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North Korea borrows liberally from Apple's OS X in new 'Red Star OS' update

post #1 of 52
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In what is reportedly the third major version of the secretive country's homegrown Linux distribution, North Korean software makers appear to have looked toward Cupertino for inspiration.

Red Star OS
North Korea's Red Star OS. | Source: ComputerWorld


New screenshots from visiting computer scientist Will Scott show an OS X-style interface complete with a reflective dock, gray-gradient application frames, and blue Aqua controls. The shots were first published by ComputerWorld.

Developed by the Korea Computer Center, a Pyongyang-based information technology research center for the North Korean government, Red Star OS formerly featured a Windows-like desktop. Scott --?a visiting professor at the Pyongyang University of Science and Technology --?purchased the software at an official KCC retailer in the capital during his stay.

Red Star OS
North Korea's Red Star OS. | Source: ComputerWorld


Red Star OS is localized for North Korea, which uses slightly different terminology and spelling than its neighbor to the south. Development is said to target low-powered hardware, requiring only a Pentium III processor running at 800 megahertz, 256 megabytes of RAM, and 3 gigabytes of hard disk space.

In addition to localized variant of WINE, which allows some Windows applications to be run on Linux, Red Star OS contains a customized fork of Mozilla's Firefox browser that can be used to access the country's heavily restricted intranet.

Red Star OS
North Korea's Red Star OS. | Source: ComputerWorld


The new operating system is not the first Apple connection to North Korea -- late dictator Kim Jong-Il was said to be a fan of the company's products. The U.S. government famously sanctioned the country in 2006 by, in part, banning the sale of Apple's iPod music players to the regime.

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post #2 of 52
I smell a lawsuit coming =)
post #3 of 52

If North Koreans have this, just Imagine what sort of OS samsung runs on their headquarters, in the South.

OS S 10.9.1, with the famous S-fari browser, and S-tunes. Not to mention the fantastic IDE, sCode, the sBooks app, s-messages, s-photo, s-movie etc.

post #4 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by kenfused View Post

I smell a lawsuit coming =)

Apple has no jurisdiction to sue in North Korea. Apple's Lawyers will be murdered if flew to North Korea to sue the state.
post #5 of 52
This can only mean one thing... N Korea has finally perfected its long-range nuclear missile technology. Why else would they so brazenly tempt Apple to declare thermonuclear war?
post #6 of 52
Seems like Comrade Kim has learned well from Samsung - and yes, it looks much better than any Winblows out there.

Congrats, NK!
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post #7 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by jrob View Post

This can only mean one thing... N Korea has finally perfected its long-range nuclear missile technology. Why else would they so brazenly tempt Apple to declare thermonuclear war?


post #8 of 52
Visually similar to China's "hammersickle" OS.
post #9 of 52
I smell a Rocket coming =)
post #10 of 52
This is embarrassing for Linux GUI designers. Seriously though, Elementary OS is pretty slick for Linux.

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post #11 of 52
So Sammy got a contract with the NK govt?
post #12 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by pedromartins View Post

If North Koreans have this, just Imagine what sort of OS samsung runs on their headquarters, in the South.
OS S 10.9.1, with the famous S-fari browser, and S-tunes. Not to mention the fantastic IDE, sCode, the sBooks app, s-messages, s-photo, s-movie etc.
Because North and South Korea are so famous for their peaceful cooperation?

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post #13 of 52
Looks like Scott Forstall's got a new job.
I'm one of those unusual beings who enjoys both his Apple and Samsung products. 
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I'm one of those unusual beings who enjoys both his Apple and Samsung products. 
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post #14 of 52

North Korea borrows liberally from Apple's OS X in new 'Red Star OS' update

 

Yeah. And? We know that Koreans are copyists. 60 years of being cut off from the rest of humanity wouldn’t change that. 

 

Good to know they have software to run on the country’s seven computers, though.

 

Originally Posted by MazeCookie View Post
Apple's Lawyers will be murdered if flew to North Korea to sue the state.

 

Literally.

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Originally Posted by asdasd

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post #15 of 52

Can't wait for Kim Jong Un to look at Red Star OS:

kimjongunlookingatthings.tumblr.com

post #16 of 52
Welcome to 2002 North Korea.
post #17 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by kenfused View Post

I smell a lawsuit coming =)

I think we should consider this as exception .... :smokey:

....the lack of properly optimized apps is one of the reasons "why the experience on Android tablets is so crappy".

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Inside Google! 

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....the lack of properly optimized apps is one of the reasons "why the experience on Android tablets is so crappy".

Tim Cook ~ The Wall Street Journal - February 7, 2014

Inside Google! 

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post #18 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by pedromartins View Post
 

If North Koreans have this, just Imagine what sort of OS samsung runs on their headquarters, in the South.

OS S 10.9.1, with the famous S-fari browser, and S-tunes. Not to mention the fantastic IDE, sCode, the sBooks app, s-messages, s-photo, s-movie etc.

ROFLMAO

....the lack of properly optimized apps is one of the reasons "why the experience on Android tablets is so crappy".

Tim Cook ~ The Wall Street Journal - February 7, 2014

Inside Google! 

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....the lack of properly optimized apps is one of the reasons "why the experience on Android tablets is so crappy".

Tim Cook ~ The Wall Street Journal - February 7, 2014

Inside Google! 

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post #19 of 52
Originally Posted by kkerst View Post
Welcome to 2002 North Korea.

 

At least they know quality when they see it.

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Originally Posted by asdasd

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post #20 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by ceek74 View Post

Visually similar to China's "hammersickle" OS.

China wasn't a soviet republic.
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"I got the answer by talking in my brain and I agreed of the answer my brain got" a 7 yr old explaining his math HW
"Just because something is deemed the law doesn't make it just" - SolipsismX
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post #21 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post
 

 

Yeah. And? We know that Koreans are copyists. 60 years of being cut off from the rest of humanity wouldn’t change that. 

 

Good to know they have software to run on the country’s seven computers, though.

 

 

Literally.


At least that proves that North Korea and South Korea have something in common. :)
 

post #22 of 52

No, they rejected Samsung's contract because the Sammy people wanted to copy Windows 8! 

post #23 of 52
Maybe they can get mail working.
post #24 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by MazeCookie View Post

Apple's Lawyers will be murdered if flew to North Korea to sue the state.
Fewer lawyers? Are you arguing for or against this plan?

We've always been at war with Eastasia...

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We've always been at war with Eastasia...

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post #25 of 52
NORTH KOREA IS BEST KOREA!
post #26 of 52
If imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, I guess (the lousy) Apple Mail gets it due!1tongue.gif
post #27 of 52
What? Korea is "borrowing" instead of innovating? INCONCEIVABLE!
post #28 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by pedromartins View Post
 

If North Koreans have this, just Imagine what sort of OS samsung runs on their headquarters, in the South.

OS S 10.9.1, with the famous S-fari browser, and S-tunes. Not to mention the fantastic IDE, sCode, the sBooks app, s-messages, s-photo, s-movie etc.

Since Apple does not even use Macs in their own datacenters, imagine what sort of OS they are running in there. Maybe they call it Wac OS?  Maybe that's where North Korea "borrowed" it from.


Edited by Haggar - 2/4/14 at 6:22pm
post #29 of 52
Was Bill Gates their consultant?
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post #30 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by Eriamjh View Post

Maybe they can get mail working.

LOL

Works fine in the the 10.9.2 versions, hang in there.
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Been using Apples since 1978 and Macs since 1984
Long on AAPL so biased. Strong advocate for separation of technology and politics on AI.
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Use duckduckgo.com with Safari, not Google Search
Been using Apples since 1978 and Macs since 1984
Long on AAPL so biased. Strong advocate for separation of technology and politics on AI.
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post #31 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by jamesmcd View Post

Looks like Scott Forstall's got a new job.

Scott was more iOS than OS X wasn't he?

The irony is South Korea also has a rip off of Apple's IP fueling their technology, AKA Android, and here we have this in the north. Where would Korea be without Apple?
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Been using Apples since 1978 and Macs since 1984
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post #32 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lawrance View Post

What? Korea is "borrowing" instead of innovating? INCONCEIVABLE!

I don't think that word means what you think it means.

post #33 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by hittrj01 View Post

I don't think that word means what you think it means.


post #34 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by kenfused View Post

I smell a lawsuit coming =)

No, on trivial matters like these, Apple will just laugh and move on.

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"We're surrounded by anonymous, poorly made objects. It's tempting to think it's because the people who use them don't care -- just like the people who make them." - Jony Ive, 2014
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post #35 of 52
It just so happens that Apple copied their UI design from The Great Leader and Eternal President, who had a vision of this UI some 40 years ago. /s

"Apple should pull the plug on the iPhone."

John C. Dvorak, 2007
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"Apple should pull the plug on the iPhone."

John C. Dvorak, 2007
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post #36 of 52

What's the difference between South Korea and North Korea besides a pint sized, murderous dictator with a laughable haircut?

 

They both steal equally from Apple.

post #37 of 52
I think apple will just accept this one. North Korea is a closed state so it's not like they are loosing sales there. At least North Korea got this right. If you are going to copy anyone, make sure you pick the right company. If North Korea now flureshes maybe the rest of the world will wake from their windoze stuper and realise what is holding everyone back !
post #38 of 52

While they changed the colors to avoid confusion with Lion/iOS6 icons, the icons are immediately familiar and recognizable.

They correctly felt not to be influenced by the iOS7 look. (The fact they also kept aqua blue for the Cocoa widgets, either means they are a little behind, or they decided that too gray an interface isn't the way to go -- given that the traffic light buttons in the left upper corner of the windows are rather large, I suspect their main inspiration is still with Tiger -- bet the version number of Red Star OS is 10.4).

post #39 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by Apple ][ View Post
 

What's the difference between South Korea and North Korea besides a pint sized, murderous dictator with a laughable haircut?

 

They both steal equally from Apple.

If we're going to casually equate companies with countries then so does the USA (aka Microsoft).

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post #40 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by Crowley View Post
 

If we're going to casually equate companies with countries then so does the USA (aka Microsoft).

Oh, definitely, I don't disagree.

 

There's also Google, which is of course USA. Google is worse than MS, in my opinion.

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