Tokyo-based fashion designers Head Porter come prepared for the holiday season with a new collection of cases designed to fit both the original iPhone and the 3G. With a long history of catering to the fashion-forward tech consumer, Head Porter offers stylish cases for cell phones and mp3 players. This fall's iPhone collection sees the marriage between a new case form and classic Head Porter visuals, including "Black Beauty," "Monogram Black Beauty," "Dot Black Beauty," "Master Navy," "Navy Argyle," "Python," "Savanna," and "Zebra." … Read more
Natali says she giggles when she sees guys using the tiny little Eee PC. But she doesn't question their manliness. Engnr_Chik thinks Netbooks are for everyone. Plus we speculate on the rush to release a prebeta of Windows 7, demand Wal-Mart do something about their forlorn DRM music tracks, and I'm possibly moving to Japan. Or New York. Or space.
Listen now: Download today's podcastEPISODE 819
Japan to get 1Gbps home fiber connections http://tech.slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=08/09/27/1757211
SpaceX orbits success with Falcon 1 http://news.cnet.com/8301-11386_3-10053326-76.html… Read more
If it ain't in the market yet, you can trust Thanko to dream it up. The online store has been responsible for a number of funky--if sometimes questionable--gadgets out of Japan, from USB butt coolers to cushions for lazy geeks to neckties with built-in fans.
So if you're a fanboy of the company, the Sound Lives Magnetic Earphones (1,980 yen, $18.65), which seem lost in translation, are probably the first we've come across where you clip the earpiece onto your, well, ears. Just like a pair of earrings. Aesthetics-wise, it's pure Thanko--a touch of … Read more
A bloody odd cell phone accessory--a strap that displays your blood type for all to see--is apparently quite popular in Japan. But lest you think it was invented to aid victims in the event of a medical emergency, it more commonly serves as a sort of relationship road map in a country that views ABO blood type as indicative of personality and romantic compatibility. You know, "You're an A, I'm a B, wanna go out tonight?"
Dating services in Japan use blood type to make matches, employers use it to evaluate job candidates, and morning TV … Read more
It takes a true Japanophile or fashion dork to love this watch and wear it. Made by Japan's Seahope, this timepiece screams "tourist souvenir" and "geek alert," and not in a very flattering way, either. However, if you've ever been on the Yamanote Line during rush hour and can't get enough of the sights, sounds, and body crush at Tokyo's busiest underground rail, the Yamanote Line Watch offers four choices. These replicate the electronic bulletin boards at Shinjuku, Ikebukuro, Ebisu, and Shinagawa stations.
Note the key word "replicate." That reads … Read more
Bicycle-riding robot Murata Boy has a cute new cousin--and she's so one-upping him by getting around on a unicycle.
Murata Girl, aka Seiko-chan, can ride forward and backward at 2 inches per second--or idle in place. Tiny sensors tell the bot when it's about to bump into something, and gyroscopes on her back, plus a spinning disc embedded in her stomach, help her stay balanced.
Murata Electronics, an electrical components maker based in Japan, uses Murata Boy to promote science education and advertise its brand. It describes Murata Girl as "active but shy" (she occasionally blushes) … Read more
Citing a myriad reasons from marketing and usability to the lack of features common in Japanese phones, the WSJ is reporting that the iPhone is a bit of dud in Japan.According to market-research firm MM Research Institute, Apple sold about 200,000 phones in Japan in the first two months. Since then, however, demand has been falling steadily, and analysts now widely believe sales are unlikely to reach a total of 500,000 units. That is half the one million units that they previously thought Apple could sell. One big challenge is that Japanese users already have access to … Read more
In today's show, Rafe joins us for a discussion of useless video blobs, the implications of, uh, Internet "shopping," the NPD numbers that read Tom's mind, and the U.S. Senate's "enormous gift" to Big Content (per Ars Technica). Also, we rouse the Buzz Militia from their stupor to launch an attack on Apple's arbitrary and annoying App Store approval process. Save Podcaster!
Listen now: Download today's podcastEPISODE 808
Committee amends, approves 'enormous gift' to Big Content http://arstechnica.com/news.ars/post/20080911-committee-amends-approves-enormous-gift-to-big-content.html http://news.cnet.com/8301-13578_3-10039745-38.html… Read more
I had just been thinking of her work, having recently unearthed my Hanpanda (right) and placed it at a key watchful position in my new home. She had a great ability to hijack the "cute" aesthetic that characterizes much Japanese popular artwork and turn it more bizarre while maintaining some charm.
Though I only had the chance to meet her once when I served as a mysterious (and unidentifiable) extra for one of … Read more
Nearly two years later, Vista has 24 percent of the market. Since we don't know what the expectations were, it's hard to know if this is good or bad. I suspect it's not great based on the survey data that shows 90 percent of those surveyed said they came to use … Read more