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Ukraine Has Already Committed to a New Tech Frontier



i’ve thought of Joe a lot in the last six months. A close friend of mine at school, he and I spent the best part of two years playing music, talking politics, and mastering video games in his attic. His house was a regular retreat at the end of the school day.

Life has moved on for us both. When I last saw him I was heading into my final year at university. He was eyeing up postgraduate study. He’s now married, to Iryna, a Ukrainian he met in Vietnam, when they were both teaching English.

Today, Iryna and Joe are safe in the UK. She has given him her blessing to speak on their behalf about the war in her homeland. Both are horrified by what has happened, and the war crimes committed by invading soldiers.

“We have a friend and their parents live in east Kyiv,” Joe says.

“We’ve heard the stories about how the different waves of soldiers would treat people differently; in the end they were just killing, raping, and robbing anyone.

“Seeing other districts of Kyiv we’ve been to countless times on fire or being bombed is just gut-wrenching, but it’s also completely surreal. To us, it’s not a place of war. It’s a building or a shop we’d go to, somewhere a friend lived, or a place you’d pass on the way to work.”

No Deal

That surreal feeling is pronounced for Joe and Iryna, who have travelled the length and breadth of Ukraine as a married couple. But it’s also rapidly changed the game for European countries spooked by the outbreak of war on NATO’s doorstep.

Within days of the invasion, western European complacency about peace on the continent was shattered, as Second-World-War-like scenes of urban streetfighting and burning tanks saturated television screens and gave countries formerly happy to cut their defence budgets a new reason to be worried. Defence budgets are now suddenly swelling.  

But while many column inches have been devoted to the politics of the conflict, much less has been said about rebuilding the country. That’s understandable to some degree, as the fight is already a protracted one. Ukraine is technically a standalone frontier market, according to MSCI. How it re-emerges from war is clouded in uncertainty. 

On March 22, Morningstar analysis of big tobacco’s Ukrainian exposure remarked the conflict would likely last around six months. We are now more than four months in and there is no end in sight.

Estimates regarding the impact of the war on the country’s gross domestic product (GDP) vary too. The World Bank said in April that Ukraine’s economy would shrink by around 45% in 2022, depending on the duration of the war. 

In all likelihood, president Zelenskyy’s communications strategy is a reflection of this.

In attempting to appeal to as many groups of people as possible, he is building emotional stakes in a conflict that will require long-term support from Ukraine’s allies long after their warm words have cooled off. In the process he is also developing the case against any form of surrender to Russian aggression. It is hardcore no-deal politics.

But there’s one group of people the former comedian and Dancing With The Stars winner has been keen to woo, and it’s not politicians or voters.

A Different Narrative

In the past four months, Morningstar has devoted much coverage to business activity in Ukraine, and the picture we have painted has largely been agricultural.

Justifiably so. Together, Russia and Ukraine account for 29% of wheat exports, while Ukraine alone is a top exporter of corn, barley and other grain.

The MSCI Ukraine index also reflects this fact, and consists of only two companies: Kernel Holdings, Ukraine’s largest exporter of sunflower oil, and MHP, a large poultry company.

There is, however, another story, and that is technology.

According to the Ukrainian government, there are more than 4,000 technology companies in the country, and more than 184,000 software developers among its population.

The IT industry has grown by nearly 46 times over the last 17 years, and, by 2020, was worth around $5 billion. Several big technology brands have chosen Ukraine to host their European offices, including Snapchat and Ring, which was acquired by Amazon in 2018 for $1 billion.

In his own indomitably innovative way, Zelenskyy this month used holographic projection technology to appear at several European technology conferences to appeal for inward investment to assist his country.

New Norms

The conversation is moving on in other ways, however. Talk of tech entrepreneurs has quickly been replaced by talk of “norm” entrepreneurs, whose innovations are creating new normalities in the way we live and interact. 

Across the world, that has already happened in so many ways, and at all levels of technological development; from the back-end infrastructure to the behavioural and habitual changes visible at the front end. Ukrainian society has been no different, except to say the war has accellerated those norms, and highlighted them to the world.

When Russia invaded, Ukrainians took to TikTok to help eachother and inform themselves.

Viral videos showed everything from how to start the engine on stolen Russian armoured personnel carriers, to examples of Russian disinformation and military intelligence.

And on the battlefield, privately purchased drones have helped an underdog army fight psychological warfare and maximise the effect of limited resources. Zelenskyy has weaponised technology at a personal and political level too, earning plaudits in the process.

With those changes embedded in the chaos of conflict, it would be foolish to underestimate Ukrainian technological hunger, let alone its military will to win. For Joe and Iryna, convincing the west of that is the central point. It’s the only way to stop the killing.

“It’s precisely why the west has to help Ukraine win as soon as possible, to end the suffering, and permanently.”

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Is DuckDuckGo Safe? Your Comprehensive Privacy Guide



Is DuckDuckGo Safe? Your Comprehensive Privacy Guide

Explore the safety and privacy features of DuckDuckGo with this comprehensive guide. Learn how DuckDuckGo protects your online activities and keeps your information secure. Discover why DuckDuckGo is a trustworthy option for privacy-conscious users.


In an age where online privacy is paramount, users are constantly seeking secure and private alternatives to traditional search engines. DuckDuckGo, a privacy-focused search engine, has gained significant attention for its commitment to user confidentiality. This article delves deep into the question: “Is DuckDuckGo safe?” We’ll explore the features that make DuckDuckGo a reliable choice for safeguarding your online activities.

Is DuckDuckGo Safe?

DuckDuckGo is a secure and private search engine that emphasizes protecting users’ personal information and search history. It employs several features to ensure your online activities remain confidential and shielded from prying eyes.

Privacy Protection Mechanisms

DuckDuckGo employs a range of privacy protection mechanisms to keep your information safe:

  • No Tracking: Unlike mainstream search engines, DuckDuckGo does not track your search queries, ensuring that your search history remains private.
  • Anonymous Searches: DuckDuckGo does not associate your searches with your IP address or create user profiles, guaranteeing anonymous searches.
  • Secure Connection: The search engine enforces HTTPS encryption, adding an extra layer of security to your online interactions.
  • Minimal Data Retention: DuckDuckGo retains minimal data related to your searches, and the data that is retained is not personally identifiable.

Search Result Quality

Despite its strong emphasis on privacy, DuckDuck-Go provides high-quality search results using its unique search algorithm. The search engine utilizes aggregated data from various sources, including Bing and Wikipedia, to deliver relevant results without compromising your privacy.

How Does DuckDuck-Go Ensure Safety?

DuckDuck-Go implements several measures to ensure safety while using its services:

  • Smarter Encryption: DuckDuck-Go uses Smarter Encryption to establish a secure connection between your device and its servers, reducing the chances of data interception.
  • Privacy Browser Extension: The privacy browser extension provided by DuckDuck-Go blocks third-party trackers, enhances encryption, and enforces secure connections, creating a safer browsing experience.
  • Instant Answers: DuckDuck-Go’s Instant Answers feature provides direct answers to your queries, reducing the need to click on potentially unsafe links.

FAQs About DuckDuck-Go’s Safety

Can I trust DuckDuck-Go with my search queries?

Absolutely. DuckDuck-Go’s no-tracking policy and emphasis on privacy ensure that your search queries are not stored or tied to your identity.

Is DuckDuck-Go’s search algorithm effective despite not tracking users?

Yes, DuckDuck-Go’s search algorithm aggregates data from various sources to provide relevant search results without compromising user privacy.

Can I use DuckDuck-Go as my default search engine?

Certainly. DuckDuck-Go offers browser extensions and mobile apps that make it easy to set it as your default search engine.

How does DuckDuck-Go generate revenue if it doesn’t track users?

DuckDuck-Go generates revenue through advertising that is not based on user data. Instead, ads are contextually relevant to the search terms, ensuring privacy.

Is my personal information safe with DuckDuck-Go’s browser extension?

Yes, DuckDuck-Go’s browser extension enhances your online security by blocking trackers and encrypting connections, ensuring your personal information remains safe.

Can I use DuckDuck-Go on mobile devices?

Absolutely. DuckDuck-Go provides mobile apps for various platforms, allowing you to enjoy its privacy-focused search on your mobile devices.


In a digital landscape where privacy is a growing concern, DuckDuckGo stands out as a beacon of trust and security. Its commitment to privacy, no-tracking policy, and robust security mechanisms make it a reliable choice for those seeking a safer and more private online search experience. With DuckDuck-Go, you can explore the web with confidence, knowing that your personal information remains protected.

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The Significance of Proper Support in Sportswear for Exercise



The Significance of Proper Support in Sportswear for Exercise

When purchasing exercise clothing, the aspect of support is often overlooked. Sportswear companies tend to prioritise features such as moisture-wicking materials and convenient pockets. However, we believe that support is a crucial aspect of dressing for workouts, as it ensures both comfort and optimal performance. Support can be seen as the intersection of sportswear and shapewear. Therefore, it is essential to understand the significance of appropriate support during physical activity and know where to find it.

The Shapewear Crossover

Supportive sportswear primarily functions through gentle compression. It maintains stability and keeps your body secure while you engage in physical activity. Common characteristics between Standard shapewear and sports bras can be found. Both utilise specialised, flexible materials to offer body support. They are also designed with minimal seams to prevent discomfort and ensure discreteness. Additionally, the emphasis on comfort remains consistent for both types of apparel. As a result, similar principles apply when it comes to providing optimal body support.

What kind of support should your athletic apparel provide?

When engaging in physical activities, it is important to wear clothing that provides stability, regardless of the intensity. Whether you are running a marathon or practising yoga, your Sports bras and briefs should not cause any discomfort or irritation. In this article, we will explore the areas of the body that require support from sportswear.

Breast support

A sports bra is essential for any physical activity, regardless of intensity. It serves as the ultimate supportive sportswear, providing both comfort and stability. By minimizing excessive movement, it helps prevent discomfort in the breast and back areas. With the multitude of options available, finding the perfect sports bra style depends on factors such as your breast size, the type of sport you engage in, and your preferred method of wearing and removing it.

Back support

If you’ve ever dealt with back pain, you understand the significance of a well-fitting bra. A sports bra that offers adequate support helps minimize the strain on your muscles and ligaments, preventing discomfort and soreness in your back. Additionally, it alleviates upper back and shoulder pain commonly associated with the weight of larger breasts.

Tummy support

Those who possess knowledge on the matter may opt to provide support to their waist and stomach by wearing sports underwear or leggings. Both options are equally effective. It is advisable to seek out high-waisted compression garments with a wide waistband, as they contribute to the stability and strength of your torso, which is vital in preventing injuries. By promoting stability and offering support to the abdomen, these garments also aid in preventing chafing and can boost your confidence, allowing you to elevate your performance.

In recent years we’ve definitely seen a shift in the fashion industry, with influencers and celebrities placing pressure on the high street to make plus-size fashion more accessible for all. Nowadays, Sportswear is highly demanding as demonstrated by plus size UK influencers.

The advantages of wearing supportive sportswear

The support provided by activewear has a tangible influence on your sports performance and how your body reacts to exercise. It’s no wonder that many women opt for activewear as their everyday clothing choice.


The incorporation of compression panels in clothing such as high-waisted underwear or leggings can enhance your posture. Maintaining a strong and stable posture is crucial during physical activities to prevent injuries. Whether you engage in sports like tennis, running, or weightlifting, having adequate support around your torso can significantly benefit you.


The crucial aspect of effective sportswear is its ability to provide comfort. It is important to ensure that your sportswear does not constrict your breathing. To find comfortable and supportive garments, opt for those with extended panels made of lightweight fabrics that wick away moisture. These fabrics are not only lightweight but also provide support to your body while minimising the risk of chafing. Additionally, an increasing number of garments are being designed without hems, allowing them to sit smoothly against your skin without causing any discomfort.


Compression is commonly utilised in shapewear to create a desired figure, but in the context of sportswear, it can actually improve your performance. Whether it’s in the form of socks or leggings, compression technology promotes better blood circulation to targeted areas like your legs. This increased blood flow intensifies your exercise routine and contributes to faster recovery.

The finest athletic attire should not only prioritise fashion and technology. Its primary function is to provide stability to your core, enabling you to engage in activities comfortably and confidently. This underscores the significance of support, which is crucial not just during physical exertion but also in day-to-day life.

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Exploring Alternative Sentencing Options: Understanding the Potential for No Jail Time in 2nd Offense DWI Cases in Texas:



Exploring Alternative Sentencing Options: Understanding the Potential for No Jail Time in 2nd Offense DWI Cases in Texas:

While Texas has some of the most drunk drivers in the country, the state also has some of the strictest DWI penalties. Despite how common a Texas DWI and 2nd DWI can be (with over 30% of DWI convicts reoffending), a 2nd DWI conviction will land you at least 72 hours in county jail and possibly even a year. Although many will agree that the punishment fits the crime, a 2nd DWI charge can be a telltale sign of alcohol addiction, and can often require rehabilitation that a jail sentence cannot offer. Luckily enough, there are several ways you can avoid a conviction for a 2nd DWI in Texas to receive no jail time and focus on your rehabilitation.

An Expert DWI Attorney:

Since mandatory jail time can only be avoided by avoiding conviction, a skilled DWI attorney is crucial to any option you explore. A 2nd DWI charge requires the same amount of evidence as a 1st DWI charge, and can often be defended with the same tactics. Depending on the circumstances of your case, a DWI attorney may be able to scrutinize a field sobriety test, the administration of a breathalyzer test, or the constitutionality of a traffic stop. Always inquire about the potential for a successful defense before you set your mind on other options, as dismissal or acquittal is the only way to circumvent all penalties of a 2nd DWI in Texas no jail time. If an expert attorney determines that your case won’t fare well at trial they can petition for probation or a DWI court to proceed over your case, or negotiate a plea for you.

DWI Court:

Many of Texas’ major cities offer a DWI court program as a way to avoid jail for DWI 2nd offenders or defendants who show signs of alcoholism. DWI court is similar to probation but heavily emphasizes rehabilitation. A program will typically involve common aspects of community supervision, routine attendance at outpatient programs, and meetings between you, a judge, a probation officer, and a counselor. If you do not abide by the court’s rules or mandatory programs your case can go back to court and you will likely go to jail. A DWI court program is at least a year, but the length and regimen can be augmented depending on a defendant’s progress. Upon a judge “graduating” you from DWI court your sentence will be fulfilled. DWI court not only allows you to avoid jail time but is known to reduce DWI recidivism rates by as much as 12%.

Plea Bargain:

With Texas’ criminal justice system being notoriously arduous, nearly 30% of all DWIs are reduced to lesser charges to avoid the hassle of a trial. In cases without aggravating factors such as an enhanced blood alcohol concentration, a child passenger, or an accident, a 2nd DWI charge can be bargained down to a minimum sentence or reduced charges. To be considered for a plea deal, a defendant will usually have to show personal growth and remorse. This is typically done by issuing a statement to the court, installing an ignition interlock in your vehicle, or attending DWI education courses or outpatient. If you plea to a minimum sentence you will likely still face 72 hours in jail and probation. While it’s uncommon for a 2nd DWI plea deal in Texas to receive no jail time, this is not impossible if your charges are reduced to reckless driving or obstruction of a highway.

Don’t Drink and Drive:

72 hours in jail is considered the mandatory minimum sentence for a 2nd DWI conviction and those facing charges are unlikely to see no jail time. The only guaranteed way to avoid jail is to avoid drinking and driving. With a drunk driving fatality occurring every 8.5 hours in Texas and over 10% of Texans reporting involvement in a drunk driving crash sometime in their lives, don’t fall under the impression that you are immune to the consequences of a DWI. Always make sure that you have a designated driver or extra money for an Uber when you go out drinking, it can save someone’s life and protect your future.

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