August 9, 2009

Pollster Maurice de Hond too reliable for TV ad

Filed under: General by Branko Collin @ 12:36 pm

The Dutch advertising authority has judged a TV advertisement non-compliant because well-known and presumably very impartial pollster Maurice de Hond is pushing the wares of a utility company, reports De Volkskrant (Dutch).

In the ad, De Hond compares rates of competing utility companies, and claims that viewers can make substantial savings. The advertising authority, Reclame Code Commissie, says (largely paraphrased):

Maurice de Hond has been famous for years as an impartial researcher. He (still) has a certain trust with a substantial part of the TV audience. The advertisement uses this trust, because De Hond refers to his own research.

The advertising authority therefore feels that therefore the ad is in violation of article 11.2 of its own code, which states that advertising and other programming must be clearly separated. Since the authority has no legal, er, authority, it can only ask the advertiser to stop broadcasting this particular ad.

De Hond responded on Twitter: “Glad they did not say ‘not reliable enough!'”

(Photo by DJ, TV host, Wikipedian and De Hond’s son Marc, some rights reserved.)

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December 15, 2008

Revolving door generates power

Filed under: Sustainability,Weird by Branko Collin @ 10:11 am

As if it isn’t bad enough that since they privatized, the national railroad monopolist barely seems to manage to run a train on time, to boot the NS (Dutch Railways) has now resorted to forced labour. Everybody passing through this revolving door helps the Driebergen-Zeist railway station generate a little bit of electricity. According to an enthousiastic manufacturer, Boon Edam, this is the world’s first energy generating revolving door and a breakthrough in “entrance technology.” There’s a word I bet you did not know existed. They estimate the amount of revolutions to be a scientific “gazillion times.”

The electricity thus won is used to illuminate a sign that says how much electricity the door has generated so far.

Link: Forever Geek. Photo Boon Edam.

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August 6, 2008

Jan Akkerman concert on laddermill power

Filed under: Aviation,Music,Science by Branko Collin @ 9:05 am

Dutch guitar giant Jan Akkerman, former astrounaut Wubbo Ockels and Delft University all worked together to come up with this tiny concert in the Stadspark of Groningen last year. The reason? The electrical power was delivered by a prototype of a so-called Laddermill, an invention by Wubbo Ockels that is currently being developed at the University of Delft, and that consists of a chain of kite-wings that act as kites when going up, and as wings when going down.

Laddermills should be able to deliver from kilowatts to megawatts of power, enough to provide neighbourhoods and cities with electricity. According to the Guardian, laddermills are especially useful in The Netherlands, Denmark, the UK and Ireland “thanks to the high-speed jet stream.”

If you’ve never heard of Akkerman before, check YouTube for “focus hocus pocus.”

Via Engadget. See also this TU Delft page.

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