Giving #Korean Medicine a try (Update)

I cooked and ate some bad meat two days ago.  First time ever doing that and I think the Pork Cutlet I had after that didn’t help(greasy?).  Suffice to say my Sunday night didn’t end till 4 am and a rather watery regurgitation of the day’s intake.  I felt tons better and was finally able to get to sleep.  Next day I felt ok but still not quite right.  Didn’t eat too much but no reoccurrence of food coming out the wrong end.  Today I still don’t feel quite up to par so I decided to give some Korean Medicine a try.

First, I had to explain what I had done to the pharmacist.  That wasn’t too hard, I knew the word for ‘eating’ and Sunday, all I needed was ‘bad meat’.  A quick google translate and I was able to say “일요일 나쁜 고기 먹어요”.  Literally “Sunday bad meat eat”.  He asked if I had diarrhea and I said no, just a sore stomach.  This is what he gave me:

Korean Medicine

He said that I need to take two pills from each box, 3 times per day and drink this liquid.  I just drank the liquid and it’s not horribly unpleasant.  Not something I would drink casually but could have tasted worse :)  Pills have been taken as well now.  So we’ll see how this turns out in a day or so.  I’ll update as things progress.

Oh, and the total cost for this stuff….about $5.  Who needs to spend taxes on national coverage…this stuff is cheap!


Ok, it’s been 2 days since I started with the medicine.  It all finished yesterday.  I am feeling tons better, if slightly constipated but I just need to drink more water :)  Aren’t you glad you checked this update? ;)

Smelling #Korean technical bullshit when I see it!

A little diagram of an IP address (IPv4)
A little diagram of an IP address (IPv4) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


The recent cyber attacks on South Korea’s banks has made quite a stir in the media.  3 banks services were unavailable  for many hours with lingering effects still.  Yet when I see a line that supposedly explains the origins, and that line is total and utter bullshit….well, I’m gonna call it.


See,  they track who is attacking by IP address.  Sure it probably will not be a North Korea IP address and like many other types of attacks, such methods use systems in other places, countries.  So they originally blamed the attacked coming from a Chinese IP address.  Not surprising really, happens all the time.  In fact, there are certain services that blanket-block any/all Asian IPs because of things like this.  What really got me is the line where they played on people’s absolute ignorance of how networking works.


The IP address was used only for the company’s internal network and was identical to a public Chinese address.


There is a severe problem with this statement.  This situation is completely and utterly impossible to happen.  Out of all the original IP(version 4) addresses, 3 ranges are used exclusively to internal networking.  These 3 ranges are not ‘routable’, meaning you cannot use them to access the internet.


However, they cannot have IP connectivity to any host outside of the enterprise.
source - RFC1918


So, tell me. How can an internet network IP address possibly be the same as an IP address on some external network in China?  That’s right, it can’t.  Thus I call bullshit.


Still want to believe everything you read in your newspapers?


Orgy catches #Korea with pants down

With a headline like this, where else would you want to be?


While maybe some western people may not bat much of an eye, in Korea, this is a pretty serious headline!  That and the by-line is way too perfect!  You can almost picture the Vice Minister saying … “But…its my JOB!”

Clearly I am mingling with the wrong crowd to miss out on things like this…

#South Korea banks

South Korean ATM (Image courtesy of

The security in banking here is a mixed bag.  Sometimes it is overlook, other times it is laughable.

In Korea, you don’t pay bills, you transfer money to a company account.  Amounts to the same thing in the end but there is a difference, subtle as it is.

First, just to look at the bank website, you are forced to install their software.  It is a combination off key logger and firewall.  Last year the government finally the banks to let people use a browser other than only that insecure IE one.  This is good news :)

While online, the software monitors your habits, obstensively to make sure nothing ‘funny’ is going on that might compromise the security of the site or your browser.

What is interesting is that unlike North America (or at least Canada), you don’t automatically get internet banking.  You have to ask for it.  It is an added feature with no extra cost.  They give you this security card with a bunch of numbers in a couple of sets of columns.  When you go online, the website will ask for random parts of those numbers.

The card you have will look like this but obviously without the dots :)

Ok, so once you have mastered this little bit, you also need to know that you have to ask for shopping privileges.  Yes, it is also something you have to ask for so that you can use your card to buy things.  It’s almost like “Well, what the hell can you do with your bank without asking for a feature?”  Desposit and withdrawn.  That’s about it.

Now, back home we have these keypads in which to enter in our PIN code so that we can approve the purchase that it was done by us.  Reasonably secure.  Here, Korea decided to get all “high-tech” and go with a digital signing pad (like you see with the UPS guy when you sign for your package).  The sad thing it that it’s a wasted technology.  The Koreans, they just scribble any old line…with their finger nail.  They don’t even bother with the plastic stylus.  Hell, at one restaurant I handed the bill with my bank card (expecting him to bring a machine to my table) and when he brought me back the receipt I asked him about signing.  He replied “I already did for you.” with a pleasant smile!  Yeah, it’s a pathetic system which just means, don’t loose your damn card!  To be fair, it is severely unlikely that anyone would ever do anything and steal money from your account.  That is just not the way things happen here (unlike that time I lost $200 from my account in Canada because I forgot my card in the machine and the cops could care less about it…).

The other day I saw something new and something that every bank machine and bank website should have!

Now this is smart security!

Sorry for the glare, couldn’t be helped.  This simple screen, shown when you chose the option to transfer, would severely cut back on those Nigerian Scams! 419 Eater does an amusing job at trying to strike back but having a screen like this would make a few more people stop and think.

I met some #North Koreans today!

I have a friend here who volunteers teaching English at a North Korean school.  I mentioned that I’d like to teach computers and would be willing to do some at the school he goes to.  Today he took me there so I can meet the person who runs the school.  It seems the guy in charge didn’t think it would work out, mostly his reason was because of a language barrier(my Korean is still not quite conversational) but I think that is a wrong way to view it.  I believe they could overcome that and it would be a great chance to exchange language, culture and love of tech.

My friend suggested that I talk to his students at the end of his class about Canada.  So I waited around and when his class was nearly done, he came to bring to his students.  We decided to talk more about computers and what the North Korean students knew about them from their home country.

First let me tell you about the students themselves.  They are all young people, about their late teens to early 20s at best.  There were 5 of them, 1 girl and 4 boys.  The girl and one guy were sleeping.

“I let them sleep, given the hell they have gone through.” said my friend.  I can’t say that I blame them.  I also can’t say that I could ever truly know what they have been through.  One of the boys said that if they left their town, they would be killed by law if they were caught.  So yeah, not exactly a fun place to live and it is most likely that whatever family they left have already been killed to make an example of those that have escaped.

Ok, back to computers.  One boy said that they were shown pictures of a computer, told to read some material then given a test to write on what they learned.  Not so much a computer education class but more like a ‘computer awareness’ class it seems.  Another boy said he was able to play a game on a computer once.  No, I’m sure it wasn’t anything like Skyrim but probably something closer to a 90s style game but we didn’t go into details.  The first boy said that the person who had a computer was a ‘rich person’.  I told him that I had 8 computers at my club but definitely wasn’t a rich person.

My friend had them tell me where they were from in North Korea and I used my Galaxy Tab to bring up Google Maps.  Using the Satellite View, we were able to see some pretty amazing details on streets and houses in his home city.  Sure, it wasn’t Google Street View but the details were a lot more than I had anticipated.  The first view was just the standard maps view, which showed not much at all.  I decided to switch to Satellite view and got some real definitions of city objects.  The one boy showed me the statue of Kim Il Sung in his home town, his elementary school and the place where he played football.  What struck me as being surprising was the overall design of the city.  It was like any other city you may have seen.  There were a fair number of houses and any other number of buildings you would expect to see in a mid-to-small sized city.  This lead me to immediately realize how much ‘anti-North Korean’ propaganda has been fed to us.  Sure their lives aren’t exactly rosy and they certainly don’t go on family vacations to the beach on the other side of the mountains but despite that, the city looked absolutely normal.

I do hope that I have an opportunity to help them out with the skills I have but I suspect that I really could use some better Korean any ways.  It was an enlightening experience any ways.

Live music in #South Korea

One of the things I have missed from home is watching my musicians friends perform.  Tonight a friend of mine had introduced to this place that is really close to my community club!  How awesome is this?!

This place is called Sound Hill (Korean 소릿골) and not only ifs the guy singer pretty damn good, he is also the owner AND bartender!  Check him out!

Art work in #Korea

I like to create things.  I see more in my head than I ever create.  So this year I plan on doing more, as evidence of this blog.

I have this community space I have put together here in South Korea, Uijeongbu to be more precise.  Here I have a language exchange that I organize twice a month.  I also plan to make more use of it with more classes.  We shall see how this goes.

For now, I am using some of that abundant creative power sitting around in my brain and bringing to life all the mixed ideas I come up with.  Here is one I just did today.



I call this “the reflection picture.”.  Is the wording obvious to its meaning do you think?