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Japan Launches 'Buddha Phone'

samzenpus posted more than 5 years ago | from the the-eight-immortal-numbers dept.

212

CNETNate writes "The Japanese Odin 99 handset isn't a regular video-enabled phone. It's geared, perhaps somewhat ironically, towards the Buddhist geek. Aside from regular cell phone features, a dedicated button loads a private, customizable, animated altar on the phone's screen. The idea is to allow Buddhists to perform their dedications conveniently on-the-go. You can simulate incense burning, purification rites and play music to help you meditate wherever you happen to be. The question is, does such a device somewhat negate the values a Buddhist would stand for?"

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Umm... (4, Insightful)

SCPRedMage (838040) | more than 5 years ago | (#28102369)

The question is, does such a device somewhat negate the values a Buddhist would stand for?"

Yes.

Not quite (5, Informative)

Jangchub (1139089) | more than 5 years ago | (#28102595)

Actually, it depends on what tradition of Buddhism the practitioner follows, their personal path, his or her Guru or Teacher (if they have one), that guru's teaching style, and not least of all the individual's personality and life situation. I spent five years as a live-in volunteer at a Buddhist center where I practiced and received traditional training and met many Buddhists of many types, with and without cell phones; simple westerners that were ordained monks and Tibetan Rinpoches who drove Mercedes.

The idea that a Buddhist is some Vietnamese guy with saffron robes and a shaved head chanting "Ommm" all day is not quite in touch with reality. I am not directing this at you personally but at your posts blasé answer: I have found in my conversations that the majority of people who voice any opinion about Buddhism have gleaned their learning from pop culture and suffer greatly from the root cause of samsara: ignorance.

Re:Not quite (5, Insightful)

SCPRedMage (838040) | more than 5 years ago | (#28102681)

If it helps any, I think that such crass commercialization negates pretty much any value system.

Re:Not quite (3, Interesting)

Jangchub (1139089) | more than 5 years ago | (#28102749)

We can agree that it is quite stupid and an exploit of a spiritual practice (it seems easier to me to sell snake oil and useless consumer junk to spiritual people than to more secular individuals but that's just a hunch) but the original assertion that it is against some tenet of Buddhism is a simple answer to a complex question.

Re:Not quite (3, Insightful)

Nutria (679911) | more than 5 years ago | (#28104195)

it seems easier to me to sell snake oil and useless consumer junk to spiritual people than to more secular individuals but that's just a hunch

Considering that most geeks think of themselves as secular, and have (or aspire to have) iPhones, iPods, Androids, Crackberries, multitools and just about the whole ThinkGeek inventory, I'd say that it's an invalid hunch.

Re:Not quite (1)

jellybear (96058) | more than 5 years ago | (#28102789)

If it is also negating your ego and your preconceived notions, then it is sort of buddhist after all.

Re:Not quite (1, Funny)

commodoresloat (172735) | more than 5 years ago | (#28103539)

The idea that a Buddhist is some Vietnamese guy with saffron robes and a shaved head chanting "Ommm" all day is not quite in touch with reality.

That is true. These days, Buddhists can choose from several different colors of robe.

Re:Not quite (1)

jonlandrum (937349) | more than 5 years ago | (#28103749)

The idea that a Buddhist is some Vietnamese guy with saffron robes and a shaved head chanting "Ommm" all day is not quite in touch with reality. I am not directing this at you personally but at your posts blasé answer: I have found in my conversations that the majority of people who voice any opinion about Buddhism have gleaned their learning from pop culture and suffer greatly from the root cause of samsara: ignorance.

Actually, I've spent considerable time in northern Thailand, and the image of a "Guy with saffron robes and a shaved head chanting 'Ommm' all day" is surprisingly accurate.

Re:Not quite (3, Informative)

rubycodez (864176) | more than 5 years ago | (#28104667)

pfft, most all the citizens you dealt with over there were Buddhists. Buddhists in business suits, Buddhists in swim suits, Buddhists in school uniforms, even naked Buddhist pole dancers......

Re:Umm... (4, Insightful)

dave562 (969951) | more than 5 years ago | (#28103241)

+1.

My experience with Buddhism (Chan / Zen) has been that the intention behind the practices involves becoming mindful and living in the moment. One of the key aspects of the training involves sitting in meditation and just "being". It isn't that a person lights incense for the sake of lighting incense. They might incense so that they can focus on the incense and meditate on it as it burns.

I personally meditate on the train quite often. My Blackberry doesn't meditate for me. I do the meditating.

Buddhism is like any other religion. There are a lot of people who get so caught up in the rituals of the religion that they don't fully understand the underlying reason for doing the ritual in the first place. It's not like once you've lit your 10,000th stick of incense, some guy named Buddha appears before you, smacks you on the forehead to open up your third eye and then you're suddenly enlightened.

Re:Umm... (4, Funny)

Starayo (989319) | more than 5 years ago | (#28103549)

It's not like once you've lit your 10,000th stick of incense, some guy named Buddha appears before you, smacks you on the forehead to open up your third eye and then you're suddenly enlightened.

That would be pretty awesome, though. I'd convert.

Re:Umm... (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28103717)

It's not like once you've lit your 10,000th stick of incense, some guy named Buddha appears before you, smacks you on the forehead to open up your third eye and then you're suddenly enlightened.

That would be pretty awesome, though. I'd convert.

Screw that. Too much grinding. Couldn't they mix up the levels? Like sometimes you burn incense, sometimes rake rocks, take pilgrimages etc?

Re:Umm... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28104311)

Screw that. Too much grinding. Couldn't they mix up the levels? Like sometimes you burn incense, sometimes rake rocks, take pilgrimages etc?

Paint. Arrange flowers. Serve tea. Take photographs. Observe a lake. Walk. Clean dishes.

Many people, many paths. No shortcuts, not everything works for everyone.

Re:Umm... (4, Funny)

Joe Snipe (224958) | more than 5 years ago | (#28103785)

not like once you've lit your 10,000th stick of incense, some guy named Buddha appears before you, smacks you on the forehead to open up your third eye and then you're suddenly enlightened.

It usually takes several smacks.

Re:Umm... (2, Funny)

dave562 (969951) | more than 5 years ago | (#28103879)

I can't even get the guy to talk to me, much less smack me in the head. I think he's put off by all of the conversations going on in my head all the time. ;)

Re:Umm... (1, Insightful)

gstoddart (321705) | more than 5 years ago | (#28104259)

Buddhism is like any other religion.

Buddhism isn't technically a religion. There really isn't a "god" to believe in, and some of the Western interpretations play down a lot of the actual parts which make it a religion and emphasize the personal growth aspect of it. You can believe in literal reincarnation and nirvana, or treat it as more of a metaphor and a way to teach a more meaningful life. There's nothing inherent to it which requires you to take it all on faith, and it's always up for debate if it proves to be wrong -- it's just held up to close examination. Many people consider themselves as Buddhists without considering it their religion. In fact, Buddhism can co-exist with a religion -- you can be Catholic and practice Buddhism.

It's not like once you've lit your 10,000th stick of incense, some guy named Buddha appears before you, smacks you on the forehead to open up your third eye and then you're suddenly enlightened.

Before enlightenment, chop wood, carry water. After enlightenment, chop wood, carry water. :-P

Cheers

Re:Umm... (1)

Lemmy Caution (8378) | more than 5 years ago | (#28104743)

The kind of Buddhism imported to the West - secularized, made "not a religion," turned into a kind of set of technologies for personal development, stripped of any perspectives that generally clash with regular humanism - is very much unlike the Buddhisms of Asia, which are very much religions, which have real religious exclusivity, which have outright superstitions, rituals, etc.

Re:Umm... (1)

bcrowell (177657) | more than 5 years ago | (#28104817)

The kind of Buddhism imported to the West - secularized, made "not a religion," turned into a kind of set of technologies for personal development, stripped of any perspectives that generally clash with regular humanism - is very much unlike the Buddhisms of Asia, which are very much religions, which have real religious exclusivity, which have outright superstitions, rituals, etc.

I'm sure you're right, but why does that matter? Conversely, if someone in Thailand wanted to take up Christianity, and asked me, as someone who'd grown up in Western culture, for insight, what would I say? I certainly wouldn't say just to pick some random flavor of organized Christianity and follow it. I guess I would probably say that it never hurt anyone to read the Gospels and think hard about them as a record of what one slightly crazy human being taught his students 2000 years ago.

Re:Umm... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28103311)

His friends simply call him "Bud."

Re:Umm... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28103915)

Heh, I was just about to post this very answer. Only without the quote. It is a funny, zen-type of a joke.

Re:Umm... (1)

iamhassi (659463) | more than 5 years ago | (#28104871)

"The question is, does such a device somewhat negate the values a Buddhist would stand for?"

Yes."


Care to elaborate?

I would have to say no, because cellphones are no longer fancy gadgets for the rich, they're required for communication with the rest of the world, so if you have to have one, why not have one that caters to your religious beliefs?

C&E (3, Insightful)

merreborn (853723) | more than 5 years ago | (#28102413)

I suppose this represents a form of religion no more watered down than that practiced by your average "christmas and easter christian" over here in the states.

The world is full of people who don't take their professed religions seriously.

Re:C&E (3, Insightful)

ZigiSamblak (745960) | more than 5 years ago | (#28102687)

The world is full of people who don't take their professed religions seriously.

Which seems preferable to a world full of religious extremists to me, but then I am an atheist.

Re:C&E (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28102835)

hmmm.....funny, the Buddha Gautama was an atheist, too...................

Re:C&E (1)

SoupIsGoodFood_42 (521389) | more than 5 years ago | (#28102959)

And why can't one take religious seriously and not be a violent extremist, or even a bigot?

Re:C&E (5, Insightful)

JanneM (7445) | more than 5 years ago | (#28103111)

"And why can't one take religious seriously and not be a violent extremist, or even a bigot?"

I don't know. Why?

Re:C&E (1)

JeanPaulBob (585149) | more than 5 years ago | (#28104267)

"And why can't one take religious seriously and not be a violent extremist, or even a bigot?"

I don't know. Why?

Ah, the delicious^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^Hnoxious irony of "All people who take religion seriously are bigots!"

Re:C&E (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28104293)

Ooh, nice come-back. Do you want your lollipop now?

Yeah, I know he opened himself up to a schoolyard riposte, but it was still childish to give it to him. A serious reply would be describing the dearth of serious, religious, non-violent, non-extremests. (hint: you probably know some personally.)

Re:C&E (1)

mokus000 (1491841) | more than 5 years ago | (#28104405)

Do you take your atheism seriously?

Re:C&E (4, Funny)

interkin3tic (1469267) | more than 5 years ago | (#28102979)

The world is full of people who don't take their professed religions seriously.

On behalf of agnostics worldwide, I -might- be offended by that statement.

Re:C&E (1)

TheRealMindChild (743925) | more than 5 years ago | (#28103005)

BRILLIANT!

Re:C&E (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28103037)

The world is full of people who don't take their professed religions seriously.

Whoa there! The OMG NOT JEBUS crowd won't be happy with that sort of talk. Anyone silly enough to permit themselves to be identified as Christian is a true believing brimstone and hell fire fundie actively working to theocratize the entire species, and don't you forget it. The 'America Land of the Bible' world view relies on equating the each and every nominal 'believer' with a Benny Hinn disciple. Your lack of anxiety has been noted.

Re:C&E (1)

Reality Master 201 (578873) | more than 5 years ago | (#28103563)

The world is full of people who don't take their professed religions seriously.

Maybe so; or maybe you just don't understand the religion or its practitioners.

Re:C&E (1)

gd2shoe (747932) | more than 5 years ago | (#28104381)

No, he's right. There are still a great many people who take their religion seriously, but I think they are now in the minority. I've spoken to many people who confess that they don't know much about their church, and only attend on Easter and Christmas.

Case in point: How many supposed-Christians view porno on the web with impunity? They either don't take their religion seriously enough to know about Matt 5:28, or don't care enough to live the lifestyle outlined by the religion. (I'm not even delving into disputed territory. This is clean-cut and universally understood.)

Re:C&E (1)

thousandinone (918319) | more than 5 years ago | (#28104659)

Hey now, if I'm not married and the porn star isn't either, that shit ain't adultery!

The world changes, why shouldn't we? (1)

tecnico.hitos (1490201) | more than 5 years ago | (#28104925)

The Bible is old, this is a fact. It is based in a different culture and a different age. It was written, compiled and translated by men. There is no way of being sure what was the original message, but then again we are in a different context.

I doubt even Jesus would do things the same way if he appeared again.

Religion is more than following what a book says. It involves beliefs. If you don't actually believe, following a set of rules doesn't make any difference. People might disagree with the standards of the religion they follow, at the point they may end up with a different set of beliefs. Religion is actually something very personal.

There are many different Christian churches with different sets of beliefs. This is no surprise. Even if someone doesn't try to adapt religion to their needs they might still disagree about some interpretation or even some ethical matter. Remember also that Christ was a jew and didn't do things the same way the other jews did (See Matt 12).

Re:C&E (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28103779)

There is a difference. The US is full of people who feel the need to profess a religion, but then don't take it seriously. Japan and Taiwan are full of people who have no problem saying "I'm not religious". They might go to shrines twice a year, but they have no qualms about admitting they don't take it seriously at all. Most Americans I have met like to pretend at least, and a good number of them actually are serious. The percentage of actually religious people in Japan is small, which leads me to wonder who the target market for this phone is.

Chrisitian equivalent (0)

longhairedgnome (610579) | more than 5 years ago | (#28102419)

So would a phone geared towards Christians(surprised this hasn't happened yet...) have a bloody Christ figure on a crucifix?

Re:Chrisitian equivalent (2, Funny)

SCPRedMage (838040) | more than 5 years ago | (#28102697)

Buddy Christ [wikipedia.org] , actually.

Re:Chrisitian equivalent (2, Insightful)

vlad30 (44644) | more than 5 years ago | (#28102893)

So would a phone geared towards Christians(surprised this hasn't happened yet...) have a bloody Christ figure on a crucifix?

Just add a paypal donation button every religion will be onboard in 5.4.3.....

Buddha or Odin ? (1)

billstewart (78916) | more than 5 years ago | (#28102431)

The question isn't just whether being attached to this sort of material object is the kind of value a Buddhist would have, but also What Would Odin Do with this kind of phone? Is it a replacement for the ravens Huginn and Muninn ? Can you use the phone with only one eye?

Depends on your kind of Buddhism (4, Interesting)

Grond (15515) | more than 5 years ago | (#28102447)

If you're talking about Tibetan Buddhism, then no, this doesn't really 'negate the values a Buddhist would stand for.' To wit [dharma-haven.org] : "His Holiness the Dalai Lama has said that having the mantra on your computer works the same as a traditional prayer wheel. Since a computer's hard disk spins hundreds of thousands of times per hour, and can contain many copies of the mantra, anyone who wants to can turn their computer into a prayer wheel."

A Zen Buddhist might look at it differently, though.

Re:Depends on your kind of Buddhism (1)

CodeBuster (516420) | more than 5 years ago | (#28102573)

Since a computer's hard disk spins hundreds of thousands of times per hour, and can contain many copies of the mantra, anyone who wants to can turn their computer into a prayer wheel.

What if you have a solid state drive [wikipedia.org] ?

Re:Depends on your kind of Buddhism (1)

The Archon V2.0 (782634) | more than 5 years ago | (#28102995)

What if you have a solid state drive [wikipedia.org] ?

You put your entire PC on a turntable. If you don't, you die and come back as a buggy-whip salesman.

Re:Depends on your kind of Buddhism (1)

DrMrLordX (559371) | more than 5 years ago | (#28103161)

Well, electrons spin too, don't they?

Re:Depends on your kind of Buddhism (5, Funny)

synthesizerpatel (1210598) | more than 5 years ago | (#28102585)

Three Zen Buddhist monks standing on a hill on a breezy day observe a prayer flag flapping in the wind.

The first monk says "Flag is moving."

The second monk says "Wind is moving."

The third monks cell-phone plays the crazy-frog ring-tone as he gets spam SMS'd by his provider.

All three monks fail to achieve enlightenment.

Re:Depends on your kind of Buddhism (1)

The Archon V2.0 (782634) | more than 5 years ago | (#28102631)

"His Holiness the Dalai Lama has said that having the mantra on your computer works the same as a traditional prayer wheel. Since a computer's hard disk spins hundreds of thousands of times per hour, and can contain many copies of the mantra, anyone who wants to can turn their computer into a prayer wheel."

Wow, and I thought the "spin a wheel = say a prayer" trick of theirs was already the height of efficient communion with the divine. Now, one can pray just by firing up the computer to look at porn! Awesome!

Re:Depends on your kind of Buddhism (2, Interesting)

youngone (975102) | more than 5 years ago | (#28103019)

Seems to me that you're just as likely to achieve enlightenment looking at porn as any other way. In the west we tend to think of Buddists as being somehow peaceful, because that nice Mr. Dalai Lama is so, well, nice. When it comes right down to it though Buddism is just as expoitative as any other religious cult. Just because lots of people believe something don't make it so. http://www.buddhistchannel.tv/index.php?id=52,1731,0,0,1,0 [buddhistchannel.tv] http://www.mathaba.net/0_index.shtml?x=559110 [mathaba.net] The above links are just a couple of cases of people being a**holes. What fairy tales they profess to believe in makes no odds.

Re:Depends on your kind of Buddhism (1)

Blue Stone (582566) | more than 5 years ago | (#28102963)

>A Zen Buddhist might look at it differently, though.

Heck, any Buddhist might look at it differently. Or agree. Or both. Or neither. :)

The phrase 'herding cats' springs to mind. Just as it should be.

This one thinks that prayer wheels are probably a bit silly, but they do look cool - 'rich and diverse cultural shiny stuff' and all that.

Not a patch on sorting out your own personal mind-junk, habits and general daftness*, though.

(*not the good daftness. Please leave that alone.)

(ps. why is proper formatting in plain text now broken? Can't put in a paragraph break to save my life!)

Re:Depends on your kind of Buddhism (1)

Blue Stone (582566) | more than 5 years ago | (#28102967)

(appologies for self-reply)

Apparently it's the previews that are broken.

Re:Depends on your kind of Buddhism (1)

Gnodab (1072670) | more than 5 years ago | (#28103411)

as a zen buddhist, I think that it better be able to make phone calls, or else it is a useless phone!

Re:Depends on your kind of Buddhism (1)

drolli (522659) | more than 5 years ago | (#28103655)

And if you are talking about Japanese Buddism, which is half-merged into shintuism at some points, then it really does not matter. I have seldom seen a place (i live in Japan) where religion is lived in such a flexible way as here.

Re:Depends on your kind of Buddhism (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28103843)

BONDAGE IS:
1) Ignorance: to ignore the Reality of this moment. It is blindness to the direct perception that this moment neither arises, persists, nor perishes.
2) Intention: instability of mind, caused by ignorance, that sets the mind to leaning. All actions produced by such a mind are willed.
3) Consciousness: to discriminate between separate objects of mind, and to see them as persisting from moment to moment.
4) Mind & Body: to see a distinct, persistent, self-identical mind and body supporting consciousness. Thus a subject is discerned, along with its objects.
5) Six Senses: to conceive a world of mind objects, external to the body and mind, as being taken in through the windows of the senses.
6) Contact: To conceive that through sensation the subject makes contact with an objective world, "out there."
7) Feeling: To react emotionally to the objects of mind, while remaining isolated from them.
8) Craving: To experience wanting and craving, since mind objects are conceived as being apart from "me." the subject.
9) Grasping: To grasp at what appears "out there." It's the hopeless wish that this moment will either vanish or last.
10) Being: To conceive (believe in) the persistence (existence) of self and other.
11) Birth: To conceive (believe) that all beings have come into existence.
12) Death & duhkha: To conceive (believe) that all beings will die.
LIBERATION IS:
1) Ignorance: To see the Reality of this moment. It is to perceive directly that this moment neither arises, persists, nor perishes.
2) Intention: To see no substance in any object of mind. Hence the mind leans neither toward nor away. All actions produced by such a mind are unwilled.
3) Consciousness: To see all mind objects as momentary and conditional.
4) Mind & Body: To see no persistent mind or body--no subject-- since there are no distinct and persistent mind objects available to perception.
5) Six Senses: To see sensation as a function of Mind alone--that the objects of Mind are never external to Mind, but are always Mind itself
6) Contact: To realize there's no connection or distinction between the senses and a world external to Mind.
7) Feeling: Not being swept away by emotion. Since nothing is perceived as external to Mind, feeling is ever intimate.
8)Craving: Not to want. Since nothing is perceived as being "out there," there's no sense that anything is lacking.
9) Grasping: to see all of experience as utter fluidity and, therefore, as nothing to grasp, own or fear.
10) Being: To see all as stream.
11) Birth: To see that nothing is born.
12) Death & Duhkha: To see that nothing dies.

Not really (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28102521)

From a Buddhist perspective the physical act of doing their rituals is rather arbitrary, as the reality in which we live is an illusion. Thereby it's the end result on a spiritual level which is what is important. If you approach your rites on a physical altar, digital altar, or on an altar even in your own mind, it's all the same.

Re:Not really (1)

SoupIsGoodFood_42 (521389) | more than 5 years ago | (#28103691)

Not all Buddhists think reality is an illusion. Now, if you want to talk about how our perception of reality through our senses and mental constructs can be illusionary... Perhaps that is what you meant, but the wording you used can often be misinterpreted as another school of thought. I agree about the rest of your point, though.

Nirvana Faster, Better.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28102529)

This is just the modern way to achieve nirvana. In the past, for example, it could take you several years to walk across China. Today however, we can take the train in a few days or a plane flight in a few hours.

Why can't we achieve Nirvana in a new more modern and faster way than our forefathers?

WWBD? (1)

Foobar of Borg (690622) | more than 5 years ago | (#28102571)

The question is, does such a device somewhat negate the values a Buddhist would stand for?"

Well, when I am faced with these dilemas, I always ask: What would Buddha do?

Re:WWBD? (1)

straponego (521991) | more than 5 years ago | (#28102663)

Mu? Meh.

Re:Nirvana Faster, Better.... (1)

Laxori666 (748529) | more than 5 years ago | (#28103137)

Maybe it is more modern, but I doubt it can be "faster".

Not Really (1)

Mephistopholies (66822) | more than 5 years ago | (#28102555)

As long as you remember that the phone is an illusion you are set.

depends on the kind of Buddhism (1)

bcrowell (177657) | more than 5 years ago | (#28102583)

The answer to any question like this completely depends on the kind of Buddhism. Some types of Buddhism are big on the golden statues, impressive displays of candles, etc. Others (like some types of Zen) have none of that. If you're the type of Buddhists who's into the golden statues, I don't see any fundamental reason why you couldn't be into this gadget. Buddhism in general is extremely diverse. You can have Buddhists who are atheists, and other Buddhists who consider the Buddha to be very much like a Jesus-type personal savior. You can have Buddhists (e.g., some Tibetan Buddhists) who believe in astrology and elaborate cosmologies, and others who don't believe in any of that. Historically, Buddhism does not have the kind of history of strong central control that Christianity did. Christianity had the Catholic church ("Catholic" means "universal"), which, e.g., massacred sects like the Cathars ("Kill them all, the Lord will recognize His own").

It's a really stupid idea... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28102641)

Wouldn't Buddha himself have cringed at the idea of people making statues of him?

interesting (1)

pbjones (315127) | more than 5 years ago | (#28102665)

A niche market for religious 'phones, A phone that uses GPS to point to Mecca? a phone that changes background colour to suit the various festivals and seasons? First one to the patent office gets the prize.

Re:interesting (1)

ickleberry (864871) | more than 5 years ago | (#28103747)

Thuraya SO-2510, check it out. I had one for a while - a nice little handset, also the smallest satellite phone in the world. Too bad the build quality isnt that great

Polly McPee (4, Funny)

dissy (172727) | more than 5 years ago | (#28102803)

You can simulate incense burning, purification rites and play music to help you meditate wherever you happen to be.

You could, but only once, then you need to buy a new Buddha phone.

Buddhist Hot Dog Vendor (1)

clyde_cadiddlehopper (1052112) | more than 5 years ago | (#28102987)

Sure, but can it make me one with everything? (nod to Robin Williams)

Re:Polly McPee (1)

orngjce223 (1505655) | more than 5 years ago | (#28103713)

Last I checked, the magic blue smoke doesn't smell anything like incense smoke...

Re:Polly McPee (1)

Zordak (123132) | more than 5 years ago | (#28104483)

YOU LET IT OUT?!?!?! Well, there's your problem. The magic blue smoke only smells like incense INSIDE the little grail. If you let it out, that changes the smell.

Whose sensibilities is this supposed to offend? (3, Funny)

hdon (1104251) | more than 5 years ago | (#28102837)

It offends me more than it would most Tibetan Buddhists! How can you market this "phone?" It looks to me like a phone with some very simple software installed. The controlling powers that make a phone with specific software on it into a commodity worth seeking after are people I find very offensive indeed!

Something odd... (-1, Flamebait)

RyanFenton (230700) | more than 5 years ago | (#28102927)

There's something terribly odd about a religion/philosophy:

1. Founded by a sheltered rich man, who discovered the true suffering felt by most of humanity. Through this, he found enlightenment about what he felt were the truths of existence, that the ascetic (merely finding truth through personal suffering) beliefs of the time were missing.

2. Mutated, after many iterations, into a form that can only be enjoyed by those sheltering themselves away from others through their wealth.

There is something neat about extolling one's beliefs using a tool symbolizing free communication - but mechanizing beliefs into idols and purely symbolic rituals, merely fulfilling the word of a philosophy while ignoring so much of the spirit... again, it just seems odd.

I'm certainly no Buddhist of any sort. As a equal-opportunity skeptic, I respect the role Buddhism plays in the spectrum of religions - but when it comes to how the religion is expressed, Buddhism can be as counter-intuitively and/or violently expressed as any of them.

If anything though, this seems more a commercial expression than a religious expression. That also is sometimes how religions evolve - which would again seem odd to me in the case of this religion.

Ryan Fenton

Re:Something odd... (1)

interkin3tic (1469267) | more than 5 years ago | (#28103003)

There's many things terribly odd about all religion/philosophy.

Fixed that for you.

Re:Something odd... (2, Insightful)

dave562 (969951) | more than 5 years ago | (#28103291)

Where do you get the idea that Buddhism can only be enjoyed by "those sheltering themselves away from others through their wealth"? That's almost as abhorrent a teaching as the belief that sitting in peaceful meditation is akin to completely extinguishing the mind so that thoughts are completely absent.

John Safran vs God (1)

CuteSteveJobs (1343851) | more than 5 years ago | (#28103759)

> Buddhism can be as counter-intuitively and/or violently expressed as any of them.

Huh? Can be in theory, but usually isn't. Certainly far, far less than Christianity, Islam or Judaism. But like Christianity and Islam, there are different interpretations of Buddism. The Dalai Lama's version I'm afraid is not very nice. The man is a complete jerk. Yes, I know we in the west have an image of him as a peaceful lovely man but he's an absolute zealot. I recommend you check out the "John Safran vs God" TV Series (6 parts - you can find it through Google):

In one segment he takes the Pope and Dalai Lama and Western perceptions of them. It turns out the Dalai Lama is a real creep. I hope if Tibet ever gets its freedom it isn't handed over to this guy to rule because he makes Benedict look like a hippy marijuana-smoking fornicating abortion doctor: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MTRV5Wg4M30 [youtube.com]

Should point out in fairness other schools of Buddism aren't like this. Just like Dalai Lama.

Interesting... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28102953)

Does a phone have a Buddha-nature?

A Jewish version (5, Interesting)

sageres (561626) | more than 5 years ago | (#28103097)

As a Jew, I am supposed to pray three times per day, so thanks to the collections of programs like these: (http://www.pilotyid.com/hebrew-texts.php) -- I now pray from my Treo. Beats carrying a book around with me. Except for Shabboth of course, when we are not allowed to use a phone. But I found that lots and lots of people are doing it, and hey -- just like the printing press invention revolutionized publication of religious literature around the world, from Bible to Koran and Talmud, the same way the technology revolutionizes an aspect of religion, that one hundred years from now we'll look at as a standard practice... And who knows what other inventions will revolutionize it farther?

Re:A Jewish version (1)

Veggiesama (1203068) | more than 5 years ago | (#28103727)

And who knows what other inventions will revolutionize it farther?

I'm looking forward to Akoonahs [memory-alpha.org] and embark on my own iVision-Quest.

Chinese not Japanese. Submitter should read TFA (5, Informative)

Bushcat (615449) | more than 5 years ago | (#28103099)

It's a Chinese-made phone available in China and Hong Kong. Submitter should comprehend what s/he reads. CNET reporting CNET Japan reporting on a Chinese product does not make it a Japanese product or a Japanese launch.

Re:Chinese not Japanese. Submitter should read TFA (1)

tkh (126785) | more than 5 years ago | (#28103693)

Mod parent up. He is absolutely right.

Re:Chinese not Japanese. Submitter should read TFA (2, Informative)

Zalbik (308903) | more than 5 years ago | (#28104573)

Submitter should comprehend what s/he reads.

From TFA:
"Japanese 'Buddha phone' launches"
"The Odin 99 has landed on the streets of Japan"

Unless the submitter could read Japanese, how exactly were they supposed to be aware that this was a Chinese product? TFA clearly indicated it was Japanese.

This was a screw up by CNET (no surprise), NOT the submitter.

Man, Sometimes the Satire Writes Itself... (5, Funny)

RobotRunAmok (595286) | more than 5 years ago | (#28103101)

Other Models On Deck If This One's a Success:

1. The Muslim Phone: All Voice Mail Self Destructs in 5 Seconds

2. The Catholic Phone: Reaches Out And Touches... small children.

3. The Jewish Phone: Features downloadable "whine-tones"

4. The Hindu Phone: Comes in only Bright Blue, but six different models, one for each hand.

5. The Wiccan Phone: You can't actually answer it, it just has one big "ignore" button

6. The Jehovah's Witness Phone: Can be programmed to also ring your doorbell.

7. The Mormon Phone: Comes in His and Hers... and Hers... and Hers... and also Hers sets.

OK, that's top of the head, low-hanging fruit... the rest are up to you...

Re:Man, Sometimes the Satire Writes Itself... (1)

InspectorxGadget (1230170) | more than 5 years ago | (#28103235)

The agnostic phone: you're never sure whether it is currently vibrating in your pocket.

Not as far fetched as some might think... http://www.usatoday.com/news/health/2007-06-12-cellphones_N.htm [usatoday.com]

Re:Man, Sometimes the Satire Writes Itself... (3, Funny)

93 Escort Wagon (326346) | more than 5 years ago | (#28103583)

The agnostic phone: you're never sure whether it is currently vibrating in your pocket.

Actually, I was thinking - The agnostic phone: There's no earpiece, so while you can dial a number and talk into it, you're never sure if you've made a connection or if there's anyone listening at the other end.

Re:Man, Sometimes the Satire Writes Itself... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28103633)

Other Models On Deck If This One's a Success:

1. The Muslim Phone: All Voice Mail Self Destructs in 5 Seconds

2. The Catholic Phone: Reaches Out And Touches... small children.

3. The Jewish Phone: Features downloadable "whine-tones"

4. The Hindu Phone: Comes in only Bright Blue, but six different models, one for each hand.

5. The Wiccan Phone: You can't actually answer it, it just has one big "ignore" button

6. The Jehovah's Witness Phone: Can be programmed to also ring your doorbell.

7. The Mormon Phone: Comes in His and Hers... and Hers... and Hers... and also Hers sets.

OK, that's top of the head, low-hanging fruit... the rest are up to you...

8. The Atheist Phone: Refuses to work at all, as working would prove it's existence.

9. The Scientology Phone: Now with built-in Dianetic auditing!

10. The Satanist Phone: Can only dial numbers in the area code 666.

11. The Voodoo Phone: Complete with set of pins.

You are going to hell for that! (4, Funny)

CuteSteveJobs (1343851) | more than 5 years ago | (#28103783)

You have made SEVEN gods very angry. The only thing that can save you is converting to Atheism.

Re:You are going to hell for that! (1)

Robin47 (1379745) | more than 5 years ago | (#28104347)

I believe the term is deconvert.

Re:You are going to hell for that! (1)

mokus000 (1491841) | more than 5 years ago | (#28104527)

On the other hand, he probably made thousands of others happy to see those seven taken down a peg ;-)

(BTW, there's a whole lot more than seven covered by that list. Religions and gods don't all come in 1:1 correspondence. Heck, gods aren't even always in 1:1 correspondence with themselves...)

Re:Man, Sometimes the Satire Writes Itself... (1)

markov_chain (202465) | more than 5 years ago | (#28103871)

Russian Orthodox phone: It answers *you*!

Re:Man, Sometimes the Satire Writes Itself... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28104965)

Russian Orthodox phone: It answers jew!

Has a better ring to it.

Re:Man, Sometimes the Satire Writes Itself... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28103961)

Scientology phone: Your bill gets higher and terms of use get more restricting every month. You can only use the Scientology phone to contact other Scientology phone users.

where is my evolution phone (1)

FudRucker (866063) | more than 5 years ago | (#28103215)

i want a cellphone with a evolution theme, you know like dinosaurs on it or maybe a Fred Flinstone wallpaper

Re:where is my evolution phone (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28103435)

why don't you fucking write one then instead of being a whining little bitch who needs the waaaambulance called because you got a stick up your ass about people who happily practice religion.

Re:where is my evolution phone (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28104713)

what the hell? your consensual reality is different than mine!

Re:where is my evolution phone (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28104409)

All phones are the evolution phone: from the bricks we carried around in the past, to the home portable phone, to the home touch phone, to the rotary phone, to...

It's not Japanese, but Chinese (1)

Bored Grammar Nazi (1482359) | more than 5 years ago | (#28103323)

The article says that it's a Chinese phone. And the smaller print in the box is indeed Chinese, not Japanese.

The title of the CNET Japan's article clearly states that the phone comes from China. The whole review is written in a "WTF?" undertone. You would think that the CNET UK writer would have gotten in touch with his Japanese colleague in order to confirm the source of the device.

And yes, I live in Japan and can read the original article.

Re:It's not Japanese, but Chinese (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28104599)

Its official! samzenpus is racist! Apparently, he thinks all Asians look the same.

as someone who practices Zen (1)

Gnodab (1072670) | more than 5 years ago | (#28103341)

I've been practicing Seon (a korean sect of Zen) for a number of years now, under Pohwa Sunim of the Joyge (could be spelling that wrong) order. Zen is all inclusive, including non-inclusive. That includes that phone :). The whole alter thing...meh. Even buddha said, basically, "hey, I'm just a guy who figured out how to live a happy life. Don't idolize me." Playing music with your phone to meditate to? Meh. Irrelevant. What is relevant, is what people hear with. One could say, "well people listen with their ears, you idiot zen guy!" and I would simply remind them that corpses have ears too, but they can't hear! Anyways, all in all it's kind of silly that it even exists, in my opinion.

Re:as someone who practices Zen (2, Funny)

jasonmanley (921037) | more than 5 years ago | (#28104937)

How do you know a corpse can't hear?
Does the tympanic membrance still vibrate in a corpse? If so does this mean that the ear has registered the sound?
Does the absence of - measureable - brain waves or other responses to auditory stimuli automatically mean that it is not registering?
Hmmm ... I wonder ...

Odin the War god (1)

Peter H.S. (38077) | more than 5 years ago | (#28103481)

The handset is called "Odin 99". Odin, or Wotan, also happens to be a Norse warrior god that Germanic tribes worshipped by hanging people in trees and impale them by spears:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Odin [wikipedia.org]

Coincidence?

--
Regards

If you meet the Buddha... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28103547)

...inside your phone, take the battery out!

I was preparing (1)

taucross (1330311) | more than 5 years ago | (#28103733)

I was preparing for an onslaught of +5 insightful.
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