The Japanese consumer electronics industry continues to feel the squeeze in the economy, with one of the more painful effects being mass layoffs of workers. In the latest development, Panasonic Corp. says that it will reduce its workforce by 10,000 employees by the end of this fiscal year, which completes in March 2013. The company had already warned that it will post losses of $ 10 billion for the full year, because of writeoffs in its mobile, solar panel and lithium batter businesses.
The mobile business in particular has been seeing some tough times, with Panasonic Mobile reportedly preparing to pull out of the European market altogether, leaving it covering only Asia going forward.
While Panasonic has yet to make an official statement about the 10,000 layoffs, CFO Hideaki Kawai made the plans public in an interview with Reuters. They are part of a wider strategy to reach operating profits of $ 2.52 billion (¥200 billion) in the next three years. At the moment a fifth of its 100 business units are losing money, and there are plans for some of these to also be sold off, too.
Panasonic, along with other Japanese consumer electronics giants, have been between a rock and a hard place for a while now: on the one hand, there is the global economic downturn that has seen reduced consumer spending; on the other, the rise of Chinese and Korean, and other Asian companies making similar goods for significantly cheaper prices — or simply better quality, more desirable goods — has impacted these companies’ margins. Panasonic is a grandaddy of Japanese consumer electronics — it was founded in 1918 and remains Japan’s biggest employer — but in the last five years, it has posted four annual net losses.
The 10,000 cuts come on the heels of 36,000 layoffs at Panasonic last year. Several other Japanese consumer electronics giants have also faced mass layoffs. These include 11,000 workers reportedly getting the chop at Sharp (made public in September), and Sony announcing redundancies of a further 2,800 workers in October, part of its plan to cut 10,000 in total.Related Posts:
These are three Pokemon anatomy posters designed by DeviantARTist RYE-BREAD (OMG, I loooove rye). This is Charmander here, but there’s a Squirtle and Bulbasaur after the jump. As you’ll see, they all have guts and stuff. Plus things that make their special powers able to function, like Charmander’s fire heart and lava bladder. You know what a potion-brewing witch would be willing to trade for a fire heart? “Troll toes?” Rarer. “Fairy wings?” Try dragon peens, brobro. Those things pack some serious magika.
Hit the jump for the other two.
LG revealed Japan’s NTT DoCoMo would be the first carrier to offer its Optimus G (which it’s been proud enough to announce more than once) and now we have an exact date. Pre-orders for the L-01E start tomorrow ahead of it going on sale October 19th, bringing its quad-core 1.5GHz Snapdragon CPU, 4.7-inch True HD IPS LCD, 13MP camera, Android 4.0 packaged with the waterproofing, DMB tuning and FeLiCa wallet support local buyers will expect. It’s available in black and red, while we wait for release details in the US on AT&T and Sprint (or another leak of that supposed LG Nexus phone) you can check out the red and black variants rolling out across the Pacific.
Nintendo handhelds are no strangers to new coats of paint — or Pokemon, for that matter — and now the firm is readying a Japan-exclusive Pikachu Yellow 3DS XL (officially the LL for locals). The brightly colored clamshell features a white interior and the electric rodent’s visage on its lid with his tail trailing onto the underside. Priced at ¥18,900 (roughly $ 238), the portable will only be available at Pokemon Center stores throughout the Land of the Rising Sun on September 15th for those who pre-order between August 25 and its release. Gamers in North America may not be able to snap up the uniquely hued system, but this weekend’s launch of the 3DS XL in red and blue could provide a small measure of consolation.
Filed under: Gaming
If you were told you could listen to the radio at a reasonable level in your cubicle and that you were going to be allowed to keep your stapler, this is probably the tape dispenser for you. The T-EM50 by Kokuyo will spit out tape at pre-determined lengths again and again, ensuring a perfect piece of tape every time.
Why would you need this? I suppose if you want to save tape or need a specific length for closing envelopes. Otherwise, this kind of absolute precision seems like a bit of office overkill. However, considering some Japanese ballpoint pens cost $ 57, it’s clear that the land of the rising sun is definitely serious about their supplies.
The T-EM50 costs about $ 200 and will be available in September.Related Posts:
If ultrasonic baby pictures aren’t enough, how about a resin-cast 3D model of your live fetus floating in clear lucite? An Ebisu health clinic, Hiro-o Ladies, is working with a 3D printer called Fasotec to create Tenshi no Katachi – Shape Of An Angel – so the entire family can see what that squirt is doing in your womb.
A company representative waxed all things baby love: “We actually got three expectant mothers to try this out. They said it felt great to see how their babies looked before birth, and to be able to actually hold the inside of their own body. They also enjoyed looking at the model after giving birth, thinking, ‘This is how my baby looked inside me’ and recalling how it felt to be pregnant.”
The service costs 100,000 yen (about $ 1300) and uses a dual-resin extruder to make the baby part and the solidified amniotic part at the same time. You can build the baby in multiple sizes and shapes and you can, using 3D imaging, focus on the whole body or just the face. You can even get little cellphone fobs with your baby floating inside of them. Seriously.Related Posts:
The Kuratas Mecha robot is an art/aspirational nerd project by Suidobashi Heavy Industry. This full-sized Mech robot features a ride-in cockpit, “rocket” launchers, and a “smile controlled” BB Gatling gun. That’s right: when you smile, this thing unleashes thousands of tiny plastic BBs.
Unveiled at Wonder Fest 2012 in Tokyo, you can control the robot with either a set of master-slave joysticks or using a more fluid Kinect interface. It runs something called the V-SIDO (Bushido) OS and includes touchscreen support inside the cockpit as well as 3G wireless connectivity so you can control it via phone.
You can “price out” your own Mech here but rest-assured you won’t be able to drive one of these off the lot any time soon. It’s a one-off project and, as cool as it is, it only moves at about 10KM per hour.
There are some who are suggesting this is CG but considering the AFP/Getty picked up some photos of it, it looks about as real as you can get.Related Posts:
Formation-flying quadrocopters have already given us hours of entertainment, but now they’ve also accomplished something serious. Earlier this month, mini choppers developed at Japan’s robot-loving Chiba University assisted in an emergency drill that simulated an explosion at a chemical plant. Four machines and a host computer (shown off after the break) used spherical markers, image processing and a heck of a lot of math to autonomously scan the site for survivors. The researchers claim the exercise went “very well” and that the local police force would like to “introduce this system” for genuine reconnaissance. That could include monitoring volcanic eruptions or inspecting power lines, but alas there’s no mention yet of using quadrocopter swarms to sneak up on yakuza.
Filed under: Robots
Question by Saxophone101: Should I take Japanese if I want to have a future in robotics? At my school, they only offer German and Spanish. I am currently taking Spanish, but I don’t think I made the right choice. I want to work on robotics for my future job, so I think I might want to take Japanese. If you think that this is the right choice, does anyone know good programs to learn Japanese (I might be able to use it by myself instead of taking Spanish or German).
Answer by AnimeLoverBEST JAPANESE LEARNING PAGE: http://www.learn-hiragana-katakana.com/ I learn japanese as well and it helps me to read japanese. there u can learn the letters of japanese. I don’t remember what was there but it’s a really good site! Tip: look to the right stake to choose what do you want to learn..
What do you think? Answer below!Related Posts:
Remember Jed Henry’s series of Nintendo game characters as traditional Japanese Ukiyo-e woodblock prints? Well he’s back with even more, this time featuring some Pokemon, Kirby, Star Fox, Super Mario, Donkey Kong, Street Fighter (not Nintendo, but WHATEV) and Castlevania action (plus a Link in progress). I didn’t realize Jed actually turns the drawings into real woodblock prints, but he does, and he’s gonna start selling them August 1st. And is it a coincidence my birthday is the 12th?! Yes. Jesus, this isn’t a conspiracy theory.
Hit the jump for the rest, along with a couple videos of Jed cutting and inking one of the actual blocks.