On The Road Again
The section on travel Eugene Kaspersky!
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Then and Now. 20 Years In-between – All Uphill.

Then and Now. 20 Years In-between – All Uphill.

20 years in business – is that a long time, or no time at all? Or how about 25 years of continuous development of new technologies and products (including the five years pre-KL)?

To answer that properly we need to ask how old the industry – cybersecurity – is itself. Well, the very first antivirus programs appeared just a few years before 25 years ago.

So that means we’re one of a handful of developers that created cybersecurity! Indeed, we’ve been in the industry since its infancy (when on-demand signature scanners were all the rage), and are still here today (in the new age of big data and machine learning). And that’s 20+...

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A Sardinian Inn You Should Stay In. 

A Sardinian Inn You Should Stay In. 

Our north-to-south-to-north tour of Sardinia was coming to its logical end. But one final thing I really need to tell you about is the hotel we stayed at on our last night. It was the Hotel Cala di Volpe, situated in the bay of the same name – here.

First – disclaimer! In a post that will be published on Friday, I say that I ain’t bothered at all about where I stay on my many trips around the world – just the basics are sufficient. Er, oops. It’s not that simple. For sometimes I do fully appreciate get carried away by the digs we stay at – especially when they’re as good as those on our last night in Sardinia!…

Cala di Volpe – yes,...

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Subterranean Sardinia.

Subterranean Sardinia.

After philosophizing and prophesizing (without our pens) about mankind as embodied in the monuments it builds itself, it was time for further deep thought – on the monuments nature itself builds – deep being the right word: for that’s how far we were going underground…

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We’re here, on our route winding slowly from north to south of Sardinia.

These undergroundnesses were only discovered in the 1950s – by mistake! Folks were taking a stroll around these parts and stumbled upon a hole in the ground. So they poked their heads through it. Then they crawled through. Then they started to extract something useful to sell (I can’t recall what), but in doing so...

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Sardinian Summer Scenes.

Sardinian Summer Scenes.

I was getting into this Sardinian trip…

Two hours of scaling down cliff faces and into (stagnant) pools; strolling about the picturesque countryside in the summer sun; visiting a winery we really didn’t want to leave…

Next up…

A commercial break! Time to chill a bit. Therefore, herewith, just photos of the sensational Sardinian scenery…

Sardinian scene No. 1

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Sardinian scene No. 2

Sardinian scene No. 3

Sardinian scene No. 4

Sardinian scene No. 5

Sardinian scene No. 6

Sardinian scene No. 7

Sardinian scene No. 8

Sardinian scene No. 9

Tomorrow, the next installment from Sardinia – archeological Sardinia…

The rest of the pics from the island are...

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In Sardinia, Even I Like the Vino.

In Sardinia, Even I Like the Vino.

I’m no fan of vino. Even good wine leaves me cold. I mean – even to the extent whereby if there’s good wine on offer and also plain old water – I’ll go for the plain old water every time. There are exceptions though. For example, sometime in the early 2000s I was bowled over by some Italian Chianti – in Italy itself, but since then, every attempt to recapture the experience outside Italy failed miserably. I don’t know why. Maybe it just doesn’t travel well, or maybe it needs to be super fresh? But what about the ‘older is better’ thing with wine? It’s all a mystery to me.

There was one other wine I recall I really liked – some Read more...

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How Bloomberg Just Edited an Agricultural Newspaper.

How Bloomberg Just Edited an Agricultural Newspaper.

History tends to repeats itself, its lessons not having been learned.

Sometimes the new does start to resemble the dystopian visions of the future of old, which our parents, grandparents and great-grandparents had nightmares about and/or read about in the caustic satirical works of the day. O tempora, o mores: nightmares, satire and dystopia – sure, they’re becoming reality, but guess where in particular – in journalism.

More than 85 percent of the company’s revenue comes from outside of Russia, so why would we ever put all of that at risk?

Since childhood there’s been a story I’ve never been able to forget – and...

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Torrentismo in Sardegna.

Torrentismo in Sardegna.

I’d heard so many good things from different people about Sardinia, the magical Italian island in the Mediterranean, but never been there myself. The sun always shining, clear blue sea, the tastiest grapes, cool cliffs, incredible islands along the shore… I should have made it here long ago, but it was never to be – until last week. So after we were done with business we had did a spot of tourism…

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The sun is hot here, but you get an occasional and very welcome respite therefrom in the form of white cotton-wool-ball fluffy clouds floating by overhead…

In-between the picture-postcard villages you get rocky outcrops dotting the hillsides…

So...

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Meanwhile in St. Pete…

Meanwhile in St. Pete…

A bit like with Manchester or Scotland, folks will often tell you the weather in St. Petersburg is normally terrible. In Manchester and Scotland it normally is. But not in St. Pete!

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I’ve visited Russia’s ‘second capital’ plenty of times – and the sun’s been out on every single trip! This visit was no exception.

In fact, the sun’s not just shining, it’s beaming it’s intense heat down on this corner of the globe without mercy. Sat in a traffic jam upon roasting asphalt wasn’t the nicest of experiences, I have to say.

I guess you can’t satisfy some folks, eh? Moscow weather this summer has been possibly the worst on record – ever (rain...

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Avia + Sun’s Out = Pics to Shout About.

Avia + Sun’s Out = Pics to Shout About.

Sometimes the views you get out the window of a plane are simply fantastic. And sometimes I’m not behind on sleep, so I don’t just crash after the in-flight meal; instead, I get out my camera and get clicking. As I did recently over Lake Sevan in Armenia:

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And here’s Mount Elbrus on the horizon!…

The Black Sea and Elbrus:

Sometimes the clouds alone are snap-worthy:

We flew directly over Istanbul and Naples; as a result the pics didn’t turn out too good: an airplane carpet, wiring and chassis got in the way…

Arrived! Almost…

Check out this aircraft registration number (note – the ‘D’ prefix stands for...

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In Azerbaijan, Yes You Can (Find the First Ever Oil Well and Oil Rig).

In Azerbaijan, Yes You Can (Find the First Ever Oil Well and Oil Rig).

A bit like how English and Russian sources give differing data on carbon dioxide in the Earth’s atmosphere, so too do English and Russian sources regarding who first thought of boring into the ground to extract oil. For example, the Russian Wikipedia page for ‘oil well’ states that the first oil well ever was drilled in the Russian Empire – in Bibiheibet, in what is now Azerbaijan, in 1846. Whereas sources in English on the net state it was Drake Well in Pennsylvania that was first – in 1859. But if you dig deeper, it turns out oil was drilled in the USA a little earlier – in 1857; and three years before...

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Keeping Cybersecurity Separate from Geopolitics.

Keeping Cybersecurity Separate from Geopolitics.

Last week, Kaspersky Lab was in the spotlight again in another ‘sensational’ news stream.

I say ‘again’ as this isn’t the first time we’ve been faced with allegations, ungrounded speculation and all sorts of other made-up things since the change of the geopolitical situation a few years ago. With the U.S. and Russia at odds, somehow, my company, its innovative and proven products as well as our amazing employees are repeatedly being defamed, given that I started the company in Russia 20 years ago. While this wasn’t really a problem before, I get it– it’s definitely not popular to be Russian right now in some...

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Sun in Trondheim – It’s All Mine.

Sun in Trondheim – It’s All Mine.

No, not Fog on the Tyne, but Sun in Trondheim! I could hardly believe it either!…

And, in anticipation of the ‘inevitable’ rain before getting here I’d gone and prepared a quote from my fave authors about the stuff! Oh well, you might at well still hear it…:

 “It was getting dark, and still pouring with rain. Large, heavy droplets of unhurried rain, in no rush at all. The rain will fall on an empty city, washing pavements and trickling through rotten roofs… Then it will wash everything away, dissolving the city to reveal virgin land again. While the rain keeps falling, falling.

All over the world it’s raining. Over steepled roofs...

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F1 Fun in the Azeri Sun.

F1 Fun in the Azeri Sun.

I’ll cut to the (car) chase: it was a real fun race.

No one was expecting such mad twists and turns on Sunday. Especially me after the fairly dull race in Sochi a few weeks back – and also since last year’s Grand Prix in Baku was very boring too (so I’ve been told). This year – oh my gravel trap! No one could have foreseen such a lineup on the podium. But I’ll get to that a bit later…

So here we were, in the Azerbaijani capital. Salam Baku, say the teams and spectators…

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Peace be upon you too, says Baku, after having prepared the track and its bends on the city’s roads à la Monaco Grand Prix ahead of the race…

The pic above is of the...

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Stars, Strings, Exoplanets, Apollos, and Now Politics – Starmus 2017.

Stars, Strings, Exoplanets, Apollos, and Now Politics – Starmus 2017.

Hi folks!

Time to tell you all about this year’s Starmus. Last year the conference took place in sunny Tenerife. This year – just the opposite: it was in rainy Trondheim in Norway. Not that the rain made the experience any worse. Mere weather cannot dull something so otherworldly as Starmus…

Here’s the audience slowly filling up the venue just before kick-off:

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This year 2,500 folks attended (at least, that’s how many tickets were sold), plus there’d have been untold numbers watching the proceedings via the Internet. And judging by the fact that the large hall was packed, I reckon all those who...

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Whoakaari!

Whoakaari!

You though it (NZ) was all over? Nope. More! Whoah! Or, to be more precise – Whoakaari!

Here we are on White Island, known in the local dialect as Whakaari. We got here on a chopper. Whoakaari! Piloted by a really cool woman! Whoakaari!

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Oh my gorgeous! Just look at the views we got up there. Almost as if it was all carefully painted, trimmed, and then Photoshopped!…

Those there forests are made up of industrially-grown pines. Because of the happy combination of perfect climate and volcanic soil, pines shoot up super-fast here – becoming towering colossuses in just 20 years. Large sections of them get cut down one after the other, with new saplings planted in their...

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Happy Birthday to Us – 20 Years Old – to the Day!

Happy Birthday to Us – 20 Years Old – to the Day!

Whoosh!

What was that?

That, boys and girls, was the history of cybersecurity passing by!

28 years ago, somewhere around the fall of 1989, my Olivetti M24 was attacked by a virus. That fateful event changed my – and many others’! – lives. If only that virus had known precisely whose comp it attacked that day, and how many malicious descendants would be wiped out over the next decades both by my hand and later by the hands of KLers, I’m pretty sure it’d have about-turned in a jiffy and gotten the hell out of there!

26 years ago, in the summer of 1991, a group of like-minded computer geeks enthusiasts launched the great...

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Rotoruan Redwoods at Hell’s Gate.

Rotoruan Redwoods at Hell’s Gate.

If you were hoping that was the end of my Rotorua trips, volcanoes and geothermal stories, then you’re in for disappointment. I still have lots to tell – your popcorn stocks may well run out before I’m done!

It’s time now to enjoy a ride around the lake, including a trip on a helicopter.

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Let’s go clockwise. The first stop on the list is Hamurana Springs. Here there are mineral springs and a magnificent sequoia plantation.

The trees are impressive: these huge sequoias – or redwood trees – were brought from North America and planted here, so they’ve grown this big in… how many years? Less than a hundred, apparently. Check it...

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A very large rift on a mountain top.

A very large rift on a mountain top.

Get your popcorn now and take your seats in the front row – I’m about to continue my stories of New Zealand!

Next on my agenda is the Tarawera volcano. This is perhaps one of the most unusual volcanoes I’ve ever seen: its top split by a huge volcanic rift, in which some 10 distinct craters can be identified. I guess there must have been quite spectacular fireworks when the volcano erupted 130 years ago…

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The second unusual thing about this volcano it is that you can drive virtually to its summit! Preferably in an SUV, thanks to road conditions.

There’s the rub, though: you can’t just go and drive up to the top – it’s...

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Munich-Jerusalem-Moscow. A week without tourism.

Munich-Jerusalem-Moscow. A week without tourism.

I’m taking a short break from my stories about New Zealand: firstly, I do not want to “overload” my readers, and secondly, I have something new to talk about.

A few sketches along the way last week, something like this:

1.  Wow! What a great name for a business – ‘Ikar’! Obviously a subsidiary of ‘Daedalus’ airlines. Hard to believe anyone would deliberately board a plane named Icarus.

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Sorry for the poor quality image, my hand was trembling while taking shots of this:

2. The construction of the 3rd runway in SVO. No progress visible. I’ll be flying over again soon, so I’ll have the chance to compare pictures.

3. ...

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NZ Infernal Volcanic Features.

NZ Infernal Volcanic Features.

Continuing my tales about Waimangu and Tarawera. This is a story of volcanic miracles and the amazing events that unfolded here in days of old. Just to remind you of the chain of events, my last story ended next to a crater filled with boiling chemical-laden water.  And here it is:

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Turn your back on this, and you’re right in front of the place where the largest known geyser on Earth erupted in the 1900s –  the Waimangu. Every 36 hours, this geyser shot out a water jet reaching up to 400m; each eruption lasting several hours.

  • (photo courtesy of Wikipedia.)

In 1904, some magic underground mechanism broke down, and the eruptions stopped. The old photos...

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The local volcano with global implications.

The local volcano with global implications.

Boys and girls! Can you guess what my biggest concern is now after my return from New Zealand?

It’s that I’ve already done 8 posts and I haven’t even got to the halfway point of my trip! Given the catastrophic time constraints I’ve been under of late, there’s not even the slightest glimmer of a light at the end of the tunnel. Quite unexpectedly, though, I have half an hour of free time, so I can post some nice photos and a few more tales.

It’s been quite a few days since my NZ stories started, plenty of time for everyone to do some work, right? Come, come now children, be honest! :) If you’ve been leading an idle life, then…...

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Kerosene Creek – NZ-style.

Kerosene Creek – NZ-style.

The attentive reader of my ‘reports’ from New Zealand must have noticed that most of the place names here are of Maori origin. All of them mean something in the Maori language; for instance, Rotorua apparently translates as “the second large lake”.

However, there are exceptions.

For example, the names of the large cities were given by the British colonists. Or, take the Lady Knox geyser – the Maori didn’t have any other name for it, nor was it a geyser back then. There are some other English place names too, such as Kerosene Creek. There are a few recommendations on the Internet. This is where we headed.

Well, what can I say? This was another...

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New Zealand’s hottest volcanic attractions.

New Zealand’s hottest volcanic attractions.

Waiotapu is not just about the geysers; there’s a whole lot more here that hisses, lets off steam and releases multi-colored bubbles. It’s probably the brightest geothermal attraction in the whole of New Zealand… well, except for the gigantic Terawera and Tongariro craters (which I’ll tell you about a little bit later).

So here are Waiotapu’s thermal attractions:

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The pools and reservoirs here come in all shapes, sizes, colors and temperatures. Some are just huge holes with something hissing and reeking of sulfur deep within them:

Others are just still lakes with graphite-colored water, which boils and bubbles in places. At some...

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The scent of a geyser.

The scent of a geyser.

Hi there!

The Rotorua area of New Zealand turned out to have a high concentration of volcanic tourist attractions. There are a dozen or so places in the vicinity (within a 30-minute drive) that I’d recommend visiting. So, where to start? If you don’t know where to start, start from the beginning. © I’ll take this advice, and… start with a question.

What geysers have you already seen, and which was your favorite?

That’s a very simple question to get us started.

While you think, let me give you the bigger picture.

There are four geyser regions in the world: YellowstoneIcelandthe Valley of Geysers on Kamchatka Peninsula, Russia and New Zealand. The...

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Rotorua in all its volcanic glory.

Rotorua in all its volcanic glory.

Now, boys and girls, tell me what you know about volcanic eruptions?

For example, what types of volcanic eruptions are there? Ah, I see you don’t know. There are actually several types. If you’re interested, check them out here. And how strong can they be? “Very strong!” – that’s the right answer. But scientists wearing lab coats and equipped with microscopes have identified 8 types of volcanic eruptions classified according to magnitude; this is called the Volcanic Explosivity Index.

I especially like the “Description” column in the “Classification” table. It says eruptions can be effusive, gentle, explosive, catastrophic,...

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