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Solar collectors in space could finally solve Earth's energy problem

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Taking up herewith Japanese Electronics and Science & Technology Trend News by Media in last week.
Electronics Trend and/or Science & Technology Trend in Japan will be read via these News.
Interested in "Five Japanese mobile phones we'll never see in the West", "Japan's Softbank to launch Google phone in spring", "Solar collectors in space could finally solve Earth's energy problem" and etc.
Nov 13 Branded barcodes cheer Japanese shoppers (telegraph.co.uk)
 While most Western manufacturers focus their marketing on the front of a product, a growing number of Japanese firms are branding the barcodes on the reverse as well. The black and white etchings contain sufficient detail to be recognised by scanners, while also incorporating the firm's logo or an image associated with the product.
Nov 11 Year-end sales of flat-screen TVs in Japan forecast to jump 40-50% (AP)
 Year-end sales of flat-screen televisions in Japan are expected to grow 40 to 50 percent in volume terms from a year earlier thanks to a government sales incentive program, a market research firm said Wednesday. In value terms, sales of flat-screen TVs in November and December are likely to increase 30 percent, BCN Inc. said.
Nov 11 Five Japanese mobile phones we'll never see in the West (telegraph.co.uk)
 With the sheer level of technology found in every single handset in Japan, phone producers have been forced to produce some pretty special stuff to separate themselves from the competition. In Japan going shopping for a good phone is like walking into the future. You may have thought that getting google maps on your phone was exciting, but that is old news here. Every single phone has a TV tuner, at least a 3 megapixel camera and a massive screen capable of twisting and turning as if your phone is some sort of miniature Transformer.
Nov 10 Japan's Softbank to launch Google phone in spring (Reuters)
 Softbank Corp, Japan's No.3 wireless carrier, said it will add to its lineup its first phone using Google Inc's Android operating system in the spring, following similar launches by NTT DoCoMo and Verizon Wireless. Softbank CEO Masayoshi Son declined to say on Tuesday who will manufacturer its Android phone, but said the phone would feature an OLED (organic light-emitting diode) screen and that it had yet to go on sale.
Nov 10 Paperless systems costly, underutilized (Asahi)
 Once hailed as a paperless path to increased convenience for citizens, electronic forms for government applications are underutilized and a massive drain on taxpayers, an Asahi Shimbun investigation has found. Huge amounts of public money have been spent developing and maintaining systems that allow official forms to be submitted via the Internet, rather than in person at a government office.
Nov 07 Japanese URLs no big deal (Japan Times)
 Being able to use kanji, hiragana and katakana for Web site addresses would not greatly enhance convenience for Japanese because many are familiar with English and search engines such as Yahoo and Google already enable searches in Japanese, Internet industry experts said. It is unclear whether having been able to use Japanese letters in second-level domains since 2000 has made the Internet more accessible for older Japanese who feel uncomfortable typing English.
Nov 06 Nearly 70% of Japanese families have digital broadcasting receivers (AP)
 The government said Friday an estimated 69.5 percent of Japanese families had acquired televisions or tuners to receive terrestrial digital broadcasting signals in September, up 8.8 percentage points from March. The increase came as the government offered "eco points" for purchases of new TVs designed to receive such signals as well as new air conditioners and refrigerators under its economic stimulus package and allowed consumers to exchange the points into gift tickets or the like.

Science & Technology
Nov 14 Language no barrier for Japanese translation specs (Reuters)
 It's the latest in eyewear for the linguistically challenged: Japanese computer-maker NEC has created a pair of glasses that double as a translator. The Tele Scouter integrates spectacle frames with a personal mini-computer and a head-mounted display unit, allowing two or more people with no language in common to hold a conversation. Conversations are, with the press of a button, recorded and sent to a remote server where they are analyzed and translated.
Nov 13 Development of supercomputer to be frozen (AP)
 A key government panel on cutting wasteful spending on Friday sought to freeze a project to develop a next-generation supercomputer, for which a 26.7 billion yen budget has been requested. Riken, an independent administrative body under the Education, Culture Sports, Science and Technology Ministry, is working with private companies to develop the computer with the world's highest capability.
Nov 13 High-tech World War II Japanese attack subs found off Oahu (Honolulu Advertiser)
 The remains of two high-tech World War II Japanese submarines designed to attack the United States mainland have been found off Oahu. The announcement was made this morning by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's Undersea Research Lab at the University of Hawaii-Manoa and the National Geographic Channel. The submarines - the subjects of a National Geographic special, "Hunt for the Samurai Subs" - were part of a top-secret Imperial Japanese Navy plan to attack cities on the U.S. mainland, including New York and Washington, D.C.
Nov 12 Satellite glitch briefly suspends Japan's weather observation (AP)
 Japan's weather observation went out of service for three- and-a-half hours from Wednesday night to early Thursday due to an unknown glitch in satellite Himawari No. 6, the Japan Meteorological Agency said Thursday. The service was restored at 1 a.m. Thursday by switching to the backup orbiter Himawari No. 7, after Himawari No. 6 became unable to control its position to keep its camera trained on earth and also to transmit signals around 9:25 p.m. Wednesday.
Nov 12 Natural predators enlisted as bug-busters (Asahi)
 Plagued by insects that are increasingly resistant to pesticides, farmers across Japan are enlisting the help of creatures that love nothing better than to munch on pesky bugs. A growing number are using predator species to eradicate the pests that feed on their crops. This allows them to use smaller amounts of agricultural chemicals, which provides the added benefit of helping them advertise their produce as safer for consumers. The use of predatory insects has spread widely in Kochi Prefecture, the nation's top eggplant-growing region.
Nov 11 3 fuel cell cars begin 1,100-km demonstration run (Kyodo)
 Fuel cell-powered vehicles from Toyota Motor Corp, Nissan Motor Co. and Honda Motor Co. leave the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry in Tokyo on Nov. 11, 2009, for a 1,100-kilometer run to Fukuoka to demonstrate that they can go as far as gasoline-powered cars on a single fueling. Toyota's FCHV-adv, Nissan's X-Trail FCV and Honda's FCX Clarity will be used in the event.
Nov 11 New icebreaker begins voyage to Antarctica (Japan Times)
 Families bade farewell Tuesday as crew members embarked from Tokyo aboard the new icebreaker Shirase on an Antarctic expedition. The 12,500-ton Shirase, the country's fourth icebreaker, departed from Harumi Pier in Chuo Ward. The ship is expected to reach the Showa Base in Antarctica in mid-December.
Nov 10 Protecting bluefin tuna (Asahi)
 While the estimated population of Pacific bluefin tuna has remained low but stable, the number of Atlantic bluefin tuna has dropped drastically to one-third of what it was 30 years ago. Especially in the eastern Atlantic, including the Mediterranean Sea, tuna farming, the method of fattening up small tuna in large cages, has become so widespread that fishermen are catching even young fish before they spawn.
Nov 10 Prospects dim for Japanese asteroid probe's return home (AP)
 Prospects of return to Earth have become dim for the Japanese asteroid explorer Hayabusa as all but one engine has stopped, the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency said Monday. JAXA pins its remaining hopes on the possibility that the probe, which aims to return home in June 2010, may have collected some dust particles thrown up when the probe touched down on Itokawa in 2005.
Nov 10 Solar collectors in space could finally solve Earth's energy problem (dvice.com)
 The Japan Space Agency, along with Mitsubishi Electric Corp. and IHI Corp., are getting even closer to next big thing: harnessing the power of the sun with a solar collector in geostationary orbit. Now there's cold hard cash involved. The plan is to drop $21 billion into a solar power generator that beams electricity to Earth via microwaves. The 1-gigawatt solar station will gather sunlight with a gigantic array of solar panels that is 4 square kilometers big.
Nov 07 Flu cases reach alert level, set to top 6 million (Japan Times)
 The cumulative number of people infected with influenza, in most cases H1N1 swine flu, since early July reached an estimated 5.85 million as of Nov. 1 and is set to top the 6 million mark soon, the National Institute of Infectious Diseases said Friday. An estimated 1.54 million people infected with influenza visited medical facilities nationwide during the latest reporting week of Oct. 26 to Nov. 1.
By J.S. on Nov 20, 2009



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