Archive for the ‘Travel’ Category

I’m in Japan this week for the CEATEC trade show, and had a chance to experience Nissan’s Advanced Technology Center in Japan. They showed us a car that detects alcohol in the air, on your breath, and in your sweat, and won’t let you drive until you sober up. The car can also detect inattentive driving or when you’re becoming sleepy, attempt to wake you up or get your attention back on the road, and get you off the road as soon as possible.

Nissan also showed us their Safety Pedal, which detects when you’re coming up to a car too fast and automatically hits the brakes. They called the detection their "magic bumper." Cool.

I’ve posted some new photos from my trip to Japan. I’m going to post the remaining photos soon, but there’s a limit to how many I’m allowed to upload to Live Spaces. They really need a way to upgrade to more space!

There’s also a news article on the TechPert panel at CEATEC (pronounced "See Tech") here.

I was quoted on CNet about going green – check that article out here.

A few notes about Japan

Posted: September 30, 2007 in Travel
  • There are many Toyotas, but I have seen no Lexus models. I’ve seen one Nissan, but no Infiniti. Mercedes, BMW, few and far between. Alas, I haven’t spotted a single American car.
  • Finding a pharmacy is difficult – and once found, I saw no Advil.
  • There are many McDonald’s.
  • On escalators, people instinctively know to stand to the left, letting those who want to walk down escalators walk/run down the right.
  • They drive on the left side of the road.
  • Most cars are small. I have yet to see an SUV.
  • They care about recycling here. Everywhere you go there are recycling bins. Convenience stores have bins at check-out to place your receipt for when it won’t be kept.
  • McDonald’s doesn’t have mayonaise in packets, but they can put it on your sandwich.
  • Flash memory is about twice as expensive here than in the States.
  • Everything is smaller.
  • I have seen practically no homeless.
  • There is a slot in the hotel room for the room key. Without the room key inserted, the air conditioning and other appliances have no power. Nice way to save energy!
  • It seems to rain all the time here.
  • It is a rarity for stores to open at 9am here. If they aren’t 24-hours, they open up between 10am and Noon.
  • You should speak basic Japanese phrases here – hello / goodbye / thank you / excuse me. If you speak English, you will get smiles, but oftentime little understanding.
  • If security stops you, just keep speaking English. They go away.