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Category Archives: Buzz

Wowed by cloud.

Privyet everyone!

There are fascinating, beautiful sights to behold in the furthest corners of the globe, quite a few of which I tend to mention on this here blog from time to time. But sometimes spellbinding beauty can be found right on your doorstep…

Just the other day for example, towards evening the most amazing assortment of clouds appeared over the reservoir next to our Moscow HQ office. First there were pure white fluffy clouds basking in the bright sun, and then a thick thatch of dark and angry low cloud came along as if pushing the fluffy cumulus out of the way. Alas, by the time I’d fetched my camera most of the particularly unusual dark cloud had passed, but I did still manage to snap some of the proceedings…

Little Fluffy Clouds

Read on: Little Fluffy Clouds…

Cybernews from the dark side – June 24, 2014

Patent trolls – continued.

Here, alas, passions are still running high, with the occasional fit of… passion. Indeed, the issues related to patent parasites haven’t gone away; it’s just that only the most interesting – ‘loudest’ – cases ever get heard about. But if you dig deeper, you eventually hit upon stuff that is interesting, just not paid attention to. Which is what we did – and found quite a bit on patent trolls worthy of the title of this blogpost. So, he we go…

The irony’s all too much.

For this item I didn’t have to dig all that deep actually – I just checked Ars Technica. There I found some rather familiar glorification of the patent aggregator RPX – made out to be a sweet and innocent protector of orphans, the poor, and princesses (from dragons). I just couldn’t believe what I was reading: “RPX works by selling memberships to companies that feel harangued by patent trolls, including Apple and many other tech companies. RPX basically buys up patents it believes will be used by trolls. By uniting the buying power of many companies, it can get the patents for a bargain price.”  Well, maybe I could believe it… I was just so rattled at being reminded of the hypocrisy.

WHAT? RPX is some kinda anti-troll? And trolls may fly…

We first came across this so-called anti-troll in the year of its creation, and were one of the first to bite it back – successfully.

Read on: a simple arrangement…

Kid KLub

Back towards the end of the 1990s was when a KLer first had a child. My toast at the baby’s head-wetting went something like this: “At last we’ve assimilated viruses ourselves – and started to multiply!”

Around 200 children of KL HQ employees came to work with their mamas and papas last week to finally find out about the place one of their parents disappears to every week day

Since then we’ve been motivating employees in various ways to have more children! The more the merrier, I say. Yes, we’re quite family-friendly here at KL – kid-friendly even more so. It’s quite funny how the KL-kiddie situation has evolved: At first, every time a KL-cub entered this world we would all get together and not just wet, but fairly drench the poor little thing’s head :). A few years later, as the frequency went up dramatically we’d just chip in for a nice prezzie for the happy new mom and dad. Then, when the new-baby frequency moved from Hz to kHz, we’d simply get to hear the news at the water cooler. Seems a shame, but what can you do? We’ve a world to save too!

I don’t know how many KL-juniors we’ve got here now, but it’ll be a lot. With this in mind, as well as international child protection day in Russia (and many other countries) coming in early June, we organized a big children’s party at the office! Around 200 kids of our employees came to work with their mamas and papas to finally find out about the place one of their parents disappears to every week day, and to play, paint, eat, trampoline, and lots more besides.

KL Kid KLub

Read on: chess, ice cream and viruses…

For your reading, viewing and listening pleasure…

Summer. A bit of free time – more than usual. So here you are, something for the weekend, sirs and madams…

1. My book recommendation

I’m always hearing funny – not ha-ha – comments about modern-day China, including those related to the incredibly strong rise of its economy, or about how many bowls of rice the worker of modern China is prepared to work for. But Wikipedia is good on China, as are plenty of textbooks, plus this, this and this are interesting too (on per capita GDP China comes 121st in the world – between Tunisia and the Dominican Republic).

But for those REALLY interested in China, I REALLY recommend reading this fat book on China by none other than Henry Kissinger.

In it you’ll learn all sorts of new-to-you knowledge and curiosities about the country’s ancient history, its economy and more. There’s the estimation that the GDP of medieaval China was something like a third of world GDP, there’s all the treachery of the opium wars, there’s the communist past, and the country’s renaissance. As I say, I strongly recommend it. But here’s a warning: there’s a TON of detail in there. Some pages I just scanned. All the same, on the 25th anniversary of Tiananmen Square, it feels like the right time to give it a read.

2. My film recommendation

Check it out if you haven’t already, or watch it again: You Only Live Twice – Sean strutting his stuff as Bond, James Bond; shaken, not stirred.

Turns out GoPro appeared 47 years ago (see the pic below)!! You see, I’m going through the whole series of Bond films – from Dr. No to Skyfall. I’ve got them all in my laptop which I watch while on the treadmill in the gym. Amazing how enjoyable running on the spot can be :).

James "GoPro" Bond

3. My music recommendation

No words needed. It’s music. To be heard and felt, not talked about. Enjoy!

That’s all folks. Hope you’re enjoying your summer. Godspeed!…

A walk across the bridge.

I love San Francisco.

It’s a very nice, pleasant city. Friendly, light, with tasty seafood served in the cafes along the waterfront. The smooth surface of the bay is ploughed by giant ships carrying Chinese consumer goods, its edges are all framed with bridges. Alcatraz, is set in the midst of the watery expanse, watching everything with an invisible eye.

Beautiful! The ideal place for a leisurely stroll.

But what’s the point of discussing its splendor here? There are other things to worry about. Just pics:

San Francisco

Next: combining business with pleasure…

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…