Hyper loop achieves 1,000 KM/H speed in Korea, days after Virgin passenger test

South Korea hopes to launch first hyperloop network in 2024

A hyperloop prototype in South Korea has reached speeds over 1,000km/h, just days after a rival system performed the first successful passenger test using the technology.

The Korean Railroad Research Institute (Korail) announced on Wednesday that a “hyper-tube train” travelling through a vacuum hit a top speed of 1,019km/h (633mph).

The test took place on a scale model and is the first of its kind in the world, according to Business Korea. The previous top speed, also set by Korail, was 714km/h.

South Korea is hoping to launch a hyperloop network by 2024, cutting the journey time between Seoul and Busan from three hours to 30 minutes.

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How South Korea’s smart crossings are cutting road deaths

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Crossings in South Korea alert drivers when people are approaching, and warn pedestrians when cars are nearby

The crossing has been preparing for you before you set foot on it. Radar and thermal cameras detect your approach and notify a central control system, which triggers rows of LED warning lights on either side of the walkway to alert approaching drivers to your presence. To keep you alert, the system sounds an alarm and projects a warning image on the ground in front of you. It also sounds an alert on your smartphone. As the driver comes within 30 metres, a blinking electronic sign notifies them of your crossing.

This pedestrian crossing is located in three locations across South Korea, designed by the Korea Institute of Civil Engineering and Building Technology (KICT). It aims to minimise road traffic accidents in response to rising pedestrian casualties, 52.9 per cent of which occur at crossings. Many of these are caused by people crossing while looking at their phones (South Korea has the world’s highest smartphone penetration rate, and some of the highest road fatality and injury rates among developed countries). “So, I came to think of a smart crossing system that recognises the urgency of pedestrian safety on the crosswalk,” Kim Jong-hoon, a senior researcher at KICT says.

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South Korean tech breakthrough could change biofuels forever

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Researchers in South Korea have made a major breakthrough in using bacteria to sustainably and efficiently produce biofuels. The team of scientists from the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST) report that they have developed a new kind of engineered microorganisms that are capable of producing greater volumes of the fatty acids that make up biodiesel than ever before.

A team of researchers from KAIST released a study detailing their discovery last month in the scientific journal Nature Chemical Biology. The paper, titled “Engineering of an oleaginous bacterium for the production of fatty acids and fuels” details the development of these record-breaking microorganisms which could prove to be a key breakthrough in the effort to develop sustainable, bio-based energy sources to replace dirtier, finite fossil fuels.

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Lipstick in kindergarten? South Korea’s K-beauty industry now targets those barely able to read.

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PriPara Kids Cafe is one of the many beauty parlors in South Korea that cater to young girls. (Jean Chung/For The Washington Post)

Last year in kindergarten, Yang Hye-ji developed her morning routine. Uniform? Check. Homework? Check.

Makeup? Definitely.

“Makeup makes me look pretty,” the 7-year-old said on her second visit to the ShuShu & Sassy beauty spa in Seoul.

She was wrapped in a child-size pink robe and wearing a bunny hairband. Her face was gently touched up with a puff. Her lips got a swipe of pink gloss.

South Korea’s cosmetics industry, known as K-beauty, has become an Asian powerhouse and global phenomenon for its rigorous step-by-step regimens.

But exacting beauty norms also put enormous pressure on South Korean women, making the country one of the world’s centers for plastic surgery. And increasingly, the beauty industry is looking at younger and younger girls.

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Inside the ‘World Cup of E-sports’

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The League of Legends World Championship Finals in Incheon, South Korea, on Nov. 3.

Two squads battled it out at a 50,000-seat stadium in the South Korean city of Incheon. Photography by Jean Chung

This weekend, legends were created in South Korea, the birthplace of esports.

Watched by tens of millions of people each year, the world championship finals of League of Legends this year featured two squads battling it out at a 50,000-seat stadium in the South Korean city of Incheon.

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The countries with the highest density of industrial robots

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Across the world, the pace of industrial automation is steadily accelerating. According to the International Federation of Robotics, there were 66 installed industrial robots per 10,000 employees globally in 2015 and that increased to 74 in 2016. Broken down by region, average robot density in Europe is 99 units per 10,000 workers, while’s it’s 84 in the Americas and 63 in Asia. Even though China has recorded the most dynamic development of robot density in recent years, South Korea has the highest level of density of any country on the planet.

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40,000 fans pack South Korean stadium to watch people play video games

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League of Legends World Championship match.

At South Korea’s World Cup Stadium in October, drums thundered, pyrotechnics exploded and fans banged red and white thundersticks for a world championship title worth a cool $1 million. (Video)

 

 

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Shipyard workers will be outfitted with robotic exoskeletons to give them superhuman strength

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Shipyard workers in South Korea will wear robotic exosckeletons.

AT a sprawling shipyard in South Korea, workers building the world’s biggest ships could be wearing robotic exoskeletons to lug around 100-kilogram hunks of metal as if they’re nothing.

 

 

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South Korea sends 10,000 balloons filled with Choco Pies to North Korea

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South Koreans prepare to release balloons filled with chocolate pies and cookies over to North Korea.

Last week, North Korea got a sweet surprise from its neighbor, South Korea. About 200 South Koreans along with North Korean defectors packed 770 pounds of Choco Pies into plastic bags, which they attached to 50 giant balloons and released into North Korea from a park in the border city of Paju, according to organizers of the event. It was an act of rebellion against the alleged North Korean ban on the chocolate confections.

 

 

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South Korea launches its 5th 1,800 ton 214-class submarine

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The submarine was named after famous independence fighter Yun Bong-gil (1908-1932).

South Korea has launched its fifth 1,800-ton-class attack submarine last week as part of efforts to boost its underwater warfare capabilities against North Korean submarines, the Navy said.The 214-class submarine, named after famous independence fighter Yun Bong-gil (1908-1932) and manufactured by Hyundai Heavy Industries Co., will be delivered to the Navy in late 2015 and commissioned the next year, a Navy officer said.

 

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Plastic surgery in South Korea is so good patients need certificates to prove who they really are

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A young woman celebrates after winning China’s first Miss Plastic Surgery pageant on December 18, 2004 in Beijing, China.

In South Korea, plastic surgery has become so crazy that some surgeons are now issuing out special certificates to prove that patients are who they say they are.

 

 

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