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Category Archives: Buzz

The elephant has landed.

Hi all!

Our funky green elephant is home!

Elephant de Triomphe

Spanish eyes, Moscow skies

Alas, I’m not in Moscow. So I couldn’t see for myself the last few strenuous and precarious meters of the journey of our emerald elephant of hope from Chelsea to our office. However, quite a few KLers were there to witness the eagle elephant landing, so I asked two to tell me their impressions. They took quite a few pix too – coming right up. Arrgh, can’t wait to get back to MOW – so I can give the newest addition to the KL team a big hug!

Read on: Here’s how the elephant got inside the building…

Electric power to the people!

Electric cars are the future. They’ll conquer the world. And that’s good for the planet (so long as the electricity is produced greenly too, but that’s a topic for another day…).

Here and there parking spots with electricity recharging terminals are a common sight – at least in the larger cities. So we decided to play catch-up. We’ve installed a few electro-parking spaces in our underground parking lot at the office and painted them the obligatory green (which works out nice as of course our KL team color is green).

Eco parking

Read on: post and a toast!…

The green elephant in the room.

Hi folks!

Strolling about London’s West End several weeks ago, on the recommendation of an art collector friend of mine we dropped by New Bond Street, the spot where the capital’s zillion year-old auction houses are situated. The timing was just right I think, as a few days earlier we’d been at the Tate Modern, and I was all child-in-a-sweet-shop and in the mood for getting hold of a small Rothko or some other such crazy modern art masterpiece for the office. Which is surprising, especially to me, as it’s not like I usually splash out – on anything – as normally doing so is just to show off.

And then I saw it – the bright, shiny, emerald colored… elephant! With a golden angel on its back blowing a horn! It was big, it was elegant, it was cast out of bronze. It heralds hope for the future – “a future promising great fortune”! It’s also the kind of piece that’s truly very aesthetically satisfying to look at – unlike some of the completely mad modern kunst exhibits over in the Tate. I fell in love with it immediately.

Still, what made this piece in particular stand out for me most of all was its color – British racing green KL green! We’ve used green and only green for just about everything KL for years – product boxes, our logo, fonts, mascots… even furniture and fittings in our offices around the world. Yet another factor I’m sure was attracting me to namely this modern artwork was that it was created by a surrealist I’ve always really admired. He’s just so unique with an unmistakable style all of his own. And down the years I’ve been checking out and rechecking many of his works all over the globe – particularly in the museums dedicated to him in Catalonia and Florida. You guessed who yet?

2,6 m high green elephant to decorate Kaspersky Lab office in Moscow

So, to summarize, the equation of my thoughts about this funky green elephant the first time I saw it several weeks ago went something like this:

KL Green + aesthetic delight + genius artist I’m a true fan of + a future so bright we’ve gotta blow a horn = must have!

Read on: Fast forward to a few days ago…

Inventors and inventions.

As recent events have confirmed – we have an active patent life.

Our inboxes keep getting filled with all sorts of e-mails – both positive and negative, interesting and insipid – about various patent claims and assorted inventions…

…Which got me thinking…

…Which led to my doing some research of some of the weird and wonderful – and totally wrong – predictions of ‘experts’ with regard to various new ideas, inventions and undertakings over the centuries.

Here’s an interesting list of 20 extremely bizarre absurdities which I found on the web; I’m sure it will at least raise an eyebrow or two, maybe compel a chuckle or three, or hopefully induce four LOLs:

1. “The fall of stones from the heavens is physically impossible.” – Paris Academy of Sciences on meteorites, 1772.

2. “In the future computers will weigh more than 1.5 tons.” – Popular Mechanics, 1949.

3. “I think there is a world market for maybe five computers.” – Thomas Watson, CEO, IBM, 1943.

4. “I have traveled the length and breadth of this country and talked with the best people, and I can assure you that data processing is a fad that won’t last out the year.” – Editor, Business Books, Prentice Hall, 1957.

5. “But what…is it good for?” – Engineer, Advanced Computing Systems Division, IBM, 1968, commenting on the microchip.

6. “There is no reason anyone would want a computer in their home.” – Ken Olson, Chairman, Digital Equipment Corp., 1977.

7. “This ‘telephone’ has too many shortcomings to be seriously considered as a means of communication. The device is inherently of no value to us.” – Western Union internal memo, 1876.

8. ”The wireless music box has no imaginable commercial value. Who would pay for a message sent to nobody in particular?” – Associates of David Sarnoff who was seeking investment in the radio in the 1920s.

9. ”The concept is interesting and well-formed, but in order to earn better than a ‘C’, the idea must be feasible.” – Yale University management professor in response to Fred Smith’s paper proposing a reliable overnight delivery service. (Smith went on to found Federal Express Corp.)

10. ”Who the hell wants to hear actors talk?” – H. M. Warner, Warner Brothers, 1927.

11. ”We don’t like their sound, and guitar music is on the way out.” – Decca Recording Co. suits rejecting the Beatles, 1962. (I LOLed to this one.)

12. “Heavier-than-air flying machines are impossible.” – William Thomson, Lord Kelvin, British scientist, 1899.

13. ”That Professor Goddard with his ‘chair’ in Clark College and the countenancing of the Smithsonian Institution does not know the relation of action to reaction, and of the need to have something better than a vacuum against which to react – to say that would be absurd. Of course, he only seems to lack the knowledge ladled out daily in high schools.” – 1921 New York Times editorial about Robert Goddard’s revolutionary rocket work. The remark was finally retracted in the July 17, 1969 issue.

14. “Drill for oil? You mean drill into the ground to try and find oil? You’re crazy.” – Workers whom Edwin L. Drake tried to enlist to his project to drill for oil in 1859.

15. ”Airplanes are interesting toys but of no military value.” – Marechal Ferdinand Foch, Professor of Strategy, Ecole Superieure de Guerre, 1911.

16. ”Everything that can be invented has been invented.” – Attributed to Charles H. Duell, Commissioner, U.S. Office of Patents, 1899.

17. ”Louis Pasteur’s theory of germs is ridiculous fiction.” – Pierre Pachet, Professor of Physiology at Toulouse, 1872.

18. ”The abdomen, the chest, and the brain will forever be shut from the intrusion of the wise and humane surgeon.” – Sir John Eric Ericksen, British surgeon, appointed Surgeon-Extraordinary to Queen Victoria, 1873.

19. “640 kb ought to be enough for anybody.” – Attributed to Bill Gates, 1981.

20. “$100 million dollars is way too much to pay for Microsoft.” – IBM, 1982.

As is becoming a habit already, I’ll finish with another brainteasing conundrum:

A rope is stretched snugly around the Equator. It gets cut at one point and an extra one-meter section is inserted to its length. If this rope could magically float on air so that it is fully stretched out (as before), how far above the earth would it be floating?

Seafaring trolling.

Howdy folks!

First, some pix. Actually – screenshots from one of my recent transatlantic flights. Notice anything unusual?…:

Why ship wrecks on air maps?

Let’s have a gander…

Read on: in-flight underhandedness…

Formula America 2013.

Formula 1 invaded Austin recently, occupying the territory for a whole two days until it made its retreat on the third. All the roads downtown were closed and turned into huge walkways for the thousands of soldiers F1 fans that came from afar. Not only were the roads closed but all the restaurants were as good as closed too – too full to take any diners who hadn’t booked weeks in advance. We passed the city’s Ugly Coyote bar and it was really getting wild in there – with punters dancing on the bar and other such boozy boogieness.

Alas, the energy and (over)drive downtown in the evenings didn’t quite spread to the racing track during the day – that is, for Ferrari. No changes to who’s leading, and the same non-red drivers up on the podium wasting the champagne. Grumble.

Scuderia have all their hopes pinned on their new mega-super racing car that’ll be used next season, which, combined with the world’s best drivers, is expected to tear up the competition. So we wait for next year. Patiently. Grrr!

A few pix from the event:

Formula 1 US GP 2013

Read on: I’m off to Ugly Coyote…

Breathe the pressure!

Prevention is better than cure. And that goes for fighting patent trolls too.

With this old adage in mind we recently filed a lawsuit against Device Security LLC seeking invalidation and non-infringement of the patent covering the tech involved in protecting data on mobile devices. This marks a distinct change of tactics on our behalf: Though we’ve been warring with patent parasites for eight years already, this is the first time we’ve gone for a preventative attack.

Kaspersky Lab vs Device Security LLC

Read on: So why have we done this, and why?…

The patent trolls can be defeated – just never give up!

Hurray! Drum roll… cymbal crash + orchestral hit! We’ve beaten yet another US patent troll! The enemy is defeated, demoralized, and on the run! Churchill was right: “Never give up!” We’ve followed his advice in our fight against a particular troll. As a result the troll gave up and ran away with nothing and its tail between its legs.

“Shock, happiness, joy and adrenaline – all in one”

- That’s how N.K. (our Chief Intellectual Property Counsel) described this victory. For this time the troll was of a higher caliber and its ‘connections’ were way more heavyweight.

lodsys

Shock, happiness, joy and adrenaline all in one – I couldn’t agree more. Our 18-month court case with Lodsys (one of the ‘tentacles’ of the world’s largest and most notorious of patent trolls – Intellectual Ventures (“IV”)) was brought to a sudden halt by a full and unconditional capitulation by this abominable patent parasite. As per the norm, we won once again alone, with another 54 defendant companies deciding to settle with the extortionist, while others shamefully fled the battlefield altogether. In all the patent troll has shaken down more than 400 IT companies!

Now for the details…

More: Once upon a time there was an inventor, who invented feedback…

Revenge can be sweet, especially against patent trolls.

Payback can be slow – painfully slow – in coming, but thankfully, at last, it does seem to be showing signs of finally arriving and hitting some most unsavory types – patent trolls – squarely in the nether regions.

I’ve already waxed lyrical here about trolls and what needs to be done to up the fight in tackling this scourge.

Here, let me give you a quick review of what needs to be done:

  • Patent use to be limited – a ban on claims for a term preceding their acquisition;
  • Mandatory compensation of a defendant’s expenses if a lawsuit against it is either defeated in court or withdrawn;
  • A ban on patent aggregators bringing lawsuits;
  • An increase in the required detail and accuracy of patent descriptions, and mandatory technical expert examinations;
  • The main thing: not for ideas to be patented, but their concrete practical application.

Sometimes it seems like US legislators read my blog! Finally, something is getting done – and not just anywhere, but in the state of Vermont, where the first anti-troll law has come into effect!

There’s a lot of interesting stuff in this law, but what I like most in it is that now a defendant company can demand from a patent troll reimbursement of all its legal costs if it manages to prove that the troll acted not in good faith.

More: Special thanks for the law go to … a patent troll!

The leader who gave the world hope.

Ladies and gentlemen!

Today is a special jubilee of the greatest living person on earth. Today is the 90th birthday of Lee Kuan Yew, the founder and indisputable leader of the city-state of Singapore, without whom Singapore today would be a very different place. This is the man who turned a backward non-entity of a place into a flourishing nation, a dream city – an example for all the other countries in the world.

So what was Singapore like before?

In 1965 Singapore didn’t just become independent as many nations do – it was forced to become independent after having been thrown away much like unwanted garbage. It was a tiny group of undeveloped islands with very little going for it, which no one in their right mind considered either credible or potentially viable. People in their right mind tended not to consider it at all in the first place.

What was it like?

  • It was wretched territory – marshland and an overall mess of a territory on which pigs and cows grazed.
  • No natural wealth, not even drinking water (and apparently still none).
  • Unfriendly (to put it mildly) neighboring countries.
  • A semiliterate population, and a strong communist influence (including outside support).
  • Interethnic conflicts; a population made up of Chinese, Malay and Hindus – three very different religions.

Bonuses:

  • Organized crime.
  • No army; no loyal police force.
  • Corruption with a very BIG capital letter.
  • Besides the British military base and the sea ports there was practically no other business at all.

Enough?

Dirt, poverty and nothing to look forward to. That was in 1965.

After 25 years of reforms (yes, as early as in 1990) it was a completely different place…

More: rapidly growing economy, no corruption, rule of law, people dreaming living there. A paradise…