We arrived at the capital of the Åland islands at dawn. It was four o’clock and we headed to the little cottage we had rented for the weekend.

While we were walking on the reddish roads of Mariehamn, I realised that the place hadn’t changed at all since I was last here. The streets and houses looked like part of a film set. I remember I had the same feeling the first time I visited the islands three years ago; time seems to have stopped here.

Situated between mainland Sweden and Finland, the Åland Islands offer an intriguing destination for those wishing to discover all corners of Finland.

If you’ve never been to Åland, you’ve at the very least heard the Mariehamn stop announced on the loudspeakers on your yearly Stockholm cruise. Or then Åland might bring up nostalgic memories of sitting in your high school history class while your teacher rambles on about the League of Nations – but it is more likely that the former holds true. Åland is a unique region of Finland, not only for its history as one of the few successes of the League of Nations, but for a number of historical and cultural reasons.

David J. Cord reveals something he discovered while writing his book about Nokia: it was a very strange company.

SOMETIMES, while researching my book The Decline and Fall of Nokia, I felt like a character in a Franz Kafka novel. He is known for books where the protagonist enters a disorienting, senseless world of overpowering bureaucracies. The nightmarish system is perfectly normal for those living in it, but it seems surreal to the outsider. This was Nokia.

The struggle for influence in Ukraine.

There are roughly two, interconnected ways to approach the current crisis in Ukraine. The first is through the history and domestic politics of Ukraine and the second via the broader geopolitical dimensions of the crisis. While it seems clear that the first is more relevant for analysing the roots and dynamics of the popular uprising, the role of the Ukrainian neo-fascists, and the legitimacy of the ousting of the democratically elected president Viktor Yanukovych, the second is instrumental in sketching out why there is an ongoing, destabilising battle for influence in Ukraine between the EU, the US and Russia.

Sustaining the security of personal and sensitive information has been an ongoing issue over the years.

The US National Security Agency (NSA) and its global surveillance apparatus has attracted vocal criticism. The scale and nature of the surveillance, exposed by Edward Snowden, has elicited much discussion of the relationship between intrusive government mass-surveillance and civil rights and the right to privacy. This discussion is nothing new.