Japanese Technology from the Future Friday!
This week it's weird that Japanese people still love CDs, Japan’s trying to help Myanmar by ironically exporting more energy technology, and some really profound developments in reproductive technology, for which the JTFF finally gets to use the word “sperm.”
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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 23, 2013 ::
• Technological Contradiction #427: Japanese People Still Like CDs
Fax machines, brooms made out of tumble weeds, a deathgrip on paper-based office work, and consumer banking largely stuck in 2002 - here in the land of hyper-tech robots, bullet trains, and a massive, world-standard setting semiconductor industry, still-in-use, seemingly contradictory technologies are legion. The Tokyo Times reports that Japan now consumes the largest number of compact discs of any nation on the planet - in fact, in 2011, sales actually grew by 9%. Industry dude says it’s because the Japanese still prefer a physical connection with the packaging, liner notes, video extras, etc. To which the JTFF would say "www.haveyouheardofthisthingcalledtheinternet.question.mark.com." (don't click on that, you'll just come right back) Oh, and also because there's lots of old people who don’t have digital devices and stuff. Well, okay then. There is just so much that can never be understood about this bizarre ooops one means fascinating country (that’s said with deep, deep love, Japan).
[STILL BUYING CDS THEY ARE - TOKYO TIMES]
• Japan Continues Nuclear (energy) & Sincerely Non-Ironical Clean Coal Proliferation Sharing/Marketing/Selling Efforts
We’ve gone on quite a bit about this issue here at the JTFF (two weeks ago in particular, whewww), but hey, it’s hard to ignore when every other week Japan’s hawking its nuclear and other energy tech around Asia and the Middle East. That’s not a criticism, though, more of a slightly crooked head twitch followed by a “Huh.” Or maybe a “Hmmm.” See, there’s a huge irony at work - while nuclear energy has for the past two and a half years been widely derided and feared and politically punted to and fro here at home, Japan’s all kindsa busy sending it abroad - and, while they’re buying up carbon credits in developing countries, they’re all sorts of excited about clean coal. Perhaps that’s what’s known as an Organic & Fluid Business Model? But hey - humans need electricity, so whatta ya gonna do?
[JAPAN WANTS TO ENERGIZE MYANMAR - JAPAN TIMES]
• Sperm From a Female; Eggs From a Male - High-Tech Romance of the Head-Scratchingest Kind
Science is awesome. And when science can do stuff that has no practical use whatsoever - other than just finding out of A, B, or C is possible - well, that’s a special kind of awesome. To quote: “Researchers from Japan (Kyoto University) have created primordial germ cells from skin cells of mice that can develop into both sperms and eggs. The research shows that, in the future, it is possible to create viable eggs for infertile women.” Oh, sorry - seems there is a reason for this science. But still, right? Oh, and the JTFF is particularly pleased to be able use the word “sperm” without it being untoward.
[SPERMS FROM GIRLS, EGGS FROM BOYS - NATURE WORLD NEWS]
That was the JTFF, and live from the future – that is all.
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Tokyo at Night image via PhotoEverywhere.