Are there any flesh and blood female human beings in the country of Japan that serve as actual girlfriends? There must be, but they certainly aren’t getting much facetime on the Internet. Everywhere we turn, it seems, something inanimate is being manufactured, uploaded to the Internet with breathless excitement and automatically labeled a “girlfriend.”
Here, take a stroll with us as we meet the girlfriends of Japan.
Facebook Home has already passed 500,000 installations on Google Play a week after launch, which just goes to show people love to throw away their friends. [The Next Web]
A cadre of Silicon Valley companies, including Google, Facebook and Microsoft, are quietly trying to kill a privacy bill in California that would give residents the right to know how tech companies are using their personal information. [insideBayArea]
Japan wants to stymie access to TOR by asking ISPs to flat out block it. [Wired]
Comedy Central is planning to host a comedy festival on Twitter because this is what the future is like now. [New York Times]
How technology helped the FBI track down the Boston Marathon bombers. [Washington Post]
It’s baaaaaaaack. [Valleywag]
Law and Order
Google’s autocomplete function is both humorous and harmless, but as it turns out, it’s getting the company in trouble in Japan. A Tokyo District Court ruled yesterday that the search giant must modify its results so it no longer incorrectly incriminates people for things they didn’t do.
Go Go Gadget
Aching for a little skin-on-skin contact, but afraid to initiate anything with an actual living, breathing human being? Totally in love with your iPhone, but at a loss for how to express your affection? We’ve got the solution for you.
It is rare that you stumble across a commercial that gives you a completely new lease on life. That is what happened when Betabeat first watched this two-minute spot for a new Domino’s app in Japan, featuring a partnership with Hatsune Miku, an anime incarnation of a singing synthesizer app called Vocaloid. Hit “play” and Read More
Japan continues to be the world provider of magnificent oddities such as odor-eliminating underwear and a face for your face. Candy lovers, narcissists and candy loving narcissists will delight in the newest Japanese invention: a life size gummy bear of you.
The Future Will See You Now
Have you ever thought, “I’m so handsome, I’d really like to make love to myself.” Now you can come close.
A clever hacker has dispatched Japan’s National Police Agency on a fruitless chase to find him after he sent emails from various computers that included bomb threats against elementary schools. According to Wired, the agency has released a bounty of 3 million Yen (about $34,000) for the capture of the anonymous hacker, who has evaded them for months by sending the threatening messages using a computer virus that allows him to control terminals remotely.
The list of use cases for 3D printing just keeps growing. Making the rounds once more, this time courtesy of the New York Daily News, is an offering from a Japanese company that will sell proud parents-to-be a 3D printed model of their in-womb fetus. The mouse-sized creation comes encased in clear, baby-bump-shaped resin.
Should make for a great paperweight, and/or nightmare fuel for your toddler.
Love in the Time of Algorithms
Love comes in all shapes, sizes and pixels. With emotionally intelligent robots on the way and virtual reality characters capable of catering to your every whim and desire, it’s not difficult to see how the more introverted among us might find themselves in love with a 2D heroin. In Japan, there’s an entire culture surrounding the dudes-in-love-with-inanimate-objects meme: remember that New York Times pillow story?
Still, when you finally resign yourself to marrying a meatbag, you should probably surrender your virtual girlfriend before any jealousy can fester. After all, what human could ever hope to live up to the perfection of an anime character?