November 21, 2014

App shows outdoor markets with fresh produce

Filed under: Food & Drink,Technology by Orangemaster @ 11:23 am


Since 18 November, the app ‘Buitenmarket’ (‘Outdoor market’) created by Vandemoortele, a European food products manufacturer headquartered in Gent, Belgium, has been available for free through the Google Play Store to find fresh produce near your location. It lists food such as beef, pork, chicken, grain, honey, pears, apples, dairy, vegetables, and miscellaneous foods. The app is in Dutch only.

I’ve installed it and enjoy the look and feel of the app, but there’s nothing really in Amsterdam (pic), although I could always get on my bike. You can click on an icon and find out more about a market, their opening hours, etc.

One review mentions that the app is missing many places. The app is either not quite finished, which is usually the case, or has only added certain venues with a criteria we know nothing about. I would use this app if I were in another part of the country and wanted to see if I could grab some local produce, and for that I’m keeping it on my phone.


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October 14, 2012

Croquette merger cancelled

Filed under: Food & Drink by Branko Collin @ 8:00 pm

The merger between two of the giants of the croquette industry has failed, Z24 reports.

Manufacturers Ad van Geloven and Royaan failed to come to an agreement. This means a new lease of life for the famous Van Dobben brand.

As we reported in November last year, two of the largest manufacturers of the deep-fried Dutch delicacy called croquette or kroket were to “form a company with a combined turnover of 246 million euro and almost 1,100 employees”. Ad van Geloven is behind the Mora brand, and Royaan behind Kwekkeboom and Van Dobben.

The Dutch agency that tries to keep competition in markets fair, the NMa, had given its blessing to the merger last month on the condition that the Van Dobben brand would disappear altogether from supermarket freezers.

(Photo by Omid Tavallai, some rights reserved)

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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 (‘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 23, 2009

Man dies during Dutch ‘RIAA’ raid

Filed under: General by Branko Collin @ 9:11 am

Anti-‘piracy’ bureau BREIN, the Dutch equivalent of the infamous RIAA, scored its first kill last Saturday. Literally, I am afraid. During a raid on a market in Beverwijk, a 47-year-old man from Waalwijk accosted by the raiders died of a heart attack, reports Blik op Nieuws (Dutch). The police were presumably testing that the requisite taxes on empty CDs and DVDs had been paid, and were accompanied by a posse consisting of people from the FIOD (tax police) and the Thuiskopie and BREIN foundations.

Interestingly, the story of the police and of witnesses differ substantially, writes Noordhollands Dagblad (Dutch). According to the former, the man had a heart attack after running away from the merry band of official and self-appointed copyright hunters, after which the police tried to administer first aid. Witnesses however claim that the man did not run away, and that everybody just stood there, without helping the victim.

You have to wonder why private organizations like BREIN are even allowed to accompany the police on raids like this.

(Photo by Flickr user Sheep Purple, some rights reserved.)

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June 22, 2009

Trading private parking spaces

Filed under: Architecture,Automobiles by Branko Collin @ 9:32 am

In such a densely populated country as the Netherlands, it may appear strange that many private parking spaces are empty during the day, when their owners are off to work. tries to fill this ‘gap in the market,’ as the Dutch say, by bringing together the owners of both cars and private parking spaces.

A quick look at the Amsterdam section of the website shows that the recently started company hasn’t attracted many users yet—although to be fair, there is fairly little usable private parking space in Amsterdam. The spaces on offer in the old docklands, on IJburg and in West all seem to be in the parking garages of new buildings, with spaces smack in the city center going for 300 euro a month.

(Via press release aggregator

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April 30, 2009

Queen’s Day 2009

Filed under: General by Branko Collin @ 1:30 pm

Being a bit of pack rat, the Queen’s Day nation-wide flea market has always had a bit of a dangerous attraction for me. Oh no, not more stuff to hide away in the house! This year I decided to turn things around and get rid of some of my mathoms through the vrijmarkt.

I am back early, here to tell you that people don’t know quality if it’s right under their noses! In the space of four hours I sold all of two ping-pong balls, my high school Dutch grammar text books, a small comic book, a cigar case, a medical dictionary that Orangemaster gave me to sell, and another small comic book that the purchaser came back two minutes later to return because at her young age she did not speak German yet.

Conclusion: henceforth I will stick to buying. It’s what I am good at.

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May 19, 2008

World Book Market success?

Filed under: Literature by Branko Collin @ 8:00 am

Amsterdam tried to hold the largest book market in the world yesterday with 1,000 stalls covering an area between the Nieuwmarket and the Stopera (city hall / opera). When I arrived there around 11 am, a number of stalls looked like this: empty, except for the occasional bit of advertising. The area around the windy yet sunny Nieuwmarkt, where I met a number of fellow Project Gutenberg volunteers I hadn’t met before, was nicely populated though.

Heske Kannegieter, the organiser, told me on the phone she thought the market had been a success. According to her, 900 stalls had been rented out for the day.

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May 16, 2008

Largest outdoor book market next Sunday in Amsterdam

Filed under: Literature by Branko Collin @ 9:24 am

On Sunday May 18, Amsterdam will host the world’s largest outdoor book market, or so the organisers claim. The 1,000 stall market came about because this year sees Amsterdam as Unesco’s book capital of the world. Organisers are De Kan who each year hold the much smaller outdoor book markets on Dam Square, Waterloo Square and Heineken (!) Square, so expect lots of second hand books and antiques. The market will be held in the Eastern part of the city centre, an illegal pimp’s spit past the Red Light District.

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December 29, 2007

Dolphins outperform market analysts

Filed under: Animals by Branko Collin @ 4:15 pm

Dolphins perform better at the stock market than market analysts do, a recent experiment at the Harderwijk Dolfinarium suggests. The animals got to pick five balls that represented companies. Five stock analysts got to pick five companies that they thought would do well in the market. After a year, the dolphins’ stock had increased 27% in value, but that of all but one of the analysts had decreased in value. The one analyst that made a profit only made 10%.

In previous years similar experiments were done with a gorilla, with similar results. The gorilla got to pick from a number of labelled bananas that represented companies, and made a profit of 15% above market index. Obligatory joke: they had to switch to dolphins because the gorilla kept eating the bananas.


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