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Computing Japan Magazine

Online Features

Last updated February 16, 2000

The Industry that Jim Built
by John Boyd

We all know how dependent the PC industry is on Microsoft and Intel. The continued health and growth of even the largest PC vendors are subject to the launch of new generations of faster chips and upgraded systems and applications that take advantage of the increased speed. But did you know that Bill and Andy are in turn equally dependent on the launch of Jim's upgrades?

Cancer Information Website Goes Online
by Thomas Caldwell

Be it Christmas, New Year's, or Oshogatsu, the end-of-year holidays are never as joy-filled for those suffering from cancer. However, those in Japan fighting the dreaded disease received a very nice Christmas present in 1999; Internet-based access to those going through the same fight.

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Whats New

News Briefs

26 Character Domain Name Limit Broken
by Thomas Caldwell
A San Francisco-based company has announced it will be offering registration services for Internet Domain addresses that exceed the current limit of 26 characters.

Internet Domain Registrars ( announced in December they will begin offering Internet domain registration of up to 64 characters in length, the first company to do so.

IDR was established in 1997 and was accredited by the International Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) in April 1999.

There are an estimated 6.5 million registered domain names in use on the Internet, with some 30,000 being added every day.

Desktop PCs for Japan market
Compaq Computer (Japan) will market desktop business PCs designed for the Japanese market from mid-January. The DeskPro EC Series will be monitor-integrated PCs which will likely be powered by a 466MHz Pentium Celeron processor and come with an 8GB HDD (detailed specs have yet to be decided). More than 20% smaller than the company's current models, the EC Series will include models priced below JPY100,000. The company is aiming to ship more than 100,000 units in 2000.

HDD production falls at Chiba company
Showa Denko will reduce its hard disk production capacity by more than 30% from early 2000. Since October, the company's hard disk sales have sharply decreased due to the rapid increase in disk capacity. The company, which has an annual capacity of 44 million units at its Chiba plant, will stop operating some of the plant's production lines and transfer some workers in an effort to shave manufacturing costs. Predicting that demand for hard disks from digital consumer electronics makers will pick up, Showa denko expects to resume the lines' operations after 2001.

Japanese maker to produce software overseas
Fujitsu FIP has begun marketing civil engineering software overseas. Through Fujitsu Korea, the company exports four applications localized from the FCENA series of civil engineering design software packages. The series has 20 types of software and has shipped some 7,000 packages to a total of 1,200 Japanese firms operating outside of Japan. The company is aiming to ship 100 and 400 packages in Korea in fiscal 1999 and 2000, respectively. In anticipation of growing demand in Southeast Asia, the company is considering exporting the series to other countries in the region as well.

New multimedia PHS phone
In fall 2000, NTT DoCoMo will release a PHS handset that will be able to send and receive color images. The unit will be equipped with a compact camera and an LCD panel, and comply with the MPEG4 standard supporting 64Kbps, fast enough to send six to eight images per second in color, a significant improvement over with Kyocera's 32Kbps handset marketed by DDI Pocket that can send only one or two images per second. Plans also call for launching a content distribution service taking advantage of voice and color images to provide feature news and sightseeing information.

Low cost DSL service for home and corporate users
Nippon Kotsumo will launch a DSL (digital subscriber line) service in early 2000, targeting both individual and corporate users. The company will charge individual users JPY69,000 and JPY144,000 per year for 640Kbps and 1.6Mbps downlink services, respectively. There will be a separate charge of JPY50,000 for subscription setup and installation. The company will offer corporate users the same speeds for both uplink and downlink, and they will pay JPY18,000-228,000 per month including access line and Internet access charges for speeds ranging from 144Kbps to 3Mbps. The company will initially use modems and other equipment made by Lucent Technologies, and plans to lower equipment cost by replacing modems with PCI cards in the future.

( Computing Japan's News Briefs are derived from Digitized Information, a news service in English for busy executives. See a sampleof DigiNews. )


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