Nasne, Sony’s sleek new DVR and Media Hub for all it’s products

In another example of Japan getting all the neat stuff first, Sony details a beefy DVR and media storage hub that is compatible with its PlayStation, Vaio, Tablet, and Xperia lines.

The new Sony Nasne tuner and media device, due in Japan on July 19 for 16,980 yen $209, sort of looks like a miniature PlayStation 3. However, dont let the aesthetics fool you: Nasne contains many features the game console lacks, such as a built-in 500GB hard drive for recording content from digital terrestrial or satellite TV broadcasts.

The rear of Nasne.Credit: Sony Computer EntertainmentPerhaps the biggest draw at least to Sony aficionados resides in the ability to simultaneously watch live or recorded TV content from Nasne on up to two Sony products within the same home network.

Read the rest of the story: Introducing Nasne, Sonys sleek DVR of Japans future.

Twitter Aggressively Expanding Japan Sales Staff

Twitter Inc. will “aggressively” add sales staff in Japan to attract more advertisers as local user growth exceeds the company’s global expansion, Chief Executive Officer Dick Costolo said.

The microblogging service will continue to invest and hire in Japan and will also add engineers, Costolo told reporters in Tokyo today, without specifying investment amounts or the number of people being added.

The San Francisco-based company, which lets users post 140-character messages, is expanding abroad to decrease its reliance on the U.S. market. The percentage of revenue Twitter earns from the U.S. will fall to 83 percent in 2014 from about 90 percent this year, researcher EMarketer estimated in January.

Read the rest of the story: Twitter to Expand Japan Sales Staff on Local Growth, CEO Says.

Toshiba shutting down three semiconductor plants in Japan

Electronics and manufacturing giant Toshiba said Wednesday it is to shut three semiconductor factories in Japan as part of a reorganisation of its business, as it grapples with falling profits.

It also said it would slow production at a number of plants over the winter because of the drop off in demand for electronic goods in the West, where battered economies are showing few signs of life.

Toshiba said the closure of the facilities would mean moving production to three other existing factories, allowing the company "to strengthen cost competitiveness and focus on higher value added products".

Read the rest of the story: Toshiba to shut three Japan semiconductor plants.

Japan’s Tech Companies Face Weak TV Demand

Japan’s top consumer electronic firms recovered faster than expected from March’s earthquake, allowing most of them to maintain full-year profit forecasts despite a weakening TV market and concerns about the outlook for the global economy.

Video game maker Nintendo was a standout disappointment as it unexpectedly swung to a quarterly operating loss, hit by sluggish sales of its 3DS handheld game player and a strong yen. It also slashed its full-year forecast to far below market expectations. 

Sony and Panasonic warned of weak TV sales, following Philips and Corning [GLW  16.00    -0.04  (-0.25%)] in highlighting sluggish demand. 

Global consumer confidence fell in the second quarter to its lowest level in 18 months as an uncertain economic outlook, a deepening euro zone debt crisis and rising inflation made people cautious, a Nielsen survey showed.

Read the rest of the story: Japan’s Tech Companies Face Weak TV Demand, Keep Forecasts.

Air-conditioned clothes help Japan beat heat

As jackets go it looks far from fashionable, but its Japanese maker cannot meet sky-rocketing demand for "air conditioned" coats with built-in fans.

Kuchofuku Co. Ltd — whose name literally means "air-conditioned clothing" — has seen orders soar amid power shortages in Japan after the devastating March 11 earthquake and tsunami.

As parts of the nation sweat out an uncomfortable summer shackled by restrictions on electricity use, demand has grown for goods that provide guilt-free respite from the unrelenting summer heat.

Read the rest of the story: Air-conditioned clothes help Japan beat heat.

London to Tokyo in 2 hours: hypersonic plane unveiled

It will take only two hours to fly from London to Tokyo, be virtually pollution free, and promises to be no louder than today’s modern planes.

There’s only one catch for prospective commuters – it will be another 40 years before commercial flights take place.

Plans were yesterday unveiled for the first hypersonic passenger jet, which would use three sets of engines to reach 3,125mph, more than four times the speed of sound, known as Mach 4.

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Hailed as the heir to Concorde, the aircraft would be propelled by a mixture of hydrogen and oxygen, meaning its only emissions would be water.

The project, developed by Airbus’s parent company EADS, was unveiled before the official opening of the Paris Air Show today.

Carrying up to 100 passengers, a set of conventional jet engines would help launch the aircraft from a normal airport runway, meaning the aircraft would not produce the noisy ‘sonic boom’ that Concorde did.

Read the rest of the story: London to Tokyo in 2 hours.

Hello Kitty GPS announced

The Hello Kitty GPS has been announced by Seiwa! A Japan only device, it will begin selling on July 31st. Shaped like Kitty’s head, it comes with an onboard digital TV tuner so you can even watch TV while on the go.

It has a 7 inch touchscreen which supports a resolution of 800 x 480 pixels.

It has two input jacks so you can connect a DVD player, video game consoles or even reverse camera.

You can playback video and audio files via a SD card.

And to top it off, the GPS comes complete with a bow shaped remote control.

Japan researcher builds tongue twisting internet kissing machine

Researches in Japan are hard at work developing an internet-enabled kissing simulator that will allow lovers – or perfect strangers – to reach out and buss someone.

"This device is for communications within the mouth," researcher Nobuhiro Takahashi of the Kajimoto Laboratory at The University of Electro-Communications in Tokyo told DigInfo TV. "In other words, the goal is to obtain the feeling of kissing."

Leering across the intertubes

Takahashi and his fellow researchers’ project is boffinistically described on the Laboratory’s website – and, in our opinion, rather less-than-alluringly illustrated (right) – as "Development of a kiss-like remote mouth communication device for close relationships".

Read the rest of the story: Japanese boffins build internet kissing machine.

Japan’s Internet proves quake-proof

As silver-linings go, it may not be much; but it is remarkable to learn that Japan’s Internet barely skipped a beat after last week’s devastating earthquake and subsequent tsunami and aftershocks.

Physical damage did occur to network infrastructure, but within hours the self-correcting architecture of Japan’s Internet routed around it and information flowed freely. Keep in mind that this damage coincided with a massive surge in Internet use, as users around the world suddenly began demanding live video and other data from Japan.

Read the rest of the story: Japan’s Internet proves quake-proof.

KDDI unveils WiMAX-ready phone

KDDI Corp. unveiled Japan’s first smart phone compatible with the WiMAX high-speed network Monday, aiming to differentiate its lineup from other carriers’ and keep pace with the smart phone trend.

Running Google’s Android operating system, the HTC EVO WiMAX ISW11HT has a 4.3-inch multitouch screen and will debut under the au brand sometime after early April.

"In the era of smart phones, you can’t really experience the merits of smart phones without a fast network," said KDDI President Takashi Tanaka during a preview event in Tokyo, referring to the frequent interruption of video clips caused by slow Internet connections.

Read the rest of the story: KDDI reveals WiMAX-ready phone.