Saturday, September 24, 2016

Quick Tips: Aug-Sept 2016

Sam's Quick Tips for August & September 2016

  • Read received Kakao messages without the sender knowing
  • SK releases Korean version of Amazon Dash button
  • Colbert's Korean Minions movie joke
  • Naver Blogs allows for PDF version of blog backup
  • Papago released for iOS
  • Conan's octopus brought to his L.A. studio
  • Nice map of US state drivers licenses recognized in Korea
  • The Diplomat on "Christianity and Korea"
  • Swing Browser hits 20 million downloads
  • Kakao Friends wish you a happy Chuseok
  • Google knows Chuseok
  • Naver's sign-in box is now available in English
  • Adorable shark-fin soup protest
  • Ambassador Lippert ready to get his drank on

A note about "Quick Tips"

Today I'm starting with an experiment that I'm thinking about making a monthly feature here. Basically these are just things I posted on my Twitter, but never mentioned here on the blog. These are just quick little items of interest that don't really warrant an entire post of their own, but I think are valuable tidbits of information anyway. Plus I've never really gotten into Twitter. I'll post stuff now and then but don't really follow anybody on it (I either follow their blog directly via RSS, or incorporate their Twitter posts into my Inoreader). So I don't really like the idea of having Twitter-exclusive content anyway. Hopefully this will give blog readers (do I have any?) a way to keep up without having to worry about following me on Twitter.

So maybe once a month I'll collect some of those tweets and expand on them just a bit here. Let's get started.

Read received Kakao messages without the sender knowing

I saw this over on Reddit and actually thought it was a pretty clever trick:

Turn off your data/wifi, read it, exit the app, and then turn data/wifi back on. This allows you to read it without it showing the read notification apparently. But I would test it with a friend just to be sure.
Is it possible to turn off read receipts in Kakaotalk? : korea

I like this because it's simple and doesn't need any extra apps.

SK releases Korean version of Amazon Dash button

This will look very familiar to anyone who's used Amazon's Dash button. Run by SK, it currently places orders through online shopping site 11st.

By the way, perhaps as a sign of how dumb I've become, I always thought they just miswrote "11th" (eleventh), following the "1st" rule. I've definitely seen my fair share of 5st or 6nd or 2rd over the years. Finally I saw 11번가 and it all made sense: it's 11 Street. Like I said, I'm not too bright these days.


SK Telecom has released a new device named Smart Button Kkuk, which facilitates online orders of daily necessities under cooperation with its e-commerce affiliate SK Planet, Monday.
"Smart Button Kkuk is expected to draw much attention from homemakers raising children, double-income couples and unmarried working people who live alone," said Cho Young-hoon, senior vice president of SK Telecom's smart home business division.
SK releases smart shopping device for daily necessities

Homemakers, double-income couples, and single people. So in other words, everybody with money to spend.

Colbert's Korean Minions movie joke

The other day Stephen Colbert was talking about Hillary Clinton's reference to Trump supporters as a "basket of deplorables" and Stephen said it sounded like the Korean title of a Minions movie, and threw up this modified poster.

He changed it to 나쁜 사람의 바구니, literally a basket of bad people. The real title in Korea, because I know you're dying to find out, was just Minions (미니언즈). Anybody happen to know when the Korean box offices stopped translating titles and just transliterating them instead? I miss some of those great old titles, like 바람과 함께 사라지다.

Watch Colbert's bit here:
A Rough Week for Hillary Clinton - YouTube

Naver Blogs allows for PDF version of blog backup

This is not news, but just something I noticed the other day.

One thing I like about Google Blogger is that it let's you back-up your blog archive in an XML file. The downside of course is that it's difficult for a normal user to make use of this. So I was pleased to see the following feature in the settings of a test Naver Blog that I've been playing with.

Naver Blog's PDF backup page

You can export your entries, or any portion of them, to a PDF file. It automatically page-breaks at each post, which is good for a blog with long entries but not ideal if each post is very short. Still, it's a nice user-friendly feature that I wish other services would offer.

Papago released for iOS

Naver papago

I already did a little mini-review of Naver's new real-time translation app here:
10원 Tips: Naver Translator app "papago" (네이버 파파고) screenshots and review

It was only on Android at the time, but it's been released for iOS now. Download it here:
Naver papago Translate on the App Store

Conan's octopus brought to his L.A. studio

If you went crazy watching Conan O'Brien's antics in Korea a few months back, you may remember when he bought an octopus at the landmark Noryangjin fish market, and affectionately named it Samuel. You can see that part here:
Conan Visits Noryangjin Fish Market - YouTube

Well, the Korea Tourism Organization milked some more airtime out of Conan, and sent (supposedly, but I have my doubts) the same octopus to his studio. Conan showed off Samuel and his new home on his show recently. You can watch here:
Conan Reunites With Samuel The Octopus - CONAN on TBS - YouTube

Nice map of US state drivers licenses recognized in Korea

You may know that whether or not you can easily utilize your American drivers licence in Korea depends specifically on which US state issued your license. Each state works out a reciprocity agreement with Korea. That doesn't mean someone from a different state can't drive here, of course; you just have some additional hurdles to jump through. Folks from these states can just swap out their license for a Korean one; folks from other states can do the swap but need a written test and some evidential documentation first. Of course if you're just visiting, a simple International License from AAA should do.

Anyway I just liked the convenient infographic map the article included.

South Korea and Hawaii have signed a pact to recognize the validity of noncommercial driver's licenses issued by each other, the foreign ministry said Thursday.
Under the agreement, which went into force Wednesday in the US state after being signed, holders of driver's licenses issued by their own authorities are eligible for a driving permit in the counterpart region without additional training or tests, ministry officials said.
 - Korea, Hawaii sign pact to mutually recognize driver's licenses

Image: Korea Herald

The Diplomat on "Christianity and Korea"

This was just an all around interesting introduction to the various stages of Christian influence on Korea and does a nice job of tracing the history of the movements. I thought this quote was pretty insightful:

At the same time, Hong says, “It’s true that [a lot of] Christianity is corrupt. But there are a lot of hidden true pastors working hard, and their passion for God is why we are so successful in Korea.”
Christianity and Korea | The Diplomat

Very true, I'd say. There is a lot, and I mean a lot, of religious corruption around, and not just financial, but intimidation. Get on the wrong side of the church elders (who often aren't even pastors, just big shots in the congregation) and you and your family can see some opportunities cut off. But like the quote says, on the other hand there are a lot of hard working and selfless church-goers here, who work with passion and zeal and do some real good. These folks are deep into the Biblical life routine and can be the most selfless and good hearted folks. They can be intense and a bit "too much" day to day, but they'll come through for you in a pinch, which is more than I think we can say for most people around us these days. That's a good point I think the article could have looked at more -- how there was simply no or little government-sponsored welfare in the aftermath of the Korean war, and how religious organizations, as they do these days in the third world, stepped in to fill the void.

Religion is always a hot topic, but Korean religion is just so varied and so multifaceted, from Confucianism to Catholics, shamans to cults, you can never just box it in and say "this is how it is." But hey, that's true for everything.

Swing Browser hits 20 million downloads

Image: Aju News

That Frankenstein browser "Swing Browser," which tries to bolt the Korea-required features of Internet Explorer on top of Chrome, apparently hit 20,000,000 downloads last month.

If you've never used it, I did a review with plenty of screenshots while back, here:
10원 Tips: My review of Swing Browser (스윙 브라우저)

Kakao Friends wish you a happy Chuseok

OK, now I just thought this was plain cute. I got a lot of Happy Chuseok messages last week, but this was my favorite. I tried to find the origin of it, but the best my lazy quick-Googling could come up with was a G-Dragon Twitter fan account.
GD-SUPPORTERS on Twitter: "오늘부터 추석 연휴 시작이네요. 본가로 내려가시는 분들도 계실테고 홀로 긴 연휴를 보내시는 분들도 계실텐데 긴 명절연휴인 만큼 가족들과 또는 스스로에게도 긴 휴식이 될수 있길 바랍니다:) 우리지용이두요🙏"

Kakao Friends wishing you a Happy Chuseok

The Korean text on the side reads 더도 말고 덜도 말고 한가위만 같아라, which is an old saying something like "There's nothing more or less like Chuseok" or "There's nothing better than Chuseok". Send it to your Korean friends next year.

Google knows Chuseok

Speaking of Chuseok, I thought this was funny. I did a Google voice search on my phone, asking "When is Chuseok" a couple of weeks back, and it actually understood the word "chuseok" and brought back an info card filled with details. Nice.

Google Search results for "Chuseok" on mobile

Naver's sign-in box is now available in English

I don't know when exaxtly this started happening, but when I'm logged-out of Naver, it now asks me to sign-in in English. You can very easily sign-up for a Naver account if you don't have one, as the whole process is in English now. In fact all the security options are in English. I did a post awhile back about enabling two-factor authentication (password + a phone code) for your Naver account, which can all be done in English.
10원 Tips: Enable Two-step verification for your Naver account

Naver Sign-in box in English

Good to see Naver reaching a greater audience by (painfully slowly) incorporating English. They may still be the dominate player in Korea, but let's be honest, there's no potential for growth. They've saturated Korea, they are not magically going to get more Korean speakers, and if anything, Google will keep chipping away at them. They need growth and offering at least core account service in English and/or Chinese is the way. I really think they dropped the ball on this, letting the highest parts of the Hallyu pass by already. With papago and Line it's working, but they need to, for example, get Naver Pay working with credit cards from abroad. Imagine the Hallyu fan purchase frenzy! Anyway, I'm no trade expert.

Adorable shark-fin soup protest

This one is just for me. I just love this guy's way of maintaining his anonymity.

Image: Hankyoreh
Read about it here:
One-person demonstration against shark fin soup : National : News : The Hankyoreh

Ambassador Lippert ready to get his drank on

This guy always seems to love his job. Wish I looked like I was having as much fun as he seems to always be having on these events out.

Image: Yonhap

U.S. Ambassador to South Korea Mark Lippert (2nd from L) toasts with Daegu Mayor Kwon Young-jin (2nd from R) and Frederico Freire (far R), chief of South Korea's top beer firm Oriental Brewery, during a "chimac" festival in the southeastern city of Daegu on July 27, 2016, in this photo released by the brewery. Chimac, also spelled "chimaek," is a compound word combining chicken and "maekju," the Korean word for beer. (Yonhap)
'Chimac' fete in S. Korean city

That's it for this month. Let me know in the comments if you find this useful. Find more of my quick tips here. Happy Chuseok 2016!

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