Tech

Genetic testing a cracked crystal ball

TOKYO -- Genetic testing promises to tell us what inherited diseases lurk in our future. Even better, there is no need for a trip to the hospital, as many tests are now being offered through the Internet. But there are drawbacks: The tests often ...

  • Japan shares tech, know-how to help save vulnerable forests

    TOKYO -- The Japanese Forestry Agency will step up its support for forest preservation in developing nations to help fight global warming, starting this fiscal year. The agency, working with such organs as the Japan International Cooperation Agen...

  • Not so fast: 4 hurdles stand in way of Japan's next supercomputer

    TOKYO -- Japan plans to build a supercomputer that will make the K, the country's fastest number-cruncher to date, look like a slowpoke. But at least four technical obstacles lie ahead, and clearing them will require close cooperation among businesse...

  • Corporate Japan to pool big data

    TOKYO -- Japanese companies in fields as diverse as precision machinery, food and advertising will open up their storehouses of data to one another in hopes of creating new products and services. The country's first big-data exchange, set to laun...

  • New hope for making nuclear waste less nasty

    TOKYO -- The reprocessing of nuclear fuel produces highly radioactive waste. And that is a problem -- but one the Japan Atomic Energy Agency thinks it can solve in the coming decades. It will start the quest this fiscal year through March 2015. T...

  • Nippon Steel looks for new materials in 3-D

    TOKYO -- Nippon Steel & Sumitomo Metal is taking its quest for next-generation materials to the atomic level. The Japanese steelmaker plans to install the latest three-dimensional atom probe, or 3DAP, at its Research & Engineering Center, a core labo...

  • Japanese railway operator to offer maglev tech to US for free

    NAGOYA -- Central Japan Railway does not plan to charge licensing fees in the U.S. for technologies for its maglev train, aiming to promote the system for a proposed high-speed rail line between Washington and Baltimore. The railway operator, kno...

  • Fukushima gets renewables research center

    TOKYO -- Fukushima is embracing the solar panel and the wind turbine. The National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology on April 1 opened a renewable energy research and development center in Koriyama, Fukushima Prefecture...

  • Canon unit adds 3-D printers to 'mixed-reality' service

    TOKYO -- Canon Marketing Japan is building a business around the group's mixed-reality (MR) system by combining it with 3-D printers, paving the way for actual, touchable prototypes. Parent Canon's MR system integrates the real and virtual worlds...

  • Toyota brings production expertise to the farm

    NAGOYA -- Toyota Motor has adapted its wealth of production experience to agriculture with a cloud-based data management program for rice farming that helps cut waste and costs to raise productivity, according to an announcement Friday. Many farm...

  • BMW Japan bringing latest technology to customer service

    TOKYO -- The Japanese arm of German automaker BMW is upgrading its customer service department, hoping to create an environment that piques interest in its vehicles, increases traffic flow in dealerships and stimulates demand. By 2017, the compan...

  • New tech turns coffee grounds, rice bran into sturdy bioplastics

    TOKYO -- Coffee grounds and rice bran can be turned into bioplastics featuring improved heat resistance and moldability, a team at the University of Tokyo reports. Typical bioplastics made from polylactic acid are suited for garbage bags and beve...

  • Panasonic selling solar generators in developing countries

    OSAKA -- Panasonic has begun selling commercial generators in areas of developing countries that do not have electricity, hoping that by introducing a power source, it can increase its brand penetration and begin marketing consumer electronics. E...

  • Group aims to boost Japanese competitiveness in 3-D printers

    TOKYO -- A new research association with members from Japanese industry, academia and the government was set up Tuesday to help develop and market high-performance 3-D printers for applications in medicine and aerospace. Western companies now dom...

  • Supercomputer network seen sharpening Japan's industrial edge

    TOKYO -- A powerful network of supercomputers will be built in Japan over the next decade, centered around a next-generation exascale machine and coordinated with projects designed to boost industrial use of the technology. This policy vision, la...

  • No profit? No problem. Japan's Cyberdyne an instant stock darling

    Tokyo -- Japanese robotics startup Cyberdyne may be losing money, but that did not stop investors from pumping a huge amount of cash into the company's stock on its market debut Wednesday. The share price more than doubled on its first day o...

  • Governments in Japan contend with warming globe

    TOKYO -- Japan's central and local governments are adopting measures that account for the impact of global warming on the future of agriculture and people's livelihoods. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change last September concluded that ...

  • Japan's silk industry weaves its way into the 21st century

    In 1872, the fifth year of the Meiji era (1868-1912), the Japanese government established the Tomioka Silk Mill, a state-owned silk filature facility, in Gunma Prefecture. The mill was then one of the largest and most sophisticated facilities of its ...

  • New components help lithium-ion batteries take the heat

    OSAKA -- Technologies coming out of Japan promise to make electric vehicles safer by reducing the chances of battery fires. The innovations should also make the cars more efficient. Daikin Industries, best known for its air conditioners, and Nipp...

  • Woody Epstein: On the risk of becoming stupid

    In the 1980s, I used the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency Network, or Darpanet, to collaborate with colleagues worldwide. Web browsers did not yet exist, but a text-based program called Lynx allowed us to use the Web programming language HT...