Japanese Technology from the Future Friday!

JTFF - Japanese Technology from the Future Friday! - AkihabaraNews.com

This week it’s Japan & the U.K. agreeing to do even more military stuff together, further discussion on the revealed-to-the-world-via-mobile-video issue of corporal punishment in Japan, and an inexplicable announcement from Honda about the sound of its new racecar engine.

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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 – October 18, 2013 ::

• The U.K. & Japan Continue Military Coziness
The JTFF touched on this about two months ago, and of course we mentioned how very curious it was that Japan (and Korea) and the U.K. would be aligning their defenses - unless you pull out a map and examine the landmass that lies directly between Europe and Asia, and then consider geo-strategic alliances among western and Asian powers, after which it all becomes sorta... duh. Anyway, it’s become public that, whilst consulting and ministering here in Japan this week, British and Japanese foreign ministers met and decided “Yeah okay, let’s trade military tech and guns and bombs & stuff.” This is being presented as a defense against an expansionist China and a psychotic North Korea - maybe because of all those countries China’s been invading over the past 50-60 years and all those threats North Korea’s been making good on... or like, you know, uhhh... yeah. Well, China certainly spreads soft influence, and North Korea is like, you know, North Korea, but come on, Japan - really? Do you really need to get all riled up over your biggest trading partner’s desire to have an economy, too? Or because North Korea’s extorting more aid with threats of launching another balsa wood rocket? Here’s the thing: basically, Japan cooperating militarily with the U.K. is the same thing as Japan cooperating with the U.S. and the inverse thereof. Because Japan wants an America + U.K. + Japan vs. China and/or North Korea deterrent thingy. Well, okay. God... you guys are like little kids. Oh, and this article is very well written, which is hard for the JTFF to say. Good job, guy.

• Corporal Punishment in J-Sports & School (remember the cell phone video?)
Those who follow the J-news probably saw this last month - a mobile phone video of a volleyball coach repeatedly slapping a male high school player for... who knows what. Joking around. Losing a game. Screwing up a serve. Didn’t tie his shoes correctly. The coach is just an ass. Maybe all of the above... The video got on YouTube, got a few million views, and the Western media recoiled in self-congratulatory horror. Amusingly, yet not, yet kinda, but really not, is how Japanese politicians and national spokespeople had to pretend to be all shocked and concerned, when in reality, almost no one in Japan is shocked or concerned, or cares much at all. Admittedly, this isn’t tech news per se, but it’s a good, recent outline of an issue that, without the mobile phone video and global distribution platform, would never have been raised - most definitely not outside of Japan. The Western world might be shocked by this behavior, but for the Japanese, and for the foreigners living here, though it’s ultra-safe, ultra-civilized Japan, this issue basically doesn’t exist, and, in fact, most people were probably more interested in the reaction of non-Japanese than they were by the news itself. And that’s mostly because corporal punishment is endemic. Statistically speaking, it happens at every Japanese school and in every Japanese sport in some form or another, e.g., it would surprise exactly nobody if the student who shot the video received a greater punishment than the kid who was being slapped. But the tech, the tech makes a nation have to confront the issue as part of an instantaneously gloabalizable world - and that’s a good thing. Go technology, go.

• Honda Wants You to Hear Their Motor [WARNING: AUTOPLAY]
But who wants this, Honda? Is it the people who are bananas for cars who want this? Why are you showing this off? What we’re talking about here is Honda’s press release from earlier today. Contained therein was a link to an audio file of racecar engine noise. Just an audio clip. No explanation. A photo of some dude at a soundboard listening to what could reasonably be described as an overclocked lawnmower about to go into orbit. Well, if you’re into F-1 racing, maybe this is for you, maybe you like it. The rest of us will have to shrug. And that’s not a judgement - just sayin. And hey, some people don’t care about robots, but some of us here at the JTFF, we’re all about robots. Maybe, just maybe, the sound of technosnarky robot coverage is the equivalent of an overclocked lawnmower for people who dig hardcore on the F-1 racing. Could be. Well, luckily, as we learned last July, Honda also makes a 1000cc racing lawnmower, so we can all probably meet in the middle on that one.

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

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Tokyo at Night via PhotoEverywhere.