Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
OS X Operating Systems GUI Government

North Korea's Home-Grown Operating System Mimics OS X 252

Posted by Soulskill
from the north-korea-suddenly-very-hip dept.
CambodiaSam sends the latest on "Red Star OS," North Korea's attempt at a home-grown operating system. Previously, it had closely resembled Microsoft Windows, but a new update now strongly mimics Apple's OS X. "Despite living in a country very much shut off from the outside world, many people in North Korea do have access to technology - including mobile phones. However, devices are heavily restricted. Internet access, for instance, is locked down, with most users able to visit only a handful of sites mostly serving up state-sponsored news. The Red Star OS is peppered with North Korean propaganda, and its calendar tells users it is not 2014, but 103 — the number of years since the birth of former North Korean leader Kim Il-sung. An earlier version of Red Star OS was made available worldwide in 2010 after a Russian student posted it online. The latest version is believed to have been released some time in 2013."
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

North Korea's Home-Grown Operating System Mimics OS X

Comments Filter:
  • Seconds since 1970 (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday February 05, 2014 @05:07PM (#46166839)

    Are we really any different? All hail the Unix gods.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday February 05, 2014 @05:08PM (#46166867)

    Day 1: It wouldn't stop, the redirecting. At first I thought it was malware. Had my first drink in a long time.

    Day 2: Barely had the strength to carry on as the BETA REDIRECTIONS continue.. trying not to talk to hallucinations at the bar and in the bathroom which laugh at me about these redirections.

    Day 3: Discovered the BETA redirections were random, and while at first they looked somewhat usable, when I looked at me and my monitor screen in the mirror, a horrible woman with flesh hanging off of her body looked back, trying to lead me into a dance as the word BETA appeared across her rancid breasts.

    Day 4: These BETA corridors go on FOREVER! On the plus side, I've taken up disassembling vehicles to corner this BETA beast and sacrifice myself rather than lead others to discovering it. I ate some red snow.

    Day 5: Finding it harder to concentrate. I've ate some more of the red snow. The taste is starting to grow on me.

    Day 6: This typewriter is the only entertainment I have, apart from throwing things at the walls, trying to get some response from the BETA which is now taking over my mind.

    Day 7: Hahahahahha! Would you believe it? I'M STILL BEING REDIRECTED TO SLASHDOT BETA PAGES! AHAHhahahaah! Type, type, ding, ding! Wooo!

    Day 8: The hallucinations are actually real! Would you believe it? They have offered to help me if I agree to work for them. I'm thinking about patenting this delicious red snow, the taste is unreal!

    Day 9: Having black out sessions where I cannot remember large passings of time. Found some makeup, thought I'd paint a joker smile on my face to amuse the people only I can see!

    Day 10: Productive today, part of what I wrote for my new screenplay:

    I cannot opt out of Slashdot BETA!
    I cannot opt out of Slashdot BETA!
    I cannot opt out of Slashdot BETA!
    I cannot opt out of Slashdot BETA!
    I cannot opt out of Slashdot BETA!
    I cannot opt out of Slashdot BETA!
    I cannot opt out of Slashdot BETA!
    I cannot opt out of Slashdot BETA!
    I cannot opt out of Slas

    (drops of blood on paper)

  • Fuck BEta (Score:5, Insightful)

    by buswolley (591500) on Wednesday February 05, 2014 @05:09PM (#46166897) Journal
    FUCK beta a second time
  • Why does the roman alphabet kerning always look off in East Asian implementations. It's always bothered me on Japanese pages, but Korean too?
    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by AmiMoJo (196126) *

      East Asian languages use square characters and don't have spaces between words. Furthermore there is no problem splitting words over more than one line. Kerning for Latin characters tends to stick to the square grid for consistency.

      Try the Meiryo font, it looks pretty good.

      • The Korean writing system has spaces between words, though words can be split over one line. See this [wikipedia.org] korean wiki article for example.
      • Asian languages use spaces since, well, not sure ... certainly at least since they saw europeans use them, but I assume much longer.
        Hint: there are plenty of old japanese paintings, drawings etc. available whre you see "space" characters since roughly 1400.
        So yes, they have spaces between words.

    • That is one feature of CJK fonts. Most characters are square (same width as height), originally aligned along a grid. When you want to typeset western languages like English, you need to figure out how those foreign letters match into this East Asian typographic grid. The result is the division of characters into full-width and half-width. As a result, the Roman characters in East Asian fonts are often half-width, which looks jarring to us (full-width would look even worse to us). Unfortunately, CJK punctua

  • It's worth noting that an important part of the culture that the kims enforced on north korea is "self reliance". Everyone is taught from a very young age that you can't depend on foreigners, and that everything should be produced in country. It makes sense, even without the massive censorship, that they'd do this whereas, say, China wouldn't.

    *NB this is an understanding I've mostly gained from reading the axis of evil tour, not from expertise or in-depth sociological research

    • by OakDragon (885217)
      Juche [wikipedia.org],
    • Actually, that theory has been disproven a long time ago, see Mercantilism. The idea is that the more trade there is, the more people can specialize, the more productive, and everybody is better off. See Adam Smith’s Wealth of Nations. Or any introduction book to economics.

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/M... [wikipedia.org]
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/A... [wikipedia.org]

      • Actually, that theory has been disproven a long time ago, see Mercantilism. The idea is that the more trade there is, the more people can specialize, the more productive, and everybody is better off. See Adam Smithâ(TM)s Wealth of Nations. Or any introduction book to economics.

        What proof? You're confusing global capitalism with "the one true way". That's religion, not science.

    • by tomhath (637240)
      You make is sound like Kim is an Amish name.
    • Everyone is taught from a very young age that you can't depend on foreigners

      sure, except what they "produced" is linux, which is a product of decades of work by largely the west but capitalist pigs throughout the world.

  • Yawn (Score:3, Funny)

    by pbjones (315127) on Wednesday February 05, 2014 @05:15PM (#46166989)

    Gosh, an OS that mimics another GUI? Would never happen in the 'west'?

  • If not, Dear Leader is going to get some serious f-bombs dropped on him by Linus and Richard.
    • by Pav (4298)
      I think someone suddenly got Dear Leaders attention when they mentioned "walled garden". If he'd been paying attention from the beginning he'd know it applies more to iThings, but...
    • by lister king of smeg (2481612) on Wednesday February 05, 2014 @06:42PM (#46168053)

      If not, Dear Leader is going to get some serious f-bombs dropped on him by Linus and Richard.

      It is almost worth sending a request to the govenment of North Korea for the a copy of the source code as per the gpl's license just to see what happens...

      Firstly to see if you get a response, and secondly to see how many US govenment watch lists you get put on.
      and if I don't get response i could always sick Stallmen on them...

  • Home grown? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by wjcofkc (964165) on Wednesday February 05, 2014 @05:18PM (#46167045)
    Home grown Linux distro maybe. It looks more like they slightly altered elementary OS or Pear OS, applied an OS X theme and replaced the standard dock with cairo-dock. I would be surprised if they had the resources to write an entire OS from scratch.
    • I would be surprised if they had the resources to write an entire OS from scratch.

      Why? *nix has been reimplemented or ported many times in many computer languages on many different computer architectures. Both Unix and Linux were originally written and maintained by a small number of people, and the same goes for many other capable operating systems. I seem to recall that Unix version 6 or 7 was ported to new architectures several times by 1 or 2 people in three to four months. Writing a new GUI has been done in about one person-year. Both the design and code for *nix like operating

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday February 05, 2014 @05:23PM (#46167129)

    imo soon /. with their beta design, will create a mass exodus of users and the end game is a ghost town like Kuro5hin, if any of you remember it.

  • by AmiMoJo (196126) * <mojo@NOspAm.world3.net> on Wednesday February 05, 2014 @05:24PM (#46167143) Homepage

    North Korea is hardly unique in using alternative calendars. Japan uses dates based on the emperor's reign. You can set windows to use it.

  • by dohzer (867770) on Wednesday February 05, 2014 @05:32PM (#46167253) Homepage
    I'm pretty sure the OS was made public back in 99, not 2010 as has been misreported by this article.
  • Fuck you, slashdot (Score:5, Insightful)

    by LookIntoTheFuture (3480731) on Wednesday February 05, 2014 @05:37PM (#46167301)
    Fuck you, slashdot, for taking away classic.
  • A distro that uses gnome + cairo dock or similar as primary desktop is now mimicking OS X as something new and world-shaking? In the login you probably could choose to boot a desktop that mimic Windows 7, Solaris CDE, OLPCs Sugar, or KDE (whatever it mimics). And that happens in most other linux distributions too, the horror!
  • "Despite living in a country very much shut off from the outside world, many people in North Korea do have access to technology - including mobile phones."

    I keep seeing this claim, that "many" people have cell phones. This is a country where 10% of the population have a landline. North Korea claims they have 1 million cell phone subscribers, but really, do you believe that?

    Even if it were true, that's about four percent of the population, which does not fit any dictionary definition of "many" I have ever se

  • Surely this is based on some Linux simulation of OS/X, can anybody identify it?

    I find it hard to believe NK took KDE and modified it themselves to look like OS/X, rather than basing it on work already done.

  • by 0123456 (636235)

    "Previously, it had closely resembled Microsoft Windows, but a new update now strongly mimics Apple's OS X."

    Sounds like it was written by the Gnome developers.

  • Awful beta (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday February 05, 2014 @06:13PM (#46167733)

    Why change for the sake of change? Why are site visitors to be forced into something awful and unwanted? The new beta is awful. There is no other way to put it. If I am forced into the beta I will simply leave - forever.

  • Fuck the beta (Score:5, Interesting)

    by umafuckit (2980809) on Wednesday February 05, 2014 @06:19PM (#46167803)
    I visited it today for the first time in ages. Still sucks. Masses of wasted screen space. Surely it's possible to create a portal that converts the beta to the classic style?
  • Beta Comment (Score:5, Insightful)

    by jasnw (1913892) on Wednesday February 05, 2014 @06:25PM (#46167881)
    The new beta looks like a bad case of ReCode (recode.net) envy to me.
  • Oh, My. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Bucky340 (1020993) on Wednesday February 05, 2014 @07:26PM (#46168471)
    This is the first time in ages I've actually logged on to comment. I just want it on the record in my own name how much the Beta site hurts. I mean, after all these years, I've just finally gotten used to all the faults and boom! Here comes a whole new set of awful. I'll take a well-tuned slant six Dodge over an oil leaking, off-idle stumbling, lemon of a [insert disfavored auto brand here].
  • Beta beta beta (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Thanosius (3519547) on Wednesday February 05, 2014 @07:33PM (#46168541)

    I rather enjoy the fact that almost none of the higher moderated comments have anything to do with the story itself and rather about Slashdot Beta. Goes to show how much people hate what this will do to Slashdot.

  • by kbahey (102895) on Wednesday February 05, 2014 @08:23PM (#46168945) Homepage

    I have been a regular visitor to Slashdot for around 15 years. For that, I get the checkbox to disable ads, though I browse with Javascript disabled so my browser does not slow down.

    I come here for the discussions, and often read comments at +5, changing that only if I find a discussion interesting and warrants reading at a lower level.

    The new beta uses JQuery for the comment threshold selector, and changes that on the fly. This means all the comments are loaded, but not visible, and processing any page with considerable number of comments will slow down MY computer! If I have a few tabs open to read later, my computer will be unusable.

    If they insist that I enable Javascript to browse the site at the threshold I want, then they will lose me as a long time. I imagine that others long timers will hate the site too.

    Dice have to remember that this site has two unmatched features, interlocked: a moderation system that is good at cutting down the trolling, spamming, and noise, and a comment section that is frequented by many people who are passionate about technology and other nerdy stuff.

    If they manage to aggravate a lot of their users, the comment section will no longer be attractive to the audience. Perhaps we should revive kuro5hin?

    I wrote the above in a feedback form that I filled a while ago, and I am emailing this comment to their feedback@slashdot.org.

    Please send them feedback too.

    And mod this up so Dice can see what they are getting themselves into.

We warn the reader in advance that the proof presented here depends on a clever but highly unmotivated trick. -- Howard Anton, "Elementary Linear Algebra"

Working...