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Passau in the online Encyclopedia Britannica

This month the Future of Russian core team and its active partners crossed borders in more than one respect. From February 3 to 6 they gathered, together with eight invitees, in Germany for the third Future of Russian conference. “The Russian Internet in a Global Context,” as F3 was called, was a truly transnational endeavor: presenters scrutinized new-media developments in Russia, Ukraine, and Belarus, but also Kazakhstan, the US, and Scandinavia. They did so at the more than aptly located city of Passau. This lovely town lies so close to the Czech and Austrian borders that even mobile phone providers were at a loss: should they welcome their traveling owners to Germany or to Austria? Read the rest of this entry »

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The web project Generation.by reports from the recent conference Delovoi Internet in Minsk, which was devoted to BY-net, the Belarusian Internet sphere. Many of the papers from the conference are available on the conference home page, and they give a good understanding of the development of Internet and social media in the country. In Generation.by’s report we learn that the prices of Internet access in Belarus are 30 times lower today than five years ago, but they are still significantly higher than in the neighbouring countries. Thus, if you want a connection equal to 1 Mb/sec in Belarus you will have to pay 100 times more than in Poland. This is interpreted as a result of the state monopoly on providing Internet services. Still, the number of Internet users increases steadily, and has reached 3 million in the 10 mill country.

The conference organisers had arranged for a live twitter update throughout the conference, through the tag #di_by, which turned out to be very popular among the participants. The same has been the case for similar conferences in the city, and Twitter seems to have gained a strong foothold in Belarus.