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Jan Libbenga

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Warning: train

Berlin bans handy iPhone metro app

Berlin public transportation company BVG has banned a popular iPhone application which helps to navigate the city's vast metro system with over 170 stations. Meanwhile, in the Netherlands Dutch Rail is threatening a student who developed a nifty train timetable for the iPhone. Both BVG and Dutch Rail claim the apps violate their …
Jan Libbenga, 04 Nov 2008
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Flanders demands its own top-level domain

The detente between Belgium's fractious regions is under strain again after the Flemish parliament demanded its own top-level domain. Instead of .be it wants vla, .vln, .vlaanderen or .fla. Kris Peeters, the prime minister of Flanders, says he will look into the possibility of creating such a domain extension. The Internet …
Jan Libbenga, 22 Oct 2008
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Dutch court orders Google to reveal Gmail user

Google Netherlands has agreed to hand over the IP addresses of a Gmail user in an alleged spy case. The CEO of Dutch internet incubator company iMerge suspected that a former disgruntled employee, who also acted as a system administrator, had secretly created an auto-forward rule in one of the company's mail servers. Several …
Jan Libbenga, 20 Oct 2008
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Crazy Frog won't croak again

News Corp is killing Crazy Frog, along with the brands Jamba and Jamster. News Corp's mobile unit today announced a reorganisation of its business to "extend its global leadership in the mobile content industry". And yes, the hideously annoying frog - the first real star of mobile content, according to Jamba CEO Maura Montanaro …
Jan Libbenga, 20 Oct 2008
White_iphone_3g_SM

EU battery rule may zap iPhone, blow away MacBook Air

The EU is readying a new set of directives that could spell trouble for Apple's iPhone and any other gadget that lacks an easily removable power pack. A new, draft batteries directive mandates that power cells inside electronic devices must be "readily removable" for replacement and safe disposal. This isn't the case with the …
Jan Libbenga, 07 Oct 2008
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Microsoft turns Live Searchers into gamblers

Believe it or not, Microsoft has added a Vegas-style slot program to its Dutch search engine to lure users away from Google. If useful search results don't work, then money or prices probably will. When you search with Google, through Luckysearch.nl or MSN.nl, the reels will spin. You can win LCD screens or laptops or get a …
Jan Libbenga, 02 Oct 2008
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Germans give peeking Google one in the eye

The town of Molfsee near Kiel in the north-western German state of Schleswig-Holstein doesn't want to be filmed by Google for its Street View program, a service that provides 360-degrees street level images via Google Maps. The leader of the Christian Democratic Union on the town council told the Lübecker Nachrichten that "we …
Jan Libbenga, 30 Sep 2008
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Norway sends entire citizenry's ID info to media

Norway's national tax office erroneously sent CD-ROMs crammed with the 2006 tax returns of nearly four million people living in Norway to national newspapers, radios and tv stations, news agency AFP reports. Although tax statements have been open to public scrutiny in Norway since 1863, the social security number of each citizen …
Jan Libbenga, 18 Sep 2008
iphone_finger_SM

iPhone auto-correct puts Euro tongues out of joint

A Swiss web design company, Fruahjahr, has launched a petition to disable auto-correction on the iPhone. To many non-English users this is an even bigger nuisance than bad 3G reception or poor battery life. It is almost impossible to write an email or an SMS message on the iPhone in a language other than English - the phone ' …
Jan Libbenga, 18 Sep 2008
White_iphone_3g_SM

German court bans VoiP on iPhone

A VoiP application for Apple's iPhone has been banned by the Higher Regional Court in Hamburg, Germany at the behest of T-Mobile. The app - available through Apple's iTunes App Store - allows users to make cheap phone calls using T-Mobile's Wi-Fi network and bypass roaming charges. However, that's not why the app called Sipgate …
Jan Libbenga, 12 Sep 2008
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Neo-Nazi forum hacked

German anti-fascist hackers have broken into the secure forum server of one of the world's largest neo-Nazi groups, Blood & Honour, and copied more than 30,000 pieces of data. Blood & Honour, founded back in 1987 in the UK by Ian Stuart Donaldson, leader of the notorious skinhead band Skrewdriver, has been banned in Germany …
Jan Libbenga, 01 Sep 2008
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Judge bans European-wide online music rights

The UK's Performing Right Society has won a court case over its Dutch equivalent, Buma, preventing the issuing of a Europe-wide licence for online rights. On 19 July 2008, Buma announced that it had issued such a licence to US online music provider Beatport and claimed that it was for worldwide repertoire, including that …
Jan Libbenga, 22 Aug 2008

Dutch unlocked iPhone site takes €700,000 then goes offline

A Dutch online reseller who promised customers simlock-free iPhones has apparently gone missing, leaving coworkers bemused and hundreds of consumers a total of €700,000 in the hole. The owner of the website iPhonehelpdesk.nl has allegedly emptied his offices in Amsterdam and disappeared without a word to his colleagues. Like …
Jan Libbenga, 12 Aug 2008
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Dutch botnet herders arrested

Dutch police have arrested two Dutch brothers suspected of running a botnet controlling 40,000 to 100,000 computers, with only a small portion (1,100 computers) based in the Netherlands. The FBI has been investigating this case for a while before contacting the Dutch authorities. The arrests were made shortly after the two young …
Jan Libbenga, 04 Aug 2008
Michael Dell

Focus plus excitement: Michael Dell talks turnarounds

Interview Despite harsh economic times, Michael Dell hasn’t been complaining. "We've been growing faster than the industry for the last three quarters," the Dell CEO told a group of Latin-American and European reporters. In Round Rock, Texas, a town which wouldn’t have existed today if Dell hadn't established its headquarters there, …
Jan Libbenga, 28 Jul 2008

Dell adds multi-touch to Latitude XT

Dell has announced it's incorporating touch-screen functionality - in the form of an easy-to-install firmware upgrade - on it's Latitude XT tablets. Tablets or convertible PCs are notebooks with a rotating screen that can be used as a flat writing surface. With the free software, users can scroll by placing two fingers on the …
Jan Libbenga, 24 Jul 2008
Flag Netherlands

Dutch university can publish controversial Oyster research

Dutch researchers will be able to publish their controversial report on the Mifare Classic (Oyster) RFID chip in October, a Dutch judge ruled today. Researchers from Radboud University in Nijmegen revealed two weeks ago they had cracked and cloned London's Oyster travelcard and the Dutch public transportation travelcard, which …
Jan Libbenga, 18 Jul 2008
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Swedes call on Human Rights Court to review snoop law

A Swedish organisation headed by lawyers and university professors has lodged a complaint this week with the European Court of Human Rights over Sweden’s controversial new snoop law. Last month, the Swedish parliament approved a law that will grant Sweden's intelligence agency National Defence Radio Establishment sweeping powers …
Jan Libbenga, 17 Jul 2008

Belgian operator will sell iPhone simlock-free

Mobile telecoms group Mobistar SA. will launch the iPhone 3G in Belgium from Friday - but more importantly it will be one of the few European countries where the the iPhone will be totally simlock-free. Belgian regulators forbid "koppelverkoop" (forced bundling), so as a result punters have to pay a very hefty price - the 8GB …
Jan Libbenga, 09 Jul 2008
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NXP sues to silence Oyster researchers

Chipmaker NXP, formerly Philips Semiconductors, is taking Dutch Radboud University to court on Thursday to prevent researchers publishing their controversial report on the Mifare Classic chip. Recently researchers from Radboud University in Nijmegen revealed they had cracked and cloned London's Oyster travel card. Earlier this …
Jan Libbenga, 08 Jul 2008
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BenQ administrator threatens to sue Siemens

Was BenQ Mobile insolvent in May 2006, long before it filed for liquidation? The company's insolvency administrator in Germany, Martin Prager, is preparing a multi-million euro lawsuit against Siemens in the belief that it was. German paper Die Welt broke the news on Saturday, but initially a spokeswoman for the insolvency …
Jan Libbenga, 07 Jul 2008
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Europe drafts law to disconnect suspected filesharers

France has suggested an amendment to the pan-European Telecoms Package, which would bar broadband access to anyone who persists in illegally downloading music or films. Last month, the government of Nicolas Sarkozy insisted on a similar "three-strikes-and-you're-out" scheme for France. Under a cross-industry agreement, ISPs …
Jan Libbenga, 06 Jul 2008

iPhone will ship in green packaging

Apple's new iPhone 3G will be shipped on July 11 in a potato starch paper tray. Apple placed an order with Dutch company PaperFoam, which also makes packages for Motorola. The company confirmed this today to Dutch blog Bright. According to CEO Hans Arentsen, Apple ordered "millions of paperfoam packages" for its new 3G iPhone. …
Jan Libbenga, 30 Jun 2008
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Siemens siphons off 17,000 jobs

German engineering group Siemens is to lay off 17,000 workers from its 400,000 workforce, including 6,450 jobs in Germany alone, as part of an effort to save €1.2 billion. Trade union IG Metall had anticipated only 10,000 jobs as part of a broad revamp of the company's operations. The world economy and oil prices are adding to …
Jan Libbenga, 30 Jun 2008
Euro

Maxdata goes titsup

Maxdata has gone bust. The German computer manufacturer filed for insolvency proceedings at the Local Court in Essen today. The management board has "decided on this step because pending illiquidity puts continued business operations at risk", the company said in a statement. In other words, it has run out of cash. "The high …
Jan Libbenga, 25 Jun 2008