Friday, February 28, 2014

Sequels in February 2014

February 17, 2014
Fifty Genders available in Facebook

Unfortunately, widened options of the genders has not been available on Facebook in Japan yet.
Facebook is now the center of attention due to the news that it got Whatapp, a service provider of short message. Whatapp is not well known in Japan, because we used short mail services provided by each carrier of telecommunication formerly. Nowadays Line has overridden this position.

February 7, 2014
Bitcoin in chaos

Bitcoin is still now in havoc. Mt. Gox, one of the largest exchanges dealing with Bitcoin, is nearly closed. There is a rumor that the chairman of Mt. Gox ran away with Bitcoin he kept. The situation is extremely unclear.

February 2, 2014
Election in Thailand and Tokyo

The result of the election in Thailand has yet to be determined. The Election Commission declared that the conflict should be resolved by the Constitutional Court.

CCTVcom: Thai electoral body to seek court ruling on new election decree

On the other hand, Masuzoe, the new Tokyo governor made an initial statement about the administration of Tokyo. He committed to making any efforts to establish Tokyo as the No. 1 City in the world.

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Saving the UK from FT

I subscribed the Financial Times again for one month with a 1 Euro sale. A few years ago, I was reading this leading newspaper regularly, but I hardly understood it. So this is the second challenge of mine.

FT is characterized by its unique and ironic style of articles. For example, I read an article describing the way to save the UK, written by Simon Kuper.

The Financial Times: How to save the UK (subscribers only)

The author pointed out eight issues below for the UK to deal with:

1. Accept that you are a small country.
2. Move the capital.
3. Donate the British army to the United Nations, to serve as the UN’s permanent peacekeeping force.
4. Declare a “special relationship” with the Caribbean islands of St Kitts and Nevis.
5. Keep the UK in the European Union by creating a ludicrous front movement advocating British exit, or “Brexit”.
6. Return the public schools to their original purpose.
7. Sanction bad bankers like we sanction dictatorships.
8. Ban separate hot and cold taps.

There are several topics the UK is facing, from its historical cognition to current financial problems with its army. Some of them are no more than jokes, or parodies. Nonetheless, they include some specific controversies. I think a couple of these challenges are applicable to Japan.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Galaxy S5 launch

Samsung published Galaxy S5, a flagship model of a Smartphone, in Barcelona in Feb 24, 2014.

New Vision: Samsung launches Galaxy S5 smartphone

Galaxy S series are luxury devices. It is often compared to the iPhone. However, Galaxy S4, a previous model could not attract consumers so much. Although the sales reached 40 million, Samsung seemed not to be satisfied.

The Inquiere: Samsung disappointed with Galaxy S4 sales despite hitting 40 million milestone

Instead, Galaxy S5 epuips some newly gimmicks in it. You can use a fingerprint scanner attached to the start button to unlock the screen. It looks like merely a copy of Apple. However, Paypal is also available through the sensor in Galaxy S5. Paypal is a major instrument of money transaction utilized in many retailers. It helps you to enjoy internet shopping with ease and security.

In addition, a pulse rate sensor is stuck at the back of Galaxy S5. To be honest, I am doubtful about the usability of it. You have to put your finger on the phone for a few second to evaluate the pulse rate. This motion is so strange that you can hardly use it during running or other physical activity. I recommend you to choose a wearable device for this purpose.

The new Galaxy has changed its shape. The cover has a feeling like leather, according to the media. It seems gorgeous, though some people will dislike it. It is also impressive that Galaxy S5 has gained waterproof.

Now I am wondering if I will buy Galaxy S5. Perhaps I will not move to it, since my current Galaxy SIII is still working very well.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Lecture about DSM-5

Today, I attended an academic meeting organized by one of my colleagues. There I performed a lecture about DSM-5.

DSM-5, Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of mental disorders 5th edition, is a textbook to describe the criteria of mental disorders published by the American Psychiatric Association (APA). This manual is established as a global standard of psychiatric diagnosis, compared with ICD-10 (International Criteria of Disease, 10th edition) by the World Health Organization (WHO).

My past entry: DSM-5: New mental disorders are approaching

The DSM is revised in 2013 but it has not translated into Japanese yet. So, we decided to learn about it in this meeting. Fortunately, the meeting resulted in a great success. I am thankful to the participants.

I read several articles regarding DSM-5 in advance, to know there are lots of controversy, from how to define each mental disorder to what is a mental disorder. DSM-5 seems to have not fully accepted to psychiatrist even in the US. Some famous researchers such as Allen Frances, past chairman of DSM-IV, are opposite to using DSM-5. I guess the members of the task force of DSM-5 made great efforts.

Indeed, I think DSM-5 is well-made criteria without some exception. It is impossible to create a perfect criteria. Based on the point of view, APA has declared considering to revise it soon to DSM-5.1. I wonder when will the next revision be completed. If too sooner, clinicians must be confused. If too late, clinicians will not able to accept the new one.

This kind of Version-up method is similar to computer software. Microsoft Windows was updated to version 8.1 a few months ago. However, the feedback of clinical experience to the organization of changing criteria requires much time. It is a decisive difference from software. Can DSM update itself through gathering data in the near future?

Monday, February 24, 2014

Venezuela crisis

Besides Ukraine, tension has occurred also in Venezuela. According to the media, a large demonstration against the government broke out, to cause death of more than 10 people. President Nicolás Maduro took a hostile attitude against the protestors. It will lead to the situation in chaos.

The New York Times: Venezuela Is Divided Even on Its Death Toll

The instability of Venezuela is based on the national recession. Inflation rate reaches 56% in Jan. 2014, it is obviously a burden upon citizens. The Venezuelan national bond is facing the crisis of default.

Bloomberg News: Protests Sow Doubt on Venezuela’s Debt Dedication: Andes Credit

Venezuela is an oil-rich country. Exportation of oil to the US was the largest way to gain foreign currency. However, the production of shale-gas in the US grew dramatically recently, so called shale-gas revolution. It made the US reduce the amount of oil imported from Venezuela. In addition, the relationship between Venezuela and the US has been worsened since 2002 in which a riot was attempted in Venezuela. Now Venezuela is in serious peril.

Natural resources are a double-bladed sword. They may make a nation wealthier. Meanwhile, they sometimes bring a seed of conflict. Furthermore, a destructive innovation will ruin the value of them.

In contrast, Japan has no natural resources. Perhaps this fact has strengthened the competitive power in Japan. The situation is more typical in Korea. On the other hand, there are other challenges in these countries. The future is still unclear.

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Pheme, Internet lie detector

Can the internet technology distinguish the truth from lies? A project which several universities and companies join in is challenging this issue.

BBC News: Lie detector on the way to test social media rumours

Pheme, derived from a Greek Goddess of rumor, is a service to evaluate the credibility of comments in a Social Network Service. The statement is categorized into some classification according to its reliability, such as "inspection", "controversy", "misinformation", and "disinformation." Pheme also can identify the account which is created exclusively to create spams.

As far as reading these articles, I think that Pheme is not so special, compared to other internet services such as search engines, virus scan softwares, and spam filters. Even now, it is not so difficult to identify the origin of a rumor spread on the internet. Google real time search has enabled it. So it is certain that Pheme will be launched in 18 months as planned. The efficacy will be argued.

If Pheme or similar services are utilized, some programmers related to spams will establish another method to spread disinformation more natural and hard to be recognized. It is a spiral between a runner and a chaser, likely to Search Engine Optimization (SEO). Nonetheless, this kind of rumor detectors will help us to avoid from misinterpretation by unintentional mistake.

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Perspective of Windows Phone

Microsoft is struggling to sell Windows Phone.

Formerly, I was utilizing a Windows mobile 6.1 Smartphone.

Actually, it was the first Smartphone I got. When bought I was excited to introduce it for the first time. However, my expectation soon changed to disappointment. To be honest, this machine was extremely hard to use. The inconvenience was so serious that I tweeted the complaints about it every day. Not after a long time I began to use it, Microsoft published "Windows Phone", the next generation mobile OS.

Windows Phone 8 is not available in Japan. On May 2013, Steve Ballmer said that they were attempting to launch Windows Phone 8 in Japan. Unfortunately, the situation has not been changed.

Microsoft has some plans regarding Windows Phone. First, Microsoft is developing a digital personal assistant, Cortana, like Siri in iPhone. This gimmick will be connected to Bing search. To be honest, I do not like Bing because it is not so wise compared to Google search.

Gizmodo: Microsoft's Cortana Could Combine the Best Parts of Siri and Google Now

There is another surprising solution. Microsoft considers adapting Android applications to Windows Phone. It imagined me that Mac introduced Bootcamp to work Windows on Mac. I think that this attempt will be successful, because I believe any gadgets will lose their own character in the near future, and then users will be indifferent to the providers.

The Verge: Strange bedfellows: Microsoft could bring Android apps to Windows

My past entry: Facebook in the future

Friday, February 21, 2014

US against Patent Trolls, is it effective?

The Obama administration declared that the White House would make efforts to suppress the abusive patent lawsuits, according to some media.

Financial Times: White House targets patent trolls (Subscribers only)

Politico: White House aims to undercut patent trolls

PC World: White House takes steps against patent trolls

To improve the system around patents, the White House suggested some policies, such as to make the information on existing patents more easily available, training for patent examiners to catch up newly technology, and supporting inventors who cannot hire a lawyer.

These performances sound rational to help innovation. I hear that patent rules are so complex that many engineers have tough time to deal with them also in Japan. However, I am doubtful whether their legislations will truly protect the innovators from malicious sues.

First, the more the government creates new rules, the more complicated the regulation will be. It means that it will be more difficult for technicians to understand the new legislation every time the government intervene. It is a dilemma of the constitutional state.

Second, American companies look as if they were patent trolls by the competitors. For example, Apple was quarrelling with Samsung regarding the patent around some architectures around their gadgets for a long time. As far as I know Apple was victorious in the USA. Even if Samsung perhaps stole some designs from Apple, the manner of Apple seems a little excessive.

My past entry: Legal battle of Apple and Samsung

Ironically, the US is a nation which has been making vast profits from patents for several decades. There is deep conflicts between the US and China, India, and some other countries. In negotiation around TPP, intellectual property is one of the biggest issues.

Formerly, some innovators such as Wilhelm Conrad Röntgen, the inventor of X-ray, and Otoshiro Hamada, Japanese creator of Potato Chips abandoned the patents to help their new techniques more broaden. Do we have no room to show mercy in the modern competitive era?

Thursday, February 20, 2014

One-third psychotic patients discontinue treatment

Today, I found that a news-site of psychiatry introduced a research regarding discontinuation of psychiatric service by the patients with mental disorder.

Psychiatric News Alert: One-Third of Patients With First-Episode Psychosis May Disengage From Treatment

According to this article, nearly one-third of the patients with psychosis are dropped out from continuous medical service.

First-Episode Psychosis and Disengagement From Treatment: A Systematic Review

The journal Psychiatric Service is one of the leading journals in this region. Unfortunately, I have no account to open the original article above at home, so I cannot investigate the whole article. Nonetheless, I think that this result is realistic referring to my own experience. Patients with a first episode psychosis should be followed up for a certain period, even after remission. It is certain that continuous medication helps them to avoid recurrence. However, some of them hesitate, even refuse, to meet a psychiatrist on a regular basis.

The authors seem not to be able to conduct a systematic review, because the definition of disengagement in original surveys is various. In addition, I wonder how many patients with substance misuse are included in the original surveys gathered in this research. In Japan, patients with substance misuse disorders are seldom diagnosed as psychosis. Such patients also tend to be excluded from clinical research. In my sense, the rate of discontinuation of treatment in the patients with substance abuse reaches more than 50%. We should be cautious when reading a result of combined data across countries.

Finally, I have to mention that some patients with a history of psychotic episode never repeat second one. There is no way to distinguish them from patients with risk of recurrence. It is a challenge still now.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

OneDrive, successor to SkyDrive by Microsoft

Today, Microsoft published "OneDrive", a free cloud storage service for each user of Windows, iOS, and Android. It is a revision of SkyDrive. OneDrive is Now Available Worldwide: Free Cloud Storage for Microsoft, iOS, and Android Devices

I have utilized this kind of service for some years since during Microsoft offered Windows Live Mesh. It was a simple program to synchronize the data in multiple Windows PCs. It enabled me to continue some tasks with my PC in my study without transfer the electrical data from my office PC manually. I felt it convenient. Meanwhile, SkyDrive had been launched. But I did not use it because it looked a little complicated.

Just one year ago, Microsoft stopped to offer Windows Live Mesh, perhaps to encourage the users to transfer to SkyDrive. I unwillingly introduced SkyDrive. Fortunately, I got accustomed to use it soon.

By the way, SkyDrive is a cool name, I think. It had a good affinity of sense for Windows Azure, a cloud platform by Microsoft.

On the other hand, I do not think SkyDrive is an excellent service. It sometimes causes some troubles. Recently, I lost some data due to a failure of SkyDrive. In addition, Microsoft often updated the system of it. The volume of free to use cloud storage was dramatically reduced from 25 GB to 7 GB. Furthermore, at the same time of introduction of Windows 8.1, the configuration of SkyDrive was changed so that offline use of SkyDrive folders became unavailable at default setting. I was confused for a while.

Therefore, I am afraid to be involved in some troubles due to OneDrive.

Microsoft newly offers 3 GB storage in addition to current 7 GB for photo synchronizing. OneDrive program installed in a Smartphone uploads any photo images taken by the machine into cloud storage for a backup automatically. This function is similar to Google+ powered by Google. It means it is possible that unintentional ban will occur as I mentioned before. We should be cautious.

Microsoft declares to perform some campaigns regarding OneDrive. A total of 100 thousand users have a chance to get 100 GB more storage for one year. Microsoft will announce the event via Twitter @OneDrive. I am waiting for subsequent reports. But I am not certain if I will gain the prize, since there are 500 thousand followers of @OneDrive.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

We recognize emoticon as a real face

It is a limited but interesting research about neurocognitive science. According to Churches et al. In Social Neuroscience, human brain reacts to emoticons as same as to a real face.

Social Neuroscience: Emoticons in mind: An event-related potential study

The researchers showed the subjects some images of face, emoticon, and random characters sequentially. Then the brain activity of the subjects was evaluated with Event Related Potential (ERP) some kind of specific electroencephalogram. They also use the inverse images of each picture to assess the difference in the reaction of the subjects.

As a result, the amplitude of the N170 (a particular ERP) was altered when the image was inversed in the case of both face and emoticon, but no change observed in random characters. This data suggests that emoticon stimulates human brain activity in a similar process as the real face.

Actually, they used the most popular emoticon :-), which most Americans have already seen many times. Nonetheless, emoticon is quite different from the real face. To begin with, it is located by 90 degrees! Even if the ability to recognize a face is congenital, cognition of emoticon is never. Thus, the same reaction of both face and emoticon means that the human brain learns that emoticon is the same as a face.

I think it is an interesting result, but the evidence is still weak. It would be better to evaluate brain blood flow during the reaction to the images. It is also curious whether people other than in European countries will react the emoticons which they have not seen ever before. I hope sequel studies.

Monday, February 17, 2014

Fifty Genders available in Facebook

Facebook has updated its basic system, which may help people with LGBT.

BBC News: Facebook allows users to customise gender

CNN: Facebook goes beyond 'male' and 'female' with new gender options

Now, the users of Facebook in the US can select their gender in not only male or female, but also surprisingly up to 50 words. The options include Trans Female, Trans Male, Trans Person, Gender Questioning, Transsexual, and so on. Unfortunately, this scheme has not been available other than in the US, perhaps due to the delay of translation.

The decision of Facebook will be kindly accepted by the people who have a particular gender identity. It is quite natural for Facebook to let them use without hesitation, since the ambition of Facebook is to connect everyone of the world. Concern to sexual minorities will also be fitting to the principle of Facebook as "making all visible."

I think Facebook is clever that it equipped enormous options simultaneously about this matter. Then, persons who are willing to change their alignments can pretend as they just try it. If there were only three options, male, female, transgender, they would have to be more courageous to choose their real gender. I felt similarly when I saw the options of marriage for the first time.


Sunday, February 16, 2014

Thor the Dark World, dark heart of Loki

Today, I watched "Thor the Dark World."

This is a sequel to "Thor", one of the series of Marvel Comics movies. To say exactly, the story is directly continued from "The Avengers."

Thor is a god in Asgard, and a son of Odin. His half brother Loki had committed treason based on envy to Thor. After exiled, he attempted to conquer the Earth cooperated with Chitauri. However, his ambition was completely crushed by the Avengers. In the beginning of this film, Loki is forced to be locked in a dungeon in Asgard.

Nonetheless, Loki never extinguishes his fury. He acts rude behavior against Odin and Frigga, the wife of Odin. His words are so childish that anyone around him never admires him, except Thor. Thor always concern about Loki. Therefore, it is only him who cares about the safety of Loki when a riot happens in the dungeon.

The villain of this story is Malekith, the king of dark elves in Svartalfheim. He was awakened because Jane Foster, a scientist majored in physics, touched "Ether", a miraculous material by chance. He tries to rob her of Ether to get incredible power. Being involved in the battle, Frigga is killed by him.

To be honest, I do not think Malekith is impressive as a villain at all. First of all, he is so weak that Frigga could defeat him once. Thor struck him with his hammer and threw him away. His intention to ruin the universe is hardly understandable. In addition, his action is not attractive. Finally, he is not smart, because he could not notice the relationship between Thor and Loki until one of his subordinates suggest it.

On the other hand, Loki is described as a narcissistic, merciless, but lovely person. He always makes ironic words. His source of power is derived from inferiority complex against Thor, although he is not conscious of this. He is never beaten after several hate and threatening by the colleagues of Thor. Instead, at last, in the most serious scene, he can do nothing other than saying "I'm sorry" repeatedly. I saw his hidden sincereness at this scene.

By the way, what is the meaning of the last scene inserted in the middle of staff credit? I dare not describe the scene in detail for the readers who has not watched yet. How to interpret this scene is absolutely important to evaluate the personality of Loki. In my opinion, finally he is a man of solitude and revenge.

When it comes to the storyline, this film has several disadvantages. Some events happen accidentally. There is no opportunity for Jane Foster to show her attractiveness. The trick performed by Loki and Thor seemed meaningless. Nonetheless, I hope to watch the sequel as soon as possible.

Personal Rating: 3 (fair)

Saturday, February 15, 2014

The day that Apple exceed Microsoft

There is news suggesting that Apple has overcome Microsoft. According to this article, the total amount of machines which equip either iOS or Mac released in the last quarter was higher than those with Windows.

Apple Insider: Apple, Inc. sold more computers than all of Microsoft's Windows PC partners in December quarter

This graph describes mainly the rapid growth of iOS, installed in iPad, iPhone, and iPod. Actually, the sales of iOS today has increased by ten times compared to a few years before. In contrast, production of Windows PC is slightly decreasing in a couple of years.

Meanwhile, we must recognize that more than 90% of Apple products adopts iOS. Although Apple also sells Macintosh computer as a rival to Windows, the growth rate of it is still sluggish. To be honest, it is a little surprising, as I often see someone uses Mac at a cafe recently. Anyway, Windows is dominant to Mac at least for business use.

On the other hand, Microsoft has an alternative choice to win the share in mobile device users. It is planning to combine Windows RT into Windows Phone.

Know your Microsoft May Combine Windows & Windows Phone

Microsoft is struggling against the dilemma between newly architecture and legacy softwares for a long time, as I mentioned before. Windows RT was one of the solutions for this problem. The compatibility with old softwares was sacrificed at Windows RT. Unfortunately, the decision of Microsoft seemed to fail to gain the acceptance in the market.

My past entry: New CEO of Microsoft

The result of the battle between Microsoft and Apple is unclear. In my opinion, people will be indifferent to choose a hardware and OS in the near future. We can play Google Document on the internet regardless of the OS. When it comes to hardware and OS, both Microsoft and Apple will lose the share gradually, in my assumption.

Friday, February 14, 2014

The end of VAIO

Sony has decided to sell VAIO brand to Japan Industrial Partners.

Tech Crunch: Sony To Exit PC Business By Selling VAIO

Small Business Trends: Sony To Sell Its Vaio PC and Laptop Business

Considering that VAIO is one of the symbols of the PCs made in Japan, this news is impressive. However, the decision of Sony is not so surprising, as Sony has suffered from underperforming of this division for years. It is partially due to the total shrinking on the PC market. The whole sales of PCs are decreasing, mainly been replaced to Smartphones and tablets.

Then, some companies were forced to make changes in the strategy to sell PCs. Acer, ASUS, Samsung, and other companies began to cut the cost, utilizing mass production with outsourcing of gaining parts.

In contrast, Sony remained concern to domestic production. It resulted in performing higher quality in creating some new models of PC. The cost was compromised, however, it looked fatal.

This kind of attachment is frequent in Japan. Panasonic is also particular about the solidness and lightness of their products, called "Let's Note". As I mentioned, they are quite cool, but a little expensive for individual use. Sharp had stuck to domestic production of liquid crystal panel. As a result, Sharp was forced to abandon their own industry.

Fortunately, Sony PlayStation 4 (PS4) shows good sales at the beginning. It is regrettable that PS4 has not been available in Japan yet. But I admit that Sony should be deliberative to launch a new service.

Thursday, February 13, 2014

A 30% experiences domestic violence in England and Japan

A newly occurrence rate of domestic violence was published by the government of England and Wales. It contains data that about 30% of the female has experienced some kind of domestic violence.

The Guardian: Domestic violence experienced by 30% of female population, survey shows

Are the women in the UK so frequently victimized? According to this article, the statisticians who were involved in the survey states some reservations.

First, the chance of being victimized of a violent crime has decreased, compared to some decade ago. Other types of crimes are only declining. It is not true that the modern era is so dangerous.

Second, it is possible that minimal violence is more likely to be reported recently, perhaps in the influence of the case of Jimmy Savile, who were broadly alleged as a predatory sex offender after his death.

Even concerning these factors, the risk of domestic violence should not be underestimated. An annual survey revealed that approximately 10% of the citizens consider that hitting their partner is acceptable in some occasion. There are argument around the definition of abuse. Nonetheless, at least physical violence should not be allowed, adopted by the Zero Tolerance Policy, in my opinion.

Domestic violence is also investigated in Japan. According to the Cabinet Office, about one-fourth of the women had experienced physical abuse by their partner. Harassment with words and sexual coercion were also reported.

A part of the report about victimization by the partner (in Japanese)

In daily life, I seldom hear such incident. Some victims may be too patient to call for help. I know some cases who dared not escape from the predator due to mental distortion. Yet there are lots of barriers to establish secure family and society.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

A particular reason for delay in LCC

The last weekend, I was involved in an accident of an airplane.

Do not worry about it, I am safe. Actually, a flight plan was cancelled due to snow.

The stopped airline was a domestic one administered by a certain Low Cost Carrier (LCC). Even if it snowed severely in the last weekend, I was doubtful about the cancellation, since other airlines were working ordinarily. So I asked a service manager about the reason.

She replied very kindly. It snowed in the morning, but it stopped at noon. However, the airplane bound to be utilized was covered with deep snow. It was necessary to peel the snow from the vehicle to make use it. How long it takes depends on human resource. All mechanics on duty were summoned to engage in this task.

Then, another problem occurred. Some engineers had to reach the airport from their hometown. However, most public transportations were crippled due to snow. It is special in Chiba prefecture that trains are more vulnerable to snow than airplanes. As I mentioned, it rarely snows in Chiba, so that they hardly prepare for snow. In addition, Narita International Airport is distant from the center of Chiba City.

Therefore, some engineers failed to come to the airport on time. In general, LCC does not hire excessive workers. So, they could not gather enough amount of persons to get rid of the obstacle on time.

This is the story. The vehicle possessed by an LCC is not so different from the one of other airlines. Most of LCCs are as safe as others. However, the potential to overcome an extraordinary occasion is inferior in LCC. It is a trade-off for lower price. Optimized cost-effectiveness sometimes bring about unfortunate result.

I love both the inexpensiveness of LCCs and good service of other carriers. I will use each of them on occasion.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Child porn created in Philippine

Several people were arrested for the crime of creating child pornography in Philipine.

The Jakarta Post: Philippines arrests 11 over online child porn

Child porn is one of the most detestable crimes in the world. Although there are argument about the boundary between art and porn, it is no doubt that sexual abuse to children is evil. Children usually have no power to reject such demands, even often unconscious to the meaning of these behaviors.

We have to accept the existence of the people who have sexual curiosity against children. Most of them are suffering from their own abnormal tendency. Nonetheless, carrying out their desire should be strictly prohibited.

However, it is perhaps too late to avoid the children from being victimized. Child porn is now a large field of business, especially in developing countries. For example, Cebu seems to be one of the footholds of creation of child pornography.

GMA News: Internet makes child porn big business in Cebu

The Japan Times: Online child porn ring shocks Cebu

There are three conditions to establish child porn creation as a global business. First, there are lots of people who are so poor that they have to sell their own children. Second, modern development of the internet enables the creators to send the video easily to the consumers with minimized risk of arrest. And the last thing is the consumers who are willing to buy such products.

Poverty is an extreme difficulty all over the world. We cannot deny the technology itself. Persons with a special tendency cannot be blamed for it. Therefore, this problem is not easy to be solved. Considering the current situation, we need to accept the excessive restriction.

My past entry: Banning of Google account due to instant upload

I owe to people in Cebu with English teaching. I believe their goodness. I hope no children will be victimized any more.

Monday, February 10, 2014

Tokyo governor election

Yesterday, the voting to elect Tokyo Governor was held.

After the resignation of the past governor Inose due to money scandal, several candidates rose to win the seat. The winner is Yoichi Masuzoe, ex-Minister of Health, Labour and Welfare, as mass media predicted.

Mainichi: Masuzoe 'braces himself' for job after winning Tokyo governor race

As I mentioned, I was indifferent to this election. There are two reasons. First, Tokyo will not change so rapidly regardless of the person who succeed Inose. Tokyo is the center of Japan. Therefore, lots of stakeholders concern to the management of Tokyo government. In addition, Tokyo metropolitan assembly is ruled by the Liberal Democratic Party, which is leading Japan parliament. Although the governor has a great power, he will not able to behave so aggressively against many opposite sides.

Second, the victory of Masuzoe was predictable. There were three candidates who are possible to match him. But each of them had critical weaknesses.

Morihiro Hosokawa, an ex-Prime Minister of Japan insisted the need for immediate abandon of atomic power plants. Junichiro Koizumi, extremely famous as an ex-Prime Minister supported him. However, Tokyo citizens are rather heavy consumers of electricity than creators. Quit of atomic power plants is deeply burdened them as a form of raising the cost of electricity. I was doubtful that the voters would choose him, even if the majority of citizens disliked the atomic power plants.

Kenji Utsunomiya, another rival of Masuzoe, was an ex-chairman of the Japan Federation of Bar Associations. He looked like a liberalist. He also declared to get rid of any atomic power plants. Some people said the votes of the people who opposed to the nuclear power were split into Hosokawa and Utsunomiya. I do not think so. Utsunomiya is the so called left wing. He was supported by the Social Democratic Party and Japan Communists Party. However, these parties are minorities in Japan, especially in Tokyo. In summary, Utsunomiya stood by the side of the weak, but Tokyo is a side of the strong.

Toshio Tamogami is another candidate. He was Chief of Staff, air Self Defense Force. His policy is extremely conservative, so called right wing. So, Shintaro Ishihara, ex-Tokyo governor supported him. He won the worship from young citizens, may be due to his charismatic leadership. It is unfortunate for him not to gain any support of existing organizations. My own opinion about the policy is near to his. But I dislike his exclusive thought.

There were lots of candidates who were far from victory. Kazuma Ieiri, the only 30s candidate, was focused due to his unique lifestyle. He is an entrepreneur, than a politician. He utilized the internet to determine his own policy. Therefore, he was supported by some of the people who were familiar with the new technology. As a result, he reached the 5th, superior to other minor candidates. I think he did well, considering the lack of his political activity in the past.

Unfortunately, it snowed heavily this weekend. It caused the low rate of voting. It resulted in the advantage of Masuzoe, supported by ruling Liberal Democratic Party.

I think Masuzoe is the least risky person of the candidates. He declared the harmony with Tokyo assembly. I think Tokyo administration will be stabilized soon.

It is afraid that Masuzoe has some scandals around his lovers and children. I hope he will not be interrupted with this kind of argument. Frequent change of governors will never be beneficial for any people.


Sunday, February 9, 2014

Murder case in Sochi Olympic [fake]

Today it is sunny but still cold. I dare not to go out. Snow remains around my home.

Since I am indifferent to Olympic, I had not noticed that there was an incident during the opening ceremony of Sochi Olympic.

ABC News: Opening Ceremony Fail? Just Four Rings Light Up in Iconic Symbol

New York Post: Sochi Olympics open with four ring fail

In this ceremony held on Feb. 7, one of the five snowflakes had failed to transform into the rings as the symbol of the Olympic, perhaps due to a technical error.

It may be shameful for Russia, for lots of people all over the world paid attention to this ceremony. I imagined the disappoint of Putin, the Russian President.

Then, I saw an odd news about the sequel.

The Daily Currant: Man Responsible For Olympic Ring Mishap Found Dead In Sochi

According to this article, a technical specialist who was responsible for the performance of the opening ceremony was found to be killed in his bedroom. In addition, his death was dealt as an accident by the police, although he was pierced with multiple knives.

I was nearly astonished, but soon calmed down. Actually, this is a fake report. The Daily Currant is one of the satirical news blogs.

In Japan, there are also a few joke sites such as "Kyoko Shinbun [fictional newspaper]". Some people believe fallacious information, and after that they get angered to know that they are deceived. There is controversy around the justness of joke articles.

In my opinion, joke and humor are effective not only to enjoy daily life, but also express some ironical thought. Indeed, the article about the murder in Sochi seems to be written to ridicule powerful Putin. I accept this kind of joke sites.

However, deliberateness is needed to distinguish the truth from the false, especially in the information of foreign countries. People who are partially involved in global setting are most vulnerable. I must be cautious.

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Great snow strikes Chiba

Today, we encountered terribly bad weather.

I predicted this because I have heard whether reports. Nonetheless, I was astonished to see the silver landscape. Of course the temperature fell down rapidly. I felt as if I were in Finland or Norway.

I visited Chiba University to take an exam. There were few people in the campus. New snow completely covered the ground.

The bus and taxi stations were crowded.

This picture is decorated by Google with snowfall, as same as one week before. But it snowed in real.

Japan has various faces at climate. For citizens live in northern area, it may be quite usual. In contrast, citizens in Chiba seldom experience snow. So we were very much confused at the violence of snow.

I wrote an entry entitled as "Heavy Snow" in the last year. I must correct it, it is no more heavy, compared to the current situation.

I hope nobody is hurt due to this wrath of the nature.

Friday, February 7, 2014

Bitcoin in chaos

This week, the currency rate of Bitcoin is fluctuating.

Bitcoin is a digital money, which equips some unique characteristics. It is surprising that this global scheme is not controlled by any agencies. Nonetheless, or should I say due to the vacancy of governance, Bitcoin has become a huge and borderless system of currency. On the other hand, there are some issues of violation around Bitcoin.

My past entry: Bitcoin

My past entry: Bitcoin fraud case in New Jersey

Actually, the reliance as a currency of Bitcoin is still vulnerable. The value of Bitcoin dramatically increased by ten times in the last year. After China decided to forbid the deal of Bitcoin, it was halved immediately.

Recently, the rate of Bitcoin kept stable for a couple of weeks at the level of 1 BTC = $1000. It relieved people who were willing to utilize Bitcoin.

TechCrunch: Bitcoin’s Recent Price Stability Could Point To Growing Maturity

Then, all at sudden, it fell down by 30% in this week. There seem to be some reasons regarding this slump.

First, Apple stopped exhibiting the applications dealing with Bitcoin. Blockchain, the most famous digital wallet and related softwares of Bitcoin, was banned from the App store. It made angry the users of Bitcoin. They changed their cell phones from the iPhone to Android Smartphone. But this incident looked like a phenomenon which shows the crisis of Bitcoin for investors. Apple kills off last Bitcoin wallet app in the App Store

The Telegraph: Apple bans final bitcoin wallet from App Store

Second, some nations deemed Bitcoin as illegal procedure. The Indonesian central bank declared that Bitcoin was not acceptable as neither currency nor payment method. On the other hand, I am confused to see another statement of Bank Indonesia more neutral. More or less, they are at risk of violation against the law. Indonesia bans use of Bitcoin and other virtual currencies

News BTC: Bank Indonesia Issues Another Statement on Bitcoin, This Time More Neutral

In addition, Mt. Gox, one of the largest exchanges in Japan, temporarily abandoned the deal of Bitcoin. It sent an email to all customers to announce that it would have to stop the system. If it were a real bank, this accident would match freezing in Cyprus. MtGox ANNOUNCEMENT TO STOP BTC WITHDRAWALS

My past entry: Cyprus banks tax for depositors

In conclusion, there are lots of unfired bombs around Bitcoin. Although the main algorithm of Bitcoin is solid and cool, we need more time to construct the peripheral environment to avail Bitcoin safely.


Thursday, February 6, 2014

New CEO of Microsoft

After a long discussion by the board, Microsoft chose Satya Nadella as the successor to Steve Ballmer. He has belonged to Microsoft for 22 years and is very familiar to cloud service and software.

Microsoft: Satya Nadella

Mainichi: Microsoft names cloud computing chief as next CEO

Although Nadella was not the most expectable candidate for the next CEO, he is also an extremely talented person. According to the media, he was born in India and visited the US for the first time after graduating from university. He gained an MBA and degree of computing in the US. He is so curious person that he always buys too many books to read immediately. He himself said that he was very fond of learning.

25CNBC: Microsoft's new CEO: An insider and a 'cloud' man

Nadella is skilled in software development and management of cloud service. However, he has no experience to lead a gigantic organization. Some people are afraid that he will not able to command the department of hardware development. Perhaps as a safety valve for this matter, Bill Gates, the chairman of Microsoft will come back to the working place as a technology adviser. It is a request by Nadella. Steve Ballmer will also remain a director.

It was possible that Microsoft would invite a new CEO from outside. This decision looks a little conservative. I guess there were lots of considerations and negotiations around this issue.

Microsoft has faced a great barrier against innovation for several years. It has extremely large numbers of relics, which are now burdens for Microsoft. Office clients are gradually getting worse whenever they are upgraded. It resulted from old algorithms developed in the past, but Microsoft cannot drop them out due to many remaining users. The upcoming expiration of Windows XP is also criticized.

Therefore, Nadella emphasized the importance of innovation in his first announcement on his email. I expect him to achieve the innovation in Microsoft. At least, I am totally glad if PowerPoint will be reformed for more convenience.

My past entry: Annoying Powerpoint

Actually, my slides were crashed today again, so I spent one hour to repair it. May Nadella save me!

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Cold day

Yesterday was one of the coldest days in this winter. The temperature was 6 centigrade in Chiba. In addition, it snowed heavily. Some public transportations were troubled due to bad weather.

Fortunately, the snow stopped at night. Nevertheless, I saw snow rest on the ground this morning.

Google lets it snow. How fantastic!

Chiba is relatively warm region in Japan. It seldom snows here. Especially, it was extremely rare in my childhood. However, we sometimes encounter heavy snow recently, as I mentioned in the last year.

Actually, I feel that recent winter is getting colder than the past. This sense of mine, however, is against the official climate record.

This graph shows the temperature in Feb. 5 in Chiba. It looks gradually warmer. It is perhaps not an exception of global warming. In addition, 6 centigrade is not so cold compared to usual winter.

So what? Have I gotten vulnerable to coldness? I am afraid that it is due to my age.

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

An error around Pareto or 80-20 principle

Do you know Pareto principle?

It is a general rule as the most of the effects come from quite limited parts of the causes for many events. Joseph M. Juran, a business consultant, named the empirical principle based on the observations published by Wilfredo Pareto, an Italian economist.

Wikipedia: Pareto principle

Pareto principle is often partially introduced as 80-20 rule. Perhaps you have heard that, the 80% of whole profit is usually created by only 20% of the whole employees in a company.

This principle has not proven as correct in a mathematical method. Nonetheless, many people accept it through their own observation and experience. I also agree with it in my sense. There are a lot of examples around our society. For instance, staff members in a psychiatric ward have to devote almost 80% of their resource to 20% of the inpatients who are extremely difficult to treat. Thus, after one of these patients discharged, the staffs feel truly relieved, although the fact is that the number of inpatients was reduced by one, from 40 to 39!

By the way, as a worker, we tend to believe that we are included in the 20% who earns much more money than the other 80%. Therefore, we always complain that we are exploited. As far as I know, there is no exception. Is the lazy 80% too unconscious to recognize that they depend on other superior workers?

The real world is a little more complex.

If there were one unique standard to calculate the contribution, 80-20 principle would be applicable. However, our activities are usually codependent.

Let us compare the department of the sales department and the development department in a company. It is obvious that more than 80% of sales owe to salespersons. Researchers in a development department seldom contribute to the sales. In contrast, from the point of view of future investment, the role of the researchers is decisive. More than 80% of the improvement in the products may be born in development department. Thus, both of the salespersons and researchers insist that they support the whole company by themselves.

This occasion is the same in a hospital. Some general physicians deal with many patients in a day. In contrast, some specialized doctors cannot deal with many patients because they need more intensive care. As a result, general physicians earn much money. Then should the director of this hospital dismiss all the specialist doctors? Of course, not. If specialists went out from here, there would be no treatment option for complicated patients. General physicians can achieve high performance in usual care only because specialist doctors are engaged in the treatment for more difficult patients. In the other words, 80% of the profit in this hospital is generated by the generalists, meanwhile 80% of the honor is protected by the specialists. They should respect each other.

You can find a similar situation around you. Members who make the vast profit at the mainstream and some specialists who is dealing with a particular situation are mutually depending. It is important for you to identify which role is demanded. In addition, which is more suitable to you also should be taken into consideration.

Monday, February 3, 2014

The melancholy about data survey

Today, I was involved in some tasks regarding data analysis.

Analyzing data is one of the essential parts of researchers' work. The data include a lot of kinds, such as blood samples, personal information about the patients, and the answers to a questionnaire. Each type has their own importance.

Questionnaire survey is one of the main streams in my research topic, social psychiatry. Since there are rarely objective data in this region, we have to rely on the sense of the subjects. It is not true that authority's opinion is trustworthy without any doubt. Nonetheless, gathering the opinions based on some structured rules is a powerful method to detect a theorem, or at least to construct a consensus about it.

Thus, we endeavor to develop a questionnaire. How to create a proper answer sheet itself is worthy of research. Delivered an arbitrary questionnaire, gathered replies would be twisted. I often see a survey intentionally misdirected to a suitable conclusion for the commissioner. It is quite difficult to develop a neutral questionnaire. In contrast, whether we can drive an image into the participants through a survey is another matter, although it is doubtful to prove it as ethical.

On the other hand, we always have to struggle against the inappropriateness of the answer sheets we received after the survey. Some participants misunderstand the intention of the questionnaire. Blank cells are also enemy to us. Additionally, we are suffering from letters which are hardly readable.

After overcoming several troubles, we complete the survey. In most cases, the conclusion is not surprising. It is usually in our imagination in advance. So, questionnaire surveys are not used for innovation, but for, the confirmation of intuitive hypothesis. It is also adequately valuable to change these images into a solid theory.

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Election in Thailand and Tokyo

Today, a general election was held in Thailand.

The ruling Pheu Thai Party was facing a political crisis due to severe opposing. Therefore, Yingluck Shinawatra, Prime Minister of Thailand, asked the King to dissolve parliament in order to resolve the stasis using a general election. However, opposing protestors was interfering the election. With occurring several violent accidents, it was afraid to carry out the voting.

According to the media, there were no severe disturbance against voting. However, some polling centers were blocked by the protestor, that made them impossible to be utilized. It resulted in the shortage of the seat determined to form a new parliament. Prime Minister side asked the Election Commission to set a new date for the people who had not voted yet.

The Hindu: Counting begins in Thai polls, results announcement postponed

The Wall Street Journal: Thai Elections Fail to Resolve Political Stalemate

It is regretful that a disrupting act could cancel the voting. Opposing parties may have their own policies. Nonetheless, I believe that the democratic process is a little better than other procedures, at least than violent ones.

Thailand is deeply concerned with Japan in mutual economy. Some years ago, Thailand was attacked by a flood, that led to a severe reduction of product of electric devices. Political confusion in Thailand must be harmful for both countries. I hope that Thailand will regain the calm in politics.

By the way, the election of Tokyo governor is amidst broad controversy in Japan. After the past governor Inose's  resignation, several candidates have declared to succeed him. To be honest, I am indifferent to the result. Tokyo will not change so dramatically, whoever is elected. Japanese Election is much more pastoral than Thai.


Saturday, February 1, 2014


Despair does not mean a specific situation.

When a person encounters a desperate situation, he abandons the future. Meanwhile, he would close the door to the future on his own. It gets rid of all the hopes which he might grasp if he never gave up.

This is the true despair.

Despair is in your mind. Never accept despair, and you need not despair.