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Japan’s Fujitsu: We Made The First “iPad”!

744px-Fujitsu_logo_svgApple made the world stop on January 27 when Steve Jobs announced the newest gadget in its already long line of toys: the iPad. This tablet computer is being touted as the next gadget that will change the way we perceive things. Much like when the iPhone was launched, the unveiling of the iPad has got the whole world a-buzzing.

Japan’s Fujitsu, however, is quick to speak up. Apparently, they have been using the term iPad to call a gadget that they launched as early as 2002. If this is true, then Apple might have to deal with a trademark issue in the coming months.

The official word is that the Fujitsu subsidiary in the United States launched their own iPad in 2002. The Fujitsu iPad is a small handheld gadget that is targeted at stores. Its purpose is to keep track of inventory, to scan barcodes, and other similar activities that store clerks may have to do. Inside the Fujitsu iPad, there is an Intel processor. It runs on Microsoft (big difference!). The gadget’s screen is 3.5 inches and has Bluetooth and Wi-Fi connectivity.

The positive thing – at least for Apple – is that the trademark application has not yet been approved. However, Fujitsu applied for the patent in 2003, definitely giving it an edge. The company has not made any announcement as to what their next move will be though. The official word is that they are “sorting out the facts.” As for Apple, they are no strangers to this sort of thing.

The Wonder Football Robot

11933Cristiano_RonaldoThe World Cup always attracts immense amount of attention. Every four years, when it is held, the whole world stops in its tracks to follow what’s going on in the world of football. Of course, part of the reason for the large following (aside from the love of the sport itself) is the fact that tons of money is spent on advertising. That means that sponsors will not hesitate to advertise their own wares.

This time around, Castrol is jumping into the advertising bandwagon big time. Have you ever heard of the “wonderful” robot made by Castrol Japan? If not, then check this video out at the World Cup Blog.

So what can the robot do? If you took the time to watch the video, you would know that it can kick a football (just like a football player does when making a free kick). But it’s not just like any kicker – the machine can kick a ball at a top speed of 200 kilometers per hour! That’s 70 kilometers per hour more than the world record that is held by famous football player Cristiano Ronaldo! Of course, there really is no comparison (despite the allusions made by Castrol executives) here as Ronaldo is made of flesh and bone while the machine is, well, a machine (made of nuts and bolts?!).

In any case, this robot will certainly draw a lot of attention, if only for the fact that it doesn’t look anything like a football player and that it has awesome kick powers.

Japan To Give $5M To Haiti

HaitiReliefMapHearts are bleeding and tears are flowing all over the world. The quake that hit Haiti the other day is something that no one can ignore, and anyone who is able to help out in whatever way is doing something. Japan as a country has been quick to respond as well.

Yesterday, the Japanese government pledged the huge amount of five million dollars. With the help of the various agencies of the United Nations, Japan aims to be able to distribute the money properly in order to help out the victims of the quake, which is reported to have killed over a 100,000 people.

On top of this pledged sum, the Japanese government is also planning on sending relief goods that are desperately needed by the people of Haiti. These good include food and tents and are estimated to be worth more than $300,000.

More than this, Japan also plans to send teams to assess the situation in terms of medical needs. If the plans were followed, there may very well be a Japanese team in Haiti as of this writing.

We all know how prone Japan is to earthquakes. In fact, of all the major earthquakes that occur in the world, Japan probably gets the largest number. As such, they have always been quick to lend a helping hand to those who are in need.

For those of you who want to help out, get in touch with your nearest Red Cross office and find out what you can do.

Hybrids Rule In 2009

priusChinese astrology may have dubbed the year 2009 as the Year of the Cow, but it was something else in Japan. People have been calling last year as the Year of the Hybrids in the country. This is due to the fact that, for the first time, a hybrid car has gotten the distinction of being the bestselling car in the whole country.

I am talking about the Toyota Prius, of course. This car was launched with a lot of promises and much potential. It seems that it has lived up to its reputation – based on sales figures released in the past week, 208,879 units of the Prius were sold by Toyota in 2009. The figure makes the Prius the number one car in Japan. More than that, though, it is the number one hybrid car in the entire world!

Is the Prius as great as it seems or is there another reason for its success? Experts and consumers alike extol this hybrid’s virtues but there is another factor that has to be taken into consideration. The truth is that packages and incentives provided has made the price of the Prius so low that consumers are more attracted to it. With all the incentives, one might be able to save as much as 4,200 USD!

Aside from the Prius, another hybrid car sold really well in Japan last year: the Honda Insight. Compared to Toyota’s sales figures, Honda only had 93,283 – not even half. Still, overall sales figures support the fact that hybrids are very much on their way to being the standard.