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自分が読んで興味深く感じた英文記事を中心に取り上げる予定です

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スーパーがタブレットを発売

 
英国大手のTescoがタブレットを9月30日から英国で発売するようですね。Hudlと書いてハドルと読むようです。Tesco launches 7 inch Hudl tabletとTOEICではおなじみの動詞launchが使われていますね。



23 September, 2013
Tesco launches 7 inch Hudl tablet

Tesco today launches Hudl, a new 7 inch HD tablet that aims to open up a world of entertainment and connectivity to all. It has been designed by Tesco for its 20 million customers and more, focusing on accessibility and convenience.

With super-fast 1.5GHz quad-core processor and dual-band Wi-Fi, users will find Hudl a great companion for their needs, from films, music and TV through to staying in touch, learning new things, shopping and playing games. The scratch-resistant HD display screen is beautifully clear and with 243 pixels per inch, it’s perfect for enjoying HD movies in 16:9 widescreen. It has up to 9 hour video battery life and 16GB of memory which can be extended to 48GB.

Hudl combines the best of Tesco with the Android Jellybean 4.2.2 operating system meaning that customers can access everything on Google and over a million apps.
Tesco designed and built the tablet from scratch, tailoring it around customer needs and ease of use. Hudl users can enjoy instant access to Tesco’s full range of digital services, all in one place, through a convenient, dedicated launcher button. These include blinkbox movies and TV, music and Clubcard TV (which offers free films and TV programmes exclusively for Clubcard holders), banking and of course shopping for groceries, clothing, homeware and more.

スペックとかよりもどういうサービスが可能になるかということですよね。下記の説明だけではピンときません。Maydayなんてサービスを導入してしまうAmazonはすごいですよね。

The move is part of Tesco’s multichannel strategy, ensuring that customers can shop whenever, however and wherever they want. It recognises the increasingly important role that smart phones and tablets are playing in people’s lives and how they can make things easier.

In the digital age, customers are communicating, working, learning, browsing and consuming differently and Tesco, always an innovator, has been transforming its business accordingly. Tesco was first to introduce grocery home shopping and supermarket drive-thrus in the UK and built the world’s first virtual store where commuters buy groceries via their mobile phones in South Korea. In its latest multichannel launch, Tesco wants to ensure as many customers as possible can access the benefits of a tablet, in a world that is increasingly online.

各メディアの反応は以下の記事がまとめてくれていました。概ねハードの仕様は悪くないという評価です。

The verdict: Should you buy the Tesco Hudl?
24 September 2013 | By Shruti Tripathi

BBCのレポートが分かりやすかったのでご紹介します。



23 September 2013 Last updated at 09:29 GMT
Tesco enters the tablet fray with Hudl

It's a place you might go to for tomatoes, tea or tinned tuna - but would you really go to Tesco in search of a tablet computer? The supermarket chain is confident that its shoppers will see the attractions of getting into the tablet game via a well-known brand.
But what does the arrival of the Hudl - for that is the name of the product the company is launching this morning - mean for the overall market?
What is immediately clear is that Tesco is taking its tablet very seriously. Unlike some cheap Android tablets launched by other unlikely firms - remember Next's attempt? - this looks a competitive and reasonably high-spec offering. It runs the latest version of Android, has a 1.5 GHz processor, an HD screen and expandable storage.

アマゾンが毎年新しいKindleを出しているように、今回限りですまないですから大変ですね。7月にビジネスウィークがアマゾンに対抗しようとして電子書籍やタブレットを出していたバーンズ&ノーブルのNookの壮大な失敗の試みを特集していました。

The End: Barnes & Noble in Silicon Valley
By Susan Berfield July 25, 2013

Burning through about a billion dollars, the company built its own e-reading devices, which were well-received, and then its own tablet computers, which weren’t. Barnes & Noble sold so few tablets over the holidays last year that it actually lost money during the one time retailers can count on profits. “We are not going to continue doing what we’re doing,” Lynch said in February.

By then it was too late. In June, Lynch made another grim announcement: The Nook business had an operating loss of $475 million for the fiscal year ended in April, more than it lost in the previous 12 months. Two weeks later he was out of a job. Lynch’s resignation on July 8 was effective immediately. Leonard Riggio, the company’s chairman and largest shareholder, who’d plotted with Lynch to create a digital future for Barnes & Noble, issued a 30-word statement thanking him. Most book blurbs are longer.

With that, the 43-year-old Lynch became the latest casualty in Barnes & Noble’s battle against two of the most creative, disciplined, and well-funded companies around: Amazon.com (AMZN) and Apple (AAPL). He was a victim, too, of his own ambition and enthusiasm. “He is exceptionally smart and optimistic to a fault. He drank too much digital Kool-Aid,” says Michael Norris, a senior analyst at Simba Information. Many people at Barnes & Noble worried about Amazon killing the bookstore; it sometimes seemed as if Lynch wanted to do it himself. He was a Silicon Valley dreamer in charge of a bookstore chain. As he said on Bloomberg TV in late 2012, “I don’t really read physical books that much anymore.”

Nookのようになる可能性の方が高い気がしますが。。。
 

日本がMost Improved Countryに

 
以下のリストを見て、何のランキングか想像がつくでしょうか。

1 Somalia
2 Congo (D. R.)
3 Sudan
4 South Sudan
5 Chad
6 Yemen
7 Afghanistan
8 Haiti
9 Central African Republic
10 Zimbabwe
11 Iraq
12 Cote d'Ivoire
13 Pakistan
14 Guinea
15 Guinea Bissau

今年も国家としての機能を果たしていない国家をランキングするFailed States Indexが発表されました。We are pleased to present …という発表する表現はTOEIC学習をしている方にはおなじみですね。

The Failed States Index 2013

We are pleased to present the ninth annual Failed States Index. The FSI focuses on the indicators of risk and is based on thousands of articles and reports that are processed by our CAST Software from electronically available sources.
 


We encourage others to utilize the Failed States Index to develop ideas for promoting greater stability worldwide. We hope the Index will spur conversations, encourage debate, and most of all help guide strategies for sustainable security.

以下の記事ではランク上位の国以外にも、昨年と比べてMost WorsenedとMost Improvedの国を10つずつ挙げてくれています。

Failed States Index 2013:
What Were You Expecting?
Published June 24, 2013
By J. J. Messner
Failed States Index 2013
 


In compiling the 2013 Failed States Index (FSI), there was some optimism at The Fund for Peace that we would finally see Somalia climb out of first place on the Index after having been firmly anchored in top position for five straight years, especially given the encouraging signs that have been emanating from the country in recent times. It was not to be. Somalia has, for the sixth time in succession, taken top spot in the FSI.

The case of Somalia demonstrates an important facet of recovery from conflict and development. The Fund for Peace’s Nate Haken has noted the political metaphor implicit in the nursery rhyme, Humpty Dumpty, as illustrative of the long- and short-term performance of countries on the FSI: Humpty Dumpty – a fragile egg-based character – had a great fall, leading to a rapid loss of structural integrity – or, in technical parlance, a splattering. Subsequently, despite the best efforts of all the King’s horses and all the King’s men, they were unable to put Humpty back together again.

The Humpty Dumpty principle thus follows that when countries fall significantly, they can do so rapidly and catastrophically and it takes significant resources to reconstruct them. Though it is true that countries can also experience slow declines (as we’ve seen with multiple European countries), there is really only one speed of recovery – slow. Further, such recovery takes significant effort from all manner of actors

ワースト10に入っている国については個別に分析してくれている記事があります。

Failed States Index 2013: The Troubled Ten
Published June 24, 2013

By J. J. Messner & Kendall Lawrence

このリストでthe most-improved nationに選ばれたのが日本だったわけです。東日本大震災の影響があり2012年のランキングを大きく落としたのですが、ある程度復旧し、安倍政権による成長戦略も評価されたようです。

On the topic of recovery, the most-improved nation for the 2013 FSI is Japan. After the pummeling it received in 2012 from the effects of the previous year’s earthquake and nuclear meltdown, Japan has rebounded significantly in 2013, though it still has some way to go to return to its pre-earthquake standing. Though it is true that recovery is slow, Japan demonstrates that it is possible for highly resilient countries with legitimate, representative, and professional institutions to recover fairly rapidly from serious shocks. The next most improved country, Iceland, has similarly demonstrated a high level of resiliency, recovering from the economic shocks of previous years.

日本についても個別に記事を書いてくれています。

Most Improved Country for 2013: Japan
Published June 24, 2013
By Sebastian PavlouFailed States Index 2013

Japan continues to recover with relative speed from the triple crisis of earthquake, tsunami and nuclear plant meltdown that devastated the country on March 11, 2011.

After the 9.0 magnitude earthquake and subsequent tsunami tore through the country's north-eastern coastal communities of Miyagi, Iwatu and Fukushima, at least 20,851 people died or remain missing. This figure includes the confirmed number of dead, 15,881, those who are missing, 2,668, and 2,303 others who died from disaster-related issues.

Miyagi, Iwatu and Fukushimaと岩手がIwatuになっています。固有名詞は外国の人にとって難しいですね。安倍政権の三本の矢の成長戦略はthe new, bold three-pronged economic approach of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s administrationと表現されています。

After two years and a $260 million long-term budget funds, almost all of the 27.6 million tons of debris left behind after the crisis has been transported to areas for waste disposal (approx. 75%) or to permanent locations (approx. 20%). Various criticisms have been made concerning how reconstruction funds have been spent as only 10% of permanent housing for the region has been completed. Still, as Patrick Fuller of the Red Cross pointed out, Japan's progress over one year compares to that achieved over three years in places like Indonesia and Sri Lanka after the 2004 tsunami.

Despite this crisis, the Japanese economy is recovering. It has in fact seen growth in this year’s first quarter while Japanese stocks are soaring and the yen has fallen, making the country’s exports highly competitive. Many attribute this to the new, bold three-pronged economic approach of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s administration. The centre-right Prime Minister of Japan, elected in December of 2012, has emphasized monetary and fiscal stimulus with, so far, successful results.

日本の総合順位を見ると結構微妙な位置です。日本人なら、もっと上位であってほしいと思ってしまいますね。

154 Czech Republic
155 Uruguay
156 Japan
157 South Korea
158 Singapore
159 United States
160 United Kingdom
= 161 France
= 161 Portugal
163 Slovenia
164 Belgium
165 Germany
= 166 Austria
= 166 Netherlands
168 Canada
169 Australia
170 Ireland
171 Iceland
172 Luxembourg
173 New Zealand
174 Denmark
= 175 Switzerland
= 175 Norway
177 Sweden
178 Finland



そもそもこのインデックスはどんな観点から作られているのか、気になる方は上記の動画や下のリンク先をみていただくと想像がつきやすくなると思います。

The Indicators

The Failed States Index is based on the twelve primary social, economic and political indicators of the CAST methodology, developed by The Fund for Peace:

Demographic Pressures
Refugees and IDPs
Group Grievance
Human Flight
Uneven Development
Poverty and Economic Decline
Legitimacy of the State
Public Services
Human Rights
Security Apparatus
Factionalized Elites
External Intervention


Foreign Policy [US] July - August 2013 (単号)Foreign Policy [US] July - August 2013 (単号)
(2013/06/28)
不明

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最新号のForeign Policyはこのインデックスを特集しています。国連英検の面接を控えている方はネタを仕入れる感じで購入してもいいかもしれませんね。
 

去年のスピーチですが。。。

 

The Economist [UK] April 26, 2013 (単号)The Economist [UK] April 26, 2013 (単号)
(2013/04/25)
不明

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k2さんも買われた先週のEconomistは次世代自動車を特集していましたね。何気に調べて見たらテスラって日本語サイトがあったんですね。昨年の6月のものですが、冒頭の方のスピーチをはじめ、皆堂々と話されていますね。



 

I am Congo

 
コンゴと聞くとどうしても悲惨なイメージを連想してしまいます。特に以下のような研究が発表されているのを読むと一層強く感じます。

Rape in the Congo: More Than Politics or a Weapon of War
by John Campbell
December 6, 2012

上記のCFRのブログで以下の研究が紹介されていました。

Congo-Kinshasa: Sexual Violence Is More Than Just a Weapon of War in the Democratic Republic of Congo
4 DECEMBER 2012

PRESS RELEASE
Washington DC and Cape Town — A new study by Promundo and the Sonke Gender Justice Network conducted in Goma, eastern DRC finds that more than a third of men surveyed have carried out some form of sexual violence and more than three quarters hold deeply alarming attitudes about rape and women's rights.

The report reveals that sexual violence, while sometimes implemented as a weapon a war, more often reflects widespread acceptance of patriarchal norms and rape myths that justify and normalize rape, the everyday subordination of women, and men's a sense of entitlement to women's bodies. Sexual violence includes forcing a wife or partner to have sex, as well as stranger rape and other forms of forced sex.

The study also indicates that many men are themselves victims of various forms of violence, including of sexual violence, and shows a clear association between exposure to violence during childhood and increased likelihood of subsequent perpetration. Findings also affirm just how much conflict affects families in the DRC: three-quarters of men and women have had to leave their homes due to conflict.

このような研究を読むとまさに暗黒の大陸のように感じてしまいますが、さきほどのロビンライトが参加していたEnough Projectは活気のあるコンゴも紹介してくれています。Enough Projectはジョージクルーニーも深くかかわっているNGOのようですね。







もちろん大変な問題から目をそむけていいわけではないでしょうが、喜怒哀楽がある人間の生活がそこにあることも忘れずにいたいです。
 

TOEIC 公開テストの受験者数はむしろ減少

 
2013年4月3日
~企業・学校での「読む・聞く・話す・書く」4要素測定ニーズが高まり~
2012年度TOEIC®プログラム受験者数は過去最高を更新

公式サイトで国際ビジネスコミュニケーション協会が上記のようなプレスリリースを発表しました。2012年度の最後にあたる2013年3月の公開テストの集計が終わったということのようですね。

このプレスリリースを受けて読売新聞は以下のようなキャッチーな記事を書いていました。

TOEICに過去最高230万人…英検に肉薄
(2013年4月3日11時48分 読売新聞)

このブログは一次資料にあたって確認することを信条としていますので、プレスリリースの発表の方を見てみようと思います。

公開テストの受験者数を抜き出して、実施回数を補足したのが以下です。

2010年度 (年7回) 787,000
2011年度 (年8回) 1,108,000
2012年度 (年9回) 1,100,000

(2010年度は東日本大震災のため3月の実施はなくなったため年7回になっています)

2012年度の受験者数は実施回数が増えているにもかかわらず減っているというのは意外でした。新設された12月と過去1年間で最も多かった受験者数の回が以下です。

第176回(2012年12月) 68,347人
第169回(2012年3月)148,181人

新設回が7万人近くいたことを考えると、2012年度が2011年度より受験者数が減ったのは各実施回で前年比が1万人以上減っているということなんでしょうね。

企業のグローバル化のプレッシャーがなくなることはないでしょうからIP受験者数は激減することはないでしょうが、公開テストの受験者数は年10回になることでどう推移していくのか、興味深いところですね。

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Yuta

Author:Yuta
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