Whenever there’s talk of North Korea launching something, governments in the region usually hold emergency meetings and consider a plan of action. However, the secretive state’s latest launch needn’t cause too much concern, as this time around it’s of a tablet rather than a weapon of mass destruction.A report from the Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) on Wednesday claimed that the new tablet was designed and manufactured in North Korea.According to KCNA’s report, which was picked up on by Martyn Williams of the North Korea Tech blog, the new device, called ‘Achim’ (meaning ‘morning’), comes loaded with a variety of teaching materials, dictionaries and scientific data. It’s probably headed straight for schools and colleges, with most people in the desperately poor nation unable to afford a luxury item like a tablet.Unfortunately there are no details of its specifications and few photos showing it off. What we do … [Read more...] about North Korea unveils new tablet, probably not an iPad killer
North korea tech
Today on DT Daily: Obama wants cops to wear cameras, computers are now the size of a stick of gum, and did North Korea hack Sony because of a Seth Rogen comedy?Following the violent aftermath of the fatal shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, President Obama is allocating $75 million to fund bodycameras for police officers across the nation.No video of the confrontation between Brown and Officer Darren Wilson is known to exist, despite many police agencies heavy reliance on dashcams and other video devices to record interactions with the public. Despite the relative low cost of bodycam tech – they’re essentially glorified cell phone cameras – few officers currently wear them.But following the events in Ferguson, the funding will outfit 50,000 officers with the device, which studies show both dramatically reduces citizen complaints of police abuse and increases criminal convictions. Of course, there are also models for civilians as well. How do you feel about body … [Read more...] about DT Daily: Bodycameras for cops, stick computers, did North Korea hack Sony?
Google chairman Eric Schmidt took to Google+ to discuss his recent trip to North Korea.Schmidt's Google+ post discusses the "very limited" technology available in North Korea. Schmidt said that North Koreans are not allowed to use the Internet without someone watching them, and that it wouldn't be difficult for North Korea to connect its highly restricted networks to the World Wide Web -- if, of course, the country weren't so paranoid.Schmidt added that the government, military and university have access to open-source technology that the general public doesn't.PCMag.com also discussed comments from Schmidt's daughter, Sophie, who joined her dad and former New Mexico governor Bill Richardson on what was dubbed a "private humanitarian mission." Authorities showed off a tablet that could access the Internet and featured a video chat platform,she wrote, adding, however, that the people in North Korea cannot afford such gadgets, and that North Korea is "building products for a market that … [Read more...] about TECH TREK Schmidt Talks North Korea on Google+
When we wrote this tounge-in-cheek piece about what North Korea could do to look more technologically advanced than it is, we weren’t seriously expecting the reclusive totalitarian state to make some ridiculous moves to upgrade – it was just a joke. However, given North Korea’s tech track record, which includes the use of Windows XP at one of its rocket control facilities, as well as its status as a nearly failed state, perhaps we should’ve seen this coming.The newest version of North Korea’s Red Star operating system looks a heck of a lot like Mac OS X. But it’s not. Once again, we shouldn’t be surprised by this copycat maneuver. After all, the previous version of the OS looked quite a bit like Windows 7. Take a look at a screenshot of the previous Red Star release below to see what we mean. Red Star or Windows 7?News of Red Star OS and its existence hit the Web when Will Scott, an American computer scientist who was lecturing at the … [Read more...] about North Korea ‘upgrades’ to copycat version of Mac OS X
For a country not famed for its technological sophistication (OK, let’s forget for a moment that it appears to have developed a nuclear warhead), it may come as a surprise to some that North Korea has been working on its own smartphone, apparently powered by Google’s Android OS.Pictures released by the Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) show leader Kim Jong-un touring a factory in the reclusive country where the handset, reportedly called the Arirang, is being assembled….or more likely, boxed.As North Korea Tech’s Martyn Williams points out, none of the images show any actual manufacturing taking place.Williams speculates that in reality, “they are probably made to order by a Chinese manufacturer and shipped to the factory where they are inspected before going on sale.”‘High pixels’The KCNA, in its inimitable style, reported that Kim Jong-un “highly appreciated the creative ingenuity and patriotic enthusiasm with which the officials … [Read more...] about The Arirang: A ‘high pixel’ smartphone made (or boxed) in North Korea
The people of North Korea are stuck in an unfortunate situation right now. The country’s leadership feeds its citizens propaganda about poverty and danger in the outside world, and thanks to Kim Jong-un’s strict media ban, citizens have no access to any other information. It’s an issue that not enough people are aware of, according to some of the human rights organizations that are fighting to spread awareness about the situation.But there’s at least one organization out there that’s actively trying to change things. A new campaign called Flash Drives for Freedom is fighting to smuggle media resources and foreign pop culture into North Korea. By providing flash drives loaded with foreign movies and TV shows, the campaign hopes that North Korean citizens will be able to see what the world beyond their borders really looks like.The Human Rights Foundation and nonprofit group Forum 280 are the driving forces behind Flash Drives for Freedom. They collect … [Read more...] about Smuggled into North Korea, your old flash drives could help topple a dictatorship
North Koreans will this week have a chance to catch The Interview – that’s if they happen to stumble across the contents of a balloon drop on the country.Sponsored by the U.S.-based Human Rights Foundation (HRF) and carried out by activist group Fighters for Free North Korea (FFNK), the balloon drop is set to take place in the coming days.Besides DVDs and USBs of the controversial movie, the helium-filled balloons, which carry their consignment in attached plastic bags, will also transport leaflets, transistor radios, and other items geared toward presenting citizens of the so-called ‘hermit kingdom’ with information on the outside world.As you might expect, the balloon drops, which take place several times a year, don’t go down too well with the rulers in Pyongyang, who’ve described the activists as “human scum,” among other things.The regime has been directing much of its ire toward Park Sang Hak, a Seoul-based defector who … [Read more...] about The Interview heading to North Korea this week – via balloon
Don't expect google.nk anytime soon, but hey, it's a start.Eric Schmidt, the executive chairman of Google, will travel to North Korea for a "private, humanitarian mission," according to the Associated Press.The trip, to be led by former New Mexico governor Bill Richardson, will mark the first time a top exec from Google has gone to North Korea, which is among the world leaders in backwards Internet policies.The trip could happen sometime this month, sources cited by the AP said.North Korea's new leader, Kim Jong Un, is reportedly touting science and technology as a means to bolster the nation's dour economy, which produces an annual per capita GDP of less than US$2,000. However, despite the emphasis on science and tech, most North Koreans have zero access to the World Wide Web, relegated instead to a domestic intranet service called "Kwangmyong."The AP says it's not entirely clear why Schmidt is making the trek to North Korea, nor is it known with whom he and Richardson will meet.In … [Read more...] about TECH TREK Mr. Schmidt Goes to North Korea
North Korea's Internet liberation has hit a snag -- it's still North Korea.One month after announcing that it would grant tourists and visitors 3G Internet access, North Korea appears to have revoked its 3G services.Tourists no longer have 3G access, Koryo Tours, a North Korean tour group, first reported on its website.There is a chance that the 3G service is merely busted, but given North Korea's history, the consensus at the moment is that the plug has been pulled. Heightened tensions with South Korea in the wake of the North's nuclear test -- a Koryo tour group blogged about the palpable sense of military readiness -- support the notion that this isn't a blip.Tourists reportedly can still buy SIM cards to make calls over North Korea's 3G network, which is more than capable of handling 3G Internet. However, access to the Web is impossible -- just like the old days.Coming on the heels of Google chairman Eric Schimidt's visit to the country, North Korea's decision to allow tourists to … [Read more...] about TECH TREK North Korea’s 3G Experiment Might Be Over
When we have a hostile country regularly lobbing missiles into the ocean with the stated objective of transforming a U.S. state into a radioactive cloud, we have a problem. One "oops" and we could suddenly become a 49-state nation again -- and that is only if we forget the issues with fallout and the potential for a nuclear winter (granted, that could be good news for the global warming folks).However, the approaches to cutting the legs out from under North Korea largely have been in-the-box thinking: economic sanctions that require China's cooperation (and aren't working); military and assassination options that would trigger retaliation that likely would result in a lot of us glowing at night; and revolution efforts that have little or no chance of succeeding.Still, there are companies that have been working on technologies that effectively could contain North Korea's missiles and turn their leader into more of a vocal than a physical problem. Since I'm on the West Coast and … [Read more...] about OPINION Could Tech Nerf North Korea?