Stories by Tim Hornyak

In Japan, smartphone apps time spring's cherry blossoms

For centuries in Japan, poets have both lamented and extolled the fleeting beauty of cherry tree blossoms, the quintessential symbol of spring.

Fujitsu develops thin, solar-powered IoT beacon

In a move that could help spread IoT (Internet of Things) devices, Fujitsu has developed a thin, flexible IoT beacon that can send out location and ID information to smartphones and other mobile devices.

NTT DoCoMo rolls out smartphone-controlled wheelchairs in Japan

Japanese mobile carrier NTT DoCoMo will start renting out smartphone-controlled wheelchairs to users in Japan amid a larger push to get personal electric vehicles on sidewalks and streets.

About-face: Spurred by Apple, Swiss warm to smartwatches

In Switzerland, "smartwatch" is no longer a dirty word.

Rakuten bolsters e-books by gobbling up distributor OverDrive

Rakuten is trying to inject some black ink into its struggling e-book business with the acquisition of OverDrive Holdings, one of the largest providers of e-books for rent to libraries and schools.

Samsung chip could bring 128GB storage to cheaper phones

Samsung Electronics has developed flash memory storage that could help bring 128GB capacity to smartphones and tablets in the middle and low end of the price spectrum.

Bowing to mobile, Nintendo forms gaming tie-up with DeNA

In a surprise move, Nintendo plans to put games on mobile devices in a tie-up with Japanese mobile gaming giant DeNA.

Home air quality sensor stores data in the cloud

Researchers have developed a connected air quality sensor that measures fine particulate matter (PM) in homes.

Online mall Rakuten to accept bitcoin in US, Germany

Japanese e-commerce site Rakuten will become the latest online shopping mall to take bitcoin, with its services in the U.S., Germany and Austria accepting the digital currency.

Fujitsu's thin heat pipe could let smartphone chips run cooler

If parts of your phone are sometimes too hot to handle, Fujitsu may have the answer: a thin heat pipe that can spread heat around mobile devices, reducing extremes of temperature.

Don't expect big thrills in China's looming console war

When Sony's PlayStation 4 finally enters mainland China this month, it will bring a major global console fight to a country that hasn't seen one in a long time.

Steve Jobs biography describes his disdain for TVs

The latest book about Steve Jobs suggests the late Apple cofounder's dislike of TV was one reason he terminated a 1990s personal computer called the Twentieth Anniversary Macintosh (TAM).

Sony pulls the plug on PlayStation Mobile platform

PlayStation Mobile, Sony's attempt to recreate PlayStation experiences on Android smartphones, tablets and the PS Vita, will close in July.

Fukushima disaster spurs Japan to mass-produce its own drones

Japan has robot chops aplenty. Honda has the world's most sophisticated humanoid robot, Japanese industrial robot makers are among the best, and the country's space agency landed a robot probe on a speeding asteroid and returned samples to Earth.

Sharp's sensitive 70-inch LCD responds to brushstrokes

LCDs aren't ideal for drawing, but you might be hard-pressed to remember that with Sharp's latest displays.