Japanese Technology from the Future Friday!

JTFF - Japanese Technology from the Future Friday!

This week it's “Kirobo” the monolingual robot arriving at the ISS (along with other stuff - thanks, Japan!), and Hilarious Yet Not Parts #1 & #2, the kind of fossil fuel development vs. carbon credit investment irony-pointing-out that only the JTFF can deliver!

• • • 

Welcome to Japanese Technology from the Future Friday!
It’s already Friday west of the international dateline – here in Japan, it’s totally the future. The weekly JTFF is our somewhat technosnarky coverage of 2-5 particularly important, specifically Japan-related tech stories. Get yourself hip to the micro & macro that went down while North America was sleeping – check in with Akihabara News every Friday morning and BOOM! Ahead of the game, you win.

:: JTFF – August 9, 2013 ::

• Kirobo, the Speaking (in Japanese only) Robot, has Arrived at the ISS. And Other Stuff, Too.
Just a few hours ago, using the Canadarm robotic, uhhh.. arm, from Canada, astronaut and ISS engineer Karen Nyberg reached out from the International Space Station to grab the Japanese Space Agency’s (JAXA) Kounotori H-II HTV-4 cargo module thingy. It’s got all kinds of, you know, cargo, and one heavily-salivated-over and of-late very poorly written about 13”/34cm tall talking robot called “Kirobo.” Curiously, the NASA news piece linked below makes no mention of Kirobo. The Euro News piece, with video, is all about Kirobo. Hmmm. Maybe NASA thinks that a talking robot who shares the same language with all of 1.8% of the human population ain’t all that big of deal. Hmmm.

• Hilarious Yet Not Part #1: Japan & Hungary Making Friends over Clean Coal Energy Tech
Hey, big news from the Coal Guru! Once you’re done smirking at that name, get ready to smirk even more - or make that wrinkly confused that’s shared pretty much across every human culture ever in the history of history. While the meeting took place over a week ago, it’s just now being reported that talks between a Japanese delegation from the New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization (NEDO) and the Institute of Energy Economics of Japan (IEEJ) AND the Japanese Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) - all three perennial members of Japan’s world-class acronym team - had some nice, fruitful clean coal energy tech meetings in Hungary, and they’re all going to play nice and share some research and expertise. Now, since the Neo-J-Hippies, oops, that’s supposed to be Japan’s Myopic Anti-Nuclear and Unaware-of-Their-Own-Ironical-Self-Contradiction Environmental Movement has a very loud voice against restarting and increasing the country’s nuclear energy output, whilst simultaneously having very few qualms with importing fossil fuels from other countries and seemingly no realistic comprehension of the actual viability of renewables - wow, long sentence, but anyway because of those loud voices, Japan’s gotta get its energy from... some other means, and more importantly, from somewhere else on the planet (Japan's greatest natural resource is Japanese culture: awesome, yes - a source of electricity, no). So why not some clean Hungarian coal, huh? This is somewhat sad. And, ultimately, for the pessimist, hilarious. Why? ...well, because like, coal has some kind of relationship to carbon, right?

• Hilarious Yet Not Part #2: Japan Boosting Carbon Credit Investment in Emerging Markets
Oh, we see what you did there, Japan! One shakes one’s head and puts one’s face into one’s palm. Please, will some energy specialist person please comment and tell us all that this isn’t what it looks like? And, can it also be pointed out once again that levels of pollution and cost to human life and the environment in general from nuclear energy pursuits are like a TINY, TINY, SUPER-SMALL FRACTION OF THE DAMAGE CAUSED BY FOSSIL FUEL EXTRACTION AND USE? That’d be nice. Not that the JTFF has any serious opinions on this or anything. Just saying.

That was the JTFF, and live from the future – that is all.

• • •

Tokyo at Night image via PhotoEverywhere.