Wednesday, February 22, 2006
Monday, February 20, 2006
Drinking the "Hub" Kool-aidThere is a big shindig people involved in licensing in Seoul in April, specifically the annual meeting for the Licensing Executives Society. I still may go to this, I don't know as of yet. Meanwhile Kim Sun-ryung, one of the organizers, achieves the amazing feat in the Korea Herald of writing 903 words about the conference while avoiding giving any constructive reason to go. In any case writing skills are not why I bring this out. What attracted my eye was Mr. Kim's gratuitous use of the "Hub" myth:
Friday, February 17, 2006
Ubiquitous Watch, Fun With Statistics, Advertising EditionI couple weeks ago I pointed out how Ubiquitous insofar as technology is more of a Korean term than an English term. In a recent Korea Herald article I found the new Konglish sweeping the nation being discussed as a "Foreign Word":
- Four jobs I’ve had: "Computer Guy" California State University, Fullerton, Business Development, NOVA Laboratory, Specialist, Xerox Corp., Chef, Terre de Mer Restaurant
- Four Movies I watch over and over again: I'm Gonna To Get You Sucka, Airplane!, Fight Club, The Firm (How can you beat seeing grandfatherly Wilford Brimley as foul-mouthed bad-ass?)
- Four Places I’ve lived: Pierre, SD, Anaheim, CA, Paso Robles, CA, Seoul, South Korea
- Four TV Shows I watch: Daily Show Global Edition, Mythbusters, South Park, 60 Minutes
- Four websites I visit daily: Opinion Journal, Stat Counter, Trademark Blog, IPKat
- Four Places I’d like to be now: Any warm beach, Hong Kong, New York, Hell (Just to see what the big deal is)
Tuesday, February 14, 2006
A model?For all of you who think that all of us Expat bloggers just hate Korea, you really a have to check out The Worst of Luxembourg Blog to see how its really done.
Korean WineThis is off topic for the most part, but I want to make a not here to remind me of the article. The Chosun Ilbo reports on some study or survey about Korean wine consumption. It notes that the most popular wines are usually cheap and sweet. No surprise, most countries in the early adoption stages of wine choose cheap and sweet. Even the US has it to some extent. However this being Korea, I wonder if this is an early stage or a final stage. In the past I have commented on the Korean habit of taking an import, and making it a national standard. For example, instant coffee still dominates the Korean market, despite alternatives being available. The same thing can be said for cans of Spam. I wonder if wine could end up being the same thing.
Monday, February 13, 2006
What exactly would you call it then?
Its a dirty job but...
Sorry about screwing youSsangyong Motor, really needs to learn how to frame news:
More money for the drainIn a story I always find tinged with sadness, Korea announces about US$9 billion in government funding for R&D, particularly in the biotech sector. The times story linked to refers a lot to Korea's "biotech ranking" internationally. Perhaps its a tired subject, but it always dismaying to worry about its ranking without any question of "why" such a ranking is a problem. I should add as well, in my opinion if Korea wants to get more competitive they should reform its patent system and corporate R&D policies so as the actual inventor gets more than "I invented something that made LG millions and all I got was this lousy T-shirt" gear.
Another Patent PoolLG and Toshiba announce decision to pool patents. This is one is over CD and DVD Technologies.
Wednesday, February 08, 2006
Ubiquitous Watch plus Fun With Statistics
Since when was "ubiquitous" a "widely-used English tech-term"?
Consider the following, according to Wikipedia there are a total of 1,380-530 million English speakers of various quality around the world (I will average those two numbers, 955 million, for future calculations) . According to the same source there are 71 million Korean speakers of various quality.
If you do a search for "Ubiquitous" and either "computer" or "internet" in Google you get 32.3 million pages. If you do the same in Korea for "유비쿼터스" with either "컴퓨터" or " 인터넷" you get 1.53 million pages.
Now if you put those figures together, there are .034 uses of ubiquitous in a technology setting by English speakers world wide, meanwhile there are .022 uses of the word in a technology setting by Korean speaker. In other words, English speakers use it 35% more than Korean speakers, yet there are 93% more English speakers than Korean speakers. This tends to support that the word is more by Koreans in such terms than English speakers.
Add to this is the simple fact that 23 million of those 71 million are in North Korea where not only is technology strictly regulated but also the use of english terms like "유비쿼터스" AND the fact that this page survey does not count English usage of the word on Korean sites (I doubt there are many English produced sites using "유비쿼터스"). This could possibly mean that Korean usage on a per person basis could actually EXCEED english use of the word in a technology setting (indeed, after lopping off the North, usage raises to .032 per speaker almost a tie).
Perhaps Microsoft Korea needs to hire a new PR consultants rather than translators.
Thursday, February 02, 2006
Another Chip SuitMatsushita says Samsung violated its semiconductor patents. When I find more info, I may update this stumpy post to a stumpy piece in the Joongang Ilbo (might mean Samsung really got its hand caught in the cookie jar if the Korean press barely mentions it).
People to do in DenverI gotta link to this hilarious take since it is related to my weak theme. Apparently a Denver massagee parlor is using the picture of some Korean actress to drum up business. Frankly it begs the question how did they spot this in Denver in the first place.
Um...does Coca-Cola know?Interesting article about the trend of cross branding in Korea in the Joongang Ilbo. The headline caught my eye, and so did this passage:
Korean-American Bowl XXXL
After reading stories about Hines Ward and Sonya Thomas, I have the ultimate challenge for them both. How about we bring them over and challenge them to see who is the first to eat 26 sandwiches, run 100 yards, only to get feild tackled at the end by say Brian Urlacher (for no reason other than I am a Bear's fan). The trick is you have to keep the sandwiches down. You toss your cookies, you toss your chances.
A look at the competitors:
Cheesecake: 11 pounds in 9 minutes
Chicken Wings: 167 wings in 32 minutes
Eggs: 65 hard boiled eggs in 40 seconds
Lobster: 44 pounds in 12 minutes
Tacos: 48 chicken soft tacos in 11 minutes
Yards per game: 55.4
Longest Catch: 85
Average Yards After Catch: 4.3
Touch Downs: 52
At first Ward would be considered the favorite. A six foot, 215 lbs., football player not only has the moves, but is likely used to large meals to keep up his playing weight and metabolism. Meanwhile Sonya is pushing 40, and based on the stats you click to above you can see she lost a step from her youth comparing between her earlier "Turducken" win and the recent "Turkey" win. However Ms. Thomas cannot be immedatly discounted. Her slight 100 lbs. frame may prove to be too elusive a target for Urlacher to effectively tackle. And if she does go down, since she is used to eating so much and keeping it down, the event that Ward will do the technicolor yawn cannot be discounted.
Opening Line: Ward by pickle
Finally for good measure, we will have Chan-ho Park choking on the sidelines.
Psst! Wanna buy a watch?From the Korea Times Fakes siezed by the Korean Customs Service.
Korea Gets More Worked Up for IP Enforcement
Those caught infringing on the copyrights of computer programs by illegally copying or distributing them can face up to five years of imprisonment. Previously, the maximum sentence was three years in jail.
"The revision is aimed at providing an incentive to create programs,’’ an official at the Ministry of Information and Communication said. "It's also fair in light of equality with laws protecting other intellectual properties.’
Sounds good. We also have the National Intelligence Service wanting more penalties for Industrial Espionage according to the Korea Times. One reason is the increasing number of cases:
The counter-espionage agency said Tuesday it detected 29 cases of industrial espionage last year, which would have cost the country 35.5 trillion won if they had not been caught. Half of them involved big high-tech corporations. The number of detected case was six in 2003, but jumped to 26 in 2004.
Now we come to the "BUT", and its actually two big "BUTs". The National Intelligence Service stumbles on one of the "but's":
"Only about one third of convicted people receive prison terms or are fined, while the rest get suspended sentences or were found not-guilty. They get light sentences because either it is their first offense or they are caught before selling what they have stolen,'' an NIS officer said over the telephone on condition of anonymity.
From 2003 to 2004, only 16 out of 249 convicted people were sentenced to actual jail terms. That means the ratio of persons who received real jail terms is significantly lower than the average number of criminal cases, which is 25.4 percent.
This is one of the larger problems in Korea with regard to IP prosecution. The most preferable way to prosecute an infringement case is via criminal law (civil law is a endless pit of despair). A catch is that most criminal cases, especially for these types of crimes, eventually result in slaps on the wrist. Hell, I once blogged about a man who molested two kids, 4 and 5, that only got 8 months in the slam. In a court system like that, guess how much a guy who stole some CD-ROMS gets?
Speaking of espionage, any updates on the LMNT case? The prosecution supposedly caught them red-handed, shouldn't it be a slam dunk? Its been over six months now since they were caught.
Now for the second "BUT". There is one huge hurdle that the above from the Cabinet and the NIS does not address. Also if you wanted an update, its one reason the "reward" system I talked about is hollow and meaningful as a chocolate easter bunny. There is no ex officio prosecution in Korea. That is to say the only reason way anybody is going to get even see the business end of the law is if a company actually invests the won to go and prosecute the thing. The program I blogged on, linked above, about the "reward" system for spotting counterfeiters, is meaningless since the only way an informer gets rewarded if the wronged party actually successfully prosecutes the case (among other problems).
In my personal opinion, the only way IPR laws will have any teeth is if both cases are easier to report, are vigorously pursued by the authorities (including allowing prosecutors to file injunctions), and FINALY the above concerns about penalties are addressed.