Tuesday Dispatch #1: 6 year old hard disks, Amazon’s home robot and a skateboarding octogenarian

Ross Hall

October 12, 2021

Photograph of a wooden bench in Kob, Japan with cool bench written in wood behind it

Mizuho bank’s IT failures blamed on ancient hardware

Japanese bank Mizuho has been in the news for multiple systems failures this year. Things got so bad the FSA (Japan’s financial regulator) is now supervising their IT. If reports are to be believed, it could be 6 year old hard disks are to blame.

Is a smog free city possible?

An expressway cut through the centre of Seoul, bringing traffic and pollution to the heart of the city. A few years ago city officials ripped the road out and replaced it with parks and walkways. Turns out it was better for everyone.

Amazon Astro raises privacy concerns (and a bunch of other problems)

It should come as no surprise Amazon’s newly announced Astro robot is going to learn your behaviour. Service bots will need to if they’re going to, well, service us better. Only Amazon’s plans are to use this to sell you more stuff. That’s if it doesn’t decide to throw itself down the stairs first.

Photograph of a Buddhist statue lying down
A statue has a nap at a Buddhist temple in Myohoji

Omni woes go from financial to fraud

UK gas prices have skyrocketed in recent weeks. The result is a slew of companies going bust and their customers being transferred to competitors on much higher rates. One company – Omni – is alleged to have tried to short cut the process by finding their high gas using customers and manually transferring them to competitors. That’s meant rekeying data into web sites and setting up direct debits potentially illegally.

Brexit from an almost outsider’s perspective

Late at night, as my one year anniversary of living in Japan approaches, I had a Twitter rant about Brexit. It includes gifs.

Prints available on Redbubble

As the Kobe Roku design practice gathers pace, I’ve launched a RedBubble store where you can purchase prints, posters and canvases.

A view of Himeji Castle in Japan showing the high white keep and its reflection in a moat
Himeji Castle in Japan.

And finally…

Just because you’re 80 doesn’t mean you can’t be one of the cool kids down the skateboard park, as newbie Kinoshita Yoshio is proving.

I'm Ross Hall, a writer and researcher based in Kobe, Japan. You can talk to me about B2B, sustainability and strategic management.

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