April 13, 2018

Country’s first 5G venue to be in Amsterdam

Filed under: Dutch first,Sports,Technology by Orangemaster @ 3:09 pm

At the start of the new 2018-2019 football season this summer, the Amsterdam ArenA will officially be renamed the Johan Cruijff Arena (no big A) and become the first stadium in the Netherlands to offer 5G technology for devices. Together with the Allianz Arena in Munich, which held the World Cup in 2006, they will be the first 5G stadiums in the world.

Many countries will start using 5G for general use in 2020, but not the Netherlands. For now, the only Dutch folks using 5G is the Ministry of Defence to chase down terrorists and cybercriminals. The Netherlands will be a bit late to the party, making 5G available for everyone as of 2023 and possibly even 2026. However, football fans will be able to enjoy the new tech this summer.

(Link: parool.nl, Photo of flag by Wikimedia user Carolus Ludovicus, some rights reserved)

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January 12, 2016

Bike paths are too busy, cyclists take risks

Filed under: Bicycles by Orangemaster @ 12:54 pm

A recently published report by the Foundation for Traffic Studies (SWOV) on the use of bike paths in Amsterdam and The Hague has reached the major conclusion that bike paths aren’t wide enough, and extrapolates their findings to other big cities during rush hour. As well, 20% of cyclists fiddle with their smartphones while cycling, four out of five cyclists don’t look around them when passing others (something Dutch driving lessons hammer into you) and one of out 20 cyclists cycle the wrong direction.

The report points out that many bike paths are not wide enough to accommodate the flow of cyclists, although 90% of people cycle with a standard sized bike. It does say that scooters are bigger and tend to add to the traffic, but only account for a small percentage of bike path users. Half of the locations observed in both cities during rush hour are too busy and the risky behaviour mentioned above is not making cycling any safer.

In Europe The Netherlands is the king of ‘cycling usage’, with 84% of the population owning a bike, while Denmark takes top place for ‘cycling advocacy’. The legend of there being more bikes than people here – a unique occurrence in the world – is still true. The real threat to safety remains scooters because they go too fast. The effects of having moved them off the bike path in Amsterdam has not yet been observed and reported.

In this older video below, there’s a cyclist moving ahead of the green light, which is wrong but not a huge deal. There are people completely outside of the cycle lane going wide and that’s slightly annoying. And then there’s some freestyling that is risky and inconsiderate. I’ll admit to pulling some stunts while cycling, but I categorically refuse to do anything with my smartphone and don’t listen to music.

(Link: www.iamexpat.nl, www.swov.nl, Photo by Flickr user comedynose, some rights reserved)

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October 3, 2015

Fairphone 2, more expensive but easier to repair

Filed under: Sustainability,Technology by Orangemaster @ 8:27 pm


In 2013 we told you about an ethically sourced smartphone, the Fairphone. Today the Fairphone 2, which runs a customised version of Android 5.1, sells the idea that it is ‘as repairable as a modern smartphone gets’.

Owners can replace the screen, microphone, speaker, camera, and main circuit board using nothing more than a screwdriver, with all the replacement parts available directly from Fairphone. The new phone has gone up in price from €325 to €525 and is concentrating on turning into a movement rather than just being a product.

The company’s founder and CEO Bas van Abel says that the most ethical smartphone is the one you already own. The fact that the phone can easily be take apart is quite the party piece.

(Link: www.theverge.com, Image, screenshot of video)

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August 12, 2014

The NoPhone, the no-tech smartphone for addicts

Filed under: Gadgets by Orangemaster @ 10:27 am


There are people addicted to using their smartphones, and maybe you’re one of them. Fear not, you can buy or ask someone to buy you the NoPhone, so you can finally have conversations with humans instead of checking your phone the whole time.

Dutch creatives Ben Langeveld and Ingmar Larsen together with a couple of New Yorkers thought up the 3D printed NoPhone, a black rectangular bit of plastic that feels like a smartphone in your hand, but isn’t one.

According to them, a person touches a smartphone about 150 times a day, significantly reducing a person’s real-life interaction. The NoPhone is like the pen a smoker puts in their mouth to ease cravings.

I bet people would buy the NoPhone for someone else as a huge hint that watching them stare at their phone is annoying. In fact, Langeveld and Larsen made the NoPhone with that specific type of addict in mind.

(Link: www.adformatie.nl, Photo: NoPhone)

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May 31, 2013

Charging your phone at the train station in Rotterdam

Filed under: Dutch first,Technology by Orangemaster @ 7:00 pm

The folks at Dutch Rail (NS) are currently testing a post called the ‘ChagR’ (pic with complicated instructions) that would allow two commuters at a time to charge up their mobile phones for free while they wait for the train. Some 110,000 people take the train every day from Rotterdam Central Station, so if this were to be implemented, more posts would be a must.

Although Dutch Rail has said to be thrilled about the idea, commuter response has been apathetic, with only 40 people having used the post, which works for micro USB, iPhone and even ordinary batteries. The instructions are apparently long-winded and more testing is needed, but the idea is not bad.

I would rather charge my phone in the train and ideally plug in my laptop there as well. I picture easy smartphone theft as well and two people at a time is way too little charging power.

(Link: blog.phonehouse.nl, Photo of train by Flickr user UggBoy hearts UggGirl, some rights reserved)

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May 24, 2013

Ethically sourced smartphone looking for pre-orders

Filed under: Sustainability,Technology by Branko Collin @ 11:22 pm

A Dutch company has started building a mobile phone that they say is made from conflict-free materials by well-paid workers while also addressing what happens once the phone has reached the end of its life.

The phone is called the Fairphone and the manufacturer is still looking for customers who would like to pre-order one. Apparently they need 5,000 orders to start production. Currently they’ve sold 2,400 phones, 48% of their goal. The pledge drive lasts for 19 more days. Techcrunch calls this the world’s first ethically sourced smartphone.

The Fairphone runs on Android, uses a quad core processor, has dual SIM trays and both a front and rear camera. The price is 325 euro.

UPDATE 6 June: they have their 5,000 orders and have crowdfunded 1,6 million euro.

(Video: Vimeo / Fairphone, Image: crop from the video)

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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.

(Link: www.nrc.nl)

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March 8, 2012

24 Oranges goes mobile

Filed under: General by Branko Collin @ 10:38 am

Starting today 24oranges.nl has a mobile version of its website.

You can access this version using the same address as always. The mobile version is much leaner and is optimised for small screens. We use the very popular WP Touch plug-in for this.

If you are reading this on a mobile device and still see the old design, tell us which device you are using in the comments and we’ll see what we can do. The desktop version of this site should work well on tablet-sized screens and bigger, while the mobile version is intended for phone-sized devices.

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February 20, 2012

Red Cross first aid app downloaded 322,000 times, applied 1,500 times

Filed under: Health,Technology by Branko Collin @ 10:50 am

The Dutch Red Cross reports that its smart phone first aid app EHBO Op Zak (‘first aid in the pocket’) has been downloaded 322,000 times.

A survey among 6,400 users also indicated that the app has been used to help give first aid 1,500 times.

The app is free and is available for the IOS, Android and Mango platforms. It contains instructions on what to do for 54 types of emergencies. The app was launched in the Summer of 2011 in the Netherlands, and a similar app was launched in December 2011 in the UK.

For those without a smart phone there is a PDF with 7 scenarios.

(iPhone screenshot: iTunes / rodekruis.nl)

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January 31, 2012

Dutch pop music on postage stamps

Filed under: Music by Orangemaster @ 4:32 pm

Yesterday, the Dutch post office started selling a special postage stamp with the music of famous Dutch singer songwriter Boudewijn de Groot, which, if you scan it in with your smartphone you can hear his hit Land van Maas En Waal. Other Dutch artists are also featured in this series of Dutch pop music (‘Nederpop’), including Doe Maar, Het Goede Doel, Guus Meeuwis and Frank Boeijen, which will be out eventually.

I hope they include some women as well, dear post office.

(Link: www.entertainmentbusiness.nl)

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