LHommeQuiMent comments

Posted in: Japanese companies doing more firing than hiring: OECD report See in context

Even after two decades of recession and major macroeconomic policy failures, Japan has low unemployment rates when compared to western economies.

Hidden unemployment (lies, damned lies and statistics) explains some of it, but the major problem in Japan is underemployment. Japanese economy cannot create enough well-paying, stable jobs so people involuntarily accept part-time jobs or lower-paying full-time jobs.

When compared to US, wage setting process is more flexible in Japan (weak unions, bonus payments over salaries, unpaid extra-hours etc.). US economy reacts to demand and supply shocks by laying off workers, in Japan they adjust wages.

Also female non-participation is a major factor in Japan. Many Japanese women who leave their job do not return to labor force and thus contribute to labor market flexibility. In western economies women are competing with men for well-paying jobs, this is not the case in Japan.

Now that Japan is slowly moving from welfare capitalism to Anglo-style shareholder capitalism and expecting economic growth through deregulation (third arrow of Abenomics), real unemployment is expected to rise in Japan too.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Posted in: France arrests 54 in crackdown on hate speech; Charlie Hebdo's new issue sells out See in context

WilliB:

the Torah and Bible say nothing about Islam

Ha-ha. Too much Fox News?

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: FBI director gives new clues tying N Korea to Sony hack See in context

Actually you can spoof IP addresses and there are legitimate tools for this, like HP's LoadRunner or Charles.

http://www.cisco.com/web/about/ac123/ac147/archived_issues/ipj_10-4/104_ip-spoofing.html

FBI is reiterating the same old claims, there is no new evidence.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Posted in: Harpoonless Japanese whalers heading for Antarctic See in context

Japanese excel at finding and exploiting legal loopholes. Most probably those "scientists" are trying to outsmart IWJ.

-1 ( +7 / -8 )

Posted in: Check your Psycho-Pass levels at Shinjuku Station See in context

Los Angeles and Atlanta Police Departments are already using a predictive policing system which predicts when and where a certain type of crime is most likely to occur.

The software is developed by UCLA researchers and it is commercialized under the name PredPol. Their website is http://www.predpol.com/

The system excels in predicting residential burglaries. Burglaries display (spatial-temporal clustering) patterns which are very similar to earthquakes. Similar algorithms are also used in seismological systems.

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Posted in: BOJ chief says plenty of tools left to ease policy again See in context

Kuroda, a mainstream Keynesian, is following policies advocated by Paul Krugman and others. BoJ is trying to monetize the massive public debt using indefinite QE. It doesn't seem to work but Japanese people don't give up that easily.

Debt consolidation via tax increases is not working in Japan but Abe and his followers will try to tax households as much as they can. They cannot tax corporations for political reasons and they need to keep on subsidizing agricultural sector, again for political reasons.

If monetization policies would not work, Japan would be eventually forced to default (just like Russia or Argentina) or to face hyperinflation (just like Weimar Republic).

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Posted in: South Korean to drop Sony film in North by balloon See in context

North Korea is not that backward actually.

While laptops are popular among the elite and upper middle class people in North Korea, many North Koreans are using desktops imported from China. Used desktop machines are smuggled in from China and they are very popular items in the black market. Those machines are not registered with the authority and people use them to listen to music, watch films and play games.

North Korean government is aware of this development and their are pushing Red Star OS (official Linux distro) which can be used to monitor internet usage.

Linux and Android are very popular in North Korea, they also run Windows programs using WINE.

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Posted in: Doubts remain on North Korean role in Sony attack See in context

Security firm Norse believes that at least one former Sony employee was involved with this hack. Apparently this employee was laid off in May and she was in contact with some black hat hacker groups located in US, Europe and Asia (Singapore, Thailand).

<https://securityledger.com/2014/12/new-clues-in-sony-hack-point-to-insiders-away-from-dprk/ >

Some independent Russian hackers may be involved but this doesn't look like a FSB job.

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Posted in: U.S. urges North Korea to compensate Sony for cyberattack See in context

It's rapidly turning into a Monty Python sketch.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

Posted in: Sony hack puts Abe in bind over N Korea abductee talks See in context

Why does the "hacking community" think that this has to have originated from NK for it to have been a NK operation?

Cyberjunky and Dr.Krypt3ia have written some nice articles about it.

http://marcrogers.org/2014/12/21/why-i-still-dont-think-its-likely-that-north-korea-hacked-sony/

http://krypt3ia.wordpress.com/2014/12/20/fauxtribution/

While it is theoretically possible that DPRK could have used their allies in Iran, Russia, Syria or Japan (Chongryon) there is no clear evidence yet.

US and Israel developed Stuxnet to attack Iran but once the codebase was available Russians worked on it and wrote their Stuxnet-like malware to attack US energy companies. Possibly some groups have written their own version of DarkSeoul malware and have used it to attack Sony.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Sony hack puts Abe in bind over N Korea abductee talks See in context

Nobody in the hacking community thinks that the Sony attack was orchestrated by North Korea. As mentioned in an above post, NK simply does not have the infrastructure to download hundreds of terabytes of data in a short amount of time. Nationwide speed is around 2 Gbit/s. Also state sponsored hackers do not use Pastebin or fancy names like Guardians of Peace. The proofs presented by FBI are not convincing enough, they need to hire a better consultant next time.

Currently North Korean primary/secondary DNS servers and some government sites are under an DOS attack. NK had only 1024 allocated IP addresses (2 ^ 10) and two more assigned IP blocks (one by China Unicom, the other by Russian Satgate) (*1). To put it in perspective US has billions of IPs ( more than 2 ^ 30). They were an easy target and some independent groups with limited resources have been attacking them for about a week now. The attacker is not US government for sure, if they wanted they could do it in less than a few minutes (seconds?).

(*1) http://nknetobserver.github.io/

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

Posted in: Smoke haters go after smokers with a vengeance See in context

The most common reply was requesting "Do you mind if I smoke" beforehand

Never heard that in Japan.

I have seen that phrase on a JT poster but I have never heard it uttered by a Japanese.

I believe most Japanese people will be reluctant to say "no" directly. Probably that's why this phrase didn't become part of Japanese etiquette.

4 ( +7 / -3 )

Posted in: Sony cancels Dec 25 U.S. release of 'The Interview' after threats See in context

A loss for democracy but a win for the "Seventh Art".

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Angelina Jolie's 'Unbroken' strikes a nerve in Japan See in context

Japanese wartime cannibalism is well known and well documented.

Even President George Bush (the father) has narrowly escaped being eaten by Japanese.The livers of his comrades were served as sukiyaki for Lieutenant-General Yoshio Tachibana and his senior staff.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/asia/japan/1445167/George-Bushs-comrades-eaten-by-their-Japanese-PoW-guards.html

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Posted in: Internet giants wage war on pop-up ad blockers See in context

There is a thin line between those Internet giants and Nigerian scammers.

AdBlock, NoScript, Ghostery and other extensions are free and they are working fine. Why should I pay for a service if I can get it for free and why should I enroll in a program run by companies that I do not trust at all.

Those giants -- Google, Microsoft, Facebook, Yahoo -- and more than hundred other companies are interested in your data. Once you start using their system they will know which sites you are visiting, how often you are visiting those sites and the content you are interested in. In short, they will be able to track you much more easily. The economic value of the collected information is much higher than those blocked ads.

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Posted in: Moody's downgrades Japan's credit rating See in context

Moody's did the same thing in 2011 and downgraded Japan's credit rating to Aa3 from Aa2. It didn't cause any turmoil at all. This downgrade also is not expected to cause any major trouble.

Japan borrows very little from overseas markets and domestic demand base for Japanese government bonds is still strong.

I don't expect Japan to face a debt crisis until debt/GDP ratio reaches 300% which may take another decade or so. When that day comes, Japan will have to implement structural changes as they will need to borrow from abroad.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Posted in: Megumi Yokota died of drug overdose in N Korea: S Korean paper See in context

Never believe in anything published by the Cho-Joong-Dong; the big three right-wing newspapers who dominate the market in South Korea.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: Zuckerberg speaks Chinese, Beijing students cheer See in context

Zuckerberg’s pronunciation was far from fluent

The good news about Chinese is that even if your tones are way off and you mispronounce many words, people can still guess what you are trying to say once they know the context. Zuckerberg had an horrendous accent but people could still understand him.

Nevertheless many Chinese teachers say that bad habits are hard to break later and we need to master the five tones and supra-segmental features right from the start and make sure that we pronounce correctly all the words we have learned so far before attempting to add new words to our vocabulary.

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Posted in: Early results favor 'No' side in Scotland independence referendum See in context

Fear:1 Hope:0.

The ruling class has won.

-2 ( +4 / -6 )

Posted in: John Lennon's killer denied parole for eighth time See in context

Chapman was obsessed with Lennon and he wanted to be Lennon. Just like John Lennon, he married a Japanese woman. Gloria Hiroko Abe knew about his husband's fantasies about killing Lennon, but failed to inform the authorities.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Ukraine, rebels argue over Malaysia Airlines wreckage site See in context

contrary to earlier statements by the rebels, Alexander Borodai said they had not found the black box flight recorders.

Black boxes should be in safe hands by now, somewhere in Russia. The world's best professionals (yes, they are the best) should be checking if there is anything that needs to be doctored. It may take years until they hand it back to ICAO, just like they did in Korean Air Lines Flight 007 case.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Korean_Air_Lines_Flight_007

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Posted in: Investigators struggle to reach MH17 crash site in Ukraine See in context

with the possible technical assistance of Russians.

Well, who else?

Military experts say that it requires extensive training to just turn on those complex BUK systems. Here is the photo of a BUK M1 interface.

https://twitter.com/KevinRothrock/status/490140500729405440/photo/1

The missile was launched from an area that is controlled by Russian-backed separatists but it was not launched by pro-Russian rebels as they could not even turn it on without assistance.

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

Posted in: Int'l probe demanded after Malaysian airliner shot down over Ukraine See in context

Imo, Ukrainian army guess this Russian plane, cuz Malaysian flag look so similar with Russian

??? Ever heard of vexillology? Malaysian flag looks like American flag, probably because it was based on East India Company flag.

There is a conspiracy theory which says that pro-Russian rebels wanted to attack an American airliner as the flags of both countries look alike.

-12 ( +1 / -13 )

Posted in: Int'l probe demanded after Malaysian airliner shot down over Ukraine See in context

Corporate greed is responsible too for this catastrophe.

Back in April, International Civil Aviation Organization has advised airlines to avoid east Ukrainian air zone and to change their routes. Most of the major carriers did not care as they were interested in saving fuel only.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Posted in: Messi named player of the tournament; Neuer wins World Cup Golden Glove See in context

If Netherlands would have made the final, Robben could be the Golden Boot player.

Costa Rica's Navas should have won the Golden Glove award but they have selected Neuer maybe because he recorded the most clean sheets and he did not make any major mistakes. Navas, Tim Howard, Ochoa were the best goalkeepers in this tournament.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Posted in: Composer Ryuichi Sakamoto diagnosed with throat cancer See in context

In the Japanese announcement the term "mesopharyngeal carcinoma" has been used.

Salted fish and meat, smoked food and virus infections are strongly associated with this type of cancer. Alcohol and tobacco may contribute to the development of this cancer but the link is not that strong.

It is especially common in southern China, Hong Kong and Greenland but rare in U.S and Japan.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Posted in: Japan tops the list of countries that are the most accepting of alcohol See in context

What some might consider chronic alcoholism in the United States is perfectly okay

Shame and guilt emotions linked to alcoholism can lead to suicide, especially in male population aver 50.

One high profile case is the suicide of former Finance minister Shoichi Nakagawa in 2009, he made the press for being drunk at G7 news conference and was accused by Japanese public to bring shame on the entire nation. He committed suicide 8 months after the incident.

3 ( +6 / -3 )

Posted in: Japanese, Korean backpackers found living in squalor after Sydney fire See in context

Off topic perhaps, but it's common for South Koreans and Japanese to become pals overseas where there's no hatemongering media involved.

I would be very surprised if they were real South Korean citizens.

They should be Zainichi Kankokujin with South Korean passports. They are born and raised in Japan but they don't have a Japanese passport and they use South Korean passports when traveling.

-6 ( +0 / -6 )

Posted in: Poll: White, rich fill Brazil World Cup stadiums See in context

Same thing can be said for France too.

Best African footballers are playing for France, but the only black French supporters are some racist whites in black faces.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Posted in: Suarez bite storm as Uruguay sink Italy 1-0; Greece advances; Costa Rica, England draw 0-0 See in context

When you type the word "bite" in Google search it links to this Italy-Uruguay game.

Some funny reactions to this infamous bite.

https://storify.com/dailymirror/best-reaction-after-luis-suarez-bites-giorgio-chie

http://ftw.usatoday.com/2014/06/luis-suarez-bite-uruguay-italy-jokes-twitter

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

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