Friday, September 30, 2016

Sequels in September 2016

September 27, 2016
Chairman of Lotte going to be arrested

The Korean court rejected the request of the prosecutor for arresting Lotte Chairman. It said that the arrest lacked the necessity and was considered not to be valid.

Bloomberg: Korean Court Rejects Arrest-Warrant Request for Lotte Chief

It is not rare in Korea that the Court rejects the prosecutor's request. It seems a safeguard for human right is working. As far as I know, Japanese court seldom rejects the request of a prosecutor for arrest or detain.

Anyway, Korean prosecutor is eager to prosecute the big brothers of Lotte. It is uncertain about the outcome of the trial.

September 16, 2016
Modern gamebooks circumstance

I have now almost completed writing a gamebook with 100 paragraphs. Soon I am willing to publish it via Kindle DTP. It was a work of fun for me.

September 6, 2016
Obama canceled the meeting with Philippine after being provoked

Soon after this incident, Duterte made an apology to Obama for his rude attitude. And a brief meeting of them was finally realized on September 7, 2016.

The Telegraph: Barack Obama meets Philippine leader Rodrigo Duterte briefly despite insults

Deterte seems to have regretted his provocative comment. It is rational for him to make an effort to recover the relationship with the US President.

Thursday, September 29, 2016

The first debate between Trump and Clinton

The first debate between two candidates for the US President was conducted on Monday.

I did not watch the debate directly. But the media reported that Clinton is predominant to Trump, as far as I read. (Caution: the media I looked through can be biased.)

The Guardian examined some Trump’s comments, to conclude most of them were incorrect or twisted. For example, Trump believes free trade partnership such as NAFTA got rid of jobs of American people. But it is quite doubtful that diminishing manufacturing in the US is attributable to international trading. His past statements which Trump denies in the debate were referred in this article below.

The Guardian: Presidential debate fact-check: Trump and Clinton's claims reviewed

In the beginning, Trump seemed to stay calm and avoid blunt words. But as Clinton countered Trump’s attacks, he began to be agitated. Clinton criticized Trump on his past comments and politically incorrectness.

The Guardian: Trump loses cool while Clinton stays calm during first presidential debate

I guess many neutral audiences thought that Trump lacks patience for the President. This debate is not only a speech contest but also the stress test, evaluating the resistance to provocation. A person who easily loses his temper like Trump is not suitable to an influential position such as the President.

The Atlantic: Hillary did what she needed to do

However, still many people support Trump because they believe he is representing their anger and will make a change of this obstructive situation. The supporter of Trump increased after the debate. It is a fact not to be omitted.

I understand that he attracts a certain group of people. Nonetheless, I never believe Trump deserves to be the President of the US. I am concerned about the next debate.

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Mac OS Sierra released

Apple released the new operating system for Mac, called “Sierra” very recently. Users can update their Mac via Mac App store. El Capitan, the previous OS, is overwritten by installing Sierra.

The most impressive feature of Sierra is that Siri is available on Mac. Siri used to be a personal assistant of iOS machines. Initially, it was introduced to iPhone, and followed by iPad. But Mac had not equipped Siri so far. Cortana, the voice-guided assistant program in Windows PC was preceding to Mac.

Another function installed via Sierra is Optimized Storage. It works on Mac to save your local storage through uploading the data which are rarely used to the iCloud automatically. There are some other unique characters in Sierra.

I installed Sierra the other day. To be honest, I have not accustomed to Sierra, either El Capitan. It seems good to utilize Siri on Mac. On the other hand, how much Optimized Storage is helpful for you depends on your way of using iCloud. Basically, you can possess only 5 GB storage on the iCloud. It is not enough to store important files. If you have never utilized iCloud, Optimized Storage can profit you. However, I guess there is a risk that Sierra exploits data translation while you use tethering with your smartphone.

Some failures are reported around Sierra. It is common that a newly released OS contains several problems. The article below presents some typical errors on Sierra. Fortunately, I have not experienced these malfunctions so far. Actually, iCloud is slowly working, but it is unsure Sierra is responsible.

Techradar: macOS Sierra problems: Here's how to fix the most common issues

On the other hand, I have to say that Endnote X7, software for arranging academic articles, is not working on Sierra. The provider committed this issue, but it will not be fixed, perhaps. Then, I have to use Endnote X7 only on Windows PC.

Considering these facts, I recommend you not to install Sierra immediately unless you are an enthusiast.

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Chairman of Lotte going to be arrested

Korean prosecutors intend to arrest Lotte group chairman. They asked permission of arrest for the court on Sep 26th, 2016.

Reuters: South Korea prosecutors seek arrest warrant for Lotte Group chairman

The prosecutors suspect Shin Dong-bin, the Lotte Chairman, had conducted embezzlement of the profit and malpractice in the management of the group companies. Lotte's spokesman admitted the fact and said that Don-bin was willing to cooperate with the police.

Lotte was founded in 1948 originally in Japan, because Shin Kyuk-ho, the founder of Lotte, was residing in Japan. After that, Kyuk-ho developed Lotte also in South Korea in 1966. Lotte was originally a sweets providing company. But it grew rapidly, to gain many other companies such as hotels and professional baseball teams. Nowadays, there are no Japanese who have not heard the name "Lotte." And many Japanese do not know that the founder is a Korean.

Shin Dong-bin succeeded the seat of the chairman of Korean Lotte in 2011. He acted as the owner of Lotte in Japan professional baseball, and he let Lotte become the champion of the Pacific League in 2010.

His elder brother, Shin Dong-joo, assume the president of Lotte Japan in 2011. However, he was dismissed by his father, Shin Kyuk-ho. It seemed that Shin Dong-bin succeed the whole group. But, the relationship between Dong-bin and Kyuk-ho was deteriorated. Last year, Kyuk-ho, cooperating with Dong-joo, attempted to exile Dong-bin. But his will was not accepted by the board of directors. Kyuk-ho was finally forced to leave the administration of Lotte group.

It occurred only one year ago. I am not sure this conflict is somewhat relevant to the movement of prosecutors. They seem willing to arrest not only Don-bin, but also Kyok-ho and Don-joo. It is unlikely one of these persons made an intrigue.

BBC: Prosecution seeks arrest of Lotte chairman in bribery probe

By the way, actions of a person at an influential position of a company are often arbitrally interpreted by the authority. For example, a president decides a big deal, such as a hostile takeover, to lead a large amount of loss. Then, some stakeholders will suspect that the president intended to make a loss to reward the counterpart secretly, against stockholders' interest. Therefore, we should be cautious to treat such news.

Monday, September 26, 2016

Yahoo hacked to have stolen 500 million personal information

Nowadays, it is not strange that some popular companies are attacked by cyber criminals. They are willing to steal personal information of customers, do damage to company activities, and sometimes take a ransom for recovering important data in the companies. Even a hospital can be a target.

My past entry: Ransom-ware and Bitcoin in hospital

Very recently, Yahoo!, a giant internet company, was hacked and got stolen the data it had stored. The data included up to 500 millions of personal information of customers. Thus, the victims can be exposed to the risk of vulnerable security regarding their mail address password, and even credit card information.

Yahoo claims that this case may be conducted by a state-sponsored actor. Thus, a particular country committed a cyber-terror attack, according to the guess of Yahoo. Yahoo has not disclosed the information which state was involved in this case, but some people suspect that Chinese are responsible for this issue. Yahoo Hack: Who Got Hit, Where, and How to Protect Yourself

I am unsure who and which organization is the perpetrator. And I would not be surprised who committed the hack. It is the era of cyber war, and it can be caused very easily compared to the real war. Companies have to protect themselves and their customers from not only individual criminals but also hostile organizations.

From this point, Yahoo is not considered to have been prepared adequately to cyber-attacks. Some data including security questions of the customers had not been encrypted. Previously, I had thought Yahoo was inferior to Google and other online service companies regarding technical skills. It is uncertain if my guess was correct, but it is likely that Yahoo has to reconsider its way of ensuring security.

And as a customer, you are recommended to make the change of the password and security question immediately, even if you convince not to be influenced. Two-factor authentication should be considered to be introduced. It is an annoying process but quite effective in shielding your account. Otherwise, you can abandon Yahoo to replace it with other online services.

Independent: Yahoo hack: Am I affected? What to do to protect yourself from the world’s biggest hack

This incident is the biggest cyber security breach case so far. I think, however, it is not so substantially different from other cased happened in the past.

Sunday, September 25, 2016

Sweeteners are risky? Studies cannot show the answer

Artificial sweeteners have been very common in the modern world. As they include no sugar, it is considered you can take it without worry about becoming obese. Beverages containing sweeteners instead of sugar are popular as “zero calorie drink,” and many people enjoy them.

However, it is doubtful whether some sweeteners are completely safe. Some researchers claim that excessive taking of sweeteners can cause troubles on your body. Their adverse effects are varied from increased risk of diabetes to direct damage on the kidney.

But, it is also not likely that sweeteners are absolutely harmful. Indeed, the health risk of taking excessive sugar is frequently mentioned in recent days. It is still unsure which is safer, as we have used artificial sweeteners for only some decades.

Many researchers have conducted a study to prove the safety or risk of sweeteners. You can easily read their outcomes on many academic journals. However, you should be aware of the possibility of biased, or even twisted results of each study.

Conflict of interest is a major problem to infringe the value of research. If your study examining the effect of a drug is funded by a pharmaceutical company providing the drug, you should disclose the fact in advance to explain the result of the study. Otherwise, you will lose the trust of readers and other researchers.

A recent study indicated the great influence of sponsors on the result of studies. Researchers at the University of Sydney conducted a meta-analysis of several clinical trials published in the past. The result suggested a considerable influence of sponsors on each study.

The Sydney Morning Herald: Is artificial sweetener safe? It depends who you believe

According to the authors, every study funded by sweetener companies suggested the safety of aspartame, whereas 92 percent of independently funded studies warned its adverse effects.

Also, it can be estimated that studies funded by a sugar company show the risk of artificial sweeteners because sugar is competitive to sweeteners.

Therefore, shall we ignore any results of research? Of course, not. There are many studies excellently constructed and whose results are trustworthy regardless of the nature of founders. However, distinguishing them from other junk studies is not easy. Adequate knowledge and skills are needed to assess the true quality of each paper. The sense of critical appraisal is a basic skill of researchers. But, it is the matter that most researchers have no enough time to review other researchers’ work without overlooking erroneous process.

This situation will be improved, I think. Nowadays, many people not limited to specialists can read academic articles on the internet. Some readers detected critical flaws in the article accepted to a popular academic journal. Non-specialized people can also be good critics. Shortly, almost all academic articles will be exposed to the eyes of astronomical numbers of people to be ratified.

By the way, I do not think sweeteners are so risky. I take it occasionally, but not so frequently.

Saturday, September 24, 2016

Why you must not let your sweetheart take your nude photo

If you are a teenager, you may have a temptation of taking your nude photo by your lover. Or, he may ask you to do so. What do you think about it?

Youth is an age of recklessness. More or less everyone has memories of committing inappropriate behaviors. It is not your fault, but human nature, as many studies suggest most of the delinquent adolescents will never relapse misconducts in their middle age.

However, it is possible to single particular act causes you a serious trouble which would be hardly recovered. Especially in the era of the internet, your fault may be recorded, preserved for a long time, and spread to many other people. You should be aware of the risk.

One of the potentially risky behaviors is to let anyone take a photo of your stripped figure. Some youths are fond of taking nude photos of their lover. I never recommend such an act.

There are three risk scenarios which will strike you in the future regarding your nude photos.

1. Revenge porn

Recently, the reports of this kind of crimes are rapidly increasing. Just last week, a suicide case of the victim of revenge porn was reported.

ANSA General News: Revenge porn victim commits suicide

You may trust your partner with full respect. However, the emotion of love is quite fragile. Trusting someone does not mean letting him do anything on you. If you are stuck to preserve your nude photo, I recommend you to consult a professional photographer.

2. Being hacked

Even if you can completely believe your partner, there is another risk of your nude spread. The storage in which your photos are stored can be stolen, physically or electrically, by a cracker. Many celebrities reported victimization that their PC was hacked and their nude photos were stolen. You might not be a target of infamous crackers. But, an accident occurs at any time.

3. Account banned

Nowadays, few people use cloud storage service. Instant uploading of photos is almost unconsciously performed. And cloud storages cannot be entirely safe.

Also, you should be aware that some service providers have very strict regulation regarding pornography. Facebook prohibits most erotic photos. If your photo is deemed as porn, your account will be banned immediately, and never restored. I have reported a case of banned Google account because the person uploaded his child’s nude unintentionally.

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

Account banning will do severe damage to you. You will have no time to move your emails, diaries, to-do lists, and photos. To prevent such an unfortunate incident, never take your nude photo.

Friday, September 23, 2016

Exposure to light make men sexually vigorous, study suggests

Sexual drive in men is said to decline following aging. Reduced libido is considered as a phenomenon of suffering for many men. Therefore, several materials advertising the effect to enhance men’s function are popular, regardless of their actual efficacy.

A recent study suggests a simple solution for reduced libido in men. It is light.

Independent: Sex is improved by shining bright lights at men, new study finds

Researchers at the University of Siena conducted a randomized controlled trial in which a total of 38 men were involved as a participant. Members of the treatment group were exposed to strong light, and the significantly less bright light was offered to the placebo group. The level of interest in sex and testosterone levels were subjected to be evaluated. As a result, participants exposed to bright light had more sexual satisfaction than the control group. Testosterone level was significantly raised in the treatment group.

ScienceDaily: Lack of interest in sex successfully treated by exposure to bright light

The researchers presented the result at an academic conference. This study seems still yet to be published. Therefore, it is difficult to examine the validity of this study properly.

At a glance, however, I wonder people in the depressive state were excluded from the participants. Sexual dysfunction and decrease of the sexual drive are one of the symptoms frequently seen in patients with depression. And middle-aged men are likely to be depressive. It is unsurprising that a man consults a doctor about his impaired sexual desire, without being aware of his depressive mood. On the other hand, exposing strong light at AM can improve the symptoms of depression. There is rich evidence suggesting the effect of light therapy for depression. Thus, depression could work as a mediator between light therapy and sexual drive in this study, if depressive participants had not been excluded in advance.

Also, the usual lifestyle of the participants can be another matter. In general, getting up in the early morning and exposing to the sunshine are good habits. Good habits make you healthy, keep you young and vital. In contrast, disorganized lifestyle does damage on your health. Diabetes Mellitus also causes sexual dysfunction.

As the researcher says, this study is a small pilot study. You should not rely on the result entirely. Nonetheless, the finding deserves to attract attention. I expect the relationship between sexual drive and exposure to light is examined in more detail.

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Plastic cups and cutlery will be banned in France

From my perspective, France is a unique country in which liberal ideology and exclusive thoughts are mixed. France seems to respect its traditional culture very much. It developed a symbol of home-made food. On the other hand, it establishes a law for protecting local bookstores. Their policy would be hardly understood by American people. The issue of burkini brought a broad argument in France, recently.

My past entry: France set symbol of home-made food

My past entry: Anti-Amazon Law rise in France

My entry: Burkini bans in France beach

And very recently, the French government decided to ban plastic cups, plates, and cutlery from the market. It looks very aggressive regulation. This legislation is planned to be enforced in 2020.

Independent: France bans plastic cups, plates and cutlery

The purpose of this law is to prevent the deterioration of climate change. Indeed, products made from synthetic resin are very common in modern society, and it needs heavy oil to refine resin. Also, the resin is so stable that it is hardly resolved in natural surroundings. Therefore, reducing resin products is considered to mitigate the problem of environmental contamination.

However, the effect size of eliminating plastic goods is uncertain. Furthermore, there are some newly resin products which are said to be nature-friendly. The law commits that biologically-sourced materials are permitted to be used continuously. But it is unsure such goods are more affirmative to the environment.

Moreover, some organization criticizes this law as violating the EU rule in which free movement of goods is guaranteed. It is another issue, and rather similar to the argument of taxation for imported items.

It is evident that many stakeholders are conflicting in this matter. What we should do for sustainable society is hardly clarified. No one can predict the exact influence of the continuous use of plastic materials. Therefore, decision-making is often done not rationally but by the balance of political power.

To be honest, I hardly imagine the future without plastic cups and plates. And I guess this progressive French regulation will not work for the better environment, unfortunately. Instead, investment in the system and technology of waste treatment will be beneficial.

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Berlin election defeats Merkel but not immigration policy

Recently, Germany had a Berlin state election. The ruling Christian Democratic Party (CDU) was beaten, as it could gain only 17.5% of the votes. The Social Democrats (SPD), a central-left party achieved the top share with 21.6% of the vote.

Anti-immigration populists’ Alternative für Deutschland (AfD) got only 14.1%. It was a warning sign according to Michael Müller, the mayor of Berlin, as it will be a herald of the resurrection of Nazi.

The Guardian: Angela Merkel's party suffers slump in Berlin election

In contrast, some people interpret this result as proof that the current policy for immigration by Angela Merkel, the Chancellor of Germany is supported by citizens. Indeed, all other parties than AfD are accepting immigration to some extent.

International Business Times: Despite losses in Berlin most Germans still agree with Angela Merkel about refugees

Although Volkswagen made a massive misconduct about the emission of their products last year, Germany has still a dominative power in the EU. Its economy is so strong that it does not rely on sovereign bond for managing annual finance the last year.

My past entry: Volkswagen emission scandal

As a foreigner, I believe German people are proud of a member of the EU, and are willing to take a crucial role for peaceful and sustainable European society. I respect such attitude of German people. At the same time, its responsibility is rapidly expanding, due to the unstable situation in the Middle East and Brexit. It is of my concern.

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Great America in presidential campaign

American presidential election campaign has shed the light on several aspects in the modern US, regardless of positive or negative. There are many differences between Trump and Clinton in their ideology as a politician. And it is the same among their supporters.

Here is an interesting result of a national survey conducted by Washington Post recently. Voters were asked to answer the question if the US has been greater than the past. The summary of the result categorized according to the affirmative candidate is presented below.

According to this report, most of Trump supporters believe the US has been weakened in recent years. Meanwhile, the opinion of Clinton supporters is various. It seems there are few people believing that the US is greater than that in the past.

The Washington Post: Is America still great? Clinton and Trump's voters have starkly different views.

"Make the US great again," as Trump's idea is attractive for people who think the US is less great than in the past. They dream the other days when the US was the center of the world and had a decisive power.

However, Trump does not want the US to be the leader of the world again. He hesitates to invest in international security. He is not willing to protect other countries from anti-democratic nations. Instead, he is planning to request Japan and South Korea to pay for the protection cost.

The image of Great America is also varied among people. I am doubtful that Trump and his supporters are sharing the ideology in real.

On the other hand, Clinton is positive to intervene the conflict in the Middle East. Different from Obama, she will not hesitate to send the troop and conduct more deadly bombing. It is unsure Clinton's policy will be accepted by citizens.

So far, it has been rare that the basic diplomatic policy is altered following the change of the President of the US. However, this election will influence seriously on the national principle of the US. We should keep an eye on the situation.

Monday, September 19, 2016

iPhone 7 in Japan

Very recently, Apple launched iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus.

(This image is not iPhone 7.)

The iPhone series is a flagship smartphone which is produced by Apple. It redefined the personal digital assistant. Nowadays, few people in developed countries have never seen iPhone even though they do not use it.

However, iPhone is struggling against the lack of innovation in recent years. Google Android smartphones have accomplished almost the same performance of iPhone with lower costs. In China, and several developing countries, Android smartphone has larger share upon iPhone in the market.

The newest iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus have some characters, including water-proof body, dual cameras, and higher performance. But they are not so amazing that some other smartphones have already adopted these features.

So, it is doubtful that iPhone is recommendable for everyone to purchase a new smartphone.

One of the advantages to choosing an iPhone is the variety of accessories. You can select your favorite iPhone case from many options offered by third parties. No Android phones have such a large number of choices.

International Business Times: Top 10 best iPhone 7 and 7 Plus cases you can buy

In Japan, iPhone finally adapted to Apple Pay. It is a cashless scheme through connecting your credit card information to your iPhone, as I wrote previously. I believe Apple Pay is an innovation Apple introduced the most recently.

My past entry: Apple unveil iPhone6, iWatch, and Apple Pay

In addition, Suica and Osaifu Keitai, digital money systems widely spread in Japan, is available with iPhone 7 and 7 Plus. It was strange iPhone had not adapted to these services so far. Many Japanese chose Android phone for this reason.

Therefore, iPhone 7 and 7 Plus is quite valuable to be used in Japan. But, I am doubtful that many foreign people are willing to get the new expensive iPhone.

On the other hand, my concern is when Apple will adopt USB type-C connector to iPhone. It has already attached to the new MacBook. And the EU has decided USB type-C will be the standard for connecting electric devices in the next generation. Current iPhone has a Lightning connector. I guess Lightning and USB type-C are not so different in terms of the performance. Apple and other smartphone makers have to consider when the new architecture will be adopted.

My past entry: MacBook early 2016 has come

My past entry: One connecter law for mobile phones in EU

Sunday, September 18, 2016

Free market in health care issue

Few people have doubt that capitalism and the free market are excellent for developing our society. Since Adam Smith wrote “An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations,” free market has been accepted in almost all countries. The collapse of Soviet Union was very symbolic as capitalism based on free market was a superior social system upon communism. Even China, the almost only example of successful administration of communism, approves the importance of the free market.

However, the free market is not a panacea for the challenges emerging in the world. There have been several cases reported in which free market made us unhappy.

Among them, issues of medical care have many points of discussion. Recently, Obama administration introduced an entire health insurance system for the US citizens. The Obama Care will be undoubtedly the most impressive legacy of Obama. But, many Republicans are still opposing to this scheme in which all citizens are forced to join health insurance.

In general, members of Republican Party believe in the free market, and they dislike to be regulated by external power such as national legislation. The health insurance is no exception.

However, health care matter has some unique characters each of which makes it difficult to realize positive effects of the free market. First, most people do not really expect the possibility to be rewarded by health insurance. We are likely to underestimate the cost potentially emerged in the future. It means that the incentive for buying the service of health insurance tend not to work properly. Second, if a person gets an illness, he or she would cause troubles to other people, through the spread of infection or calling for an ambulance. Health care service is generally public goods, and it is difficult to exclude people without health insurance from service users. If an infected person is left untreated, he or she will inflict more damage to other users.

It occurred in real in the Indiana state. An outbreak of AIDS emerged there in late the 20th century. The main reason was opioid injection with dirty needles by drug abusers. Mike Pence, the governor of Indiana State, had to make the decision to induce the policy of clean needle distribution program, against his previous ideology as a Republican.

The Atlantic: Can Free Markets Keep People Healthy?

I believe the free market will make us happier, and I disliked to be regulated by others. In the future, the governance of nations will be shrunk, and many people will live without protection by countries or other authorities. However, it will take a long time for the utopia to be realized. At present, I think that the policy presented by Democratic Party is preferable to that by Republican Party. It is an issue of balance.

Saturday, September 17, 2016

Useful foreign delivery service of

I am fond of watching movies at home, as I repeatedly mentioned it in this blog. Recently, I got a television with 3D blue ray disc compatible. After that, I enjoyed some 3D movies as if I was in the cinema.

However, 3D blue ray discs are expensive compared to normal ones. I guess that the reason is not only the productive cost of 3D discs but also for a limited number of products of each title. For example, I purchased a 3D disc of “The Three Musketeers” for very low cost soon after I established the condition to watch 3D movies. I could see this item everywhere in the store in Japan. It seems that the retailer overestimated the sales, resulting in the reduced price. In contrast, some 3D discs are sold for an extremely high price.

Recently, I got the series of Captain America in the 3D version. I saw each movie on cinema, and I loved all of them. So, I was willing to buy the series, but they were a little expensive. Especially, the first film, “Captain America: The First Avenger” cost more than 100 USD, both in Japan. You can get it for about 20 USD from retailers in I examined them. But many of retailers cannot deliver it to Japan, or I have to pay the additional cost for import.

My past entry: A conservative hero,. Captain America: The Winter Soldier
My past entry: Multiple justice, Captain America Civil War

One day, I found that would begin to sell the three 3D discs set of Captain America series. It cost only 28.33 GBP (including tax and delivery cost). Recently, Pound became weak influenced by Brexit. It was very advantageous for me. I decided to buy it.

And finally, they came to my home. Although it was not sure that this item included the 2D version of each film, I was relieved to find them in each jacket. The only disadvantage of British version is that Japanese subtitles are not contained. Of course, they are not dubbed into Japanese, either. But, to be honest, Japanese dubbed versions are infamous for their low quality because Disney frequently asks for dubbing to popular actors they are not specialized to voice dubbing. Therefore, I am indifferent to this issue.

There is one thing you should be cautious in importing blue ray discs. Each disc has a region code. Japan and the US share the region A, but European countries are categorized to region B. You cannot play a blue ray disc with region B on the player allotted to region A. I confirmed that these discs were all region-free.

In the near future, blue ray discs will be extinct, as the spreading of data streaming service. The Region code will be no more meaningful. But at present, I enjoy using British blue ray discs.

Friday, September 16, 2016

Modern gamebooks circumstance

Previously, I wrote an entry regarding gamebook.

My past entry: Memory of Gamebook

Gamebooks were considered as a legacy of the 20th century, as computer games completely replace them. Recently, I bought some applications of iPad featuring gamebook, but most of them were copies of gamebooks published in the past.
However, the wind is changing. Gamebook seems to become a trend very recently.

In Japan, several new gamebooks were published. Many of them were published via Kindle E-book. E-publishing has a decisive advantage regarding initial cost. It is unlikely that a gamebook will be a million-seller. Therefore, publishers hesitate to allow gamebooks published. In contrast, E-books are easily made at quite a low cost. Experimental works are also allowed. In addition, Kindle Unlimited has benefits to minor e-books, as I wrote. Indeed, I tried some newly published gamebooks via Kindle Unlimited. I think I would not have bought them if they had not subjected to Kindle Unlimited.

My past entry: Kindle Unlimited launched in Japan

My past entry: Sequels in August 2016

Recent gamebooks are rather short than in the past. Many have only 100 paragraphs, although 400 paragraphs was the standard in the 20th century. A 100 paragraph seems too small for fun, at a glance. But actually, each of them has unique character and taste. I enjoyed some E-books very much.

In English, there are some interesting gamebooks recently published. "Master of the Manor" is surprisingly featuring BDSM! In this provocative E-book, you play a role of a slave girl, to desire to become the mistress through receiving several punishments. Its taste is so adulty that I would not like to let children see it.

And now, I am trying to create a gamebook on my own. If completed, I would like to publish it, and translate into English if possible.

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Dying with the lover at the same day

A couple was reported to have died on the same day. They had been married for 63 years, and finally passed away in the same room.

CNN: Couple married 63 years die minutes apart in same room

It looks romantic to be dead with loved one. There are a few reports of a similar case. Also, I know a British lady whose parents died in the same day.

However, the descendants of the couple would be annoyed to deal with the legacy. It frequently occurs that a person had never told other than the partner about his or her estates. It is difficult to clarify the whole money, estates, contract with commodity service providers, and private information such as the account of social network services of a dead person. Some companies reject the request for disclosing the personal information of the customer even it was his or her relative’s. I guess the effort of remaining children.

It would be happy to die with the partner, nevertheless. Indeed, most persons experience the death of the spouse. It has been proven that the death of the spouse is the most stressful life event, according to a famous study.

Interestingly, the reaction to the spouse’s death varies depending on the gender. Men are highly likely to be damaged, resulting in having surprisingly over 60 times of risk for suicide. On the other hand, research suggests that widows can overcome the death of her husband. Some of them will become even happier. I am not sure what brings the difference. But I guess it is not derived from the biological difference but social roles of the both genders. Even recently, wives tend to contribute to husband’s life, and husbands depend on wife’s support in the wide range. This discrepancy may cause the difference of the reaction to the partner’s death. Then, this difference will shrink following the change of social activity of women in the future.

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

David Cameron leaves the parliament

David Cameron, the former Prime Minister of the UK, announced to resign as a member of parliament. He dropped out from the chair of the prime minister following the historic vote for Brexit. Now, he is going to leave the political field in the UK. David Cameron resigns as an MP

He seems to believe it is no good for the government that an ex-Prime Minister is still in the parliament. This idea is shared by some politicians in Japan. For example, Yukio Hatoyama expressed an intention to retire as a politician after he resigned the Prime Minister. In real, however, he kept the position of a member of parliament and conducted some activities following to his ideology. I dislike Hatoyama’s behavior but understand that he might feel there is something remain to be accomplished.

The Conversation: What the David Cameron resignation tells us about Theresa May’s plans

Theresa May, the current Prime Minister, accepted Cameron’s resignation. She was on the side of Cameron as a remainer in terms of Brexit vote. But she was opposing him in some aspects such as primary education policy. She excluded George Osborne, a representative ally of Cameron, from her cabinet. How she will administer the government is focused.

David commented not to get back to politicians’ battlefield. But I believe he will make several presentations regarding politics, and he should do. His experience as the leader of the UK for several years is impayable. Young politicians can learn many things from his speech. In Japan, Toru Hashimoto, an ex-Mayor of Osaka resigned after a referendum regarding the reform of Osaka city organization. After resignation, he frequently talks about politics as a commentator on the TV. Not admiring everything of him, I think he is contributing much to the society in a unique way. I hope Cameron will get a better life in the future.

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Clinton's health issue focused in presidential campeign

The US presidential campaign has reached a new stage. The doubt that Hillary Clinton, the candidate of Democratic Party, has medical complications was raised recently.

Indeed, Clinton made a cough during the campaign trail. After that, she was diagnosed with pneumonia related to an allergic reaction. A heat stroke perhaps had an adverse influence on her physical health too.

The Washington Post: Hillary Clinton’s health just became a real issue in the presidential campaign

Seasonal allergy is not a rare disease, and no elder persons like Clinton has a perfect body condition. Shinzo Abe, the Prime Minister of Japan, had to quit his seat once due to ulcerative colitis. But he got recovered and regained the chair of the PM. Clinton was reported to have some medical histories such as deep vein thrombosis as well.

CNN: What we know about Hillary Clinton’s health

Another concern about Clinton’s health is a possibility of Parkinson’s disease. Some people, especially supporting Trump, claim that there are evidence suggest that Clinton is suffering from Parkinson’s disease.

Mail Online: Republican state representative claims that Clinton has Parkinson's disease after her aides reveal pneumonia diagnosis following her dramatic exit from 9/11 ceremony

Clinton’s side is hesitating to disclose her health information, as it belongs to her privacy. But this policy is criticized by several citizens claiming that the nominee of President should clarify his or her status as much as possible.

The New York Times: Hillary Clinton Is Set Back by Decision to Keep Illness Secret

In my opinion, it is unsure that Clinton has a serious physical problem. Information is so biased that I hardly believe one-sided publication. Parkinson’s disease is a chronic illness which causes many symptoms in patient’s mental status. But it does not directly mean that patients with Parkinson’s disease have no right to be the president. Nonetheless, I understand the worry of citizens to see physical issues of their leader. However, it is not wise to disclose the physical information of the president in the future, because it will indicate to reveal a weakness of the leader to enemies.

Anyway, the presidential race encountered a new concern which is not desired by anyone.

Monday, September 12, 2016

Japanese population is approaching the turning point

Japan’s population is going to dwindle soon, according to researchers.

It has been expected that Japan will encounter this turning point for a couple of decades. Decreasing population is straightly connected to declining of the national power. Therefore, the Japan government has been keen to address this issue. In 2007, Abe administration developed the Minister of State for Measures for Declining Birthrate against the recent domestic tendency of low birth rate. Not certainly to be thankful for this measure, the birth rate is slightly increasing in recent years.

However, it is not relieving at all. Even if the birth rate is doubled in coming some years, the situation would not be changed. Children cannot make a baby. In other words, the population of Japan a couple of decades after now has already been fixed. In 2048, the number of Japanese will be lower than 100 million, reduced by 20 % from now.

In addition, the shape of the pyramid of the population is quite twisted in Japan. Fewer young people will have to support elder people’s life. It is another problem damaging the productivity in Japan. Several aged people are suffering from physical illnesses. It means more costs of health care and welfare will be needed. The fewer young people live in the city, the less likely the city becomes active. Elder people are less likely to make an innovation, although they have particular needs.

There are several hypotheses why Japan’s population is decreasing. Before considering it, we should be aware of the history. In the 1960s, the Japan government was worrying about the excessive population. The situation was reversed at all. Forcasting the future is so difficult that China has also failed to control its population.

After the WWII, Japanese were willing to make children, thanks to the peace, and was hopeful for the future, albeit they were poor and insecure. Compared to those days, Japanese is given prosperity and security at the level we have not got ever. There are many entertainments than making love. Thus, fertility as a human being is damaged by fertility in material, cultural, or spiritual concept.

Anyway, Japanese is decreasing. We will not see the development of the society like the previous days again. We have to consider how to decline without pain.

Sunday, September 11, 2016

Shinji Ogawa’s art

Yesterday, I visited Chiba City Museum of Art, to see the works by Shinji Ogawa.

Shinji Ogawa is an artist whose specialty is pencil drawing. He was born in 1959 in Yamaguchi Prefecture in Western Japan. He graduated from Mie University and had several works. He seems not so famous, but his drawings were very attractive.

(This image is not by Ogawa.)

Ogawa has some particular way of expression. For example, he makes a picture with eliminating some elements from the original art. He arranged L’Ultima Cena, or The Last Supper by Leonardo da Vinci, to create three copies of it: the painting without Jesus, without his apprentices, and without Judas. They were every quite suggestive. The first one imagined me an argument between two groups of the apprentices: the right side and left side. The second one expressed the solitude of Jesus at the last supper. And the last one looked almost the same as the original work, but decisively peaceful.

Ogawa used to draw buildings. In his some works, the buildings are doubled. Mirror imaged part of the building are added to the real scene. It makes the picture fantastic without damaging the original atmosphere.

He also made some movies. They were interesting, too. In some films, the scene he drew completely changes gradually while focusing a part of it.

In his ideology, the world is a mixture of each element. And the element organizing the world can be copied, added, reversed, or eliminated.

His drawing is so delicate and accurate that I misidentified it as a photo at a glance.

It was by chance for me to meet Shinji Ogawa’s works. It was a splendid experience. I hope the next opportunity to enjoy Ogawa’s world.

Saturday, September 10, 2016

Controversy between art and porn in SNS era

In the age of the internet, many robots are going round on digital earth, gathering astronomical numbers of pictures, texts, and movies. They categorize each one to help us to find it when necessary.

On the other hand, another purpose of these algorithms is detecting harmful material on the internet. Information about crimes, child pornography, terrorists’ meeting, are subjected to cyber security. Nowadays, automated censorship on the internet has a crucial role in maintaining our safety life, in spite of its risk for violating privacy.

The dilemma between public virtue and liberty of expression has repeatedly discussed recently. I wrote a couple of examples happened previously.

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

My past entry: Banned account case of Instagram for child porn

An incident regarding censorship by Facebook occurred recently. It was relevant to a world-famous photography. It was a photo of Vietnam War taken in 1972 by Nick Ut. In the photography, several people were running to evade from bombing. This photo won the Pulitzer Prize, as describing the misery of war.

On this photo, there was a naked girl running with screaming. Her name is Phan Thi Kim Phuc, a citizen of Tran Band, South Vietnam. She was seriously injured by bombing, but got saved her life. Afterwards, she contributed to reporting the agony of war, and seated a UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador.

Indeed you can see her bare breast and genital. This fact conflicted with the policy of Facebook. It requested this photo deleted from a Facebook post. Espen Egil Hansen, the editor-in-chief of Norway's largest newspaper made a question to Facebook’s decision. He warned that mechanical exclusion of images including sexual contents without any deliberate consideration would lead to denying of mutual communication of humans.

International Business Times: Mark Zuckerberg lambasted over Facebook's censorship of Pulitzer Prize-winning 'napalm girl' photo

There is some point of discussion on this issue. Firstly, there is no doubt that the photo of “napalm girl” is not a child porn. Many people admire its value as an art. Nonetheless, if Phan Thi Kim Phuc herself wanted the photo deleted, her will would be respected. In this case, she seems to accept the importance of this image as a historic record. Considering these facts, it is inappropriate for Facebook to demand the photo to be deleted.

On the other hand, I guess that his comment is partially derived from impatience to the current situation in which Facebook and other social media are overwhelming conventional media. Social media are emerging field compared to the newspaper. Several issues about the policy how to utilize them are still under discussion. Editors of traditional media are willing to adopt their regulation to social media. But, there is a considerable difference between them in many aspects. It is uncertain that we should adhere to conventional rules also in using social media.

The third issue is the period of judgment. Modern society is much more strict to regulate child porn. If this photo had been published in the 21st century, it would not have been approved but identified as inappropriate to be published, I guess. Facebook’s policy is so quite modern that it potentially misjudges the value of objects created in the past.

In the digital age, we have to rely on the computer more or less to distinguish right and wrong. Continuous discussion to keep the standard optimal is needed.

Friday, September 9, 2016

The effect of Manuka honey on infectious diseases

There have been several components used for a remedy in each culture. Some people believe a particular herb cure even cancer. Others rely on a special diet when they catch a cold. You may have some ideas regarding alternative medicine, regardless of the degree of confirmation.

Manuka honey is a monofloral honey produced in Australia and New Zealand. It was introduced relatively recently to Western countries as a superfood. Now, some Japanese are fond of eating it regularly.

In New Zealand, they believe that Manuka honey has a substantial effect on treatment for some infectious diseases. Not only New Zealanders but also many people in other countries utilize Manuka honey to treat wounds.

Recent studies suggest the antibiotic effect of Manuka honey. Pathogenic bacteria become vulnerable to antibiotic drugs when touching Manuka honey. This phenomenon means conventional antibiotic drugs combined with Manuka honey can overcome antibiotics-resistant bacteria.

The Conversation: Manuka honey makes bacteria less resistant to antibiotics

If this hypothesis is correct, we can get a strong alternative in the battle against infectious diseases. Many people are killed by major pathogenic bacteria. And the evolution of bacteria to become resistant to antibiotics has become a great issue in hospitals in developed countries.

My past entry: The fear of super salmonella

However, there are also some risks in taking Manuka honey. It includes a high amount of sugar, which is considered to be harmful to a human in the longitudinal view. Toddlers should not take Manuka honey, either normal honey.

There are many alternative medicines in the world. I think many of them are products of superstition, to be honest. On the other hand, it will be proven that some of them have a real power through scientific experiments. We have to learn much about them.

Thursday, September 8, 2016

An Australian café offers toxic amount of caffeine

Caffeine is a stimulant which has been loved the most by a human so far. Not only coffee but also tea, green tea, chocolate, Coke, and many other beverage and sweets include caffeine.

Caffeine is a drug which causes dependence on a human. Human is said not to become tolerant to its awakening effect. But, when quitting caffeine after regulatory taking, you may feel sleepy, dull, or tired.

In addition, it is not well known that caffeine has a toxic effect on your heart. It enhances the heartbeat, thus burdening the heart muscle. Elder people with heart diseases should be cautious to take a large amount of coffee.

In Japan, there was the first case reported regarding caffeine induced death last year. In this case, the victim was in the 20s and worked at midnight. He regularly took tablets including caffeine to kill his drowsiness. Approximately 182 micro-grams per cc of caffeine were detected in his blood sample in the investigation after death. This amount reached the fatal level.

It is not likely that the man of this case took caffeine for the suicidal purpose. On the other hand, it is possible he had had some cardiac diseases before taking caffeine. There is a variance of a dose of caffeine causing fatality. Anyway, this case tells us we should pay attention to taking a large amount of caffeine.

Recently, I read an article reporting an Australian café. This restaurant offers extremely strong coffee. According to this article, up to five grams of caffeine is included in the special coffee.

International Business Times: Australian cafe offering coffee 80 times stronger than an espresso

I think it is quite dangerous for you to take this beverage. The fatal dose of caffeine for a man is around ten to sixteen gram. Five gram could be critical for some persons. The café suggests drinkers to take this coffee with spending a couple of hours. Even if slowly absorbed, a high concentration of caffeine can cause trouble to your cardiac system.

I hope nobody will be harmed by this special coffee. And I do recommend you not to try it.

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Divide of education among coutries

The modern world has several divides among people. Recently, “digital divide” has been focused in the context of the highly mechanized society. But, the most fundamental divide is the divide of education, so far and to be.

Even now, many children cannot receive primary education in the world. As they cannot achieve literacy, they will not get an opportunity to improve their skills and knowledge, resulting in making them remain in the poverty. And their children will also be not able to have a learning opportunity. Thus, the divide of education is to be inheriting.

According to a Unesco’s report, the minority of the countries participated in its survey met the criteria in which minimum requirement for primary education. Many developing countries will hardly achieve the goal until the end of the next decade. Furthermore, it is expected to be difficult that all countries will reach the goal even in 2100.

The Guardian: Poorest countries hit hardest as world lags behind on global education goals

Now, teachers in many countries are struggling with a shortage of resource in the education environment. The Indian government is eager to invest more budget in education. However, there are urgent needs to fix stuff in the school and hire more teachers. Many other countries have no enough money to spend on improving education level.

Hindustan Times: Overcrowded classrooms to dirty toilets: Delhi govt schools need urgent fixing

In Japan and other developed countries, the issue of education still exists. But the subject is not to give primary education to all children, but how to find and grow extraordinary talents in citizens. There are several competitive funds in such countries. Many college students are applying them, but not a few students are suffering to the debt afterward. It means education funding does not work well. In other words, higher education does not guarantee higher income.

Especially in Japan, the government has been keen to continue the bottom-up strategy. The literacy rate in Japan is the world best, and 97% of children can enter a high school. On the other hand, genius children seem not to be properly treated. Most of them are forced to adhere the standard curriculum regardless of their understanding. They feel bored and lose the motivation to learn. Some of them have a particular disadvantage in learning, such as in sport. But they cannot avoid any curriculum, and sometimes are bullied by other children.

In my opinion, there is a difference in optimal strategy according to the development level in each country. Japan should prioritize the education for gifted children than improving the quality of primary education, even if it is also important. At the same time, developed countries have to continue the aid by skills and money to enhance the education level in developing countries.

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Obama canceled the meeting with Philippine after being provoked

Obama canceled a meeting with Rodrigo Duterte, the president of Philippines, in spite of being planned in Laos.

The Guardian: Barack Obama cancels meeting after Philippines president calls him 'son of a whore'

It is said one of the reasons was a provocative speech of Duterte in recent.

Duterte administration is eager to eliminate organization dealing with illegal drugs. And it has taken a harsh attitude against the suspects. Many people concerned about the delivery have been killed without legal procedure. The UN was worrying about it, criticizing the way of Duterte as violating human rights.

And Obama was willing to condemn it in the meeting. Responding to his intention, Duterte warned Obama not to interfere the policy of Philippines, and called Obama as "son of bitch."

These words were quite provocative and impolite. Obama called Duterte as "an interesting man," and ordered to reconsider the plan of the meeting to the officials. As a result, Obama avoided meeting Duterte. Instead, he will meet Park Geun-hye, the president of South Korea.

International Business Times: President Duterte calls Barack Obama a 'son of a b****' for opposing drug killings

The Philippines and the US keep an alliance to maintain the peace of both nations and the surroundings. In a recent situation, China is aiming at the sea areas around the Philippines. Therefore, Philippines has to rely on the military power of the US. Considering the fact, it is no good for Duerte to make Obama angry.

On the other hand, the spread of illegal drugs in the Philippines is serious, and Duerte administration has the policy to eradicate concerned people to recover the safeness of the citizens. It is not easy for Philippines to obey the request of the UN not to take a merciless solutions on the issue of drug dealers.

Nonetheless, his provocative attitude will bring no benefit on Philippines, I think. Duerte has been the president only a few months. There seems no need to raise up domestic worship using such a strong stance.

In a negotiation, we can take several ways to gain the maximum fruits. Provocative attitude and making the opponent lose his temper are one of the options. However, they have also several risks, and the success rate is not so expectable. It is preferable you say simply "interesting" when you are upset on the table.

Monday, September 5, 2016

Turkey after miscarried coup

An attempted coup occurred in Turkey in July. The military force temporally occupied the TV station. But finally, they were defeated by the official force.

My past entry: Failed coup in Turkey

The government had a strong attitude to the traitors. Thousands of people were arrested. It is reported that the government released approximately 34,000 prisoners for the purpose of making room of detainees relevant to the failed coup. According to the authority, these releases are not an amnesty but should be understood as a parole.

Aljazeera: Turkey frees prisoners to make room for coup detainees

However, it is quite doubtful that the government can continue to track them all after the release. They can never be detained again unless committing crimes again.

Every prison has its capacity. In Japan, a total of 60,486 prisoners were incarcerated in 2014, and the occupation rate was 67.1%. This percentage was decreasing year by year. In 2002, the occupation rate was over 100%. In the 21st century, Japan government made efforts to introduce prison schemes administered by the private sector. It contributed to the enhancement of prisons in the number and quality.

Turkish justice system seems to be paralyzed due to this attempted coup. It is doubtful each trial will be fairly carried out. The confused justice system will inflict public fear. Some people want to resurrect capital punishment scheme. But if Turkey reintroduces capital punishment, the EU will never permit Turkey to join the EU, which is the continuous desire of Turkey.

It is more difficult to take care of the nation after conquering it than winning the battle, as shown in Iraqi War. Even the coup resulted in the failure; it has been successful in terms of bringing chaos to the current monarchy, ironically.

Sunday, September 4, 2016

Galaxy Note 7 recalled by explosive failure

Galaxy Note 7 is a flagship model of Samsung smartphone, and it is one of the most luxury devices in the world.

But, some bad rumors about it emerged recently. There became several reports regarding battery explosion of Galaxy Note 7.

Samsung investigated the reason for this phenomenon, to discover there was an issue around battery cells. Finally, Samsung decided to halt the sales of Galaxy Note 7. It guarantees owners of Galaxy Note 7 to get new one whose battery is replaced in a couple of weeks.

The Wall Street Journal: Samsung to Recall Galaxy Note 7 Smartphone Over Reports of Fires

Not to be surprised, this news inflicted damage to Samsung’s value. It lost approximately seven billion USD in this week.

Business Insider: Samsung is halting sales of its Note 7 smartphone after reports of battery explosions

This incident has been one of the biggest recall cases of smartphone although it is not rare for a battery to be ignited. Indeed, a battery is very sensitive to the heat. It is not certain how many cases of Galaxy Note 7 are accountable to the flawed battery cells. There are much treatments for preventing such accidents other than expecting perfect technology developed by the retailers.

BabaMail: How to Prevent a Smartphone Explosion

Nonetheless, I think there are some problems with Samsung regarding this issue. It was good for Samsung to decide the recall quickly. It will do damage in sales temporally, but will avoid further criticism, and fatal troubles should be prioritized.

The smartphone has been much smaller and wiser compared to the past. At the same time, it brings us a dilemma between the stability and function. Similar troubles will occur more or less in iPhone and another type of devices.

Saturday, September 3, 2016

Australia bans child sex dolls

Recently, sex dolls mimicking a little girl were focused. In Japan, a few companies are engaged in creating these sex toys for manias. There is a broad discussion about the pros and cons of such items.

My past entry: Sex dolls can save pedophilia?

In Australia, child sex dolls are declined by the custom. Possessing such dolls itself deserves to be punished, according to the Australian authority.

International Business Times: Australian customs cracking down on child sex dolls for paedophiles

Actually, Japan is the most tolerant nation against materials suggesting child sex. There are many comic books in which child sex is focused, although several prefectural governments are willing to regulate such expression. In some of these materials, girls are very strangely described, as a preteen girl with monstrous big breast. I believe that everyone loving such expression are aware that it is not real at all but a fantasy. But some people are warning that these materials will encourage some readers to commit sex crimes.

I do not think Japanese policy will not be accepted in all other countries. Indeed, Japanese cartoon subjecting child sex is banned in the EU. Each nation has a unique culture, and they should be respected. Australia has kept a strict policy of importing things from other continents for protecting its original culture, especially natural plants and animals. It has contributed to maintaining the uniqueness of Australia, which has its own value.

On the other hand, I do not think that banning child sex dolls could help to eliminate pedophilic tendency from citizens’ mind. It can emerge without particular reasons. Too restrictive policy can make them feel isolated, and it would encourage them to an offense. Enhancing treatment strategy for pedophilic persons should be accompanied by the regulation.

It should be mentioned, however, there is no evidence that sex dolls can reduce sex offenses. Dolls companies have to prove its effect on pedophilic patients if they claim dolls are beneficial to them.

Friday, September 2, 2016

Concern about Zika virus linked to Rio Olympic

Rio Olympic was closed successfully. Japanese athletes won many medals in this gigantic competition. I respect all the participants and contributors for their effort to accomplish Rio Olympic without serious troubles.

On the other hand, there is a concern about an issue which was worried before the Olympic: Zika virus infection.

My past entry: Fear of Zika spreading

Zika virus infection causes you little troubles if you are a healthy adult. Only one-fifth of patients recognize some symptoms. It makes us difficult to be aware of being infected. On the other hand, the fetus is quite vulnerable to Zika virus infection of the mother. All you need to know about the Zika virus and the threat it poses

Zika virus can bring microcephaly to the fetus if pregnant women get infected. There have been several cases already reported. Its impact was so serious that the governments in epidemic regions suggested to female citizens avoiding pregnancy for a while. In addition to microcephaly, it was proven recently that infected babies have a risk of deafness.

USA Today: Zika infection now linked to hearing loss in babies, study finds

Last year, many cases were reported in Brazil. The WHO told pregnant women not to travel to Brazil. Thanks to the national effort to eliminate mosquitos carrying Zika virus and improve hygiene level, Zika virus epidemic was reported to be terminated before the start of Olympic games. It relieved athletes and tourists planning to visit Rio.
Nonetheless, some people recommended canceling or postponing the implementation of Rio Olympic. They were concerned about the possibility of the global spread of Zika virus by visitors to Rio Olympic.

The Washington Post: Brazil says there is ‘almost zero’ risk of Zika during Olympics. Really?

Now, there is no evidence of Zika spreading due to Rio Olympic.

Fortune: No Confirmed Zika Vases Have Been Linked to the Olympics

Instead, it is likely that Zika virus had been spread to some countries in South America before the Olympic. In Malaysia, the first case of Zika virus infection was reported recently. Thus, you should be aware of the risk even if you have no plan to visit Brazil. Since the development of a vaccine to Zika virus will take years, this worry will last for a while in every summer, I guess.

Press TV: Malaysia reports first Zika virus infection

The Star Online: Health Ministry steps up Zika checks after first infection

Thursday, September 1, 2016

Amazon introduces 30-hours work in a week

Amazon is planning to introduce an option of reduced work hours.

The Washington Post: Amazon is piloting teams with a 30-hour workweek

This new program will allow some employees to choose 30-hours work in a week instead of 40-hours full-time work. Subjects will be paid reduced salary, but they can return to full-time work as they would like. Thus, this rule will offer a variation of working styles.

Unfortunately, the subjects of altered work will be a limited number of employees for a while. Amazon denied the possibility to adopt reduced work hours to all the company.

Recently, Amazon became infamous because its work environment was reported with a critical tone in which employees were had to work for an extremely long time in a week without rest. As well as in the US, criticism was also ignited the UK. Meanwhile, Amazon in Japan changed its delivering partner suddenly. There was a rumor that the previous delivery company could not stand Amazon’s demand for providing fast services with cheap reward.

It is not rare that a big company is blamed on exploiting employees. Companies are responsible for maintaining the happy relationship between customers and employees. On the other hand, many regions in the market are so competitive that providers have to offer good services with extremely low cost. Some people, especially in a small company, survive the battle with accepting long-time working. Also, many companies have no power for educating new employees with great costs. It makes existing employees more burdened instead of sharing tasks with rookies.

Amazon is a big company. It may have established several know-hows to administer its routine tasks by non-skilled workers. A large part of tasks in Amazon is to pick items. Education for employees can be optimized. In addition, many part-time workers are willing to work at Amazon because of its popularity. Thus, Amazon is one of the most advantageous companies to introduce work sharing scheme.

It is no doubt that diversity of working styles will contribute to goodness in our society. More and more people will want to work for limited hours, because work itself will be unnecessary in the future thanks to coming robots era. I support Amazon’s new policy.