To avoid the draconian locks that John Deere puts on the tractors they buy, farmers throughout America’s heartland have started hacking their equipment with firmware that’s cracked in Eastern Europe and traded on invite-only, paid online forums.
Tractor hacking is growing increasingly popular because John Deere and other manufacturers have made it impossible to perform “unauthorized” repair on farm equipment, which farmers see as an attack on their sovereignty and quite possibly an existential threat to their livelihood if their tractor breaks at an inopportune time.
(from last year)
I’m told by other Azov guys that this account is pretty accurate. Unfortunately, it’s behind a paywall.
Founders Max Lytvyn, Alex Shevchenko are Ukrainain.
One of the most basic human activities, writing, is getting an assist from machines.
Startup Grammarly uses machine learning and artificial intelligence to help improve people’s writing, from basic spelling, grammar and style to more advanced suggestions on tone and context-specific language.
The San Francisco company has been bootstrapped since its founding in 2009 but has now raised $110 million in its first institutional funding as it looks to expand and ramp up hiring. General Catalyst led the growth equity round with participation from Breyer Capital, IVP, SignalFire and Spark Capital.
The 110-person startup has grown rapidly since it became a free service two years ago—it now has 6.9 million daily active users and has been profitable since early on, according to the company. The app has 18,000 reviews and more than 10 million downloads on the Chrome Web Store.
US President Donald Trump has signed consolidated law on budget allocation for 2017, which was adopted by the Congress, and providing for $560 million support for Ukraine among other things. This was reported by Sarah Huckabee Sanders, the press secretary of the White House, according to Ukrainian News.
“Yes, he signed it about an hour ago,” she answered to the corresponding request by journalists.
Speaker noted that she does not know whether Trump initiated changes in the edition of the law approved by the Congress.
According to Ukraine’s Embassy in the US, the consolidated draft law on budget allocation for 2017, given for the approval to the US Congress, includes no less than $560 million support for Ukraine.
$238 million out of this sum should be provided for military support and security policy by October 1 (the end of budget year).
Ukrainian nationalism isn’t the slightest threat to the ‘global community.’ It can be used as a weapon against actual adversaries.
The whole Maidan was a Soros-led revolution. There was no Ukrainian nationalism that wasn’t anti-Russian.
He has also referred to Ukrainians as “malo Russians.”
The indomitable corruption of Odessa:
Saakashvili is only forty-nine, but has accomplished more politically, and can drop more names, than the previous three US presidents combined. He became president of Georgia in his thirties, turned the country around, was nearly assassinated with his good friend George W. Bush, stared down Vladimir Putin, and became a Ukrainian citizen to join the effort to transform Eastern Europe’s sleeping giant.
He supported the Euromaidan from afar then was recruited by President Petro Poroshenko, a university pal. Months after becoming an adviser, Saakashvili convinced Poroshenko to appoint him as governor of Odesa oblast to reshape the corrupt port. For less than one year, he ruled with an iron fist and began cleaning up port operations, then suddenly announced his resignation in a typically dramatic fashion. At a press conference, he accused Poroshenko of supporting “corrupt clans in the Odesa region.”
He is unusually forthcoming as an interviewee. “By my own standards, I failed on every account in Odesa. We proved that it was possible to operate customs without corruption. Some people miss this. But we only accomplished 5 percent of what we wanted to do.”
Poroshenko, he added, has missed his chance to transform the country. “This is because he spends most of the time running his businesses. They cannot be combined. They’re part of the old system. He is part of the old system,” he said.
Nonetheless, Saakashvili is committed to Ukraine’s struggle. “This is selfish because if I can help build two difficult countries that would be an achievement. I’m optimistic. Georgia was worse when I took over than Ukraine is now, and you can see the difference,” he said. “Ukrainians by nature don’t accept authoritarianism, and are more law abiding and today they are more ready for change than Georgians were in 2003.”
Ukraine is also on his agenda because it is the lynchpin to liberating the entire region from Putin. “Russia’s going to explode, but it depends on Ukraine. If it does well, then Putin explodes,” he said. “The plan was to take the east, destroy Ukraine’s army, sabotage its government, and leave it in ruins. Now [Putin] can only wait for its collapse. That’s why Ukraine must grow economically.”
Post-Soviet mentality. This satire may be very revealing to western observers. It shows the paranoia that the Soviet regime sowed, as is characteristic of tyrannies.
To honor May 1st, Victims of Communism day, listen to the first 20 mins of Solzhenitsyn’s Gulag Archipelago:
Not particularly well written, but it’s from an important vantage point.
Or my excerpts below.
According to the Constitution of the Russian Federation, adopted in 1993 (shortly after the shooting of the then parliament from tanks), the state is a federation built on an ethnic basis, which is reflected in the territorial structure: of the 85 regions, 27 are “homelands” for ethnic minorities of Russia – thus ensuring the representation of their interests at the state level. “Own” regions are possessed by the Tatars, Chechens, Yakuts, Buryats and many other peoples of Russia.
Where, then, is the “Russian Republic” – a region representing 80% of the population of the whole country? There is no such region, there are only denationalized “krays” and “oblasts”, which are “regions for all”. Maybe there is a state body authorized to defend the rights of Russians at the federal level? Again, no. The federal government represents the interests of all citizens of Russia, regardless of nationality.
In the text of the Constitution of the Russian Federation there is not even a mention of the Russian (in the ethnic sense) people, as in any other law of the Russian Federation.
Thus, ethnic Russians (~ 80% of the country’s population) even legally do not have any relation to the Russian Federation.
. . . . Any attempts by the Russians to create such an organization are suppressed as manifestations of “extremism.”
. . . .
Vladimir Putin clearly indicated his position on the “Russian question” yet in the middle of the 2000s, calling the adherents of the slogan “Russia – for Russians” “jerks and provocateurs”, and the struggle “with anti-Semitism, like … with any nationalism and chauvinism, – the basis of our domestic policy”. In addition, such slogans as “Russian power for Russia” and even “Russian, do not drink!”, “”Russian” – means “sober””  are officially considered extremist in Russia.
Thousands of Russian citizens – primarily nationalists – are in prison under “political” articles.
. . . .
The Russian Federation is a growing Islamic, Asian state
The Muslim holidays of Uraza-Bairam (the Arab Eid al-Fitr) and Kurban-bairam (the Arab Eid al-Adha) are other important for understanding the essence of modern “RFia” holidays. . . .
As it is easy to guess, these holidays have a national scope in the Russian Federation, Vladimir Putin congratulates Muslims with them every year (in 2015 he did it being in the mosque and reading aloud the Qur’an ). At the same time and in the place same significant words sounded: “Russia is the successor to the Golden Horde!”. Residents of the currently rapidly Islamizing Russia can hardly argue with this statement.
. . . .
The Islamist “finger up” (“Allah is One”) – this gesture is now considered a good form in this military unit.
. . . .
Chechnya – that produces almost nothing, the real “economic hole” of Russia, – due to multi-billion subsidies from the state budget  is, however, much richer than most regions of the Russian Federation – Spending huge money on contruction of chic (quite tasteless) buildings or on one of the most expensive Russian teams – “Terek”. Kadyrov, in turn, lives as a small sheikh – with his palaces, army and hundreds of luxury cars.
It has long been obvious: Putin is afraid of Kadyrov.
In 2014, Forbes magazine ranked the richest families in Russia . We will quote it, indicating the ethnicity of the families:
the Rothenbergs (5,55 млрд USD) – Jews;
the Gutserievs (4,85 млрд USD) – Ingush (the North Caucasus);
the Ananjevs (4,6 млрд USD) – Russians;
the Sarkisovs (2,7 млрд USD) – Armenians;
the Shaimievs (2,3 млрд USD) – Tatars;
the Mutsoyevs (1,52 млрд USD) – Yezidis (the North Caucasus);
the Magomedovs (1,4 млрд USD) – Avarians (the North Caucasus)
the Bazhaevs (1,24 млрд USD) – Chechens (the North Caucasus);
the Aminovs (1,12 млрд USD) – Jews;
the Zubitskys (0,7 млрд USD) – Jews.
. . . . A separate issue is the gradual expansion of China in the Russian Far East, which is supported by the Russian authorities. In addition to several islands on the Amur River, simply “donated” to the PRC during the years of Putin’s rule, the Kremlin took even more significant steps in this direction: in 2015, 115,000 hectares of agricultural land in the Trans-Baikal region were given to the Chinese for rent for 49 years. In addition, in the same Trans-Baikal region, for the same 49 years, 1,844,407 hectares of forests adjacent to the state border with China were leased for cutting by the Chinese . For the sake of the Chinese expansion in the Far East, the Government of Russia specifically developed the concept of “territories of advanced development”, which provides, in particular, the possibility of importing foreign workers to such territory without any restrictions.
Those aged 17 to 34 favor socialist values more than liberal ones by 28 to 20 percent, and 73 percent of this cohort favor state ownership of major enterprises. Only 17 percent believe they should be privately held.
At the same time, young people in Russia are far more inclined to say that “Russia now is moving in the correct direction” (69 percent) than are their elders, only 33 percent of whom agree with that statement, according to a recent Levada Center poll. And perhaps most striking of all, only 18 percent of young Russians say the country is moving in the wrong direction.
Baltic-Black Sea Alliance FB Page: https://www.facebook.com/BBSALV/
Ryanair to fly from Boryspil starting Sept 1: Deal reached
Russia bans things with great fanfare to demonstrate their strength, and then quietly allows them again. Recent examples include Polish Apples, and PornHub.