With technology moving faster than ever, it’s hard to imagine what careers will look like 20 years from now. But The Canadian Scholarship Trust Plan (CST), a not-for-profit foundation dedicated to helping Canadian families save for their children’s post-secondary education, wanted to find out.

With help from foresight strategists, CST took a look into the future to find the jobs that may be commonplace by the year 2030.

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Make your boyfriend hate you with these Line stickers designed for pushy, clingy girlfriends

Make your boyfriend hate you with these Line stickers designed for pushy, clingy girlfriends

The social messaging service Line is a huge hit in Japan. It’s easy to use, free, and even lets you decorate your messages with stickers to add a personal touch.

All of this makes Line great for keeping in touch with your friends or dating partner. As a matter of fact, it might have just become a little too good at keeping you connected to your significant other, with a new set of stickers specially designed for clingy girlfriends.

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It may look like a tool shed, but one of Japan’s fastest trains passes through this station

It may look like a tool shed, but one of Japan’s fastest trains passes through this station

Two phrases sum up a distinct dichotomy of life in Japan. The first is gambaru, to do one’s best, and it lies at the root of so many of the country’s academic, economic, and scientific achievements.

On the other hand, you’ve also got gaman suru, to put up with things, which is why the same country which produces so many handy gadgets still seems largely fine making do without things such as garbage disposals and clothes dryers.

These two equal but opposite attitudes seem to have collided at Toge Station in Yamagata Prefecture, a distinctly low-tech structure with a connection to one of Japan’s most impressive engineering feats.

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Amazing shows of craftsmanship to make you feel woefully unaccomplished

Amazing shows of craftsmanship to make you feel woefully unaccomplished

It’s our opinion that everybody needs at least one good hobby that they can really devote themselves to. Being good at something other than sitting at a desk and banging out Excel spreadsheets will not only make you feel more whole as a person, it’s also pretty sexy when you can whip out a guitar and casually riff out “just something you thought up over the weekend.”

The sexy part doesn’t really apply to, say, basket weaving, but hey, if it fulfills you personally, have at it.

Of course, we wasted our innate writing talents on weird Asia news and useless listicles instead of polishing up our young adult vampire novel writing skills, so when we saw this huge collection of people who are really, really, really good at one particular craft, it sort of made us feel a deep existential sadness as we reflected on what we could have been doing if we’d just applied ourselves.

So, beware, unless you’ve already mastered an impressive hobby yourself, these amazing shows of craftmanship will probably make you feel like a horrible waste of flesh:

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【TBT】Learning language through nonsense – Japanese author of “Unusable English” speaks

【TBT】Learning language through nonsense – Japanese author of “Unusable English” speaks

Fantastic octopus wiring!

My brother has been observing the slugs since he got divorced.

Let’s start from where we left off yesterday. Get down on all fours.

No, these aren’t the ramblings of a man with concussion; these are genuine excerpts from Twitter feed and study guide “Non-essential English Vocabulary: Words that will never come up in tests”, a language resource for Japanese students of English that presents entirely useless but infinitely memorable phrases.

With more than 40,000 Twitter followers so far, Twitter feed curator and author Nakayama-san (otherise known as @NISE_TOEIC)’s cheeky tweets are clearly resonating with English learners here in Japan, but why, when the rest of the nation is busy with earnest study, would someone take the time to create a Twitter account dedicated entirely to unusable English? Japanese website Excite Bit sat down with the Nakayama-san to pick up a few study tips and learn little more about the thinking behind the bizarre project.

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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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The awesome artwork hiding in the Japanese word processor: sakura, dragons, and sake

The awesome artwork hiding in the Japanese word processor: sakura, dragons, and sake

With over 1,800 commonly-used kanji characters, plus two different sets of 46 phonetic characters each, typing on a word processor in Japanese works a little differently than in English. Many words in Japanese have the same pronunciation but are written differently, so first you have to type the word phonetically, then select the proper rendering from a list that pops up.

The cool thing is that sometimes the selections aren’t just written characters, but drawings of the object in question. Poking around in a Japanese word processor is like a linguistic treasure hunt, and our searches turned up illustrations of mythical creatures, delicious food, and famous landmarks of Japan.

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“Shut up and take my money”: DeLorean selling real-life flux capacitors

“Shut up and take my money”: DeLorean selling real-life flux capacitors

Never has something been the focus of so much simultaneous nerd love and outrage than the venerable flux capacitor from the equally venerable film series that popularized time travel, Back to the Future. After all, it was the defining technology for time travel in the films that made screeching about time travel paradoxes all the rage in geek communities.

And now, it can be yours in all its ’80s glory with this official DeLorean Motors Company-licensed hardware that you can actually install in your real DeLorean – or presumably (and much more likely) – the crappy Pinto you’re currently borrowing from your grandpa.

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Sony shows off PlayStation 4 augmented reality with rubber ducks, dinosaurs, and Hatsune Miku

Sony shows off PlayStation 4 augmented reality with rubber ducks, dinosaurs, and Hatsune Miku

As we’ve said before, the PlayStation 4’s PlayStation Camera is a woefully underused device. Gamers who enjoy streaming footage of the games they play often use their cameras to capture their own expressions and add real-time commentary, and upcoming virtual reality headset Project Morpheus will make use of the unit to provide additional head tracking, but otherwise it gets relatively little love.

Fortunately, Sony Japan looks to be working on content that will inspire a few more PlayStation 4 owners to plug in their cameras. In two videos released last week, Sony staff show off their experiments with augmented reality, which combines real-world footage with computer-generated images that respond to a number of stimuli. These may only be tech demos, but the sight of a miniature T-rex hiding in the darkness, a man decanting water (complete with rubber duck!) between two virtual boxes, and even a short performance from a tiny Hatsune Miku on the living room rug left us thirsty for more.

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There’s a restaurant in China where all the food is prepared and served by robots

There’s a restaurant in China where all the food is prepared and served by robots

The Robot Restaurant in China’s Heilongjiang Province is a conventional restaurant in every sense, save the glaring exception that the food is prepared and served entirely by an army of 20 robots with just a modicum of human oversight.

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Nissan has made a self-cleaning car

Nissan has made a self-cleaning car

Nissan

Now that Nissan has revolutionized the rearview mirror, it has moved on to another problem: It is developing a self-cleaning car.

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First-of-its-kind towel is totally worth its 5,000 yen price, customers say

First-of-its-kind towel is totally worth its 5,000 yen price, customers say

A good towel is always nice to have, especially in a country like Japan where bathing is a hobby, hand dryers and paper towels are largely nonexistent in public restrooms, and the three to five months a year of blazing heat and sweltering humidity will make you itching to wipe off all that sweat.

Yes, it’s hard to overstate the value of a good towel, though some might say Japanese textile maker INI is coming close with its 5,000-yen (US $49) bath towels. That price, though, gets you a towel unlike any that’s been made before.

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Japanese homebuilder offers virtual reality tour of your new home while you’re still designing it

Japanese homebuilder offers virtual reality tour of your new home while you’re still designing it

Few people know this about me, but on top of being a huge video game nerd, I’m also both a part-time eco warrior and a big fan of the Tiny House movement, which is all about simple living and not destroying the environment for the sake of building a McMansion. I’ll happily spend a full evening watching video tours of micro homes or looking at floor plans while sketching out my own future home. But no amount of doodles can compare to actually visiting a property in person and snooping around.

Japanese home builder Daiwa House, too, knows the importance of giving potential home builders a chance to experience their residences in person, and is about to launch a special “Try Lab” showroom that invites visitors to slip on a virtual reality headset and wander around inside their new house, whether tiny or huge, and really get a feel for the place before giving the architect the final nod.

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World’s fastest elevator to be built in China, will hit speeds of up to 72km/h

World’s fastest elevator to be built in China, will hit speeds of up to 72km/h

Japan’s Hitachi Corporation has announced that it is manufacturing elevators that will reach speeds of 72km/h (45 mph) for a giant high-rise being built in Guangzhou, China.

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Patlabor’s giant robot gets taken out to the ballgame, keeps the peace in Chiba 【Video】

Patlabor’s giant robot gets taken out to the ballgame, keeps the peace in Chiba 【Video】

In planning any large-scale sporting event, organizers have to take security needs into consideration. Any time you combine thousands of people in a confined space with heightened emotions and flowing alcohol, there’s at least the chance that some individuals will be tempted to cross the line of polite behavior or even public safety, so it’s always a good idea to have a few security guards or uniformed police officers on hand.

Or, as shown in this awesome time-lapse video filmed outside a stadium in Chiba Prefecture, the giant robot from Patlabor.

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Stunning 22-year-old HD footage brings Tokyo of the ‘90s back to life

Stunning 22-year-old HD footage brings Tokyo of the ‘90s back to life

When looking at old photographs and video, there’s a strange phenomenon that sometimes occurs. Between the visual grain and the way colors bleed together, sometimes those images don’t seem like they’re just from another time, but from another world, one somehow less defined and concrete then the one in which we now live.

Of course, that’s all just outdated technology playing tricks on you. While camera and monitors have certainly gotten better over the years, the resolution of real life hasn’t gone through any upgrades, and the physical world has always been as sharp and vibrant as what we see today. As proof, take a look of these amazing HD videos of Tokyo taken over two decades ago.

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How Microsoft created a virtual assistant that could blow Siri away

How Microsoft created a virtual assistant that could blow Siri away

YouTube/calloftreyarch

Windows Phone is still a distant third to Apple and Android in the smartphone market, but Microsoft is hoping to change that with the introduction of Windows Phone 8.1— and more importantly its personal digital assistant Cortana.

Microsoft claims that Cortana isn’t like your average virtual assistant. She’s supposed to be a little wittier, more personable, and capable of learning more about you than Siri or Google Now.

After using Cortana for a week and speaking with Microsoft’s Marcus Ash, Partner Group program manager, it’s clear that the company’s got a lot riding on the success of its new virtual assistant.

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Bonkers lifehack products are the perfect combination of brilliant and stupid

Bonkers lifehack products are the perfect combination of brilliant and stupid

“Lifehack” is a word we only just started seeing in the English lexicon, thanks to the mighty power of the Internet to bring out the most brilliant and most stupid parts of humanity.

Many are eager to show their “lifehacking” inventions to the world at large or even sell them as lucrative products in the post-shopping channel age where consumers yearn for goods that will save them time, make their lives easier, and make them look awesome/incredibly ridiculous at parties.

We’ve decided to compile some of the most compelling and utterly ridiculous inventions that fall (sometimes vaguely) into the lifehack category, so you can try your hand at making them yourself:

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Suntory’s awesome miniature ice versions of the Golden Pavilion, Statue of Liberty and more

Suntory’s awesome miniature ice versions of the Golden Pavilion, Statue of Liberty and more

Although I’m a man who can definitely appreciate the simple joys of knocking back a can of tasty beer in my living room, every now and again it’s nice to treat yourself to a drink at a classy bar. You know, the kind with soft lighting, a gleaming wooden bar top, and a vested bartender with an ice pick working a block into a classy orb to place in your glass of whiskey.

But as impressive as a nicely rounded sphere of ice may be, it can’t hope to match the visual impact of an ice version of Japan’s famous Golden Pavilion or the Statue of Liberty that you can drop in your glass.

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Lady Gaga goes gaga for Hatsune Miku, makes virtual idol her opening act

Lady Gaga goes gaga for Hatsune Miku, makes virtual idol her opening act

With Lady Gaga’s rehabilitation from hip surgery apparently having progressed enough that the pop star is ready to contend with a grueling performance schedule, she’s about to kick off a world tour celebrating her third album. But with millions of eyes on Gaga, she needs an opening act with a fan base large enough to do justice to the scale and importance of the six-month event, dubbed ArtRAVE: The ARTPOP Ball.

Fittingly for a singer who’s made a name for herself with her provocative stances on image, perception, and reality, before Gaga takes the stage, concert goers will be entertained by a vocalist who doesn’t even exist in three-dimensional space: virtual idol Hatsune Miku.

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