May 22, 2015

Bosch your photos, there’s an app for that

Filed under: Art,Photography,Technology by Orangemaster @ 12:01 pm


Making the rounds since last fall and distributed by Dutch company No Strings, the Bosch camera app lets you add some Hieronymus Bosch characters to your pictures. I gave it a quick spin with my paper bin (see pic) and it is fun and easy to use.

“Bosch camera reanimates 500 year-old creatures and people taken from the paintings of Bosch. A stroll in the woods or a visit to the local supermarket could turn in an awesome adventure.”

It’s Bosch’s famous characters that keep so many people intrigued, even to the point of deciphering buttock music from the famous painting ‘The Garden of Earthly Delights’, which is currently the object of feuding Spanish museums.

(Link: Hieronymus Bosch The Movie on Facebook)

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April 7, 2015

App tells you to hurry to catch a train

Filed under: Gadgets,Technology by Branko Collin @ 2:26 pm

moet-ik-rennen-app-google-playCan I still catch the bus or train if I start running now? That is the simple question a new app poses. Its name, Moet Ik Rennen?, is Dutch for should I run?

The app, which saw its beta test launch today, uses the location services of your mobile device to find your current position. It then locates the nearest bus stops and metro and train stations, provides you with departure times and if you select a specific line it tells you if you should hurry.

Moet Ik Rennen? appears to be free and is available for iOS and Android. It was developed by four students (initially as a school project) with support from Dutch Rail. Go About is listed as the data provider.

If you still have to wait a bit for your bus (or train or subway), the app suggests a place to get snacks at a discount. Once you have stuffed your face with excess calories you no longer need the app. Yes, you should run.

(Illustration: Google Play / Moet Ik Rennen?)

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June 25, 2014

Apple looking to hire native Dutch speaker

Filed under: Technology by Orangemaster @ 10:29 am

Always wanted to make your mark in the IT world? If you’re a native Dutch speaker, you could become the voice of Siri, Apple’s speech-powered personal app. For people like me who don’t use iPhones and prefer Android phones, many of us heard about Siri from American TV show The Big Bang Theory, as Dr Rajesh Koothrappali takes a bit too much of a liking to the female voice of his phone. At the end of 2013 Apple had made Siri both male and female, but not for reasons of gender equality.

You’ll need much more than just a nice Dutch voice for this software engineering job, but it does sound like a nice challenge. I’m surprised they did not specify Dutch or Flemish as European companies usually do, which is a bit sloppy on their part and could go wrong if they do use a different accent and try to pass it off as standard Dutch. A Surinam accent would be cool though, but like I said, I use an Android phone.

(Link:, Photo by William Hook, some rights reserved)

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July 1, 2013

Unofficial Android store to open in Arnhem later this year

Filed under: Technology by Branko Collin @ 8:30 pm

A manufacturer of customized Android-based devices is planning to open an Android store in November, writes.

GOCAL, the company behind the initiative, wants the store to become a place where customers can feel and experience Android-based devices from different manufacturers.

The company sees its O-Droid Store, which has not been endorsed by Google, as a mixture between an Apple Store and a Starbucks, meaning coffee will also be served. GOCAL also hopes to be able to offer products through its store that are not yet available in the Netherlands. adds that there are currently two official Android stores in Indonesia with another one planned in New Delhi. According to the site there are no indications that Google is planning Android stores outside of Asia.

(Illustration: Google Android logo)

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January 27, 2012

Phone app to find toilets wins national prize

Filed under: Online,Technology by Orangemaster @ 1:23 pm

Designed by three twentysomething students at the University of Amsterdam, HogeNood (= really need to go) won a national prize for the best smart phone app. Although it is currently available as a beta for Android, iPhone users will have to wait for now.

HogeNood won this national prize awarded by Economic Affairs because it uses government data, a condition for being eligible to win. Second place went to an app that helps you find a school in your neighbourhood and third place was for an app that helps determine whether putting solar panels on your house is a profitable idea.


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September 9, 2011

Satnav on smartphone guided by music

Filed under: Music,Technology by Orangemaster @ 4:53 pm

Aspiring boffins at the Eindhoven University of Technology have developed a smartphone app for Android that helps cyclists navigate to their destination by using music. By using the phone’s satnav, a cyclist can listen to their favourite tunes the way they always do, but, for example, when they have to turn left, the music will be harder on the left, allowing the cyclist to focus on the road.

The application can be used around the world and can be downloaded as of next week for lucky Android users. iPhone users will have to wait, something that is often the other way round.

I’ve seen or heard nothing of this app, but I already have some issues with it. Using satnav (GPS function) on a smartphone sucks energy out of a battery like a vampire sucks blood (comes with a warning, too), so I cannot imagine using something like this for a real long bike ride that would require any serious directions. Is this something we really need? Will the app respond fast enough or even properly? Some of the best satnavs for cars have problems with certain countries and small roads. When do people need a map when they’re on a bike? That’s right, for a long ride. By then your phone will have died and you’ll have to sing the rest of the way. And I’m not even going to get into people who are hard of hearing or easily distracted.

If anyone uses this in the near future, please tell us about it.


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June 5, 2011

Bebook’s e-book reader becomes Android tablet

Filed under: Technology by Branko Collin @ 10:15 pm

The tablet market has just become a bit busier. Utrecht based manufacturer Endless Ideas are introducing a 7 inch, Android based tablet called Bebook Live. The original Bebook has an E-ink screen, the Live has a regular LCD touch screen and also sports:

  • Wifi
  • 4 GB memory
  • SD/SDHC slot (up to 32 gigabyte)
  • 2 megapixel camera
  • Accelerometer
  • and more

At 270 euro it is actually cheaper than the original Bebook e-reader at its introduction. While Bright praises it as a “very good, simple and affordable 7 inch tablet”, Engadget’s readers think it is silly to ship a tablet with yesterday’s version of an operating system, Android 2.2.

(Photo: Endless Ideas)

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July 1, 2009

World’s first mobile Augmented Reality browser

Filed under: Dutch first,Gadgets,Online by Orangemaster @ 10:19 am

Mobile phone Augmented Reality browser Layar, designed by Amsterdam’s Sprx Mobile has been the talk of the Dutch IT town on Twitter (we’re all friends in this neck of the woods) and just about everywhere else for some two weeks.

Layar is an application that can find everything using a mobile phone with a compass, although for now it can only be used with Android and soon the iPhone 3G S as well. As the name implies, the application provides extra ‘layers’ to reality. “You don’t have to browse on the Internet, you can see your immediate environment using Layar,” Sprx Mobile Director Raimo van der Klein explains.

For more cool developments, follow Maarten Lens-Fitzgerald (@dutchcowboy) on Twitter. He twitters in English as well, and his wife Lori Lens-Fitzgerald (@lorilens) already made this blog with her photo book about world famous restaurant El Bulli.

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