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EL CRONISTA (Argentina)

BUENOS AIRES This week marks the 20th anniversary of a technology that has changed the way the world communicates: text messaging.

Also known as Short Message Service (SMS), texting is "simple, every day and cheap, and is now used by more than 4 billion people the world over," El Cronista reports.

When analog mobile phones first began to appear in the early 1980s, the various models in existence relied on different -- and incompatible -- technologies. To bridge the technology divide, participants in a 1982 European telecommunications conference decided to create a standard open network called the Groupe Special Mobile (GSM).

That project gave rise to the idea of SMS, which was first approved for sale in GSM telephones in 1992. But it wasn't until four years later, when the first pre-pay phones hit the market, that texting really started to take off – driven in large part by teens.

In Argentina, cell phone users sent 8.3 billion texts this past February, 21% more than in the same month last year, according to the country's National Communications Committee.

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Geopolitics

The Xi-Putin Alliance Is Dead, Long Live The Xi-Putin Alliance

The façade of unity between Xi Jinping and Vladimir Putin was lifted in Uzbekistan last week. But where exactly does the Chinese head of state stand on the Russian invasion of Ukraine? Beijing is still establishing its place in the world, and it remains in contradiction to the West

China's President Xi Jinping, Uzbekistan's President Shavkat Mirziyoyev and Russia's President Vladimir Putin during the 22nd Summit of the SCO

Gregor Schwung

-Analysis-

Xi Jinping is not out of practice. The Chinese President's public demeanor on his first foreign trip since January 2020 was as confident as ever. When meeting Russian President Vladimir Putin on the sidelines of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) summit in Samarkand, Uzbekistan, he promptly removed his mask and stood inches away from the Russian president, smiling affably.

Stay up-to-date with the latest on the Russia-Ukraine war, with our exclusive international coverage.

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What looked routine to the outside world was a diplomatic tightrope walk that the Chinese leader felt compelled to perform. It was the first face-to-face meeting between the two leaders since February, when they proclaimed a "friendship without borders" at the Winter Olympics in Beijing. Shortly thereafter, Putin launched his campaign against Ukraine – and the world wondered whether Putin had used his Olympic visit to obtain Xi's approval for his invasion.

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