Friday, October 19, 2007

[The Chosun Ilbo, October 19 2007] Korea’s WiBro Adopted as Global 3G Telecom Standard

A wireless broadband Internet technology developed in Korea has been adopted as the sixth global standard for third-generation telecommunication. The adoption enables Korean patent holders to compete with rivals in the global market on an equal footing, as they can use the same worldwide radio frequency as IMT-2000 when providing the WiBro service abroad.

Known also as mobile WiMAX, WiBro allows access to broadband Internet on the move.
[The Chosun Ilbo, October 19 2007] KT Announces New Calling Plans for Wire Phones

KT said Thursday that it will introduce three new calling plans for its wire phone service as soon as the government gives the green light next month.

One plan charges a single rate for both local and long-distance calls for a fixed monthly fee of W2,000 (US$1=W918).

Another fixed-rate calling plan allows subscribers to make 150 to 660 minutes of free calls a month for a monthly basic fee of W10,000 to W35,000.
[The Chosun Ilbo, October 18 2007] S.Korea’s Press Freedom Ranking Plummets

Press freedom in South Korea deteriorated this year amid growing criticism from experts and civic groups of the government's new press policy. According to the 2007 World Press Freedom Index released on Tuesday by Paris-based Reporters Without Borders (RSF), South Korea fell from 31st place in 2006 to 39th this year.

Japan ranked 51st last year, much lower than South Korea, but jumped to 37th place this year. On June 2, in a lecture to a supporters’ club, President Roh Moo-hyun quoted the RSF's 2006 World Press Freedom Index to justify his new press policy, which includes shutting press rooms in government agencies and combining them into a handful of centralized briefing rooms. He pointed out that his government’s ranking was higher than that of Japan, which maintains pressrooms.
[The Chosun Ilbo, October 18 2007] New Discovery Could Pave Way for Korean FeRAM

Thanks to a discovery by a Korean researcher, the nation may soon be able to build ferroelectric RAM, or FeRAM.

According to POSTECH on Wednesday, Dr. Shin Young-han succeeded in figuring out the operational mechanism of ferroelectrics and published the research in the science journal Nature.

In ferroelectrics, a material is given a permanent electric polarization by the application of an electric field.

FeRAM is considered "the dream semiconductor" because it has all the merits of DRAM (can store large volumes of data), SRAM (can process data at high speed) and Flash memory (holds data when the power is turned off).
[The Chosun Ilbo, October 18 2007] KTF Enters Price War With New Calling Plans

Korea's three mobile operators are in a battle to reduce fees with KTF following SK Telecom and LG Telecom in slashing its calling rates.

KTF said Wednesday that it will introduce a new calling plan next month that costs W2,500 (US$1=W918) more per month but gives 30 percent discounts on domestic calls. The discount rates apply to calls made to any domestic network, not just to other KTF customers. Users who usually pay around W50,000 per month for calls can save around W4,800 a month under the new plan, KTF said.
[The Chosun Ilbo, October 17 2007] Gov't Unveils Electronic Tag for Sex Offenders

The Ministry of Justice on Tuesday unveiled an electronic bracelet designed to prevent sex crimes by tracking the location of repeat sex offenders.

Although it looks like a watch, the ministry explained that the bracelet is made to be worn around the ankle so that it is less conspicuous. Offenders will be allowed to wear the bracelet on their wrists only if there is a reason they cannot wear it on their ankles.

Developed by Samsung SDS Consortium, the bracelet is paired with a portable global positioning device. Repeat sex offenders must carry both devices at all times. Only when they are at home can they put the positioning device down.
[The Chosun Ilbo, October 16 2007] Porn Reigns Supreme in Online Real Estate

Sex has proved more powerful than money. According to Bloomberg and other news agencies on Saturday, Wallstreet.com failed to topple porn.com as the top-selling web address so far this year.

...

The online sex industry dwarfs other Internet businesses. According to web statistics company TopTenReviews.com, worldwide revenues for the pornography industry in 2006 were at least $97 billion, almost double the $57 billion earned in 2003. Google's sales in 2006 stood at $13.4 billion. Internet powerhouse Korea is also a leader in this sector. TopTenReviews.com said Korea is the world's second largest porn market.
[The Chosun Ilbo, October 16 2007] Human Rights Commission Releases Prison Beating Video

The National Human Rights Commission of Korea has made public a video clip of an Anyang Prison guard beating an inmate after the prison rejected the commission's call for the guard to be disciplined.

"Even though it is clear that the prison guard beat the prisoner, Anyang Prison has refused to discipline the guard. Therefore, the NHRC has decided to release the video clip and let Korean citizens as a third party decide whether the incident is abuse or not," the human rights watchdog said on Sunday.
[The Chosun Ilbo, October 16 2007] Hynix Eyeing Non-Memory Market Again

Hynix Semiconductor plans to resume its non-memory business, Korea's second largest chip maker said Monday. In an address published to mark the 24th anniversary of the company's establishment, Hynix President Kim Jong-kap said that the company will resume its system integrated circuit (IC) business now that a three-year promise not to enter the non-memory business has expired, the company said.
[The Chosun Ilbo, October 16 2007] Samsung Hits Big with Low-Priced Phone

A low-priced phone from Samsung Electronics has set a new sales record in less than a year after its release, becoming the fastest Korean phone to reach the 10 million sold mark.

Unveiled last November, the SGH-E250 is part of Samsung's strategy to target the low-cost market. The phone quickly sold 7.9 million units in the first half of the year, and joined the "ten million club" last month.
[The Chosun Ilbo, October 16 2007] N.Korea to Attend ASEAN Forum on Cyber Terror

A delegation from North Korea will attend the ASEAN-hosted forum on cyber terrorism held in South Korea.

The seminar scheduled to run for four days from Tuesday in Busan will include about 90 government officials and experts from more than 20 countries.
[The Chosun Ilbo, October 15 2007] LG Telecom to Offer Free In-Network Calls

LG Telecom will offer a new calling plan with 20 hours of free in-network calling next month, the country's third largest mobile operator said on Sunday. The new plan, which beats an offer from SK Telecom that allows 50 percent discounts on in-network calls, is expected to accelerate the competition among mobile operators to slash call rates.

LG Telecom plans to introduce two in-network calling plans. The first costs W15,500 (US$1=W918) per month and allows subscribers to make 20 hours of free calls to other LG Telecom subscribers per month. According to the company, subscribers who usually pay around W50,000 a month should save W6,000 per month with this new plan.
[The Chosun Ilbo, October 15 2007] Ex-POSCO Employees Arrested for Tech Espionage

Two former POSCO employees were arrested for leaking key steel manufacturing technologies to a Chinese company, the Daegu District Prosecutors' Office said Friday. While technology leaks have occurred in the IT sector, this is the first such incident for Korea's steel industry.
[The Hankyoreh, October 19 2007] Munhwa Ilbo apologizes for releasing nude photos

Civic groups say paper’s statement does not go far enough and ask for revision

The Munhwa Ilbo newspaper on October 18 apologized for printing a nude photo of degree scammer Shin Jeong-ah on September 13. Civic groups and women’s rights advocacy organizations, however, have taken issue with the nature of the apology, raising questions about the paper’s use of sensationalism, and privacy violations and human rights issues in journalism.

The newspaper published a statement apologizing for the incident on its front page, saying it had printed the photo with consideration for the people’s right to know. “We sincerely apologize to readers for inciting a controversy over sensationalism and criticism over violation of human rights,” added the newspaper.
[The Hankyoreh, October 19 2007] WiBro approved as 3G communications technology

South Korea's homegrown wireless Internet technology WiBro has been included in international third-generation (3G) communications standards, which will allow it to make greater inroads into global markets, a government agency said Friday.

On Thursday, the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), a global tech policymaking group, held a meeting in Geneva in which it included the WiBro technology as one of its 3G communications standards, the Ministry of Information and Communication said.

WiBro, or wireless broadband Internet, is a technology designed to allow users to log into high-speed Internet connections even when they are on the move.
[The Hankyoreh, October 18 2007] Upheaval in telecommunications industry translates into benefits for YOU

Internet calling and competition between mobile service providers mean more options, bigger savings

With local mobile carriers rushing to cut communications charges and the government unveiling measures intended to boost Internet telephony, the landscape of the nation’s telecommunications industry is showing signs of an upheaval. The very similar service charge schemes of the three major mobile carriers seem as though they are being consolidated, which means that customers will soon be able to choose systems tailored to their communications habits. Against this backdrop, SK Telecom, KTF and LG Telecom, which have all made huge profits within the tripartite market monopoly, claim that their profitability could go down, but many observers see this as the start of a price war, which could help customers reduce the financial burden from communications spending.
[The Hankyoreh, October 17 2007] Corporate watchdog consents to dropping of Microsoft's appeal case

South Korea's corporate watchdog said Wednesday it consents to a decision by U.S. software giant Microsoft Corp. to withdraw its appeal against an antitrust ruling issued by the watchdog.

On Tuesday, Microsoft was found to have withdrawn its appeal against a ruling by the Fair Trade Commission (FTC) that fined the company for breach of fair competition regulations and ordered the separate sale of bundled programs from its Windows operating system.
[The Hankyoreh, October 16 2007] Microsoft withdraws appeal against antitrust rule violation

Microsoft Corp. has withdrawn its appeal against an antitrust ruling here that fined the global software giant for breach of fair competition regulations and ordered the separate sale of bundled programs from its Windows operating system, a court official said Tuesday.

n February 2006, the Fair Trade Commission (FTC) fined Microsoft 33 billion won (US$35 million) and ordered it to separate the MSN instant messenger and Media Player programs from its Windows operating system.
[The Hankyoreh, October 16 2007] Seminar on 'cyber terrorism' to open in Busan

A regional forum of 27 nations, including South and North Korea, China, Japan and the United States, will open in the southeastern port city of Busan later Tuesday to study ways to fight global terrorism through the Internet, the Foreign Ministry said.

Co-hosted by the ministry and the National Cyber Security Center of the country's state intelligence agency, the seminar will run from Tuesday to Thursday, according to a press release.
[The Hankyoreh, October 15 2007] Hynix plans to resume non-memory business: CEO

The head of Hynix Semiconductor Inc., the world's second-largest computer memory-chip maker, said Monday that his company will soon resume non-memory operations, following a three-year hiatus, and diversify its DRAM and flash memory-centered business portfolios. "Through water-tight preparations and strategy, we will push to re-start our own non-memory operations," Hynix CEO Kim Jong-gap said in a speech marking the 24th anniversary of the company's establishment.
[The Hankyoreh, October 15 2007] UNDP primary is all for naught

Despite efforts to change voting rules and generate excitement, controversy haunts UNDP primary

The United New Democratic Party’s primary finished on October 14 following a series of twists and turns. The UNDP was able to save face by holding a mobile primary, a vote-by-phone gimmick that dramatically increased voter turnout and raised the hope that it would also generate excitement, but controversy over the illegal mobilization of voters tainted the race. The party’s desire to impress people and collect votes through a “beautiful primary” has come to nothing.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

A day in the (digital) life of a South Korean boy - CNN.com

A day in the (digital) life of a South Korean boy - CNN.com: "By Chang-Won Kim for CNN SEOUL, South Korea (CNN) -- Some 35 million of South Korea's total 48 million residents regularly use broadband Internet. As such, Internet usage is not restricted to the younger generation: It is not uncommon to see a 45-year-old gentleman indulging himself in the popular online game Lineage II in a local 'PC Bang' (Internet cafe)."

AsiaMedia :: Press eviction

AsiaMedia :: Press eviction: "Press eviction According to the Korea Herald, yesterday's final shutdown of old government pressrooms marks a bleak moment in Korea press history

The Korea Herald Friday,
October 12, 2007

Yesterday was a bleak day for press freedom in Korea. The government cut internet connections at press dispatch rooms in ministry buildings in an attempt to force reporters to move to the new integrated briefing centers located at the two government complexes in downtown Seoul and Gwacheon, Gyeonggi Province. The main objection against the new integrated briefing centers and the Measures for Developing an Advanced Media Support System is that they restrict access to government officials, an important news source. The government's intent was clear to the press from the very moment the move was announced: to make it difficult for the press to do its job of keeping a watchful eye over the powers that be."

AsiaMedia :: KOREA: Agency rips out temporary working space of journalists

AsiaMedia :: KOREA: "Agency rips out temporary working space of journalists

The Korea Herald Monday,
October 15, 2007

A government agency ripped out a temporary working space set up by journalists in the Foreign Ministry complex over the weekend, deepening tension between the media and the government over the controversial press 'reform' measure. The Government Information Agency dismantled the small working space in the lobby of the ministry building in Seoul late Friday night, effectively trying to compel reporters to move into the new briefing room that was built to consolidate 16 preexisting press rooms downstairs."