Dutch siblings Erik (24) and Josephine (22) lost track of each other when their parents split up in 1999, as Josephine stayed in Breda with her mom while Erik and his twin brother Maarten went to live in Belgium.
Sixteen years later Erik and Josephine ‘swiped right’ on dating app Tinder, matched up, and started flirting. However, Erik felt that something was off and eventually shared his suspicions with others online. Erik and Josephine talked about their childhood, and then the pieces fell into place: they were family. They met up in Tilburg and reconnected. Twin brother Maarten is also happy about
Can 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.
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.
Filed under: Technology by Orangemaster @ 12:31 pm
Security and Justice Minister Fred Teeven had a plan to lure rich foreigners to set up shop in the Netherlands, hoping they would pump money into the economy by being allowed to invest in innovation – and nothing else. In one year’s time, one millionaire was interested but got caught up in red tape and gave up.
The idea behind the plan was to lure small IT companies rather than rich millionaires who buy a mansion and don’t invest, but that was never specified. Dutch online newspaper app Blendle is being funded by Americans, while the Dutch guy behind travel app Gidsy who left Amsterdam for Berlin with money from Aston Kutcher is now continuing his career in San Francisco. When an opportunity to fund innovation crops up, the Dutch government is glaring absent yet it believes to be competent enough to school rich foreigners on innovation.
“Foreigners who invest at least 1.25 million euro in the Dutch business community can get a residence permit for one year,” but only if they invest in innovation. Last time I checked how capitalism works, you let the rich people make business proposals and see if that fits the rules. When I left Canada 15 years ago you could get a resident’s permit for one year for 2,000 CDN (1,400 euro). I can’t possible imagine the price is anywhere near 1.25 million euro and being dictated to by a Dutch uncle.
Teeven doesn’t want criminals coming over and “parking their money”, but let’s be honest, he has a hand in letting in poorer immigrants who are turning to crime. And indeed with a few hundred failed asylum seekers still roaming the streets of Amsterdam two years after we told you about them, Minister Teeven’s policies are epic failures on all counts.
(I wonder if the NLTimes knows it’s using a promotional picture from the American vampire television series ‘The Originals’)
Since 18 November, the app ‘Buitenmarket’ (‘Outdoor market’) created by Vandemoortele, a European food products manufacturer headquartered in Gent, Belgium, has been available for free through the Google Play Store to find fresh produce near your location. It lists food such as beef, pork, chicken, grain, honey, pears, apples, dairy, vegetables, and miscellaneous foods. The app is in Dutch only.
I’ve installed it and enjoy the look and feel of the app, but there’s nothing really in Amsterdam (pic), although I could always get on my bike. You can click on an icon and find out more about a market, their opening hours, etc.
One review mentions that the app is missing many places. The app is either not quite finished, which is usually the case, or has only added certain venues with a criteria we know nothing about. I would use this app if I were in another part of the country and wanted to see if I could grab some local produce, and for that I’m keeping it on my phone.
The City of Amsterdam subsidized a free educational game entitled ‘Road to Freedom’ that was 1.5 years in the making to teach children about Dutch slavery in Surinam. It was produced by the National Institute for the Study of Dutch Slavery and its Legacy and designed by Pepergroen to mark the 150th anniversary of the abolition of slavery.
The Afro-Surinamese community in the Netherlands wasn’t thrilled with the game, but neither were the Americans at Apple who called the content ”slanderous and insulting”. A quick Google search shows that Apple is not a fan of anything with slaves in it, like this sweatshop app.
On the one hand, anything too culturally confrontational makes many people from countries with unresolved colonial pasts uncomfortable and on the other, anything that is presented in a game format already downgrades the importance of historical relevance. If I were at school today and someone gave me a flee from a Russian labour camp game, I’d have a real problem with it and so would my parents.
I do get what the makers were trying to do, but unfortunately they have managed to trivialize something that deserves a much better platform. A Dutch friend of mine would say, ‘het idee is goed, maar de uitvoering is klote’ (‘The idea is good, but the execution is crap’).
UPDATE The video we had up yesterday introducing the game has been pulled offline.
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.
I did not know this, but apparently there are many people who hear voices in their daily lives, either voices that aren’t there or background voices that get amplified. Sometimes these voices are benign and just part of the noises around you and sometimes they are negative or threatening. Parnassia Groep claims their free iPhone app Temstem (the name is a pun meaning ‘tame voice’) can help you learn how to control these voices.
The jury report says about the app: “The jury believes that Temstem is a brilliant example of the impact that design can have on real problems. The joint research by the health professionals of the Parnassia Groep and the Reframing Studio designers has resulted in a genuine tool that can have a major impact on the lives of its users.”
The audience award was given to a display for railway station platforms that tells travellers where the first and second class carriages are, which carriages are crowded and so on. Dutch Rail had a similar system before but only in app form. The new system has displays suspended over the trains.
Problably best known for Puckipedia, 13-year-old Puck Meerburg from Delft has been coding since he was six. Meerburg has developed apps for a range of different mobile platforms already, including iOS, Android and BlackBerry.
Although Puck hasn’t quite mastered the art of giving interviews, which is maybe a lot to ask from a 13-year-old, he speaks better English than many of his adult counterparts. I like the way he ‘slags’ Apple for him not knowing how many copies of his apps he has sold. Apple lets people offer them apps that costs them no money at all to develop, which has hundreds of thousands of people (let’s cut the PC nonsense: mostly boys and men) around the world working day and night like slaves in the hopes of being picked up by Apple who apparently takes a whopping 30% off the top.
The Next Web tells us that, “His latest release, CatStacker is based on the growing hype around, you guessed it, placing items on a domestic cat and sharing them via photographs posted online.”
Dutch Rail has started an experiment that lets its customers see which train compartments are relatively empty and therefore likely to have seats available.
To this end, the company has equipped 11 trains on the Zwolle-Amersfoort line with 280 infrared sensors. The data of these sensors is sent to an app that shows where there is room in the train (see illustration). Two minutes after the train has left a station, the app will be updated.
The app called Reisplanner Xtra also provides information about whether the train has wifi, where the quiet compartments are, where the first and second compartments are, and so on. It is unclear how long this test will run.
Pulmonologist Rob Janssen of Nijmegen’s Canisius-Wilhelmina hospital has developed an iPhone app called Snore Trainer available for 2.39 euro that helps train people to stop snoring.
Janssen explains that loud snoring is usually produced by people who sleep on their backs. The app works by securing an iPhone to one’s chest and it will vibrate when the snorer turns to sleep on their back. He also says it trains people to stop turning and eventually, they won’t need to use the smartphone anymore.
Unfortunately, it is not available for Android.
It’s easy to imagine why snoring causes problems for anyone within earshot, but I wonder if the vibrating phone doesn’t wake anybody up if the snorer doesn’t sleep alone or sleeps very lightly. Then again, if someone snores that loud, they are probably sleeping along regardless. And I am still wondering how one would fasten their iPhone to their chest without getting weird images in my head.