Biometrics

Technology is constantly improving and the security it has must grow as well. This is why developers nowadays work around biometric security like how they show finger print scanners and iris scanners in spy movies. Japan has a company that made that iris scanner into reality and let me tell you guys about them. Fujitsu has developed an iris authentication system and has built it into a prototype smartphone. Just by looking at the smartphone’s screen, the user’s iris gets read instantaneously, enabling the smartphone to be unlocked.Currently, smartphones typically use either a password or fingerprint scan to unlock the screen or for other authentication purposes. Fujitsu’s new authentication method uses iris recognition, which is hard to forge and convenient to use.

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The screen can be unlocked simply by looking at it, which eliminates the trouble of having to use one’s hands such as at times when one is wearing gloves and cannot use one’s fingerprint. This results in a dramatic improvement in usability. In addition to unlocking smartphones, iris authentication could be used to log into web services without having to input an ID or password, enabling simple and secure access.Fujitsu said it explore applying this technology to a wide range of fields, including security systems. It really is quite an impressive creation. Not new, but great nonetheless. the fact that they can do this with a phone makes me believe that its greater applications are soon to come and I cannot wait for that time to come upon us. I can’t wait because it would honestly be so sick if a TV would open with my voice or if a foot scan can open a door. Very futuristic, I know, but how else are you suppose to look at it? It really is that cool and unique. Kudos to the developers and I hope they make more faster!

 

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Hackers

I have experienced the pains of getting hacked on both a serious level and on a “facebook hack by a friend” level and I must say that both aren’t fun. This opinion is coming from only a user’s side and I must imagine that this annoyance can double or triple if I were the creator of the system being hacked. Japan, being the highly technological country that they are, has the same sentiments about these hackers which is why they are now focused on getting these people out of anyone’s servers. The word “hacker” might bring to mind the motley crew of the 1995 film Hackers, or else a number of high-profile cyberattacks resulting in everything from compromised email addresses to a massive Sony data leak. Recently, however, cybersecurity measures are proving that not all hackers are created equal.

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This year, the Japanese government will begin recruiting personnel for a fledgling team of “white hat” hackers. Unlike their counterparts on the other side of the law, these computer experts will bring their skills to bear in identifying and protecting against potential security threats. January of this year marked the birth of the National Center of Incident Readiness and Strategy for Cybersecurity (NISC) under the directorship of Assistant Chief Cabinet Secretary Nobushige Takamizawa. The center will serve as the base of operations for the cybersecurity force, which began accepting applications from the private sector in the same month and is currently screening candidates. Recruits will eventually swell to around 10, with an additional staff of over 100. The former will serve as government employees for up to five years. With all these organization created, I have to admit that I feel a bit safer with the things online nowadays. We are evolving and so the protection we have for things must evolve as well. I see that as an essential point to focus on so I commend Japan for taking the initiative to do something about it.

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PS4 Tribute

The PlayStation 4 has been out for quite a while now. I got it quite recently myself and I have been hooked on it to be completely honest. The game play and graphics of all the games that I have played on the Sony console has just been beyond any of my expectations. Considering how new the PS4 is, I can’t wait to see what they do with the coming games. Though, as amazing as the PS4 is, that is not why I am writing about it. I am writing about the PS4 because of the limited edition consoles they made that were created to resemble the very first PS Sony released 20 years ago. I have to admit that I’m a been attached to this topic because I have had all consoles, from PS1 to PS4, and it was a big part of the fun that I have growing up.

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Some people might not get excited with a PS4 looking like the first PlayStation but coming from a person who is practically a fan of this Sony console, I’d say that it’s a pretty cool tribute to their successful console line. This was how I felt about the limited edition until I found out how much they were selling it for. How much would you pay for the very first unit off a run of limited-edition PlayStations? $800? A cool $1,000, perhaps? How about 15,135,000 yen, or US$128,628.28 – the price that model number 00001/12300 went for last weekend. While that may sound like a ridiculous sum of money to pay for a PlayStation 4 made to look like a PlayStation One, you may be pleased to hear that all proceeds of the auction will go to Save The Children Japan, a non-governmental organisation which works to support young people, including those affected by the 2011 Tohoku earthquake and tsunami. Sony will also be matching the total auction price, bringing in over a quarter of a million dollars for the organisation. Personally, I think that’s too much but a business is a business and if people are willing to pull out money to spend on this, then I’m sure that Sony won’t hesitate giving the people what they want.

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Improvements For Enhancements

It is a normal things to pimp out a creation to improve the performance of a gadget. Sometimes even the slightest chance, for example a screw, can change the durability and capacity of a table. Another example of this is a chip upgrade for desktops that obviously make the desktop work faster overall. The latest studies in Japan regarding these improvements of performance through design upgrades targets the improvements in transistors to make flexible plastic computers a reality. Researchers at Japan’s National Institute for Materials Science revealed Monday that improvements should soon be expected in the manufacture of transistors that can be used, for example, to make flexible, paper-thin computer screens. The scientists reviewed the latest developments in research on photoactive organic field-effect transistors; devices that incorporate organic semi-conductors, amplify weak electronic signals, and either emit or receive light.

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Organic field-effect transistors (OFETs) were developed to produce low-cost, large-area electronics, such as printable and/or flexible electronic devices. The review was published in Science and Technology of Advanced Materials. Research in this area has resulted in advances in the manufacture of novel organic photonics applications using cost-effective approaches. Light emission efficiency and brightness of these transistors will soon improve. And the production of new display technologies is expected to be the result of further research. From the looks of how the research for this project is going, I can easily say that I am expecting more than just the flexible computer to be made. With all these new technologies made to create the target product, I’m sure each new tech can be used in other ways to pave new avenues for the usage and models of these inventions. Japan has always impressed me with their quality of work and it truly excites me to see that they are working towards progression once again. I can’t wait for the end product of this endeavor. 

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Solar Float

I look up to Japan for many things. I look up to them for their cuisine which is honestly my favorite of all time. I look up to them for all the gaming consoles and games that have made my childhood the most memorable it could be. If you have never played games like Bushido Blade and the first Metal Gear, then I suggest that you find a way to get it and play it to understand the joy I received by simply playing these games that they created. Aside from these things, I look up to Japan for their continuous work and effort toward providing the world with sustainable energy. The government of Kagawa Prefecture has started the “verification test of the introduction of solar power generation facilities using a reservoir,” which will continue for two years. In line with this, they set up three types of floating mounting systems on the surface of Yoshihara Oike which can be found in the city of Zentsuji which is in the Kagawa Prefecture. All the floating mounting systems will then be the base for the solar panels to be installed for power generation. This prefecture was chosen for this project for a reason.

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You see, the prefecture has little rain and there are about 14,000 agricultural reservoirs which are kept in case of drought. Being that the solar panels to be installed are able to float, these would be the sites for future installation of these solar panels. This is actually the government’s way of finding out the effectiveness of having solar power generated on water. I think this is a great idea because the world is made up for 75 percent water. If we find a way to maximize all that water without really making anything permanent, the possibilities of sustainable energy creation are truly endless. The three types of floating mounting systems use (1) hollow floats made of plastic, (2) floats made of styrofoam and (3) pipe floats filled with styrofoam, respectively, and have areas of about 129m2, 78m2 and 56m2. The hollow float is made by a France-based manufacturer. On each type, 24 solar panels (6.12kW) were installed. Hopefully that would be enough to secure the results that would push Japan’s government to do this consistently and with a larger quantity of power producers. The future is truly looking brighter with these types of projects being implemented.

 

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Staying Alive

When people talk about advancements and innovations, the thoughts that usually come to mind first are concepts like new designs, new models, and many other new things that they change to improve service and performance. Just look at how the Samsung and Apple phones of today have progressed so much since the first time that came out in the market. The look, the interface, the technology itself has changed in more ways than one. I believe that there is one innovation for technology that is not as appreciated as it should be and that is the power capacity of a gadget. The technology, meaning the functions and service of the gadget, may not have much changes done to it but having the battery life of that specific gadget improve by more than 70 percent should be an innovation worth looking at. This is exactly the type of progression that Rohm Co Ltd and a Japanese research group co-developed. Rohm Co Ltd and a Japanese research group co-developed a wearable biosensor that features a low average current consumption of 38μA and is connected to a smartphone.

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The group of mind that created this, led by Masahiko Yoshimoto and Shintaro Izumi, who are both professors for the graduate school of Kobe University. Now usually, as I said earlier, such innovations are easily overlooked because of the amount of battery saved. To be honest, every time a newer version of some gadget comes out, there is always a part of me that expects that aspect of the gadget to be improved with regards to its performance so a small amount of energy saved is not something that will impress me. What the group of Masahiko Yoshimoto and company did, however, is not something that should be overlooked. Why? Because of the amount of energy he was able to give an essential tool in the medicinal field. They were able to drop the current consumption down by 80 percent just by improving three major aspect of the biosensor’s previous models. They first improved the consumption of the heart rate monitor by 95 percent then they improved the consumption by using newer materials that were able to boost power to an astounding 95 percent. With these two major improvements made, the logic circuit consumption was also cut by 50 percent and they should be proud of what they were able to do because they did not only improve the tool but they were also able to give users confidence in using such gadget because of its significant extended life span.

 

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Counterfeit Catcher

Japan creates new technologies every single day. These technological creations are sometimes copied to make counterfeits which is obviously a bad thing. What’s worse about this fact is that some people are getting so good at counterfeiting that it is becoming harder to distinguish or identify the originals from the counterfeits. Even the officials in the customs of different countries apparently get fooled as well. Because of this alarming issue, Japan answers once again with the creation of a new technology that sniffs out even the most convincing counterfeits because it is able to read microscopic patterns on everything from a luxury purse to a metal bolt. It is still in the testing phase but it truly looks promising as a resolution for the counterfeiting that happens in the technological world every single year.

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 The technology can be also be used to trace the origin of mass-produced offerings by reading so-called “object fingerprints”, or three-dimensional surface irregularities, the firm said. “You can identify offspring that come from the same parental mold,” said Toshihiko Hiroaki, assistant general manager at NEC’s Information and Media Processing Laboratories. In other words, this invention is able to spot counterfeiting at its most basic components which are the microprocessors of such gadgets like smartphones. The technology could let a customs official simply take a picture with the gadget and that image is instantly matched with a preregistered image to find out if there are any fake parts in the gadget. This technology will sure affect the counterfeiting that happens every year. Creators of such fake products would start fearing the production of their faulty goods because once this technology is out and about, it will be so easy to trace the origins of such bad products. It is projected that this technology will be released next year with a commercial version. I’m excited and hopeful that this will impact our society in a positive way. I hope it influences people enough to see the bigger picture of what this technology is suppose to do to our culture. In a sense, it promotes us to be honest, even if it is just through stopping gadget counterfeiting.

 

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Electric Vehicles

There have been a lot of talks about automobiles that will no longer need diesel fuel to operate. Instead of burning gasoline for power and endangering the environment with more air pollution, scientists have made it a point to work towards a greener approach in finding new sources of power for all the technological gadgets that are coming out nowadays. I’ve heard of the hydrogen powered car that supposedly creates drinkable water as a by-product of the hydrogen combustion which powers up the prototype. Solar powered cars, on the other hand, have been in its testing phases for quite a number of years now and I guess the thing that prevents the mass production for solar powered cars is the cost of massively manufacturing these cars for the world to use. Since hydrogen powered cars are still being developed and solar powered cars are too expensive, I think the next in line is electric energy to be used for cars. In my university, we actually already have a electric vehicle that serves as a mode of transport for the students to get from one building to another.

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The problem with this electric vehicle is the speed at which it can travel. You see, it’s quite slow so it’s not so recommendable to use under the heat of the weather or the length of the travel. Luckily, Eneres Co and Nissan Motor will star a field test of energy management using their “Leaf to Home” which is a power supply system based on Nissan’s Leaf electric vehicle. In the field test, the two companies will carry out demand response (DR) in the aim of ensuring supply capacity and reserved capacity at the time when power demand peaks. They will verify the economic efficiency of using “negawatt” (potential power source conceived by considering the surplus electricity made by utility consumers’ efforts to save electricity as power generation) as an alternative power source and the possibility of short-tome supply-demand adjustment at the time when a large-scale power source goes out. I’m excited for this development because I believe that it is a great substitute while we wait for the hydrogen and solar powered cars to get to a level of performance that can serve everybody at a high level of service.

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PS TV

Sony has created so many technological innovations in its many centuries of existence. It started off as a company that focused on the invention and progression of electronic gadgets but as time went on, they decided to move on to bigger things and I believe that this decision of theirs could not have worked out any better. I say this because this decision of theirs to innovate broader technologies created the many gadgets I grew up loving and other gadgets that I still honestly still enjoy or use to entertain me every now and then.  A solid, or the most solid example I can think of is the invention of their Playstation gaming line. I have been a gamer of the Playstation since the very first model of the PS. It recently released the PS4, which is their newest next generation of gaming console technology. Comparing the graphics of then and the graphics of the most recently released console, it’s not even in the same world anymore. Comments I’ve heard about the graphics of the PS4 usually point towards the feel that the graphics are actually better than reality.

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I don’t own one yet hence I can’t imagine how anything, graphically, can be better than reality. Sony didn’t stop there. They are recently releasing their PlayStation TV which, I believe, will bring their console to another level and that’s saying a lot because the new console itself has elevated its status to another level alone. The PlayStation TV is just like any TV in terms of its capability to show normal cable but it’s edge comes out when you use it for its main purpose which is for gaming. They apparently found a way to create technology that allows the gamers to see their respective games with just the use of the shades or glasses that come along with this TV. Imagine a shooter game than split screens when you play cooperative or something like that. This TV literally is able to use one TV to show both player 1 and player 2’s view on the whole TV. THAT’S AMAZING! That fixes so many problems of split screen games like “comp sat-ing” which means to peek through your opponents screen to get an edge in the game being played. This truly is a great innovation for all the gamers out there.

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The PSN

I grew up as a video gamer and I never stopped playing since the first time I started. Initially I was bound to the games of the Gameboy and the Atari because in the years that I started, those were the consoles and devices that were available to me. Years after those times, the Sony Playstation came and there was no turning back for me. The very first Playstation was very simple because all it did was play the games that the user wanted. It was the same for the PS2, with only the ability to play the games although they did add the feature that made watching DVDs on the PS2 possible. I believe the PS3 was the first of the Playstation consoles to consider creating a network to allow online gaming with the console’s users from all over the world and although it was effective in serving its purpose, people still found it inadequate in an overall sense. Now that the PS4 is out, there is discussions within the Sony company that plans to change this notion about their network being less than the best out there. There have not released actually specifications or designs for what they’ll be adding and modifying with their network system but from what I’ve read, they are definitely planning to add features that would allow the user to watch any television series and any movie via streaming from their new network.

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Along with this ability to entertain the user with its games and movie displaying ability, Sony also plans to incorporate in their design a somewhat “iTunes”-ish feature that would basically allow the user to have a music library in their console with the user being allow to buy songs via the console itself. As a long time user of the Playstation consoles, I can definitely see how these changes can boost their sales and please their users all the more. I can surely see myself playing my game for hours and simply logging out to take a break and watch a movie on the very same console. It’ll be so much more convenient so I truly hope for the success of this attempt by Sony to improve their console’s overall service. The gaming aspect, for me, is already in a good place so it is only fitting for the makers and designers of Sony’s Playstation to be focusing on the improvement of their services with respect to aspects other than gaming.

 

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