On The Road Again
The section on travel Eugene Kaspersky!
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All in the same boat – staying remote.

All in the same boat – staying remote.

Hi folks!

You’ll know how I normally write here about fun stuff like far-away travel, but today I think I really do need to touch on a business topic. Not doing so would be like… not noticing the huge (green) elephant in the room. And we don’t want any of that…

Here’s what I mean:

The company that coincidentally has the same name as moi is now working almost completely remotely. Not that this affects anything negatively: all processes are functioning fine as usual, we’re still going after – and catching – the cyber-scum, our products all over the globe on home computers and at businesses are providing protection round-the-clock as always, and...

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Mad, bad Madagascan roads.

Mad, bad Madagascan roads.

NB: with this post about the place I visited before the lockdown I want to bring you some positivism, beauty and the reassurance that we will all get a chance to see great different places again. Meanwhile I encourage you not to violate the stay-at-home regime. Instead I hope you’re using this time for catching up on what you never seemed to find the time to do… ‘before’ :).

After being spoiled driving nearly 3000 kilometers along Namibia’s super-solid highways (super-smooth, super-signposted, super-high-speeds-possible, super road-markings, and so on and so forth), the contrasting road situation in Madagascar was all the more striking. Some ‘highways’ leave a...

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A marvelous Madagascan thingy called tsingy.

A marvelous Madagascan thingy called tsingy.

NB: with this post about the place I visited before the lockdown I want to bring you some positivism, beauty and the reassurance that we will all get a chance to see great different places again. Meanwhile I encourage you not to violate the stay-at-home regime. Instead I hope you’re using this time for catching up on what you never seemed to find the time to do… ‘before’ :).

Next Madagascan theme – a rocky one. Particularly – a tsingy one!…

Madagascan tsingy refers to the country’s rather unique rock formations that cover some 1500 square kilometers. And they look like this:

  • iD1AGbIDXATLb7lRHR0tg5O0OyCeMhaf.jpg?s=34caebe77a6e5ed0bb6a1b4c043a95e9

Quite how these unusual forms came about the internet gives...

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Lemurs, snakes, chameleons and chilled locals – in Madagascar.

Lemurs, snakes, chameleons and chilled locals – in Madagascar.

NB: with this post about the place I visited before the lockdown I want to bring you some positivism, beauty and the reassurance that we will all get a chance to see great different places again. Meanwhile I encourage you not to violate the stay-at-home regime. Instead I hope you’re using this time for catching up on what you never seemed to find the time to do… ‘before’ :).

After a quick fast-forward to the corona crisis, herewith, a quick rewind back to southern Africa, since I haven’t finished telling you all about it yet!…

After taking in Namibia’s dunes and the Victoria Falls (in both Zambia and Zimbabwe) next up for us,...

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Two days in Berlin, twenty hours in Doha.

Two days in Berlin, twenty hours in Doha.

Goodness me. The only thing being talked about, written about – worried about – of late is… I don’t even have to name it it’s so obvious to everyone except cave-dwellers…

Sure, seasonal viruses are commonplace, but this one sure looks anything but commonplace-or-garden. This ain’t just a kind of flu. But this also ain’t something so pandemically awful as the Spanish flu or the 1968 flu outbreak. I wonder – would today’s medicine have been able to nip those two in the bud early? Well here’s hoping today’s medicine will do so for today’s coronavirus. Btw, curiously, outbreaks like these occur almost exactly every 50 years. Spanish flu – 1918; then...

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Corona cancellations, plus my 100th country – Angola!

Corona cancellations, plus my 100th country – Angola!

As you’ll know perfectly well, I love to travel. Far. More often than not I travel for work, but two or three times a year it’s for R&R and tourism. Anyway, toward the end of any year, normally I’ve totted up more than a hundred flights throughout the year or, if not, am not far off. I long ago became accustomed to living like… a rock star on a world stadium tour (the traveling bits, not the rock ‘n’ rolling excess:), or… George Clooney in that film where all he seems to do is live onboard planes up in the air. For me, ‘on tour’ is all about conferences, exhibitions, business meetings, new acquaintances, exchanging ideas, discussions...

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Zimbabwe000,000,000,000,000.

Zimbabwe000,000,000,000,000.

I couldn’t write about Zimbabwe without a post on the country’s legendary currency now could I?

It goes like this: An economic crisis and consequent mega-hyperinflation kicked in the early 2000s. It seems Zimbabwe is a world champion of price increases, with prices doubling at one point every hour-and-a-half (according to Wikipedia)!

The reasons for the crisis are often put under the overarching title ‘land reforms’: confiscations of land and farms from white farmers in favor of the black population, then hounding farmers out of the country (any who didn’t agree were murdered), then practically the whole white population leaving the country. These...

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Victoria Falls: 2008 vs. 2020.

Victoria Falls: 2008 vs. 2020.

I’d been to Victoria Falls before – in May of 2008. Back then it was high water season, and much of the time practically nothing was visible – all shut off by a white shroud of spray. I decided then I wanted to return when the water was low. And 12 years later – here I was again: during low water season. Time for some photographic comparisons. And the differences, as you will see were sometimes like night and day. Check them out!…

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What was; what became:

2008 vs 2020:

Zoomed in:

In 2020 an umbrella wasn’t absolutely necessary ->

In some places in 2008 visibility was down to zero, while in 2020 – a completely different picture ->

Wet...

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i-Antitrust: time to give you your choice back, folks!

i-Antitrust: time to give you your choice back, folks!

Fighting injustice. It’s just what we do – and keep doing. And that includes fighting major, large-scale injustice…

For example, in 2017, we managed to reach an agreement with Microsoft that encouraged it to stop giving unfair advantages to its own antivirus product. Sure, Microsoft is a modern-day Goliath. But we’re a modern-day David! And we need to be. For someone has to stand up to the giants now and again when they start throwing their weight around unfairly. Not doing so would mean users wind up with less choice.

Then last year saw us having to don the boxing gloves again for another dispute – again on an antitrust issue, but...

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Patently great work.

Patently great work.

Last month was a great month for K-intellectual property. So nice to get such good news to brighten up dull, damp, dreary March days.

But we’ve had other great months IP-wise of late too…

In September of last year, for the second year in a row we were included in the Derwent Top 100 Global Innovators listing, making us the first – and only – Russian company to get onto this meticulously researched list of the world’s 100 most innovative organizations! Hurray!

A few details about this top-100: Every year the independent U.S. company Clarivate Analytics chooses its most innovational companies in the world based on the quality of their patent portfolios. In particular,...

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Victoria Falls – the view from up above.

Victoria Falls – the view from up above.

On my visit to Victoria Falls, the icing on the cake was the helicopter flight we took above them.

In this first pic – you see the ‘smoke’ rising up over there? That’s the ‘smoke’ from the waterfall. And that’s where we were headed in the chopper…

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Up we flew, above the golf course of the Elephant Hills hotel. An interesting hotel: in addition to the golf course there’s also a zoo with freely roaming non-predator wild animals!

These islands in the Zambezi are home to hippos – a very dangerous animal.

The ‘smoking’ waterfall gets nearer and nearer…

We fly into the ‘smoke’ ->

Here are the views from various sides ->

Up here it became clear why...

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Victoria Falls 2020.

Victoria Falls 2020.

Across desolate desert we drove, down Skeleton Coast we cruised, over dusty dunes we danced. All a bit… dry. It was time for something very wet. And it can’t get much wetter than the Victoria Falls in Southern Africa, so that’s just where we were headed next – on the border between Zambia and Zimbabwe.

Victoria Falls aren’t the largest or tallest waterfalls in the world. Nor are they the most powerful in terms of flow rate. However, they do come out the clear winner in another category – the area of the falling water: around 1.8km at ~100+ meters. Which adds up to a most grandiose body of falling water – especially when the level of the Zambezi River is high during...

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Namibian quivering aloes and hungry cheetahs.

Namibian quivering aloes and hungry cheetahs.

Enough about dead nature (rocks). Now for some nature that’s alive. And let’s begin with trees.

Yet another absolutely wonderful tourist attraction in Namibia is the aloe Quiver Tree Forest. It comprises around 250 specimens of aloidendron dichotomum, known locally as the quiver tree. And it’s amazing (just like so many other things in Namibia, an amazing country)! The quiver trees here are huge and, according to internet, live for 200-300 years (how does the internet know? It’ll only turn 30 soon:).

But let’s get back on topic. Wanna see the photos of the mentioned above aloidendron dichotomum?

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To better understand the size, we asked...

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Namibia trip in review; actually – a bird’s-eye view.

Namibia trip in review; actually – a bird’s-eye view.

Our auto-expedition around Namibia, as you have both read and seen, was a series of raptures, ecstasies, OMGs, woweees, and similar such woahs. But already it was coming to a close. Boo!

What no more of this? ->

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That thin black straight line there? That’s the road on which a horse demands payment before you can pass!

The inevitable dunes; also rock formations along the coastline ->

Namibia-sandibia ->

That’s we’re we did a spot of dune-climbing:

Namibian roads:

Ok folks – that was just the aperitif. Now – the whisky chaser!…

We were flying from Keetmanshoop back to Windhoek, the city from where – eight days...

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More good news from the IP frontline.

More good news from the IP frontline.

I couldn’t help but notice the buzz our latest patent news had gotten about our patent lawyers’ amazing win :). So I’m excited to keep the ball rolling with news of another bombshell victory just a few days later…

We reign victorious in a very important patent lawsuit again! This time against Uniloc (the same Uniloc that managed to snake $388 mln from Microsoft). You should know they sued us over the same patent in 2018, but we came out on top.

Recently, during the negotiation process of yet another patent infringement lawsuit filed by Uniloc, we received a message from the company’s representatives that they’re tired of fighting and ready to end...

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A playground for giants’ children.

A playground for giants’ children.

Don’t hope there won’t be any more Namibian stories :).

Last time, I promised to elaborate on a rock theme. Well, here you go!… in the Giant’s Playground.

It’s the perfect name for this place. Just imagine – giants that once inhabited our planet arranged here a playground for their children, where they frolicked as all children do, and played with toy blocks. Well this is what’s left of them:

  • 9UIzMCz2F5usvtpRicZFmJ5-AmkFYwfK.jpg?s=6b470de1cb1a09fa179cdcab2e214101

It was so long ago that different African aloes have grown up – through the rocks!

What do you see in this installation? What did giant kinder want to tell us?

It looks like they didn’t have any demographic problems. The territory of the ‘kindergarten’ is...

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Swimming pool in the desert.

Swimming pool in the desert.

It’s time I wrote a few things about Namibian ‘lodges’. I’m afraid I’ve practically no photos thereof as we’d check in late in the evening and leave at dawn. However, at the Fish River Canyon, we planned for an early night and late rise, since our next day’s trip was going to be quite short – only 270km. The place was pretty good: Canyon Lodge Gondwana. Reception and the restaurant and bar are in one building, while the guesthouses are set in a most picturesque landscaped setting:

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There’s almost a full-blown botanic garden at the entrance! ->

And practically all the flora to be seen is unknown to me.

Is it a baobab? :)

The view of the ‘residential...

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Amazing ancient artifacts of Santorini.

Amazing ancient artifacts of Santorini.

It’s been a while since we’ve had any excavation news from the Minoan Bronze Age settlement of Akrotiri. But that doesn’t mean the archaeologists there aren’t still working away diligently. In fact, today I’ll show you how they’ve been continuing to expand our understanding of the ancient world.

You might be asking yourself: why Akrotiri, and not some other ancient city? Here’s a synopsis if you’ve missed my past posts.

In the Aegean Sea, the island of Santorini is probably best known for its Insta-friendly white houses, blue roofs, and breathtaking sunsets. But what a lot of people don’t know is that the island was once the site of one of...

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The Fish River Canyon walk and a disappointing sunset.

The Fish River Canyon walk and a disappointing sunset.

Fish River Canyon is one of the most important tourist attractions in Namibia, if we are to believe the ever-helpful internet. In fact, the view truly is spectacular!

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Wikipedia informs us that the canyon is 160km long and 500+ meters deep. The river did a good job!

You can walk around and – with a guide – you can even go down.

A funny combination – “hiking trail starts here” + “walks prohibited”. The local guides explained that hiking without a guide is prohibited, but with a guide you’re more than welcome.

Off down there…

Also, don’t trust all the local names. One of the viewpoints here entices tourists with the name...

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Last week’s good vs. bad news

Last week’s good vs. bad news

The good news last week? Well, I went to Chelyabinsk – that’s the first piece of good news. Okay. I need to keep score here. The referee blows the whistle. Game on. 1:0…

Our lineup of patent lawyers now takes to the field. They bring good news, too. We’ve won yet another patent infringement lawsuit in the States! I won’t waste time explaining; I’ll just quote our report from the frontline: “One more major lawsuit is added to our list of victories! Case closed – not a cent to pay out!”

What was the claim all about?

In a nutshell, Greater Boston Authentication Solutions (GBAS) didn’t like the operating principle of our Activation 2.0 technology, which allows a...

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An ode to Namibian roads.

An ode to Namibian roads.

Once again I can’t help but sing the praises of the ‘German’ roads in Namibia! They’re superb! Although the only local premium-quality highway is still not that long – only 50+ kilometers. But the quality of the other paved two-lane roads here is mostly ideal. And the views along the road are something to behold! The biggest problem for drivers here is how to avoid being distracted by the scenery :)

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On almost all the paved roads the speed limit is a liberal 120. // it’s not like Australia, where the speed limit on a six-lane highway as straight as an arrow is 100, with their cynical signs saying there’s “no tolerance for speeding”.

There are regular...

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Ghosts of Lehrer, Buchhalter, Minenverwalter and other adventures in ghostly Kolmanskop.

Ghosts of Lehrer, Buchhalter, Minenverwalter and other adventures in ghostly Kolmanskop.

The next destination on our Namibian tour and the main reason for going to Lüderitz is the ghost town of Kolmanskop.

The settlement sprang up around the diamond fields, went through a period of rapid growth, then the diamonds dried up and the town was abandoned. Now this once-thriving town is almost buried in the desert sand and is gradually eroding, leaving behind some apocalyptic images.

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Welcome to Kolmanskop! Open from 8 A.M. to 1 P.M., entrance fee, drones forbidden.

The town is located in an area almost devoid of life. But rich diamond-bearing deposits are a good enough reason to...

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The one and only Chelyabinsk.

The one and only Chelyabinsk.

So my first business trip this year… Wait, what am I saying — this decade! :) Okay, so my first business trip this decade took me to the famed Chelyabinsk!

If you know Russia well, you know the stereotypes about how “tough/rugged” the people are here. But it’s not a bad thing! No, just the opposite, the jokes are reverent! One-liners like “People from Chelyabinsk are so tough that…” have turned the city into such a well-known brand that if I was… I don’t know, a taxi driver, I’d give everyone from here 10% off just out of respect! I can’t get enough of these memes! I searched the web for these memes and couldn’t stop laughing for 15 minutes :) The best part...

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Lüderitz and why giraffes and penguins never made it to America, even though they don’t need a visa.

Lüderitz and why giraffes and penguins never made it to America, even though they don’t need a visa.

Day 5 of our Namibia trip is here, and already off to an interesting start. After trekking, touring and giving our cameras a workout in the Namibian desert sands and dunes, it was time to move on to Lüderitz.

Off we went, driving across the endlessly wonderful and wonderfully endless Namibia.

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We had a 460+ km route planned for the day. It might not seem long, but after getting paranoid remembering how awful the road was two days ago, we decided to get an early start. Who knows what it’d be like before we reached the paved part they promised at the end?

That terrible road still haunted...

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Mom, I want to be a geologist!

Mom, I want to be a geologist!

The emotions evoked from a short walk through the rocky area surrounding the Namibian town of Luderitz can be summed up rather succinctly. In fact, one word would suffice. Or maybe one or two more. Unfortunately, they’re all expletives.

But they’re just rocks, I hear you say. OK, let me try and share my impressions in a slightly differently way – like this ->

They’re not just rocks. This is a real mix, a hodgepodge of all kinds of rock forms. It’s as though someone threw heaps of different kinds of stones into a giant “stone mixer” and heated it up on one side. And it turned out something like this. Over a huge area:

  • EtV3ypZvUbDAwL-MYoxj1z5uwi6frFAj.jpg?s=0ac3c7ca8621ce154c10b029fef8b449

Sedimentary rock layers, next to...

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