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Talking Tough


Our Bureau  |  New Delhi 

Hollywood's Hong Kong heavyweights are in the news. Only this time, it isn't for their histrionic or directorial skills.
In a recent article, Jackie Chan, Jet Li, and John Woo all complained about the lack of artistic opportunity in America and said they preferred to pursue their creative quests back home. "I make a lot of money in the US, but I can't make films I like," Chan was quoted as saying.
Little surprise, then, that the homesick artistes are collaborating with China on several new projects where they get to play diverse roles.
For example, Chan's new film The Myth is a story about a man seeking his lost love from a previous life. is working on a couple of projects, including a film based on a Chinese play.
The film is likely to be directed by Zhang Yimou. John Woo, meanwhile, is planning another project on an ancient Chinese battle. The film will be a joint Sino-US production. Jet Li's new film is entitled Fearless and is about a Chinese kung-fu master.
Despite taking up projects back home, the Chinese stars are not quitting Hollywood just yet. Chan still gets a stream of film offers.
is keeping his US production company alive and will start working on Pirates of the Carribean. Ironically, the most successful foreign film in the US has been Hong Kong-based Ang Lee's Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, which won four Oscars.
Facing the Music
Rotten Apple is how many users are viewing the computer maker following the release of its bug-riddled iTunes 5. Websites and blogs have been bristling with complaints following reports of a range of problems with the new version of Apple's desktop companion to its bestselling MP3 player. Among the gripes: system crashes, music transfer problems and playlist deletions.
Acknowledging the hitches, Apple has said that it is looking into the matter and would release the necessary bugfixes soon.
However, web reports say that the extent of the outcry over iTunes 5 "" which helps users find, buy, sort and transfer music to their iPods "" only goes to show how iconic the device has become. Now that's certainly music to Apple's ears.
Patch of Progress
Technology is coming to the aid of medical science. People suffering from high blood pressure will soon be able to wear a slim patch the size of a band-aid, which will monitor their pressure and send the results to their doctors through wireless technology.
Web reports say that the tool is being developed by a company called Triage Wireless using technology that owes its origin to the semiconductor equipment industry. The patch measures heart rate, the amount of oxygen in the blood and blood pressure through an electrical sensor similar to the one used by semiconductor makers to locate defects on the production line.
Data from the patch is transmitted via a to a handheld monitor, which then sends the data across a cellular network to a doctor's personal computer. Concerned about keeping the health information secure, Triage is working with a cellular and wireless technology company to ensure security.
Trials for the patch are expected to begin soon and the product will seek Food and Drug Administration approval early next year. The company is eyeing both institutional and domestic sales for the product.
High technology companies like IBM, Accenture and Intel feel that new technologies like this would help control spiralling medical costs as such innovations would reduce the number of visits patients make to doctors in hospitals and clinics.

First Published: Wed, September 21 2005. 00:00 IST