Thursday, April 30, 2015

Sequels in April 2015

April 28, 2015
Earthquake disaster in Nepal

The number of victims is still increasing, up to 5,000. So horrible.

April 21, 2015
Parliamentary election in the UK, and EU matter

The media forecast the winning of ruling conservative party. For this reason, I feel London remains calm despite the voting day is approaching. I am interested in the result even if I have no right to vote.

April 20, 2015
Instant kill disease? A Nigerian mystery

The real figure of this strange disease has not been revealed. Leading investigators suspect that the victims had suffered from ethanol intoxication.

The Source: One Day Killer Disease In Nigeria Linked To Poisoning

April 17, 2015
Greek bonds into junk, S&P says

Greek government reconstructed the negotiation team for the debt crisis, and is suggesting the possibility they would conduct a referendum how to deal with this issue.

Reuters: Tsipras presses for May debt deal, threatens referendum

I do not think the words of Tsipras, the Prime Minister of Greece, is trustworthy, nor a quick compromise is feasible. The crisis seems serious.

April 16, 2015
Cameron supports India

Narendra Modi, the Prime Minister of India is eager to gain the permanent seat of the security council of the UN. He is proceeding the way to get some allies among the member of the UN.

Live Mint: Narendra Modi drums up support for permanent seat in UN Security Council

India has won the support of US as well as UK. But whether its ambition is realized is still unclear.

April 5, 2015
Board game club activity in London

Now, I had some experiences of gaming session in some place. Many respectable players I met there. Quite a fun.

April 3, 2015
Fire accident at Holborn, London

It took a few days to get the control of the fire. Some buildings around the fire had been crippled for several days.

April 1, 2015
Google Psychiatrist launched: loosing my job

Of course, it is an April fool joke. However, I expect that an AI will become superior to average psychiatrists in the ability soon.

By the way, I had a typographical error in this title. "Loosing" should be "losing." However, "Loosing my job" has rather a funny image, I think.

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Brain Teaser in Apple

Recently, I saw an article about the job interview in Apple. The author gathered 25 strangest questions the candidates were asked.

Business Insider: The trickiest questions Apple will ask in a job interview

Some questions are quite common such as "What are your failures, and how have you learned from them?" Actually, I have made this question in the job interview in the organization I belonged.

On the other hand, there are some questions categorized in Brain Teaser. Apple also adopted this type of puzzle as well as Google.

I tried these questions below:

1. "You have a 100 coins laying flat on a table, each with a head side and a tail side. 10 of them are heads up, 90 are tails up. You can't feel, see or in any other way find out which side is up. Split the coins into two piles such that there are the same number of heads in each pile."

It is regrettable that I could not solve this problem without searching the answer. The model answer may be:

"Split into two piles, one with 90 coins and the other with 10. Flip over every coin in the pile with 10 coins."

In the website of discussion, some other tricky answers are submitted. For example:

"Just split into two piles, each with 50 coins. The question only asks 50 heads in each one, it doesn't ask for the number of heads up!!!"

It is quite cool!

2. "There are three boxes, one contains only apples, one contains only oranges, and one contains both apples and oranges. The boxes have been incorrectly labeled such that no label identifies the actual contents of the box it labels. Opening just one box, and without looking in the box, you take out one piece of fruit. By looking at the fruit, how can you immediately label all of the boxes correctly?"

This is a simple question. I am confident that I could make the correct answer in the real interview.

"I take out one piece of fruit from the box labelled as both apples and oranges. If I took an apple, this box should be labelled as apples, and the box labelled as apples should be amended to oranges, the box labelled as oranges to apples and oranges, as well. If I took an orange, it should be the box of oranges, on the contrary."

Or you may answer below:

" I will take the box labeled as oranges. It should contain an apple at least. And Apple is my company!"

3. "If you're given a jar with a mix of fair and unfair coins, and you pull one out and flip it 3 times, and get the specific sequence heads heads tails, what are the chances that you pulled out a fair or an unfair coin?"

This question is an issue of chance. I am not sure the exact means to calculate the possibility that this coin is twisted. A fair coin has an equal opportunity of the both side. It means that 1.5 times of the head and 1.5 times of the tails should appear in 3 trials. The result was 2 heads and 1 tail. But it is quite natural because there is no “0.5 times of the head or tail.”

If you adopt Chi-square test to these numbers, the P value will be calculated to 0.68. It means that a fair coin could produce this result or more biased one by 68%. However, it does not mean that this coin is biased with the 32% possibility. Furthermore, Chi-square test should not adopted in such a few amount of trial.

After all, I could not calculate the exact possibility of the fairness of this coin. Maybe, there is a more simple answer.

4. “If you have 2 eggs, and you want to figure out what's the highest floor from which you can drop the egg without breaking it, how would you do it? What's the optimal solution?”

This is an extremely difficult question. I do not think someone can solve it without any previous information about this type of questions.

You should find the best strategy to identify the height the egg can survive. The simplest way is to test the lowest the first and to increase the height gradually. But it is not optimal.

Estimate that the highest height is 10m. You can try 5m at first. If it is successful, you need not try lower levels. However, if it fails, you have only one egg, meaning that you have to switch to the simplest and annoying way above. This strategy is a little too aggressive.

Then, what is the best method? Actually, I cannot explain it in detail. The answer is written in this book. How to Ace the Brainteaser Interview
(I read this book in Japanese. So, I cannot guarantee that the answer is surely described in the English version.)

By the way, Google have withdrawn Brain Teaser. I guess Apple will hardly rely on this kind of puzzles as well. We can enjoy Brain Teaser as an entertainment, no more in the job interview.

My past entry: Job interview now and then
My past entry: New standard of adoption in Google
My past entry: Hiring interview for Google and me


Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Earthquake disaster in Nepal

A terrible earthquake struck Nepal on April 25th, 2015. It occurred near to Kathmandu, the capital of Nepal, and recorded 7.9-magnitude.

(This picture is not relevant to the content of this entry.)

The tremors after the earthquake unleashed more avalanches in the Himalayas. More than 2,300 people were killed in this disaster now. The activity to rescue the people who were buried in debris is still continued. The number of victims will rise more.

BBC: Nepal earthquake: Hundreds die, many feared trapped

The Times of India: Nepalese dig for quake survivors as toll exceeds 2,300, big aftershock hits

Last night, I had a dream in which I encountered an earthquake, by chance. An earthquake seldom strikes the UK. It means that the damage when it happens is difficult to estimate. Yet, I think it is unlikely the UK would be attacked by this kind of tragedy because the frequency of the earthquake is decided based on the placement of each land plate on the earth.

Some Asian regions, including Japan, are likely to encounter the earthquake, on the contrary. The center of the strongest earthquakes is focused on some specific regions. Chile and Ecuador, India and Indonesia, and Alaska are at risk.

ABC News: The World's Strongest Earthquakes Since 1900

Facebook has launched a service for safety check of your friends in the disaster. It tells you who are in the stricken area and whether they are safe, through investigating the log of Facebook. It is a quite cool solution, because confirming the safety of your friends one after another is annoying for both you and the counterparts. This idea emerged after the earthquake and Tsunami disaster in Japan occurred in 2011. I heard that Twitter played a great role in searching information about separated people for the evacuation. Mobile phones were no use because of extreme congestion of the electricity and spending the battery when it cannot get connected.

The Atlantic: Updating Facebook to Say 'I'm Safe'

I pray for the victims and wish it would not happen again. However, human has not overcome the wrath of nature yet.

Monday, April 27, 2015

Shadow of the Drones

Every innovation is accompanied with dark side. Cars made our daily life extremely convenient, but they kill thousands of people everyday. So dynamite, internet, and Bitcoin are.

Nowadays, the usage of drones has become real in many purposes. This flying object has numerous possibility. Amazon and Facebook are seriously considering to utilize drones in the near future. On the other hand, drone technology is also introduced in military. The US has killed several people with drone fighters.

My past entry: Drone delivery comes true

My past entry: Drones of Facebook, Balloons of Google

Very recently, a drone brought a tension in the Cabinet in Japan. It was found on the roof of Prime Minister's official residence. In addition, it equipped some radioactive material. The police became keen to find who was the controller.

Some days after, a man confessed that he had driven the drone to set it on the rooftop intentionally. He was arrested for the forcible obstruction of business. According to the media, his motivation was the protest against the policy for nuclear power of Abe administration.

ABC News: Japanese man arrested for landing drone on PM's official residence in nuclear protest

CNN: Arrest after drone with radioactive material lands on Japan PM's rooftop

I thinks his act is meaningless at all. In spite of my own opinion, I do not reject any ideas of anti-nuclear protest, as far as they are rational and feasible. In contrast, his behavior only made an image against anti-nuclear activists as destructive and untrustworthy.

My past entry: Long way to renewable energy

My past entry: Atomic power plant to restart in Japan

On the other hand, I am doubtful that his act deserves to be penalized. Japan has no definite regulation against controlling drones.  You can drive drone everywhere except near the airport. He was charged for the forcible obstruction of business. To be honest, this crime is often used arbitrarily by the police. For example, some persons were arrested for submitting unease comments on the internet such as "I got angered to kill someone tomorrow" as a joke. The legislation regarding such a rude act not inflicting any actual damage is still vague. In the US, it was argued by the Supreme Court whether threatening on the Facebook constituted a crime.

My past entry: Threatening on Facebook: US Supreme Court case

This case ignited the discussion about the security of important institutions against drone attacks. Driving a drone should be restricted at least around some areas, such as the Imperial Palace, Cabinet office, and atomic power plants. I expect politicians will soon establish a new legislation appropriately, not limiting beneficial usage of drones. Then, this incident will contribute to the improved security of the atomic power plants, ironically.

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Chinese Buffet in London

I like to go to a buffet-style restaurant.

In a buffet, you can eat anything served as much as you like. In most restaurants, you have to dish up the meal by yourself. But some restaurants adopt order-buffet style in which you can order any menu at the seat.

Buffet, or all-you-can-eat, is infamous as well as refill-free service for deteriorating obesity. In France, a new bill is going to launch to ban the refilling culture of sugary drinks. Refill-free was maybe originated in the US. Notwithstanding this, I heard buffet-style restaurant was considered to be regulated in the US.

The Independent: France moves to ban free-refill culture of sugary drinks in bid to combat obesity

Indeed, some people eat an incredible amount of food at a buffet. In the UK,  two men were banned from the restaurant for "rude" eating manners.

BBC News: Brighton all-you-can eat restaurant bans two 'greedy' diners

I often enjoy buffet restaurant not because of the amount of the food I can eat but for the variety of the meal. I can eat meat and fish together as well as a vegetable.

By the way, I seldom see a buffet-style restaurant in the UK. Many hotels offer morning buffet, and you can drink tea and eat sandwiches until you are satisfied with some Afternoon Tea services. However, their services are usually so costly.

On the other hand, I have visited Chinese buffet restaurants some times. They are similar to ones seen in Japan. You can choose fried chicken, grilled beef, vegetables, and Chinese curry. Interestingly, most Chinese restaurants do not accept the credit card; perhaps they dislike to pay the fee to the credit card company.

I compared three restaurants each of which offered a buffet. There are two buffet restaurants near to my flat. One of them costs 5.99 GBP and the other costs 6.99 GBP. It is strange that the cheaper one serves more various foods. Besides, I tried another Chinese buffet restaurant at the northern side of Thames River. It took 9.8 GBP, including the service fee, despite The waiters did not serve me any meal by themselves. The taste was not so good. It means that the cost of the meal depends on the land price of the restaurant.

In conclusion, Chinese buffet restaurants are inferior to those in Japan in terms of the cost-performance. Nonetheless, I will continue to try them occasionally.

Saturday, April 25, 2015

Job interview now and then

I have not been an employer. But I have some experience to be involved in a job interview. I had to choose the new subordinate of mine among several applicants. A job interview is quite stressful, not only for the applicants but also for the interviewers.

To begin with, there are many taboos in the interview. You should not ask the candidates about anything unrelated to the job itself. In particular, questions about religions, ideologies, or others with a possibility to inflict some discrimination are strictly prohibited. For example, you should not ask the marriage status of the applicant.

According to the article below, you should not ask the amount of salary the applicant took in the former job. Referring the information of salary history in each employee can lead to fixation of the inequality of earning.

Sydney Morning Herald: The one question you shouldn't ask in a job interview

I think it is an interesting opinion. Indeed, we tend to judge a person based on his salary, rather than examining his own ability. Higher wages have a power of branding.

On the other hand, there are some applicants willing to disclose their salary in the past. They claim that they are worthy to get a higher pay. It is quite natural for the applicants to express their value as much as possible.

These principles are officially also committed in Japan. Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare published a guideline about a job interview. However, the guideline is hardly adhered in Japan, as far as I know. The interviewers frequently ask familial status to the applicants. They are afraid of women to quit the job when they get pregnant. It is another problem that pregnant women have great difficulty in continuing the work in Japan. Anyway, gender discrimination is common in Japanese companies, to be shameful.

My past entry: Japan as the worst for women

Recently, CV attached with a face photograph of the applicant became rare, perhaps to avoid inflicting prejudice, especially in the race. In Japan, however, everyone take a photo to attach it to the CV. Surprisingly, there is a rumor that some interviewers accept only the handwritten CV. They say that CV created using a word processor is not trustworthy because they are easy to duplicate. Considering this, most applicants submit handwritten CV. Ridiculous!

I think that the situation of job interview in Japan is outdated. However, I am not sure what kind of job interview is the best way to select the fittest person in the fair method. Recently, Google withdrew the brain teaser as a procedure of job interview. It may require more time to clarify whether the new standard of Google is effective.

My past entry: New standard of adoption in Google

My past entry: Hiring interview for Google and me

In my opinion, there is no better way to assess the candidates than relying on your impression, in the presence. Some workers have good talents but the difficulty in cooperating with others. I know that some of my subordinates made a great progress in the work after a few years in spite of their poor performance at the time of recruitment. The human spirit is complex and unpredictable.

Friday, April 24, 2015

Atomic power plant to restart in Japan

Recently, Kagoshima district court decided to reject the request of the citizens for the suspension of Sendai nuclear power station.

Sendai nuclear power station has almost met the safety criteria to restart its reactor. However, some citizens opposed to working of it because of the risk of accident. The court approved that there were no problem with the new standard the government has established and the appeal for restart was appropriate. This news attracts attention not only in Japan but also in abroad.

Sydney Morning Herald: Court approves restart of Japanese nuclear reactors despite safety fears

First of all, I do not believe that the court decision can guarantee the safety of the atomic power plant. As far as I know, the court has no ability to find the truth in any case. Its role is to judge which claim is more rational and persuasive. In this case, the explanation of Kyushu Electric Power seems superior to the activists.

Notwithstanding this, I do not worry about the safety of the atomic power plant so much. Fukushima Daiichi atomic power plant was crippled by the earthquake and Tsunami disaster. It was a horrible accident, and the fear of contamination of the sea water with the radioactive substance is still alive now. However, the cause of this accident has already been clarified. The alternative power battery for an emergency was placed on the area vulnerable to Tsunami. If this backup power had been working, the power plant would not have caused a meltdown.

Therefore, basically, Japanese power plants are quite secure, unless it is attacked by stronger Tsunami than that occurred in the 3.11 disaster.

I understand the fear of the citizens. They are forced to take the risk of forced evacuation exclusively. The government should compensate for the risk.

I do not believe Japan can survive without nuclear power. It took more than 20 billion USD in the year to import the fossil fuel in compensation for the static atomic power plants. In addition, nuclear reactors spend much money even in the rest. Furthermore, they still have the risk of meltdown, despite a little safer than at work.

For these reasons, I think Japan has to restart the atomic power plants in order. Of course, detailed investigation is necessary. But it never gets rid of the anxiety of the citizens, because there is no 100% safety. We have to accept it as far as we live in Japan, the nation of nature's wrath.


Thursday, April 23, 2015

Mindfulness-based cognitive therapy, a new way to protect you from depression

There is a trend in every regions, psychotherapy as well. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) has been the center of psychological intervention for a few decades. And recently, a new comer attracts attention: Mindfulness-based cognitive therapy. I often find the opportunity to learn about mindfulness in London.

Mindfulness is a thought originated from Zen ways of ancient Japanese Buddhism. It emphasizes the recognition and acceptance of the presence. People tend to look back to the past, imagines the horrible future, and avoid from a focus on the present self, especially in a depressive state. Mindfulness encourage you to understand the present situation including you strength and troubles you face currently, to accept them as they are.

CBT has been proven as the most promised technique in all psychotherapies in order to deal with depression. Recently, therapists began to introduce the concept of mindfulness to enhance the effectiveness of CBT. Some psychotherapists criticized CBT for underestimating the emotional and spiritual aspects of the clients. Mindfulness-based cognitive therapy can be an answer to such disputes.

The Guardian mentioned the effectiveness of mindfulness-based cognitive therapy. In this article, a randomized-controlled trial was introduced. In this study, the participants were assigned to either therapy group or medication group.

The Guardian: Mindfulness as effective as pills for treating recurrent depression - study

The primary outcome to be measured was recurrence rate of depression. As a result, the rate of recurrence in two years followup was not significantly different in two groups, although mindfulness-based cognitive therapy group looked superior at a glance of the survival curve in the original article. The researchers seem disappointed to see this result, as they had been convinced the superiority of mindfulness-based cognitive therapy.

The Lancet: Effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of mindfulness-based cognitive therapy compared with maintenance antidepressant treatment in the prevention of depressive relapse or recurrence (PREVENT): a randomised controlled trial

This result itself is not so surprising. The effectiveness of mindfulness-based cognitive therapy has been suggested in a systematic review.

A systematic review of mechanisms of change in mindfulness-based cognitive therapy in the treatment of recurrent major depressive disorder.

However, my concern is different. The recurrence rate itself was 44% in the mindfulness-based cognitive therapy group and 47% in the medication group. Thus, approximately half of the participants experienced a relapse or recurrence in spite of continuous therapy. It is quite sorry for the patients.

Depression is a chronic disease easy to recurrence. The recurrence rate in a lifetime is estimated to 75%. It is the task of professionals how to reduce the rate of saving the patients.

We cannot be satisfied to see the 44% of the recurrence rate in two years. Mindfulness-based cognitive therapy may be innovative, but still have challenges in terms of clinical approval. Notwithstanding this, it is worthy to know that a series of structured mindfulness training is compatible to two-year medication. We should seek for better solution about this matter.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Why you should not make a ToDo list

Businesspersons have to administrate many tasks at the same time. Some works are very tiny while others are complicated. Forgetting the deadline of each one would make you regret later.

To address them, you may used to be ordered to make a ToDo list by your boss. ToDo list is obviously the list of what you should do. You may be disappointed to see the words on the list each of which bothers you.

So, I declare that ToDo list is no more meaningful. I recommend you to drop it immediately. Why?

There are many lists you can make other than ToDo list. You have experienced to make a list of goods you have to purchase. You may be encouraged to make the dream list in some seminars on self-development.

In the session of cognitive therapy, we often recommend the client to make a list of worrying. Listing up what you worry about now lets you relieve from anxiety, as a simple problem-solving.

Dale Carnegie also wrote about it in his book "How to stop worrying and start living." According to him, getting the fact is necessary to analyze the worries in order to deal with them appropriately.

How To Stop Worrying And Start Living By Dale Carnegie

But, actually, creating a worrying list makes you happy, without analyzing in detail. I suggest depressed patients to write them down and burn it immediately. It is enough, because of some reasons.

1. Writing the worries itself is an analysis.
When you make the worrying list, you have to vocalize your thought. It helps you to clarify what is bothering you.

2. You can know how many worries you are suffering.
You can count the items to know how many worries is there around you. Ten, twenty, or a hundred? It is important to recognize that the worries are countable. A person in the maelstrom of anxiety may feel being attacked by infinite and eternal concerns. Listing crashes such a delusion.

3. Some worries are incurable.
You may worry about what nobody can solve. For example, anxiety about the war, fear of getting old, diseases in the future, and so forth. Worrying about such things is a waste of time, especially when you are exhausted. Burn them, and forget them, do not analyze them.

For these reasons, the worrying list is effective to relieve you even if it does not serve as a solution.

In contrast, ToDo list has no power of relieving. Most people list up the tasks that have already been clarified. You may know the tasks are not infinite, of course. And it is the most important that you unintentionally include the tasks that you will never accomplish.

You can drop the worrying list whenever you want to do so. On the contrary, ToDo list on your desk continues to bother you until all the items are eliminated. And you may know the day when the list becomes vacant will never come.

You should not make ToDo list. Instead, I recommend you to obey a rule in the situation you have to deal with multiple tasks.

“Begin on the task whose deadline is the slowest.”

My past entry: The best way to multi tasks

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Parliamentary election in the UK, and EU matter

As a parliamentary election is planned on May 7th, I receive several advertising mails recently, despite I have no right to vote.

The media report the advantage of David Cameron and the ruling conservative party. It seems that any chaotic situations are not expected, different from the referendum regarding the independence of Scotland in last year.

The voting rate in the UK is not so high. The voter turnout in the UK dramatically decreased in the 21st century, fell to 60%. After that, the rate remains 65%. This tendency is also seen in Japan. Also in the US, vote rate was only 67.95% in 2014. The indifference to the politics especially in youth seems common in several developed countries.

General election turnout 1945 – 2010

The Guardian released an article discussing the secession from the EU. Cameron has stated to plan the referendum in 2017 about this issue.

The Guardian: What would happen if Britain left the EU?

Considering the information from the media, it is unlikely for British people to decide the secession from the EU. Cameron's statement seems to be merely a concern towards people belonging to extreme right wing thoughts. As suggested in this article, there is scarce merit for the UK to say goodbye to the EU.

In terms of the international business, membership of the EU is advantageous for the UK. If it leaves from the EU, exporting goods to other countries in the EU will become difficult. In the context of financial service, Swiss is a successful example outside of the EU. However, it is uncertain if the UK can mimic the same scheme leading to gain adequate interest.

The matter of immigration tends to be focused, and sometimes ignites an emotional reaction. However, it is reported that immigrants have little impact on the deterioration in the wages of domestic employees. On the other hand, immigration can be beneficial to further development in the long term, both in keeping the population and accelerating the innovation through the mixing cultures.

It is obvious that the most important risk of the EU is Euro crisis. Germany has dealt with the fiscal problems in the EU several times. The UK also has to pay the considerable amount of cash for the maintenance of the EU. However, the influence of Euro crisis is limited because the UK has not adopted Euro as the local currency. I think the UK made a wise choice.

Totally, it is unrealistic for the UK to leave from the EU immediately. It should not be argued in juxtapose to the Scotland, in my opinion. Nonetheless, this issue will occasionally be mentioned. Because it is an easy way to make the citizens pay attention to politics.

Monday, April 20, 2015

Instant kill disease? A Nigerian mystery

There are still lots of unidentified being in the world. It is awful the topic comes to about disease.

A total of 17 people in Nigeria was killed by some unidentified diseases, recently. According to the officials in Ode-Irale, a southern Nigerian town, the patients all died within 24 hours after  they felt ill. The dominant symptoms were a headache, weight loss, blurred vision, and loss of consciousness.

The Times of India: 'Mysterious' disease kills 17 in Nigeria: Official

There are no similar syndromes reported not only in Nigeria but also in any other regions. The WHO epidemiologists have arrived in Ode-Irale for the investigation. The blood and cerebrospinal fluid samples from the patients were extracted for the analysis.

Other than the infectious disease or toxic reaction cannot be considered to bring such an acute syndrome. One possibility is a new mutated bacteria, virus, or parasite with lethal power. The symptoms the patients experienced resemble acute encephalitis. Some kind of brain damage by the infectious disease does not accompany hyperthermia. However, weight loss cannot explain by acute infection. It is likely that the victims suffered from dehydration leading to weight change.

Another hypothesis is intoxication. Neural toxins can cause visual impairment with a headache. It is necessary what the victims took and where they visited are identified in detail.

The number of the victims is rather small, considering that a new threat of the outbreak has emerged. It is possible that more victims will be reported soon. I hope the investigation will advance rapidly to clarify the cause of this mysterious hazard.

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Will Artificial Intelligence overwhelm human being?

Recently, topics about Artificial Intelligence (AI) is frequently focused. I saw a special article about AI in Nikkei Business, a popular magazine in Japan. According to the article, the AI technology is approaching a turning point.

Nikkei Business Online

Previously, the I recalled some computer avatars in a game, like chess, when hearing about the AI. Indeed, the development of the algorithm of the AI game player is splendid. Even the world champion is often defeated by the AI in Chess. Japanese professional Kishi (Shogi players) are struggling to investigate the strategy of AI player to win the game at the annual match "Dennoh-sen. (The battle of electric king)"

AI is now seen everywhere. A car navigator can tell you the best way to the destination. Google and Amazon suggest you some interesting offers considering your history of searching.

In addition, the recent development of programming has enabled the AI to do self-learning. A new image identification program learned how to identify the cat from the image photo, without any information input by a human. It looked through numerous pictures on the internet to connect with the explanation of them. This process is called "learning" as the same meaning as human children do. The newest AI is said to match 13 years old child in intelligence level.

AI does not get aged, nor die, unlike a human. Furthermore, when an error is detected, AI can update the algorithm and report it to other machines immediately. The speed of evolution of the AI is far rapider than human. It is the reason AI is estimated to overcome human soon.

Some people are concerned about the dystopia brought by the AI. There is an anecdote named "Paperclip crisis." One worker orders the AI to maximize the creation of paperclip. Then, the AI is enthusiastic to create paperclip, compensate for everything than it. The human attempting to cancel the order should be eliminated by the AI, being deemed as the obstacle to the task of maximizing the paperclip. Finally, the world is entirely covered with paperclips.

This story seems ridiculous. But, many famous people such as Bill Gates and Elon Musk are seriously worrying about similar disasters. Some fail-safe solutions are necessary for the time of unexpected events.

It is obvious that AI will get rid of our work. When Google car is realized, taxi drivers will no more needed. Computer transportation is safer and more convenient. Some investment banks have introduced the software to prospect the tide of economic mood. Electronic library and excellent search engines will ban librarians.

Some people are fearful of this story, opposing to the development of the AI. But I do not think so. Human has evolved so far pursuing more effectiveness. If we can survive without work, it is desirable.

Some regions are said not to be infiltrated by the AI, such as education, management, and caring. In the far future, there will be only comedians and nurse as an occupation, perhaps.

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Suicide in India

Professor Vikram Patel at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine commented about the suicide in India.

Patel is one of the most influential people in the world, according to Time. He is enthusiastically engaged in the activity to improve the hygiene level of mental health. He is concerned about the unawareness of mental illness in India.

The Times of India: 'Suicide will soon become India's number 1 killer': Vikram Patel

A recent survey revealed that the suicide attributes 3% of all mortality in India. In youth, suicide is the second most common cause of death, following to transport accident.

Approximately a half of suicide cases occurs in youth. It leads to a great loss. He emphasized the importance of the prevention.

Lancet (2012) Suicide mortality in India: a nationally representative survey.

The suicide rate in India is 10.5 per 100,000 in a year, according to WHO. Actually, this rate is only the half of that in Japan. Nonetheless, Patel is worrying about the negative impact of poor mental health hygiene on the future in India.

My past entry: WHO publish report of suicide rate in 2012

It seems not difficult to reduce the prevalence of suicide in India, at least in a short term. About half of suicide were due to poisoning of pesticides. The government should regulate the selling of pesticides, or substitute them to less poisonous sorts. This idea may be too simple, but effective. Indeed, Hong Kong was successful to reduce the incidents with the restriction of charcoal. The adversity to agriculture for restricting pesticides should be dealt, of course.

My past entry: Suicide prevention and public regulation

However, the more crucial is the enlightenment of the citizens. More than 90% of the people with mental illness does not get touch with mental health professionals. This situation is similar in many developing countries, and even some developed countries. There are some reasons: lack of knowledge, stigma for mental illness, superstition and the influence of alternative therapies, the absence of professionals, and poverty.

By the way, it is interesting that higher education may be the risk for suicide shown in the survey of Patel. This enigmatic association is broadly known and also seen in developed countries. Does intelligence have no power to overcome the despair? Someone said that intelligence is an ability to suffer more deeply. You should also be cautious about the risk.

Friday, April 17, 2015

Greek bonds into junk, S&P says

The countdown for the financial meltdown in Greece is still approaching.

Standard and Poor's (S&P) downgraded the level of the Greek bond into junk status. It thinks that Greece would not accomplish the payment for national debt properly without deep economic restructure. The interest rate on the two-year Greek bond is now almost 24%.

The Guardian: Greece at substantial risk of default, say experts

Greek officials have repeatedly requested to delay loan repayment to the International Monetary Fund (IMF). But the negotiation was not successful. Now, it seems to consider to transfer the state-owned enterprises to the Bank of Greece, as the last resort.

The Telegraph: Greece plans to raid coffers as creditors dash hopes of resolving cash crisis

Now, the national debt of Greece has reached 175% of its GDP. It is not surprising because the ratio is 231% in Japan. However, Greece has scarce domestic retention money, different from Japan. It means that Greece will soon bankrupt when the national bond possessed by foreign investors turns into a sale. The amendment of rating by S&P can be a trigger of it.

The debt of Greece is not a recent incident. It underestimated the fiscal burdening at the time of entering the EU. Even if the procedure of accounts is standardized, thoughts against the money and degree of delicacy upon the financial work differ between the countries. I think that many Greek people still do not understand the severity of this issue. It is the same in the leaders. Syriza will have a tough time.

My past entry: Anti-austerity won the election in Greece

My past entry: Greek financial crisis

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Cameron supports India

David Cameron, Prime Minister of the UK, stated to support India so that it would get permanent representation on the United Nations (UN) Security Council. He said this policy in his manifest.

The Times of India: Cameron to support India's permanent representation in UN Security Council

Cameron is concerned about the upcoming general election. He emphasized the importance of the relationship between the UK and India, as well as progressing the free global trade.

The UK was the suzerain of India. Many people moved from India to the UK, and now there are many Indian restaurants in the UK. It is not surprising that Cameron is supportive of India.

UN Security Council is a committee that consist of five nations with permanent membership and some temporal representatives. The five are the US, the UK, France, Russia, and China. Germany, Japan, and other countries are also eager to be enrolled. But there has been no nations newly accepted since the establishment of the UN. The permanent representatives have the right of rejection in any agenda submitted in the council. If too many countries utilize the rejection, the council would be no more functional.

India is still developing in population and GDP. However, it has a territorial dispute with China. It is unlikely China will permit the entrance of India. I am not sure whether Cameron intends to control China through this deal. Anyway, it is difficult for India to win the membership, I think.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Russia resume the export of weapon to Iran

Russia decided to restart the export of missiles to Iran.

The Russian president, Vladimir Putin, signed the order for the delivery of a sophisticated anti-aircraft missile system to Iran. This deal agreed five years ago, and Iran had already paid for the missile contract, but the delivery has been suspended in the chaotic situation of Mid-East.

The Guardian: Vladimir Putin authorises delivery of missile system to Iran

This decision of Russia followed the achievement in the international discussion around the issue of nuclear development in Iran. Just recently, Iran accepted the proposal, offered by the other six countries, planning of continuous supervision and gradual shrinking of the relevant facilities. Considering the relieving situation, Russia seemed to prioritize its own benefit.

It is natural that the US is concerned about this deal. However, it did not condemn Russia's decision, perhaps because the political influence of Russia in Iran is considered as crucial to continue the negotiation with Iran successfully.

BBC: US concern as Russia lifts ban on Iran arms delivery

On the other hand, Israel is very critical to this movement. After the anti-air missile system is established in Iran, Israel would not be able to attack Iran. Now, Israel is forced to determine whether to run the fatal attack immediately or not. COUNTDOWN TO ISRAEL ATTACK: RUSSIA LIFTS BAN ON MISSILE SALES TO IRAN

Since the cold war was over, the conflict between Russia and the US has vanished superficially. Instead, several proxy fights such as this case often emerge. Recently, Russia seems ahead to the US in terms of diplomacy, representing the power of America shrinking. The International relationship will become more complicated.

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Rook, a curious e-book offering service

This spring, a new and a little strange service will emerge in London.

Rook is a kind of digital library service. Registering Rook, you can read e-books as many as you like for free, but in limited places. If you would like to possess the e-book when leaving the Rook spot, you can buy it.

Galley Cat: Rook App Lets Readers Sample eBooks

The Guardian: Will new app Rook be a useful pawn in the publishing game?

From long ago, there is a dilemma regarding selling a book. You cannot decide whether the book is worthy to buy until you read it. But, after you read it, you need not buy it.

Overcoming this substantial problem, several solutions have been attempted. Many bookstores allow you to skim the books without buying. Critiques write a review for new books to offer you some suggestion. The publishers advertise the book with several methods. You can read the first several pages of the book for free via Amazon KINDLE.

Comparing to the above ideas, the approach of Rook resembles the most orthodox one, real bookstores. Rook spots are to become a bookstore or a library. You can complete the reading there, or get it with payment to continue reading in your house.

So, will Rook be successful? I think there are some factors relevant to shape the future.

First, the lineup is crucial. Some publishers have been reluctant to participate in the e-book industry so far. They can be afraid that many readers would complete reading at the Rook spot instead of buying it. The Poor reading list never attracts the readers’ attention. Seeking providers as many as possible in the early stage is important for Rook to be successful.

My past entry: Immature Kindle Unlimited

Second, I guess that E-books stimulate our desire for possessions much less than hardcover books. It is disadvantageous in the sales strategy. You dare not to buy an e-book for reading again in the future. Instead, come to the Rook spot.

Third, there is a dilemma of Rook spots. If there are few spots, few people will register. On the other hand, if too many spots available, buying the e-book itself will no longer necessary.

Considering these controversies, I think that it is difficult for publishers to make a large profit in this scheme. Administration of Rook seems quite delicate.

On the other hand, there is another possibility of the utilization of Rook. Rook can also lend this e-library. For example, you can open the Rook spot in your cafe for one day. Rook spots have a role to gather passengers. The place many passengers drop in makes some value.

The market of paper books is shrinking. I will keep an eye on the great experiment conducted by Rook, as a Londoner.

My past entry: Monthly subscription model in journals and books

Monday, April 13, 2015

Lloyds Bank refused to give a credit card to an old woman

According to the media, a 75 old year lady was declined her request to issue a credit card by Lloyds Bank.

She has been a customer of Lloyds Bank for several decades, and has no history of overdrawn. She decided to have a credit card after her husband passed away. Her main interest was in the great protection on the purchases.

However, Lloyds declined her request for the reason of her age. A spokesperson told that this decision was composite of several factors, not based on only the age.

The Telegraph: 'Lloyds Bank said that at 75 I was too old for a credit card'

In general, it is obvious that the older age can be a risk of a bad debt. Based on this view, hesitating to permit a credit card for an old person is understandable. On the other hand, elder people get the pension regularly and are less likely to indulge in reckless spending activity. In this meaning, the elderly is safer.

In the UK, getting a credit card is much more difficult compared to in Japan as far as I have heard. The entrance investigation seems strict. So, many people use the debit card instead of the credit card. However, most of the debit cards do not equip privileges such as purchase protection she wanted to gain. The situation is similar in the US.

I feel it is a little strange that getting a credit card is difficult in such countries in which credit cards are very frequently used. In contrast, some Japanese are not accustomed to using a credit card, and some are fond of carrying a large amount of cash. I had also seldom used a credit card in shopping in Japan.

Basically, digital payment and loaning are a different matter. Current credit card services contain several aspects such as digital currency, online payment, loaning, insurance, and ensuring social status. Paypal, Bitcoin, and other payment methods are gradually encroaching the role of the credit card partially. However, these modern methods will not substitute the status of the credit card. In the near future, the credit card will remain as simply "the credit" itself.

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Near crash case after lightning strikes an airplane

There was last December that an airplane was near to crash after an lightning strike.

According to the media, it was the Loganair flight from Aberdeen to Sumburgh Airport, carrying 30 passengers. The aircraft was struck by lightning in the process of landing.

The problem occurred then. The pilots misunderstood that autopilot system was crippled by the lightning. Therefore, their command to abandon the landing was canceled again and again by the autopilot. It was only 1,100 feet height when they regained the control and the plane started to climb again.

The Telegraph: Pilot averted disaster with seconds to spare after plane hit by lightning

The result was that the airplane itself was almost immune to lightning. However, the crews made a mistake in the recognition of the damage from the lightning. It might nearly led a disaster.

Being struck by lightning is rare, but not an impossible incident for an airplane. Since aircraft is easy to connect electricity, lightning is likely to penetrate it in a thunderstorm. Of course, pilots are keen to avoid thunderstorm or other risky atmosphere. However, the route is strictly determined in the landing process regardless of the intention of the pilots. Considering that, the present incident can be rather typical.

The other day, I saw Detective Conan: Magician of the Silver Sky, an animation movie. In this work, the airplane in which Conan and his friends were met similar accident. The lightning strike caused sequential collision against the control tower, causing a quite serious situation. In this film, autopilot as well as radio contact system was damaged. Actually, the airplane is much less vulnerable to lightning.

According to the media, the airline company has introduced this kind of situation into the pilot training programs. After the accident of  Germanwings, similar reports are likely to be focused, overrepresenting the accidents. Notwithstanding current situation, airplane is the most safe transportation. I believe the knowledge and technique of the professionals in this industry.

Saturday, April 11, 2015

Obama banned "correction" for gay

Obama administration banned conversion therapy for gay people. This statement is an answer to the petition by more than 120,000 people after the suicide of 17 yo transgender person. The person was subjected to a therapy to "correct" gender identity.

In the White House statement, conversion therapy was condemned as a solution neither medically nor ethically appropriate. American Psychiatric Association also criticize this therapy.

The Washington Post: White House condemns therapy to ‘cure’ gay youth

I am not familiar with conversion therapy. But I read a textbook about behavioral therapy in which conversion therapy was described. Theoretically, behavioral modification method can reinforce or dismiss any type of behaviors. It is obvious an informed consent is essential before starting such kind of therapies, nonetheless. Indeed, ethical issues were mentioned in detail in the textbook I read.

Obama administration is supportive to sexual minorities consistently. Obama is the first president who affirmed the same-sex marriage. In 2013, Supreme court of the United States judged that same-sex couple should be equally respected in any legal rights.

The cure is also subjected in "X-Men: the last stand," my favorite movie. In this film, mutants are metaphor of minority. It is suggestive that Ian McKellen, as Magneto who is fighting for the right of mutants, is a gay. He said in this film one day they would force the cure. I hope it would not be realized.

My past entry: X-Men and psychiatry (3)

In Japan, Shibuya Ward enacted a rule of same-sex partners in last month. It has nonrestrictive power to give same-sex couples social privileges as if they were married. This new regulation is quite tiny. Nonetheless, I admire the effort of Shibuya Ward, because they might meet many oppositions of conservative politicians.

Friday, April 10, 2015

My best computer games (5) VM JAPAN

My best computer games (1) OBLIVION
My best computer games (2) Baldur's Gate
My best computer games (3) Master of Magic
My best computer games (4) Heroes of Might and Magic 3

VM JAPAN is a computer strategy game produced by Nihon Falcom in 2002. Originally, it was developed for Windows Vista. Subsequently, a power-up kit was released.

Now you can get the series via some online shops. They work promptly on Windows 8.1. Unfortunately, English version has not be developed.

Wikipedia: VM JAPAN (in Japanese)

VM JAPAN is originated from Vantage Master series. Vantage Master is also a strategy game. VM JAPAN is so called an arranged version of Vantage Master. Amazingly, old Vantage Master English version is now available for free!

Wikipedia: Vantage Master

Falcom: Vantage Master

In this game, you are a summoner. Your goal is to defeat the opponent. In every battlefield, your will fight against the other summoner. Each summoner has unique characteristics. Some summoners have so high magic power that they can summon stronger creatures frequently. Others are tough, physically strong, or quick. The list of the creatures you can summon is completely same as the opponent, different from similar games such as Heroes of Might and Magic series. There are some affinities among each creature: Heaven is stronger than Earth, Earth than Water, Water than Fire, and Fire than Heaven. Therefore, you should consider what type of creatures is the most useful in each point of time.

In VM JAPAN, there is absolutely no random element. How many points of damage does a creature inflict to the enemy is fixed, depending on several factors, such as attack and defense skills and affinity of each creature and terrain effect. It means you cannot win by chance. Vantage Master resembles chess, rather than any other simulation games.

There are many single play scenarios included in the package. You can play the story mode, as well as the expert mode in which you have to fight in the disadvantageous condition. For example, higher lands are occupied by the enemy summoner at the beginning in some scenarios. Creatures with a ranged attack on the higher ground can aim at more distant enemies than usual.

This is the final stage in the tournament mode. The difficulty is set to HARD, so the enemy has higher level by 5 than the player.

After several conflicts, the player reached the northwest side of the battlefield. In my opinion, occupying this place is crucial to grab the victory. A couple of Gotensho, the most powerful creature, are approaching. How to deal with the crises is the key. Only one missed move would be fatal.

After a long time, I ran downed the enemy summoner. The victory is close to me. However, I should be cautious because the enemy has a special ability to fascinate any creatures.

It is unfortunate that I have not played VM JAPAN with another human player. If I so, I would be defeated easily, because I am not a good player. Nonetheless, this game is quite fun. It tells you that a simple rule offers you an exciting time!

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Obama prohibits Bitcoin donation to Snowden

Recently, President Obama of the US enforced the executive order to prohibit cyber donation to criminals.

Executive Order -- "Blocking the Property of Certain Persons Engaging in Significant Malicious Cyber-Enabled Activities"

According to this order, the US government can block any property of whom supported anti-governmental activists. Its effect includes digital currency such as Bitcoin.

Though not mentioned explicitly, it is obvious that this order aimed at Edward Snowden, an ex-officer of the National Security Agency, at large being charged with leaking national secrets.

My past entry: Mr. Snowden, a spy or other?

Ironically, Snowden collected more donation because of the order. Immediately after the order was published, the amount of Bitcoin sent to the address of Snowden was rapidly increased.

Bitcoin News: Obama announced the prohibition of donation to cyber criminals using Bitcoin (in Japanese)

Some brave, or just reckless, people might decide to donate after seeing the president order. One of such provocative people, Kristopher Ives, gave only 33 Cents with tweeting his personal information. The amount of devotion is tiny, but he seems serious to be opposing the treatment of the government. He compared Snowden to Deep Throat, a legendary whistleblower in Nixon era, in an interview.

MintPressNews: Obama’s New Executive Order Banning Donations To Edward Snowden Challenged With 33 Cent Donation

I think he will never be arrested. The US government is too busy to deal with 33 Cent crime. If there would be some movement, all Bitcoin addresses connected to the Snowden's will be investigated.

By the way, the amount of Bitcoin in Snowden's address is less than 30, equivalent to only 7000 USD now. The market of Bitcoin is still small, I feel.

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Horniman Museum

Very recently, I visited Horniman museum.

Horniman Museum and Gardens

I entered the aquarium to watch several fish as well as jellyfish.

They were so beautiful.

I like sea horse. They were fixing their body to the branch with the tail. Why do they have such a strange form?

The art of taxidermy was also exhibited there. There were many stuffed animals in the room. Taxidermy was focused among the wealthy people the other day. But recently, it seems not so popular, perhaps because of the standpoint of animal rights. I felt a little scared since they were as if still living.

There was a garden on the outside of the museum.

Some traditional instruments were playable there.

Beside the above, I enjoyed some exhibition such as African World and Music Gallery. Unfortunately, I missed the Easter event there.

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Revenge porn organizer imprisoned

Kevin Bollaert, living in San Diego was sentenced to 18 years imprisonment as operating a coercive business.

(This photo was provided by Photo AC.)

According to the court, he was managing a website exhibiting nude photos without the consent of the subject. The photographers had sent the photos attached to personal information of the subject anonymously. Then he requested money to those asking to remove the content. He is said to have got a total of 30,000 US$ from the victims.

The Guardian: Revenge porn website operator jailed

Obviously, his act is not acceptable. Even the lawyer for him admitted it.

Revenge porn is a relatively newly developed pattern of crime. Therefore, the legislation to restrict such behaviors has not fully established. On the other hand, the number of victims is rapidly increasing because of the easiness of committing it.

My past entry: Revenge porn

In this case, there are three types of offenders. Kevin is to be blamed first, needless to say. In addition, thousands of people sent the photos to him secretly. The lawyer claimed that allowing others to post the explicit material is not breaching the law. Nonetheless, it is no doubt that the providers had a malice, more or less, to humiliate the victims. If there had no providers of the photos, Kevin's "business" has not been able to launch.

The third offenders are the watchers. Many people are curious to see the nude of others. And some are stimulated by peeping behavior. Recently, a gynecologist was arrested by taking photos of the clients stripped at the physical examination. Also in Japan, there is a lot of porn categorized to peeping.

My past entry: Mass peeping by a gynecologist at Johns Hopkins

It is almost impossible to charge all of these offenders. However, it is not adequate for the prevention of further crimes only to crash the administrator of such porn site. It is inevitable to make a new rule of restriction against the providers and users of such harmful acts. Education for potential victims is necessary as many describing. It is awful that a tiny recklessness in youth may ruin your life.

Furthermore, the technology to delete a particular content immediately on the internet is expected to be developed, like being described in some Sci-Fi movies. But it is not realistic at the present. The characteristics of digital materials as not being expired is completely disadvantageous in this issue, ironically.

Monday, April 6, 2015

Thailand airlines banned due to security concern

Thailand airlines are now in chaos.

International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), an international audit, reported that it found significant safety concerns with the safety in Thai airlines companies. Considering this warning, Japan decided to refuse permission for newly charter flights of Thai airlines. Then, South Korea, China, and Singapore followed the decision of Japan.

Voice of America: China, Singapore Join Japan, South Korea in Scrutinizing Thailand Flights

Australia has not banned Thai airlines, perhaps because Thai Airways is the only company which regularly operates in Australia from Thailand, according to Australia's Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA). It is eager to keep in touch with Thai Airways for further investigation.

Thai Airways has been banned from flying to China, Japan, and South Korea over safety fears - so why does it still fly to Australia?

The Thai government accepts the suggestion of ICAO, and is planning to borrow military power if necessary to improve the safety of the flights. The European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) will be invited to inspect operations of the Thai aviation supervisory agency to fix this situation as soon as possible.

The Wall Street Journal: Japan Clips Thailand’s Wings With Airline Ban

ABS CBN NEWS: Why Japan, China, Korea banned new flights from Thai airlines

This incident seems to be attributed to the compromised permission by the domestic regulators so far. It is possible that Low-Cost Carriers (LCCs) in Thailand had a difficulty to fulfill the safety standard of aviation due to the restriction of the cost.

I trust the safety of LCCs basically. But excessive cost reduction can sacrifice the margin of the safety issues, as I experienced myself. Being just after the tragedy of Germanwings, public concern to Thai airlines must be ignited. It is too late to reconsider after an accident occurs. I accept the decisions of some countries to ban Thai airlines, even if thousands of people would be affected.

My past entry: A particular reason for delay in LCC

My past entry: German airbus crashed in France

I have not used Thai Airways, but have heard that the first class of it was luxury despite being not so expensive. If having an opportunity, I would like to enjoy it. I hope that Thai authority will solve this issue soon.

Sunday, April 5, 2015

Board game club activity in London

Very recently, I realized one of my dreams. I went to a game circle to play some board games with British and foreign players. It was an amazing experience.

As I wrote before, I am a board game lover. I had played games with my friends. But recently, I had no opportunity to enjoy them.

My past enty: Settlers of Catan, an excellent board game

My past entry: Catan championship at Kamata

There are several gaming conventions held in London. Almost everyday, I receive an invitation from Meetup, a web service for finding people sharing interests after registering.


It was unfortunate that most events are held on the northern side of Thames river, distant from my flat. In this time, I visited a pub very close to me.

A dozen of players gathered there. Everyone was very friendly. I had no difficulty to understand the rules of each game because some people explained it in detail.

I played the games below:

Timeline: Music & Cinema (2013)
It examines your knowledge. You have to arrange the cards according to the year each work printed on the card was released. This task was a little difficult for me because some works were unfamiliar with me. The illustrations were beautiful.

Qwirkle (2006)
It looks like Scrabble or Domino. The players set the square tiles whose color or shape is the same as the next one. If a line of six tiles is completed, the player gain the bonus of "Qwirkle." It was abstract but serious game. Good attention and construction are needed. 

Love Letter (2012)
It is an easy-playing and quick terminating game. Each player draw one card and then play one. Some cards affect another player to force him or her to drop out from the game if effectively used. The last player remained wins the game. Luck and intuition are substantial in this game.

Dixit (2008)
It is a popular game stimulating your imagination. The dealer plays a card on which a strange picture is printed. Without showing the picture, the dealer says some description about it. The other players choose a card in their hands. Every card was opened after being shuffled. The players have to find which card was selected by the dealer. Interestingly, English language was no more a barrier in playing this game. The images of each player against some cards were quite similar. 

King of Tokyo (2011)
It is featuring Japanese SFX movies such as Ultra-man or Godzilla. You play a role of a gigantic monster to conquer Tokyo. You can take some actions in each turn. Your goal is either defeating all opponents or gaining 20 victory points. This fact makes you choose the strategy. Some players became eager to attack the enemies. I struggled to get victory points rapidly, but was defeated by another player just before the winning.

All the games were fun and all players were kind. I hope to come up again.

Saturday, April 4, 2015

Concern about NHS investment in IT service

The NHS England declared to invest 78 million GBP for the development of healthcare technology this year.

According to the media, approximately half of the budget will be spent for the establishment of the integrated digital care fund, aiming the sharing health care information of each patient among medical practitioners. The other half will be used for the improvement of nursing care.

ITProPortal: NHS will invest £78m in healthcare technology this year

I am not sure how much the amount of the money invested has the impact on the medical IT industry. Seventy-eight million GBP is not a small, but I guess it will take astronomical expenditure for the complete establishment of the patient information sharing system all over the country. In Japan, some specialists have claimed the necessity of this kind of the system for a couple of decades. But the progress of the integration of the systems is quite sluggish.

Public hospitals are dominant in England, different from Japan, in medical practice. It seems advantageous to get along together with the introduction of a new system.

On the other hand, I think that there are many failures around the infrastructure in England. Most buildings in England are aged and may have several systems separated each other. In addition, maintenance in some systems seems inadequate. The PCs are frequently freezing in the hospital. Moreover, I could neither connect the internet nor call a phone in some rooms in a certain building, perhaps due to the thick walls. These factors will make the infiltration of the new system time-consuming.

My past entry: Fire accident at Holborn, London

The next matter is how to utilize the new system. As far as I have observed, several IT solutions have introduced in the services in England. However, some of them are not working at all. In some cases, I had to call for the help of an authority directly, because the online help desk was no use. It resulted in the increase of tasks rather than sparing the time. An electric medical chart system seemed not so functional. If someone added a new system to the present one, the situation would be deteriorated.

I think there is room for improvement of the management processes of each service. But, it is difficult to introduce a new scheme with keeping the conventional one also functional. It is a dilemma of IT system. It is far easy to construct a new system from the beginning. Perhaps, developing countries would acquire the gift of sophisticated IT systems in the near future.

Friday, April 3, 2015

Fire accident at Holborn, London

I am hesitating to continue to report the disastrous news, but this one is still influencing the life of many Londoners.

An electric fire accident occurred in a pavement at Holborn on April 1st, 2015. Big smoke rose from the block, forcing approximately 5,000 people to be evacuated.

The BBC: Holborn electrical fire causes mass evacuation

In spite of the endeavor of firefighters, the fire had been growing for 24 hours. Originally the fire was suspected to be started by an electric cable. Thousands of people suffered from blackout. Still now, electricity is not recovered in hundreds of flats.

The BBC: Holborn underground fire burns for 24 hours

The extinguishing activity is still rushing now. The blaze is under control, according to London Fire Brigade. The reason of the fire remains to be proven in detail.

The BBC: Holborn fire: Cause of blaze remains 'unknown.'

I knew the news through an email from King's College notifying that the Strand Campus was crippled. Fortunately, I did not visit there, so I was not involved. Some of my friends also did not know the accident.

I have not met such a huge accident ever before. In Japan, there are many disasters we encounter, such as earthquake and typhoon. But it is rare that a broad electric failure continues for days. I guess that a part of the infrastructure in London is so aged that there is a risk of an accident leading to mass disaster. It seems a big problem of the cities with a long history.

By the way, the internet is vulnerable in my flat these days. I am not sure it is attributed to this fire. Many people are more suffering than me. I hope the restoration will be accomplished as soon as possible.

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Air Canada accident

Unfortunately, it is not a joke.

An airplane belonging to Air Canada made a troubled landing at the Halifax Airport, causing at least 25 passengers injured on March 29, 2015. It made an abrupt landing, to skidded off the runway

The Telegraph: Air Canada plane crash lands injuring 25

It is quite fortunate that nobody was killed. Nonetheless, this accident could influence the mind of the passengers as a traumatic event.

The aircraft was also Airbus 320, the same as the crashed one last week in France. It seems mere by chance that the accidents occurred subsequently in this type of airplane, because the previous one was attributed to the intentional move of the co-pilot. The reason of the present case is still yet to be clarified.

The pilot will be investigated to reveal the figure of this accident. I do not believe that this pilot was also mentally ill. Perhaps, it is due to some mechanical dysfunction or human error.

The Globe and Mail: Air Canada pilots to be in the spotlight in Halifax plane crash investigation

After a sensational incident, similar cases tend to attract public attention. Then, we misinterpret it as if there are many similar cases occurred at the same time. In fact, there are always lots of silly cases unreported in many regions.

However, the air traffic accident is rare. The cases having caused the injury to the passengers are usually reported. I feel the number of incidents in this industry may be slightly increasing. If so, cost-cutting competition among the LCCs can contribute to it. Of course, the number of the flights is increasing, making it difficult to take control upon each flight.

I am not sure the safety standard of the airplane should be reconsidered immediately. A Deep investigation in each case is to be prioritized. The next step is to share the information of the results within every airline companies not to repeat the similar accident.

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Google Psychiatrist launched: loosing my job

What I had worried was realized. I am in the peril of losing the job, as well as most of my colleagues.

Google announced to have a limited launch of a new service, named "Google Psychiatrist." It is available experimentally in some states in the US now.

Google Psychiatrist: New solution to improve your mental health for free

This service equips a kind of Artificial Intelligence to play a role of a psychiatrist. When using it, you have only to input some symptoms you are suffering from and answer some questions. Open description form is also available, in which you can write your current status, such as "Since two weeks ago, I have had a sense of guiltiness. I feel unhappy and extremely tired. Perhaps the main reason is a conflict with my boyfriend."

Google Psychiatrist then analyzes the information obtained from you, referring numerous academic literature including case reports, and finally gives some candidates of clinical diagnoses. The result is basically based on DSM-5, published by American Psychiatric Association. Indeed, APA has been collaborating with Google in the development of Google Psychiatrist.

In addition, Google Psychiatrist proposes you some solutions to overcome the burden of your mental illness. It recommends some medication, cognitive behavioral therapy, and self-help groups.

I am not sure how accurate the decision of Google psychiatrist is, as far as looking through the press releases. Google seems to be serious to make it work as a part of clinical psychiatry. The negotiation with FDA and some authorities in the US to get the permission of legalizing Google Psychiatrist as an alternative of real psychiatrists is now in progress.

A chief programmer of Google Psychiatrist team said at an interview that psychiatry was the first target to utilize Google's AI technology in the medical science, because there is a considerable variance in the quality of psychiatrists. It is an annoying comment. He also told that Google Psychiatrist would be much beneficial to developing countries because the shortage of qualified psychiatrists is quite serious in some regions in the Southeast Asia and Africa.

To be honest, I forecast such a situation in the past. However, it will be realized earlier than I expected. If this service is authorized and becomes common, many psychiatrists will lose their jobs. Some academic associations such as groups of psychoanalysts published an opposing comment against Google Psychiatrist, saying that the human mind is still too complex to interpret by a computer.

Google Psychiatrist should be banned: Statement by APSA

On the other hand, some health insurance companies are welcoming Google Psychiatrist. It is no doubt that they expect to reduce the expenditure for psychiatric care.

Psychiatric cost in the future

There is another discussion about it. Google is suspected to develop a tool for psychiatric testimony. It will equip CCD camera, and voice recorder, and some bio-metric devices including electroencephalography. Attached on Google Psychiatry, it can distinguish the person who is malingering from mentally disordered, according to some media. This awful tool, named as "Google Inspector" will be installed in the next year.

Google tell the truth: Amazing plan of revealing the lie

It means that, not only forensic psychiatrists, but also public prosecutors, will be fired in the near future.

Accidentally, the current issue of Nikkei Business describes AI in the future. I was impressed by the articles. Furthermore, the future is now. I have to seek another job opportunity than a psychiatrist, perhaps.