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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

FEBRUARY 4, 2000 VOL. 26 NO. 4

Cutting Edge
Getting Snap Happy With Free Film Processing
By STUART WHITMORE

If you give stuff away, they will come. It's the business model behind many a Net start-up. The latest firm pushing the something-for-nothing envelope is Snapfish. com. Send in a spent roll of camera film and Snapfish will process it, make you a set of prints and post digital copies of your photos on its website, allowing friends and relatives armed with a password to take a peek. All for free. How is Snapfish (which goes live in the U.S. this spring) planning to make any money? It's banking that with your pictures scanned and ready you'll bite at offers of T-shirts, mugs and other items with Granny's face on it. And what have fish got to do with photography? Not much, but they make darned cute mascots.

    ALSO IN ASIAWEEK
The Secret of Success
A hush-hush U.S. firm shows off its new chip

Thinking Smaller
Hong Kong and Japan converge in a Net investment bloc

Cutting Edge
Getting Snap Happy With Free Film Processing

Assif Online: In Debt?
Just make yourself a dotcom

Asiaweek Technology Home

DVD Goes on the Record
DVD players are all the rage right now, but those crisp, digital images do have one big drawback. Spoil your eyes for too long and everything you watch on your VCR begins to look like a blotchy, blue-black mess. Pioneer has the answer: dump both machines and get the DVR-1000 instead. The world's first DVD recorder, the DVR-1000 can play regular DVD movies and also record your favorite television shows using special rewritable DVD-RW discs. One DVD-RW can store between two and six hours of air time, depending on the quality you want. Available only in Japan for now, the DVR-1000 will set you back $2,400 while the recordable discs, which can be used up to 1,000 times, cost $28 each. A caveat before you flex your plastic: Pioneer's system is one of several competing formats. Tread carefully or this year's model could be next year's betamax.

Psion's Revolution in the Pocket
These days it seems that Palm Computing's Palm V is the PDA on everybody's hips. But if you want an organizer that puts the digits back into digital, get your fingers on Psion's new Revo. This gadget's big selling point: it comes with a full QWERTY keyboard. At 16cm by 8cm it's a good bit bigger than the Palm, but it still fits fine into a jacket or trouser pocket. More important, there is enough room on the keyboard to tap out jottings while on the road, albeit gingerly. Psion has a proud history in palmtops (its 1984 Organiser virtually invented the concept) and the curvaceous, black and silver Revo carries on the tradition with a scheduler, contacts list, word processor and spreadsheet - all of which synch with a PC or Mac. You can even share numbers with your cellphone, which doubles as a mobile modem so you can keep on top of your e-mail inbox wherever you are.

I'll Buy That for a Dollar
IBM made visitors to its website an offer they couldn't refuse recently. Browsers at the IBM Web Store found the computer-maker's signature black laptops on sale at $1 each. The usual price: $1,300-$2,400. The error was spotted after an hour, long enough for dozens of happy shoppers to order hundreds of ThinkPads between them. IBM canceled all the sales, but not before sending e-mails confirming the transactions. Several customers are reportedly considering legal action to force IBM into giving them more bang for their buck.

Technology Home | Asiaweek Home

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