Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Japanese Robot Knows Words, Can House-Sit

"A child-shaped humanoid robot that can recognize about 10,000 words and work as a house sitter will go on sale in Japan in September.

The "Wakamaru" robot can recognize the faces of up to 10 people and talk to them. When linked to mobile phones, it can also work as a monitor to check situations at home, such as a burglary or someone falling ill, Mitsubishi-Heavy Industries Ltd. said in a statement Monday.

Mitsubishi-Heavy said it would be the first time a robot with communication ability for home use has been sold."


Sony Ericsson and NTT DoCoMo shows the Radiden radio-cellphone.


Friday, August 26, 2005

LEDs are expected to eventually replace fluorescent lights in homes

"LEDs are considered the fourth-generation light source in human history following fire, incandescent lamps and fluorescent lights.

Generally speaking, LEDs consume an eighth of the power of incandescent bulbs and half that of fluorescent lights, so they play a significant role in energy conservation."

Read on at
Visit Nichia & Toyoda Gosei

Elpida Japan makes world's fastest DDR RAM

"While many still don't employ DDR-2, Elpida recently announced that it has completed its first DDR-3 chip. The Japanese memory designer employed a dual-gate transistortechnology on a 90 nm process to reduce leakage and improve transistor performance. The new memory runs at a speed of 1,333MHz, doubling the current high-performance memory standard of 667MHz and besting the Samsung DDR-3 introduction of 1.06GHz."
Read on at

Thursday, August 25, 2005

Prius Review UK

"The highest average figure I saw was 65 mpg; I'm not claiming that as any kind of record, merely an indication that 'my' Prius was fully up to spec. The mpg figure that most impressed me was the 52 mpg I obtained between Minehead and Barnstable, across sometimes hilly terrain and always winding narrow roads, at the sort of speeds a typical sales rep might employ."

Mitsubishi accelerate electric car program

"The continually rising price of fuel has caused Mitsubishi to step up the development of an electric car.

Mitsubishi and Tokyo Electric Power Co. are jointly developing a new generation electric car, dubbed MIEV (Mitsubishi In-wheel motor Electric Vehicle) and is scheduled for production by 2008."

Read on at Stuff (NZ)

Calls for free from Fujitsu

"This phone from Fujitsu spin-off Net2-Com isn't likely to trouble Vodafone et al, but it does show the way ahead. The WiPCom 1000 is a dual-mode handset that can place potentially free calls over the Internet either through a Wi-Fi connection or by using one of those Air H PHS datacards that are so popular now."
Read on at JapanToday.

Sony Network Walkman NW-E307 & NW-E305 Details & Pics

3 Minutes recharge equals 3 hours playback.
Maximum 50 hours playback possible.
Hand-friendly design, 1GB 「NW-E307」 and 512M 「NW-E305」.
Comes with FM tuner.

Infor and Pictures from ITMedia (Japan)

Matsushita to sell 65-inch TV in Japan from Nov

"Matsushita Electric Industrial Co. (6752.T: Quote, Profile, Research) said on Thursday it will start selling a high-definition 65-inch plasma television in Japan from November 1 for less than 1 million yen."
Read on at Reuters.

IBM, Sony and Toshiba Unveil Full Details of the Cell

"IBM, Sony, Sony Computer Entertainment Inc., (Sony and SCE together referred to as "Sony Group") and Toshiba today announced the release of key documents that describe technical details of the revolutionary Cell Broadband Engine architecture.

The documents are available at and Toshiba will release the documents once it completes its customer support structure."
Read on at TeamXbox.

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

NEC's 5GHz USB Wireless Adapter AtermWL54SU

5GHz USB Wireless Adapter - "KuruKuru-Connector."
Stick-shaped IEEE 802.11a Wireless LAN Adapter.
Begins selling early September.

From ITMedia (Japan)

Sony Digital TV Remote Control RM-P7D

From ITMedia (Japan)
Sony Japan

Amadana Earphones PE-117

From ITMedia(Japan)

Rising Sunlight

"How Japan's lack of oil helped make it the world leader in solar panels."

"With oil prices heading toward $70 a barrel, the age of the solar panel is dawning at last, and electronics companies from the land of the rising sun are leading the way. Decades of money-losing research and development are finally paying off at Japanese electronics giants like Sharp, Sanyo, Mitsubishi and Kyocera, who together control about 50% of the global market. "The solar units of these companies are already real businesses, and they are only going to become larger parts of their operations," says Yuki Sugi, a Lehman Bros. analyst in Tokyo who covers Sharp and Sanyo.
Sharp, the world's market leader, sold more than $1 billion worth of solar panels last year and expects a 28% increase this year. Sanyo expects a 60% sales increase this year, and at Kyocera, solar panels account for 5% of the company's total sales and 12% of its operating profit. "Solar is a booming business," says Sharp president Katsuhiko Machida, "and it is one of our core targets for growth."
Read On at Time Asia.

Japanese Nobel Candidate Sees Big Future for Nanotech

"The Shinshu University professor, who developed a key nanotech material called carbon nanotube, is convinced that molecular-scale engineering will revolutionize people's lives in the coming decades."

"Nanotechnology is certain to play a crucial role in creating technological innovations in the 21st century," says Endo, who is believed to be a Nobel Prize candidate for his discovery of nanotubes and a method to mass produce them."


Amadana, design-centric phone, remote, cleaner

"Real Fleet is introducing three new products in their line of design-centric electronics: a phone, a learning remote, and a cleaner."
Read on at TechJapan.

Hitachi breaks barrier of 1 terabyte in storage

"Hitatchi today basically told the competition to kiss off by releasing the DV-DH1000W 1 Terrabyte DVD burner unto the world. Before a whopping 1TB of space, the max out there was only 500GB."

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Roborior Japanese House-Sitter Robot Hits Stores

"Worried about leaving your house empty while you go on vacation? Japan has the answer: a house-sitter robot armed with a digital camera, infrared sensors and a videophone...Stores across Japan started taking orders on Thursday for the Roborior — a watermelon-sized eyeball on wheels that glows purple, blue and orange — continuing the country's love affair with gadgets."

Japan Plans Test of 'New Concorde'

"Japan's space agency plans to launch an arrow-shaped airplane at twice the speed of sound high over the Australian outback as early as next month in a crucial test of the country's push to develop a supersonic successor to the retired Concorde."

Monday, August 22, 2005

160GB Mobile Hard Disk From Fujitsu

"Fujitsu developed the MHV2160BT to address growing demands for mobile hard disk drives with the speed and capacity required for high-end audio/video computing.

The Fujitsu MHV2160BT offers the performance and capacity required for high-end audio/video computing in applications such as gaming, video editing, audio recording, DVR and storage, along with a wide array of related applications. It will be available through original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) and distributors in 4CQ05."

Read on at Softpedia.

Friday, August 19, 2005

Mitsubishi Electric to Release Power Conditioner for Home Solar Power System

"Mitsubishi Electric announced on August 18 that it will release two power conditioner models for a home solar power system on December 20.

The power conditioner the company has developed transforms direct current power to alternation current power more efficient, reducing electric conversion loss by 18% and achieving the industry's highest power conversion rate of 95.5%.

The lead-free power conditioner, used with a lead-free solar cell module, enables the home solar power system to reduce use of lead by 876g per year."

From JCN.

NEC Launches Online Sale of Water-Cooled Desktop PC

"NEC (TSE: 6701) launched the Valuestar G Type C, a water-cooled desktop PC, on August 18 exclusively at the company's shopping website NEC Direct (

In a compact and stylish body with the radiator embedded in the water-cooler unit, the Type C measures 121x414x419mm, achieving a 33% reduction in width compared to the predecessor water-cooled models."

From JCNNetwork.

RIKEN Succeeds in Grasping Neuron Activity in Brain's Visual Areas

"RIKEN announced on August 18 that its Brain Science Institute has shed light on the mechanism of neuron activities in the visual areas of the brain.

Using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), the research group has observed the activities of nerve cells in V1, V2, V3 and V4 areas.

The group has confirmed that the nerve cells in those areas can function in response to environmental changes so that the human can distinguish and visualize objects.

Further, the group has indicated that this discovery will play a role in research on human visual sensitivity."
From JCNNetwork.

Thursday, August 18, 2005

GameBoy Micro Makes Debut Sept. 19

"Japanese video-game maker Nintendo Co. said it will launch its latest hand-held game player, the cell-phone sized GameBoy Micro, in Japan on Sept. 13 and the United States on Sept. 19...The GameBoy Micro, to be priced at $109 in Japan and $99.99 in the United States, has a two-inch screen and comes in four colors -- black, silver, blue or purple, the company said Thursday."
Read on at Businessweek.
Visit Nintendo.

Fuji Heavy unveils electric car that uses lithium-ion battery

"Fuji Heavy Industries Ltd unveiled an electric minicar concept model on Thursday that uses high-performance lithium-ion batteries the automaker says will help it compete against others in developing environment-friendly vehicles.

Fuji Heavy President Kyoji Takenaka said with the Subaru R1e model, Fuji Heavy is ready to challenge Toyota Motor Corp and other rivals leading in technologies for hybrid electric-gasoline or fuel-cell vehicles."

From JapanToday.

NOEVIR Confirms That Tibetan Plant Worm Can Regulate Cholesterol Metabolism

"NOEVIR announced on August 18 that it has identified a unique property of cordyceps sinensis saccardo, a plant worm native to Tibet.

In its recent experiments using rats and human white adipocytes, the company confirmed that extracts of the plant worm can promote the production of adiponectin, a kind of protein that helps promote fat-burning activities and inhibit the development of lifestyle-related diseases.

Consequently, NOEVIR has concluded that the extracts have potential to prevent and improve lifestyle-related diseases. The company plans to apply these findings to the development of dietary supplement products. "

Read on at JCNnetwork.

NEC’s superthin L1

"Their new L1 is a mere 11.9mm thick—a mere 0.46-inches—which is 2mm thinner than the RAZR, and 2.6mm thinner than the Blade (V740)."
Read on at Engadget.

Pre-order the Sony PlayStation3 for $299.99 on Amazon.

"This pretty much ends the discussions about the pricing of the Sony PS3 versus Xbox 360. At $299.99, it's only $100 more than a Sony PSP! This baby will fly off the shelves like hotcakes. The next round of game console battle is going to be very interesting. This pricing is not surprising at all, given the competitive nature of the console business."
From Ubergizmo.

Sony Walkman Bean MP3 players

"Gadget giant Sony has launched a tasty new collection of mini MP3 players that it's affectionately dubbed the Bean range. No surprises why.

They hit shops in a couple of flash memory flavours - 512MB and 1GB - with both versions connecting to your PC or Mac via a pop-up USB jack for lemon-squeezy track transfers. Plus, they're not doing a shuffle and sacrificing a screen, each featuring a tiny LED for displaying all your tune info. And as for audio formats, they support the usual suspects with Atrac3plus and MP3 playback."
Read on at Virgin.

Toshiba Develops World's First 1GHz Configurable Processor

"Toshiba Corporation announced that it has developed a new high-end processor core, MeP-h1, the first configurable microprocessor to achieve a 1GHz clock speed. The MeP-h1 is based on Toshiba's "Media embedded Processor" (MeP) architecture for digital consumer and other high performance SoCs. It gives designers the flexibility to customize processors at the design stage, including the ability to change processor configurations and add custom instructions to satisfy application requirements."
Read on at Physorg.

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Solar-Powered Toyota Prius Project

"Green Car Congress writes about a very cool project by Canadian engineer Steve Lapp who modified his 2001 Prius by installing solar panels on the roof."
Read on at Treehugger.

Fujitsu Palm Vein Authentication Technology for Condominium Entrance Access Security; First Residential Use of Palm Vein Biometric Security

"Tokyo, Japan, Aug 18, 2005 - (JCN Newswire) - Meiwa Estate Company Limited (TSE: 8869), Fujitsu Limited (TSE: 6702), and Mitsuiwa Corporation today announced that Fujitsu's contactless palm vein authentication technology will be implemented for front entrance security using an auto-lock system, at Meiwa Estate's Clio Shonan-Chigasaki condominium scheduled to be newly constructed by March 2006 in the southwest region of metropolitan Tokyo. This represents the first residential use in metropolitan Tokyo of Fujitsu's palm vein authentication technology for condominium entry security. Fujitsu and Mitsuiwa Corporation will jointly support installation of equipment for management of building entry security, including Fujitsu's contactless palm vein authentication device."

Read on at JCNNetwork.

iDuck USB Memory Storage Device

"For those light-at-heart and animal lovers out there, Solid Alliance (Japan) has released a new i-Duck USB Memory Storage device. The i-Duck uses a USB 1.1 interface and has a maximum storage capacity of 256MB."
Read on at Dynamism.

Teijin to start polyester recycling

"Textile maker Teijin Ltd will cooperate with U.S. outdoor clothing company Patagonia Inc to recycle polyester clothing in the United States and Japan starting next month, Teijin officials said."
Read on at JapanToday.

Mitsubishi Heavy eyes commercializing humanoid robot

"Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Ltd said Wednesday it plans to commercialize the Wakamaru humanoid robot, possibly within this year, as the company has now formed an alliance on the business with seven firms."
Read on at JapanToday.
Picture from ITmedia (Japan).

Fujitsu to test kid-tracking system using QR codes

"Lest you think RFID is the only technology being used in Japan to track kids, Fujitsu is testing a system that can store detailed data in QR Codes, eliminating the need for kids to wear or carry a digital device."
Read on at Engadget.

Sony delivers two new HDTV sets with full 1080p HD resolution.

"Sony HDTVs have an impressive contrast ratio of 5000:1 (my LCD monitor is 500:1). They come in 50-inch and 60-inch and will retail for $4000 and $5000 respectively."
Read on at Ubergizmo.

Sony announces dual-layer DVD burners

"Sony has announced a line of dual layer DVD burners, the internal DRU-810A and the external DRX-810UL, both supposedly able to support the fastest 8X DVD+R Double Layer recording speed, and capable of burning up to 8.5GB of data in around fifteen minutes."
Read on at The Inquirer.

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Showa Shell to Launch Commercial Production of Next-generation CIS Solar Battery in 2007

"Tokyo (JCN) - Showa Shell Sekyu has announced production of next-generation CIS (copper, nidium, selenium) solar batteries on a commercial basis in 2007.

Photovoltaic power generation that utilizes inexhaustible solar energy is expected to play a crucial role in curbing global warming.

Showa Shell has worked on solar batteries since 1978 with the aim of making them a new business and developed technologies to improve conversion efficiency and produce solar batteries in commercial volume.

Leveraging such technologies, the company will construct the world's first CIS solar battery plant for commercial production, beginning in December 2005.

To be located in Miyazaki Prefecture, the plant will have a capacity to produce 20MW of batteries per year. Commercial production is expected to start in the beginning of 2008."

From JCNNetwork.

Toshiba’s new 1.8-inch 40GB perpendicular drive

"The MK4007GAL does 40GB on a single platter, which means thinner portable audio players with fewer read/write heads (and thus fewer points of failure). Their new Gigabeat F41 will apparently use the new perpdrive, and they’ve plans to release an 80GB version, the MK8007GAH, later this year."
Read on at Engadget.

Japan's biometric security firms see demand booming

"Firms providing the latest in biometric security, using systems that can identify an individual's face, hand or fingerprint, are enjoying a boom in Japan amid an increase in forgery and cybercrime.

The technology includes ways to combat credit card fraud and Internet offences such as identity theft by avoiding the need for PIN numbers, as well as doors that dispense with conventional locks and instead rely on face recognition.

Some analysts say technology vendors including Fujitsu-Frontech Ltd. have great potential in the biometrics security market which, although expected to grow sharply, is still in its infancy."
Read on at Reuters.

Monday, August 15, 2005

Kaga Electronics' WiFi/PHS phone

"We first saw this phone as a mockup over a year ago, when it was billed as a Fujitsu-developed unit that'd be coming out in the autumn. It now looks like it'll be coming out this autumn (September, to be precise) as Kaga Electronics' WiPCom1000."
Read on at dottocomu.

Modded Toyota hybrid pushes boundaries in fuel economy: 250 MPG.

"With energy costs soaring on an almost daily basis, car manufacturer Toyota has released news that the production model of a hybrid Toyota Prius can achieve 110 miles per gallon. That is not the crowning glory, however..."
Read on at Ubergizmo.

Japanese Researchers Create Human-like Skin for Robots to Sense Heat

"A flexible, electronic skin could provide robots, car seats and even carpets the ability to sense pressure and heat. Japanese researchers say the new "skin" would not only sense both heat and pressure, but would be flexible, cheap and easy to make."
"Thus, it will be possible in the near future to make an electronic skin that has functions that human skin lacks by integrating various sensors not only for pressure and temperature, but also for light, humidity, strain, or ultrasonic."
Read on at ABC (AU).

PSP Drum Machines

"The PSP homebrew community has come out with not one, but two different drum machines for the PSP: The PSPKick, and the PSP Rhythm Composer complete with a Roland-style drum machine."
Read on at Gizmodo.

Sanyo Electric and IBM to develop hybrid fuel cell systems for laptops

"Sanyo Electric and International Business Machines (IBM), said the prototype fuel cell system can provide eight hours of battery life using replaceable methanol fuel cartridges."
Read on at Fuel Cell Today.

Honda, GM and BMW in joint venture

"It is reported from Japan that Honda, General Motors and BMW have agreed to jointly develop technologies for hydrogen fuel-cell vehicles. Under the banner of an LH (Liquid Hydrogen) Consortium, the partners will also be concerned with developing hydrogen-powered engines."
Read on at Newcarnet (UK).

Sunday, August 14, 2005

The Audio Technica EC7 headphones

"The Audio Technica EC7 headphones truly do offer extraordinary sound quality and fantastic style. They are inner-ear headphones that are still comfortable...Available in Silver or Gun Metal, includes 1m cord and carrying pouch."
See Dynamism.

Toyota Dream House PAPI

"TRON Project Leader Ken Sakamura, in cooperation with Toyota Home K.K., has designed and developed a new intelligent home based on TRON and other leading edge technologies. Called "Toyota Dream House PAPI," this new intelligent home is designed to reflect the ubiquitous computing technologies that will be available for intelligent home construction in the year 2010."
Read on at Ken Sakamura's HP.

Pioneer DV-AX5AVi

"Pioneer will launch its DV-AX5AVi in November. This Audio/Video DVD and SACD player reads everything in HDMI 1.1, but why is this a universal player?"
Read on at Akibalive.

Nissin Instant Noodles Makes Space Debut

"OSAKA, Japan (AFP) - After conquering Earth, instant noodles have now headed into space with Japanese astronaut Soichi Noguchi, who brought a new zero-gravity version aboard the US shuttle Discovery.

Nissin Food, whose invention of instant noodles sparked a 65 billion pack-a-year global industry, developed a special ball-shaped version of the usually dangling noodle that space-travellers can eat easily with a fork.

Space Ram, unveiled by the firm hours after Noguchi and his six fellow astronauts blasted off Wednesday, comes in four different flavors -- soy sauce, miso, curry and pork broth."

Read Full Article at Yahoo.

Mars Flag: Japanese Visual Indexing

"While Mars flag is coming to an already crowded party, it shows up fashionably late and in style. It’s killer feature: visual indexing."
Read on at Gizmodo.
Visit: Mars Flag.

Tanaka Auto Door

"This new design entails strips equipped with infrared sensors that open to the approximate shape of the person or object passing through, minimizing entry of dust, pollen, and bugs while keeping precious air-conditioning in."

Read on at Gizmodo.

Tokyo Electric Power Company to Start Recycling of Discarded Fiber Cables

"Tokyo Electric Power Company is preparing to start this project in 2006. 130 tons of discarded fiber cable are generated annually by Tokyo Electric Power Company. By recycling, approximately 3400 drums are produced from them, and it is able to reduce 50% of the amount of industrial wastes to be buried."
Read on at JCN.

Hitachi G1000

"The Hitachi G1000 integrates the familiarity of the Microsoft® Windows® OS, keyboard, camera, and wireless phone into an all-in-one productivity tool."
Read on at Sprint.

NTT 3D SpaceBrowser

"Japanese NTT is working on a 3D information browser that is scheduled to be released in October."
Read on at I4U.

DoCoMo making cellphone that slows down speech

"This month, NTT DoCoMo plans to release a phone that can slow down a speaker’s voice by up to 0.7x — it’s yet another phone targeted at the elderly who can presumably benefit from processing the slower dialogue."
Read more at Engadget.

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