November 3rd, 2013
Professor Ruediger Frank's review of a North Korean tablet computer (NB: PDF file) is almost as long as a John Siracusa Mac OS X review, but for very different reasons. Specifically, Professor Frank's survey of the enormous amount of DPRK-approved educational literature/propaganda that is loaded onto every machine.
Utility is obviously in the eye of the beholder. I find it unlikely that somebody without a certain interest in North Korea would ever purchase a Samjiyon. For non-Korean speakers, the main treasures of this tablet will remain hidden, except perhaps the dictionary.
For experts and those who want to join this illustrious group, the Samjiyon can easily develop into one of their major research tools. The DPRK-specific dictionaries and the encyclopedia are tremendously useful as reference works. It does not take much imagination to see all the future Ph.D. theses written about the North Korean educational system based just on the textbooks available on a single Samjiyon (don't forget to give credit to the one who provided you with this idea).
[Via ongoing by Tim Bray]