December 17, 2016

Dutchman spies on guy who stole his phone

Filed under: Technology by Orangemaster @ 2:03 pm

The sound at the beginning of the film is of a tram in Amsterdam, although this short graduation film by Anthony van der Meer entitled ‘Fine My Phone’ had support from the institution he graduated from, the Willem de Kooning Academy in Rotterdam.

Every week in the Netherlands 300 police reports are written up for smartphone theft, explains Van der Meer. After having his phone stolen in Amsterdam, he used Find My iPhone and caught ‘a few metres’ of how far his phone went before it was turned off. He wasn’t bothered so much by having his phone stolen, but more that a stranger had access to all his photos, videos, contacts and so on. A thief just has to switch SIM cards and reset the phone for Find My iPhone to be totally useless.

To make this short film, Van der Meer installed spyware on a new phone and purposely let someone steal it. He then remotely recorded audio, photos, and videos from the phone and made a 20 minute film about the guy who stole it.

It’s in Dutch with English subtitles, and a good part of it can be understood visually thanks to many computer screenshots, including one to show us that Arabic appeared on his phone and a few other cool things you should see for yourselves.


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October 31, 2016

Phone insurance company insults local hero

Filed under: General,Technology by Orangemaster @ 1:21 pm

The Netherlands has a lot of water near roads, and cars regularly fall into the water, something that is a fact of life.

In Barendrecht three weeks ago Raymond Heijboer jumped into the water to save a woman from drowning in a sinking car, which he did, and all was well.

However, being the hero that he was, he jumped in the water with his ‘insured’ iPhone, which got ruined and the insurance company didn’t want to give him a new phone because he “willingly” jumped into the water.

With what I’m sure was a ‘screw this’ feeling he got from the insurer, his luck turned and a radio show called him up early one morning at home and decided to give him a brand new water-resistant iPhone 7 live on the air. Of course it was a stunt, but it was a good move.

Having heard about the radio folks giving Heijboer a free phone, the insurer called Heijboer up and tried to offer him something as well. The insurer offered to pay Heijboer “for the value of his iPhone on the day of the incident”, which didn’t exactly make the hero very happy, especially after receiving a new and better phone from total strangers. In a letter, the insurer tried to make it sound like they cared, but offering a new deal after the radio stunt makes them look a bit pathetic.

In fact, it would have almost been better for the insurer not to change their stance instead of doing pseudo damage control after being nailed on Dutch radio. And giving the guy a free phone in the first place would have done wonders for their reputation, but apparently they were too busy counting their money and having no heart to care.

(Link:, Photo by William Hook, some rights reserved)

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May 26, 2016

Dutch master has mobile phone in it

Filed under: Art,Technology by Orangemaster @ 9:35 pm

Apple’s CEO Tim Cook has been working in Amsterdam this week, and he also decided to soak up some culture by visiting the Rijksmuseum with former European Commissioner Neelie Kroes.

Cook’s eye fell on a painting from 1670 entitled ‘Man handing a letter to a woman in the entrance hall of a house’ by Pieter de Hooch, where the letter looks a bit like a mobile phone. Cook did think it was a Rembrandt because well, why not, and he also thought the letter looked like an iPhone, when it fact it looks more like a smaller type of mobile phone if you ask me.

Until January this year the Mauritshuis in The Hague had an exhibition entitled ‘Dutch Self-Portraits – Selfies of the Golden Age, which definitely has a mobile phone quality to it.

(Link: www.at5, Photo by William Hook, some rights reserved)

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May 22, 2015

Bosch your photos, there’s an app for that

Filed under: Art,Photography,Technology by Orangemaster @ 12:01 pm


Making the rounds since last fall and distributed by Dutch company No Strings, the Bosch camera app lets you add some Hieronymus Bosch characters to your pictures. I gave it a quick spin with my paper bin (see pic) and it is fun and easy to use.

“Bosch camera reanimates 500 year-old creatures and people taken from the paintings of Bosch. A stroll in the woods or a visit to the local supermarket could turn in an awesome adventure.”

It’s Bosch’s famous characters that keep so many people intrigued, even to the point of deciphering buttock music from the famous painting ‘The Garden of Earthly Delights’, which is currently the object of feuding Spanish museums.

(Link: Hieronymus Bosch The Movie on Facebook)

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June 25, 2014

Apple looking to hire native Dutch speaker

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.

(Link:, Photo by William Hook, some rights reserved)

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December 19, 2013

Guys from Utrecht hook Apple’s Game of the Year 2013

Filed under: Gaming,Technology by Orangemaster @ 11:07 am

Screen shot 2013-12-19 at 10.51.55 AM

Two guys from Utrecht, Rami Ismail (25) and Jan Willem Nijman (23), created the game app for iPhone and iPad Ridiculous Fishing that has been chosen as Game of the Year 2013 by Apple. The game was based on a film they saw about overfishing tuna. The main goal is to avoid catching fish on your line. If you do catch some fish, then you have to reel them all in and eventually you get to shoot them in the air.

They had months of struggling with other game studios copying and remaking their originally free game, but after eating noodles for four months and going for gold, Ridiculous Fishing took off and both guys are now rich, making 12,000 euro a week, and sometimes 30,000 to 50,000 euro a week. The game costs 2,69, it is selling like hotcakes and there will be an Android version one of these days.

(Link and screenshot:

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October 26, 2012

iPhone app helps against snoring

Filed under: Gadgets,Health by Orangemaster @ 1:04 pm

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.

(Photo by Flickr user RelaxingMusic, some rights reserved. Links: De Gelderlander, Omroep Gelderland)

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February 22, 2012

Smart phone takes bullet, saves man’s life

Filed under: General by Orangemaster @ 11:48 am

The life of a man from Rotterdam was spared, as the iPhone in his left breast pocket took a wayward bullet, saving his life. Four more bullets were shot at the man, but missed.

The police are still looking for a suspect, and there’s 10,000 euro in it for information leading to an arrest.

The guy took his bullet ridden iPhone home. I can imagine him framing it and putting it on the mantle.

(Link:, Photo by William Hook, some rights reserved)

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August 2, 2011

iPhone app for dog pooh and bike carcasses

Filed under: Animals,Bicycles,General,IT by Orangemaster @ 12:03 pm

The iPhone app ‘Opgeruimd’ (‘Cleaned up’) being tested in Amsterdam West, where my personal experience says many users still don’t have smart phones as the population is kinda poor, lets people tell the district where annoying dog pooh and old bike carcasses can be found. Instead of calling or commenting on a website to complain, now the rich can use their iPhones, while anybody else can’t. You see where I am going with this.

You can even send in pics and the exact location of the annoyance until 1 November 2011. If all goes well, the rest of iPhone using Amsterdam can vent their grievances, while all us non smart phone, HTC, or other users will continue to be ignored by the city.

(Link:, via


January 4, 2011

Charge your iPhone with wind power using the iFan

Filed under: Bicycles,Gadgets,Sustainability by Orangemaster @ 12:18 pm

Dutch designer Tjeerd Veenhoven has come with an ‘iFan’, a way for him to charge his iPhone while cycling, I guess, to work and back, and around town.

Smartphone batteries don’t last long in a day, especially if you do more than just call and be called. A friend of mine usually asks his husband before they leave somewhere if he is ‘all charged up’, not if he is ready to go, just to give you an idea of the sign of the times.

The iFan, made with a modified computer fan, is a rubber skin that just slides onto the phone and charges when the wind blows, taking 6 hours to fully charge an iPhone. As Veenhoven writes, “rather long I think… but it works.”

He plans to see what he can do about making the fan blades smaller and have the thing charge from a car and the likes. I enjoy reading about his thought process as well, which keeps it real.

(Link:, Photo: Tjeerd Veenhoven)

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