Everybody in the Netherlands still receives the paper phone guide once every year, whether they want to or not, even though in these days of Google and the Internet it is nothing but a vehicle for advertisements.
To help stop this form of harassment, a guy called Alexander Klöpping has registered a URL called sterftelefoongidssterf.nl (diephonebookdie) which redirects to the phone book cancellation form. In other words, if you want the phone book to be eliminated (‘die’) from your life, follow that link. (Actually don’t follow it, De Telefoongids are known to ignore your cancellation request anyway.)
Last Monday Klöpping received a threatening e-mail by the publishers of the phone book, a subsidiary of European Directories, that tells him he is engaged in trademark violation and that he must cease and desist.
Klöpping replied that he will take the URL offline as soon as the dead tree merchant stops shoving the equivalent of “months of advertising leaflets”, and “half a percent of all paper used in the Netherlands” through everybody’s mailboxes, including those of people that have indicated they want to receive no advertisements through the legally binding “ja-nee” and “nee-nee” stickers (yes-no and no-no).
Of course, the lawyers from European Directories would have a case if they were to argue that they don’t actually do anything with the addresses through their cancellation form, and if they could prove that Klöpping knew this. But then they’d have to argue that they are breaking the law on more than just one count and I just don’t expect them to do that.
A while back on telly and surely on the radio, the unflattering description of a bland, thirtysomething Caucasian Dutch woman included a cockatoo haircut and white capri leggings. This type of woman is often slightly overweight, middle class, and has a husband that wears old jeans and a jean jacket, drinks cheap beer and loves football.
A Dutch guy decided that he had had enough of looking at this fashion don’t and started the Facebook page Stop De Witte Driekwart Legging Nu (‘Stop white capri leggings now’) that’s getting national coverage probably because it’s summer and the white leggings have come out in full force.
White capri leggings are usually worn when it’s warm, but not warm enough to go without leggings. Unlike coloured leggings (I gladly wear long black ones), white ones make white legs look fatter and why would anyone want that? Some people call them ‘hospital legs’, as they have a nurse-like quality to them, but not in a good way. Others comment, get over yourselves, live and let live, and that there’s always overalls.
Fashion tip: wear actual capri pants (ideally not white ones), nylons or even knee high socks and skip the capri leggings. Don’t do the knee high socks thing like this either.
Filed under: Film,Online by Orangemaster @ 11:48 am
Amsterdam film company A-film has its own YouTube channel offering free, full length films online. There are some 20 films such as Alles Stroomt (Upstream), Ik Omhels Je Met Duizend Armen (A Thousand Kisses) and First Mission. Not all films are in Dutch: there are English-language films such as Bend It Like Beckham, The Promotion and Youth In Revolt (watch here below). As a comparison, competitor Ximon.nl, which has a much larger selection, offers a film like A Thousand Kisses for 3,50 euro.
Some smart students from Barendrecht near Rotterdam area have managed to piss off the Golden Arches by starting a delivery service. You can Twitter @MacDeliveryNL or e-mail McDeliveryNL@live.nl and some kid on a scooter will pick up a burger, fries and a shake for you. Nope, no idea what the extra cost is, I imagine it’s cheap. For the expats out there reading this, the Netherlands doesn’t have ‘drive thru’ service the way they do in North America, and we’re used to onlines services that delivery food from over 100 restaurants.
According to Twitter, the students are making headlines in the media this week. The junk food kings are upset at the students using the name ‘Mac’ and ‘Mc’, and I wonder what the rest of this story will be because it seems it just got started. Mac delivery could also get Apple computers upset, who knows. To be continued.
The Netherlands’ two biggest photo agencies, ANP and Hollandse Hoogte, have set up the website Eerlijke Foto (‘Fair Photo’) allowing people to legally download their news photos for use on social media sites at reasonable prices.
The idea behind the site is a lot like the one behind music sites like Spotify and iTunes: if people can pay a fair price (a couple of euro) as opposed to an exuberant one, they’d be more inclined to buy than to steal. Yes, even though many of us collectively post pictures we have no legal right or permission to use on the Internet, it’s legally and technically stealing, whether you get caught or not.
It’s one thing and a lot of hard work to try and sue all the people that use your photos illegally both agencies say, so they are making their photo database available to others all while stepping up the nailing of anyone who uses their photos illegally. In fact, as 24oranges found out once, they are even baddies (copyright trolls) who will try and represent copyright owners illegally, try to sue you and scare you into giving them large sums of cash.
It looks like the province of Friesland will be getting its own domain name extension, .frl. Major hosting company MijnDomein has put in the request with ICANN and plans to sell the extension to Frisian companies and individuals. The provincial government is very happy with this, as they are not in a position to ask for such a domain name themselves, knowing that it costs a whopping 185.000 US dollars to get the ball rolling.
Back in February the Labour Party in Amsterdam mentioned getting a .amsterdam, but that’s still just a rumour. I get the point of local businesses in Friesland, a province with its own language and culture, being willing to pay extra for a .frl, but .amsterdam is way too long to type in and maybe even a bit pretentious. I know Canada has provincial extensions (.on, .qc), but they always carry a .ca at the end. I have a business in Amsterdam and technically in Europe, but I can’t be bothered with any other extension than .nl or .com and the likes.
As of today, the Dutch University of Twente in Enschede has the fastest Internet connection in the world, clocking in at 1 Gigabit upload and download speed. The only thing that comes close is the Google campus in Stanford, California. However, the big difference is Twente is the first university to be able to offer super fast Internet to its students and campus residents, while the Google connection lets people connect to and from home, but isn’t campus wide.
IT department and students set up the network at Twente, not some corporation. “There are strict rules regarding the use and content of the university network. The upload limit of 50 GB per week will be maintained and any complaints about illegal uploads will be treated seriously.”
Today, Dutchman Dirk Stoop is the Product Manager at Facebook in charge of photos, as photos are the main reason people use Facebook. When Facebook first started allowing users to tag each other in photos in 2006, suddenly 70% of users came back every day, while 85% came back every week.
In July 2011 Stoop starting working for Facebook when his software company Sofa B.V. was acquired, with the goal of having Stoop work for Facebook.
The funny part is that Stoop himself only joined Facebook in April 2011 and is now in charge of what makes Facebook a huge success. Yes, you could file this posting under ‘Zoek de Nederlander’ (’Find the Dutch person’).
The internal video system of the Dutch defense department was and may even still be online for everyone to see with the factory setting password of the system. Exposed by a security expert, various parts of the department work with a Cisco teleconferencing system that uses Internet and nobody bothered changing the factory password. Names, IP addresses and fun stuff were all online as well.
The Ministry of Defense’s counterargument is that the video system is separate from their network, as it was bought by employees without IT knowing about it and that it was not used very often. Interestingly, log files retrieved by the security expert show that the system was used several times a day.
I bet you the IT people are not happy. And if that’s not sloppy all around, I don’t know what is.
The Dutch extreme right-wing party, part of the elected coalition government, has set up a website where people can ‘denounce’ the violence, crimes and other bad things ‘allegedly’ done by Poles, Bulgarians, Romanians, and other Eastern Europeans. Never mind the obvious discriminatory nature of the site, it also does not allow anyone to elaborate on why they think that one Pole stole their job, just a radio button that says ‘yes’ or ‘no’, which is more unreliable that a teenager magazine quiz about your ex boyfriend.
My favourite which I read about on Twitter, is meldpuntwaardevollegezelligheid.nl (roughly, ‘good fun’), set up by Polish-born Dutch rapper Mr Polska who turned the site’s idea on its head to promote himself and partying with Eastern Europeans, an excellent marketing coup. Too bad his sexist view of women in his music is so underdeveloped, he almost provides ammo for the first site.
UPDATE: If anyone wants to read complaints about the Dutch, just pick an English-language expat site.