• Can Russia Build A Silicon Valley?

    A few months ago, I wrote about why I believed that Russia’s planned “science city” was destined for failure, in my BusinessWeek column. I predicted it would follow the path of the hundreds of cluster development projects before it. Political leaders would hold press conferences to claim credit for advancing science and technology; management consultants would earn hefty… Read More

  • Will TorrentReactor Make Good On Its Promise Of Buying A Small Russian Town?

    Here’s an odd one. Popular BitTorrent site TorrentReactor has announced that it has “bought” a small Russian town, Gar, for just under $150,000, and that the town will rename itself in honor of the site. Sounds like a bunch of nonsense, right? It kind of is, but then it kinda of isn’t, too. Oh dear. Read More

  • Dear Mr. President: Immigration Reform Won’t Be Enough To Stop The Brain Drain

    Dear Mr. President: Immigration Reform Won’t Be Enough To Stop The Brain Drain

    In a speech at the American University last Thursday, President Obama highlighted the incredible economic rewards that America has gained from its immigrants. He spoke of new waves of immigrants—from places like Ireland, Italy, Poland, and China—challenging the generations before them, and consequently being subjected to “rank discrimination and ugly stereotypes”. Yet… Read More

  • Russian advice: Nuke the oil spill, that'll fix it!

    Stop the presses~! The Russians have come up with a pretty snazzy way to deal with that oil spill: nuke it all! Why waste time freaking out when you can unleash the power of mass-to-energy conversion, and let Mr. Atom clean up the mess in no time at all? Read More

  • Computer virus mucks up Russia-China border crossing

    This isn’t the best time to be a traveler. Europe is still fighting plumes of volcanic ash—FC Barcelona had to take a bus from Barcelona to Milan for tomorrow’s game against Inter!—and now there’s word that a computer virus has wrecked a Russia-China border crossing. Some 2,000 Russians visiting the Chinese city of Heihe found themselves stranded when the… Read More

  • DIY Russian style: wooden USB drive

    Here’s a rather unique DIY project for you: a russian builder created a USB key design using a block of wood, a switch, and a fan. Why do you need a fan for a USB key you ask? Well, I have no idea. The only thing I can think of is the glowing LED lights inside the glowing logo need cooling? Honestly, no clue. Read More

  • Holy crap – the Ukranians have robots

    Fair warning to anyone trying to do evil in Odessa, Ukraine – they have a giant robot guarding the port. While he doesn’t seem to move much, I don’t think he has to. This silent sentry warns anyone coming in to Odessa to be good, or he will smite you with his mighty steel rod. Read More

  • Mother Russia plans to save us all from killer asteroid

    Someone call Bruce Willis. Russia announced Wednesday that they are considering launching a spacecraft with the intention of altering its possibly earth-crushing trajectory to a less threatening one. Read More

  • Russian games house raises $5 million for social strategy game

    [Russia] Russian online game developer Nival Network has closed a $5 million round from an undisclosed investor but will use the funds to develop Prime World, its online strategy game with social networking features aimed at the Russia and former Soviet countries. Nival Network is currently majority owned by founder and CEO Sergey Orlovskiy. Software vendor 1C Group owns a 30% stake in… Read More

  • Wherein we discuss: No Russian, the controversial Modern Warfare 2 level (and the game's subsequent banning in Russia)

    Note: This post contains Modern Warfare 2 spoilers. If you’re not cool with reading spoilers, well, then move along, nothing to see here (but you’re missing out!). Read More

  • Russians waste more money, lock 6 men away for 105 days in the name of science

    Maybe someday a human will walk on Mars. The last couple of generations has always told their children that they will be the ones to do it, but we’re still stuck on this planet. Anyway, 6 crazy Ruskies just emerged from a 1970’s Soviet-era testing facility after spending 105 days in isolation to simulate the voyage to Mars. I don’t know why some random Russian government spent… Read More

  • Russian PM Putin punks Michael Dell at Davos re: Russian IT

    Oh it’s on! It seems Russian Prime Minister Putin got into a huge fight with Michael Dell yesterday at the Davos World Economic Forum, which is where world leaders plan their screwing over of the little guy while eating like princes. (So I hear.) Right, so Putin gave a speech talking about lots of stuff, including the current state of technology in Russia. Then Michael Dell opened his… Read More

  • Money burning a hole in your pocket? How about a $30,000 Vertu cellphone (with 3G!)

    Ah, Russia. Home to a well-olied kleptocracy, Andrei Arshavin and, apparently, incredibly wealthy people who don’t know what to do with their money. (See: Roman Abramovich et al.) As such, we really shouldn’t be too surprised to see this new Vertu cellphone on a Russian luxury blog. As you can see, it, the Vertu Boucheron 150, looks just like that other Vertu luxury phone, but this… Read More

  • A pictorial timeline of the MIG

    MIG variants have been flying for over 65 years and English Russia has a photo history of the storied Russian plane. I honestly didn’t know the plane was so old that it once had a prop. Read More

  • Vladimir Putin's dog gets a satellite collar; now ruled over by a rolled up iron newspaper

    The days of running free are over for Koni. The most powerful dog in Russia, perhaps the world has she could kick Barney’s presidential tail any day, now has her own 6 ounce GPS-like collar. Russia’s GLONASS satellites will provide the Prime Minister with 24/7 info about his beloved dog. I actually don’t know if he loves her, but who doesn’t love black labs? I mean… Read More

  • Russia grows up, learns how to wage cyberwarfare more effectively

    Not a Russian hacker, just a filthy rich one There’s a reasonably interesting little story in Foreign Policy—I wear a big Napoleon hat when I post—about Russia’s cyber response during last week’s conflict with Georgia. It seems the Russians know a thing or two about Internet trolling, since instead of defacing Web sites and crashing anti-Russia servers, they… Read More

  • linked to Russian cybercrime outfit

      When got shut down in July, it took little time for its replacement to fill the void. Well, MP3sparks has recently been blocked from many major ISPs in the United Kingdom thanks to its alleged links to the Russian Business Network, “a notorious group known for pumping the internet with child pornography and denial of service attacks” according to… Read More

  • Russia launches last three navigation satellites

    Russia’s Global Navigation Satellite System (GLONASS) is just about complete, thanks to a late-night launch yesterday of the system’s three remaining satellites. GLONASS is similar to our GPS system here and will initially cover most of Russia and then, by 2009, the world. There are 24 satellites in all, with the purpose of giving the Russian military "exact bearings around… Read More

  • Robots for the railways

    Now that Russia is officially part of the Technocracy, their robot rulers are taking over more and more of the everyday maintenance. Apparently the Russian rail system (Motto: “If it worked in the 1950s, it will still work today.”) has hired robots to do most of the track maintenance and give presentations about the Great Bear’s delightfully archaic railways. Best of all… Read More

  • ZML is for movies

    Say hello to the source of the MPAA’s next ulcer. It’s, a site with similar ultra-simplicity and low, low pricing to former heavyweight music champ The site offers movies in varying levels of quality, with the lower resolution movies starting at $1.99 and the highest resolution movies (DVD-quality) topping out at $4.99. If it sounds too good to be true, it… Read More