Android Contactless-RFID Controlled Rice Cooker By Panasonic

Panasonic’s new SR-SX2 Series (SR-SX102-RK black, SR-SX-102-W white, SR-SX182-RK black/large, SR-SX182-W white/large) is the Japan’s first, and I believe the world’s first, smartphone-controlled rice cooker.

On top of the all high-end features such like “200 Celsius degree steam”, “Great-power dancing boil(Dai karyoku odori-daki)”, “Diamond Furnace(Daiyamondo Kamado)”, it newly supports settings-by-smartphone. Holding your FeliCa supported Android over the blue mark on the rice cooker sets rice type, cooking variations and timer. You may pre-set maximum 6 patterns of your family’s favorite steamed rice as well.

You may also connect your Android to the Panasonic’s cooking receipe cloud server [J], search and touch to give the cooking instructions to the cooker. In reverse, you may keep 100 of your recipes on the cloud server.

Felica is Japan/Sony’s contact-less RFID system, used in Japanese cellphones and e-money, also a part of NFC specification. Most of Android handsets sold in Japan by Japanese manufacturers support it under the name “Osaifu Ketai”(cellphone wallet).

The market price of the former model SR-SX101 is about 50,000 yen (US$600) according to the web.

via release [J]

Trend Micro’s Charisma “Cloud Girl” Security Promotion

It is one of the weirdest promotions on security solution I have ever seen. Trend Micro Japan, who sells Virus Buster anti-virus software, started a dedicated site Cloud Girl, where “charisma” cloud girls talk how they are utilizing cloud services with PC and smartphone.

The word “cloud girl” may come from recently-coined Japanese word “mori girl”(forest girl), which points a certain category of girl’s fashion, which I am totally ignorant, but you may read this explanation.

The site features, cloud girls questionnaires on cloud, snap photos and videos,

As we already reported, Microsoft Japan has been promoting its Azure cloud with another “cloud girl” Claudia.

As well as in some other countries, “cloud” is the latest buzzword for system/service providers to pitch their renamed products to enterprises. I don’t think this “cloud girl” would be the next trend after “mori girl” but some companies’ decision maker will like those girls when purchasing security solution… maybe.

Cloud Girl – Microsoft Windows Azure Manga Promotion

Microsoft Japan is teasing its online comic series “Cloud Girl”, which promotes Windows Azure cloud service.

The first episode of this “Cloud Girl” with subtitle “Mado to Kumo to Aoi-sora”(windows, clouds and azure sky) is said to be released late this May 2011, on a prologue.

The heroine, Claudia Madobe (@Claudia_Azure “madobe” means window-side in Japanese) was born on November 20, 1985, the date when Windows 1.0 was released, having a Japanese father and French-American mother.

Claudia, who is visiting Japan and her cousin Nanami Madobe(@windows7_nanami), will solve several problems at a computer parts shop in Akihabara, where Nanami works for.

A sub-character Nanami Madobe has been serving as a Windows 7 promotion character since 2009, but she was not an “official” Microsoft character before.

Microsoft Taiwan’s Silverlight promotion with a girl character Hikaru Aizawa made Japanese jaw dropped last autumn, as it was so Japanese-ish than Japanese.

This time Microsoft Japan (recently renamed from Microsoft K.K.) presses the manga-girl promotion for Japanese enterprise decision makers in orthodox Japanese way.

Axsh Introduces New Open Source To Build Your Own Cloud

Shinjuku-based web app developer Axsh Co.,Ltd.[J] introduced an open source software called Wakame-vdc(virtual data center) which allows you to develop a public cloud service of your own, by enhancing Wakame-fuel that has been originally developed for making it easier to configure server instances and network setting on Amazon EC2.   You may download it and use it for free for non-commercial use.

The company developed it with aiming at automating miscellaneous procedures at data center facilities, and it is expected to be adopted by three to four data center companies in a year.

Author’s note: Axsh (or Akushu) means shaking hands with someone in Japanese.   Wakame stands for a kind of seaweed.

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