Not getting one for Dad
I want one to keep my Furbies entertained. That should be a riot to watch!
If your granny has gone 'round the bend, Fujitsu has just the item to bring her back to the here and now: a robotic, theraputic teddy bear. This new high-tech teddy — labeled in Google-translatese as a "badger type Sosharurobotto child" — was designed by Fujitsu to treat geriatric dementia, and was revealed at the digital …
My mother has Alzheimer's. It effects her short term memory at the moment. If I provided this to her, she'd be insulted. Alzheimer's is no laughing matter, not for the person it effects or the family around them. It ruins the lives of all those involved. Its interaction with real people that helps, not some silly toy. It would have better if they'd given the money wasted on this to a charity or for research.
There is a 1 in 3 chance your parent or partner will get this terrible disease. It not only effects the old, but people are now getting it in their 40's and 50's.
"Its interaction with real people that helps, not some silly toy."
I don't think that's necessarily true. The teddy can give consistent responses, is non-threatening, and can be used by the patient to safely try out different behaviours (such as strategies for coping with their condition, or physical exercises) that they might be reluctant to do with a human.
But I would expect they need human interaction too, although I'm not a doctor.
I'm assuming this was tested with Japanese test subjects, and of course there's the Japanese gadgetry fetish. I don't suppose this'll even work for westerners, though it might be entertaining envisioning how it might and then what it'd look like.
In the meantime, my brain flashed me images of camo bears for vets and urban camo bears for.... I need to bleach my brain now.
The makers of this are not laughing at Alzheimers, the fact is very little is known about the causes and as a result how best to help. Somebody has tried something a little bit left field which, initial results show, might just help a little bit. Okay so it's not a cure but surely you must welcome anything which has a chance of helping.
It was also produced by a commercial company, not a charity. Okay they will be hoping to make money out of it but it's still better than a lot of things people make money out of (I'm thinking weapons etc)
Now giving it to someone who doesn't have alzheimers, that would be an insult!
Don't think your Nan would say that as she will come from a generation that learnt to spell before the internet. Unless you are a total looser it is spelt LOSING.
Then again she may be from the 60s generation and is thinking that she is dealing with dementia by taking halocinogenic drugs to loose her mind from its normal confines ... and sees this as the only rational explanation as to why a teddy bear is talking to her.
The kids are all socially conditioned by their "robotic"/Computer cuddly bear/terminal/friend.
The dissident group tampers with the programming of one Child's Mentor .
What could possibly go wrong when they extend this to kids?
Maybe Harry Harrison's "I always do what Teddy says" from "Two Tales and Eight Tomorrows"
But also could be a Ray Bradbury or Philip K Dick. Too dark I think for Asimov or A.C. Clarke
Not Teddy by Brian Aldiss. I probably don't want to ever watch Spielberg's AI, the film version.
Not The Rowan, by Anne McCaffrey. A rosier tinted view.
I'm sure I've read all the above.
"Robot therapy offers advantages such as not having any of the hygiene-related problems that can accompany animals and of course, these robots do not bite."
Dog poo to be replaced by leaking or exploding batteries. Thinking about hygiene - these things will need to be washable or they will end up smelling of old people i.e. piss.
Most dogs (and cats, for that matter) appear to be well acquainted with the concept of "not biting the hand that feeds you".
The behavior of family pets is something that Social Services note in their paperwork, when dealing with the elderly. But it can be a complication, when an elderly person is caring for a cat.
At least this contraption doesn't have to be coaxed out of cupboards when the human is rushed to hospital.
Right now, I get the sense of a bit too much hype, but Japan, in particular, does have a significant population time bomb, and they are looking at ways of taking advantage of machines.
So let me get this straight, a motorised teddy bear with a camera in its nose.... so... naughty people can equip it with a wi-fi connection and a little bit of hackery-pokery and voila... not the best item of technology to have in your house....
Although in ur girlfriends house is a different matter i suspect !!!
So, when I've got Alzheimer's and am only able to remember events that happened in my youth whilst lying in a bed, doubtless with white linen sheets, in some institution and a freaky teddy bear starts walking across the room towards me - I'll be expecting it to start bleeding milk...
Japan's parliament has passed legislation allowing Yen-linked stablecoin cryptocurrencies, thus becoming one of the first countries – and by far the largest economy – to regulate a form of non-fiat digital money.
The regulations stipulate that only banks and other registered financial institutions – like money transfer agents and trust companies – can issue the alterna-cash. Intermediaries, or those who are responsible for the circulation of the currencies, will be required to adopt stricter anti-money-laundering measures. The rules also define stablecoins as digital money and guarantee face value redemption.
Japan's Financial Services Agency (FSA) floated this regime in a March 2021 proposal. Parliamentary assent for the proposal means it will come into effect in 2023. The regulations will apply to domestic financial institutions as well as foreign operations that target Japanese users. The research material supporting the decision relied heavily on trends in the US and Europe.
Dust that Japan's Hayabusa2 probe returned to Earth from asteroid Ryugu reportedly contain 20 amino acids, according to Japanese media.
Which is very exciting indeed, because amino acids are the stuff of life. They help to build proteins, act as neurotransmitters in the brain, and are utterly ubiquitous and essential in terrestrial life. Just last month, esteemed journal Nature published research suggesting that amino acids had a crucial role in the evolution of the first self-replicating molecules.
Outlets such as Nikkei report that a Science ministry spokesperson mentioned the presence of amino acids yesterday, with a hint of peer-reviewed work to come but no other detail.
Mitsubishi Electric has admitted to widespread cheating on its internal quality control efforts.
The Japanese giant makes datacenter-scale power supply products, uninterruptible power supplies, high-end optical networking kit, plus plenty of electronics and semiconductor products – so this scandal is of concern to Reg readers. Buyers of other Mitsubishi Electric products, covering building operations, railways, and space systems, also have reason for concern.
One more thing: the company's motto is "Changes for the better." We can't make this stuff up.
Yahoo Japan has revealed that it plans to go passwordless, and that 30 million of its 50 million monthly active users have already stopped using passwords in favor of a combination of FIDO and TXT messages.
A case study penned by staff from Yahoo Japan and Google's developer team, explains that the company started work on passwordless initiatives in 2015 but now plans to go all-in because half of its users employ the same password on six or more sites.
The web giant also sees phishing as a significant threat, and has found that a third of customer inquiries relate to lost credentials.
Ailing Japanese giant Toshiba has revealed it has 10 potential suitors for its possible sale.
A Friday announcement revealed that Toshiba's decision to consider a sale to a private buyer has progressed to the point at which discussions are under way with §0 parties who have expressed an interest in submitting a proposal to buy the company.
Those talks have become sufficiently serious that Toshiba has appointed two sets of advisors – from Mizuho Securities and JP Morgan Securities – to offer financial advice and assist the special committee Toshiba assembled to consider offers.
Sanctions on transfer of chipmaking tech to China might be driving more offshore chipmaking, and therefore failing to achieve strategic goals.
That argument is the central theme of a policy brief titled Preserving the Chokepoints, by the Center for Security and Emerging Technology at Georgetown University.
The document has no beef with the aims of US sanctions, which are to keep China reliant on democratic nations for the chipmaking tech – not actual chips - it needs, while preventing the Communist nation from developing competitive product. Indeed, the document's very name argues that chokepoints are a good idea.
Japan's government has secured expressions of interest from over 100 regional centers willing to host new datacenters, as part of an effort to make the nation's computing infrastructure more resilient.
As pointed out in a January EOI, over 60 percent of Japan's datacenters can be found in or near Tokyo – a city that experiences frequent earthquakes and experienced blackouts in the wake of the 2011 Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami that damaged the Fukushima power plant. Another 24 percent of Japan's datacenters can be found in the Kansai region, near the cities of Nagoya and Kyoto. While Japan has plenty more datacenters on the drawing board, Tokyo is the preferred site for many.
The government has sensibly concluded that digital infrastructure is critical to society and that having over 80 percent of it concentrated in two locales creates obvious risks. Energy consumption is another concern, as authorities feel it is hard to access renewably sourced electricity in the nation's capital.
Google has revealed it will fund a submarine cable connecting Japan and Canada.
The ad giant says the new cable – named Topaz – will be the first to take that route, and the first trans-Pacific cable to land in Canada.
The cable's Japanese landing stations will be in the prefectures of Mie and Ibaraki, both on the main island of Honshu. Canadian landings will be at Port Alberni on Vancouver Island, and in the city of Vancouver (which is not on Vancouver Island).
China finished 2021 holding just four percent of global semiconductor market, research firm IC Insights stated on Tuesday.
That figure puts China at the bottom of the firm's lists, behind Japan's six percent share - down from 49 percent in the early 1990s.
The US tops IC Insights' charts with over half of the global market, followed by South Korea with 22 percent, Taiwan with nine percent and Europe with six percent. The research firm calculates those figures by considering market share across fabless IC companies and integrated design and manufacturing (IDM) concerns that both create and make silicon. The USA’s result reflects is strength in both categories, while South Korea, Europe and Japan rely mostly on manufacturers .
Updated Singapore-based Effissimo Capital Management, the largest shareholder in troubled Japanese tech giant Toshiba, has signed a deal to sell its stake to American private investment firm Bain Capital – if Bain decides to launch a takeover bid.
As explained in a regulatory filing Effissimo submitted on Thursday, the deal does not bind the investment firm or Bain if a better offer, or rival buyer, comes along.
Effissimo vigorously opposed Toshiba's plan to split itself into two companies earlier this month. That plan and a previous strategy to split into three companies were Toshiba's attempts to put years of scandal and underperformance behind it.
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