COVER

2004's Coolest Inventions (Cover Story)

From SpaceShipOne to supersneakers, bots and GoCars, TIME checks out this year's hottest new ideas

Tech Guide (Cover Story)

The hottest, newest products on the market

Web Shopping (Cover Story)

The best sites for your holiday buying

Videogame Guide (Cover Story)

Friends! Romans! Oddball cosmic princes! In our ranking of 2004's top 10 video games, you will meet them all

SPECIAL REPORT

A Tale of Two Indias (Cover Story)

Economic reforms have produced a new breed of billionaires amid millions of the world's poorest people. Is this an acceptable price of modernization?

The Respect They Deserve (Cover Story | Viewpoint)

India's rich are doing well, and good for themóbut the growing middle class is the real story

Don't Forget India's Poor (Cover Story | Viewpoint)

Economic reforms have left them behind, but there's no shortage of policies that could help

ASIA

Buddhists Under Siege

Militants in Thailand's embattled south are sowing terror among a new target group: Buddhist civilians

He's Still There

Though rumors of Kim Jong Il's imminent demise are legion, none are yet confirmed

Death on Flight 974

Who was responsible for the poisoning of one of Indonesia's bravest human-rights activists?

China's School Killings

Authorities and parents are searching for answers after a rash of child murders. Is the media to blame?

Dire Straits

Ships that pass through some of the busiest waterways in Asia are often the target of pirates. Is a terrorist attack next?

BUSINESS

Ownership Issues

Will a dispute between the Ambani brothers lead to the breakup of Reliance?

Fading Down The Stretch?

The Hong Kong Jockey Club was once a sure bet, but its horse-racing franchise is facing stiffer odds

GLOBAL ADVISER

Bohemian Rhapsody (TIME Global Adviser)

Can you do the fandango? At Prague's edgy Palac Akropolis you can probably do anything

Sex and The Stars (TIME Global Adviser)

Read all about it: Does the zodiac cast a spell over your erotic life?

Look Ma, No Hands (TIME Global Adviser)

After the horseless carriage comes the driverless one. And this new vehicle may be going places

Shrink That Suitcase! (TIME Global Adviser)

How to avoid packing a lot of back and shoulder damage into your baggage

Style Watch (TIME Global Adviser)

Potions Are In the Pink

BRIEFING

Burmese Plays (Notebook)

Burma jockeys for position in the runup to the ASEAN conference in Vientiane

Organizing Wal-Mart (Notebook)

America's biggest retailer opens the door to China's labor union

Verbatim (Notebook)

Quotes of the week

Letters (Notebook)

How Asians Got So Big