380 Articles for '전체'

  1. 2008/02/11 Naver PC Green: Should all software be offered as a free service? (1)
  2. 2008/02/11 Happy Chinese New Year! (1)
  3. 2008/01/30 Naver Launches Labs (6)
  4. 2008/01/29 CMOTECH raises $8 million from Intel Capital
  5. 2008/01/29 Jasper Morrison: The Magic Hand Behind Samsung's Design Elegance (4)
  6. 2008/01/28 Meet Paprika Lab, a Korean Garage Venture (8)
  7. 2008/01/25 Youtube Opens Korean Service - But Will It Succeed? (7)
  8. 2008/01/23 The French (Blog) Connection (7)
  9. 2008/01/17 Web-loving Koreans (3)
  10. 2008/01/17 Google now #2 in Japan
This was actually announced a few weeks ago, but the whole issue occurred to me again recently, with the planned Yahoo-Microsoft merger.

Naver, Korea's 800lb gorilla portal, announced in mid-January that they have signed an MOU with Ahn Lab, Korea's leading anti-virus software company, to integrate Ahn Lab's security technologies into Naver's free anti-virus service called PC Green.

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Naver PC Green
is already being offered as a free service, but it doesn't have Ahn Lab's technologies in it.

Being able to use robust anti-virus software for free is clearly a good thing to users. I'm happily using Naver's PC Green now at my home PC (my work PC is Macbook Pro, not yet supported by PC Green). But the question still remains: How will Ahn Lab, the provider of the technology, be able to make money when nobody pays for the software anymore? Will ads rev share from Naver alone provide sufficient funds to keep the engine rolling at Ahn Lab so the company can continuously innovate?

Now, what does this have to do with the Y-M merger? Obviously one angle to view the whole issue of Microhoo is the rise of free consumer software (as a service) which could have made Microsoft look for fresh source of revenues other than software sales (such as ads).

Office productivity software has already been made free by Google et al. Now, the anti-virus software seems it's no exception from this "software as a free service" trend. It's happening here in Korea now.
TAG ahnlab, antivirus, Naver, PC Green

Happy Chinese New Year!

Other | 2008/02/11 12:10 | Web 2.0 Asia
Sorry about the recent radio silence - I was nearly off the grid for the entire last week during the holidays. One good thing about Asia is, we get two different new year's days (meaning two different spans of holidays - hooray!). A belated happy new year to everyone, or in Chinese: 恭喜發財! (The photos courtesy of Cherise Fong of CNN).

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Naver Launches Labs

Other | 2008/01/30 19:03 | Web 2.0 Asia
Naver, Korea's #1 portal, unveiled Naver Labs, a la . Naver Labs is a collection of "petri dish" projects being undertaken at Naver. Some of the projects include: News Clustering, which automatically finds similar articles when a news article is looked up; Review search, which automatically rates products or people through symantic analysis of the text descriptions on the particular product or person; Face search, a Riya-like face recognition and search. Interesting.
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TAG LAB, Naver

CMOTECH raises $8 million from Intel Capital

Mobile | 2008/01/29 23:28 | Web 2.0 Asia
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Cmotech, a Korea-based manufacturer of USB wireless modems and other network equipment, announced (note: link in Korean) they raised US$ 8 million from Intel Capital. As well as the investement, Cmotech also announced a partnership agreement with Intel on 3G/Wimax data communication device. Cmotech is the world's leading manufacturer of USB-based wireless modems (some shown below), and posted FY '07 profit of roughly US$ 24 million on a revenue of about US$100 million.

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TAG Cmotech, Intel, Intel Capital
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Maeil Business News (link in Korean) has an in-depth report on the magic hand behind Samsung's design elegance, Mr Jasper Morrison.

Until not long ago, Samsung was a no-name producer of cheap electronics goods. But it's now a symbol of innovation with huge brand value and revenues (#3 among all IT companies in the world, behind only HP and Siemens). One of the key factors for Samsung's dramatic ascend was excellent product design.

To bring it up a notch, Samsung has hired Mr Morrison and let him design Samsung products. Mr Morrison's design philosophy is known to be "Super Normal" - i.e. elegant yet simple and milimalistic. True to this philosophy, Morrison designed some of Samsung's mobile phones (one shown below) and refrigerators.

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Under Morrison's design leadership, Samsung is expected to produce more "Super Normal" products in the future. Does this mean we can expect something as game-changing as the iPod, from Samsung? I surely hope so.
TAG Jasper Morrison, Samsung

Meet Paprika Lab, a Korean Garage Venture

Web 2.0 | 2008/01/28 12:04 | Web 2.0 Asia
Well, maybe I should have said "a Korean officetel venture", as not many Korean homes have a garage. (By the way, "Officetel" is a Korean term for small studios used by SOHOs.)

In the midst of a slow economy, when everyone cares for job security, two young talents equipped with hands-on Ruby-on-Rails skills as well as business insights learned from bluechip companies like NC Soft and SK Telecom have set up an interesting new venture. I was fortunate enough to visit their office and had intriguing conversations.

The two-men company, Paprika Lab, is building lightweight web apps. The founders are from KAIST and Seoul National University and worked at bluechip companies like SK Telecom and NC Soft. But what really sets them apart from other Korean web startups is that they are gunning for the global market from day one. Their services are built in English and they make their services available as Facebook apps as well.

Their first brainchild, Faceworthy, is already gaining some popularity among international users. (The visitors are still way small, but increasing at about 200%/week pace). The basic proposition of the service is simple enough: Pics of good-looking people are perhaps the best content. If you think you are good looking and sexy (I seriously doubt if the readers of this blog will fall into this category, ahem), just upload your pics - then you'll become famous and popular, Faceworthy says.
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Viewer clicks on a photo, and a photo gallery opens up with the voting section. The photo frame has room for placing ads. The whole voting experience reminds of Hot or Not, but Faceworthy provides personal photo album - Can I say Faceworthy is Hot or Not plus Flickr?

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Another service Paprika Lab whipped out in a very short time is a quick poll service called CouchMob - I guess the name comes from Couch potatoes + Mobs. It's a very simple service that allows users to generate polls and put them up on the site, so others can vote.

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I'll introduce more services as they come out of the Paprika Lab. Meanwhile, I wish there will be more "Office-tel ventures" from Korea, and also more Asian web startups will launch their services in English as well.
TAG Couchmob, Faceworthy, Paprika Lab, Ruby on Rails

Youtube Opens Korean Service - But Will It Succeed?

Web 2.0 | 2008/01/25 01:14 | Web 2.0 Asia
launched a few days ago. Although some "in the know" Koreans have been using Youtube, it's the first time Youtube is offered as a fully localized service in Korea.

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But it's not very clear to me what winning strategies Youtube has for the Korean market. Unlike in Japan, where there haven't been many local incumbents providing online video service, Korea has some pretty strong local players in the sector. (Update: This part was a bit misleading and see my comment below for further clarification). One of the hottest buzzwords among the Korean web industry over the past couple of years has been "UCC", a term Koreans like to use for user-created online videos. With the UCC phenom sweeping the country, Korea has no shortage of capable online video service providers.

As such, Youtube will face some tough competition in Korea, against the likes of Daum TV Pot and Pandora TV. Google Korea says Youtube Korea has partnered with top-tier content partners in Korea and so its forte lies in the content. But then, which online video company doesn't say so?

So here's the brain teaser for you: If you were the person in charge of launching Youtube in Korean market (or you can also put your own country in there), what would you do?
TAG Daum, Korea, Pandora,

The French (Blog) Connection

Web 2.0 | 2008/01/23 12:17 | Web 2.0 Asia
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This morning I gave a presentation on the blog media trends of Korea, in front of a dozen executives from major French media companies. I could easily recognize their company names - Le Figaro, Le Monde, Marie Claire, etc.

They were particularly impressed by some of the points I mentioned:
  • The #1 movie blog in Korea has a higher traffic than the #1 traditional movie website's
  • The combined traffic to our federation of blogs (comprising of about 75 A-list bloggers) surpasses that of a well-known newspaper website
  • A Korean blogger, who used to be a simple housewife just a few years ago, is now so famous that Austrailian government turned to her to officially promote Austrailian beef in Korea
  • Last year, our company could invite presidential candidates with only 50 bloggers - In the past, could we imagine a presidential candidate spending ever-valuable two hours with only 50 people? These days, bloggers are media company CEOs and nobody treats them lightly.
Thanks again to my good old friend Benjamin for organizing this.
TAG Blog, France

Web-loving Koreans

Other | 2008/01/17 00:36 | Web 2.0 Asia
I stumbled upon these pics from "Y for Yenndetta" blog. They show just how much Koreans love web browsing and other general activities with computers. No wonder some Korean kids need rehab program for their net addiction.


TAG Korean

Google now #2 in Japan

Web 2.0 | 2008/01/17 00:23 | Web 2.0 Asia
(Via Hatena) Nielsen/NetRatings Japan announced Google is now #2 in Japanese market, surpassing Rakuten, in terms of number of users. These are cross-property figures, meaning the # of Google users include Youtube users as well.
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When I was in Japan, I saw quite a few Japanese people using Google search. (Google search market share in Japan is estimated around 35%). And also Youtube is very strong in Japan, partly thanks to the service's foreign basis which helps Japanese users go around the tricky Japanese IP/legal issues. Google seem to be doing fairly well in Japan, as IBM and Apple does.

In contrast, Google is not gaining much turf in the neighboring Korean market - although Korea is the world's 6th largest web market, Google has only around 1.5% market share versus local Naver's 70+%.
TAG , Rakuten,
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