October 13, 2020

Facebook blocks Lebowski quote search engine by mistake

Filed under: Film,IT,Online by Orangemaster @ 3:05 pm

According to British-Canadian journalist and author Cory Doctorow on Twitter, Dutch digital rights activist Hans De Zwart, who used to head up digital rights organisation Bits of freedom in Amsterdam, created the search engine thebiglebow.ski that generates fun quotes from 1998 American cult classic ‘The Big Lebowski’.

Right from the start, the site had the rug pulled out from under it, as it was blocked by Facebook (and Instagram) with the message “Your message couldn’t be sent because it includes content that other people on Facebook have reported as abusive.” De Zwart wanted to complain to Facebook, but without a Facebook account, he couldn’t. As a digital rights activist, he doesn’t use social media, but he joined Facebook just to be able to file a complaint. He was also annoyed at the fact that he couldn’t spell his Dutch last name correctly, de Zwart with a lower case d. He was basically told ‘thanks for the feedback’, which is big tech speak for f*** you.

About a month later, De Zwart bought a five euro Facebook advert in order to be able to communicate with the tech giant. His advert was rejected with “This ad contains or refers to content that has been blocked by our security systems (#1885260)”. This error code means nothing to mortals, so he tried to complain. First, he had to agree to “four sets of legal terms”, after which he was told “Thanks for helping us improve!” He was down five euro and still didn’t have an answer. “It appears that Facebook will only look at problems if they realise that it might cost them too much political or media capital if they continue to ignore them”, he explained.

A few days after the author of the article below presented the case to a Facebook PR person, the problem was magically solved. Nobody had reported thebiglebow.ski for abusive material: it had simply been incorrectly labelled by Facebook’s automated tools as spam.

Now either watch the movie if you have not seen it and pour yourself a White Russian when you do, if that’s your thing.

(Link: medium.com, image thebiglebow.ski)

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January 24, 2019

Viktor & Rolf show ‘instagrammable’ meme dresses

Filed under: Design,Fashion by Orangemaster @ 5:59 pm

Dutch design duo Viktor Horsting and Rolf Snoeren (aka Viktor & Rolf) have recently presented their spring-summer couture collection at Paris Fashion Week, featuring highly ‘instagrammable’ dresses.

The bright coloured tule dresses boast texts that read ‘I’m not shy I just don’t like you’, ‘Go to hell’ and ‘Go fuck yourself’, the later with each word on a colourful candy hart.The ‘weed’ dress shown above matches the colours of many of the tourist shops in downtown Amsterdam.

Fun fact: eight kilometres of tule were used to make the dresses.

(Link and photo: parool.nl)

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November 24, 2018

Instagram cat gets own student ID in Groningen

Filed under: Animals by Branko Collin @ 5:47 pm

Professor doctor Doerak (pronounced ‘Durak’, from Russian Дурак) is his name and he is well-known character at the University of Groningen, where he frequents law school classes.

That is why this cat of Instagram received his own student ID card a few weeks ago. His owners, who live next to one of the university buildings in the city centre, requested their cat got a student card. The administration replied: “We are working on it. An invitation to pick it up will follow.”

Jorien Bakker, spokesperson of the university, told local university magazine UKrant: “We liked the idea. Doerak is a sweet cat. He is a good student and we appreciate how much he means to students and staff.”

(Illustration: screenshot of Durak’s Instagram account)

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September 15, 2018

Amsterdam’s discarded mattresses to be published in book

Filed under: Literature,Photography by Orangemaster @ 6:05 pm

Earlier this month, we told you about French woman Nastassja Guay Bonnabel who draws naked people on mattresses. This week, Dutch documentary filmmaker Miguel Narings wants to put all his discarded mattresses pictures in a book, possibly including some from Bonnabel.

Why does a filmmaker want to make a book about discarded mattresses? Because Narings also has an instagram account where he has been posting pictures of abandoned mattresses in Amsterdam for a few years.

He has started a crowdfunding campaign to get this book published, and has a stock of over 1000 photos, including some sent to him from around the world.

The book will be called ‘Mattresses of Amsterdam’, of which the book’s graphics will be created by graphic designer Bella Donna. Narings needs 8,000 euro to publish his book and as I write this has collected 535 euro.

(Link and photo: parool.nl)

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September 2, 2018

An instagram of naked people drawn on mattresses

Filed under: Art by Orangemaster @ 12:32 pm

Here’s a fun Dutch-based instagram account for you: the Mistress of mattresses: French woman Nastassja Guay Bonnabel draws naked women and men, both alone or together in all kinds of different configurations and poses on discarded mattresses in Amsterdam and clearly also abroad.

For over a year now, she’s been roaming the streets of the Dutch capital, looking for all kinds of mattresses to doodle on. Your old mattress could be next.

(Link: vice.com, Photo Mistress of mattresses)

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August 12, 2018

Rotterdam artist lives off drawing on bananas

Filed under: Art,Food & Drink by Orangemaster @ 9:49 am

Artist Stephan Brusche from Rotterdam, South Holland not only has a banana-filled instagram account, but also a wonderfully concise job description: “I draw on bananas”. Check out his instagram and be prepared to see bananas and other fruit like you’ve never seem them before.

This is Brusche’s day job now, having quit working as a graphic designer. He has been turning the yellow fruit (technically a berry) into works of art for about six years. He uses tools such as toothpicks, a knife, and a ball-point pen to transform his bananas. The entire process, from sketching out an idea to sharing it online, takes two to three hours. And yes, he does it the bananas afterwards, a question he gets a lot. He also seems to do a lot of cutting and sculpting, not just casually drawing. Subjects range from movies to animals to a lot of recognisable symbols and items.

“[One day at work] I noticed I still had a banana left from lunch and figured it would make a fun picture if I just drew a little happy face on it. I discovered how pleasant it actually is to draw on a banana – there is just something about how smooth the ballpoint pen flows on the structure of the banana peel.”

(Link and photo from iSteef’s instagram account: mashable.com)

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September 22, 2017

A Dutch instagram full of catcalling men

Filed under: Online,Photography by Orangemaster @ 2:39 pm

Twenty-year-old Amsterdam resident Noa Jansma was so fed up with getting catcalled by men on the street she decided to take selfies with the men who catcalled her in the background to show that it does happen. Even though a lot of people know this happens, a big chunk of the population isn’t subjected to this type of harassement, so some people still think it’s not a problem. One of the men in the pictures followed her and harassed for 10 minutes – let that sink in.

Jansma says she had no clue how to react to this behaviour. If she yells back, they get aggressive and if she does nothing, she feels as if they could do anything they wanted to her and get away with it. I know exactly how she feels and it’s a horrible feeling. And being harassed is not a compliment.”It’s clear that if a man on the street says they want to fuck me that it’s not a complement”, says Jansma.

Although she’ll stop soon enough because it’s taking a toll, have a look at Dearcatcallers to see all the morons. And the worst is they all agreed to be in a picture with her – they think this is normal behaviour. The pictures were taken in Barcelona and in Amsterdam. Same mierda, different ciudad.

(Link: parool.nl, Photo of wilted tulip by Graham Keen, some rights reserved)

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April 29, 2014

Voting booth ‘stemfie’ to be contested in court

Filed under: Online,Photography by Orangemaster @ 10:31 am

Following up on the selfie, Dutch word of 2013, there’s a new variant, the ‘stemfie’, which means taking a selfie while voting. The Dutch word for vote and also voice (noun) is ‘stem’, hence ‘stemfie’.

The trend kicked off during the last municipal elections on March 19, but now it’s time to go to court over it. Posting a selfie with your filled out voting ballot violates voting secrecy and therefore should be forbidden, according to the Dutch Foundation for the Protection of Civil Rights. The Ministry of the Interior has no problem with selfies and even encourages them, but this foundation claims international jurisprudence and says it’s a big no-no.

For the upcoming European elections, Belgium’s Guy Verhofstadt, campaigning to be head of the European Commission, has told voters, “Send us your selfie, showing us where or how you enjoy the benefits of European integration. Did you just board an airplane on a cheap flight or crossed a border without having to use your passport or to change currencies? Put it on your instagram profile and tag it with #selfEU.”

Illegal or not, I’m more worried about electronic voting in the Netherlands. In 2007, the government axed electronic voting because hacking into the devices was child’s play, and in April of this year, they’re planning to reintroduce electronic voting.

UPDATE (9 May): ‘Stemfies are not forbidden’, says a high court in The Hague (in Dutch).

(Links: www.markpack.org.uk, www.binnenlandsbestuur.nl, www.neurope.eu)

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