In Japan, contracts are signed using a hanko, an engraved stamp. (I bought one for the name "Mark" just for fun when I was in Japan. We also bought one for my daughter's karate teacher and he loves it, and now uses it on the certificates his gives his sudents. You can order a hanko online.)
Japan Sugoi writes that Mitsubishi Pencil has announced a hanko with built-in fraud protection:
Non Japanese people usually sign legal contracts or other important documents in ink, but Japanese traditionally prefer an engraved stamp called a hanko. One concern though, is that the stamped signature, usually the owner’s name, can be easily forged. Mitsubishi Pencil’s Security Enhanced Personalized Hanko stamp ãƒ€ã‚¤ãƒ¤ãƒ«ãƒãƒ³ã‚¯å° alleviates the risk of fraud by adding a two-digit dial that creates a series of marks around the printed name, making it difficult for an unauthorized person to copy someone’s stamp. It also wards against theft by requiring a code to be entered before use.
I'm not sure how people can tell whether or not a correct combination was used, though. perhaps a Japanese reader can explain.
You’d be forgiven for thinking the videocassette format long-dead, but it turns out that Betamax is still around. Sony is finally going to withdraw tapes from sale, bringing a 40-year story to an end. The last recorders were sold in 2002. ベータビデオカセットおよびマイクロMVカセットテープ出荷終了のお知らせ [Sony; via The Verge]
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