By Cynthia Wang
Bitcoin, a revolutionary form of crypto currency, has transformed ideas of the way currency may be handled. From bitcoin came the commonalities of WeChat Pay and AliPay that we see today. The golden digital coin independent of government or state control has dominated world news; a single Internet search would turn up thousands of high-end news articles. Yet, many still do not know of bitcoin’s record, storage, and transaction system called Blockchain.
Blockchain is a public distributed ledger that underlies bitcoin. A transparent and secure growing list or records stored as “blocks” of information, Blockchain stores information across networks of personal computers. No one owns the system, yet all who use it can help build to it. The security of Blockchain is definite with strings of cryptography preventing the information within such “blocks” to be counterfeited by anyone else.
Each “block” of Blockchain consists of three major components: data, hash, and the previous block’s hash. Data contains the details about the transaction made, whether it be money or information. A hash, like a fingerprint, is a line of code identifying the block. However, if the block is damaged or changed in any way, the hash is changed. Lastly, with the hash of it’s previous block, a connected and secure chain of blocks. If one were to tamper with any of the blocks of a Blockchain, then all of the following blocks would be rendered invalid due to the hash of the tampered block changing. Even though hackers could quickly add new blocks to fix the chain and cover up their tracks, the developers of Blockchain created a method called proof-of-work to inhibit this. The proof-of-work mechanism slows down the speed of creating new blocks, hence creating a situation where hackers wouldn’t be able to cover up their tracks fast enough, securing Blockchain from disruption even further. This fixed yet transparent network of transactions has forced modern technology a great leap forward.
However, Blockchain isn’t just used to transfer money with bitcoin, it could also potentially be used for the transfer of political documents, critical information, amongst many other forms of information. In the future, not only could Blockchain conduct secure transactions, but it could also create companies run by algorithms, safer self-driving cars, and protect our identities with its anonymity. A revolutionary currency, paired with an equally innovative system of exchange is most definitely in the process of transforming the future as we know it.
By Kristen Fu
High school students have increasingly neglected using the lockers. Most students carry their backpack along with all their school materials around with them, undermining the need for lockers. While some students still use their lockers for sports and other activities, the practicality of lockers has greatly decreased. Due to this drop in locker usage, the administration has toyed with the idea of changing the current lockers with electronic lockers that require passcodes in order to be opened.
The current lockers are individually designated for each student. This means that each student has a single locker that only they have the password to. However, many students do not use their lockers. This is because the lockers are often located in places that are far from the students’ classes. It also requires time to go back and forth between lockers and classes, something that students are often too lazy to do.
Because of the inconvenience of the current lockers, the administration has proposed changing them into electronic lockers. These lockers will be free for anyone to use, anywhere and anytime. The students simply have to put their items in, enter a passcode of their choosing, and close the locker. When they decide to take their items out, the students simply have to enter their passcode and take their items out. This will supposedly allow the lockers to be more convenient and accessible for students by allowing them to use any locker.
The proposed change for the lockers has sparked conversation amongst high school students. Supporters of the change has claimed that since most students don’t use their lockers regularly, it would be more convenient if all the lockers were open to students. Michelle Zhou, a junior, stated that “It’s a good thing because I know most people don’t use their lockers anyway. In the winter, we have coats that we don’t want to carry around, so if the lockers were temporary, it would be more convenient.” This was a common argument that was echoed amongst many students.
Other people, however, were more hesitant to accept the change or ambivalent to the issue altogether. Some students were concerned about the size of the electronic lockers. Sonia Loo commented that “the electronic lockers seem significantly smaller than the original ones, so that seems kind of inconvenient or practical for people.” Other students enjoyed having their own individual lockers to use as a separate space for their personal items. Hanwen Cao commented, “I don’t support it. I like my locker.” In the junior class chat, many people also raised the idea of allowing students to have a choice between a normal locker and an electronic one. Most students appear to be reluctant to provide their full support for this plan.
Although the proposal to change the lockers is still not set, the idea has already sparked debates on the feasibility and effectiveness of this decision. As yet another change made by the administration, students have not been shy to debate the merits and shortcomings of this plan. Ultimately, the proposal to implement electronic lockers may stay just that: an idea.
By Colin Jun
Pyeongchang, Korea is the host city for the twenty-third winter Olympic games. It is the second time Korea is hosting the Olympic Games since 1988 Seoul Olympics. The Olympics will start on February 9th with the Opening Ceremony and last 17 days until February 25th. 2952 athletes from 92 different countries, including North Korea, are expected to participate in the Olympics. Although the Winter Olympics is one of the most significant events of this year, it is undeniable that many people in and out of our school do not have much information about it - of course, Chinese New Year is an even more important event than the Olympics in China. So today, I would like to introduce several points that you need to know about the Olympics.
Talking about the Olympics without mentioning the Mascots is difficult. For Pyeongchang, there is one mascot for each Olympic games and Paralympic games. The Pyeongchang Olympics games mascot, Soohorang, is inspired by one of the famous guardian animals in Korea, the white tiger, which often appears as the symbol of braveness and protection in traditional Korean stories. The Pyeongchang Paralympics games mascot, Bandabi, is inspired by the Asian Black Bear. Bandabi represents the bravery and strong will of the Korean people and athletes.
Furthermore, Pyeongchang was able to host the Winter Olympics by applying as the Olympic candidate for three times in a row (almost twelve years!). Pyeongchang prepared to host the Winter Olympics since 2003; however, 2010 Winter Olympics was given to Vancouver, Canada and 2014 Winter Olympics was given to Sochi, Russia. As Pyeongchang continues to fail to host the winter Olympics, the skepticism towards “Organizing the committee of Pyeongchang Winter Olympics” increased. In 2010, defeating all the skepticism towards the Olympics, Pyeongchang finally could host the Winter Olympics.
The most controversial point of the Olympics is the Korean National Team - more specifically, “a single South and North Korea team.” Since 2013, when the host city of the 2018 Olympics was declared, the South Korean government suggested to the North to organize a single team for the Olympics. North Korea did not respond to the idea for a long time - some people even anticipated North Korea would not participate in Olympics (Park). In January 1st, through the New Year Message by Kim Jung Un, North Korea conveyed their interest of participating in the Olympics and discussing the South-North Korea Single Team. The discussion between the South and the North resulted in a decision to organize a single team for Women’s Ice Hockey and to do the joint parade in the Opening Ceremony under the Unification Flag (called Han-Ban-Do Ki).
The interesting point is the response of Korean citizens to the joint team and parade. In the past, most of the citizens supported the joint squad or joint march; however, in Pyeongchang 2018, the response of citizens is different than before. According to the research done by Korea Research in January, 63.3% of the people supported the joint parade between North and South Korea. The most controversial points were the Ice Hockey joint team (58.7% disagreed) and the use of the Unification flag for a joint parade (47.4% opposed). For the ice hockey joint team, many citizens are sensitive about providing special favor to the North Korean athletes, since it may appear as a notion ignoring the effort of South Korean athletes and violating the principle of equality - everyone should have the same opportunity in the same condition. For using the Unification flag in Opening Ceremony, the opposing group argues the South Korean team should use the South Korean flag in the Opening Ceremony as the host country of the Olympics. Nevertheless, many people agree that the North and South Korea joint team will contribute to the improvement in the relationship between South and North Korea and hope the joint team and joint parade can be the starting point for the reunification.
Of course, the most exciting part of the Olympics is the Games played by the athletes who have been prepared for this Olympics for a long time! Hence, pay attention and stay tuned to the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics!
Colin Jun is both a writer for Pudong Press and an official youth ambassador for the South Korean 2018 Winter Olympic Games.