Vladimir Putin Is Replacing Microsoft Programs With Domestic Software

An anonymous reader quotes a report from Bloomberg: Moscow city will replace Microsoft Corp. programs with domestic software on thousands of computers in answer to President Vladimir Putin’s call for Russia’s authorities to reduce dependence on foreign…

An anonymous reader quotes a report from Bloomberg: Moscow city will replace Microsoft Corp. programs with domestic software on thousands of computers in answer to President Vladimir Putin’s call for Russia’s authorities to reduce dependence on foreign technology amid tensions with the U.S. and Europe. The city will initially replace Microsoft’s Exchange Server and Outlook on 6,000 computers with an e-mail system installed by state-run carrier Rostelecom PJSC, Artem Yermolaev, head of information technology for Moscow, told reporters Tuesday. Moscow may expand deployment of the new software, developed by Russia’s New Cloud Technologies, to as many as 600,000 computers and servers, and may also consider replacing Windows and Office, Yermolaev said. Putin is urging state entities and local companies to go domestic amid concerns over security and reliability after U.S. firms shut down paid services in Crimea following Russia’s 2014 annexation. The plan poses a challenge to the likes of Microsoft, SAP SE and Oracle Corp. in the country’s $3 billion software market. Adding to pressure, Putin’s internet czar German Klimenko wants to raise taxes on U.S. technology companies to help Russian competitors such as Yandex NV and Mail.ru Group Ltd.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

This proposal at a Red Sox game didn’t go as planned

During last night’s Red Sox-Yankees game, a fan decided to propose to his girlfriend, but it went awry before he could even ask the question.

We all know how awkward the public marriage proposal can be, but the one that happened at last night’s Yankees-Red Sox game took it to a whole new level of embarrassment.

During the game at Yankee Stadium, a Yankees fan got down on one knee in the stands to propose to his girlfriend, but when he opened the ring box, the ring wasn’t there. With the cameras watching, he and other fans searched the bleachers frantically before the ring was found.

He started over — and she said yes.


World leaders pay tribute to Israel’s Shimon Peres

President Obama, Tony Blair, Justin Trudeau and others remember the former president and prime minister.

Quotes from around the world after the death of former Israeli President Shimon Peres, a Nobel Peace Prize laureate and elder statesman of Israeli politics, at age 93.

“A light has gone out, but the hope he gave us will burn forever. Shimon Peres was a soldier for Israel, for the Jewish people, for justice, for peace, and for the belief that we can be true to our best selves – to the very end of our time on Earth, and in the legacy that we leave to others. For the gift of his friendship and the example of his leadership, todah rabah (thank you very much), Shimon.” – President Barack Obama

“With the passing of Shimon Peres, Israel has lost a leader who championed its security, prosperity, and limitless possibilities from its birth to his last day on earth. The Middle East has lost a fervent advocate for peace and reconciliation and for a future where all the children of Abraham build a better tomorrow together. And Hillary and I have lost a true and treasured friend.

“I’ll never forget how happy he was 23 years ago when he signed the Oslo Accords on the White House lawn, heralding a more hopeful era in Israeli-Palestinian relations. He was a genius with a big heart who used his gifts to imagine a future of reconciliation not conflict, economic and social empowerment not anger and frustration, and a nation, a region, and a world enhanced by caring and sharing, not torn asunder by the illusions of permanent dominance and perfect truth. His critics called him a dreamer. That he was – a lucid, eloquent dreamer until the very end. Thank goodness. Let those of us who loved him and love his nation keep his dream alive.” – Former President Bill Clinton and Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton

“I am more sad than words can express. This is a man who was a political giant, a statesman who will rank as one of the foremost of this era or any era, and someone I loved deeply. He was an inspiration, a mentor and a friend. His intellect, his way with words that was eloquent beyond description, his command of the world and how it was changing were extraordinary.

“Though he grew older, his spirit never did. Above all, his commitment to peace and his belief that it was in the interests of the country he adored marked him out as a visionary whose vision was never dimmed or displaced. He saw every setback as a spur to further action and every moment of hope as a sign of what could be done.” – Former British Prime Minister Tony Blair

“Shimon Peres was, above all, a man of peace. My deepest condolences to his loved ones and to the people of Israel on his passing.” – Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau

“Shimon Peres never stopped trying to reach peace and believing in peace. His hand was always extended to a historic compromise with our neighbors, and even if this compromise tarried, he taught us never to give in to despair, but to cling to hope.” – Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu

“President Abbas has sent a condolence letter to Shimon Peres’ family expressing his sorrow and sadness, as Peres was a partner in making the peace of the brave with both the late Palestinian President Yasser Arafat and Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin. He exerted persistent efforts to reach a just peace from the Oslo agreement until the final moments of his life.” – the office of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas

“The Palestinian people are very happy at the passing of this criminal who caused their blood to shed…Shimon Peres was the last remaining Israeli official who founded the occupation, and his death is the end of a phase in the history of this occupation and the beginning of a new phase of weakness.” – Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri

“The last time I sat with Shimon back in March, at his Center for Peace in Tel Aviv, he said ‘we gave up war, because war led nowhere.’ Every nation has a soul–someone who embodies the spirit of a people. And for so many years, Shimon Peres was the soul of Israel. The world is a little darker without him in it.” – Vice President Joe Biden

“Today with deep sorrow we bid farewell to our beloved father, the 9th president of Israel. Our father’s legacy has always been to look to tomorrow. We were privileged to be part of his private family, but today we sense that the entire nation of Israel and the global community share this great loss. We share this pain together.” – Chemi Peres, Shimon Peres’ son

“A giant, a leader and an outstanding statesman has left us. The last of the leaders of the country’s founding. A man who made an immeasurable contribution to Israel’s security, its standing in the world and its efforts for peace. A world statesman, who even during his greatest achievements and until his last days had a great vision for a better Israel and a better world, along with an inexhaustible curiosity of a young man for every emerging innovation and revolution. His memory will be forever bound up with the chronicles of Israel’s history. May his memory be a blessing.” – Former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak

“For many years, Shimon Peres worked together with the Mossad on operations and activities for Israel’s security, and was one of the country’s prominent leaders, a symbol of peace and brotherhood and one that gave an enormous contribution to fortifying Israel’s security.” — Israel’s Mossad spy agency

“Words cannot quantify the tremendous amount that Shimon Peres did for the security of Israel. Shimon Peres shaped the character and values of the Ministry of Defense, led the building and development of the Israel Defense Forces and its strategic capabilities, developed defense relationships between Israel and different countries around the world, and played a key role in the developing Israel’s defense industries.” – Director General of Israel’s Ministry of Defense, Udi Adam

“Barbara and I join Shimon Peres’ countless admirers around the world in saluting his singular life of service – to the universal cause of freedom, to the timeless cause of Israel, to the noblest cause of peace. By his unyielding determination and principle, Shimon Peres time and again helped guide his beloved country through the crucible of mortal challenge. But it was by his innate humanity, his decency, that Shimon inspired the world over and helped pave a path to peace broad enough that future generations will walk it one day, side-by side.” – Former President George H. W. Bush

“Laura and I join the people of Israel and those around the world in mourning the death of Shimon Peres. As a young man, he worked for his country’s independence. For the rest of his life, he led it with a deep and abiding concern for his people and a commitment to freedom and peace. The Bush family will miss Shimon Peres and his grace, dignity, and optimism.” – Former President George W. Bush

“My heart is bleeding.my tears are falling.because President Shimon Peres is no longer in this world. He was a father figure not only to his beloved country of Israel, but also to me, because he was what I imagined my father would have been like. Shimon’s mind was expansive and his heart was compassionate. He was a brilliant statesman, gifted with the ability to listen to others who did not share his views and still remained determined to find a path forward.

He was a voice of reason who also happened to have the sensibility of a poet.thoughtful and soft-spoken, but his words echoed loudly around the world. I adored Shimon.and I’m so grateful that I was able to spend some time with him over the years, and sing for him at his 90th birthday celebration in Israel. Thank god his spirit, his wisdom, and his ideals will live forever.” – Barbra Streisand

“My friend Shimon had a very rare human quality: He had the ability to change.

When I met Peres in the early 70s, he was in my eyes a banal hawk. Supporting settlers, a settler lover, a security man, the more land the better, the more power the better. He changed before my eyes … into an enthusiastic and stubborn believer in Israeli-Palestinian peace and Israeli-Arab peace.” – Israeli author Amos Oz

“The Last of the Mohicans has left us. He was one of the founding fathers, or founding sons, and all his generation is gone. Shimon is the last who remained.

“I also was very close to him when he was around (Israel’s first prime minister David) Ben Gurion. I remember the entire group of younger people who were around the old man. Shimon was the last. They are all gone. It’s a kind of feeling of losing your father. Because he is a father of modern Israel.” – Peres’ biographer and former political adviser Michael Bar Zohar

“President Peres believed that the best way to serve the State of Israel and to deliver security to the Israeli people was through peace with the Palestinians. We can only honor his memory with a daily commitment to reconciliation, preserving and advancing his vision for a two-State solution.” – European Union foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini

“The world has lost a true legend and statesman. Shimon Peres was a gift to the country he helped establish and lead, and a persistent voice for the cause of peace. President Peres’ countless contributions to the world earned him the Nobel Peace Prize, Congressional Gold Medal, and the Presidential Medal of Freedom. While we join the State of Israel and people around the globe in mourning his death, we also give thanks for his incredible life.” – U.S. House of Representatives Speaker Paul Ryan

“Shimon Peres’ story was the story of modern Israel – a saga of daring, dynamism and wisdom. With all of his heart, this farmer, fighter, author, Nobel Peace Prize winner, prime minister and president worked to guide his nation into a secure and confident future. I valued his friendship. He was an intellectual resource who personified the unbreakable bond between the United States and Israel.” – House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi

“My wife Lucy had the honor of visiting Shimon Peres a few months ago, at the Peres Centre for Peace. He told her the secret of perpetual youth was to ensure that your list of dreams always remained longer than your list of achievements. On that test, Shimon Peres remained the youngest of leaders.” – Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull

“On behalf of the entire New York Jewish community, we deeply mourn the passing of Shimon Peres, one of the greatest Jewish leaders of our time. President Peres was one of the extraordinary visionaries of our age, a towering Zionist hero of deep courage who devoted his life to serving and defending Israel and the Jewish people.” – Eric S. Goldstein, CEO, UJA-Federation of New York

Tomato juice does not remove skunk smell, but this does

It happened again. My dumb but  friendly dog tried to hang out with a skunk that likes to roam around my backyard. Shiloh, my dog, bounded out of the house and headed straight for her skunk friend and immediately stuck her schnozz up the skunk’s rear end. Her greeting was not …

It happened again. My dumb but  friendly dog tried to hang out with a skunk that likes to roam around my backyard. Shiloh, my dog, bounded out of the house and headed straight for her skunk friend and immediately stuck her schnozz up the skunk’s rear end. Her greeting was not …

Dutch investigators: Malaysian jet was downed by Russian missile

Wilbert Paulissen, of the Dutch National Police, said Wednesday that communications intercepts showed pro-Moscow rebels in Ukraine had requested the mobile surface-to-air weapon from Russia.

NIEUWEGEIN, Netherlands – Dutch-led criminal investigators said Wednesday they have solid evidence that a Malaysian jet was shot down by a Buk missile moved into eastern Ukraine from Russia.

Wilbert Paulissen, head of the Central Crime Investigation department of the Dutch National Police, said communications intercepts showed that pro-Moscow rebels had called for deployment of the mobile surface-to-air weapon, and reported its arrival in rebel-controlled areas of eastern Ukraine.

From that and other evidence collected by the Joint Investigation Team, “it may be concluded MH17 was shot down by a 9M38 missile launched by a Buk, brought in from the territory of the Russian Federation, and that after launch was subsequently returned to the Russian Federation,” Paulissen told a news conference.

The conclusions were billed as results of a two-year Dutch-led criminal probe of the disaster that claimed 298 lives.

A separate investigation by Dutch safety officials last year concluded that the Amsterdam-to-Kuala Lumpur flight was downed by a Buk missile fired from territory held by pro-Russian rebels.

Dutch police spokesman Thomas Aling said the joint investigation findings differ in that they are designed to be solid enough to be used as evidence in a criminal trial. Where and when a trial might take place is still to be determined, Aling said.

Russia has consistently denied allegations that pro-Moscow rebels in eastern Ukraine were responsible. On Monday, the Russian military said it has new radio-location data that show the missile that downed the Boeing 777 did not originate from rebel-controlled territory, and said it would turn the data over to investigators.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov reiterated that assertion on Wednesday ahead of the Dutch report.

“If there was a rocket it could only have been launched from a different area,” he told reporters, referring to Russian radar data. “You can’t argue with it, it can’t be discussed.”

In the Joint Investigation Team, Dutch police and judicial officials have been working with counterparts from Australia, Belgium, Malaysia and Ukraine, seeking to gather the best possible evidence for use in prosecution of the perpetrators.

They have faced extraordinary challenges: the crime scene in Ukraine’s eastern Donetsk oblast where the plane crashed on July 17, 2014, killing all aboard, was located in an active war zone, and during the days following the crash pro-Kremlin militants limited access to the site.

Eleven containers crammed with debris from the jetliner were ultimately brought to the Netherlands. A research team took soil samples in eastern Ukraine and established the location of cellphone towers and the layout of the local telephone network.

Forensic samples were taken from passengers’ and crew members’ bodies and luggage, and satellite data and communications intercepts were scrutinized. The team also appealed for information from witnesses who may have seen the missile launch.

About two-thirds of the passengers aboard MH17 were Dutch nationals; the crew members were Malaysians. Malaysia proposed setting up an international tribunal to try those responsible for the plane’s destruction, but Russia vetoed a U.N. Security Council resolution in favor of a tribunal.

South Portland police investigate attempted armed robbery

Police say a man pointed a gun at a woman outside Buffalo Wild Wings and demanded money.

South Portland police are investigating an attempted arm robbery after a woman reported a man pointed a gun at her in the parking lot of a Western Avenue restaurant.

A woman was sitting in her car outside Buffalo Wild Wings around 11:45 p.m. Tuesday when a man came up, tapped on her window and demanded money. When the woman said she didn’t have any money, the man pointed a gun at her, police said.

As the man was pointing the gun, a person came out of the restaurant and interrupted the attempted robbery, police said.

“I think the mere presence of the guy frightened (the suspect) off,” said Lt. Todd Bernard.

Bernard said no money was exchanged and no one was injured during the incident.

Police will view surveillance video from the restaurant as soon as it is provided by management.

The suspect is described as a man with blond hair, a thin build and about 5 feet, 7 inches tall. He was wearing dark colored pants and a sweatshirt.

Recent deaths, entanglements shine spotlight on the plight of whales

The recent death of two right whales in the Gulf of Maine and the discovery of another entangled in fishing gear is bringing renewed attention to the plight of the endangered species.

The recent death of two right whales in the Gulf of Maine and the discovery of another entangled in fishing gear is bringing renewed attention to the plight of the endangered species.

Three water main breaks snarl traffic on Portland arterials

Repair work is underway on Brighton Avenue near Nason’s Corner and Congress Street west of Turnpike Exit 46.

Three water main breaks are expected to slow traffic in Portland during the Wednesday morning commute.

A broken water main at 2445 Congress Street, located just west of Turnpike Exit 46 and Hutchins Drive, was reported late Tuesday night, and repair work is ongoing as of 7:30 a.m. Wednesday morning.

Inbound traffic is being allowed through the area, but drivers headed toward Westbrook are being detoured.

A second water main break has been reported at 805 Brighton Avenue, in the Nason’s Corner neighborhood. Crews will begin repairing that break around 9 a.m., which could cause additional delays in the area.

According to a spokesperson at the Portland Water District, these two water main failures were not affecting any customers’ water service. However, a third water main break on Colonial Court, between Brighton Avenue and Capisic Street, was affecting water supplies for about 10 households.

This story will be updated.

What can you keep and when can you keep it?

                You are breaking the law. I am sure of it. Somewhere in your house is a feather from a wild bird, maybe even a nest with eggs in it. You’ve got a skull from a wild animal, perhaps, that you found in the woods or along the road. Whatever …

                You are breaking the law. I am sure of it. Somewhere in your house is a feather from a wild bird, maybe even a nest with eggs in it. You’ve got a skull from a wild animal, perhaps, that you found in the woods or along the road. Whatever …

Maine joins 8 other states to vote on expanding access to marijuana

Five states – Arizona, California, Maine, Massachusetts and Nevada – will consider legalizing the recreational use of pot, and four others will vote on expanding access for medical purposes.

SAN FRANCISCO – Americans in nine states have a chance to vote Nov. 8 on expanding legal access to marijuana.

Collectively, the ballot measures amount to the closest the U.S. has come to a national referendum on the drug.

Five states – Arizona, California, Maine, Massachusetts and Nevada – will consider legalizing the recreational use of pot. Three others – Florida, Arkansas and North Dakota – will decide whether to permit marijuana for medical purposes. Montana will weigh whether to ease restrictions on an existing medical marijuana law.

According to national polls, a solid majority of Americans support legalization. Gallup’s latest survey gauged support at 58 percent, up from 12 percent from when the question was first posed in 1969. Gallup says 13 percent of U.S. adults report using marijuana at present, nearly double the percentage who reported using pot in 2013.