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

This week it’s the considerable breakthrough of an anti-gravity stereo! Well, levitating material objects in three dimensions with sound waves. Then some guy goes off on why “Japan isn’t Back” and completely neglects the tech, and we say "DUDE! NO!" Oh yeah, and Japanese people like phablets. Whoo-hoo.

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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 – January 3, 2014 ::

• Breakthrough: Sound Wave-Based Levitation in Three Dimensions
Levitating stuff with sound is not a new endeavor - successful work stretches back nearly 40 years. The thing is, until now it’s always been limited to two-dimensional movement. Researchers at the University of Tokyo and the Nagoya Institute of Technology have taken the next step, which is, simply, not only up-down, but also left-right, if you will. The sounds are inaudible to human animals, so in 100 years when all earth-based construction is done with huge ghetto blasters, the neighbors won’t mind. This tech could also lead to some pretty sexy zero-g manipulation tools as well. Now, the JTFF isn’t normally a multimedia experience, but this is just too cool - have a watch:

“Why Japan isn’t Back” Completely Neglects to Integrate Technology into Commentary on Japan's Economy and Not Talking Tech in Discussion of Japan's Economy Should Probably Get You Fired from the Internet 
We can forgo deconstruction of the myopic presupposition that Japan’s economy stinks and pointing out that maybe actually kinda probably it never really has been in decline, but we do want to point out, or call out, written work such as that referenced here: The linked piece is mostly a politics/economics riff on why, even in the face of a possible Abenomic resurgence, Japan is inevitably hosed due to its growing lack of humans, i.e., the Declining Population Problem will negate any economic gains Japan might make in the big-picture short term. Now, we’ve covered at length the J-population issue and how it's intrinsically tied to the tech-heavy economy - whether it’s all about robots or Japanese women’s troubling absence in the STEM-based J-workforce. And in serious discourse, you just HAVE TO do that - you cannot divorce tech from discussion of Japanese economics, but the referenced piece completely neglects such integration AND delineation between how tech worked in 1950 and how classical power models break down in an increasingly globalized, information-based economy - something 
Japan has kinda already had for over 50 years, and sometthing only possible with what?? ...modern technology. So, go read this piece, and then, if it leaves you feeling like… “Huh?”, then go read our articles linked just above, and THEN, just like the JTFF, you too can feel smugly satisfied at your superior understanding of Japanese economics because you took a few moments to understand what??... The technology factor.

• Japanese People Like Phablets. So Ummm… Yeah. That. And STATS! 
This article, referencing a recently published mobile technology usage study, is, by and large, disposable. But, there are some interesting statistics on smartphone adoption on the archipelago. So, if stuff like “A Jiji Press opinion poll has found that 43.7 percent of Japanese are using smartphones” gets you all excited (Yes, it does us.), then by all means, go have a read.

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

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Tokyo at Night via PhotoEverywhere.