On Tue, 18 Jun 2002, Benjamin Kowarsch wrote:
> On Tuesday, June 18, 2002, at 02:35 , Curt Sampson wrote:
> > I have a hard time swallowing this. Take a look at what AT&T has
> > implemented in terms of bringing i-Mode to the U.S., and then tell
> > me that America is willing to import the Japanese solution.
> Discounted - because this situation is different from what I described.
> In the situation I described there would be a proven i-mode' that was
> implemented in Japan' where it worked both on GSM' and CDMA' including
> interoperability from a customer point of view. In that situation AT&T'
> would be in the position to say, let's adopt i-mode' from Japan' over
> WAP' from Europe' because what the Japanese' have developed and
> implemented is already operational and proven to work.
> On the other hand, in the situation now, there is no operational i-mode
> other than for PDC and this means customisation if i-mode was to be
> implemented anywhere else. Customisation is - to say the least - less
> smooth a process than the roll-out of an already adapted solution.
Uh...no, no, no, no, no. There are certain parts of the model that
are not so technology related that are very well proven to work. Ring
tone downloads, for example. JASRAQ makes more every year on ring tone
royalties alone than AT&T makes on mobile data. Yet what does AT&T do?
They drop that aspect completely, apparently because they also think
it's a "toy."
And so they don't get widespread adoption, they don't make any
money, and the whole thing collapses into another WAP fiasco. And
you still can't get a damn train timetable from a mobile phone in
> > But the fact is, it wasn't. Or, more importantly, the fact is, it was
> > built on top of Japan's mess. Which I think goes to show that the whole
> > thing just isn't quite the awful disaster you make it out to be.
> This exactly is what I am having a problem with. The attitude that "if
> there is a little bit of shining metal somewhere, then the whole thing
> is assumed to be gold until any traces of shining metal can be removed".
Here's the difference:
I am pointing out that we have the most advanced mobile phone system
in the world here, at a fairly reasonable price. (In some cases,
such as e-mail, far, far cheaper than any other mobile phone system
in the world.)
You are saying this will be bad for us one day.
Well, I'm working in the realm of the practical, and you're still
working in the realm of the theoretical here. So maybe a few years
down the road you can say to me, "I told you so." But I'm willing
to put some money on this. What odds do you want to give me, and
what exactly should be the criteria for the bet?
> I am not "ignoring", I am disputing that Japanese phones are better
Well, in what way are they not better? In what way that really affects
us as consumers, I mean? That's really where it starts and ends. After
all, the Mac has been a great consumer experience despite the fact
that, up through OS 9.x, the internals of the OS were complete rubbish
compared to Windows NT, and even OS X still has some major problems
inside (such as the lack of decent internal Unicode support). A lot of
products overcome problems of technological stupidity and become great
for the customer to use. And as a customer (though perhaps not as a
programmer), I'll take the great product with the stupid internals over
the lackluster product with the well-thought-out internals. And so will
the rest of the world; this has been shown consistently over and over
> But even if they did, still PDC and more importantly the way it has been
> implemented is in a mess that should be sorted out.
I certainly agree with this.
> There is no correlationbetween the phones and that mess. The Japanese
> manufacturers have learned how to make phones partly ***despite*** the
> ...and partly because they don't stand a chance with their products
> in the international market no matter what.
Woah! This sounds like you're saying that this protectionist mess may
have helped create the wonderful phones we have here today. Are you sure
you really meant that? :-)
> So, the point is that, if Japanese manufacturers are capable of making
> good on top of such a horrible mess, then what could they have achieved
> if they were liberated from that mess underneath.
If they were "liberated" by having to conform to global standards,
rather than have the ability to speedily change their systems (sometimes
in response to consumer demand), probably a lot less.
You ocasionally mention computing standards and such to me, and yes,
I'm a fan of open standards such as TCP/IP. But when you're talking
about the telecom world, the IETF and TCP/IP are a lot closer to Docomo
and PDC than they are to the ITU and GSM. Back when all this started,
the IETF were the renegades, flouting international standards and
international standards bodies, and playing with their toy protocol
that didn't have one tenth the capabilities. If you want to know what
the computer-industry equivalant of the GSM crowd is, well, it's right
there: the same folks that created GSM created it. It's called ISO/OSI,
and I think we all know where that is now.
> Clearly, if the Japanese cellular system is so superior to anything else
> that no matter what happened nobody would choose anything different
> anyway, why would this superior system then be so threatened by the
> advent of alternatives that you seem to believe it would not only
> disappear but also none of its properties would survive ?
I don't think it's terribly threatened by the alternatives at all.
I'm not sure what gave you that idea.
It does seem to me that the alternatives show little sign of being
able to catch up. There's some hope now, but it's the first there's
been for many years, and who knows where it will really go.
Curt Sampson <cjs_at_cynic.net> +81 90 7737 2974 http://www.netbsd.org
Don't you know, in this new Dark Age, we're all light. --XTC
Received on Tue Jun 18 14:46:55 2002