TotemoTech - 2023-12-28


Hello and welcome to today’s news from TotemoTech on December 28th, 2023. In today’s news, Apple has started its annual Apple Gift Card campaign, offering up to 10% cashback on purchases. The campaign, which runs until January 7th, is available at convenience stores such as Seven-Eleven, Lawson, FamilyMart, as well as TSUTAYA and LINE Pay. The gift cards can be used not only for Apple products but also for iPhone purchases.

Moving on to our next story, McDonald’s has encountered a system glitch that prevents the display of ‘loss’ results for its Fukubukuro, or lucky bag, for the year 2024. The glitch affects the announcement of lottery results on the official McDonald’s app. The Fukubukuro includes various items, such as a ‘potato humidifier’.

Next up, Tokyo University’s Matsuo Laboratory has released free lecture materials on Large Language Models (LLMs). These materials were used during the Tokyo University Summer School’s LLM course held between September and October. If you’re interested in studying LLMs during the New Year holidays, these resources might be worth checking out.

In the field of Japanese language models, ELYZA, an AI startup from the University of Tokyo, has unveiled a new commercial-use Japanese LLM called ‘ELYZA-japanese-Llama-2-13b’. This model outperforms ‘GPT-3.5 (text-davinci-003)’ in terms of Japanese language processing. The release of this model opens up new possibilities for commercial applications.

Shifting gears, a survey conducted by the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology has revealed that over 90% of public elementary and junior high schools in Japan still rely on fax machines for their administrative tasks. Additionally, 90% of documents require physical seals and signatures, highlighting the challenges faced in digitizing school operations.

In telecommunications news, SoftBank has received administrative guidance from the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications due to a fixed-line telephone communication failure that occurred in November. The guidance was issued in response to the second outage, which was caused by the inadequate response to the first incident.

Lastly, if you’re looking for some reading material over the New Year holidays, Hatena has published the ‘After-Reading’ ranking of bookmarked content for 2023 on their social bookmarking service, ‘Hatena Bookmark’. These rankings provide a glimpse into the most bookmarked articles and online content that users plan to read in the future. Visit for the news, yen exchange rates, and a daily Japanese proverb.

Keywords - japan, tech, news