ashitaka writes: "KDDI has announced that they will be launching a 1Gbps Internet service to single-family home and condo users in October.
The service is supposedly synchronous with 1Gbps in both directions although the article implies that speeds will vary with location. Cost will be 5,985 yen/month (about US$56.50) for the basic Internet and IP phone service. This is intended to compete with NTT who currently control over 70% of the Japanese FTTH market.
Cue the "But, but, America is much bigger!!!" arguments."
ashitaka writes: "The father of the Java programming language received his Order of Canada at a ceremony held in Ottawa this morning. The award honours Canadians who have made significant contributions to society at a regional, national or international level and corresponds the the UK's OBE and CBE and the US's Presidential Medal of Freedom or Congressional Gold Medal.
Gosling's award was announced back in February but it took until now to hold the investiture. He will receive the award from Canada's rather attractive Governor General Michelle Jean.
On a related note, my father is also receiving the Order of Canada at the same time for his work in biomaterials. In particular the development of a cement that made the first practical artificial hip replacements possible."
ashitaka writes: "One month ago my father-in-law died leaving his wife to live alone for the first time in her life. She lives in a somewhat rural part of Japan North of Tokyo in an area with few neighbours. My wife is her only daughter and we live in Canada, her only son is an engineer for Fujitsu and spends many days on the road. We know she misses our kids and we try to get over to Japan as much as possible however more than once every year or two is a stretch.
If she could have a simple device that hooks up to a broadband connection with a small webcam and directional microphone on top of the TV and which can be operated with a couple of buttons on a remote we know she would feel so much more in contact with us and could make sure she *really* is doing ok. (She didn't tell us my father-in-law was hospitalized until he had been in for several months and just kept saying he was out or too busy to come to the phone)
Videophone technologies up to now have required knowledge of computer operation and Instant Messaging software or having to go through the complexities of setting up the traditional video conference. Here we are talking about a 76-year old Japanese granny who has never and will never touch anything more complex than the phone or the TV remote.
I'm looking for a device which can be administered remotely, has 6-8 large "quick-dial" buttons and an emergency button which will try to connect through a list of contacts if required. It shouldn't look like a computer but should support connecting to whatever IM clients would be appropriate. It would be nice if it could turn on the TV when a particular Universal remote button or buttons were pressed to save Obaachan an extra step but I'm not cure if current signalling standards for TVs would support that."