Monday, June 29, 2015

Kakao's PLAIN blogging app

UPDATE: This app is now discontinued. See here

In addition to KakaoTalk, the most popular free messaging app in Korea, Daum-Kakao runs a variety of other services, almost too many to mention nowadays. Games, shopping, fashion, taxi, you name it, Kakao is trying to get a piece. Usually I ignore these new apps, but this one caught my eye.

"PLAIN" is Kakao's new blogging platform, optimized for mobile but you can also view the blogs on a normal deskstop web-browser, much like they've done with KakaoStory. They even made an English-language blog post promoting it:

 → 5 Things to Know about Daum Kakao’s new Mobile Blogging Platform, “PLAIN”

Anyway, I was curious, downloaded it, and took it for a spin. So here is a huge series of screenshots of PLAIN in-action. Follow along and virtually explore this new service with me.

1 - Signing-up. I already have a Kakao account so I only needed to choose a blog name. "Sam" was already taken.

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Sunday, June 28, 2015

Display all your Blogger posts on a single Google Map

In this post, we'll make a full-size Google Map that contains all the location-tagged posts from your Blogger feed. It will display full entries on the map.

If you're looking for a more simple map page that links to the posts, or for putting a map in your blog's sidebar as a widget, please see my other post.

I keep a travel blog for friends and family, and usually tag those Blogger posts with my location. Usually, this just adds a location tag to the bottom of the post, with a link you can click to see that spot on a map. Pretty boring. But here's a nice way to plot all your geocoded (location-tagged) Blogspot blog posts onto a single Google Map. Great way to revisit old posts and visually, geographically see where and when you were.

For example, here is the map (edit: this example not working; see Step 2 below) with location-tagged posts from this blog. Just click each one to view the corresponding entry in its entirety. All of the entries appear similarly.

Screenshot of my Blog Map
This entry, coincidentally, will be location-tagged in Busan; not because I'm there, but because a man can dream. Anyway, let's get started.

Step 1 - Edit the code

Copy the code below and paste it into a plain-text document.

<!DOCTYPE html>
    <meta name="viewport" content="initial-scale=1.0, user-scalable=no">
    <meta charset="utf-8">
    <title>GeoRSS Layers</title>
      html, body, #map-canvas {
        height: 100%;
        margin: 0;
        padding: 0;
    <script src=""></script>
function initialize() {
  var myLatlng = new google.maps.LatLng(49.496675,-102.65625);
  var mapOptions = {
    zoom: 4,
    center: myLatlng
  var map = new google.maps.Map(document.getElementById('map-canvas'), mapOptions);
  var georssLayer = new google.maps.KmlLayer({
    url: ''
google.maps.event.addDomListener(window, 'load', initialize);
    <div id="map-canvas"></div>
The bold URL above needs to be replaced with whatever GeoRSS enabed feed you want to use.

Luckily, Blogger blogs already have this feature enabled. Thanks, Google. So if you're using Blogger, you'll just need your blogId number. You can get this by simply logging into Blogger and visiting your blog's posts lists. Look up in the URL and you'll see something like "blogID=48574832938473847". Copy this number and replace "blogId" in the code above with this number.

Save it as an HTML file.

Next, you need to replace blogId in that URL with your own Blogger blog ID number.

Step 2 - Upload the File

Now you need a host for this HTML file. Sadly, I don't think you can just paste this code into a Blogger entry page. Maybe you could edit the template but I'm not a coding genius here.

The important thing is that the file must be accessible directly, so upload it to your own webserver, or your Dropbox public folder, or even to Google Drive. After you've uploaded the file to Google Drive, get it's "shareable link". But we're not done just yet. That shareable link will only open the file in the Google Drive viewer; not open the file directly. To do that, we need to edit the URL a bit. Copy just the number from your shared URL, and tack it on to the end of this string:
That should be it! You've now got a direct link to your map file.

Edit Aug. 2016: Google Drive has shut down their direct-hosting feature, and Dropbox no longer allows it for free accounts. Currently, a recommended solution is GitHub Pages, or any other directly-accessible web host.

Now you could just, for example, have a link on your blog, perhaps as a "Page" on your blog, that leads to that URL, as that is now your Blog Entries Map. But you might also want to embed the map on a page on your blog. In that case:

Step 3 - Embed (optional)

Just create a new Blogger page, switch to HTML editing, and paste this code, changing the URL to your file's location:

<iframe height="400px" width="100%" frameBorder="0" scrolling="no"

With Google+ all but dead, I hope Google gives some more love to Blogger. It's a bit bothersome to have to depend on these workarounds. I admire Naver Blogs for staying updated. It's very easy to add a post map there. It's too bad Blogger doesn't include this type of feature natively. It's a useful tool.

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Saturday, June 20, 2015

Incheon Metro Line 2 Stations, Route Maps - 인천 지하철 2호선 노선도

Incheon Metro Line #2 Background Info

Incheon Line 2 route, showing intersection with Incheon Line 1. Image: Chosun Ilbo 
By next year, Incheon is meant to have a second subway line. This new line, scheduled to open in 2016, will run from Majeon-dong (above the former-landfill, now "Dream Park") north to south, nearly parallel to Incheon Line 1 but further west, before cutting east toward Incheon Grand Park. It will be great for people in Mansu-dong and Gajwa-dong, and will likely increase stalled growth in that northern part of Seo-gu (fast fact: I'm told this is where the 삼둥이 live).

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Thursday, June 18, 2015

Facebook Pokes in Korean

I think Koreans utilize the "Poke" feature of Facebook more than most Westerners do*. The "poke" was always a sort of cute, shy, flirty, 애교 sort of feature anyway. But let "Pokes" be a lesson in never quite trusting online translators.

In Korean, a Facebook "poke" is called 콕 찔리다, a literal translation of "to be poked", from 찌르다 (to poke, prick, prod, jab) and (the sound/feeling/action of a light poke, like 콕콕콕 Ramen, named for the holes you're meant to poke in the lid).

Here's an example of when someone "pokes" you on Facebook when your language is set to Korean:

ABC님이 회원님을 연속해서 5번 콕 찔렀습니다!
👉 나도 콕 찔러보기
ABC poked you 5 times in a row!
(just now)
👉 Poke them back
Here's the funny part. If you saw someone on Facebook talking about this, and you didn't know exactly what this meant, and you tried to translate it online, you'd see this, and perhaps have a very different idea of what is going on here:

Yes, Google translates 콕 찔렀습니다 as "pierced cock". And it gets worse if you try translating the whole chunk at once:
ABC님이 회원님을 연속해서 5번 콕 찔렀습니다!
나도 콕 찔러보기

ABC's This cock was stabbed five times in succession you!
view stabbing cock

I'm not a big fan of stabs in the cock. Google is probably translating 콕 in one of two ways:
  1. the sound itself, spoken "cock/coke" in Korean. Recall this unfortunate instructor. Or
  2. 'cock' as in a badminton shuttlecock. I always chuckle when walking through the sporting goods aisle.

So feel free to "poke" your Korean friends with abandon. Just don't get any weird ideas if they respond that they want to 찔러 your 콕.

* The screenshot I used here is from a (Korean) coworker, who didn't have any "single poke" notifications. He had exchanged pokes with people 5 (the screenshot I used), 12, 23, and 67 times in a row. Apparently they just continually poke each other back and forth when reading the poke notification. Now that's dedication. I don't think I've ever poked anyone in my life, at least not on Facebook. 

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Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Some RSS subscription links for sites I like

Sometimes it can be hard to find all the useful RSS feeds out there for your favorite sites. This can be especially true for many sites' category-specific feeds. Their presence sometimes doesn't get auto-discovered by your browser, which is a shame because (in my opinion) it's there that the true power and usefulness of RSS syndication is found. So here's my small attempt to catalog some of the RSS feeds that I find useful but that may not be well publicized. A lot of these I found after either lengthy Googling or just manual URL trial-and-error, so I thought I'd share them here.

This is not an exhaustive list. I'll keep this post updated as I add new useful links, so if you discover a useful RSS URL trick then feel free to add it to the comments.

Just for the sake of examples, I'll use "korea" as my generic tag name, so just replace it with whatever you're looking for.

Site feeds 

Bill Maher's Realtime blog (just his commentary - no guests/video fluff)

Joel Osteen daily devotions blog (just posts, no fluff)

Website tag/category feeds 

Medium tag feeds
Lifehacker tag feeds

Podcast feeds

If you like subscribing to podcasts but don't use iTunes, it's sometimes hard to find the right RSS feed to subscribe to. Here are a few that I like that were a bit hard to find. I subscribe to these podcasts in my usual feed reader, Inoreader.

"Art of Manliness" podcast
"Korea FM" podcast
Pre-"Late Show with Stephen Colbert" podcast
Joel Osteen podcast

Happy reading (or listening). 
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Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Facebook: Dokdo is Japanese

Post updated with new information 18 June 2015.

You'd better sit down for this one. That's right.  
Facebook thinks Dokdo belongs to Japan. Well, sort of.

Do a Facebook Places search for "Dokdo" or even "독도" on Facebook, and it returns results saying that this location, while using the neutral/Eurocentric name "Liancourt Rocks," is located in Japan.

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Monday, June 15, 2015

Typing in Korean on Lubuntu 14.04

Typing in Korean on Lubuntu

Updated June 2015

The default input system for Lubuntu is iBus, but I find that iBus rarely works properly for typing in Korean, and if you check the forums, you'll see that especially Asian script users (Japanese, Chinese, Korean...) are having difficulty making it work. Most are switching to alternate input methods.

For me, I got iBus working for Hangul typing, but I had to keep manually switching between English/Korean by clicking with the mouse on the keyboard input icon in the toolbar panel. Not the best option. I have a Korean keyboard and want to use the 한/영 character.

Luckily, and older input method, imhangul, worked great. Here's how I got it working, and I'm very satisfied with the result.

Changing iBus to imhangul

Basically, we will: (1) install Korean language, (2) remove iBus, (3) install im-switch/imhangul, (4) activate hangul

  1. In the Language Support settings, install the Korean language pack. It may even recommend doing so when you open these settings.
  2. Using Synaptic Package Manager, search for and remove all entries relating to iBus. Be sure to "Mark for Complete Removal".
  3. Log out and log in. 
  4. Using Synaptic, install the packages im-switch and imhangul-common , formerly known as simply imhangul. It may warn you that this will remove the Language Support entry, Lubuntu Desktop, etc. Don't worry. Proceed.
  5. Log out and log in.
  6. Open a terminal and enter im-switch. A settings dialog will pop-up asking to choose your input method. Choose imhangul.
  7. Log in and log out
Now, test to make sure that you can type in Korean. The default toggle switch is to press the combination of the shift key and the space bar (shift-space). If you're using an English-language keyboard, you could stop right here.

However, if you're using a Korean-language keyboard, you probably want to use 한/영 character. Or even if you're on an English keyboard, you may find this combination annoying (I continually accidentally switched languages when typing "I"). To do so you'll need to configure the imhangul settings.

Configuring imhangul settings

The solution is simple. We need to create our own config file. Don't worry; it's very easy.

In your home directory ( /home/yourusername ) create a blank text file and name it .imhangul.conf (the initial dot is needed, as the file will be a hidden file, so if you create this and suddenly wonder "Where is the file?" make sure you've enable viewing of hidden files. A simple ctrl-H should toggle it).

Next, paste this text into the document:

enable_status_window = false
hangul_keys = "Hangul", "<Shift>space", "Alt_R"
hanja_keys = "Hangul_Hanja", "F9", "Control_R" 

Now you have a basic config file for imhangul and you can edit it any way you want. Because I don't want the shift+space combination toggling the language input, I just removed the
The "hangul" key is already listed there, so no problem. Save the file. Now log out and log in.


Now I can type in English or switch to Korean by using the 한/영 key on my keyboard, which I just did right there. Look I'll do it again 다시 사용하고 있지 wow that was much faster than clicking.

If you're looking for more advanced options for imhangul, try here.

(Optional) Change your Keyboard Layout

Finally, just in case this still doesn't work (and you're on a Korean keyboard), you might need to change your Keyboard Layout.
  1. Go to Keyboard Layout Handler. You may no longer have this setting in the System Preferences menu (a result of removing the Language Settings), but it should still be there in the taskbar (aka panel). Right-click it and choose Keyboard Layout Handler Settings.
  2. Under the Keyboard Layouts section, click "+Add", scroll down to Korean, expand the arrow to choose "Korean 101/104 key Compatible" and enable it. I also removed the entry for English. Try both methods for toggling the language (shift+space, hangul) and be patient; it took a few seconds while typing for it to kick-in for me. If this doesn't work, try the plain "Korean".
Good luck and happy 한글 typing.

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Sunday, June 7, 2015

SBI "ATM Limits" commercial (광고CF SBI ATM 한도 편)

Ah, yes. A tale as old as time.

Boy meets ATM, ATM's withdrawal limit is too low, boy breaks relationship with ATM, boy meets non-bank financial lending institution, non-bank financial lending institution provides boy a generous short-term high-interest loan, ATM forced to endure the sight of the new-found financial freedom of he who was her whole world.

Oh, l'amour.

This is one of my favorite Korean commercials. Much like in America, Korean commercials for loansharks non-bank lending companies are consistently humorous and memorable (I dare you to find a US citizen that cannot complete the simple three-digit series "877" with "CASH-NOW"). Perhaps that's part of the ploy-- disarming you into a state of passive acceptance; ironic, really, seeing as, if you fall behind on your payments, it's entirely likely that men with buzz cuts and baseball bats will show up at your door to literally disarm you.

Regardless, I cannot help but be moved by the pure emotional roller-coaster that is this short work of brilliance.

[Man, upset, angry pleading voice]
가! 제발 좀 가! 가! Go! Just go! GO!

[Melodramatic singing, accompanied by moving piano melody. Lyrics directed to the ATM herself] 
이제 넌 끝이야 You're done now.
그렇게 속 좁은 한도 With your narrow-minded limits,
이젠 정말 안녕 this is now really goodbye.

[Man calls SBI] 
SBI바빌론*이죠  SBI, right?

[Victorious singing] 
오! SBI! Oh! SBI!
직장인대출 The working man's loan!

*Apparently a pun on "Babylon" → "Babi-loan"

Now, because this is my blog and I can, let's take a shot-by-shot look at this creative masterpiece.

Scene opens, apparently at Namiseom, a popular dating spot for couples; a cruel juxtaposition against what is about to occur.

Angry man terminates his relationship with his yet-offscreen partner. Presumably they have a long history together, with many trials and tribulations, which ultimately could not be reconciled.

It's the ATM. Her beautiful feminine legs and bright blue paint hold no attraction for him anymore. He cruelly throws back into her face all the bank cards he had used in her over the years, and all the receipts she had written him. He accuses her of being too narrow-minded to fit his needs. Typical male pig.

He walks away from her, abandoning her in what now seems a cold, lonely, desolate place...

... and walks right into the disembodied embrace of a call-based loan company.

All he has to do is say hello, and he is approved; gratified; while the out-of-focus memory of the ATM becomes just a lost ghost of the past.

Man revels in his new relationship with Korea's #1 credit loan "bank".

Man admires the fruits of his new relationship: fat stacks of cash totaling up to $50,000. Ah, his needs are now understood and indulged in a way the ATM never could provide.

At up to 60 months, this relationship is destined to last-- much to the disappointment of the ATM, who you may not have noticed is in the background there, masochistically forcing herself to watch her former husband's customer's newfound excitement and contentment.

Unable to compete, she hides behind the corner, too ashamed to show him (assuming she has one) her face, even when he suspects her presence. She is the symbol of dejection.

He, meanwhile, is the symbol of success. All smiles, bright white shirt and teeth, now that he gave up on that clunky chunky old ball-and-chain ATM and picked up the phone.

What are you waiting for? Dump your loser wife bank account, and make the call.

My tone may appear sarcastic, but only a mild form is intended. I genuinely think this commercial, and the many others like it, are hilarious, creative, and pleasantly memorable. I have to admit that it succeeds as a commercial.

As it turns out, this commercial is not entirely an original, but in fact has a definite source, as pointed out by commenter Joonhyuk Cha:
Check this short beverage commercial starring 정우성. SBI commercial actually is a parody/hommage of this one. I didn't(and still don't) understand why the company 롯데칠성 had picked up this scenario but it was dope back in the time.
 Here's the commercial he's talking about. Compare for yourself:

Back to our topic. The actor is the SBI commercial is B-list movie and TV drama star 오민석, and that heart-wrenchingly emotional musical jingle, by far my favorite part, is actually just a softened version of the great Korean punk-rock hit "넌 내게 반했어" by the band 노브레인 (No Brain). 넌 내게 반했어, by the way, is a bit hard to translate correctly. Something like "you fell for me" (as in "to fall in love") but stronger and slangier, like "you were blown away by me" or "you got charmed the shit out of by me" etc. etc.

Like the "877-CASH-NOW" jingle, it easily gets stuck in one's head. Witness:

SBI too seems to love this song, as another parody version of it (in which the lyrics become again loan-related) is featured in this other catchy, well-known ad they released awhile back. I always felt suddenly energized to hear this song during commercial breaks, and am not ashamed to admit that I totally still am used to be constantly attracted to the woman featured between the 10~12 second mark. Every. Single. Time. And if all this weren't enough, I just discovered that they have an extended-version near full-length music video for this ad.

Apparently I watch way too much TV.

Lest we accuse them of sexism, there is also a female-centric version, in which a woman discovers a fuller, richer (zing!) life after dumping her male-gendered ATM. Apparently one determines the gender of an ATM by its legs, as this one is clearly dapperly suited.

And if I still haven't satiated your thirst for random Korean loan company commercials, there's always this one, guaranteed to run at least five times in a row (I'm 100% certain this is intentional) in the every-hour-on-the-hour time slot.

Have a favorite of your own? Let me know in the comments.

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10원 Tips on Facebook

If you like these posts, you can now "Like" my new 10원 Tips Facebook Page to follow me there.

10원 Tips

Of course, Facebook doesn't always show all posts, so I recommend following via Twitter, E-mail, or RSS.

Thanks for the nice comments and emails. It's great to know this hobby of mine is helpful.

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