Thursday, November 29, 2012

Why Gangnam style became more popular than other typical Kpop idol songs

Can you believe that a Kpop song reached no.1 on iTunes in 31 countries?, even though this Kpop song is not an English song, but a Korean song that is called “Gangnam style” by PSY. Actually, nobody expected that this song could become a great hit wordwide, but this song has been spread all over the world very quickly due to Youtube. In this article, I am going to talk about why “Gangnam style” became more popular than other typical Kpop idol songs.

Recently, Kpop has been popular in Asia and has had some fan groups in the western countries, but Kpop itself refers to songs for the younger generation, which have been performed by girl and boy groups so far. However, Psy’s “Gangnam style” showed a different side of Kpop songs because he didn’t imitate the pop idols and created his own style that nobody had performed before.

Psy is so unique, even in Korea. He has kept his own character since he debuted in 2001, which is a cheap and comic image. This means that he enjoys performing in his own style.
During the time from his debut until now, he has released 5 albums and has 6 number 1 hit songs in Korea. His music is always cheerful and makes us excited because he has produced his songs by himself in order to pursue his own style. The interesting thing is that his style has gained in popularity because his songs give comfort to people who are suffering from a long recession.

Why did “Gangnam style” became popular? The contract with Justin Bieber’s manager, Scooter Braun played an important role, but without Youtube, all things might have never happened. Currently, Psy’s Gangnam style has racked up over 400 million views on YouTube and becoming the most-liked video in the site’s history. Actually, he didn’t make any effort to make people know about his song except by making the comic music video. I think Youtube changed the way of promoting music, which means that there are no barriers to find music. A few years ago, one Indian song was popular in Korea because of its comic style. Psy’s song is the same case.

Psy’s success is not by chance, because he has been developing his own music style for 10 years. “Gangnam style” is just the first of his songs to show his character and music to the world.  I’m sure again that creating one’s own style is always better than imitating others in many areas. Furthermore, anyone can be a star through Youtube if they have any special talents which other stars haven’t shown.


Monday, March 26, 2012

Using Nokia N9 in Korea

It’s been almost 3 months since I started using a Nokia N9 as my secondary phone, which is a Linux based smart phone released by Nokia on October 2011. In this post, I will introduce what Nokia N9 is and how to use it in Korea, because it adopts an open source mobile platform which means that anyone can be involved with the project.

Nokia N9
Unfortunately, N9 is the first and last MeeGo phone, but it seems to be close to the Maemo platform, because it uses Qt as the UI framework and the Debian package system. In addition, N9 is the first mobile phone to embrace WebKit2 which supports the multi-process model, so you can build WebKit for Nokia N9.

Korean Support

Actually, I had been having trouble with using N9 because it doesn’t support Korean language officially, so there is no Korean keyboard and Korean fonts by default. Fortunately, a Nokia Korean engineer developed a Hangul keyboard and its debian package with Korean fonts. I think he might have worked on this in his free time. I am very grateful for his efforts.  You can find the source code of the Korean keyboard from Gitorious.

N9 User Group in Korea
In addition, there is a small N9 user group in Korea, so I got some information on how to register N9 with Korean wireless telecommunication operators such as SK Telecom and KT. Interestingly, the saleswoman in the phone shop was able to set it up without asking any questions while registering it, which shows that N9 UI is very intuitive to use.

Developer Support

It’s quite easy to install developer packages in N9. You can run an X-terminal and browse the directories to check which system libraries are installed. Furthermore, if you want to develop a QT application, you can even install the QT SDK and developer tools in your Linux, Windows, and Mac.

Installing Gtk+
Gtk+ had been used as the default UI widget until Maemo Fremantle, but N9 started using Qt by default. Fortunately, a hacker did the porting of Gtk+ for Maemo Fremantle to N9, so, you can install the same Gtk2.14.7+ on N9.

What about the next model of N9?
I think that Nokia didn’t give up their generic Linux platform although they chose the Window phone platform instead of MeeGo. I expect that Nokia will continue on releasing Qt based smart phones in the future because a true Linux platform will be their hidden key someday.

Anyway, if you want to make your own mobile platform or test its component software, N9 would be a good test bed for you.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Glad to become a new GNOME foundation member

After I read this blog post, I applied for membership in the GNOME Foundation. Finally, my application was accepted last week. I think that my WebKitGtk+ contribution and GNOME Korea activities could count towards membership.

The main reason why I decided to become a GNOME foundation member is to let GNOME folks know about the GNOME Korea community( The GNOME Korea community started to translate for GNOME in 1998, and is mainly working on Korean translation( Changwoo Ryu has led the Korean translation team since the early stages of GNOME. As a member of the GNOME Korea community, I organize GNOME Tech Talks every month to introduce various GNOME technologies to Korean developers and am also in charge of maintaining the GNOME Korea blog (

I'm really grateful to become a new GNOME foundation member. In particular, I’d like to thank Xan Lopez and Gustavo Noronha(kov) for helping me to become involved in WebKitGtk+ development. In the future, I will try to report on activities of the GNOME Korea community and my GNOME experiences through Planet GNOME and here.