Sunday, August 20, 2017

Dying together with euthanasia, is it a benefit?

If you are married and love your partner, perhaps you do not want to live without your sweetheart. It is said to the best ending that dying together at the same day.

But, it is extremely difficult. In general, women have longer life expectancy than men. In the ending stage, one person often has to care the other for some years.

Also, left children will suffer from the management afterward. I know a person whose parents died on the same day, not due to an accident. She needed to deal with the heritage of her parents. It was a quite tough task, said she.

And now, there is an ultimate solution in Holland: the euthanasia. If you decide to take a euthanasia, you and your children can prepare for the death and the after care in advance.

The Washington Post: Elderly couple got ‘deepest wish’ — to die together — in rare euthanasia case

Nowadays, long living itself is a risk for you and your offsprings, unfortunately. While there is a broad discussion about the ethics around euthanasia, we will be closer to this way of death in the future.

On the other hand, to be honest, I am indifferent to my afterlife. As well, it is acceptable that anyone is not preparing for the death. I wish to be alive longer than my wife. And after her death, I will survive my crippled body for a while with her sweet memory.

Saturday, August 19, 2017

Today's issue of internet security in a Free Wifi spot

There are many free Wifi spots everywhere. They let not only travelers but also anyone makes use of the internet.

Interestingly, Wifi is more developed in some developing countries than developed countries. In Japan, some hotels do not offer free Wifi. There were few stations letting passengers use the free internet. But the situation is getting better, perhaps expecting increased foreign travelers. In the UK, Wifi is not available in some rooms in traditional buildings whose wall is too thick.

Free Wifi spot is considered to be risky. You expose a risk of being hacked, according to some media. But is it correct? The answer depends on your lifestyle.

There are many points to make use of free Wifi with safe. This article below describes them in detail. The author recommends you first to assess your security level and the magnitude of necessity for Wifi. If you have no important information on your PC and the purpose of internet browsing is to check the weather, the security risk would be ignorable. In contrast, you have to carry much sensitive information, you should hesitate to connect to the internet via free Wifi.

The Guardian: Ask Jack: How can I use airport and hotel wifi safely?

Virtual VPN is also a protection against hackers. The date transporting from your PC via VPN is encrypted. But using a VPN is often costly.

The ultimate solution against hacking is using a vanilla PC, according to the author. But I think it is not realistic, even right. Bringing your own pocket Wifi is better.

After all, convenience, security, and cost are mutually trade-off, as the author says. Also, the battle between hackers and security specialists will never end.

Friday, August 18, 2017

Barcelona terror attack

On Aug 17, 2017, a van charged into the field of Las Ramblas in Barcelona, killing at least 12 people and injured more than 80.

International Business Times: Barcelona terror attack live updates: 13 dead after van ploughs into pedestrians on Las Ramblas

This incident has identified as a terror attack because ISIS claimed responsibility. The police arrested a couple of the suspects, according to Catalonia's regional president.

Also, an explosion occurred earlier in this day in Las Ramblas. This case is relevant to the attack. Terrorists often make a small explosion to make people pay attention to the spot they are planning to commit the attack.

I visited Barcelona a couple of years ago. It was a joyful city.

It is a serious crime against peace and the human right. It is fortunate that suspects were arrested alive. I expect the police to clarify the whole figure of this crime. Pray for the victims.

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Freelance as a work style

Nowadays, 35% of working Americans are considered to be freelance. In Europe, the rate is 16.1%. And freelance is gradually increasing.

The Conversation: Is freelancing the future of employment?

Some modern technologies let freelance work at ease according to their abilities. Especially, the internet has enabled many people to get jobs and offer various services to clients at distant. In addition, you can make a receipt and calculate the tax with an application working on a PC or a smartphone. Writers can publish a  series of e-books without an editors or a publisher.

Nonetheless, freelance and self-employed people have some disadvantages at work. The dominant issue is social security. In Japan, most companies offer a pension scheme to employees better than that provided by the government. When you are a member of a team in a company, you can take a vacation for a week without crippling the ongoing task. In contrast, if a self-employed person becomes too ill to continue working, his income will fall into zero immediately.

Recently, there are some insurance systems for self-employed workers. Nevertheless, freelance is still deemed to be vulnerable to troubles at work.

Afterall, the choice of freelance is risky for many people, especially in older age. Therefore, lifelong employment system was spread in Japan.

However, many companies are struggling to adapt the rapidly changing society in Japan. For some workers, continuous belonging to an organization is riskier than being independent of any companies.

Some workers and employers are aware of this situation. Therefore, innovative companies allow employees to be partially independent of the company. Some companies permit workers to develop his own business aside from his main work. BYOD and COPE are also good examples.

The diversity of working style will be the key word of the future. The question Whether freelance is superior to employees is a nonsense discussion. But it is certain that companies which are unwilling to accept various work styles will decline.

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

You need to show the passport to watch porn movie in Russia

Russia banned Pornhub and YouPorn, largest pornography websites. Afterward, Pornhub began to demand watchers to register their social media account in Russia before permitting to visit the adult website.

To acquire the account of the social media, named Vkontakte, you need to register a mobile phone number. And to get a SIM card in Russia, you need to share information from your passport. It means that you have to offer your passport number to the government before watching the adult movies at Pornhub.

International Business Times: Want to watch Pornhub? If you're in Russia, you now need a passport

It sounds absurd to offer your ID when enjoying porn movies. But, there are similar schemes in other nations. I was requested to input my passport number before entering some websites. It was not phishing, but due to the security policy of a telecommunication company.

It is another issue, however, when the counterpart is Russian government. The government can handle all individual's information. When identification is connected to the information of each person's affiliation, our lifestyle will face to the risk of censorship. It is the concern of many people who are afraid of their privacy invaded.

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Overweight to overfat

Overfat is a relatively new idea to evaluate your health status. Previously overweight was considered to be a great risk factor for physical health. It is correct, but not perfect. Indeed, there are many people with an average body weight at a high risk of cardiovascular disease, according to new studies.

Visceral fat is deemed as the main indication of metabolic syndrome. But it is not easy to examine. Therefore, several methods have been developed to estimate the amount of your visceral fat.

One of the simple and effective ways is to measure your waist. If the value of your waist divided by your height is over 0.9 in men or 0.85 in women, you are at high risk.

The Conversation: Are you ‘overfat’? Here are the best ways to tell

However, this standard seems a little too strict. Many people are categorized in the risky zone with this measure. According to a new study, approximately 90% of men are overfat.

I am not certain about the best standard of your fat. Balanced food and proper exercise are essential to prevent you from metabolic syndrome. But where you should set your goal has not completely been clarified.

Monday, August 14, 2017

Animal identification with a smartphone

There is an application for nature-walk lovers, called "iNaturalist."

So far, this application has offered only a user community. Users can upload photos of animals, birds, and plants. and other users tell what they are. Identifying the name of what you see helps you understand the creature and become closer to it.

Recently, the developer added a new function to this app. When you take a photo of an animal, an AI will tell its name, according to the founder.

The Atlantic: Finally: An App That Can Identify the Animal You Saw on Your Hike

I tried this app. Unfortunately, automatic identification was not available on my smartphone. Perhaps this innovative function is still underdeveloping. Nonetheless, if realized, its value will be great.

There have been some similar attempts already equipped. Amazon's smartphone can identify its products on its camera. And the user can order the object to with one click.

In this region, one of the most expected genres is food, I think. Many people will be very pleased if they can know the calory of the meal in front of them when taking a photo. Recently, I introduced a gadget to calculate the calory of some foods.

My past entry: DietSensor change your diet style?

Wearable gadgets are very suitable to equip this kind of function. Light and simple glasses will be the best gadget in the near future.

Sunday, August 13, 2017

Password ruling should be reconsidered

Password used to protect your internet account is one of the most annoying systems in recent years. Perhaps you have to manage several different passwords in each online service, internet banking, and webmail. In some website, you are encouraged to change the password regularly. Also, you are requested to include some capital letters and non-alphabet symbols.

These rules are considered to be a standard for a safe password. But it was established by Bill Burr in 2003. And now, he regrets these statements.

The Wall Street Journal: The Man Who Wrote Those Password Rules Has a New Tip: N3v$r M1^d!

In real, the longer, the better, to protect your password. On the other hand, when you set a complex password which is requested to be amended frequently, you will hesitate to be serious to adhere to the regulation. Instead, you will make a simple rule for regular change of your password, such as Pa55word1 to Pa55w0rd2. Obviously, this sequence is very vulnerable to crackers.

Recent findings suggest that you should change password only when you feel unsafe. I completely agree with this idea. We often forget the password and demand the service to reset it. The more we request the reset, the more risk of cracking increased. Rather, making the password remembered by Google Chrome or other reliable service providers seems to be safer.

Even now, some service providers demand me to change the password very frequently. Annoying!

Saturday, August 12, 2017

Alcoholics broadened in the US

A recent survey revealed that about 29.5 million Americans are drinking at a risky level. This prevalence was increased in almost all demographics, especially among women, older population, and ethnic minorities.

The surveys were conducted in 2001 and 2012 with a large sample size. The result was published in JAMA Psychiatry, a world famous academic journal.

International Business Times: Alcoholism epidemic in the USA: More than 1 in 8 Americans are now alcoholics

In the US, abuse of marijuana and other addictive drugs are also serious problems. Compared to them, the harm of alcohol is likely to be underestimated. But in the clinician's point of view, alcoholism is a critical issue as well as illegal drugs. Since drinking alcohol is legal, patients hardly identify themselves as an abuser unless the problem becomes fatal. Alcohol does damage to your liver, brain, and other organs more seriously than marijuana, according to some studies.

In the UK and Japan, the prevalence of drinkers is gradually decreasing. The market of alcoholic beverage is shrinking. What is the difference?

Considering that drinking is a leisure for poor people, alcohol consumption is increasing in the society where many unwealthy people live. As well, alcohol is a solution to kill time for people who have nothing to do. In Japan, soon after the earthquake and Tsunami disaster in 2011, alcoholism was spread in the damaged regions. Some people who lost their family, house, and job had no choice but drinking. Some of my colleagues went to the region for the enlightenment of harm of alcohol and social support for the victims.

The US is one of the nations in which inequality among people is most magnificent. Some people, especially in minorities, have no friends or supporters. They are at high risk of alcoholism.

Therefore, the solution should not be limited to the enhancement of medical care for alcoholism. Social setup and increased job opportunity are also crucial to prevent citizens from substance dependence.

Friday, August 11, 2017

E-sports will be played in the Olympic

The International Olympic Committee is considering that e-sports will be included in the subjects in 2024 at Paris.

The Washington Post: Paris mulling inclusion of eSports in 2024 Olympic program

This idea is yet to be realized. It is uncertain some e-sports will be played in 2024 or later. Actually, members of the committee are hesitating to deal e-sports as same as conventional physical sports.

There are several barriers before accepting e-sports. Now, there are no international organizations to authorize the regulation about e-sports. There are many kinds of computer games to be elected as a subject of each tournament.

I think it is preferable to include chess or other analog games for Olympic before e-sports. Chess has already been identified as a brain sport for many years. FDA could administer the convention as an international organization. However, considering the fact that Chess Olympic has been established, the merit of including chess as a subject of Olympic game is not high.

If e-sport is accepted, many young players will dream to be a candidate even if they are not physically talented. I would like to see young players playing games on the world stage.

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Loss of workers in the UK due to Brexit

The UK is preparing for Brexit. Its influence emerges in many aspects.

The most crucial change will be immigrants. Many residents in the UK from foreign countries are reluctant to stay to work there. It brings the unbalance between demand and supply of the job market.

Reports say that the unemployment rate marked the lowest level ever just recently. At the same time, employers feel it difficult to fill the post required to maintain the organization.

International Business Times: UK firms hire staff at fastest rate in 2 years

It means that UK citizens will be in a stronger position to find their job. It is certainly what separatists have wanted. At least in this meaning, Brexit will benefit them.

On the other hand, skilled workers will lack in many regions of work. It will take the time to train British rookies to improve their specialty. As a result, the quality of services will be sacrificed in many industries, perhaps for some years.

It is doubtful whether British society will be maintained without immigrants. Accepting this fact, the government will keep accepting a certain amount of new immigrants. Nonetheless, lack of workers will do damage the community, I am afraid.

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Uncomfortable airports

On this month, travelers are suffering from uncomfortable wait at the airport.

Following Paris and Brussels terror attack, the EU amended the rule of border control for a stricter check of passengers' identity. According to the new rule, travelers outside the Schengen zone should be examined at both the entry and exit.

The Guardian: Air travellers in Europe delayed by security checks and strikes

Border control refers to the authority about the criminal history of each passenger. It takes at least a couple of minutes. Thus, several hours is added to the total waiting time. Workers at border control are insufficient at many airports.

Furthermore, there are several factors to hurt your feeling at the airport many of which occurred recently, according to the article below.

The Guardian: Destination misery: seven ways they turned airports into hell

Some of the factors suggested by the author, I do not care. I do not drink free water frequently. And I seldom bring large suitcases. The issue of VAT and the paradox of duty-free shop are certain. But you can choose instead of the shop at the airport.

In my opinion, whether you can pass the gate smoothly depends on the circumstance in each airport. Last year, I went to the UK for an academic visit. In that day, I was detained at the border in Heathrow Airport. The reason was never revealed, but I guess someone misidentified my travel history. The year before, a worker said I could not enter Greece with my passport. Obviously, it was not true. I had to explain my status to her, taking a quarter hour.

I believe strict border control is no longer effective for domestic security. Terrorists are born anywhere if there is a certain condition, unfortunately. Enrichment of the whole society is the only and ultimate solution.

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Current issue around drug abuse in the UK

In the UK, illegal drug use has become a serious social problem. The amount of death related to drug abuse in England and Wales was 3,744, increased by 44% in these four years.

International Business Times: Cocaine deaths hit record high in UK

Among them, cocaine is focused because users are rapidly increasing. Opioids abusers also have become familiar. The cases by new psychoactive substances were slightly increased.

There are mainly two ways to solve this problem. The first is to extinguish the route of acquiring drugs. Strict investigation at the border and harsh punishment to dealers are included. Considering that the UK is surrounded by the sea, shattering the entrance will be effective as well as Japan.

The second is harm reduction. Most drug abusers are suffering from dependency. They feel difficult to withdraw from their current life with drugs. Offering proper treatment, instead of punishment, will protect them from a recurrence of drug misuse.

However, it is not easy to invest harm reduction. Some people do not accept the idea to help people violating the law with the official resource. In Japan, harm reduction has not been infiltrated into the society. I think the reason is that methamphetamine dealt by antisocial organizations was dominant in Japan. Most Japanese hesitate to support people once related to antisocial groups.

When I was in the UK, cannabis users were very common. And some practitioners seemed not to deem it as problematic. Indeed, cannabis does not so frequently cause harmful reactions to the users. Nonetheless, a few people bring fatal results with cannabis use. I do not agree with the opinion to legalize the individual use of cannabis, which is considered or has already been realized, in some countries.

Monday, August 7, 2017

Environmental cost for pets

In recent years, we frequently see people with dogs or cats in many developed countries. In a supermarket, a line of cupboards is occupied by pet foods. Pets are now indispensable companions for many people.

It means that pets should be involved in the environmental circle of our community. Thus, each of them is counted they as a member of the local population, despite the fact that they do not pay the tax.

There is large variation of pet foods. There are many veterinarians. Many professionals deal with the funeral of pets. Pet lovers often consider a set of insurance for pets.

And also, pet food is not free, different from in the past when we gave leftover to the pets. "Doggy bag" is now never used as it means.

The cost is not limited to the issue of money. Producing food consumes lots of resources. Needless to say, adequate food providing is a critical issue, especially in developing countries.

The Washington Post: The hidden environmental costs of dog and cat food

In addition, food processing does damage to the environment to some extent. A total of 64 millions tons of greenhouse gases is created annually for pet food production, according to researchers.

Pros One: Environmental impacts of food consumption by dogs and cats

I have never considered the impact of pet industry on the environment. We should be aware of the fact that our pretty companions bring us both happiness and burdens.

In some countries such as Germany, Swiss, and Australia, dog keepers have to pay the tax following the number of their pets. In Japan, there are very few regulations about pets. Before the WWII, however, pet tax had also been adopted in Japan. In the near future, an argument will be raised again.

Sunday, August 6, 2017

Alcohol consumption protect you from diabetes?

A recent study raised a question of safety of alcohol drinking again. The result suggests that a certain amount of consuming alcohol is related to the lowered risk of diabetes.

Independent: Drinking wine or beer up to four times a week can protect against diabetes, researchers say

This cohort study was conducted in Denmark with more than 70,000 participants for five years. The onset of diabetes was observed as an endpoint in approximately 1,700 people. The relative risk ratio was 0.70 (0.67-0.94 in 95% Confidence Interval) for men who consume beer 1-6 times in a week compared to teetotallers. In contrast, spirits drinking more than once a day raised the risk for 1.83 times (1,29-2.58) in women.

Deabetologia: Alcohol drinking patterns and risk of diabetes: a cohort study of 70,551 men and women from the general Danish population

This study is a large prospective cohort. And it was published in a leading academic journal. The author constructed a study design in which major confounding factors were adjusted in advance. Therefore, the suggested outcome is relatively reliable, I think.

However, the possibility of reverse causality cannot be denied. People prefer to drink wine or beer may be likely to be healthier to those who like spirits. I do not recommend you to take a binge drinking according to this study.

The pros and cons of alcohol consumption on your health have been debated repeatedly. Recent studies emphasize its disadvantage. At least, liver damage and dependence are serious risks regarding alcohol drinking. You should be aware of the latest discussion.

Saturday, August 5, 2017

South Korea prepare for nuclear war

Some South Korean's politicians and their supporters seem to consider to develop nuclear weapons, according to the latest poll.

Independent: South Korea 'considering developing nuclear programme' to counter threat from North

South Korea has been exposed of the threatening of North Korea. So far, the US took the initiative in its defense strategy. But Donald Trump, as he repeatedly said, has an idea that South Korea and Japan should protect themselves with their own equipment. He even recommended having nuclear weapons.

President Moon is against this idea. But the result of the newest poll suggests the majority of Korean citizens want to protect their land with nuclear weapons.

Nuclear weapons are cheaper than other types of armies. Its development is not so difficult, at least theoretically. Both South Korea and Japan can establish a strategic defense with nuclear weapons if they wish. The reason why North Korea is stitching to the development of nuclear bombs is that it is the cheapest way of grabbing power.

However, nuclear weapons inflict serious damage on not only humans but also land itself. The center of the explosion will be destroyed. And they remain fallout for many years. If winning the war in the Korean peninsula, it will be difficult to integrate the two nations. Instead, the land will become in chaos.

After all, the possibility that nuclear war is realized by each of the nations. Nuclear weapons will have the power of prevention from being attacked. It is the same situation of the cold war between the US and Russia.

Friday, August 4, 2017

The three things which are most desperate to you

The first is that the person who is most important for you never accepts you.

The second is that you destroy the person whom you love the most.

And the third is to think such silly things.

Thursday, August 3, 2017

Bitcoin Cash, a fruit of hard fork

On July 1st, 2017, Bitcoin encountered a hard fork, finally.

Bitcoin Cash emerged following supporters of an alternative solution for the issue of scalability.

Some trading post provided Bitcoin Cash to the users who were storing Bitcoin. Most posts offered the same amount of coins as they stock. Thus, the number of coins was approximately doubled.

Theoretically, the total value of Bitcoin and Bitcoin Cash should be the same of that of current Bitcoin. There is no additional value produced. However, while the price of Bitcoin Cash is fluctuating, the price of Bitcoin is not so decreasing. As a result, the total value of these coins is now 1.1 times of that in the past.

This issue is not so simple, of course. The price of Bitcoin was considerably damaged by the rumor of the hard fork. In this sense, Bitcoin Cash was cannibalizing Bitcoin for these some months.

Now, the price of Bitcoin Cash is over 600 USD. I think it is over evaluated. Bitcoin Cash is still an immature and vulnerable cryptocurrency. The bubble of Bitcoin Cash will burst soon, I prospect.

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Own language accidentally developed by AI

The shocking news made the word "own language" a trend on Twitter in Japan.

Two AI programs invented by Facebook created their own language suddenly while an experiment was ongoing. The experiment was canceled by the programmer immediately.

Metro: Facebook robot is shut down after it ‘invented its own language’

According to the media, these two AI are communication bots. They were in training with talk to each other. They used English as a way of communication. However, they began to invent new words which had not been programmed for mutual communication.

I am not sure these bots equip deep learning technique. Use of some abbreviated terms is frequently seen in the communication among people in the close relationship. Thus, inventing some fragments of words is not surprising for an AI. The issue is what was the intention of the AIs, or should I say, "Did these bots think by themselves in introducing a new language?"

If so, it is a quite serious issue. Whether an AI can acquire a consciousness has been broadly discussed. We will able to ask the AI why did it invent an own language. If the answer is naturally reasonable, this AI may have a mind.

On the other hand, I hardly believe this AI can answer this question. AI with a will would not be developed at least for a decade.

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Ketamine's power as antidepressant

There are many ways of treating depression. Psychotherapy, electroconvulsive therapy, as well as light therapy and other experimental solutions are attempted for drug-resistant depression. However, the importance of pharmacotherapy has still been dominant.

In recent years, some new drugs are under consideration as an option for treating depression. On the other hand, some conventional drugs are also re-evaluated as an antidepressant. Among them, ketamine has been expected for its rapid effect for elevating mood.

Ketamine was developed as an anesthetic drug originally. It was often observed that users of ketamine became looking happy. And in recent years, its effect for improving depressive symptoms is investigated in many clinical trials.

The results are very promising. Ketamine is effective in some patients who did not respond to other antidepressants. In addition, the improvement is observed rapidly. Thus, patients in an acute phase of depression with a risk of suicide can receive the benefit of ketamine.

However, ketamine's adverse effect has not been well examined. Especially, longitudinal effect such as raising blood pressure can be problematic since the patients will have to take medication for a long term for relapse prevention. Researchers published a systematic review regarding the safety of ketamine warned this issue.

International Business Times: Ketamine can help treat depression - but scientists are wary of long-term risks

While admitting the potential of ketamine therapy, I am afraid of its negative impact, as I mentioned below.

My past entry: Ketamine, an expecting antidepressant

Ketamine is also used as a recreational drug. It means that its character is similar to that of methylphenidate, perhaps. Methylphenidate had been used as an antidepressant in Japan. Since some abusive patients and doctors inappropriately taking this drug committed a crime, Japan government cancel the permission of methylphenidate for anti-depressive usage.

I reckon ketamine does not have a substantial effect on depression. If the taker's mood is elevated, he will need some other solution for a complete recovery from depression.