Monthly Archives: February 2016

The Barcelona crowd-pullers.

Barcelona. It’s been a while since my last visit here, and even longer since I was at the Mobile World Congress – that was back in 2012, or four years ago. Those who view that as a sin, forgive me. And yes, I do consider it a sin. Having said that, it’s rather amusing to read through some of my old travel tales!

But enough nostalgia – let me get back to the present day and continue my story —>

The exhibition has changed a lot over the last four years. It used to be a very important event, albeit mobile/smartphone-centric with a local feel to it. Now it has grown into a global mega-exhibition comparable in scale to CES Las Vegas or the massive CeBIT exhibition in Hannover … or how it used to be. Unfortunately, CeBIT has – for some reason, its international participants have gone elsewhere. The good old mega-CeBIT has stopped speaking in all the languages of the world, and is now a distinctly German-language IT exhibition, which is a pity.

OK, enough pessimism. It’s time for me to turn on my caps lock voice.

The Barcelona show is now something else! There are eight huge pavilions, nearly all jam-packed with booths and crowds of visitors milling around the exhibitions. It feels really hot, in the good sense of the word.

We are also on show here:

Read on: I feel nostalgic…

Top-100 Series: Africa.

Africa. Just uttering the word conjures up visions of all things exotic. An exceptional continent, like no other. And with plenty of locations I deem must-see:

73. Sahara desert.

As if you need telling: the world’s largest desert. The mind is blown, gradually but intensely, especially at sunset (I slept through the sunrise). I saw it in Tunisia. Sand, dunes, salt lakes, mirages, oases. Oh yes.

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Read on: volcanoes, lakes, waterfalls and ancient …

The eyes of the Earth.

How does Planet Earth look out at, er, the world [sic.]; I mean, where are its eyes?

That’s right – its telescopes!

Telescopes come in different types and shapes and sizes and uses: there are radio/gamma telescopes, assorted space telescopes, and also optical telescopes – which measure more than a meter in diameter. Of the latter there are just several dozen or maybe just over a hundred in the world. However, there are a lot fewer suitable locations for them; in fact – just three. There’s Hawaii (been), Atacama Desert in northern Chile (haven’t been yet), and the Canary Islands (was there just the other week). All three spots have plenty of clean, dry air and stable weather conditions and are well away from the glare of civilization, aka – ideal astro-climatic conditions.

While on Tenerife last week, after the SAS-2016 conference we decided to go have a look at these large telescopes. We reckoned we might as well since we were there, and hopefully have a chat with the astronomers/astrophysicists, have a feel of the kit, and take the usual slew of snaps (where it’s allowed; and it turned out that it was allowed practically everywhere:).

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Read on: Great telescopic plans…

It’s a tough job, but someone’s got to do it.

Every February several hundred of the world’s top IT security experts gather in a sunny beach resort, be it in the Americas, Europe, Asia, or just off the coast of Western Africa. But they don’t go for the sun, per se. Or the beach. Or the beach-bar cocktails. They go… to fight cyber-swine! At least, that’s what they attempt to tell their loved ones when they disappear for a week in Feb to this year’s chosen idyllic paradise.

And this year’s idyllic paradise was the Canary Islands – chosen for, you guessed it, the Security Analyst Summit (SAS), our annual special pow-wow for IT security gurus. SAS brings together InfoSec big guns from different companies, with different specializations, from all over the globe, to basically just chew the fat, sometimes formally – mostly informally – in air-conditioned basement conference halls – and on sun loungers on the beach (oops, the secret’s out for those loved ones:) – in order to help more folks understand the where and how and why of IT threats by exchanging expert know-how and experience.

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Read on: The world is NOT doomed…

3-in-1: history, innovation and business travel.

I find myself in many different far-flung places on this planet, but quite often they’re… predictable: world capitals, business hubs, Must-See places…

But occasionally I also get to less obvious spots. Example: Sviyazhsk. Heard of it? Probably not!

Well, it’s an ancient town, now a village, located at the confluence of the Volga and Sviyaga Rivers.

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According to our excellent excursion guide (I normally trust good guides more than, say, Wikipedia), the short history of the town is as follows:

Read on: Ambitious!…

Sexy shower.

Last week I stayed at the Déjà Vu hotel near the Sviyaga skiing complex in the city of Kazan (dubbed the third capital of Russia, after Moscow and Saint Petersburg). And though there was just me in my hotel room, the shower was most certainly designed for two persons. I have to say it was the first ‘erotic shower’ I’ve ever seen out of all the hotels I’ve stayed at. Most innovational. Good idea!

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Read on: great location, questionnable breakfast…

A bit of a breather – in Berlin.

Pheeeewwwwwww. That was a tough week. I’ve another toughie planned for the coming week too. So a good dose of tools-down and time-out was in order for a few days between the two.

Handily, I found myself in Berlin for those few days. Nice. With no work plans whatsoever. Even nicer. Been here many times, but was always too busy to get a good portion of sightseeing in.

So here, some plenty of pics of the German capital, with my usual banter commentary kept to a minimum. A bit like on Euronews: No Comment.

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Read on: Say No to grim and sober monuments…

Zanzibar: wunderbar!

Our journey through Tanzania consisted of three stages:

1. Climbing Kilimanjaro
2. Savanna safari
3. Zanzibar

Those who’ve been following this Tanzanian mini-series will know that I haven’t told you about the last stage yet – Zanzibar. So here it is: tales from the final stage of our January 2016 Africa adventure.

Upon arrival we were straight into it: snapping the super sunset:

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#Tanzania #Zanzibar #sunset #Занзибар #Закат #Танзания

A photo posted by Eugene Kaspersky (@e_kaspersky) on

I have to admit that I didn’t quite know where Zanzibar is. Well, I knew it was in the Indian Ocean somewhere, but that’s about it. But what was a real revelation for me was that the Zanzibar archipelago belongs to Tanzania!

Read on: Sea – beach – pina colada…