Tokyo architect’s apology is heard

Boy, you think you can trust people these days, but the news of the last few weeks has had us all wondering, whom can we trust?

Sony Music/BMG has been putting dangerous spyware software on our computers without our consent, software that can slow down, damage or destroy your computer. The situation is so bad, the Attorney General of Texas is suing Sony, joining several other suits, including the Electronic Frontier Foundation suit, see: Sony Sued Over DRM Rootkit
Two other legal firms, Green Welling and Lerach, Coughlin, Stoia, Geller, Rudman and Robbins, joined the digital consumer advocacy group in the suit filed in Los Angeles County Superior Court.

According to www.sonysuit.com, Microsoft has labeled Sony’s software as “spyware” and plans to provide tools for its removal. Additionally, Sony is recalling unsold CDs from all stores and now offers an exchange program for the infected CDs. Sony contines to maintain that “there were no security risks associated with the anti- piracy technology”, despite the earlier virus and malware reports.

There are five class action lawsuits already filed, with more certainly on the way. One is based in New York and is designed to cover all US citizens, two in California and focus solely on Californians. The Texas Attorney General has filed suit. A suit has been filed in Oklahoma focusing on citizens of that state as well. It also appears that the Law Firm of Lawrence E. Feldman & Associates is planning to file suit soon.

People, this is Sony! Starting in the ’70s, I have trusted Sony implicitely. I have one of their early reel-to-reel tape decks, 3 of their cassette tape decks including a battery operated portable I used to record folk music in eastern Europe, I use their microphones when I DJ. More recently I bought 3 of their portable CD players, a portable boom box for teaching dance. I have goodness knows how many of their CDs, probably several hundred. I have one of the infected CD titles, although, luckily I turned Autorun off for my CD players in my PC.

Can’t trust them any more!

Now Japanese architects and builders charged with the earthquake safety of buildings have been caught cheating on the strength calculations to cut costs … And this architect says he isn’t the only one, just one of many who have done this …

Now what am I supposed to do? Check who the architect was before I walk near any building? How can I possibly do that?

The Boston Globe
Until the scandal broke, Hidetsugu Aneha was just an anonymous architect, running a small Tokyo-area company that carried out the mundane but crucial calculations on how much reinforced steel should be used to keep buildings from collapsing in an earthquake.

Now he is Japan’s most notorious cheat.

Claiming he was under pressure from condominium and hotel builders looking to cut costs, Aneha has admitted to fiddling with safety figures on at least 21 buildings, prescribing steel bars that were too thin and too few in number to absorb the shock of a major quake. If a big tremor shook those buildings, he confessed last month to the Japanese media mob that staked out his office demanding an explanation, ”there is a possibility they could fall down.”

”Pillars might bend or crash,” he said. ”I think there might be human damage.”

The aftershocks to that confession have rumbled across Japan. At least seven hotels have closed. Angry condominium owners have fled their homes, demanding their money back, and construction has paused on other Aneha-related projects. Of the first 14 affected buildings reexamined by engineers, all but one was ordered demolished.

And investigators who went looking for signs of trouble in the rest of the 206 condominiums, apartment blocks, and hotels that Aneha had a hand in designing across Japan have so far found he fudged the numbers on at least 43 of them.

[…]

Aneha said at a closed-door hearing of government officials that three construction companies had ordered him to reduce the amount of reinforced steel in his designs or they would take their business elsewhere.

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