February 19, 2020

Vintage Dutch tech site calls it a day

Filed under: History,Online,Technology by Orangemaster @ 5:50 pm

Webwereld, one of the oldest tech news sites of the Netherlands, is going to cease to exist. We enjoyed using them as a source for subjects such as high speed wireless internet (wimax), NL-alert (national alarm system), net neutrality and quite a few more.

The tech-savvy site had been around since 1995, and editorial staff were sent packing about a month ago. The site will go offline on 1 March, and its owner, IDG, will apparently continue on with business sites.

Way back in in the day, having a 24-hour online news service about IT was a big deal and quite new, at least in such a small country and language region as the Netherlands. One of the cool things they did was launch ‘lektober’ (‘leaktober’) in 2011, which featured company data leaks back when companies didn’t quite know how to deal with them (they still don’t, but OK).

Thanks for the good stories, Webwereld!

(Link: bright.nl)

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April 19, 2015

Dutch student named Global Entrepreneur of the Year

Filed under: Animals,Design by Orangemaster @ 8:14 pm

This week Dutch student Steinar Henskes of the VU University Amsterdam, owner of the Bird Control Group, won Global Student Entrepreneur of the Year, an event held in Washington, D.C. Up against 2,000 students from 38 countries, Henskes took home a cool USD 20,000 (about € 18,500) in prize money.

Bird Control Group provides solutions to keep birds at a safe distance from commercial activities using animal-safe lasers. Founded in 2012, the company operates in 52 countries around the globe including major airports like Schiphol and London Airport. “The products are recognised by the World Wildlife Fund for their innovation, effectiveness and animal friendliness.”

(Link: www.marketwired.com, photo of a lightbulb by Emil Kabanov, some rights reserved)

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September 16, 2013

The Netherlands has finally become a police state

Filed under: General by Branko Collin @ 12:18 pm

Rhetoric? Offensive sloganeering? Have I finally gone off the deep end? No, I am just getting a pun in there. Volkskrant reported last Saturday that the biggest employer in the Netherlands is the police.

In 2012 the police provided jobs to 63,778 people. They passed the military which was the biggest employer in 2011, but had to cut down their numbers due to budget cuts.

The top 5 large employers in the Netherlands are:

  • The police, 63,778 employees
  • The military, 61,749 employees
  • Rabobank, 41,402 employees
  • PostNL, 33,284 employees
  • Air France-KLM, 31,189 employees

According to Volkskrant their top 100 of companies employs about 1 million people in the Netherlands. Their distribution follows a power curve, the top ten employs a third of that million. According to Statistics Netherlands there were 8.68 million people working in the Netherlands in 2012 and 0.66 million unemployed citizens. The self-employed made up 1.25 million of people working. And there were 9.24 million jobs in 2012.

(Photo by FaceMePLS, some rights reserved)

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December 15, 2012

Best bosses give women equal career opportunities

Filed under: General by Branko Collin @ 3:52 pm

The best employers in the Netherlands give employees the feeling that they are appreciated, Effectory and VNU Vacature Media claim.

The two companies polled employees in 269 organisations. Employees in the companies that were rated the highest gave the biggest marks for the following qualities:

  • Being appreciated by the boss
  • Being able to balance work and private life
  • Women appreciated equal career opportunities
  • Clear goals for both the individual employees and the company
  • Feeling proud of the organisation
  • Customer care

The top three of the companies with 1,000 employees and more were:

  1. Stichting Buurtzorg Nederland
  2. KLM
  3. Vanderlande Industries

Stichting Buurtzorg Nederland, a home care foundation, won the Best Employer Award for the second year in a row. CEO Jos de Blok is a former nurse.

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September 15, 2012

Saturday shorts: phone book dies, Dobben croquette disappears, other free market failures

Filed under: Food & Drink,General,Health by Branko Collin @ 12:51 pm

De Telefoongids to fire hundreds of employees

The phone book company that is trying to silence Alexander Klöpping is planning to fire 30% of its 800 employees, Z24 reports.

According to European Directories, the ‘restructuring’ is necessary for a print-to-online transition. The company has also declared that it plans to continue distribution of its paper phone book, despite opposition of Dutch parliament, amongst others.

Klöpping had registered the domain sterftelefoongidssterf.nl (‘die, phone book, die’), which he redirected to the presumed cancellation page of the phone book.

Famous croquette to disappear from supermarket shelves because of anti-monopoly rules

Snack producer Royaan can no longer use its famous brand Van Dobben in supermarkets if it wants to continue its merger with Ad van Geloven (of amongst other the Mora brand).

The Dutch anti-monopoly agency NMa has determined that Royaan must license the brand for supermarket use to another manufacturer during a period of six years according to NOS. After that the brand must be discontinued. The brand may still be used in snack bars; according to NMa there are still enough players in that market to keep it healthy. The intended merger of the snack giants was announced in November 2011.

Krokets or croquettes are a Dutch snack that consists of ragout deep-fried in a breadcrumb jacket.

Experiment with dental free market must be stopped

A recent, nationwide experiment in which dentists could determine their own rates must be stopped the court in The Hague said last Wednesday.

According to Z24, dentists’ rates had risen 6% since the start of the experiment. When Dutch parliament indicated in July it wanted to have the experiment stopped, the association for dentists sued the caretaker minister for public health, but lost. The experiment started in January of this year and was to run for three years.

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June 21, 2011

‘Amsterdam second largest anglophone city’

Filed under: General by Orangemaster @ 10:47 am

According to business facilitator Iamsterdam, the high level of English proficiency in the Netherlands is only surpassed by that of Norway’s. All the Norwegians I have ever met speak English, even foreign national Norwegians.

The Netherlands ranks second in a proficiency index carried out, reflecting the fact that almost the entire Dutch population speaks English, especially in the greater Amsterdam area, a fact attributed to all the foreigners living there.

Some 80% of the workforce speaks English, making Amsterdam the largest anglophone city in continental Europe. Some 90% percent of the workforce speaks two or more languages.

To all the blind policy makers that keep saying you need Dutch to get a job in the Netherlands: it’s not true: thousands of expats, foreign nationals and immigrants live and work for years without learning proper Dutch and do just fine, whether you like that or not.

(Link: iamsterdam, Photo taken from Dunglish, a site with Dutch-English mistakes)

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July 19, 2010

Young Chinese entrepreneurs switching from restaurants to hotels

Filed under: Food & Drink by Branko Collin @ 8:33 am

Although Royal Horeca Netherlands has no hard data available, anecdotal evidence leads daily De Pers to conclude that Chinese families are moving more and more into the hotel business.

Vincent van Dijk, a ‘trend watcher’ who has taken it upon him to spend a night at a different Amsterdam hotel each night for a whole year, estimates that one in six hotels he stayed in were operated by Chinese people.

Alex Chang of Royal Horeca Netherlands sees a strong growth in hotels operated by second or third generation Chinese Dutch. He also notices investors from China are interested in buying or starting hotels in the Netherlands.

Is this the end of the archetypical Chin. Ind. Restaurant, establishments run by Chinese immigrants but serving mostly a sweet and greasy parody of Indonesian food, a cuisine the Dutch know from their colonial past? It took me a while to find such a restaurant for the photo illustrating this article (Ah Sang on the Overtoom in Amsterdam).

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June 12, 2010

How to create a football star

Filed under: Sports by Branko Collin @ 4:23 pm

That was only one game, of course, but it seemed to bring into focus what I had been observing at the Ajax youth academy, as well as learning about American soccer. How the US develops its most promising young players is not just different from what the Netherlands and most elite soccer nations do — on fundamental levels, it is diametrically opposed.

Americans like to put together teams, even at Pee Wee level, that are meant to win. The best soccer-playing nations build individual players, ones with superior technical skills who later come together on teams the US struggles to beat. In a way, it is a reversal of type. Americans tend to think of Europeans as collectivists and themselves as individualists. But in sports, it is the opposite. The Europeans build up the assets of individual players. Americans underdevelop the individual, although most of the volunteers who coach at the youngest level would not be cognizant of that.

Michael Sokolove (what’s in a name?) takes a long hard look at what makes the youth academy of Amsterdam’s professional football club Ajax tick, and how this contrasts with the system in the USA.

A very interesting read, even though (or perhaps because of) the author at times keeps a lot of distance from what he essentially describes as something close to modern slavery.

(Photo by Patrick de Laive, some rights reserved. Shown here are Wesley Sneijder and Rafael van der Vaart in national garb. Both players rose through the ranks of the Ajax youth academy to become world stars. Link: Eamelje.net.)

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May 23, 2010

Richest self-made men and women of 2010

Filed under: General,Sports by Branko Collin @ 3:17 pm

Glossy money magazine Quote presented its 100% Selfmade list last week, an overview of the 100 richest self-made Dutch people of under the age of 40.

The Top 5 is:

  1. David Slager (37), 270 million euro, stock trader
  2. Reinout Oerlemans (38), 73 million euro, TV director and producer
  3. Roger Hodenius (38), 60 million euro, stock trader
  4. Andruw Jones (33), 54 million euro, professional baseball player
  5. Ruud van Nistelrooij (33), 53 million euro, professional football player

Quote regularly publishes a list of the 500 richest people of the Netherlands, including those who inherited their fortunes, and the difference with the self-made folks is stunning. The latter only lost half a million euro per capita in the past 12 months, whereas all the rich combined lost 17.8 billion, which comes down to 36 million euro per person.

In fact, only the losses of one man, Maasbert Schouten (banker, 38), who saw 200 million of his 235 million euro evaporate last year, stunted the growth of the self-made rich. Collectively they went from 2 billion euro to 1.95 billion euro.

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December 21, 2008

Guy in ad switches from English to Dutch to order pea soup

Filed under: Food & Drink,General by Branko Collin @ 2:22 pm

Dunglish.nl, one of Orangemaster’s many ventures, posted this brilliant ad for Unox pea soup a while ago. In it, you see some sort of sales manager walk through a company cafeteria while holding a bluetooth-enabled phone conversation in that lingua franca of the Dutch business world, English with sprinklings of Dutch. When it matters though — that is, when he wishes to order pea soup — he switches to all-Dutch.

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