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English Digest
About us: Webplanet.ru is the leading Russian online daily on Internet business, life and development. You can use our RSS-feed. For contact: info [doggie] webplanet.ru
translator | 08.07.2010 18:29

Russian Ministry of Defense wants to become the civil 4G-provider reported "Vedomosti". To do this, the department tries to defend 2,5-2,7 GHz frequencies for "Osnova Telecom”.

"Osnova Telecom” was established June 3, 2010, a blocking share (25%) belongs to" Voentelekom" (which is established by the Ministry of Defense). According to "Vedomosti", Defense Minister, Anatoly Serdyukov, has asked President Dmitry Medvedev to support "Osnova Telecom” in the frequency issue, in order to create a mobile broadband federal network across the country.

At the moment these frequencies belong to the Defense Ministry. The office has already had to agree with the Ministry of Communications on their release. However, State Commission for Radio Frequencies meeting, which was scheduled for June 1, was "postponed for an indefinite period, due to disagreement between the Ministry of Communications and the Defense Ministry”, said the publication.

The “Big Three” operators, as well as a Swedish company Tele 2, also claim these frequencies. Tele 2 declared their plans to develop LTE in Russia a year ago. MTS and Vimpelcom representatives hope,
that the distribution of frequencies will be transparent. Nevertheless, the Defense Ministry chances to obtain the frequencies are very high. Therefore, Megafon has already announced that they are ready to cooperate with the military department, if necessary.

Yet it looks like Russian law enforcement agencies are to become an "alternative IT-industry". A year ago "Voentelekom" probed the possibility of WiMAX networks deploying for internal use. Perhaps, someone advised the Defense Industry on LTE which can replace WiMAX.

Read more in Russian
translator | 08.07.2010 18:16

Renova holding (run by Viktor Vekselberg) owes several million rubles to its subcontractors. According to a business newspaper "Marker", collectors ventured into the "information attack" and placed an adverse publicity in "Yandex".

Billionaire Viktor Vekselberg is known not only as a Faberge eggs buyer, but also as a Skolkovo fund co-chairman. His capital is estimated at 10.7 billion dollars, so Renova StroyGroup seems to have no financial problems. However, Renova StroyGroup is not in a hurry to pay small debts to its contractors. According to Moscow Arbitration Court website data, its total debt is only 32 million rubles.

Now collectors are trying to unite all Renova StroyGroup creditors, and bring the problem to media attention. It was decided to place contextual advertising on Yandex, and to file a claim for bankruptcy against the company.

Searching for Renova on the Internet, you will be linked to one of the blog notes, called "Collector Development Centre", which outlines the steps being taken to recover the debt.

Read more in Russian
translator | 08.07.2010 18:01

PayPal wants to find partners to go into Russian market, reports "Vedomosti". The company representatives came to Moscow and met with members of local market payment systems, Yandex.Money and Webmoney.

PayPal wants to strengthen its position on the Russian market by acquiring a local company or entering into agreements with existing players. Company needs “its pals” in Russia, for now is the time when rules to regulate the market are being developed. Yandex.Money General Director, Eugenia Zavalishina, suggested that PayPal might agree with the Russians on the establishment of a gateway for the currencies exchange of different payment systems (like those, that Yandex.Money and Webmoney run). This will allow to use PayPal even if you have no credit card.

Last spring, online auction eBay came out on the Russian market, and got a status of a "World Trade Center”. The Russian version, however, did not give Russian users a feature to sell products. Same happens with PayPal, people from Russia can only spend money, but they can not receive or withdraw if from the system. So now PayPal is used only to make purchases in western online stores.

MoneyNews editor-in-chief, Sergei Stetsenko, told Vedomosti that PayPal’s willingness to enter Russian market is associated with the Visa Click service emergence (services and goods payment by credit card, without entering card details at every purchase), which may cancel all intermediaries, like PayPal, in the future, for they no longer will be needed.

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translator | 04.07.2010 00:02

FBI accused 11 people of illegal actions as another state agents (i.e. Russia), as well as committing money laundering. Anna Chapman, an entrepreneur from Moscow, who created "the very first vertical search engine for real estate" domdot.ru, was among the “spies”.

The arrested were not charged with espionage. According to court documents, investigation included the use of video surveillance, hidden microphones and secret searches, and even affected U.S. Secretary of the State administration. At the present time additional searches are to be made in different parts of the country.

Russian Foreign Ministry has already managed to respond to the fuss, surrounding the "Russian spies" arrest.

"From our point of view, such actions are baseless and have improper purposes” - is reported on Foreign Ministry's website. - "We do not understand the reasons that led the U.S. Department of Justice to make a public statement in the spirit of "Cold War espionage”. It’s worth mentioning, that this kind of thing occurred more than once in the past, when our relations were on the rise. In any case, the situation is to our deep regret, especially when the U.S. administration itself declared a “restart” in Russian-American relations".

Only a blind man could not see the fact that the spy scandal broke out immediately after the visit of President Dmitry Medvedev in the U.S. Some Russian experts have already expressed the view that the scandal struck on the agreements, reached during the visit by the presidents of both countries.

However, Webplanet.ru experts are confident that any spy scandal, inflated by opponents of rapprochement between Moscow and Washington, will be unable to shoot down Russian intention to establish a local Silicon Valley, where American companies are expected.

On the other hand, there will be problems with Anna Chapman’s plans to organize a Venture Fund in New York, which would invest American dollars into Russian start-ups and promote them to the international market. She, like dozens of other "spies", won’t be released soon, and she is unlikely to be able to continue her work in the U.S.

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translator | 03.07.2010 23:48

“Sberbank” is going to establish its own social network, reports Cnews. Bank specialists’ attempts to communicate with Facebook audience prompted this kind of thoughts.

Earlier, the head of “Sberbank” German Gref said his bank would gradually turn into a technology company (today it is very fashionable and relevant in the context of state policy). In 2010 "Sberbank" is planning to start building the largest (among the European commercial companies) data center, and the bank’s IT-department employs 1400 people. The company intends to develop in the Internet services field, interact with virtual mobile operators, and enter the market of mobile payments. In addition, the bank is developing in the field of biometrics. We do not know, if it helps to get rid of the long queues at “Sberbank” offices and the periodic system break downs, but the bank seems to be determined.

Moreover, “Sberbank” wants to experience itself in the field of social resources. “Sberbank” senior vice-president on information system development, Victor Orlovsky, told Cnews about the possible establishment of a social resource. Nevertheless, the bank doesn’t have particular ideas yet, although they understand the need to aggressively move on the Internet.

"We need to invent those services, that do not exist at the intersection of technology areas yet. Such areas are: telecommunications, the Internet, social networks," said Orlovsky. None of the banks has got their own social networks now, though many use large networks ("Vkontakte", "Live Journal”, Facebook, etc.) to communicate with their actual and potential customers. According to Artenom Consulting, 19% of the largest banks in Russia have official resources in social networks.

At the moment, "Sberbank" is represented only in one social network - Facebook. Meanwhile, in Russia, Belarus, Ukraine and Kazakhstan in 2009 was launched a resource for staff - "Bank of Ideas". For 6 months of work the “Bank of Ideas” received 7,000 proposals, three thousand of them were approved. It should be noted that one thing is to open network for employees (which are motivated by salary, bonuses, etc.), and another is for customers. First, it is unclear why we need another social network, secondly, how to attract people there, and thirdly, what are they going to communicate about (it’s hard to believe that someone will be able to talk about banking services daily)?

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translator | 01.07.2010 15:04

During his visit to the United States last week, President Dmitry Medvedev signed an agreement on the participation of Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in Skolkovo project where the Center of Innovations is planned.

The agreement between MIT and Skolkovo Foundation provides the parties to determine before the end of this year the exact way of the institute collaboration with universities and research institutes in Russia. MIT also considers joining the fund as a partner. According to one of the negotiators, MIT will establish a research laboratories network all over Russia, and also open a university right in Skolkovo.

During his US trip Russian President also signed agreements with Boeing and Cisco.

300 developers, engineers and scientists will work on Boeing civil aircraft projects in Skolkovo. Engineering company “Progresstech” and IT-company “Luxoft” will participate on the Russian side. Moscow State University and Russian State Aviation Technology University are also likely to become Boeing partners. According to some reports, Boeing research centers, which are now stationed in Moscow, will also be moved to the Russian "Silicon Valley”.

Cisco intends to invest $ 1 billion in Skolkovo, but what exactly this money will be spent on, is not clear yet. An official press release says, that 100 million of them will go into venture capital, and another 175,000 - to award innovators.

Cisco plans to play a "leading role" in Skolkovo design. Bangalore is taken for a sample, where Cisco has got its Cisco Globalization Center East. With Cisco, technopolis will have "intelligent" buildings, "intelligent" power grid, "intelligent" property and transportation, connected to the
Internet, clarifies "Vedomosti".

Talking about Cisco, we recall the situation, when a few years ago the company was caught supplying routers and network switches for the "Golden Shield", better known as "China's great firewall". The fact itself would not be special, if one of the company presentations did not mentioned that the equipment would be used to deal with hostile elements. In other words, Cisco consciously earned money supplying equipment for the Internet censorship organization. Some RuNet specialists have already expressed concern that Cisco arrival at Skolkovo "Silicon Valley" could mean another "technological breakthrough" in the censorship field.

Read more in Russian
translator | 01.07.2010 14:44

Russian Authors' Society (RAS) promises to expand its copyright war to the Internet. Now RAS together with the All-Russian Intellectual Property Organization (RIPO) calculate the size of royalties that online resources will have to pay for streaming audio and video broadcasts, reports Marker.ru. The owners of broadcasting Internet resources may be required to sign an agreement with RAS followed by financial deductions, starting form July.

RAS believes TV and radio Internet broadcasting should be equal to ordinary broadcasting, where royalties have been paid since 2008. This idea was supported in the Russian Federal Service for Compliance with the Law in Mass Communications.

The exact amount of money to be paid is still unknown, but it seems that even non-profit resources will not get away from RAS. However, for those who do not benefit from broadcasting, the law provides a fixed sum payment instead of regular payments.

According to RAS Board of Directors deputy chairman, Igor Basilevsky, leading media holdings have already received notices from RAS, saying that they will share the profits, obtained from the online broadcasting (advertising). He believes it will be easy to agree with resources, owned by these companies.

The president of “Prof-Media” Broadcasting Corporation, Yuri Kostin, denies this point of view, saying: "I'm not sure that we will quickly come to a compromise. There are almost no precedents in the world, when the Internet parallel station broadcasting royalties were paid".

Other experts say RAS and RIPO actions would force online broadcasters whether to refuse from direct broadcasting services (“Echo of Moscow” CEO, Yuri Fedutinov), or take their servers outside of ussia ("2.0 Station” owner, Sergey Pimenov). However, there have also been those, who expressed a willingness to work in a "civilized" way.

Read more in Russian
translator | 01.07.2010 14:34

Federal Supervision Agency for Information Technologies and Communications (FSAITC) issued the first warning to the online edition for readers' comments. The Agency was acting upon the recent clarification of “Mass Media” law provisions, made by the Supreme Court (SC). Political News Agency (APN.ru) was the first to be caught.

As reported at FSAITC web site, they found some comments on APN sites were aggressive in nature, comprising a threat and incitement to violence or containing signs of incitement to terrorist activities and crimes implementation.

FSAITC wrote an email addressed to the APN editor-in-chief Konstantin Krylov on June 21, requesting to remove or edit objectionable comments, as required by law. A day later, when no reaction followed, FSAITC introduced a written warning about the law observance, and demanded the removal of the comments from the site.

If we go to the APN web site now, we can see, that there are no comments to any of the articles of the edition. Moreover, now you can’t leave any comments at all.

According to Krylov, he saw the letter only on June 22, when he opened his mail. Accordingly, he had not been able to edit or delete the bad comments before FSAITC decided to make the warning.

"FSAITC did not tried to contact me any other way or appeal to my colleagues, - assures PNA editor-in-chief. - One-day period sets me thinking about the legality of this warning”.

FSAITC Manager assistant, Mikhail Vorobiev, confessed to “Kommersant” that the rules defining FSAITC actions in such cases are still being developed. Despite this, FSAITC found it possible to act without any regulation, self-defining methods of communication with online media, as well as dates for the next steps.

"We believe that one day was enough to remove the comments" - Vorobiev said. He also explained that the requirement to remove comments was sent by email, so that the editor-in-chief could promptly
responded to it.

APN editor-in-chief said that he has not decided yet, whether to sue FSAITC.

Read more in Russian
translator | 28.06.2010 20:02

Google has officially announced the Ukrainian office opening. According to the Ukanian company business administration manager, Dmitry Sholomko, this means that Google accepted the Ukrainian Internet market to be mature, reports LigaBusinessInform.

The office opening was announced at a press briefing, June 22. Eric Schmidt sent a video greeting, saying that the office opening shows how important the Ukrainian market is for the entire Internet development. He also said that the company employees have currently begun working on the Ukrainian version of its products, the work is being carried out by professional teams, located in Dublin (Ireland), Zurich (Switzerland), but not in Ukraine.

So far, the entire Ukrainian office consists of two people, and one of them is Sholomko. He assured that the Ukrainian office is about to grow one-half, and by the end of the year will substantially increase.

The main tasks facing the newly established office, is not only the all core product localization, but also mapping services data filling, cooperation with partners, which includes partnership programs for Google Chrome. "This is the moment when a number of factors “ have come together”,
explained Sholomko. Among the factors are: the number and activity of users, the Ukrainian Internet audience growth, and the Internet Business structure.

Indirectly, this point of view is confirmed by one of the Google vice-presidents, Nelson Mattos, who announced company’s plans to increase investments in the Ukrainian region.

Read more in Russian
translator | 28.06.2010 19:56

Big Russian WiMAX provider "Yota" is being blocked in the business centers of Moscow and St. Petersburg, in favor of the local operators (WiMAX-networks), reports DP.ru.

According to the publication, network blocking is being carried out by means of special jammers, which, incidentally, are easy to buy online. Three types of jamming with different power are sold on the Web, the cost ranges from 20 to 40 thousand rubles ($645 to $1290). According to Mobile Research Group, at least 2,000 devices of this kind have been sold within the past 3 months. It is a very high number for Russia, considering the fact, that Yota networks function only in 5 cities. Federal Supervision Agency for Information Technologies and Communications note that even government institutions are not allowed to use WiMAX jammers, not to mention business corporations.

First users’ complaints about the access quality to Yota in business centers appeared last autumn. Some people also say Yota is blocked in cafes where you need to pay for local Wi-Fi (in one case, it's a cafe in the heart of Moscow, at Pushkin Square).

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