Saturday, February 25, 2017

Top 5 searches leading to

According to Amazon's internet stats source Alexa, the warning page you get when you try to access illegal content from within Korea is the 37th most popular page in the country.

If you're unfamiliar, the infamous warning page is a redirect that seems to occur at the ISP level* when you try to visit sites that host illegal content. For example: porn sites that don't require an adult ID check, gambling sites, online pharmacies, some pirating sites, etc. Try as you might, visiting a blacklisted URL ends up at unless you're savvy enough to understand VPNs. screenshot

Now I don't usually trust foreign internet stats regarding Korea. I've mentioned some of the discrepancies before (like here or here or here). But one piece of data from Alexa's report was so funny, and so believable, that it won me over:

Who visits Men. Image: Alexa

That says it all right there. Who is searching for porn, gambling, and illicit Viagra? Men. OK Alexa, I am convinced. You know your stuff.

The report also includes the top 5 keywords that ultimately lead people to the warning.

Top Keywords from Search Engines leading to Image: Alexa
Here's that data in text form:

Keyword and Percent of Search Traffic

  1. 야설 69.93%
  2. 24.67%
  3. 야동 1.43%
  4. asian sex 1.38%
  5. 조대간호사 0.61%

For those wanting to know:

  1. 야설 is erotic fiction: literally "porn novels." I won't be childish enough to make a joke about this being at 69 percent.
  2. Somethings obviously wrong in the data for #2
  3. 야동 is porn: literally "porn videos". Well, I'd guess this 야 is really 夜, so "night novels" and "nocturnal videos" which sounds even more pornographic than just saying "porn." But I'm no Hanja expert. 
  4. Smart move if Koreans are searching in English. See kids? Learning English can open the full bounty of the internet to you. 
  5. I'm no Korean pornography expert, but it looks like 조대간호사 (literally: Chosun University Hospital nurse) may be referring to a famous leaked video of a... well I'll let you fill in the blanks there.

All this data is very fun and all, but again, take it with a grain of salt.

Hat tip to Within Korea's top 50 sites: 4 torrent sites, 4 major Chinese sites, 1 blocked adult site, and : korea

*It seems ISP-based, since certain sites will be accessible from one telecom's network but not another's, and vice-versa. A good example is 4chan, which seems to fluctuate between blocked/unblocked depending on the month and the ISP.
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Friday, February 24, 2017

Download subtitles from Naver V

Here are two ways to download the subtitles from Naver V Live videos: a very easy way, and a little more difficult manual way. I've received multiple requests about this, so I'll give the public what they want today.

Method 1 - Download Naver V subs the easy way with Soshistagram

The easiest way is just to use Soshistagram's simple Naver V downloader. From their website, you can just paste a video URL, and it will let you download the video (in a variety of size resolutions) and also the subtitles, with one click. Amazingly, they even convert the subtitle file for you into the popular SRT format. You should have no problems. Check out this picture. It couldn't be easier.

Downloading subtitles from Soshistagram's V Downloader

Seriously, just use Soshistagram, even if the name feels a little outdated now. One of my most popular posts was basically just a link to them. Plus it should work on mobile.

Method 2 - Download Naver V subs manually with Chrome's developer tools

You can also manually download the subtitle file, but it takes a little bit of work. Don't worry. It looks complicated, but it's not so bad.

Basically, we're just opening the built-in Dev Tools in Chrome, finding the VTT file in the Network tab, choosing the result from the URL that includes "caption", and that's the subtitle file.

If you didn't understand that, don't worry. Let's go through it step-by-step. For my example, I'm using the video at V LIVE - 4minute의 팬미팅 가는 길

Screenshot of the subtitle downloading process

Detailed instructions

  1. Open the video page. Example:
  2. Open Chrome's developer tools
    3 dot menu → "More tools..." → "Developer Tools" or Ctrl-Shift-I
  3. Go to the "Network" tab It's in the top menu of this new side window. You may need to click the "»" to expand the menu more
  4. Make sure the little circle is red (#1 in my screenshot)
  5. Type "vtt" in the search box (#2 in my screenshot)
  6. *
  7. Click each search result
    They will open in the right-side window, where the big red circle in my screenshot is
  8. Find the result that has the word "caption" near the link's beginning (#3 in my screenshot). This is the subtitle!
  9. Copy the link (everything in the circle in #4 in my screenshot)
  10. Open the link in a new tab and save the file as .vtt 
*If you get stuck on #6 and no results are loading, try reloading the page and trying again, or skipping ahead in the video. The point is: at least some of the subtitles need to be loading while we do this.

The resulting subtitle page in my example is here and looks like this:
00:01:01.005 --> 00:01:02.350
- Is it on?
- Now we're on?
00:01:02.350 --> 00:01:04.334
- Any sound?
- Sound?
00:01:04.334 --> 00:01:06.981
- No sound?
- They couldn’t hear us at all.

Here is what you'll see the subtitles file in Chrome:

This is the file to save with any name and with the extension .vtt

Note: actually, you could also have just skipped the URL copy/paste, and just move from the "Headers" tab to the "Preview" tab. You'll find the subtitles there too.

But wait. We are not done yet.

Subtitle conversion

If you download the subs manually like this, you probably can't play them yet. Naver uses a special format that most video players can't read. So, you need to convert these .vtt subtitles into a more popular format, like .srt. Soshistagram does this for you, but you can do it yourself too, either manually or with another program.

Manual conversion

1. Download the subtitles (WebVTT file, .vtt)
2. open with any text editor
3. Remove WEBVTT text
3. Navigate to Find and Replace
4. Replace . (dot) with , (comma) and apply to all
5. If you use triple points like these ... simply replace the ,,, with ... in Find and Replace and you'll get them back.
Converting Amara subtitles's WebVTT to SRT on Vimeo

Automatic conversion

Some programs will do the conversion for you, such as:

Final Thoughts

This is a good method to learn because if Soshistagram ever goes down, you can still download the subtitles and videos yourself. This whole process works basically the same for downloading the video manually too. Just replace that .vtt search with .mp4 and you'll be able to find and easily download the video.

Of course there are other ways to grab videos and subtitles from online. I just prefer the manual way since I don't have to rely on any site that might go down at any time.

Hope this helps, and if you're here you might be interested in these posts too:

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Sunday, February 19, 2017

V Live fansubs in Naver Dictionary

I often use Naver Dictionary to look-up Korean words. It usually offers a variety of meanings and example sentences to help get a feel for how words are used. The other day I noticed that in addition to their normal academic corpus sources and user contributed translations, they are now also tapping into their V Live fan community translations.

Here's an example page of looking up a common Korean word that's integral to the Korea experience but is a bit hard to translate into English: 답답하다

Screenshot of Naver Dictionary entry for 답답하다, with V Live fansub contributions circled. Image: Naver

You can see the top definitions there, including:
(숨이 막힐 듯이) stuffy, stifling, suffocating
이 방은 너무 답답하다This room feels very stuffy.View 4 more meanings : (숨이 막힐 듯이) stuffy, stifling, suffocating

But scroll down below those, and you get K-pop fan contributed translations, like:
What a fool.
아주 답답하다.Say that you feel suffocated.
누구야? - "너무 답답하다".Who is it? - "Looks too stuffy".
와, 진짜 답답하다. 뭐하냐...Wow, it's so stifling. What is he doing... 

Those V Live fansub examples come from real K-pop idol music videos or reality shows, which the fans have translated in those videos. Source links to those videos are provided. I should admit though that in this example, the "translator" for these videos all seemed to be an account called "VSUB_official" so although the fan submitted subs are real, it's possible Naver includes only "officially" done examples here. 

Here they are up close. You'll notice the artists and video titles listed below them.

V Live fansubs that included 답답하다 across multiple videos, as seen in Naver Dictionary results. Image: Naver 

If they really are pulling fan-submitted translations, I think this is a pretty clever move. Naver is making smart choices leveraging their big data these days. Naver always had a big demand for providing subtitles for their entertainment content. Naver's "V Live" (their K-pop focused music video and reality shows site, if that wasn't clear already), already opened videos up for everyday fans to provide English and other language subtitles for the Korean subbed content. I think it's pretty genius to then scrape that content and re-utilize it here in Naver Dictionary. 

Sure, the translations may not be 100% accurate (which Naver warns you about), but they compliment the more legitimate sources with various real-life and human-curated examples. 

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Saturday, February 18, 2017

Kakao Map gets English interface

KakaoMap (formerly the Daum Maps app) got updated recently from version 1.0.8 to 1.0.9, but don't let that tiny decimal fool you. This update included a hugely important feature: an English interface. Like with many other Kakao apps, you can comfortably use it with English menus, dialog boxes, directions, etc. This will doubtless be very useful for Olympics tourists coming to Korea next year.

Of course, most locations names are still handled in Hangul, but I found that major locations, like searching "Gwanghwamun" or "Gimpo Airport"or "Seoul Station" in English, returned the correct location results. So searching in English sort of works.

Let me show you a few of the English interface updates by comparing screenshots from version 1.0.8 (on the left) and version 1.0.9 (on the right).

Kakao Map: version 1.0.8 versus 1.0.9

Overall map

Map imagery itself is still only in Korean, but the search menu and "Recommendations" tab are in English.

 Local Area Info & Recommendations tab

When you drag-up while viewing a map area, you get the Recommendations and Info tab. This includes the local weather and air quality, restaurant recommendations with ratings, popular local searches, nearby popular attractions, upcoming festivals and special events, and movies showing in the area.

Side-bar Menu

The sidebar menu options and their corresponding screens have all been made English friendly. Interesting though that the English maps interface provides links to services like KakaoTaxi and KakaoNavi, which are still Korean-only. Although it's easy enough to use in Korean, Kakao would be smart to release an English version of KakaoTaxi by next year. I can't imagine the public transport in Pyeongchang is going to be great.

Public Transit Directions

Similar to the KakaoMetro app (Android | iOS), the directions, routes, and times for taking public transportation trips (here from Yonsei to Gangnam as an example) are all presented in English. There's that KakaoTaxi button which just launches that app. I find it a bit disappointing though that the actual step-by-step instructions are still in Korean. Hopefully that gets resolved in a later update. KakaoMetro presents a fully-English step-by-step guide, although that's just for subway trips. These bus trips still show everything in Korean, making it less than ideal for tourists. 

 Driving Directions

Again, info for the various driving routes appears in English, but unfortunately the turn-by-turn directions are still in Korean. You can always try Bing if you need English driving directions. Maybe Kakao can update at least the "turn left in 100m" type instructions by next year.

As an aside, I find that Waze works surprisingly well here, fully in English with even the road names Anglicized. It may not direct you via the most 100% optimal route, but it's sufficient if you need to be driving and are totally unfamiliar. Bit of warning: Waze is often outdated regarding traffic rules, so double-check that the U-turn Waze wants you to make is actually legal at that intersection.  

 Settings Menu

All the settings options are in English now too.

Problems with English-written names

I mentioned that some big-name places can be searched for in English and you get the right result back. Well, take that with a grain of salt. Some places are wildly wrong, and direct you to locations that just have that name in their own name, regardless of, let's call it "preeminence". Take a look at this example:

In the screenshots above, you can see that searching "Yonsei" brought up a glasses store called 연세안경 ("Yonsei Optometry"). I needed to search "Yonsei University" to get the place I obviously meant. This wasn't the only noticeable case. Searching "Everland" brought up some small shop in nearby Gwangmyeong called 에버랜드완구점 ("Everland Toy Store") instead of the massive theme park in Yongin. Searching "LotteWorld" took me to the correct theme park near Gangnam, but "Lotte World" brought me to an office-tel with the wildly euphemistic name of Lotte World Tower Office-tel.

It's possible that the app is preferencing places nearer to me (I'm just south of Seoul right now), but I'm sure when it comes to these big-name places, nobody searching the English names of big attractions is looking to get a pair of glasses or rent a studio apartment.

Final Thoughts

Hey, it's a step in the right direction. At least now you'll have another English option besides the questionable coverage of Google Maps here. I'm looking forward to it continuing to improve. This was only a decimal release, after all, and the first attempt in English, so let's give it some maturing time. Let me know if you find some other funny obviously mistaken results.

KakaoMap still unreleased for iOS at this time, although the older Daum Maps app is still available there, and was updated just two months ago weirdly:
→ 다음 지도, 길찾기, 지하철, 버스 - Daum Maps, Metro, Bus on the App Store

Anyway, grab KakaoMap for Android here:
→ Kakao Map (DaumMaps 4.0) - Android Apps on Google Play

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Friday, February 17, 2017

Kakao releases a game on Steam

If you thought Kakao just makes cute character bubble popping games for your phone, think again. Kakao Games has recently released a title called "VR Golf Online" on the Steam platform. Yes, Steam, your favorite mainstream PC game service.

Screenshot of Steam page for Kakao VR Golf. Image: Steam 

It looks like the game is played on the HTC Vive headset in full VR. It was released February 8th. It's got a "Mostly Positive" review, from 8 reviewers. The price is listed as ₩ 21,000 for me, and a quick run through a US proxy shows the price at $ 19.99.

Here's the trailer video for it, from the Kakao Games VR YouTube channel:

Here's the official description:
ABOUT THIS GAME - The VR Golf Online - Kakao Games Corp.
When Golf meets the limitless possibilities of Virtual Reality, the green is only inches away! Practice your swing and develop your techniques to improve your handicap. Step onto one of the 36 realistic holes, with additional courses planned for the near future. VR Golf Online can be played as a singleplayer (practice) mode, or against AI opponents. Compete and become the golf pro you've always wanted to be!
Key Features
  • Realistic physics simulate the true joy of playing Golf 
  • Includes 36 golf holes (additional courses are planned to be released after launch)
  • Built for HTC Vive
  • Supports HTC Vive VR controllers
  • Various Modes: Singleplayer, VS AI, Online(To be updated)
  • Supports 8 languages (English, Français, Español, Deutsche, Pусский, 中文, 日本語, 한국어)
[VR Golf Online on Steam]

Just in case you were suspicious as to whether actual Koreans made the game, here's a little hint:
Thank you for your interest in our game. We aiming to be the number one Golf VR game.

Check here for the full list of Kakao games on Steam (this is the only one right now).

It looks like it's also available for the Oculus Rift at a cheaper price of ₩ 18,000 in Korea, $14.99 in America:
→ VR Golf Online | Oculus

And you can even follow them on Facebook at:

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Monday, February 13, 2017

Bing Maps shows Korean traffic congestion in real time

Bing Maps (yes, Bing) got an update to show real time traffic congestion levels in many countries, including Korea. Here's what the traffic situation looked like on Bing Maps today, a Monday just before 6pm in Yeouido:

Bing Maps real-time traffic in Yeouido on 2017-2-13, 18:00. Image: Bing

Nice thick lines there. Easy to visualize, and pretty good detail down to each street. Of course the English interface is nice.

Let's compare that with Naver's real-time traffic map at the same location and point in time:

Naver Maps real-time traffic, same time/place. Image: Naver

The thinner lines seem harder to read well, and they stay thin when zooming in. But it looks like Naver's real-time traffic shows greater congestion. More red in those lines. Maybe it's more frequently updated? Maybe the source is more accurate?

Anyway, another weapon in your map arsenal.

I already showed that Bing can be used for English language driving directions in Korea, which neither Google nor Naver can do (Naver: only in Korean, Google: no driving directions).
→ 10원 Tips: Bing Maps shows driving directions in Korea

And if you're a total map masochist like me, you enjoy torturing yourself with this:
→ 10원 Tips: Comparing map sites in Korea: Naver, Daum, Google, Bing - a Map Battle Royale!

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Friday, February 10, 2017

Korean films with English subtitles at Emu Artspace, Seoul

Emu Artspace is a cultural center in the heart of Seoul that frequently (nearly every week, sometimes multiple times a week) screens interesting Korean and foreign films with English subtitles. For example, they recently had Michael Moore's "Who to Invade Next," and the animated prequel to "Train to Busan" called "Seoul Station" (with Eng subs), and aside from those big name features there's plenty more indie and film-fest type movies.

Emu Artspace's offerings

The best part is that they well document all the upcoming screenings and make it very explicit which include English subtitles. Here's their latest timetable (as of this posting) for an example:

Emu Artspace film timetable for 1st week of February, 2017. Image: Emu Artspace

And here's a sample of their offerings for this month:

Emu Artspace February 2017 films.Image: Emu Artspace 

Follow them

They also make it easy to stay updated:

Note that if you follow them, especially on Twitter, keep an eye out for "(영어자막)" to know which movies have those English subtitles. 

I haven't been there personally, but online reviews indicate it's definitely got that small indie/arthouse vibe, so don't expect a CGV, or perfection. My friend had recommended 여교사, which I see was shown here. I think I know now why he liked it. Anyway, find it here:

For more places around Seoul where you can see films with English subtitles, check out my older post, or just click over to the links directly:

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Thursday, February 9, 2017

Google Earth timelapses of Songdo, Busan, Gunsan

Google featured some neat timelapse animations of Songdo, Busan, and Gunsan recently, based on new imagery taken from Google Earth. I thought I'd share them with you now. The links in the captions go to the corresponding spot in Google Earth Engine, where you can scroll around and see the same effect for your part of Korea too.

Busan timelapse. Image: Google

Gunsan timelapse. Image: Google

Songdo timelapse. Image; Google

The imagery in Google Earth Engine is way better, so check it out. Neat to watch Songdo just rise from the water, and the same for Incheon airport filling in those formerly separate islands.The imagery does look noticeably better through 2016 now than it did the last time.

Source: Google Korea blog

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