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Archive for the 'Daily' Category

11/17/2008

Robotic maids

A Japanese university developed a robot that helps with household chores. We are edging closer and closer to the fact that foreign maids and its business is going to the dogs soon once this becomes mass produced.

A new robot developed by the University of Tokyo and Toyota Motor Corp., able to collect the washing and move furniture for cleaning, is being touted as the first step towards a robotic domestic helper.

Robots have traditionally been bad at handling anything other than solid objects, but the robot named, “AR,” is able to recognize clothes by their creases and actually pick them up, repeating the action should it drop them.

During its introduction to the media on Friday, AR carried a cup and saucer on a tray from a table to the kitchen; collected washing and put it in the washing machine, and swept the floor, moving furniture where necessary.

However, AR’s movements were slow and often clumsy, and University of Tokyo Professor Masayuki Inaba said more work is needed: “The task now is to improve its efficiency and endurance.”

I am sure they can fix the klutzy robots in due time.

Mainichi

Posted by The Expedited Writer in Daily, Misc | No Comments »

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10/16/2008

Human Tetris – A bit of humour

I thought a bit of humor is needed everyday and this Human Tetris game show has got to be one of the most funniest thing ever!

Posted by The Expedited Writer in Daily | No Comments »

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10/16/2008

NHK slashing TV fees

From 2012 onwards, NHK has decided to lower it’s viewership fee.

Can someone tell me what the heck viewership fee is? I am accustomed to paying a month flat rate for my internet/cable tv/ phone line but I have never heard of a viewership fee before.

Geezus…

Public broadcaster NHK has decided to slash viewer fees from the business year of 2012, using 10 percent of the revenue from the previous year’s fees, NHK officials said.

This will be the first time for NHK to reduce viewer fees since the charge system was established under the 1950 Broadcast Law. The decision has been incorporated in the new corporate plan endorsed by NHK’s Board of Governors on Tuesday.

The broadcaster estimates that it will gain 680 billion yen in viewer fees in fiscal 2011 and intends to use 68 billion yen of the amount to finance reductions in the charges the following business year.

NHK is considering an across-the-board slash in fees for terrestrial broadcasting, a cut in additional charges for viewing satellite broadcasting and a reduction and exemption of fees for low-income elderly people. However, the broadcaster intends to discuss how to implement the plan next fiscal year or later.

NHK’s Executive Board referred the draft, which includes projected revenues and outlays from fiscal 2009 to 2011, to the broadcaster’s Board of Governors on Oct. 7 for approval.

Read more…

Posted by The Expedited Writer in Cost of Living, Daily, Misc, Utilities | No Comments »

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9/4/2008

8 Days of Paid Vacation, yearly

In Japan, the average paid vacation taken by the Japanese is only 8 days per year. That is astoundingly low as compared to France with 34 days paid vacation, followed by Italy and Spain with 27 days of paid vacation taken each year.

Among the reasons why Japanese employees can’t take paid holidays were, “Too busy with work” and “Their bosses and colleagues have yet to take their paid leave,” the survey found. When asked what countermeasures should be introduced to deal with the problem, most people said, “Managers should encourage workers to take more paid holidays.” The survey has underscored the importance of creating an environment that makes it easy for employees to take paid leave.

Read the rest…

Full Japanese story here.

Posted by The Expedited Writer in Daily, Japanese Culture, Social, Work | No Comments »

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9/3/2008

JR Train Times online

Did you know that you could look up the JR Train’s timetable online?

Some timetables in Japan can be so confusing for a foreigner that getting around may be stalled because of the confusion. There are times when you have to switch trains in different stations, with different colored lines in different times.

But now, you do not need to walk to a station anymore and look at this map:

jr-east-map.png

You can just go to Hyperdia to look at all your JR train’s timetable:)

Posted by The Expedited Writer in Daily, Misc, Transport | No Comments »

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8/28/2008

Blending a WiiMote

Will it blend – Wiimote?

Another awesome video by Blendtech. I just like stuff that can blend anything.

It’s suppose to make your everyday a little less pressure when you watch wanton fake-authoritative-lab coat-adorning man blend gadgets in Blendtech.

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8/27/2008

Name this dance

What festival is this dance related to?

untitled-1.jpg

Posted by The Expedited Writer in Daily, Festivals, Misc, Social | No Comments »

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8/14/2008

Holidaying Country Style

hokkaidotravel.jpg

Currently there is a holiday tour in Japan that stresses on slow living and eco-friendly options. With the rise of fuel prices and expensive tickets, Japanese people are definitely opting to stay home bound for their holidays.

The Tokachi Hokkaido Country LIving is one such tour that promotes country living style to their clients. Tourists will travel to beautiful remote areas and living in a cottage style life. The price for an amish living costs around 250,000 Yen for this tour.

Got the buzz from the fellas at Kilian Nakamura.

Posted by The Expedited Writer in Daily, Japanese Culture | 1 Comment »

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7/24/2008

In the hands of robots

Music conductors will be the first to be out of work. Check it out.

Soon, dancers too:

Posted by The Expedited Writer in Daily, Misc, Social | No Comments »

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7/16/2008

Fishermen in Japan go on strike

Where will we get our fresh sashimis now?

A lot of people do not know or appreciate where their food comes from or who, in truth, is actually feeding them. It is people like the fisherman, the farmers and the cattle and sheep herders that are feeding people in the world. Without them, we’re too modernized to actually know how to use a fishing hook to catch our feed for the day.

Because of the rising oil prices, the fishermen in Japan have began a strike to protest against the fuel prices. Fishermen in my country do not earn an enormous amount of money after all costs are considered, they only have enough for the year providing if the season is a good one. And with this rising fuel prices, it would be almost impossible to make a decent living. I am not saying I am for this strike because fish prices is going to go up due to this protest, which will raise the prices in restaurants, etc if it goes on long enough….but whose fault is it really?

Fishermen across Japan suspended operations on Tuesday as part of a huge protest by 16 main fishing organizations to highlight hardships caused by surging fuel prices.

The one-day fishing suspension by organizations including the National Federation of Fisheries Cooperative Associations and the Japan Fisheries Association, representing about 200,000 fishing vessels altogether, was the first nationwide fishing stoppage sparked by high fuel prices.

Since the suspension halted the supply of nearly all fresh fish, there is a possibility that fish prices could temporarily be affected.

Under the move, the commercial operation of most domestic fishing boats was suspended. In addition to boats in home waters, vessels fishing for tuna and other fish in the open sea refrained from unloading fish at ports in Japan on Tuesday. Fish farming operators were also due to suspend shipments.

The National Federation of Fisheries Cooperative Associations said that the estimated going rate of A-type heavy oil used in fishing boats was 115,400 yen per kiloliter, roughly triple the price five years ago. For coastal fishing boats under 20 tons, the cost of fuel accounted for about 23 percent of operating costs in 2006, but recently it has reportedly passed 30 percent.

Read the rest…

Posted by The Expedited Writer in Cost of Living, Daily, Japanese Culture | No Comments »

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