DV is a format for storing digital video. It was launched in 1995 with joint efforts of leading producers of video camera recorders; the original DV specification, known as Blue Book, was standardized within the IEC 61834 family of standards. These standards define common features such as physical videocassettes, recording modulation method and basic system data in part 1. Part 2 describes the specifics of 625-50 systems; the IEC standards are available as publications sold by IEC and ANSI. In 2003, DV was joined by a successor format HDV, which used the same tape format with a different video codec; some cameras at the time had the ability to switch between HDV recording modes. All tape-based video formats are becoming obsolete as tapeless HD cameras recording on memory cards, hard disk drives, solid-state drives, optical discs have become the norm, although the DV encoding standard is sometimes still used in tapeless cameras. DV uses lossy compression of video. An intraframe video compression scheme is used to compress video on a frame-by-frame basis with the discrete cosine transform.
Following ITU-R Rec. 601 standard, DV video employs interlaced scanning with the luminance sampling frequency of 13.5 MHz. These results in 480 scanlines per complete frame for the 60 Hz system, 576 scanlines per complete frame for the 50 Hz system. In both systems the active area contains 720 pixels per scanline, with 704 pixels used for content and 16 pixels on the sides left for digital blanking; the same frame size is used for 4:3 and 16:9 frame aspect ratios, resulting in different pixel aspect ratios for fullscreen and widescreen video. Prior to the DCT compression stage, chroma subsampling is applied to the source video in order to reduce the amount of data to be compressed. Baseline DV uses 4:2:0 subsampling in the 50 Hz variant. Low chroma resolution of DV is a reason this format is sometimes avoided in chroma keying applications, though advances in chroma keying techniques and software have made producing quality keys from DV material possible. Audio can be stored in either of two forms: 16-bit Linear PCM stereo at 48 kHz sampling rate, or four nonlinear 12-bit PCM channels at 32 kHz sampling rate.
In addition, the DV specification supports 16-bit audio at 44.1 kHz, the same sampling rate used for CD audio. In practice, the 48 kHz stereo mode is used exclusively; the audio and metadata are packaged into 80-byte Digital Interface Format blocks which are multiplexed into a 150-block sequence. DIF blocks are the basic units of DV streams and can be stored as computer files in raw form or wrapped in such file formats as Audio Video Interleave, QuickTime and Material Exchange Format. One video frame is formed from either 10 or 12 such sequences, depending on scanning rate, which results in a data rate of about 25 Mbit/s for video, an additional 1.5 Mbit/s for audio. When written to tape, each sequence corresponds to one complete track. Baseline DV employs unlocked audio; this means. However, this is the maximum drift of the audio/video synchronization. Sony and Panasonic created their proprietary versions of DV aimed toward professional & broadcast users, which use the same compression scheme, but improve on robustness, linear editing capabilities, color rendition and raster size.
All DV variants. Film-like frame rates are possible by using pulldown. DVCPRO HD supports native progressive format. DVCPRO known as DVCPRO25, is a variation of DV developed by Panasonic and introduced in 1995 for use in electronic news gathering equipment. Unlike baseline DV, DVCPRO uses locked audio and 4:1:1 chroma subsampling for both 50 Hz and 60 Hz variants to decrease generation losses. Audio is available in 16-bit/48 kHz precision; when recorded to tape, DVCPRO uses wider track pitch - 18 μm vs. 10 μm of baseline DV, which reduces the chance of dropout errors during recording. Two extra longitudinal tracks provide support for timecode control. Tape is transported 80% faster compared to baseline DV, resulting in shorter recording time. Long Play mode is not available. In 1996 Sony responded with its own professional version of DV called DVCAM. Like DVCPRO, DVCAM uses locked audio, which prevents audio synchronization drift that may happen on DV if several generations of copies are made; when recorded to tape, DVCAM uses 15 μm track pitch, 50% wider compared to baseline.
Accordingly, tape is transported 50% faster, which reduces recording time by one third compared to regular DV. Because of the wider track and track pitch, DVCAM has the ability to do a frame-accurate insert edit, while regular DV may vary by a few frames on each edit compared to the preview. DVCPRO50 was introduced by Panasonic in 1997 for high-value electronic news gathering and digital cinema, is described as two DV codecs working in parallel; the DVCPRO50 doubles the coded video data rate to 50 Mbit/s. This has the effect of cutting total record time of any given storage medium in half. Chroma resolution is improved by using 4:2:2 chroma subsampling. DVCPRO50 was used in many productions. For example, BBC used DVCPRO50 to record high-budget TV series, such as Space Race and Ancient Rome: The Rise and Fall of an Empire. A similar format, D-9, offered
PlayStation is a gaming brand that consists of four home video game consoles, as well as a media center, an online service, a line of controllers, two handhelds and a phone, as well as multiple magazines. It is created and owned by Sony Interactive Entertainment since December 3, 1994, with the launch of the original PlayStation in Japan; the original console in the series was the first video game console to ship 100 million units, 9 years and 6 months after its initial launch. Its successor, the PlayStation 2, was released in 2000; the PlayStation 2 is the best-selling home console to date, having reached over 155 million units sold as of December 28, 2012. Sony's next console, the PlayStation 3, was released in 2006 and has sold over 80 million consoles worldwide as of November 2013. Sony's latest console, the PlayStation 4, was released in 2013, selling 1 million consoles in its first 24 hours on sale, becoming the fastest selling console in history; the first handheld game console in the PlayStation series, the PlayStation Portable or PSP, sold a total of 80 million units worldwide by November 2013.
Its successor, the PlayStation Vita, which launched in Japan on December 17, 2011 and in most other major territories in February 2012, had sold over 4 million units by January 2013. PlayStation TV is a microconsole and a non-portable variant of the PlayStation Vita handheld game console. Other hardware released as part of the PlayStation series includes the PSX, a digital video recorder, integrated with the PlayStation and PlayStation 2, though it was short lived due to its high price and was never released outside Japan, as well as a Sony Bravia television set which has an integrated PlayStation 2; the main series of controllers utilized by the PlayStation series is the DualShock, a line of vibration-feedback gamepad having sold 28 million controllers as of June 28, 2008. The PlayStation Network is an online service with over 110 million users worldwide, it comprises an online virtual market, the PlayStation Store, which allows the purchase and download of games and various forms of multimedia, a subscription-based online service known as PlayStation Plus and a social gaming networking service called PlayStation Home, which had over 41 million users worldwide at the time of its closure in March 2015.
PlayStation Mobile is a software framework. Version 1.xx supports both PlayStation Vita, PlayStation TV and certain devices that run the Android operating system, whereas version 2.00 released in 2014 would only target PlayStation Vita and PlayStation TV. Content set to be released under the framework consist of only original PlayStation games currently.7th generation PlayStation products use the XrossMediaBar, an award-winning graphical user interface. A touch screen-based user interface called LiveArea was launched for the PlayStation Vita, which integrates social networking elements into the interface. Additionally, the PlayStation 2 and PlayStation 3 consoles featured support for Linux-based operating systems; the series has been known for its numerous marketing campaigns, the latest of which being the "Greatness Awaits" commercials in the United States. The series has a strong line-up of first-party titles due to Sony Interactive Entertainment Worldwide Studios, a group of fifteen first-party developers owned by Sony Interactive Entertainment which are dedicated to developing first-party games for the series.
In addition, the series features various budget re-releases of titles by Sony with different names for each region. In October 2018, Sony President Kenichiro Yoshida stated the necessity of the new PlayStation console. Yoshida said, it has become "necessary to have a next-generation hardware" to replace the PlayStation 4, now 5 years old. PlayStation was the brainchild of Ken Kutaragi, a Sony executive who had just finished managing one of the company's hardware engineering divisions at that time and would be dubbed as "The Father of the PlayStation"; the console's origins date back to 1988 where it was a joint project between Nintendo and Sony to create a CD-ROM for the Super Famicom. Although Nintendo denied the existence of the Sony deal as late as March 1991, Sony revealed a Super Famicom with a built-in CD-ROM drive, that incorporated Green Book technology or CD-i, called "Play Station" at the Consumer Electronics Show in June 1991. However, a day after the announcement at CES, Nintendo announced that it would be breaking its partnership with Sony, opting to go with Philips instead but using the same technology.
The deal was broken by Nintendo after they were unable to come to an agreement on how revenue would be split between the two companies. The breaking of the partnership infuriated Sony President Norio Ohga, who responded by appointing Kutaragi with the responsibility of developing the PlayStation project to rival Nintendo. At that time, negotiations were still on-going between Nintendo and Sony, with Nintendo offering Sony a "non-gaming role" regarding their new partnership with Philips; this proposal was swiftly rejected by Kutaragi, facing increasing criticism over his work with regard to entering the video game industry from within Sony. Negotiations ended in May 1992 and in order to decide the fate of the PlayStation project, a meeting was held in June 1992, consisting of Sony President Ohga, PlayStation Head Kutaragi and several senior members of Sony's board. At the meeting, Kutaragi unveiled a pro
S/PDIF is a type of digital audio interconnect used in consumer audio equipment to output audio over reasonably short distances. The signal is transmitted over either a coaxial cable with RCA connectors or a fibre optic cable with TOSLINK connectors. S/PDIF interconnects components in other digital high-fidelity systems. S/PDIF is based on the AES3 interconnect standard. S/PDIF can carry compressed 5.1 / 7.1 surround sound. S/PDIF is a data link layer protocol as well as a set of physical layer specifications for carrying digital audio signals between devices and components over either optical or electrical cable; the name stands for Sony/Philips Digital Interconnect Format but is known as Sony/Philips Digital Interface. Sony and Philips were the primary designers of S/PDIF. S/PDIF is standardized in IEC 60958 as IEC 60958 type II. A common use for the S/PDIF interface is to carry compressed digital audio for surround sound as defined by the standard IEC 61937; this mode is used to connect the output of a DVD player or computer, via optical or coax, to a home theatre amplifying receiver that supports Dolby Digital or DTS.
Another common use is to carry two channels of uncompressed digital audio from a CD player to an amplifying receiver. S/PDIF was developed at the same time as the main standard, AES3, used to interconnect professional audio equipment in the professional audio field; this resulted from the desire of the various standards committees to have at least sufficient similarities between the two interfaces to allow the use of the same, or similar, designs for interfacing ICs. S/PDIF remained nearly identical at the protocol level, but changed the physical connectors from XLR to either electrical coaxial cable or optical fibre, both of which cost less than the XLR connection; the RCA connectors are colour-coded orange to differentiate from other RCA connector uses such as composite video. The cable was changed from 110 Ω balanced twisted pair to 75 Ω coaxial cable, using RCA jacks. Signals transmitted over consumer-grade TOSLINK connections are identical in content to those transmitted over coaxial connectors, though TOSLINK S/PDIF exhibits higher jitter.
S/PDIF is used to transmit digital signals of a number of formats, the most common being the 48 kHz sample rate format and the 44.1 kHz format, used in CD audio. In order to support both systems, as well as others that might be needed, the format has no defined data rate. Instead, the data is sent using biphase mark code, which has either one or two transitions for every bit, allowing the original word clock to be extracted from the signal itself. S/PDIF is meant to be used for transmitting 20-bit audio data streams plus other related information. To transmit sources with less than 20 bits of sample accuracy, the superfluous bits will be set to zero. S/PDIF can transport 24-bit samples by way of four extra bits. S/PDIF protocol is identical to AES3 with one exception: the channel status bit differs in S/PDIF. Both protocols group 192 samples into an audio block, transmit one channel status bit per sample, providing one 192-bit channel status word per channel per audio block; the meaning of the channel status word is different between AES3 and S/PDIF.
For S/PDIF, the 192-bit status word is identical between the two channels and is divided into 12 words of 16 bits each, with the first 16 bits being a control code. Bits 8–14 of the control code are a 7-bit category code indicating the type of source equipment, bit 15 is the "L-bit", which indicates whether copy-restricted audio is original or a copy; the L-bit is only used. The L-bit polarity depends on the category, with recording allowed if it is 1 for DVD-R and DVR-RW, but 0 for CD-R, CD-RW, DVD. For plain CD-DA, the L-bit is not defined, recording is prevented by alternating bit 2 at a rate of 4–10 Hz; the receiver does not control the data rate, so it must avoid bit slip by synchronizing its reception with the source clock. Many S/PDIF implementations cannot decouple the final signal from influence of the source or the interconnect; the process of clock recovery used to synchronize reception may produce jitter. If the DAC does not have a stable clock reference noise will be introduced into the resulting analog signal.
However, receivers can implement various strategies. TOSLINK optical fiber, unlike coaxial cables, are immune to RF interference; the fiber core of TOSLINK, may suffer permanent damage if bent. ADAT Lightpipe Dolby Digital Plus I²S McASP Manchester code S/PDIF at Epanorama.net More about channel data bits Interfacing AES3 and S/PDIF
MiniDisc is a magneto-optical disc-based data storage format offering a capacity of 60, 74 minutes and 80 minutes, of digitized audio or 1 gigabyte of Hi-MD data. Sony brand audio players were on the market in September 1992. Sony announced the MiniDisc in September 1992 and released it in November of that year for sale in Japan and in December in Europe, the USA and other countries; the music format was based on ATRAC audio data compression, but the option of linear PCM digital recording was introduced to meet audio quality comparable to that of a compact disc. MiniDiscs were popular in Japan and found moderate success in Europe. Sony has ceased development of MD devices, with the last of the players sold by March 2013. In 1983, just a year after the introduction of the Compact Disc, Kees Schouhamer Immink and Joseph Braat presented the first experiments with erasable magneto-optical Compact Discs during the 73rd AES Convention in Eindhoven, it took, however 10 years before their idea was commercialized.
Sony's MiniDisc was one of two rival digital systems, both introduced in 1992, that were targeted as replacements for the Philips Compact Cassette analog audio tape system: the other was Digital Compact Cassette, created by Philips and Matsushita. Sony had intended Digital Audio Tape to be the dominant home digital audio recording format, replacing the analog cassette. Due to technical delays, DAT was not launched until 1989, by the U. S. dollar had fallen so far against the yen that the introductory DAT machine Sony had intended to market for about $400 in the late 1980s now had to retail for $800 or $1000 to break putting it out of reach of most users. Relegating DAT to professional use, Sony set to work to come up with a simpler, more economical digital home format. By the time Sony came up with MiniDisc in late 1992, Philips had introduced a competing system, DCC; this created marketing confusion similar to the Betamax versus VHS battle of the late 1970s and early 1980s. Sony attempted to license MD technology to other manufacturers, with JVC, Pioneer and others all producing their own MD systems.
However, non-Sony machines were not available in North America, companies such as Technics and Radio Shack tended to promote DCC instead. Despite having a loyal customer base of musicians and audio enthusiasts, MiniDisc met with only limited success in the United States, it was popular in Japan during the 1990s, but did not enjoy comparable sales in other world markets. Since recordable CDs, flash memory and HDD and solid-state-based digital audio players such as iPods have become popular as playback devices; the initial low uptake of MiniDisc was attributed to the small number of pre-recorded albums available on MD as few record labels embraced the format. The initial high cost of equipment and blank media was a factor. Mains-powered hi-fi MiniDisc player/recorders never got into the lower price ranges, most consumers had to connect a portable machine to the hi-fi in order to record; this inconvenience contrasted with the earlier common use of cassette decks as a standard part of an ordinary hi-fi set-up.
MiniDisc technology was faced with new competition from the recordable compact disc when it became more affordable to consumers beginning around 1996. Sony believed that it would take around a decade for CD-R prices to become affordable - the cost of a typical blank CD-R disc was around $12 in 1994 - but CD-R prices fell much more than envisioned, to the point where CD-R blanks sank below $1 per disc by the late 1990s, compared to at least $2 for the cheapest 80-minute MiniDisc blanks; the biggest competition for MiniDisc came from the emergence of MP3 players. With the Diamond Rio player in 1998 and the Apple iPod, the mass market began to eschew physical media in favor of file-based systems. By 2007, because of the waning popularity of the format and the increasing popularity of solid-state MP3 players, Sony was producing only one model, the Hi-MD MZ-RH1 available as the MZ-M200 in North America packaged with a Sony microphone and limited Apple Macintosh software support; the introduction of the MZ-RH1 allowed users to move uncompressed digital recordings back and forth from the MiniDisc to a computer without the copyright protection limitations imposed upon the NetMD series.
This allowed the MiniDisc to better compete with MP3 players. However, most pro users like broadcasters and news reporters had abandoned MiniDisc in favor of solid-state recorders, due to their long recording times, open digital content sharing, high-quality digital recording capabilities and reliable, lightweight design. On 7 July 2011, Sony announced that it would no longer ship MiniDisc Walkman products as of September 2011 killing the format. On 1 February 2013, Sony issued a press release on the Nikkei stock exchange that it will cease shipment of all MD devices, with last of the players to be sold in March 2013. However, it would continue to offer repair services. MD Data, a version for storing computer data, was announced by Sony in 1993 but never gained significant ground, its media were incompatible with standard audio MiniDiscs, cited as one of the main reasons behind the format's failure. MD Data could not write to audio-MDs, only the more expensive data blanks. In 1997, MD-Data2 blanks were introduced.
They were only implemented in Sony's short-lived MD-based camcorder as well as a small number of multi-track recorders.
Memory Stick is a removable flash memory card format launched by Sony in late 1998. In addition to the original Memory Stick, this family includes the Memory Stick PRO, a revision that allows greater maximum storage capacity and faster file transfer speeds; as a proprietary format, Sony used Memory Stick on its products in the 2000s such as Cyber-shot digital cameras, Handycam digital camcorders, WEGA and Bravia TV sets, VAIO PCs and the PlayStation Portable handheld game console, with the format being licensed to a few other companies early in its lifetime. With increasing popularity of SD card, in 2010 Sony started to support the SD card format, seen as a Sony loss in the format war. Despite this, Sony continued to support Memory Stick on certain devices; the original Memory Stick, launched in October 1998, was available in sizes up to 128 MB. In October 1999 Sony licensed the technology to Fujitsu, Sanyo, Sharp and Kenwood, in a bid to avoid a repetition of the Betamax failure. Other companies were licensees to the format.
Some early examples of Memory Stick usage by third-party companies include Sharp's MP3 players, Alpine's in-dash players, Epson's printers. The format had a lukewarm reception, but it soon increased in popularity after the licensing deal. In spring 2001, Memory Stick attained 25% market share, up from 7% a year earlier. By May 2001, total shipment of Memory Stick units surpassed 10 million; however the SD card, jointly developed by Toshiba and SanDisk, became popular among companies and soon became the most popular flash format - by November 2003 it held 42% market share in the United States, ahead of CompactFlash's 26% and Memory Stick with 16%. Sony itself became the only company to support the format. Sony was criticized for the Memory Stick, as they were deemed to be expensive compared to other formats; as of January 2010, it appears that Sony is beginning to combine support for SD/SDHC and Memory Stick formats in their products. All digital cameras and camcorders announced by Sony at the 2010 Consumer Electronics Show can use SD and SDHC cards as well as Memory Sticks.
Furthermore, Sony is releasing its own line of SD cards. Many claim this development as the end of the format war between SD card. However, Sony did not abandon the format at this time, has indicated it will continue development of the format for the foreseeable future. A prime example is the development of WiFi transfers through a special Memory Stick Pro-Duo, still in development as of 2011. Memory Stick cards were entirely produced by Sony itself. SanDisk and Lexar were among few third-party Memory Stick producers. Memory Sticks are used as storage media for a portable device, in a form that can be removed for access by a personal computer. For example, Sony digital compact cameras use Memory Stick for storing image files. With a Memory Stick-capable Memory card reader a user can copy the pictures taken with the Sony digital camera to a computer. Sony included Memory Stick reader hardware in its first-party consumer electronics, such as digital cameras, digital music players, PDAs, cellular phones, the VAIO line of laptop computers, TV sets under the WEGA and Bravia names, Sony's handheld gaming device, the PlayStation Portable.
A special Memory Stick can be inserted in the hindquarters of Sony's AIBO robot pet, to enable the use of Aiboware—software intended for use on AIBOs. The Sticks include; these are referred to programming. Only 8 MB and 16 MB versions are available. Memory Sticks include a wide range including three different form factors; the original Memory Stick is the size and thickness of a stick of chewing gum. It was available in sizes from 4 MB to 128 MB, it was available both without MagicGate support. The MagicGate supporting memory sticks; the original Memory Stick is no longer manufactured. In response to the storage limitations of the original Memory Stick, Sony introduced the Memory Stick Select at CES 2003 on January 9; the Memory Stick Select was two separate 128 MB partitions which the user could switch between using a switch on the card. This solution was unpopular, but it did give users of older Memory Stick devices more capacity, its physical size was still the same as the original Memory Stick.
The Memory Stick PRO, introduced on January 9, 2003 as a joint effort between Sony and SanDisk, would be the longer-lasting solution to the space problem. Most devices that use the original Memory Sticks support both the original and PRO sticks since both formats have identical form factors; some readers that were not compatible could be upgraded to Memory Stick PRO support via a firmware update. Memory Stick PROs have a marginally higher transfer speed and a maximum theoretical capacity of 32 GB, although it appears capacities higher than 4 GB are only available in the PRO Duo form factor. High Speed Memory Stick PROs are available, newer devices support this high speed mode, allowing for faster file transfers. All Memory Stick PROs larger than 1 GB support this High Speed mode, High Speed Memory Stick Pros are backwards-compatible with devices that don't support the High Speed mode. High capacity memory Sticks such as the 4 GB versions are expensive compared to other types
Japan is an island country in East Asia. Located in the Pacific Ocean, it lies off the eastern coast of the Asian continent and stretches from the Sea of Okhotsk in the north to the East China Sea and the Philippine Sea in the south; the kanji that make up Japan's name mean "sun origin", it is called the "Land of the Rising Sun". Japan is a stratovolcanic archipelago consisting of about 6,852 islands; the four largest are Honshu, Hokkaido and Shikoku, which make up about ninety-seven percent of Japan's land area and are referred to as home islands. The country is divided into 47 prefectures in eight regions, with Hokkaido being the northernmost prefecture and Okinawa being the southernmost one; the population of 127 million is the world's tenth largest. 90.7 % of people live in cities. About 13.8 million people live in the capital of Japan. The Greater Tokyo Area is the most populous metropolitan area in the world with over 38 million people. Archaeological research indicates; the first written mention of Japan is in Chinese history texts from the 1st century AD.
Influence from other regions China, followed by periods of isolation from Western Europe, has characterized Japan's history. From the 12th century until 1868, Japan was ruled by successive feudal military shōguns who ruled in the name of the Emperor. Japan entered into a long period of isolation in the early 17th century, ended in 1853 when a United States fleet pressured Japan to open to the West. After nearly two decades of internal conflict and insurrection, the Imperial Court regained its political power in 1868 through the help of several clans from Chōshū and Satsuma – and the Empire of Japan was established. In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, victories in the First Sino-Japanese War, the Russo-Japanese War and World War I allowed Japan to expand its empire during a period of increasing militarism; the Second Sino-Japanese War of 1937 expanded into part of World War II in 1941, which came to an end in 1945 following the Japanese surrender. Since adopting its revised constitution on May 3, 1947, during the occupation led by SCAP, the sovereign state of Japan has maintained a unitary parliamentary constitutional monarchy with an Emperor and an elected legislature called the National Diet.
Japan is a member of the ASEAN Plus mechanism, UN, the OECD, the G7, the G8, the G20, is considered a great power. Its economy is the world's third-largest by nominal GDP and the fourth-largest by purchasing power parity, it is the world's fourth-largest exporter and fourth-largest importer. Japan benefits from a skilled and educated workforce. Although it has renounced its right to declare war, Japan maintains a modern military with the world's eighth-largest military budget, used for self-defense and peacekeeping roles. Japan is a developed country with a high standard of living and Human Development Index, its population enjoys the highest life expectancy and third lowest infant mortality rate in the world, but is experiencing issues due to an aging population and low birthrate. Japan is renowned for its historical and extensive cinema, influential music industry, video gaming, rich cuisine and its major contributions to science and modern technology; the Japanese word for Japan is 日本, pronounced Nihon or Nippon and means "the origin of the sun".
The character nichi means "sun" or "day". The compound therefore means "origin of the sun" and is the source of the popular Western epithet "Land of the Rising Sun"; the earliest record of the name Nihon appears in the Chinese historical records of the Tang dynasty, the Old Book of Tang. At the end of the seventh century, a delegation from Japan requested that Nihon be used as the name of their country; this name may have its origin in a letter sent in 607 and recorded in the official history of the Sui dynasty. Prince Shōtoku, the Regent of Japan, sent a mission to China with a letter in which he called himself "the Emperor of the Land where the Sun rises"; the message said: "Here, I, the emperor of the country where the sun rises, send a letter to the emperor of the country where the sun sets. How are you". Prior to the adoption of Nihon, other terms such as Yamato and Wakoku were used; the term Wa is a homophone of Wo 倭, used by the Chinese as a designation for the Japanese as early as the third century Three Kingdoms period.
Another form of Wa, Wei in Chinese) was used for an early state in Japan called Nakoku during the Han dynasty. However, the Japanese disliked some connotation of Wa 倭, it was therefore replaced with the substitute character Wa, meaning "togetherness, harmony"; the English word Japan derives from the historical Chinese pronunciation of 日本. The Old Mandarin or early Wu Chinese pronunciation of Japan was recorded by Marco Polo as Cipangu. In modern Shanghainese, a Wu dialect, the pronunciation of characters 日本; the old Malay word for Japan, Japun or Japang, was borrowed from a southern coastal Chinese dialect Fukienese or Ningpo – and this Malay word was encountered by Portuguese traders in Southeast Asia in the 16th century. These Early Portuguese traders brought the word
Insurance is a means of protection from financial loss. It is a form of risk management used to hedge against the risk of a contingent or uncertain loss. An entity which provides insurance is known as an insurer, insurance company, insurance carrier or underwriter. A person or entity who buys insurance is known as a policyholder; the insurance transaction involves the insured assuming a guaranteed and known small loss in the form of payment to the insurer in exchange for the insurer's promise to compensate the insured in the event of a covered loss. The loss may or may not be financial, but it must be reducible to financial terms, involves something in which the insured has an insurable interest established by ownership, possession, or pre-existing relationship; the insured receives a contract, called the insurance policy, which details the conditions and circumstances under which the insurer will compensate the insured. The amount of money charged by the insurer to the Policyholder for the coverage set forth in the insurance policy is called the premium.
If the insured experiences a loss, covered by the insurance policy, the insured submits a claim to the insurer for processing by a claims adjuster. The insurer may hedge its own risk by taking out reinsurance, whereby another insurance company agrees to carry some of the risk if the primary insurer deems the risk too large for it to carry. Methods for transferring or distributing risk were practiced by Chinese and Babylonian traders as long ago as the 3rd and 2nd millennia BC, respectively. Chinese merchants travelling treacherous river rapids would redistribute their wares across many vessels to limit the loss due to any single vessel's capsizing; the Babylonians developed a system, recorded in the famous Code of Hammurabi, c. 1750 BC, practiced by early Mediterranean sailing merchants. If a merchant received a loan to fund his shipment, he would pay the lender an additional sum in exchange for the lender's guarantee to cancel the loan should the shipment be stolen, or lost at sea. Circa 800 BC, the inhabitants of Rhodes created the'general average'.
This allowed groups of merchants to pay to insure their goods being shipped together. The collected premiums would be used to reimburse any merchant whose goods were jettisoned during transport, whether due to storm or sinkage. Separate insurance contracts were invented in Genoa in the 14th century, as were insurance pools backed by pledges of landed estates; the first known insurance contract dates from Genoa in 1347, in the next century maritime insurance developed and premiums were intuitively varied with risks. These new insurance contracts allowed insurance to be separated from investment, a separation of roles that first proved useful in marine insurance. Insurance became far more sophisticated in Enlightenment era Europe, specialized varieties developed. Property insurance as we know it today can be traced to the Great Fire of London, which in 1666 devoured more than 13,000 houses; the devastating effects of the fire converted the development of insurance "from a matter of convenience into one of urgency, a change of opinion reflected in Sir Christopher Wren's inclusion of a site for'the Insurance Office' in his new plan for London in 1667."
A number of attempted fire insurance schemes came to nothing, but in 1681, economist Nicholas Barbon and eleven associates established the first fire insurance company, the "Insurance Office for Houses," at the back of the Royal Exchange to insure brick and frame homes. 5,000 homes were insured by his Insurance Office. At the same time, the first insurance schemes for the underwriting of business ventures became available. By the end of the seventeenth century, London's growing importance as a center for trade was increasing demand for marine insurance. In the late 1680s, Edward Lloyd opened a coffee house, which became the meeting place for parties in the shipping industry wishing to insure cargoes and ships, those willing to underwrite such ventures; these informal beginnings led to the establishment of the insurance market Lloyd's of London and several related shipping and insurance businesses. The first life insurance policies were taken out in the early 18th century; the first company to offer life insurance was the Amicable Society for a Perpetual Assurance Office, founded in London in 1706 by William Talbot and Sir Thomas Allen.
Edward Rowe Mores established the Society for Equitable Assurances on Lives and Survivorship in 1762. It was the world's first mutual insurer and it pioneered age based premiums based on mortality rate laying "the framework for scientific insurance practice and development" and "the basis of modern life assurance upon which all life assurance schemes were subsequently based."In the late 19th century "accident insurance" began to become available. The first company to offer accident insurance was the Railway Passengers Assurance Company, formed in 1848 in England to insure against the rising number of fatalities on the nascent railway system. By the late 19th century governments began to initiate national insurance programs against sickness and old age. Germany built on a tradition of welfare programs in Prussia and Saxony that began as early as in the 1840s. In the 1880s Chancellor Otto von Bismarck introduced old age pensions, accident insurance and medical care that formed the basis for Germany's welfare state.
In Britain more extensive legislation was introduced by the Liberal government in the 1911 National Insurance Act. This gave the British working classes the first contributory system of insurance against illness and unemployment; this system was expanded after the Second World War under the inf