Tag Archives: Korea

The Apocalypticon ~ Korea, Russia, China, Social Media, cleaners, CRISPR threat, time travellers, booze anger


Korean DMZ — Is this the ‘scariest place on Earth?’ (I think Washington DC is scarier, myself). The Korean Demilitarized Zone was established in 1953 as part of the armistice agreement that ended three years of brutal fighting between North and South Korea. Stretching across the 250km (155-mile) width of the Korean peninsula, the approximately 3.2km (2-mile) wide swath of land is bounded on both sides by several lines of barbed wire fence and one of the largest concentration of soldiers and artillery in the world. President Bill Clinton once called it the “scariest place on earth.” Now you can see images of it.

Enriched uranium floating about — On 3 August 2016, 7km above Alaska’s Aleutian Islands, a research plane captured something mysterious: An atmospheric aerosol particle enriched with the kind of uranium used in nuclear fuel and bombs.
It’s the first time scientists have detected such a particle just floating along in the atmosphere in 20 years of plane-based observations. And this has baffled scientists. [North Korea?]

The Russian charges — Surprise! The US Justice Department has revealed an eight-count indictment charging 13 Russian nationals and three Russian entities over their alleged meddling in US politics, including the 2016 US presidential election. So while the current White House may result from Russian meddling, it has been eight months since the malware known as NotPetya tore through the internet, rippling out from Ukraine to paralyse companies and government agencies around the world. On Thursday, the White House finally acknowledged that attack. And in a reversal of its often seemingly willful blindness to the threat of Russian hacking, it has called out the Kremlin as NotPetya’s creator.
Meanwhile, Russian bots flooded Twitter with pro-gun tweets after the school shooting in Florida.

Social media — General practitioner Rangan Chatterjee says he has seen plenty of evidence of the link between mental ill-health in children and their use of social media. “One 16 year-old boy was referred to him after he self-harmed and ended up in A&E,” reports the BBC. Dr Chatterjee was going to put him on anti-depressants, but instead worked with him to help wean him off social media. Maybe he’s not the only one: Facebook lost around 2.8 million US users under 25 last year.

China — The heads of six top US intelligence agencies told the Senate Intelligence Committee last week they would not advise Americans to use products or services from Chinese smartphone maker Huawei. [That’s going to go down well …] Huawei responded that it “poses no greater cybersecurity risk than any ICT vendor.”
China has reassigned over 60,000 soldiers to plan trees in a bid to combat pollution by increasing the country’s forest coverage. The soldiers are from the People’s Liberation Army, along with some of the nation’s armed police force. The majority will be dispatched to Hebei province, which encircles Beijing, known to be a major culprit for producing the notorious smog which blankets the capital city.

Household cleaners, paints and perfumes have become substantial sources of urban air pollution as strict controls on vehicles have reduced road traffic emissions, scientists say. Researchers in the US looked at levels of synthetic “volatile organic compounds”, or VOCs, in roadside air in Los Angeles and found that as much came from industrial and household products refined from petroleum as from vehicle exhaust pipes.

CRISPR could be triggering unintended mutations — Last winter, a letter appeared in a scientific journal that challenged how truly “revolutionary” and world-changing CRISPR gene-editing technology really might be. Researchers found that when they used CRISPR to cure blindness in mice, it had resulted in not just a few but more than a thousand unintended effects. Those unintended changes to DNA, they found, were not detectable using common methods for checking for off-target effects. This, the authors wrote, meant that CRISPR needed significant fine-tuning before it was ready to cure disease in people. Stocks tumbled. The scientific community freaked out.

And in good, or at least funny, news — Time travellers: though most of their wild tales were eventually disproven, the stories are still incredible. Here are five of the most memorable.
Australian scientists are trying to work out why some drunks get so mean. Dramatic mood shifts while drinking alcohol are normal, but for some of us, booze takes us down a path toward nasty, belligerent and downright aggressive behaviour. By studying brain scans of drunk men, Australian scientists have pinpointed the parts of our brain that go weak when we drink, making us meaner than usual. But like so many aspects of human psychology, it’s a lot more complicated than that. [I’ve always thought drunkenness reveals true nature, myself.]

Augmented Reality, Korea, screen blanker, GoArt, Sierra Spaces, sharing PowerPoints


Apple reportedly has ‘hundreds of engineers’ working on AR projects — Apple has built an augmented reality (AR) team of hundreds of engineers “combining the strengths of its hardware and software veterans with the expertise of talented outsiders” and is “very serious about AR,” reports Bloomberg, quoting unnamed “people with knowledge of the company’s plans.”
Apple’s augmented reality team includes vets from Dolby, Oculus & more, apparently. [Really? That boat’s due to depart soon, Apple …]

Apple fans in Korea are feeling no love from the tech giant — Apple users in Korea are feeling no love after the Cupertino, California-based company decided to make heavy investments in China while mostly ignoring Korea, according to The Korea Times.

Screen Commander is new ‘screen blanking’ software for the Mac — Alien Orb Software has introduced Screen Commander 1.0, a screen blanking utility for macOS. Developed for users with multiple displays, it lives in the menubar as a small icon and provides screen blanking options at the click of the mouse. Screen Commander requires macOS 10.12 or later. It’s freeware and is available exclusively at the Mac App Store, and it’s free.

GoArt lets Mac users create art with their photos — Everimaging has introduced GoArt 1.0, a photo editor for macOS. It lets you take a photo and apply artistic filters based on the works of art.
GoArt offers over 40 different styles of art to choose from. Everimaging says it will release more artistic effects on a regular basis.
GoArt works with macOS 10.6.6 or later. It costs US$29.99 or NZ$44.99, and is available worldwide exclusively through the Mac App Store. iOS, Android, and web-based versions of the app are also available.

How to work in multiple Spaces in macOS Sierra — It’s easy for your Mac’s desktop to become cluttered, just as a physical desktop can. If this happens, you can create additional desktops, called spaces, to organize the windows. When you work in a Space, you see only the windows that are in that space. Here’s how Spaces work.

SlideShark for Mac lets you access, show and share up-to-date PowerPoints — Brainshark’s SlideShark for Mac enables business professionals to instantly access, show and share up-to-date PowerPoints, and track presentation views and activity. SlideShark Anywhere is available as part of the app’s business version, SlideShark Team Edition. It allows you to broadcast your slides in real time over the web to remote or in-person meeting attendees who can join from any device.

Apple rankings, money, Google Earth, Policy Banner, Korea, Safari 10


The Covent Garden Apple Store, London
The Covent Garden Apple Store, London

Apple is second in the 2016 ‘Top 100 Global Brand Love List’ — Facebook and Apple took the top two spots in the second annual NetBase Brand Passion Report 2016: Top 100 Global Brand Love List, which reveals the brands consumers expressed the most love for on social media. The report leveraged the social analytics technology of NetBase, a company that specialises in enterprise social analytics, to examine more than 265 million posts, ranking the most loved brands in technology, consumer goods, automotive, food and beverage, financial services and energy companies globally.

Apple dropped 2.81% in broad Brexit selloff — Shares of Apple Inc. shed 2.81% last Friday in a broad market downturn sparked by Brits voting to leave the European Union, or Brexit for short. The selloff was part of a general panic among investors concerned about what Brexit will do to the global economy. Computerworld has a more in-depth look.

Apple’s third fiscal quarter earnings report is scheduled for Tuesday, July 26th — Investors will be watching the iPhone and iPad maker’s numbers closely after last quarter’s disappointing results, and the lack of new product announcements during Q3.

Google bringing HIGHER RESOLUTION SATELLITE IMAGERY to Google Earth and Maps — Google has announced the rollout of new imagery for Google Earth, and by extension Google Maps. The company said it was incorporating a new cloud-free mosaic of Earth in Google Earth utilizing higher-resolution images from Landsat 8, a satellite deployed by the USGS and NASA in 2013. [It’s not there yet, though, in my  Google Earth.]

OS X Policy Banner for Custom Login Screens — You can set a custom message on your Mac’s lock screen, so if someone takes or finds your computer, he’ll have an easy way to contact you. However, if you’re an administrator who manages multiple machines, there’s also a built-in way to add a policy banner, which’ll make anyone who logs in click an Accept button to continue.

South Korea’s Fair Trade Commission is investigating ‘some matters’ regarding Apple — South Korea’s Fair Trade Commission (FTC) is investigating “some matters” relating to Apple, reports Reuters. Speaking at a parliamentary hearing on Tuesday, FTC Chairman Jeong Jae-chan declined to comment on the specifics of the regulator’s investigation when asked to do so by a South Korean lawmaker, the article adds.

Safari 10 brings fast, native App Extensions to the macOS browser, web content — Building on work completed last year to enable Web Content Blockers, Apple’s new Safari 10 enables a wide range of native code App Extensions that users can automatically obtain and update through the Mac App Store, contributing to faster performance, enhanced security and better reliability.