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Wednesday's papers: Working hour dispute, VR tech, new bugs

Dailies on Wednesday look at employee and employer organizations quarrelling over the effects of a coming working hour reform, a company hailed as the "new Nokia" bringing ground-breaking virtual reality technology to the market and climate change bringing pesky new insects to Finland.

"Ötökkä sateen jälkeen", Sastamala
New bug species are immigrating to Finland by the hundreds. Employment and VR are also in today's print news. Image: Sofia Virri

Regional daily Aamulehti follows up on an ongoing employment dispute, with an SAK representative calling for more supervision and the Confederation of Finnish Industries (EK) desiring more trust in workers.

"I find it problematic that there is no clear way of dealing with the coming changes," SAK's Anu-Tuija Lehto says in AL. "When the opportunity for more flexibility with working hours comes into play, supervision should increase, too. But no one has spoken about this."

More overtime and nighttime work can be issued than before under the coming changes. Agreeing on flexible schedules is something that EK's Mika Kärkkäinen says should be possible at every workplace.

"A typical employee in Finland is someone with a mortgage," he says in the piece. "They make important financial decisions all the time, and thinking that workers would be unable to come to a scheduling agreement is, to me, naïve."

Many companies in Finland are still grappling with how to add the extra hours to their annual aggregate.

Varjo to debut super-VR

Finland, a country lauded for being a hub of technological prowess, may be getting what top daily Helsingin Sanomat and others are calling the "new Nokia". Varjo, a tech firm started last autumn, is big on virtual as well as augmented reality applications and gear – some of which are reported to be up to 70 times more accurate than the current cutting edge.

"The current standard for VR glasses represents about one hundredth of the human eye's seeing capacity," says Varjo CEO Urho Konttori. "That isn't very far from the definition of blindness."

HS got to test a prototype of the glasses Varjo will be bringing to the market in about a year's time, and the simulations the device creates for the user are reportedly sharper in every way – with small developmental works in progress, such as the area surrounding the ultra-detailed focus point being conversely foggy.

"So far professional-level simulation environments essentially don't exist in the world of VR," Konttori goes on. "Our customers are very excited about the potential of VR-based training and education, for instance."

Pest boom

In summertime news, tabloid Ilta-Sanomat runs a main piece on goings-on in the natural world. With a changing climate come changes in flora and fauna, and entomologists are hard at work collecting and categorising new insect species that are popping up in Finland for the first time.

"Some of these species have actually been around for some years, but have only now been identified; others can be spotted earlier on," Natural Museum chief Juho Paukkunen tells IS.

Despite their tiny size, bugs such as the nun moth can cause devastating environmental damage, while bark beetles carry dangerous diseases. The effects of these pests are likely to be evident before long, researchers say.

The entomologists in the article remind readers that not all insect species that cause havoc abroad necessarily behave as destructively once they make their way as far north as Finland. Also, many of the hundreds of incoming types of creepy crawly have no trouble adapting to their new northerly home, and end up enriching the array of natural species.

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