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USB Sake Bottle

Date: 2005 November 05 06:00 | Posted By:

Category > Freaky Things

Following on from our Sushi USB Pens, as discovered by Spike, the USB food range is to be expanded with a USB Sake Bottle! SolidAlliance seems to be keen to release a whole Japanese dinner set of USB Pens, with sushi and shrimp varieties!

Souce: SolidAlliance

Tokyo Motor Show 2005

Date: 2005 November 03 19:13 | Posted By:

Category > Technology

UK TV Station Channel 4 have just posted some excellent coverage of the Tokyo Motor Show. The Weird and Wonderful section is worth looking at for futuristic concept cars, the Mitsuoka Orochi Nude just sounds interesting because of it's name! Amusment can also be found with the Mini coverage, with it's slogan "Go British", we're not exactly sure what it means! Sadly there seems to be no sign of cars that change into robots.

Souce: Channel 4

Anime on The iPod

Date: 2005 October 21 18:30 | Posted By:

Category > Anime

The new Apple iPod can play video files and Central Park Media have announced that they are the first anime company to provide content for it. This is an adventurous move, since CPM have also started to release content on the PSP to download too. It's always good to see that anime companies are willing to experiment with new platforms to show anime.

Read More... | Souce: Central Park Media

Ceatec Future Gadgets

Date: 2005 October 07 17:43 | Posted By:

Category > Technology

BBC News are currently running a great story about some of the cool new technology being shown at the Tokyo consumer electronics show Ceatec. Highlights include a device that turns your finger into a mobile phone speaker! You literally put your finger in your ear it works!

The work Pioneer is doing 3D image system called Floating Interface also look promising with a demonstration of a Virtual receptionist called Haruka, for more details on this, check out the photo section of the article.

Souce: BBC News

Europe Needs Bigger Robots Push

Date: 2005 October 07 08:22 | Posted By:

Category > Technology > Robotics

BBC News are running a story titled Europe Needs Bigger Robots Push, at first we were hoping the EU needs some Gundams or other giant mecha, but infact it's an interesting story about how advanced Japanese robot research is compared to Europe.

Apparently the EU is going to give a boost to selected companies to aid in their development of robots.

Souce: BBC News

Virtual Pet Craze Still Strong In Japan

Date: 2005 October 06 15:44 | Posted By:

Category > Technology

Japan Today are running a story about the popularity of virtual pets in Japan. It covers the latest incarnation of the Tamagotchi, the Tamagotchi Plus, which has infrared communication system, which allows a Tamagotchi to talk to others. It briefly mentions Nintendogs which is set to be the smash hit Christmas, along with the Blog Pet which learns language from the blogger and continues to update it when the blogger forgets! We're wondering if AI learning systems can learn angst too! ^_-

Souce: Japan Today

Sony to Become Number 1 in Providing

Date: 2005 August 22 12:22 | Posted By:

Category > Manga

Sony Pictures Entertainment Inc. has announced that it will triple the number of comics books it formats for viewing on cell phones making it the Number 1 provider of ‘Manga’ in Japan said a company official.

According to Sony spokeperson Hidekazu Tanaka, "Manga are a Japanese institution, but viewing comics on mobile phones is an entirely different experience altogether, He added that Sony signed a contract with 10 popular Manga artists including Shigeru Mizuki, creator of Gegege no Kitaro -- a 1970s classic featuring a young ghoul boy who fights monsters.
"We want to rein in middle-aged mobile phone users, as well as teenagers," he said.

Read More... | Souce: Mainichi Daily News

Realistic Robot Revealed

Date: 2005 July 27 07:26 | Posted By:

Category > Technology > Robotics

According to BBC News Professor Hiroshi Ishiguru of Osaka University has unveiled the most human looking robot yet devised. The android Repliee Q1 is female in appearance and can currently only sit in a fixed position. She has 31 actuators in her upper body, powered by a nearby air compressor which are programmed to allow her to move like a human. Q1 has a soft silicon skin instead of a hard plastic shell, she can turn and react in a human like manner. The article also mentions R1, a predecessor to Q1 also designed by Professor Ishiguru that has the appearance of a five year old Japanese girl.

Souce: BBC News

Bullet Train with Cat Ears

Date: 2005 June 28 14:51 | Posted By:

Category > Freaky Things

It seems that having Cat Girls and a Cat Bus isn't enough for the Japanese, they've got to put cat ears on their Bullet Trains too! BBC News are reporting that the sleek new version of Japan's Bullet Train is being tested with air brakes for emergeny halts. The air brakes in question seem to resemble cat ears and are designed for rapid breaking in the event of earthquakes.

Souce: BBC News

Japan and France Team Up To Develop Supersonic Jet

Date: 2005 June 16 12:45 | Posted By:

Category > Technology

BBC News are covering a story about the Japanese and French plans to produce a successor to Concorde the renowned supersonic jet plane. Both countries unveiled the plan at the Paris airshow and stated that the 300 seat plane would reduce flight times between New York and Tokyo to six hours! This new aircraft will also be more refined than Concorde producing less noise.

Souce: BBC News

Life-Support Robots By Toshiba

Date: 2005 May 21 11:08 | Posted By:

Category > Technology > Robotics

According to Japan Today, Toshiba announced on Friday the development of two robots that the company defined as being "a life support partner".

Read More... | Souce: Japan Today

Free DS Hotspots in Japan

Date: 2005 May 12 14:06 | Posted By:

Category > Gaming > Consoles

Nintendo president Satoru Iwata has revealed that 1000 new free WI-Fi hotspots are being set up in Japan for the Nintendo DS. These hotspots will be free to use, and will not require any additional software or hardware. Nintendo claims it has no intention of charging for online play but third party providers may do so.

Read More... | Souce: Gamesindustry.biz

Visit Satsuki's and Mei's House

Date: 2005 March 21 17:28 | Posted By:

Category > Events

We've been sent details from renowned anime author Helen McCarthy and journalist Ake Sasaki about the World Expo 2005 In Aichi, Japan, it looks like a dreamland for otaku!

For anime fans the highlight has to be Satsuki's and Mei's House, a replica of the house featured in Studio Ghibli's landmark My Neighbour Totoro. Just like the Ghibli Museum, entry to the house is limited to a set number of special ticket holders each day. Expo attendees must enter a lottery in advance to win the privilege of entering the house. As a result some lucky winners have taken to auctioning their tickets on-line, currently the free tickets are going for around $100 USD.

Read More... | Souce: World Expo 2005 In Aichi, Japan

NTT Creates Human Area Networking

Date: 2005 February 19 09:51 | Posted By:

Category > Technology

The alert folk at TechJapan have discovered a bizarre new communication standard from NTT. Named "RedTacton", NTT has dubbed it a "Human Area Network". The idea behind it sounds like a gimmick from a Sci-Fi show, simply touch a RedTacton device with one part of your body and touch another RedTacton supporting device with another part of your body for an instant 10Mbps connection between the devices. TechJapan point their readers to the Official English Press Release.

The Otaku News Crew wonder if people using this technology will be able to transfer data with each other by simply shaking hands!

Souce: TechJapan

New Offering From Toriyama

Date: 2005 February 11 13:45 | Posted By:

Category > Technology

No it’s not another manga series, but a car. Manga artist Akira Toriyama famous for Dragon Ball has designed an electric car, the QVOLT! The car's top speed is 18 miles per hour, and is available in 5 colours. Only nine will be made and they will retail for 1,990,000 yen. It’s currently unknown if the car will be able to drive for 30 episodes or go super car level three.

Pictures are available on the Qvolt website.

Souce: Anime News Network

Cover Competition - The Anime and Electronics Shopping Guide to Tokyo

Date: 2005 January 06 18:55 | Posted By:

Category > Fandom

David Cotterill (aka Dragon) has dropped us a line about his new book - The Anime and Electronics Shopping Guide to Tokyo, a self published using print-on-demand technology to ensure that each copy ordered is as up to date as possible, it's due for publication in February. Currently Dragon is running a competition for his book to design the front cover and inside icons for the book. The winning entry will get a free copy of the book and DVD of your choice from United Publications. More details can be found on Anime.org.uk's News Section.

The Otaku News Crew suggest the winner selects a nice DVD boxset. ^_-

Souce: David Cotterill

Gamer Buys $26,500 Virtual Land

Date: 2004 December 20 16:29 | Posted By:

Category > Gaming

We've just discovered an interesting story on BBC News, about a Gamer who has purchased an island on the RPG Project Entropia.

Apparently the new owner is able to "make money from his investment as he is able to tax other gamers who come to his virtual land to hunt or mine for gold". The Otaku News crew find this story interesting because this is not a tangible item in the real world, so can easily be copied if the original game creators so desired, we also wonder what would happen if the server went down and could not be restored from back up! ^_-

Souce: BBC News

PlayStation Portable Out Now In Japan

Date: 2004 December 12 17:41 | Posted By:

Category > Gaming

Sony's new handheld games machine the PlayStation Portable was released in Japan today. At Yodobashi Camera in Shinjuku over 1,000 eager gamers waited overnight outside the store forcing it to open early at 6 am! After three hours the store was sold out. Apparently Sony has shipped 200,000 units, but this was not enough to meet the demands, so Sony intend to produce and ship another 500,000 units in Japan by the end of the year. The PSP is due out in the USA and Europe in the new year.

Souce: Mainichi Interactive

New Eurostar Rail Link To Use Bullet Trains

Date: 2004 October 27 18:31 | Posted By:

Category > Technology

The BBC are reporting that the new Eurostar rail link will be using trains built by Japanese bullet train manufacturer Hitachi. The new trains due to roll out in 2009 will run at 140mph, 46mph slower than the fastest Japanese bullet trains currently in Japan. The Otaku News crew hope that they don't get delayed by leaves on the line like conventional trains in the UK.

Souce: BBC

KabuRobo Programming Contest

Date: 2004 October 04 14:32 | Posted By:

Category > Technology

Japan Today are running a story about a stock investment returns contest. The difference? The entrants have to submit bots that will run on their PCs and will automatically buy and sell shares that make up the Nikkei Average based on numerous market factors. The competition starts on Jan 24th and is sponsered by Waseda University, Nomura Research Institute Ltd and IBM Japan Ltd. Sounds like someone could make a nice profit playing the stockmarket like this! ^_^

Souce: Japan Today

Toilet 2.0

Date: 2004 September 02 15:51 | Posted By:

Category > Freaky Things

TechJapan are running an interesting story on the latest Japanese toilets! Funny I know, but these things are always amusing (yes I'm aware toilet humour doesn't normally go on this site).

Souce: TechJapan

Real Life robo-suits!

Date: 2004 August 13 17:14 | Posted By:

Category > Technology > Robotics

Scientist Yoshiyuki Sankai is the proud creator of a real life robotic suit! Inspired by Isaac Asimov stories and the manga "Cyborg 009" and "Tetsujin No. 28". The suit called Hybrid Assistive Limb-3, is designed to improve the mobility of elderly and disabled people.

Read More... | Souce: The Japan Times

Kickboxing robots draw crowds in Japan at Robo-One

Date: 2004 August 13 13:31 | Posted By:

Category > Technology > Robotics

CNN are running an interesting story about Kickboxing robots at the Robo-One tournament.

MLive.com also have good coverage of Robo-One.

Souce: CNN.com

Japan unfurls solar sail in space

Date: 2004 August 12 14:16 | Posted By:

Category > Technology

The BBC and some other sites are reporting "Japan has unfurled a delicate solar sail in space, a device which some scientists believe could enable travel to far away planets." The system itself could in theory reach distant targets in amazing times.

This all sounds like something from Gundam or some other Sci-Fi anime if you ask me. ^_^

Souce: BBC News

Japanese Researchers Produce Trout From Salmon

Date: 2004 August 05 16:52 | Posted By:

Category > Freaky Things

Researchers at a Japanese university have succeeded for the first time in producing trout from salmon, in a method that promises hope for protecting endangered species.

Associate Prof. Goro Yoshizaki and other researchers at Tokyo's University of Marine Sciences and Technology succeeded in the method by injecting primordal germ cells (PGCs), which can grow into either sperm or eggs, from a rainbow trout into the body of a male yamame (landlocked salmon).

Souce: Mainichi Daily News

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