Out of desperation, Sharp begs its own workers to buy Sharp products

Struggling Sharp has told its workers to buy a load of Sharp stuff this holiday season to help dig it out of its financial mess. The Japanese electronics maker has even offered guidelines suggesting how much money different types of workers…
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Robots can now get into college, surpassing human scores on standardized tests

As it turns out, the Artificial Intelligence (AI) system developed by Japan’s National Institute of Informatics is now smart enough to pass the country's college entrance exam, scoring 511 out of 950 possible points.
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Japan guns for the moon with proposed 2019 lunar landing

Japan may become the fourth country in the world to land an unmanned vehicle on the moon, according to a newly announced project that would begin next year and end in 2019 with a soft lunar landing.

SNK Playmore to renew focus on console and mobile game development

SNK Playmore announced (via Dream Cancel) that it will shift its development focus to the console and mobile gaming sectors, following a series of sweeping changes to its pachislot business in Japan.

Fujitsu develops tech that turns biometric data into a cryptographic key

Researchers at Fujitsu, Kyushu University and Saitama University have developed a new means to turn biometric data into a secure cryptographic key that will make the data secure during transfer over a network.

The Dfree wearable predicts your next bowel movement

Ideal for anyone that needs time to locate a bathroom, the Dfree is a new wearable that attaches directly to skin in order to monitor intestinal activity and create a bowel movement countdown clock
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This walking, rolling robot was inspired by the Droidekas from ‘Star Wars’

Japanese researchers at the Chiba Institute of Technology have designed a Droideka-inspired robot that rolls like a ball and walks like a spider.

Japanese man accidentally sets fire to his home during live stream

With a lit cigarette in his mouth, spilt lighter fluid on his hands, and a pile of discarded paper to his right, it's hardly surprising that this particular live-stream demo – for a "permanent match" lighter – went horribly…

Get excited for 2016 — there will be robot taxis on the road in Japan by then

As if there weren't enough reasons to look forward to the new year, here's yet another tidbit that will make you jump for joy -- Japan will be testing robot taxis in Kanagawa, a small town just south of Tokyo, with the dawn of 2016.

Forget museums, now train services are banning the selfie stick

The selfie stick is picking up plenty of bans at museums and sports stadiums, but train stations? The operator of Japan's bullet train has decided the extendable monopods are an accident waiting to happen, and are warning travelers to…
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Man arrested for assaulting Pepper, the robot that can read your emotions

SoftBank's Pepper robot may be able to read human emotions and respond accordingly, but it apparently offered little in the way of a reaction when a drunken man assaulted it at a store in Japan recently.

In Australia this Labor Day weekend? Flash a smile in the world’s largest selfie

Nothing screams Labor Day like a beaming selfie, and if you're lucky enough to be in Australia for the long weekend, you may want to consider participating in what is being called the world's biggest selfie.
Home Theater

Netflix launches in Japan, though it’s doing things a little differently there

Netflix has finally arrived in Japan, a country with huge revenue potential for the video streaming company. However, it's clearly done its research, choosing to launch the service in a slightly manner than usual.
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Japan is building a fully-automated indoor farm capable of producing 30,000 heads of lettuce per day

Japan's Spread Vegetable Factory is working on a novel way of producing high quantities of lettuce using factory automation. The plant will be able to produce 30,000 heads of lettuce in a single day starting in summer 2017 with a goal of…

Amazon will launch Prime Instant Video in Japan next month

Perhaps attempting to keep Netflix in check as both companies expand overseas, Amazon Prime subscribers in Japan will soon be able to access movies and television shows on Prime Instant Video.
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MegaBots team preps for battle with Japanese ‘bot, seeks $1.5M on Kickstarter

Head on over to Kickstarter, where you can help American MegaBots and its Mk.II robot in its quest to defeat Japanese Kuratas robot in their upcoming duel, which will feature all the guts, glory, and glamour of hand-to-hand combat.

Sony, Microsoft publishing Call of Duty: Black Ops 3 in Japan

Sony and Microsoft confirmed that they will publish Japanese versions of Call of Duty: Black Ops 3, taking over regional publishing duties from Activision. The game features voice acting from Jeff Goldblum, Heather Graham, and Ron Perlman.
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WalkCar, the personal transporter that’s small enough to fit in a bag 2:17

Had enough of walking? Like the idea of standing still to reach your destination? Then check out the WalkCar, a personal transportation solution small enough to chuck in your backpack when your journey's done.

Netflix launches in The Land of the Rising Sun on September 2

Netflix will expand to Japan on September 2, the company has announced. It marks yet another international launch for the streaming company, which has seen meteoric foreign growth over the past year.

Japanese companies want autonomous taxis ready in time for 2020 Olympics

Two Japanese companies hope to put autonomous taxis on Tokyo streets in time for the 2020 Olympics. The cars would likely be based on existing production models from a third-party manufacturer.
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Japanese scientists are sending whiskey up to space so it can age in zero gravity

Since aging whiskey on Earth is obviously a thing of the past, the Japanese distillery Suntory says it will send five bottles of its whiskey to age in space.
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The MB4.0 origami bridge could save your life in a natural disaster

The traditional Japanese art of origami may have originated using paper, but now, the intricate folds have inspired what scientists claim to be "the world’s fastest, largest, strongest, and lightest expanding temporary bridge."
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Japanese university sets world record with an insane 2 quadrillion-watt laser burst

Scientists at Osaka University in Japan have reportedly fired the world's most powerful laser beam. Researchers used the university's massive, 300-foot LFEX machine to blast out a 2 petawatt burst -- allegedly the most energetic burst ever…

A little girl shows off all the cool features of Japanese bathrooms

If you've never been to Japan, you might not know the bathrooms are a bit different than they are in the U.S. For one thing, they are far more partitioned, which means you don't have to wait for someone to get out of the bath to…
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Sony jumps on the drone bandwagon with a new venture called Aerosense

Rather than jumping in the ring with consumer drone companies like DJI, Parrot, and others, Sony's new venture, Aerosense Inc., plans to use drones to provide aerial surveying services to businesses.
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The Henn-Na (Weird) Hotel is run by robots, and you can now book a night for around $100

On Friday, the first ever robot hotel opened its doors in Japan, and for a very reasonable $60 to $153 a night, you can live in a temporary home that is staffed completely by humanoids.

There is free Wi-Fi at the top of Japan’s highest mountain

Japan's free Wi-Fi services are about to reach new heights with the launch of hotspots along Mount Fuji's hiking trails. The new service is aimed primarily at foreign travelers, thousands of whom visit each year to climb the nation's…
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Japan transforming its disused golf courses into solar farms

Japanese electronics company Kyocera is working to convert some of the country's disused golf courses into solar power plants. The locations are perfect for such an initiative as the land has already been cut into mountains and is easily…