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Down Under

Aborigines performing at Crown Street Mall, Wollongong. credits: Wikipedia Commons.
Down Under in the news; a tragic shooting, with some luck survived by a Dutch backpacker who became a hero, something that could have happened anywhere.
For a few days it took away international attention from a much bigger tragedy: the Australian Aborigines.
I like to think know something about Aborigine history. But even after having been there twenty times, having travelled every corner of the big island for a total of more than three years, I still don’t get it. Even worse, the more I read the Australian media about the Aborigine problems, the more books I read about Australian history, the less I understand about the Aborigine soul.

The B-word

Next week it’s Tabloid Day at the newspaper were I’m working, last months all hands on every deck having been busy preparing , restyling, learning new tricks, and, pretty important, learning how to write shorter (and better).
Temporarily there’s not as much attention for Internet and multimedia as there should be, but that’s gonna be alright, in time to come. If not out by vision, then because of the market: publishers that don’t take part in the Internet rat race, will find themselves empty handed at the finish – that is, if there ever will come and end to the race.
Most of my colleagues don’t seem to understand it yet, but there’s De Nieuwe Reporter(The New Reporter) to tell them it’s paramount that they start blogging.
Translation in Dutch at @ DutchCowboys

Badonkadonk and Death by Milk

Do not try this in Holland, because before you’re around the very first street corner it will be confiscated by grumpy men in black or blue, but in Britain or the US it’s somewhat easier to drive your own soapbox, powered by something that roars.
You have to pass some kind of MOT, and if brakes, headlights and steering are doing a decent job you receive some kind of green slip and you’re on your way. One should try to emigrate to the US for less.
I doubt if the Badonkadonk Land Cruiser Tank is ‘street legal’, because on most pictures I can find, it’s badonkabonking around in the Black Rock Desert in Nevada, during the Burning Man Festival. However, if you’re prepared to pay 20.000 dollar, and you have a very big back garden, you can badonkadonk in in Holland. She’s for sale on Amazon.

iPhone, YouPhone . . . .

Maybe I should have become a marketeer. Some weeks before Xmas (2006) a song sang in between my ears, when Apple delayed the introduction of it’s cross-breed between phone and iPod. Then, somewhere first week of December, LinkSys, either sensing problems or opportunities, presented a new model of its iPhone, the name than mum Cisco had registered seven years earlier. So, I thought, Apple will come with its own phone, but what will be its name?

The 80/90 Zeng Rule

My black Aldi’s, love and admired as well as despised and hated in the editorial desk room where I’m spending way to much of my time, have led to mail and real time listeners.
An elder classic audiophile needed only seconds of listening to tell me the boxes (as well as the amplifier) are crap, but some younger colleagues with a tiny budget thought the jet black heavy speaker boxes from the German retailer ‘ stellar’.

Was it The Fool, speaking Dutch?

Real (Dutch) Beatles fans know the answer to the question: in which song, written and recorded by The Beatles a sentence is spoken in Dutch? The answer is ‘I Am The Walrus’, where someone says ‘Dat zouden ze wel willen’ in the dying seconds of the song.
In English that would haven been ‘they should (have) want(ed) that’, or something similar. Play a bit with the settings of you favorite MP3 player and you will find it.
Translation in Dutch at @ DutchCowboys

@ The Market Place

During the renovation (initially a one year project, for a number of reasons finished in 3 years and 3 months), and after moving back into our little 1895 house we’ve become fanatic Marktplaatsers. Marktplaats means MarketPlace, it’s the original Dutch eBay, as a matter of fact taken over by eBay, but still running on the original platform, same layout, same name, even while eBay operates in Dutch at
We found our moving boxes at Marktplaats, sixty good boxes for thirty Euros (‘only one time used’), en we’ve sold three quarters of them for the same amount after the removal, on Marktplaats again (yes: ‘only one time used’).
Translation in Dutch at @ DutchCowboys

How to handle Internet Errata?

How to handle errors published on a website? I’d never thought about it until 1995, when an evident error caught my eye, while reading The Daily Planet, then still King in the Land of the Blind Men, those who’d not seen the Internet light yet.
I mailed the webmaster, listening to the remarkable name of Francisco van Jole, and I remember I was very surprised when a reply arrived in the very same minute I’d send my remarks. Not only the webmaster, but even the man really existed, in that tenderly awakening digital world!
Translation in Dutch at @ DutchCowboys

The New Reporter

Google video: reporter gets stoned. For real?
Took me some time to land there, but I’ve become a regular visitor now: De Nieuwe Reporter.
A group weblog they call it themselves, but as I even haven’t got a clue how to label my own digital playground – blog, photo blog, weblog, website, web2.0, (mini)portal? – I call website what’s got http before URL.
Like VillaMedia and De Journalist, and hundreds, thousands of websites in The United States and all over the web, dedicated to journalism, they offer non-journalist to have a peek backstage, behind front-page or screen.
Translation in Dutch at @ DutchCowboys

Zune: no future?

Google Video: Walktrough of Zune interface (13 minutes by Engadget)
Do you ever care what I am writing here about Mac or PC, iPod or Zune?
While I harbour yes for an answer, there’s a writing super trio that does make a difference. One Microsoft doesn’t care about at all, not at least because it’s not for sale. Walt Mossberg writes about computers in The Wall Street Journal, David Pogue – mostly in Circuits – in the New York Times, and John C. Dvorak for everybody anywhere, except for Microsoft.
Translation in Dutch at @ DutchCowboys

The Dutch Diebolds

The longer, the more I work with computers, the less I trust them. Next Wednesday is election day over here in The Netherlands, so it’s all about voting – and voting computers – in the newspapers over here every day.
Some people, who know a lot about it, come and tell that there’s nothing wrong with our voting computers, and that they’re much more reliable than the red pencils. Even though in a number of cities in Holland the red pencil is the preferred way of voting next week, because of problems with the machines.

Mail: so yesterday?

Be warned, those who just completed an e-mail course for seniors; better stop reading at the end of this sentence. Because e-mail is tired, not wired, so outdated, has-been, redundant. E-mail is not cool, no more, Internet youth (is there youth somewhere that doesn’t use Internet?) use e-mail for only thing: to communicate with old people.
Youth rather use – apart from mobile phone text messaging – something form the broad spectrum of different ways of chat serving, like Windows Live Messenger, MSN, GoogleTalk, or one of the numerous chat servers on the Internet, or somewhere in some online community.
Translation in Dutch at @ DutchCowboys

Google Earth

Lots of flying these days, in Google Earth. It was an easy prediction: since Google announced that the greater part of Holland is covered in high resolution now, alarming stories appeared in the traditional media, and also in the newspaper were I am working. The silly season barely gone, and politicians too busy with the November election as well as the wake of the fire in the detention centre at Schiphol airport, that killed eleven people, no new questions asked in parliament yet, but they will come, later.

Clearing and cleaning

Our living room, after moving back to our little old house, is corresponding with my digital household: everything is for the time being. While in our real world water, gas and electricity are up and running, it’s the same story in my little virtual planet. The iMac, the ISDN/ADSL, sound, everything is running like a greased lightning, but sooner or later a lot of things have to be taken care off.
While our new couch has been delivered in parts and has to be constructed according to the Ikea rules and drawings, a door has to be hung, a shed to be build, I still don’t know what it’s all going to be digital.
Translation in Dutch at @ DutchCowboys

Moving ADSL

So we’re back. Moving an household with a lot of help from some good friends is one thing, unpacking the boxes, deciding what to dump where, cleaning up, finishing a lot of small and bigger things is gonna take some more time.
In between packing, moving and unpacking I couldn’t resist the temptation to knot some wires together. Curiosity may have killed some cats, but I wanted to know if KPN and Euronet had succeeded this time in quietly moving the ISDN/ADSL combo without too much hassle.
Translation in Dutch at @ DutchCowboys

The Black Aldis

With the finish of my renovation marathon almost there – moving back into our old house next Saturday – comes time. Time which I could spend keeping myself busy with my sound.
While I’m writing this in TextMate on the iMac the Airport streams my collection of narco tango’s an classic rock – iTunes is almost always on shuffle – to our 25 year old Pioneer combo. The Sony boxes that were connected to it in the past went kaflooie one day. One of them started rumbling like a erupting volcano, and when I touched one of the speaker cones it fell apart in some kind of thick dust and mouse poo.
Translation in Dutch at @ DutchCowboys

Is Google a Mr. of a Mrs?


The HP Garage is California Historic Landmark No. 976 — Birthplace of Silicon Valley. (1939 photo)

I’ve asked the question on the Movable Type Community Forum, some time ago, when my server almost collapsed under comment spam form porn- and viagra sellers: male or female?
While the thread in question, like everything else that ever will be written in the future, can be found by Google in a second: Is a server a he, or a she, like a ship?
Translation in Dutch at @ DutchCowboys