Nieuwe dubbeldekkers van de NS

De NS presenteert vandaag haar nieuwe dubbeldekkers en het Parool heeft er een foto-reportage van. Ik heb nog nooit zo’n schone trein gezien, maar wussap met al dat goud? De plee lijkt wel een bordeel toilet uit de jaren tachtig met opgeplakte gouden letters om aan te geven waar je je ‘jas’ moet hangen?

Category: Dutch | Nederlands, General | Tags: , ,

Net zoiets als de overgang?

Britt Dekker. Ik heb eerlijk gezegd geen idee wie ze is. Maar ze huilt, volgens het Parool, om uitgelekte Playboy foto’s (wat klinkt dat toch vies :-/). Op het eerste gezicht gok ik dat er meer hersenweefsel in haar borsten zit dan in haar hoofd – maar wacht, ik mag niet op uiterlijk oordelen. Dan maar op haar reactie op de uitgelekte foto’s:

‘Die uitgelekte foto’s voelt echt kut, beetje als de overgang de menopauze. Je bent bang dat het eraan komt, maar je hoopt dat het bij jou niet komt’.

Erm… okee… ik blijf bij mijn eerste oordeel.

Lady Gaga frustrations

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Lady Gaga just released her new album Born This Way and although I really want to like her music, I simply can’t. It’s repetitive and lacks the catchy pop melodies and pioneering production that her great aunt Madonna has always been so good at.

This surprises me as Gaga is apparently quite musically gifted; an accomplished pianist and composer of hit songs for other artists. That’s something that Madonna can’t claim (although Madonna compensates by surrounding herself by highly talented producers and musicians).

Both women are obviously very smart and savvy at developing their flamboyant and often shocking image into a brand of its own and I greatly admire Lady Gaga for how she’s managed to do that in such a short space of time. Her flamboyant and humorous music videos are the only thing that enable me to listen to an entire song of hers.

Why is this frustrating me? I want to like her music because I admire her. The two interviews she did with Jonathon Ross convinced me that her extravagant appearance is a great camouflage concealing an extremely intelligent woman.

Oh well, I suppose I’ll just have to watch her videos on YouTube and resign myself to admiring an artist without liking her ‘core business’. Some may argue that music is not her core business, in which case – there’s no problem 🙂

Ik kan de toekomst voorspellen

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In 2007 werd ik geïnterviewd door het Financiëel Dagblad – waarom weet ik eigenlijk niet meer. Maar ze ontfutselde mij voorspellingen over mijn werk in de toekomst waarbij ik het had over bewegend werken met computers. Nu blijkt dat ik gelijk had! Vandaag presenteert Google haar nieuwe product Google Motion (bewegende interactie met de PC). Het is natuurlijk een 1 april grap – maar tóch had ik gelijk! 😉

Klik op het plaatje van het artikel voor een grotere weergave.

Category: Gadgets / Tech

LIFE = DATA

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Last night Bits of Freedom organized another Big Brother Awards ceremony here in Amsterdam. Prizes were awarded to companies, individuals and governmental institutions that had most threatened our personal privacy during 2010. Unsurprisingly, very few winners showed up to accept their dubious awards.
Below is the short film I made to kick-off the evening: LIFE=DATA

Getting Ripped Off On Kindle Content

Amazon’s Kindle e-Reader is hugely popular and I can understand why. If you are a voracious reader and perhaps travel a lot, then the ease of taking hundreds of books with you within the mere 250 grams of the Kindle is fantastic. I personally don’t own a Kindle but have downloaded the free app on both my iPad and iPhone. It syncs through Whispernet which basically works as follows:

  • I purchase Patti Smith’s autobiography “Just Kids” for $9.99 through the Kindle app on my iPad.
  • It goes through my Amazon account and is paid for by the credit card linked to that account.
  • When payment has been processed (in a matter of seconds) the Kindle app downloads the book to my iPad (also a matter of seconds, depending on the size of the book, obviously).
  • I start reading and get to page 23 before switching off the iPad.
  • That evening I switch on my iPhone to read in bed (the iPad really is too heavy for that and it’s winter, so sticking my arms out of the covers is too cold).
  • I launch the Kindle app on my iPhone which automatically detects that there is new content to be downloaded and proceeds to do so.
  • “Just Kids” appears in my Kindle library and if I click it it goes straight to page 23 as it has synced my ‘furthest’ position in the book with the iPad from earlier on.
  • I love this system. It really makes it so easy to read at any given moment without having to lug your book(s) around with you. One word of warning, though. If you have a toddler, as I do, who likes to play with your mobile devices, try not to let him start up the Kindle app and start flicking through your book as you will lose your place… synced over ALL your devices 🙁 **Learned the hard way**

    Reading on the iPad and iPhone isn’t as great as on the Kindle itself because Kindle uses e-Ink and the iPad/iPhone screens are lit and therefore cause more eye-strain. The advantage is, however, that you can read in bed without a light on.

    But now for my angry rant about Kindle content (and other e-Reader content, for that matter, as this problem seems quite universal).
    I paid $9.99 for the Kindle version of “Just Kids” and was disappointed to find that it did not include any of the photos that are included in the hard copies of the book. When I checked back at Amazon for the other copies I was frustrated to find that the paperback including photos is sold for $6.98 with free shipping.

    Why are publishers as obtuse about the great possibilities of digital media as the record companies are? They are charging more for an electronic version of a book which they do not need to print / distribute / wrap / mail etc. I can only read it on a Kindle device (if I ever switch to another e-Reader I cannot read the books I paid for), I may not lend my books to a friend (DRM restrictions) and in the above mentioned case, I paid more for the electronic version of the book despite the fact that it contained less content (i.e. photos).

    I want to purchase legal content, but refuse to be ripped off like this, so if an electronic version of a book is stripped and costs more, I shall buy the paperback version. Actually, by my reasoning, even identical versions of a book should be cheaper in the electronic edition. I’d love to hear from a publisher who can explain to me why it should be more expensive.

    And while this is going on, the publishers and record companies keep calling downloaders thieves?!?

    Apple Care Support Centre

    Last week I had this rather surreal telephone conversation with an employee at the Dutch Apple Care Support Centre. It was regarding my recently purchased iPad which appeared to have a dead pixel. After spending ten minutes on hold at the cost of €0,10/min, I was connected to “Mick”. Now I have often spoken to very friendly, competent and patient Apple Care employees, but Mick rubbed me the wrong way from the start with his incessant interruptions and patronizing tone of voice. This is more or less how our conversation went:
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    Category: General | Tags: , , , , ,

    Mac Book Air 11-inch

    Mac Book Air 11-inchNo, alas, I am not going to be the one writing this review as I don’t own the gorgeous 11″ Mac Book Air, but I did recently purchase an iPad, so I’ll get round to writing a review about that a.s.a.p.

    During the past few weeks I have been enjoying an incredibly nerdy e-mail correspondence with my old friend Eric about various Apple hardware and software (chiefly iTunes library sharing/syncing, my favourite subject). There will be a post about that soon, but first I wanted to share with you his experiences of the new 11″ Mac Book Air.

    Take it away, Eric…

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    Category: Gadgets / Tech

    UPC wil dat je in de meterkast telefoneert

    Onlangs heb ik internet van XS4ALL en telefonie van KPN ingeruild voor alles van UPC waar ik het volgende pakket heb besteld:

      Fibre Power 60
      Standaard Telefonie
      Digitale TV Royaal HD met DVR

    Best een riante combinatie van diensten en UPC biedt ook nog 100% installatie garantie – dus dat zal wel goed komen, dacht ik. Wat UPC niet vertelt is dat ze alleen garanderen dat de diensten werken op het punt waar het kabelsignaal je woning binnenkomt. Bij de meeste nieuwbouw huizen is dat in de meterkast. In de meterkast sluiten ze het modem aan – anders kunnen ze niet garanderen dat je de snelheid en stabiliteit krijgt die ze beloven.
    Prima, maar hoe zit het dan met computers, telefoon en de decoder voor digitale TV aansluiten?

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    Category: Internet | Tags: , ,

    Wilfred and the heart-attack

    Here’s a Monday morning Wilfred.

    Wilfred and the heart-attack