Russia takes a Leap Forward … and Backward … in Technology

I read a lot of technology stories on the internet, and although I see things originating from many parts of the world, I will say that the country of Russia rarely shows up in technology stories. Nope. “Russia” simply does not pop into the front of the mind when we think “technology”.

Therefore, it was particularly interesting to me this week to come across not one, but two Russia-related technology stories. One showing promise of a big leap forward, while the other slips them back a decade or two for the future.

First the leap ahead:

It’s called a Yota phone, and this Russian company will be releasing it within Russia later this year (other countries to follow.)

The Yota phone, an android, is a unique combination of an LCD screen on one side, and an e-ink screen on the other side. This makes for a greatly extended battery life, as the e-ink screen needs very little power as opposed to the bright LCD screen.

The Yota company lists many other pluses for their innovative screen combo and you can read more about this interesting new phone and all its possibilities here and here.

Stepping Back:

Screen shot 2013-07-15 at 7.38.10 PM

One thing that technology has done is to take “information leaks” to a whole new level.

The Eric Snowden situation, and WikiLeaks as well, both demonstrate the importance (and difficulty) of protecting sensitive information in this computer age.

So the Russian agency that safeguards Kremlin communications has decided that the safest thing to do is to go back to paper, and they have placed an order for $15,000 worth of good-old electric typewriters.

Apparently they are also using this retro method in their defense department, in emergency ministries, and for some secret reports for President Vladimir Putin.

To read more: Russia Reportedly Goes Retro to Keep Kremlin Secrets

Electric typewriters! I wonder if they still make carbon paper? I remember sticking the carbon between two sheets of white paper, lining them up just so, and then carefully rolling them into the typewriter, hoping they didn’t get misaligned as I started to roll them into place.

I wonder if this reach-back to typewriters in happening anywhere else? Keep an eye out for purple fingers, the telltale sign of a retro-fitted office. 😆

Screen shot 2013-03-06 at 7.27.02 PM


12 thoughts on “Russia takes a Leap Forward … and Backward … in Technology

    • I agree about the phone. I read a bit about it, and my goodness … they sure were thinking outside of the box. Looking forward to hearing more about it. As for the typewriters… made me laugh! 🙂

  1. Wouldn’t it be easier to just use a lone computer that is not connected to the internet or anything write stuff on? That way they could still correct stuff as they go and print things out to store on paper without risk of getting hacked. Lots easier than a typewriter, that’s for sure!

    • Like a word processor … right? A step up from a typewriter, but not digital…. I can’t imagine having to use white out, again. Or not being able to cut and paste!

  2. I hated the white-out! Inevitably made a mess with that (oops did I date myself, lol) Wow, although, they may be on to something. Many of our government agencies in this country do both, paper and electronic back-ups! A great post! 🙂

  3. LBcruiseshipblogger has a point but I’m thinking maybe they also do not want the files stored in digital memory form? Hard copies are more difficult to search through/steal: think old spy movies -agent breathlessly going through file cabinets while guard makes his rounds, finds folder, takes out a pen that’s also a camera(LOL), photographs pages on end, puts file folder back in place and gets out the window just as the guard turns around the corner! LOL 🙂 🙂 🙂

    • You made me laugh out loud, Athina! I was picturing the spy as you described. Funny! But it’s true … digital copies are much easier to search and copy and send. The paper copy needs a spy with a pen-camera. Ha! 🙂

  4. Hey, you Wite-Out users are babies! I remember using gritty typewriter erasures that dropped crumbs down into the platen of the typewriter (manual, of course) and made your work a mess. And with carbons, you had to slide a little metal shield between the one you were making your erasure on and the rest, so you wouldn’t smear carbon all over the next one in line. And everything under the sun had to be typed in triplicate. You spent half your day erasing and cleaning up! GACK!!!

    Do the Russians honestly think their paper records will be safe forever? Have they never heard of entire libraries full of documents being destroyed by fire? Or stolen by thieves? Or snuck out in briefcases to be handed over to secret agents? That’s the way it USED to be done. Maybe not on such a public scale as Snowden’s fiasco, but believe me, nothing was safe then, either.

    As for the phone, holy moly. That’s quite an interesting concept. Leave it to you to find it for us, SC. You da bomb, girl!

    • Oh, the memories, Marcia! I remember those awful crumbs. yuchy yuch. I can’t imagine today, going backwards to a typewriter. I think the thing I would miss most would be the ability to cut and paste, to correct spelling errors and to move around text. I don’t know if I could type without those abilities anymore! 🙂

      • I know I couldn’t. I was a lousy typist, very slow, until computers. I began to speed up when I got my first IBM Selectric, going from about 45 wpm to about 85/90. But then computers! Back space and it’s gone. Highlight, hit delete, and it’s gone. Corrections made easy, and keys you barely have to touch to see the text immediately. I still type pretty darn fast, even in my old age. If I went back to a manual, I probably couldn’t hit 20 wpm. It would be a disaster, and plenty of hard work. Computers, on the other hand, are FUN. There were no smiley faces and sparkly animations on manual typewriters. Heck. I’d be upset just to lose THEM.
        😥 See?

        (Forgive the typo in the first comment, btw. Should have been “eraser,” of course.)

  5. Wow, that is back to the past! I used an electric typewriter in the mid 1980s, and felt so advanced. Now, I can’t imagine going back to them. 🙂 What an interesting post, I’m glad you are weaving little patches of your trip into this quilt of a blog you are making, Kathy 🙂

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