When we visited Taipei, my wife and I made it our singular goal to eat at Modern Toilet, even though we knew the bathroom-themed restaurant had caught on and was a bit of a tourist trap. That same spirit has been reignited in me, and my next trip to Seoul cannot come soon enough. I will not leave that city until I grab me some fresh, hot Poop Bread. Read the rest
Read the rest
Yoon Mi Rae is set to sue Sony over the inclusion of her song "Touch Love" in The Interview, which, she says, Sony failed to license for the film.
Read the rest
Read the rest
Korean games illustrator Na Young Wu has an amazing series of illustrations called "Korean Western Fairy Tales," in which she redesigns familiar characters from western fairy tales (including several that have been adapted by Disney) and remakes them as traditional Korean characters.
Na Young Wu is a character illustration artist for games, and in what she calls her "Korean Western Fairy Tale" series, she uses her talents to reimagine familiar characters. Sometimes she uses the color palettes from Disney films, but in other pieces, she focuses on putting her own spin on the stories. You can see more of her Eastern-Western fairy tale illustrations on Twitter—and if you somehow still haven't enough of Frozen, she has her own take on Elsa on her blog.
Western Fairytales Get A Korean Makeover In Gorgeous Illustrations [Lauren Davis/IO9]
The Korea Herald reports that a young man of European heritage from Brazil has had plastic surgery so that he might look Korean. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
He goes by the obliquely Asian internet-name of Xiahn.
Cosmetic procedures, such as silicone implants, lip surgery or other augmentations, are nothing unusual in Brazil. But the 25-year-old man went a step further to transform himself into Asian-looking man by making alterations to his eyes. Xiahn, who asked not to be named to protect his family from Internet scrutiny, underwent 10 surgical procedures on his eyes, along with other less-invasive procedures, which cost him around $3,100. He also began wearing contact lenses to change his eye color.
Originally blue-eyed with blonde hair, he became interested in having plastic surgery after spending some time as an exchange student in Korea. He was inspired by how common plastic surgery is here.
“Koreans have many surgeries to modify the shape of their eyes and become more like Westerners. It was easy to tell when one of them had done it, walking on the street wearing sunglasses and a surgical mask,” he said. “I have no regrets, and I don’t intend to have any more procedures.”
[Korea Herald via Michelle Borok at Giant Robot]
Michael Geist writes, "Canada and South Korea announced agreement on a comprehensive trade agreement earlier today. The focus is understandably on tariff issues, but the agreement also contains a full chapter on intellectual property (note that the governments have only released summaries of the agreement, not the full text, which is still being drafted). The IP chapter is significant for what it does not include. Unlike many other trade deals - particularly those involving the U.S., European Union, and Australia - the Canada-South Korea deal is content to leave domestic intellectual property rules largely untouched. The approach is to reaffirm the importance of intellectual property and ensure that both countries meet their international obligations, but not to use trade agreements as a backdoor mechanism to increase IP protections."
Read the rest
Read the rest
A Gangnam, Seoul plastic surgeon who did a roaring trade in excising womens' jawbones to give them V-shaped chins was forced to remove the towering jars of thousands of jawbone fragments with which he decorated his office. Photos of the jars spread online, resulting in a visit from a local official, who fined the surgeon about $3000 and ordered the display removed.
Read the rest
Read the rest
Evaluating Graduated Response, a new paper from Rebecca Giblin from the law school at Australia's Monash University, looks at the impact of "three strikes" and "graduated response" punishments for file-sharing. Countries including France, New Zealand, Taiwan, South Korea, the U.K., Ireland and the U.S. have adopted systems whereby people accused of file-sharing have their Internet access curtailed. This takes many forms, from losing access to YouTube and Facebook until subscribers complete a "copyright training course" designed by the entertainment industry to out-and-out disconnection from the Internet.
A good summary in IT News by Juha Saarinen discusses Giblin's findings from an in-depth survey of the file-sharing landscape before and after the introduction of three strikes rules: "There is no evidence demonstrating a causal connection between graduated response and reduced infringement. If 'effectiveness' means reducing infringement, then it is not effective."
An Asiana Airlines 777 from Seoul, Korea crash-landed at San Francisco International Airport last night. Two were killed, ten were critically injured, 181 others were taken to hospital.
This Reddit thread contains a lot of great, breaking information, including audio from the SFO air traffic control during and after the crash, and eyewitness accounts from SFO and from diverted fliers who were landed elsewhere (SFO is closed until further notice).
It's not clear what caused the crash. Forbes has some early analysis of the debris field based on aerial photos. A prominent theory cited in several news reports is that the tail of the 777 caught the seawall and ripped free (
this also suggests that the two fatalities were flight attendants in the rear jumpseats). Update: An Asiana Airlines rep has confirmed that the two dead were passengers; specifically, teenagers from China.
Architects Moon Hoon designed a house in Chungcheongbuk-do, South Korea, that uses a staircase as a slide, a library and a room-divider. My goodness, it is lovely.
The basic request of upper and lower spatial organization and the shape of the site promted a long and tin house with fluctuating facade which would allow for more differentiated view. The key was coming up with a multi-functional space which is a large staircase, bookshelves, casual reading space, home cinema, slide and many more…
The client was very pleased with the design, and the initial design was accepted and finalized almost instantly, only with minor adjustments. The kitchen and dining space is another important space where family gathers to bond. The TV was pushed away to a smaller living room. The attic is where the best view is possible, it is used as a play room for younger kids. The multi-use stair and slice space brings much active energy to the house, not only children, but also grown ups love the slide staircase…An action filled playful house for all ages…
The US-Korean Free Trade Agreement came with a raft of draconian enforcement rules that Korea -- then known as a world leader in network use and literacy -- would have to adopt. Korea has since become a living lab of the impact of letting US entertainment giants design your Internet policy -- and the example that industry lobbyists point to when they discuss their goals.
One of the laws that Korea adopted early was the infamous "three strikes" rule, where repeated, unsubstantiated accusations of copyright infringement leads to whole families being punished through restriction of, or disconnection from their Internet connections. Now the Korean National Human Rights Commission has examined the fallout from the country's three strikes rules, and called for its repeal due to high costs to wider Korean society.
Here's the Electronic Frontier Foundation's Danny O'Brien with more:
The entertainment industry has repeatedly pointed to South Korea as a model for a controlled Internet that should be adopted everywhere else. In the wake of South Korea's implementation, graduated response laws have been passed in France and the United Kingdom, and ISPs in the United States have voluntarily accepted a similar scheme.
But back in Korea, the entertainment industry's experiment in Internet enforcement has been a failure. Instead of tackling a few "heavy uploaders" involved in large scale infringement, the law has spiraled out of control. It has now distributed nearly half a million takedown notices, and led to the closing down of 408 Korean Internet users' web accounts, most of which were online storage services. An investigation led by the Korean politician Choi Jae-Cheon showed that half of those suspended were involved in infringement of material that would cost less than 90 U.S. cents. And while the bill's backers claimed it would reduce piracy, detected infringement has only increased as more and more users are subject to suspensions, deletion, and blocked content.
This Wednesday, Korea's National Human Rights Commission recommended that the three strikes law be re-examined, given its unclear benefits, and its potential violation of the human rights to receive and impart information and to participate in the cultural life of the community.
Korea's three strikes rules are similar to the "Six Strikes" rules that America's leading ISPs have voluntarily adopted and just put into effect. If you want to see the future of American Internet policy, and its fallout, look at Korea.
Google Maps has added notorious, secretive North Korean prison camps to its maps of the country. The data is gleaned from user contributions, including a first-person account of Shin Dong-Hyuk, who escaped from Camp 14, a death camp where he was born and raised.
Called Map Maker, Google’s information for the country’s layout comes primarily from visitors and from former citizens who defected, according to a Wall Street Journal report.
The mapping idea stemmed in part from a 28-year-old South Korean who tried to use Google maps on a trip to Laos four years ago, but found it unhelpful, at best. He ultimately helped devise the Google map application for North Korea.
“I thought if I could fill in information on North Korea, it might be useful in an emergency or tragedy if Google can provide a map for aid agencies,” the South Korean told the Wall Street Journal.
CNN reports on the arsenal discovered on the North Korean assassin arrested in Seoul last year: a poison-dart pen, a pen-pistol, a flashlight-gun, and more.
Disguised to look like a Parker ballpoint pen, it contains a poison needle and is practically impossible to identify as a weapon.
The second pen shoots a poison-filled bullet which penetrates the skin and releases the toxin and the third weapon is a flashlight, loaded with up to three bullets. They all look completely innocuous but all three will kill...
... That target was anti-North Korea activist, Park Sang-hak, who has since been given round-the-clock police protection by South Korean authorities. We showed Park the footage of the weapons intended for him. He was shocked.
'Poison' pen mightier than sword for would-be North Korean assassin (Thanks, polymorf!)