Tuesday, September 04, 2007

[The Chosun Ilbo, August 30 2007] An Appalling Act of Media Repression

The International Press Institute on Monday sent its third letter to President Roh Moo-hyun, urging the Korean government to end attempts to block journalists from reporting. The IPI is to the news media what the United Nations is to the world. The letter by IPI Director Johann P. Fritz said, “The following measures illustrate a basic animosity against the media and a deep-rooted misunderstanding of the functioning of a free, independent and critical press: regulations for public servants regarding their contacts with journalists; and, the government-run ‘administration briefings.’”
[The Chosun Ilbo, August 30 2007] Microsoft Releasing Trial Version of Vista Service Pack

Microsoft has confirmed it will release the first service pack for the Windows Vista operating system next year. So far, only an unofficial patch for Windows Vista has been circulating among Netizens. Microsoft in a statement distributed to some domestic and overseas experts said the trial version of the Windows Vista service pack will be released to 10,000-15,000 testers in a few weeks. The 50-MB service pack comes out less than a year after Windows Vista was released last November. Some IT companies plan to develop the service package into a 1-GB standalone package.
[The Chosun Ilbo, August 30 2007] S.Korean Networks to Pay Millions for N.Korean Footage

Three South Korean terrestrial TV stations agreed in July to pay tens of millions to North Korea annually for footage from North Korea’s state-run Korean Central Broadcasting Station. An SBS executive said South Korean TV stations have used TV pictures aired by KCBS for free, but in July, the Korean Foundation for South-North Economic and Cultural Cooperation, as a proxy of the North Korean TV station, concluded negotiations with three TV stations whereby SBS will pay about W20 million every year to KCBS through the foundation. MBC will pay slightly more than that, and KBS will pay about W30 million.
[The Chosun Ilbo, August 30 2007] Respect the Right to Know

The following is the statement from the Korean Association of Newspapers dated Aug. 26 regarding the government’s new press control measures.

The government is attempting to gag the press by pushing for press controls under the pretext of an "advanced media support system" despite concerted opposition from all press organizations, politicians, and civic organizations.

We consider these measures an undemocratic suppression of the press, unheard-of even under the late president Park Chung-hee's "Yushin" or revitalizing reforms or former president Chun Doo-Hwan's authoritarian regime.
[The Chosun Ilbo, August 30 2007] Samsung Wins Display Award for 5th Straight Year

Samsung Electronics' computer displays have been chosen the best in their category for an unprecedented fifth year in a row.
[The Chosun Ilbo, August 30 2007] BCWW Kicks Off Wednesday in Seoul

Hundreds of media players are in Seoul to indulge in new industry trends at the Broadcasting Worldwide 2007.

BCWW, an annual event hosted by Seoul's Culture and Tourism Ministry and the Korea Broadcasting Commission, marked its seventh opening Wednesday.
[The Chosun Ilbo, August 29 2007] Int’l Watchdog Condemns Korea’s New Press Controls

A leading international press watchdog on Monday urged the government to lift draconian new press controls. In an open letter to President Roh Moo-hyun, the third this year, the international Press Institute warned Korea could find itself on the IPI watch list again unless his government drops efforts to restrict press access to government officials.
[The Chosun Ilbo, August 29 2007] Samsung Opens 8G LCD Production Line

50-inch class LCD TVs are expected to become the leading category in the global LCD TV market.

S-LCD, a joint venture of Samsung Electronics and Sony, held a ceremony to celebrate the opening of its eighth-generation production line at its LCD plant in Tangjeong, South Chungcheong Province.
[The Chosun Ilbo, August 29 2007] Samsung Plans to Lead 4G Communications Market

Amid fierce competition to lead a growing market for fourth-generation communications, Samsung Electronics said it will provide its high-speed wireless Internet in New York City.

At a tech forum held in Seoul the company announced it has received a request from U.S. communications provider Sprint Nextel to establish a WiBro network in the Big Apple.

WiBro, short for wireless broadband, is a homegrown technology that allows for high-speed Internet communication on the go.
[The Chosun Ilbo, August 28 2007] Samsung's WiBro System Selected for New York

Samsung Electronics has been asked to set up a WiBro network in New York with Sprint-Nextel, the company said Monday.

The announcement was made at the 2007 Samsung 4G Forum at the Shilla Hotel in Seoul by Choi Gee-sung, president of Samsung Electronics' Telecommunication Network Business.
[The Chosun Ilbo, August 28 2007] Standoff Over Press Controls Intensifies

A standoff between the government and reporters over the shut-down of all but a handful of briefing rooms at government agencies and restricted media access to government officials is escalating. Reporters covering the Ministry of Construction and Transportation issued a statement of protest on Tuesday, the second in as many days. "Reporters have already issued their first statement in opposition to the press control policy,” they said. “But we decided to issue a second statement on a plan to carry out additional measures because the government continues in attempts to control the press."
[The Chosun Ilbo, August 28 2007] Korean Wave Makes Busan Cosmetic Surgery Destination

Lured by the Korean Wave and Korean entertainers, Asians are flocking to Korean cosmetic surgeons in an effort to be made to look like their idols, Bloomberg news agency reported on Monday.
[The Chosun Ilbo, August 27 2007] Samsung Electronics to Expand Overseas R&D

Samsung Electronics is looking to foreign shores to expand its research and development.
[The Chosun Ilbo, August 27 2007] SK Telecom Goes Into the Movie Business

Korea’s biggest telecom operator SK Telecom will make inroads into the film distribution business in the beginning of next year. It is the first telecom business to invest in films, though big conglomerates like Samsung and Daewoo and financial capital such as Ilshin Investment Co. and Mirae Asset have been major investors to Korea’s movie industry. CJ, Orion and Lotte have established themselves as major powers in Chungmuro, Korea’s Hollywood.
[The Chosun Ilbo, August 27 2007] Samsung, LG Explore New Retail Ideas

LG Electronics and Samsung Electronics are putting serious effort into creating new demand for their products. The market for appliances and electronics like refrigerators, washers and PCs is nearly saturated and retail revenue has been dropping because of price comparison websites. In response, the two companies are struggling to find new markets and develop new sales techniques.
[The Chosun Ilbo, August 27 2007] Most Koreans Oppose Press Controls: Poll

A majority of Koreans oppose the government’s new press controls, including the merger of newsrooms at government agencies into a handful of briefing rooms and other measures limiting media access to government officials. In a phone survey conducted by Gallup Korea at the request of the Chosun Ilbo, 70 percent of respondents said the controls are bad because they infringe on people’s right to know and limit media activities. The number of opponents was three times higher than that of supporters, who said the measures would improve reporting practices and provide quality information on government policies.
[The Chosun Ilbo, August 24 2007] Downloads Beat Cinemas for Movie Fans

Korean movie fans watch more films through illegal downloads than in the theaters. In a month, they watch an average of 1.99 films in theaters but 3.08 on their PCs. Counter-intuitively, people in their 30s to 40s enjoyed more illegal downloads than those in their 20s. The figures come from a Chosun Ilbo online survey of 10,000 people -- 2,000 in each age group -- from their teens to their 50s through ticketing site maxmovie.com.
[The Chosun Ilbo, August 24 2007] Shinsegae Tries Out Virtual Reality Clothing Shop

Is there any way to know if clothes really fit right without trying them on? There is now, thanks to a new high-tech, virtual reality fitting system.

Shinsegae Department Store plans to try out the service in cooperation with the i-Fashion Clothing Technical Center of Konkuk University in the Elord golf wear shop of its main branch from Friday.

At the Elord shop, customers can dress a three-dimensional likeness of themselves that includes their precise body measurements to see if an item of clothing fits well.
[The Chosun Ilbo, August 24 2007] Netizens Touched by Thank-You Message From Iraqi Girl

A video letter from an Iraqi girl has been touching the hearts of Korea's netizens.

In the letter, Pheam, an elementary school girl from the northern city of Irbil, expresses her gratitude to the soldiers of the Zaytun Unit for painting a mural and widening the roads of her village.


On Aug 16. the video was posted to Cyworld, a leading Korean social-networking website, where it attracted more than 200,000 viewers in just three days. More than 3,000 people left comments about it on the website.

Now the video has spread abroad via YouTube, the world's largest video sharing website, and is causing a stir among netizens around the world.

Sunday, September 02, 2007

[The Chosun Ilbo, August 23 2007] GNP Takes Action Over Draconian Press Policy

The Grand National Party on Wednesday urged the government to scrap a new press policy that involves shutting down all but a handful of press rooms at government offices and limiting media access to officials. The GNP vowed to “make every effort to stop media oppression.”
[The Chosun Ilbo, August 23 2007] GIA Adamant on Controversial New Press Rules

The Government Information Agency on Wednesday made it clear it will implement controversial new press rules critics say are designed to gag the media. As part of the new rules, reporters who cover government offices are required to register with the GIA and be given press passes. Challenged that the new press passes are reminiscent of the press cards issued by the military government under president Chun Doo-hwan to control the press, the GIA said, "Press passes are designed to minimize the inconvenience of reporters who cover government offices around the clock."
[The Chosun Ilbo, August 23 2007] BoA Blogs to Japan With Tempting Photos

Asian superstar BoA has become a messenger of Korean culture in Japan. The singer-dancer-model opened her Japanese blog in June, introducing many items from Korea like cold noodles, red-bean sherbet and street scenes from Seoul (blog.oricon.co.jp/boa). The photos on the website indicate that she has a real talent for photography.
[The Chosun Ilbo, August 22 2007] KAL Offers Trial on New Superjumbo

Korean Air announced on Tuesday that it is recruiting people through its website to take part in a trial flight of the new A380.

The superjumbo will make its debut in Korea on Sept. 6. KAL will select 20 people who have completed a quiz on the website by Aug. 28 (www.koreanair.com).
[The Chosun Ilbo, August 22 2007] LG Unveils 5.1-Megapixel Camera Phone

LG Electronics has released the Viewty, a 5.1-megapixel camera phone that rivals regular digital cameras. In addition to the high-quality sensor, the Viewty has features such as automatic focus, anti-shake, and high-speed video recording.

"If the previous Chocolate and Shine phones emphasized design, the Viewty is focused on fully reflecting features that customers wanted," said Ahn Seung-kwon, the head of LG Electronics' mobile communications division.
[The Chosun Ilbo, August 22 2007] Gov't Selects 40 Key Technologies for Protection

Forty technologies were designated core technologies of national interest, including the technology of designing, processing, assembling and inspecting 70-nanometer or smaller NAND flash, the technology of designing a vehicle fuel cell system, the technology of manufacturing FINEX steel mill facilities and the technology of manufacturing cargo tanks for LNG carriers.


By category, four technologies were selected from electronics and electrical engineering, eight from the automobile industry, six from the steel industry, seven from shipbuilding, four from nuclear power generation, six from information and telecommunications and four from the space industry.
[The Hankyoreh, August 31 2007] Migrant Worker Film Festival examines both adversity and change

Festival organizers hope to help the films will resonate with people and build community through dialogue.

Challenging popular ideas and images of migrant workers, the Migrant Worker Film Festival enters its second year with the theme "Super Migrants." This year's festival aims to stand as a testament to the struggles faced by migrant workers the world over, while also offering a glimpse at their achievements.
[The Hankyoreh, August 29 2007] Gov’t is considering revising press room guidelines

Journalists gain ground and gov’t backs down in the battle over press freedoms

The Government Information Agency is considering an overhaul of a controversial measure that it has claimed would increase support for journalistic activities. Possible revision of the measure comes following harsh criticism launched by members of the press, who are concerned that the press guidelines would restrict their access to information and thus infringe upon the public’s right to know.

“Regarding the revision of the Prime Minister’s guidelines, we will make some improvements after reviewing the opinions that journalists have expressed on the matter,” GIA Chief Kim Chang-ho told reporters in a briefing. “ As for the revision issue, we will have plenty of time to collect opinions.”
[The Hankyoreh, August 28 2007] Serious questions

Children get to ask questions of the current presidential candidates in an event organized by an Internet company’s user-created content division and titled “UCC Open Camera for the Presidential Election.” The event took place on Aug. 27 at the Cheonggyecheon in downtown Seoul.
[The Hankyoreh, August 27 2007] Samsung to build mobile Internet network in New York

Samsung Electronics Co. said Monday that it will build a mobile Internet network in New York to expand its homegrown technology in the United States, one of the world's largest communications markets.

"Recently, we received a request from Sprint Nextel Corp. for the establishment of a WiBro network in New York," Choi Gee-sung, head of Samsung's telecommunications business, told reporters at the 4G Forum currently underway in central Seoul. However, he didn't give details on timetables.
[The Hankyoreh, August 27 2007] Samsung Electronics to expand overseas R&D centers

South Korea's Samsung Electronics Co. will expand its research and development (R&D) centers overseas to provide mobile phones and other key consumer products that appeal more to customers in other countries, sources said Monday.

"We plan to expand our R&D activities for mobile phones and home appliances such as TVs by opening a research center in Warsaw, Poland," said a Samsung officials on condition of anonymity. "We will also increase the number of researchers at existing R&D centers in China and India to strengthen our grip on those Asian markets."
[The Hankyoreh, August 25 2007] Conservatives and liberals back journalists on press freedoms

GNP and UNDP want an end to government’s press reforms, GNP calls for information chief to step down

Journalists fighting against the government’s escalated attempts to reform the media got some support from both the conservative and liberal parties yesterday. The battle over the freedom of the press, with the government claiming that media reforms will institute more efficient journalistic procedures and the media arguing that the government’s efforts will block their ability to monitor the government and gather essential information.
[The Hankyoreh, August 24 2007] Red light for the telecommunications industry

Recent spate of accidents prompt experts to call for greater investment by telecommunications operators

A red light has flashed in the nation’s mobile communication and high-speed Internet network, which is considered to be the world’s best in terms of quality.

In this month alone, five separate accidents were recorded in the mobile communications and high-speed Internet industries. The accidents, three and two in each industry, respectively, have inconvenienced users. Meanwhile, individual companies in troubled areas are protesting to telecommunications operators about business losses caused by the telecommunications troubles.
[The Hankyoreh, August 24 2007] S. Korean government’s new press policy is under fire

Journalists voice concern over the so-called ’New Plan for Modernization of Media-support’

Journalists voice concern over the so-called ‘New Plan for Modernization of Media Support’

Journalists have increasingly raised concern about major curbs on press freedom as the government is taking steps to implement what it calls a “plan for the modernization of media support.”
[The Hankyoreh, August 23 2007] Gov’t cancels electronic ID plan

Journalists outraged over the aborted move, insisting the plan undermines press freedom.

Facing mounting criticism, the Government Information Agency has cancelled a plan that would have obligated reporters to carry electronic chip-embedded identification cards so as to analyze their movements and monitor the overall use of its press room.

“We had considered tagging electronic chips to ID cards of individual reporters but canceled the plan,” an agency official said. “The chips were designed to monitor reporters checking in and out of our press room only.”