Google (GOOG) chairman Eric Schmidt is back from his adventure in North Korea and he’s penned a post on his Google+ page detailing the current state of the country’s technological capabilities and the way it allows citizens to have limited access to the Internet. In short, North Korea isn’t anywhere close to matching the technological capabilities of its rival South Korea, and the country is incredibly restrictive of the information it allows its citizens to access. More →
Google (GOOG) chairman Eric Schmidt isn’t just going to North Korea to play its hot new Crazy Taxi-like video game — he’s also apparently there to promote Internet freedom. The Associated Press, via CBS News, reports that Schmidt was part of “a private delegation” that is “urging North Korea to allow more open Internet access and cellphones to benefit its citizens.” Former New Mexico governor Bill Richardson, who accompanied Schmidt on his trip to North Korea this week, told the AP that he has told “a variety of foreign policy officials” in the country that “the citizens of the DPRK (North Korea) will be better off with more cellphones and an active Internet.” While a more open web in North Korea would certainly be welcome, we wouldn’t hold our breath for it to happen since North Korea has a well-earned reputation as one of the most restrictive and reclusive countries in the world.
The United States State Department is not amused by Google (GOOG) chairman Eric Schmidt’s plan to travel to North Korea. Even though Schmidt plans to go to North Korea with former New Mexico governor Bill Richardson as a private citizen and not a representative of the U.S. government, a State Department spokesperson on Thursday said that the timing of the trip wasn’t “helpful,” according to Reuters. The State Department has made its views known to both Schmidt and Richardson, although apparently neither has decided that Foggy Bottom’s concerns warrant canceling their travel plans yet.
In theory, a driving game set in North Korea could be fun — it could revolve around delivering kidnapped movie stars from the airport to Dear Leader’s headquarters, for instance. In reality, though, it looks as though playing a driving game set in North Korea is about as much fun as actually living in North Korea. Business Insider’s Gus Lubin has posted his first impressions of “Welcome to Pyongyang,” an online game that’s “produced by Nosotek, a western IT company based in North Korea,” and he’s found that it’s pretty lame. More →