Segways have been prohibited from Japanese streets (and sidewalks) by Japanese road laws, but now, because of Yokahama’s push for tourists and use of environmentally friendly vehicles, the city and Segway Japan are apparently in negotiations to make them street legal. The average price of one in Japan is $10,000.00 and about 100 of the vehicles have been sold so far for use on private property. We guess that means they may also embrace GM’s new PUMA.
Read More | <3 Yen
A 16 year-old private school student wanted to play online casino games, so he opened an account under an adult’s name. According to police records, the Japanese boy bought an ID and password of a Web bank account for ¥17,000 from a housewife after soliciting on an Internet bulletin board. In July, the student had registered to play with his mom’s credit card but ended up with about ¥1.3 million in debts. What’s scary here is not only did he manage to amass the debt, but that he could steal both his mom’s ID and acquire a Web bank account as a minor.
Read More | Mainichi Daily News
Those in Japan waiting for the big one can breathe a semi-sigh of relief. NTT has established an Urgent Earthquake Bulletin service that opens an alert window automatically on their PCs in case of a pending disaster. An alarm goes off and an estimated seismic intensity is displayed as well as arrival time. A standalone Flash FLET’S Type is also available from NTT. It has flashing LED lights and an audible alarm, arrival time and countdown. NTT claims that their service is more precise and up to date than others available.
Read More | Lets Japan
Japan has finally realized the full monetary potential of the Wii. Beginning next year, streaming video will be available through Nintendo and partnering companies. While players are watching some of that content, they will be able to order sushi, pizza, and Japanese and Chinese food. And if Japanese gamers don’t know what to order, the roulette mode will randomly make a selection. If it picks pizza, it’s time to get back to the Wii.
Read More | BGR
So where has Gateway been lately? Probably working on its own netbook, although since Acer is now its parent company, reports say that it is simply a cousin to Acer’s Aspire. The LT1001j holds 1GB RAM, has a 8.9-inch display with WSVGA (1,024x600) resolution, a 0.3M webcam, and USB 2.0 and SD card slots. Weighing only 1.06kg, it is powered by an Intel Atom N270 processor and Windows XP OS. Due out in Japan this month, the claim is that because of the similarities, this one won’t hit the States.
Read More | Laptop
Space Barley is finally ready for humans. The grain was kept aboard the ISS for 5 months in 2006 and the beer was made from barley that descended from that batch. The Japanese company Sapporo provided the original seeds that eventually produced 100 liters and will be holding tasting parties at their six factories in January. About 60 people will be selected by lottery to attend the event. The project was designed to come up with a new type of barley that can grow in harsh environments on our planet.
Read More | Mainichi News
The Japanese always manage to get the best cell phones first and we always hope they trickle over to the U.S. and the new Sharp Aquos Fulltouch 931SH is no exception to the rule. This new cell phone is an obvious response to the iPhone and its touch technology. The one thing that sets this cell phone apart is the incredible screen resolution of 1024 x 480, bringing it close to that of a netbook. The 931SH also incorporates a 5.2 megapixel camera with stabilizer technology, a 1seg TV tuner, Bluetooth with A2DP, an accelerometer, web browser, media player, a microSD slot and of course, a touch screen as the name implies. The phone also works on all 3G networks, making it viable for U.S. as well as world-wide consumption, although no time-frame has been mentioned.
Read More | Softbank
Last week we talked about rumors of a new Nintendo DS, and this morning, those rumors proved to be true. Nintendo CEO Satoru Iwata announced the Nintendo DSi at the company’s Fall presentation over in Japan, calling it a “third platform” for the company (where have we heard that before?). It looks fairly similar the the current DS Lite that we all know and love, but there are a few changes that make this one a worthy upgrade. First, it’s about 12% thinner, as it has given up its GBA slot. The screens are a bit larger, each being 3.25-inches in size. One of the bigger changes, though, is that the DSi features two cameras. You have one 3 megapixel camera on the outside of the unit, as well a front-facing camera on the inside so that you can take images of yourself.
The Nintendo DSi also has an SD card slot along with internal storage. You can save your photos right to the card, then put that card in your Wii to pull it up in the Photo Channel. Nintendo is even launching the DSi Shop, an online destination for purchasing DSi software, similar to the Wii Shop. You use Nintendo Points, and content will be priced at 200, 500, or 800 points. 1000 points will be included with the purchase of the DSi. The unit will come in either white or black for the time being, and goes on sale in Japan on November 1 at ¥18,900 ($178).
Read More | Nintendo DSi product page
Rumor has it that Nintendo has plans for a new DS that will come out in time for the holidays. The DS2 will take pictures and play tunes. Also equipped for wireless application, it is expected to be less than ¥20,000 (~$189.00) when it is released in Japan. Although the DS is doing better globally, the PSP is outselling the DS there. We have no doubt that this move will make it more popular for those want the addition of the new features.
Read More | Reuters
Microsoft will be reducing the price of this generation’s Xbox 360 Arcade in Japan this week to ¥19,800 (~$183.00.) Next week, expect the cost of the 60GB 360 to drop to ¥29,800 (~$275.00) and the 120GB Elite to go down to ¥39,800 (~$368.00.) This means that it will be cheaper than the Wii in that country. However, it doesn’t necessarily mean that it will top it in sales. Stay tuned for U.S. price cut announcements later this month.
Read More | techradar
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