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June 28 2013

*L'univers impitoyable des dynasties sud-coréennes* - Les blogs du Diplo

L'univers impitoyable des dynasties sud-coréennes - Les blogs du Diplo

Blouson en toile, jean, lunettes à la mode, cheveux grisonnants, le cinéaste Im Sang-soo nous rejoint, tout sourire, dans le quartier de Yogiga Odieyo à Séoul, où sont situés les locaux de l'édition coréenne du Monde diplomatique. En principe, Sang-soo n'accorde plus d'entretiens. Il est trop occupé à préparer son prochain film — une histoire de jeunes qui finissent par se révolter contre un système étouffant. Il doit à la fois mettre au point le scénario et trouver de l'argent. « Mieux vaut ne pas trop se répandre en interviews », assure-t-il. S'il accepte néanmoins cette rencontre, c'est que son dernier film, L'Ivresse de l'argent, présenté au Festival de Cannes en 2012, sort en DVD en France, et que le rôle des grands groupes coréens — les chaebols — doit être connu par le plus grand nombre.

Entretien inédit accompagnant le reportage de Martine Bulard dans le numéro de juillet (#2013/07) :

Samsung ou l'empire de la peur

Sa tablette Galaxy l'a propulsé sur le devant de la scène, au point qu'il dépasse Apple. Du coup, #Samsung et son concurrent se livrent une guerre sans merci devant les tribunaux et les instances internationales. Mais, au-delà de l'électronique, le groupe sud-coréen, aux activités multiformes, constitue un conglomérat si puissant qu'il influence aussi bien la politique que la justice ou la presse du pays.

#Travail #Économie #Industrie #Entreprise #Technologie #Électronique #Multinationales #Télécommunications #Corée_du_Sud

October 22 2012

Wochenrückblick: Apple vs. Samsung, Österreichs Datenschutz, Berliner WLAN

Apple verliert den Berufungsprozess im Streit mit Samsung, Österreichs Datenschutzbehörde ist nicht unabhängig genug, in Berlin startet ein Pilotpro


August 28 2012

Seeking prior art where it most often is found in software

Patent ambushes are on the rise again, and cases such as Apple/Samsung shows that prior art really has to swing the decision–obviousness or novelty is not a strong enough defense. Obviousness and novelty are subjective decisions made by a patent examiner, judge, or jury.

In this context, a recent conversation I had with Keith Bergelt, Chief Executive Officer of the Open Invention Network takes on significance. OIN was formed many years ago to protect the vendors, developers, and users of Linux and related open source software against patent infringement. They do this the way companies prepare a defense: accumulating a portfolio of patents of their own.

According to Bergelt, OIN has spent millions of dollars to purchase patents that uniquely enable Linux and open source and have helped free software vendors and developers understand and prepare to defend against lawsuits. All OIN patents are available under a free license to those who agree to forbear suit on Linux grounds and to cross license their own patents that read on OIN’s Linux System Definition. OIN has nearly 500 licensees and is adding a new one every three days, as everyone from individual developers to large multinationals are coming to recognize its role and the value of an OIN license.

The immediate trigger for our call was an announcement by OIN that they are expanding their Linux System Definition to include key mobile Linux software packages such as Dalvik, which expands the scope of the cross licenses under the OIN license. In this way OIN is increasing the freedom of action under which a company can operate under Linux.

OIN’s expansion of its Linux System Definition affects not only Android, which seems to be in Apple’s sights, but any other mobile distribution based on Linux, such as MeeGo and Tizen. They have been interested in this area for some time, but realize that mobile is skyrocketing in importance.

Meanwhile, they are talking to their supporters about new ways of deep mining for prior art in source code. Patent examiners, as well as developers filing patents in good faith, look mostly at existing patents to find prior art. But in software, most innovation is not patented. It might not even appear in the hundreds of journals and conference proceedings that come out in the computer science field each year. It is abstraction that emerges from code, when analyzed.

A GitHub staffer told me it currently hosts approximately 25 TB of data and adds over 65 GB of new data per day. A lot of that stuff is probably hum-drum, but I bet a fraction of it contains techniques that someone else will try to gain a monopoly over someday through patents.

Naturally, inferring innovative processes from source code is a daunting exercise in machine learning. It’s probably harder than most natural language processing, which tries to infer limited meanings or relationships from words. But OIN feels we have to try. Otherwise more and more patents may impinge (which is different from infringe) on free software.

August 27 2012

Wochenrückblick: Apple vs. Samsung, Nutzungsstudie, Trennungsgebot

Vor einem Bundesgericht in Kalifornien unterliegt Samsung Apple im Patentkrieg, die jährliche Nutzungsstudie der Musikindustrie legt eine Akzeptanz von Warnhi


August 06 2012

Wochenrückblick: EA vs. Zynga, Video-Embedding, Apple vs. Samsung

Der Gameentwickler Electronic Arts sieht durch „The Ville“ Urheberrechte an den „Sims” verletzt, ein US-Gericht entscheidet zugunsten des V


January 09 2012

Decisive moment? Smartphones steal focus from compact cameras

Camera sales fell 30% in 2011 as experts predict snapshot device may go way of satnav and landline

Not long ago, life's precious moments were captured by someone who had the foresight to bring their camera. Now, everyone can reach for their phone. And having also dented demand for landlines, the PC and the satnav, smartphones are now officially replacing the compact camera as the most popular device for taking photos.

Sales of point and shoot cameras fell 30% by value in 2011 compared with the year before. Camera manufacturers have been on red alert since last summer, when the iPhone 4 became the most popular device from which snaps were uploaded to the picture sharing website Flickr.

Even some professional photographers admit they turn to their phones for snaps, with the celebrity photographer Annie Liebovitz describing her iPhone as the "snapshot camera of today". "I'm still learning how to use mine," Liebovitz told NBC. "I can't tell you how many times I see people show me their children. It's the wallet with the family pictures in it."

Basic fixed-lens cameras accounted for more than 48% of manufacturers' takings in Britain in 2010, according to research firm GfK. By November 2011, the most recent data shows these cameras represented just 37% of takings.

"2011 was when sales of basic cameras seriously started to decline," said GfK analyst Zhelya Dancheva. "It's about how consumers are using cameras, and on what occasions. The smartphone is popular because it's always in your pocket, and you are connected so you can directly upload to the internet whenever you want."

Manufacturers will attempt to breathe new life into the budget camera market at this week's Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, an annual showcase for gadget makers. Samsung, Canon and Sony Electronics have added a range of bells and whistles, including Wi-Fi connections and technology to recognise and zoom in on children's faces, with which they hope to lure back their lost customers.

"All manufacturers need to focus on the value of a camera and what differentiates it versus a smartphone," said Reid Sullivan of Samsung, unveiling the firm's latest model, the DV300F, which can upload images to sharing sites. It will also do away with the need for cables by sending images wirelessly to a computer.

The camera also claims to eliminate blurry backgrounds when capturing fast moving subjects, and has a small screen on the front to let users see self portraits.

Canon's flagship new point and shoot, the PowerShot G1X, can apparently prioritize face detection of children so that even the most fidgety subject's expression will appear in focus.

Sony's newer cameras can take photographs in 3D and will work in extreme conditions, including under water. The budget models will also come with more powerful zoom lenses that capture events at a greater distance and with a higher resolution than phones.

The iPhone 4 is now used by more than 5,000 people to upload more than 73,000 photos each day on Flickr. The second most popular camera, with slightly more than 4,000 daily Flickr users, is the Nikon D90. It costs more than £550 without a lens and has a picture resolution of 12.3 megapixels, compared with the iPhone 4's five megapixels.

Unveiling the latest iPhone last autumn, Apple's chief executive, Tim Cook, spent as much time emphasising its camera features as its processing power. The 4S has a resolution of eight megapixels, almost as high as the minimum of 10 now sported by most basic cameras.

The trend towards cameraphones is just as advanced in the United States, where they were used to take 27% of photos last year, up from 17% in 2010, according to market research firm NPD. The proportion of photos taken with a point and shoot camera fell from 52% to 44%.

Trevor Moore, chief executive of photography retailer Jessops, said customers now believe the quality of photographs taken from their smartphones is high enough to spend money turning them into prints. "We have a huge number of smartphone users coming into our stores to use our printing kiosks," said Moore. "We take the opportunity to talk to them about how they can make better pictures with a high quality camera."

In fact, sales of higher quality camera models are booming, giving hope to manufacturers such as Canon. Having become dissatisfied with the limitations of basic digital cameras, customers are flocking to those which offer better zooms and higher resolution. Sales of fixed lens devices, which offer a zoom of more than 10 times, were up 42% by volume in the year to November, having risen 55% in 2010. Compact system cameras, which have interchangeable lenses, have seen sales by volume rise 51% in the past year, according to GfK.

Expert view

Having spent a few years schlepping around a heavy bag of cameras and lenses and with at least one dodgy shoulder to prove it, I'm always interested in developments that take some of the weight out of shooting decent pictures. And it looks like I'm not the only one who has discovered the joys of using the ultimate lightweight camera as millions of people seem to have proved by ditching them and using a smartphone instead.

Sales of cheap cameras are down; it's not surprising – if you carry one thing these days it's a phone, and if it shoots pictures of similar quality to a camera, why carry a camera too? Having shot those great pictures of junior's first steps, a couple more keystrokes on the phone have them winging their way to a proud granny. If you really want them, Hipstamatic and other apps are available to "improve" your snaps, while Twitter or Flickr will distribute or store them for you.

Photographically, a really interesting and encouraging thing about using a smartphone is the way the focal length of the lens feels "right" for many shots. This is because the lens is slightly wider than the "standard" lens sold with a camera and gives a usefully wider view. In practice these images feel comfortable or real to the viewer, something early users of compact 35mm cameras in the last century discovered.

They were trying to capture reality and a widish lens gave them that result. They were also trying to be inconspicuous, hence the use of small Leica cameras just as these days someone using a phone in the street arouses no interest. Even if you are not a Cartier-Bresson, convenience and a reasonably faithful representation of their world is all that most people want from their photography. A smartphone gives you all that.

Roger Tooth, the Guardian's head of photography © 2012 Guardian News and Media Limited or its affiliated companies. All rights reserved. | Use of this content is subject to our Terms & Conditions | More Feeds

November 21 2011

November 14 2011

Wochenrückblick: EMI, Admin-C, Patent Wars

Universal und ein Sony-Konsortium übernehmen EMI, auch Domainverwalter können markenrechtlich haftbar sein, der Patentstreit zwischen Samsung und Apple geht weiter.


September 29 2011

Developer Week in Review: Android proves fruitful for Microsoft

The ball has finally dropped at Apple, and we know that October 4 is the big day that iOS 5 and some undisclosed subset of iPhone devices will be unveiled. Oddly, developers still haven't received the Gold Master of iOS 5, which means that Apple is cutting things close if it wants to give people time to update apps in the store, not to mention those of us who have to revise books once the NDA lifts on iOS 5.

So, while we wait for Godot Tim Cook, let's see what other mischief is afoot.

Royalties for Redmond

As we've reported previously, one of the big winners in the growth of Android has been Microsoft, as phone manufactures have been lining up to pay royalties to Redmond to avoid patent lawsuits. Samsung joined the fray this week, agreeing to pony up a reported $5 per phone to stay out of court.

In light of this, Google's purchase of Motorola Mobility is looking less and less wise. The widely held view was that the sale was intended to shield Android-based phones behind Motorola's rich patent portfolio, but every major player is caving into Microsoft anyway.

Between the squeeze play on Android and the long-standing siphoning of Linux revenues from companies such as Novell, Microsoft seems to be following a business plan reminiscent of a certain Monty Python sketch.

Android Open, being held October 9-11 in San Francisco, is a big-tent meeting ground for app and game developers, carriers, chip manufacturers, content creators, OEMs, researchers, entrepreneurs, VCs, and business leaders.

Save 20% on registration with the code AN11RAD

SPARC? Oh yeah, I remember that ...

SPARC T4Back when dinosaurs ruled the earth, the absolutely hottest thing you could have on your desk was a Sun-4. The SPARC-based systems were leaps and bounds ahead of anything else in their price range, except perhaps for some esoteric hardware from Silicon Graphics (remember them?)

Time has not been kind to the SPARC, alas. Sun's hardware market share shrank as people discovered that Linux on cheap hardware could give a better bang for the buck, and the entire venture was eventually swallowed by Oracle. The conventional wisdom was that Oracle bought Sun largely for its hardware line, and there was some confirmation of that this week. While much of the rest of Sun's holdings have been left to languish or spun off entirely, Larry's gang has evidently been busy with hardware. The SPARC T4 is the result.

The problem is, while the T4 brings some modern features like out-of-order execution to the SPARC line, these are things that other processor families have had for a decade or more. While it may staunch the flow of former SPARC customers defecting to x86 systems, it's unlikely to gain many new converts. And as any Harvard MBA can tell you, a business model based on not losing existing customers is not a formula for success in the long term.

Might want to rethink those voting machines (and the people who use them)

We've been hearing for years that direct recording electronic voting machines are potentially hackable. With a powder-keg election forthcoming, it was therefore not reassuring news this week that researchers at Argonne National Laboratory were able to totally subvert the voting counts on Diebold voting machines, simply by installing a $10 circuit between a ribbon cable and the connector. Since Diebold machines are not tamper resistant, this means that pretty much anyone with the technical savvy to create the device could hijack the polls.

I see this as part of a larger problem in the computer industry — an almost blind belief that technology can solve social problems in isolation. People seem to think that making government data transparent or turning to social networking can solve society's ills. In reality, the things that need to be re-engineered are the people. The best software in the world won't make people give up irrational belief systems, or stop hating others (be they red state or blue) because they're different. And as long as hate, intolerance and ignorance run wild, technology will be as likely to be used as a weapon as a solution.

Got news?

Please send tips and leads here.


September 14 2011

Apple vs. Samsung: Das Urteil im Volltext

In dem Streit zwischen Apple und Samsung um ein Vertriebsverbot für das Tablet Galaxy Tab 10.1 liegt das Urteil des Landgerichts Düsseldorf jetzt im Volltext vor.

Interessant ist m.E. zunächst, dass sich das Gericht nur auf Ansprüche nach dem Geschmacksmusterrecht stützt und den ergänzenden wettbewerbsrechtlichen Leistungsschutz außen vor lässt.

Das Gericht befasst sich insbesondere auch mit der Frage des sog. vorbekannten Formenschatzes, also damit, ob es bereits vor dem Geschmacksmuster von Apple Designs gegeben hat, die es ausschließen, dass man die Gestaltung von Apple als neu und eigenartig betrachten kann. Auch mit der Frage, ob die Gestaltung (ausschließlich) technisch oder funktional bedingt ist, setzt sich das Landgericht auseinander.

Das Gericht betont sogar, dass es im Zeipunkt der Anmeldung des Gemeinschaftsgeschmacksmusters noch kaum Tablets gegeben hätte und mithin eine geringe Musterdichte und damit ein großer gestalterischer Spielraum bestanden hat, was dazu führen soll, dass selbst gewisse Abweichungen im Design Samsungs keinen abweichenden Gesamteindruck vermitteln.

Ich bin gespannt, ob die Entscheidung beim OLG Düsseldorf halten wird, denn man kann die Frage der Neuheit von Apples Muster sicherlich kritisch hinterfragen. Andererseits halte ich es für offensichtlich, dass sich Samsung gezielt an das populäre iPad angelehnt hat, womit sich dann auch die Frage des ergänzenden wettbewerbsrechtlichen Leistungsschutzes stellt. Ich beurteile die Chancen von Samsung auch in der Berufung als eher schlecht.

September 12 2011

Wochenrückblick: Schutzfristen, Providerhaftung, Galaxy-Tab

Die EU will verwandte Schutzrechte für Tonaufnahmen verlängern, ein weiteres Gerichtsurteil verneint die Providerhaftung für Urheberrechtsverletzungen, das Vetriebsverbot geg


September 09 2011

Apple vs. Samsung: LG Düsseldorf bestätigt einstweilige Verfügung

Der Widerspruch von Samsung gegen eine einstweilige Verfügung, durch die der Vertrieb des Tablets Galaxy Tab 10.1 untersagt wurde, ist erwartungsgemäß erfolglos gebleiben. Das Landgericht hat nach Presseberichten die Beschlussverfügung jetzt durch Urteil bestätigt.

Apple macht in diesem Verfahren eine Verletzung des Designs seines iPads geltend. Gegen das Urteil des Landgerichts kann Samsung nunmehr Berufung zum Oberlandesgericht Düsseldorf einlegen.

Mittlerweile liegt auch die Pressemitteilung des Landgerichts vor.

September 05 2011

Wochenrückblick: Galaxy-Tab,, Depeschen

Der Patentstreit um Samsungs Galaxy-Tab erreicht die Funkausstellung, das Blog wird für ein T-Shirt abgemahnt, Wikileaks veröffentlicht die gesamten Botschaftsdep


August 25 2011

Mündliche Verhandlung in Sachen Apple vs. Samsung

Das Landgericht Düsseldorf hatte auf Antrag von Apple am 09.08.2011 eine einstweilige Verfügung erlassen, die Samsung den Vertrieb des Tablets Galaxy Tab 10.1 in der Europäischen Union untersagt. Diese Verfügung hatte das Gericht – ohne mündliche Verhandlung – in Richtung der koreanischen Muttergesellschaft von Samsung anschließend auf ein nur für Deutschland geltendes Verbot beschränkt.

Auf den Widerspruch von Samsung hin, hat das Landgericht Düsseldorf heute mündlich zur Sache verhandelt. Nachdem Spiegel Online bereits vorschnell vermeldet hatte, dass das Gericht die einstweilige Verfügung bestätigt hätte, ist tatsächlich noch keine Entscheidung ergangen und Termin zur Verkündung einer Entscheidung erst auf den 09.09.2011 bestimmt worden.

Das bedeutet allerdings, dass die einstweilige Verfügung bis zu diesem Datum bestehen bleibt. Auch wenn man sich mit Ferndiagnosen zurückhalten sollte, deutet dies sehr stark darauf hin, dass das Gericht die Unterlassungsverfügung nicht aufheben wird. Hätten sich – aus Sicht des Gerichts – ernstliche Zweifel ergeben, dann wäre es nämlich gehalten gewesen, die Verfügung sofort aufzuheben. Man muss also damit rechnen, dass das Gericht die Verfügung durch Urteil bestätigt.

August 14 2011

Wochenrückblick: Galaxy-Tab, Synchronsprecher, Openleaks

Apple lässt den Vertrieb des Galaxy-Tablets untersagen, der Synchronsprecher von Johnny Depp wird nicht nachvergütet, die Whistleblowerplattform Openleak


August 12 2011

Apple vs. Samsung

Das Landgericht Düsseldorf hatte auf Antrag von Apple am 09.08.2011 eine einstweilige Verfügung erlassen, die Samsung den Vertrieb des Tablets Galaxy Tab 10.1 in der Europäischen Union untersagt.

Wie das Landgericht Düsseldorf heute mitteilt, hat Samsung gegen die Beschlussverfügung Widerspruch erhoben, über den das Gericht am 25.08.2011 mündlich verhandeln wird.

In der Pressemitteilung des Landgerichts wird außerdem erwähnt, dass die einstweilige Verfügung ohne mündliche Verhandlung im Beschlusswege erlassen wurde, obwohl eine Schutzschrift von Samsung vorgelegen hat. Das Gericht hat die Einwendungen von Samsung also für gänzlich unbeachtlich gehalten, ansonsten hätte es vor einer Entscheidung terminieren müssen. Der Einwand von Samsung, es sei ein Nichtigkeitsantrag – zum Harmonisierungsamt in Alicante – in Vorbereitung, ist in jedem Falle unerheblich.

Dass das Landgericht trotz Schutzschrift durch Beschluss entschieden hat, bestätigt meine Einschätzung, dass es Samsung schwer haben wird, eine Aufhebung der Verfügung zu erreichen. Sofern es nicht spätestens in einer Berufung gelingt, die einstweilige Verfügung aufheben zu lassen, dürfte das vermutlich das Ende des Galaxy Tab 10.1 – in seiner bisherigen Form – sein. Denn bis eine eventuelle Hauptsacheentscheidung ergeht, wird voraussichtlich zu viel Zeit für eine Markteinführung verstrichen sein. Andererseits geht Apple mit seinem Vorgehen das Risiko erheblicher Schadensersatzansprüche ein, sollte eine abweichende Hauptsacheentscheidung ergehen oder die Nichtigkeit des Musters festgestellt werden.

August 10 2011

Was steckt hinter der Unterlassungsverfügung von Apple gegen Samsung?

Wie gestern bekannt wurde, hat Apple gegen den Konkurrenten Samsung beim Landgericht Düsseldorf eine einstweilige Verfügung erwirkt, die es Samsung untersagt, das Android-Tablet Galaxy Tab 10.1 in der Europäischen Union zu vertreiben. Die Antragsschrift von Apple, die von der Kanzlei Freshfields stammt, ist mittlerweile als Leak online, weshalb konkret nachvollzogen werden kann, wie Apple argumentiert hat.

In der Sache geht es um Designschutz. Apple macht also geltend, das Design seines iPad sei von Samsung für dessen Produkt Galaxy Tab 10.1 praktisch kopiert worden. Apple beruft sich primär auf ein Gemeinschaftsgeschmacksmuster, durch das das Design des iPad geschützt sein soll.

Ein Geschmacksmuster ist ein eingetragenes gewerbliches Schutzrecht durch das ganz konkret die (äußere) Erscheinungsform eines Gegenstands (Produkts) geschützt wird. Schutzvoraussetzung und damit Voraussetzung für eine Eintragung als Schutzrecht ist nach Art. 4 GemeinschaftsgeschmacksmusterVO, dass das Design neu und eigenartig ist. Bei der Frage der Neuheit und der Eigenart ist der ästhetische Gesamteindruck maßgeblich. Apple hat bereits 2004 ein Design für einen Taschencomputer als Gemeinschaftsgeschmacksmuster schützen lassen, worauf sich der jetzige Antrag stützt. Dieses Muster ist offenbar auch nie angegriffen worden.

Vor diesem Hintergrund ist die Entscheidung des Landgerichts Düsseldorf – das an die Eintragungsentscheidung des zuständigen Harmonisierungsamts gebunden ist – nachvollziehbar.

Andererseits lassen sich mit diesem Muster vermutlich beliebige Tablets der aktuellen Generation untersagen, denn Gegenstand des Schutzes ist letztlich ein flacher rechteckiger Bildschirm, mit einem schmalen Rahmen und abgerundeten Ecken.

Apple beruft sich zudem auf den sog. ergänzenden wettbewerbsrechtlichen Leistungsschutz. Das Argument hierbei ist, dass das iPad sog. wettbewerbliche Eigenart besitzt, weil jedermann das Produktdesign des iPad mit Apple in Verbindung bringen würde. Hier kommt Apple in der Tat die hohe Bekanntheit des iPad zugute. Auch wenn es schon längere Zeit Tablets gibt, hat erst das iPad diesen Markt überhaupt in nennenswerter Art und Weise in Schwung gebracht.

Es wird für Samsung daher gar nicht so einfach sein, die Entscheidung zu kippen, zumal jedem klar ist, dass sich Samsung an das Design des iPad anlehnt, auch wenn Apple das Rad natürlich nicht erfunden hat.

Streitigkeiten dieser Art, über die viele Leute vermutlich nur den Kopf schütteln, werden übrigens laufend geführt. Nur in den meisten Fällen eben unter Ausschluss der Öffentlichkeit. Der Fall ist aber auch ein gutes Beispiel dafür, dass gewerbliche Schutzrechte eingesetzt werden, um Wettbewerb zu verhindern. Wer sich hieran stört, sollte aber nicht auf die Gerichte schimpfen, sondern muss das bestehende Konzept des gewerblichen Rechtsschutzes kritisch hinterfragen.

Udo Vetter befasst sich im LawBlog ebenfalls mit dem Thema.

June 22 2011

Developer Week in Review: Start your lawyers!

Summer is here, so it's time to hit the beach and soak up some sun. You know, sun? That bright yellow ball that blinds you whenever you go out for Doritos and Mountain Dew in the middle of a 48-hour hackathon? I'm told it's actually quite pleasant to be around, once you get acclimated to it. Still, probably better to stay inside, avoid the evil day star, and see what's been happening in the World of Geek this week.

Get your lawsuits

Samsung and AppleIn the latest chapter of "As the Smartphone Turns," Samsung has accused Apple of fathering an illegitimate child with it when Samsung had amnesia, gotten as a result of being hit on the head by an old Motorola bag-phone while trying to save RIM from ending up destitute on the street.

Not really, but the realities of Samsung v. Apple are almost as bizarre. This week, a US district judge told Samsung that, no, you don't get to see previews of the iPad 3 and iPhone 5. This comes as Samsung continues to be Apple's largest supplier of semiconductor technologies. There must be some awesome screens set up to let Apple shovel money into Samsung's bank account while at the same time suing them.

Also in "Intellectual Property Gone Wild" news this week, Oracle is evidently asking for (cue Carl Sagan voice) billiuns and billiuns of dollars as penalties in their Java suit against Google, which means that Google might actually need to clean out the petty cash drawer and make a trip to the bank. And Apple has paid off Nokia to settle a long-running patent suit between the two companies. And BitTorrent came under attack this week when they were sued for violating a "submarine" patent on file distribution granted in 2007. Litigation, the growth sector of the American economy!

In related news, I got a notice this week that my own trademark application will be approved in three months if no one objects. Watch out world, I'm gonna have some IP soon, and I'm not afraid to use it!

Please remember to stretch before logging into your PC

Folks have been hacking the Kinect for a while now, hooking it up to all sorts of esoteric devices that aren't XBoxen (and just what is the group noun for an XBox? A Lanparty of XBoxes?). Now Microsoft has decided to make Kinect hacks officially supported, at least if you run Windows. With the release of the Kinect SDK for Windows, developers can finally make desktop users flail around awkwardly, just like their gaming counterparts.

With the release of the SDK, Windows hackers will gain access to a powerful vision recognition system, and it will be interesting to see what the first third-party Windows applications to come out will look like. Somehow, I suspect it'll have something to do with porn ...

OSCON 2011 — Join today's open source innovators, builders, and pioneers July 25-29 as they gather at the Oregon Convention Center in Portland, Ore.

Save 20% on registration with the code OS11RAD

Where were you when the IPv6 turned on?

The one-day IPv6 lovefest earlier this month didn't seem to break anything significant, but on the other hand, it didn't seem to do much to promote the adoption of IPv6 either. Unless you happen to be one of the 12 people on the planet whose ISP allocates and routes IPv6, the only way to know that anything had happened at all was if you had an IPv6 tunnel set up with a broker such as Electric Hurricane.

With the IPv4 space "officially" exhausted, you'd expect there would be more urgency about this issue, but business seems to be proceeding according to the normal human emergency protocol (that's the one where you ignore a problem until it becomes a crisis, then run around like a chicken with it's head cut off). In the meanwhile, there are still quite a few active class A subnets lying around, each with 16 million addresses (here's a list). One must wonder how long it will be before pressure starts to be applied on entities such as HP (which owns two!) to start freeing them up for the good of the net.

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June 14 2010

South Korea: Understanding the Oil Spill From Painful Experience

By Lee Yoo Eun

As the BP oil spill disaster in the United States is reported in South Korea, numerous Korean bloggers, for whom painful memories of the deadliest oil spill in Korean history in 2007 remains fresh, are expressing their worries and sympathy to the oil spill victims.

In December 2007, 2.7 million gallons of crude oil gushed into Korea's scenic west sea near the Port of Daesan on the Yellow Sea coast of Taean County after a crane barge owned by Samsung Heavy Industries slammed into the Hebei Spirit, a Hong Kong-registered crude oil carrier, spotting Korea's west coast with jet black crude oil.

Photos from a blogger who participated in the clean up process as a volunteer.

Around 120 million people from different social backgrounds volunteered in the West Sea shore clean-up process which lasted for several months. Celebrities, politicians and professionals from various fields scrubbed stones covered in oil by hand, one-by-one, using absorbent materials to soak up the remaining oil.

A volunteer of the Taean clean-up process reported on her blog the mild distress she suffered during the clean-up work and following days due to the strong smell of the oil:

기름을 닦아내도 바닷물이 들어오면 다시 엉망이 되고마는
태안. 기름 냄새에 속이 울렁거리고 머리가 지끈거린다…집에 돌아온 지금도 온 몸이 으실으실하고 속이 메스겁다.

Even after we scrubbed off the oil, Taean turned into a mess again when the water came in. The smell of the oil gave me nausea and headaches… Even after I returned to my house,
I still felt malaise and nausea.

Even though the Korean government dispatched hundreds of vessels, cranes, helicopters and airplane to the west coast, most of the clean-up process had to rely on people's hands as the oil permeated deep and wide into the shore's complicated landscape, hiding itself in the sand and millions of rocks laying there.

A blogger on his Daum blog noted that the BP oil spill clean-up process might speed up if more manpower and financial support are injected to the process, at the same time expressing envy of the US' high-end cleanup equipment:

부자 나라답게 장비도 고급이고 대량으로 투입하기 때문에 방제작업을 의외로 싱겁게 끝날지도 모르겠습니다. 앞서도 언급했지만 손으로 일일이 닦아 내던 우리의 현실이 겹쳐집니다. …이버 서태를 대비해서 Oil pollution trust fund(기금)을 조성하여…1건당 사용 가능한 금액은 US$ 1bn (1억 달러)인데 이번 사고를 처리하기에는 턱 없이 적다는 생각이 듭니다. 우리나라처럼 자원봉사자가 많으면 모르겠지만.

Since the US is a rich country, lots of high quality equipment has been deployed at the scene in large amounts. There is a chance that the clean-up operation may prove to be much easier than people expected. This is quite contrary to our case of scrubbing oil off with our hands, one by one (from oil-inflicted objects)… The US has formed the Oil pollution trust fund…with a spending cap (of the Oil Spill Liability Trust Fund) for each incident at $1 billion. This is way too small since there is no large group of volunteer workers in the United States like we had in Korea.

Local media reported that the Taean oil leak was only two-thirds the amount of oil that spews from the BP oil pipe on a single day. And it was one-third of the Exxon Valdez oil spill. Nevertheless it was deadly enough to kill marine life in one of Korea's largest wetland areas, damaging the fishing industry and 445 sea farms, and the tourism industry by tainting a national maritime park, thereby wrecking people's livelihoods. Samsung, one of biggest multinational conglomerate corporations in Korea, had been blamed for causing the disaster for letting its barge go wild with loose cables linking it to the tug. As the oil spill case in Mexico Gulf appeared, Koreans came to recall that Samsung Heavy Industries got off with a relatively light punishment.

A Naver blogger expresses a unpleasant feeling toward governments and companies' shirking their responsibilities:

지난 2007년 겨울 한국에서 발생했던 서해 태안 기름 유출
사건을 연상케 합니다…우리는 지난 태안 기름 유출 사건때 수많은 자원봉사자들의 덕에 빠르게 정상화를 찾아갔던 기억이 있습니다… 미국 정부도 이번 사건의 늑장대응에 대한 책임을 피하기는 쉽지 않을 것 같습니다. 열심히 BP에 모든
책임을 떠넘기고 있군요. 한국에서 태안 기름 유출을 일으킨 삼성 중공업이 고작 56억원의 손해 배상 책임을 판결 받은 것을 기억하니 무지하게 씁쓸합니다.

This [BP oil spill] reminds me of the Taean oil spill in winter 2007 in Korea. We made a fast recovery thanks to help of numerous volunteer workers…It seems it will be hard for the US government to wiggle its way out of the criticism on its belated response to this incident. Now the government tries to dump all responsibility onto BP. This reminds me of the Samsung Heavy Industries' Taean oil spill liability verdict, where Samsung got away with a penalty of only 5.6 billion Korean won [about USD 4.6 million]. All this makes me feel/taste bitter.

With its compensation cap limited to 5.6 billion Korean won, Samsung was fined only 30 million Korean won, or about USD 22,000.

Some blogger are approaching this issue from a realistic angle. One Naver blogger have posted speculation on affect the BP oil disaster will have on oil prices, himself predicting that it will surpass USD 100 dollar a barrel soon in this year.

Another OhMyNews blogger stressed the urgent need to seek a fundamental way to stop oil disasters from recurring:

궁극적으로 전세게가 하루빨리 원유 의존에서 벗어나 친환경 에너지로 하루빨리 바꿔야 하겠습니다…우리 모두 같은 지구촌 사람인이상 남의 일이 아닙니다.

The world needs to shift from its heavy dependency on the oil to eco-friendly energy use as early as possible…We all belong to the same earth, this is not the other's matter any more.

Koreans, after being burnt from their oil spill disaster, have expressed their sincere worries over the the endless spewing of the oil in the United States and the aftermath it will bring on a global level.

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