Three questions for physicists.

I did a fair bit of walking in Tanzania on our Kilimanjaro expedition – a whole week’s worth, in fact. That meant I had plenty of time – besides chatting to my companions – to ponder, contemplate and reflect – on all kinds of stuff.

I never once thought about business, but then, not thinking about business was one of the chief aims of the trip. So, naturally, my mind turned to non-work stuff, like life and eternity, nature, man, the universe – and man’s insignificance in it. The latter was reflected upon mostly at night, when I’d look up to the extraordinarily brightly twinkling stars – so much more vivid for being up a mountain; much better than how they look down near sea level.

Like I say – lots of walking time = lots of chatting time, including long chats… with oneself! All sorts of different thoughts arose in my little gray cells, including, for example, the following:

The moon gets three centimeters a year further away from Earth (that’s a scientific fact). At some point Earth will eventually lose its ‘gravitational interest’ in the moon, which will then become one more satellite of the sun. It’s possible that the trajectories of the moon and Earth will intersect again at some distant point in the future, and the moon will again become a satellite of Earth. Or maybe it will collide with Earth? It’s difficult to calculate… but my specific questions (related to this) are easier…

Question No. 1

This will happen earlier than when the sun becomes a much huger, redder and hotter giant than it is now and swallows up the planets near it (Mercury, Venus and Earth) or later? What will happen soonest: the moon will return to Earth, or the sun will eat up this question?

Read on: Questions 2, 2.1 and 3 …

The ‘Masterpiece’ button.

Congratulations to all those who guessed! I now have a Sony-A7 camera [as well as a business, kids and family] hanging round my neck, plus a couple of lenses – a “standard” and a wide angle. Here they are together:

sony-1

So, what can I say about it? As expected, there were no real surprises! The picture quality is superb compared to the same manufacturer’s point-and-shoot (DSC RX100-II). You can see it with the naked eye. But there are still some people with their Lightrooms and other shamanic processing rituals who are wiping their sweaty palms, desperate to show me all kinds of manuals on professional image processing. Yeah, right! I’ve got better things to do than spend hours tinkering with nano-masterpieces, whose total time of public viewing will be less than the time it took to process. No thank you! I need something more straightforward. A couple of runners to move back and forth or up and down a little, a few buttons to press, then cut off what is not necessary – 30 seconds and it’s ready!

But the shots taken with this new camera truly are something else, especially after some minor processing:

Somewhere over the Middle East // Где-то над Ближним Востоком

A photo posted by Eugene Kaspersky (@e_kaspersky) on

In other words, this camera has the “masterpiece” button that I have long been looking for – unsuccessfully – on other [point-and-shoot] cameras!

I have to say that overall I like it, but there are some questions that still need to be answered. And a few comments.

  1. The camera has a Wi-Fi option meaning you can post your photos to the Internet or upload them to a smartphone or a computer. My first thought was – what about security? Perhaps I should take this smart device to our security experts to be checked? I’d be really interested to know how safe this IoT-device is in terms of the external cyber influences.

// If things carry on like this, we’ll soon have toothpicks with Wi-Fi that immediately send a picture of tooth decay to your dentist.

  1. And what do we need all these extra black wheels for at the front and rear? I moved them around and saw no difference. Or maybe I didn’t turn them hard enough. Perhaps I’ll find the answer later on when I finish reading the manual that takes time. Lot of time. And memory.

Drawbacks:

  1. It’s not pocket-sized! And I doubt I will ever wear jeans with pockets big enough :) // Ideal size for a kangaroo though.
  1. The battery only lasted for 300 photos. What am I supposed to do in Kamchatka?? I’d need to take 10 batteries with me for a week’s travel! Or a power pack for a week? Actually, last time we took solar batteries – they weren’t all that heavy and helped us a lot with the point-and-shoot cameras. Maybe they’ll help with more energy-hungry equipment? I’ll let you know soon.
  1. And by the way, where’s the flash? What do you mean there’s “no flash”? No flash at all?? You’re kidding!? … And so what now? … I guess I’ll have to keep that point-and-shoot camera – with its built-in flash – in my back pocket.

 

A third (photographic) way.

A few months ago I had a week or so in China visiting areas less-traveled by non-Chinese tourists. It was fantastic – all the more so as it felt ‘exclusive’ and properly ‘going native’. I tried my best to get as much of the experience into memory – my own, that is; but human memories and digital memories these days – you can’t really compare them, especially with one of them fading fast ). So if you can’t beat it – use it. Which is what I did: I used plenty of gigabytes of digital-photographic memory – but not in a super-duper and super-heavy digital SLR, but in my run-of-the-mill pocket Sony – my ‘travel soap dish’, as I call it. I then uploaded it all to my archive for future reference, to help jog my memory in years to come…

Like I say, the China trip was fantastic. But there was so much of the breathtakingly beautiful that it wouldn’t all fit into the viewfinder of my soap dish. I’d long suffered this lack of horsepower what with insisting on traveling light and forgoing the semi-pro mobile photographic studios, but never really minded. But that ‘suffering’ came to a swift end while in China. Specifically, in Jiuzhaigou

…While there, I finally took pity on my fellow traveler, A.Sh., who’d be hauling around with him for the whole trip a very fancy and big and heavy Nikon camera bag. I took a turn to haul it about, giving his shoulder some much-needed respite. But then I got all curious. I started prodding it and twisting dials and lenses and even pressing the ‘shoot’ button. There was so much awesome scenery everywhere, it was hard not to. Then, back at the hotel that evening I looked at the results on the laptop. And that was when I had my eureka moment. I took one look at those semi-pro-looking pics, couldn’t believe I’d taken them, and decided there and then: that’s it; soap dish days are over. It’s time to upgrade/overhaul/paradigm-shift/tectonic-shift! No matter how much heavier and more cumbersome: it’s worth it!

mylnica-1

Read on: No more soap dishes!…

Mobile OS market: 2015

A long, long time ago – in December 2010 – I had a bet with a friend about the future of the smartphone market.

Read that again: in December 2010. That is, exactly five years ago!

Back then, the ‘real’ smartphone segment was dominated by Apple, while green gremlin Android was only getting a peak in. My mate assured me that things would mostly stay that way, with Google-Android never being able to get anywhere near iOS. But I reckoned that things would be just the opposite in five years’ time, with the market being divvied up so:

80% – Android;
10% – iOS;
10% – all other mobile OS.

My reasoning was displayed here half a decade ago. Have a look! There’s only about one and a half pages of my text there.

Soooo, five years later……. And it looks like……. I got it right!

mos_ib_en

mos_ship_en

PS. No one tried to answer the question of my previous post? I repeat: how can you distinguish day from night at the North or South Pole when the season of Northern Lights (or ‘Southern Lights’) is in full swing, i.e., when night is as light as day?

For those who come up with the quickest, wittiest and most accurate answers – prizes await! Geeee. All these prizes and presents. It’s almost as if it’s nearly Christmastime :).

And in sports news – Misha is the chess champion!

Oh yes, the boy’s done good ace! Mikhail Antipov, our chess champ, has won the World U20 Championship 2015!

How the boy’s come on – from the modest boy-next-door, to the widely known (at least in the world chess clique:) world-beating champion with major trophies on the mantelpiece already! What’s especially pleasant about this news? Actually, all of it!…

First – chess is a very useful and proper pastime for training the brain. And if it grows into being a professional undertaking with worldwide recognition – ah, that’s the second already. And third, it’s nice to know we had a hand in seeing Misha make it to the top, after supporting him since his early days in the game.

WJCC2015-Emelianova-r13-37

Read on:

Mission Impossible 5 – in KLondon!

I’ve been known to have a pop at the quality of Hollywood blockbuster movies released in recent years. But there’s a new film that bucks the trend, which I recommend everyone sees at the soonest! (But then I would say that)…

This impossibly incredible film I’m talking about is Mission Impossible 5.

So what’s so great about it that it gets a whole EK blogpost dedicated to it? Can’t you guess?…

…Yep, a scene in the movie was shot in one of our offices – our UK one in central London! Specifically, an interrogation scene in the ‘CIA’s London post’ was filmed in the building our office is in in Paddington, some of it on our floor.

Left to right: Alec Baldwin plays Hunley and Simon Pegg plays Benji in Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation from Paramount Pictures and Skydance Productions.Left to right: Alec Baldwin plays Hunley and Simon Pegg plays Benji in Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation from Paramount Pictures and Skydance Productions

What struck me as curious at first was that we didn’t solicit any filming – in fact we didn’t do anything.

All that happened was the director liked the look of our office building. Apparently they looked all over central London for a suitable backdrop for a particular scene, and eventually settled for our new office. Can’t say I blame them: our EU business operations headquarters look impressively spanking and swanky. They’re also very conveniently located: right next to Paddington Station – with a connection to the airport via the Heathrow Express that takes just half an hour. It’s just a shame all the KL logos – plus even all the Ferrari kit and paraphernalia – had to be taken down.

Witnesses gave the following account of glimpses of the proceedings:

The shooting took place on October 11-12, 2014. Though it was a weekend, all the people invited to the filming were at their desks. Everything started at 6.30am and finished at 6pm. For all that time they were shooting and reshooting a scene that lasted only 20 seconds in the final film. That’s show business!

In all 400 folks took part in the making of that 20-second footage, including Tom Cruise, Alec Baldwin, Simon Pegg, Jeremy Renner, and… our KLers! Here they are, the beauts:

TAURUS

As you’ll have guessed, they were extras milling about in the background. I can’t wait to see the actual scene and find out who made it into the final cut. If you’ve seen it – let me know in the comments! I promise a nice surprise for the first to do so :).

Btw, the fee we received from the production company was donated to a foundation for the protection of kiddies from cybercrime.

And this (and this) is what our office looks like on a regular workday when Hollywood A-listers aren’t paying a visit.

The aquapark in Atlantis: not to be missed.

Beach-resort holidays (‘vegging out’) are not my thing. At all.

Sand, sun-loungers, parasols, ‘refreshing’ drinks and sunblock – I can survive that torture for two or three hours tops. Then I have to start strolling along the beach, sometimes a few kilometers at a time, oftentimes with camera. It beats lounging about any day. You walk along, get a tan, take a dip once in a while, take pictures along the way… Once, in the Dominicanan Republic, D.Z. and I strolled like that for some four hours. Afterwards we looked like models for a scary sunblock ad.

So yeah: beaches, sand, beach beds and basking in the sun are not for me. But!…

But #1. Some of our trips can be really hectic, involving flying across several time zones. As a result we get to the hotel not just tired, but totally wasted. If there’s nothing I have to do the next day and there’s a nice little beach close by, I can easily spend the day sleeping there. I’m pretty good at it. I lie down in the shade around midday and wake up at sunset, all rested, fresh, and ready to go.

But #2. We often organize our business events in beach hotels (which means that for me a beach has come to represent work rather than play:). Anyway, in our 18 years of active corporate life we’ve been pretty much everywhere. From Copacabana in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, to the Gold Coast in Queensland, Australia. It works out real nice: we work in the daytime and can have a good time in the evening – resort-style. And often we stay for a couple more days after the business is done :).

I seem to be taking a long time getting to the subject of the waterpark at Atlantis, The Palm hotel resort in Dubai…

dubai-atlantis-1

Read on: Things to do in Dubai if you got some time to spend on yourself…