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North Korea Unveils Netflix-Like Streaming Service Called 'Manbang' (bbc.com) 162

North Korea has unveiled a set-top box that offers video-on demand services similar to Netflix. The service is called Manbang, which translates to "everywhere" in Korean, and allows consumers to stream documentaries about Kim Jong Un and other "educational" programs, as well as five live TV channels. "If a viewer wants to watch, for instance, an animal movie and sends a request to the equipment, it will show the relevant video to the viewer [...] this is two-way communications," according to NK News. It reportedly works by plugging the set-top box into an internet modem, then connecting an HDMI cable from the cable box to the TV. A very small number of North Koreans will actually be able to use the device as "only a few thousand [...] have access to the state-sanctioned internet, in a nation of 25 million people," reports New York Daily News.
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North Korea Unveils Netflix-Like Streaming Service Called 'Manbang'

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday August 22, 2016 @08:07PM (#52752579)

    Enough said.

  • manbanging (Score:5, Funny)

    by iggymanz ( 596061 ) on Monday August 22, 2016 @08:07PM (#52752583)

    So in a manbanging film would kim jung un be a bear, or a fat twink or what?

    • Re:manbanging (Score:5, Informative)

      by wierd_w ( 1375923 ) on Monday August 22, 2016 @08:12PM (#52752605)

      What part of 2-way was hard to understand!?

      Kimmy kims is gonna get center stage, both ways!
      While his fangirls cheer!

    • by wickerprints ( 1094741 ) on Monday August 22, 2016 @08:30PM (#52752679)

      Too old (and fat) to be a twink, too smooth (I presume, judging from lack of facial hair) to be a bear.

      In gay male social circles, the most fitting animal subculture would be "manatee," but that's a horrible thing to say about actual manatees.

      • so on the topic of manatees they say every 35 lbs. overweight reduces effective penis length one inch (2.5 cm for every 16 kg). I'm thinking fearless leader might have a few in crater in that case, a kind of manatee mangina.

      • A horny manatee?

        True story - Conan O'Brien was waffling on as he is prone to do, and made up an imaginary web site called hornymanatee.com. CBS had a policy of creating any web site mentioned on their shows, if it didn't already exist, to prevent someone else registering it and filling it with damaging content.

        The clip is here, [youtube.com]

        Thus hornymantee.com was born. The site is gone.

    • I had a feeling the comments to this article would be hilarious.

    • by Noxal ( 816780 )

      "fat twink" is an oxymoron. If you're fat you can't be a twink.

      • "fat twink" is an oxymoron. If you're fat you can't be a twink.

        YOu at beiung shutting up now! FAERLESS LEADUR CAN DOANYTHING! He want be fat twink, he be bestest fat twink workd HAS ever seen! You Donalds Trump is not half fat twink Faerless leadur can ever be! KiM will wrestle him to mud, like fat greasy fat twink he is!

        you american no tell us what faerlus leedur can do, that why world so hate on you. We all be fat twinks just to show you what powerful NK peoples can do. We show you, but good! Fat twin

      • You've missed the whole "Body Positivity" movement.

        Now you can be plus sized and a beauty model.
        You can be chubby and wear a bikini with pride.
        You can make scales squeak and still flaunt your body and turn people's heads.

        Don't you dare say you can't be a "fat twink". Think positive.

    • Fat Twink after a Transporter accident.

    • And no doubt we will soon see the Dear Leader in a music video under the title "Gangbang Style".

  • I'll bet it's two-way, alright!

  • Manbang? (Score:5, Funny)

    by riverat1 ( 1048260 ) on Monday August 22, 2016 @08:10PM (#52752599)

    NAMBLA. wants to be on Manbang.

    • by Mashiki ( 184564 )

      I thought NAMBLA would like a Boybang, aren't men a bit out of their age range? Or are they going for "best double team evar!"

    • I don't understand what the North American Marlon Brando Look-Alikes have to do with this...
  • by 110010001000 ( 697113 ) on Monday August 22, 2016 @08:17PM (#52752625) Homepage Journal
    "Everywhere" in Korean is not "manbang". Where do these journalists come up with this crap?
    • Re:Uh, what? (Score:5, Informative)

      by Zanadou ( 1043400 ) on Monday August 22, 2016 @09:02PM (#52752835)

      A somewhat more laborious interpretation might be "in each and all places": http://endic.naver.com/krenEnt... [naver.com]

      • by AK Marc ( 707885 ) on Monday August 22, 2016 @09:31PM (#52752957)
        There are many times when translating a word, then translating it back, won't result in the same word returned, but it would still be the "correct" middle translation. "in each and all places" sounds close enough to "everwhere" I can't see how that's an incorrect translation, even if a bit awkward. Though "universal" sounds a bit more like a "to everyone in all places", but universal would be a stupid name for a media company.
        • Re:Uh, what? (Score:5, Informative)

          by AmiMoJo ( 196126 ) <mojo&world3,net> on Tuesday August 23, 2016 @04:19AM (#52754089) Homepage Journal

          Chinese, Japanese and Korean seem to be the most common languages for translation failure based memes. I think a lot of people assume it's just them being "weird" or something, but it's usually the western translator screwing it up. Two much over-used examples:

          Do not want: This was from the English subtitles on a Chinese bootleg copy of Star Wars III. Vader screams "noooooo", but there is no word for "no" in Chinese. You can say things like "do not [do that]" or "is not [that]", or "do not want [that]". So the Chinese translator correctly translated it into Chinese, retaining the original meaning (do not want my wife and child to be dead) but the machine translator that converted it back into English couldn't understand the context.

          Lack of context is a really common problem when translating Chinese, and to a lesser extent Japanese. In Japanese, for example, newspaper headlines often come out as "I went to some event" or "I found a large data outflow on the dark web", because the machine assumes talking in the first person and the word for "leak" becomes "outflow" because it can be used in that sort of context. For reference better translations would be "Visiting some event" and "Huge data leak found on dark web".

          Over 9000: This is from an episode of Dragon Ball Z. A character called Vegita can't believe that his opponent Goku's fighting power level is over 9000 points, when most humans are in the single digits. In the original it was actually "over 8000". 8000 has special meaning in Japanese, it's kinda like the English "zillion", not always intended as a precise number but rather just some really unbelievably large amount.

          The way the episode presents it, Guku starts off with a low power level and builds it up slowly. Vegita is counting it up, over 5000, over 6000, 7000.... It's a joke, a sort of pun maybe. So interestingly the western translator got it wrong, kinda, because they re-worded it a bit to fit the mouth movements on-screen with English voices and somehow ended up at 9000 in the count, but it became a joke unintentionally anyway. By chance and the skill of the voice actor hamming it up, the untranslatable joke was substituted with another.

          • Any better offering for this famous mistranslation:

            https://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/... [wikiquote.org]

            Set us up the bomb

            All your base are belong to us!

            It makes for hilarious memes, but I am guessing it is supposed to be arm the bomb, and we will destroy you (or something like that).

      • The Korean "man", which incidentally is actually pronounced with a long "a" to rhyme with the English word "on", is the same as 1,000 but can be translated as "infinite" in many situations. For example, a fountain pen is translated into Korean as a "1,000 year pen" or "man-youn-pil" (see here [wikipedia.org]).

        The "bang", which is also pronounced with a long "a" to rhyme with the English word "on", means [en.bab.la] a "place" or a "room", as others here have noticed.

        Thus this word (as with many Korean words) is a portmanteau [merriam-webster.com], in this

        • Infinite places does not mean everywhere. This is a common misconception when dealing with infinite sets.

          Suppose you have infinite many places, as many as the natural numbers.
          You may have infinitely many places numbered by even numbers, while still not have the other, infinitely many, places with odd numbers.

          So a more correct translation would be "in many places". But then again, if you are talking about infinite sets, the concept of "many" is also tricky, and leads into questions of set cardinality, ale

          • Infinite places does not mean everywhere. This is a common misconception when dealing with infinite sets.

            It's probably not unreasonable to assume there are a finite number of rooms in North Korea.

          • Infinite places does not mean everywhere. This is a common misconception when dealing with infinite sets.

            Suppose you have infinite many places, as many as the natural numbers.
            You may have infinitely many places numbered by even numbers, while still not have the other, infinitely many, places with odd numbers.

            So a more correct translation would be "in many places". But then again, if you are talking about infinite sets, the concept of "many" is also tricky, and leads into questions of set cardinality, aleph numbers, etc. which fortunately is a lot more interesting than the usual Netflix soap operas.

            Uh, thanks Lars. Where would we be without iconoclastic pedantry on Slashdot?

            Since we're being pedantic, you may wish to learn how to parse the phrase "loosely meaning".

      • That actually sounds worse.

    • by suhock ( 964950 )

      There are several words in Korean that could be translated as everywhere. Manbang is one of them.

      According to Naver's Korean-Korean dictionary [naver.com] there are four different words spelled "manbang" (three with Chinese roots, one a colloquialism):

      1. Every place
      2. A synonym for manguk (all the nations of the world)
      3. In baduk (the game Go), what is said when you tally up the points and the difference is at least 91
      4. A colloquial abbreviation short for "manhwa bang" (comic book store)

      Abbreviations where one com

  • So does it have gay porn on it too?
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday August 22, 2016 @08:23PM (#52752645)

    manbang and chill

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Isn't 'Manbang and Chill' a capitol offence in the DPRK?

  • by Anonymous Coward

    It's not ambiguous at least.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday August 22, 2016 @09:00PM (#52752821)

    With Manbang, one can watch as North Korean Taepodongs [wikipedia.org] deploy their payloads prematurely shortly after takeoff.

  • Shouldn't this unsettle us if one of the most "progressed" 1984 states in the world copies the concept of life streaming to use it against its own people?

  • I refuse to support the N. Korean regime at any level. Any growth in their GDP will be redirected to their military. Purchasing the Manbang it tantamount to putting a down payment on a noose; one thread at a time.

    • Bad news (Score:3, Informative)

      I refuse to support the N. Korean regime at any level. Any growth in their GDP will be redirected to their military. Purchasing the Manbang it tantamount to putting a down payment on a noose; one thread at a time.

      I have some bad news for you [s-nbcnews.com].

    • by mlts ( 1038732 )

      They actually trade with someone other than basic stuff with China?

    • I refuse to support the N. Korean regime at any level. Any growth in their GDP will be redirected to their military. Purchasing the Manbang it tantamount to putting a down payment on a noose; one thread at a time.

      Wow, that's quite the courageous stance! How do you deal with the pressure of all of the door-to-door Manbang/other North Korean imports salesmen these days?

    • Well, you may get more interesting content in NK, compared to Netflix-per-country-restricted-new-VPN-policy.
  • I don't think this box can pick up OTA analog tv.

  • 'Can I invite you over for Manbang and Chill' You decide which of the two is the sexual portion.
  • You have intrigued me, but I feel this a joke that will make me regret searching "manbang" while at work...
  • Milo Yiannopoulos should sue Kim Jong Un for infringing the trademark of his own streaming service, also called "ManBang".
  • by hcs_$reboot ( 1536101 ) on Tuesday August 23, 2016 @01:31AM (#52753659)
    Note that NK IPv4 address space is made of one /22 and two /24, i.e. ~1500 addresses... (See NK observer [github.io])
    • You really think that they're not NATing, if for no other reason then to prevent the dear party members from offering content to the outside of the country?

    • North Korea works like a corporate intranet on steroids. There's an outwards facing internet presence (the ~15000 addresses) and then there's a national intranet [northkoreatech.org]. The two components are, for the most part, airgapped. If you're on the intranet side and want access to the internet, there are two options:

      - If you're very well off or part of the elite, you use a separate computer.
      - If you're not, but you're well enough off that you have intranet access, you can request material from the internet (usually re
  • Two way communication sounds just like another take on the Big Brother. Do they even need that? Maybe the people are slowly getting conscious that there is a better world outside true Korea? I hope someone hacks this system as soon as it goes live.
  • Manbang: it doesn't mean everywhere, everywhere.
  • https://www.youtube.com/watch?... [youtube.com]

    There brother thats what I want!

  • by PvtVoid ( 1252388 ) on Tuesday August 23, 2016 @08:17AM (#52754777)

    ... the No Dong [missilethreat.com].

  • The service is called Manbang

    We are completely being pranked. You win this round, Kim Jong Un...

  • That sounds great. Will it help me do my exercise routine in the morning?

  • "Man Bang and the Pearly Necklace" starring Kim Jong Un!
  • All gay jokes aside, I kind of think there might be an opportunity there for some high quality hackivism. I'm thinking that a skilled individual or group, who has access to some good North Korean translation could use this as an opportunity to post videos that give at least a few North Koreans a glimpse of what the rest of the world is like. The ideal video(s) would be subtle, things like going a wee bit over the top with praise for Brilliant Comrade Kim Jong Un or referring to the higher standard of living
  • The man bangs YOU!

"Kill the Wabbit, Kill the Wabbit, Kill the Wabbit!" -- Looney Tunes, "What's Opera Doc?" (1957, Chuck Jones)

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