Over the past few weeks, there was a lot of hype surrounding Netflix and tvN’s Korean Drama entitled Start-Up. If you’re still unaware, this series revolves around the world of tech “Start-Ups”.
Other than the star-studded cast starring Bae Suzy, Nam Joohyuk, and Kim Seonho, the show is also popular for its life lessons that will either make or break an individual in their quarter-life crisis (I’m including myself in that narrative).
Frankly speaking, viewers focused more on the love triangle involving the real and fake Do-san, and Dal-mi. At the same time, most viewers cared less about the “tech” segments of the series because most of them have little to no knowledge about the tech jargons used. Even my friends and acquaintances who are Hallyu fans weren’t familiar with them.
To make it worse, the tiny and super quick information glances being displayed per episode isn’t enough to feed us the necessary information.
In this article, I’ve listed down the tech terms I caught and defined them in a manner most of you will understand. It may not cover all the terms used but to simply put it, this gives fans, non-viewers, and even tech nerds, a taste of what Start-Up is like.
This listicle only covers tech-related terms used in the drama. Listing specific business terms would entirely be out of the topic.
Terms that would fall down under the tech-business setup.
From the word itself, it’s a company or project made by several individuals (commonly young entrepreneurs and programmers) who want to start developing a product and bring that technology to where it’s mostly needed.
Think of it as a seed. A start-up is like a budding plant. After ample time, energy, and resources used, it will soon be a fruit/crop that is ready for harvesting that will be brought to a market for consumers to buy.
If you think you’re doing so much work in a small scale when harvesting your crops, it’s time to level up, add to your workforce, and build a bigger farm.
With that example, a Scale-Up is the stage in your Start-Up company or project where you’ll get more people or teams to continually evolve and making your start-up ambitions a reality for the general population.
It is a short term for “hacking marathon”. This is an event where a software development team composed of programmers, project managers, plus graphic and interface designers, come up with a software/hardware solution and present them through a crowd after hours of coding and managing design and data altogether.
It’s like the “showcase” of a start-up. This is the day where several start-ups pitch their business in front of the investors in hopes of a securely-funded investment and be able to push through with their future projects as a recognized start-up company.
As portrayed through a pre-millennium website ‘www.baedal.com‘ made by Dal-mi’s dad, it showed a glimpse that one-click viewing and purchasing is possible and can be accessed through the website all at once. That’s how a one-click website works.
This is the collection of codes, program instructions, and data that are stored in your device’s internal storage.
AI (Artificial Intelligence)
Unlike Do-san’s dad, you shouldn’t confuse it with Avian Influenza. Artificial Intelligence is the ability of a computer, robot, or even your smartphone to do tasks that only human’s intelligent behavior can differentiate. Learning, logical/rational thinking, and self-improvement are crucial in AI programming.
VR (Virtual Reality)
Coming from its literal sense, it gives the user a “virtual” reality that can be viewed through the use of monitors, smartphone’s screen, or even specific VR headsets to fully-maximize the sense of all-around audio-visual experience.
With the use of special equipment and sensors, a user can also interact with three-dimensional objects in a tiny, digital world.
With the use of camera, it is the ability of a software system to recognize objects based on a cluster of pixels and/or images alone.
This is a specific type of image recognition that focuses more on a human being’s facial features. Some systems can even “identify” or guess a person’s age and mood.
OCR (Optical Character Recognition)
This is another type of image recognition that detects special characters and numbers in scanned and digital documents and converts them into readable and editable data.
ML (Machine Learning)
This is nowhere related to the mobile game ML (Mobile Legends), rather a technology that uses algorithms to analyze generic data. After learning from that gathered information, it will then create informed decisions based on what it has learned.
As explained by Do-san through his own take with metaphor, it’s like Tarzan giving Jane certain objects and learning from it based from her facial expressions.
Not to confuse with Machine Learning, Deep Learning is a sub-category of ML that does more of “human-like” artificial intelligence such as speech recognition, object detection, language translation, and more. Its structures algorithms in layers to create ANN (Artificial Neural Networks).
Not limited to mathematical equations, algorithm in tech works by setting a set of instructions in performing a simple or even a complex task before the program completely processes it.
ANN (Artificial Neural Networks)
These are needed for recognition systems in solving complex problems by adapting to internal and external factors around them.
ANNs got the inspiration from the neurons in our brain. It’s like how our brain tries to learn complex movements. With repeated training and testing, the neural networks learn from it and be able to come up with a definite solution and even prediction on a certain problem in the near future.
API (Application Program Interface)
It is a set of tools in which programmers can make use of when creating a software and allows them to deliver solutions rapidly without ever worrying how to execute it.
It also serves as the software medium between two apps to simultaneously communicate and work together — such as replying to a text message (from your crush) or checking the weather.
Just like a real bug that destroys crops just right before harvesting, a bug in a program is a coding error or a fault in the end of the programmer. These bugs may even cause serious issues within the system if not solved or eradicated.
Whether you go to malls or restaurants, the most common thing you see nowadays are these codes in a box. Dubbed as ‘Quick Response’ codes, it uses the camera to quickly go to a specific website and displays all the data supplied.
Meanwhile, these are the physical devices that make up a unit. Unlike software, these things can be held with our bare hands.
CPU (Central Processing Unit)
The CPU is a crucial part of a system that does general tasks such as playing games, browsing the web, or even typing texts and documents with ease. It’s needed for a machine to respond — even if the task is as simple as turning on and shutting down a computer.
GPU (Graphics Processing Unit)
This is a specialized processor for tasks that include rendering graphics. This is essential in improving the graphic performance of a device.
NPU (Neural Processing Unit)
Unlike a CPU that does most (if not all) of the generic tasks, the NPU is solely focused on ML and AI workloads. Basically, it is a dedicated chip for keeping AI apps run efficiently, especially in smartphones.
GPS (Global Positioning System)
These work through GPS receivers and artificial satellites outside earth that give enough information about map layouts and satellite images. Through GPS software and the use of systems, they’re all able to pinpoint precise location and navigate through road directions with accuracy.
This is an early model or sample of a product that is subjected to a series of tests and processes before the final product gets released to the public.
It is a tiny device that can be inserted in your fingers or clipped on your ears and detects the blood oxygen levels through infrared light.
The latest Apple Watch Series 6 is the only smartwatch so far that can detect Blood Oxygen levels like a pulse oximeter.
Without data, both the software and hardware wouldn’t function at all.
This is designed to deliver data to other computers and systems through a series of LAN (Local Area Network) or WAN (Wide-area Network) cables. Not all servers are the same as they run through specific server software depending on where they’re mainly used (such as web, file, or even mail).
It is a collection of data, often presented in table that consists of fields with specific attributes as records with certain values.
This is the organized collection of structured data and/or multiple datasets that are stored and accessed generally through a computer system and can be override anytime.
It’s like a huge container that holds all your datasets and other structured information that may also consist of certain triggers and commands.
Just like humans, software and hardware also need security to be able to securely store data without anyone’s vicious attempt of breaking it.
Encryption is all about converting your files or data in a format or code that cannot be read by other users other than you. This is to prevent unauthorized access and conceals sensitive data.
This is basically just the reverse process of encryption. You can do so if you or someone else owns the digital key (either a PIN or a lengthy password with various characters) to gain access to the encrypted files.
From the word itself, it is money represented in the cyber world or through electronic form. This is mainly used for transactions made in the internet where on-hand cash couldn’t be accepted.
It is a system of recording information that will be stored into blocks and are linked to form a chain with other blocks of similar information. Using the Blockchain system makes it difficult or harder to change or hack the system.
A severe type of malware infection in computer systems that threatens a certain individual or a company by exposing and leaking private data. In return, they need to pay the desired amount the culprit/hacker wants before they can get their files back.
This section has spoilers. You’ve been warned.
Samsan Tech (삼산텍)
Originally founded by Nam Do-san as Dosan Tech, but with the unexpected recruitment of his colleagues Lee Chul-san and Kim Yong-san — one start-up company, three names that end with -san. Thus, Samsan Tech!
In a literal sense ‘Samsan‘ directly translates to three (삼/sam) mountains (산/san). The “mountains” in the logo are in red, green, and blue to emphasize ‘RGB’ or the primary colors in the color wheel.
Sand Box (샌드박스)
Dubbed as “Korea’s Silicon Valley”, Sand Box is where the imaginary Korean tech giants such as SH Venture Capital and Morning Group reside. This is also where most start-ups flourish and get funded by investors depending on how viable their companies and projects are in the long run.
It’s for you to find out how Sand Box was formed but I would just want to point out that this majestic technopark was filmed at three different locations in Korea: (1) Robot Land in Incheon (2) Nodeul Island in Seoul; and (3) Oil Tank Culture Park also in Seoul.
2STO (where the original Samsan guys joined after winning the annual “Demo Day”) may just be a made-up company, but Silicon Valley is a real haven for geeks, developers, programmers, and software engineers alike.
It is located in the southern part of San Francisco, California where most of the tech start-ups and gigantic tech headquarters such as Apple, Google, and Facebook are all located. Even Netflix’s HQ is also in Silicon Valley.
Mentioned by Dal-mi’s grandma halfway through the third episode, AlphaGo is the first AI-developed program by DeepMind Technologies that defeated the professional Korean Go player Lee Se-dol and made headlines not just in South Korea, but worldwide. Go is a popular board game among Koreans for its complexity. It was first originated in China.
Jang Yeong-sil (장영실)
Yeong-sil (pronounced as “yong-shil”) is a fictitious voice assistant slash AI speaker by Koreans and for Koreans. To simply put it into context, it’s like a Korean equivalent of Amazon’s Alexa.
Spoiler alert: Yeo Jin-Goo (in his EP16 cameo character Hong Jin-seok) is the voice behind Yeong-sil. He also starred in last year’s Netflix/tvN K-Drama ‘Hotel del Luna‘ together with the K-Pop singer and actress, IU.
NoonGil is a make-believe accessibility app that helps the blind recognize objects around them with the help of their smartphone. The app works through Samsan Tech’s Image Recognition algorithm coupled with Yeong-sil’s voice recognition.
Tarzan is a self-driving car system headed by Seo Dal-mi under Cheongmyeong Company (청명컴패니), which is a subsidiary of Injae Company (인재컴패니) founded by her sister Seo In-Jae (formerly Won In-Jae).
This is in response to Tarzan (the original Disney character) being able to learn by grasping objects from his environment. Thus, Tarzan, an autonomous driving system, does the same thing through machine learning and image recognition.
Not to confuse with the G-Suite alternative Coda, CODA (just like the ending couple) is also a fictional event where software developers around the world participate in bringing the best when it comes to machine learning. Just like how the Samsan team described it, it’s like an “Olympics for A.I.”.
If you still haven’t watched Start-Up, it’s streaming in most (if not all) countries that Netflix supports.
P.S: I’m #TeamGoodBoy :)
Netflix is losing a lot of long-term subscribers
People are switching
The Netflix revolution was indeed televised. However, after enjoying years of success as the streaming platform of choice, a lot of users are now leaving Netflix for greener pastures. Over the past few months, the company has struggled to patch its failures. A recently released data report does confirm that the platform has a right to worry. More and more long-term subscribers are reportedly cutting their subscriptions short.
According to The Information, around 13 percent of Netflix cancelers in the past quarter are from accounts that have been with the platform for over three years. The data, which was reportedly obtained from Antenna, pegs cancelations at around 3.6 million Americans, a big increase from the 2.5 million of the past five quarters.
Though 13 percent isn’t exactly a giant figure, it’s still a blow to Netflix’s empire. While streaming platform rightly focus on gaining new subscribers, losing the loyalty of long-term users isn’t something to shrug off.
Since announcing lost expectations, Netflix announced ways to save on costs and retain its subscribers. Other methods include canceling projects, opening a games division, and potentially charging users more for account sharing. Naturally, not every plan hits users the same way.
In the meantime, other platforms — like Disney+, HBO, and Hulu — are attracting more users with more varied and exclusive content. Regardless, Netflix is skidding down a slope. Only time will tell whether its latest strategies will stave off more losses.
Netflix is experimenting with livestreaming content
For reality shows and comedy specials
Netflix is in a bit of a rough patch. After losing subscribers for the first time, the platform is trying other strategies to retain its userbase including more stringent ways to police password sharing. This time, Netflix is trying a more additive approach. According to a report, the company is experimenting with livestreaming content.
First reported by Deadline, the company is currently in the early stages of creating such content. More specifically, Netflix will try the format for its catalog of “unscripted shows and stand-up specials.” There is no timetable for the experiment’s launch, but the company hopes to launch it soon.
A move towards livestreaming does make sense with Netflix’s current catalog of titles. Over the years, the platform has slowly curated an expansive lineup of reality shows and stand-up comedy specials. For example, Netflix’s Drive to Survive quickly became one of its biggest titles in reality television, bringing a lot of eyes to Formula One racing. Likewise, the platform has always been a stronghold for comedy specials since the advent of its popularity.
Besides its strong slate of content, the company has also experimented with user input including shows that mimicked Choose Your Own Adventure books. Under a livestreaming format, the audience might be able to provide input for the title as well, such as voting for (or against) contestants in a game show.
That said, it’s still too early to tell how livestreaming might appear on Netflix. For now, at least.
Campaign putting seizure, epilepsy warnings to YouTube gaming content initiated
Whenever on YouTube, people tend to have the urge to skip annoying or uninteresting ads.
But Digitas Philippines is trying to change that with an all-important online campaign that puts the safety of the gaming community first.
With the Seizure Warning Pre-Rolls project, Digitas Philippines turns YouTube’s 6-second pre-rolls before videos play into dedicated spaces, where instead of ads, PSAs get played.
Digitas will focus on showing warnings that effectively alert viewers of possible adverse of conditions such as seizures and photosensitive epilepsy.
To ensure that such warnings draw the attention of YouTube viewers, Digitas’ team included flashy animations, fast and mind-bending gameplay, and vivid, ultra-colorful visuals.
Such components make gaming content extremely visually stimulating, yet can also seriously affect those who have had seizures or epilepsy in the past, as well as those who have not had them before.
Avoiding risk on YouTube
With more than 40 million active gaming channels, users definitely have a chance of running into possible seizure risks.
This pushed Digitas to jumpstart the campaign, trying to address the lack of warning signs before the start of videos and more.
Through their campaign, notices will be placed before anyone views gaming-related content to boost safety and lower the risk of getting a seizure or epilepsy.
The initiative will already cover all YouTube videos with gaming content tags in its initial phase. It will feature highly-targeted and specific warning messages for viewers’ protection.
The group is also in the process of partnering with more institutions to follow up and go beyond the first phase.
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