Online game curfew for youth to be enforced in July

A selective online game shutdown for youth will take effect in July after a month-long test next month, the culture ministry said Thursday, as it accelerates its bid to ease online addiction among young students.

Under the selective shutdown system, teens under the age of 16 will be banned from accessing highly addictive online game sites from midnight to 6 a.m., ministry officials said.

Online game sites run directly by small and medium-sized companies and offering educational content will be excluded from the shutdown. According to the ministry, 87 percent of the nation’s 100 most popular online game sites will be subject to the curfew.

For full article see Korea Times.


Korea as a global U-city standard setter

Korea has taken a step closer to the building of easy-to-implement, economical u-cities (Ubiquitous City or Smart City).

The Ministry of Land, Transport and Maritime Affairs of Korea (MLTM) successfully finished developing “u-Eco ISMP (integrated service management platform)”, a key component for running “u-city total management centers,” and is working hard to promote it. Last month, the Ministry held a public hearing where it introduced and demonstrated its “u-Eco ISMP” to representatives from 230 institutions including municipalities and to nearly 200 experts in relevant fields and u-cities. The development of u-Eco ISMP was an epoch-making event in the history of u-city construction because no nation has thus far attempted to consolidate u-city platforms in the world.

Design of U-city ISMP


At the public hearing, presentations on the function modules of u-Eco ISMP, event-specific services of u-Eco ISMP, processing services and a demonstration scenario were made. Simulation of U-Eco ISMP was conducted to show its speedy responses under the scenario of the simultaneous occurrence of sudden events: torrential rains and discharges of pollutants. First, u-Eco ISMP triggered flood alerts and informed relevant institutions and u-services of flash flooding and discharges of pollutants at the same time. Then, the informed total control system sent out orders to people in charge. And responses to the discharges of pollutants were made and the developments of the two events were recorded in the media board, thereby putting an end to the situation.

For full article see Korea IT Times.

SK Telecom and HMH partnering agreement to jointly promote smart learning Business

SK Telecom announced today that it will partner with the largest U.S. education company, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (HMH), which provides educational content to 120 countries across the world, to strengthen domestic smart learning business and kick off global smart learning business.

The two companies signed an agreement on May 31 at SK Telecom’s headquarters in Seoul with the attendance of Bae Joon-Dong, President of Network Operations Business of SK Telecom, and Timothy Cannon, Executive Vice President, Strategy and Alliances of HMH. In addition, Mark Tokola, Deputy Chief of Mission, the Embassy of the United States Seoul Korea, attended the signing ceremony to congratulate and recognize the significance of the alliance between the two leading companies in the education and telecommunications sectors in Korea and the United States.

Through the partnership, the two companies will converge their core capabilities in information communications technology (ICT) and educational content to (1) cooperate in the education content platform business, (2) jointly develop an education platform targeted at the global market, and (3) conduct a range of globally oriented smart education businesses in Korea and overseas markets. Through the alliance, HMH will develop and provide more than one thousand contents, including Destination and Leveled Reader, while SK Telecom will collaborate by developing viewers, apps, billing systems, certification systems, synchronization functions and other platform functions.

For full article see Korea IT Times.

Samsung to invest $3.4 billion in new chip line

Samsung Electronics plans to invest some 4 trillion won (about $3.4 billion) to build a new chip plant in Hawseong, Gyeonggi Province, where its key chip lines are located, Samsung officials said, Friday. The new line, the 17th, will start commercial operation within the first half of 2014.

Samsung, however, is highly likely to skip the groundbreaking ceremony for the plant, the officials said. The latest factory-building plan is a part of this year’s 15 trillion won investment plan in chips by Samsung, the officials said.The new line will only produce profitable non-memory and foundry chips, according to the officials.

Samsung is also planning to switch some of its existing memory chip-producing lines into non-memory chips, though the company declined to confirm.

For full article see Korea Times.

New cancer diagnosis may do away with radiation risk

Cancer patients are exposed to potentially harmful radiation during CT (computerized tomography) scans and other X-ray procedures, as well as invasive tests using radioactive isotopes.
That may change if the Korea Communications Commission’s (KCC) plans to back Korean technology aimed at providing a new method of cancer diagnosis succeeds.

The KCC affiliated Electronic and Telecommunications Research Institute (ETRI) is behind experiments using electromagnetic waves in the 3-gigaherz spectrum to detect breast cancer, one of the six cancers that Koreans are most prone.
Clinical trials have been approved by the Korea Food and Drug Administration (KFDA) with a view to commercialization by 2017.

Detectors spot the difference in the electrical response time of healthy cells and cancerous ones using a technique dubbed “micro-wave” tomography.

Read full article on: Korea Times

Korea to build world’s largest hydrogen-powered town

The Ministry of Knowledge Economy said Monday that it will launch the “Hydrogen Town Pilot Project” to establish futuristic energy infrastructure that uses waste hydrogen and hydrogen fuel cell technologies to meet the nation’s energy consumption needs.

With a budget of 9 billion won ($7.6 million) coming from the government and industries, the project will create the world’s largest hydrogen-powered town in Korea, potentially by late this year when related facilities are completed as scheduled, the ministry said.

More detailed plans, including the location and date of completion, will be finalized after a consortium is formed consisting of selected local government offices and private companies.

According to the ministry, the new hydrogen town will use hydrogen emitted as exhaust during the manufacture of petrochemical products and power plant operations. Such a feature distinguishes itself from hydrogen town projects of other countries that use hydrogen obtained from modified liquefied natural gas.

The recommended price for this hydrogen energy is as low as 100 won per cubic meters, which is only 12 percent of LNG prices, the ministry said.

The total capacity of the new hydrogen town facilities is about 200 kilowatts, generating 1,664 megawatts per hour, equivalent to the amount of energy used by 400 four-member families every year.

The heat energy produced in the hydrogen town is 2,026 gigacalories, an amount that can provide 127,000 four-member families with hot water of 140 degrees Fahrenheit every day.

Full article see: Korea Herald

SKT, KT venture into big data health IT business

Yoo Ki-yoon (aged 51) recently received a personalized healthcare plan based on genome analysis, which processes the patient’s medical and family history and offers relevant healthcare information. This comprehensive health IT service suggests which hospital to visit depending on the symptoms, while providing information on the number of surgeries performed at the hospital, the success rate, and even patient review on doctors. Such big data-based health IT services is expected to gain traction and become fully commercialized in the next year or two.

In line with this latest development, South Korea’s top telecom carriers and the Korean government are actively exploring the potential of big data in healthcare and personal health record (PHR) businesses.

The Korea Communications Commission (KCC) recently formed a consortium with the Electronics and Telecommunications Research Institute (ETRI), Seoul National University, internet portal Daum, healthcare website Korea Medicare, and information analysis service provider Saltlux to develop a big data-based healthcare application. This application will provide an integrated platform for healthcare information by combining the databases of hospitals from the Health Insurance Review & Assessment Service (HIRA), drugs and pharmaceutics from the Korea Food and Drug Administration (KFDA), and food additives from the Ministry for Food, Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (MIFAFF).

Full article see: MK Business News

Arirang-3 launch lifts Korea’s space program

Korea made progress in its commercial space program by launching its third Earth observation satellite from a Japanese space center on Friday.

The KOMPSAT-3, also called the Arirang-3, lifted off aboard the Japanese H-2A rocket at 1:39 a.m. from the Tanegashima Space Center on an island some 115 kilometers south of Kyushu.

The satellite was separated from the rocket and went into orbit 16 minutes after launch and sent its first signal to a ground station in Antarctica at 2:18 a.m. The satellite exchanged signals with the Korea Aerospace Research Institute in Daejeon around 3 a.m., indicating that it has entered the correct trajectory.

For full article see Korea Herald.

Five-year R&D plan devised to fight bioterrorism

The National Institute of Health (NIH) has laid out plans to strengthen research for action against bioterrorism, an official said Monday.

NIH officials met with technology experts dealing with bioterrorism to set up a five-year plan on research and development (R&D) to effectively tackle the issue.

The institute will step up research on vaccines, cures, diagnoses, detection and research to deter bioterrorism. It will also collect the opinions of experts to draw up the plan which will center on cutting-edge technology such as nano-biotechnology.

The NIH is conducting various research projects such as the development of a gene recombination anthrax vaccine, which is currently in its second stage of clinical trials.

The institute has also developed pathogens likely to cause bioterrorism as well as kits that detects toxins and has used them at the 2012 Nuclear Security Summit in Seoul this March and other large-scale international conferences.

For full article see Korea Times.

Korea accounts for 2 of 5 3D TVs sold in global market: report

The global 3D TV market more than doubled from last year, despite the overall contraction in the TV market.

The global TV market amounted to 51.22 million units as of the first quarter (Q1) this year, which is an eight percent fall from the previous year’s 55.54 million units, said market researcher DisplaySearch Sunday.

Samsung Electronics had the highest stake in the global TV market as its shares rose three percentage points on-year to 21 percent. LG Electronics took second place with a 16 percent share, followed by Sony (seven percent), TCL (six percent), and Panasonic (six percent). Meanwhile, the 3D TV market continued high growth, expanding at a pace of 245 percent on-year from 2.09 million units last year to 7.19 million units this year.

For full article see Maeil Business.