Sunday, November 29, 2015

South Korea's white hat hackers

An article in the UK-based Independent provides some interesting background on South Korea's efforts to defend against the cyber-warfare capabilities of North Korea's military-trained hackers.  The article notes that "To build its defences, President Park Geun-hye’s government has enlisted 120 of the country’s most talented young programmers, offering full scholarships in return for seven years of military service. The college programme is part of a broader plan. The government is doubling the size of its cyber command to 1,000 people and raised spending on information security by almost 50 per cent to 250bn South Korean won (£144m) between 2009 and 2015."
The article goes on to note how South Korea is playing catch-up to the North in the training of cyber warriors, having suffered large economic losses in a 2013 attack on banks and broadcasters that was traced to North Korea.

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

The Exynos8 and progress in semiconductors

The invention of the transistor in 1947 was one of the key developments that launched the digital network revolution globally.  In the 1980s, South Korea managed to harness the power of that revolution for national development, in part by making its semiconductor industry globally competitive for the first time with the 4 MB DRAM project.
Semiconductors are essential building blocks of the hardware that makes up today's digital networks and Korea has never forgotten that, continuing to invest heavily into R&D, manufacturing and export of various semiconductor products.  Today, as reported by Korea IT News,   Samsung has started mass producing a new modem-integrated chip for use in mobile devices.  This is indeed another sign of advancement in this nation's semiconductor industry and its determination to remain a global leader.  The Korea IT News article has interesting detail for those of you who follow such developments.

Friday, November 6, 2015

Projected patterns of aging in Korea

One of the major factors that will influence the shape of Korean society and its economy in the coming decades is the demographic composition of the population.  South Korea is on track to see a rapid increase in the proportion of older people in its population, as shown by the accompanying graphic (click for a full-size version), published together with an article in The Korea Joongang Daily.  As noted in the article, "Recent data jointly compiled by Statistics Korea and the JoongAng Ilbo, an affiliate of the Korea JoongAng Daily, shows that 72 of the country’s 252 cities, counties and districts (28 percent) will have a population of which over half is aged 65 or older by 2040. Namhae County, Hapcheon County and Uiryeong County, all in South Gyeongsang, will see their rates exceed 80 percent. Korea is currently categorized as an aging society, meaning that more than 7 percent of the country’s total population is 65 or older. The country is set to become an aged society by 2026, when more than 14 percent of the entire population will be 65 or older."
The graphic shows at a glance that suburbs and rural areas are going to age much more rapidly than the largest cities in Korea, reflecting the highly urbanized character of this nation's economy.