Friday, December 26, 2008

Trade pact with Japan

India & Japan are moving closer in their economic relationship. Trade between the two countries has grown by 250% in the last 4 years yet it lags well behind the trade with China. Indo-Chine trade has already crossed USD 20 Billion but Indo-Japan trade is merely at USD 10 Billion. This is despite the fact that Indo-Chine trade started to accelerate at the same time! The article on livemint.com provides more details below. Editor.

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New Delhi: Trade officials of India and Japan will try again in February to resolve some ticklish issues blocking the tariff-breaking bilateral pact.Commerce ministry officials will engage with their Japanese counterparts to bridge the gap on issues such as recognition of Indian pharmaceutical products by Japan and services.

India is keen on gaining market access through a free trade agreement for the $19 billion (Rs93,100 crore) pharmaceutical industry in Japan, which is one of the major importers in the world.Indian firms say their products are not recognized by Tokyo in terms of quality and safety standards despite the approval by the US authorities.
India also wants wider reach for its services sector, which the Japanese are a bit circumspect about.

While India’s trade with Japan has more than doubled in the last four years from about $4 in 2003-04 to almost $10 billion in the last fiscal, many products such as oilseeds, dairy products, sugar and sugar products face tariff peaks in Japan.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Mind reading technology from Japan


Newswire Reuters has reported that a lab in Japan has created mind reading technology. Indeed a first in the world it is interesting development and who knows one day, may even be able to replace the narco-analysis employed for questioning criminal! Editor

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TOKYO: A Japanese research team said Thursday it had created a technology that could eventually display on a computer screen what people have on their minds, such as dreams.

Researchers at the ATR Computational Neuroscience Laboratories succeeded in processing and displaying images directly from the human brain, they said in a study unveiled ahead of publication in the US magazine Neuron. While the team for now has managed to reproduce only simple images from the brain, they said the technology could eventually be used to figure out dreams and other secrets inside people's minds.

'It was the first time in the world that it was possible to visualise what people see directly from the brain activity,' the private institute said in a statement.
'By applying this technology, it may become possible to record and replay subjective images that people perceive like dreams.' When people look at an object, the eye's retina recognises an image that is converted into electrical signals which go into the brain's visual cortex.

The team, led by chief researcher Yukiyasu Kamitani, succeeded in catching the signals and then reconstructing what people see. In their experiment, the researchers showed people the six letters in the word 'neuron' and then succeeded in reconstructing the letters on a computer screen by measuring their brain activity.
The team said that it first figured out people's individual brain patterns by showing them some 400 different still images