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October 11th, 2011

Distributing antivirus by taxi?

Last Monday, the TV signal coming going into our TV disappeared. “No signal” was the error message displayed quite prominently on the TV screen. Well, since there is no Ice Hockey World Championships at the moment, I thought that fixing the antenna was not an issue of vital importance – a decision that my family disagreed with. So to keep the domestic peace, I called the service, they came the next day, fixed it in about 30 minutes, and all was fine until yesterday.  That is when the invoice for the service arrived.  Note, I don’t mind the cost of fixing the antenna, but I DO mind a lot the cost the repair service charged for COMING to our house. The distance is only 17 km (10 miles) but they charged 50% more than a taxi would! And, taxis in Prague are darn expensive. Which brings me to the benefits of free delivery. Read more…

October 10th, 2011

The real virus lab

I would have never imagined that it could happen, but a couple of weeks back we received the “Export Company of 2010” award from DHL.  That really surprised me because in my mind anything organized by DHL means they will tend to award it to someone who actually uses DHL to ship something in the first place.  But we ship ones and zeros through servers and cables.  Lots of ones and zeros, that is true, but certainly nothing that would need the attention of DHL or FedEx.

But that is not the subject of this post actually. The subject is that I got a call from a journalist who was covering the story with a request to get her some pictures that would go with the story.  Such as the picture of our AVAST Virus Lab. Read more…

October 7th, 2011

Barcelona – fotoreport from the last two days

The content of VB 2011 programme provided an excellent amount of information from the security industry in the last three days. It came packed in an interesting and humorous way. Here is some more pictures from conference to present the atmosphere and we looking forward on next conference!

 

October 6th, 2011

Barcelona – fotoreport from the first day

 

Greetings from Barcelona. The conference is in the middle and here are few pictures from the first day. Everyone seems to be satisfied with the conference, and especially with the free beer offered by AVAST!

October 4th, 2011

Building Permits? More leftovers on rooftops

Yesterday’s post about how difficult it is to get a building permit for even a neon sign sparked some interesting Facebook discussions. Clearly getting any sort of building permit is not an easy task in the Czech Republic. Our own experience at AVAST shows that getting a permit for a small sign can easily take 3 months. But, we should not be unthankful. At least at AVAST, we did GET the permit.

I mentioned AVG in my blog yesterday as the other well-known antivirus brand from the Czech Republic. In case you don’t remember, some time ago AVG was actually called Grisoft after its founder Mr. Jan Gritzbach – GRItzbach SOFTware. And the Grisoft company was located here: 49°12’9.262″N, 16°36’23.723″E  (view the satellite image).

Since then, the company has changed its name. They have even moved their offices. But the GRISOFT logo is still there, laying flat on the roof. I wonder if it was ever mounted and visible or if it is still waiting for the official building permit.  ;)

October 3rd, 2011

Building? Not! Programming

In case you didn’t know, almost half (!) of all home computers in the world are protected by antivirus products coming from the Czech Republic. That’s because both AVAST antivirus and AVG have been and are still developed here. This does make me wonder why: Why here? The Czech Republic is a small country and even though its borders are surrounded by mountain ranges we are hardly a valley – at least to say – of silicon. As far as I can tell, there is no obvious reason for this. Speaking of technology, the only other thing we gave to world is the word “robot” (invented by Czech novel & play writer Karel Capek who used it in his play R.U.R. in 1921).

So why antivirus? I really don’t know but I do know why we are no longer famous for construction and buildings. It is all thanks to our system of building permits. But it wasn’t always like that. Read more…

September 26th, 2011

AVAST – Since year 1801

I love the marketing endorsements that tell you that “the beer you are about to drink has been brewed since 1845”. I wonder how it really did taste 160 years ago ;) Sure, the basic ingredients were the same but is it really the same taste? Selfishly, it is my tastes right here and now that matter  – not what it was 120 years before I was born. Actually I found a reference to some monastery brewery that has been brewing beer since 1455! Still the same great taste?  I doubt it!  Gutenberg invented the printing press around that time and printing as such has evolved a bit since then. I can tell, because I have a 10-year old dot-matrix printer that is completely out-of-date and a 5-year old laser printer that is about to join it in the attic. Read more…

September 23rd, 2011

Luis from Dallas – The AVAST video voice!

To follow up on the previous post on videos, I forgot to mention one important thing: we never planned to produce ‘silent movies’. This means we were looking for somebody who could help us to record the voices.

Luckily, we didn’t have to search long. Some time back, we introduced the new Community section on our website where you could play and download theme voice notifications.  “AVAST virus database has been updated” and all the other ones. A couple of the themed voice versions (for example the “ex-president”) were recorded by our voice actor Luis Acevedo.

Here is his show reel. Play sample

Enjoy!


September 22nd, 2011

Record high Google Search Share for AVAST

My daughter went on a week-long school trip today morning. She and 30 other kids will visit Switzerland, France and Germany. It is school trip in Europe by bus and that means leaving early to avoid the traffic. I brought her to school at 5:30 am (yes, ‘am’ means morning!) and since our office is close by and it takes me 30 minutes to drive home … I figured I could just as well go to work early and avoid the traffic jam later. Read more…

September 21st, 2011

For an online revolution, you need to be online

I watched the BBC program “How Facebook Changed the World: The Arab Spring” about the importance of social media in the changes happening in Egypt and other countries. (If you have couple minutes, search for it on YouTube). Clearly, being online and connected was the key for receiving information, sharing news, and organizing protests. Read more…