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Comments

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Japanese Government Will Censor Fukushima "Illegal Information"

ashitaka Be careful of sources. This article in particular (411 comments)

Look at the byline:

"Makiko Segawa is a staff writer at the Shingetsu News Agency. She prepared this report from Fukushima and Tokyo. She can be reached at shingetsunewsagency@gmail.com"

Look up who the "Shingetsu News Agency" is. Note that they have no real press credentials and their articles, especially those by Miss Segawa fall well into the fear-mongering "OMG!! BIG GOVERNMENT COVERUP!!" end of the scale.

The situation in Fukushima is being watched by nuclear experts all over the world and the basic facts of the aituation are posted on the IAEA's site. Anything beyond the stating of pressure, temperature and radiation readings as well as remediation steps being taken should be taken as pure guesswork. There has been way too much "This could mean that the reactors are undergoing fission and could go critical" kind of speculation.

more than 3 years ago
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Tesla Signs $60 Million Contract With Toyota

ashitaka Re:fucking city-living hipsters (233 comments)

You're bringing up a false dichotomy of the electric vs human-powered bicycle as though an electric bike uses the battery all the time. Here in Japan what has become hugely popular are the electrically-assisted bicycles especially the type used by housewives to truck kids to and from school andto buy groceries. I live in Kanagawa-kan just outside Tokyo and there are LOTS of hills. I'll be riding around on the weekends slogging up a hill in the lowest gear on my mountain bike when a Japanese mum on her grocery-loaded electrically assisted "Mama-charin" will come cruising on by and not be breaking any sweat at all. With easily replaceable battery packs and short charging times these make bike commuting, even in hilly locations possible. The weather, of course, is a separate issue.

more than 4 years ago
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Toyota Adds External Speakers To Warn Pedestrians

ashitaka Re:Ding Ding Ding (531 comments)

Actually they start dinging at 110Km/h. Some cars increase the rate the faster you go.

Fun was had a long time ago going up the Kan-Etsu at 160.

more than 4 years ago
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Company Builds Fast Charging Station For Electric Cars

ashitaka Re:Cold fusion (359 comments)

Sorry, but you are dead wrong.

In 2001 oil made up 50% of Japan's electrical energy production, coal 17%, nuclear 14%, natural gas 13% and hydroelectric contributing only 4%. Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Energy_in_Japan#Electricity_generation

Japan is VERY dependent upon imported oil and LNG hence the aggressive solar programs and attempts to upgrade nuclear facilities in the face of considerable opposition.

more than 4 years ago
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Google PAC-MAN Cost 4.8M Person-Hours

ashitaka Re:Yum, numbers are tasty (332 comments)

Yes, doing something worthwhile like, say, posting on Slashdot?

more than 4 years ago
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NASA Unveils Sweeping New Programs For Next 5 Years

ashitaka Re:Human Spaceflight is no longer NASAs job (278 comments)

Take a look at how the automobile has developed since the 60's and tell me that the private sector doesn't do anything "inspiring". (As long as there is some regulatory oversight for safety)

more than 4 years ago
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Japan To Standardize Electric Vehicle Chargers

ashitaka Re:Quick (240 comments)

Not a chance.

Japanese has many homynyms making puns a breeze.

A family on a TV show had a pet turtle that liked to chase their dachsund around the house.

Turtle in Japanese is "Kame" (pronounced "ka-meh").

The turtle's name was "Diji".

So they had "Diji Kame". (=Digital Camera)

more than 4 years ago
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SETI Is 50 Years Old; No Sign of ET

ashitaka Re:Patience! (454 comments)

Don't you mean "[cetacean needed]"?

more than 4 years ago
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Programming the Commodore 64: the Definitive Guide

ashitaka Re:I miss those good 'ol days (245 comments)

I remember writing that exact same program. The rising and falling of the speaker tones as I twisted the paddle knob back and forth.

Good times.

more than 4 years ago
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EU Says Google Street View Violates Privacy

ashitaka Re:Photos in public (300 comments)

This is why a huge portion of Tokyo including the street where I used to live is no longer covered by Streetview. The wall outside our landlord neighbour's house is about 2m high. I couldn't see over it when walking by it but the Google pics when they were up it was easy to see into their living room. Most Japanese urban houses are less than 2 meters from the road. In these cases you are able to see what someone walking would not, hence the application of laws related to unnatural viewpoints.

more than 4 years ago
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Video Review of Hivision's $100 ARM-Based Android Laptop

ashitaka 720p playback on a 800x480 screen?? (220 comments)

From the article: "800×480 screen, 720p Video playback support"

Someone care to enlighten me as to how you get a 720 progressive-scan image on a screen that is only 480 pixels high?

more than 4 years ago
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Laser Fusion Passes Major Hurdle

ashitaka Re:So... (354 comments)

What if it is not that our best minds couldn't produce to our expectations, but rather, they were prevented from doing so by our not-so-best minds?

more than 4 years ago
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Designing the Computer UIs In Movies

ashitaka Re:Coolest Movie UI (371 comments)

One amusing thing I found about the Family Guy Star Wars spoof was that the graphics weren't a cheap animated copy of the original, they *were* the original graphics and matched the quality of the rest of the animation perfectly. I lovely little comment that what was amazingly cool in a major blockbuster 30 years ago is now typical in a regular animated TV show.

more than 4 years ago
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NASA Will Crowdsource Its Photos of Mars

ashitaka Re:Google Mars maps upgrade (66 comments)

A bit sad to think that there will be places on Mars that we will have a better view of than ones on earth.

My mother-in-law's house in Japan, for example.

Maybe that's a good thing...

more than 4 years ago
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Tower Switch-Off Embarrasses Electrosensitives

ashitaka Re:Correlation != Causation (292 comments)

That's probably an ancient joke (Henny Youngman maybe?) but I still laughed.

Thanks, I needed that.

more than 4 years ago
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Samsung Develops a Transparent OLED Laptop Screen

ashitaka Re:yep (148 comments)

I'm not sure if that came out the way you intended...

Or maybe it did.

more than 4 years ago
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Hotmailers Hawking Hoax Hunan Half-Offs

ashitaka Re:Interesting... (135 comments)

Look at the order time. The order number is just the date and time. They'd better not have more than one order/second.

Order No. 20100108063848
Order Date 2010-1-8 6:38:48

The site is just there to pick up personal info.

more than 4 years ago
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A Brief History of Modems

ashitaka Could you tell speed and error correction by ear? (249 comments)

After thousands of times listening to my various modems connecting from 300bps to 56K and with the various incarnations of error correction I was eventually able to knowing how fast I was connected by sound alone. The problem was that as modems got faster and more sophisticated the connection time kept getting longer and longer. Sometimes I'd have to wait through 45 seconds or more of whistles, grinds and groans before the two modem would train. Ah, the good old days.

In the vain hope that they'll have nostalgia value someday I still have in my possession:

1) Mint condition Hayes Smartmodem 2400. The original workhorse.
2) Practical Peripherals 14.4K. long box with a one-line LCD that displays the connection speed and error correction mode
3) US Robotics 56K Courier - The last great standard.

more than 4 years ago

Submissions

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Japan to get 1Gbps Home Fiber Connections

ashitaka ashitaka writes  |  more than 6 years ago

ashitaka writes "KDDI has announced that they will be launching a 1Gbps Internet service to single-family home and condo users in October. The service is supposedly synchronous with 1Gbps in both directions although the article implies that speeds will vary with location. Cost will be 5,985 yen/month (about US$56.50) for the basic Internet and IP phone service. This is intended to compete with NTT who currently control over 70% of the Japanese FTTH market. Cue the "But, but, America is much bigger!!!" arguments."
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Java creator Jim Gosling receives Order Of Canada

ashitaka ashitaka writes  |  about 7 years ago

ashitaka writes "The father of the Java programming language received his Order of Canada at a ceremony held in Ottawa this morning. The award honours Canadians who have made significant contributions to society at a regional, national or international level and corresponds the the UK's OBE and CBE and the US's Presidential Medal of Freedom or Congressional Gold Medal.

Gosling's award was announced back in February but it took until now to hold the investiture. He will receive the award from Canada's rather attractive Governor General Michelle Jean.

On a related note, my father is also receiving the Order of Canada at the same time for his work in biomaterials. In particular the development of a cement that made the first practical artificial hip replacements possible."
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ashitaka ashitaka writes  |  more than 6 years ago

ashitaka writes "One month ago my father-in-law died leaving his wife to live alone for the first time in her life. She lives in a somewhat rural part of Japan North of Tokyo in an area with few neighbours. My wife is her only daughter and we live in Canada, her only son is an engineer for Fujitsu and spends many days on the road. We know she misses our kids and we try to get over to Japan as much as possible however more than once every year or two is a stretch.

If she could have a simple device that hooks up to a broadband connection with a small webcam and directional microphone on top of the TV and which can be operated with a couple of buttons on a remote we know she would feel so much more in contact with us and could make sure she *really* is doing ok. (She didn't tell us my father-in-law was hospitalized until he had been in for several months and just kept saying he was out or too busy to come to the phone)

Videophone technologies up to now have required knowledge of computer operation and Instant Messaging software or having to go through the complexities of setting up the traditional video conference. Here we are talking about a 76-year old Japanese granny who has never and will never touch anything more complex than the phone or the TV remote.

I'm looking for a device which can be administered remotely, has 6-8 large "quick-dial" buttons and an emergency button which will try to connect through a list of contacts if required. It shouldn't look like a computer but should support connecting to whatever IM clients would be appropriate. It would be nice if it could turn on the TV when a particular Universal remote button or buttons were pressed to save Obaachan an extra step but I'm not cure if current signalling standards for TVs would support that."

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