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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 24, 2000 VOL. 26 NO. 11

Cutting Edge


Illustration by Emilio Rivera III

Surfing the Web on the Fly

The Web wouldn't be a web without hyperlinks, those blue, underlined bits of text that weld disparate points on the Net together. Only one problem: there aren't enough of them. How many times have you wished you could click on any word for more information, not just those a site's webmaster selects? A new utility called flyswat promises to let you do just that. Named for the simple implement that helps you complete a tricky task (catching a fly), the free download (www.flyswat.com) hides inside your browser, popping up to underline words of interest like companies or film titles. Press "Alt" and click on a flyswat link and you get a menu of related websites for everything from stock quotes for the firm to a place to buy the movie. The trick even works in other Windows applications, like your e-mail client. Alt-click any word and flyswat will, at least, offer you a dictionary definition. Which is our definition of a useful time saver.

 
  ALSO IN ASIAWEEK
Cover: Creative Destruction City
The choice is tough: should Singapore jettison its safe old ways in order to prosper in the age of globalization?
• Report Card: What Singapore is doing right
• The Press: How free - and on what topics?
• Society: The highs and the lows of being Singaporean

Editorial: U.S. President Bill Clinton can help defuse tensions between India and Pakistan - but not much
Editorial: Manila must clean up its stock-market mess

THE NATIONS
China: What the NPC yielded
• Security: Why Beijing is getting deeper into blue water
Malaysia: Behind the attacks on Astro
India/Pakistan: Clinton is going to South Asia. Is that a good idea?
• Interview: Cohen says the U.S. will not mediate Kashmir
Thailand: The central bank's burden - prevent another Crisis
Indonesia: How Wahid became his country's strongest power
• Military: Call it "de-Wiranto-ization"
• Prejudice: Why Malaysia's media are tough on Gus Dur
Viewpoint: False fears about globalization

ARTS & SCIENCES
Education: A child's murder rouses a debate about parenting
Burdened: Japanese moms on the frontlines
• Movie: Beating the exam odds in reel life
• Dream School: Innovations in Okinawa
Design: Activists' fashion statement in the Philippines
Newsmakers: Courtside scorecard for Malaysia

TECHNOLOGY
The Net: South Korea's online stock-trading mania
Cutting Edge: IBM enters a new eon

BUSINESS
Investing: The power of brokers on the Manila bourse
IPO Watch: Sunevision will begin life at a premium stock price
Business Buzz: All is not well in Dotcomland

Rethinking the Box
The words stylish and IBM aren't often found in the same sentence. Big Blue's bulky black boxes are workhorses, not fashion models. But its desktop divisionlost $1 billion last year and IBM has decided a new look (and strategy) is in order. The result: Project EON, a line of "edge of network" hardware designed for fast, easy Internet access. First up is the NetVista line, slinky desktops with boxes small enough to lose in your paperwork. Or no box at all. The Internet Appliance, left, (price and launch date to be confirmed) has a flat screen, an even flatter keyboard - and that's it. Anything else the machine needs it gets over the Net. Beyond the desktop, the EON concept includes a tiny PC with monocle-monitor, designed to be worn. Not that IBM has given up the workaday for the catwalk just yet. The wearables will grace the likes of aircraft engineers long before going on sale to fashionable jet-setters.

China Decodes Its Net Privacy Rules
Another week, another clarification on Internet laws from the Chinese government. This time Beijing is backtracking on tough laws that banned the sale of products containing foreign-made encryption software. While encryption technology may sound like the preserve of spooks and spies, it's used in everyday items from mobile phones to e-mail programs and Web browsers to protect user privacy. The January 31 ban had put the launch of Microsoft's new Windows 2000 operating system on pause and threatened a trade war between China and the U.S. That seems to have been averted with the State Encryption Management Commission now deciding that only specialized encryption devices need carry the Made in China stamp. "Wireless telephones, Windows software, and browsers," are not covered by the laws, the SEMC declared in a recent circular. Beijing also said it would no longer force firms to hand over the source code "keys" to their encryption software - a demand that had foreign businesses worried that the Chinese government would be able to read otherwise secure e-mail. Windows 2000 is now penciled in for a March 20 debut, even though a final worry, whether firms will have to register the type of encryption program they use and the location of employees that use it, remains to be clarified.

e-mail: stuart_whitmore@asiaweek.com



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