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International -- Readers Report
Smart Phones Are Smarter Than You Think (int'l edition)
If the authors knew more about what's going on in Japan, "Smart phones" (European Business, Oct. 18) would have been more helpful. The short article describing the Japanese smart-phone landscape says "Japan has emerged as a front-runner in wireless Net communications." This should have been more thoroughly described.
There are two types of Web-accessible cell-phone services in Japan--a service called "i-mode" based on homegrown technology and one based on wireless application protocol (WAP). The former is a lot more popular than the latter; i-mode users hit 2 million in mid-October, about six months after the launch date. NTT DoCoMo, the dominant cell-phone operator in Japan, launched i-mode this year, based on its nationwide packet-switched cellular network. Since the service employs a packet-switched, not circuit-switched, network, there is no wait for a connection. If you select a "bookmark" of your cell phone's microbrowser--for example, a weather forecast service--you can get the forecast in less than five seconds. NTT DoCoMo has this kind of infrastructure now, whereas competitors in Japan and elsewhere are still building it.
Web sites tailored for i-modes are flourishing; i-mode's portal site has sites that include banking sites with wire-transfer capability (still an important way of paying in Japan), stock brokerage sites with execution capability, restaurant guides with discount coupons, ticket box offices, flight schedule, and reservations. Smart-phone-based e-commerce is an everyday reality now in Japan.
TokyoReturn to top
India's Youth Shouldn't Forget Its Roots (int'l edition)
The author speaks optimistically in "Capitalist generation" (Economics, Oct. 11) about the benefits that liberalization has brought for India but avoids mention of its ill effects. How could the author call the affected youth patriotic when they care least about political and state affairs and are self-centered, ready to sacrifice the interest of the nation and its people in a bid to get rich? These youths are far different from their rural counterparts and have thrown their moral and cultural values in a trash can, which has resulted in the breaking of family bonds and has left them confused and isolated.
No doubt they are enterprising and smarter because of the many changes liberalization has brought with it. But to me, liberals are those who have a broader sense of perception, thus imbibing the best of other cultures while preserving our values and culture.
Makati, PhilippinesReturn to top
Hopes and Prayers for East Timor (int'l edition)
As an onlooker and well-wisher from a neighboring country, I hope the peacekeepers will put an end to this, so that there will be no more bloodshed among the East Timorese, especially women and children ("Was Timor's chaos part of a plan?" Asian Business, Oct 4). They don't deserve to be in the center of this terrifying situation.
I believe that one day, the dream will come true of having a new government and a new infrastructure. All I'm saying is that there is always room for chance, and I think they have every right to be given a chance. As for now, we just have to wait and pray for those East Timorese in their battle to stay alive.
SingaporeReturn to top