| Oct 20, 1999

The comfort of strangers

“Susunu Denpa Shonen,” which airs every Sunday night on NTV, has become a bona fide phenomenon partly by tweaking noses and partly by joining hands — call it cynicism cut with altruism While the long-running show has produced a number of different mini-booms, its ...

| Oct 6, 1999

The future is in the air

I have written and read e-mail during my commute, beamed my virtual meishi to new acquaintances, played cards in taxis, and once in a shameless display of computing on my feet I consulted a database of Tokyo restaurants, which I had downloaded from www.bento.com, ...

| Sep 22, 1999

Where the women are

No presses need to be stopped to inform you of the growing number of women on the Internet in Japan. And the sizes of our headlines won’t increase to tell you that number will continue to rise steadily, if not dramatically, over the next ...

| Aug 11, 1999

What's that sound?

Two years ago I wrote about how the Fuji Rock Festival’s Web site saved me a two-hour trip to the festival. Early reports accurately painted a grim picture of chaos created by a freak typhoon, so I decided to stay in Tokyo. That year, ...

| Jul 28, 1999

The little claimer that could

While companies, especially computer makers, have been eager to promote the Internet as a global bazaar and amusement park rolled into one, they are quickly learning that there’s a little more to it than that. The tools that are supposed to help the customer ...

| Jul 14, 1999

Lost and found fnords

The Net is a terrific reference tool. There, I said it, the obvious. It’s like stating that you should use a saw to cut down a tree. But have you ever tried to do an online search for the currency of Bhutan in the ...

| Jun 23, 1999

On the fringe of the fray

I had dinner with two friends last week and eventually the conversation came around to the Web (I generally try to avoid the topic in polite conversation but what can you do?). Anyone overhearing our conversation might have thought we were a trio of ...

| Jun 16, 1999

Vocal as we wanna be

“The process of tying two items together is the important thing,” wrote Vannevar Bush in a seminal essay titled “As We Think,” published in The Atlantic Monthly in 1945. Bush described a hypothetical device that would allow the storage and retrieval of data, the ...

| Jun 2, 1999

But are you experienced?

Remember how online art used to be one of ballyhooed features of our new and improved lives on the Internet? We talked of visiting faraway museums, browsing rarely seen masterpieces, hyper-annotated with curatorial notes and historical contexts. Similarly enticing was the promise of new ...

| May 19, 1999

Voices in the machine

In the hyperaccelerated world of “news,” my topic — the Littleton, Colo., massacre — may seem dated. But in living rooms, classrooms, legislatures and, of course, on the Net, the aftershocks are still reverberating I was in a hotel room in California when I ...