Tag Archives: saint petersburg

St. Petersburg from its canals at night – a multicolor delight.

Our working week up in St. Petersburg was finally coming to a close – and we decided we needed to finish it in suitable style. And when in the northern capital, that can mean only one thing: nighttime river-and-canal cruise! But of course: they don’t call it Venice of the North for nothing, you know )…

Sure, we’ve done it before – plenty. But of course we have. You can never have too many nighttime canal experiences here. And anyway – each time the colors and scenes in general are always slightly different; accordingly, out came the camera for much clackety-click, and – bonus! – the pics turned out to be much better than in previous years!…

Read on…

Cyber Immunity – in St.P-conference format.

As you’ll probably be able to tell from my slew of St. Petersburg-themed posts of late (architecture tour, rooftop tour, bucking Bronka tour, Kronstadt tour) – our week in the northern capital was a busy, action-packed one. But it wasn’t over just yet. Still to come was a Cyber Immunity conference followed by a nocturnal boat excursion along the city’s canals and Neva River. In this post, I’ll go over the former…

Secure by design software development – it’s a real buzz-term of late: everyone’s on about it, especially in North America and Europe. And everyone keeps insisting that it’s really needed – but no one goes on to say quite how. Meanwhile in northwest Moscow…

We’ve long been using the term “secure by design” – not merely as an empty catchword with little substance to back it up, but together with detailed instructions for implementing it – including at our conferences on all things secure-by-design. And just the other week we put on our latest such conference – up in St. Petersburg, and which we now call… ->

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The Kronstadt fort portfolio.

Still sticking around St. Petersburg, we saw it was time for a scene change. So we chose the forts of Kronstadt, since – to my shame – I’d never been and didn’t even know much about them, including their history. Thus, it was time for some Kronstadt forts history catch-up…

Kronstadt is a port city on the tiny Kotlin Island in Neva Bay in the Gulf of Finland some 30 kilometers west of St. Petersburg – here. But the name Kronstadt is also given to the collection of historic forts in Neva Bay, including the few in Kronstadt. Most of the forts were constructed in the early to mid-1700s, and there were 22 at one point (some were later demolished). The first forts appeared during the Great Northern War. The reason why they were built was simple: to protect the northern capital from enemy navies.

I mentioned some were demolished; alas – others were simply abandoned and left to decay, not before they were looted. Today plenty of ruins remain – in among the shrubbery and trees that have grown up in the intervening centuries. But “ruins” doesn’t mean uninteresting; quite the contrary in fact. Accordingly, off we popped toward the forts of Kronstadt…

Read on…

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Emotions through the roof – in sunny St. Pete!

Our guided walking-tour of St. Pete started out great. But things were about to be taken to the next level – literally! Rooftops, here we come. But first – a surprise: turns out most of the roofs are wooden (on the inside, under some tin sheeting)! ->

I have to say I wasn’t expecting this; from afar things like a lot more modern. Never mind. The main thing – the views from the roofs, not the (inner) roofs themselves.

Read on…

St. Pete 2023 – so much of the extraordinary to see!

And now – for one of my favorite tourisms: a city walkabout! Even better – the city is St. Petersburg! Better still – with a wonderfully entertaining tour guide! Even better yet – the itinerary of sights and sounds around the city was interestingly unusual!…

All righty; off we pop!…

So what can I say? Well, I’ll start off by saying that Saint Petersburg in the summer is simply… sainted! Perhaps the most convincing imperial “capital” (it was the capital of the Tsardom of Russia and the Russian Empire) of Europe, if not the world.

But, as often happens, I’m getting ahead of myself. Let’s start from the beginning – of our guided stroll. First place of interest: the Rimsky-Korsakov Monument ->

Read on…

Light at the end of the… reactor!

The other week a group of colleagues and I were up in St. Petersburg on business. And in among our busy schedule while there we paid a useful and informative visit to the Leningrad Nuclear Power Plant. And it was there I got my first glimpse of Cherenkov radiation (and you thought radiation was invisible?), which I’d dreamed of doing for years. I also stood on the roof of a working reactor of RBMK (Reaktor Bolshoy Moshchnosti Kanalniy, meaning ‘high-power channel-type reactor’). An unforgettable experience!

Note: since there’s absolutely no photography allowed at any nuclear facility, the photos below are all taken from the internet.

So, the main thing: Cherenkov radiation. In case you haven’t clicked the link, here’s what it says about it on its Wikipedia page: ‘Cherenkov radiation is electromagnetic radiation emitted when a charged particle (such as an electron) passes through a dielectric medium at a speed greater than the phase velocity (speed of propagation of a wave in a medium) of light in that medium’ (the links –added by me).

And you can actually see this wonder of physics – and beautiful it is too: a fluorescent blue in the core of a nuclear reactor in cooling fluid. The spectacle is a cosmically fantastic one…

(photos from Wikipedia and here)

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The St. Petersburg International Forum – despite problems, still awesome.

Hi folks!

As mentioned in my previous post, I was up early down in Sochi after the long toasts the night before, and heading to the airport. Next stop – St. Petersburg; specifically – its International Economic Forum, which I was attending for the first time.

For nearly a quarter of a century SPIEF has been impressing with its scale and the caliber of its participants. Official figures state the number of those taking part this year at more than 19,000 – coming from 145 countries of the world. And that includes CEOs of multinationals, and ministers and presidents of countries – all toing and froing and hobnobbing and speaking up on stages, often with their deputies and press services not far away.

So. SPIEF. Herewith, the plusses:

It’s really convenient: in a short time it’s possible give a presentation in among other heavyweight speakers, give a slew of interviews, and meet and chew the fat with whomever you need to or want to – all under one roof and within two or three days. Indeed, this is the whole reason for forums such as these. Also – St. Pete isn’t far for me, plus it’s always a pleasure having a stroll up and down Nevsky. In short – the plusses are very substantial plusses.

Now – the minuses:

The traffic jams! Not that this is the forum’s fault, but still. From our hotel in Pushkin on the outskirts of the city to the ExpoForum Center it’s just a seven-kilometer drive (and you totally miss out downtown!), but every morning we were more than an hour getting there! First, because they reduced the width of the normally three-lane highway to just one lane; second, because the security checks at the entrance to the complex took so long; third, apparently, because there was a complete and utter – catastrophic – absence of any public transportation serving the event. Organizers: I hope you’re reading. In three words: ‘GET A GRIP’! Don’t let such basic logistics matters spoil an otherwise excellent event!

Wait – there are more minuses!…

The signage and guidance around the ExpoForum Center was idiotic. We twice ended up walking around in circles in trying to follow the signs to get from point A to point B – which were a mere 100 meters apart! Next, the line at lunch was so absurdly long I gave up waiting and went hungry. I don’t have time to waste like that! I’m sure the other participants don’t either. So, what, bring sandwiches next time? Looks like it, given such progressive organization of the catering arrangements.

Read on: The St. Petersburg International Forum – despite problems, still awesome.

Peter: Picture-perfect for KL-partner-conf.

St. Petersburg when the sun’s come out to play is to me the best city to be in in Europe. And I’m not alone in declaring such a bold sentiment – I’ve heard it from many others from many different countries too. But why ‘in Europe’? That’s just so as to be able to compare meaningfully. It’s difficult comparing Russia’s second city with, say, Hong Kong or Singapore, as they’re just so different on so many levels. But I digress. So, about StP!…

Read on: nostalgic!…

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…