Linked by David Adams on Thu 24th Jun 2010 18:30 UTC, submitted by neticspace
Internet & Networking Internet users throughout the world, and particularly in the United States, have long been chastened to hear of South Korea's legendary broadband penetration. The urbanized, technologically-advanced nation has been famous for rolling out ultra high speed network for the majority of its citizens, and many of us have looked on with envy. However, it turns out it's not all good news. An OSNews reader gives us the skinny from the trenches in Korea.
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Almost here
by fretinator on Thu 24th Jun 2010 19:07 UTC
fretinator
Member since:
2005-07-06

I live in the U.S., and we came VERY close to having the same situation. I am a developer, and most shops were exclusively coding for I.E. only and frequently embedding ActiveX controls. Two things helped prevent the same situation as South Korea from happening here:

1. Surprisingly, .NET obviated the need for embedded ActiveX controls. I remember my first ASP.NET web app. Just for fun, I browsed to it from my laptop using Lynx - a text-mode browser. Everything worked. As the popularity of .NET increased among dev shops in the U.S., the need for such kludgy and unsafe tactics as embedded ActiveX controls diminished rapidly. Woo hoo!

2. Obviously, the rise of Firefox was a huge factor in tipping the scales towards a more open web in the U.S. When I.E. was at 90+ percent usage, most of my managers told everyone to forget Netscape, etc. As the percentage of Firefox users grew, it was no longer a viable option to turn away that many customers. There are still a few lazy folks out there, but most sites now recognize the need to broaden their support of alternate browsers.

But it was darn close!

Reply Score: 4

RE: Almost here - your senate
by jabbotts on Fri 25th Jun 2010 12:56 UTC in reply to "Almost here"
jabbotts Member since:
2007-09-06

Your senate is in the process of taking a nice big step towards South Korea in terms of internet control based on the bill that just passed the vote in the lower house.

Reply Score: 2

Messy article
by stereotype on Thu 24th Jun 2010 19:23 UTC
stereotype
Member since:
2007-04-06

We should not confuse a country's Internet infrastructure with its Internet culture and related government regulations.
I have lived in Korea for more than a year, and while its true you can't do anything government related without IE, annoying the crap out of you, I had 100Mbit Internet plus cable TV at home, all for about US$20 a month, plus 35Mbit wireless Internet on my laptop that worked even underground in a moving train, for another $15 a month. All without any download caps...
Also, once I had a connection problem at home, called them up, and they were in my house in less than 2 hours... So they also have the service to match it.

Edited 2010-06-24 19:37 UTC

Reply Score: 10

RE: Messy article
by neticspace on Fri 25th Jun 2010 02:04 UTC in reply to "Messy article"
neticspace Member since:
2009-06-09

South Korea only focused on internet connectivity for over a decade. Now the private and government sectors are trying to define safe long-term standards for web browsers with little success. I think I said it before that South Korea is only strong on hardware technology.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Messy article
by ElCabri2 on Fri 25th Jun 2010 13:57 UTC in reply to "Messy article"
ElCabri2 Member since:
2009-03-11

Actually yes we should, because all of these shiny "fiber for everyone" infrastructure actually _originate_ in over-involvement of the government in the internet policies. One comes with the other. It's good sometimes to point out the flip side of the coin.

After all the whining that's been going on for ten years about ISPs in the US, the fact is that we still have the most innovative, free as in speech internet.

Let them have online gaming as a national pastime, and let's keep the worldwide online media stores, let's keep setting standards, directions and initiatives for digital content, social applications and mobile OSs.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Messy article
by Wintermute on Fri 25th Jun 2010 16:31 UTC in reply to "RE: Messy article"
Wintermute Member since:
2005-07-30

That's bullshit, US ISPs are extremely uncompetitive and rely on what amounts to corruption along with agitprop about freedom and other such stupid tactics.

Even here in Ukraine, I pay what amounts to $25 for a24mbit downn/3mbit up line. While the up part is kind of weak, I dare you to find a similar deal in the US. When I lived in Ann Arbor, MI (one of the best connected cities in the US by a recent survey), I had to pay a whopping $66 dollars for 8bit down line from Comcast. I'd imagine a 24mbit line would approach $100 dollars. And I am not even talking about their constant cheating where they would inflate my bill and constant spam calls asking to me upgrade.

While the wireless industry is more developed investment-wise than in Ukraine, the prices were out of his world. Everything was done to make you sign a contract with as many additional plans as possible. Mass market collusion where prices for an individual sms was always identical among the top 4 providers. Heavy device lock in, $500 contract cancellation fees, $1.99 for clicking on internet by accident, the list can go on and on...

So drop the corporate cheerleading. It's not like your getting paid for it.

Edited 2010-06-25 16:34 UTC

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: Messy article
by Moochman on Sat 26th Jun 2010 08:43 UTC in reply to "RE: Messy article"
Moochman Member since:
2005-07-06

After all the whining that's been going on for ten years about ISPs in the US, the fact is that we still have the most innovative, free as in speech internet.


Yeah, gotta disagree on this one. First of all, "we" don't have anything, the whole world with a few exceptions contributes and is able to take advantage of innovation on the internet. Yes, most of the big web platform companies are based in America, but it's because of a range of factors, definitely *not* because U.S. infrastructure is better. Better than some places, yes. But imagine if we had South Korea-level broadband! You can bet that innovation would take off like a rocket then....

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Messy article
by Laurence on Sat 26th Jun 2010 11:12 UTC in reply to "RE: Messy article"
Laurence Member since:
2007-03-26

After all the whining that's been going on for ten years about ISPs in the US, the fact is that we still have the most innovative, free as in speech internet.


That's really not true. While the US might not have firewalls like China or even the arguably justified filters against child porn that France has, the US is still pretty bad for allowing corporations to constantly sensor information they do not like.

Whether it be Apple shutting down unofficial websites or the DMCA chasing after torrent sites, US corporations are constantly using their money to exert control over online content.

And lets also not forgot the damage that one US company had single handedly done with it's stagnated versions of IE.

So yeah, officially the US internet is open to free speech. But in practice it doesn't always work out that way.

Reply Score: 2

Japan has similar issues
by TheGZeus on Thu 24th Jun 2010 19:54 UTC
TheGZeus
Member since:
2010-05-19

Virtually no businesses accept foreign credit cards, online or off. Amazon does, but that's either an American company or a multinational, I forget which. That said, you cannot use your amazon.com account on amazon.co.jp, and have to sign up in Japanese, last I checked. They have an 'English' button on the site, which kinda-almost-sort-of works... sometimes.
But I digress.
Do they rely on ActiveX? No, they rely on Java Applets, HTML2/3 with lots of frames, blinking text, tiled background images, reliance on obscure MS-only fonts (often only available in Japanese editions of XP and earlier, it seems). Nothing is UTF-8, usually SHIFT-JIS, sometimes EUC-JP. That's a crap-shoot, as it's hardly ever declared in the code.

Their #2 music download service (#1 is iTunes) gives you two choices of low-bitrate file formats: WMA and ATRAC(you can play those on most phones in Japan, I hear), and they're DRMed, despite those DRM servers always under threat of shutdown.

If you find a site that's not amazingly simplistic and boring, it's insanely busy and in-navigable, with an 80% chance of either being 50% flash (a fairly new site, then) or about 50% Java applets. Yes, multiple applets. Written for Java2 or something. Usually depend on bugs in the early implementations.

If you can find your way through the site to fill your cart, and you can read enough Japanese to fill out the form then you have to hope it will accept a name that has no kanji in it. If it does, there's a good chance it's only set up to accept cards issued by a few Japanese banks. If you get past _that_, there's little chance they'll ship outside Japan.

I spent around $300usd at a single certain store (Diamond Moon, owned and dedicated to Eikichi Yazawa. The reigning King of Rock, I will not waver on that, nor lose to anyone in the USA in being a fan. I'm the only citizen with a tattoo related to him(on purpose)), largely because I can't buy jack-shit from the web store. I couldn't join the fan club, because that required a Japanese address. Luckily the afore-mentioned tattoo and my ability sing all his hits proved to other fans that I'm for real, so people with a better financial standing insisted on sending me/setting me up with _free stuff_(including a ¥54,000 DVD box set, and a chance to meet him next time I'm in Japan... so now I'm not going to be getting any guitars this year, but taking a week-long trip to visit some friends I made and meet him).

I've gone off-topic quite a bit here, but I'd have had a much less financially straining trip this time around were Japanese websites at all set up to accept foreign cards/customers.

Reply Score: 7

RE: Japan has similar issues
by elmimmo on Thu 24th Jun 2010 20:03 UTC in reply to "Japan has similar issues"
elmimmo Member since:
2005-09-17

Just to add a note, most of the music in Japan's iTunes still has DRM.

Reply Score: 3

RE: Japan has similar issues
by Radio on Thu 24th Jun 2010 20:57 UTC in reply to "Japan has similar issues"
Radio Member since:
2009-06-20

Isn't that related to the fact a lot of Japanese browse from their cellphones (hence the HTML 3, tiled background pics, simple or strange navigability and systematic use of Java), or I am just badly informed?

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: Japan has similar issues
by TheGZeus on Thu 24th Jun 2010 21:39 UTC in reply to "RE: Japan has similar issues"
TheGZeus Member since:
2010-05-19

I really don't think there's much of an excuse for not using XHTML in a mobile browser anymore, and everyone who cares about mobile experience has an iPhone over there.
While I hate the iFoo ecosystem, the browser is good.

It also doesn't jive well with all the flash and Java Applets.
_and_ they have mobile versions of many sites.

So yeah, I think it's more "This was best-practices when we made this site. Why should we change it?"

Reply Score: 1

wanderingk88 Member since:
2008-06-26

I haven't seen a single Japanese person using an iPhone in the two weeks I was there.

Reply Score: 2

RE[4]: Japan has similar issues
by TheGZeus on Sat 26th Jun 2010 14:00 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Japan has similar issues"
TheGZeus Member since:
2010-05-19

I saw at least one in my vicinity on every ride on the Yamanote line, less often on the Ginza line, and often while walking around.
Multiple people at the 'guesthouse'(hostel, really) I was staying at had them, including all the people that worked there.

That was Tokyo, though.

Reply Score: 1

wanderingk88 Member since:
2008-06-26

Been in Tokyo and also in several other cities. Even if there were people with iPhones that I missed, I'm pretty sure the overwhelming majority of people use their typical clamshell cellphones.

Edited 2010-06-28 18:52 UTC

Reply Score: 1

RE: Japan has similar issues
by sakeniwefu on Fri 25th Jun 2010 02:53 UTC in reply to "Japan has similar issues"
sakeniwefu Member since:
2008-02-26

Well, it is true that many people in Japan's internet didn't leave the 90s. However the general state is not as sorry as in Korea. At least the Japanese Internet is still browsable.

Unix users are not any better. They still use EUC-JP in Japan as happily as Windows users use Shift-JIS. But well, they come from academia and use Emacs for everything(it is the only traditional app that lets you type in Japanese), they are being radical by using HTTP instead of gopher.

I think the real problem is that you don't have normal people writing web pages in Japan.

The Japanese people has been sucked by 2ch and social networks. Companies spend big cash to web shops to get buzzword compliant pages, and nobody in the company knows better to realize they are being ripped off because Japan is effectively isolated from the real Internet by the language barrier.

PS: BTW, the Japanese people for some reason I cannot understand, as it doesn't fit with their general attitude, are really crazy about Internet anonymity. More than most paranoids. Ask for a handle and they are out of your site.

Edited 2010-06-25 03:00 UTC

Reply Score: 2

skorea
by xaeropower on Thu 24th Jun 2010 20:12 UTC
xaeropower
Member since:
2005-12-16

Oh how sad they have 100mbit for 20$... Why don't you go to some eastern european country/soviet russia to see how crap internet can be. If you happen to be lucky to have net in your area the max you get for the double amount of money is 4mbit and the infrastructure is not developing.

90% of Koreans only uses it for Starcraft anyways ;)

Reply Score: 3

RE: skorea
by IceCubed on Thu 24th Jun 2010 21:32 UTC in reply to "skorea"
IceCubed Member since:
2005-07-01

Writing from Lithuania here.
Here you can have a 100mbit connection for around 15 euros a month. 100mbit as in: 100mbit in the Baltic states and Sweden and around 20mbit everywhere else.
The situation in Latvia is about the same.

So I don't understand what eastern european countries you're writing about.

Heck, I get get fiber for around 30eur a month.

Edited 2010-06-24 21:35 UTC

Reply Score: 6

RE[2]: skorea
by coreyography on Fri 25th Jun 2010 03:18 UTC in reply to "RE: skorea"
coreyography Member since:
2009-03-06

Yeah, I think the comparison he meant to make is "rural/small town United States". With non-DOCSIS 3 cable, DSL, and 3G being the choices, we are limited to about 5-8 Mbps for $40-$50 a month.

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: skorea
by IceCubed on Fri 25th Jun 2010 06:54 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: skorea"
IceCubed Member since:
2005-07-01

Lithuania is a small country, you can get fiber even in a small town. If you live in a middle of nowhere - you still can choose between 3G and WiMAX (and soon - LTE).

Reply Score: 4

RE: skorea
by dpanov on Thu 24th Jun 2010 21:41 UTC in reply to "skorea"
dpanov Member since:
2009-01-12

As a citizen ot an "eastern european country" I can't agree with that statement.
I live in Bulgaria, and I think we have very decent internet connection prices. For example, my current rate is 15$ for 30Mbps.

We have wired internet connection in every city and in almost every village. Also, the wireless networks of our mobile operators have something like 95% range of the territory of the country.

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: skorea
by Damnshock on Thu 24th Jun 2010 21:54 UTC in reply to "RE: skorea"
Damnshock Member since:
2006-09-15

Is there any limitation on your connection? What's your upload connection?

I just changed to another ISP here in Barcelona (Spain) to 20Mb/2,5Mb for 30€ per month. And you are telling me you get 50% more speed for half the price? mmm nice 8th economy in the world I live in... :S

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: skorea
by IceCubed on Thu 24th Jun 2010 22:00 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: skorea"
IceCubed Member since:
2005-07-01

I get the same download / upload rates ;)

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: skorea
by dpanov on Thu 24th Jun 2010 22:08 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: skorea"
dpanov Member since:
2009-01-12

I don't have a download cap, or any other limitations.
The upload speed is 20Mbps.

But I wouldn't complain about that if I were you. ;) As long as you can walk around and watch the genius architectures of Gaudi you shouldn't complain about anything. ;) )

Reply Score: 1

RE[4]: skorea
by Damnshock on Thu 24th Jun 2010 22:18 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: skorea"
Damnshock Member since:
2006-09-15

Well, that was nice ;) I see you know about Barcelona. However, Guadi's architecture is not the best things you can see in Barcelona. In fact, walking around the city is the good thing to do: everybuilding, every corner, everystreet is different and has something special. Going downtown and having a drink in any place in "el borne" (a neighborhood) is... well, you should just come a try it ;)

Any of you OSNews readers are more than welcome to come to Barcelona and contact me if you need anything! ;)

By the way, sorry for the offtopic, I just couldn't help myself when I read about my city...

Reply Score: 1

RE[5]: skorea
by dpanov on Thu 24th Jun 2010 22:32 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: skorea"
dpanov Member since:
2009-01-12

I'll keep that in mind, if I ever come to Barcelona (which I certainly want to). ;)

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: skorea
by aliquis on Fri 25th Jun 2010 07:54 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: skorea"
aliquis Member since:
2005-07-23

8th?
https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/sp....

"Spain's mixed capitalist economy is the 12th largest in the world, and its per capita income roughly matches that of Germany and France."

"GDP (purchasing power parity):
$1.368 trillion (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 13"

"GDP - per capita (PPP):
$33,700 (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 38"
https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/rankorde...

Personally I would think the later is a better measure for income and living standards/conditions, isn't it?

Reply Score: 2

RE[4]: skorea
by tylerdurden on Fri 25th Jun 2010 08:03 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: skorea"
tylerdurden Member since:
2009-03-17
RE[4]: skorea
by spiderman on Fri 25th Jun 2010 13:17 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: skorea"
spiderman Member since:
2008-10-23

I laugh whenever I see GDP mentioned. Those numbers are only good for a laugh. Teh "GDP" does not mean shit. It certainly does not say how the economy is going or about the standard of living. The GDP/capita is just as useless as the GDP. People talk about the GDP as if it had anything to do with the economy. I can make my own country and have a bigger GDP than the USA just by printing more money. In this day and age, you don't even need to print it, it's just a digital number in a computer.

If you want to measure the economy, get some real production and consumption numbers. The GDP is just the sum of rental dividends plus the salaries. In some oil producing countries, it changes as the oil price change and it measures how much the king can waste while the people starve and the economy is stopped.

Edited 2010-06-25 13:29 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE[5]: skorea
by Bill Shooter of Bul on Fri 25th Jun 2010 15:37 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: skorea"
Bill Shooter of Bul Member since:
2006-07-14

While the GDP is often misused, it is more valuable of an economic indicator than you think. It is most certainly not based on the amount of currency a given country prints out. Take a look at the historical events of hyperinflation and cross check it with GDP for an example.

Reply Score: 2

RE[6]: skorea
by Wintermute on Fri 25th Jun 2010 16:43 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: skorea"
Wintermute Member since:
2005-07-30

There is still the issue of whether GDP is a good measure of life satisfaction or happiness. Sure, USA might have one of the highest levels of GDP/capita, but it also has one of the highest levels anti-depressant and benzodiazepine use...

Reply Score: 3

RE[7]: skorea
by Bill Shooter of Bul on Fri 25th Jun 2010 17:21 UTC in reply to "RE[6]: skorea"
Bill Shooter of Bul Member since:
2006-07-14

There is still the issue of whether GDP is a good measure of life satisfaction or happiness. Sure, USA might have one of the highest levels of GDP/capita, but it also has one of the highest levels anti-depressant and benzodiazepine use...



Absolutely agree. That cannot be said enough. Money != Happiness.

Reply Score: 3

RE[6]: skorea
by ndrw on Fri 25th Jun 2010 18:22 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: skorea"
ndrw Member since:
2009-06-30

The primary problem with GDP is that it often used in isolation. This is just as big mistake as judging financial health of a company by looking only at its revenue.

To get a better picture you should always look at both sides of the equation, that is not only at GDP but also at interest rates, budget deficit and national debt.

Reply Score: 1

RE[6]: skorea
by spiderman on Fri 25th Jun 2010 19:58 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: skorea"
spiderman Member since:
2008-10-23

While the GDP is often misused, it is more valuable of an economic indicator than you think. It is most certainly not based on the amount of currency a given country prints out. Take a look at the historical events of hyperinflation and cross check it with GDP for an example.

the GDP is the sum of all salaries plus rents in the country. It doesn't say much about the economy. People confuse finance and the economy. The economy is what you produce ans what you consume. The salaries and the rents are barely related to the economy. It doesn't even take trade balance into account. It is more related to how much money a country is able to print or create for its people. If the currency is strong, the GDP can be higher if the central bank policy is to increase the GDP.

Reply Score: 2

RE[7]: skorea
by Bill Shooter of Bul on Fri 25th Jun 2010 20:09 UTC in reply to "RE[6]: skorea"
Bill Shooter of Bul Member since:
2006-07-14

No, that is not how they calc GDP.

What is GDP?

http://wordnetweb.princeton.edu/perl/webwn?s=gdp

How is it calculated?

http://mindtools.net/GlobCourse/formula.shtml

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: skorea
by barcodex on Mon 28th Jun 2010 09:45 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: skorea"
barcodex Member since:
2010-06-28

I recently moved from Estonia to Southern Spain, and find internet offers here much more expensive here. Also, the quality of connection is much worse. 8th economy in the world is strong in other areas.

Reply Score: 1

RE: skorea
by Babi Asu on Thu 24th Jun 2010 23:16 UTC in reply to "skorea"
Babi Asu Member since:
2006-02-11

Oh how sad they have 100mbit for 20$... Why don't you go to some eastern european country/soviet russia to see how crap internet can be. If you happen to be lucky to have net in your area the max you get for the double amount of money is 4mbit and the infrastructure is not developing.

90% of Koreans only uses it for Starcraft anyways ;)

That's really sad in Korea, we have 1GBps in Tokyo for $30,

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: skorea
by aliquis on Fri 25th Jun 2010 07:57 UTC in reply to "RE: skorea"
aliquis Member since:
2005-07-23

But 90% of that is used up for tentacles and all the genitals in the last 10% are still blurry ;)

Reply Score: 7

RE: skorea
by maaxx on Fri 25th Jun 2010 00:33 UTC in reply to "skorea"
maaxx Member since:
2007-11-06

Oh how sad they have 100mbit for 20$... Why don't you go to some eastern european country/soviet russia to see how crap internet can be. If you happen to be lucky to have net in your area the max you get for the double amount of money is 4mbit and the infrastructure is not developing.

90% of Koreans only uses it for Starcraft anyways ;)


Speak for yourself, don't know about Russia, but some countries in Eastern Europe have good (as in significantly better than countries like UK or Spain) connections.
See http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/technology/8282839.stm

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: skorea
by aliquis on Fri 25th Jun 2010 08:00 UTC in reply to "RE: skorea"
aliquis Member since:
2005-07-23

Maybe he meant north of siberia.

Reply Score: 3

RE: skorea
by dvzt on Fri 25th Jun 2010 15:09 UTC in reply to "skorea"
dvzt Member since:
2008-10-23

Why don't you go to... soviet russia


Have you invented a time machine?

Also please tell me, which Eastern European countries have such a terrible internet, I'm really curious. ;)

Reply Score: 2

RE: skorea
by Wintermute on Fri 25th Jun 2010 16:39 UTC in reply to "skorea"
Wintermute Member since:
2005-07-30

I get a 24 mbit line for a little less than $25 in Kiev, Ukraine. I am sure this kind of deal isn't available in provincial Ukraine.

But then again, don't some parts of provincial USA pay out of their ass for low speeds with something like a 300mb limit?

Reply Score: 2

By what measure?
by kev009 on Thu 24th Jun 2010 20:12 UTC
kev009
Member since:
2006-11-30

People often froth when they hear that there is gigabit last mile service in these countries but that needs to be taken with a heavy grain of salt. The backbones in and out of these small countries is nothing near that of the capacity in the US or some parts of Europe. So, while you might be able to bridge your buddy down the street at LAN speed, I'd be surprised if you'd get anything close to wire speed when doing common "Internet" traffic.

Reply Score: 3

RE: By what measure?
by Soulbender on Fri 25th Jun 2010 01:24 UTC in reply to "By what measure?"
Soulbender Member since:
2005-08-18

The backbones in and out of these small countries is nothing near that of the capacity in the US or some parts of Europe.

So, while you might be able to bridge your buddy down the street at LAN speed, I'd be surprised if you'd get anything close to wire speed when doing common "Internet" traffic.


"Common Internet" traffic is usually limited to South Korea itself so this is not a problem for the majority of the users.

Reply Score: 3

Comment by Budd
by Budd on Thu 24th Jun 2010 21:17 UTC
Budd
Member since:
2005-07-08
RE: Comment by Budd
by righard on Thu 24th Jun 2010 21:45 UTC in reply to "Comment by Budd"
righard Member since:
2007-12-26

What are you trying too say with this? (serious question)

Reply Score: 2

Internet in Croatia
by trenchsol on Thu 24th Jun 2010 23:37 UTC
trenchsol
Member since:
2006-12-07

Croatia is south east Europe. I pay about 35 EUR per month, for both, Internet access and bandwidth spent. I don't know how fast it is, because it is fast enough, so I don't even bother to find out.

Microsoft is rather strong in Croatia, many ISV's are MS certified, so it is not unusual to find a website that works with IE only. It depends on a level of professionalism, more proficient and advanced companies often create applications and services which work with any user agent.

I am doing my Internet banking from Firefox on Linux.

As far as Korea is concerned, I assume that there is a lot of legacy Activex code around. Government sites might use it because it is the choice made by their contractors. I don't know for sure, but probably, government outsources web development to private sector.

Reply Score: 3

s. korean web developer
by kain.nomad on Fri 25th Jun 2010 01:11 UTC
kain.nomad
Member since:
2010-06-25

I'm a S. Korean and used to develop web sites. (Now, I'm living in the US.) I remember my service designers always wanted to collect the resident registration numbers from users to prevent them to create multiple accounts. Part of the reason was because we gave users rewards when they sign in each day. So, multiple accounts could mean multiple rewards, which could be a design flaw and people created multiple accounts anyway with someone else's number, which is illegal, though. And I never knew foreign visitors get registration numbers that starts with 5. My implementation would block them from signing up. So, the hassle around resident registration number is really a design issue, not government policy.

On the other hand, the government made online commerce and banking so irritating by requiring banks and merchants to implement digital-certificate based authentication and malware prevention, which cannot be implemented without ActiveX or special client software. And their sites are sooo sloooow and unreliable. It was more than 10 years ago when the international version of IE didn't have 128bit SSL and Windows 98 wasn't secure enough. But, they still have the same practice until now. And this is a legal issue. And I guess it's due to the lobbies of security software companies.

Reply Score: 3

RE: s. korean web developer
by neticspace on Fri 25th Jun 2010 02:27 UTC in reply to "s. korean web developer"
neticspace Member since:
2009-06-09

So, the hassle around resident registration number is really a design issue, not government policy.


It's currently more like South Korean government's flawed national security policy since the right-wing neo-con president called 2MB (Lee Myung-bak) is in power. And I always wonder what kind of South Koreans would want to vote a president who has very poor knowledge about the internet.

The Resident Registration Number (RRN) being the standard itself for all internet services is a privacy violation that has gone worse since 2MB. So this country should get rid of the RRN for its internet environment. It's quite annoying for a foreigner living in South Korea like me to see this country turning into a police state worse than China.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: s. korean web developer
by t3RRa on Fri 25th Jun 2010 02:58 UTC in reply to "RE: s. korean web developer"
t3RRa Member since:
2005-11-22

Since the majority of people live in Korea are Koreans anyway, they ignore foreigners almost entirely. It is similar to that almost all of game development companies just ignore other platforms rather than Windows because other platforms are only minors to them. Well, actually it could be real hassle if they need to support foreigners as well on top of the current infrastructures. I don't mean it is OK though.

Even I find it really difficult to use some Korean websites because of RRN and ActiveX things, even though I am Korean New Zealander, born and lived in Korea for a little more than a decade (no more RRN since they do not allow multiple nationalities yet). ;)

Reply Score: 1

Harder to not do something dumb
by xiaokj on Fri 25th Jun 2010 05:10 UTC
xiaokj
Member since:
2005-06-30

Really, an example of the adage: It is harder to not do something dumb than to do something smart.

I mean, this is the problem with giving technological advances to people who have not had the education to go with it. The courts themselves have no idea how bad the situation is.

A problem that has woven its way into the society is all the more troublesome to remove. Look, democracy depends very much on a population capable of making educated decisions. Clearly, that assumption is going to be found only rarely. Here is to the people who think that "user-friendliness" and "no need to educate users" are worthy goals -- the former being the umbrella term that cannot be disliked and hence is useless for distinguishing desirable characteristics whole the latter is simply just not possible. When will humanity realise that fundamentals matter?

Note that the above applies to all of humanity, not just the obvious ones.

EDIT: ya, I just remembered, Henry Ford: If I had asked my customer's what they wanted, they would have said a faster horse.
Exacto. More of the same, faster. Maybe more in the dollop of gaming.

Edited 2010-06-25 05:13 UTC

Reply Score: 2

nt_jerkface
Member since:
2009-08-26

and half the software is pirated even though they are a middle income country. Firefox has a whopping 2.35%
http://gs.statcounter.com/#browser_version-KR-monthly-200905-201006

Oh but we are supposed to laud them for wiring fiber directly to homes so South Koreans can torrent Hollywood movies even faster.

And thanks to those stupid broadband rating lists we now have US politicians that want to spend (borrow) money to increase bandwidth speeds which really just amounts to subsidizing entertainment.

Reply Score: 2

Stop complaining about internet speeds
by 3rdalbum on Fri 25th Jun 2010 05:27 UTC
3rdalbum
Member since:
2008-05-26

Stop complaining about internet speeds and prices. I get 6mbps download and 1mbps upload for $50 per month, maximum download is 80GB. This is not as good as other places, but it's nothing to complain about.

There are plenty of parts of the world where you can only really get dialup, or a slow satellite service for $80 per month.

Reply Score: 2

Korean internet has more ups than downs.
by fermented on Fri 25th Jun 2010 05:45 UTC
fermented
Member since:
2010-06-25

David, I have lived in Seoul now for about two years, and I agree that most of things you mention in your post are annoying. The ID requirements, IE6 on every computer sucks, not to mention the seizure inducing style of most korean websites are truly terrible (www.gmarket.co.kr/ is a prime example).

BUT...as long as you are using your own computer and read a bit of hangul, the Korean internet isn't so bad. A lot of sites like CGV theaters, naver, daum, and Gmarket allow foreigners to register, (though many more sites down't). I love getting tickets for movies on CGV's site. It couldn't be easier...unless it were in english. You can get amazing deals on gmarket. They even have an english site. I personally bought an oven on it.

And let's be honest, the infrastructure and pricing is great, it's just the internet design culture thats outdated and fracked. I have a 100mb fiber connection from KT for just 33,000 (roughly 30 bucks) a month. It's amazing. And it only took 24 hours to have it installed. Last time I ordered internet in the states it took comcast 3 weeks to come connect my service.

Also, Seoul has city wide wireless WiBro Service. My friend has it and loves it. bittorrent on the subway? No problem.

I'm going back to the states soon, and frankly I'm scared to go back to broadband stone age. Is it true that broadband data caps are the in thing in america? ARRRRG!

Reply Score: 2

M.Onty Member since:
2009-10-23

the seizure inducing style of most korean websites are truly terrible (www.gmarket.co.kr/ is a prime example).


..!

That site made my head feel like it was evaporating.

Reply Score: 1

fukudasan Member since:
2006-06-04

Couldn't agree more about gmarket, I have been on there looking for things all weekend so far and sometimes it makes your eyes water, although it does work. But go to any of its competitors and they are really no better. I think adding things to your "Wish List" and keeping them there would probably make routine purchases easier.

In practical terms the Korean Internet gets faster all the time, and after nearly six years of being online here, I personally have few complaints, except the aforementioned government web sites, which if anything seem to get worse rather than better. The worst aspect is, however, that you can have six or seven Windoze machines in the same teachers' staff room and maybe not have it work on any of them - or any one of your own at home. And then someone else will pipe up and say: "Oh, but it works perfectly on my machine!"

Conversely, a weird thing happened this week which I still cannot explain: My new employer (an elementary school north of Busan) has a link on their web site to Arirang online services, including Flash-based multimedia stuff for use in the classroom. For some reason, a file suddenly stopped streaming in mid-sentence and couldn't be made to work again without restarting a new instance of IE.

Firefox is installed on the same machine and it works there, but the display is somehow wrong and cannot (for some reason) be adjusted. I mention this because I have tried the same site on my Mandriva desktop at home, and using Firefox it works perfectly every time.

Generally speaking, however, the Internet here (and I use SK, or Hanafos as it used to be originally) is not too expensive, is installed at the drop of a hat and is fast enough for all of my purposes, like Internet voice and video telephony, downloading etc., and I feel I have no complaints.

And the requirement for national alien ID is actually quite rare in everyday life. Normally there is no problem either ordering things online or paying for them - although I normally go to the local ATM to make payments, it's very little effort and the exercise is good for me. ^_^

Reply Score: 1

rif42 Member since:
2005-11-20

About the busy Internet page of gmarket in South-Korea. Take a look at Google's page even that is rather crowded.

http://www.google.co.kr/

Reply Score: 1

Just hang on there a mo
by orfanum on Fri 25th Jun 2010 11:46 UTC
orfanum
Member since:
2006-06-02

I am not going to defend Korean insularity - it's bred in the bone but some of the comments here just look just stacked up to 'have a go'. To take a different example, as far as I know, even as a UK citizen visiting Germany, a co-member of the EU, if I live and work there I still have to register at a local Amt: does this make Germany a police state, the EU view of the Digital Citizen uninformed:
http://europa.eu/rapid/pressReleasesAction.do?reference=SPEECH/10/3...
, or does it show a return in Germany to that Rhetorical State of Politics that Must Not be Named in Internet Fora? Nope.

This is not front page news, especially not from someone who is apparently a recent arrival and is having a bit of a hard time getting used to the idea that they might just have to use Hangul when accessing the Internet - and no, this does not make ROK a police state greater in extent than China: how is this the case? It's a ruddy absurd statement.

And please, editors, think of the date and the language you are using: on the eve of the anniversary of the Korean War, a conflict that killed millions, you are using phrases like 'from the trenches' to introduce one of the flimsiest pieces of reportage I have seen on this site in an age.

Take a look at: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/8748852.stm

and:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Korean_War

Given the geo-political and economic situation, the recent history of the country, the danger of imminent invasion and unceasing covert foreign intervention since then, I personally think the Koreans have done damn well for themselves in this as well as in almost any other regard for a relatively new democracy.

Edited for typo's and apoplexy ;)

Edited 2010-06-25 11:51 UTC

Reply Score: 3

RE: Just hang on there a mo
by neticspace on Fri 25th Jun 2010 12:19 UTC in reply to "Just hang on there a mo"
neticspace Member since:
2009-06-09

and no, this does not make ROK a police state greater in extent than China: how is this the case? It's a ruddy absurd statement.


El Presidente Lee Myung-bak is infamous for proposing and planning internet restriction, censorship, and press control in the past. With the whole new "National Security" phase of his presidency due to his destructive anti-North Korean policy, he just wants more government control that rivals China. You sure make a bold statement without understanding how South Korea handles things.

Go to Wikipedia and search Minerva (Daum Agora user).

I personally think the Koreans have done damn well for themselves in this as well as in almost any other regard for a relatively new democracy.


Democracy is the biggest scam in South Korea. Why? Democracy is a mere social folk belief. Please try not to see this in a first world Western perspective. Democracy is dead outside of the West.

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: Just hang on there a mo
by orfanum on Fri 25th Jun 2010 12:42 UTC in reply to "RE: Just hang on there a mo"
orfanum Member since:
2006-06-02

Don't take my word for it:

http://thereport.amnesty.org/sites/default/files/AIR2010_AZ_EN.pdf#...

Check out the relevant sections for ROK and China

I didn't say that ROK was a bed of roses: we too have our own asylum detention centres here in the UK, also a democracy, in the West, apparently.

But you specifically said that ROK was heading to be a worse police state than China.

Where is the evidence from ROK of the sort of things that China is reported to do, but to a greater extent; for example:

The authorities (in China) used a variety
of illegal forms of detention, including “black jails”,
“legal education classes”, “study classes” and mental
health institutions to detain thousands of people

Torture continued to be commonplace in places of
detention, sometimes leading to death. Torture
methods used on detainees included beatings, often
with an electric prod, hanging by the limbs, force
feeding, injecting unknown drugs and sleep
deprivation.

Unfair trials remained endemic. Judicial decisions
remained susceptible to political interference;
defendants were often unable to hire a lawyer of their
own choice and were denied access to their lawyer
and family; families were often not given adequate
notice of trial dates and were frequently refused entry
to trials. Confessions extracted through torture
continued to be admitted as evidence in court.

China continued to make extensive use of the death
penalty, including for non-violent crimes. The death
sentence continued to be imposed after unfair trials.
Statistics on death sentences and executions remained
classified as state secrets and, while executions
numbered in the thousands, the government did
not release actual figures.

Police beat and detained members of Christian
house-churches, who practise outside officially
recognized institutions, often demolishing their
churches and sending them for RTL or to prison.
The government campaign against the Falun Gong
intensified, with sweeping detentions, unfair trials
leading to long sentences, enforced disappearances
and deaths in detention following torture and illtreatment.

On which of these counts, for example, is ROK *worse* and what evidence can you present to shore up the idea that ROK is actively heading in this direction?

You may call it a sham but they do hold elections in ROK, or was there only democracy in your view when it was all Sunshine Policy?

I stand by my question - where is your evidence?

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Just hang on there a mo
by neticspace on Fri 25th Jun 2010 13:03 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Just hang on there a mo"
neticspace Member since:
2009-06-09

Election in South Korea is a sham. The only successful election was when former president Roh Mu-hyun won.

How about actually living there? It's hard to explain but currently South Korea is becoming worse than China in every way since this president is in power?

It's same how America is becoming worse despite the government and big media are painting everything positive for years like Comrade Lenin would do.

But seriously. Have you actually read Korean news articles that explain many clues that South Korea is getting worse than China?

You westerners need to grow some bones and learn how to critically criticize Western Democracy(TM).

EDIT: The only thing I learned studying in Canada is that Amnesty International is a gigantic fraud organization in order to support the so-called American Hegemony.

Edited 2010-06-25 13:05 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE[4]: Just hang on there a mo
by orfanum on Fri 25th Jun 2010 13:12 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Just hang on there a mo"
orfanum Member since:
2006-06-02

I have been going to ROK on and off since 1998. I have been married to a ROK citizen since then. In fact, I am spending my summer holiday there this year.

I am unfortunately aware of much of the dark side of Korean life, socially and politically, I am also therefore aware of its struggles, and its triumphs.

But, can we have a little less tinfoil-hat conspiracy ranting and instead some of the evidence I have been asking for? If what you claim is true, and you know so much about how the Internet works, finding some cannot be that difficult, can it?

Reply Score: 2

RE[5]: Just hang on there a mo
by neticspace on Fri 25th Jun 2010 13:26 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Just hang on there a mo"
neticspace Member since:
2009-06-09

You want recent evidence how the current South Korean government sucks? Sure. You know the Cheon'an Sinking Incident? The general public distrust the South Korean government (except for Roh's administration) so much that over half of the people here thought that the initial government report was a fraud. Now the Chinese and Russian governments' official responses confirmed that it wasn't North Korea that had done this*, there is a new wave of anti-government sentiment going on right now.

* http://www.2point6billion.com/news/2010/06/10/china-and-russia-unco...

If you are a European, by now you should know that this "Communist anti-human" China is the only hope to stabilize the democratic country called South Korea. As ironic as it sounds truth is stranger than fiction.

You want peace in East Asia? Then embrace China (not Taiwan) under this realpolitik situation.

Reply Score: 2

RE[6]: Just hang on there a mo
by orfanum on Fri 25th Jun 2010 13:53 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: Just hang on there a mo"
orfanum Member since:
2006-06-02

I am sorry my friend - I perceive the grief that you feel for your country but you sound to me like one of those who supported the Japanese in 1910, with cries of economic prosperity and modernization. Look where that got you. Are you Korean? You will know that most people feel less now about Japan than they do about China, culturally, economically and politically - not to mention, at times, racially. Are you happy with all the trafficking of North Koreans by the Chinese?:

http://www.communitychannel.org/content/view/3645/173/

The report that came from the UN was sponsored by the UK and Sweden too. The Lee government actually initially played down any involvement of the North Koreans. Why did it do that, if they are so rabidly anti-NK?

I know how ideologically prone young radicals are in ROK to romanticizing communism, and NK; it's just as much a rite-of-passage as it may be a steady critique of your actual situation.

No healthy population believes 100% what their govt. says, we don't over here, and neither do I pretend that I would vote for Lee, if I were in ROK and could do so - but if I were you, I'd grow some patriotic backbone myself, and stick up for my own country using whatever means necessary, not being a stooge for anyone else, be this the US or China.

Choguk T'ongil manse!

Edited 2010-06-25 13:55 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE[7]: Just hang on there a mo
by asdf on Fri 25th Jun 2010 14:46 UTC in reply to "RE[6]: Just hang on there a mo"
asdf Member since:
2009-09-23

The report that came from the UN was sponsored by the UK and Sweden too. The Lee government actually initially played down any involvement of the North Koreans. Why did it do that, if they are so rabidly anti-NK?

There isn't enough data to conclude what happened there at this point but the SK government definitely screwed up the initial investigation most likely in an attempt to use it as a leverage for election, which they overdid and eventually weren't too successful at.

I'd grow some patriotic backbone myself, and stick up for my own country using whatever means necessary, not being a stooge for anyone else, be this the US or China.

Hey, criticism requires affection, at some level, anyways. There of course is a big gaping hole between healthy criticism and wearing a tin foil hat, but you only have to go back less than two decades in SK history for tortures and deaths, so it's gonna take some time.

Choguk T'ongil manse!

That's something I didn't expect to see on osnews. Were you really meaning it or being sarcastic? The sad part is that it would make perfect sense both ways. History is at times a painful thing.

Reply Score: 1

RE[7]: Just hang on there a mo
by neticspace on Fri 25th Jun 2010 21:00 UTC in reply to "RE[6]: Just hang on there a mo"
neticspace Member since:
2009-06-09

I am sorry my friend - I perceive the grief that you feel for your country but you sound to me like one of those who supported the Japanese in 1910, with cries of economic prosperity and modernization.


This time, Korea is very different from the past. But anyway, you mean I'm from a moderate left-wing pro-Roh side. South Korea was and still is a traditionally a right-wing country thanks to America's indirect control. Obviously America is a bigger problem than North Korea.

And no, there is no Communist movement in South Korea. The only thing close to it is the Jinbo movement.

I'd grow some patriotic backbone myself, and stick up for my own country using whatever means necessary, not being a stooge for anyone else, be this the US or China.


You do know that South Korea is already a 51st state of the USA along with Japan.

Of course, I am patriotic to Korea. I'm Korean-Chinese-Canadian (Chinese side is from Taiwan and you know how its democracy is screwed over there) and lived in South Korea until my mid teens. As you know I'm just a mere pro-Chinese anti-America left-wing Korean patriot with a Canadian citizenship.

Choguk T'ongil manse!


You sound more like a North Korean than an European.

Reply Score: 2

RE[7]: Just hang on there a mo
by spiderman on Sat 26th Jun 2010 03:07 UTC in reply to "RE[6]: Just hang on there a mo"
spiderman Member since:
2008-10-23


I know how ideologically prone young radicals are in ROK to romanticizing communism, and NK; it's just as much a rite-of-passage as it may be a steady critique of your actual situation.

No healthy population believes 100% what their govt. says, we don't over here, and neither do I pretend that I would vote for Lee, if I were in ROK and could do so - but if I were you, I'd grow some patriotic backbone myself, and stick up for my own country using whatever means necessary, not being a stooge for anyone else, be this the US or China.

In the first paragraph you say young radicals romantize communism and in the second paragraph you are romantizing patriotism.
That just shows how much people can be brainwashed, wherever they come from.

Reply Score: 2

Comment by demetris
by demetris on Fri 25th Jun 2010 12:11 UTC
demetris
Member since:
2010-06-25

I just register to give you a laugh or two on our state of internet.
We get 4mbits only for 75 euros!! a month
Cheap as beer.
I live in Cyprus-Europe.

Reply Score: 1

ha!
by kittynipples on Fri 25th Jun 2010 17:32 UTC
kittynipples
Member since:
2006-08-02

Making simplistic speed comparrisons between countries with vastly different population densities and land areas is stupid.

Reply Score: 1

Shoot My Foot!
by JeeperMate on Fri 25th Jun 2010 17:34 UTC
JeeperMate
Member since:
2010-06-12

I'm a Canadian who lives in one of Southeast Asian countries (been here a tad over 20 years), which happens to be among the less-developed in the region. And I have to pay around USD42 for a 384Kbps cable Internet plus TV (it doesn't even include some of the more interesting channels like The History Channel, FOX Crime, NatGeo Music, etc.).

Y'all folks gotta learn to cherish what y'all have got. Now, someone hand me over a .45 so I can put a hole in my foot?

Reply Score: 1

New Net
by marcp on Sat 26th Jun 2010 09:07 UTC
marcp
Member since:
2007-11-23

Well, US getting control over their part of the internet, China doing the same, Korea too ... I'd like to see a SECOND-INTERNET initiative, an OPENSOURCED internet for the consious users. The old internet would be left for commercial crap and flying malware.
New, secure infrastructure, independency of any government control ... that's what will be possibly needed.

Reply Score: 2