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Submission + - Microsoft and HP joined sanctions against seventeen Russion companies and banks. 1

Max_W writes: Article in Russian language:

The technical support, new equipment shipments are over. The IT fears that existing licenses will stop working too. Now the IT departments of these enterprises are facing a formidable task of switching from Microsoft, Oracle, HP products to open source solutions just in a few days(!).

Cozy days of corporate soft, of white shirts and ties are over for these ITs, now they are in the harsh cold brave world of the Open Source on their own.

Submission + - Internet and computing in post-Snowden world 2

Max_W writes: Edward Snowden has not received any international award. Neither the Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought, nor the Nobel Peace Prize.

Snowden had stopped releasing any new documents and stopped giving press-conferences. We had a glimpse under the hood, into the machinations of the world, and it seems to be over.

So, is jinn back in the bottle and we can carry on as before with "secure computing", "unbreakable encryption", "safe browsing", "social networking", etc.? Or are the Internet and computing will never be the same again?

As for me, I am a bit worried nowadays anytime I switch on a computer or smartphone. Who or what is lurking beneath a glossy hardware and graphical user interfaces? How can a feeling of security could be returned? Or are the Internet and computing in general inherently unsafe?

Submission + - Lon Snowden, former Coast Guard officer, is on the way to Moscow

Max_W writes: Lon Snowden, the father of Edward Snowden, gave an interview to the Reuters: He is also practically on the way to Russia, to visit his fugitive son. He applied for the Russian Federation entry visa already.

Edward Snowden's deeds could be debatable, but I am absolutely fascinated by his father's courage. He is calm and absolutely fearless in trying to save his son. Is it a former Coast Guard character? As we know Coast Guard officers are facing grave danger on a daily basis. Or would anybody act like this in his place?

Submission + - Is the Article #12 of The Universal Declaration of Human Rights outdated?

Max_W writes: Here is the text of the Article #12 :
"No one shall be subjected to arbitrary interference with his privacy, family, home or correspondence, nor to attacks upon his honour and reputation. Everyone has the right to the protection of the law against such interference or attacks."

The United Nations insists on the compliance. U.N. human rights chief Navi Pillay said yesterday : "While concerns about national security and criminal activity may justify the exceptional and narrowly-tailored use of surveillance programs, surveillance without adequate safeguards to protect the right to privacy actually risks impacting negatively on the enjoyment of human rights and fundamental freedoms."

Is it realistic to expect the compliance with this article from the world's major players in the age of large storage disks, fast networks and computers? Or are we entering a new brave world, a new phase of human civilization, where quaint notions of privacy and traditional moral principles are becoming ridiculous?

Then what to do with the Article #12? Shall it be "intentionally left blank"? Shall it be updated to a new wording? What words could they be?

Submission + - A song from 1976 USSR went viral on Youtube (

Max_W writes: A song from 1976 of the Soviet singer, Eduard Khil, went viral on Youtube among mainly US listeners, 2 million hits. A song is without words, that is why the international audience call the singer a trololo man

I had to listen to this song in 1976 and, frankly, I cannot get it why it is popular now.

Submission + - Popular video blogger-policeman Aleksey Dymovskiy (

Max_W writes: Aleksey Dymovskiy, an officer of the Russian militia, whose videos on Youtube were seen by millions of Russian speaking viewers, is arrested on January 22, 2010. He is in prison in the south of Russia.

It seems only a president is allowed to have a video blog in Russia.


Submission + - Russian Federation selects open source PHP (

Max_W writes: The government of Russian Federation selects open source PHP programming language for its central portal (short for "gosudarsvennye usugi" — state services). One even can see ".php" file extensions.

This website is being updated directly from more than 60 ministries. It will work for one year in the testing mode, but it provides even now the real forms, for example, to get a civil passport, travel passport, etc.

We were talking a lot about Russian government's plans to use Open Source OSs on desktops, but it seems it became a reality first in a server-client environment.

It is not clear to me what database is being used. But if it is MySQL this thing may work after all.

"You can't get very far in this world without your dossier being there first." -- Arthur Miller