02/03/2008

IDEA MARKET (1): Wireless USB memory sharing

Yesterday morning I proposed an idea in the open, not confidential, questionnaire sheet for BUFFALO, a computer peripheral device company. If the idea was made into a real product, it would have the potential to change the business style forever, especially in the field of computer-assisted idea sharing among business people.

The idea is about a new type of wireless LAN client device of USB type which works with the wireless LAN server device that is one of main products of BUFFALO. My idea is to provide the USB memory feature with wireless LAN client devices, which would work as network drives sharable only within the wireless LAN domain defined by the wireless LAN server established, for example, in the conference room for the meetings to communicate among delegates from many competitive companies.

As you know, we are now taking tedious steps to exchange computer files in the conference room among business people via USB memory device; we must 1) insert a USB memory device into a computer, 2) copy necessary files onto the USB memory, 3) unplug the USB memory, 4) pass it on to others who, in turn, copy computer files on USB memory to their computers. If all the parties involved belong to the same company group, these bothering steps can be avoided; we can use the network sharing feature in the intranet environment. Now, my idea will be extremely effective for the environment where no network sharing feature is available or realistic; it will eliminate these cumbersome processes; we can exchange computer files among remotely identifiable localized network drives on USB memory spaces.

The important point of my new idea lies in the concept of localized network drives that are not connected to outside network and not reachable into the internal disks of other people's computers; the security is strictly confined within the temporarily established USB memory group network.

Although we must provide the authorization feature as the password protection that is valid during that specific conference time only, protected by this security, we can do file sharing work with time-saving efficiency.

2008 02 03 08:01 [Idea Market] | 固定リンク | コメント (3) | トラックバック (0)

07/28/2007

Japanese ways (2) - "Chuu-Chuu-Tacho-Kai-Na" (How to count numbers)

We Japanese sometimes say "Chuu-Chuu-Tacho-Kai-Na" that corresponds to "Two-Four-Six-Eight-Ten" in English. This is a special way of counting numbers. The roots of this weird expression go back to Edo-era that started about four hundred years ago and continued about two hundred and seventy years long. "Chuu" came from "Jyuuni (literal meaning is "doubly counted 'two'")" that meant the state of two dices showing two and two by simultaneous tossing. Hence "Jyuuni-Jyuuni" meant "two-two and two-two" and it changed to "Chouni-Chouni", and finally to "Chuu-Chuu." So, this way of counting numbers has roots in the archaic Japanese gamble called "bakuchi" which uses dices.

Let's continue explaining the reason why it changed into "Chuu-Chuu-Tacho-Kai-Na." Above explanation states that "Chuu-Chuu" means four (two and two) plus four (two and two) equals eight. "Eight" inspired our ancestors to include a creature with eight arms or legs. "Tacho" means "octopus" and "kai-na" means "arms/legs." So its final form "Chuu-Chuu-Tacho-Kai-Na" means that octopus has eight arms or legs, and doesn't convey any meaningful message in itself, but it came to be used as a means of counting numbers in the course of two hundred years.

By the way, do you know the interesting examples of counting numbers like this one in other countries?

2007 07 28 21:28 [Japanese Ways] | 固定リンク | コメント (0) | トラックバック (0)

Japanese ways (1) – “moshi-moshi”

I’ll start writing a new topic “Japanese ways.” This topic covers my thinking and opinions about Japanese way of life as an introduction to Japan for the foreign people. So many topics exist. I’ll select interesting ones through my limited travel experiences of foreign countries as well as my general knowledge about foreign countries.

I expect some responses from people living outside Japan. Please feel free to write comments on my writings.

This challenge will explain our habit, custom, or traditions from our own viewpoints, and make it possible to compare them with foreign ways of life. I hope this will help dissolve the gaps between Japanese and “Gaijin.”

My first topic will be “moshi-moshi” used in phone conversation.

We say “moshi-moshi” when starting a telephone conversation. This habit has the historical implication to synchronize our conversation when the voice quality over the phones was not good enough to start talking immediately after the establishment of a communication link.

Is this habit the same with “Hello” saying in western countries? I don’t think so. We Japanese usually don’t say “moshi-moshi” in ordinary conversation among us. “Moshi-moshi” is limited to the telephone-conversation only.

I assume “Hello” is not only used in the telephone conversation, but also used in the ordinary conversation. Is that really so?

2007 07 28 21:27 [Japanese Ways] | 固定リンク | コメント (2) | トラックバック (0)

03/24/2007

Where am I now? (6)


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The location of this photograph is very easy to decipher. As shown in the text message of the lower part, it was taken at the entrance of a London Tube station! I took this photograph because it showed the number of steps for passengers to descend into the underground station; that was very kind for people who feel some difficulty in using the stairs. 78 steps corresponds to the stairs of four stories high building. This tube station don't have escalators. In Japan, I counted over 150 steps from an underground station to the surface; that station, of course, has escalators.

2007 03 24 23:14 [Where am I now?] | 固定リンク | コメント (0) | トラックバック (0)

Where am I now? (5)


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Only these characters will not betray the location of the printed directories. It was not easy for me to find the Japanese section in a vast museum. The Japan section was located beside Egyptian mummies. The marble wall was gorgeous enough to push up the rank of this museum. So, this museum was the British Museum in London, The United Kingdom!

2007 03 24 23:13 [Where am I now?] | 固定リンク | コメント (0) | トラックバック (0)

Where am I now? (4)


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As you see them, these are wall sockets in a meeting room. There are good points and bad points in this socket system. Good points are: easy to plug/unplug without bending yourself; convenient for floor sweeping; no dust accumulated in the sockets. Bad points are: chance to trip on power cords; not beautiful when many cords are dangling. So, very good for environmental things such as fire protection or floor cleanup, but not good for individual safety or aesthetic taste. When I took this photogragh, I was attending the ISO meeting held at the Wien Standards Office, Vienna, Austria.

By the way, some garbage cans were found to be above the ground climbing a pole as shown below.

WIN1s.jpg

(You may click this photo to enlarge)

2007 03 24 10:09 [Where am I now?] | 固定リンク | コメント (0) | トラックバック (0)

03/21/2007

Where am I now? (3)


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This room is not that of a kindergarten class, but that of a university class. In Japanese sense, it is a kindergarten class. What reminds us of such notion? I think it is the coloring and the design, especially the shape of the arm, of chairs. My first impression was that I was thrown into a kindergarten class, but it soon turned out that the shape and the color betrayed its childishness. I think it is a little bit difficult to understand what is happening in the photograph; chairs whose arms are hooked on the desk are not touching the floor. If all the chairs are properly hooked on the desk, it is quite easy for university staffs to wipe the floor with a mop! When I took this photogragh, I was attending the ISO meeting held at the Uppsala University, Uppsala, Sweden.

2007 03 21 22:21 [Where am I now?] | 固定リンク | コメント (0) | トラックバック (0)

Where am I now? (2)


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There is a traffic light with five lights in a row. I'm so used to see three-light signals at the traffic intersection in Japan. I didn't expect the number of lights were different in other countries. In the past, there was a problem of how to call them in Japan; they were once called Red, Blue, and Yellow; now they are called Red, Green, and Yellow. I don't remember exactly when they were changed to the international style. But the real problem lies in their color. As is widely known, for people with disabilities who cannot see the difference of red and green, red-green color blindness (anerythrochloropia), traffic lights are very problematic; they have to know 'go' or 'stop' by the position of the light! Fortunately, the positions of the traffic lights seem to be the same worldwide; the red light is placed in the left or the top of the signal for the horizontal style or the vertical style.

To my greatest regret, I didn't have a chance to check the meaning of the fourth and the fifth lights in this photograph. When I took this photogragh, I was on the road to the Banff National Park, Alberta, Canada.

2007 03 21 14:06 [Where am I now?] | 固定リンク | コメント (1) | トラックバック (0)

Where am I now? (1)


WIN1s.jpg

(You may click this photo to enlarge)

Do you imagine in what country I am now from this photograph? This photo was taken in a hotel room. You can easily see an English message and a Japanese message. You know that this hotel welcomes many Japanese people. So, this hotel is located in a city where many tourists visit from many countries. You can get more information from the instruction messages that are written in five languages. I was in Frankfurt when this photo was taken. My question is why the fifth language is the German. This message seems to be mainly aimed for foreigners, not domestic Germans. My conclusion is that Germans are modest enough people to list the German message last; it is just like Japanese people.

2007 03 21 11:55 [Where am I now?] | 固定リンク | コメント (0) | トラックバック (0)

09/03/2006

New messages will be posted

I opened this page to get some response from someone for my questions about English usage, and have received no response so far. It dramatically slowed down my message posting pace. New blog features, however, are added recently to enable me to get detailed information about how many people visited my site when. I knew I was not alone. I promise to renew my effort to post new messages.

2006 09 03 08:09 [diary] | 固定リンク | コメント (714) | トラックバック (0)

12/17/2005

WWW(4): Things are different in LA?


When reading books, I sometimes encounter with many expressions that refer to the peculiarities in LA. Followings are two different examples.

Quoted from "Thief of Souls" written by Ann Benson:

"Apparently he doesn't need the spin; he's so well-respected for his skills that he's in big demand by producers and directors who want him to work on their movies."

"Dunbar," Spence admonished, "this is Los Angels. You cannot say movie around here. You have to say film."
In LA, I cannot say 'movie'; I have to say 'film'. Really?

Another example quoted from "State of Fear" written by Michael Crichton:

There was a pause. "How much do you weigh?" "Peter, you never ask a lady that question, especially in LA." "We're not in LA."
Peter Evans and Sarah Jones were heading for a base camp in Antarctica. They stopped their vehicle at the dangerous place when their vehicle started sliding down into a crevasse. Sarah was still in the vehicle when she regained consciousness, but Evans was thrown out of it and was immobilized with his body trapped between ice walls 1.5m below the vehicle. Sarah tried to lift Peter up out of the ice wall by her ropes. Peter was anxious if she could lift a man up far heavier than she could.

Why cannot I ask a woman about her weight, especially in LA?

2005 12 17 13:10 [World Wide Why?] | 固定リンク | コメント (2) | トラックバック (0)

11/27/2005

WWW(3): a comma of dark liquid

Scattered around her were a flute case, sheet music and a spilled grande cup from Starbucks, the coffee staining her jeans and green Izod shirt and leaving a comma of dark liquid on the marble floor.
From "The Vanished Man" written by Jeffery Deaver.

This is the description of the first murder case where I found a queer expression: a comma of dark liquid. I could not find a similar expression in my dictionary. My personal opinion worked out from my wild imagination is that the spilled coffee left a mark shaped like a comma. I'm not sure at all. Please give me your idea about this simple question.

2005 11 27 16:52 | 固定リンク | コメント (0) | トラックバック (0)

11/26/2005

WWW(2): Lose one's shirt

Fache's zeal for technology had hurt him very much both professionally and personally. Fache was rumored to have invested his entire savings in the technology craze a few years back and lost his shirt. And Fache is a man who only wears the finest shirts.

Quoted from "The Da Vinci Code" written by Dan Brown. French police officer Fache wants to become famous by arresting Robert Langdon and lead a modest retired life. Fache, however, lost his money by investing his money in the technology craze. I am curious why the shirt is related with the money. What is the position of the shirt in Westerner's culture?

2005 11 26 17:13 [World Wide Why?] | 固定リンク | コメント (0) | トラックバック (0)

11/25/2005

WWW(1): From the corner of his eye

This is one of World Wide Why (WWW) series. "From the corner of his eye" is the title of a Dean Koontz book. In Terry Goodkind's "Wizard's First Rule," however, I found the following passage:

When all the jewelry put away, the last drawer closed, she looked out of the corner of her eye, down at the box sitting on the floor.

'She' is a play mate of the Queen, and she mistakenly dropped the precious box of the Queen on the floor. Now, she is contemplating how to scoop up that box without being noticed by the Queen. Here, her intention lies in looking something without attracting another person's attention. In the dictionary, I found, "see something out of the corner of your eye" means "to notice something accidentally, without turning your head towards it or looking for it." These are quite different in usage. My questions are twofold:

1) Is there some difference of the meaning between these two expressions:     from the corner..." and "out of the corner..."?
2) Am I mistaken in understanding the meaning of the above quote?

2005 11 25 21:34 [World Wide Why?] | 固定リンク | コメント (0) | トラックバック (0)

11/17/2005

Unexpected surprise!

I was very dumbfounded by the sudden change of review information pages of amazon.co.jp. It was the first renewal ever performed on the pages since I joined as a reviewer. My expectation was the subtle upward change of my ranking; the reality is, however, the recounting of effective helpful votes; my ranking was not changed, but my number of reviews decreased by 17 items; my helpful votes decreased to 785 votes! My secret expectation was evaporated; one thousand votes lasted only one day! I was greatly shocked, because I have to reset my goal of helpful votes to a thousand again!

2005 11 17 19:46 [Books] | 固定リンク | コメント (0) | トラックバック (0)

No surprise?

It seems that no clear indication of a surprise found for the anticipation of Nov. 15 in amazon.co.jp. The number of reviewers in amazon.co.jp is about one hundred and fifty thousand that have multiplied three times in a year or two; it sounds like quite a success comparing with about three hundred thousand reviewers of amazon.com in United States.

I forgot to say why I anticipated a surprise for a change in my ranking. It seemed as if some kind of complex logic exists within the ranking system. A reviewer who got many helpful votes is not always going higher up. The number 1 reviewer got over ten thousand votes, but reviewers with ranking of around one hundred have varied number of votes between 900 and 2,000. Some other factors seem to be involved here such as the preference of the average popularity over the concentrated votes on a few items; this is my speculation from the experience of two years as an amazon reviewer of Japan and United States.

2005 11 17 01:19 [Books] | 固定リンク | コメント (0) | トラックバック (0)

11/16/2005

A little bit of fantasy

In my school days, I avoided reading so-called fantasy novels, because they are relatively easy read. I preferred to read SF books in English to uncover complex situations that will be unfolded on distant planets or on other galaxies; their cultures and lives are exotic, foreign, and of course alien!

My strong belief not to read fantasy books has been easily shattered by the growing popularity of the Lord of the Rings and the Wheel of Time series. Now I started reading another fantasy novel series: the world of the sword of truth by Terry Goodkind. Its first book "Wizard's First Rule" found to be very easy read for me; it starts by weaving a tale of Richard and Kahlan in a long single thread of 250 pages long until it is succeeded by a tale of Darken Rahl.

I recommend another masterpiece of fantasy novel: Amber series by Roger Zelazny. He is an outstanding science fiction writer and also proved to be a good fantasy fiction writer. Amber novels are unfolded in the lands of Amber, Earth, and the Courts of Chaos, where the powers of Amber and Chaos constantly battle for supremacy through intrigue and adventure. Amber is the land of mystery, adventure and romance; Amber is the one true world; all other worlds, including our Earth, are merely Shadows.

2005 11 16 00:48 [Books] | 固定リンク | コメント (4) | トラックバック (0)

11/15/2005

Anticipation

I am one of public reviewers of amazon.co.jp. My rank is now 321 safely within 500 top reviewers. I have 999 helpful votes by writing 279 reviews in one and half years. Now, I am wondering what will happen when I get 1,000 helpful votes. The day will come soon in a day or two. I know I am not good at writing public reviews, because I have a tendency to write only for my own purposes, and not to give a great read for others. The bonus points, however, would be surely a great surprise for the unanticipated.

2005 11 15 15:23 [Books] | 固定リンク | コメント (0) | トラックバック (0)

11/13/2005

For rainy days

This is a lesson for rainy days that should be recorded properly.

It started without warning, and with forebodings of misfortune. About nine months ago, I checked my English blog site on my PC server, which is a kind of morning ritual then. Finding it inaccessible, I was utterly dumbfounded and expected the worst nightmarish scenario of my site having been hacked and destroyed. First, I checked my Linux server by 'df' command that shows the disk usage...

Two years ago, my first published Linux server with FTP capability was totally damaged by hackers overnight. It required only one night during which incessant disk writing sound had been continuing without end. When the sound ceased, I found the incredulous result that "0 (zero)" byte is available for use as the displayed result of 'df' command. That was so-called, famous "syn-flood" attack that fills "syn (chronous)" code in the free disk space that resulted in no space available for use. From that day, I studied security matters intently and did all possible counter-measures against malicious attacks on my Linux server.

Remembering this awful experience of two years ago, I watched the output of my 'df' command. To my great relief, this was not the case. No indication of any attacks by hackers so far. But I couldn't access the Internet from my Linux server. Internet connection was severed by some unknown reason. Because it was morning time before going out, I couldn't do anything at that time.

When returned from my office, I finished my two papers for presentation in Las Vegas this July by reflecting comments by Professor N who happens to be my adviser in my graduate school. So, I am a business person and at the same time a student of graduate school to get a doctor's degree! I submitted these two papers by using Conference Management System. After that I resumed my "mystery tour" of my disabled Linux server. By restarting network functions, soon I reached the Internet. So far, so good. I checked accessibility to my Linux server both within home LAN and from outside. When I'm inside my home LAN, I could access to the Linux server by specifying IP address directly, but to my great horror, the displayed content of my English blog was miserable whitewashed 'style.' Yes, no styles seemed to be applied on it! Oh, my! My supposed hacker infiltrated my blog and erased some formatting files? The incredible answer to this enigma was discovered next day.

My Linux server was alive and well. But my blog was not doing well. Why? My analysis told me that 'cube290.com' domain cannot be reached from outside of my private LAN world. I checked the expiration date of use of my private domain. It was set as June, 2006. Then I checked if my domain is active or not by Web page http://www.dnsreport.com/ , and it was also OK. At that time I remembered that I used one more Web service when opening my English blog: nifty dynamic DNS service. Soon I refreshed my IP address on the appropriate nifty page where nifty dynamic DNS service is provided. Refreshed information will require from one day to three days to be propagated over the Internet.

Next day, I confirmed that my English blog was alive and well. Very good!

This was the first time I experienced these type of problem since my first activation of Linux server. It was a good experience to refresh my Linux memory and to know the importance of saving operating resources of blogs for rainy days.

2005 11 13 22:05 [Linux server] | 固定リンク | コメント (0) | トラックバック (0)

A technique no longer needed

In my junior high-school days, I was very good at plotting complete ground weather maps from the set of broadcasting data that includes the direction and the level of wind force and the weather conditions of many fixed observation points as well as the coordinates of high atmospheric pressures and low atmospheric pressures with/without cold/warm front lines.

However, eventually, we will see the day when we need neither these minute details nor individual data of the weather forecast anymore. Because we can visually see the movement of those atmospheric bodies and the state of the cloud distribution in the TV weather forecast that was technically made feasible by the weather satellites orbiting around the earth. Already everything can be digitally processed and shown by the image data persuasive enough. My technique to produce weather maps will be no longer needed anymore.

2005 11 13 21:40 [Weather] | 固定リンク | コメント (0) | トラックバック (0)

Typhoons

My business trips has been really cursed by typhoons. When I went to Hokkaido by a plane in September 2004, Typhoon No.18 came from the south of Kyushu and went up through Kyushu and veered right to the Sea of Japan where it regained its power, and finally struck Hokkaido in full force. My flight from Haneda Airport was behind schedule and the scheduling board said that the flight would turn back to the starting airport if the weather conditions did not permit landing on Shin-chitose Airport. The scenes I saw in Sapporo were staggering sights of rooted trees here and there. I was awe-struck by the tremendous power of nature.

Next week I flew to New Orleans, USA. That timing precisely matched with the onslaught of hurricane Ivan on the mainland of USA. My supposed arrival date was the forecasted landfall date of Ivan by American hurricane center. Until one day before my arrival date, the New Orleans International Airport was closed. It was a greatly perilous undertaking to go to New Orleans at that timing because one million people had already rushed out of town fearing the inundation that would drown the whole bowl-shaped city of New Orleans.

These events of yesteryear lingered on to this year. In September, I went to Orlando when the hurricane Rita had been headed toward Florida. I fear this kind of encounter will be repeated again and again.

2005 11 13 21:18 [Weather] | 固定リンク | コメント (0) | トラックバック (0)

"Virtual" existed in 12th Century? Is it real?

When reading "The pillars of the earth" by Ken Follett, I encountered the following passage. The king said: "Unfortunately, I've just virtually promised the earldom to Percy Hamleigh." Brief explanation of this situation: An earl plotted a high treason against his king. A bishop knew this plot beforehand and divulged this information to a nobleman Percy Hamleigh, who attacked an earl and checked the revolt before erupting. The bishop asked the king for the estate of the earl perished as his reward. This is a story of intrigue and power, revenge and betrayal that unfolds in England's twelfth century. My point is the use of the word "virtually" in the twelfth century. In modern age, the word virtual reality came out on the ground that "virtual" thing made possible by the enormous computing power of computers. I wonder the word "virtually" can be used in this old story of twelfth century.

Undoubtedly I'm no linguist, so I'm not sure. However, looking up the Oxford English Dictionary 2nd edition shows that it is possible to use the word "virtually" in the sense of "in respect of essence or effect, apart from actual form or specific manner; as far as essential qualities or facts are concerned." The usage example says that "1495 Trevisa's Barth. De P.R. viii. i. S viij b/1 The vertue of god made and ordeyned primordyall matere in ye whiche as it were in a massy thynge the foure elementes were vertually and not dystyngued in tale and nombre as they arne now." The sentence example itself is very old English.

2005 11 13 19:14 [Books] | 固定リンク | コメント (252) | トラックバック (0)

My English blog restarts today.

I decided to renew my English blog because very nasty attacks on my English blog do not cease in any way.

My blog name is CUBE290. I'd like to write and record many events in my life in English. My favorites cover Culture, Usability, Books and English. CUBE was coined from these four items to include the widest range of visitors from all over the world. I especially like the viewpoints of international mutual understandings to communicate properly.

I'm working for an IT company in Japan as an usability engineer/consultant. And I am an active member of ISO TC159/SC4/WG5 (human-machine interaction) where usability and accessibility ISO standards are discussed and published as International Standards.

My TOEIC (English capability test) score is 945 points now, and I can do professional translation jobs from English to Japanese with ease in the IT field.

I’m also in the post-graduate course of the graduate school of Shizuoka University to get a doctor's degree in Usability.

2005 11 13 18:27 [diary] | 固定リンク | コメント (0) | トラックバック (0)