Posts Tagged ‘japanese’
Hybrid car sales in the US have been dominated by Toyota’s Prius family — but that could be changing as demand for Ford’s Fusion and C-Max hybrids continues to sharply rise. Bloomberg reports that the automaker’s share of US hybrid vehicle sales rose from three percent in April 2012 to 18 percent last month. Though Toyota still took in over half of April’s sales, it’s the only manufacturer ahead of Ford at this point. Ford is also on track to beat its own record for yearly hybrid sales — 35,496 vehicles — sometime this month. Even so, it still has a ways to go to catch up with Toyota.
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Ford hybrid car sales to be higher than ever in US, but Toyota still dominates
After the Japanese invasion of Hong Kong during the Second World War, China reclaimed the rights to Kowloon Walled City, an ex-military fort. As refugees fled to the area, the Walled City became something of a diplomatic no-man’s land — neither the Chinese government nor the British colonial administration were willing to intervene. Between 1945 and 1990, the population of the area raised from 2,000 to an estimated 50,000. An interconnected web of 14-story skyscrapers were erected with no input from architects or planners, and the largely triad-controlled city became infamous for lawlessness and squalor. At its peak, the city, which measured just 2.7 hectares (around 290,000 square feet), had a population density of 1.92 million per..
Microsoft has failed to gain ground in the Japanese gaming market with its Xbox and Xbox 360 consoles, but that’s not stopping the software giant from trying. A new incentive will launch on April 20th that sees Xbox owners receive free points based on the collective amount of time that participants in the campaign use the console in Japan. Gamers need to spend 300,000 hours using the Xbox 360 to get 100 ($1.25) Microsoft Points for Xbox Live Gold subscribers and 10 Points for free members.
E-commerce has disrupted a number of industries, but it’s only helped expand the global market for items made of illegal African elephant ivory. Online sales listings for items made of the highly-coveted tusks of African elephants have increased in recent years, showing up on eBay, Google Shopping and numerous other online forums, according to conservation advocacy groups. Many of the groups are gathering this week in Bangkok, Thailand, for a summit to revise international wildlife trade agreements. While they say eBay has made progress in shutting down ivory sales on its websites around the globe, one nonprofit, the Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA) faults Google for not doing enough in responding to concerns, and says Amazon is..
Japanese carrier KDDI’s CEO Takashi Tanaka says the company is “considering” selling smartphones with Mozilla’s Firefox OS, reports CNet Japan . The comment was made following yesterday’s HTML5 Study Group in Tokyo, at which Tanaka was an unexpected guest. The CEO declined to give details on the time frame that KDDI is considering.
Deadspin dropped a bombshell this afternoon that one of the most popular, heartwarming stories of the college football season — Notre Dame linebacker Manti Te’o's doomed love with a dying girl — was a hoax . The girl, named Lennay Kekua, had a Twitter account, a stockpile of photos, and a great story — but none of it was real. The account was fake from the beginning. The photos were pulled from another girl’s Facebook page, and doctored to dodge Google Image search
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How Twitter made Manti Te’o's fake girlfriend look real
Last week Netflix announced it would be delivering streaming 3D video and even higher-quality HD content via ISPs that were participating in its Open Connect initiative — but Time Warner Cable is crying foul. In a statement to Multichannel News , the cable operator contends that “While they call it ‘Open Connect,’ Netflix is actually closing off access to some of its content while seeking unprecedented preferential treatment from ISPs.” The statement goes on to say that “We believe it is wrong for Netflix to withhold any content formats from our subscribers and the subscribers of many other ISPs. Time Warner Cable’s network is more than capable of delivering this content to Netflix subscribers today.” At issue is the higher data… Continue reading…
Boeing’s 787 Dreamliner has finally come into service in Japan, the US, and elsewhere. The light carbon fiber body is said to provide greater fuel efficiency, making new routes possible, while the airplane has other new features such as electronically dimmable windows. But the 787 has run into issues since making its inaugural flight, with a series of emergency landings and battery failures ultimately leading to the FAA’s order to ground the plane in the US.
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Boeing 787 Dreamliner hits problems after launch
Sony might have made news for being the first TV manufacturer with a 4K OLED TV at CES last week, but that wasn’t the only first the company was celebrating. Its new Triluminous displays are the first consumer devices (let alone TVs) to make use of quantum dots — a semiconductor technology that uses “tuned” nanocrystals so small that they exhibit quantum properties, emitting light only at predetermined wavelengths. The resulting displays reportedly see as much as a 50 percent increase in color gamut, or the range of colors that the screens can reproduce. An uncoated LED inside a thin glass tube packed with red and green quantum dots Ordinary LED-backlit LCD TVs use a blue LED surrounded with a phosphor coating to produce white… Continue reading…
Fujitsu’s smartphone offerings have evolved dramatically over the past few years, but in Japan, the company’s older flip-phone variant remains surprisingly popular — among cheaters, at least. That’s the takeaway from a recent Wall Street Journal article , which takes a deeper look at the social phenomenon behind Fujitsu’s F-Series, a handset that according to many, offers greater privacy protections for philandering lovers. The key to the phone’s success is a setting that automatically hides missed calls, text messages, and voicemails from numbers designated as private — meaning users can maintain illicit relationships without having to field questions from suspicious spouses. “Women may want to check my phone for strange emails or..
After many months of waiting, Amazon’s Kindle bookstore and ebook readers are finally making their promised way to Japan. Customers will be able to purchase from 50,000 Japanese titles on Amazon’s online bookstore starting tomorrow (October 25th), while e-readers like the Kindle Paperwhite and Kindle Fire won’t be shipping until the middle of November. Originally rumored to be coming in April, Amazon’s devices were updated to “ coming soon ” status in July before the company entered a three-month period of radio silence. During the interim, Rakuten opened up its Kobo Japan bookstore in July, releasing the Kobo Touch e-reader at ¥7,980, or about $100.
Android Central has uploaded pictures of a new 5-inch 1080p device for Verizon called the HTC DLX. The leak comes days after HTC officially unveiled a similarly proportioned phone for the Japanese market, the J Butterfly . We’ve heard whispers about a 5-inch flagship coming from HTC for months now, culminating in the release of a limited spec sheet by xda-developers member Football, who has a reputation for releasing accurate details about upcoming devices.
5-inch 1080p HTC DLX coming to Verizon, says Android Central
Popular Android keyboard Swype has updated its beta with a few new features to smooth the user experience. In the newest version, your personal dictionary can sync across multiple devices, so you don’t have to teach every device you use how to swear or spell your Hungarian uncle’s name properly. The dictionary also automatically adds what Swype calls “hotwords”; basically, globally-trending words and phrases like “Gangnam Style.” For tablet users, Swype has added two new keyboards: a smaller, moveable option, and a split keyboard. There are a few other customization tweaks, and users can now choose from amongst ten different keyboard themes. Enhanced keyboard support for Chinese and Japanese users is also included in the beta update…
Today at Japanese carrier AU’s winter lineup event we got to take a look at the next iteration of Casio’s long-running G’z One brand of ruggedized smartphones, the Type-L. The phone is a solid mid-range device with a 1.5GHz dual-core Snapdragon processor, 4.0-inch IPS LCD panel, 8-megapixel camera, and LTE, but the device’s real appeal lies in is its resilience to the elements. Half the talk time of the RAZR Maxx HD, but 20 percent more weight The phone’s IPX5 / IPX8 waterproofing rating means it can be submerged in water up to 1.5 meters deep for at least 30 minutes and can take being sprayed with a pressure washer for three minutes or more. It’s also dustproof, which is good if you do a lot of adventuring in sandy… Continue reading…
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Casio’s ruggedized G’z One Type-L Android phone hands-on
Sprint confirmed on Friday that it was in talks to sell more than two thirds of Sprint Nextel stock to Japan’s third-place wireless carrier, SoftBank — and now CNBC reports that a deal has been accepted by the boards of both companies. The deal is the latest in a series of acquisitions by SoftBank, and as Nikkei reported earlier, the carrier intends to use the Sprint buyout to expand its global business, and lower its costs for devices and networking equipment. CNBC says SoftBank will buy $8 billion of shares from Sprint and $12 billion worth from shareholders, and that Sprint will receive proceeds from a bond sale to help it complete its acquisition of Clearwire.
Japan’s Nikkei business daily is reporting that the country’s third-place wireless carrier, SoftBank, has entered discussions to acquire more than two thirds of Sprint Nextel stock. The price is said to be over ¥1.5 trillion, or about $19.2 billion. SoftBank has been on a string of acquisitions of late, picking up PHS operator Willcom in January of this year, and fourth-place Japanese carrier E-Mobile less than two weeks ago. Nikkei reports that SoftBank hopes to use the acquisition to expand its global business presence, and to use economies of scale to lower the price it pays for devices and networking equipment.
Once a profit-making powerhouse, Japan’s electronics industry has since fallen on hard financial times, as Samsung and other competitors have encroached upon a market previously dominated by manufacturers like Sharp, Sony, and Panasonic. In an article published this week, Bloomberg Businessweek draws a compelling parallel between the Japanese tech industry and Detroit’s auto manufacturers, noting that both industries, after achieving domestic hegemony, were content to sit on their laurels rather than keep up with shifting consumer demands. In Detroit, the issue was a redundancy of similar cars, while Japanese companies have thus far focused on hardware that has already proven successful. “Japanese companies innovated primarily on… Continue reading…
NHK is showing off some 3D goggles that leverage 8K resolution to let users zoom into the image without significantly degrading quality. We’re just starting to see companies launch the first 4K televisions , but NHK is still working hard to demonstrate the benefits of 8K — the other Ultra High Definition format. Dubbed Super Hi-Vision by the Japanese national broadcaster , 8K offers 16 times the resolution of full 1080p HD and has so far been demonstrated on a huge 145-inch Panasonic plasma TV. Such a set is unlikely to make its way into normal homes for several decades, so NHK has been busy demonstrating other ways to make use of the huge resolution. Zoom up to 16x and still get full HD The goggles on display at CEATEC showed 3D..
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NHK’s 3D binoculars zoom from 8K to full 1080p HD
Social networks already become emergency communication systems during disasters, with users spreading information and looking for on-the-ground updates. Twitter hopes to optimize this in Japan with Lifeline, a partnership between the company and Japan’s local and regional governments. Launched this week, the tool lets users search Twitter for a postal code and see accounts of people tweeting about any disasters in the area, as well as media, utility company, or other accounts that could provide information. Eventually, Twitter says it could be expanded to other countries, though we obviously haven’t been able to see it in action yet.
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Twitter Lifeline to help Japanese users find better information during disasters
Sony’s IFA 2012 announcements were primarily about the bigger picture, both in terms of the company’s One Sony strategy and in the literal sense that the Japanese giant showed off its first 84-inch 4K TV . Still, almost out of habit, Sony also refreshed its Android smartphone lineup with a trio of new handsets: the Xperia T / TX, the Xperia V and the Xperia J . The distinction between the two versions of the flagship T device is actually bigger than Sony would have you believe: The Germany-only Xperia T has a dual-core Qualcomm processor, clocked at 1.5GHz, is thicker than the Europe-wide Xperia TX, positions the power button differently, and has a slightly less unified design. The specs are otherwise a total match, including the 4.6-inch… Continue reading…
Sony Xperia TX video preview
My notepad from my Gamescom 2012 demo of Sony Japan’s recently revealed platformer Puppeteer is, sadly, blank. It’s not because I’m a bad note-taker, or because I didn’t have anything to write about the game — it’s because it’s one of the most arresting games I’ve seen in a long time. The game takes place entirely on a static stage upon which all of the interactive elements are wheeled on and off, quite rapidly. During the demo, the game’s very first stage is stacked, from front to back, and the player must move backwards through the set. After navigating one backdrop by jumping from side to side over its hazards, you’re teleported to the next in line as it’s pushed forward
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The manic world of ‘Puppeteer’ demands your attention
A string of overheating PS Vitas has prompted an investigation in Japan, but Sony maintains that the cause isn’t a defect, instead chalking it up to user error. As reported by Wired , the total number of cases has now reached 31, 23 of which happened in Japan. The problem appears to stem from the charging port; Sony says users are trying to charge their Vitas while either the port or the cable’s terminal are wet or dirty.
Japan is yet to have a smash hit e-reader, but that could be about to change this summer. The Kobo Touch, which launches on July 19th through Rakuten , has already become the most-ordered item on the online retailer’s website. Rakuten isn’t giving numbers, but if the claim is legitimate it’d mean a significant response to the device from the Japanese public — Rakuten is the biggest e-commerce company in Japan and the third-largest in the world.
Anonymous is branching out. This rainy morning in Tokyo, 50 or so masked men and women are converging on Miyashita Park, garbage bags in hand, to join Operation Japan’s Anonymous Cleaning Service — picking up litter in one of Tokyo’s busiest districts in equal parts public service, protest, and PR campaign. The event is the Japanese group’s first public demonstration, and it’s using the occasion to speak out against recently-passed revisions to the country’s copyright law. The changes criminalize illegal downloading , and would see the country’s ISPs begin monitoring internet traffic for suspicious activity. Today’s event follows a series of DDoS attacks last week on the websites of the country’s two major political parties,…
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Anonymous in Tokyo: OpJapan cleans up the streets