Net Prophet

Welcome to Net Prophet, a blog tracking new media and tech developments across Central Europe and Eurasia

So long, Mr. Durov, and thanks for all the fish

This post is part of RuNet Echo, a Global Voices project to interpret the Russian language internet. After more than a year of rumors, the stockholders of Russia’s largest online social network, Vkontakte, have finally fired founder and CEO Pavel Durov. Read More »

Crowdfunding kicks off in the Czech Republic with the help of Hithit.com

Mar 19, 2014
The concept of crowd funding (a form of online fundraising and/or investment using small donations from a large number of donors) has caught on in the Czech Republic, according to Radio Prague. Hithit.com, a successful Czech crowd funding site founded in 2012, exemplifies the trend. Although other crowd funding sites are available in the Czech Republic, according to an interview with Aleš Burger, Hithit co-founder, on Startup.lupa.cz, Hithit differs from the others because there people have a real chance of success.  Read More »

Ukrainians, Russians on Social Networks: ‘In Case of War, Everyone Will Lose!’

This post is part of our Special Coverage Ukraine's #Euromaidan Protests. Almost a week after being ousted, former Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych surfaced in the Russian Federation, while Russian military forces have flooded Crimea, an autonomous region of Ukraine located on the Crimean Black Sea peninsula. Read More »

Russia warns of legal hassles for Bitcoin users

Mar 7, 2014
Russian users of Bitcoin and other virtual currencies could be prosecuted for money laundering and financial terrorism, the Russian central bank said 27 January, Bloomberg reports. Read More »

Ukrainian journalists take regime’s corruption public with YanukovychLeaks

YanukovychLeaks.org is a new website created by Ukrainian journalists to publish documents that were found in Victor Yanukovych's residence. Many of them document evidence of massive corruption of the regime. Read More »

The Caucasus Network: in blogs, Russian is the common language

This article is part of an extensive RuNet Echo study of the North Caucasus blogosphere. Explore the complete report and personal stories on The Caucasus Network page. Russian is the lingua franca that bridges the republics of the North Caucasus. None of the many indigenous non-Russian languages dominate any of the blogging platforms in the North Caucasus, even the forums dedicated exclusively to regions’ internal issues operate in Russian. Read More »

Chronicles of Euromaidan: digging into the social media

Feb 14, 2014
“One morning, after the dissolution of the student protests on Maidan, we woke up in another country,”  said Pavlo Pedenko, one of the creators of Maidan Chronicles, as he explained the pretext of the idea to build a platform that preserves and gathers all the data from social media related to the Euromaidan movement in Ukraine. Read More »

Blogger Unveils Sochi Corruption Website

Russian opposition leader and anti-corruption activist Alexei Navalny joined the Sochi anti-corruption campaign this week, launching an interactive website outlining what he calls the “true costs” of the Olympic preparations in Sochi. Read More »

Robot helps Zagreb scientists communicate with autistic kids

Jan 29, 2014
Croatian researchers are using a robot to diagnose autism in children, RFE reports. Read More »

New Website Collects Reports and Data About Bribes in Hungary

Hungary, like many other countries in the region, has an on-going corruption problem on almost every level of governance. A new project created by investigative website Átlátszó.hu and Transparency International, Fizettem.hu, has taken on the task of collecting reports from citizens about cases of bribery and corruption in the country. Read More »

Russian bust nabs alleged mastermind of Blackhole cyber scam

Dec 13, 2013
Russia’s Interior Ministry says it has arrested the creator of the infamous Blackhole tool used to install malware on computers around the world and steal login information, IDG News Service reports. Read More »

New Russian smartphone launches as iPhone-phobia mounts

Dec 12, 2013
Amid spying concerns after the revelation of U.S. security agencies' wiretaps of foreign leaders, Russia is considering making its officials give up their iPhones in favor of a new smartphone made by the Russian firm Yota, RIA Novosti reports. Read More »

Russians will get access to electronic services with new ID cards

Dec 11, 2013
Russia states that replacement of internal passports with new ID cards would give more than 120 million Russians access to electronic services, Itar-Tass reports. These services might include obtaining certificates and statements from public offices, online registration at the place of residence and electronic voting. After the introduction of electronic ID cards, citizens will be able to complete all of these procedures online instead of standing in queues for hours at public offices. Read More »

Czechs spice up a game of geocaching with the flavor of space

Dec 3, 2013
Thousands of players participated in a quest to locate 'seeds from space' after they were released from a balloon 30 kilometers above the ground on 16 November, Technet.cz reports. Read More »
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