Dossier

In Malaysia, it seems that getting away is as easy as 1-2-3. An Islamic judge in the predominantly Muslim country ruled in July that, under Shari'a law, a husband could end a marriage by text messaging "I divorce you" to his wife three times. Now text messaging is being used in the service of another (and more pleasant) kind of getaway. AirAsia, a domestic low-fares carrier with regional ambitions, recently implemented the world's first ever short-message-service (SMS) ticket-sales system. Using cell phones, customers dialogue with a computer, which, over an average of eight text messages, takes care of everything from flight...

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