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Kyocera founder Kazuo Inamori dead at 90

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Kazuo Inamori, the founder and chairman emeritus of Kyocera – a top rank Japanese maker of electronic components, devices and materials – passed away at his home in Kyoto on August 24. He was 90 years old.

Inamori was one of Japan’s most outstanding entrepreneurs and business executives, making his mark as a managerial innovator, educator, writer, philanthropist and philosopher. After 38 years at the helm, he resigned as Chairman of Kyocera and entered the Buddhist priesthood at the Rinzai sect’s Enpuku-ji temple in 1997.

In addition to building what is now a global technology company with revenues of US$14 billion, Inamori took advantage of the deregulation of Japan’s telecommunications industry in 1984 to establish DDI Corporation. In 2000, DDI merged with two other companies to form KDDI, Japan’s second-ranking mobile telecom operator.

In 2010, in response to a request from the minister of transport, Inamori became chairman of Japan Airlines (JAL), which at the time had gone bankrupt with debts exceeding $25 billion. After two years of major restructuring, the company returned to profitability and was relisted on the Tokyo Stock Exchange. In 2013, Inamori resigned his position as savior of the national flag carrier.

Years later he said,

“Shortly after I took the post of JAL chairman, I announced to all employees, ‘The purpose of management at the newly reborn Japan Airlines is to provide opportunities for the material and intellectual growth of all our employees… From here on, the corporation known as Japan Airlines exists not for the benefit of shareholders, and certainly not for the self-interest of its managers, but for the growth of all employees who comprise this company.’

“….to break down the established bureaucracy of Japan Airlines, I implemented a reorganization to clarify a system of responsibility. This was followed by constructing a management accounting system to raise profit awareness.”

A large percentage of JAL employees were made redundant, salaries and pensions were slashed, subsidiaries sold off and unions broken but the company survived.

Inamori saved and redefined Japan Airlines, the country’s flag carrier and second-largest airline. Photo: iStock

Born in 1932 in Kagoshima at the southern tip of Japan’s southwestern island of Kyushu, Inamori had problems as a child. He failed his junior high school entrance examination and had to attend a post-elementary school in order to catch up with the other kids. In 1945, the family home was destroyed in a US Air Force bombing raid.

That same year, he caught tuberculosis. Two of his uncles and one aunt had already died from the disease so he was worried. Confined to bed, he read a book called “Truth of Life” which, as written on his website page, laid “the foundation for his belief that our reality is a reflection of our minds.”

Inamori eventually finished high school and enrolled in Kagoshima University, Faculty of Engineering, Department of Applied Chemistry. This education was key to his future success as an entrepreneur.

After graduating in 1955, he went to work for a maker of insulators in Kyoto. While there, he synthesized forsterite ceramics (magnesium silicate), which are used to make synthetic gems. He quit that job after a dispute with management and set up his own company, Kyoto Ceramic Co Ltd, in 1959.

Kyoto Ceramic’s first product was an insulator, but it quickly added other electronic and structural ceramic components. In 1966, Inamori received a breakthrough order for alumina IC substrates from America’s IBM. In order to fill this order, it developed technologies that raised it to prominence as a world leader in ceramic IC packages.

In 1982, after merging with producers of electronic components, castings, medical equipment and jewelry, the company changed its name to Kyocera Corporation.

Kyocera became a comprehensive maker of applied ceramics products including synthetic gems (rubies, emeralds, sapphires, opals, etc), photovoltaic modules, biocompatible tooth- and-joint replacements, industrial cutting tools and kitchen knives.

Kyocera then embarked on a series of acquisitions that turned it into a world-class supplier of electronic components (connectors, capacitors, crystal oscillators, power diodes, etc), semiconductor and display materials, telecom equipment and printers.

More recently, the company has developed an AI-based object-recognition camera and a combined light detection and ranging (LIDAR) and optical image sensor for autonomous driving.

In January 2021, Kyocera acquired Soraa Laser Diode, Inc, the developer of gallium nitride-based solid-state lighting technology founded by Nobel Prize winner Shuji Nakamura and fellow professors Steven DenBaars and James Speck of the University of California at Santa Barbara.

Inamori built Kynocera into a global powerhouse. Image: Twitter

Nakamura, who invented the blue laser diode, made headlines in 2001 when he sued his Japanese employer, Nichia Corporation, for not fairly compensating him for his invention. He won his case and was awarded record compensation, but defected to the US due to the bitterness of the dispute and an invitation to become a professor at the College of Engineering at the University of California at Santa Barbera.

Now his inventions – which are used in automotive, lighting, display, biomedical, consumer and industrial applications – will benefit from the global marketing power of Kyocera.

In 1984, Inamori established the Inamori Foundation, which “seeks to actively promote peace and prosperity among all people on earth through the promotion of mutual understanding. It does this through programs of public recognition and the support of creative activities to foster science, culture, and the enrichment of the human spirit, as well as through social contributions.”

The Inamori Foundation awards an annual Kyoto Prize “to honor those who have made significant contributions in one of three categories: Advanced Technology, Basic Sciences, or Arts and Philosophy.” This year’s Kyoto Prize has been given to electronics engineer and applied physicist Carver Mead, population biologist Brian T Grenfell and tabla player Zakir Hussain.

Inamori also established a business school called Seiwajyuku, “an association that began in 1983 when 25 young business owners in Kyoto asked Inamori to teach them how to be effective managers. Upon receiving this request, Inamori taught them his management philosophy, which is characterized by the belief that a manager’s mission is to refine his or her spirit to bring about prosperity for the company and happiness for employees.”

When Seiwajyuku was closed down in 2019, it had about 15,000 students at more than 100 branches in Japan and overseas.

Inamori created what he called Amoeba Management, which has so far been introduced at about 700 companies worldwide. As explained on the Kyocera website:

“Amoeba Management begins with dividing an organization into small units called ‘amoebas.’ Each amoeba leader is responsible for drafting plans and goals for the unit. Amoebas achieve their goals through collaboration and the hard efforts of all their amoeba members. In this system, every employee plays a major role and voluntarily participates in managing the unit, achieving what is known as ‘Management by All.’”

An article by professors Ralph W Adler of the University of Otago in New Zealand and Toshiro Hiromoto of Hitotsubashi University in Japan published in the MIT Sloan Management Review in 2012 noted that “Kyocera Corp’s distinctive management system seeks to promote profitable growth by extreme decentralization — with thousands of small, customer-focused business units.”

Inamori published more than 60 books in Japanese which have been translated into 21 languages and have sold more than 19 million copies. “Respect the Divine and Love People: My Philosophy of Business Management” was published in English in 1998.

“From Zero to Kyocera: A Company Philosophy to Grow People and Organizations” was published in 2020. It seems to beg for comparison with Peter Thiel’s “Zero to One.”

Inamori’s last work in English, “Dream Small, Win Big: Life Lessons from Japan’s Preeminent Business Philosopher”, was published earlier this year.

Inamori was a prolific writer on business philosophy. Image: Facebook

Inamori was highly regarded in China as well. On August 30, the Chinese Communist Party’s mouthpiece Global Times wrote:

“The death of Kazuo Inamori, a respected master of business management, was one of the most discussed topics on Chinese social media on Tuesday, with 310 million views as of press time.

“Inamori, well-known in China and deemed a role model for Chinese entrepreneurs from tycoons to rank-and-file business owners, was also remembered for his friendliness toward China, including his charity work in China.

“Li Tianguo, an associate professor at the National Institute of International Strategy, told the Global Times that one reason for Chinese people’s remembrance of Inamori has something to do with the fact that China-Japan relations are at a crossroads today.”

Follow this writer on Twitter: @ScottFo83517667

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Rockford airport gets $6.8M from feds to build new taxiway

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Rockford airport gets $6.8M from feds to build new taxiway | MyStateline.com























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Ky. officials offering $2,500 reward for info leading to arrest of copper wire thieves

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) – Following a string of copper metal thefts in Louisville leaving hundreds of lighting poles dark on interstates, officials are offering a reward leading to arrests.

The Kentucky Transportation Cabinet announced on Wednesday there would be a $2,500 reward for information leading to arrests and prosecution of those responsible for stealing the copper metal wires.

According to the Department of Highways, around 45,000 to 66,000 feet of copper wire has been stolen from roadway lighting poles this year.

Some of the locations where the copper wire was stolen include lighting poles and junction boxes along Interstate 64 between Exit 3 and Interstate 264, in addition to eight other interchanges in Louisville: Exit 1 and Exit 3 on I-64; Exits 127, 130, 132, 133 and 134 on Interstate 65; and Exit 4 on I-264.

“Stealing copper is not a victimless crime,” Kentucky Transportation Cabinet Secretary Jim Gray said in a release. “Taxpayers are left holding the bag to pay to replace the stolen wires and repair broken lighting systems. If you see suspicious activity or know of anyone involved in stealing state property, please report it.”

KYTC said the stolen copper wire endangers the public and puts drivers at risk due to the decreased lighting. High voltage in the lines could also electrocute would-be thieves.

The full estimated cost to restore affected lighting systems has not been determined, but officials said the cost of the wire alone is between $30,600 to $44,880.

To report information on wire thefts, residents are asked to call the KYTC Office of the Inspector General at (502) 330-7506. Residents are asked to report active crimes or suspicious activity through local law enforcement.

Intersections with decreased lighting can be reported to the KYTC Traffic Operations Center at (888) FOR-KYTC (367-5982).

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Samsung Announces First QD-OLED Gaming Monitor, Available for Preorder Now

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Samsung unveiled the first iteration of their QD-OLED gaming monitors, which offer a broader color gamut and have increased brightness. Users can connect their consoles to it as a monitor and enjoy a smooth performance. 

Since it combines OLED panels with Samsung’s Quantum Dot material, QD-OLED has drawn attention to raising the standard for display technology. 

Read Also: Corsair Xeneon Flex: ‘Bendable’ OLED Gaming Monitor to Adjust to User Needs and Preferences

Compared to other display competitors’ current OLED panels, Samsung claims that this can create colors of superior quality and even higher brightness.

According to a report from PCMag, IPS monitors, which can only display ghostly grays when attempting to render black colors, cannot produce pure blacks like Samsung’s QD-OLED technology does.

Samsung Announces First QD-OLED Gaming Monitor

The 34-inch Odyssey OLED G8 monitor has a 175Hz refresh rate, 3440×1440 resolution, a contrast ratio of 1,000,000:1, a 0.1 ms real response time, 99.3% DCI-P3 coverage, and a 1800R curvature. These ground-breaking features make the Odyssey G8 a display frontrunner.

According to a report from Engadget, the Odyssey OLED G8 Monitor is also DisplayHDR 400 True Black and FreeSync Premium certified, although there is no mention of G-Sync compatibility.

According to Samsung, its featured Quantum Mini-LED achieves next-generation depth, which Dolby Atmos and Sound Dome technology enhance for engrossing surround sound to give remarkable visual and audio quality. 

Users may find and identify the ideal display by setting the screen to Cockpit Mode. Users can change the aspect ratio to enjoy multiple content sources with just one touch seamlessly.

More About Odyssey OLED G8

Its large screen offers an immersive experience that is superior to that shown by other display types. For optimum immersion, the 1800R curvature can wrap around the player’s field of vision. According to Samsung, the Odyssey G8 gaming monitor is the best in its class in terms of functionality and build quality. Additionally, the 175Hz refresh rate of the display nearly eliminates lag for thrilling games with ultra-smooth action. 

The monitor, according to Samsung, is the best for games that call for quick reflexes and accuracy. The 1ms response time, accurate mouse movements, blur-free frames, and reduced ghosting are all hallmarks of the G8 gaming monitor.

According to Engadget, gaming monitors with metal frames and stands are rare in the PC monitor market. This particular gaming monitor from Samsung is encased in metal but only offers height and tilt adjustment. 

Because the gaming monitor comes with a built-in RGB lighting system, it is no anymore compatible with a VESA mount. This means it will be quite a hassle to try wall mounts or wall mounting systems for this particular gaming monitor.

Engadget tells us that the Odyssey G8 will go on sale at the end of this year. Be updated with the latest news from Samsung to grab your own G8 monitor. At the moment, the product is available for pre-order. Check out this link.

Related Article: Samsung Smart Monitor M8 Full Specs: Is it Smarter Than Apple’s Studio Display?

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New World Thorndon offers local strawberries throughout the year

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News from New World
New World Thorndon is now stocking locally grown, pesticide-free strawberries year-round, thanks to their partnership with pioneering vertical farming local company, 26 Seasons. New World Thorndon and 26 Seasons are committed to finding innovative ways to provide Kiwis with products they love, and this innovation will make a big difference to how customers shop and the range they have access to all year.

26 Seasons’ innovative vertical farming method can produce one million punnets of the freshest, sweetest, spray-free strawberries annually. Their controlled indoor environment removes external factors like weather, seasonality, pests and disease and mimics perfect strawberry growing conditions 24 hours a day, 365 days of the year.

The two businesses are partnering to make sure the strawberries Kiwis want to buy are available all year-round. The establishment of indoor vertical farms closer to consumers helps produce seasonal favourites out of season, with fresher products and reduced food miles compared with imported products.

New World Thorndon owner operator Reese Drake says the new locally grown premium strawberries are proving a hit with customers. “It’s fantastic to have the option to access strawberries out of season. Being able to cater to customers’ needs year-round is innovation at its finest.”

Grant Leach, 26 Seasons CEO, says in New Zealand vertically farmed food can play an important role in supplementing traditional farming practices to satisfy consumer demand for seasonal produce year-round. Rather than importing strawberries over winter, New Zealanders can now enjoy locally grown fresh fruit that is full of flavour and free from pesticides.

“Our vertically-farmed strawberries are juicy, sweet, pesticide-free and picked when ripe, smelling and tasting just as delicious in the middle of winter as they will do in the height of summer,” says Leach. “We are experimenting with tweaks to our lighting system allowing us to ‘dial up’ sweetness and colour.”

Strawberries have become a new staple for customers at New World Thorndon and they can look out for more innovatively produced products at the store soon.

New World Thorndon is locally owned and part of the Foodstuffs North Island co-operative of stores. As a 100% NZ owned co-operative, Foodstuffs North Island proudly supports NZ suppliers, with a portion of the range in each store tailored by the local owner to allow them to show off suppliers in their area.

Foodstuffs North Island is invested in exploring ways to expand their offerings to suit and benefit customer needs daily and are proud of New World Thorndon’s partnerships with innovative suppliers to provide the community with fresh and local produce.

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Tour through Joplin's Cornell Arts & Entertainment Complex

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Tour through Joplin’s Cornell Arts & Entertainment Complex | KSNF/KODE – FourStatesHomepage.com