Softbank Unveils Radiation Detector Smartphone / Fear = Profit

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    Softbank has unveiled the Pantone, a new smartphone that has a built-in radiation detector. It’s being marketed to people who are afraid of Fukushima radiation:

    “The threat from the nuclear accident cannot be seen by the human eye and continues to be a concern for many people, especially for mothers with small children,” said Softbank founder and president, Masayoshi Son, standing in front of an aerial photo of the crippled plant.

    Japan Mobile Tech has noted that many radiation detectors suffer from serious accuracy problems and proper calibration is extremely important:

    When collecting data for scientific studies, analytical equipment must be calibrated prior to each usage. For quality control during use, calibration standards must be intermixed with experimental samples to detect and correct any instrumental drift.

    Calibration would also be needed after any shock to the device, the kind that would be sustained by, for example, dropping a mobile phone.

    Any other way of doing it is just playing around, and toys are for playing.

    A JapanProbe reader has pointed out: “Actually all mobiles detect radiation…via their signal strength bar.”

    14 comments - What do you think?  Posted by James - May 30, 2012 at 9:03 am

    Categories: Technology

    Japanese H-IIA Rocket Carries South Korean Satellite into Space

    A couple days ago, a JAXA/Mitsubishi Heavy Industries H-IIA rocket carried a South Korean satellite into space. It was the first time a Japanese rocket carried a foreign satellite into orbit, marking Japan’s entry into the commercial space race.

    Here a video clip of the launch:

    “With the success of this commercial launch, we hope to build customers’ trust and get the next order, entering a business dominated by European Ariane and Russian Platon rockets,” said MHI’s Kenichi Nakamura.

    The South Korean institute paid several billions of yen (tens of millions of dollars), “the cheapest price in an international auction”, the Sankei Shimbun reported, citing the institute. MHI declined to confirm the report.

    On Saturday, America’s SpaceX, a company that offers satellite launches at half the price of an H-IIA launch, attempted to to send the first commercial spaceship to the International Space Station. However, problems were detected and the launch had to be aborted a second before lift-off.

    2 comments - What do you think?  Posted by James - May 21, 2012 at 9:34 am

    Categories: Technology

    Panasonic’s Hair-Washing Robot

    Finally, a robot that can shampoo your head and massage your scalp (apparently without killing you in the process!):

    Panasonic presents its Head Care Robot. The robot is designed to support staff at hospitals and care facilities with hair washing. The robot will undergo trials for 2 months at Hair Salon Super Seo in Nishiyama City, Hyogo Prefecture, Japan.

    2 comments - What do you think?  Posted by James - May 10, 2012 at 9:36 am

    Categories: Technology

    Nuclear Option – A Documentary About Energy

    Here is the trailer for “The Nuclear Option,” a interesting-looking documentary that explores the questions surrounding the use of nuclear energy:

    Fear, confusion, and uncertainty have long polarized the debate around nuclear energy, making it a casualty of ignorance and poor association. Experts agree a safe, clean, and abundant alternative source of energy is required to meet the demands of explosive world population growth and rapid depletion of natural resources. What’s more, humanity’s reliance on a fossil fuel based economy has more than proved to be not only completely unsustainable, but also ecologically devastating. Renewable energy sources such as wind, solar, and hydroelectric power are promising, but lack the efficiency of scale to sustain the expected living standard of modern humans now and in the future. Faced with a slew of misconceptions and mired in a sea of bad public relations, nuclear energy has the ability to be the number one contender in the fight for an energy solution, but it faces an uphill battle. However, despite the negative imagery, there is qualitative and quantitative evidence to support the idea that from the get-go, nuclear energy has gotten a bad rap. The risks behind nuclear power need to be assessed alongside its benefits in an analysis that considers our values as a country, as the future of sustainable energy relies on helping the public determine the difference between science fiction and science fact. Our desire for economic progress has to be balanced by our good stewardship toward nature and humanity. Properly weighed with the values of modern industrialized society, nuclear energy stands to contribute powerfully to both of these ends.

    Meanwhile, all of Japan’s nuclear reactors have been turned off. Although efforts are being made to fill the gap in energy output with massive imports of carbon-emitting natural gas, severe electricity shortages are expected this summer.

    [via Atomic Insights]

    1 comment - What do you think?  Posted by James - May 8, 2012 at 10:02 am

    Categories: Technology

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