www.luzhniki-2017.

Just last week I went all volcanic with a blogpost, even though I haven’t seen a volcano in the flesh for quite a while. So, why? Well, it was an appetizer, for there’s a spot of volcanism on the horizon. But more on that later. All in good time…

Meanwhile in Moscow…

…And indeed practically all over the planet, preparations are being made for New Year and, for many, Christmas celebrations.

Advent calendar? Check.

Christmas tree up and decorated? Check.

Flashing lights up on a window or two? Check.

Presents bought. Not yet, come on; on the to-do list.

Year-end work party? Check! Already! A little earlier than usual (for example, in 2016, 2015, 2014 and so on:).

(Btw, all these pics: courtesy of Roman Rudakov)

This year has been… different, for one thing. Well our year-end prom was a bit lot different too. Different format, and not one, not two, but a full three headliner bands on!

Usually the format goes like this: (i) our awards ceremony (best crew, best project, etc., etc.); (ii) a big variety show put on by KLers; and (iii) a quick headliner at the end plus a disco. And all sat down at tables (for some of the time:).

This year… not that there was anything wrong with the usual format, but, well, it was our jubilee (20 years!) too, so we just had to do something very different and special this year…

Read on…

5th industrial.

Hi folks!

The other week we had our annual conference on industrial security – our fifth: our first jubilee. Hurray!

This year it was a truly international event, with many of the speakers giving their presentations in English (since they knew no Russian:). In all there were ~300 participants from 170 companies! Thanks to all sponsors and partners, especially:

  • SAP – general partner
  • Rostelecom – IoT partner
  • MARSH – cyber-insurance partner

And thanks to everyone else too whose names you can find at the above link.

Read on: Most interesting bits…

An Elevator in the Internet vs. the Internet in an Elevator.

I have a very high opinion of Schindler, the world’s leading manufacturer of elevators and escalators. (Next time you use these modes of transport, take note of the manufacturer’s logo.) In my view, this company deserves lots of respect and its business practices are worthy of study and emulation. However, when I see the company’s booth at an exhibition, replete with slogans like this, it sends a shiver down my spine, I start feeling uncomfortable about the world around me, and my left eye starts to twitch. Why?

There were three slogans that I had a particular problem with:

– How can I turn my elevator into a digital native?
– What is your elevator doing while you sleep?
– Can you meet your elevator online?

If you take a closer look, you can see them in this photo:

It may not bother everyone, but it makes me a little apprehensive. Of course, you understand… An elevator in the Internet is not as dangerous as the Internet in an elevator! OK, that’s tonight’s nightmares taken care of. No, I’m not trying to scare you. And I certainly wouldn’t want anyone to dream about the elevator from this cartoon!

The venue is Hannover Messe, the yearly mega-exhibition of industrial solutions. It’s all about automation, manufacturing, the energy industry, all sorts of robots, the rarest spare parts and other types of modern industrial magic.

Read on: Pretty interesting!…

A Caribbean Cyber-Summit: Gotta Love it.

A long time ago, in the prehistoric digital era, in a world of big trees while we were a mere bonsai, we started throwing a yearly conference for a select few of the most forward-thinking experts in information security. We christened it the Security Analyst Summit (SAS for short), and right from the get-go we wanted to make it the best event of its kind in the world. And when I say best, I mean both in terms of content:

…And in terms of a relaxed and fun atmosphere:

And to make the best even more memorable for all who take part in it, we traditionally throw SAS at a location with among the most unbearable conditions in the world. That is, always next to beach in a tropical clime :-).

Read on: Example…

Mobile Barcelona, or Digital Barcelona?

Location: Earth, Europe, Spain, Catalonia, Barcelona, Mobile World Congress 2017.

Another year, another season, and I’m back into my must-attend event-extraordinaire-schedule. And the Barcelonan MWC is one such must-attend event-extraordinaire. I’ve already written plenty about the basics regarding this annual technology show, and I don’t want to repeat all that this year. But last year I was here for such a short length of time that I had no time to look around properly. This year there were carefully planned pauses between my scheduled appointments, so I was able to get my camera out and go walkabout around this extraordinary exhibition.

But this post isn’t a professional analysis of the Barcelona conference; for that – check out specialized media. Here: merely a synopsis – and pics – of what the CEO of a cybersecurity company found most curiously interesting, if not breathtaking…

1. This event is just so grandiose! Check out my pics from last year, which demonstrate this well. Eight (8!) such exhibition caverns like this:

Read on: Big guns really impress with their big stands…

An Extraordinary Small Village in the Swiss Alps.

Hi folks!

Phew. After a few days’ rest and recuperation since last week’s merciless working schedule at the WEF, I do believe I’ve recharged my batteries sufficiently to be able to continue my notes on my four-day stay in Davos, where the WEF took place.

First – rewind: some history…

So, just why is it that this famous yearly forum – infamous to some, helpful to others – takes place in this particular tiny village in Switzerland?

I’ve got two versions…

Read on: A story of a remote quite place…

Trolling, Dancing, Performing… and Just Plain Partying.

Once again, it’s the last month of the year already. The reservoir outside my office window has long frozen over (with fishermen sat atop it with their rods poking through holes made in the thick ice), and it’s brrrrr freezing, it goes without saying. There’s the somewhat disturbing crackle of the anti-ice chemical pellets underfoot and under-wheel; there are traffic jams seeming to be longer than usual; and there are days when you don’t set foot outside in daylight (it’s dark late in the mornings and early in the evenings). Business-wise, December is also a month for summing up, for progress reviews, for stocktaking, and for finalizing budgets and plans for the future.

So yes, December can be a dark, dull and wearisome month. For us at KL though, there’s one event to make up for all that. Of course it’s our annual Christmas/New Year blow-out. A small get-together – of ~2500 KLers and guests from around the world – for some serious festive letting down of the hair, kissing under the mistletoe and all that. And this year it happened last Friday…

Read on: Awards to the best KLers first…

Little 19.

Friday, July 15 in Moscow was one of the best days weather-wise of 2016 so far – all day sunny, a light breeze, and zero rain. But of course; the gods knew: it was the day of KL’s all-day 19th birthday celebrations, where 2000+ KLers from all over the planet congregated to party!

It’s a bit weird when you celebrate a company’s ‘birthday’. You find yourself hearing the following refrain repeatedly throughout the day when colleagues meet one another:

“Hey. Happy Birthday!”

“And Happy Birthday to you too!”

birthday_1

To be honest, I never thought we’d one day become so… grown up!

I really didn’t! Back in the late 90s we registered the company (KL, for those dozing at the back) to be able to better realize our super special expertise! We weren’t thinking too far ahead; you tend not to when you’re starting out: you’re doing all you can just to survive. So if a fortune teller back in 1997 would have told me that in 2016 we’d be going stronger than ever and having our 19th b-day bash attended by more than 2000 KLers, I’d simply not have believed her!

Read on: meanwhile, the people …

Days 3-5: Stars + Music = Starmus.

The Starmus-ship Enterprise journeyed further – for a third, fourth and fifth day! Yes, five full days for one single conference – and me present for (almost) every presentation (of the first three days): a first for me.

I’ve grouped the last three days into one post as five posts on one conference would be a little OTT… and anyway, the last three days were slightly less jaw-droppingly intergalactic than the first two. They were still really something however, including several Starmus ‘star’ moments, including this one:

Stephen Hawking.

This clever chap hardly needs an introduction. He started out by telling us a Brief History of Time His Life. Of course, you can read all about that on Wikipedia, but it’s a lot better from the horse’s mouth. Actually, not from the horses’ mouth, and not from his own, but from software that scans his eyes and selects the required words to make sentences. This, plus the synthesized words over the sound system really made an impression. What a guy! An amazing character. Huge respect.

Starmus_1

Read on: Check out these views!…

Starmus – Day 2: Saturn’s Remarkable Rings and Rats’ Remarkable Memory.

Starmus is a quantumly stellar conference! I can’t remember a conference where I went to every presentation, from beginning to end, but I did here (well, almost). Thoroughly interesting, lively, engaging, stimulating. In short: out of this world – just like most topics spoken about.

All righty. Here’s my quick synopsis of all the speeches of day two:

Brian Schmidt.

The American-Australian astrophysicist. Nobel Prize in Physics in 2011. Thought-provoking presentation about dark matter, of which, he reckons, a large proportion of the Universe is made up, but which we can see with neither the naked, trained, nor micro-/telescope-assisted eye. Also told us about dark energy (sounds like a sub-genre of techno:), which, though also completely unknown and unseen, is “hypothesized to permeate all of space”! (- Wiki).

Galaxies rotate, the Universe expands: it’s as if there’s dark (unknown) matter and energy at play. Even though we can’t see it, it’s thought it makes up… 95% of the contents of the Universe! In other words, all that we can see around us only makes up 5% of what’s really there – 5% of the matter and energy of the Universe. EH?!?!!

Read on: Jokers, scientists and astronauts…