Monthly Archives: November 2020

Ten years blogging in – English to the day (almost)!

I love numbers (it must be the mathematician in me). Any kind of numbers really, but those that you have to really rack your brains over – they’re the best. Numbers that are particularly round and milestoney – they’re awesome too. And talking of round numbers that are milestoney and awesome, it just so happens that 10 years ago, on November 27, 2010, my first ever blogpost on this here blog you have open in your browser now was published!

Accordingly, on this veritable jubilee, I don’t see why we can’t have a mosey back through those 10 years for some highlights, aka greatest hits, of each one of them, with brief analysis and commentary given the benefit of hindsight regarding how things have worked out for the company, the industry and the world since the posts were originally published.

So what makes a ‘greatest hit’? Simple: the most read and commented on. So we had a quick look over the stats – at both the total number of views and of comments added to the bottom of each – and chose the top-two posts of each year. All righty. Let’s do this!…


As it took a while to get momentum going early on, there were just two posts on this blog in 2010, both of which I’ll mention here.

My first ever blogpost in English was this: 100 in a Year! One of my briefest ever, too. Besides the following avia-route given in it, there was just a bit more text and that was it! Still, the first step is always the hardest, as they say.

Moscow – Novosibirsk – Moscow – Rome – Paris – Santiago – Patriot Hills – the South Pole (New Year) – Patriot Hills – Santiago – Paris – Moscow – Beijing – Singapore – Paris – Rio de Janiero – Lima – Punta Cana (Dominican Republic) – Madrid – Barcelona – Geneva – Paris – Milan – Rome – Munich – Hannover – Hamburg – Berlin – London – Hong Kong – Tokyo – Moscow – Paris – São Paulo – Iguazu Falls (Argentina-Brazil border) – Buenos Aires – Lima – Bogota – Paris – London – Hanoi – Ho Chi Minh City – Frankfurt – Barcelona – Athens – Corfu – Dubai – Sydney – Brisbane – Cairns – Ayers Rock – Sydney – Dubai – Larnaca (Cyprus) – Tokyo – Paris – Moscow – Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky – Moscow – Beijing – Milan – Moscow – Munich – Singapore – Hong Kong – Istanbul – Nice – Moscow – Paris – Mexico City – Guadalajara – Shanghai – Guangzhou – Tokyo – New York – Chicago – Dallas – Boston – Munich – Moscow – Abu Dhabi – Bali – Moscow

The other post from 2010 was: Mobile OS Market – My Bet.

This is where I stated my predications of the share of the global mobile OS market in the future – in around five years time (2015). And I didn’t do too badly either! My rough forecast went like this:

80% – Android
10% – iOS
10% – all the others

And here’s how things panned out:


Yes, I should maybe think of becoming a fortune-teller ).

Read on…

Off we go – to see a manor house in the snow.

Hi folks!

Here’s an interesting topic: old country manors of nobles and merchants past. There happen to be a great many of them around Russia. For example, just in the Moscow Region, or Óblast, which surrounds the capital, there are several hundred of them. Studying and then publishing details of the histories of these places is a most curiously interesting pastime. And there are folks who devote much of their lives to such a pursuit: they check out the country piles themselves and run excursions for curious tourists. One such keen studier of mansions is Vadim Razumov, who, in 15 years studying them as a hobby, has visited a full several thousand (!) of them all around the country. For all about his findings, including some mind-blowing historical tales, check out his fascinating blog.

Last weekend, a group of friends and I were taken on a short ethnographical expedition led by him to one of the prerevolutionary Moscow Oblast mansions. It’s situated some 80km from Moscow in the direction of Minsk (i.e., westward), and it goes by the name of Usadba Lyubvino (Lyubvino country estate) ->

Alas, many of the prerevolutionary mansions of Russia long ago fell into states of disrepair, this one included, as you can see. Doesn’t make them or their stories any less interesting!…

Read on…

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Corona or no – the (global partner Konference) show must go on!

We’ve a tradition at K of every year going to the banya with friends organizing a conference to which we invite our favorite and most valued partners and industry colleagues. It’s a global event to which folks fly in from literally all over the world – from the Americas to Australia (unlike our smaler scale regional and functional conferences).

The tradition started way back in 1999 (a year I reviewed not long ago), and it had a good long run of 10 years until, in 2009, we split it up into smaller, bite-sized, regional conferences, since the global get-together was getting just too big. Thus were born separate conferences for: the Americas, Europe, the Middle East and Africa, Asia-Australia, and Russia and neighboring states.

Back to the global conference – the first one was held in Moscow. The following year – in St. Petersburg, next – Cyprus, then Barcelona, Malta, and on and on in other coastal towns around the Mediterranean. Then appetites grew and took us to Caribbean islands, Rio de Janeiro and more exoticnesses. For more on these and other global gatherings – go here.

Several years afteAnd f the global conference was split up into regional ones, we kinda a missed it; so the obvious happened – we brought it back! (while keeping the regionally-focused ones too). For the reinstated biggies, we decided to have the world’s largest country as the theme and backdrop (well, why not?!). In 2017 it was in Moscow (where, as mentioned, the very first global partner conference was held in 1999 – what goes around comes around:); in 2018 – St. Petersburg; and in 2019 – Sochi. Curiously, 20 years ago these venue-cities simply wouldn’t have been able to host such large events; today – easily, and I’d recommend them to anyone.

Which brings us to this year…

Usually our traditional global partner conferences gather around 100-150 distributors and global partners – in-person. This year we were planning on (as is also a tradition!) spreading our wings a bit: to have it at the motorsport racetrack in Valencia. Alas – 2020 being… 2020, put paid to that! Still, tiresome, bothersome ubiquitous quarantine – it’s no reason not to have our global bash. We simply adjusted it: offline > online, rather – a hybrid of the two (yes, we do keep up with the times:). The original plan was for ~100 guests from 35 countries. In the end? 1800 from around 150 countries! // “Don’t underestimate the power of the global online event, Luke” :)

On the agenda for this hybrid global conference: my cyber-immunity concept; how the world is moving from the era of plastic to the cyber-era; our partner and product ecosystem; how our business has withstood the corona storm; and traditional reviews and forecasts from the cyber-ninjas in GReAT regarding the threat landscape.

Read on…

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Turkish Grand Prix 2020: Very strange F1 in very strange times.

Most everything’s strange this year. A lot’s been cancelled, a lot’s been changed, a lot’s been postponed, some things have been transformed into different formats… And Formula 1 racing hasn’t been spared either; still, at least it hasn’t been canceled this year: it’s still going strong, and still… as incredibly awesome as ever!

I won’t dwell on our team’s poor results. A hundred reasons will always be found for a losing streak – but I’ll leave that to others to discuss. All I’ll say is that this really strange year has been a really strange one for Ferrari too.

The strangest thing of all this year for F1 is that the stands are completely empty, and I really do mean completely! Not a single spectator to be seen the whole season. I should know – I was at the Turkish Grand Prix recently ->

Strange year, strange F1, and here, now – strange post!…

Read on…

Altai-2020 – greatest photographic hits.

First, the bad news: Altai-2020 is over!

Now for the good news: There’s a Very Big Altai Video in the pipeline! And it promises to be full of super-duper material, and also to be professionally produced and edited. In a word or four – it’s gonna be awesome!

In the meantime, today in this post – a few photographic ‘greatest hits’ my fellow expeditioners have sent me for your viewing pleasure: for those who’ve not been to Altai – as enticers, teasers, to get yourselves there; and for those who’ve been – as nostalgizers. Because – remember – it’s good to have been somewhere and enjoyed it, but better to have been somewhere and enjoyed it and then… to revisit it through photos as it might make you realize you should go back again :0)!

Pheeeew. What a trip! Simply remarkably marvelously fantastic. I think a wait of three or four years, and we’ll be heading back – if the magical Altai energy doesn’t pull us back before ). Perhaps we’ll do the trekking part a bit differently, but as for the Katun bit: that can stay exactly the same!

Read on…

Anomalous Altai, and a hotel to decompress-ify.

Here we are with another installment from our expedition across Altai’s… extraordinary countryside. Wait! Extraordinary – that’s accurate, but… it’s a bit banal, no? Thing is, in describing Altai’s natural beauty, I seem to be forever repeating the handful of adjectives I normally use! So, before I started this post, I thought I’d find at least one new epithet (not the disparaging kind) that describes accurately (maybe I’ll try add one more new one with each post?) the Altai Mountains. So I did. And I came up with… anomalous! Well, why not? The effect of Altai’s mountainous scenery has had a deeply anomalous effect on me – more so than any other mountainous-volcanic place in the world. And then there’s the fact that the mountains and rivers are anomalous; there’s also the anomalous natural energy here that permeates everything – the air, the water, the mountains, your soul (!) – unlike anywhere else on the planet! But I digress. Meanwhile on the River Katun…

Where we were along the Katun on this day, more than 60 smaller rivers and streams – tributaries – had flown into it. As a result – it had become powerful, wide, and high:

A quick look at the map tells me that here the width of the Katun is 150 meters. While in 20+km all that water will be forced to squeeze through a narrow rocky canyon of a width of just 30 meters. So it doesn’t take a mathematician to work out that the rapids in that canyon are going to be pretty darn fast and anomalous! And those same rapids have an anomalously unique name too: Teldekpen!

Here they come! ->

Read on…

Drones – no more airport interruption scandals: we’re here to ground you.

For a few weeks already, this here mysterious, shiny, clearly hi-tech, futuristo device has been complementing the minimalistic office furniture of my corner office at our HQ. It’s so shiny and fancy and slick and post-modern that whenever I get a visitor – which is not often of late due to our general WFH-policy – it’s the first thing they notice, and the first question is always, simply, obviously – ‘what is that?!’ ->

Is it a bird, is it a plane, is it a camera (on a tripod), is it a gun, is it some kind of scanner? Warmer, warmer!…

But before I tell you – quick digression!…

Read on…

Many a splash – on Kadrin and Shabash.

After our night on the beach, we woke to yet another gloriously warm and sunny day – hooray! If only the river were a bit warmer too; it felt like it was around 10-12 degrees centigrade, no more. Quick dips were doable but it was a bit too cold for swimming.

We had an interesting day ahead of us. Just to the left of that mountain down there the Kadrin Rapids begin, which was to be our first bit of action of the day…

Read on…

OpenTIP, season 2: drop by more often!

A year ago I addressed cybersecurity specialists to let them know about a new tool we’d developed – our Open Threat Intelligence Portal (OpenTIP). Tools for analysis of complex threats (or merely suspicious objects) – the very same ones used by our famous cyber-ninjas in GReAT – became accessible to anyone who wanted to use them. And use them lots of folks wanted – testing zillions of files every month.

But in just a year a lot has changed. Things have become much more difficult for cybersecurity experts due to practically the whole world having to work remotely because of coronavirus. Maintaining the security of corporate networks has become a hundred times more troublesome. Time, which was precious enough as it was before corona, has become a highly precious resource. And today the most common request we get from our more sophisticated users is simple and direct: ‘Please give us API access and increase rate limits!’

You asked. We delivered…

In the new version of OpenTIP there’s now user registration available. And I highly recommend regular visitors do register, since when you do a large chunk of the paid Threat Intelligence Portal turns up out of the ether.

Read on…