After rough IPO, concern for Apple supplier Japan Display

Japan Display, the world's largest smartphone display supplier, had a rough IPO on Wednesday.

When Japan Display (JDI) listed its shares in a $3.1 billion initial public offering Wednesday, the price at opening dropped 15 percent below the IPO price, as reported by Nikkei.

This despite the fact that the IPO price of 900 yen (about $8.87) was at the lower end of the suggested IPO range, according to The Wall Street Journal.

And the share price got as low as 706 yen on Wednesday.

"The [IPO] pricing was wrong," Amir Anvarzadeh, director of Japan … Read more

Kaiju monsters go high-fashion for 'ultra' shopping center debut

The ultimate superheroine Mother of Ultra is the perfect supermodel for an ad campaign to celebrate the "ultra renewal" of 97 stores in the Amu Plaza Hakata shopping center in Japan.

Mother of Ultra, as well as kaiju monsters Alien Baltan, Dada, and Pigumon strut their stuff on the catwalk. In other videos, Mother of Ultra invades the city of Fukuoka itself, modeling the latest fashions most likely found in the newly updated shopping center. … Read more

Japan: 'Bitcoin isn't a currency'

The popular virtual currency Bitcoin isn't actually a currency, according to the Japanese government.

The country's cabinet approved an official document on Thursday that stated, "Bitcoin isn't a currency" and therefore won't be regulated as such, according to The Wall Street Journal. Additionally, commercial banks are forbidden from providing the digital currency to customers.

The main rub for the Japanese government is that Bitcoin isn't regulated by any official body. And, it's unclear which ministry would provide oversight of the cryptocurrency and how that ministry would go about putting regulations in place.… Read more

Japan's response to Mt. Gox Bitcoin mess: Taxes, report says

Japan has plans to step in now that the Mt. Gox mess has affected Bitcoin owners all over the world, a new report claims.

The Japanese government by the end of this week will outline policies on regulating Bitcoin, Reuters reported, citing people who claim to have knowledge of its plans. A key component in that strategy could be to tax Bitcoin transactions, though it's unclear how the anonymous currency will be so easily taxed. In addition, Japan will limit banks and securities firms in their handling of Bitcoin by ensuring they don't take on the currency as … Read more

Beautiful Tengami papercraft game plays like a dream

Sometimes a game comes along that urges you to take your time -- to soak up the gorgeous atmosphere, explore the world, and solve puzzles at a leisurely pace. It's about the journey, not the finish line.

The Room is one such game. Year Walk is another. And now we have one more to add to the list: the newly released Tengami from Nyamyam.

And yet, Tengami isn't quite like any game we've seen. It's based on the idea of a pop-up book and set in a sort of mythical feudal Japan. You control a young Japanese man -- although the actual details of the plot remain to be unfolded as the story progresses, with very minimal exposition and even fewer directions. … Read more

Smartphones, smart TVs, and now... smart diapers?

Imagine this: You're sitting in your living room watching the season premiere of "Game of Thrones" when suddenly you get a text message from your 2-month-old daughter saying her diaper needs to be changed. No, she's not a super-smart infant who learned how to text at birth -- but her diaper is pretty smart and it knows when it's wet and needs your help -- even if winter is finally coming right this second.

That future that might be possible, thanks to a new invention from Takao Someya and a team of researchers at the University of Tokyo. This team, in July 2013, announced in the journal Nature that they'd come up with flexible circuits, thinner than a piece of plastic wrap, that could be implanted in the body to monitor body temperature or blood pressure or implanted on the roof of the mouth to be used as a touch pad for quadriplegics.

Now, they've applied their research to a truly worthwhile problem -- knowing when a diaper is soiled without having to undress the wearer first. … Read more

Sony said to be in talks to sell PC business to Japan fund

Sony is in talks to sell its money-losing PC business to an investment fund and focus on smartphones, according to a Japan-based report.

The Japanese electronics giant is in discussions with Japan Industrial Partners, an investment fund, to "unload its sluggish personal computer operations," according to a report in Wednesday's Nikkei.

The fund will establish a new company that would take over Sony's entire PC business, the report said. The sale price is estimated to be 40 billion yen to 50 billion yen ($391 million to $489 million), Nikkei reported.

An earlier rumor that Sony was … Read more

How are new iPhones faring in Japan? NTT Docomo offers clues

NTT Docomo provided some visibility into iPhone sales in Japan, when that country's largest carrier reported earnings on Friday. Most of the news -- but not all of it -- was good.

First, the bad news. Docomo, which began offering the iPhone for the first time in the fall of last year, said group operating profit fell 2 percent in the April-December period and sales were slightly off, according to a Nikkei report.

The addition of the Apple phone also increased Docomo's "discount costs," according to Nikkei.

The Good news: So-called "customer outflows" (to … Read more

KitTea cat cafe welcomes feline friends

Ever sit in a cafe and wish you were surrounded by cats staring at you while you sipped your tea? Or perhaps you wish the Kittens in Teacups blog could come to life right before your eyes? Those feline fantasies can become reality with a new cat cafe called KitTea coming to San Francisco this year.

Founded by cat enthusiasts Courtney Hatt and David Braginsky, KitTea promises to be part "gourmet tea house" and part "cat and human oasis" that will "create a Zen retreat where people and cats can hang out to the benefit of both -- through the vehicle of a teahouse." … Read more

Boeing 787 battery: Burned again

Boeing says it is working with Japan Airlines to get yet another Boeing Dreamliner 787 up and running after maintenance crew members witnessed smoke coming from the battery Tuesday afternoon in Japan.

A Boeing spokesman said the issue is not related to last year's battery design problem, which grounded the entire fleet for months after batteries on two planes, including one from Japan Airlines, caught fire. Boeing eventually redesigned the battery compartment to address the batteries overheating.

The Federal Aviation Administration said it is working with Boeing and the Civil Aviation Bureau of Japan to investigate the new battery … Read more