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Monday, October 1, 2001

Singapore stands out

A global study has put Singapore on its list of ‘wired capitals’, based on the city state’s widespread use of the Internet and wireless devices, The Straits Times reported. Six in 10 respondents here said they surf the Net and use wireless devices, such as palmtops and mobile phones, regularly, though not necessarily every day. Just over a quarter said they use them every day. The study places Singapore in the ‘wired capitals’ list, along with San Francisco, London, Seoul, Sydney, Hong Kong and Amsterdam. This is ahead of what the study defines as the ‘up and comers’’ category, which comprises Berlin, Milan, Paris and Shanghai. The report, undertaken by Euro RSCG, an advertising-agency network, was based on interviews with 1,830 persons in 19 capital cities. Singapore accounted for 109 of the respondents. Other Asian cities in the survey included Hong Kong, Seoul, Shanghai and Tokyo. Almost a third of those polled in the Asia Pacific region said they felt it was more important their cities were leaders in the field of technology rather than culture, while 35 per cent were ambivalent. But many questioned whether all technological advancement was good.


Net through cable

Cable operators in Kolkata are going hi-tech, The Telegraph reported. Lining up for Puja special, some cable-operators in Kolkata have tied up with a Bangalore-based software firm to offer Internet services. The first locality to be clicked will be New Alipore followed by Kasba, Salt Lake, Bangur and Lake Town. The installation charges at the customer’s end will be Rs 3,000, if a cable modem is shared with four to six others. For a dedicated cable modem, the subscriber will have to fork out between Rs 12,000 and Rs 15,000. The Internet connection will come through a separate cable-feed for a monthly rent of Rs 1,500. However, a big question mark over connectivity remains.

Infinity venture

The Delhi-based venture capital firm Infinity Venture has put its proposed $ 100-million second fund, plans for which were announced early this year on the back burner, the Economic Times reported. The second fund is unlikely to be closed before early next year and Infinity is currently exploring cross-border merger and acquisition deals to stabilise its existing investments. When Infinity announced plans for a second fund in January-February this year, it had expressed optimism about being able to tie-up commitments for the $ 100-million corpus within 6-8 months. "We are in no particular hurry to close the second fund. A slow market may not be the best of times for making investments but is extremely conducive to mergers and acquisitions," Infinity chairman said.


Animation software companies Pentamedia Graphics said that it has asked 107 creative professionals to leave for "underperformance" but that some were protesting against the decision, Reuters said. The Pentamedia spokeswoman acknowledged there had been a cash-flow problem in recent months, especially with debtor payments, but added that all employees had been paid their salaries.