Saturday, April 22, 2006

Sony's Shape-shifting bath

"Sony engineer Tetsujiro Kondo says in this patent application that the bathtub would have interior walls made of a strong flexible polymer, with elastic cushioning panels behind them, supported in turn by electrically controlled pressure rams. These rams give the bath's interior walls their overall shape."

NewScientist Blog.

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Japan to Test Fuel Cell-Powered Train

Japan's biggest rail company will soon test using fuel cells to help power a train, following the lead of automakers in rolling out cleaner, more efficient transportation.

Pollution-free fuel cells generate electricity through a chemical reaction between hydrogen and oxygen, producing only water vapor as exhaust.

Read whole article at Yahoo!

Nissan's 2007 Infiniti G35 ships with In-dash Hard Drive and Compact Flash

The Infiniti G35 under Nissan's luxury badge will roll out of the factory with an internal hard drive that is useful for direct CD ripping. Sources claim that the hard drive could have a possible 9.5GB capacity.

Full article at Ubergizmo.

Monday, April 17, 2006

TDK eyes 200GB Blu-ray disc

"Should TDK achieve their target, this new Blu-ray disc will offer 4 times the capacity of the current largest BDs. We reckon this monumental ambition will be achieved soon, as TDK had already unveiled a 100GB prototype last May."


Saturday, March 18, 2006

Sharp to Introduce Industry's Thinnest, Most Compact 110,000-pixel CMOS Camera Module; Optical System Only 1/11 Inch in Size

Tokyo, Japan, Mar 16, 2006 - (JCN Newswire) - Sharp Corporation has developed a 110,000-pixel CMOS camera module with an optical system only 1/11-inch in size. The new LZ0P396D is the industry's most compact*, thinnest module, and is ideal for compact portable devices such as mobile phones. Volume shipments will begin in April 2006.

Small, high-resolution, high-performance cameras are increasingly being adopted for use in compact portable devices such as mobile phones. At the same time, the proliferation of third-generation (3G) mobile phones is continuing in tandem with the inclusion of videophone functions. For the second camera unit needed for such features, demand for super-compact camera modules that can be embedded in the limited space available in these devices is also increasing.

This new CMOS camera module developed at this time is based on proprietary Sharp high-density design technology. Improved optical system design and greater precision in molding components combine to reduce the vertical profile of the unit, resulting in the industry's thinnest profile at only 2.43 mm thick and smallest volume at 0.07 cc. Plus, the LZ0P396D also supports full-motion video capture at 30 frames per second (fps), enabling users to record smooth movie clips.


Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Seagrand’s X-Cute XC090 MP3 Player

"Seagrand’s amazingly small, 24mm square, X-Cute (XC090) MP3/WMA player will go on sale March 23. Just make sure not to drop it in your morning coffee, as the picture seems to suggest. Two models will be available, a 256MB and a 512MB and prices are currently listed as open price."

Read on at Akibalive.

Sunday, March 12, 2006

Saturday, March 11, 2006

Kikkoman Finds Soy Sauce Bacteria Effective Against Allergies

Tokyo, Mar 9, 2006 (JCN) - Kikkoman Corporation has discovered that lactic acid bacteria derived from soy sauce and other fermented foods are effective against allergies.

Specifically, the company has elucidated that tetragenococcus halophilus Th221, a kind of plant-derived lactic acid bacteria found in soy sauce, can induce the generation of interleukin 12 (IL-12), a substance that helps alleviate allergic symptoms.

In recent joint research with the Tokyo University of Agriculture, Kikkoman also discovered that several other plant-derived lactic acid bacteria from fermented foods, such as Leuconostoc mesenteroides, are able to induce the generation of IL-12.

Furthermore, in experiments on mice, they confirmed that these bacteria help alleviate allergic symptoms. In particular, their administration reduces serum IgE levels, an indicator of allergy.

Full Article at JCNNetwork.

Thursday, March 09, 2006

Fujitsu Launches Worldwide Sales of New Compact, High-Performance Palm Vein Biometric Authentication Device

"Tokyo, Japan and Hannover, Germany, Mar 9, 2006 - (JCN Newswire) - Fujitsu Limited and Fujitsu Laboratories Limited today announced the joint development and commercial introduction of a significantly more compact and higher performance model of their original award-winning contactless palm vein biometric authentication device. Targeting a major expansion of its biometric security systems business, Fujitsu will market the new device worldwide under the PalmSecure(TM) brand beginning today."

Read on at JCNNetwork.

NEC To Launch VoToL 30GB media player

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Toyota Outlines Motorsports Activities for 2006

Tokyo, Japan, Mar 3, 2006 - (JCN Newswire) - TOYOTA MOTOR CORPORATION (TMC) announced today the outline of its motorsports activities for 2006, which positions FIA Formula One World Championship (F1), NASCAR, Super GT and Formula Nippon as the main pillars of its motorsports competition, while including measures to further support the foundations of motorsports.

As detailed in the outline (available in full below), for its fifth year of F1 competition, Toyota rolls out the TF106 race car, developed in response to changes in vehicle regulations, such as those concerning engine displacement. Continuing from last year, drivers Ralf Schumacher and Jarno Trulli are aiming for Toyota's first F1 victory.

Read on at JCNnetwork

Trash can robot maps out own route, uses sensors and camera to detect surroundings

Hitachi is working on an R2D2-like security robot on wheels that can map out its surroundings using infrared sensors and a camera to detect missing items, suspicious packages and intruders.

The 57-centimeter tall robot, which looks like a trash can and is reminiscent of the small, beeping robot in "Star Wars," has a swiveling camera that protrudes like a periscope, enabling it to watch for suspicious changes in the landscape and send photos to a guard, Hitachi said Tuesday.

Read on at Mainichi-MSN

Sharp Zaurus SL-C3200 PDA with 6GB HDD

Read about it at Engadget

Sunday, March 05, 2006

Toshiba Gigabeat X60 60GB MP3 Player

"X60 is Toshiba Gigabeat's all new 2006 high-end 60GB MP3 Player. Features a super large 2.4 inch QVGA TFT color LCD screen for clear and bright display. Designed with a nice stylish outfit for the new look of 2006. Supports WMA, MP3, WAV audio files and can hold up to 996 hours of music. A 16 hour long batter life for more enjoyable music. With high speed transfer through USB, plus an easy-to-use software. Toshiba Gigabeat X60 is unique and high quality."

Read more at: &
(The Gigabeat site only works with Internet Explorer.)

NEC's "KotoHana" LED flower knows how you feel

"Sensibility Technology" that recognizes the user's feelings, and then tells the flower over a wireless connection. The system works over the Internet, so even from far away the flower's LEDs can light up to reflect your true feelings to that special someone."

Read full article at Engadget.

Keian SD Memory Card Connects Directly to USB

"Keian (Japan) is selling its PSd (Personal Storage Disc), which is an SD card that can directly connect to a USB port, without the need for any adapter, card reader, etc."

Read at Akibalive.

Signeo MP3 Player

"The Signeo SN-A800 by Marc Newsome is only 6.5mm (0.26”) thick. It is an MP3 player with a wonderfully retro design--available in Black, 1970s Blue, or 1970s Yellow. In addition to music playback, there is a built-in FM tuner, and the device can record from FM radio to MP3, and even take voice memos. Available with 512mb or 1gb of internal storage."

See more at Dynamism.

Sony Skype Mouse

"Sometimes the most useful inventions seem obvious in retrospect. For Skype-ing on the move, dealing with headsets can be cumbersome. That's why we love the new Sony Skype mouse. Want to make a few quick calls? No problem, just open the mouse like a flip phone. Or open it halfway for speakerphone functionality. This 800dpi mouse has a 1m cable and comes in five colors."

See more at Dynamism.

Saturday, March 04, 2006

Kenwood’s USB-enabled Car Stereos

Read at Engadget.

Seiko CPC TR-006 Bluetooth watch puts your phone on your wrist

Read at Engadget.

NEC's New LSI Doubles Distance of Conventional 40 Gbps-based WDM Transmission

Tokyo, Japan, Mar 3, 2006 - (JCN Newswire) - NEC Corporation today announced that it has succeeded in the development of a signal-reshaping large-scale integrated-circuit (LSI) that facilitates a 40 gigabit per second (Gbps) optical fiber transmission system. The new LSI significantly enhances the quality and length of 40 Gbps-based wavelength division multiplexing (WDM*) long-haul transmission as compared with conventional systems, due to its ability to compensate for signal distortion resulting from optical fiber impairments.

Read on at JCNnetwork.

Friday, March 03, 2006

Honda Announces New ZEST Minicar

"Honda Motor Co., Ltd. announced the introduction of the new ZEST minicar, created to enhance the active lifestyles of today's consumers and provide comfort and utility for the entire family. The ZEST delivers superior power and performance, while its efficient low-floor design and generous storage area with a convenient access bay help give it class leading spacious cabin1. The new ZEST will be available for sale through Honda's automobile dealer network in Japan starting March 1. Further, a ZEST equipped with a tilt-up sliding front passenger seat and wheelchair-accessible models will be available starting March 17."

Read on at JCNnetwork.

Japanese Make Gasoline From Cattle Dung

"Scientists in energy-poor Japan said Friday they have found a new source of gasoline cattle dung.

Sakae Shibusawa, an agriculture engineering professor at the Tokyo University of Agriculture and Technology, said his team has successfully extracted .042 ounces of gasoline from every 3.5 ounces of cow dung by applying high pressure and heat.

"The new technology will be a boon for livestock breeders" to reduce the burden of disposing of large amounts of waste, Shibusawa said.

About 551,155 tons of cattle dung are produced each year in Japan, he said.

Gasoline extracted from cow dung is unheard of, said Tomiaki Tamura, an official of the Natural Resources and Energy Agency. Japan relies almost totally on imports for its oil and gasoline needs."

Read on at ABC News.

Fujifilm's Terabyte holo-memory

"Soon you could be able to store more mp3s and podcasts in your pocket than you'll ever have time to listen to. Fujifilm is working on a terabyte (1000 gigabyte) holographic memory, which it expects to launch in 2009"

Read on at Newscientist Blog.

NTT DoCoMo Achieves World's First 2.5Gbps Packet Transmission in 4G Field Experiment

Tokyo, Japan, Feb 23, 2006 - (JCN Newswire) - NTT DoCoMo, Inc. announced today that it achieved 2.5Gbps packet transmission in the downlink while moving at 20km/h. The fourth-generation (4G) radio access field experiment took place in Yokosuka, Kanagawa Prefecture.

Continue Reading: JCNnetwork.

Nanotubes break superconducting record

Physicists in Japan have shown that "entirely end-bonded" multi-walled carbon nanotubes can superconduct at temperatures as high as 12 K, which is 30 times greater than for single-walled carbon nanotubes. The discovery has been made by a team led by Junji Haruyama of Aoyama Gakuin University in Kanagawa. The superconducting nanotubes could be used to study fundamental 1D quantum effects and also find practical applications in molecular quantum computing (Phys. Rev. Lett. 96 057001).

Full Article at: Physicsweb.

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Hitachi unveils elevator cars that circulate in loop

Hitachi Ltd. said Wednesday it has developed a new elevator system in which more than two cars can run, sharing the space conventionally used by two.

In the new system, each car moves sideways after reaching the top floor and then descends before shifting sideways again at the bottom to move up as each car is attached to a single cable loop, Hitachi officials said.

Full article at, TMCnet.

Japan's fastest supercomputer system begins operations at research center

TSUKUBA, Ibaraki -- Japan's fastest supercomputer system began operations on Wednesday at High Energy Accelerator Research Organization (KEK).

Mainichi Daily News.
Rod Mach's HPC Voodoo.

Japanese team identifies molecule controlling embryonic growth in fish

A group of researchers has identified a molecule regulating the normal growth of fish embryos that clears maternal genes and switches to their own, according to a study published in the U.S. Science magazine on Thursday.
Kunio Inoue, assistant professor of developmental biology at Kobe University, and other researchers in the team believe that the findings may help resolve the mechanism controlling the early phase of life.

From Kyodo News.

Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Matsushita Technology Recognizes Facial Features Even in Pitch Dark

TOKYO, Feb. 23_(Kyodo) _ Matsushita Electric Works Ltd. said Thursday it has developed a low-cost, laser-based technology that enables human faces to be recognized even in the pitch dark or at condominium entrances that do not have consistently sufficient lighting.
The technology uses laser beams from light-emitting diodes to record images of the faces of visitors at the entrances of condos and office buildings, the company said.

Read at TMCnet.

Monday, February 27, 2006

Japanese Develop 3D Plasma Shapes In Thin Air

"The night sky could soon be lit up with gigantic three-dimensional adverts, thanks to a Japanese laser display that creates glowing images in thin air.

The system is being developed by the National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (AIST) in Tokyo, in collaboration with Burton Inc and Keio University.

“We believe this technology may eventually be used in applications ranging from pyrotechnics to outdoor advertising,” says a spokesman for AIST. According to Burton Inc, the technology might also be used for emergency distress signals or even temporary road signs."

Read Full Article at Newscientist.

Sony's New 4GB Memory Stick PRO Duo

"Don't let the size of Sony's 4GB Memory Stick PRO Duo media card fool you. This product has the largest storage capacity of any Memory Stick flash media card on the market.

At one-third the size and half the weight of the standard-size Memory Stick card, the 4GB PRO Duo media is designed to store large amounts of rich, multi-media content, including movies, music and high-resolution digital photos."

Read Full Article at Sony PSP Review.

Saturday, February 25, 2006

Sunday, January 15, 2006

The best tech at the Consumer Electronics Show 2006 was Toshiba/Canon's SED television.

"The prototype SED displays on-hand at CES 2006 were absolutely spectacular. I'm going to separate individual words with periods in order to stress a point. Pay attention now because I hardly ever do this. SED. Is. The. Freakin'. Future.

Consider that my 50" Panasonic plasma -- which, by the way, I adore -- has a contrast ratio of 3000:1. Today's cutting-edge flat panels have upped the ratio to 4000:1. SEDs, by comparison, sport a contrast ratio of 100,000: 1. Not a typo. One-hundred thousand to one. The result? Blacks so deep that they look even better than any CRT I've seen. Toshiba/Canon showed us video designed to demonstrate the way in which SED handles grayscale situations. Even in dark environments, it's entirely possible to make out different degrees of blackness -- which is something that is rarely possible on LCD or plasma. For instance, a boat floated through a lake in darkness. Everything was black, but I could still clearly see the lake shimmering and reflecting, just as I could make out the boat. Faintly and realistically. I may as well have been there. Demonstrations showing off SED brightness, color and motion particulars were every bit as impressive."

Visit IGN.

Thursday, January 05, 2006

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

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