Friday, February 26, 2016

Naver Maps adds Incheon Airport Maglev Train, Suin Line

Naver Maps made some updates to their map data today, most of which were just routine boring updates and additions. But in the list of updates, these two caught my eye. Click the images to be taken there on Naver Maps. Neither, by the way, show up on Google yet. Start the countdown to see how long it takes for the big G to add them!

Suin Line

First, they've added the extension of the Suin line that reaches up to Incheon station now. Great news for those of you who live areas like Yeonsu and the Inha University area. 

Incheon Airport Maglev Train

Second, and for some reason I find this sort of cute, they've added that new Maglev train that runs from the airport to the little seaside embankment area of Yongyu at the tip of the island.

Maglev train line, from airport to Yongyu. Image credit: Naver Maps

I actually visited Yongyu back in summer, and saw the maglev train doing some test runs. It's a nice little area, but don't get your hopes up too much, it's nothing fancy. But if you're looking for a nice relaxing, slow-paced way spend a weekend afternoon walking along some sand, grilling up some seafood, and drinking the sundown away with a slice of "real Korea" then you could do worse. Enjoy it before the casinos and all that come (if they ever do).

Boy, hopping a silent magnetic floating train to a dingy seaside restaurant for BBQ clams and soju. If I were a poet I'd find something kind of poetic in that. Future and past. High tech and low. I don't know. Something.

UPDATE: The maglev train service was suspended February 23 after an electrical fire, according to Kojects. (Korean news link, seems it was scheduled to restart the next day so I'm assuming it's running again). Yikes. I have my doubts about this whole thing. Sounds good: cool futuristic floating train to woosh around an airport leisure-center island. Very Jurassic World. But seems to me the complexity and extra electricity use of maintaining a maglev line just isn't worth it. I hear it's mainly for demonstration purposes, but how many worldwide buyers would be interested? Is there any demand for maglev tech? I just don't see it, but I'm no expert.

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Thursday, February 25, 2016

KEB's updated English customer service phone numbers

Quick heads up: KEB has made a minor change to their English-language customer service phone numbers.

We have the same numbers but NEW EXTENSIONS to reach our foreign languages Customer Call Center. Using them will help you reach our English-, Chinese- and Japanese-speaking operators quickly and easily!
Banking questions (9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday to Friday):
- (former) KEB customers: 1544-3000 & Press 0 then 6
- (former) Hana Bank customers: 1599-6111
From overseas:
- (former) KEB: 82-2-3709-8586
- (former) Hana: 82-42-520-2500 & Press 8
Credit Card questions, account balance/information:
KEB Hana Card call center: 1544-3500
From overseas: 82-2-1544-3500

Official post from the KEB-Hana Facebook page embedded below:

< Clip 'Em and Keep 'Em >We have the same numbers but NEW EXTENSIONS to reach our foreign languages Customer Call...
Posted by KEB Hana Bank for Expats on Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Remember too that the English customer service email address was updated recently.

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Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Better Inoreader URL string for RSS subscriptions

If you use Inoreader (like I do) to subscribe to a huge variety of blogs/sites, you may not want to commit fully to subscribing. Maybe you just want to preview what a site's feed looks like. Get familiar with it, get some data on it, maybe star or tag an article or two, take it out for drinks, before committing. So maybe you want the choice of clicking that big beautiful "Subscribe" button in Inoreader without it automatically subscribing you first. Like this:

Inoreader in "dark theme" - feed auto-subscription vs. feed preview
If you look at that top image and go "ugh 😠" but the bottom one makes you go "aah ☺" then, like Avril Lavigne, I'm with you.

If you use Firefox, or Chrome's RSS Subscription Extension, you probably have set it up to use this URL string for handling feeds, which will get you the top picture:

But this is annoying because it means you will be automatically subscribed. Hey maybe you like that. But if you only want the feed to appear in Inoreader without subscribing yet, like in the bottom picture, I prefer this string:

Apologies for the sample feed used in the above images. It was the first thing that popped into my mind. Happy reading.

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Friday, February 19, 2016

Conan O'Brien on Korean drama "One More Happy Ending" (한번 더 해피엔딩)

In case you missed it, Conan made his cameo appearance on a Korean soap opera drama last night. I was hoping he'd be given a part that's a bit more comical, but this show isn't known for its outstanding creativity or anything. But hey he's Conan and his sleazy, oily tone made me laugh, so well done Coco.

Basically, in this scene, Conan plays a potential client for an international arranged dating/marriage service. But when he sees how perfectly beautiful the match-maker is, he starts describing his "ideal woman" as... her. Thus he ends up backing out of the deal, because if he can't have her, he'll have no one. As he's walking out, he tells her to have courage: love conquers all.

I'll embed the clips below. You should be able to use the YouTube link if you're outside Korea. Inside Korea, try the Naver TVcast link.

Conan seems to be having a great time in Korea, and I'm glad he brought his K-buddy Steven Yeun with him. They've been posting a lot of pics of their trip over on the Team Coco Instagram, but this one of them at the DMZ is probably my favorite.

On a personal note, I enjoy seeing these kind, warm-hearted celebrities having fun over here (or putting on a great show looking like they're having fun, at least). I thought Jack Black did a great job on Infinite Challenge. Maybe I've been here too long, a lot of things that used to seem fun and exciting are just routine now. Hey everybody experiences that right? But through their fresh eyes, this dead heart inside me gets a little flutter, remembering things like my own first time in a PC Bang, etc.
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Saturday, February 6, 2016

Watch Super Bowl 50 online via Naver

Super Bowl 50 takes place this weekend. Here in Korea, that will be this coming Monday (2 days from now) starting at 8:30am local time. As usual, Naver Sports will be offering a streaming feed of the game live. This is a great way to watch the game, as it won't need any VPNs or Passes or anything like that.

Naver Sports will offer two viewing sites: one for PC/deskop that will require you to download and install a viewer plug-in (the plug-in is installed by a .exe file, so I don't know what to say, Mac users), and the other is for mobile devices (might work on Mac?).

Naver Sports 2016 Super Bowl 50 live feeds:
Obviously nothing is streaming at the links right now, and I can't 100% guarantee they'll work for you, but fire them up Monday morning and give 'em a shot. GO BRONCOS!

UPDATE / REVIEW:  I successfully watched the game on my TV by streaming the link available at the Mobile Version to my Chromecast. The mobile version included three resolutions: low, regular, and HD, but the regular and HD streams required downloading of a Naver streaming Android app. The low-res stream was pure delicious stream, if a bit grainy. Still, it was good enough for me. I don't need to see their deflated balls or anything. The feed was pure CBS, so I got all the English-language commentary and commercials. Texting with my brother back home revealed that my feed was only about 20 seconds behind his live broadcast.

Thanks to Naver for making this stream available. Let's hope they keep it up for next year. 
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Thursday, February 4, 2016

Naver Maps now has offline navigation

Naver Maps has added offline navigation in the app, so you can set your phone on your dashboard and get some nice looking 3-D driving directions. I tried it out, and it works pretty well, though for now it's only in Korean.

Here's what it looks like in action. I started it at Apgujeong Station (압구정역) in Gangnam and told it I want to arrive at Itaewon Station (이태원역) across the river.

Start screen when choosing Navigation from the main Naver Maps menu. It locks onto me via GPS.
Click the little green car with the arrow to start. Cute and simple. I like it.

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