Rakuten to expand free mobile phone trial before full-service launch


Japanese e-commerce giant Rakuten Inc's mobile phone unit said Thursday it will expand its free mobile phone trial service, currently limited to 5,000 users in major cities, ahead of the April launch of a full-scale wireless service. Rakuten Mobile Inc. said it will provide the free service to an additional… Read


GM's Cruise heads down new road with new robotaxi concept

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General Motors' self-driving car company will attempt to deliver on its long-running promise to provide a more environmentally friendly ride-hailing service in an unorthodox vehicle designed to eliminate the need for human operators to transport people around crowded cities. The service still being developed by GM's Cruise subsidiary will rely… Read


PayPay announces 40% bonus points campaign


Japan’s cashless revolution continues. The electronic payment app PayPay has announced that a new 40% Bonus Points Campaign that will run from Feb 1-29. Photo: grape Japan All across Japan, customers who use PayPay at over 6,500 restaurants and cafes, and 21,000 vending machines will receive 40% of the purchase… Read


Central banks join to study possible digital currencies


Major central banks have joined together to explore whether they should issue digital currencies as the use of cash declines and more people turn to electronic forms of paying. The study group is made up of the European Central Bank, the Bank of Japan, the Bank of Canada, the Bank… Read


Google CEO calls for regulation of artificial intelligence


Google’s chief executive called Monday for a balanced approach to regulating artificial intelligence, telling a European audience that the technology brings benefits but also “negative consequences.” Sundar Pichai’s comments come as lawmakers and governments seriously consider putting limits on how artificial intelligence is used. “There is no question in my… Read


Subaru sets mid-2030s target to sell only electric vehicles worldwide


Subaru Corp set a target on Monday for all the vehicles it sells worldwide to be electric by the first half of the 2030s, in a move toward its long-term goal of a carbon-free society. The news comes as Subaru has strengthened capital ties with Toyota Motor Corp, in a… Read


Solar-powered barge a key 'interceptor' for plastic waste


Scooping waste from a Malaysian river to stop it reaching the sea, a solar-powered barge named the "Interceptor" is the latest weapon in a global battle to rid the world's waters of plastic. Trash is being dumped into seas and rivers in enormous quantities, polluting vital habitats, endangering a kaleidoscope… Read


SpaceX launches, destroys rocket in astronaut escape test


SpaceX completed the last big test of its crew capsule before launching astronauts in the next few months, mimicking an emergency escape shortly after liftoff Sunday. No one was aboard for the wild ride in the skies above Cape Canaveral, just two mannequins. The nine-minute flight ended with the Dragon… Read


'Invisible computing' startup unveils smart contact lens


A startup focused on "invisible computing" has unveiled a smart contact lens which delivers an augmented reality display in a user's field of vision. The Mojo Vision contact lens offers a display with information and notifications, and allows the user to interact by focusing on certain points. The rigid contact… Read


Tokyo Gas opens new hydrogen station ahead of Olympics


Tokyo Gas Co Ltd has opened its fourth and largest hydrogen refueling station, capable of refueling 20 fuel-cell (FC) buses daily, as part of a drive to showcase the nation’s clean energy technology at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. “Many people from all over the world will come to Tokyo for… Read

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