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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.

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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.

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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.”

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

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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.

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[Image via Agence France-Presse]

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… then let us make a small request. Like you, we here at Raw Story believe in the power of progressive journalism — and we’re investing in investigative reporting as other publications give it the ax. Raw Story readers power David Cay Johnston’s DCReport, which we've expanded to keep watch in Washington. We’ve exposed billionaire tax evasion and uncovered White House efforts to poison our water. We’ve revealed financial scams that prey on veterans, and efforts to harm workers exploited by abusive bosses. We’ve launched a weekly podcast, “We’ve Got Issues,” focused on issues, not tweets. Unlike other news sites, we’ve decided to make our original content free. But we need your support to do what we do.

Raw Story is independent. You won’t find mainstream media bias here. We’re not part of a conglomerate, or a project of venture capital bros. From unflinching coverage of racism, to revealing efforts to erode our rights, Raw Story will continue to expose hypocrisy and harm. Unhinged from corporate overlords, we fight to ensure no one is forgotten.

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John Oliver cites Donald Trump’s final offer for Greenland: ‘$200 and I’ll throw in Don Jr.’

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"Last Week Tonight" host John Oliver's favorite highlight of the week was, of course, President Donald Trump's decision that he wanted to buy Greenland.

In his opener Sunday, the HBO host said that he wasn't all that surprised given Trump's track record.

"Of course, he f*cking did. Of course, he did. Greenland is icy, distant and autonomous is exactly Trump's type," Oliver said, showing a photo of Trump with the first lady.

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Florida teacher removed after bizarre rant about students not standing for the pledge

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Students were faced with a white-board rant in a classroom attacking anyone not standing up for the Pledge of Allegiance.

The moment went viral locally on Thursday after students posted Daniel Goodman‘s “inappropriate” message to students at First Coast High School in Duval County, Florida, The Atlanta Black Star reported.

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Angry Minnesota farmer bashes ‘insulting’ Trump comments that ‘we’re great patriots’ during his trade war

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President Donald Trump has insulted at least one Minnesota farmer by his claim that farmers are "great patriots" who want him to continue his trade fight against China.

"This wound is self-inflicted, by our president," said Gary Wertish, who is the Minnesota Farm Bureau president. "We definitely agreed with it in the beginning. But it doesn’t appear that there’s a plan B. Some of the callous comments come, especially from the president, you know, that farmers are 'winning,' we’re 'great patriots,' that’s very insulting. That’s coming from someone who never has faced the challenges of a family farmer. I go into the bank and tell the lender I can’t make the payment because we lost our market? The banker is going to tell me you don’t have to make your payment because you’re a patriot."

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