May 19, 2015

Americans try Dutch sweets and survive

Filed under: Food & Drink by Orangemaster @ 11:21 am


After having Americans try sweets and foods from many other countries, the Dutch held their breath to find out what happens in the recently released ‘Americans Try Dutch Sweets’ video.

Sometimes you know the panel is going to hate it, but it’s tough to find anyone that hates ‘stroopwafels’ (‘syrup waffles’). When I travel abroad and need to bring a small gift, stroopwafels are my best bet. You should warm them up on a mug of coffee or tea and then eat them or buy mini-stroopwafels and eat the whole bag.

Haribo is a German company and Germans as well as other nationalities also enjoy drop, so even if drop is more of a Dutch favourite, it’s always fun to see people’s reaction to trying it for the first time, like babies biting into a lemon and wincing their cute little faces.

‘Boterkoek’ (‘butter cake’) is easy to like, so no weirdness there, just a buttery taste. ‘Autodrop cadillacs’ (‘gummy pink cadillacs’) are nice because the strawberry flavour is not artificial and you can do wonders with the caddies on cupcakes. And yes, gummy products are originally German. The rum beans are bean-shaped chocolates filled with rum, although you need to pop them into your mouth in one go or else. I have no idea who came up with the brilliant idea for this type of sweet, but chocolate and rum is an international combo of deliciousness.

I say we need at least a second video with many more types of cakes and cookies (hey look, a Dutch word that made into English, from ‘koekjes’) and possibly a few other regional delicacies.

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October 14, 2013

Sultana cookie not the tastiest, says Dutch judge

Filed under: Food & Drink by Branko Collin @ 5:47 pm

Who better to judge which cookie is the tastiest than the inventors of the word ‘cookie’, the Dutch. But taking a competitor to court and asking a proper judge to come up with an answer is perhaps taking things a bit too far.

Global cookie monster Mondelez, the producer of Liga cookies, took Verkade to court over the latter’s claim that its Sultana cookies are the tastiest according to a test. “What test?”, Mondelez wanted to know and Verkade came up blank. If you cannot show test results, you cannot claim you are the tastiest, the judge said.

Verkade’s lawyers put in a counterclaim saying that Mondelez shouldn’t state that its Liga cookies were ‘chosen for fruity flavour and crispiness’, but Mondelez could show the court the results of an actual study that apparently proved its flavours are fruity and its textures crispy. The company gets to keep its slogan.

(Story via De Gelderlander, photo by Maëka Alexis, some rights reserved)

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November 28, 2012

Mobile apps collectively and legally ignore Dutch cookie law

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

In the spirit of keeping you posted, the Dutch cookie law is difficult to understand, it’s very confusing, the government can’t even be bothered, public broadcasters just cut people off and mobile apps don’t even have to adhere to the law.

Although mobile apps for smartphones and tablets are more popular than websites and make use of the same user information to push adverts and the likes, the cookie law doesn’t apply to them. However, apps do have to comply with the personal privacy protection law, which they gladly choose to ignore. App builders know that the chance of being fined is slim, so they would rather take the risk than have to try and figure out the law, following an obvious trend.

If this isn’t a group middle finger salute to a poorly written law I don’t know what is.


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October 13, 2012

Public broadcaster closes off websites to privacy fans

Filed under: General by Branko Collin @ 1:05 pm

Screenshot of with the cookie dialogue.

The website that the public broadcasters of the Netherlands use to display videos of programmes that have already been broadcast, Uitzending Gemist, has been locked down for visitors who refuse to accept Internet cookies.

A recent law stipulates that website owners must ask every visitor permission to store cookies. (Cookies are a web browser technology for storing small bits of data about a visitor.) The law does not say what a website owner should do if a visitor refuses cookies. Two options that spring to mind are to show a simplified website (typically without advertising) or to show no website at all.

Volkskrant quotes a spokes person of NPO, the organization running Uitzending Gemist, saying: “We are legally obliged to report how many people we reach, and cookies are important to this goal. This is why our websites and on-line videos can only be made accessible to those who accept cookies.”

The public broadcasters are paid from general taxes. OPTA, the government watchdog for telecom issues, has been leaning heavy on the owners of publicly funded websites lately. The agency stated that government organisations have to set the right example.

One commenter at Arnoud Engelfriet’s blog said (and in my opinion he or she is right): “A law that was enacted to protect consumers is now being used to hijack consumers. […] In my opinion the law was set up to give people an actual choice—to allow cookies or not. Forcing visitors to allow cookies (or else the site cannot be visited) is absurd.”

See also:

Disclaimer: 24 Oranges has yet to determine how to apply the cookie law without inconveniencing its visitors.

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August 9, 2012

Government snubs its own cookie law

Filed under: General,IT by Orangemaster @ 6:31 pm

Not only does the new cookie law confuse Dutch website owners, but the Dutch government who came up with it can’t be bothered to adhere to it either. Their argument is that they don’t need to follow the rules because the cookies are not being use for commercial purposes. Watchdog Opta disagrees and says that cookies can only be placed without permission if it impairs the functioning of a website or if it cannot offer certain services.

The cookies used on the government site are used to keep statistics, and therefore OPTA says they are a no-no. The government has conveniently failed to provide a counter-argument.

This definitely fits the description of “Do what the preacher preaches, but not what the preacher does”.

(Link:, screenshot: the Telegraaf cookie banner)

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July 21, 2012

Real life tracking cookies

Filed under: Art,Food & Drink,Technology by Branko Collin @ 12:54 pm

Hacker collective Hack42 from Arnhem also experimented with laser Café Noirs.

With the new cookie law on everybody’s mind, it is not surprising that somebody decided to come up with real life tracking cookies.

That somebody was Utrecht-based events platform SETUP, who laser etched traditional Verkade Café Noir cookies with QR codes and handed them out during the Beschaving Festival at the end of June. SETUP doesn’t say how they kept tracking the cookies once eaten.

See also:

(Via Trendbeheer. Photo by Dennis van Zuijlekom, some rights reserved. Video: Youtube/SETUP.)

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June 8, 2012

New cookie law confuses Dutch website owners

Filed under: IT,Technology by Branko Collin @ 12:36 pm

Hardly any Dutch website adheres to the new cookie law that came into force last Tuesday, online tech mag Webwereld reports.

The law, which is a strict implementation of the EU cookie directive, aims to protect website visitors’ privacy by making tracking illegal. Tracking is a way of building a profile of you and your likes by monitoring which websites you visit. This profile can then be used to tailor advertisements to your tastes, or for far more heinous purposes.

Among the larger sites only De Telegraaf has put up a banner informing visitors that it uses cookies, and that they can opt out. As Webwereld points out the banner is not in compliance with the law, which states that website owners must explicitly ask permission for every tracking cookie a site uses.

Enforcement agency OPTA says it is not their job to determine the contours of the law. “We expect the market to take care of that.” The agency told Webwereld it will start enforcing the law right away, but will first focus on “sites with dangerous cookies, and sites with cookies that are hard to remove.”

Arnoud Engelfriet points out that even the government is still serving cookies without permission at

24 Oranges is currently looking at its cookie use and responsibilities before the law. As you may gather from the above article, this matter is more complex than it seems at first sight, so apologies for the delay.

In the meantime if you’re worried about your privacy—as you should—consider disabling third-party cookies in your browser and installing ad blockers. Neither method is perfect as far as I know.

(Screenshot: the Telegraaf cookie banner)

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June 29, 2011

Six things you should know about the Dutch cookie law

Filed under: IT by Branko Collin @ 8:12 am

There seems to be a lot of misinformation going around about the fresh Dutch (Internet) cookie law, so Internet lawyer Arnoud Engelfriet set out to dispel the myths in a few excellent articles.

1. First this. The Dutch call their cookie law ‘cookiewet’ instead of ‘koekjeswet’ in spite of the Dutch origins of the English word. (The oo sound is spelled oe in Dutch.)

Says Arnoud (and I paraphrase):

2. Other ways than invasive pop-ups are OK to ask permission to plant cookies. A checkbox on a profile page, a central register, and even browser settings can be used to get and store permission. You are even allowed to use cookies for which you did not ask permission to store the fact that you got permission for other cookies.


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November 18, 2009

Pupils bake 13 metre long speculaas doll

Filed under: Weird by Orangemaster @ 11:04 am

The speculaas doll is a typical Sinterklaas treat, but the cookie the pupils of the Albeda College in Rotterdam baked is perhaps a little too much for any one person to eat. The 13.84 metre long giant weighs 867 kg. Dig in!

Baking the doll raised 51,250 euro, and the proceeds will go to the Friends of the Sophia Children’s Hospital foundation (Stichting Vrienden van het Sophia).

The speculaas doll may warrant a mention in the Guinness Book of Records, as the previous tallest doll was only 9 metres. A school on the other side of the country, ROC Almelo, will try to break the new record on 30 November 2009.

Speculaas is a type of dough containing pepper, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, cardamom and nutmeg.

(Link: Telegraaf. Photo by Flickr user zoyachubby, some rights reserved)

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