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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?

Asiaweek Time Asia Now Asiaweek technology

OCTOBER 29, 1999 VOL. 25 NO. 43

From the Web
Scented Surfing

also:
A Nose For News
Sage and Online


Illustration by Emilio Rivera III
Imagine playing a Formula One racing game on your PC and smelling the burning rubber. Imagine shopping for perfume online and getting to try before you buy. The Internet of tomorrow will reek. Or at least it will if DigiScents has its way. The California company plans to add a third sense to the sights and sounds of the Web using the iSmell, a piece of plug-and-pong hardware it thinks will create quite a stink. The concept is simple. At the appropriate moment a software program called ScentStream cues the iSmell to bombard the user with a blend from its payload of scented oils. Presto: the authentic smell of charred flesh as you frag another bad guy with your plasma gun. Is a perfumed Net a good bet? In the U.S. TV and movie audiences famously turned their noses up at 50s sensations like Aroma-Rama and Smell-O-Vision. You might like Jimmy Cagney's dirty rat, but do you really want to smell it? DigiScents' founders, however, think they'll come up smelling of roses. They are working on a registry of scents for the iSmell that they can license to the makers of web pages and videogames. They're even planning a showcase website. And, yes, they are calling it a "Snortal."  

    ALSO IN ASIAWEEK
Seek and Ye Shall Find
Still lost in Cyberspace? It's time to look smart

From the Web
The Internet of tomorrow will reek. Or at least it will if DigiScents has its way

A Nose For News
One man wishing he had kept his nose clean is U.S. presidential hopeful George W. Bush. In a coup for online journalism, Salon magazine (www.salon.com) reported that Bush was arrested for cocaine possession in 1972, but that he avoided jail and had his record expunged thanks to his father's connections (daddy being former president George Bush). For months allegations of cocaine use dogged Bush Jr., who admits doing community service in 1972, but previously said it was due to drunk driving.  

Sage and Online
Chinese surfers jammed a new website (www.chinakongzi.com) dedicated to the great sage Confucius on the 2,550 anniversary of his birth. Set up in conjunction with the authorities in Confucius's hometown of Qufu, Shandong province, the site contains an introduction to his life as well as many of his most famous remarks. Confucius says: Too many visitors can crash your website.

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