Japanese Technology from the Future... ooops, Saturday again!

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

This week it’s a slimmed down version of the Sony’s Xperia Z1 perhaps being processed through the FCC, and Japan’s going to push formal English education into the last two years of elementary school, which is far sillier than it sounds. Oh, and technical difficulties week #2 make JTFF once again JTFS (sorry!).

• • •

Welcome to Japanese Technology from the Future Friday Saturday!
It’s already Friday Saturday 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.

:: JTFFS – December 14, 2013 ::

• In Mini Form, Sony’s Flagship Smartphone Maybe Going International 
We fondled a Sony’s Xperia Z1 smartphone at CEATEC this year, and it was nice. Shiny. Square. Flat. Nice. Kinda big. Not something to go all head over heels for, but just… nice. Sony makes a lot of nice stuff, and that’s actually one of their biggest problems: pushing out tons of “Yeah, nice.” stuff, almost no “Oh my god that’s awesome take my money I need that NOW!” stuff. We’ve been picking the low-hanging make-fun-of-Sony fruit for a quite a while, so we’ll refrain from yet another jab fest and just let you know that their slimmed down Xperia Z1s might have shown up on some FCC documents. Oh, and long live AIBO and QRIO.

• Japanese Kids to Begin Learning English Earlier Face Palm 
In news that sounds about a kajillion times more positive than it actually is, THIS. Though it’s widely agreed that Japan’s woefully inept English instruction methodology is to blame for a nation of students who, at the junior high and high-school level, now study English as much as they study Japanese yet still can’t speak English, Japan’s Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports and Technology (MEXT) plans to push formal English language instruction downward into the 5th and 6th grades. Why is this a technology story? Well, in addition to the already in use high-tech touch panels imbued with all kinds of English instruction multimedia stuff (because meat-based teachers are a PIA!), we would just like to urge MEXT to use this other new technology called Statistics to make some equations and stuff and thereby figure out that an increase in input frequency or quantity does not necessarily result in an increase in performance. In other words, just doing more of the same can (will) result in a net gain of not much. When will this rigorous English education begin? 2020. Oh, just in time for nobody to be able to communicate with all the English speakers who show up for the Olympics! Seriously, universal translators are going to get here loooooong before English education in Japan sees any real reform. Oh well.

That was the JTFS (the F will return next week), and live from the future – that is all.

• • •

Tokyo at Night via PhotoEverywhere.