Fire Breaks Out At Floating Solar Plant In Japan

Fire breaks out at floating solar plant in Japan

Firefighters are struggling to contain a fire at Japan's largest floating solar power plant, near Tokyo.

Black smoke began billowing from solar panels on the surface of the water at Yamakura Dam in Chiba Prefecture on Monday afternoon.

Volunteers Help Out In Saga After Record Downpour

Volunteers help out in Saga after record downpour

Volunteers have gathered in four cities and towns in Saga Prefecture, southern Japan, to join a clean-up effort after record rain deluged homes and businesses.

In Takeo City, people began signing up at a disaster volunteer center from 9 a.m., and were soon helping residents pull damaged tatami mat flooring and furniture out of homes.

Honda To Roll Out New Front Passenger Airbag In 2020

Honda to roll out new front passenger airbag in 2020

RAYMOND, Ohio—Honda has developed a new passenger front airbag technology that it says better protects occupants by minimizing neck and brain injuries in frontal collisions that occur at different angles. They'll start appearing in new vehicles in the U.S. in 2020.

The new design rethinks the conventional single inflatable compartment airbag design in favor of a unique three-chamber design — a center chamber and two outward-projecting side chambers, connected by a mesh "sail panel" — that engineers liken to a catcher's mitt. It also inverts the V-shape of a conventional airbag and brings the restraining surface closer to the occupant when deployed.

It's designed to cushion and limit the rotational velocity of the passenger's head in a collision. Analysis of brain injury criterion, or BrIC, suggests the new airbag offers 75% reduction in the rotational velocity of the head in a crash. It works with the added slack in modern seatbelts to distribute the force of impact between the seatbelt and airbag and limit injury to the occupant's chest.

Development was based on research into the effects of airbag-protected collisions on brain tissue as measured by MRI scans. Honda developed the new technology, which is co-patented with the auto supplier Autoliv, and validated it at its sprawling R&D facility in central Ohio, which features a full crash-test dummy lab, a pitching sled to study and validate crashworthiness and passive safety systems, and a crash barrier lab to conduct crash tests on full production vehicles.

"We are adding this feature because it's safer and we know it's beneficial to our customers," said Eric Heitkamp, crashworthiness technical leader for Honda R&D Americas.

Honda wouldn't say which model or models would get the new airbag first, or exactly when. The new airbag will be made available to other automakers through Autoliv, Honda officials said. Honda says it was the first automaker to introduce an upward-deploying front passenger airbag in 1990 in the Acura Legend.

Need For Speed Calls Out Toyota For Keeping Supra Out Of Game

Need for Speed calls out Toyota for keeping Supra out of game

The Toyota Supra is one of the most hotly-anticipated sports cars of 2019, and the 86 (pictured) remains a fan favorite in spite of its age and its lack of a turbo, but neither car will be included in the "Need for Speed Heat" game scheduled to come out in November 2019. There are 13 available BMWs, 13 Nissans, a Polestar and even a 1975 Volvo 242 DL, but not a single Toyota. Asked why on Twitter, Toyota's British division responded "not there," adding "you can find our cars in 'GT Sport,' which doesn't promote illegal street racing." The grimacing face emoji drove the point home. It didn't take long for Need for Speed's official account to respond with "pfft nerds." 

pfft nerds — Need for Speed (@NeedforSpeed) August 20, 2019 Someone on Toyota's British social media team must have gotten an earful, because the tweet was quickly deleted and replaced by a much more formal reply. Toyota explained most of the men and women in its social media team fell in love with cars by playing video games, and it wants to see as many of its nameplates star in as many titles as possible, but it's not currently planning on granting licensing rights to anyone other than Gran Turismo Sport. The thread seemingly pins the blame on legal arrangements, not on a quest to fight the democratization of illegal street racing. While the Supra and the 86 are sitting out the game, enthusiasts will have 120 cars at their fingertips when it launches, and the roster will grow when downloadable content becomes available. Toyota fans will have several consolation prizes to choose from, including a 2017 Acura NSX, a 2009 Honda S2000, a 2017 Infiniti Q60S, 1996 and 2015 variants of the Mazda MX-5 Miata and a Nissan 370Z.

Okayama Paper Hands Out Special Edition On Shibuno

Okayama paper hands out special edition on Shibuno

A newspaper in Okayama came out with a special edition just hours after Hinako Shibuno, a 20-year-old golfer from the city in western Japan, captured the Women's British Open.

The special edition, which was handed out in front of JR Okayama Station on Monday morning, ran the headline "Shibuno wins major title," and carried a picture of her smiling broadly while holding up a trophy. People stopped on their way to work or school to take a copy.

Latest Devices For Chilling Out In Summer

Latest devices for chilling out in summer

Summers in Japan can become muggy and scorching hot. Some companies are offering relief, with products designed to keep people cool and comfortable.

About 90 firms have been taking part in a trade fair in Tokyo. Lots of visitors are showing interest in wearable cooling devices.

Nissan Rogue Hybrid Is Out For 2020 Model Year - Autoblog

Nissan Rogue Hybrid is out for 2020 model year - Autoblog

The Nissan Rogue Hybrid is officially dead for the 2020 model year. Nissan sent out a press release early this morning with pricing for the 2020 Rogue, and we noticed the Hybrid model was curiously missing from the sheet. We dropped a line to Nissan to figure out what was going on. Here's the official word from Nissan spokesperson Kevin Raftery: "Nissan will not offer the Rogue Hybrid for model year 2020. We will continue to focus efforts on the best-selling Rogue and new 2020 Rogue Sport." Nissan's hybrid compact crossover was almost a unique idea when it came out for the 2017 model year. Toyota had the RAV4 Hybrid. A redesigned (much improved) version of that is out for 2019, and the new Escape is getting both a Hybrid and Plug-in Hybrid version. We called it "A can't-lose idea" in our First Drive story then, but history has proven our seeing-eye glass wrong. Raftery wouldn't say exact sales figures, but he did say that Rogue Hybrid was "a small part of the overall sales mix for Rogue." If you break it down by cost, the Rogue Hybrid was asking a lot without providing much in return. The base 2019 Rogue Hybrid is a whopping $2,800 more than a regular Rogue. You netted five mpg in the combined EPA rating, which the agency says would save you approximately $200 a year over a normal Rogue in fuel costs. Doing the math, you'd have to drive the car for 14 years before you break even on gas savings. That's a long time driving a Nissan Rogue. Another reason for its demise is the entrance of the new RAV4 Hybrid. The previous RAV4 Hybrid was actually less efficient than the Rogue Hybrid, though it was only beaten by one mpg in comparable all-wheel drive models. A 2019 RAV4 Hybrid gets seven mpg better than the Rogue Hybrid all-wheel drive now. That's a pretty easy decision for folks at the dealership comparing the two side-by-side. You'll still be able to buy the 2019 Rogue Hybrid for some time, but those will be disappearing from lots sooner rather than later. A base Rogue Hybrid SV starts at $28,595, and a fully-loaded SL trim comes in at $33,885. All other non-hybrid models received small price bumps of around $200 in each trim level for 2020.

Nintendo May Fix Joy-con Drift Free Even For Out Of Warranty Customers

Nintendo May Fix Joy-Con Drift Free Even For Out Of Warranty Customers


There have been quite a few reports recently about the Nintendo Switch’s Joy-Con drift. Many players have experienced that their joysticks are becoming unreliable and pointing them in random directions when they’re playing a game even when they haven’t been physically pushed. Nintendo hasn’t acknowledged that this is a defect yet but a new report claims that the company will fix Joy-Con drift for free even for customers who may be out of warranty.

There were reports that Nintendo could face a class action lawsuit over this so perhaps that’s why the company has decided to be proactive about this and fix the issue even for customers who may not be covered by warranty.

Abe Lays Out Post-election Agenda

Abe lays out post-election agenda

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said the results of Sunday's Upper House election show that the people of Japan want political stability. In a news conference, he stressed his commitment to pursuing his political and diplomatic agenda including possibly amending the Constitution.

Abe said, "The ruling coalition gained 71 seats, well over a majority of the contested seats. The voters sent us a strong message to build the nation in the new Reiwa era on the solid political base."

Here's A G63 Amg Replica Built Out Of A Suzuki Jimny - Autoblog

Here's a G63 AMG replica built out of a Suzuki Jimny - Autoblog

When the current generation Suzuki Jimny was first unveiled, parallels were quickly drawn between the Jimny's blocky shape and the design of the legendary Mercedes-Benz G-Class that's been with us for four decades. Aftermarket shops have since taken advantage of the perceived similarity of the two vehicles, and by swapping some exterior components, it's possible to make the Jimny look like a tiny version of the G-Class. Here's an attempt by a Dubai outfit. Fast Car Service has taken a Jimny and grafted on bespoke parts to make it look like a really, really small G63 AMG. There's a lot of new stuff on the front end, including the engine cover with fender-top G-Class indicators next to it, a custom bumper and grille, and a bull bar for very small bulls. The headlights are said to be not from the G-Class, but a Wrangler instead – still, they do a lot for the look, as do the wide arches and the side trim that takes after the Benz. Round the back, the bumper-mounted taillights have also received a G-Class shape. And get this – there are side pipes for the 1.5-liter four-banger. Fast Car Service charges $12,250 for the Geländerization of the Jimny, including custom paint, which is roughly half the price of the base car. You could also probably spend the money dressing up an original early-‘80s 240 GD and making it look like a newer AMG version, but for some reason this seems like a better idea instead. Check out Arab GT's video embedded above. Remember to select subtitles!

Android Q Beta 5 Has Rolled Out To The Essential Phone

Android Q Beta 5 Has Rolled Out To The Essential Phone

While the Essential Phone might not have received the warm welcome that the company hoped it would, the upside is that the company seems to be quite on the ball when it comes to updates. They were one of the first few handset makers to roll out the Android 9.0 Pie update for their phone, and now it seems that they could be on track to do the same with Android Q.

In a tweet by the company, it seems that they have started to push out the Android Q beta 5 update to Essential Phones enrolled under their beta program. We should note that this is merely a beta and is not the final update, but presumably all this testing will help Essential fine tune the update to ensure that when the final build of Android Q is ready, they should have ironed out most of the kinks and have the update ready in a very timely manner.

Fire Breaks Out In Kyoto's Gion District

Fire breaks out in Kyoto's Gion district

A fire has broken out in a renowned entertainment district of Japan's ancient capital, Kyoto.

On Monday night, firefighters were alerted to the blaze that engulfed a two-story wooden building on the main street of the Gion district. The building reportedly houses an eatery.