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Web-only Exclusives
November 30, 2000

From Our Correspondent: Hirohito and the War
A conversation with biographer Herbert Bix

From Our Correspondent: A Rough Road Ahead
Bad news for the Philippines - and some others

From Our Correspondent: Making Enemies
Indonesia needs friends. So why is it picking fights?

AsiaweekTimeAsia NowAsiaweek technology

MARCH 3, 2000 VOL. 26 NO. 8

Cutting Edge
Hold 'Em, Fold 'Em

    ALSO IN ASIAWEEK
Cover: The Scapegoat?
Blamed for the riots surrounding the fall of Suharto, controversial ex-general Prabowo Subianto tells his story
- Investigation: No single "mastermind" was behind the May 1998 turmoil. There were many players, and many plots
- Insight: Re-examining Prabowo's record in East Timor
- Insider: How the general and son-in-law benefited - and was compromised - by being part of the First Family

Editorial: The Internet is the most compelling agent of economic reform
Editorial: A good year for Kim Jong Il - but watch out

Malaysia: The real campaign for national leadership heats up
- Anwar: A decision on Mahathir's testimony is put off again
- Shadows: A play looks at Malaysia's troubled political soul

Hong Kong: The former colony is starting to trust the motherland

Taiwan: Beijing demands unification talks - or else

Japan: Obuchi raises (but doesn't fire) the starting gun for polls

Cambodia: A culture of violence and impunity undermines justice

Fashion: The spirited new styles suit Asia's mood
- Accessories: The rule is - there is no rule
- Menswear: Casual, chic - and inspired by womenswear
- Kenzo: The Japanese couturier bids farewell to the catwalk

Tom.com: Investors rush for a piece of a Hong Kong company with no history, few employees and lots of hype

Kosdaq: Korea's over-the-counter stock market soars

Scandal: Can Manila recover from the BW Resources fiasco?

Investing: Betting on the New India

The Net:
The freebie formula gets tested in Singapore

Cutting Edge: A keyboard you can fit on your Palm

Newsmakers: Japan's crown prince vents his anger

Viewpoint: To fight corruption, reform China's politics
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Asiaweek Pictures


What do you get when you take a full-size keyboard, fold it into four pieces and try to stuff it in your pocket?Arrested for vandalism and shoplifting, most likely. But with a little engineering, you could come up with this: the Stowaway Portable Keyboard, designed for Palm-type handheld computers. Until now Palm users have been limited to entering data with a stylus, using the "graffiti" handwriting-recognition code. Great for adding a phone number, useless for writing a long e-mail. The Stowaway, from California firm Think Outside, solves the problem. Open up its aluminum-clad case and it's the same size as the keyboard on your desktop. Flip it shut and the Stowaway is almost as small and chic as the Palm itself. The device is for sale at Palm's website for $99, while versions for the Handspring Visor and Windows-powered handhelds are in the works. Of course, you could have just bought an organizer that came with a keyboard in the first place. But then how cool would that be?


Asiaweek Pictures


Cut! Edit Your Own Psycho Shower Scene
You may not know Saul Bass's name, but you know his work. The legendary graphic designer created many classic corporate logos and some of the most eye-catching posters and opening title sequences in the history of the movies. But perhaps Bass's finest hour was when he storyboarded (some say actually directed) the shower scene in Alfred Hitchcock's Psycho. It is the most infamous 48 seconds of action ever committed to film, analyzed by students the world over as an example of sheer perfection. And now you can completely ruin it from the comfort of your own home. A Bass tribute website (www.saulbass.co.uk/psycho studio) lets you recut the scene using a wonderfully simple drag-and-drop editing suite. Mix and match the scene's 30 takes however you like and then view your handywork complete with the original soundtrack screeching over the top. All together now: Eek! Eek! Eek! Eek!

Will Amazon Flow Into Asia?
Think global, act local. The maxim works for e-commerce giant Amazon.com, which has already spawned two regional siblings, Amazon.de in Germany and Amazon.co.uk in Britain. Next the books-plus store may add some Asian country initials to its logo. Amazon has taken a stake in Basis Technology, a U.S. firm that helps companies adapt their brand for overseas consumers - in particular speakers of Japanese, Chinese and Korean. No firm plans have been announced, but keep your fingers crossed. A local site can only mean lower prices, faster delivery and more Asian titles.

Eeeiyaaah! Aiiiyee! Yahoo!
Fans of action movies will get a kick out of this. Starting later this year, you'll be able to watch classic Hong Kong films - starring Bruce Lee, Jackie Chan et al - for free on the Net. Leading portal Yahoo! has cut a deal with China Star Entertainment to digitize 100 movies and put them on its website. New films will be added to the site after they have played in cinemas, on TV and been released on video. With VCD piracy rampant in the SAR, China Star hopes that giving its treasures away will actually boost revenues by generating online advertising - and by doing to the bootleggers what Bruce did to Chuck Norris in Way of the Dragon. Ouch.

Free Up Some Shelf Space
In the modern living room, the home entertainment system is not content with taking pride of place - it's taking on a life of its own. With DVD player stacked upon VCD player stacked upon CD player, you're lucky if your TV table has enough room left for the TV. Books are hounded from the shelves, replaced by row upon row of silver discs in plastic cases. Fear not, the Pioneer DV-F727 is here to liberate your wall units. First, it lets you junk two pieces of hardware. The $1,100 player handles DVDs, VCDs and CDs. Second, the big black machine works like a jukebox with space to store 300 discs, so you can put your books back where they belong. The DV-F727 even helps you find what you're looking for. When you pop in a title the machine scans it for information and creates an on-screen catalog, searchable by the artist, title and type of disc. And what does Pioneer's website suggest you might like to fill your empty shelves with? A second DV-F727, of course. Apparently you can link two together to create a 600-disc catalog.


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