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Smartphones control smart homes at Asian tech fair

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Homes where every device is linked up and can be controlled by smartphone were touted in Japan on Tuesday when Asia’s biggest tech fair threw open its doors.

Manufacturers said more and more items — from ovens to cars — were now able to integrate thanks to better wireless technology, offering convenience and the chance to save energy.

More than 600 companies are showcasing cutting-edge gadgetry at this year’s Combined Exhibition of Advanced Technologies (CEATEC) in Makuhari, near Tokyo.

One of the highlights is “smart innovation” which connects home appliances — from washing machines and air conditioners to security cameras at the door — to mobile devices.

“You will soon be able to use your smartphone or tablet PC as if it is a remote control for all these appliances,” said Shuji Tomaru of Japanese mobile phone carrier NTT DoCoMo.

“If somebody tries to break into your house, you would immediately know because your phone will receive the information.”

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Residents, he said, could also use their phone to switch on the air conditioner before they return home or to turn on a washing machine.

Panasonic, which has already unveiled rice cookers and washing machines that can be controlled from a mobile phone, was Tuesday demonstrating bathroom scales and blood pressure-measuring devices connected to the Internet.

Masaki Matsukura at the company’s booth said that in ageing Japan, where grown children often live far from their parents, these devices can provide reassurance.

“They can be used when you want to check on your father’s health condition, for example,” he said. “You can see the medical data whenever he measures his blood pressure, no matter where you live.”

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Japanese car giant Toyota used its first appearance at CEATEC to show off its new Smart Insect car.

These small electric vehicles can recognise their driver and can be programmed only to operate if they know the person behind the wheel.

And in a move apeing the gestures that are becoming increasingly familiar as the use of tablet computers spreads, the car will do things like open its door at the wave of an arm.

“The Smart Insect is a car which can communicate with you, your home and society,” said Toyota’s Shigeki Tomoyama.

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“You can tell it what you want by making gestures, and the car understands you and will adapt to your personal style.

“We like to think of it as a well-trained pet or a friend who understands you very well.”

CEATEC runs until Saturday.

[Image via Agence France-Presse]

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Republican lawmakers ask judge to destroy smoking gun documents proving GOP’s white supremacy

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Republicans on Monday sought a court order to block damning documents from being used against them in a lawsuit.

"North Carolina Republican lawmakers on Monday asked a court to make sure the files of the now-deceased GOP strategist Tom Hofeller are destroyed, or at least kept secret, instead of being used in a high-profile gerrymandering lawsuit," the Raleigh News & Observer reported.

"The filing comes after the groups behind the lawsuit, including Common Cause, accused Republican lawmakers of making false statements in court in a previous gerrymandering case, when the state’s 2011 maps were ruled unconstitutional," the newspaper noted. "That blockbuster accusation made national headlines and was, it said, based on Hofeller’s files which had been secret until recently."

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Maddow slams Trump’s era of government officials ‘saving the country from the commander-in-chief’ with leaks

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Rachel Maddow on Monday worried about the pattern of government officials leaking to the press to stop President Donald Trump from sabotaging United States' interests to help Russia.

The MSNBC anchor broke down the key questions raised by the bombshell New York Times report that officials were keeping secrets from Trump to protect U.S. interests.

Maddow reminded of a June 2017 story by Michael Isikoff.

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Trump angrily demands newspaper reveal unnamed sources behind bombshell report on his Russia policy

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President Donald Trump on Monday evening again lashed out at The New York Times for reporting on his Russia policy.

"The story in The New York Times about the U.S. escalating attacks on Russia’s power grid is fake news, and the failing New York Times knows it," Trump argued in a tweet sent after 10 p.m.

"They should immediately release their sources which, if they exist at all, which I doubt, are phony," he continued.

"Times must be held fully accountable," he demanded.

https://twitter.com/realDonaldTrump/status/1140804748423118848

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