At the Korea Communication Conference this month, one issue that kept popping up during all the panel discussions was about the content. Each of the representatives of different aspects of broadcasting, telecoms, and media had very different views of the value of content.
The Korean-language Internet that most citizens of this country have access to has been described as a walled garden. This means that there are barriers to entry into the Korean-language accessible Internet that are beyond simple language barriers. It also includes barriers based on the amount of advertising money that new companies must spend in order to get visibility from the two leading search engines - Daum and Naver. Is this a good thing or not? Do the users of Daum and Naver benefit from this setup?
The Korean government's April 1 regulation to require all web sites with 100,000 daily users to collect its users' real names and resident registration numbers has been sidestepped by Google's site YouTube Korea, which has simply disabled the ability for users to upload content or write comments on YouTube's Korea site. Some, including officials at the Korea Communication Commission (KCC), think that this refusal to comply with Korean regulations is wrong.
Korea's lifting its WIPI standard, which means many smart phone models which were restricted from being sold to average customers in Korea are coming to the market, including the infamous iPhone. Apple enthusiasts have sung the praises of the iPhone for months now, and blogbuzz has hyped Korea's access to the iPhone considerably. But is it really so great? Does the iPhone revolutionize the smart phone market, or is it just one more hunk of plastic to line the glass shelves of the oversaturated Techomart shelves?
The idea of Green IT has been around for a long time, since an initiative in 1992 by the US Environmental Protection Agency called Energy Star, which resulted in new starry logos on quite a few monitors and the creation of sleep mode in personal computers. There have been a wide variety of initiatives, product designs, and marketing campaigns by many companies touting their Green products.
The Korean government recently arrested popular Korean Internet blogger Minerva, or Park Daesung, for “spreading false rumors on the Internet.” He was arrested under the Electronic Communication Fundamental Law which says “A person spreading a false rumor to damage the public good by using an electronic machine is sentenced to imprisonment under five years or given a fine of under 50,000,000 won.”
It seems that in the Korean peninsula, there is a strong hope and bright outlook for a future led by Barack Obama. Even though Obama is not Korea's president, and no Korean citizen could even have been involved in electing him, many Koreans look to him for hope, even more than their own president Lee Myung-bak. Is this good? Bad? Unimportant? Should Koreans be looking to another country's president to solve their own problems?
Should the government be as involved in the IT industry as it currently is in South Korea? The South Korean government almost dictates policy to the ICT sector in the country. With a combination of protectionist regulations, incentives, research grant monies, and loan programs it promotes the technologies that it wants to see developed. Some good examples of this are WiBro, RFID, and anything labeled Ubiquitous. Should it be doing this or should it let the free market decide what direction technology grows?
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