100 Companies in Japan Make Something Stronger than Steel — Will work together to produce nanocellulose

About 100 companies in Japan will work together to put nanocellulose, made from wood fibers, into practical use as a next-generation material, with one-fifth the weight of steel but about five times the strength.

Companies involved with its development include paper manufacturers, automakers, chemical companies and others.

They aim to utilize the new material for manufacturing auto parts, construction materials, artificial blood vessels and various other purposes.

Because nanocellulose is made mainly from wood chips, it is considered friendly to the environment. Thus, the government plans to support the development as part of its economic growth strategy.

Nanocellulose is made by chemically processing fibers contained in wood. The fibers are dissolved into pieces, each of which is measured on a nanometer scale. One nanometer is one-millionth of a meter and is about one-hundred-thousandths of the thickness of a human hair.

Abe invites Kennedy for ride on state-of-the-art maglev train

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and U.S. Ambassador to Japan Caroline Kennedy took a 500 kph ride on a maglev train at the Yamanashi Maglev Test Center of Central Japan Railway Co. (JR Tokai).

Abe invited Kennedy as U.S. President Barack Obama plans to introduce a high-speed railway network in the United States. Abe hopes Japan will be the nation offering the maglev technology that helps create that network.

Abe is also offering the same technology to other nations.

Japan Finance Minister does not know what bitcoins are

Japanese Finance Minister Taro Aso on Friday expressed eagerness to hold discussions with other ministers and government agencies about what is behind the recent trouble in the “bitcoin” virtual currency market.

“We do not clearly know what bitcoins are, so we have to start studying it,” Aso said at a press conference, referring to the sudden shutdown earlier this week of all transactions on Mt. Gox, a major bitcoin exchange based in Tokyo.

Aso added there is a group in the ruling Liberal Democratic Party that is studying the bitcoin market.


Global Precipitation Measurement Core Observatory Satellite Launched

Japan’s space agency has successfully launched an H2A rocket carrying a satellite that can survey precisely rainfall on most of the earth.

The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency says the rocket lifted off at 3:37 AM from Tanegashima Space Center, southern Japan.

It flew as planned and released the satellite 16 minutes after launch at the height of 400 kilometers.

The satellite, co-developed by Japan and the US, is aimed at a detailed monitoring of rainfall on the earth using radars.


Mt. Gox chief says he is “still in Japan” after sudden operational shutdown of the exchange

The chief executive of troubled bitcoin exchange Mt. Gox has denied speculation that he fled Japan in the wake of its sudden operational shutdown and said work is under way to solve various issues.

“As there is a lot of speculation regarding Mt. Gox and its future, I would like to use this opportunity to reassure everyone that I am still in Japan and working very hard with the support of different parties to find a solution to our recent issues,” Mark Karpeles said in a statement posted online and dated Wednesday.

His statement came after the market for the virtual currency released a brief statement that it will “close all transactions for the time being in order to protect the site and our customers.”


Read the rest of the story: Mt. Gox chief says he is “still in Japan” to solve issues.

Facts About CompTIA Security + Certifications

Cyber security is a pressing problem in the world of computers. As technology continues to gain complexity, the malicious attacks that are being used to bypass security measures are also increasing their complexity as well. Government employees and individuals who wish to work in the security aspect of the technology field are being required to obtain the CompTIA Security + certification.

Individuals that are hoping to gain employment as a Security Specialist, Network Technician, or a Network Administrator will benefit from obtaining a CompTIA Security + certification. In fact, even if you are presently employed in the IT field, adding this additional certification to your resume is going to be beneficial to you.

The CompTIA Security + certification consists of one hundred questions. The questions are arranged in a multiple choice format. Individuals completing the examination will be given ninety minutes in duration to take the test. Scores are given on a sliding scale that goes from 100-900. In order to successfully pass the test, an applicant must receive a score of 750 on the exam or higher.

There are six core objectives that individuals will be tested on. Each objective bears a different weight when it comes to the grading scale. Systems security bears the most weight, at twenty one percent of an individual’s final score, followed by network infrastructure, which is worth twenty percent of the final passing score.

Even though there are no prerequisites required to take the test. It would behoove applicants to have a working knowledge of network security systems, or at least have taken a training course from ExamTrace (click here) that teaches them the fundamentals of these systems.

JAXA, Japan’s space agency, sets world record for unmanned balloon

Japan’s space agency says it has set a world record by sending an observation balloon to an altitude of more than 53,000 meters.

The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency, or JAXA, said on Friday it released the unmanned balloon earlier in the day from a test site in Hokkaido in northern Japan.

JAXA officials say the balloon ascended at a speed of 250 meters a minute. It reached an altitude of 53,700 meters in 160 minutes.

The helium balloon is 60 meters wide and is made of a film just 3 micrometers thick. The agency says it’s the world’s thinnest balloon.

JAXA officials later destroyed the balloon by remote control. It fell into the ocean 150 kilometers from the test site.


Japan to be without Nuclear Power

Japan will be fully without nuclear power on Sunday as Kansai Electric Power Co.’s Oi No. 4 reactor is shut down for regular safety inspections, officials said.

This will be the first time Japan is without nuclear power since July 2012, The Japan Times reported.

Inspections of nuclear reactors normally take four to six weeks.

“Safety is important, but if you waste time, that too has an effect on safety. The Fukui nuclear power plant sites have a long history and respond to risks. My position is therefore different from other prefectural governors,” said Fukui Gov. Issei Nishikawa, who has said he would like to see the inspection be completed as soon as possible.

Japan relies on nuclear power for about 32 percent of its electricity prior to the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami.



Project Phoenix Kickstarter: A Japanese Role Playing Game Set to Change the Future of Gaming

Project Phoenix announced earlier this week of their plans to set up a Kickstarter, a Japanese role-playing game (JRPG). The big difference with this project is that it’ll be combined with Real Time Strategy (RTS). The future of gaming is set to be changed with the founder of Creative Intelligence Arts, Hiroaki Yura in the head of the game development.

Uniting top game developers from the West and the East, Project Phoenix takes on the JRPG genre with art direction from Kiyoshi Arai, best known for Final Fantasy XII and XIV. Music is set to be headed by Nobou Uematsu, the legendary composer of the Final Fantasy series. This is the first independent game project Uematsu will be commited to.

“For 25 years, I’ve been working on a lot of video game music like the Final Fantasy series. This is the first time I’ve worked on an independent game,” says Uematsu, Project Phoenix’s lead composer, adding, “Although it’s fun to create a game within a large company, I’ve always been interested in being able to work in a small, passionate independent games team. I’m really looking forward to it.”

The team members in charge of development have quite the impressive credits of which include Halo 4, Final Fantasy series, World of Warcraft, Star Craft II, Diablo III, L.A. Noire, Soulcalibur V, Steins Gate and the Disappearance of Haruhi Suzumiya.

A few other members are yet to be announced of which includes a secret designer from one of Japanese leading anime mecha title who had changed pop culture influence in the world. Project Phoenix Kickstarter seelks $100,000 in funding for programming and artistic development of the game. Check out Project Phoenix for more information on the game set to change the history of Japanese role playing game.

4 Million IDs stolen from major internet service provider in Japan

A major Japanese Internet service provider says 4 million sets of members’ IDs and passwords have been stolen.

NTT Communications, the operator of provider service OCN, said on Wednesday that it found OCN’s servers were illegally accessed on Tuesday and malware was inserted to take IDs and passwords.

Its engineers deactivated the malicious program, but it suspects the IDs and passwords were already hacked.

NTT Communications officials say there is no immediate threat of using the IDs as the passwords are encrypted. But they are urging users to change their passwords.

On Thursday of last week a website in Japan, which offers various information on the Internet, was hacked. The owner of the site said more than 1.6 million member IDs could have been compromised.

Read the rest of the story: 4 mil. IDs stolen from major provider in Japan.