An Occasion When Words Would Utterly Fail

He built a nation and a people in his image. In each of us, there is a space that Mr Lee Kuan Yew occupies–we are products of his beliefs, his convictions and his governance. Even as he departs, he lives on in all Singaporeans, who are the heirs of nation that he built. We, the heirs, have just lost our father. They say you can’t choose your parents. In this respect, Singaporeans are one of the luckiest of them all. Mr Sidek Saniff says such a person comes along once in a few decades. Consider the chances of such a person appearing right at the tumultuous time that we were going through, in the situation we were in, with the team that he had. I’d say maybe once a century or two.

So we mourn the loss of and say a final farewell to the philosopher-king, the father who made us, molded us, disciplined us, and dare I say, loved us. We love you back as children would to a father and hope and pray that we shall meet again.

Second Bite: Can Apple clear its name in the ebooks drama?

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When Apple goes before a federal appeals court on Dec. 15, trying to overturn the ebooks price-fixing judgment the Justice Department won against it in July 2013, there will be an elephant in the room.

That would be Amazon, the much admired and greatly feared ­discounter, which is not a party in the case. Yet the unposed question hovering over the proceedings will be: Did the regulators target the right bully?

The case stems from events that occurred five years ago, when Apple was preparing to launch its first iPad. Apple’s negotiator extraordinaire, Eddy Cue, signed up five of the then six major publishing houses to start selling ebooks through what it would call the iBooks Store.

Apple [fortune-stock symbol=”AAPL”] was breaking into a market then dominated by Amazon, which had an 80% to 90% market share—monopoly power in almost anyone’s book. The iPad’s new color touchpad e-reader would compete…

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Forget Siri, Amazon now brings you Alexa

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Amazon launched “Amazon Echo” Thursday, a new voice-activated speaker that connects into its web services.

The speaker can be left on all day for on-demand commands. Much like Apple’s Siri, which debuted in 2011 on its iPhone 4s device, Amazon Echo responds to a user’s voice and can act on requests and answer basic questions. Over time, it will adapt to a user’s speech patterns and preferences.

Users start the speaker up saying the wake up word “Alexa.” You can then issue a command of your choice, from “play music by Taylor Swift” to “add ice cream to my shopping list.” The device can also answer basic questions, such as “what day is Christmas?” or “how many ounces are in a pound?”

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The speaker, which runs on Amazon Web Services, costs $199, or $99 for Amazon Prime members. Amazon Echo is available by invitation only in the coming…

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