Saturday, November 26, 2005


Here's a demonstration of another kind of pileup queries which can be executed without "Leads" ("suggestion to refine your query") – just by free thought associations.

I started by entering the keyword "I-Mode", then I piled up a few "Leads", and eventually I piled up a few "free thought associations". Here's what I got in the first phase:
NTT DoCoMo's i-mode is a wireless Internet service popular in Japan and increasingly elsewhere. It was inspired by WAP developed in the United States and was introduced to DoCoMo by McKinsey in 1997.
After a two year development, i-mode was launched in Japan on 22 February 1999. The content planning and service design team was led by Mari Matsunaga, while Takeshi Natsuno was responsible for the business development.
As of June 2005, i-mode has 45 million customers in Japan and over 5 million in the rest of the world. i-mode is being provided world-wide [1] through DoCoMo's partners through a licensing scheme involving mobile operators in the following countries: Germany, the Netherlands (KPN[2]), Belgium (Base), France (Bouygues Telecom), Spain (Telefonica Moviles), Italy (Wind), Greece (Cosmote), Australia (Telstra) and Taiwan (Far East Tone). United Kingdom (O2), Singapore (StarHub), Israel (Cellcom), Ireland (O2) and Russia (MTS) have launched i-mode services on October 2005. The worldwide partnership is called the i-mode Alliance.
HTML is used for producing content, the i-mode mail is interoperable with e-mail, images and sound formats are the ones used on the Web. i-mode users have access to various services such as e-mail, sports results, weather forecast, games, financial services and ticket booking.
The current i-mode center is called CiRCUS, which consists of 400 NEC NX7000 HP-UX servers and occupies 4600 m² floor space in DoCoMo's Kawasaki office. The operation support system is called CARNiVAL, which is hosted in the Toranomon JT Building.
With i-mode, mobile phone users get easy access to more than 94,000 Internet sites, as well as specialized services such as e-mail, online shopping and banking, ticket reservations, and restaurant advice. Users can access sites from anywhere in Japan, and at unusually low rates, because their charges are based on the volume of data transmitted, not the amount of time spent connected.
NTT DoCoMo's i-mode network structure not only provides access to i-mode and i-mode-compatible content through the Internet, but also provides access through a dedicated leased-line circuit for added security.
Macromedia Flash Lite: Beginning with the 505i series mobile phones, every i-mode handset has included this Macromedia Flash profile. Designed specifically for use in mobile phones, Flash Lite uses Flash 5 objects and Flash 4 Actionscript.
Future i-mode phones will have Macromedia Flash Lite embedded within the browser
Paul Wallace provides an overview of considerations for developing i-mode content. These considerations include hardware and memory, screen size and color depth, as well as browser differences. DoCoMo's mobile internet access system. "imode" is also a trademark and/or service mark owned by NTT DoCoMo. The "i" in "imode" stands for information, internet, etc. (according to one of i-Modes inventors, Ms Matsunaga. i-Mode is also a whole multi-billion Dollar eco-system, and its part of Japans social and economic infrastructure.
As of Summer 2004, there are about 42 million imode subscribers in Japan, and about 4 million i-mode subscribers outside Japan, therefore in total about 46 million i-mode subscribers. While the number of i-mode subscribers in Japan is close to saturation, we believe that the number of i-mode subscribers outside Japan will grow substantially.
Since there are over 70 million mobile users in Japan, imode and competing mobile internet systems have around 70 million users in Japan. imode started in Europe (Netherlands, Germany, Belgium, France, Spain, Greece and Italy) in April 2002 and expanded to Taiwan and Australia during 2004.
The WAP and iMode architectures have great similarities. The WAP New Generation proposal also aligns WAP with the mainstream Internet... iMode was developed based on much the same premises, but with a different use case in mind. Whereas WAP was intended primarily to be a businessman's tool, iMode was created as an entertainment platform. WAP was intended to be a global standard; iMode nothing but a semi proprietary solution.
Today, WAP and iMode are both minimized versions of the World Wide Web, albeit in different ways. Where iMode is defined solely by one company, on the basis of HTML - which the W3C, its specifier, has stopped supporting - WML, the markup language in WAP, is an application of XML, the rule system for specifying markup languages defined by the W3C (HTML is based on SGML). The most recent version of iMode contains a number of non-supported elements, such as BLINK and MARQUEE, which makes it a superset of a standard subset - i.e. not an application of a standard.
Both the iMode and WAP 1.x are based on the browsing paradigm made popular by the Web. The architectures consisted of the origin server, gateway, and user-terminal environment.

Here's what I got in the second phase of "free thought associations" - I saw the name of my country among the countries that use I-Mode and added it to the original query:
update: 06-09-05
Cellcom Israel announced that they started marketing DoCoMo's i-mode service in the Israeli market on the same day.
Cellcom is Israel's leading mobile operator, both in terms of subscribers and profitability. DoCoMo concluded an agreement in November 2004 to provide Cellcom with know-how, technologies and patents necessary to launch the i-mode service.

Then I added "DoCoMo" and got: - DoCoMo weighs UK i-mode switch - Sep. 16, 2003
CNN) -- Japanese mobile phone operator NTT DoCoMo will look for another partner in the UK if 3 UK does not adopt its i-mode platform, according to the Financial Times newspaper.
A spokesperson for DoCoMo, quoted by the FT, said the company had been asking 3 for a decision on adopting I-mode for "four or five months".
If 3 chose not to go with i-mode, DoCoMo would have to look for another opportunity with another operator in the UK, the spokesperson said.
Making full use of the advantages offered by its status as a subsidiary of Japan's largest telecommunications provider, DoCoMo's top management constructed an overtly entrepreneurial corporate culture, recruiting for top positions on the basis of merit and creativity. The i-mode approach was founded on a commitment to creating a branded standard that embodied an innovative business model, featuring effective methods of offering and billing services, which guided technological development. The i-mode standard was perfectly positioned to take full advantage of a Japanese domestic market environment that offered a springboard for global competitiveness in wireless Internet…
NTT DoCoMo has carefully designed the menu system that greets the user to link the initial display to official DoCoMo content partner sites, numbering about 600 in August 2000. One of the great attractions of official sites is that DoCoMo handles the transaction billing. But i-mode is an open system, allowing the user to access any compatible site.

Then I added the word CiRCUS to i-mode and got:
To deal with the increasing traffic and to prepare for future expansion, DoCoMo began the CiRCUS project to build a new i-mode center in the Tokyo area, where the majority of its content providers are based. The new center integrates four older centers under one roof.
By February 2003, all i-mode subscribers were successfully transferred to CiRCUS, now one of the largest and busiest data network operations in the world. The i-mode gateway system integrates 400 servers, 1,000 terabytes of storage, and 600 routers, connected by 370 km of optical fiber cabling in a building designed to survive the most severe earthquakes that experts can imagine in the region. Optimized for mobile data communication, CiRCUS delivers 100% of email messages sent between i-mode users within one second; 97% of messages move between i-mode users and other email users via the Internet within one second.
CiRCUS is the core of NTT DoCoMo's groundbreaking mobile i-mode service, which provides email and Internet access to more than 38 million mobile phone subscribers in Japan. EMC networked storage systems and open management software ensures i-mode data availability and significantly reduces recovery time, while protecting and restoring data.
The driving force behind NTT DoCoMo's investment in CiRCUS was to increase the performance and reliability of i-mode. Two years ago, DoCoMo began deploying an advanced, 400 terabyte EMC Symmetrix storage area network (SAN) to support 400 UNIX servers NX7000 and to ensure 24/7 availability of CiRCUS. Now complete and in production since March 2003, the high performance environment ensures reliable processing of 50,000 accesses per second for browsing web sites and 25,000 accesses per second for exchanging emails over i-mode.
EMC's information management and business continuity software has helped NTT DoCoMo manage the exponential growth of CiRCUS. The EMC ControlCenter family of management software simplifies and automates many processes required in managing a SAN as large as CiRCUS. EMC business continuity software ensures 24/7 availability of i-mode users and enables the system to operate non-stop during failures, maintenance, or inspection. JOSE, Calif., Jan. 21
Foundry Networks(R) Inc. and its partner in Japan, BUSSAN Networks, Ltd., announced today that Foundry's ServerIron(R) Layer 4-7 switches have been adopted for the i-mode (TM) gateway system "CiRCUS" of NTT DoCoMo, Inc. This system was constructed to provide over 40 million i-mode subscribers in Japan with highly functional and stable mobile Internet services, including e-mail and Web access.

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