Apple brings iTunes Store to Brazil, Latin America

Apple is extending its sphere of influence south of the equator today, with the launch of the iTunes Store in Brazil and a whole slew of Latin American countries. According to Cupertino, the platform will launch with a catalog of over 20 million songs, from both Brazilian and international artists, as well as a selection of more than 1,000 films for rent or purchase. Also included in today’s release are users in Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Peru and Venezuela. Find more details in the full PR, after the break.

Continue reading Apple brings iTunes Store to Brazil, Latin America

Apple brings iTunes Store to Brazil, Latin America originally appeared on Engadget on Tue, 13 Dec 2011 05:31:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Public Pole Dancing in Shibuya Department Store

A week of girls shopping activities at Shibuya Parco opened last night with a party that surprised passers by. Shoppers and those on the street were treated to the talents of girl dance group Tokyo DOLORES. A temporary stage on the street outside the venue became an impromptu pole dancing stage as the dancing troupe opened up the “Shibuya Girls Bunkasai” event that will run for the next week in the department store.


Playing on the halloween timing, the girls strolled though the strore lobby in their trademark goth costumes giving out candy to those in store before heading to the stage. A modern dance interpretation of pole dancing, the set was an impressive mix of acrobatics and dance. The girls entertained the growing crowd with some pretty spectacular movements as they spun themselves around the poles on stage.


Although the whole event is aimed at the female market there were plenty of pleasantly surprised “Salary Men” on their way home from the office amongst them. The girls have started to make quite a name for themselves over the last year performing burlesque type shows in Japan and at venues in America also, opening the Coney Island FIlm Festival and even an impromptu performance on a NYC subway train!


Bunkasai events, a type of “cultural festival” are popular students festival in Japan and the Parco promotion will appeal to the young crowd that populate the Shibuya area. The dancing kicked off a whole week of events at the location with various music and fashion related activities, which is off the back of Japan Fashion Week and in the run up to Tokyo’s Fashion’s Night Out.


Following Tokyo DOLORES also at the event was artist colectiveChim Pom’s Ellie who carried on the party behind the turntable. Chim Pon, who have talked about before, have been gaining a lot more exposure since their Banksy-esque stunt adding the Fukushima nuclear power plant image to Okamoto Taro’s “Myth Of Tomorow” mural in Shibuya station.


The events at Shibuya Parco are on from 27/10 through to 11/6,and details can be found on their site

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Nokia Lumia 800 unboxed: we shed some light on what’s inside

We managed to grab enough time with the Lumia 800‘s retail innards here at Nokia World, revealing some welcome extras including a flexible rubberized case for that affectionate lump of polycarbonate. The requisite data cable, power adapter and headset are all accounted for inside the packaging, which is covered in shots of this dark, not-so-mysterious phone. It’s all a bit more vibrant than the packaging of its other 2011 phone, but is still coated in that unmistakable Nokia blue. We expect to get our excitable digits on a review model very — very — soon, but until then check out more shots of what we can expect to get alongside Nokia’s premier Windows Phone handset.

Nokia Lumia 800 unboxed: we shed some light on what’s inside originally appeared on Engadget on Thu, 27 Oct 2011 09:34:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Fashion Brands Transform Ravaged Rice Fields

We have previously talked about the number of innovative projects that have sprung up in the wake of the events in North Japan. Another fantastic project that caught our eye at the recent Tokyo Fashion Week, and is already harvesting results, aims at turning damaged lands in the Sendai area into fertile grounds for fashion. The big collaboration project that now includes more than 20 apparel manufacturers and retailers, was initiated by people from the textile and fashion industry such as Kondo Kenichi of Taishoboseki Industries,, in order to commence cotton farming in Tohoku area, where hundreds of hectares of land were devastated by the tsunami.


In the tsunami the rice paddies in these areas were not only destroyed, but left with high concentration levels of saline. “When the salt concentration level in the soil exceeds 0.2% it is impossible to grow rice on it, but cotton can grow on soil with 0.5% to 0.6% salt concentration” says Kondo.
The attempt of the Tohoku Cotton Project aims to create long term employment for the rice farmers by planting cotton crops on what used to be rice farms before the disaster. The cotton seeds were provided to affected farms and Taishoboseki buys up the cotton crops to spin them. The spun yarn is used to create commercial products and will eventually reach consumers.


Actual product sales are expected to commence in January 2012 and since the demand is already higher than anticipated, Taishoboseki plans to blend harvested cotton with other organic cotton to create approximately 20 tons of yarn.

The project is generating a lot of attention, especially after the recent Tokyo Fashion Week where top fashion designer Yuma Koshino announced her participation in the project and will be launching her products together with Japan Airline (JAL) for her next collection.


Other apparel brands such as Urban research, Lee and Lowrys Farm to name a few, are also delivering their message “Don’t forget Tohoku! We are still alive!” with the vision of seeing in the near future a sea of white cotton fields that spread far and wide all over the Sendai area and more importantly give residents employment and a new sustainable lifestyle.

Images courtesy of Openers

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Amazon lockers come to NYC, no more getting caught by UPS in your PJs

Amazon Lockers NYC

First Seattle, then London, now the Big Apple — Amazon’s delivery lockers are starting to pop up all over. As we’ve explained before, the lockers are basically giant, automated PO boxes, designated exclusively for Amazon purchases. If you choose to add a locker location to your address book (go check your account settings to see if the option is available to you yet), your package will be crammed into one of these kiosks and you’ll be given a code to unlock a particular slot at the location of your choice. So far there are eight scattered around Manhattan in Rite Aides, D’Agostinos and Gristedes. We haven’t wandered out of our secret lair to get photographic evidence of the drop off locations yet (we prefer to have our Amazon purchases left at the gate under the watchful eye of a turret), but we think the screen shot we took is proof enough that we’re not pulling your leg. Still, if you’re afraid the UPS guy might swing by while you’re still in your jammies this seems like a pretty nice solution.

Amazon lockers come to NYC, no more getting caught by UPS in your PJs originally appeared on Engadget on Mon, 17 Oct 2011 01:24:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Monocle Cafe Tokyo Launch Party

Global affairs magazine Monocle continued it’s expansion into new sectors over the weekend, opening up it’s first ever Monocle Cafe. Friday saw the opening party of the new Mens Hankyu department store in Tokyo which houses the new Monocle Cafe along with 8 floors of luxury mens brands.


The spacious cafe, in the basement of the department strore, also houses a small MONOCLE shop which is an addition to the other two MONOCLE shop’s in Osaka and in Tokyo’s upscale Aoyama neighborhood in the FrancFranc store. Natural materials have been used in the design of the interior which features furnishings from Japanese classic furniture brand Maruni, whose furniture was designed in collaboration with Naoto Fukasawa. The whole design concept is in keeping with Monocle’s image and branding, a modern approach which also takes into account traditional methods, clean and simple.


Regular visitors to Japan Trends will also remember the smiling face of Eiichi Kunitomo, pictured below. Kunitomo is the barista and man behind Omotesando Koffee, and he has been put in charge of overseeing the coffee and sweets menu at the new Monocle Cafe. This is certainly good news for coffee lovers who can expect the same high level of coffee found at Kunitomo’s own tiny space, (with the actual Monocle Tokyo office being just behind Omotesando Koffee, I expect frequent visits have certainly influenced this!).


“We’ve long been interested in doing a cafe and are excited by the prospects of doing something with such a talented team in Tokyo. We want the Monocle cafe to offer the best tastes and experiences found on our editors’ travels and this means great coffee, cosy classic dishes and excellent desserts,” says Tyler Brûlé, MONOCLE’s editor-in-chief.


The opening of the cafe comes as Monocle also launch their own international 24-hour web radio service, Monocle 24. The service launches live today and features “a pacy mix of current affairs, business, culture and music”.

The Monocle Cafe is located in the Hakyu MEN’S department store, B1 and is open 10am – 11pm.

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Google to launch MP3 store in coming weeks?

Details are still scarce here, but the New York Times is reporting that Google is about to launch a new MP3 store, as part of its ongoing foray into the music business. According to sources within the industry, the platform, not surprisingly, would be directly linked to Google Music Beta and may launch within the next few weeks — perhaps even before Apple unveils iTunes Match, at the end of this month. It remains to be seen, however, whether Big G will be able to finalize negotiations with record labels and publishers before launching the initiative in earnest — a potentially major hurdle, considering Google’s recent track record. As you may recall, previous negotiations over a proposed locker-type storage service ultimately broke down earlier this year, amid concerns over licensing and illegal file-sharing. As one label executive told the Times, the recording industry desperately wants to “make sure the locker doesn’t become a bastion of piracy.” An MP3 store, of course, isn’t exactly a radical proposal, but its future will likely hinge upon Google’s ability to mend relations with a sector it recently characterized as “unreasonable and unsustainable.”

Google to launch MP3 store in coming weeks? originally appeared on Engadget on Fri, 14 Oct 2011 13:04:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Motorola unveils rugged ET1 Android tablet for enterprise types (video)

Well, here it is. After months of beta tests, Motorola’s ET1 tablet was finally unveiled today, bringing a taste of Android 2.3 to the enterprise market. Powered by a 1GHz dual-core CPU, this rugged slate packs 8GB of internal storage, along with a 32GB microSD card slot, and features a seven-inch, Gorilla Glass capacitive touchscreen with 1024 x 600 resolution. Weighing in at 1.4 pounds, the ET1 also boasts an eight megapixel rear camera, a front-facing shooter designed for videoconferencing and 720p video capabilities. Plus, retailers can choose to outfit the tablet with a host of accessories, including a barcode reader, magnetic stripe reader, handstrap and holster. At this point, the ET1 boasts only WiFi connectivity, though Motorola Solutions’ Sheldon Safir says a Wide Area Network version is in the works. The manufacturer didn’t offer a specific price, but Safir tells Computer World that bulk purchases should cost less than $1,000 by the time the slab hits the market, later this year. Head past the break for a full platter of PR, along with a demo video.

Continue reading Motorola unveils rugged ET1 Android tablet for enterprise types (video)

Motorola unveils rugged ET1 Android tablet for enterprise types (video) originally appeared on Engadget on Mon, 10 Oct 2011 11:05:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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PayPal to open NYC pop-up store next month, showcase new mobile payment services

The idea of a physical PayPal store may seem somewhat counterintuitive, but that’s exactly what the company is planning to open next month, in Manhattan. As TechCrunch recently revealed, the forthcoming pop-up store is slated to open its doors on November 1st, as part of a campaign designed to promote PayPal’s new slate of in-store technologies. Located at 174 Hudson Street in Tribeca, the outlet will also sport a large QR code on its exterior, which passers-by can scan with their smartphones to find more information on the company’s new mobile payment services. Inside, merchants will be able to better familiarize themselves with PayPal’s commercial offerings, which include location-based promotions, cross-device payment services and real-time inventory checks, among others. The store will be open for about three and a half months, and PayPal’s new features should be making their way to physical retailers in the near future. No word yet on specific partnerships, though the company is expected to announce them soon.

PayPal to open NYC pop-up store next month, showcase new mobile payment services originally appeared on Engadget on Tue, 04 Oct 2011 12:17:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Cafe Uniforms Become Designer T-Shirts

The popular Japanese social commerce recycle shop and website Pass The Baton has come up with another great concept of turning the old and used into design desirables. The new idea will see the staff uniforms from Tokyo’s popular cafe Soup Stock, recycled as new t-shirts featuring exclusive designs.


Both Soup Stock and Pass the Baton are the brain child of the Masamichi Toyama, who also runs the neck tie clothes range Giraffe. Pass the Baton works as a kind of vintage flea market, where members can sell there items which they have become attached to but no longer need, putting a note with a story of why they loved the product being sold. Mostly a social web commerce site they also have two stores in the fashionable districts of Omotesando and Marunouchi (both designed by Wonderwall’s Masamichi Katayama).


Toyama is well known for his design and artistic flair having designed all 35 of the Soup Stock cafe interiors himself. The t-shirts, which would normally go to waste as used items, have been redesigned and given a new lease of life by designer Tetsuya Chihara, who has worked on a number of fashion designs in the past. There are 4 different designs to choose form including “Tokyo Borscht”, my personal favourite t-shirt name!


The idea of taking iconic old uniforms and redesigning them into limited edition items is a great idea. This could easily be expanded into other areas such as the delivery companies uniforms or convenience store shirts. Collaborating with famous designers this wouldn’t just be a nice bit of CSR for the companies but actually a decent source of revenue from what would normally just go to waste.

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