technology

Japanese mobile provider locks smartphones to prevent use while walking

Japanese mobile provider locks smartphones to prevent use while walking

We all do it, and we’ve all been irritated by others doing it: walking while checking something on your phone. You know that it’s dangerous, but when you are in a hurry and need to check an urgent mail or see if anyone liked your witty status update yet, it’s hard not to just give the screen a quick gander on the go.

Japanese mobile provider Docomo has developed a service to remove that very temptation from your life, though. By setting your Android smartphone to “safety mode,” it will give you an error message if you try to use it while walking. That’s right, cruise control for pedestrians is finally here!

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Tokyo Motor Show 2013: Cars! Crowds! Comely models! 【Photos】

Tokyo Motor Show 2013: Cars! Crowds! Comely models! 【Photos】

Like a migratory bird made of carbon fiber and engine blocks, every two years the Tokyo Motor Show returns to give us all a glimpse at automakers’ visions of the future. RocketNews24 visited this year’s event, and we’re here to share with you our impressions and photos of the massive crowds, newest concept cars, and hottest current models (both automotive and female).

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Years of labor and millions of dollars finally yield amazing french fry vending machine

Years of labor and millions of dollars finally yield amazing french fry vending machine

For many of the world’s greatest cuisines, there is a fine line separating a stellar example of a particular dish from a loathsome, gag-inducing failure. In the case of the humble french fry, that fine line is a few extra minutes from fryer to your eager food hole; let the fries sit for just a little too long and they transform before your eyes from hot, crunchy guilty pleasure to disgusting, squishy, limp waste of calories.

Apparently deeply affected by a soggy fry incident, the folks at China’s Beyondte Electronics Co., Ltd. set out to perfect a french fry vending machine that would produce hot, crunchy fries on the spot whenever you got a craving, eliminating the need to order them at your favorite fast food joint and carry them home and – a happy side effect – also eliminating the need to actually speak to another human being to get your fry fix.

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Honda’s UNI-CUB is our laziest dream come true

Honda’s UNI-CUB is our laziest dream come true

The good people at Honda, seemingly having read our minds, introduced at the 2013 Tokyo Motor Show this beautiful luxury chair-vehicle hybrid that we never knew we’d always been waiting for.

Gone are the days of actually having to get out of your seat to retrieve the remote, or that last broken chip from the Pringles can that somehow found its way into the seat cushion of that chair you never use. In fact, with the new UNI-CUB the only reason you’ll ever need to get out of your seat again is to give a standing ovation to Honda’s brilliant – and probably equally lazy – engineers.

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Sony files patent application for a “Smart Wig”

Sony files patent application for a “Smart Wig”

Smartphones are great and all, but they require your hands, which can be a problem when doing work, sports or raising the occasional barn. Then, along came Google Glass, a brand of smart glasses with promises of a more hands-free future. Unfortunately, it’s hard to interact with people and not have them stare at your right eye the entire time.

There must be a way to combine the discreet practicality of a smartphone with the hands-free functionality of smart glasses. According to an invention filed with the U.S. Patent Office this year, Sony appears to be interested something that just might do that with the “Smart Wig.”

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Finally, your dog can safely leap through flaming hoops with this adorable doggy fire gear

Finally, your dog can safely leap through flaming hoops with this adorable doggy fire gear

Every dog owner has experienced it: you want your dog to sit, speak, roll over and maybe shake, but your pooch has other ambitions. Bigger dreams. He wants to join the fire brigade (you know this because you taught him to speak), but you’re worried about your little buddy’s safety.

Finally, though, you can let your doggy chase both his tail and his dreams with this adorable doggy flame-retardant suit. Join us after the jump for more adorable photos!

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Finding the heroine’s panties: The most difficult side quest in newest Final Fantasy role-playing game

Finding the heroine’s panties: The most difficult side quest in newest Final Fantasy role-playing game

While in recent years opinions have become increasingly divided on the gameplay in long-running video game series Final Fantasy, there’s not much room to criticize the franchise’s artistry. New installments of Final Fantasy are consistently among the most visually and aurally pleasing games at their time of release. Each title has a huge team of designers and software engineers who spend untold hours making sure the cut scenes are gorgeous, the interface slick, and the soundtrack stirring and crystal clear. And also, apparently, that the heroine doesn’t inadvertently flash her panties.

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New “Privacy Glasses” protect your identity and your image

New “Privacy Glasses” protect your identity and your image

Protecting your privacy can be a difficult task in today’s world of information technology. With surveillance cameras on every corner and a recording device on every smartphone, there’s a good chance your image has been captured somewhere without you even knowing it. Safeguarding your mug in the future is set to become even more difficult with advancements in facial recognition technologies and wearable computers like Google Glass.

So what can you do to ensure your identity remains intact? In Western countries the answer would be simple: put on a pair of sunglasses. In Japan, however, sunglasses are a much less common sight, and many consider them to be worn only by those trying a little too hard to look cool, and in more extreme cases associate them with the yakuza lifestyle. Researchers at the National Institute of Informatics in Tokyo have addressed this issue by designing a non-threatening pair of white shades to protect both your identity and your public image, dubbing them the “Privacy Visor”.

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Soon, you could have your very own ninja domain (name for your website)

Soon, you could have your very own ninja domain (name for your website)

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.

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Suzuki bringing back ghosts of the 80s with turbocharged motorcycle

Suzuki bringing back ghosts of the 80s with turbocharged motorcycle

Sometimes ideas are too ahead of their time and get forgotten over the years. In 1978, Kawasaki released the Z1R TC, the first motorcycle to use a Turbocharged engine which gave it noticeably more power that other engines of the same size. However, after a brief love affair that lasted into the early ’80s, Japanese bike manufacturers turned their backs on the technology.

Now at this year’s Tokyo Motor Show from 23 November to 1 December, Suzuki is looking to bring it back with their new concept Recursion sports motorcycle which promises to go back and rectify all the problems that dogged turbocharged bikes of the past.

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How humanity ends: Virtual reality headset hooked up to Tenga love cup for men 【Video】

How humanity ends: Virtual reality headset hooked up to Tenga love cup for men 【Video】

Some people think that humans will one day be wiped off the face of the earth by a giant asteroid. Others think we’ll all slowly become androgynous and simply stop making enough babies.

We at RocketNews24, on the other hand, think the human race will end at the point that men lock themselves away with their virtual reality headsets and Tenga brand masturbation aids hooked up to a laptop, and today we bring you proof that we’re already well on the way to that sad state of affairs.

This post contains potentially NSFW, and also mildly depressing, images.

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Lexus releases swarm of automated robot helicopters in awesome new ad

Lexus releases swarm of automated robot helicopters in awesome new ad

In case you were wondering, no, Lexus, Toyota’s luxury marque, hasn’t decided to start selling helicopters. But while the car manufacturer is still firmly committed to ground-based transportation, Lexus is exploring new technology in hopes of making self-driving cars a reality, much like rivals Nissan and Honda.

To that end, Lexus has teamed up with the engineers at KMel Robotics to produce this amazing ad, under the automaker’s slogan of “Amazing in Motion.”

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Adventures in buying an unlocked iPad Air from a Hong Kong scalper

Adventures in buying an unlocked iPad Air from a Hong Kong scalper

We here at RocketNews24 are no strangers to the lengths people will go to for the latest Apple product. And when we first heard about the new iPad Air, we knew we wanted to get our hands on one. But since merely buying the newest iPad was not enough of a challenge, we set out to buy an unlocked model that could be used on any wireless network in Japan.

Unfortunately, it seems like that is not an option in Japan, which led one of our reporters from RocketNews24 Japan, Takashi Harada, on a trip to Hong Kong to try to get one of the hottest devices of the season! It turned out to be quite the adventure.

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Honda’s automated valet parking service in action 【Video】

Honda’s automated valet parking service in action 【Video】

As someone who feels lonely when his car doesn’t have a clutch pedal, the seemingly inevitable march towards self-driving automobiles isn’t exactly my favorite technological trend. Convenience is all well and good, but I can’t help but feel sorry for future generations that may never know the joy of a crisp-shifting manual transmission, or the amazing stress-relieving properties of a quick blast to redline.

Of course, there’s no pleasure to be found in navigating through a crowded parking lot hunting for a space. That’s why Honda is looking to take this task off drivers’ hands with an automatic valet parking system.

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Sci-fi tech you wish was real… and actually is!

Sci-fi tech you wish was real… and actually is!

Man, wouldn’t life be a whole lot easier if, say, when you dropped your phone, it landed predictably on its strongest edge, preventing breakage? Or how about a system that automatically mutes your annoying boss, not by making you deaf to him, but by making it physically impossible for him to talk? Oh! Or, what if there were money printers that printed as much money as we wanted?

It turns out all of those things actually exist, albeit one of them isn’t available for personal use because it would cause the world’s currencies to become wildly inflated and ultimately lead to the downfall of civilization as we know it.

There are, in fact, a lot of awesome hi-tech inventions you probably wish for on a regular basis without even knowing that they actually already exist. Here are just a few we’ve picked out:

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China’s “Program Goddess” shatters image of IT professionals

China’s “Program Goddess” shatters image of IT professionals

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.

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Photoshop manipulation of female model both horrific and impressive

Photoshop manipulation of female model both horrific and impressive

The extreme Photoshop manipulation of fashion models – female ones especially – is probably one of the worst kept secrets of the fashion industry nowadays. But one advocacy group went beyond simple before/after photos and staged a photo shoot from start to finish to show just how crazy the process really is.

Global Democracy – a group that sort of weirdly advocates advocacy – created the time-lapse video that transforms an already perfectly good looking female model into physically unachievable perfection in a little over 30 seconds.

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Attention gearheads, gun nuts and engineers! 25 GIFs of engines, cannons and everyday objects in action

Attention gearheads, gun nuts and engineers! 25 GIFs of engines, cannons and everyday objects in action

As someone who never took shop class growing up, I’m regularly baffled by how things work mechanically. Sure, I’ve seen the inner workings of machinery plenty of times after accidentally cracking its protective casing, but it’s hard to get a clear image of how all the moving parts mesh together when the whole thing is broken.

Thankfully, a series of GIFs making the rounds on the Internet in Japan is here to show how everything from an electric fan to a ship-mounted cannon operates. It’s surprisingly awesome.

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Researchers in Osaka develop hands-free, breath-controlled PC mouse

Researchers in Osaka develop hands-free, breath-controlled PC mouse

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.

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Was iOS 7 created in Microsoft Word? Czech expert makes us believe so【Video】

Was iOS 7 created in Microsoft Word? Czech expert makes us believe so【Video】

Since its release in 2007, the iPhone has taken the world by storm, garnering a massive following thanks to its simplistic design and sleek interface. Along with the gradual changes of its appearance, its operating system, iOS, has also made subtle changes with each update since the first version.

iOS 7, which was rolled out a couple of months ago, surprised users with a revamped look and feel which seemed to challenge the limits of simplicity with a flat user interface and bold colors. Doing away with excessive ornamentation, the explicitly simple design set some people thinking, was iOS 7 created in Microsoft Word? Václav Krejčí from the Czech Republic worked his magical skills with the word processing software to create an image replica of unbelievable quality, and you should really see it with your own eyes.

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