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Thursday, May 25, 2006

Putting The Lost Decade Behind Them?

Well, I certainly hope the IMF won't live to eat their words here:

"Japan has escaped from “the lost decade of deflation” and should now take more aggressive action to repair its fiscal situation, the worst among advanced economies, the International Monetary Fund said on Wednesday.

In its most positive assessment of the economy in years, the IMF foresaw brisk demand-led growth of 2.75 and 2.0 per cent for this year and next respectively. The normalisation of monetary policy in March, with the abandonment of unorthodox quantitative easing, signalled that the post-bubble deflationary era was over, it said

Personally I am simply not convinced, and thing we need to give this a little time yet awhile. Of course they are right that Japan needs to address its fiscal problems. Here's the link to the IMF Mission Concluding Statement.

Here We Go

This is hardly surprising, now is it? Perhaps the key phrase is this: “I said this in China and I say it here?.?.?.?more people are competing for the best ideas than in the past, and the high standard of living we have achieved can no longer be taken for granted.” Evidently.

Chancellor Angela Merkel on Wednesday demanded more labour market flexibility and fewer rights for workers on company boards in comments that opened new battle lines with Germany’s trade union movement.

Speaking at a DGB trade union federation congress in Berlin, Ms Merkel rejected labour movement demands for a minimum wage of €7.50 ($9.64, £5.12) an hour, and said the system of co-determination, which gives German workers a role in corporate decision-making, should be adapted to “the new business realities across Europe”.

Oh, Wonderful

This is just fantastic:

A U.S. scientist has created a small 'seeing machine' that allows blind or visually impaired people to view faces, visit the Internet and more.

The machine, designed by a visually impaired Massachusetts Institute of Technology researcher, has received positive feedback from a recent pilot clinical trial.

The research was led by Elizabeth Goldring, a senior fellow at MIT`s Center for Advanced Visual Studies. She developed the $4,000 machine during the last 10 years, in collaboration with more than 30 MIT students, scientists and some of her personal eye doctors.

Goldring developed her machine along the lines of a diagnostic device known as a scanning laser opthalmoscope, or SLO. That machine projects an image directly onto the retina of an eye to determine if there is any healthy retina left.

'We essentially made the new machine from scratch,' Goldring said. The new seeing machine replaces the laser of the SLO with light-emitting diodes, another source of high-intensity light that is much cheaper.

The research was detailed earlier this year in Optometry, the Journal of the American Optometric Association.

Deja Vista'd

Sorry I haven't been around for a while. I have been tied up by a number of issues which could be loosely described as being associated with my research. The slow roll-out starts again from this post. Which is....

It's strange, but I can't help thinking that in someway or another the launch of windows vista might not mark the begining of the end for Microsoft. These delays are getting to be interesting:

The message from Microsoft this week is "we're on target to ship Windows Vista on schedule, but the schedule may change." The mixed message come as Microsoft takes the wraps off of second-stage beta releases for both Windows Vista and Office 2007.

Of course, now it all depends on Google.(Incidentally, the quality migrate out of hotmail and into gmail is now definitely gaining momentum. And I doubt those who are now leaving will ever be migrating back).