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This survival capsule might save you from the next tsunami or earthquake

After the devastating 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake, Julian Sharpe started thinking about ways to help people survive similar disasters. As CEO of a Seattle aerospace engineering consultancy, he started applying the same principals from his day job to a personal safety system designed to keep people safe during a tsunami. But those ideas remained just that… Read More

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Back in the air: FAA approves 787 battery design changes

After three months of grounding, Boeing’s 787 Dreamliner is set to fly again. The Federal Aviation Administration today approved Boeing’s 787 battery changes and has agreed to lift the grounding order that was placed back in January. After a flurry of overheating lithium ion battery problems and emergency landings in Japan three months ago, the FAA ordered all U.S.-based… Read More

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How this Tokyo retailer used Kinect to turn mannequins into marionettes

You can always count on Japan for the weirdest inventions out there. The latest head-scratcher involves Microsoft’s Kinect and a Tokyo retailer shop called United Arrows. The store created the Marionettebot, which is essentially a Kinect hack that combines the motion-sensing camera with display mannequins. The video gives you a better idea of this crazy… Read More

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Teaming up: Nintendo merging console and handheld divisions to keep up with competitors

For the first time in nearly ten years, there are some big structural changes happening at Nintendo. A report out from Japan-based Nikkei.com notes that Nintendo is combining its handheld and home console divisions with hopes to create “more innovative and attractive products.” Engadget has confirmed the news. 130 employees from the console development team will join… Read More

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Myhrvold firm: Japan crisis shouldn’t deter next-gen nukes

Intellectual Ventures, the Bellevue-based patent firm and invention house run by former Microsoft tech chief Nathan Myhrvold, says in a new blog post that the current crisis surrounding Japan’s nuclear plants shouldn’t cast a shadow over its TerraPower next-generation nuclear initiative. “In response to inquiries concerning TerraPower’s technology, the traveling wave technology is unlike any… Read More

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Using business intelligence to understand the Japan crisis

Business-intelligence technology is typically used to derive meaning and make decisions from data like sales, costs and other corporate trends. But what could BI tell us about the ongoing crisis in Japan? That was the question that popped to the minds of the people at Extended Results, a business-intelligence consulting firm in Redmond (and the… Read More

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Nuclear fallout? Skip the tin foil, grab a cookie sheet

Seattle startup guru Mike Koss of Startpad.org was watching news coverage of the crisis in Japan when he noticed people holding large sheets of cardboard over their heads, covered in tin foil, presumably hoping to protect themselves from radioactive fallout. Which raised an interesting question in his mind: Would that work? As he explains in… Read More

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Latest on Microsoft in Japan

Microsoft is among the many U.S. companies whose operations were impacted by the massive earthquake and tsunami in Japan. Here’s a status report from the company, issued yesterday afternoon and still current as of this morning. We’ll post further updates as they’re available. Microsoft has activated its Disaster Response protocol and is currently accounting for… Read More