Tag Archives: north korea

North Korean internet still down, crippling vibrant “Silicon Gulag”

27 Dec

PYONGYANG–North Korea’s vibrant internet startup community continued to suffer from ongoing connectivity problems, causing many entrepreneurs to suggest that the country’s innovation culture could be under threat.

“I love everything about this place–the deep pools of talent, the free flow of ideas, the bread made with sawdust–but if the internet stays down, I might need to retreat to California,” said Nathan Horsley, the CEO of iPurge, an innovative P2P oppression service based here.

Hubbard complained that normally the internet was available on both the country’s computers. “But one has been down for weeks due to a coal shortage, and now the other one has lost internet access,” he said.

Kim Jong Un, the country’s unquestioned leader, visited the offices of WheatNet, a startup outside Nampo whose traffic app helps North Korean residents find grain that may have spilled out of trucks. He issued a statement using the country’s backup communication links, but both pigeons were eaten by hungry VC executives before they could take off.

/home/wpcom/public_html/wp-content/blogs.dir/7a9/37750163/files/2014/12/img_0077.jpgKim Jong Un suggests to the military that they combine the wrapped and the striped candies

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Holt withdraws Hilary Mantel’s book “The Assassination of Margaret Thatcher” after anonymous hackers threaten “significant grumbling”

24 Dec

LONDON–in a controversial decision, publisher Henry Holt and Co. has withdraw Hilary Mantel’s award-winning short-story collection, “The Assassination of Margaret Thatcher,” after several online threats to “really be quite cross about this” and launch one or more “truly devastating snubs” of people seen reading the book.

“While we all support freedom of speech,” said a Holt spokesman, “the reality of the situation requires us to withdraw this book immediately, to protect our staff and our readers from possible unpleasantness.”

The source of the threats was not known. Investigators said they had virtually no clues to go on, aside from an email chain that included a weather forecast for extended drizzle and a discussion of the English cricket team. “It could have come from anywhere,” an investigator concluded.

Hackers had already broken into the publisher’s server and published hundreds of embarrassing documents. Among the most significant releases were embarrassing emails describing several nominees for the Man Booker prize as “a little dull at times,” and also a spreadsheet showing that some of the company’s roster of poets were paid dozens or even hundreds of pounds per book.

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North Korea demonstrates crushing technological superiority once again with Sony hack

19 Dec

TOKYO–elite North Korean hackers today showed the world once again why Pyongyang is the hottest destination for tech talent, breaking into Sony Corporation’s servers and stealing virtually all of the company’s files.

“We’ve known the North Koreans have the best software, the best hardware, and the best talent,” said serial tech entrepreneur Jim Davies, who moved to Silicon Valley two years ago after finding that he couldn’t keep up north of the DMZ. “The Sony hack just shows that Japan, and indeed all the rest of us, are falling further behind.”

While the attackers left few digital fingerprints, American forensic technicians found fragments of code first seen on JucheBay, an e-commerce site where can North Koreans can list their items and the state takes them by force without compensation.

Davies said the problem could worsen significantly in the near future. “There are literally tens of thousands of brilliant software engineers in North Korea right now,” he said. “And when they finish the potato harvest and are allowed to return home, there’s no telling what they’ll be able to achieve.”

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The Rodong 1000, capable of performing literally dozens of calculations per second.

Tense recount in North Korean election as Kim Jong Un clings to 99.98% lead

12 Mar

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PYONGYANG—North Korea’s parliamentary election continued to be too close to call, with Kim Jong Un clinging to a 99.98% margin in his electoral district of Mount Paektu.

According to election authorities, a court-ordered recount of all votes was under way, with the outcome hanging on “a few hundred” ballots that were either illegible or had been boiled with nettles and tree bark to make soup.

“It is still too early to make a definitive call in this election,” said Mount Paektu county commissioner Kang Byung-suk, who assumed the post after the previous three incumbents mysteriously disappeared over the previous 24 hours. He noted that the commission was seeking advice from the state of Florida on how to conduct a smooth and efficient recount.

When news of the inconclusive result was announced, the Korean Workers’ Party immediately mobilized a crack team of highly trained lawyers, forensic accountants, and public-relations experts. It then put them all in a stadium and had them hold up cards depicting missile launches and army gymnasts.

Kim Jong Un purges uncle for being insufficiently evil, low-rise hair, mismanaging “Hungry Monday”

9 Dec

PYONGYANG—in a development that stunned veteran North-Korea watchers, dictator Kim Jong Un purged his uncle and country’s number two, Jang Song Thaek, forcibly removing him from a meeting of the Workers’ Party.

“I have stripped Comrade Jang of his post for three reasons,” said Kim. “First, he is a capitalist lackey splittist, seeking to undermine our state through treasonous ends. Second, his hair is insufficiently voluminous to represent the leadership of this great country.”

Kim then paused, unable to remember the third reason. After a long gap, he finally said “Oops,” and had all witnesses to the gaffe arrested.

According to experts, Jang had outlived his usefulness now that Kim was fully in control of the military and was tall enough to reach the shelf with the candy on it.

The last straw apparently came last week when two of Jang’s aides were executed for “economic sabotage.” They were sentenced to death after North Korea’s version of Black Friday, Hungry Monday, came and went without “any real doorbuster deals worth lining up for,” according to Kim.

Governments of North Korea, Somalia , Syria, Turkmenistan, Equatorial Guinea, Afghanistan all still open

11 Oct

PYONGYANG—the government of North Korea, widely cited as among the world’s most oppressive and dysfunctional, remained open for business today, local media sources confirmed.

“Everyone’s here,” confirmed a spokesman for the Ministry of Budget and Thought Control. “All offices functioning normally,” he added, before asking if he could eat the glue holding together a reporter’s notebook.

In war-torn Mogadishu, the Somali government, which holds authority only in a few blocks in the center of the warlord-run city, continued to pay its bills. Offices were open, staffed by all remaining civil servants who have not moved to the coast to become pirates.

In genocide-wracked Syria, the government recently passed its fiscal year 2013-14 budget, supported by the remaining members of parliament who have not been murdered or left to command ethnic-cleansing military detachments.

Lastly, President Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo of Equatorial Guinea, widely regarded as one of the most repressive and murderous dictators in the world, who has embezzled more than $600m from the state and has been accused of cannibalism, confirmed to a reporter than his government remained open for business and was continuing to pay its debts.

“Of course the government is open,” said Obiang, seemingly puzzled by the question. “What is this, a restaurant? What kind of amateurs would shut down a government?”

Spokesmen for the United States Congress and the White House were unavailable for comment.

CIA reports North Korean scientists close to developing “significantly angrier” rhetoric; Pentagon to deploy $3 billion earplugs

29 Mar

WASHINGTON–according to a recent National Intelligence Estimate, North Korean scientists are working round-the-clock to complete what is described as “way meaner-sounding complaints” about the United States and its allies. According to the NIE, the new rhetoric will be “orders of magnitude more irritating” than the current repetitive “Yankee dogs” and “imperialist scum” that are regime staples today.

The report is much more pessimistic than one released two years ago, when Pyongyang was still thought to be years away from a capability to deploy “really nasty insults.” Analysts ascribe the rapid progress to the new, more talkative regime of Kim Jong Eun, as well as additional sarcasm technology purchased from Iran.

“I don’t want to sound alarmist,” CIA Director John Brennan said, “but at their current rates of progress, the North Korean regime will be able to really get us steamed up.”

Sources close to the Pentagon say that the American military is working on counter-measures in the form of enhanced yo-mama jokes, as well as passive defenses in the form of “listening de-enhancement devices,” or earplugs. Unfortunately the earplugs program is six years behind schedule and more than $25 billion over budget, causing some to question whether American soldiers in South Korea will be forced to hum loudly or listen to their iPods in order to maintain combat effectiveness.

President Obama was said to be following the situation closely. “The nightmare scenario would be if somehow North Korea got access to the Tea Party’s incoherent-rage technology,” said Director Brennan. “Or worse still, if Kim Jong Eun and Donald Trump managed to combine hairstyles.”

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