04 August, 2010

Moscow 2010 Fire - news and links

Summer 2010 has been an awful natural disaster for Russia. Many acres (hectares) burned, hundreds now homeless, entire villages destroyed... Here are a few links I found interesting:

links from August 4:
Government response
Nice graphic at the end of this story
Yandex Moscow region fire map
A few of my photos
Russia Today news channel video
CNN.com story
Risking their lives to drive through the fire

links from August 10:
Moscow photos from Twitter users
Fighting fires around military and nuclear sites
Moscow businesses temporarily closing
Wildfires spread due to neglect
Dismantling of Russia National Fire Service in 2007
Yandex map of forest fires
New York Times blog

August 11 fun article with Russian language lessons:
Moscow Times article by Michele Berdy

August 12 article about Russia's top firefighter:
Moscow Times article by von Twickel
Lots of Youtube videos here: RussiaToday news channel

16 July, 2010

A Google approach to Facebook?

One of the nice things about social media is that you can connect with a lot of people. People want to connect and need to connect with each other. And there are varying degrees of HOW we connect. One of the problems is that has arisen is: how to manage all your connections? A Google employee has put together quite a slideshow addressing this issue. He has compiled a good collection of facts, figures, and state of the art such that Google itself can tackle the issues of today's social media networks. This is great from a technologist's perspective. (Google Me is the rumored, forthcoming Googly answer to Facebook. It seems to be named that as in, "want to know more about me, then just Google Me.)

But what about those of us trying to address the spiritual, commercial, family and friend connection issues? How we do engage people socially and yet maintain our unique and natural pre-existing boundaries? I think this slideshow presents a lot more than "how to build a website." It really tries to tackle the sociological issues of building networks. And it does so with some humor and real-life examples. I found it to be a fascinating read and there are many principles to takeaway from this.

(Tips: read it full-screen if you can, because it is easier on the eyes and gets rid of ads in the margins. However, you may need to scroll up and down to see all the text on each slide.)

Happy Reading!

05 July, 2010

Construction delays seriously affect Moscow airport traffic

Looks like you can now expect some traffic delays going to or from Moscow's Sheremetovo airport (code SVO). There was some much needed emergency bridge repair work which was just started. It has reduced one of Moscow's busiest highways down to just two lanes. (It's the one that goes Moscow to St. Petersburg named Leningradskoye Shosse.) This biggest problem has been the delay of air passengers to the airport affecting flights for Aeroflot, Delta, Malev, Alitalia, as well as many other airlines. SVO recommends that people take the Aeroexpress commuter train from Belorussky vokzal metro station to the airport. It is not known how long the construction project should take.

Update: looks like some lanes got widened but it remains to be seen how long the bridge "remont" project will take:  Link to updated Moscow Times article

Update 2: construction is supposed to last until October 1: Link to yet another Moscow Times article

25 June, 2010

A good (long) story on why you should NOT fall for the Nigerian email scam

The Nigerian 419 email scam has been around in various forms for quite some time. When the internet boom took off in the 90s and free email accounts become widely available, this type of scam just shot through the roof. I think this article pretty much sums it up. As always, consider the source.

Happy Reading!

11 February, 2010

Test post for Google Buzz

This is a test posting to see if Google Buzz will pick it up.

Please ignore this message. Effective immediately. Move along. Nothing to see here.

03 February, 2010

Finding old newspaper columns online

I like to read interesting news columns. One that really enjoyed was Lydel Sims, a columnist with the Memphis Commercial Appeal daily newspaper. Recently, I discovered a trick using Google News, to search for archives of such older columns. (Google has been scanning the microfilm/microfiche of some older newspaper archives and applying text recognition to the resulting scans. The results are really good.)

  1. Go to news.google.com
  2. (You may need to choose the USA version of Google if you are doing this from outside the USA.)
  3. Click on "Advanced News Search" to the right of the Google News search buttons
  4. Click on "Archive Search" for articles more than 30 days old
  5. Enter a search term, such as "Lydel Sims" and let Google return the results
You should get a lot of results, some of which are free and some of which are pay to view. Clicking on one of the search results loads a full-page scan of the newspaper itself! You can then navigate the "newspaper" and read the article of interest. For example, here is a search result from May 25, 1986 from the Deseret News. If you go to the advanced settings for the archive search, you can narrow down the search to certain "sources" (such as the name of the newspaper itself).

What makes this a bit more interesting is the nice timeline view which can narrow down your search by decade and even by month. This makes searching for specific references a lot easier. Gone are the days when you need to search volumes of indexes of newspapers and then hunt down the microfilm for those pages. This makes it much faster and easier. (Although there is something very bookwormish about getting lost in the research section of a library...)

Happy reading!

30 November, 2009

Very good showcase of web design in Russia

Areseny Vesnin has a very good (and long) list of web companies and designers from Russia and Ukraine. I am quite impressed with the listing! The variety and creativity of the web sites is very good. You can see his complete blog entry here:


This is a first in a series of articles on "Global Web Design" which could turn into a very extensive and valuable resource for companies looking to outsource to local design firms.

Happy reading!
My Google profile