Skip to main content

Tomorrow’s world

A city that floats on the sea

Oceanix will be built off the coast of South Korea

The world’s first floating city could be built as soon as 2025, says Aaron Chow on Work on the UN-backed Oceanix will begin next year off the coast of Busan, a port city in South Korea. It will be made up of two-hectare floating bamboo platforms, each forming a 300-person neighbourhood. These are linked up to create the city, with homes, shops, restaurants, galleries, markets, sports clubs, schools and all the rest of it.

Crucially, Oceanix is designed to withstand natural disasters such as tsunamis and hurricanes. None of the buildings will be more than seven storeys high, creating a low centre of gravity that should allow the city to float over the top of a tidal wave without capsizing. It will also be relatively sustainable: bamboo, which has “six times the tensile strength of steel” and a negative carbon footprint, can be grown on the platforms.

Rogue states are winning the hacking war

Akindo/Getty Images

The era of “global cyberwarfare” suits rogue states, says Borzou Daragahi in The Independent. Diplomatically isolated nations such as Iran and North Korea have little to lose and much to gain through hacking, and cyberweapons are harder to regulate than atomic bombs. North Korea concentrates on finance and business: it targets cryptocurrency exchanges, attempting to “loot” usernames and passwords to use as leverage in international negotiations. Kimusky, a group thought to be backed by North Korea, has been regularly attacking diplomats, journalists and not-for-profit organisations across the world.

“Short of dumping gasoline on your smartphone and setting it on fire, there is little people can do to avoid infiltration.” The Israeli firm NSO has developed spyware called Pegasus, which can hack someone’s phone without the target clicking on or opening anything. “Now that the IT whizzes in Iran and North Korea know such a programme is possible, how much longer before they reverse engineer it?” One cybersecurity chief executive recently warned that Iran’s capabilities have expanded beyond the West’s ability to defend against them. Tit-for-tat hacks are already taking place: when Israel was accused of hacking Iran’s petrol stations, Iran allegedly published a hacked list of sensitive information from Israeli LGBT+ dating websites. This “cycle of escalation” could be irreversible.

Get our daily newsletter in your inbox

We cut through the noise to give you a fresh take on the world – in just five minutes a day. Sign up for the newsletter here.