NEC and the sorrow of Japan
Yahoo! News -- Jul 18
Sadly enough, NEC's share price rose 2.6% on the news that it is going to shutter its mobile phone unit. It's a tragic epitaph for what was once a genuinely exciting brand. It's also a sad reminder of the profound failure of Japan's technology industry.

The global smartphone market is currently shaken by a cluster of vital, hungry challenger vendors of China and India, including Huawei, ZTE, Micromax, Karbonn and Spice. Japanese mobile phone powerhouses like Sharp, Toshiba, Matsushita and NEC have been left in the dust. Only Sony still soldiers on, grimly and joylessly.

In the end, NEC fizzled out as a global phone brand despite having pioneered key technologies like color displays, 3G support, dual screens and camera modules. Just like its Japanese peers, NEC was too focused on Japan's domestic market and its idiosyncratic nature to ever really anticipate global trends accurately.

NEC's miniature models had lousy battery performance and Nokia's larger, heavier models triumphed among consumers who appreciated five days of stand-by time over a slim chassis. Motorola's dazzling RAZR designs trumped NEC's boring Japanese ovoids among consumers who valued slimness. NEC's 3G phones were the first in the world, but they suffered from serious quality issues and were buried by models that arrived nine months later, offering more finesse. The Japanese disease of valuing early introduction of technological advances over usability blighted NEC permanently. The damage as particularly obvious in the early camera phone race, where NEC missed the huge mass market for cheap models by focusing on the expensive, exclusive dual-screen niche.

Source: Yahoo! News
Oct 02
The death toll from a Japanese volcano eruption rose to 47 on Wednesday, the worst in 88 years, after more victims were discovered on the ash-covered mountain. (Reuters)
Oct 02
A 17-year-old girl was arrested on Wednesday on suspicion of killing her mother and grandmother at the family's home in Hokkaido earlier in the day. (Japan Times)
Oct 02
Typhoon Phanfone is gathering strength in the western Pacific Ocean, with projections showing that it may intensify significantly - likely to super typhoon status - before veering toward mainland Japan by Oct. 5. (mashable.com)
Oct 02
The scope of tax-free items for foreigners visiting Japan was expanded on Wednesday to include cosmetics, food products and other items. (The Japan News)
Oct 01
Fukuoka prefectural police continued cracking down on the Kudo-kai crime syndicate with the rearrests Oct. 1 of its two top leaders along with the arrests of seven other members in connection with the stabbing of a nurse. (Asahi)
Oct 02
Police in Tokyo have arrested a 20-year-old man on assault charges after he poured urine from a bottle on the leg of a woman in Adachi Ward in August. (Japan Today)
Oct 02
A Japanese teenage girl has shown the world her wild guitar skills -- without using a guitar. She won the Air Guitar World Championships in August. (NHK)
Oct 01
A Japanese man who allegedly kicked a fellow diner to death in a fight over seats in a ramen eatery calmly returned to his food as the other man lay dying, media reported Tuesday. (Japan Today)
Oct 01
Tokai Mayor Osamu Yamada joined others in prayer Tuesday for the victims of a criticality accident at a nuclear fuel processing facility in Tokai village 15 years ago. (The Japan News)
Sep 30
Police in Ichihara, Chiba Prefecture, said Tuesday they have arrested a 37-year-old man for kidnapping and assaulting a 12-year-old boy. (Japan Today)
Sep 30
Lava bombs that rained down in the immediate aftermath of the eruption on Mount Ontakesan likely killed many of the climbers who were trapped in the disaster, according to experts. (Asahi)
Sep 30
Tokyo Metropolitan Police last week raided a cabaret in the Roppongi entertainment district for licensing violations, reports TV Asahi (Tokyo Reporter)
Sep 30
Saitama prefectural police said Monday that a 54-year-old police officer has been arrested after he assaulted two train station attendants. (Japan Today)
Sep 29
Japan's entertainment industry has become so filled with idol groups that some call this the age of the "idol war." (Japan Times)
Sep 29
Miranda Kerr was a Victoria's Secret model, and she teased us with just a hint of her bra while out in Paris earlier today. (mirror.co.uk)