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North Korean Flash Games For Export

timothy posted more than 4 years ago | from the everyone-needs-an-appstore dept.

Businesses 211

linzeal writes: "Despite it being pretty-much closed off to the world, North Korea is the next boom place for IT and tech outsourcing, PC World has reported. Flash games are being developed there for outside publishers, largely thanks to the home-grown talent. Does this mean that the the cartoon company that makes The Simpsons might use North Korea as well? Well it looks like they already have started."

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Pyongyang (4, Interesting)

conner_bw (120497) | more than 4 years ago | (#32557976)

There's a great graphic novel called Pyongyang [amazon.com] which documents the author's experiences in the capital of North Korea; where he stayed for two months as the liaison of a French cartoon production house. This was in the late 90's so the phenomena of outsourcing to North Korea is not really that new.

For bonus points, try to find a copy of Pulgarasi [wikipedia.org] , a giant-monster film directed by a man who was by North Korean intelligence on the orders of Kim Jong-il, the director of said film.

Missing word: kidnapped (1)

conner_bw (120497) | more than 4 years ago | (#32557996)

n/t

Re:Pyongyang (1)

Jurily (900488) | more than 4 years ago | (#32558012)

North Korea is actually in a pretty good place to make something happen, if you think about it. At a minimum they don't have to maintain all those C and COBOL systems.

Re:Pyongyang (1)

Sulphur (1548251) | more than 4 years ago | (#32558530)

They have extreme experience in maintaining images and vast legacies.

Re:Pyongyang (4, Informative)

seven of five (578993) | more than 4 years ago | (#32558042)

For bonus points, try to find a copy of Pulgarasi [wikipedia.org], a giant-monster film directed by a man who was by North Korean intelligence on the orders of Kim Jong-il, the director of said film.

Here ya go, for free, at google. [google.co.uk]

Score! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32558082)

Was everyone in the country an extra? Ridiculous fight scenes...

Re:Pyongyang (1)

Peach Rings (1782482) | more than 4 years ago | (#32558190)

Who's the director, the kidnapped guy or Kim Jong-il?

Re:Pyongyang (1)

Cwix (1671282) | more than 4 years ago | (#32558336)

The kidnapped guy, Kim Jong-Il was the executive producer I think

Re:Pyongyang (1)

zdepthcharge (1792770) | more than 4 years ago | (#32559116)

Guy Delise, the author of 'Pyongyang' has done other comics about his travels in Asia. Great stuff!

Can't wait for Nuclear Hair Makeover(TM) (0, Flamebait)

Tablizer (95088) | more than 4 years ago | (#32557982)

A hellhole is not a tax dodge or investment opp. (1)

sethstorm (512897) | more than 4 years ago | (#32557994)

It's bad when your country has to be a hellhole, and not a developed country like the US.

Re:A hellhole is not a tax dodge or investment opp (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32558170)

Developed? US of A don't even have universal health care, or a working electrical grid(brownouts and rolling blackouts etc).

Re:A hellhole is not a tax dodge or investment opp (1)

M8e (1008767) | more than 4 years ago | (#32558670)

Am i the only one that find it slightly funny that parent post was modded Retundant instead of Flamebait or Troll?

Re:A hellhole is not a tax dodge or investment opp (1)

obarthelemy (160321) | more than 4 years ago | (#32558224)

You mean, as opposed to nice cozy China ? We've been disregarding the political regimes of our sweatshops /oil suppliers for ever (well, at best disregarding, at worst helping along), so...

Re:A hellhole is not a tax dodge or investment opp (4, Informative)

Zontar The Mindless (9002) | more than 4 years ago | (#32558414)

China might not be as free/open as some places, but comparing it to North Korea is a bit of a stretch.

China is authoritarian; some of the laws are strict by our standards, but if you obey them and mind your own business, you'll probably be left alone.

Westerners can visit China and go about on their own there without being chaperoned or harrassed. Chinese people can leave there if they want (and some do).

North Korea, on the other hand, is totalitarian -- it's basically a giant prison camp, almost impossible to get into or out of without making very special arrangements, and where you can be executed for making an overseas telephone call [wikipedia.org] .

Re:A hellhole is not a tax dodge or investment opp (1)

jgrahn (181062) | more than 4 years ago | (#32558628)

China is authoritarian; some of the laws are strict by our standards, but if you obey them and mind your own business, you'll probably be left alone.

Yeah right. Those students at the Tiananmen Square, for example, they should have "minded their own business".

(Ok, so you just meant to say North Korea is worse. You don't need to make the PRC look better than it's people to do that.)

Re:A hellhole is not a tax dodge or investment opp (1)

Mistlefoot (636417) | more than 4 years ago | (#32558738)

Tiananmen Square was 20 years ago.

Kent State was only twice as long ago and happened in the US.

Re:A hellhole is not a tax dodge or investment opp (1)

hpa (7948) | more than 4 years ago | (#32558946)

Yes, but the U.S. isn't trying to hide the fact that it happened to its citizens to this day.

Re:A hellhole is not a tax dodge or investment opp (2, Insightful)

FuckingNickName (1362625) | more than 4 years ago | (#32558746)

Slashdot poster citing Wikipedia citing Fox News citing the South Korean Good Friends.

Quite.

As far as monitoring goes, the difference between NK and US ("the West") is that NK does it with people in the next room, and US does it with tech everywhere. NK is merely three decades out of date. I cannot enter the US without being interrogated (during which I must affirm that I'm not of certain political affiliations), photographed, retina scanned and fingerprinted; I can't communicate without my words being intercepted without warrant.

As far as prison camps regular and super-size and executions played out in the media all but at the point of filming the death proper, the US and its allies have quite a few of them - although mostly it makes prison camps of foreign territories. More people have suffered under US rule than the Kims could ever dream of. In the US, I am free to speak my mind as long as not enough people are listening, and the freedom of troublemakers is taken rather than their lives: that is the difference in the sophistication of oppression between US and NK.

Re:A hellhole is not a tax dodge or investment opp (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32559046)

In the U.S. you get to write what you just wrote without being hunted down. I assume this is true because I see a constant stream of anti-U.S. sentiment coming from U.S. citizens, and I never hear about them disappearing, and I see the same ones repeat their same attacks on their nation.

Yes, the U.S. has done some wrong things, including their ongoing and pointless sanctions against Cuba (have sanctions EVER achieved anything but to make the populace more patriotic?), but I would much rather live in the U.S. than Cuba or North Korea. China on the other hand is a pretty decent place to live. I have lived in China, Korea, Australia, and New Zealand. The latter three of which I am free to say vitriolic things about the government and have people agree with me. In China, they tend to attack me and defend their government, even if they were previously saying the same things about their government previously. But not many dare to say anything negative on public record (e.g. in a Newspaper, on the radio, or under their real name on the Internet).

That being said, it doesn't bother me, because for the most part, Chinese citizens are treated pretty well, except those of Tibet and Xinjiang from time to time, but it's a lot better than the way the English (followed by Americans, Australians and New Zealanders) treated their natives (Native American tribes, Aborigines, and Maoris).

The main difference is that these days, the Native Americans, Aborigines and Maoris are free to voice their grievances without being hunted down and put into jail. The Maoris are a lot better off than the other two groups, mainly because by the time the English got around to conquering New Zealand (Colonizing! That's sugarcoating what really happened).

But these days the governments are actually trying to reduce the damage that was caused in the past, and do allow free speech. The Xinjiangese and Tibetans don't have that luxury.

Yes, the rights in the West are being eroded, but they are still far superior to that seen in places like Cuba and North Korea, and superior to that seen in China.

People who protest in the United States usually seem to get arrested and beaten after they start smashing shop windows and cars (none of which belong to the government), so I would say they deserve what they get.

People talk about natural rights, but unless there is a God, there only exist those rights which we fight for ourselves, or those that are given to us by our peers. But in reality, in a natural, and evolutionary sense, there is no such thing as a "right", which is simply a human concept. That being said, I do believe that we should all have these rights, I'm just saying that like ethics, and religion, they are a human creation. But it IS a human creation which I admire, and would fight to keep these rights for myself, those that I love, and my countrymen, if it came down to that.

Re:A hellhole is not a tax dodge or investment opp (2, Interesting)

FuckingNickName (1362625) | more than 4 years ago | (#32559212)

People who protest in the United States usually seem to get arrested and beaten after they start smashing shop windows and cars (none of which belong to the government), so I would say they deserve what they get.

I'm just going to highlight this as pretty much reflecting the tone of your whole argument: "when a government I like takes away your freedom, it's surely because you were doing something bad".

In NK, you get arrested for whispering. In China, you get arrested for talking. In America, you get arrested for shouting. In each case, the government makes sure that not enough people hear you; it's just that some countries silence you earlier on, as they're not yet sophisticated enough to know the sweet spot which keeps people quiet enough while making them think they're free. The only reason I can say without significant repercussion what I'm saying right now in the West is that not enough people are listening to me.

Re:A hellhole is not a tax dodge or investment opp (1, Troll)

fbjon (692006) | more than 4 years ago | (#32559354)

If you want complete freedom, you go and live on a mountain. You will never, ever get that in any society, no matter what political system. Society = compromise. Deal with it.

Re:A hellhole is not a tax dodge or investment opp (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32558822)

Not true. You will get harrassed. Cops will spy on you and expect a shake down or two. Don't resist and they'll let you go. Been there. Caught the copy searching my room and got searched at corner stores. It's a police state.

Re:A hellhole is not a tax dodge or investment opp (1)

nacturation (646836) | more than 4 years ago | (#32558234)

I thought the American government didn't allow its citizens do business with this hellhole.

Juris-my-diction (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 4 years ago | (#32558624)

The article mentions this, but it also alludes to the fact that 95 percent of the world is outside the jurisdiction of the American government.

Re:Juris-my-diction (1)

nacturation (646836) | more than 4 years ago | (#32558854)

The article mentions this, but it also alludes to the fact that 95 percent of the world is outside the jurisdiction of the American government.

My comment was more in relation to The Simpsons, which falls into the 5% category.

Watch Gracie Films relocate (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 4 years ago | (#32559026)

U.S. movie studios threatened to move production out of the U.S. if Congress didn't pass the Sonny Bono Act. They could make the same threat about relations with North Korea.

Re:Watch Gracie Films relocate (0, Troll)

Runaway1956 (1322357) | more than 4 years ago | (#32559232)

That would be a great thing. We don't really need Hollywierd. Give it away, please. Paris might be a good place for it. Hell, let's throw in Gay Bay, and maybe Greece will take it!

Honestly - what do the movie studios do for us? Oh - I forgot - they've given us the MPAA, which is actively working on ACTA. Ship them bastards overseas, to whoever will accept them, and dump ACTA, disband the MPAA, then go after RIAA. A few public executions would be nice, but I don't want to get anyone's hopes up.

Re:Juris-my-diction (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32559208)

The Simpsons is VERY popular in Europe, Oceania, and Canada. Probably Asia too... so a bit more than that 5%

Re:Juris-my-diction (1)

Smoke2Joints (915787) | more than 4 years ago | (#32559088)

Ignorance is bliss

Re:A hellhole is not a tax dodge or investment opp (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32558320)

You'd prefer they stay jobless and starving?

Re:A hellhole is not a tax dodge or investment opp (1)

Zontar The Mindless (9002) | more than 4 years ago | (#32558456)

The Party/military leadership will reap the real profits, those doing the animation will get a few minor perks like decent clothes and enough to eat (mostly to keep up appearances before greedy/gullible outsiders like Eloesser), and the rest will remain... you guessed it... jobless and starving.

You were saying...?

Re:A hellhole is not a tax dodge or investment opp (1)

Rakshasa Taisab (244699) | more than 4 years ago | (#32558544)

You were saying...?

He was saying the animators wouldn't be jobless and starving.

Re:A hellhole is not a tax dodge or investment opp (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32559172)

Alive with "a few minor perks" instead of dead from starvation sounds like progress to me. But what do I know, I'm just a greedy, evil, capitalist.

N. Korea's got computers? (1)

ThePangolino (1756190) | more than 4 years ago | (#32558024)

Anyway. How did they get all the computing power not only to run flash but also to design games for it?!

Re:N. Korea's got computers? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32558058)

Better question, how can they do software development without electricity?

And they have a World Cup team. (1)

taxman_10m (41083) | more than 4 years ago | (#32558236)

Maybe we don't know as much about NK as we think we do.

Re:N. Korea's got computers? (1)

Saeed al-Sahaf (665390) | more than 4 years ago | (#32558516)

The question isn't if they have computers (they do), it's why would anyone run software from North Korea? Do you really want to accept that risk? All of it is almost certainly back-doored...

Re:N. Korea's got computers? (1)

gad_zuki! (70830) | more than 4 years ago | (#32558646)

Private ownership of computers and cell phones are of course banned, but the state run business can get these things. Only high level party and military members are allowed things like phones or PCs.

Homer Says ... (1)

WrongSizeGlass (838941) | more than 4 years ago | (#32558032)

"I'm North Korean now? D'oh!"

So... (4, Insightful)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 4 years ago | (#32558034)

What does it tell us about the business of software development when one of the world's foremost autocratic hellholes is seen as a good place to do it?

Re:So... (5, Insightful)

capt.Hij (318203) | more than 4 years ago | (#32558066)

From the article:

"I understood that the North Korean IT industry had good potential because of their skilled software engineers, but due to the lack of communication it was almost impossible to work with them productively from outside," said Volker Eloesser, president of Nosotek. "So I took the next logical step and started a company here."

To answer your question, it says that amoral managers are willing to get in bed with the most evil of monsters if it means they can make money. If this is the next "logical step" then something is seriously wrong with this person's decision making process.

Re:So... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32558148)

"I understood that employees are committing suicide to get compensation for their families", said a senior manager in Foxconn, "so I took the next logical step and stopped all compensation payments."

"Now they have nothing to live for and nothing to die for, a win-win situation for productivity and profitability", he added.

Re:So... (1)

Pharmboy (216950) | more than 4 years ago | (#32559240)

citation needed.

Re:So... (1)

sznupi (719324) | more than 4 years ago | (#32558204)

OTOH there's perhaps some, slight chance that such things might contribute to normalisation of N. Korea, eventually (not the only possible path, of course)

People forget that S. Korea was also a bit totalitarian for few decades after the war. But from the start on "our side" and open to business.

Re:So... (1)

TBoon (1381891) | more than 4 years ago | (#32558468)

Letting more N. Koreans meet/interact with foreigners (even if limited) and realize for themselves that the government propaganda is wrong about how evil westerners are can be a good thing in the long run. Just a shame money has to be fed to the wrong people to do so. Same double-edged sword that applies to tourism essentially.

Re:So... (1)

Infernal Device (865066) | more than 4 years ago | (#32558612)

Every single one of those people are carefully selected/monitored by the government. You might as well be convincing a fencepost that freedom is a good idea. The only way they can achieve independence of thought is to get the hell out.

Re:So... (1)

TBoon (1381891) | more than 4 years ago | (#32558706)

Of course they are monitored, so freedom of interaction with them will be severely limited. But unless they meet someone from the outside they are even more likely to believe the government propaganda that the rest of the world is even worse off than their great country is. Question is if the few drops that might hit the regular worker makes up for throwing a bucket at their bosses...

At the top of my mind I can see 3 ways to end the current political situation. Military invasion, leadership collapse, and major uprising from the inside. Yes, heavily restricted commercial dealings is highly unlikely to be a major contribution to the 3rd option, but it might at least prepare some people for what awaits when once either of them has happened. (PS: Not saying doing business with them is right, but cornering a wild animal even further usually isn't wise either...)

Re:So... (2, Informative)

the gnat (153162) | more than 4 years ago | (#32559358)

People forget that S. Korea was also a bit totalitarian for few decades after the war.

Authoritarian, not totalitarian. The military dictators running South Korea until the 1980s were not nice people, and the citizens living there didn't have any of the freedoms that people living in Western nations take for granted, and the post-war economic conditions weren't great either, but they didn't shoot people or throw them in prison camps for trying to leave the country, or make it illegal to own a radio that could tune into more than one station, and I don't think they had creepy personality cults either.

Very few modern countries have been authentically totalitarian - Nazi Germany and most (but not all) Communist nations were the most famous, also Taliban Afghanistan and Turkmenistan, but that's about it. I'm not very familiar with Spanish or Italian Fascism, but my impression is that they were more. . . restrained. Arguably Iran, "Myanmar", and Saudi Arabia have certain characteristics of totalitarian regimes, and a few others such as Saddam's Iraq certainly had the cults of personality, but they're inconsistent. Most dictatorships are simply authoritarian - violent, corrupt, and lawless, certainly, but less interested in mind control. I wouldn't want to live in any of those countries either, and I think the many of the US's strategic alliances were tragic mistakes (or outright immoral), but there is a difference nonetheless.

Re:So... (1)

Exception Duck (1524809) | more than 4 years ago | (#32558834)

Sometimes changing things from within is the best way. I think it's fair to say more communication with the outside world will have a more positive effect than just ignoring them completely (or bombing them, but since they don't have oil, I don't see that happening).

Re:So... (1)

thoughtsatthemoment (1687848) | more than 4 years ago | (#32558324)

What's the problem? If you can't change it from outside, you change it from within. Quite logical to me, unless your goal is total annihilation.

Re:So... (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 4 years ago | (#32558638)

Changing it from within requires, at a minimum, freedom of speech or the right to bear arms. As I understand it, North Korean citizens lack both.

Re:So... (1)

xaxa (988988) | more than 4 years ago | (#32558856)

You should really read some history. A good starting place would be here [wikipedia.org] .

Re:So... (1)

hey! (33014) | more than 4 years ago | (#32558506)

Well, you know the suspicion everyone has that the people running things are rich idiots who purchase influence so they can hang the cost of their mistakes on other people?

It tells us that that suspicion is true.

But if we had the capacity to learn from events like this, they wouldn't keep happening.

Re:So... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32558760)

Hang on a minute, are we talking about North Korea, or Electronic Arts?

AU defeats DE 3 - 0 !! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32558044)

Come home boys.

irony overload (3, Insightful)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 4 years ago | (#32558046)

irony #1: a television whose wit is only possible in a country with freedom of expression, being drawn by cartoonists in a country where there are no freedoms at all. anyone north korean attempting a north korean version of the simpsons would be put to death

irony #2: a country so beholden to the almighty buck that it will export the production of everything to the cheapest place possible, relentlessly and continuously, until you are driven to places where things are so cheap because of adherence to communist ideology. capitalism's relentlessness includes ways to monetize and capitalize on artifacts of the the communist age. that's an irony china certainly has a lot of domestic experience with

there are about 20 other ironies. see them for yourself

Re:irony overload (2, Insightful)

sznupi (719324) | more than 4 years ago | (#32558164)

Oh, of only Kim Jong-il would adhere to communist ideology...

Things are cheap there because of totalitarian oligarchy.

agreed (4, Insightful)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 4 years ago | (#32558242)

communist ideology is incompatible with reality, much as libertarian ideology is incompatible with reality

attempting to make communism work in reality results in domination of society by cult of personalities. individuals who can do no wrong (while they do plenty wrong). attempting to make libertarianism work in reality results in domination of society by corporations. corporations who can do no wrong (while they do plenty wrong)

balance in all things. unfortunately, we must pay a mighty price in this world for the ideolgoical fools who go to the extremes of libertarianism and communism, when the middle way, the moderate way: capitalism with socialist safety nets, socialism with capitalist engines, the only really valid real world solutions to the paradox that is human selfishness and altruism

Re:agreed (1)

sznupi (719324) | more than 4 years ago | (#32558276)

A bit more generally: virtually any pure idealogy, promising to be our savior, is incompatible with reality.

(well, at least if we're discussing nation-level issues; because, say, communism can, did and does work in reasonably small communities)

yup (5, Insightful)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 4 years ago | (#32558334)

the threat all of us faces is fundamentalism

not just the usual fundamentalism of religions: muslim fundamentalists, christian fundamentalist, jewish fundamentalists, although they of course continue doing the damage they have done for centuries

also, fundamentalisms of politics and commerce: free market fundamentalists, constitutional fundamentalists, brain dead partisans: a sort of fundamentalism of political party, etc

even other bogeymen can be recast as fundamentalism: racism, for example, is a form of racial fundamentalism

whenever you adhere to one aspect of human reality, and make it your only concern, to say that is solves all problems, you yourself, you have become the source of the problems in this world. because the truth is, the world is complex, and simplistic teachings about who and what we are always fail

unfortunately, this truth never stops certain assholes from continuing to tell us that simplistic teachings are the solutions to our problems (and thereby become the source of our problems)

Re:yup (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32558980)

If you ever bothered to find out what being a true Christian fundamentalist means (read the new testament as a start) you would probably not be suprised that all your misconceptions (religion causes wars etc = faith causes wars)
apply not just to the Christian faith but to many others as well. True Christians never seek to impose their will on others - meerly to give other people a chance to see another way of life. Don't live your life relying on stereotypes from the garbage press - do some proper research of your own.

Re:yup (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32559250)

So despite their claims to the contrary, true Xians are only those who you deem worthy of the name. All I can say is, Fuck You.

Re:agreed (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32558288)

North Korea is an absolute monarchy, not a communist state.

Re:agreed (2, Interesting)

Darkness404 (1287218) | more than 4 years ago | (#32558354)

attempting to make libertarianism work in reality results in domination of society by corporations. corporations who can do no wrong (while they do plenty wrong)

You are confusing libertarianism with Republican conservatism. If you really look at Libertarianism, you'd see that corporations would lose a lot of the protections of assets and greater liability and fewer government handouts.

here comes the idjits (2, Insightful)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 4 years ago | (#32558410)

"If you really look at Libertarianism, you'd see that corporations would lose a lot of the protections of assets and greater liability and fewer government handouts"

wow, this is an awesome form of libertarianism. so, dear libertarian, who is going to enforce this liability? answer: some form of centralized government bureaucracy... oops, we destroyed them

libertarians don't understand that when you weaken the government, there is only one power left in the room: corporations. at that point, nothing stops them from corrupting and controlling every remaining government function you hold dear

libertarians have plenty of things to hate in government. what they should do is work at REFORMING government, not destroying it

put it this way: make a list of every abuse of big government you despise and hate

now, take away that big government. what do you get?

reality: you get THE SAME LIST OF ABUSES, plus A WHOLE BUNCH OF NEW ONES, SOME FAR WORSE, being committed by corporations. that really is the truth. please recognize that

you NEED big government to hold the corporations in check. but to the extent that big government is entwined with corporations, WORK TO REMOVE THAT CORRUPTION. don't work to remove the only thing holding corporate power in check!

Re:here comes the idjits (2, Interesting)

Darkness404 (1287218) | more than 4 years ago | (#32558524)

wow, this is an awesome form of libertarianism. so, dear libertarian, who is going to enforce this liability? answer: some form of centralized government bureaucracy... oops, we destroyed them

Hm, perhaps you should actually read the party platform.

We believe that respect for individual rights is the essential precondition for a free and prosperous world, that force and fraud must be banished from human relationships, and that only through freedom can peace and prosperity be realized.

If a corporation uses force or fraud, it is regulated. The majority of libertarians oppose a centralized government bureaucracy but support state governments to do the majority of enforcement of the laws like how the constitution was written. A small federal government making sure that state laws agree with the US constitution, and a few other duties expressed in the constitution.

libertarians don't understand that when you weaken the government, there is only one power left in the room: corporations. at that point, nothing stops them from corrupting and controlling every remaining government function you hold dear

But there is. I have the power to A) Sue (remember, the government still exists to prevent force and fraud) B) Not choose to use the corporation C) Form my own company (remember, with reductions in government powers comes the reduction of Copyright/Patents)

All these three rights are pretty much absent from anything that the government does. Yes, you can sue the government in some cases, but your chances of winning are slim. If I decide to not support my government I get thrown in jail for not paying my taxes. And I'm unable to choose not to use government services in most cases and not pay taxes. For example, if I choose to send my children to private school in most cases, I still have to pay taxes that go to public schools even though I'm not using the facilities. If I choose to not subscribe to a magazine, the magazine company can't charge me for not receiving a magazine.

libertarians have plenty of things to hate in government. what they should do is work at REFORMING government, not destroying it

They do want to reform it. They want to reform it to a smaller government that respects its citizens rights. Libertarian != anarchist. We simply believe, like many of the founding fathers, that the government has two and only two roles, protect their citizens from force (things like murder, rape, invasion, theft, etc) and fraud (food poisoning, unsafe drugs, misleading contracts, etc). In no way are they "destroying" government, they are simply reforming it to a more constitutional, more free, smaller, government. Does that mean that you have to cut some "functions" that our ever-present government has? Yes. Does that mean government is destroyed, absolutely not.

reality: you get THE SAME LIST OF ABUSES, plus A WHOLE BUNCH OF NEW ONES, SOME FAR WORSE, being committed by corporations. that really is the truth. please recognize that

No you don't. With government if I don't like what they do, I have no legal choice to not support them. If I oppose imperialistic wars like the war in Iraq, I can't legally decide not to pay my taxes. On the other hand, if I don't like a certain company, say I don't like Apple, I choose not to buy iPods, iPads, Macs, etc. and Apple is deprived of the money they could have gotten from me and thus suffers a bit. If Apple pisses off enough customers, they start to lose money and go bankrupt. They can't borrow money infinitely or create money out of nothing like the US government believes they can.

you NEED big government to hold the corporations in check. but to the extent that big government is entwined with corporations, WORK TO REMOVE THAT CORRUPTION. don't work to remove the only thing holding corporate power in check!

You don't need "big" government to hold corporations in check. You need government that protects citizens from force and fraud the exact same government libertarians are arguing in support of.

Please tell me how things like lowering taxes, ending imperialistic wars, repealing blatantly unconstitutional laws like the PATRIOT act, privatizing social security, implementing sane immigration reform, and all kinds of things the libertarian party stands for somehow gives evil power to corporations when corporations are checked by a small government preventing force and fraud.

i'm not going to turn you, true believer (1)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 4 years ago | (#32558660)

in a comment thread on slashdot

but i'll state my case:

the types of powers you want to remove from government will be replaced by corporate power

corporations are beholden to shareholders. government is accountable to you. so why do you want to remove the only thing that protects you, and replace it with an entity that is not beholden to you at all, not even in theory?

of course, it doesn't always work out that the government is accountable to you: corruption of our civil servants and our legislators, by corporations, make them serve corporate interests instead of ours. THAT'S the crime you need to fight, not government itself

why don't you work on making government live up to its, shall i say for the sake of this audience, the originalist constutional purpose, of serving us, and stop working at destroying the only thing we have protecting us from corporate domination?

because right now, you are a fool: the sum total of all of your beliefs and all of your efforts serves to empower corporations, who will commit all of the crimes you see big government committing, and many more. of course, this is not what you want. the tragedy is that you do not see that the real world effects of your beliefs is to give us that: corporate domination

my hope is that fools like you can be educated as to this simple fact, before some future hell of corporatocracy, created by your efforts, does not serve as the educational lesson on why we need a strong central government to hold corporate power in check

Re:i'm not going to turn you, true believer (1)

Darkness404 (1287218) | more than 4 years ago | (#32558790)

corporations are beholden to shareholders. government is accountable to you. so why do you want to remove the only thing that protects you, and replace it with an entity that is not beholden to you at all, not even in theory?

But it is beholden to you and me. How does a corporation stay in business? It needs money and a lot of it in order to stay in business. Corporations must make money in order to stay in business. On the other hand, a very unpopular law can remain in effect close to forever, especially if there is unpopular and victimless. Look at prohibition, it remained in the books for 13 years despite massive repercussions and general unpopularity.

If I don't like a corporation, I don't support them. But I can't legally not support the US government if I don't like it. Even a massive corporation with people still buying some of its products will close down under-performing sectors. Look at Sony, they no longer have BetaMax but Sony is still in business. Because no one likes or buys BetaMax tapes, they closed them down.

of course, it doesn't always work out that the government is accountable to you: corruption of our civil servants and our legislators, by corporations, make them serve corporate interests instead of ours. THAT'S the crime you need to fight, not government itself

And that is fought by in the Libertarian party. The vast majority of the corruption can be eliminated by reducing government powers. When the government no longer has the power to give out corporate welfare, it is illegal for them to hand out billions to corporations. Libertarians believe that the government should focus on force and fraud and that the government should not be allowed to expand to a point where it can hand out bonuses, bailouts and the like to corporations.

why don't you work on making government live up to its, shall i say for the sake of this audience, the originalist constutional purpose, of serving us, and stop working at destroying the only thing we have protecting us from corporate domination?

Please tell me of "corporate domination" that was not caused by, in part, by the government expanding its power beyond force and fraud. The vast majority of "corporate domination" if not all of it is caused by the government giving handouts to companies such as free land for railroad companies.

I'd much rather have "corporate domination" than government domination because corporate domination is unsustainable unless everyone agrees to it and doesn't compete with them. No one throws me in jail if I choose not to subscribe to the New York Times, buy Microsoft PCs, or buy a Wii, but if I choose not to pay my taxes I do.

because right now, you are a fool: the sum total of all of your beliefs and all of your efforts serves to empower corporations, who will commit all of the crimes you see big government committing, and many more. of course, this is not what you want. the tragedy is that you do not see that the real world effects of your beliefs is to give us that: corporate domination

No, it leads to lower taxes, more freedom, and more choice in what you spend your money on. Corporations will be checked because if they commit force or fraud they will be sued. See it is the government that decides that corporations shouldn't have to pay all their damages, just look at BP.

my hope is that fools like you can be educated as to this simple fact, before some future hell of corporatocracy, created by your efforts, does not serve as the educational lesson on why we need a strong central government to hold corporate power in check

Of course! Because we all know that if we don't invade Iraq, trample all over freedom of speech, put censorship in libraries, enforce the PATRIOT act, add in more victimless crimes, spend more money than needed, keep a fiat currency, keep an unsustainable Social Security system, increase copyright laws, increase patent laws, etc. THE CORPORATIONS ARE GOING TO WIN!!!111!11

We need government, we both can agree with that. But the end result of big government is bankruptcy because it goes beyond fraud and force. Please tell me how all kinds of government programs that have nothing to do with fraud and force is going to cause a corporate takeover? Because the libertarian party is not removing the government's ability to protect against fraud and force, only the other programs that are unsustainable and detrimental to America.

you want a change (1)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 4 years ago | (#32558814)

that is good

your motivations are pure, and i agree with your motivations as they are my motivations too

but the kind of change you want will make everything you complain about now, worse

please try to understand that

Re:you want a change (1)

aztracker1 (702135) | more than 4 years ago | (#32559168)

One thing you have yet to do, is explain exactly *how* things would be worse under the proposed changes. I would tend to agree, that an absolute extension of Libertarian ideals would be a net negative in some regards, but probably more positive overall. Please remember, that the ability to unionize, strike, protest and other liberal ideals would still be available under a more libertarian government. I would say that education (though revised) should be government funded, just not federally.

The limitations on one's ability to protest and strike are also part of what big government has done. The limitations of one's personal liberties as well. Big government will always become beholden to those with the biggest pockets. Because thousands of voices don't carry the weight of a big checkbook. Now, with a corporatist society, corporations are beholden to their shareholders, however they don't make money without their customers. It's government protection of corporations that cause mega conglomerates to control entire sectors. The libertarian ideal is to eliminate that. But also to eliminate entitlement programs that also aren't a place for the federal government, and trimming back what's left to reasonable levels.

None of this is necessarily bad overall. The problem comes when people expect the government to replace what should be handled by charities. Charitable contributions are far lower per household today than throughout our history. This is simply because the work that has traditionally been done by charities has been replaced by government programs, that are far less efficient or effective than the charities they displaced.

The fact is that expanding the role of the federal government in any way at this point is unsustainable. That fact can not be ignored much longer.

Re:i'm not going to turn you, true believer (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32558892)

I am obviously not going to convince a true believer of anything, but I will point out some obvious points that just MAYBE you will at least read.

>the types of powers you want to remove from government will be replaced by corporate power

One problem is actually that the current parties work together to use government coercive power to take power and money from people and transfer ithem to corporations. If libertarians were in power:
    No implied (which led to real) bailouts of Fannie/Freddie
  No spending trillions of the country's money on bailing out bankers
  No extending copyright for corporations so that anything of any value will never go out of copyright

Well I could go on, but I know you aren't ready to understand.

Monopoly under libertarianism (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 4 years ago | (#32558730)

A small federal government making sure that state laws agree with the US constitution, and a few other duties expressed in the constitution.

One of these powers reserved to Congress is the power to create copyrights and patents.

I have the power to A) Sue (remember, the government still exists to prevent force and fraud)

A company engaged in nationwide interstate commerce has far more money for legal representation than you will ever have.

B) Not choose to use the corporation

Sure, you could choose not to use the local electric power company, but then you would have to join the Plain People. How does libertarianism handle the natural monopoly characteristic of a public utility?

C) Form my own company (remember, with reductions in government powers comes the reduction of Copyright/Patents)

Which is why the MPAA-owned television news media [pineight.com] support only middle-of-the-road candidates in the Republicratic parties. Any Republican bringing libertarian ideas to the table, such as Ron Paul, gets buried. That's also why crap like the Copyright Term Extension Act and Digital Millennium Copyright Act pass with unanimous bipartisan support.

We simply believe, like many of the founding fathers, that the government has two and only two roles, protect their citizens from force (things like murder, rape, invasion, theft, etc) and fraud (food poisoning, unsafe drugs, misleading contracts, etc).

Can you give examples of programs under the current Republicratic U.S. government that do not have at least a side effect of protecting citizens from force and fraud?

the war in Iraq

...protects us from force against our energy supply.

On the other hand, if I don't like a certain company, say I don't like Apple, I choose not to buy [its products]

That works for companies that don't hold a monopoly on a product considered to form part of the essential standard of living in an industrialized country. Say I want telephone service, but I don't like Verizon or Comcast. Third parties can't enter the market because the government is protecting the public from force (invasion of non-subscribers' land to pull cable to reach subscribers' land).

[An electronics company] can't borrow money infinitely or create money out of nothing like the US government believes they can.

Do you know who creates the money supply in the United States? The government has (in a libertarian fashion) outsourced this function to a consortium of twelve private banks called Federal Reserve, which is as federal as FedEx.

Re:Monopoly under libertarianism (1)

Darkness404 (1287218) | more than 4 years ago | (#32558874)

One of these powers reserved to Congress is the power to create copyrights and patents.

Yes, it has the power to, it is not a constitutional requirement to.

The Congress shall have Power.... To promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts, by securing for limited Times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their respective Writings and Discoveries;

Congress has the power to declare war on Canada also, but that doesn't mean they have to.

A company engaged in nationwide interstate commerce has far more money for legal representation than you will ever have.

So? The only reason why money for legal representation makes a difference is because we live in an age dominated by corporate interests from republicans and democrats. If we had a Libertarian government, the laws would be a lot more cut and dry.

Sure, you could choose not to use the local electric power company, but then you would have to join the Plain People. How does libertarianism handle the natural monopoly characteristic of a public utility?

Most of the time they are not natural monopolies, but rather government-granted monopolies. If you look at most of the electrical/water companies you see that they are not natural monopolies but rather monopolies granted special protection.

Can you give examples of programs under the current Republicratic U.S. government that do not have at least a side effect of protecting citizens from force and fraud?

Federal Assault Weapons Ban (expired recently, but still a good example), The "War" On Drugs, DMCA, etc. And those are just the ones I can think of off my head, I'm sure if I dug into the congressional records I'd find a lot more.

...protects us from force against our energy supply.

According to http://www.eia.doe.gov/energyexplained/index.cfm?page=oil_where [doe.gov] and other sources, Iraq isn't even a major supplier of US oil.

That works for companies that don't hold a monopoly on a product considered to form part of the essential standard of living in an industrialized country. Say I want telephone service, but I don't like Verizon or Comcast. Third parties can't enter the market because the government is protecting the public from force (invasion of non-subscribers' land to pull cable to reach subscribers' land).

Yes they can, you mean companies like AT&T, T-Mobile, Sprint, and a whole host of other cell phone providers? Plus what about VoIP?

And even the government not allowing all possible competitors to use public land while allowing a select few should be banned. And that has nothing to do with force/fraud.

Do you know who creates the money supply in the United States? The government has (in a libertarian fashion) outsourced this function to a consortium of twelve private banks called Federal Reserve, which is as federal as FedEx.

What the hell are you talking about? Almost every libertarian believes that ending the federal reserve and returning our money to be fixed on a tangible standard to be the first step to financial sanity.

Re:Monopoly under libertarianism (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 4 years ago | (#32559112)

Federal Assault Weapons Ban (expired recently, but still a good example)

To protect private citizens from force caused by other private citizens.

The "War" On Drugs

To protect people from "fraud (unsafe drugs)".

DMCA

To protect authors from "force (theft)". These are some ways that the proponents of highly nonlibertarian acts of Congress can still shoehorn most of them into the "force or fraud" ideology.

Yes they can, you mean companies like AT&T, T-Mobile, Sprint, and a whole host of other cell phone providers?

Say I want mobile phone service, but I don't like the cartel (Verizon, Sprint, AT&T, and T-Mobile, all of which raise their rates in unison). Third parties can't enter the market because the government is protecting the public from force (invasion of RF spectrum allocated to one of the incumbent companies).

Plus what about VoIP?

This requires Internet service, which the same companies provide that provide telephone service. Please allow me to rephrase:

Say I want Internet service, but I don't like Verizon or Comcast. Third parties can't enter the market because the government is protecting the public from force (burying cables).

And even the government not allowing all possible competitors to use public land while allowing a select few should be banned.

I seem to remember reading that under some libertarian formulations, roads would become private land. Numerous toll highways already are outsourced.

Almost every libertarian believes that ending the federal reserve and returning our money to be fixed on a tangible standard to be the first step to financial sanity.

Who would maintain this tangible standard? Gold reserves can't easily expand alongside an expanding population.

WTO and tariff wars (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 4 years ago | (#32559128)

Yes, [Congress] has the power to [create copyrights and patents], it is not a constitutional requirement to.

Congress was obligated to join the Berne Convention when it joined the World Trade Organization. Plenty of industries unconnected with copyright that export goods would complain if other countries were to raise duties on U.S. goods in response to the U.S. leaving the WTO just to get out of the Berne Convention.

Re:here comes the idjits (1)

FuckingNickName (1362625) | more than 4 years ago | (#32558776)

You're missing the parent's point. If government is weak, who is going to stop government becoming an arm of corporations? You're deploying the romantic and entirely fictional long-term untouchable to regulate your country.

Corporations and governments are kept in check because they're two mafias in a power battle. Everyone at the top is inevitably corrupt, so the best we can hope for is that they all fight each other and no-one ends up too strong. Take away this battle and you're a decade away from totalitarianism.

Re:here comes the idjits (1)

Darkness404 (1287218) | more than 4 years ago | (#32558972)

You're missing the parent's point. If government is weak, who is going to stop government becoming an arm of corporations?

The people do. By restoring power to the state/local governments, you make elections that count and it has accountability. The Federal government has 535 representatives/senators in the legislative branch to, in essence, serve 300 million people. State governments for example, like, say the 132 member Tennessee legislator only has to serve a little over 6 million. State governments give a lot more power to the people.

By removing lots of powers from "big government" (the federal government) you put more power in the hands of the people. And you get even more power if you limit the power of that government.

Corporations and governments are kept in check because they're two mafias in a power battle. Everyone at the top is inevitably corrupt, so the best we can hope for is that they all fight each other and no-one ends up too strong. Take away this battle and you're a decade away from totalitarianism.

It is the government though that allows them both to be mafias. Conservatism aims to reduce the government and increase the corporations giving totalitarianism. Modern liberalism aims to reduce the corporations while increasing the government, giving totalitarianism. Libertarianism aims to reduce both sides by taking away special benefits granted by the government to corporations that were making them not responsible to the people, and taking away powers of the government that were making the government not responsible to the people.

Re:here comes the idjits (1)

BoberFett (127537) | more than 4 years ago | (#32559120)

The US government budget is trillions of dollars. Even at that size it's an arm of corporations. The only way to stop corporations from taking more power it to stop growing government. Or do you really think that the problem is that the US government is still too small?

Re:here comes the idjits (1)

atomic777 (860023) | more than 4 years ago | (#32558812)

Everything you say in response makes sense on some level. But what happens when the regulators in that ideal government you speak of are clearly captured? [wikipedia.org] . The problem is pervasive today, and I have trouble seeing how it would be any better once, by necessity, government shrinks to the point that tax revenues are significantly less than the revenues of larger corporations

Re:here comes the idjits (1)

Darkness404 (1287218) | more than 4 years ago | (#32558910)

Because with the reduction in special protections for corporations with the return of smaller government will mean that its a lot more accessible for an individual to sue a corporation, get a civil trial by jury, and get money out of it. So rather than the government simply collecting fines from corporations who fail to maintain standards, the victims of corporate neglect and abuse can collect the money with no cap on damages.

Re:here comes the idjits (1)

atomic777 (860023) | more than 4 years ago | (#32559196)

I don't see how that answers my question.

The government is there to establish laws, and, ideally enforce them. That's partly the responsibility of the regulators.

But what happens when said regulators are captured by the industry they are supposed to regulate, enacting laws that serve their interests (and not of the public good), ignoring violations, etc. You can't sue any companies in that industry because the laws will have been written to protect them! Look at the last 20 years of 'regulation' and legislation that has taken place in the financial industry for a great example.

Can't quite agree with that statement .... (1)

King_TJ (85913) | more than 4 years ago | (#32558824)

To the extent that either a Libertarian and a Communist ideology only works "100% according to intent" when you have all the people involved on-board with the ethical/moral requirements - no, they're both impossible to achieve. (For that matter, the same can be said of true anarchy. IMHO, it's really a great idea in theory, but it doesn't appear to stand the "test of time" if it's actually implemented. Ultimately, it has a fundamental requirement that everyone living in that system functions on a mentally high enough level to see that it's very destructive for ALL involved to become greedy or power-hungry.)

I'm still far from convinced that a libertarian form of government is "incompatible with reality", though. It appears to be pretty much what the Founding Fathers of the USA intended. It's only brought up as though it's some "radically different political idea" because the standard two parties of our era, the Republicans and the Democrats, have wandered so far from those original intentions and plans for U.S. government.

Personally, I think the USA would be far more in line with what the Libertarians are advocating if it weren't for allowing the Judicial branch of govt to subvert so many laws by creating rulings that changed their original intent. That ability to "interpret" the law is a very powerful one, and if the Founding Fathers overlooked anything - it was probably the extent of change of fundamental laws that eventually provided for.

(Then again, I believe it was Ben Franklin who once expressed concern that the government they set up could only last, at best, 200 years or so, before corruption tore it apart from within?)

Re:Can't quite agree with that statement .... (1)

the gnat (153162) | more than 4 years ago | (#32559402)

Personally, I think the USA would be far more in line with what the Libertarians are advocating if it weren't for allowing the Judicial branch of govt to subvert so many laws by creating rulings that changed their original intent.

Perhaps, but some of the more. . . creative judicial rulings have changed the laws in ways that are much more in line with libertarian philosophy - for instance, Brown v. Board of Education, Griswold v. Connecticut, Roe v. Wade, Lawrence v. Texas, and I could probably come up with dozens more if I had time. Some of the legal reasoning seems specious to me, and God knows the Supreme Court has managed to slip in some real doozies (Kelo, Raich, ...), but it's simply embarrassing that parts of this country still had sodomy laws into the 21st century, and that it took an unelected court to correct the situation. Remember, even a representative democracy isn't immune to the tyranny of the majority.

Re:irony overload (1)

Spit (23158) | more than 4 years ago | (#32558274)

What's the alternative, leave them totally cut off to stew? Invade the country and "free" them? This is a baby step towards bringing the DPRK back to the international community. Screeching at their diplomats is one thing, reaching out to the people there is another.

south korea tried the sunshine policy (1)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 4 years ago | (#32558364)

and north korea responded by building a nuclear bomb, launching missiles over japan, and torpedoing one of their ships

the path of diplomacy actually has its limits, especially when whom you are reaching out to is so mad with rabies they continue to attack you

i'm not saying we shouldn't continue on the path of diplomacy, i'm simply asking you to see that diplomacy does not always succeed, and war and isolation become necessary, at some point. we aren't at that point yet, and hopefully we never get to that point. but we may get there, and you should recognize that, especially when dealing with something as batshit crazy as north korea. north korea is the one who is pushing us to that point, not us. you can't extend your arms in peace to someone shooting at you

Re:irony overload (1)

jprupp (697660) | more than 4 years ago | (#32558366)

Really ironic, but that's the ways of capital. Fortunately some brilliant developpers and cartoonists from North Korea can put their abilities to good use, even under the harsh conditions they have to endure.

Re:irony overload (2, Informative)

wiredlogic (135348) | more than 4 years ago | (#32559188)

If you actually read the article you'll see that 'The Simpson's' is drawn by a Seoul based (i.e. South Korean) company and has no direct association with North Korea. The poorly written article then goes on to mention a collaboration between the north and south on a film that again has no direct bearing on 'The Simpson's'.

It's official (4, Funny)

sznupi (719324) | more than 4 years ago | (#32558172)

Flash games are EVIL!!!

Re:It's official (2, Funny)

PFritz21 (766949) | more than 4 years ago | (#32559380)

Well, then maybe is Apple is right in trying to kill it off by not supporting it on the iPad and other devices...

That's it!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32558206)

This is the real reason Apple doesn't want flash on iPad and iPhone.

Flash is programmed in countries without freedom, where people are enslaved and forced to work with adobe tools!

Can't imagine where the game ideas come from... (2, Funny)

binaryseraph (955557) | more than 4 years ago | (#32558292)

North Korea Flash Games Like: "Expel the Inspectors"- quickly hide your nuclear material and kick out inspectors before the time runs out! 30 levels of action packed hide and seek! And lets not forget "Battleship" Use your submarine fleet to take out Enemy South Korean vessels. Explore new lands, suppress your nation, defy sanctions. This action packed game will have you enacting the lifestyle of the leader of an "axis of evil" nation! **Please note these games may not function on your iPad.

How to their directors sleep at night? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32558356)

On big piles of cash, I know. But still, with their companies' money they're propping up the North Korean regime, just to offset their bottom line. These people are rotten to the core.

Retarded Summary (5, Informative)

BlueBoxSW.com (745855) | more than 4 years ago | (#32558472)

The connection is this: An animation company that works on the simpsons is located in south korea. They have been working on a korean folk tale translated into a full length movie, and have been working with north korean animators for the feature.

There is nothing in the article that states (as the summary implies) that any of the simpsons is done in north korea, nor that there are any plans to do so.

Anyone know a better "news for nerds" site that doesn't have all the misleading headlines SlashDot has taken to lately?

I'm kind of sick of this sh!t.

Re:Retarded Summary (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32558654)

Anyone know a better "news for nerds" site that doesn't have all the misleading headlines SlashDot has taken to lately?

I do [ycombinator.org] .

That explains it... (1)

zill (1690130) | more than 4 years ago | (#32558546)

All of a sudden all those "TRAPPED IN SWEATSHOP HELP" messages that I see in Flash games make a lot more sense now. At first I thought they were easter eggs or something.

Flash from North Korea (1)

Lew Perin (30124) | more than 4 years ago | (#32558724)

Good thing Flash is so secure!

Cruel (1)

should_be_linear (779431) | more than 4 years ago | (#32558954)

This tells a lot about regime inhuman enough to expose its own people to ActionScript.
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