The 2009 iPhone 3GS Is Back and Its Only $40!

At least is South Korea, that is.

The iPhone 3GS was first unveiled in June 2009 (I feel so old now) and was discontinued in 2012. Now, it will be made available in South Korea for 44,000 won or about $40 without contract.

According to ETNews, the phones were found still in their boxes stored in a warehouse. And no, they are not refurbished phones. These were part of the original stock and are still untouched. But because they were left there for almost a decade, SK Telink will check the devices one by one to make sure the batteries are working. They will then be repackaged and sold.

According to the company, “the iPhone 3GS has been launched to celebrate the opening of the SK Seven mobile online mall while expanding the selection of consumer smartphones.”

It did not specify how many units are going to be available for sale.

It is important to note that the iPhone 3GS only supports up to iOS 6. This means a lot of the new features will not be available and some apps will not be supported. This includes iMessages (gasp!).

For those who are used to the current phones, the 2009 iPhone will definitely be slow in comparison. If the phone breaks, having it repaired may not be as easy as it was before too.

But still, for $40, it’s quite a steal for something you can use for phone calls and the occasional light browsing. At least if you happen to be in South Korea.

Korea’s Biggest Cryptocurrency Exchange Bithumb Will Ban Trading in 11 Countries

South Korea’s largest crypto exchange Bithumb bans trading in North Korea and Iran, among others.

Citing increased money laundering concerns, Bithumb will ban cryptocurrency trading in eleven countries. This includes Iran, Iraq, North Korea and eight other countries considered to be high-risk jurisdictions.

The immediate ban started on May 28 on the aforementioned countries monitored by the Non-Cooperative Countries and Territories (NCCT) Initiative.

New users from these countries will not be accepted as well. Bithumb is also expected to disable the existing user accounts on June 21st.

In addition, the crypto exchange company says they are also implementing recommendations from the South Korean government. They are also putting into consideration the recommendations from the Korea Blockchain Association. The latter introduced ethical codes to strengthen transparency in the local crypto market.

“We will strictly enforce our own rules and protect our investors while we actively cooperate with local authorities.”

Other countries on the list include Trinidad and Tobago, Tunisia, Vanuatu, Yemen, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Ethiopia, Syria, and Sri Lanka.

Bithumb is Korea’s largest cryptocurrency exchange and the world’s 5th largest.


“Killer Robots” Result to Boycotts For South Korean University

Leading experts in the field of AI decide to boycott a South Korean university because of partnership with Hanwha Systems.

(Source: Getty Images)

The Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (Kaist) received criticisms recently with their partnership with Hanhwa Systems.

The latter is a weapons manufacturer and more than 50 AI researches from 30 countries are not happy about it. The group signed a letter expressing their concern about plans on developing AI for weapons.

The university confirms the partnership but denies allegations in relation to the lethal weapons.

Kaist president Shin Sung-chul says they will not develop “autonomous lethal weapons”.

“I reaffirm once again that Kaist will not conduct any research activities counter to human dignity including autonomous weapons lacking meaningful human control. Kaist is significantly aware of ethical concerns in the application of all technologies including artificial intelligence.”

He explains that the project was focused on developing algorithms. These algorithms would be utilised for “efficient logistical systems, unmanned navigation and aviation training systems”.

This news comes a week before the UN meeting to discuss killer robots.

Professor Noel Sharkey, head of the Campaign to Stop Killer Robots, welcomed the university’s response.

“The signatories of the letter will need a little time to discuss the relationship between Kaist and Hanwha before lifting the boycott,” he said. Until then, they will not be collaborating with Kaist in any way.

Tiny Robots Run on Humidity: Launched in South Korea

A tiny worm made of metal.

It has been a concept and a nightmare that robots might replace human in the near future. But this concept has been easily coming true because the field of medical technology is somehow giving it a chance.

A team of researchers at the Seoul National University in South Korea has invented a tiny robot.

It can run in sans battery and it aims to aid in delivering drugs to human skin in the future. The study was just published last week.

These tiny robots are called hygrobots. It was inspired by the Pelargonium carnosum seed. Its seeds can screw themselves into the ground. As well as the pine cone that opens and closes depending on humidity.

The hygrobot has two layers made out of nanofibrs. One layer absorbs moisture, and the other doesn’t.

The nano fiber hygrobot wriggled and crawled like a worm when it came in contact with moisture. But when it is dry, it will go back to its original state, moving in the opposite direction.

In a demo made by the researchers, they filled the hygrobots with an antibiotic. And it moved across a Petri dish. It left behind a sterilized trail, a bit like a slug would leave a trail of slime in its wake.

These tiny yet useful robot will prove to be a breakthrough in the medical world. In the near future, researchers hope and look forward that the hygrobots will be of great help to human. It will be the very first of its kind to deliver drugs to human body just by using skin’s moisture.

Last year, researchers created a hydrogel bot that’s activated by magnet. It was said that it could release localized dozes of chemo to treat tumors.

Apple and Samsung calls a truce

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To the patent war outside the US, that is.

This news still comes as a big welcome however, as the world has been a witness to the never-ending infringement cases that they have been throwing at each other for years.

The two technology giants have announced in a joint statement that they are withdrawing all ongoing legal proceedings on their outstanding patent litigations outside US. Currently, both companies are locked in patent wars in the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, Japan, Korea, France, Spain, Germany, Italy and Australia. On the other hand, all high-profile infringement cases in the US for both Apple and Samsung are still proceeding.

It can be recalled that Apple first filed a lawsuit against Samsung in 2011 for copying the features of the iPhone into their Galaxy smartphones. The South Korean giant then fired back and sued Apple for using pieces of its wireless-transmission technology without permission.

Is this a sign that there will finally be peace between these two giants? With higher demands and a tighter marketplace for smartphones, we highly think this war is far from over.

Oppa Gangnam Style craze is here!

Oppa Gangnam Style!

A lot of individuals are enamored by the music video and song of Korean rapper Psy entitled Oppa Gangnam style. From celebrities to young suburban kids, everybody seems to not get enough of his songs outrageously choreographed dance.

How can this foreign song suddenly become a viral sensation to the point that even Americans and other nationalities are trying to do a spin-off or parody of his music video? We really don’t know what the reason is.

Here are some facts about Oppa Gangnam Style:

  • Oppa Gangnam Style has earned about 100 million views in YouTube ever since it was released on July 15.
  • The title of Oppa Gangnam Style refers to the affluent district of Gangnam in Seoul, South Korea and is targeted to make fun of the area’s influence.
  • Though Gangnam only holds about 15 square miles of South Korea, but it holds about 7% of the country’s GDP or Gross Domestic Product.
  • 41% of the population of prestigious Seoul Universities come from Gangnam and if we compare it to American Universities, its 41% of those who attend Harvard.
  • Oppa Gangnam Style has garnered 267,163 likes on Facebook while it has been tweeted 786,321 times.

Absolutely breathtaking numbers!

Check the music video of Oppa Gangnam Style here.

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North Korea launches cyber war against South Korea

South Korea – Seoul’s Metropolitan Police Agency has discovered a cyber attack from a North Korean Reconnaissance General Bureau.

The cyber attack was from shipped games to South Korean users that were infected by malware. It then launched a DDoS attack on Incheon Airport’s official web site.

In a report by JoongAng Daily, they said that a South Korean man traveled to Shenyang, a city in the northeastern part of China. He allegedly met agents from a North Korean trading company. He requested for them to develop a game that can be used in South Korea.

Then, the man named Jo purchased a dozen of computer games software for millions of won. Jo knew that the games were infected with malware, but still decided to sell them in South Korea for gaming fanatics and online game operators.

When users in South Korea used the games, their computers turned into zombies, through which the attack was launched.

This was the second recorded attempt by North Korea to attack South Korea in recent months.

Those who purchased the game in South Korea were said to have knowledge of the malware it contained.

During the 90’s, a similar cyber attack was recorded. A malware coder participated in a coding contest. The latter purposely backdoored his game and then was shipped to thousands of subscribers on a magazine-branded CD.

Is this the beginning of a new front in cyber warfare?


Asian country wants to disable “silent camera” app

Perverts and Peeping Toms find it easier nowadays to prey on their unsuspecting victim with the help of today’s gadgets and gizmos.

Ordinary mobile phones to high end smartphones are available for them to use. These devices can easily be hidden from view and can act as their accomplice in their ways.

That is why South Korea is looking for ways for these individuals to have a much more difficult time in using these devices.

A South Korean official barred that they are seeking ways to disable smartphone apps that enables users to snap photos silently. Discussions are currently being done between representatives of the Government and handset makers.

According to the official who asked not to be named, “We have recently started discussions with firms like Samsung, LG, Google and Apple regarding whether it’s technically possible to disable those apps on their devices.”

This move is welcomed by women from all parts of the country as this would safeguard them from being harassed.

Just last June, a 30 year old man was apprehended in Gimhae after he was caught taking photos of about women under their skirts using the “silent camera” app.

South Korea is home to 25 million smartphone users.

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PCs: The next in line for web attacks?

Cyber attacks that caused a lot of sites to crash and slowed U.S. and South Korean websites could move on to attacking PCs which can wipe out hard disks, according to  South Korean government agency and web security firm.

These attacks so far, which targeted government and business  sites in South Korea and US, did not cause serious damages or security breaches. Yet.

Korea Communications Commission (KCC) however, warns that the a new wave of attacks will possibly cause severe damage to PCs by targeting the data on  the infected personal computers.

The KCC released the names of five countries which are believed to be the bases of the original attacks. These countries are: Germany, Austria, Georgia, the United States and South Korea. It can be noted that North Korea is not included in the list, the country who was originally the prime suspect for launching the cyber attacks.

U.S. officials would not comment though on who might be behind the attacks but said that the U.S. government websites face attacks or scams “millions of times” daily.


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