Friday, July 20, 2007

[ News, Nation, July 16 2007] Koreans receive average 0.54 mobile spam messages a day: survey

The number of unsolicited e-mail advertisements, or spam, that Koreans received on their mobile phones during the first half of this year increased from the second half of 2006 despite government crackdown efforts, a government survey showed Monday (July 16).

The survey, conducted by the Ministry of Information and Communication on May 28-31, found that mobile phone users received an average of 0.54 such text messages a day.
[ News, Nation, July 05 2007] Gov¡¯t to begin online registration of Korean nationals living abroad

The government said Wednesday (July 4) that it plans to make it easier for Korean nationals living abroad to report their whereabouts by introducing online registration.
[ News, Nation, June 20 2007] Presidential spokesman¡¯s daily press briefing to be broadcast live

The office of President Roh Moo-hyun, Cheong Wa Dae, said Wednesday (June 20) that the daily media briefing by Roh¡¯s spokesman will be broadcast live on its Internet website (, starting Monday, as part of its efforts to support the media¡¯s news coverage.
[ News, Nation, June 19 2007] Communication expert urges Korean media to catch up with the times

Both the Korean government and the people can win through President Roh Moo-hyun's decision to update the existing, authoritarian press room system into a new democratic one, the former president of the International Foreign Correspondents Club said.

In the column "Roh's policy pushes media into the present" published by Korea's vernacular Joongang Daily on Monday (June 18), Michael Breen said President Roh Moo-hyun's decision to change the government's press briefing system is "a historic move that gives an opportunity to the media to be more professional."
[ News, Nation, June 07 2007] Roh says pressroom reform meant to boost national competitiveness

President Roh Moo-hyun said Thursday (June 7) that he remains unchanged in his determination to reform the government's news coverage support system in August to help upgrade national competitiveness through enhanced quality of media coverage.
[ News, Nation, June 04 2007] Roh calls for efforts to narrow technology gap in Asia

Korean President Roh Moo-hyun on Monday (June 4) called on Asian countries to embrace one another's diversity with an open-mind and, narrow the divide in science and technology.
[ News, Nation, June 01 2007]Koreans see Samsung chairman as most successful: survey

Koreans perceive Lee Kun-hee, the chairman of Samsung Group, as the most successful person in the country, a survey showed Thursday (June 1).

In a nationwide poll of 1,000 people between the ages of 19 and 69, 9.7 percent chose the head of the nation's biggest conglomerate as the most successful Korean. The survey was conducted by local polling agency Media Research, commissioned by public service broadcaster KBS.
[The Chosun Ilbo, July 20 2007] Military Remains Vulnerable to Cyber Attacks

The computer network of the Korean military was attacked by 40 hacking attempts and 949 viruses last year. There are urgent calls for improved security of the military computer network. The Army revealed the computer attacks in a policy report for 2007 at a policy briefing at the Army Hall in Yongsan, Seoul on Thursday afternoon, with Army Chief of Staff Gen. Park Heung-ryul attending. But it did not elaborate on the attacks.
[The Chosun Ilbo, July 20 2007] Two in Three GOM Player Users Watch Porn

Some 70 percent of GOM Player users have watched pornographic videos on Korea's most popular video player.
According to a survey by Metrix released Wednesday, GOM Player users' preferred genre was porn, which was played by 69.8 percent in the week from July 2 to July 8. Some 43.2 percent watched movies, while dramas were enjoyed by 29.6 percent. Some 21.8 percent watched entertainment or variety programs, followed by cartoons with 11.1 percent and music files with 7 percent. In the drama section, Korean dramas ranked first with 63.4 percent of audience share, followed by Japanese dramas with 26.8 percent and U.S. series with 9.4 percent.
[The Chosun Ilbo, July 20 2007] Dubbing the Soap Stars

Broadcasters are agonizing over the dubbing of popular U.S. drama series. Subtitling them is easy, but dubbing is essential to ensure a broader viewer base. But unlike the days of “Columbo” or “The X-Files”, many viewers today are familiar with the voices of the original cast down to the minor parts. Casting of the Korean voices has thus become a key to the success or failure of a foreign drama series.
[The Chosun Ilbo, July 20 2007] Samsung, LG Lead U.S. High-Tech Phone Industry

Samsung and LG cell phones are leading the high-tech mobile industry in the U.S., given their appealing designs, diverse functions and affordable prices. Parks Associates, a consulting company specializing in market surveys, said Thursday products by Samsung and LG are the most competitive in the high-tech phone industry.
[The Chosun Ilbo, July 20 2007] IT Exports Forecast to Grow 10.5%

The IT industry is expected to see a ten percent increase in exports this year. The Korea Information Society Development Institute said Thursday IT exports will take up more than a third of all Korean exports and continue to play a key role in the country's growth engine.
[The Chosun Ilbo, July 19 2007] Megabox Sold to Foreign Investors

Megabox, one of Korea's three major cinema chains, has been sold to a foreign investment group.
[The Chosun Ilbo, July 19 2007]Is Web 2.0 a Bubble?

There is growing debate as to whether Web 2.0 will prove to be a bubble. Many warn the growing industry could suddenly collapse, just as the dot com bubble burst in 2000 and 2001.
[The Chosun Ilbo, July 18 2007] Obscenity Turns English Students Off Skype

Some subscribers to the Internet chat and telephony service Skype are spreading dirty language and videos, knowledge-hungry users complain. Many Korean students use the Skype messenger program to practice their English conversation. Skype provides services in 28 languages to almost 200 million people in approximately 220 countries. Since launching services in Korea in 2006, Skype has managed to sign up a lot of people. Although other Internet messengers also provide chat services, voice and video calls, Skype allows users to select options for chat partners.
[The Chosun Ilbo, July 16 2007] How to Make Best Use of Automatic Roaming

Kim Do-sik, an office worker who is in negotiation with a Japanese firm to attract investment, used to have to rent a phone from the airport’s mobile roaming center whenever he went to Japan on a business trip. No longer. Things have become much simpler since he got a third-generation WCDMA phone. Now he can just use his own phone in Japan. As more and more people subscribe to 3G mobile services like KTF’s “Show” and SK Telecom’s “3G+”, many also plumb for automatic roaming. But while the service is convenient, it also pricey. Here, the Chosun Ilbo suggests how to make the most of the service by keeping a close eye on the setup and discounts that may be on offer.
[The Chosun Ilbo, July 16 2007] Man Held for Posting Slews of N.Korean Propaganda

Police have arrested a man on charges of violating the National Security Law by posting some 3,000 pro-North Korean documents on the websites of 20 civic organizations. The man identified as Kim downloaded documents from pro-North Korean websites to which South Korea blocks access and uploaded them on the websites. He was arrested on July 10. Police say Kim himself posted 300 of the 3,000 documents and are reviewing some 2,000 seized CDs. But after Kim was arrested, more pro-North Korean documents were posted on the websites of some civic organizations with his ID, police said. Police are investigating whether Kim is part of a larger organization.
[The Hankyoreh, July 20 2007] Transformers breaks Korean box-office records
[The Hankyoreh, July 20 2007] Celebrities fess up to fake career credentials

In the wake of former art star’s fall from grace, others are admitting they lied
[The Hankyoreh, July 18 2007] Government and journalists clash over pressroom consolidation

Construction on new facilities set to begin next week, while journalists association threatens to take legal action

The government is pushing forward with its so-called ‘Media Support Modernization Plan,’ while journalists object to the move, saying that the government’s plan is likely to infringe on the freedom of press.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

[ News, Government Press Releases, July 10 2007] First Lady Kwon Yang-suk meets with participants in the 2007 Korean Women’s International Network


The Korean Women’s International Network was founded with the aim of reinforcing networks among Korean women leaders in 27 countries and nurturing human resources. It has held annual events since 2001.
[ News, Government Press Releases, June 28 2007] Congratulatory message from President Roh Moo-hyun on the opening of the International Citizen Reporters’ Forum

I congratulate you on the opening of the International Citizen Reporters’ Forum. I wholeheartedly welcome the citizen reporters and their media companies from around the world. Online citizen journalism has opened a new horizon for politics and the media. You are at the forefront of efforts to make the flow of information more transparent and to empower the consumers to stand at the center of the media market. Your creative and voluntary participation has brought various issues to the table of debate; netizens in cyberspace can engage in vibrant discussions while shaping a balanced public opinion. I am grateful to you for taking the lead in promoting the development of journalism.
[ News, Government Press Releases, June 25 2007] Doctoral papers soon viewable on digital collection system

An innovative “dCollection” system, short for ‘digital collection,’ will debut by the end of 2007 to enable the distribution of all doctoral dissertations online, according to the Ministry of Education & Human Resources Development on June 20, 2007.
[The Chosun Ilbo, July 13 2007] YouTube Coming to a Phone Near You

Some lucky buyers of Samsung Electronics' latest phone will soon have direct access to the world's largest user created content (UCC) website, Samsung is planning to launch its Mobile Blog 3G Phone (SGH-L760) in Europe this month, which will allow users to upload UCC files direct to YouTube without having to use a computer. LG Electronics is also cooperating with YouTube to produce a similar phone this year. So far neither LG nor Samsung has confirmed that they're building handsets that will work with domestic UCC sites like Tagstory, and Pandora TV.
[The Chosun Ilbo, July 12 2007] Are 'Global Talk Show' Regulars Too Famous?

The KBS 2TV “Global Talk Show” is going through a rough patch as regulars become stars. Saori Chang, a Japanese woman who has attracted much attention for her idiosyncratic way of talking, is in dispute with the show’s producers over her decision to stop appearing on the show. According to the producers, Chang signed an exclusive contract that forbids her to appear on shows by other broadcasters between March and September, but she has simply stopped turning up.
[The Chosun Ilbo, July 12 2007] Korea Ranked Among Best Countries for IT Firms

Korea has been named one of the world's most IT-competitive countries. In a study measuring the IT industry competitiveness of 64 countries, Korea ranked third scoring 67.2 points out of 100. The U.S. took first place with 77.4, followed by Japan with 72.7.
[The Chosun Ilbo, July 11 2007] Samsung to Release New Blogging Phone

Samsung Electronics will launch in Europe this month its Mobile Blog 3G Phone (SGH-L760), which allows users to upload content directly to blog sites on the Internet.
[The Chosun Ilbo, July 11 2007] Cheaper iPhone Threatens Korean Cell Makers

Apple whose new iPhone handset has become a massive hit will release a more affordable model of the smartphone in the fourth quarter of this year, according to Reuters news agency.
[The Chosun Ilbo, July 11 2007] Gov't, Media Groups to Fight Security Law

In wrangling over a government decision to merge pressrooms at government agencies and limit press access to officials, the administration and media organizations improbably produced an agreement to work for the abolition of the National Security Law instead.
[The Chosun Ilbo, July 11 2007] Journalists, Readers Sue Over Pressroom Merger

A newspaper and its readers have filed a suit with the Constitutional Court against the government's decision to merge pressrooms at government agencies and limit access to government officials.
[The Chosun Ilbo, July 11 2007] New Service to Allow Taxes by Text Messages

Koreans will be able to pay their taxes and buy tickets for cultural events with their mobile phones come October.
The Ministry of Information and Communication and the National Information Society Agency said on Tuesday that they will launch a pilot project for a U-Payment service which will allow users to pay taxes and utilities bills and purchase admission tickets through their phones.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

[The Chosun Ilbo, July 11 2007] LG.Philips to Emphasize TV Screens

LG.Philips LCD will introduce eighth-generation production facilities for TV panels before it builds 5.5-generation production lines for computer monitors.
[The Chosun Ilbo, July 10 2007] Samsung Electronics Launches Swan New Monitors

Samsung Electronics has launched a series of four new monitors whose “neck” distantly recalls the shape of a swan’s. The new models target the market for medium-sized and large monitors. They are the 20-inch SyncMaster CX2032GW/BW models and 22-inch SyncMaster CX2232GW/BW models. Each pair consists of a wide-screen and Magic Clear panels.
[The Chosun Ilbo, July 10 2007] Students' Double Suicide Puzzles Police


Police conducted initial investigations into Shin and Lee's families in order to find out how Shin, who lived in Gyeonggi Province, could meet Lee, who lived in Mapo, Seoul. They are looking into the possibility that the two met through a suicide website.
[The Chosun Ilbo, July 9 2007] Rude YouTube Clips Anger Korean Netizens

Korean net surfers have been enraged by several videos on Youtube, the world's largest UCC (user created content) website, that depict foreigners denigrating and sexually harassing Korean women.
[The Chosun Ilbo, July 9 2007] Digital Performance Under Way in Goyang City

An experimental performance show called Syntasia is underway by the Goyang Cultural Foundation northwest of Seoul until July 15.

The show is being staged in a brand new digital theater showing the convergence of performing arts and technology within a dramatic plot.

[The Hankyoreh, July 14 2007] Six-story building up for grabs in online quiz tournament

Suspicions have been raised over legitimacy of the event

A heavily-indebted businessman will offer a six-story building worth 14 billion won (US$15.2 million) as the grand prize in an online quiz tournament to take place this fall. The tournament is open to anyone who answers questions in the simple yes-or-no quiz, after paying 10,000 won in participation fees.
[The Hankyoreh, July 12 2007] S. Korea's rising cultural, economic power woos more Korean language learners
The Korean language is getting more popular among non-Koreans as the popularity of Korean drama, films and other pop culture products abroad grows and the economic power of South Korea, the world's 11th-largest economy, rises.
[The Hankyoreh, July 11 2007] iPhone sales generate mixed impact on S. Korean market

Semiconductor makers benefit, while mobile-phone makers face competition

Is the ‘iPhone effect’ a double-edged sword?

After Apple Inc. began selling two models of its newly-released iPhone, related industries in South Korea have shown mixed responses. Semiconductor manufacturers are benefiting as they have signed long-term contracts to supply chips to Apple, but mobile-phone makers are not sanguine because they face a tough competitor in the U.S. handset market.

[The Hankyoreh, July 11 2007] Recent political controversy raises doubts on the media

Media watchdog says the media is losing its ability to monitor those in power

In connection with recently raised allegations over the past misconduct of the leading presidential hopefuls from the main opposition Grand National Party (GNP), the reports of a few conservative media outlets have been found to focus mostly on where the allegations came from, rather than on finding the facts beneath the allegations.

Many observers note that these kinds of reports are typical of reports that water down the importance of each candidate’s ethics while diverting the public’s attention away from the main issues.

[The Hankyoreh, July 10 2007] Phone fraud to lead to stricter regulations on banking

Financial transactions are about to become a lot more difficult for foreigners

It is about to get a lot harder for tourists and other non-Korean citizens in the country temporarily to open accounts at Korean financial institutions. Government financial officials claim the ease with which temporary residents or visitors can open bank accounts in Korea is allowing the country to be used in acts of ‘‘voice phishing,’’ a form of international financial fraud involving telephone communications.
[The Hankyoreh, July 10 2007] Man indicted for operating a site for swingers

Operator objects to court intervention in private sexual affairs

A 39-year-old South Korean man was indicted again on charges of allegedly operating an Internet site for swingers, named Couple Plus, which facilitated sex between couples or groups of couples.