Feeds

United Nations gifts NORTH KOREA with tech worth $50k

A glimpse at Kim Jong-un's IT wish list...

Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications

HPC blog The UN’s World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) is looking to gift the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (the bad Korea) with a little over $50k worth of hardware and peripherals, plus some training, with the goal of modernising North Korea’s patent and trademark applications.

Really? That’s what’s highest on North Korea’s IT wish list these days? Yep, it is... and for good reason.

It becomes a bit clearer when you consider that this new system will greatly improve North Korea’s access to an international database of more than 2 million patents filed under the international Patent Cooperation Treaty. The current database has 26 million bibliographic records and 13 million specification documents, which is sizeable.

I’ve never filed a patent (not even my idea for training snakes to pull cables through floors/walls), so I don’t know the level of detail in patent applications. But it seems you’d have to disclose pretty much every aspect of any invention you want to protect with a patent.

If you were, say, an outlaw state that isn’t looking to sell items outside your own borders and doesn’t care all that much about the niceties of intellectual property, then those patent applications could be a treasure trove of info on how to build better devices – a way to quickly move up the tech evolutionary ladder.

The story mostly talks about how this deal might violate UN and US restrictions on technology transfers to roguish states. But there’s another link that outlines what North Korea has now and what they’re looking for. The first thing that jumps out at me is that North Korea’s technology is, well, shitty.

They’re currently running a collection of old Dell and HP personal computers (and kinda sorta servers) wired together with 100Mbs Ethernet. For the new gear, they want some modern 2-way servers coupled with a GbE networking. They’re also going to upgrade their storage to a total 48TB in two arrays, backed up by tape. Topping off the request is a fast colour laser printer (40+ pages per minute) with auto-duplexing.

The software infrastructure is also interesting. While North Korea is currently an Oracle customer, that might be changing in the near future. They’re talking about converting the data to standard XML format, then indexing it with open-source Lucene/SOLR, which would reduce or maybe eliminate the need for Oracle in at least this department.

It’s unclear whether Oracle is planning a last-ditch sales effort to save this key piece of their North Korean installed base. My mind is reeling with images of Larry Ellison meeting with Kim Jong-un. What would that be like? Or, better yet, what if the old man, Kim Jong-il were still around? How would that meeting go? ®

The Power of One eBook: Top reasons to choose HP BladeSystem

More from The Register

next story
Apple fanbois SCREAM as update BRICKS their Macbook Airs
Ragegasm spills over as firmware upgrade kills machines
Attack of the clones: Oracle's latest Red Hat Linux lookalike arrives
Oracle's Linux boss says Larry's Linux isn't just for Oracle apps anymore
THUD! WD plonks down SIX TERABYTE 'consumer NAS' fatboy
Now that's a LOT of porn or pirated movies. Or, you know, other consumer stuff
EU's top data cops to meet Google, Microsoft et al over 'right to be forgotten'
Plan to hammer out 'coherent' guidelines. Good luck chaps!
US judge: YES, cops or feds so can slurp an ENTIRE Gmail account
Crooks don't have folders labelled 'drug records', opines NY beak
Manic malware Mayhem spreads through Linux, FreeBSD web servers
And how Google could cripple infection rate in a second
FLAPE – the next BIG THING in storage
Find cold data with flash, transmit it from tape
prev story

Whitepapers

Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Reducing security risks from open source software
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Consolidation: the foundation for IT and business transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.