Monthly Archives: January 2021

From Maldives to… Magadan!

One of the most pressing problems facing the world today is global warming. Its effects can be witnessed all over the globe – from the Americas to… Zambia. Whether man-made pollution has much of an overall effect on specifically global warming is open to question, and question that postulate I did some months back (but before you scream ‘climate change denier!’, no one’s denying climate change. Click the link first:). But global warming is for real, whatever its causes, and it’s serious and should concern us all. Ok, but what’s any of this to do with Maldives or Magadan in the title? Well…

It turns out both locations may become more perceptibly vulnerable to global warming – and quicker – than most. Maldives: the sea level goes up due to melting ice caps… and it could be curtains. Magadan: if the permafrost there thaws – it might not be full curtains, but the changes to the flora and fauna could be significant. Ok, but what’s the connection between the two – Maldives and Magadan? Well…

There is nothing really that connects Maldives and Magadan. Two places on the planet couldn’t be more different. It was us who made the connection: flying from Maldives to Magadan! Not directly (no flights: shame; would have shaved off hours up in the air).

Now – why Maldives? Why not?!

And why Magadan? Well, we reckoned it might just be the last opportunity to ever really experience the true OMG-crazy-cold of northeastern Siberia!

All righty: back to the Maldives where we began…

Read on…

Island-hopping with ease – in paradisical Maldives!

And the first place in yesterday’s post – the tropical one with the novel Christmas trees – is (as title of this blogpost has somewhat given away)…

Maldives!

Did you guess right? Or did you spot the clue in the very last of the tropical snaps – Devarana – a nice spa on one of the islands, which is as Google-able as just about anything.

This paradisical place is made up of 26 atolls, which in turn are made up of more than a thousand islands! Some are inhabited – many are resort islands – but most of them have never been settled upon. There are a zillion pics of the picture-perfect archipelago on the internet, be they having been taken on land, underwater or from the air, but here are some of my own aerial pics too:

Read on…

Flickr photostream

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Instagram photostream

What, no Christmas tree?!

Welcome back folks!

Ok, 2020-review: done.

Next up, my first 2021 blogpost proper – on how we met the New Year.

And we happened to have met it in an exotic location somewhere far away – hurray! (Who’d have thought it? Actually – me! It’s 2021 already!) The suitcases (more than usual) were all packed, and it was time to get going…

Not that seeing in the New Year in some distant place is new to me: I’ve done it… on the slopes of Kilimanjaro, near the peak of a volcano in Indonesia, next to high-altitude hot springs in Ecuador, and even at the South Pole. But on those and other New Year’s Eves > New Year’s Days, there was always a Christmas tree. If not a real one, at least a plastic – green! – one. This year, the Christmas tree situation was… strange. There were… surrogates: tropical installations doing their best fir-tree impression, but which were decidedly not even green. Strange – yes; but also clearly creatively constructed with care, and suitably festively decorated. Like! ->

Read on…

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MLAD – Keeping factories running using machine learning for anomaly detection.

Phew. Thank goodness it’s over. The ghastliest year known to most of us ever – finally done, dusted, finito, fertig. Let’s just hope, as many folks are repeating: ‘2021 will be better; it can’t be worse, surely?!’

For a good 10 months of last year practically the whole world was in a permanent state of shock. And I don’t just mean the world’s population; private business and national economies were also hit incredibly hard. Alas, one field that hasn’t been affected badly at all – in fact it has only benefitted from the pandemic, greatly – is cybercrime. Folks locked down and working from home and spending much more time online meant there were many more potential cybercrime victims ripe for the hacking. And not just individual users, but also companies: with employees working from home, many corporate networks came under attack as they weren’t sufficiently protected since, in the rush to get everyone working remotely quickly in the spring, security wasn’t given priority. In short, the whole world’s digital status quo was also badly shaken up by this vicious virus from hell.

As a result of the rise in cybercrime – in particular that targeting vulnerable corporate networks – the cybersecurity sector has been busier than ever. Yes – that includes us! 2020 for us as a Kompany turned out to be most productive. For example, the number of new versions of our solutions launched throughout the year was most impressive – especially in the enterprise sector.

We’ve also had new versions in our industrial cybersecurity solutions line up, one of which is what I want to talk about today – some teKh known as MLAD. Not to be confused with online funny-video sites, or MLAD that’s short for Minimum Local Analgesic Dose, or MLAD that’s short for Mid Left Anterior Descending artery, our MLAD is short for Machine Learning for Anomaly Detection.

If you’re a regular reader of our blogs, you may recall something about this tech of ours. Maybe not. Anyway – here’s a refresher/into, just in case…

Our MLAD is a system that uses machine learning to analyze telemetry data from industrial installations to pinpoint anomalies, attacks or breakdowns.

Let’s say you have a factory with thousands of sensors installed throughout – some measuring pressure, some temperature, others – whatever else. Each sensor generates a constant flow of information. An employee keeping track of all those flows is fairly impossible, but for machine learning – it’s a walk in the park. Having preliminarily trained up a neuro network, MLAD can, based on direct or indirect correlations, detect that something’s wrong in a certain section of the factory. In doing so, million or multimillion-dollar damages caused by potential incidents not nipped in the bud can be avoided.

Ok – that’s the overall idea of what MLAD does. Let me now try and relate the granular scale of the analysis MLAD accomplishes using a medical metaphor…
Read on: MLAD

My 2020 review: despite the pandemic, we still came through!

First, a toast!

Here’s to… successful adaptation throughout last year, and to everyone having… a good sense of smell this year! Hurray!

Sure, the New Year celebrations were weeks ago. But there’s still my traditional yearly review to complete! Well here it is finally – better late than never. And the first thing I can say about it is that the volume of my activities was way down below what it normally is; example: I took a mere 36 flights throughout the year! I haven’t had such a modest total since 2006!

Despite the meager results in terms of numbers of trips, there’s still quite a bit for me to tell you and show you. I added a few long-anticipated +1s to my Top-100 Must-See List, and returned to some of the more marvelous places on earth where I’ve been before; for example: the Altai Mountains – for a totally fantastic summer expedition-vacation. It was so fantastic I want to go back yet again! ->

Read on…