South Korea-backed app puts children at risk

In April, Seoul required new smartphones sold to those 18 and under to be equipped with such software, a first-of-its-kind move, according to Korea University law professor Park Kyung-sin. The Korean Communications Commission has promoted Smart Sheriff and schools have sent out letters to parents encouraging them to download the app, which is free.

Source: APNewsBreak: South Korea-backed app puts children at risk – Houston Chronicle

Children’s phone numbers, birth dates, web browsing history and other personal data were being sent across the Internet unencrypted, making them easy to intercept. Authentication weaknesses meant Smart Sheriff could easily be hijacked, turned off or tricked into sending bogus alerts to parents. Even worse, they found that many weaknesses could be exploited at scale, meaning that thousands or even all of the app’s 380,000 users could be compromised at once.

The real scars of Korean gaming

Professional gaming – e-sport – is a huge deal in South Korea. There’s a government department dedicated to its development.

Source: The real scars of Korean gaming – BBC News

At the top-end of gaming, the players are undeniably well looked after, healthy and happy – even if the gruelling routine means they clearly don’t enjoy playing anymore. It’s work.

Magnetic logic makes for mutable chips

A research group based at the Korea Institute of Science and Technology (KIST) in Seoul, South Korea, has developed a circuit that may get around these problems. The device, described in a paper published on Nature’s website on 30 January, uses magnetism to control the flow of electrons across a minuscule bridge of the semiconducting material indium antimonide (S. Joo et al. Nature; 2013). It is “a new and interesting twist on how to implement a logic gate”, says Gian Salis, a physicist at IBM’s Zurich Research Laboratory in Switzerland.

via Magnetic logic makes for mutable chips : Nature News & Comment.

This seems like a revolutionary discovery if it can be manufactured relatively easily.  And then there’s this:

But Johnson notes that magnetism is already catching on in circuit design: some advanced devices are beginning to use a magnetic version of random access memory, a type of memory that has historically been built only with conventional transistors. “I think a shift is already under way,” he says.