Fukushima Japan Tsunami Video

Watch this haunting footage of a Japanese ghost town abandoned in the wake of Fukushima

By on May 1, 2014 at 5:15 PM.

Watch this haunting footage of a Japanese ghost town abandoned in the wake of Fukushima

The effects of the disastrous tsunami in Japan that caused a catastrophic failure at the Fukushima nuclear power plant are still being felt to this very day. Recovery efforts began immediately after the plant was hit, but the damage to surrounding areas will take many years to repair. In fact, the nearly 16,000 residents of the town Tomioka, Fukushima, the home of the plant, has been abandoned for over three years. Employing the use of flying drones, HEXa Media, a Japan-based company has returned to the ghost town to explore the ongoing cleanup. It’s a fascinating look at a beautiful city, missing the thousands of families that once called Tomioka home. Take a look at the footage below. More →

No Comments

Sega launches a new video game powered by… urine [video]

By on May 7, 2012 at 9:30 PM.

Sega launches a new video game powered by… urine [video]

Sega Toylet pee-powered video game

Sega exited the video game console business in 2001 after stiff competition from Microsoft, Sony and Nintendo forced the struggling company to shift gears. Now, more than 10 years later, Sega is back with new video game hardware… but it’s definitely not the kind you might expect. Unveiled late last year, Sega’s “Toylet” is now available in Japan and the surrounding region. The system connects to a urinal, allowing users to play a variety of interactive games by urinating on a sensor connected to the main device. A screen above the system then displays each game to the player, examples of which include filling virtual coffee cans and blowing wind up a cartoon news anchor’s dress. The Toylet costs roughly $1,750 and each game runs an additional $125, but it’s likely money well spent for bar owners, at least until the novelty wears off. A video demo of the Toylet (not in action, thankfully) follows below along with a pair of images that show examples of Toylet installations in Tokyo. More →

No Comments

4G LTE phone shipments to grow tenfold this year

By on March 23, 2012 at 7:05 PM.

4G LTE phone shipments to grow tenfold this year

Global 4G LTE smartphone shipments reached 6.8 million units in the technology’s first year. According to a study from market research firm Strategy Analytics, global LTE smartphone shipments could surge tenfold to 67 million units in 2012. It is expected to be a breakout year for LTE technology, with Apple, Samsung, HTC and others planning to launch 4G LTE phones in the United States, Japan and South Korea. “The mobile industry is entering a breakout year for 4G LTE technology. Multiple operators and multiple phone vendors will be launching dozens of LTE models across numerous countries worldwide,” said Neil Mawston, Executive Director at Strategy Analytics. “LTE has quickly become a high-growth, high-value market that no operator, service developer, device vendor or component maker can afford to ignore.” Read on for Strategy Analytics’s press release. More →

No Comments

LG: More than 1 million Optimus LTE phones sold

By on January 26, 2012 at 12:15 AM.

LG: More than 1 million Optimus LTE phones sold

LG announced on Wednesday that it has sold more than 1 million Optimus LTE handsets. A version of the device landed in the United States as the Nitro HD on AT&T, although it’s unclear if that phone is figured into the count. “The combination of LTE connectivity with LG’s True HD IPS display has resonated with the public regarding the potential of LTE technology,” said Dr. Jong-seok Park, President and CEO of LG Mobile Communications Company. LG said it sold 600,000 Optimus LTE units during the first three months the phone was available. The company also sold 8,500 units in Japan on the phone’s launch day. The Optimus LTE features a 4.5-inch 1280 x 720-pixel True HD IPS display, a 1.5GHz dual-core processor and an 8-megapixel camera. LG’s full press release follows after the break.

More →

No Comments

Texas Instruments to close plants in Texas and Japan

By on January 25, 2012 at 12:15 AM.

Texas Instruments to close plants in Texas and Japan

Texas Instruments announced recently that, even though it reported better than expected chip sales during the fourth quarter of 2011, the company will shut down its plants in Texas and in Japan. Texas Instruments has seen an increased demand for its mobile chips but will close the two factories during the next 18 months while increasing its employee numbers at different plants. The move is an effort to cut costs, Reuters said. The company reported a fourth-quarter profit of $298 million, down from $942 million during the same quarter last year. Revenue also fell from $3.53 billion last year to $3.42 billion during the fourth quarter. “Everybody feared we’d end the holiday season with abysmal sales,” Cody Acree, an analyst with Williams Financial, told Reuters. “The reality is that end-demand is better than TI customers had originally feared. We’re not calling for great growth but we’re not heading into the abyss.” More →

No Comments

Samsung may reenter Japanese TV market

By on January 3, 2012 at 4:04 AM.

Samsung may reenter Japanese TV market

Samsung may soon begin selling its televisions in Japan after taking a several year hiatus. Samsung is reportedly talking to Yamada Denki Co and Yodobashi Camera Co., two retailers in the country, Reuters said Monday. Samsung originally left the market citing an increase in competition from other television makers and a drop in profits. The South Korean firm is expected to unveil several new models during this year’s Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. LG, one of the Samsung’s largest competitors, took the wraps off of a gorgeous nearly borderless 55-inch OLED television on Monday. More →

No Comments

Major Japanese carriers join forces to adopt international NFC standard

By on December 23, 2011 at 1:15 AM.

Major Japanese carriers join forces to adopt international NFC standard

NTT DoCoMo, KDDI and SoftBank have created the “Japan Mobile NFC Consortium,” which will help the three carriers coordinate and adopt an international NFC standard. Currently, all three operators offer an NFC service dubbed Osaifu-Keitai (wallet phone) which uses a contactless-IC smartcard that’s called FeliCa. Unfortunately, the technology doesn’t work overseas where other carriers use Type A or Type B NFC standards, which means Osaifu-Ketai won’t function properly for NTT DoCoMo, KDDI or SoftBank customers hoping to use their phones for mobile payments overseas. The three carriers hope they can work with handset makers and vendors to encourage the adoption of Type A and Type B NFC standards. The consortium also aims to “create an environment in Japan where service providers can offer efficient, low-cost NFC services based on common standards and rules adopted by the three mobile operators.” The full press release follows after the break. More →

No Comments

Sony sells 321,400 PlayStation Vitas in first two days

By on December 20, 2011 at 11:15 PM.

Sony sells 321,400 PlayStation Vitas in first two days

Sony’s PlayStation Vita portable gaming system made its debut in Japan on Saturday and early sales estimates are beginning to trickle out. According to research firm Enterbrain, Sony sold 321,400 Vita units during the first 48 hours of the device’s availability. That’s 50,000 fewer units than Nintendo sold after the 3DS made its debut in the country. Nintendo ran into trouble shortly after launch as consumer interest in the 3DS faded due to a lack of compelling games, and the company eventually had to drop the price of its system to regain momentum. We first went hands-on with the PlayStation Vita during E3 2011 and, while it was still an early build of the device, we really liked the form factor and impressive graphics. Sony is expected to launch the Vita in North America and Europe in February for $250, and a 3G-enabled version should launch in the United States in partnership with AT&T around the same time.  More →

No Comments

Sony PlayStation Vita pre-orders sell out in Japan

By on December 16, 2011 at 1:45 AM.

Sony PlayStation Vita pre-orders sell out in Japan

Sony Computer Entertainment president Andrew House recently said that pre-orders for the company’s brand new portable gaming console, the PlayStation Vita, have sold out in Japan ahead of its December 17th launch. “I’m pretty confident… that there will not be major challenges in meeting demand, even though there may be short-term,” House explained to reporters recently. As the Associated Press points out, a successful launch in Japan could help soften the blow of Sony’s predicted fourth consecutive annual loss. The PlayStation Vita was originally announced during E3 2011 and we were impressed with the gaming performance during our early look at the device. The Vita will launch in the United States on February 22nd for $249.99, and a second version compatible with AT&T 3G will be released at a later date for an additional $50. More →

No Comments

Samsung sues Apple to ban iPhone 4S sales in Japan and Australia

By on October 17, 2011 at 4:11 PM.

Samsung sues Apple to ban iPhone 4S sales in Japan and Australia

Samsung sues Apple to block iPhone 4S sales

Samsung recently filed lawsuits in Japan and Australia in an attempt to prevent Apple from selling the iPhone 4S. In addition, Samsung is seeking to block the sale of the iPad 2 and the original iPhone 4 in Japan, Bloomberg said Monday. In September, the South Korea-based phone maker also filed motions to ban the iPhone 4S in France and Italy. “Apple has continued to violate our patent rights and free ride on our technology,” Samsung said. “We will no longer stand idly by and will steadfastly protect our intellectual property.” Apple filed similar lawsuits against Samsung in the United States, Australia, Japan, France and the Netherlands. The iPhone maker successfully prevented Samsung’s local subsidiaries from selling the Galaxy Tab 10.1 in Australia and the Galaxy S, Galaxy Ace and Galaxy S II in the Netherlands. Samsung recently announced that it will tweak its the aforementioned smartphones in an effort to dodge the European sales ban. More →

48 Comments

iPhone 4S hits Apple website, on sale October 14th

By on October 4, 2011 at 12:26 PM.

iPhone 4S hits Apple website, on sale October 14th

Apple will unveil its latest iPhone offerings beginning at 1:00 p.m. Eastern today, but that has not stopped a few leaks of the iPhone 4S from popping up on its website. Apple’s Japanese website already lists a new “iPhone 4S” and says that the phone will be available starting at 8:00 a.m. on October 14th. The device will look nearly identical to the iPhone 4 — as can be seen in the image above, also from Apple’s Japanese site — and it will be available in both white and black. We are sure to hear more information in just under an hour now, so keep your browsers pointed to BGR for more details. More →

66 Comments

Steve Jobs tried to end Apple’s patent war with Samsung in 2010

By on September 29, 2011 at 7:45 PM.

Steve Jobs tried to end Apple’s patent war with Samsung in 2010

Steve Jobs made contact with Samsung in an effort to resolve a patent argument last year, Bloomberg reported on Thursday. However, Jobs did not participate in the discussions that eventually took place and deteriorated, Apple’s patent attorney Richard Lutton explained during a hearing in an Australian court. “Samsung is an important supplier with whom we have a deep relationship” Lutton said while being questioned by a Samsung lawyer. “We wanted to give them a chance to do the right thing.” Samsung and Apple are locked up in multiple patent battles around the globe. Samsung’s German arm has been banned from selling the Galaxy Tab 10.1 tablet, its Australian branch cannot sell the device until a judge rules whether or not it is infringing on Apple’s patents, and lawsuits are ongoing in the United States and Japan. Apple has accused Samsung of creating “copycat devices,” and has targeted Samsung’s Galaxy S family of smartphones, the Galaxy Tab, the Galaxy Tab 10.1 and various other products in the United States. More →

62 Comments

Apple sings familiar tune, seeks to ban Samsung device sales in Japan

By on September 8, 2011 at 7:00 AM.

Apple sings familiar tune, seeks to ban Samsung device sales in Japan

In a move that will undoubtedly shock no one, Apple has filed a new complaint against Samsung in Japan alleging that multiple Samsung devices infringe on its patents. The Cupertino-based patent crusader is seeking to ban sales of Samsung’s GALAXY S and GALAXY S II lines of smartphones, as well as its original GALAXY Tab Android tablet, Reuters reports. The report does not mention the GALAXY Tab 10.1, which is often the target of Apple’s patent complaints in other regions. The first hearing in the case took place on Wednesday, and a spokesman for the Tokyo District Court where the complaint was filed declined to comment. More →

35 Comments