The Japan Times


A new crop of smartphones for spring

As spring descends on Japan, we’ll all be welcoming warmer temperatures and cherry blossoms in the coming weeks. But spring in Japan typically means new smartphone lineups from Japan’s major mobile carriers, too. And while consumers’ love for Apple’s iPhone is still in full bloom, there are ...

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2012 in tech — and what it means for the year ahead

In the world of technology, the past year has seen a changing of the guard in almost every sector. Personal computers, mobile devices, gaming and Internet services have all seen incredible developments, with new challengers taking the place of old incumbents. As we move into the new year, we’ll ...

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Japanese companies aspire to take a bite out of the e-reader apple

With so many competitors in the tablet and e-reader market these days, it’s getting harder and harder for manufacturers to differentiate themselves from similar offerings. Apple’s iPad held 68 percent of the worldwide market share in the second quarter according to Massachusetts-based research firm IDC, while Samsung and ...

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Making the move away from smartphone snaps

For aspiring photographers looking to step up their game from a point-and-shoot camera or smartphone, there have been a number of exciting new options released in recent weeks. Whether you want to take the leap to your first DSLR, opt for a more evolved point-and-shoot, or go with something in ...

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Weighing up ultra-thin new laptops from Japan

Over the past few weeks we have seen a barrage of great new laptop offerings from PC manufacturers, all hoping to deliver thin, light, and powerful mobile-computing solutions driven by Intel's new Ivy Bridge processor.

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DoCoMo shuns iPhone, pushes Android options

DoCoMo last week unveiled its new lineup of mobile phones at a press conference in Tokyo. The most notable was the brand-new Samsung Galaxy S III, the headliner of the DoCoMo NEXT series of high-end smartphones.

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Pick of the pixels from this year’s CP+ show

One of the highlights of this month’s CP+ Camera and Photo Imaging Show 2012 in Yokohama was Nikon’s new D800 digital SLR camera, aimed at multimedia photographers and videographers. The 36-megapixel monster is once again spurring the debate over how many megapixels is too many megapixels.

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Watch out for latest ‘nano’tech time piece

When Apple released its diminutive sixth generation iPod Nano back in September 2010, Steve Jobs quipped that one of the board members at Apple was planning to use it as a watch. And since then a number of different companies have put forth various watch strap solutions that can integrate ...

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Looking forward to the next year in tech

If you can manage to look past the bummer of Mayan doomsday prophecies, 2012 looks pretty promising from a tech geek’s point of view. We’re not going to have to wait very long for the technology scene to change in 2012, with CES (the Consumer Electronic Show) set ...

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New toys for retro gamers and wannabe rockers

Nostalgic gaming fans old enough to remember "Space Invaders" no doubt look back on it as one of the most memorable video games of years gone by. Japan's Taito Corporation created the arcade game back in 1978, and it has been a classic ever since.

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Panasonic and Sharp betting that, in Japan, 7 inches is enough

It's obvious that tablet computers are making their mark on the electronics world, with Hewlett Packard this past week citing "the tablet effect" as a reason to consider a spinoff of its PC business. That's big. Especially as the company also said that it will cease production of ...

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Keep cool with a cold beverage and a strategically placed fan

There's no shortage of fun gadgets dedicated to helping you endure hot summer days. Here are just a couple of examples that will work particularly well for anyone battling rising temperatures in the workplace.

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Toys for all ages at Tokyo show

The 2011 International Tokyo Toy Show was held last month at Tokyo Big Sight, and Japanese toy-makers were in attendance to show their wondrous wares to potential buyers, not to mention a veritable army of kids. This year saw everything from figures to remote-control vehicles, robots to iPhone games. Here ...

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Express yourself with a wiggle of Necomimi or make music with the Ningen Gakki

One of the fun things about writing about Japanese technology is that every once in a while you come across a device that elicits both genuine admiration and a jaw-dropping reaction. And I'm delighted to report on two such gadgets today, both of which have generated some pretty significant ...

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Volunteers translate quake data into visuals

Over the past week we've seen a stark contrast in how the Fukushima nuclear disaster has been reported. "Panic" read the New York Daily News. "Get out of Tokyo Now" said The Sun. One expects that of tabloids, yet more credible media also described an "exodus" from Tokyo, neglecting ...

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Sorting through information after the quake

In the wake of the tragic earthquake and subsequent tsunami last Friday, people in Japan — and indeed all over the world — have been scrambling to sort through the news in search of information they can trust. In the first few hours after the quake, telephone service was disrupted in some ...

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New toys that really put sound and vision at your fingertips

Last month we brought you a double feature from toy giant Takaratomy. This month we look at another pair of fun products, courtesy of Thanko — the most notable of all the wacky gadget-makers in Japan. Recently Thanko rolled out the mini-cam to out-mini all other mini-cams. Measuring a mere 30 ...

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Asian Android tablets stand out at Mobile World Congress 2011 in Barcelona

The Mobile World Congress (MWC) was held in Barcelona last week, and besides the usual fancy phones on display, an abundance of shiny new Android tablets were unveiled at the event as well. And now that the tablet-specific Android 3.0 Honeycomb OS is in the wild, we can finally ...

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Go fishing in the digital ocean while the kids get outdoors and go for a run

As someone who grew up in a small Newfoundland fishing town, I was instantly intrigued when Japanese toy giant Takara Tomy announced one of its latest products recently. The company's Virtual Masters Real is a digital fishing-simulation device. No joke. I always found fishing a little boring, so initially ...

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Sony's 3D Bloggie and Casio's TRYX bring innovation and lower prices to pocket camcorders

The Consumer Electronics Show (CES) 2011 was held in Las Vegas earlier this month, and as always every major tech company in the world brought their latest and greatest products. As expected, tablet computers were in abundance as manufacturers scramble to catch up with the standard that Apple's iPad ...

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