Thursday, October 06, 2016

Will Samsung Make South Korea Nukes If Trump Is Presidente?



Yesterday I took a Southwest flight from Burbank to Oakland to attend a memorial celebration for one of my oldest friends, Sandy Pearlman. When I got on the routine 55 minute flight, the attendant made a bunch of standard announcements about how you how to do this with big electronic devises and that with small electronic devises. I wasn't paying close attention because I've heard these announcements a thousand times and since they're evolving in nature and now difefrent on every airline, I just do more or less what I want anyway. But then something very off happened that got my attention.

I'm an Apple guy and have been for decades. One of my closest friends is a top executive there and I worked for them as a consultant for a short time. I never use anything from other companies if what I want is available from Apple. I have an iPhone. I don't know I've ever even seen a Samsung. But suddenly, after the general announcements about teh big devices and the small devises, the attendant announced that under no circumstances was anyone to plug in or switch on a Samsung Galaxy Note 7. She sounded dire and I was half expecting her to say anyone with one of these things would have to deplane or that they would send a basket around that you could deposit it in so it could be dsiposed of before the plane could take off. But she didn't say that.

This morning I checked at BGR to see what the fuss was all about. Zach Epstein, a former Samsung Galaxy enthusiast Note 7 enthusiast, had a provocative headline: Under No Circumstances Should You Buy A Galaxy Note 7 Under No Circumstances Should You Buy A Galaxy Note 7. He was one of many who had bought into the hype that the Galaxy Note 7 was Samsung's best ever smartphone when it was released a little over a month ago; game-changing even. "Within the confines of current technological limitations, the Note 7 was as close to perfect as a phablet could get," he wrote. It didn't turn out that way.
For Samsung and for its customers, the Galaxy Note 7 has been an absolute nightmare. In terms of design, features and performance, it was instantly obvious that the Note 7 was Samsung’s most impressive phone ever, and it flew off the shelves following its release. The phone’s success in those early days would end up being bittersweet, because each phone sold would end up being another handset that needed to be recalled.

Yes, as we all now know, an unknown number of Note 7 handsets were equipped with faulty batteries that could explode and catch fire. The true magnitude of this safety threat was realized when exploding Galaxy Note 7 phones caused personal injuries and car fires. One exploding Note 7 even ended up burning down its owner’s house.

But the worst was yet to come.

Samsung had no choice but to issue a global recall of all 2.5 million Galaxy Note 7 handsets that had been shipped to retailers. The exact number of recall-eligible phones sold to end users around the world is not known, but Samsung said about 1 million handsets were sold in the US and South Korea alone. The company did a reasonably good job educating users and within a few weeks of the official start of its recall program, Samsung had exchanged or refunded more than half of all Note 7 purchases.

Then, the unthinkable happened: a “safe” Galaxy Note 7 that had been issued to a customer as a replacement phone exploded and caught fire. On an airplane.
Reminder: during the vice presidential debate Tuesday evening, when Mike Pence lamely tried to deny Trump had advocated Japan and South Korea developing their own nuclear arsenals, he was flat out lying. That's exactly what Trump had advocated-- as a money saving strategy for the U.S.-- and he had said he was open to other countries developing nuclear arsenals as well. I wonder if Herr Trumpf still only uses Samsung devises and if he takes his Galaxy Note 7 on Herr Force One.



At 9:27 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Considering that Japan's PM Abe is on record as wanting to make Japan a nuclear power, and the US doesn't appear to be interested in stropping that insanity, why should South Korea not want to join the club? They would be surrounded by hostile nuclear powers (China, North Korea, Japan) and the US nuclear umbrella over allies in regions not yet nuclear (Taiwan, Philippines). I'd understand completely if they were to begin the necessary research to develop a weapon.

At 9:37 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I quit reading at "I'm an Apple guy."

At 10:11 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

What would be the international legal situation regarding S. Korean and/or Japan developing nuclear weapons?

I would assume many others outside the US would point out the monumental hypocrisy in the US accepting as fact the desires of allies for these weapons having just caused a massive international scene over Iran - IF that was about weapons at all.

Would there be a one-for-one increment negotiated for entrance into the assured self-annihilation club?

John Puma

At 11:19 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

John Puma

The Law has no meaning anymore. Whether or not both Japan and South Korea are members of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty is not going to stop either nation from doing what they believe necessary for their own national defense.

Rightly or wrongly, the Democrats have lost a lot of trust from our erstwhile allies due in large part to our selectivity as to which issues we offer support. In South Korea's case, that we haven't converted Pyongyang into a glass bowl shows we're soft on communism. They aren't so sure we will come to their defense should Kim Jong Un invade like his grandfather once did. They no longer believe we have the will to be the world's policeman, and are taking their own steps to ensure their own domestic tranquility, so to speak.

Another example is how quickly Putin managed to still the Eastern Mediterranean coast when Obama first began his unconvincing sabre-rattling over Syria. Just a couple of Russian Navy ships deployed through the Bosporus and the Dardanelles, and the 6th Fleet might as well have gone on liberty.

Any nation expecting to rely upon Uncle Scam's military muscle should they get into a scrape over, say, some previously unclaimed coral reefs in the middle of the South China Sea is going to end up questioning who really has their back.


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