For people who are into Karaoke or for others like me who are just curious about social phenomena: Karaoke Culture by Cyril Fievet:
Karaoke is a Japanese word. It comes from kara, short for empty, and oke, the abbreviation of okesutura, meaning orchestra. This empty orchestra is thus a way to refer to songs where only the music and not the vocals are recorded.(...) In Japan, Toyota has presented recently a new equipment which, among others, allow people to practice Karaoke in their car. In Thailand, some websites offer an Online Karaoke virtual experience (http://www.singingweb.com, in English and Thai). And in Indonesia, its hard to buy a CD player which does not have the K-function included. Maybe the concept is evolving, trying to take advantage of new technologies or new customers tastes. But Asian Karaoke doesnt seem to be dead. Far from that.