Spillikins №677. Clouds rise or close, two examples

Obvious things are often not so obvious to others, and this is confusing. It seems that this refrain has set me on edge, but it is impossible not to see the relationship in how the prices of all products and services are rising, how the cost of energy carriers is changing. The driving force of our civilization is electricity, there will be none, and our world will fall into decay in a matter of months, everything will stop in the literal sense of the word. But even if this does not happen, then everyone will have to reconsider plans for new fifth-generation networks. I wanted to write about this in Spillikins, but it turned out to be a separate text.

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Something similar is possible not only somewhere far away, but in very close Europe, even if not in the winter of 2022, but a year later. But power outages will become the norm for many countries, the crisis is too significant to be ignored. It is interesting that there may be light, but people will not have money to pay for it. The habitual well-fed world is gradually coming to an end, and this reality must be recognized and reconciled with what is happening, nothing can be changed here. Against the backdrop of many countries, Russia is in more or less good shape, although there are enough problems and the crisis will not bypass us. But the amplitude of this crisis will obviously not be so noticeable, and the shock will be clearly weaker than in the same Europe, which first encountered this. Unfortunately, we will often have to talk about the crisis and all its manifestations, so let's start with the topic of how prices for cloud services will rise, and some will simply be closed. Let's go!

Table of Contents

  • Cloud services and their rising cost - an example of Netflix and MegaDisk
  • The law on the landing of IT companies in Russia, the first signs
  • Meta's problems are just beginning. Why Facebook must suffer
  • The defeat of the hacker group REvil - a show for TV channels
  • Books. Boris Shcherbakov, Hard&Soft.

Cloud services and the growth of their cost - an example of Netflix and MegaDisk

When I say that prices will rise in the coming months for all services without exception, I usually meet with disbelief. How? Why and why? We are not used to paying, moreover, we were promised that everything would be free until the end of time. As costs rise, every company is rethinking how it does what it does and what it gives away for free. By and large, exactly two approaches are possible here - to refuse free services and offer them only for money, or to raise prices for those who are already paying. We can consider two examples that characterize both approaches well.

In October 2013, MegaFon launched the MegaDisk service for subscribers of the Moscow branch. Cloud file storage became available to everyone already in 2014, and both free space and traffic that was not taken into account for subscribers of the operator, as well as paid options were offered. At the end of 2021, the cost of space in the cloud storage was as follows.

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It is impossible to say that MegaDisk somehow favorably differed from other cloud services. The biggest benefit was that MegaFon subscribers did not pay for traffic, which means that they could store their photos in the cloud de facto for free. For most, this was a bargain, and if you look at the number of downloads of the application only on Android, it turns out that it is more than a million! If you add iOS, then the number will be noticeably larger, and, whatever one may say, the service can be called popular.

But if you look at how good this service is for MegaFon, it will suddenly turn out that a small number of people used paid options. I don’t have data on the service’s MAU, but even if we assume that it’s about 300-400 thousand people, then the operator’s costs look cosmic, and they don’t fight back in any way - there is no conversion into loyalty, there are no additional advantages when choosing MegaFon. Considering roughly the costs for each active user, we can say that this is about a dollar a month, that is, at least 300-400 thousand dollars went nowhere. Over the year, the amount turned out to be very decent, plus these are servers, space on them, which can be freed up for other projects.

A crisis is a time when everything that doesn't look important and doesn't serve the main goal goes under the knife, and the MegaDisk project goes under the knife.

From February 1, the service is closed for connections, and on April 1, all user data will be deleted. I had a “MegaDisk” until mid-2021, but then I noticed that it stopped performing its function, began to work very crookedly, practically did not load data. I read the reviews in the Play Store, over the past six months, almost all of them are one, people complained about exactly the same thing.

We can safely say that MegaFon stopped supporting the service a little earlier than it was officially announced. He went under the knife, and it's understandable why, there is no reason to support him, and the number of those who paid for him was clearly small. Unfortunately, we can say that we will see a similar approach for most operator services that are not specialized, they will get rid of them. And rightly so, since you need to accumulate funds for the main line of business. The crisis is not the time when you can be silly and try to work with all the services yourself.

Let's take a look at Netflix, the company in its native US market always tries to keep prices at an affordable level, not to drive them up, as the competition is high. However, there has been an increase in price, look at the sign.

Source: theverge.com

Since 2013, there has been almost a twofold increase in the cost for two tariff plans. It's amazing, isn't it? And a similar situation will occur everywhere, as the cost of servers, electricity, wages for staff increases. It is not possible, but it is certain that salaries are not growing so fast or not growing at all somewhere, but the fact is that life is becoming more expensive, you see it in all areas. Therefore, price growth is inevitable, and it is noticeably lower than real inflation, no one in big business is ready to raise prices by a real amount, as this will scare away buyers. I think that 2022 will be marked by the fact that the prices for services will grow constantly and such news will become familiar. Therefore, if you have something that you definitely use and can pay for a year in advance, then it's time to do it. Further it will be more expensive.

During the long January holidays, I reviewed all my subscriptions and services, got rid of those that are not needed or complementary to the main ones. It turned out that now about 5,000 rubles of additional “income” has arisen, somewhere it was a “silent person”, an ideal consumer who paid, but did not use the services of the service. Fixed this omission.

The law on the landing of IT companies in Russia, the first signs

From January 1, the law on “landing” came into force in Russia, according to which foreign IT corporations operating in our country and having an audience of more than half a million people a day are required to open a Russian representative office, place a feedback form in their products for its Russian users, as well as register a personal account on the Roskomnadzor website.

As soon as this law was mocked online throughout the second half of 2021, the usual comments sounded something like this: “Apple didn’t care about the RKN and Russia, it’s too insignificant a market, and they spit it for ***.” The arguments are always the same, that Russia is small, and “great” companies will not condescend to comply with the law, so you can relax, the officials will do their best and everything will be as before. This is about the same song that sounds about fines issued by Google or Facebook, and they gradually pay them, and at the same time receive new ones.

During the holidays, a sufficient number of articles appeared, where what was happening was discussed and it was said that no one seeks to fulfill the law, they say, everything failed. I'll start with the bad news, the RKN is very slow in updating its website, as many companies have already started to comply with the law, it's just that this information is not on the RKN website.

Let me remind you of the list of companies and their services that fall under the law:

  • Google (Google Play services, YouTube, YouTube Music, Google Chat, Gmail);
  • Apple (iCloud, App Store, Apple Music);
  • Meta Platforms (Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp);
  • Twitter;
  • TikTok;
  • Telegram;
  • Zoom;
  • Viber;
  • Spotify;
  • Likeme Pte. ltd (Like);
  • Discord;
  • Pinterest;
  • Twitch.

The number one is the Likee service, since Russia is one of their main markets for them. The second number is Apple, although they do not yet have a return contact form and have not registered a representative office for the legal entity to which the company's services are registered.

Nevertheless, we can assume that Apple, as usual, is among the leaders in production, the company's cooperation with the Russian authorities is closer than ever, and Apple not only tries to comply with all laws, but often runs ahead of the locomotive. I think that the company is aware that by complying with these laws, they can receive additional preferences compared to those who are in no hurry to do so. And preferences are easily converted into money that companies need more than ever.

I think that for some time the RKN will not punish anyone, the exhortation period will last another month, then fines will be issued. Someone may have traffic slowdown turned on, as was done for Twitter.

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But even now we can say that there is no question of total non-compliance with the law. This means that Apple's example will encourage other companies to do the same in order not to lose the Russian market.

I will repeat a simple truth: corporations cannot and do not know how to fight with states, they always have only one way - to leave the market. The Russian market is so large and noticeable for any company that no one is going to leave it of their own free will. Hence the observance of laws, albeit not instantaneous. I watched with great interest what kind of crying Yaroslavna heard in the camp of the opposition, which claimed that no one would abide by the law. Lack of understanding of the basic principles of the work of corporations did not prevent them from commenting with rapture that the officials themselves would impale themselves, would again become a laughingstock. It's time to collect stones and come up with explanations for why things suddenly became different.

As for me, the law can give us, as users of services in Russia, a separate and fast support service, a solution to our problems with this or that service. And this is to be welcomed. Previously, in order to resolve the issue with the same Facebook, it was necessary to wade through the robots, and the issue, as a rule, was still not resolved in any way. And those who wanted to sue companies did not have a chance at all, for this they had to go to America, which is expensive, difficult and unrealistic for Russian users. From now on, it will look completely different, since a Russian legal entity will be responsible for the quality and volume of services provided in the country.

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The law is far from perfect, but we can say that this is the first sign. The Federal Tax Service shared data on the turnover of Russian legal entities associated with Google in 2020, which is 144 billion rubles. Still think that the Russian market is extremely small and can be ignored?

For most of the companies listed on the RKN website, the cards look like this so far, but soon everything will change, right?

Meta's problems are just beginning. Why Facebook Should Suffer

By and large, the renaming of Facebook to Meta is an attempt to get away from the association with the problems of the parent company, which they want to split into parts in the US, separate Instagram, WhatsApp, Facebook and, possibly, some other businesses. In my opinion, the renaming is premature, as Meta's problems are so deep that the company will be attacked from all sides, and this will not stop for a long time. In the UK, a lawsuit has been filed against Meta, alleging that the social network Facebook collected personal data from residents of the country and then sold its products based on them. The class action was written by Lisa Lovdal Gormsen, who specializes in competition law. It claims that the social network dominates the market, uses dishonest tricks and in doing so has earned "billions" from its users' data. The victims in the lawsuit are all those who at least once used the social network in the period from October 1, 2015 to December 31, 2019. The total amount of the claim is 2.3 billion pounds (more than 3 billion dollars). The amount of compensation exceeds 60 pounds per person.

It is not necessary to say that the lawsuit has a great chance of winning. In the worst case scenario for Meta, you will have to settle the dispute out of court and pay significantly lower amounts. But such lawsuits will arise in all countries of the world, legal pressure on Meta will increase, costs for lawyers will increase, plus the work of the company itself will be as difficult as possible. And this applies not only to the past, but also to the present.

At the same time, the US Federal Trade Commission launched an investigation into the division of Oculus, which creates VR technologies for the Meta. The reason is exactly the same: how much Meta suppresses competition, whether or not third-party developers are allowed into the Oculus app store, why sales of their VR helmets are subsidized, whether this puts other companies in unequal market conditions. The entire Facebook business is now viewed through a magnifying glass, the company cannot take a step without the permission of the authorities, which makes the business environment not very comfortable for them. And the ending of this story will be one - the company will be divided into parts, there can be no other outcome. Politicians in America take a long time to harness, they cannot do it instantly, but there is no doubt that this is the plan.

In Russia, against Meta (Facebook), a whole series of fines from the state is being prepared in pursuit of those that already exist. Plus, officials will obviously ask exactly the same questions that arise for Facebook business in America and Europe, which means it will be at least fun.

The defeat of the hacker group REvil - a show for TV channels

I will give the news in a short line:

“The FSB of Russia detained 14 hackers of the REvil group. 426 million rubles, $600,000, €500,000, crypto wallets and 20 premium cars were confiscated from the detainees. The operation in Moscow, St. Petersburg, Moscow, Leningrad and Lipetsk regions was carried out with the assistance of the Investigative Committee of the Ministry of Internal Affairs.

At the request of the United States and Biden's personal request, operational and investigative actions were carried out against the REvil hacker group in Russia, and they simultaneously took place in 14 cities (yes, the number of detainees is noticeably lower).

My information about this event is completely inconsistent with what is known about the REvil group. So, last year, Kaspersky Lab, describing this grouping, claimed that the turnover for 2020 amounted to $100 million. This group's ransomware targeted high-profile companies such as Quanta Computer, Apple's technology partner, and thanks to the leak, we obtained internal Apple documents. It is also a company like Acer, and many others. Often the names of the victims are simply unknown, as they preferred to remain silent and not pay. The annoyance of REvil's arrogance and public actions took to the political level when the President of the United States directly asked Vladimir Putin to solve this problem. During the summer, all infrastructure related to REvil was blocked in a matter of hours. But there were no arrests.

The recent arrests are curious for many reasons. The defendants are charged with article 187, part two, of the Criminal Code (illegal circulation of means of payment as part of an organized group), this is clearly not hacking into computer networks and programs (articles 272 and 273). It is possible that the accusation will be reclassified later, but the video of the detention, the rented apartments and the amounts that were seized do not correlate with a turnover of $ 100 million in just one year. Too strange picture, small amounts within the framework of what was said earlier.

My opinion is simple - performers, grassroots composition, that is, those who can be safely sacrificed. The people behind REvil will calmly continue to operate under other names (they will call the group differently, and business is something), a business that is too profitable not to be able to escape from the blow of the state. Yes, and usually such people also fulfill the “requests” of the state, share their findings that may be of interest - technologies, documents, and so on. This does not mean at all that the state supports them in every possible way, but the rules of the game all over the world are such that those living in a particular country do not attack anyone within the country, plus they share the information they have obtained. Russia is no exception here, and everything happens exactly the same way. I think that, based on the totality of “merits,” we see the arrests of the grassroots (and do they, in principle, have anything to do with this group?). It is hard to believe that this is precisely a large operation at the level of several countries, in which all members of the group were identified and detained along the entire chain. The picture shown to us in the video only reinforces these doubts.

At the same time, I have no doubt that the detainees will confess to all mortal sins on camera, I think that they have good reasons for this, since they were clearly taken for a reason and they have something to present. As well as haggling over how much blame they will take.

Books. Boris Shcherbakov, Hard&Soft.

Wandering around the "Subscription Editions" store on Liteiny, I accidentally saw the cover of a book with a floppy disk. Something from a past life, when HoMM fit on almost three dozen floppy disks and copying the game was not such a banal task as downloading a distribution kit from the network today.

Boris Shcherbakov's book promised something interesting, since the author was one of the first top managers in the Russian IT market, in the 90s he headed the HP division, then worked at the Party company (it's like MVideo ” today, to understand the realities of that market), was at Oracle, and since 2012 has been heading Dell in Russia. We can safely say that this is not just an eyewitness of events, but a person who, to some extent, determined the formation of the market together with hundreds of other players. I could not pass by a small book, it became interesting what was inside.

There were no set expectations, I didn't know what the book was about, and I was ready to see anything. Probably the closest description that fits Hard&Soft is memories and reflections. Through the prism of their own life experience, some events from the past are described in fits and starts. There is no complete picture of corporate life at HP or other companies, there is a lot about the Party company and its owner Alexander Mineev, with whom life has bumped me several times, I more than agree with the epithets described in the book, for example, here is the following passage for you:

“Shura drove up to the office where we were waiting for him, always in two huge and scary black Mercedes, security jumped out - as many as four hefty guys in black suits, like in some kind of Hollywood action movie. Shura got out of the car, resolutely walked to the entrance, where he was already met by the internal guards, the skirts of his raincoat fluttered picturesquely. One would like to say “with a bloody lining”, but no: Shura had neither a “shuffling cavalry gait” nor a white cloak, nevertheless, the exit was always artistic ... My bosses froze in a daze, they never had anything like it in their Austria didn't see it, it was clear. The effect of Shura's appearance to the people was calculated, of course , and made an impression.”

It's a pity, but the book, on the one hand, has an internal logic, on the other hand, it is a discussion about the personal, about his life as a top manager. And a lot remains outside the brackets, the personal is veiled, and there are not so many such moments that are interesting and emotional. I caught myself thinking that if I didn’t know many of the people listed in the book, in life, I wouldn’t be interested at all. Old stories that are not colored by the knowledge of people, those events and that time do not form into a bright picture.

Perhaps, if you are interested in the author himself, then you will get to know his logic better, the possibility of self-criticism and assessment of life situations, here the personal outweighs everything else, external events always go through the prism of their feelings: “I even spoke a couple of times from an absolutely prostitute properties with articles in computer weeklies, where he sang the panegyric of "Party", talking about what a wonderful team we have. True, it was almost immediately after the transition, when my conscience had not yet been ridden by the heavy caterpillars of reflection and thoughts about the frailty of everything earthly ... ”.

I remember one of those columns very well, as we discussed looking through rose-colored glasses at the “Party” and how the company works very differently inside. I definitely pay tribute to the strength of Boris Shcherbakov, that he admits his mistakes (in no case do I judge and I can’t do this, the time was strange then).

The circulation of the book is minimal, 1500 pieces. Even by today's standards, this is not much, so the book will obviously end quickly. To read or not to read, you be the judge. For those who lived and worked in those years, it may be interesting to read about a look at the market and some events, but everyone has dozens, if not hundreds, of such stories since that time. There is little practical use in the book, it will not teach you to be smarter or better, rather it will broaden your horizons and show what our market could be and what it was (the view is rather narrow, there are not many interesting stories, they are touched upon in passing, almost invisible). Since there were no special expectations, I was not upset at all. But I would like something furious about that time, especially since the texture is unique and Boris can clearly tell more and better.

P.S. Have a nice working week, I hope you enjoy the weather, interesting books at hand and great conversationalists, no matter where they are, on your smartphone or at arm's length. The main thing is to have a mood, everything else will follow. Do not be pessimists, all the best is definitely ahead, winter will end soon, which means that you need to have time to use its benefits - snow, frosty air and the beauty that is spilled around.

Spillikins №676. Price increase in 2022, first mark of price increase

How electronics prices will rise in the first half of the year; sales of S21 FE; how my Fold3 was repaired; a book about freedom; Telegram steals from Google; about bad photos; fines from Google and Facebook.

Spillikins №677. Clouds rise or close, two examples

Obvious things are often not so obvious to others, and this is confusing. It seems that this refrain has set me on edge, but it is impossible not to see the relationship in how the prices of all products and services are rising, how the cost of energy carriers is changing. The driving force of our civilization is electricity, there will be none, and our world will fall into decay in a matter of months, everything will stop in the literal sense of the word. But even if this does not happen, then everyone will have to reconsider plans for new fifth-generation networks. I wanted to write about this in Spillikins, but it turned out to be a separate text.

In Russia, 5G has dawned on the horizon - free frequencies and deputies

Why 5G licenses are free in Russia; 100 billion for licenses in the US; how deputies walk at the expense of operators and give money to everyone; prospects for 5G in the world and in Russia.

You can look at what the world could become in conditions of electricity shortages using the example of Lebanon, there is no Internet again, diesel has not been delivered for generators, there is no money for it. We have already discussed this story with you in detail, it just repeats itself and has become familiar.

Spillikins №663. The new generation of Pixel from Google or refurbished Samsung

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Something similar is possible not only somewhere far away, but in very close Europe, even if not in the winter of 2022, but a year later. But power outages will become the norm for many countries, the crisis is too significant to be ignored. It is interesting that there may be light, but people will not have money to pay for it. The habitual well-fed world is gradually coming to an end, and this reality must be recognized and reconciled with what is happening, nothing can be changed here. Against the backdrop of many countries, Russia is in more or less good shape, although there are enough problems and the crisis will not bypass us. But the amplitude of this crisis will obviously not be so noticeable, and the shock will be clearly weaker than in the same Europe, which first encountered this. Unfortunately, we will often have to talk about the crisis and all its manifestations, so let's start with the topic of how prices for cloud services will rise, and some will simply be closed. Let's go!

Table of Contents

  • Cloud services and their rising cost - an example of Netflix and MegaDisk
  • The law on the landing of IT companies in Russia, the first signs
  • Meta's problems are just beginning. Why Facebook Should Suffer
  • The defeat of the hacker group REvil - a show for TV channels
  • Books. Boris Shcherbakov, Hard&Soft.

Cloud services and the growth of their cost - an example of Netflix and MegaDisk

When I say that prices will rise in the coming months for all services without exception, I usually meet with disbelief. How? Why and why? We are not used to paying, moreover, we were promised that everything would be free until the end of time. With rising costs, every company is rethinking the way it does what it does and what it gives away for free. By and large, exactly two approaches are possible here - to refuse free services and offer them only for money, or to raise prices for those who are already paying. We can consider two examples that characterize both approaches well.

In October 2013, MegaFon launched the MegaDisk service for subscribers of the Moscow branch. Cloud file storage became available to everyone already in 2014, and both free space and traffic that was not taken into account for subscribers of the operator, as well as paid options were offered. At the end of 2021, the cost of space in the cloud storage was as follows.

Reality and prospects of the IT professions market

What professions are the most popular and highly paid?

Review of the smartphone Samsung Galaxy A22s 5G (SM A226B/DSN)

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Kia Picanto test. The last of the city cars

Somehow imperceptibly, almost all compact city cars left Russia, which replaced compact class sedans and liftbacks like Hyundai Solaris and Skoda Rapid. There are always two real city cars left on our market, this is the hero of our material Kia Picanto and Chevrolet Spark, along with its counterpart under the Ravon brand.

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It is impossible to say that MegaDisk somehow favorably differed from other cloud services. The biggest benefit was that MegaFon subscribers did not pay for traffic, which means that they could store their photos in the cloud de facto for free. For most, this was a bargain, and if you look at the number of downloads of the application only on Android, it turns out that it is more than a million! If you add iOS, then the number will be noticeably larger, and, whatever one may say, the service can be called popular.

But if you look at how good this service is for MegaFon, it will suddenly turn out that a small number of people used paid options. I don’t have data on the service’s MAU, but even if we assume that it’s about 300-400 thousand people, then the operator’s costs look cosmic, and they don’t fight back in any way - there is no conversion into loyalty, there are no additional advantages when choosing MegaFon. Considering roughly the costs for each active user, we can say that this is about a dollar a month, that is, at least 300-400 thousand dollars went nowhere. For the year, the amount turned out to be very decent, plus these are servers, space on them, which can be freed up for other projects.

A crisis is a time when everything that doesn't look important and doesn't serve the main goal goes under the knife, and the MegaDisk project goes under the knife.

From February 1, the service is closed for connections, and on April 1, all user data will be deleted. I had a “MegaDisk” until mid-2021, but then I noticed that it stopped performing its function, began to work very crookedly, practically did not load data. I read the reviews in the Play Store, over the past six months, almost all of them are one, people complained about exactly the same thing.

We can safely say that MegaFon stopped supporting the service a little earlier than it was officially announced. He went under the knife, and it's understandable why, there is no reason to support him, and the number of those who paid for him was clearly small. Unfortunately, we can say that we will see a similar approach for most operator services that are not specialized, they will get rid of them. And rightly so, since you need to accumulate funds for the main line of business. The crisis is not the time when you can be silly and try to work with all the services yourself.

Let's take a look at Netflix, the company in its native US market always tries to keep prices at an affordable level, not to drive them up, as the competition is high. However, there has been an increase in price, look at the sign.

Source: theverge.com

Since 2013, there has been almost a twofold increase in the cost for two tariff plans. It's amazing, isn't it? And a similar situation will occur everywhere, as the cost of servers, electricity, wages for staff increases. It is not possible, but it is certain that salaries are not growing so fast or not growing at all somewhere, but the fact is that life is becoming more expensive, you see it in all areas. Therefore, price growth is inevitable, and it is noticeably lower than real inflation, no one in big business is ready to raise prices by a real amount, as this will scare away buyers. I think that 2022 will be marked by the fact that the prices for services will grow constantly and such news will become familiar. Therefore, if you have something that you definitely use and can pay for a year in advance, then it's time to do it. It will be more expensive.

During the long January holidays, I reviewed all my subscriptions and services, got rid of those that are not needed or complementary to the main ones. It turned out that now about 5,000 rubles of additional “income” has arisen, somewhere it was a “silent person”, an ideal consumer who paid, but did not use the services of the service. Fixed this omission.

The law on the landing of IT companies in Russia, the first signs

From January 1, the law on “landing” came into force in Russia, according to which foreign IT corporations operating in our country and having an audience of more than half a million people a day are required to open a Russian representative office, place a feedback form in their products for its Russian users, as well as register a personal account on the Roskomnadzor website.

As soon as this law was mocked online throughout the second half of 2021, the usual comments sounded something like this: “Apple didn’t care about the RKN and Russia, it’s too insignificant a market, and they spit it for ***.” The arguments are always the same, that Russia is small, and "great" companies will not condescend to comply with the law, so you can relax, the officials will do their best and everything will be as before. This is about the same song that sounds about fines issued by Google or Facebook, and they gradually pay them, and at the same time receive new ones.

During the holidays, a sufficient number of articles appeared, where what was happening was discussed and it was said that no one seeks to fulfill the law, they say, everything failed. I'll start with the bad news, the RKN is very slow in updating its website, as many companies have already started to comply with the law, it's just that this information is not on the RKN website.

Let me remind you of the list of companies and their services that fall under the law:

  • Google (Google Play services, YouTube, YouTube Music, Google Chat, Gmail);
  • Apple (iCloud, App Store, Apple Music);
  • Meta Platforms (Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp);
  • Twitter;
  • TikTok;
  • Telegram;
  • Zoom;
  • Viber;
  • Spotify;
  • Likeme Pte. ltd (Like);
  • Discord;
  • Pinterest;
  • Twitch.

The number one is the Likee service, since Russia is one of their main markets for them. The second number is Apple, although they do not yet have a return contact form and have not registered a representative office for the legal entity to which the company's services are registered.

Nevertheless, we can assume that Apple, as usual, is among the leaders in production, the company's cooperation with the Russian authorities is closer than ever, and Apple not only tries to comply with all laws, but often runs ahead of the locomotive. I think that the company is aware that by complying with these laws, they can receive additional preferences compared to those who are in no hurry to do so. And preferences are easily converted into money that companies need more than ever.

I think that for some time the RKN will not punish anyone, the exhortation period will last another month, then fines will be issued. Someone may have traffic slowdown turned on, as was done for Twitter.

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But even now we can say that there is no question of total non-compliance with the law. This means that Apple's example will encourage other companies to do the same in order not to lose the Russian market.

I will repeat a simple truth: corporations cannot and do not know how to fight with states, they always have only one way - to leave the market. The Russian market is so large and noticeable for any company that no one is going to leave it of their own free will. Hence the observance of laws, albeit not instantaneous. I watched with great interest what kind of crying Yaroslavna heard in the camp of the opposition, which claimed that no one would abide by the law. Lack of understanding of the basic principles of the work of corporations did not prevent them from commenting with rapture that the officials themselves would impale themselves, would again become a laughingstock. It's time to collect stones and come up with explanations for why things suddenly became different.

As for me, the law can give us, as users of services in Russia, a separate and fast support service, a solution to our problems with this or that service. And this is to be welcomed. Previously, in order to resolve the issue with the same Facebook, it was necessary to wade through the robots, and the issue, as a rule, was still not resolved in any way. And those who wanted to sue companies did not have a chance at all, for this they had to go to America, which is expensive, difficult and unrealistic for Russian users. From now on, it will look completely different, since a Russian legal entity will be responsible for the quality and volume of services provided in the country.

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The law is far from perfect, but we can say that this is the first sign. The Federal Tax Service shared data on the turnover of Russian legal entities associated with Google in 2020, which is 144 billion rubles. Still think that the Russian market is extremely small and can be ignored?

For most of the companies listed on the RKN website, the cards look like this so far, but soon everything will change, right?

Meta's problems are just beginning. Why Facebook Should Suffer

By and large, the renaming of Facebook to Meta is an attempt to get away from the association with the problems of the parent company, which they want to split into parts in the US, separate Instagram, WhatsApp, Facebook and, possibly, some other businesses. In my opinion, the renaming is premature, as Meta's problems are so deep that the company will be attacked from all sides, and this will not stop for a long time. In the UK, a lawsuit has been filed against Meta, alleging that the social network Facebook collected personal data from residents of the country and then sold its products based on them. The class action was written by Lisa Lovdal Gormsen, who specializes in competition law. It claims that the social network dominates the market, uses dishonest tricks and in doing so has earned "billions" from its users' data. The victims in the lawsuit are all those who at least once used the social network in the period from October 1, 2015 to December 31, 2019. The total amount of the claim is 2.3 billion pounds (more than 3 billion dollars). The amount of compensation exceeds 60 pounds per person.

It is not necessary to say that the lawsuit has a great chance of winning. In the worst case scenario for Meta, you will have to settle the dispute out of court and pay significantly lower amounts. But such lawsuits will arise in all countries of the world, legal pressure on Meta will increase, costs for lawyers will increase, plus the work of the company itself will be as difficult as possible. And this applies not only to the past, but also to the present.

At the same time, the US Federal Trade Commission launched an investigation into the division of Oculus, which creates VR technologies for the Meta. The reason is exactly the same: how much Meta suppresses competition, whether or not third-party developers are allowed into the Oculus app store, why sales of their VR helmets are subsidized, whether this puts other companies in unequal market conditions. The entire Facebook business is now viewed through a magnifying glass, the company cannot take a step without the permission of the authorities, which makes the business environment not very comfortable for them. And the ending of this story will be one - the company will be divided into parts, there can be no other outcome. Politicians in America take a long time to harness, they cannot do it instantly, but there is no doubt that this is the plan.

In Russia, against Meta (Facebook), a whole series of fines from the state is being prepared in pursuit of those that already exist. Plus, officials will obviously ask exactly the same questions that arise for Facebook business in America and Europe, which means it will be at least fun.

The defeat of the hacker group REvil - a show for TV channels

I will give the news in a short line:

“The FSB of Russia detained 14 hackers of the REvil group. 426 million rubles, $600,000, €500,000, crypto wallets and 20 premium cars were confiscated from the detainees. The operation in Moscow, St. Petersburg, Moscow, Leningrad and Lipetsk regions was carried out with the assistance of the Investigative Committee of the Ministry of Internal Affairs.

At the request of the United States and Biden's personal request, operational and investigative actions were carried out against the REvil hacker group in Russia, and they simultaneously took place in 14 cities (yes, the number of detainees is noticeably lower).

My information about this event is completely inconsistent with what is known about the REvil group. So, last year, Kaspersky Lab, describing this grouping, claimed that the turnover for 2020 amounted to $100 million. This group's ransomware targeted high-profile companies such as Quanta Computer, Apple's technology partner, and thanks to the leak, we obtained internal Apple documents. It is also a company like Acer, and many others. Often the names of the victims are simply unknown, as they preferred to remain silent and not pay. The annoyance of REvil's arrogance and public actions took to the political level when the President of the United States directly asked Vladimir Putin to solve this problem. During the summer, all infrastructure related to REvil was blocked in a matter of hours. But there were no arrests.

The recent arrests are curious for many reasons. The defendants are charged with article 187, part two, of the Criminal Code (illegal circulation of means of payment as part of an organized group), this is clearly not hacking into computer networks and programs (articles 272 and 273). It is possible that the accusation will be reclassified later, but the video of the detention, the rented apartments and the amounts that were seized do not correlate with a turnover of $ 100 million in just one year. Too strange picture, small amounts within the framework of what was said earlier.

My opinion is simple - performers, grassroots composition, that is, those who can be safely sacrificed. The people behind REvil will calmly continue to operate under other names (they will call the group differently, and business is something), a business that is too profitable not to be able to escape from the blow of the state. Yes, and usually such people also fulfill the “requests” of the state, share their findings that may be of interest - technologies, documents, and so on. This does not mean at all that the state supports them in every possible way, but the rules of the game all over the world are such that those living in a particular country do not attack anyone within the country, plus they share the information they have obtained. Russia is no exception here, and everything happens in exactly the same way. I think that, based on the totality of “merits,” we see the arrests of the lower ranks (but do they, in principle, have anything to do with this group?). It is hard to believe that this is precisely a large operation at the level of several countries, in which all members of the group were identified and detained along the entire chain. The picture shown to us in the video only reinforces these doubts.

At the same time, I have no doubt that the detainees will confess to all mortal sins on camera, I think that they have good reasons for this, since they were clearly taken for a reason and they have something to present. As well as haggling over how much blame they will take.

Books. Boris Shcherbakov, Hard&Soft.

Wandering around the "Subscription Editions" store on Liteiny, I accidentally saw the cover of a book with a floppy disk. Something from a past life, when HoMM fit on almost three dozen floppy disks and copying the game was not such a banal task as downloading a distribution kit from the network today.

Boris Shcherbakov's book promised something interesting, since the author was one of the first top managers in the Russian IT market, in the 90s he headed the HP division, then he worked at the Party company (it's like MVideo ” today, to understand the realities of that market), was at Oracle, and since 2012 has been heading Dell in Russia. We can safely say that this is not just an eyewitness of events, but a person who, to some extent, determined the formation of the market together with hundreds of other players. I could not pass by a small book, it became interesting what was inside.

There were no set expectations, I didn't know what the book was about, and I was ready to see anything. Probably the closest description that fits Hard&Soft is memories and reflections. Through the prism of their own life experience, some events from the past are described in fits and starts. There is no complete picture of corporate life at HP or other companies, there is a lot about the Party company and its owner Alexander Mineev, with whom life has bumped me several times, I more than agree with the epithets described in the book, for example, here is the following passage for you:

“Shura drove up to the office where we were waiting for him, always in two huge and scary black Mercedes, security jumped out - as many as four hefty guys in black suits, like in some kind of Hollywood action movie. Shura got out of the car, resolutely walked to the entrance, where he was already met by the internal guards, the skirts of his raincoat fluttered picturesquely. One would like to say “with a bloody lining”, but no: Shura had neither a “shuffling cavalry gait” nor a white cloak, nevertheless, the exit was always artistic ... My bosses froze in a daze, they never had anything like it in their Austria didn't see it, it was clear. The effect of Shura's appearance to the people was calculated, of course , and made an impression.”

It's a pity, but the book, on the one hand, has an internal logic, on the other hand, it is a discussion about the personal, about his life as a top manager. And a lot remains outside the brackets, the personal is veiled, and there are not so many such moments that are interesting and emotional. I caught myself thinking that if I didn’t know many of the people listed in the book, in life, I wouldn’t be interested at all. Old stories that are not colored by the knowledge of people, those events and that time do not form into a bright picture.

Perhaps, if you are interested in the author himself, then you will get to know his logic better, the possibility of self-criticism and assessment of life situations, here the personal outweighs everything else, external events always go through the prism of their feelings: “I even spoke a couple of times from an absolutely prostitute properties with articles in computer weeklies, where he sang the panegyric of "Party", talking about what a wonderful team we have. True, it was almost immediately after the transition, when my conscience had not yet been ridden by the heavy caterpillars of reflection and thoughts about the frailty of everything earthly ... ”.

I remember one of those columns very well, as we discussed looking through rose-colored glasses at the “Party” and how the company works very differently inside. I definitely pay tribute to the strength of Boris Shcherbakov, that he admits his mistakes (in no case do I judge and I can’t do this, the time was strange then).

The circulation of the book is minimal, 1500 pieces. Even by today's standards, this is not much, so the book will obviously end quickly. To read or not to read, you be the judge. For those who lived and worked in those years, it may be interesting to read about a look at the market and some events, but everyone has dozens, if not hundreds, of such stories since that time. There is little practical use in the book, it will not teach you to be smarter or better, rather it will broaden your horizons and show what our market could be and what it was (the view is rather narrow, there are not many interesting stories, they are touched upon in passing, almost invisible). Since there were no special expectations, I was not upset at all. But I would like something furious about that time, especially since the texture is unique and Boris can clearly tell more and better.

P.S. Have a nice working week, I hope you enjoy the weather, interesting books at hand and great conversationalists, no matter where they are, on your smartphone or at arm's length. The main thing is to have a mood, everything else will follow. Do not be pessimists, all the best is definitely ahead, winter will end soon, which means that you need to have time to use its benefits - snow, frosty air and the beauty that is spilled around.

Spillikins №676. Price increase in 2022, first mark of price increase

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Spillikins №677. Clouds rise or close, two examples

Obvious things are often not so obvious to others, and this is confusing. It seems that this refrain has set me on edge, but it is impossible not to see the relationship in how the prices of all products and services are rising, how the cost of energy carriers is changing. The driving force of our civilization is electricity, there will be none, and our world will fall into decay in a matter of months, everything will stop in the literal sense of the word. But even if this does not happen, then everyone will have to reconsider plans for new fifth-generation networks. I wanted to write about this in Spillikins, but it turned out to be a separate text.

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You can look at what the world could become in conditions of electricity shortages using the example of Lebanon, there is no Internet again, diesel has not been delivered for generators, there is no money for it. We have already discussed this story with you in detail, it just repeats itself and has become familiar.

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Something similar is possible not only somewhere far away, but in very close Europe, even if not in the winter of 2022, but a year later. But power outages will become the norm for many countries, the crisis is too significant to be ignored. It is interesting that there may be light, but people will not have money to pay for it. The habitual well-fed world is gradually coming to an end, and this reality must be recognized and reconciled with what is happening, nothing can be changed here. Against the backdrop of many countries, Russia is in more or less good shape, although there are enough problems and the crisis will not bypass us. But the amplitude of this crisis will obviously not be so noticeable, and the shock will be clearly weaker than in the same Europe, which first encountered this. Unfortunately, we will often have to talk about the crisis and all its manifestations, so let's start with the topic of how prices for cloud services will rise, and some will simply be closed. Let's go!

Table of Contents

  • Cloud services and their rising cost - an example of Netflix and MegaDisk
  • The law on the landing of IT companies in Russia, the first signs
  • Meta's problems are just beginning. Why Facebook must suffer
  • The defeat of the hacker group REvil - a show for TV channels
  • Books. Boris Shcherbakov, Hard&Soft.

Cloud services and the growth of their cost - an example of Netflix and MegaDisk

When I say that prices will rise in the coming months for all services without exception, I usually meet with disbelief. How? Why and why? We are not used to paying, moreover, we were promised that everything would be free until the end of time. As costs rise, every company is rethinking how it does what it does and what it gives away for free. By and large, exactly two approaches are possible here - to refuse free services and offer them only for money, or to raise prices for those who are already paying. We can consider two examples that characterize both approaches well.

In October 2013, MegaFon launched the MegaDisk service for subscribers of the Moscow branch. Cloud file storage became available to everyone already in 2014, and both free space and traffic that was not taken into account for subscribers of the operator, as well as paid options were offered. At the end of 2021, the cost of space in the cloud storage was as follows.

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It is impossible to say that MegaDisk somehow favorably differed from other cloud services. The biggest benefit was that MegaFon subscribers did not pay for traffic, which means that they could store their photos in the cloud de facto for free. For most, this was a bargain, and if you look at the number of downloads of the application only on Android, it turns out that it is more than a million! If you add iOS, then the number will be noticeably larger, and, whatever one may say, the service can be called popular.

But if you look at how good this service is for MegaFon, it will suddenly turn out that a small number of people used paid options. I don’t have data on the service’s MAU, but even if we assume that it’s about 300-400 thousand people, then the operator’s costs look cosmic, and they don’t fight back in any way - there is no conversion into loyalty, there are no additional advantages when choosing MegaFon. Considering roughly the costs for each active user, we can say that this is about a dollar a month, that is, at least 300-400 thousand dollars went nowhere. Over the year, the amount turned out to be very decent, plus these are servers, space on them, which can be freed up for other projects.

A crisis is a time when everything that doesn't look important and doesn't serve the main goal goes under the knife, and the MegaDisk project goes under the knife.

From February 1, the service is closed for connections, and on April 1, all user data will be deleted. I had a “MegaDisk” until mid-2021, but then I noticed that it stopped performing its function, began to work very crookedly, practically did not load data. I read the reviews in the Play Store, over the past six months, almost all of them are one, people complained about exactly the same thing.

We can safely say that MegaFon stopped supporting the service a little earlier than it was officially announced. He went under the knife, and it's understandable why, there is no reason to support him, and the number of those who paid for him was clearly small. Unfortunately, we can say that we will see a similar approach for most operator services that are not specialized, they will get rid of them. And rightly so, since you need to accumulate funds for the main line of business. The crisis is not the time when you can be silly and try to work with all the services yourself.

Let's take a look at Netflix, the company in its native US market always tries to keep prices at an affordable level, not to drive them up, as the competition is high. However, there has been an increase in price, look at the sign.

Source: theverge.com

Since 2013, there has been almost a twofold increase in the cost for two tariff plans. It's amazing, isn't it? And a similar situation will occur everywhere, as the cost of servers, electricity, wages for staff increases. It is not possible, but it is certain that salaries are not growing so fast or not growing at all somewhere, but the fact is that life is becoming more expensive, you see it in all areas. Therefore, price growth is inevitable, and it is noticeably lower than real inflation, no one in big business is ready to raise prices by a real amount, as this will scare away buyers. I think that 2022 will be marked by the fact that the prices for services will grow constantly and such news will become familiar. Therefore, if you have something that you definitely use and can pay for a year in advance, then it's time to do it. Further it will be more expensive.

During the long January holidays, I reviewed all my subscriptions and services, got rid of those that are not needed or complementary to the main ones. It turned out that now about 5,000 rubles of additional “income” has arisen, somewhere it was a “silent person”, an ideal consumer who paid, but did not use the services of the service. Fixed this omission.

The law on the landing of IT companies in Russia, the first signs

From January 1, the law on “landing” came into force in Russia, according to which foreign IT corporations operating in our country and having an audience of more than half a million people a day are required to open a Russian representative office, place a feedback form in their products for its Russian users, as well as register a personal account on the Roskomnadzor website.

As soon as this law was mocked online throughout the second half of 2021, the usual comments sounded something like this: “Apple didn’t care about the RKN and Russia, it’s too insignificant a market, and they spit it for ***.” The arguments are always the same, that Russia is small, and “great” companies will not condescend to comply with the law, so you can relax, the officials will do their best and everything will be as before. This is about the same song that sounds about fines issued by Google or Facebook, and they gradually pay them, and at the same time receive new ones.

During the holidays, a sufficient number of articles appeared, where what was happening was discussed and it was said that no one seeks to fulfill the law, they say, everything failed. I'll start with the bad news, the RKN is very slow in updating its website, as many companies have already started to comply with the law, it's just that this information is not on the RKN website.

Let me remind you of the list of companies and their services that fall under the law:

  • Google (Google Play services, YouTube, YouTube Music, Google Chat, Gmail);
  • Apple (iCloud, App Store, Apple Music);
  • Meta Platforms (Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp);
  • Twitter;
  • TikTok;
  • Telegram;
  • Zoom;
  • Viber;
  • Spotify;
  • Likeme Pte. ltd (Like);
  • Discord;
  • Pinterest;
  • Twitch.

The number one is the Likee service, since Russia is one of their main markets for them. The second number is Apple, although they do not yet have a return contact form and have not registered a representative office for the legal entity to which the company's services are registered.

Nevertheless, we can assume that Apple, as usual, is among the leaders in production, the company's cooperation with the Russian authorities is closer than ever, and Apple not only tries to comply with all laws, but often runs ahead of the locomotive. I think that the company is aware that by complying with these laws, they can receive additional preferences compared to those who are in no hurry to do so. And preferences are easily converted into money that companies need more than ever.

I think that for some time the RKN will not punish anyone, the exhortation period will last another month, then fines will be issued. Someone may have traffic slowdown turned on, as was done for Twitter.

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But even now we can say that there is no question of total non-compliance with the law. This means that Apple's example will encourage other companies to do the same in order not to lose the Russian market.

I will repeat a simple truth: corporations cannot and do not know how to fight with states, they always have only one way - to leave the market. The Russian market is so large and noticeable for any company that no one is going to leave it of their own free will. Hence the observance of laws, albeit not instantaneous. I watched with great interest what kind of crying Yaroslavna heard in the camp of the opposition, which claimed that no one would abide by the law. Lack of understanding of the basic principles of the work of corporations did not prevent them from commenting with rapture that the officials themselves would impale themselves, would again become a laughingstock. It's time to collect stones and come up with explanations for why things suddenly became different.

As for me, the law can give us, as users of services in Russia, a separate and fast support service, a solution to our problems with this or that service. And this is to be welcomed. Previously, in order to resolve the issue with the same Facebook, it was necessary to wade through the robots, and the issue, as a rule, was still not resolved in any way. And those who wanted to sue companies did not have a chance at all, for this they had to go to America, which is expensive, difficult and unrealistic for Russian users. From now on, it will look completely different, since a Russian legal entity will be responsible for the quality and volume of services provided in the country.

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The law is far from perfect, but we can say that this is the first sign. The Federal Tax Service shared data on the turnover of Russian legal entities associated with Google in 2020, which is 144 billion rubles. Still think that the Russian market is extremely small and can be ignored?

For most of the companies listed on the RKN website, the cards look like this so far, but soon everything will change, right?

Meta's problems are just beginning. Why Facebook Should Suffer

By and large, the renaming of Facebook to Meta is an attempt to get away from the association with the problems of the parent company, which they want to split into parts in the US, separate Instagram, WhatsApp, Facebook and, possibly, some other businesses. In my opinion, the renaming is premature, as Meta's problems are so deep that the company will be attacked from all sides, and this will not stop for a long time. In the UK, a lawsuit has been filed against Meta, alleging that the social network Facebook collected personal data from residents of the country and then sold its products based on them. The class action was written by Lisa Lovdal Gormsen, who specializes in competition law. It claims that the social network dominates the market, uses dishonest tricks and in doing so has earned "billions" from its users' data. The victims in the lawsuit are all those who at least once used the social network in the period from October 1, 2015 to December 31, 2019. The total amount of the claim is 2.3 billion pounds (more than 3 billion dollars). The amount of compensation exceeds 60 pounds per person.

It is not necessary to say that the lawsuit has a great chance of winning. In the worst-case scenario for Meta, you will have to settle the dispute out of court and pay significantly lower amounts. But such lawsuits will arise in all countries of the world, legal pressure on Meta will increase, costs for lawyers will increase, plus the work of the company itself will be as difficult as possible. And this applies not only to the past, but also to the present.

At the same time, the US Federal Trade Commission launched an investigation into the division of Oculus, which creates VR technologies for the Meta. The reason is exactly the same: how much Meta suppresses competition, whether or not third-party developers are allowed into the Oculus app store, why sales of their VR helmets are subsidized, whether this puts other companies in unequal market conditions. The entire Facebook business is now viewed through a magnifying glass, the company cannot take a step without the permission of the authorities, which makes the business environment not very comfortable for them. And the ending of this story will be one - the company will be divided into parts, there can be no other outcome. Politicians in America take a long time to harness, they cannot do it instantly, but there is no doubt that this is the plan.

In Russia, against Meta (Facebook), a whole series of fines from the state is being prepared in pursuit of those that already exist. Plus, officials will obviously ask exactly the same questions that arise for Facebook business in America and Europe, which means it will be at least fun.

The defeat of the hacker group REvil - a show for TV channels

I will give the news in a short line:

“The FSB of Russia detained 14 hackers of the REvil group. 426 million rubles, $600,000, €500,000, crypto wallets and 20 premium cars were confiscated from the detainees. The operation in Moscow, St. Petersburg, Moscow, Leningrad and Lipetsk regions was carried out with the assistance of the Investigative Committee of the Ministry of Internal Affairs.

At the request of the United States and Biden's personal request, operational and investigative actions were carried out against the REvil hacker group in Russia, and they simultaneously took place in 14 cities (yes, the number of detainees is noticeably lower).

My information about this event is completely inconsistent with what is known about the REvil group. So, last year, Kaspersky Lab, describing this grouping, claimed that the turnover for 2020 amounted to $100 million. This group's ransomware targeted high-profile companies such as Quanta Computer, Apple's technology partner, and thanks to the leak, we obtained internal Apple documents. It is also a company like Acer, and many others. Often the names of the victims are simply unknown, as they preferred to remain silent and not pay. The annoyance of REvil's arrogance and public actions took to the political level when the President of the United States directly asked Vladimir Putin to solve this problem. During the summer, the entire infrastructure associated with REvil was blocked in a matter of hours. But there were no arrests.

The recent arrests are curious for many reasons. The defendants are charged with article 187, part two, of the Criminal Code (illegal circulation of means of payment as part of an organized group), this is clearly not hacking into computer networks and programs (articles 272 and 273). It is possible that the accusation will be reclassified later, but the video of the detention, the rented apartments and the amounts that were seized do not correlate with a turnover of $ 100 million in just one year. Too strange picture, small amounts within the framework of what was said earlier.

My opinion is simple - performers, grassroots composition, that is, those who can be safely sacrificed. The people behind REvil will calmly continue to operate under other names (they will call the group differently, and business is something), a business that is too profitable not to be able to escape from the blow of the state. Yes, and usually such people also fulfill the “requests” of the state, share their findings that may be of interest - technologies, documents, and so on. This does not mean at all that the state supports them in every possible way, but the rules of the game all over the world are such that those living in a particular country do not attack anyone within the country, plus they share the information they have obtained. Russia is no exception here, and everything happens in exactly the same way. I think that, based on the totality of “merits,” we see the arrests of the lower ranks (but do they, in principle, have anything to do with this group?). It is hard to believe that this is precisely a large operation at the level of several countries, in which all members of the group were identified and detained along the entire chain. The picture shown to us in the video only reinforces these doubts.

At the same time, I have no doubt that the detainees will confess to all mortal sins on camera, I think that they have good reasons for this, since they were clearly taken for a reason and they have something to present. As well as haggling over how much blame they will take.

Books. Boris Shcherbakov, Hard&Soft.

Wandering around the "Subscription Editions" store on Liteiny, I accidentally saw the cover of a book with a floppy disk. Something from a past life, when HoMM fit on almost three dozen floppy disks and copying the game was not such a banal task as downloading a distribution kit from the network today.

Boris Shcherbakov's book promised something interesting, since the author was one of the first top managers in the Russian IT market, in the 90s he headed the HP division, then he worked at the Party company (it's like MVideo ” today, to understand the realities of that market), was at Oracle, and since 2012 has been heading Dell in Russia. We can safely say that this is not just an eyewitness of events, but a person who, to some extent, determined the formation of the market together with hundreds of other players. I could not pass by a small book, it became interesting what was inside.

There were no set expectations, I didn't know what the book was about, and I was ready to see anything. Probably the closest description that fits Hard&Soft is memories and reflections. Through the prism of their own life experience, some events from the past are described in fits and starts. There is no complete picture of corporate life at HP or other companies, there is a lot about the Party company and its owner Alexander Mineev, with whom life has bumped me several times, I more than agree with the epithets described in the book, for example, here is the following passage for you:

“Shura drove up to the office where we were waiting for him, always in two huge and scary black Mercedes, security jumped out - as many as four hefty guys in black suits, like in some kind of Hollywood action movie. Shura got out of the car, resolutely walked to the entrance, where he was already met by the internal guards, the skirts of his raincoat fluttered picturesquely. One would like to say “with a bloody lining”, but no: Shura had neither a “shuffling cavalry gait” nor a white cloak, nevertheless, the exit was always artistic ... My bosses froze in a daze, they never had anything like it in their Austria didn't see it, it was clear. The effect of Shura's appearance to the people was calculated, of course , and made an impression.”

It's a pity, but the book, on the one hand, has an internal logic, on the other hand, it is a discussion about the personal, about his life as a top manager. And a lot remains outside the brackets, the personal is veiled, and there are not so many such moments that are interesting and emotional. I caught myself thinking that if I didn’t know many of the people listed in the book, in life, I wouldn’t be interested at all. Old stories that are not colored by the knowledge of people, those events and that time do not form into a bright picture.

Perhaps, if you are interested in the author himself, then you will get to know his logic better, the possibility of self-criticism and assessment of life situations, here the personal outweighs everything else, external events always go through the prism of their feelings: “I even spoke a couple of times from an absolutely prostitute properties with articles in computer weeklies, where he sang the panegyric of "Party", talking about what a wonderful team we have. True, it was almost immediately after the transition, when my conscience had not yet been ridden by the heavy caterpillars of reflection and thoughts about the frailty of everything earthly ... ”.

I remember one of those columns very well, as we discussed looking through rose-colored glasses at the “Party” and how the company works very differently inside. I definitely pay tribute to the strength of Boris Shcherbakov, that he admits his mistakes (in no case do I judge and I can’t do this, the time was strange then).

The circulation of the book is minimal, 1500 pieces. Even by today's standards, this is not much, so the book will obviously end quickly. To read or not to read, you be the judge. For those who lived and worked in those years, it may be interesting to read about a look at the market and some events, but everyone has dozens, if not hundreds, of such stories since that time. There is little practical use in the book, it will not teach you to be smarter or better, rather it will broaden your horizons and show what our market could be and what it was (the view is rather narrow, there are not many interesting stories, they are touched upon in passing, almost invisible). Since there were no special expectations, I was not upset at all. But I would like something furious about that time, especially since the texture is unique and Boris can clearly tell more and better.

P.S. Have a nice working week, I hope you enjoy the weather, interesting books at hand and great conversationalists, no matter where they are, on your smartphone or at arm's length. The main thing is to have a mood, everything else will follow. Do not be pessimists, all the best is definitely ahead, winter will end soon, which means that you need to have time to use its benefits - snow, frosty air and the beauty that is spilled around.

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Spillikins №677. Clouds rise or close, two examples

Obvious things are often not so obvious to others, and this is confusing. It seems that this refrain has set me on edge, but it is impossible not to see the relationship in how the prices of all products and services are rising, how the cost of energy carriers is changing. The driving force of our civilization is electricity, there will be none, and our world will fall into decay in a matter of months, everything will stop in the literal sense of the word. But even if this does not happen, then everyone will have to reconsider plans for new fifth-generation networks. I wanted to write about this in Spillikins, but it turned out to be a separate text.

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You can look at what the world could become in conditions of electricity shortages using the example of Lebanon, there is no Internet again, diesel has not been delivered for generators, there is no money for it. We have already discussed this story with you in detail, it just repeats itself and has become familiar.

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Something similar is possible not only somewhere far away, but in very close Europe, even if not in the winter of 2022, but a year later. But power outages will become the norm for many countries, the crisis is too significant to be ignored. It is interesting that there may be light, but people will not have money to pay for it. The habitual well-fed world is gradually coming to an end, and this reality must be recognized and reconciled with what is happening, nothing can be changed here. Against the backdrop of many countries, Russia is in more or less good shape, although there are enough problems and the crisis will not bypass us. But the amplitude of this crisis will obviously not be so noticeable, and the shock will be clearly weaker than in the same Europe, which first encountered this. Unfortunately, we will often have to talk about the crisis and all its manifestations, so let's start with the topic of how prices for cloud services will rise, and some will simply be closed. Let's go!

Table of Contents

  • Cloud services and their rising cost - an example of Netflix and MegaDisk
  • The law on the landing of IT companies in Russia, the first signs
  • Meta's problems are just beginning. Why Facebook must suffer
  • The defeat of the hacker group REvil - a show for TV channels
  • Books. Boris Shcherbakov, Hard&Soft.

Cloud services and the growth of their cost - an example of Netflix and MegaDisk

When I say that prices will rise in the coming months for all services without exception, I usually meet with disbelief. How? Why and why? We are not used to paying, moreover, we were promised that everything would be free until the end of time. As costs rise, every company is rethinking how it does what it does and what it gives away for free. By and large, exactly two approaches are possible here - to refuse free services and offer them only for money, or to raise prices for those who are already paying. We can consider two examples that characterize both approaches well.

In October 2013, MegaFon launched the MegaDisk service for subscribers of the Moscow branch. Cloud file storage became available to everyone already in 2014, and both free space and traffic that was not taken into account for subscribers of the operator, as well as paid options were offered. At the end of 2021, the cost of space in the cloud storage was as follows.

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It is impossible to say that MegaDisk somehow favorably differed from other cloud services. The biggest benefit was that MegaFon subscribers did not pay for traffic, which means that they could store their photos in the cloud de facto for free. For most, this was a bargain, and if you look at the number of downloads of the application only on Android, it turns out that it is more than a million! If you add iOS, then the number will be noticeably larger, and, whatever one may say, the service can be called popular.

But if you look at how good this service is for MegaFon, it will suddenly turn out that a small number of people used paid options. I don’t have data on the service’s MAU, but even if we assume that it’s about 300-400 thousand people, then the operator’s costs look cosmic, and they don’t fight back in any way - there is no conversion into loyalty, there are no additional advantages when choosing MegaFon. Considering roughly the costs for each active user, we can say that this is about a dollar a month, that is, at least 300-400 thousand dollars went nowhere. For the year, the amount turned out to be very decent, plus these are servers, space on them, which can be freed up for other projects.

A crisis is a time when everything that doesn't look important and doesn't serve the main goal goes under the knife, and the MegaDisk project goes under the knife.

From February 1, the service is closed for connections, and on April 1, all user data will be deleted. I had a “MegaDisk” until mid-2021, but then I noticed that it stopped performing its function, began to work very crookedly, practically did not load data. I read the reviews in the Play Store, over the past six months, almost all of them are one, people complained about exactly the same thing.

We can safely say that MegaFon stopped supporting the service a little earlier than it was officially announced. He went under the knife, and it's understandable why, there is no reason to support him, and the number of those who paid for him was clearly small. Unfortunately, we can say that we will see a similar approach for most operator services that are not specialized, they will get rid of them. And rightly so, since you need to accumulate funds for the main line of business. The crisis is not the time when you can be silly and try to work with all the services yourself.

Let's take a look at Netflix, the company in its native US market always tries to keep prices at an affordable level, not to drive them up, as the competition is high. However, there has been an increase in price, look at the sign.

Source: theverge.com

Since 2013, there has been almost a twofold increase in the cost for two tariff plans. It's amazing, isn't it? And a similar situation will occur everywhere, as the cost of servers, electricity, wages for staff increases. It is not possible, but it is certain that salaries are not growing so fast or not growing at all somewhere, but the fact is that life is becoming more expensive, you see it in all areas. Therefore, price growth is inevitable, and it is noticeably lower than real inflation, no one in big business is ready to raise prices by a real amount, as this will scare away buyers. I think that 2022 will be marked by the fact that the prices for services will grow constantly and such news will become familiar. Therefore, if you have something that you definitely use and can pay for a year in advance, then it's time to do it. Further it will be more expensive.

During the long January holidays, I reviewed all my subscriptions and services, got rid of those that are not needed or complementary to the main ones. It turned out that now about 5,000 rubles of additional “income” has arisen, somewhere it was a “silent person”, an ideal consumer who paid, but did not use the services of the service. Fixed this omission.

The law on the landing of IT companies in Russia, the first signs

From January 1, the law on “landing” came into force in Russia, according to which foreign IT corporations operating in our country and having an audience of more than half a million people a day are required to open a Russian representative office, place a feedback form in their products for its Russian users, as well as register a personal account on the Roskomnadzor website.

As soon as this law was mocked online throughout the second half of 2021, the usual comments sounded something like this: “Apple didn’t care about the RKN and Russia, it’s too insignificant a market, and they spit it for ***.” The arguments are always the same, that Russia is small, and "great" companies will not condescend to comply with the law, so you can relax, the officials will do their best and everything will be as before. This is about the same song that sounds about fines issued by Google or Facebook, and they gradually pay them, and at the same time receive new ones.

During the holidays, a sufficient number of articles appeared, where what was happening was discussed and it was said that no one seeks to fulfill the law, they say, everything failed. I'll start with the bad news, the RKN is very slow in updating its website, as many companies have already started to comply with the law, it's just that this information is not on the RKN website.

Let me remind you of the list of companies and their services that fall under the law:

  • Google (Google Play Services, YouTube, YouTube Music, Google Chat, Gmail);
  • Apple (iCloud, App Store, Apple Music);
  • Meta Platforms (Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp);
  • Twitter;
  • TikTok;
  • Telegram;
  • Zoom;
  • Viber;
  • Spotify;
  • Likeme Pte. ltd (Like);
  • Discord;
  • Pinterest;
  • Twitch.

Likee service is number one, as Russia is one of the main markets for them. The second number is Apple, although they do not yet have a return contact form and have not registered a representative office for the legal entity to which the company's services are registered.

Nevertheless, we can assume that Apple, as usual, is among the leaders in production, the company's cooperation with the Russian authorities is closer than ever, and Apple not only tries to comply with all laws, but often runs ahead of the locomotive. I think that the company is aware that by complying with these laws, they can receive additional preferences compared to those who are in no hurry to do so. And preferences are easily converted into money that companies need more than ever.

I think that for some time the RKN will not punish anyone, the exhortation period will last another month, then fines will be issued. Someone may have traffic slowdown turned on, as was done for Twitter.

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But even now we can say that there is no question of total non-compliance with the law. This means that Apple's example will encourage other companies to do the same in order not to lose the Russian market.

I will repeat a simple truth: corporations cannot and do not know how to fight with states, they always have only one way - to leave the market. The Russian market is so large and noticeable for any company that no one is going to leave it of their own free will. Hence the observance of laws, albeit not instantaneous. I watched with great interest what kind of crying Yaroslavna heard in the camp of the opposition, which claimed that no one would abide by the law. Lack of understanding of the basic principles of the work of corporations did not prevent them from commenting with rapture that the officials themselves would impale themselves, would again become a laughing stock. It's time to collect stones and come up with explanations for why things suddenly became different.

As for me, the law can give us, as users of services in Russia, a separate and fast support service, a solution to our problems with this or that service. And this is to be welcomed. Previously, in order to resolve the issue with the same Facebook, it was necessary to wade through the robots, and the issue, as a rule, was still not resolved in any way. And those who wanted to sue companies did not have a chance at all, for this they had to go to America, which is expensive, difficult and unrealistic for Russian users. From now on, it will look completely different, since a Russian legal entity will be responsible for the quality and volume of services provided in the country.

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The law is far from perfect, but we can say that this is the first sign. The Federal Tax Service shared data on the turnover of Russian legal entities associated with Google in 2020, which is 144 billion rubles. Still think that the Russian market is extremely small and can be ignored?

For most of the companies listed on the RKN website, the cards look like this so far, but soon everything will change, right?

Meta's problems are just beginning. Why Facebook Should Suffer

By and large, the renaming of Facebook to Meta is an attempt to get away from the association with the problems of the parent company, which they want to split into parts in the US, separate Instagram, WhatsApp, Facebook and, possibly, some other businesses. In my opinion, the renaming is premature, as Meta's problems are so deep that the company will be attacked from all sides, and this will not stop for a long time. In the UK, a lawsuit has been filed against Meta, alleging that the social network Facebook collected personal data from residents of the country and then sold its products based on them. The class action was written by Lisa Lovdal Gormsen, who specializes in competition law. It claims that the social network dominates the market, uses dishonest tricks and in doing so has earned "billions" from its users' data. The victims in the lawsuit are all those who at least once used the social network in the period from October 1, 2015 to December 31, 2019. The total amount of the claim is 2.3 billion pounds (more than 3 billion dollars). The amount of compensation exceeds 60 pounds per person.

It is not necessary to say that the lawsuit has a great chance of winning. In the worst case scenario for Meta, you will have to settle the dispute out of court and pay significantly lower amounts. But such lawsuits will arise in all countries of the world, legal pressure on Meta will increase, costs for lawyers will increase, plus the work of the company itself will be as difficult as possible. And this applies not only to the past, but also to the present.

At the same time, the US Federal Trade Commission launched an investigation into the division of Oculus, which creates VR technologies for the Meta. The reason is exactly the same: how much Meta suppresses competition, whether or not third-party developers are allowed into the Oculus app store, why sales of their VR helmets are subsidized, whether this puts other companies in unequal market conditions. The entire Facebook business is now viewed through a magnifying glass, the company cannot take a step without the permission of the authorities, which makes the business environment not very comfortable for them. And the ending of this story will be one - the company will be divided into parts, there can be no other outcome. Politicians in America take a long time to harness, they cannot do it instantly, but there is no doubt that this is the plan.

In Russia, against Meta (Facebook), a whole series of fines from the state is being prepared in pursuit of those that already exist. Plus, officials will obviously ask exactly the same questions that arise for Facebook business in America and Europe, which means it will be at least fun.

The defeat of the hacker group REvil - a show for TV channels

I will give the news in a short line:

“The FSB of Russia detained 14 hackers of the REvil group. 426 million rubles, $600,000, €500,000, crypto wallets and 20 premium cars were confiscated from the detainees. The operation in Moscow, St. Petersburg, Moscow, Leningrad and Lipetsk regions was carried out with the assistance of the Investigative Committee of the Ministry of Internal Affairs.

At the request of the United States and Biden's personal request, operational and investigative actions were carried out against the REvil hacker group in Russia, and they simultaneously took place in 14 cities (yes, the number of detainees is noticeably lower).

My information about this event is completely inconsistent with what is known about the REvil group. So, last year, Kaspersky Lab, describing this grouping, claimed that the turnover for 2020 amounted to $100 million. This group's ransomware targeted high-profile companies such as Quanta Computer, Apple's technology partner, and thanks to the leak, we obtained internal Apple documents. It is also a company like Acer, and many others. Often the names of the victims are simply unknown, as they preferred to remain silent and not pay. The annoyance of REvil's arrogance and public actions took to the political level when the President of the United States directly asked Vladimir Putin to solve this problem. During the summer, the entire infrastructure associated with REvil was blocked in a matter of hours. But there were no arrests.

The recent arrests are curious for many reasons. The defendants are charged with article 187, part two, of the Criminal Code (illegal circulation of means of payment as part of an organized group), this is clearly not hacking into computer networks and programs (articles 272 and 273). It is possible that the accusation will be reclassified later, but the video of the detention, the rented apartments and the amounts that were seized do not correlate with a turnover of $ 100 million in just one year. Too strange picture, small amounts within the framework of what was said earlier.

My opinion is simple - performers, grassroots composition, that is, those who can be safely sacrificed. The people behind REvil will calmly continue to operate under other names (they will call the group differently, and business is something), a business that is too profitable not to be able to escape from the blow of the state. Yes, and usually such people also fulfill the “requests” of the state, share their findings that may be of interest - technologies, documents, and so on. This does not mean at all that the state supports them in every possible way, but the rules of the game all over the world are such that those living in a particular country do not attack anyone within the country, plus they share the information they have obtained. Russia is no exception here, and everything happens exactly the same way. I think that, based on the totality of “merits,” we see the arrests of the grassroots (and do they, in principle, have anything to do with this group?). It is hard to believe that this is precisely a large operation at the level of several countries, in which all members of the group were identified and detained along the entire chain. The picture shown to us in the video only reinforces these doubts.

At the same time, I have no doubt that the detainees will confess to all mortal sins on camera, I think that they have good reasons for this, since they were clearly taken for a reason and they have something to present. As well as haggling over how much blame they will take.

Books. Boris Shcherbakov, Hard&Soft.

Wandering around the "Subscription Editions" store on Liteiny, I accidentally saw the cover of a book with a floppy disk. Something from a past life, when HoMM fit on almost three dozen floppy disks and copying the game was not such a banal task as downloading a distribution kit from the network today.

Boris Shcherbakov's book promised something interesting, since the author was one of the first top managers in the Russian IT market, in the 90s he headed the HP division, then he worked at the Party company (it's like MVideo ” today, to understand the realities of that market), was at Oracle, and since 2012 has been heading Dell in Russia. We can safely say that this is not just an eyewitness of events, but a person who, to some extent, determined the formation of the market together with hundreds of other players. I could not pass by a small book, it became interesting what was inside.

There were no set expectations, I didn't know what the book was about, and I was ready to see anything. Probably the closest description that fits Hard&Soft is memories and reflections. Through the prism of their own life experience, some events from the past are described in fits and starts. There is no complete picture of corporate life at HP or other companies, there is a lot about the Party company and its owner Alexander Mineev, with whom life has bumped me several times, I more than agree with the epithets described in the book, for example, here is the following passage for you:

“Shura drove up to the office where we were waiting for him, always in two huge and scary black Mercedes, security jumped out - as many as four hefty guys in black suits, like in some kind of Hollywood action movie. Shura got out of the car, resolutely walked to the entrance, where he was already met by the internal guards, the skirts of his raincoat fluttered picturesquely. One would like to say “with a bloody lining”, but no: Shura had neither a “shuffling cavalry gait” nor a white cloak, nevertheless, the exit was always artistic ... My bosses froze in a daze, they never had anything like it in their Austria didn't see it, it was clear. The effect of the appearance of Shura to the people was calculated, of course Grille Vigo, and made an impression.”

“Shura drove up to the office where we were waiting for him, always in two huge and scary black Mercedes, security jumped out - as many as four hefty guys in black suits, like in some kind of Hollywood action movie. Shura got out of the car, resolutely walked to the entrance, where he was already met by the internal guards, the skirts of his raincoat fluttered picturesquely. One would like to say “with a bloody lining”, but no: Shura had neither a “shuffling cavalry gait” nor a white cloak, nevertheless, the exit was always artistic ... My bosses froze in a daze, they never had anything like it in their Austria didn't see it, it was clear. The effect of the appearance of Shura to the people was calculated, of course Grille Vigo Grille Vigo and made an impression."

It's a pity, but the book, on the one hand, has an internal logic, on the other hand, it is a discussion about the personal, about his life as a top manager. And a lot remains outside the brackets, the personal is veiled, and there are not so many such moments that are interesting and emotional. I caught myself thinking that if I didn’t know many of the people listed in the book, in life, I wouldn’t be interested at all. Old stories that are not colored by the knowledge of people, those events and that time do not form into a bright picture.

Perhaps, if you are interested in the author himself, then you will get to know his logic better, the possibility of self-criticism and assessment of life situations, here the personal outweighs everything else, external events always go through the prism of their feelings: “I even spoke a couple of times from an absolutely prostitute properties with articles in computer weeklies, where he sang the panegyric of "Party", talking about what a wonderful team we have. True, it was almost immediately after the transition, when my conscience had not yet been ridden by the heavy caterpillars of reflection and thoughts about the frailty of everything earthly ... ”.

I remember one of those columns very well, as we discussed looking through rose-colored glasses at the “Party” and how the company works very differently inside. I definitely pay tribute to the strength of Boris Shcherbakov, that he admits his mistakes (in no case do I judge and I can’t do this, the time was strange then).

The circulation of the book is minimal, 1500 pieces. Even by today's standards, this is not much, so the book will obviously end quickly. To read or not to read, you be the judge. For those who lived and worked in those years, it may be interesting to read about a look at the market and some events, but everyone has dozens, if not hundreds, of such stories since that time. There is little practical use in the book, it will not teach you to be smarter or better, rather it will broaden your horizons and show what our market could be and what it was (the view is rather narrow, there are not many interesting stories, they are touched upon in passing, almost invisible). Since there were no special expectations, I was not upset at all. But I would like something furious about that time, especially since the texture is unique and Boris can clearly tell more and better.

P.S. Have a good working week, I hope that you will enjoy the weather, interesting books at hand and excellent interlocutors, no matter where they are, on your smartphone or at arm's length. The main thing is to have a mood, everything else will follow. Do not be pessimists, all the best is definitely ahead, winter will end soon, which means that you need to have time to use its benefits - snow, frosty air and the beauty that is spilled around.

Spillikins №676. Price increase in 2022, first mark of price increase

How electronics prices will rise in the first half of the year; sales of S21 FE; how my Fold3 was repaired; a book about freedom; Telegram steals from Google; about bad photos; fines from Google and Facebook.