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Tag: JAPAN

Mother Murders 3-Year-Old Daughter for Tossing Game Console

Sadly, this is not an April Fool's joke. 26-year-old Yui Tanaka and her live-in boyfriend are in police custody in Osaka, Japan after the two murdered Tanaka's 3-year-old daughter Shizuku for interrupting their gaming session. According to Nikkei, the mother told investigators that the girl was being "fussy" and "noisy" while the two were trying to play a game and even threw the couple's game cons...

Zynga and Gaga Form Not-So-Terrible Alliance

You have to hand it to Lady Gaga; she's pretty tapped into tech. Her latest venture is a partnership with Zynga, in which she's donating $1.5 million for earthquake relief via its in-game funding drives. The partnership is not particularly surprising on either end. Gaga has been making the tech rounds recently, and Zynga has long been savvy about using its games as a platform for fundraisin...

YouTube Launches Person Finder for Japanese Earthquake Victims

With Japan still reeling from the recent tsunami and earthquakes, social media continues to play an invaluable role. The latest comes in the form of the YouTube Person Finder, a channel that aggregates videos posted by disaster victims, and allows them to pass along messages to their loved ones. Currently, the channel hosts only a few dozen videos taken at shelters and shot by the Japanese s...

Japanese UC Student Finds Family Safe and Sound on YouTube

Akiko Kosaka, a 20-year-old student at the University of California Riverside, was one of many people looking everywhere she could for information about her loved ones in Japan -- a family that includes two sisters, parents and paternal grandparents, all of whom lived under one roof in the fishing village of Minami Sanriku. Kosaka eventually received word that her youngest sister was safe an...

EaTheremin's Noisy Forks: Because Utensils Weren't Already Annoying Enough

Do you wonder if the urbane baritone who narrates those DigInfo News spots ever has to record multiple takes because he's laughing his (possibly) Australian ass off at those consistently wacky Japanese inventions? I do. Because I'm not sure I'd be able to say "chicken skin can generate vibrato effects" without breaking into some kind of fit of giggling burp-ups. Anyway, these are forks th...

Radiation Panic is Mounting Online in Japan (and Beyond)

In both horror and sadness, the world is watching the crisis unfold in Japan. The damage to the Fukushima nuclear facility adds another menacing dimension to the disaster. As murky reports emerge, so does increasing panic, made only worse by the viral aspect of social networking. Frantic messages have been pervasive on Twitter, where Tokyo residents report fleeing, encouraged by the internation...

Ann Curry Reunites Tsunami Victim and Family With the Aid of Twitter

Canon Purdy had just arrived the town of Minamisanriku, Japan when the deadly tsunami tore through the area, leaving more than half of its residents missing. Canon's sister, Megan Walsh, was desperate to find her; with the phone lines down, she turned to the Web for help. Megan began firing off tweets, both to the Internet at large and to specific media outlets, like CNN and the Japan Times,...

Facebook Tracks Status Updates About Earthquake, Tsunami in Japan

The Global Disaster Relief Facebook page has posted a set of time-stamped maps that show how news spread through status updates about the earthquake and resulting tsunami in Japan. The site found that 4.5 million updates from 3.8 million users around the globe contained the words "Japan," "earthquake" or "tsunami" in the aftermath of the disaster. Many of the updates originated from places affe...

After Tsunami, AT&T Offers Free Calling and Texting To Japan

From now until the end of March, AT&T is offering free calls to Japan for anyone who dials from an AT&T line. Any long distance or texting directed to our Pacific brethren will be credited to post-paid accounts, with up to 60 minutes of talk time. The offer is back-dated to March 11th, when the earthquake and subsequent tsunami struck the country, so those who made frantic phone calls f...

Bing's Tactless Tsunami Tweet Provokes Twitter Rage

Did we learn nothing from Kenneth Cole's tasteless Twitter gaffe? Or is Microsoft just employing the same marketing brain trusts? Japan is on everyone's mind --at least, we hope -- and the tech giant's flacks haven't ignored that. Saturday morning, a message of hope callow douchebaggery came out of the official Bing Twitter account: "How you can #SupportJapan -For every retweet, bing will gi...

Google Launches Person Finder for Japan Earthquake and Tsunami

The extent of the damage is still unknown, but people with friends or family in Japan can turn to Google's Person Finder if they're looking for or having information about anyone caught up in the earthquake and subsequent tsunami that hit last night and this morning. The service is available in Japanese, Chinese and English. The app was first launched in the aftermath of the Haiti earthquake...

Japan Planning to Send Tweeting Humanoid Robot to Space Station

It's no secret that the Japanese love their robots. But the country's space agency, JAXA, is hoping that other nations will enjoy its android creations, too. The country of cutting-edge 'bots is planning to send a humanoid robot to the ISS, where it will monitor the health and stress levels of astronauts, and report back via Twitter....

Text Messages Reveal Sumo Match-Fixing Scandal in Japan

In Japan, sumo wrestlers aren't just athletes -- they're caretakers of an ancient tradition, rooted in noble behavior and moral dignity. Now, however, that perception may be changing, thanks to widespread accusations of match-rigging, and incriminating text messages. On May 10th, wrestler Kiyoseumi sent a text to his opponent, Kasuganishiki, asking him to "hit hard at the face-off, then go wit...

Japanese Go Crazy for Light-Up Smiles

Wearing gold fronts and jewels in your teeth is so Aughts. The 2010s call for a thoroughly more modern oral adornment. Enter Japanese fashion designers Mr. Ishibashi and Daito Manabe, who have created LED inserts that are worn behind the teeth. The light-up smiles are now being used as part of a marketing push by Laforet Harajuku, a popular department store in Tokyo, and are becoming a much sough...

New Twitter Record Set on New Year's, With Japan Tweets Ahead of the Pack

If there was any doubt about Japan's love of social networking, it's been soundly dashed by the number of tweets the country sent as the clock struck midnight on New Year's Eve. The world sent 6,939 tweets per second (TPS) four seconds after Japan's time zone entered into 2011, with the island nation sending the vast majority of "Akemashite omedetou gozaimasu" ("Happy New Year!") tweets. The pr...