May 5, 2018

Rabobank uses animal and plants for client privacy

Filed under: General,Online by Orangemaster @ 1:14 pm

To comply with the General Protection Data Regulation that will enter into force on 25 May 2018, the Dutch bank Rabobank has found a nifty way of using client data without having to ask permission: by assigning Latin animal and plant names to their clients data, pseudonymising it. They also claim it’s something they were toying around four years ago when the GPDR wasn’t on anybody’s radar, but yeah, Google was doing that back then as well with animal and creatures names that anonymised Google docs users.

Special software was developed by IBM to make people’s data unrecognisable, but still useable for analysis. The software is currently part of a service aimed at a small group of financial organisations. Later, it will also be used in retail and healthcare.


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April 25, 2018

Anonymous Dutch player wins big online

Filed under: General,Online by Orangemaster @ 12:51 pm

Recently, an anonymous online Dutch poker player calling themselves ‘Daenarys T’ (from the character Queen Daenarys Targaryen of the Game of Thrones television series) won 1.000.044 US dollars (about 817.930 euro) during the Sunday Million Anniversary Take 2 online poker tournament.

As a profile photo, the person used a picture of amateur Dutch poker player Tim ‘FysioTim’ Hendriks. Hendriks himself said he wasn’t playing, reacting calmly to someone using his Twitter profile picture to play the tournament. However, he was a bit shocked that people thought he had become a millionaire.

Here at 24HQ where poker is a thing, we’re still miffed by the 2016 decision that considers poker a game of chance, which means anyone who wants to organise poker games needs a permit, profiting the state monopoly of Holland Casino. If you believe it is a game of chance and have money, hit us up, we’ll fix that.



February 20, 2018

Detecting fake news by playing a game

Filed under: General,Online by Orangemaster @ 11:09 am

Dutch media collective DROG together with Cambridge researchers is launching an English version of the fake news game online today that teaches people how to immunise themselves against fake news.

“The game encourages players to stoke anger, mistrust and fear in the public by manipulating digital news and social media. Players build audiences for their fake news sites by publishing polarizing falsehoods, deploying Twitter bots, photoshopping evidence, and inciting conspiracy theories in the wake of public tragedy, all while maintaining a ‘credibility score’ to remain as persuasive as possible”.

Teenagers at a Dutch secondary school played the game use pen and paper, and demonstrated that the perceived ‘reliability’ of fake news diminished with those who played the game, as compared to a control group.

“If you know what it’s like to walk in the shoes of someone who is actively trying to deceive you, it should increase your ability to spot and resist the techniques of deceit”, explains says Dr. Sander van der Linden, Director of Cambridge University’s Social Decision-Making Lab.

The game will be rolled out in other languages and aimed at countries that have a high level of fake news like Ukraine.


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September 26, 2017

Alkmaar’s world premiere live streaming cheese shop

Filed under: Dutch first,Food & Drink,Online by Orangemaster @ 12:10 pm

Screen Shot 2017-09-26 at 12.07.04

For five days starting today, Kaan’s Kaashandel in Alkmaar will be live streaming their cheese shop. As I write this I can hear the local church bells and fast speaking Dutchmen talking cheese.

You can also order cheese directly and even chat with the employees who I can imagine are on their best behaviour today. The shop says it’s offering “the expertise, authenticity and experience of a physical cheese shop, combined with the ease of use and speed of a webshop.” This was an attempt to get more online notoriety and I guess it’s working.

The stream was set up together with the ABN AMRO bank as an experiment to inspire other shop owners. And there’s cheese!

(Link:, screenshot of Kaan’s Kaashandel in Alkmaar)

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September 22, 2017

A Dutch instagram full of catcalling men

Filed under: Online,Photography by Orangemaster @ 2:39 pm

Twenty-year-old Amsterdam resident Noa Jansma was so fed up with getting catcalled by men on the street she decided to take selfies with the men who catcalled her in the background to show that it does happen. Even though a lot of people know this happens, a big chunk of the population isn’t subjected to this type of harassement, so some people still think it’s not a problem. One of the men in the pictures followed her and harassed for 10 minutes – let that sink in.

Jansma says she had no clue how to react to this behaviour. If she yells back, they get aggressive and if she does nothing, she feels as if they could do anything they wanted to her and get away with it. I know exactly how she feels and it’s a horrible feeling. And being harassed is not a compliment.”It’s clear that if a man on the street says they want to fuck me that it’s not a complement”, says Jansma.

Although she’ll stop soon enough because it’s taking a toll, have a look at Dearcatcallers to see all the morons. And the worst is they all agreed to be in a picture with her – they think this is normal behaviour. The pictures were taken in Barcelona and in Amsterdam. Same mierda, different ciudad.

(Link:, Photo of wilted tulip by Graham Keen, some rights reserved)

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November 5, 2016

Food bank snubs the poor over Facebook like

Filed under: Food & Drink,Online by Orangemaster @ 7:41 pm

A food bank in Noordoostpolder, Flevoland has decided to refuse three clients access after they liked the competition on Facebook.

One of the clients who was cut off said the fruit and vegetables she got from her regular food bank are passed the expiration date to the point of starting to rot. She looked around online for other food options and decided to like the competition. Then she found out what she could do to maybe change food banks. While all that was happening, she went back down to her regular food bank, but instead of food, they handed her an envelop with a stern letter and told her to get out.

The competitor, who feeds people who earn too much to get food from the food bank but are in need of food, claims to have too many people to care for and tried to get food from the food bank for the woman in question, but was unsuccessful. The food bank refused to accept that they gave out bad food and then said they don’t want any bad publicity from people getting sick. Oh, and they were pissed about her liking the competition.

The competitor has decided to help that one client who was cut off after all. “If people are ruthlessly turned away, then they need to be helped. You can’t just let people starve”.

And that’s the state of affairs in a small village in Flevoland these days, pettiness at its best. Liking the competition came in handy after all.


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July 22, 2016

Unicode accepts rainbow emoji flag petition

Filed under: General,History,Online by Orangemaster @ 1:51 pm

Thanks to lots of people including Amsterdam resident Maurice Beljaars who asked for a rainbow emoji flag, Unicode has approved the request for the flag. It won’t be ready for a while or in time for Amsterdam’s Gay Pride, but then people can use hashtags #EuroPride, #AmsterdamPride and #Joinourfreedom for Gay Pride from Saturday 23 July through 7 August.

According to Emojipedia, the gay pride flag features in the top 30 emoji requests collected on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

(Link:, Photo of Gay flag by sigmaration, some rights reserved)

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March 31, 2016

KLM passengers can check in using Facebook Messenger

Filed under: Aviation,Dutch first,Online by Orangemaster @ 6:00 am


As of March 30 KLM has been letting its passengers check in online using Facebook Messenger. Passengers can get their boarding cards and flight information as well as ask KLM any questions they may have directly instead of having to use Twitter or post their story on KLM’s Facebook page for all to read. A boarding pass that used to have to be sent per e-mail or text message can now be sent by Messenger.

Although a world premiere in aviation, we’re calling this a Dutch first because car service Uber was the first company to use Messenger. You can now order an Uber as you land at Schiphol if you wanted to. In the future, other companies will follow suit as well, according to Facebook. KLM is also talking to WhatsApp, owned by Facebook, to extend their services.

(Link:, Photo: Steven Straiton, some rights reserved)

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January 8, 2016

Gender axed from online forms in Amsterdam

Filed under: Dutch first,Online by Orangemaster @ 12:52 pm

Filling in your gender on online forms for the city of Amsterdam has recently become a thing of the past, unless it is legally required. “All residents of Amsterdam should feel at home in the way in which the city communicates with them”, and addressing people with ‘Dear Sir or Madam’ just doesn’t work in today’s world. Amsterdam also claims to be the first Dutch city to have ditched gender in its communication.

In Dutch, authorities often write letters with ‘Dear Sir/Madam [last name]’, which already says they don’t care who or what you are, while some will argue that they are just trying to cover their bases. I often translate online forms into English, having to explain to Dutch clients that Mr and Mrs doesn’t work: there’s also Ms, Miss and if the world progresses the way it is, Mx could also be the next one at least in English. The concept of addressing women based on their marital status is archaic and obsolete.

As well, entering your gender only to get letters with ‘Dear Sir/Madam [last name], means it was unnecessary in the first place. Any time I’ve received letters addressed to me as ‘Sir’ I’ve chucked them out and anyone online who dares send me business letters with ‘Dear Sirs’ gets ignored. If you call me up from a bank and ask to speak to the man of the house or my husband, I will find you and hunt you down.

(Link:, Photo of the VOC HQ (East India Company) by Josh, distributed under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.2)

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September 1, 2015

There’s an online Dutch shop for mermaid tails

Filed under: Fashion,General,Online by Orangemaster @ 3:03 pm


Mermaids have always been popular whether you believe the happy ever after Ariel version or, like me, your parents read you the original Hans Christian Andersen tale featuring daggers, blood and pain. You can also read the difference between mermaids and sirens as the two are often conflated.

Parents Leo and Denise Bergsen were looking for a mermaid tail for their daughter who wanted one and couldn’t find one anywhere in the country. They decided set up a shop called Dutch Tails in Spijkenisse, South Holland that caters to the mermaid inclined, including professional mermaids. They make and sell mermaid outfits and also sell ‘monovins’ and fun swim stuff.

The couple say that very few boys have asked for a mermaid tail and that besides the hordes of little girls ages 6 to 12 who want one, more and more teenagers and adults are asking as well. “Blue is the most popular colour, then pink and purple. Orange not so much.”

(Link: www.z24, Photo of mermaid by Jolante van Hemert, some rights reserved)

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