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…

Starmus – Day 1: A Big Bang for the Brain!

Hola folks!

Still on Tenerife – today at the Starmus Festival. Hardly your usual festival, Starmus combines astrophysics, fundamental physics and music. Never heard of it? Well, I hadn’t until this year, but here I am speaking at it already!

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Briefly, this is a conference where the coolest, most distinguished scientists in the world give formal presentations and also speak plenty informally on the sidelines – about the stars, the cosmos and the microcosm, or whatever else is their particular niche they’ve devoted their lives to.

Talk about big names: Stephen Hawking, probably the world’s leading star of science, a physicist-cosmologist who has scientific theories named after him; Brian May – the guitarist from Queen – and also an astrophysicist; Brian Eno – ambient music pioneer, Roxy Music member, U2 producer and thought leader; the astronaut Alexey Leonov, Hero of the USSR and the first man to walk in space; and many more…

Read on: Big Bang and multiverse bubbles…

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Playing Snooker With the Sharp-Shooting Champ.

I reckon snooker is the most… progressive of all cue sports. The most fun and enthralling to watch too. It takes cool composure, a sniper’s precision, and strategic cognition to be a successful player. Don’t know the rules? Here they are.

As I told you yesterday, we were at the Riga Masters just recently, and I had the honor of awarding the cup to the winner – this one here:

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The start of the final…

Read on: it was a long nail biter…

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Kaspersky Racing Green in Milan.

Hi folks from modish Milan, where it’s a sunny 28 degrees centigrade!

28º? So what? It is summer, after all. Yes, and temperatures in Moscow two weeks ago were approaching 28º. But for the last several days in the Russian capital it’s been hovering around 7º, and has hardly stopped tipping it down with rain (I even heard that there was hail at the weekend in St. Petersburg!) What’s going on? Moscow’s not in Greenland. It’s not on Kamchatka either (where snow in June fails to shock anyone). It’s on the relatively temperate Central Russian Upland! Still, I should be grateful it didn’t get as bad as in Paris

Out of my hotel room window I’ve got a great view of the Milano Centrale railway station. What a grandiose bit of architecture…

Though I’ve been inside it a few times before and always been very impressed, I decide to have another peek – just to lessen my sclerosis.

Read on: Monumental, imperially, with a reserve for the future …

Catalonian Cabriolet.

Phew. Another regional partner conference done and dusted. We have quite a few every year: North American (this year in Cancun); Latin America (recently in Bolivia, but this year I sadly couldn’t make it); and APAC (just the other week in Vietnam). There’s also an ‘Emerging Markets’ conference – the one that we’ve just done and dusted, in Barcelona – which covers Latin America (yep, they’re lucky – they get two conferences a year), Eastern Europe, the Middle East and Africa.

As always it was as always: meetings, presentations, discussion, negotiations and so on: the serious bit. Then there was the fun bit: a gala dinner, this time in Barcelona’s Maritime Museum. Super place for a super supper :).


Read on: The road to surrealism …

Cancun sunrises.

The 2016 season is in full swing, with winter and spring events following one another in quick succession. We have just completed our annual North American partner conference.

It was pretty much the same as always. Presentations, meetings, discussions. Products-technologies-services, strategies, promotion, problems, opportunities, ideas. Lunch, entertainment, networking. Two whole days. Got there – got together – got down to work.

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From dawn to… dawn, pretty much :) Speaking of dawn, the sunrises were gorgeous:

Read on: looking for a better new place…

Expo Marathon.

Right after the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona there was mad dash to get to Nuremberg for another exhibition – Embedded World.

This one is about automating all things that rotate, revolve, pull stuff up and down, heat and refrigerate, pump, chemically bond, move on wheels, float and fly, as well as ‘everything digital for men in orange helmets, and loads of other stuff like that. Big time cyber-industrialism!

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Read on: meetings, discussions, presentations…

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…

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…

New Year Party People!

Ho ho ho!

Once a year, usually around the end of December we suddenly start feeling all festive. And it doesn’t matter if there’s a winter wonderland outside or a miserable ‘Euro-winter’ with heavy rain falling from dark gray skies, and a biting wind whistling around our office and apartment blocks. At least you can hide from the weather in the underground car park! It’s about the only place actually.

The gray northern gloom is the harsh reality of the last few days before New Year. Melancholy and “the aesthetics of decay” (с).

But we’re not the type of people to let the weather get in the way of a good time! Every year we shake off the winter blues, and by sheer force of will, and with a little help from volunteers, professional performers, makeup artists, event organizers, plus lots of rehearsals, we all gather together at a prearranged venue. Yes, this is KL’s annual New Year Party! And the results speak for themselves!

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Read on: And we wouldn’t have it any other way!…