By >RENO J. TIBKE
Japanese Technology from the Future Friday!
This week it’s JAXA & the ESA taking NASA stuff into space, Japan likes Apple’s patents better than Samsung’s, Toyota and Tesla made an electric baby RAV4, and the guy who invented DRAM got a Japanese medal and $500 Gs!
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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 – June 21, 2013 ::
• Japan and Europe Letting American Space Stuff Join the Roadtrip to Mercury
The planet nearest the gigantic nuclear fusion reaction at the center of our solar system will get two new satellites several years from now – one from Europe, one from Japan – jointly known as the pretty-fun-to-say BepiColombo mission. These two and their luggage were going to ride alone on a single rocket, but then America crashed the party and was all like “Hey guys – HEY! If you take some science stuff I’ll give you like… $32 million bucks!” Japan and Europe obliged.
[NASA'S STROFIO INSTRUMENT GOING TO MERCURY ON JAXA/ESA MISSION - DISCOVERY NEWS]
• Tokyo Court Sides with Apple Over Samsung – Less Than Nobody Surprised
Not surprisingly, last summer Apple beat Samsung in the U.S. theater of the also-pretty-fun-to-say Global Mobile Patent Wars, and now, here in the world’s 3rd or 2nd largest economy (debatable), Apple wins again. It’s useless to go into the details, nobody really cares all that much about the minutiae – we just wanna know who wins and can we still buy our iPhones or Galaxies. Now, compu-gadgetry giant Apple does need healthy competition, but most people can clearly see that that Samsung saw a good thing and wanted a taste. And come on now, it’s not like mainland East Asia doesn’t have a history of, ummm… sincere flattery?
[JAPAN LIKES APPLE BETTER THAN SAMSUNG - SEATTLE TIMES]
• RAV4 EV: Toyota/Tesla Lovechild
Automotive giant Toyota’s partnership with relative upstart Tesla has produced it’s first fruit: the Toyota RAV4 EV. This is just a review of the vehicle and commentary on how it bodes for Tesla’s upcoming electric SUV. There is no mention in the article of how MOST ELECTRICITY STILL COMES FROM FOSSIL FUELS SO ELECTRIC VEHICLES CURRENTLY DO A NET NOTHING FOR THE ENVIRONMENT. Okay, sure – gotta start somewhere, but still – journalists should be required to point this out in gigantic bold italic print every time they cover electric cars. At least, you know, instill that in people’s minds (particularly useful for the hard-of-thinking anti-nuclear contingent).
[TOYOTA'S ELECTRIC RAV4EV IS A TESLA - WIRED REVIEW]
• American DRAM Inventor Awarded the Kyoto Prize for Electronics
For the modestly dorky, which includes most of us, there’s really no need to know what exactly DRAM is – just know that it’s a kind of computer memory, and it’s really goddamn important to basically every facet of life in the developed world. It’s just one of those things that, even if you explain it super clearly, the listener will forget in just a few minutes – this will result in exactly zero negative consequences for the rest of the listener’s life. Sometimes, correlation is indeed causality. Anyway, congratulations to IBM’s Robert Dennard, who patented his idea way back in 1968.
[DRAM INVENTOR ROBERT DENNARD, HONORED IN JAPAN - NETWORK WORLD]
That was the JTFF, and live from the future – that is all.
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Reno J. Tibke is the founder and operator of Anthrobotic.com, where the JTFF was born.
Tokyo at Night image via PhotoEverywhere.