Aug 30 2007

Russian Copyright Obligations Clarified

Category: In The MediaChrisM @ 12:03 am

A court in Moscow has confirmed that the head of the company that runs is NOT breaking any Russian laws. Prosecutors originally bought a case against him for selling MP3s without (mainly Western) record companies’ permission, nor paying them. Russian music labels are not thought to have kicked up a fuss, as they have mostly signed up to a scheme to receive some royalties for each download. Check the BBC article for further information. It would basically appear that Russia has a different approach to intellectual properties, and if Western companies do not want to sign up to schemes that undercut their retail outlets (and so be seen to approve of Russian authorities do not care.
Over here in Kazakhstan, although software is now a little more limited (it is now rarer to see pirated MS Windows or Office products on display for example), you can still easily pick up copies of Albums, MP3 compilations of a wide range of artists, and games for most CD/DVD based gaming systems, including PCs. It certainly saves a lot of money for the average Kazakh consumer, who otherwise could not afford to pay for the original real McCoy, especially at Western prices. The pirated copies are mostly produced in Russia, and other than being sold in CD cases, rather than larger sized cardboard boxes, are normally pretty indistinguishable from the retail versions in Britain. Manuals are often included as a PDF on the disc, and the case inserts are normally above average colour copies of the originals, though the back is often re-designed to include the contact details and logos of the Russian pirates/company involved.

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

Aug 28 2007

Beijing Promises To Crack Down On Hackers

Category: Aware Or Conspiracy Nut...,In The MediaChrisM @ 1:14 am

Reading between the lines of an article, it would appear that there have been rumours of government involvement in China, with hackers’ attempts to infiltrate German Government computer networks, in a similar way to how Russia was accused over Estonian security breaches (see my post from a while back – Moscow Get Techy). Given that the article is on a Chinese web site, it would be very unlikely that any such accusation would be repeated, though I’d be interested to hear from anyone who knows a little more about the background to this story.
I can’t help feeling that this public display of reassurance may be used as a cover to further restrict the abilities of normal Chinese citizens to both obtain, and further disseminate information that is not in the “country’s interests”.

Tags: , , , , ,

Aug 14 2007

Irina Leaving in 30 Minutes

Category: PersonalChrisM @ 3:57 am

Yep, she does have to go to Moscow after all, however she will be returning in just over 24 hours. Previous trips have lasted longer, so it could have been a lot worse.
I hope she has a safe trip, and her work goes well over in Russia…

Tags: , ,

Aug 13 2007

Irina Possibly Away Again :(

Category: Dasha&Kittens,PersonalChrisM @ 4:25 am

This week may possibly involve Ira flying out to Moscow once again for work; though, as ever, she does not even know for sure just yet. There is a very important contract that needs to be signed off, and if this means people flying over to Russia to get things done, then that is the way it has to be. If she does go, I’ll miss her, but I have the kittens to look after me 🙂 and I am pretty sure I remember how to cook for myself 😉

Anyway, if she does need to go, I wish her a safe journey, and a productive and successful time in Moscow. If she is allowed to stay here in Kazakhstan, even better.

Tags: , , ,

Aug 06 2007

Completed Our Amsterdam Map

Category: Amsterdam,Friends,Personal,Windows MobileChrisM @ 3:48 pm

I have now finished creating a suitable map to use with the GPS Tuner application I mentioned previously. With the three calibration points configured, and the best points of interest discovered and precisely located via Google Earth, Alex, ChrisD and I should all be able to get to anywhere we need no matter what time of day, nor our alcohol intake levels 🙂 I also installed the Google Earth application yesterday on the in-laws PC; they seemed to enjoy finding all the major buildings and areas here in Kazakhstan, and Ira’s mum was able to check out the village she grew up in, over in Moscow!

Tags: , , , , , ,

Jul 17 2007

Britain Expels Russian Intelligence Officers

Category: In The Media,PersonalChrisM @ 5:01 am

According to a BBC article, Britain has ordered four diplomatic staff to leave the country, in retaliation for Russia refusing to allow extradition of the main suspect in the murder of Alexander Litvinenko, Andrei Lugovoi.
Russia claims that such behaviour is immoral which is an interesting phrase to use. I can not help wondering what the original Russian word used was, and whether it has any other translations commonly used from it. I saw piece on this issue a couple of days ago on Russia Today, a satellite TV channel we pick up. The station appears to do little to dispel the rumours of high levels of Kremlin policy extension through the media in its portrayal of Western governments and non-criticism of the top dogs over in Moscow.

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Jul 10 2007

Restaurant Vodka And Monopoly

Category: Eating Out,Friends,Kazakhstan,Personal,PicturesChrisM @ 1:23 am

When Oleg and Alex met up, we all went out for a meal in the evening, and tried out the outside section above two of our ‘regular’ restaurant. The service was friendly, and the waitress even spoke a little English with us. Anyway, here is a quick snap shot of the table…
Alex Oleg Chris Irina Astana Kazakhstan

Alex Oleg Chris Irina Monopoly Vodka Astana Kazakhstan
Later on we went back to the flat, had a little to drink, talked, and played a game. When the sun came up, we decided to end the ‘evening’ and slept in a little late that day 🙂
Anyway, hopefully Ira and I will meet up with Oleg again before he returns to Moscow…

Tags: , , , ,

Jul 03 2007

Oleg Is Back In Astana :)

Category: Eating Out,Friends,Kazakhstan,PersonalChrisM @ 11:26 pm

He has been away in Moscow studying for almost a year now, so it is really good to have him back around, if only for a couple of weeks. We (Ira, myself, AlexC and Oleg himself), all went out for a meal this evening. We headed over to where Irina works (KMG), as she was called in on her day off (quel surprise), and once we were all together, headed to the Uzbek restaurant near there. It turns out they now have a outdoor section, shared with the Samovar restaurant (Russian food) next door, which was based on the roof. For once, the food was tasty and hot, the service was incredibly good by Kazakh standards, with smiles and a few English phrases thrown in by the waitress. Hopefully have a few pictures to follow soon 🙂 .

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Jun 21 2007

Big Brother Without The Cameras…

Category: PersonalChrisM @ 2:38 am

The European Space Agency is organizing an experiment, to prepare for an eventual manned flight to Mars. They are looking for volunteers to spend almost a year and a half living in isolation with five other volunteers in complete isolation from the outside workd.

However, there are no plans for the process to be televised, and unlike Big Brother, there will be no ‘evictions’. The experiment is to take place in Moscow, and the distance from Earth to Mars will be simulated by there being a delay imposed with the radio communications with those inside the experiment.

The ESA hope to understand a little better the group dynamics involved when people are couped up in cramped conditions for extended periods of time.

Those who pass selection (25-50 years old, no smokers, drug dependents, must be in good health & preferably Russian and English language skills) will not just be sitting around, a la BB, but instead will simulate all activities that the real space journey will involve. Obviously weightlessness is not possible, but a simulated launch, and demo runs of what would be needed to be done in a real life emergency.

The reward, other than helping further this planet’s space and planet exploration, will be around 75 pounds a day.

Tags: , , ,

May 30 2007

Ira Staying In Astana

Category: Personal,WordPressChrisM @ 9:55 am

Wow, luckily, she had not started packing yet, as her work no longer need her back in Moscow for a 3rd week. It will be nice to have her all to myself for once 🙂

Before I forget, I meant to link to another plug in yesterday. For anyone who hasn’t noticed yet, if you look at the bottom of the right hand side bar, you will notice a random picture is now displayed. It takes photos that I have previously published, at random, and displays the post title, and Alt tag for the image. You can download it here.

This post is NOT sponsored, in fact the reverse is opposite – I made a $5 donation to the plugin author, as I had been looking for something like this for a while. I didn’t want to have to modify any theme files. Oh, and if you check the (American) author’s gallery, you’ll see he has been to Almaty (just after the time Ira and I got married in Astana!)

Tags: , , , , ,

« Previous PageNext Page »