Wednesday, June 11, 2008

[The Chosun Ilbo, June 10 2008] Samsung Elec. Unveils 'Omnia' Touch-Screen Smartphone

Samsung Electronics on Monday announced a high-tech touch-screen cell phone dubbed the Omnia, or SGH-i900.

The 3G Omnia offers haptic feedback, which makes the phone vibrate when you touch the screen. Its tech specifications nearly match those of a lap-top, providing a wide range of applications thanks to the latest Windows Mobile 6.1 operating system.
[The Chosun Ilbo, June 10 2008] Beef-Related Cyber Attacks Target Public Agencies

The websites of major public agencies, including a TV station, a political party and a police agency and corporations have been attacked, apparently by opponents of U.S. beef imports.

On Friday afternoon, titles of some messages on the bulletin board of the homepage for SBS TV miniseries "Tokyo, Sun Shower" had been changed into "We oppose U.S. beef imports!" and "Lee Myung-bak, step down!" Investigation showed that they had been rewritten. SBS TV discovered the vandalism around 9:30 p.m. and restored the homepage to its former conditions around 10 p.m, but it was unclear how long the messages had been up. SBS said this was not a hacker intrusion, but somebody with manager authority accessing the homepage from outside and changing the message titles.
[The Chosun Ilbo, June 9 2008] We Have No Plan, by Victor Cha

Last week some South Korean Internet news sites reported that North Korean leader Kim Jong-il had been assassinated outside of Pyongyang. The Unification Ministry quickly confirmed that the reports were false. Readers will remember about a little over a year ago the reports that Kim may have had heart surgery, and then prior to that, reports of another attempt on Kim's life. In each case, however, the reports cannot be confirmed, and everyone goes back to their regular routine.
[The Chosun Ilbo, June 9 2008] Fans of 'Yonsama' Flock to Japanese Temple

Thanks to Korean wave star Bae Yong-joon, affectionately known as Yonsama in Japan, Koma Jinja in the Japanese city of Hidaka in Saitama Prefecture, where members of the royal family of an ancient Korean kingdom of Koguryo are enshrined, is booming with tourists.

According to Sunday’s Asahi Shinbum, the Koma Jinja has seen an endless flow of women aged between 30 and 70 since September last year, when Korean TV soap opera "Taewangsasingi (The Four Guardian Gods of the King)”, which stars Bae, began to air in Korea. After being aired on the NHK satellite channel in December last year, “Taewangsasingi”, which deals with the life of King Kwanggaeto the Great, known as the “Great Expander” of ancient Korean history, has been enjoying popularity in Japan, where it is now being shown once a week on regular NHK.
[The Chosun Ilbo, June 5 2008] A Humbling Look at Korean Achievement

I was amazed afresh by the news that Korean businesses are dominating the global TV market. Only a short time ago Sony led the market, but the current ranking, in order, is Samsung, Sony, LG and Sharp.

Sony's slip from the top spot is understandable because it misread the times and neglected liquid crystal technology, but Sharp's fall is harder to understand. The Japanese corporation owned the world's leading liquid crystal technology for 40 years. It was the first in the world to commercialize liquid crystal technology and liquid crystal televisions. Korea's liquid crystal technology is about 20 years old at most. What happened?
[The Chosun Ilbo, June 4 2008] 'Pororo' Tops Pile of Pirate Goods

Much beloved by preschoolers, "Pororo the Little Penguin" is also a favorite among copyright pirates -- it turns out the popular animation is the number one target of copyright violations in Korea.

The Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism along with the Korea Federation of Copyright Organizations and the Copyright Protection Center announced Wednesday that they seized 106,913 illegal copies of video, music, and published materials in 50 days between April 14 and June 1.
[The Chosun Ilbo, June 4 2008] Hynix Develops Three-Bit-Per-Cell Flash Chip

Hynix Semiconductor has developed the world’s first 32-gigabyte NAND flash memory using “three-bit-per-cell” or X3 technology, the firm said Tuesday. A cell is the smallest storage unit, and the cutting edge three-bit technology allows three pieces of information to be stored in one unit. This will decrease production cost of semiconductor products by a large margin as it reduces the size of chips by 30 percent compared to those made with two-bit-per-cell technology, which is widely used in the business at the moment.
[The Chosun Ilbo, June 2 2008] Nintendo Console Fails to Enchant Koreans

Is Nintendo going through a sophomore jinx this year? After an impressive performance in Korea’s game industry last year with Nintendo DS, the company is struggling with its ambitious follow-up model, Wii.

Nintendo launched the Wii game console in Korea market in late April, hoping to take advantage of the momentum created by Nintendo DS, which sold an average of 100,000 units per month, and conquer the Korean video game market. The company invested W 30 billion (US$1=W1,030) on marketing alone to beat Korean game companies.
[The Chosun Ilbo, June 2 2008] An American Learning Life Lessons in a Korean Jail

For one 38-year-old American author, prison life in Korea taught him some greater lessons than the rest of his life. Cullen Thomas recalls the experience in "Brother One Cell: An American Coming of Age in South Korea's Prisons", his 2007 memoir which has attracted the attention of newspapers worldwide including the New York Times.
[The Chosun Ilbo, May 30 2008] Asian Musicians Shine in U.S. Orchestras

America's "Big Five" orchestras, clustered in the east and midwest, seem to be playing to an increasingly Asian hand. The Chicago Symphony plays under concertmaster Robert Chen of Taiwanese descent; the New York Philharmonic's assistant concertmaster is ethnic Korean Michelle Kim; the Cleveland Orchestra's assistant concertmasters are Yoko Moore of Japan and Jung-min Amy Lee of Korea; and the assistant concertmaster of the Boston Symphony is also a Korean, Elita Kang.
[The Chosun Ilbo, May 29 2008] BBC to Air Chosun Ilbo’s N.Korea Documentary

"On The Border", a documentary on North Korean refugees produced by the Chosun Ilbo, will run on the BBC. Both BBC World, the international cable news channel, and domestic channels BBC2 and BBC News24 will air five to six parts of "Korea: out of the North", the corporation’s version of the Chosun Ilbo documentary, starting May 30.

BBC World will air the first 50-minute part as part of its "Our World" program at 3:10 p.m. on Saturday (KST hereafter). It will broadcast the documentary a total of six times for three days until next Monday. In Korea, it can be watched on cable and BBC World (channel 528) on Sky TV.
[The Chosun Ilbo, May 29 2008] Apple Seeks Solar Power; Microsoft Explores Touch Screens

One computer company is working to add solar power to its portable devices, while another is developing a touch screen for the next version of its widely used software., a website that closely watches developments at the Apple computer company, says the firm has asked for a patent on adding a solar panel to generate electricity for its portable phones and computers. What is new is the idea of putting the solar panel beneath the devices' display screens and touch screens, saving space.
[The Hankyoreh, June 11 2008] Media organizations campaign to oust 3 ‘enemies of the press’

Broadcasting commission chair and others singled out for leading gov’t efforts to control the media

Media organizations and civic groups have named three people as “enemies of the press” and launched a campaign to oust them. The three - Choi Si-jung, the chairman of the Broadcasting and Communications Commission; Lee Dong-kwan, the presidential spokesperson; and Shin Jae-min, the vice minister of Culture, Sports and Tourism - have been criticized for leading a government attempt to control the media.

An alliance formed by 46 media organizations and civic groups, including the National Union of Media Workers, the Citizens’ Coalition for Democratic Media and the People’s Coalition for Media Reform, plan to hold a press conference in front of the Broadcasting and Communications Commission in downtown Seoul on June 11 to urge the three men to resign.
[The Hankyoreh, June 3 2008] [Editorial] A new role for the media

Big conservative papers like the Chosun Ilbo, JoongAng Ilbo, and DongA Ilbo have been looking pretty shabby at the daily candlelight protests. Citizens parading in the streets pass by the tall buildings that house those newspapers and call out for them to, “Turn off those lights! You’re not worth the electricity!” There are slogans telling them to go out of print, and their reporters on the ground at these protests find themselves being ridiculed. They’re saying these papers can’t be seen as news media, so their position is not much different from the way the government-controlled media was given a baptism by pebbles at the climax of the April 19 Revolution in 1960.

The reason these newspapers are being scorned is because they are pushing positions that run contrary to the will of the people. Early in the mad cow disease issue, their coverage was largely about preaching to the people, about how American beef is safe, and about how the Korean people don’t know what they’re talking about. ...