Of Course In-App Payments Are Bigger Than Apple Pay! In America That is…:

Apple Pay Suica proved that small purchases are the no-brainer starting point for digital wallets. Anybody will use an app, or Apple Pay, to pay for the 3.05 cup of coffee because nobody wants to bother with coins. Nobody uses Apple Pay to purchase a 600 dollar couch.

The real golden uptake path for a digital wallet platform like Apple Pay is when it is matched with a stored value card that includes transit and purchase with points, in short a transit platform. America doesn’t have one yet so the in-app recharge with reward points approach will continue to be more popular than Apple Pay by itself.

(Via Ata Distance)

Also on:

When I wear my Detroit Tigers baseball hat I get treated differently. I’m not an afficianado of Japanese culture as a resident. I’m a tourist when wearing the hat. It sucks. I argued with a waitress at a restaurant I’ve visited many times about the fact that they have an English menu. It took another server to recognize me me get the conversation past the disconnect. Then I visited a pub oriented to foreigners. When I ordered a traditional drink I was grilled to make sure I knew what I was ordering. So, Westerners coming to Japan: don’t wear baseball hats and hide your tattoos.

I thought I’d picked out a sweet spot to camp out at the Japan Brewers Cup 2018 in Yokohama. Turns out it was right in front of where an audience participation magic show will take place.

I found the first lightly populated table as fast as I could before the magic happens.

UPDATE: The sad news was that they are very talented acrobats not at all interested in audience participation beyond wonder. I should have known better.

Fujitsu will replace passwords and keycards with palm scanning for 80K employees in Japan:

On Thursday, Fujitsu announced that it would replace employee passwords and smartcards with a new authentication measure: Their palm veins. The company will deploy its palm vein authentication technology to about 80,000 employees in Japan this year, allowing them to access their virtual desktops with a wave of their hand.

Fujitsu also wants to replace the smartcard-based authentication installed at the entrances to two offices in Japan with the palm vein authentication. The company will trial this for 5,200 employees working at those locations over the next year, it said in a press release.

(Via Security on TechRepublic)

The article is not much more than a press release.

I would love to see their success criteria, the metrics, ROI calculus, and how they continue to refine their capabilities. The article talks about “efficiency” and getting rid of “the hassle of entering a password”, both convenience use cases, but nothing really about security.

Biometrics, in many implementations, combine identity and authentication into one – think about the fingerprint sensor on a smartphone.

UPDATE: This article from SecurityWeek lists the pros & cons of biometrics.

The Answers Are Out There:

At two minutes to noon on Sept. 1, 1923, the ground began to tremble in Tokyo and nearby Yokohama. A 7.9 magnitude earthquake had struck Japan. The shaking lasted for nearly five minutes, causing gas stoves to topple, which in turn ignited thousands of wooden buildings. The fires eventually claimed more lives than the quake itself — more than 140,000 people died in all. Although Japan had experienced earthquakes in the past, this one was different and for a singularly important reason: It inspired the Japanese to focus intently on disaster preparedness.

Almost nine decades later, that readiness was put to the test in extreme fashion. On March 11, 2011, a 9.1 magnitude earthquake struck Japan. Within 10 minutes, a tsunami — which in some places towered as high as a 10-story building — crashed into the coast and swept as far as six miles inland. Unlike in 1923, however, this time Japan’s government and its citizens were ready.

(Via Foreign Policy)

Check it: after natural disasters they assess and make adjustments. In between the Japanese practice. They train. They analyze.

How about Bangladesh?

Because of the country’s susceptibility to frequent flooding, it is also vulnerable to the spread of diarrheal diseases, such as cholera. When flooding struck in 1988, such illnesses caused 27 percent of the resulting deaths in one rural area in the country. Yet when Bangladesh was hit by unprecedented floods in August 2017, which damaged or destroyed nearly 700,000 homes, there were virtually no deaths from diarrheal diseases, according to the website Third Pole. The reason? More effective public health measures, including better-equipped medical facilities and greater awareness of the need for preventive action.

And France?

Having learned a bitter lesson in 2003, when the worst heat wave since 1540 killed some 15,000 people there, the country was prepared when a heat wave nicknamed Lucifer stuck Europe in August. Temperatures reached a record-breaking 106.9 degrees Fahrenheit in parts of southern France.

There were no reported deaths in France during the Lucifer heat wave, and the United Nations has cited France as a model for how other nations should respond when temperatures spike.

The article lists many examples of how the French learned and managed.

I love this line about Morocco’s efforts:

In an effort to reduce its vulnerabilities, the country has taken a different but equally important approach: focusing on financing risk reduction rather than recovery.

They don’t waste time or effort on theater, that act where governments and organizations decide they want people to feel safer.

I wonder what lessons my governments learned and what adjustments they’re making in the wake of the natural disasters we’ve faced in the United States & Assoc.

Bringing it around to the professional, how is your organization preparing to avoid and manage risk in advance of weather related issues?

Last week my LinkedIn and email was hit with a bunch of messages congratulating me on my work anniversary. “Huh? What work anniversary are they on about?”

It’s my IBM global one!

I was negligent in forgetting my very move to Big Blue. The work that I did and do, the opportunities at my disposal, and the very fact I live and work in Tokyo amply shows becoming an IBMer was a great move for me.

And the people I work with in Japan and globally are valuable colleagues and, in some wonderful instances, friends.

Happy work birthday to me!

I enjoyed several adult beverages on the ramp up to the ball drop in Tokyo for 2018. I made it home from the izakaya with only one at-the-time-seemed major misstep changing trains, thus delaying me about 30 minutes. That’s not a miracle, though only delaying myself by 30 minutes is fairly impressive.

Once I finally made it home, I made some food. I went to bed. Those are not the miracles.

When I woke up firmly in 2018, I saw my miracles.

My clean laundry was folded and put away. My clean dishes were similarly stowed. My coffee maker was prepped so the brew was 2 button pushes and 8 minutes away.

2018 miracles, no doubt!