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Mark Thompson

For Mark Thompson's latest contributions to The Japan Times, see below:

Feb 3, 2002

The Ponshu-kan: A small taste of heaven in Echigo Yuzawa Station

Echigo Yuzawa Station is a well-trod portal to Niigata's famed snow country, bustling this time of year with the comings and goings of skiers and boarders. But however fine the powder, there's an excellent reason to linger: The Ponshu-kan (Sake Museum) located in the ...

Need a powder fix? Go boarding out of bounds

Dec 2, 2001

Need a powder fix? Go boarding out of bounds

Anyone who has skied or boarded on a weekend in Japan knows the story: the well-groomed slopes, blanketed with skiers and boarders making their way up and down as loudspeakers blare pop music and shrill announcements. And then there are the cattle-corral cafeterias, the ...

/ Nov 7, 2001

Between the real and the surreal

A whiff of the absurd was in the air at the closing ceremony of the 14th Tokyo International Film Festival, held Sunday at Orchard Hall in Shibuya. It wasn't necessarily the presenters' hairdos and breathless patter, nor the new formal dress code imposed on ...

| Mar 7, 2001

Great Domain Robbery

I got a whiff of this story last week at It was in a news brief about a journalist who had floated details about a company that would soon offer new top-level domain names. It smelled good because, if the leak proved to be ...

| Feb 21, 2001

Who's napping now?

As any music fan knows, the future of Napster, the biggest free lunch of MP3s on the Net, is still very much in legal limbo. Last week a San Francisco appeals court confirmed a decision made this summer: Napster is knowingly infringing the copyrights ...

| Jan 24, 2001

Back in the loop

This is not what you would call a lede per se, but indulge me for a few paragraphs. This will take some explaining. It started somewhere on my commute, about a week ago. I was scrolling through an AvantGo newsfeed on my PDA, reading the ...

| Jan 10, 2001

What's it all about, IT?

2001 may well be the year of the IT revolution, but as far as I'm concerned, we're talking about utilITy. From here on, usefulness is going to be the benchmark for information technologies. The overall state of the economy is partly responsible -- take ...

| Dec 13, 2000

Next stop Wirelessland

A funny thing happened on the way to work . . About a year ago, I was doing much of my information intake on trains. I don't know about you, but I average close to an hour a day traveling around in Tokyo's speeding ...

| Nov 15, 2000

Whassup on the Web

It hasn't made it into Webster's Dictionary yet, but you already know this word. In fact, it's already in your head. It's that jingle, that logo, that look, that idea. It's called a meme, and there's a whole branch of social science devoted to ...

| Oct 18, 2000

Singing a different tune

With the Oct. 3 release of "Kid A," Radiohead's hotly anticipated but allegedly "difficult" album (i.e., no guitar solos, love ballads or sing-along chants), the British band accomplished quite a feat: It shot to the top of album charts worldwide, including Billboard's U.S. album ...