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Rupert Murdoch Publishes North Korean Flash Games

Soulskill posted more than 4 years ago | from the wonder-if-they're-paywalled dept.

United States 186

eldavojohn writes "You might recall back in June when it was noted that North Korea was developing and exporting flash games. Now, the isolated nation state is apparently home to some game developers that are being published by a subsidiary of News Corp. (The games include Big Lebowski Bowling and Men In Black). Nosotek Joint Venture Company is treading on thin ice in the eyes of a few academics and specialists that claim the Fox News owner is 'working against US policy.' Concerns grow over the potential influx of cash, creating better programmers that are then leveraged into cyberwarfare capabilities. Nosotek said that 'training them to do games can't bring any harm.' The company asserts its innocence, though details on how much of the games were developed in North Korea are sparse. While one of the poorest nations in the world could clearly use the money, it remains to be seen if hardliner opponents like the United States will treat Nosotek (and parent company News Corp.) as if they're fostering the development of computer programmers inside the DPRK. The United Nations only stipulates that cash exchanged with companies in the DPRK cannot go to companies and businesses associated with military weaponry or the arms trade. Would you feel differently about Big Lebowski Bowling if you knew it was created in North Korea?"

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Good for everyone (0)

alfredos (1694270) | more than 4 years ago | (#33506772)

A main problem with North Korea is their isolation. Whatever reduces isolation reduces the problem. So good for them and good for the rest of the world. Under this assumption, I'd be eager to buy stuff from them, rather than the opposite.

Re:Good for everyone (2, Insightful)

odies (1869886) | more than 4 years ago | (#33506790)

Exactly. What about just letting North Korea develop their country without interference from US again like with everything else? Just stop the stupid cyberwar bullshit and let them make freaking flash games. US is only making the cituation worse.

It's also just the usual bullshit and propaganda how bad North Korea supposedly is for wanting to defend their own country. North Korea says US is bad and wants to destroy their country, US says North Korea is bad and wants to destroy their country. It's all just stupid propaganda, and because the other side does it the other has to do. It's like stupid kids playing.

Truth is North Korea isn't even as bad as US and all news outlets try to draw it as. Take a travel there and see yourself [korea-dpr.com] - it's possible, you just have to book your trip maybe a month before and it most likely opens up your eyes. I'm not saying theres nothing wrong with North Korea, but it isn't like US paints it.

Re:Good for everyone (2, Insightful)

odies (1869886) | more than 4 years ago | (#33506824)

A little more about traveling to North Korea. I'm living in Asia currently and as it's close to me, I plan to take a trip there this winter. During my life living in many countries I've learnt that prejudices are just those - prejudices. People always give a shittier picture about something, and when you see it yourself it's just different. That's why it's like sitting on your computer all day long and commenting on things you have absolutely no idea about - most news are onesided, and most people tell you onesided stories with extra things that might not even be true. That's why you have to see and do it yourself to actually know anything.

Re:Good for everyone (4, Informative)

Vintermann (400722) | more than 4 years ago | (#33507152)

Good luck in North Korea. Remember that you will be allowed to see will be strictly limited, and the North Korean government is well known to go to unusual lengths [wikipedia.org] to present a good image outwards.

Re:Good for everyone (1)

.tekrox (858002) | more than 4 years ago | (#33507272)

Appears people feel differently in these parts mate, Upmod if I had points.

Re:Good for everyone (1)

luis_a_espinal (1810296) | more than 4 years ago | (#33507352)

A little more about traveling to North Korea. I'm living in Asia currently and as it's close to me, I plan to take a trip there this winter. During my life living in many countries I've learnt that prejudices are just those - prejudices. People always give a shittier picture about something, and when you see it yourself it's just different. That's why it's like sitting on your computer all day long and commenting on things you have absolutely no idea about - most news are onesided, and most people tell you onesided stories with extra things that might not even be true. That's why you have to see and do it yourself to actually know anything.

In that little trip of yours, are you going to see the concentration camps they have up North?

Re:Good for everyone (4, Interesting)

luis_a_espinal (1810296) | more than 4 years ago | (#33507484)

A little more about traveling to North Korea. I'm living in Asia currently and as it's close to me, I plan to take a trip there this winter. During my life living in many countries I've learnt that prejudices are just those - prejudices. People always give a shittier picture about something, and when you see it yourself it's just different. That's why it's like sitting on your computer all day long and commenting on things you have absolutely no idea about - most news are onesided, and most people tell you onesided stories with extra things that might not even be true. That's why you have to see and do it yourself to actually know anything.

How wonderful, will you get a chance to take pictures of their concentration ("reeducation") camps where tens of thousands of people (including their families for fuck's sake). If you do, please put them in facebook (and if you don't a facebook account, create one just for this occasion.)

Oh, I almost forgot, ask your Government/Military pre-approved tourist guide to take you North Korean farmers picking up grass to make soup because they literally have nothing else. Nothing makes a better souvenir than a picture of a emaciated person eating grass.

Hopefully, when we invent time travel, you might get a chance for a one-in-a-lifetime vacation: a trip back to Auschwitz-Birkenau and Sobibor. Who knows, you might get lucky and the administrators will time their gassing schedule to your arrival so that you can take a picture. Trip to the Bahamas or Hokkaido? Screw that!

ps. yeah, I went there and broke Godwin's Law, get over it.

Re:Good for everyone (5, Interesting)

antifoidulus (807088) | more than 4 years ago | (#33506976)

It may not be as bad as the US paints it but its certainly a lot worse than the North Koreans paint it. Your "trip" to North Korea consists entirely of an agenda planned by the government specifically designed to show off the few good parts of North Korea and keep you as far away from ordinary North Koreans as possible. You are forced to bow to a statue of Kim Il Sung. If you go out wandering on your own or say something that could be considered critical of the North Korean government you will get kicked out of the country and your guide will be in for a LOT worse. No other country on the PLANET restricts travel this much. Obviously there is something really, REALLY wrong with North Korea.

It's obvious you have an anti-US sentiment but you shouldn't let that cloud your judgement of North Korea.They It's a really, REALLY shitty place for those not lucky enough to be born into a wealthy, well connected family(irony!). Famine killed at least 10% of the population in the 1990s, the # of refugees willing to risk their life to escape to China where they pretty much know they will be treated as a slave is staggering, so obviously that tells you how bad it is in North Korea.

Re:Good for everyone (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33507274)

Take a travel there and see yourself

That's what this guy did:

Guide to NK part 1 [www.vbs.tv]

Guide to NK part 2 [www.vbs.tv]

Guide to NK part 3 [www.vbs.tv]

Re:Good for everyone (2, Funny)

Trails (629752) | more than 4 years ago | (#33507468)

You say that now, but North Korea cannot be allowed to acquire vector-based technology. Just think of the explosion gradients and cluster mouse over bombs they could launch.

You lefties are all the same, crying peace and progress until Kim Jong launches an ActionScript 2 - powered missile up your arse!! Then you'll be begging for Sean Hannity to come save your ass from the anti-aliased koreamen.

Re:Good for everyone (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33506794)

Buy some Noko Jeans [nokojeans.com] .

noko (2, Funny)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 4 years ago | (#33506964)

noko

sage (1)

nstlgc (945418) | more than 4 years ago | (#33506980)

sage

Re:Good for everyone (1)

fbjon (692006) | more than 4 years ago | (#33506972)

Those are some of the strangest product images I've ever seen. Not to mention the style, are those loose fit jeans the new fashion?

Re:Good for everyone (3, Insightful)

migla (1099771) | more than 4 years ago | (#33506816)

Funny how there are two distinct ways of handling un-democratic countries. Either you trade with them to make them more democratic or you boycott them for not being democratic. You (A government + business) can't be wrong, either way. Very clever.

Re:Good for everyone (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33506866)

Funny how there are two distinct ways of handling un-democratic countries. Either you trade with them to make them more democratic or you boycott them for not being democratic. You (A government + business) can't be wrong, either way. Very clever.

Does either of the two ways actually lead to a more democratic country? Boycotts and embargos from governments don't work because they keep the people uninformed and poor. Trade with poor countries usually ends in quasi-slave labour and a few rich managers who exploit people and exert undemocratic influence on their government.

Anyway, this whole "yay democracy" is nonsense because even the so-called democratic countries are under-cover oligarchies, ruled by the rich and powerful. At least trade might raise their standard of living a little.

Re:Good for everyone (2, Funny)

Dr_Barnowl (709838) | more than 4 years ago | (#33506896)

Trade <snip> usually ends in quasi-slave labour and a few rich managers who exploit people and exert undemocratic influence on their government.

Fixed that for you.

Re:Good for everyone (5, Interesting)

alfredos (1694270) | more than 4 years ago | (#33506904)

I can tell you what did not work for us here in Spain. I'm not old enough to have lived through it, but I sure am to remember how things began to change in the yeas following the death of our dictator and our transition to democracy. Isolation does not work for anybody except, perhaps, for extraordinarily clever (and, more often than not, iron-fisted) dictators.

You can contend that trading with an undemocratic country can strengthen the dictator. I agree with that. However, the basic needs of the people of the country are more important than the dictator, or lack thereof. First thing is food, health, education, a future; once you have all that, you can go with lesser important details like democracy. Democracy and dictatorship are equally as good if people is starving, or just have no future. However, when people is fed, healthy and working, democracy will eventually find its way. Look at history for a number of examples. It will be slow, but sure.

Not sure about that (4, Interesting)

Moraelin (679338) | more than 4 years ago | (#33507062)

Not so sure about that. From what I can gather, most of the anger against the governments in Eastern Europe -- at least after the point where Stalin died and his ham-fisted brutal oppression was replaced by a more "big brother is watching you!" kind of approach -- had to do with shortages, queues to buy just about anything, etc. And to make it seem even worse, an illusion carefully maintained by western propaganda (e.g., Radio Free Europe) that basically the western world is a land of milk and honey where there is no poverty, no problems, everyone is happy, and generally it's freaking rapture on Earth.

But the point is, most people didn't care all that much about democracy or freedoms or such. Most except a few idealists were actually pretty ok with a sort of an implied "covenant" so to speak, that if you don't rock the boat too hard, the secret police will probably leave you alone. If you could give them enough food for their children and a decent life standard -- and maybe stop that propaganda machine, if you're now friends with their government and happy to let it manufacture your shoes and iPods -- I think most people could have lived just as happily without democracy or private initiative at all.

You also have to understand that after Stalin keeping them in line was more based on chilling effect than anything. Stalin's brutal purges and mass executions had been replaced with a more passive-aggressive game, where the government has a dossier on you somewhere, and it's unpredictable when, if or how it will bite you in the arse. Big brother knows if you're drinking with comrade Piotr, who swears at the government lots, and you don't know how you'll be shafted by that... maybe you'll get a one-way all-expenses-paid trip to Siberia, but maybe just your kids will never get promoted past a point, or maybe you'll just never get to travel abroad any more, or maybe nothing at all if you stop it now. That uncertainty actually seems to have worked better than the Pavlovian immediate repression that Stalin used.

The governments there also used agents provocateur big time. The more perverse implication wasn't even that that's how that dossier happens, but basically that you don't know who's one, who can you trust, and how hard a kick in the pants you can expect if you just join the first guy shaking a fist at the beloved president. If comrade Piotr can curse at communism so much and nobody did anything, hmm, maybe he's actually filing a report about your listening to him. It majorly prevented people from getting organized.

In fact it worked so well that even a major, vocal, anti-government critic like Sakharov didn't really need to be silenced. They only "exiled" him to another major and well supplied city, he still had a job, and other than a few "we're still watching you" shows of force by the police, really he was free to shoot his mouth some more. It didn't matter any more. People didn't rally around him anyway. They had been already conditioned that you don't join someone who's that vocal, because either he's an agent provocateur himself, or he's being watched and you don't flock around him like you don't flock in front of the Eye O' Sauron. Better stay out of that kind of spotlight.

My take is basically that if the USA and USSR had gotten over the Cold War (yeah, I know, unlikely) and started trading happily, and letting the Russians manufacture their Nike shoes and laptop batteries, and all, there wouldn't have been any changes at all. There would have been no need for the Glasnost, and no pent up frustration to blow.

Re:Good for everyone (1)

slashqwerty (1099091) | more than 4 years ago | (#33507154)

However, when people is fed, healthy and working, democracy will eventually find its way. Look at history for a number of examples.

Alright, I'll call your bluff on that. What are some historical examples of democracy finding its way when the people are fed, healthy, and working and why would it have been different if the people were not fed, healthy, and working?

Re:Good for everyone (3, Insightful)

longhairedgnome (610579) | more than 4 years ago | (#33507282)

The colonies?

Re:Good for everyone (1)

hao3 (1182447) | more than 4 years ago | (#33506974)

It is very clever. It depends on their size, military might, and many, many strategic and other factors. You're always at risk of doing something wrong. However, handling them all in the same way would be very stupid.

Oh, and News Corp. can rot in hell.

Re:Good for everyone (1)

Brummund (447393) | more than 4 years ago | (#33507262)

You forgot the more popular option #3: Bomb them back to the stone age.

Re:Good for everyone (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33506854)

Except isn't North Korea self-isolationist?

Re:Good for everyone (1)

migla (1099771) | more than 4 years ago | (#33506870)

>Except isn't North Korea self-isolationist?

Apparently not to the extent of not developing flash games for the international market, though.

Re:Good for everyone (0, Troll)

odies (1869886) | more than 4 years ago | (#33506918)

No? They have a lot of diplomacy and trade with China and Russia. There's more to the world than just US, you know.

Re:Good for everyone (1)

luis_a_espinal (1810296) | more than 4 years ago | (#33507402)

No? They have a lot of diplomacy and trade with China and Russia.

Russia and China, wow, what a global diversity.

There's more to the world than just US, you know.

Yes, there is Japan, and South Korea, two flourishing democracies right next to them with whom North Korea has had wonderful relations because of its diplomatic acumen and respect for their border... or wait, scratch those two.

Still the world is more than just the US, like Canada, UK, India, Thailand, Vietnam, the Philippines, Malaysia, Singapore, and many others with whom the North Korea has had wonderful relations since they are so open and because its "Army First" policy, brandishing of nuclear weapons, kidnapping of Japanese citizens and shooting of rockets on Japanese and South Korean waters is so amenable and sounds like Kumbaya... or wait, scratch that.

So what was your point again? Or were you just implying the problem is 100% solely a US machination, with the North Korean government having no legal, diplomatic and moral responsibility at all? Please enlighten me with your deep insight in International Relations.

Re:Good for everyone (1)

arivanov (12034) | more than 4 years ago | (#33506926)

Spot on

Hard rock, western cosmetics and western films have done more for the demise of USSR style Communism than all efforts of western governments and all "dissidents" combined.

Re:Good for everyone (2, Informative)

hedwards (940851) | more than 4 years ago | (#33506928)

You'd just be encouraging them. The problem isn't that we're not trading with them. The problem is that somebody is providing Kim Jong Il with the luxury goods he desires. Buying these games is just a matter of profiteering plain and simple, the money is not going to get back to the people nor is this going to decrease the isolation of the North Korean people. It's just another way in which Rupert Murdoch profits on the suffering of others.

No suprise here (3, Insightful)

Pojut (1027544) | more than 4 years ago | (#33506776)

Murdoch owns one of the largest media empires in the world [wikipedia.org] . Why wouldn't he work hand-in-hand with "the enemy"? Never mind the fact that Fox News has trounced the idea of speaking to dictators...but doing business with them is a-ok!

Re:No suprise here (5, Insightful)

AHuxley (892839) | more than 4 years ago | (#33506836)

Same with China.
Rants on Fox over democracy and freedom, $ in reality.
http://www.slate.com/id/2184197/ [slate.com]

Re:No suprise here (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33507058)

Fox News specifically and News Corp in general exist to serve the agenda of their master, Rupert Murdoch and nothing else. It amazes me how many hate-spewing, pseudo intellectual, know-it-alls Fox news has generated in the US. Sensationalization and Fear mongering (Hannity & Beck) make for great ratings and revenue, but are they good for us as a society and do they improve humanity? If the state of discourse in the United States as any indication, the emphatic answer is "NO".

Imagine the extent of damage of these so-called flash games on the Internet and networks connected to the Internet if they had a malicious intent, which is very sobering if you consider that Nosotek is supported by elements of the DPRK regime! I hear the sound of sucking machines diverting funds from online banking accounts to DPRK quickly changing their status from destitute to cash-rich nation. Brought to you by the not-so-good folks at News Corp.

Re:No suprise here (-1, Troll)

Jackie_Chan_Fan (730745) | more than 4 years ago | (#33506892)

...and fox news is hell bent on labeling Obama has a communist.

It seem at Murdoch likes to employ lots of people that Hate America...

Perhaps we should outlaw his entire company and take its assets.

Re:No suprise here (1, Interesting)

hedwards (940851) | more than 4 years ago | (#33506940)

If you get technical about it, his ownership of Fox was completely illegal when he bought it. It wasn't until he started buying Republican politicians that he got proper permission to own media in the US. They've since gone even further and allowed him to own more than one outlet per market.

Re:No suprise here (2, Informative)

dakameleon (1126377) | more than 4 years ago | (#33507188)

Murdoch became a naturalised US citizen on 4 September 1985, before he bought the Fox predecessor in December of that year. So not by much, but still legal.

(and this is one instance where the no-newspaper-and-tv-network-in-one-market rule here in Aussieland works pretty well)

Re:No suprise here (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33507338)

Not strictly true, it's NewsCorps ownership that mattered not him personally. That was the reason behind the FCC investigation and his purchase of Metromedia was in May that year, they delayed the 'official' handover a year, but that was so that Reagan could give him citizenship.

He's an extremely dodgy man, and his Fox takeover of the Republican party via the Tea Party movement is typical of the man.

Hardly, FCC was 3:2 in favor of Democrats in 95 (2, Informative)

Shivetya (243324) | more than 4 years ago | (#33507604)

There were three Democrats on the FCC, Reed Hundt (chairman), James Quello, and Susan Ness. The two Republicans were Andrew Barrret and Rachelle Chong. So blaming Republicans for change in ownership rules is pretty silly, typical though. It seems that too many rely on ignorance to allow their views to be supported. After all, we know the Republicans had control of Congress then, but the fact remains, they did not have a majority on the FCC.

So if you want to blame Fox's ascendancy on anyone, put the blame on the party who held control over the governing organization that permitted the change.

Re:No suprise here (2, Interesting)

Jeff DeMaagd (2015) | more than 4 years ago | (#33507106)

In all fairness, speaking to dictators and hiring some of the dictator's subjects as a labor force are somewhat different things.

However, fox News pundits seem to be willing to bite the hand that feeds them, given that one of the major News Corp owners is also a big financial backer of the "Ground Zero Mosque".

Re:No suprise here (1)

Vintermann (400722) | more than 4 years ago | (#33507182)

In all fairness, speaking to dictators and hiring some of the dictator's subjects as a labor force are somewhat different things.

In North Korea, the difference is not so large. It's no garden-variety dictatorship, it's a totalitarian state.

Re:No suprise here (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33507232)

"Murdoch owns one of the largest media empires in the world. Why wouldn't he work hand-in-hand with "the enemy"?"

Do you really think HE did this on purpose? I'd say it was just one of the holding companies and until this information came out, he probably didn't know.

Re:No suprise here (1)

Pojut (1027544) | more than 4 years ago | (#33507374)

The man's entire media empire heavily condemned Obama for suggesting that we talk with dictators around the world.

I don't think he would miss his own company conducting business with one of those dictators. "Money from North Korea" kind of jumps off the page in a tally sheet, know what I mean?

The rug is not the issue here (0, Troll)

alphatel (1450715) | more than 4 years ago | (#33506778)

Would you feel differently about Big Lebowski Bowling if you knew it was created in North Korea?

When the chinaman pisses on the rug at gamestart, do they insert a South Korean?

Would you feel differently about Big Lebowski... (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33506788)

The Dude abides.

Re: Would you feel differently about Big Lebowski. (1)

antifoidulus (807088) | more than 4 years ago | (#33506804)

The Dude abides.

....Juche?

Programmers (4, Interesting)

DarkIye (875062) | more than 4 years ago | (#33506822)

Having coded ActionScript, I can say that the claim their programmers will be improving their skills with the experience is bollocks.

Re:Programmers (3, Interesting)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 4 years ago | (#33506842)

Having coded ActionScript, I can say that the claim their programmers will be improving their skills with the experience is bollocks.

Maybe its a step up from VB but its not going to turn them into elite hackers over night.

I did wonder about flash based spyware. Could a flash app take a picture from a webcam then phone home?

Re:Programmers (3, Interesting)

tomhudson (43916) | more than 4 years ago | (#33507150)

I did wonder about flash based spyware. Could a flash app take a picture from a webcam then phone home?

Only if you allow it to - or if your laptop was supplied by an American school board.

Sure, they can steal some flash cookies. But you already use a cookie blocker that takes care of both flash and regular cookies, right?

Re:Programmers (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33507618)

As a commercial coder for the last 20 or so years, I must ask what the fuck are you talking about? ActionScript is nothing like 'a step up' from VB.

In addition to the standard day to day C++, less often C, occasional assembly and (shudder)xcode on that funny platform, I've coded extensively with ActionScript and VB through their numerous different versions. ActionScript provides nothing like the functionality VB. In fact, I'd go as far to say that even the older-school VB's (like 4, 5, 6) are still more functional than ActionScript is today.

...Or maybe I missed the class on ActionScript being able to make OS and other subsystem API calls? Build filtergraphs? REAL hardware accelerated 3D through directx? ...and don't forget: ActionScript feels like it's stuck together with chewing gum.

Seriously, if you don't already know to use the right tool for the job, just stfu. 'Step up' pfffff!

Rupert Murdoch.. (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33506834)

Terrorist and AMERICA hater.

He is a traitor and must be dealt with severely.

I say we should find some backwards, barren, outoftheway continent with a bunch of freaky animals to send him to...but where?!? Where?!?

Does anybody know of such a place?

Re:Rupert Murdoch.. (2)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 4 years ago | (#33506888)

I say we should find some backwards, barren, outoftheway continent with a bunch of freaky animals to send him to...but where?!? Where?!?

Antarctica?

Re:Rupert Murdoch.. (1)

benjfowler (239527) | more than 4 years ago | (#33506920)

That bastard has already ridden the wave and he's now a very old man. He's had a lifetime to cause trouble and enjoy his mostly-ill-gotten gains, and is now even worse, because he retains his power, while going senile.

He should have been dealt with decades ago.

Re:Rupert Murdoch.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33507364)

Murdoch or Kim?

Re:Rupert Murdoch.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33507216)

If it can be helped, not back in Australia, please.

Kim Jong Il or Rupert Murdoch? (5, Insightful)

BiggerIsBetter (682164) | more than 4 years ago | (#33506848)

Frankly, I'm more concerned about News Corp than I am about North Korea.

Re:Kim Jong Il or Rupert Murdoch? (4, Insightful)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 4 years ago | (#33507480)

And I'm more concerned about China than either. And the U.S. government certainly doesn't seem to have any problem with U.S. companies exporting all their computer jobs there.

Feel Differently (2, Funny)

necro81 (917438) | more than 4 years ago | (#33506864)

Would you feel differently about Big Lebowski Bowling if you knew it was created in North Korea?

Well, considering I feel that flash games are an idiotic waste of my time, this revelation doesn't change matters much.

Re:Feel Differently (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33507398)

Would you feel differently about Big Lebowski Bowling if you knew it was created in North Korea?

Yes, definitely. Companies in the U.S and the U.S government have influenced the laws in my country in a way that reduces my freedom. If I knew that I would support North Koreans that have done nothing to harm me instead of supporting American voters that put the dirtbags in charge then I would have a lot more happy feelings for that game.

It could become a military issue. (1)

broknstrngz (1616893) | more than 4 years ago | (#33506876)

If they decide to do Minesweeper #2.

Question: Is it illegal? (4, Interesting)

wonkavader (605434) | more than 4 years ago | (#33506884)

Is it currently illegal for a US company to trade with North Korea?

Is it illegal for a multi-national which does business in the US to do so?

Re:Question: Is it illegal? (2, Informative)

oodaloop (1229816) | more than 4 years ago | (#33506900)

Doubt it. There's actually a huge amount of legal trade going across the border. There's a DMZ, but there's buttloads of trucks going back and forth over it every day.

Re:Question: Is it illegal? (3, Informative)

julesh (229690) | more than 4 years ago | (#33507302)

Is it currently illegal for a US company to trade with North Korea?

Irrelevant. News Corp is not a US company; it is incorporated in Australia.

Is it illegal for a multi-national which does business in the US to do so?

AIUI, such a company only submits to US jurisdiction for business activities that occur within the US, so I would guess not.

Would you feel differently? (1)

joeflies (529536) | more than 4 years ago | (#33506890)

Would you feel differently about Big Lebowski Bowling if you knew it was created in North Korea?

well based on the name and that it's flash based, I'm inclined to think that it sucks, horribly. So the answer is No, I wouldn't feel differently knowing that it came from NK because I don't beleve that will make the game any better

Play some North Korean flash games here (2, Informative)

My Iron Lung (834019) | more than 4 years ago | (#33506924)

I run a bit of a North Korean news aggregation and info site. I posted a few weeks ago about a state-run newspaper site, uriminzokkiri.com, that hosts a number of North Korean made flash games you can play in your browser. Some of them are actually pretty fun! Links to the games, writeup and game descriptions can be found here: http://www.reasonableman.net/archives/250 [reasonableman.net] The best part is, none of the corporate web blocking apps out there are restricting a North Korean website! :)

sounds like murdoch (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33506936)

As is always the case with Rupert Murdoch, why be content just riling up people on one side of a conflict when you can just as easily be profiting from both side? He does this time and time again, yet people always seem surprised when he does it.

Would I buy? (2, Insightful)

ledow (319597) | more than 4 years ago | (#33506938)

Would I buy a computer game knowing it came from North Korea?

Break the question down before you even think about answering it - how do I know if something has been programmed in, made in, assembled in, or had any other part of its production process in North Korea, or anywhere else for that matter? Where was Doom 3 programmed? Does it use code written by slave children in India who are force-fed C++ classes instead of their normal education, paid 1p a day and beaten regularly? I have *no* idea and no real way to prove either way. Thus singling out North Korea makes no sense.

If it is produced in North Korea, how do I *KNOW* what the funds it generates are used to support? Do you know what ID Software spent your $29.99 on? Maybe they sent it to a Gay & Lesbian support group, or funded investment in an African orange grove, or maybe they actually did use it to buy one of their employees a hand gun - you have NO idea. Thus singling out a particular company in North Korea based on accusations and vague connections makes no sense.

If it comes to my attention that a game is produced by a company who has other actions I disapprove of, will I stop buying the game? Well, I hate Sony. I disagree with most of their actions. Their involvement on a project might well kill it off in my mind. But it very much depends on their involvement and precisely which actions we're talking about, whether they affect my morals and whether or not that should be related to some other product they are producing. I disagree with Afghanistan growing opium, but does that mean I can't buy fruit from Afghanistan IN CASE some of the drug-money was used to sow the field in the first place? Or, surely, giving them an increased trade in other, more legitimate, goods will provide them an incentive to move away from growing opium? I have no idea. Thus singling out a particular game because of tenuous links to things I may not approve it by a single company in its production chain makes no sense.

Assuming we KNOW that this software was written in North Korea. Assume that we KNOW that every company along the line knew this. Assume that we KNOW that the North Korean's are then taking those "trained" programmers and using them to program nuclear missiles. Does that mean I'd not buy the game? Still unlikely. The production of the game didn't make them program nuclear missiles (or whatever), someone else did. At some point someone clearly crossed the boundary between making a flash game and funding cyberwarfare. That's the person who is the problem, that's the person who should be asked probing questions. That's the part that the government needs to step in and stop ALL trade with that country, not half-assed this company is "good", this company is "bad" because it employs "X" crap.

And I take offence at the tone of the submission. Trying to make me feel guilty by association is almost entirely racism. The article is trying to paint *all* North Korean activity (including programming a video game) as somehow evil. Would I buy it? If it was a good game that I was interested in, yes. Sadly I don't have an infinite lifetime in which to research every individual, company, funding source and country involved in the production of even a minor flash game. If you have a problem with North Korea, lobby for a blanket trade ban. Otherwise, please stop spreading such rampant discrimination because a newspaper company has a flash game on its website.

Re:Would I buy? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33506982)

You are not responsible for things you do not, or cannot, know. You are responsible for the things you do know. When possible, I prefer to not buy things made in North Korea (not hard to do given the dearth of NK exports) because their government oppresses my fellow Christians. Given the nature of their government, exported products provide serious support to their government. You could support trade with NK for exactly the same reason, and we'd both be right.

Conscious reasoned actions are better than blind brain dead actions.

Re:Would I buy? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33507348)

It's Id Software. The proceeds of Doom III went towards Armadillo Aerospace, for the development of martian exploration and colonization equipment. United Astronomics will acquire Armadillo, which will acquire Composite Systems. The result of the merger will be UAC.

Re:Would I buy? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33507504)

First thing: we don't have an absolute embargo against any country, even Cuba.From http://www.treas.gov/offices/enforcement/ofac/programs/nkorea/nkorea.pdf:

Goods of North Korean origin may not be imported into the United States either directly or through third countries, without prior notification to and approval of the Office of Foreign Assets Control.

I have no idea whether Murdock and company got that approval; what I do see is that approval is possible to get.

That said,

Would I buy a computer game?

No, actually.

I think that (1)

MC68040 (462186) | more than 4 years ago | (#33506946)

The dude would abide!

All your game are belong to us. (4, Funny)

captainpanic (1173915) | more than 4 years ago | (#33506952)

In A.D. 2010
        Flash game was beginning.

        America: What happen?
        Slashdotter: Somebody set up us the bomb.
        Operator: We get signal.
        America: What!
        Operator: Main screen turn on.
        America: It's You!!
        North Korea: How are you gentlemen!!
        North Korea: All your base are belong to us.
        North Korea: You are on the way to destruction.
        America: What you say!!
        North Korea: You have no chance to survive make your time.
        North Korea: Ha Ha Ha Ha ....
        Operator: Captain!!
        America: Take off every 'Zig'!!
        America: You know what you doing.
        America: Move 'Zig'.
        America: For great justice.

In commie Korea, games create you!

Re:All your game are belong to us. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33507020)

Wait, too soon.

"redefining outsourcing" (5, Insightful)

sosume (680416) | more than 4 years ago | (#33506962)

MEMO --

New ownership means new rules. Therefore:
- each bug found in production code, means a month of hard labor for the responsible engineers and their entire family
- no more internets for you!
- each comment in your code should contain a reference to our glorious leader

We hope these new rules will everyone more happy and more productive!

-- K. Jong Il, VP

Re:"redefining outsourcing" (1)

Torvac (691504) | more than 4 years ago | (#33507134)

must be great to have your own death as motivation

North Korea has a substantial role in animation (3, Informative)

Froomb (100183) | more than 4 years ago | (#33506990)

Would you feel differently about Big Lebowski Bowling if you knew it was created in North Korea?"

How would you feel about Pocqhontas and the Lion King? In some fields [speroforum.com] , North Korea has surprising expertise.

Re:North Korea has a substantial role in animation (1)

Half-pint HAL (718102) | more than 4 years ago | (#33507162)

Suddenly Flash gaming makes a whole lot of sense for them -- Flash isn't programming, it's animation + glue logic.

North Korea will soon dominate the market, and Jobs will rebrand the iOS Flash ban as a blow for democratic freedom.

HAL.

Re:North Korea has a substantial role in animation (1)

Vintermann (400722) | more than 4 years ago | (#33507194)

Not that surprising. Some skills are in high-demand in a totalitarian state. I know the moment it opens up, I'm going to pick up a couple of mass demonstration coreographers for cheap.

So, what will Fox News say? (2, Insightful)

DaRat (678130) | more than 4 years ago | (#33507014)

What'll be interesting to me is what, if anything, Fox News has to say about this offshoring. I suspect that if one of the other media companies would do the same thing, there would be considerable outrage. In the case of one's parent company, well...

Nothing, really. (3, Interesting)

panda (10044) | more than 4 years ago | (#33507100)

Fox News is a subsidiary of News Corp., but you know that. They won't mention it.

It would be funny if this is illegal and Murdoch and his corporations are brought up on charges of providing aid and comfort to the enemy. It would be very funny, but it won't happen.

I think every news network should trumpet this news. That the parent corporation of Fox News is doing business with .... Communists! And not the "good" communists in China, either, but the crazy, "We want to nuke the world," "our leader is a divinity to be worshipped," communists of North Korea.

A duh moment for me... (1)

CFBMoo1 (157453) | more than 4 years ago | (#33507070)

'&ldquo;Most companies are still reluctant, which we think is unfortunate,&rdquo; he said.'

Not really, why send people to a country known for arresting people and holding them until a former president swoops in and frees them? I bet that costs a pretty penny and I wouldn't want my business billed for it.

Name one boycott that has worked (2, Interesting)

mbone (558574) | more than 4 years ago | (#33507088)

Please name one boycott / trade restriction that has worked. We (the USA) have been embargoing Cuba for almost 50 years, Iran for 30, North Korea for almost 60 years. We boycotted the People's Republic of China for some 25 years (and that was a real strict boycott, comparable to the current one against the North Korea). And, of course, our oil boycott of Japan in the early 1940's lead directly to Pearl Harbor.

After literally centuries of cumulative experience running boycotts and embargoes against various bad actors, have they ever served their purpose ? These are the foreign policy equivalent of the drug war - most people know that they are doing no good, but for some reason it is impossible to act rationally and admit it.

Re:Name one boycott that has worked (1)

RAMMS+EIN (578166) | more than 4 years ago | (#33507256)

This is something I have long wondered. Why do we keep doing boycotts and trade embargoes? It seems to me that, when you restrict trade between nations, (1) people on both sides lose (less competition/choice/availability of products), (2) the powerful will still be able to do and get what they want, (3) you make people angry, (4) you make yourself a target for fingerpointing, and (5) you are going against the idea that trade promotes peace (e.g. China and the USA going to war would be an economic disaster for both, so they are unlikely to do it). Considering that embargoes are often instituted with the stated goal of getting some foreign government to play nice, I wouldn't be surprised if they actually achieved the exact opposite of their stated goal. Am I missing something?

Re:Name one boycott that has worked (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33507310)

Depends on your definition of 'work'.
You could argue that they have been successfully 'politically contained'.

Re:Name one boycott that has worked (3, Interesting)

julesh (229690) | more than 4 years ago | (#33507344)

Please name one boycott / trade restriction that has worked. [...] And, of course, our oil boycott of Japan in the early 1940's lead directly to Pearl Harbor

Which led directly to the US/Japanese conflict during WWII, which led directly to a change of regime in Japan that eliminated and undid the imperialist/expansionist behaviour that had been the original reason for that embargo. You just killed your own thesis with a counterexample.

Re:Name one boycott that has worked (1)

ShanghaiBill (739463) | more than 4 years ago | (#33507578)

Please name one boycott / trade restriction that has worked.

The Atlantic slave trade was ended in large part because of a sugar boycott by consumers in Britain.

South African Apartheid ended after a very long boycott. It is arguable how much the boycott helped.

New Axis of Evil (4, Insightful)

Diamon (13013) | more than 4 years ago | (#33507120)

FOX has now been linked with North Korea and the Ground Zero Imam. They've clearly taken over Iraq's place in the Axis of Evil. When do we invade?

Re:New Axis of Evil (2, Insightful)

tomhudson (43916) | more than 4 years ago | (#33507172)

FOX has now been linked with North Korea and the Ground Zero Imam. They've clearly taken over Iraq's place in the Axis of Evil. When do we invade?

Maybe North Korea will make a game that lets you bomb NewsCorp and Fox.

Do you play the game or not? Some people would be *so* conflicted ...

Re:New Axis of Evil (1)

c0lo (1497653) | more than 4 years ago | (#33507244)

FOX has now been linked with North Korea and the Ground Zero Imam. They've clearly taken over Iraq's place in the Axis of Evil. When do we invade?

At the "News at 11" time?

It's a complicated situation (1)

boxwood (1742976) | more than 4 years ago | (#33507136)

a lot of ins a lot of outs... a lot of wha-have-yous... a lot of strands... a lot of strands in the old duder's head.

when india and is too expensive ... (1)

Torvac (691504) | more than 4 years ago | (#33507146)

and china too complicated - get your things done in north korea. just fair ...

di3Hk (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33507210)

*BSD is dead. as possibLe? How Whether you IS DYING LIKE THE

Good for no one, except Fox and Rupert Bullshit. (1)

OldHawk777 (19923) | more than 4 years ago | (#33507246)

I know many media companies have ringers on /. to catch news stories and push the corporate-propaganda. This /. topic has a few Fox-NK dogma propagandist.

The rulers of NK are very bad/evil. NK has a large border with China and a small border with Russia. IOFW+IMFO: NK is intentionally closed and oppressive, and dummy Fox-Rupert either lies or has an agenda to assert the rights of global-companies to have their own internationally recognized Fox-Rupert State Department.

IOW: It is a fyck US and EU, because NK has always been a China and Russia Proxy state.

Don't eat the Fox-Rupert BS-dogma.

Fox News (1)

bluefoxlucid (723572) | more than 4 years ago | (#33507314)

Always taking shots at Fox News. By the way, News Corp owns the Wall Street Journal; National Geographic Channel; IGN; and part of Hulu. IGN is way more notable than Fox News, never mind WSJ.

Frothing Moonbats (2, Insightful)

emh203 (815620) | more than 4 years ago | (#33507336)

Oh god, Rupert Murdoch among the moonbats at slashdot has now reached the same level of the "Illuminati" in the conspiracy nut circles.

They believe in nothing (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33507368)

Say what you want about the tenets of national socialism dude, at least it's an ethos.

rupert murdoch is basically the capitalist version (1)

kiddygrinder (605598) | more than 4 years ago | (#33507406)

rupert murdoch is basically the capitalist version of kim jong il, so why would he give a crap about any of this, as long as he gets the dollars

The sadest part of this... (-1, Troll)

Jawnn (445279) | more than 4 years ago | (#33507466)

...is the fact that so few Fox News Fans will grasp the profound irony.

Pwn to Own (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33507648)

http://www.linux.com/archive/articles/131059
Flash was the vulnerability used to crack em.
Not surprising that a scumbag like Rupert Murdock and North Korea are using flash.

Scary, exploits was the captcha.

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