Cyprus National Internet Portal for Open Data

It is via this Cyprus Mail article that I’ve learned that not only Cyprus has an official Open Data portal, but that it’s also the best in Europe:

Cyprus is one of the top five European Union countries in the field of Open Data for 2018, while the new National Open Data Portal data.gov.cy scored highest among 31 open data portals in Europe, a special honour and recognition for the Open University of Cyprus (OUC) that developed and implemented the National Open Data Portal in collaboration with the public administration and personnel department of the finance ministry.

So far I’ve only had a quick look around, and I have to say that it’s quite impressive!  Even though most of it is in Greek, Google Chrome translation handles it nicely.  Here are a couple of interesting bits to get you started:

And there is so much more … Well done, Open University of Cyprus!

Cyprus shipping photo competition


If you are a photography enthusiast in Cyprus, Cyprus Mail has some exciting news for you:

The deputy ministry of shipping has launched a photo competition in cooperation with the Cyprus Marine Club and the support of the Cyprus Photographic Society.

[…]

The competition – launched this week – will run until January 11, 2019 and is open to persons over 18.

All images should be related to merchant shipping and/or the Cyprus maritime tradition. Participants may submit up to five colour and/or black and white images. Images should be the original work of the entrants. Photos that have received awards in other competitions or have already been publicly posted will not be accepted. Participation in the competition is free of charge.

A five-member committee will choose the three best photos. The first prize is €500, second €250 and third €125. The three winners will also receive an engraved glass trophy.

There aren’t that many photography related events in Cyprus, and even less so for amateurs and enthusiasts.  So here’s your chance to participate, showcase your skills and creativity, compare yourself to other photographers, and win some money and recognition while you are at it.

Cyprus has changed significantly in the last few years, with new ports, terminals, marinas, skylines, and possibilities for aerial photography (hello drones), opening up new opportunities for photographers of all levels.  Don’t miss out on this one.

City Sightseeing in Limassol, Cyprus


Cyprus Mail reports:

The international chain, City Sightseeing, has begun operating in Limassol and plans to expand to other towns on the island.

The red double-decker open-top tour buses officially made their apperance in the coastal town on Saturday, CNA reported.

Four buses are set to operate in the city and Limassol region.

[…]

Hop-On Hop-Off Limassol, will  be operational season: all year round. First tours begin at 9am and the last of the day at 3pm. They start from 25 euros.

More information:
https://city-sightseeing.com/en/145/cyprus/1794/hop-on-hop-off-limassol

These are very good news, especially with the expected tourism increase due to the Limassol Casino project (stop number 5):

The Global Airport Database


Global Airport Database – Arash Partow

The Global Airport Database is a collection of data about all (???) airports in the world, big and small.  It covers a total of 9,300 airports worldwide.

That’s pretty interesting.  For example, how many airports do you think there are in Cyprus?  Obviously, there is the Larnaca International Airport and Paphos International Airport.  Then, there is one in Nicosia, which is not functioning since the island was divided.  And there is one in Acrotiri on the British military base.  Four, right?   Well, the Global Airport Database has a total of 7 (!!!) entries for the country of Cyprus:

LCCC:N/A:N/A:NICOSIA ACC/FIC:CYPRUS:000:000:000:U:000:000:000:U:00000:0.000:0.000
LCLK:LCA:LARNACA:LARNACA:CYPRUS:034:052:030:N:033:037:029:E:00003:34.875:33.625
LCNC:N/A:N/A:NICOSIA:CYPRUS:000:000:000:U:000:000:000:U:00000:0.000:0.000
LCPH:PFO:PAPHOS INTERNATIONAL:PAPHOS:CYPRUS:034:043:004:N:032:029:008:E:00013:34.718:32.486
LCRA:AKT:AKROTIRI:AKROTIRI:CYPRUS:034:035:025:N:032:059:016:E:00024:34.590:32.988
LCRO:N/A:N/A:EPISKOPI:CYPRUS:000:000:000:U:000:000:000:U:00000:0.000:0.000
LCRR:N/A:N/A:NICOSIA:CYPRUS:000:000:000:U:000:000:000:U:00000:0.000:0.000

Larnaca and Paphos are there. The Akrotiri one is there too. Then we have 3 records for Nicosia. And one more for Episkopi. Hmm …

Landmark deal signed for Europe’s largest casino


Cyprus Mail reports that the casino deal is signed:

The contract for Cyprus’ first integrated casino resort, the only one of its kind in Europe, was signed on Monday in Nicosia between the gaming authority and the Melco Hard Rock consortium and is designed to provide for an investment of €500m, attract an extra 300,000 tourists a year, and to add 4,000 jobs.

The contract was signed at the Filoxenia Conference Centre between the president of the National Gaming Authority and Andy Choy, chief gaming officer, of the consortium of Melco International Development Ltd, Seminole HR Holdings LLC (Melco Hard Rock) and CNS Group (Cyprus Phassouri Zakaki Ltd).
Energy, Commerce and Tourism Minister Yiorkos Lakkotrypis, who addressed the event, touted the fact that the Limassol complex would be the only integrated casino resort in Europe, which will be based in Limassol, and will include four satellite casinos in Nicosia, Larnaca, Famagusta and Paphos.

The main resort will also be the largest casino in Europe, the minister said with 136 gaming tables, 1,200 gaming machines, a luxury hotel with 500 rooms with the capacity for expansion, a conference hall spanning 6,000 square metres that can accommodate audiences of 1,500, and a wellness centre covering 4,000 square metres.

It’ll obviously take a bit of time and effort until this all comes to life, but no doubt, with the support from the people behind https://www.bestuscasinos.org/legal/california/  and our beloved and respected staff members – it will be a new era for Cyprus as a country, as a tourism destination full of all kinds of entertainment and as a member of the European Union.

Exciting news!

10 upcoming real estate projects in Limassol


A while back I’ve blogged already about the changing face of Limassol.  Cyprus Beat has a post with the 10 upcoming real estate projects in Limassol, that overlaps the previous blog post of mine, as well as provides some updated pictures.

Limassol is truly becoming an iconic city of the Mediterranean (even being mentioned in The New York Times). Hopefully, the trend continue…

36 Hours in Cyprus

Lunch

A post shared by Leonid Mamchenkov (@mamchenkov) on

The New York Times runs “36 Hours in Cyprus” article, which introduces the rest of the world into the good side of Cyprus.  Particularly cool of them to mention “To Theatraki” cafe, which is one of the many places where I consumed numerous pints.  Happy hours indeed!

21st century is finally here with PrimeTel Fibernet


The apartment building where I live in for the last few years had some cabling issues.  That prevented me from joining the rest of the world in the 21st century, when it comes to home Internet connectivity.  Here’s what I’ve been on until today:

PrimeTel (before)

Today, I’ve got my connection updated.  PrimeTel Fibernet, which is currently only available to select buildings, brought the modern age of technology into my house.  Here’s how it looks:

PrimeTel (after)

Yup, that’s a 50 Mbps download with 8 Mbps upload connection.  Nearly a 10x speed increase, but not only that.  Have a look at 1 ms ping now vs. 35 ms ping before.  And that all is for the same price.  And nothing else had to change – I still have the same TV channels and the same landline number.  Ah, no, wait, my home IP address changed, but who cares about that, right?

This thing is so far indeed, that to fully utilize it I need to use the Ethernet cable.  Gladly, that’s how both my PlayStation 3 and the home media server are connected.  With my laptop’s WiFi, I get the numbers like this:

PrimeTel (WiFi)

I’m not yet sure why, but I’ll probably need to look into my wireless card drivers or something.

Anyways, WiFi or not, it’s way faster than it used to be, both in bandwidth and latency.  Which are amazing news!

P.S.: Thanks to SpeedTest.net for cool graphics and years in service too.

Changing the face of Limassol


Limassol, Cyprus

My brother sent me the link to this forum thread (in Greek mostly), which contains lots of pictures for the current and upcoming real estate projects in Limassol, which are significantly changing its skyline.  It’s one thing to hear about these projects individually, and see the construction begin in different areas of the city, and a completely different to see them all together on one page.

It’s quite impressive!

Conference : Freedom and Technology


announcement (english)

There is going to be a Free Software / Open Source conference “Freedom and Technology” this Saturday, October 3rd (18:00-21:00) in Cyprus University of Technology, in Limassol, Cyprus.  Organizers are the same people you know from the Ubuntu CY community.  I’m going to do a talk titled “The practical guide to Open Source participation”.  Slides will be linked here after the talk.

See you there.