back to article Work begins on Russian rival to Android

A Russian company called Open Mobile Platform (Открытая Мобильная Платформа) is developing its own mobile operating system to rival Android. Communications Minister Nikolai Nikiforov tweeted a link to job ads seeking developers, infrastructure architects, testers and security types. Российский центр разработки новой мобильной …

  1. Donchik

    "Trusted"

    In a post relating to Putler's Russia!

    Seriously?

    1. wolfetone

      Re: "Trusted"

      Well how do you gauge trust? If you are basing this on what Sky News tell you, or the usual spin that comes from the UN or America, then obviously Putin is a bad guy. If you base your trust on RT and other Russian media outlets, then Putin is a good guy and it's actually the leaders in the West who are the bad guys.

      Or you could ignore all of the news outlets and trust none of them.

      1. foo_bar_baz

        Re: "Trusted"

        The Russian establishment's media strategy is to publish conflicting stories in different media, deliberately teaching people to mistrust what they read or hear on the news. It's a clever way to undermine reports on the Western media.

        1. wolfetone

          Re: "Trusted"

          "It's a clever way to undermine reports on the Western media."

          I think this is a strange comment when you consider what the media have told us over the years.

          Remember those timeless hits such as:

          "1 in 5 Muslims' Sympathy for Jidadis"

          "The Truth" (the infamous front page from The S*n

          "Jo Suspect Is Peeping Tom" (slander front page reporting regarding Christopher Jefferies)

          I could go on, but to say one country's use of the media to undermine the media in another country is silly. The Western media do a good enough job of showing themselves up without Russia's help.

          1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

            Re: "Trusted"

            Remember those timeless hits such as:

            "1 in 5 Muslims' Sympathy for Jidadis"

            "The Truth" (the infamous front page from The S

            ...snip...

            wolfeone,

            We do remember these stories. Which is precisely the point. BIts of the media screwed up. Or you might argue with any story based on a survey, were misleading semi-deliberately. But the other bits of the media reported on the stories, and after a very short time the story was correct. In the case of the guy who was libelled, he got apologies and compensation for the mistake.

            A free press (which we broadly have) is not perfect. Neither is it free from error - or sometimes malice. But the individual outlets have commercial rivals to help keep them in check. Rivals who'll point and laugh when they screw up. And we also have police, court and political systems for redress as well. So in the case of the phone hacking scandal the police initially failed, but the Guardian didn't.

            That's a free system of checks and balances working. It's not ideal, but tell me a better system? And compare and contrast to Russia, where there are much worse checks and balances, a lot of journalists get murdered and the government frequently puts out propaganda unchallenged.

            1. wolfetone

              Re: "Trusted"

              "That's a free system of checks and balances working. It's not ideal, but tell me a better system? And compare and contrast to Russia, where there are much worse checks and balances, a lot of journalists get murdered and the government frequently puts out propaganda unchallenged."

              I didn't say at any point that the way Russia conduct themselves is any better. I initially said that you could hold the view point that all media lies and that it should all be ignored.

              And while journalists etc may not be murdered in the West, they are often frozen out of roles due to their reporting. And are you sure about governments being challenged in regards to their propaganda? Jeremy Hunt has been banging on for months about more people dying at weekends in hospital because Doctors don't work weekends, and used a BMA Journal article as the basis for his "reforms". The head of the BMA however wrote to him telling him that the article wasn't peer reviewed and he should stop referring to it, but he hasn't.

              1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

                Re: "Trusted"

                And yet you know about this, because it was reported by a free media!

                Proving the point I was making.

                The media has biases. But different bits of it have different biases. Which is also self-correcting.

                <blockquote.I initially said that you could hold the view point that all media lies and that it should all be ignored.</blockquote>

                You could hold that viewpoint. But it would be bollocks. And when the Russian government pay people to espouse that viewpoint it's for malicious reasons. Which efforts we know about partly because of the Western media. I've seen interviews with the people that work there.

                Also, there's an important difference between deliberate wrongdoing, and people making mistakes. The Sun didn't deliberately lie about Hillsborough, at least so far as we know. They reported lies told to them by the police. Their reporting of those lies was however horrible, because Kelvin McKenzie is a horrible man. And that was their house style under his editorship. The rest of the press called them out on it. And the market forced them to issue various grovelling apologies. Not that it helped their sales in Liverpool.

                Now I'd not particularly trust the Sun. It's not really about news. But I would have a lot more trust in the Guardian, the Times, or even the Telegraph (despite their recent plunge in editorial standards). They have biases, so you need to know what you're reading, but they're more likely to get the facts as correct as they're able, given the pressures of time and budget. And if you read them the next day, they'll have more of a complete picture. They will get stuff wrong, but in the main they are trying to report stuff as it happens.

                I wouldn't trust Russia Today at all. They are deliberately setting out to lie to me. That is their purpose.

                It's a completely differnet thing. One system is imperfect, but is mainly attempting to disseminate accurate information. With constraints of time and money. It has checks and balances, and often corrects itself when it screws up. The other systems is deliberately designed to conceal and to confuse. In intention, execution and outcome there is no fair comparison between the systems.

                1. JLV Silver badge

                  Re: "Trusted"

                  >I wouldn't trust Russia Today at all.

                  +1 and agreed. Still, I'd recommend reading Chomsky's Manufacturing Consent at some point, if you need a bigger dose of cynicism.

                  Chomsky is not my favorite person, for many reasons. Not least that Manufacturing Consent happily let the USSR off the hook for far worse abuses.

                  But he did hit the nail on the head when he was comparing Western press coverage of the various 1980's death squad activities in Central America with the same press reporting on a slain priest in Poland, same period. One can agree with the need to resist Communism while regretting the lack of exposure that allowed egregious human right abuses to happen for far too long in Central America.

                  People prefer to hear coverage that confirms their biases and prejudices, so having a fully informative press is not as simple as "just" having a free and competitive press. That's just the most necessary ingredient.

                  On balance though? Yes, give me our imperfect press, politicians and economic systems any day over the modern cesspit of propaganda, lies, fear-mongering and corruption that seems to be growing each and every year since Putin took over. When's the last time a major opposition politician has been killed in any Western country? Would you expect your government to suffer for it if it did? Or would you expect the supine domestic press whitewash that followed Nemtsov's murder? Anna Politkovskaya's? Litvinenko's? The closest British equivalent that comes to mind is David Kelly's death and that's a stretch to compare. What would happen if one or two of those happened every year? Would you really expect your PM to remain in power?

                  Dissatisfaction with our own governments should not be a reason to pretend Putin is anything but what he is: a deeply amoral strongman who is setting Russia back by decades in terms of global and domestic behavior. And a population brainwashed into thinking he's the solution because there is no equivalent to our own, imperfect but critical, press.

            2. Zare

              Re: "Trusted"

              The free press is nice theory, but practice is completely opposite.

              The free press is not free if 90% of press is owned by few corporations that have their profit and access to centers of power, which they are supposed to keep in check, dependent on government:

              https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Concentration_of_media_ownership

              (Media integrity is especially in the case when there are clientelist relations between the owners of the media and political centres of power. Such a situation enables excessive instrumentalisation of the media for particular political interests, which is subverting democratic role of the media.)

              http://www.freepress.net/ownership/chart

              The "free press" checks with government before publishing:

              http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2012/aug/29/correspondence-collusion-new-york-times-cia

              (The relationship between the New York Times and the US government is, as usual, anything but adversarial. Indeed, these emails read like the interactions between a PR representative and his client as they plan in anticipation of a possible crisis.)

              http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2012/jun/08/obama-administration-making-us-media-its-mouthpiece

              http://glenngreenwald.blogspot.de/2005/12/new-york-times-complicity-in-bushs.html

              (But almost as staggering is the fact that The New York Times knew about these illegal acts on the part of the Administration for a full year and kept its mouth shut until yesterday because the Administration asked it to.)

              Remind me which one of Main Stream Media in US warned that maybe officially given reasons for war in Iraq are maybe false?

              War on whistleblowers:

              http://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2015/mar/16/whistleblowers-double-standard-obama-david-petraeus-chelsea-manning

              (since Barack Obama entered the White House in 2009, his government has waged a war against whistleblowers and official leakers. On his watch, there have been eight prosecutions under the 1917 Espionage Act – more than double those under all previous presidents combined.)

              Reminder that all communication is being serveilled certainly does not help journalists write openly:

              https://theintercept.com/2016/04/28/new-study-shows-mass-surveillance-breeds-meekness-fear-and-self-censorship/

              Journalists can be fired for reporting news:

              http://www.nationofchange.org/2-fox-news-reporters-fired-covering-monsanto-s-cancer-causing-gmo-milk-1385184532

              So even though the law theoretically guaranties freedom of press (in US, in UK there is not even guarantee of free press), in practice it is not free.

              There are countless and countless other examples, but I doubt anyone here is surprised or found my post to be news.

        2. Dave 126 Silver badge

          Re: "Trusted"

          In support of @foo_bar_baz's comment:

          http://www.abc.net.au/radionational/programs/latenightlive/a-post-modern-dictatorship3f/5752628

          (Page has link to mp3 podcast, no transcript, sorry!)

          Peter Pomerantsev argues that the one great difference between historical Soviet propaganda and what Russians see today, is that for the Soviets, the idea of truth was important—even when they were lying. Today's regime displays its indifference to and playfulness with the truth.

          It's an interview with Peter Pomerantsev, TV Producer, essayist for the LRB and The Atlantic. The host of the radio show is Philip Adams, a former film producer, advertiser, farmer and self-proclaimed 'old leftie'.... and he's been sacked by Rupert Murdoch twice. He's interviewed everyone from Monty Pythons to Mikhail Gorbachev.

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      2. Emmeran

        Re: "Trusted"

        If it ain't on Facebook it didn't happen. Don't you know Facebook is the worlds only news source now?? Just ask your mom.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: "Trusted"

          My Mom does not use the Internet because she died 11 years ago, you insensitive clod..

          1. Paul Crawford Silver badge

            Re: "Trusted"

            Damn this AC business! Must have been another AC who's mom I was doing last night, she is definitely alive and well.

      3. Chris Jasper

        Re: "Trusted"

        The X-Files was right all along.................

      4. John 104

        Re: "Trusted"

        Trust none of them.

      5. Steve Crook
        Coat

        Re: "Trusted"

        Alexander Litvinenko agrees with you that Putin's reputation for dodgy dealings is largely a concoction of the state controlled western media....

    2. tentimes

      Re: "Trusted"

      They will probably have a built in keyloggers and recording apps.

      1. TeeCee Gold badge
        Coat

        Re: "Trusted"

        So actually very like Android then?

        1. LDS Silver badge

          Re: "Trusted"

          Yes, just the destionation is different, change Googleplex with Putinplex and you're done.

  2. Suricou Raven Silver badge

    I'm surprised there aren't more of these.

    Operating systems should be of major strategic concern. If a real war broke out - I mean proper war, not these middle-easten proxy-wars - it would be easy for, say, the US government to order MS or Google to publish a 'wipe drive and zero the firmware' update and send it via the auto-update mechanism to all hosts in a specified country, thus instantly causing billions in economic damage and crippling infrastructure, communications and ability to coordinate militarily. Or just use the trusted updates as a vector for targeted spyware.

    As the world of operating systems is dominated by three companies, all of them based in the US, every country that may conceivably face war with the US at any point in the next fifty years should be working on a way to neutralise that threat by developing their own operating system. Yes, it's a slim possibility - but so is nuclear war, and countries still invest heavily in missile defence.

    1. Tchou
      Holmes

      Re: I'm surprised there aren't more of these.

      ... And the US perfectly knows it.

      In time of "peace" it is also a very good strategy to keep an eye on vassals, I mean allies sorry and make sure any their moves (diplomatic, economic, military R&D) are known.

      3/4 of the world uses US IT tech. Only China and Russia are trying to develop home built operating systems at a large scale (for national use).

      The only thing that could come to mind for a citizen of any given country "friendly" to the US (UK, France, Germany...) is that the persons in charge are both incompetent and corrupt.

      1. LDS Silver badge

        Re: I'm surprised there aren't more of these.

        That US IT tech built in China?

    2. Hstubbe

      Re: I'm surprised there aren't more of these.

      That only works once of course. After that the company will have lost all credibility all over the world and everyone will be scrambling to move away from that.

      1. Suricou Raven Silver badge

        Re: I'm surprised there aren't more of these.

        It's the nuclear weapon of electronic warfare: It only needs to work once.

    3. Lamont Cranston
      Joke

      Re: "'wipe drive and zero the firmware' update and send it via the auto-update mechanism"

      As if Android handsets are going to receive updates!

  3. msknight Silver badge

    Trust a Russian made operating system. Really? Do they really think I'm a few shots short of a bottle of potato vodka?

    1. Bronek Kozicki Silver badge
      Trollface

      Yes. Yes, they do.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Ah, trust..

      Trust a Russian made operating system. Really? Do they really think I'm a few shots short of a bottle of potato vodka?

      It depends how you define "trust". If this is capable of getting FIPS certified I'd be interested. If this is genuinely open to independent 3rd party evaluation (so that it is conform Kerckhoff's principle) I see no problem. Well, I *do* see a problem insofar that it will screw up the current Western intercept capabilities but, to be frank, I'm surprised it's taken this long.

      In short, if the Russians genuinely want a trustworthy product it is not impossible to achieve, provided they keep away any idiots talking about "leaving a backdoor". The question is if the political will not only exists, but will persist. Given that doing it right will create serious pressure on the US to do the same I'm all for it.

      1. The Man Who Fell To Earth
        Joke

        Re: Ah, trust..

        Is FIPS certification of a Russian OS anything like WADA certification of Russian athletes?

      2. fishman

        Re: Ah, trust..

        "In short, if the Russians genuinely want a trustworthy product it is not impossible to achieve, provided they keep away any idiots talking about "leaving a backdoor"."

        They won't talk about putting in a back door publically. They will be told to do it and not talk about it.

  4. Christian Berger Silver badge

    Building a more secure system than Android shouldn't be hard

    After all most of the security problems of Android come from its complexity and its misunderstanding of what sandboxes can do.

    Building a touch ready GUI toolkit as well as a simple interface for interfacing software with it. Essentially this should have roughly the complexity of TCL/TK, if you base it on the Linux kernel.

    If you want to go further, you can even take an embedded kernel like the Free/OpenRTOS kernel. It's much smaller and needs very little RAM. With that you could get a design team together and make a tiny little CPU with roughly the complexity of a 6520 or a Z80, but modern manufacturing processes so it'll be fast. Such a simple CPU would be small enough to be understood by a single person so it can be audited easily.

    1. Dave 126 Silver badge

      Re: Building a more secure system than Android shouldn't be hard

      >Such a simple CPU would be small enough to be understood by a single person so it can be audited easily.

      I don't doubt what you say, but of course the handset/terminal is but one part of a chain... any audit would have to extent to all the systems the handset interacts with. Already this week the Reg has reported that the identity of GSM handsets (and thus Telegram, Whatsapp users et al) can be easily spoofed.

    2. Warm Braw Silver badge

      Re: Building a more secure system than Android shouldn't be hard

      >Such a simple CPU would be small enough to be understood by a single person

      And dumb enough to have no hardware support for things like memory protection which means you'd have to rely entirely on some form of interpretation to stop your third party applications running amok. At which point you'd have all the former hardware complexity in your system software and the same audit problems you started with.

      Not to mention the complexities of the radio interface.

      1. Christian Berger Silver badge

        Re: Building a more secure system than Android shouldn't be hard

        a) Your GSM would of course run on a separate processor with only a well defined and simple interface to your main computer. Think of AT-Commands over a serial interface. All GSM stacks support that out of the box.

        b) Memory protection might be one of the few things to add as a feature, however it can only protect you from mistakes. You will never ever be able to trust third party applications. That's what I mean with "misunderstanding sandboxes". Since Rowhammer(JS) we have learned that sandboxes simply are not able to contain malware securely. However there are alternatives. One would be to use the handset as a simple terminal for a server based service. Those protocols can be extremely simple. Or if you desperately need local software that cannot be audited, you can use a separate second computer inside your handset. This may sound absurd at first, but it's precisely what the SIM is doing for several decades now.

        The current way of doing things, where you have an operating system running apps from untrusted sources, hoping you can somehow secure them by sand boxing simply does not work.

        It's probably best to have a small memory card installed inside your handset which does contain the operating system and additional programs you trust. This card then is hardware protected to only be read from the handset. If you want to install additional software or updates, you need to take it out, place it into a different device and access it. The same can be done with a hardware switch for which you need to open the device. If an attacker already has physical access to a device, there's virtually nothing you can do to secure it anyhow. (at least not on a size budget compatible with a mobile phone)

        1. Brewster's Angle Grinder Silver badge
          Joke

          Re: Building a more secure system than Android shouldn't be hard

          Since that burglary in the street last week, we've all learnt that locks are no longer able to securely defend our homes. So we have all done away with locks on all windows and doors.

          1. Christian Berger Silver badge

            Re: Building a more secure system than Android shouldn't be hard

            "Since that burglary in the street last week, we've all learnt that locks are no longer able to securely defend our homes. So we have all done away with locks on all windows and doors."

            No, that's not the point I'm trying to make. My point is that, just because you have a room you can "lock securely" you shouldn't just let any stranger into your home.

            The sandboxes on mobile operating systems are there to create the illusion that you can just run any random software you download from non-trustworthy sources. They provide an illusion of security, on which people depend on. People do install "apps" without checking where they come from, relying on sandboxes somehow controlling those apps. People actually believe they can just install any app without their system being utterly compromised.

            If you instead just make it clear that you should never install untrusted applications, and have safeguards against doing so, you can achieve actual security. Additional measures can be sensible, if the additional code is small enough to not cause any security problems by itself.

  5. EvadingGrid

    The Diff

    In Russia mass surveillance is categorically illegal, in America its declared by the press that Ed Snowdon was the traitor. Having actually the 4th Amendment, its clear to me that the Western Press has managed to position itself as less trust worthy than Russian State Media. To complete the picture, Ed Snowdon has to hide in Russia, of all places.

    Its not that Russia is suddenly not corrupt, or gained saint hood.. Its that the western media is an utter disgrace.

    1. TeeCee Gold badge
      WTF?

      Re: The Diff

      Actually by all the legislation and rules defining such, Snowdon was a traitor.....

      Just 'cos lots of people happen to appreciate the leaks doesn't magically make him not so.

      As for surveillance being illegal, if the Russian government gave a flying fuck about the legalities of their actions, that might begin to mean something.....

    2. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

      Re: The Diff

      The Western media isn't a disgrace, because it reports on this stuff. Nobody has ever doubted that WEstern governments have been spying. Stuff like Echelon was in the public domain for years. The press make periodic efforts to find stuff out. When the Snowden stuff got revealed, the Western press covered the story. So what exactly have they done wrong?

      They can still hold the opinion that Snowden is a traitor, and cover the story and not do any damage to their credibility. Whereas Russian state media regularly get caught lying, and don't even apologise. They simply deny it and move on, because it's deliberate. Thus you should never trust Russian state media at all. But you can usually trust Western media, a least to some extent. So long as you're in a position to verify their story. If they do make a mistake (or even lie deliberately) it's usually their rivals that catch them at it. So you may not be in possession of the facts immediately, but you'll usually find stuff out relatively quickly.

      This equivalence point is utter bollocks.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: hold the opinion that Snowden is a traitor,

        Well, there are different definitions of "traitor" possible here. You might take the legal view that only those convicted (or more loosely, those very likely to be convictable) of treason according to the relevant law are traitors. Or you might take the opinion of some trad-authority figure(s) (e.g. a president or government agency) as determining the status. Or you might use your own opinion based on whether or not you think the actions in question cause harm to those to which the person in question owes some obligation. No doubt other possibilities may suggest themselves.

        I might think that Snowden may well be convictable of treason in a fair courtroom, and that the US government (to which as an American he is beholden to) can claim reasonably he is a traitor. But it's also possible to argue that his actions (will) cause more good than harm, and in that sense he is not a traitor to his country or its citizens, even if he might be so by law, or by Government proclamation.

        You might even think he is a traitor to his country, but not to the human race as a whole.

        So, my point being: the claim that Snowden is a traitor, is under determined until you specify WHAT he is supposed to have betrayed. His country? His fellow citizens? His Government? What?

        1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

          Re: hold the opinion that Snowden is a traitor,

          I certainly agree with you, that Snowden is innocent unless proven guilty. So by that definition he's not a traitor. And not being a court of law, I am in no position to determine whether he's a traitor or not.

          My argument wasn't about that. In fact your post supports my argument here. I was saying that a US media source calling him a traitor does not invalidate its credibility. To call him a traitor is clearly a rhetorical device in this context, as they aren't a court of law either. My only argument in this threat is with the ludicrous claim of some equivalence between the faults of the Western media (which are many) and the deliberate design of the Russian media to hide the truth.

          In almost every way imaginable, our political system is better than the Russian one. It is best that we concentrate on fixing our own problems, and dial down the preaching to everyone else. But I refuse to put up with this moral relativism crap. So I'll argue against it.

          As for Snowden, it's complicated. In my opinion he did a great thing in telling the world about mass data collection. But then he's also released information on US (and UK) legitimate electronic spying on unfriendly foreign powers. The first one of those is whistle-blowing and a good thing. The second is treason. He seems to have released an enormous amount of information, some of which would have been better kept secret. I personally wouldn't call him a traitor - but I also don't approve of everything he's done.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: hold the opinion that Snowden is a traitor,

            "My only argument in this threat is with the ludicrous claim of some equivalence between the faults of the Western media (which are many) and the deliberate design of the Russian media to hide the truth".

            If you think the Western media is absolved from colluding with Governments and presenting full blown lies as stories, you are sadly mistaken. There are honest media outlets in Russia, and there are corrupt, and it is exactly the same in the West. To think of yourself as above others is all part of the illusion of your own governments propaganda.

            In the West, most of the lies are centred around money and knowledge of events, corporate interactions etc, rather than the slightly darker Russian underbelly, but there is no difference in actions from either media. One is not better than the other, they are as bad as each other.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: the slightly darker Russian underbelly

              One might use "journalists killed" as a metric of this darkness; and you can see where Russia (and Western countries) rank by visiting:

              https://cpj.org/killed/

    3. Tchou
      Pint

      Re: The Diff

      "Its that the western media is an utter disgrace."

      Save El Reg, of course

      1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge
        Happy

        Re: The Diff

        "Its that the western media is an utter disgrace."

        Save El Reg, of course

        No. The Register is far worse than that.

        It's totally Belgium, man.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I can see why the Russians would want their own Androidski

    And I'd trust Androidski far more than anything written by Google or Microsoft - run their software and your product is pretty much a dumb terminal connected to their servers.

    1. Paul Crawford Silver badge

      Re: I can see why the Russians would want their own Androidski

      The point is you can't trust anything that:

      1) has closed components

      2) has known data slurping components

      3) has limits on how *YOU* grant permissions

      4) has enough value for subtle flaws in open parts to be engineered

      But people do trust phones, and really should not. Maybe it is best to use the one with the least on-going cooperation with your own government and/or corporate interests as the least likely to screw you over outside of actual espionage?

      1. Tchou
        Pirate

        Re: I can see why the Russians would want their own Androidski

        "The point is you can't trust anything that:

        1) has closed components"

        Sadly being open source don't mean the code is audited by people who actually know where the back doors are, under which form, for what purpose.

        Do you really believe the entire Linux code is exempt of backdoors? And why? Because strangers told you so?

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: I can see why the Russians would want their own Androidski

      Perhaps they might take that Reg columnist who goes on about copyright and stuff in part exchange? :-)

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Ugh, it's in Innopolis

    Well, you'll be very focused on your work because as far as I can see, Innopolis is pretty much in the middle of nowhere (Streetview of one year ago) so it doesn't strike me as a place you'll spend much time exploring (you can't even dig a tunnel because the nearby river suggests it'll flood). Having said that, that's just me looking at a map. I may be wrong, but so far I don't see much in the way of entertainment.

    Anyone familiar with the region?

    1. Dave 126 Silver badge

      Re: Ugh, it's in Innopolis

      >as far as I can see, Innopolis is pretty much in the middle of nowhere

      Zoom out dear boy, zoom out from the link you provided, and you'll see that Innopolis is about 15 minutes car journey from Kazan, a city with over a million residents. Indeed, Innopolis appears to be nothing but a technology park on the outskirts of Kazan, as the name suggests. A quick Google confirms Innopolis was created in 2012 as Special Economic Area.

      I can't spot Kazan night clubs from the air, but they seem to have some massive civic buildings, an imposing a university, a huge basketball stadium... I get the impression that your entertainment tastes can be catered to, whatever they are.

      Wikipedia then confirms that Kazan is one of the foremost cities in Russia for science and for sport.

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kazan

      Thank you, I had not heard of the place before!

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Ugh, it's in Innopolis

        Damn, you're right. Oh well, at least it wouldn't be boring then. Provided you speak Russian, I guess. That's not a problem for Jolla (at least, all the Finns I know are quite OK with Russian), but I guess it may prove a challenge for others.

  8. IGnatius T Foobar
    FAIL

    Not happening

    Nobody wants another mobile operating system. If *Microsoft* couldn't pull it off, how are a bunch of KGB agents going to do it?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Not happening

      If *Microsoft* couldn't pull it off, how are a bunch of KGB agents going to do it?

      Wow, a double cliché, I'm impressed.

      First of all, Microsoft has never invented anything software wise - the only real innovation ever to come out of Richmond is how to evade laws and impress MBA idiots with features they'd never use.

      Secondly, given that they're drawing in Jolla I'd say there will be less KGB involved. What amused me was that they used Telegram, given that the guy who funded that had basically his company taken from him by the Putin clique (rumour has it that this happened for for exactly NOT collaborating with the KGB).

      The latter is where the trust aspect comes in, as there exists a mere binary choice. If they open the code for inspection I'm willing to bet it'll be analysed to pieces by just about anyone, exactly to find that KGB evidence. In other words, people will establish trust for themselves (yes, there are Common Criteria as well, but that's still more a paper exercise). If they do NOT open the code they will barely be able to sell it inland, let alone abroad, thanks to all that lovely US anti-Russia marketing.

      To be honest, I have more confidence the Russians hammering something trustworthy together than the US right now. Sad but true.

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Nice.

    Russian OS. Strong OS. Covered in bears.

    Does this mean we're about to see the AK47 of mobile phones?

    1. Zero Sum

      Russian school informatics textbooks for all children.

      <<Nice.

      Russian OS. Strong OS. Covered in bears.

      Does this mean we're about to see the AK47 of mobile phones?>>

      ...

      Just for your curiosity, here is a list of school informatics textbooks from 2nd class to 11th class. I forget how compulsory this subject is now, but I think many children must do it. Forget about Russian stereotypes, there are many educated and talented people. If they can be activated, a national OS is sure possible.

      Have a look at some Russian mobile company site (Beeline, MTS) and you see much more user friendly approach than many westerns. Many interesting surprises.

      Anyway, here is link to children's informatics textbooks.

      Just look inside and you will see familiar things even if the words are not familiar:

      http://11book.ru/component/search/?searchword=информатика&ordering=newest&searchphrase=all&limit=0

      (For your orientation, "Информатика 10 класс" means "10th class informatics" and so on.)

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Russian school informatics textbooks for all children.

        Forget about Russian stereotypes, there are many educated and talented people. If they can be activated, a national OS is sure possible.

        I remarked once before that starving Russia of decent computers was ironically the best gift the US could have ever bestowed on the nation, because it forced them to code very efficiently. I agree: if they get their act together there (and that could happen - note that this is a government supported program) they could come up with code that was so much better and provably more secure that it would overcome the anti-Russia marketing of the US.

      2. Ropewash

        Re: Russian school informatics textbooks for all children.

        I get your point here, but he really did just give them a big backhand compliment.

        Any phone OS with the worldwide success of the AK-47 would make it's creators very happy indeed.

  10. Wolfclaw

    Trusted and privacey, two words that cannot be said in one sentanece when it come to Mad Dog Putin's governemnt or any government that wants to do excessive spying on its people it is supposed to represent !

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      You best stick to the US Kool-Aid. From what I've seen from the US over the last few years there's nary a difference between them now, other than that Russia doesn't bother pretending to be a democracy.

      That doesn't mean I'm a fan of Putin, I'm merely not a fan of the US pretence that it is even remotely a democracy other than for marketing purposes.

  11. Jay 2
    Megaphone

    Ruskies robbed!

    It's all just a cunning plan by the Russians to win Eurovision. Next year all the Androidski phones will secretly call the voting line in all the all other countriers eligible to vote to ensure a mighty victory for the Rodina!

    Given how many Western conspiricies the are meant to be against Russia, I'm sure their version of the X-Files would be highly entertaining.

    1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

      Re: Ruskies robbed!

      Surely even after 20 series and a writers strike, even the most desperate of producers for the X Files wouldn't resort to a plot-line about the Eurovision Song Contest being rigged by Aliens or the CIA? Surely that's too dull even for daytime TV...

      1. Dave 126 Silver badge

        Re: Ruskies robbed!

        >a plot-line about the Eurovision Song Contest being rigged by Aliens or the CIA?

        That actually is the plot from an episode of Father Ted.

        My Lovely Horse!

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jzYzVMcgWhg

    2. This post has been deleted by its author

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