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Jan Libbenga

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Dutch government gags Oyster researchers

The publication of a scientific paper by Radboud University that discusses design flaws of the MIFARE chip in cards such as the Oyster travelcard may be in jeopardy. Dutch secretary of state Tineke Huizinga has urged the university not to publish any secrets that may lead to abuse. Last week researchers from Radboud University …
Jan Libbenga, 25 Jun 2008
Flag Germany

Google's Gmail verboten in Germany

Travelers to Germany will no longer be able to access Google's Gmail the easy way due to the firm's long-running trademark lawsuit with German businessman Daniel Giersch. As from Friday, German Gmail users and travelers in Germany are greeted with the following message: "We can't provide service under the Gmail name in Germany; …
Jan Libbenga, 24 Jun 2008
Flag Netherlands

Dutch boffins clone Oyster card

Researchers of Radboud University in Nijmegen in the Netherlands managed to crack and clone London's Oyster travel card. They were able to take free rides on the Underground and even perpetrated a DDoS attack on a Tube gate. Researchers Wouter Teepe and Bart Jacobs used a regular laptop to put credit back on their Oyster card. …
Jan Libbenga, 23 Jun 2008
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Snoop bill opponents post Swedish spy IDs on net

The chief of Sweden's defense intelligence agency admitted Thursday that about 20 of its staff members have had personal information about themselves posted on the internet as part of a mud-slinging campaign. According to Swedish blog Politikerbloggen the information included addresses, phone numbers and even credit card numbers …
Jan Libbenga, 20 Jun 2008
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Sweden ushers in bugging for all

Sweden this evening voted in favour of its controversial snoop law, after the proposal was amended earlier today. Under the new law, all communication across Swedish borders will be tapped, and information can also be traded with international security agencies, such as America's National Security Agency. A total of 143 members …
Jan Libbenga, 18 Jun 2008
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Swedish parliament rejects snoop everyone law

A controversial law in Sweden which would have allowed Sweden's National Defence Radio Establishment (FRA) to monitor all outgoing and incoming communications crossing Sweden's borders didn't get enough votes in parliament today. FRA would have been allowed to read emails and SMS messages and tap phone conversations without a …
Jan Libbenga, 18 Jun 2008
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The iPhone - yours for €1

Germany's T-Mobile is to sell Apple's new 3G iPhone for as little as €1. The normal price for the 8 gigabyte version of the 3G iPhone is €169.95, depending on the rate plan. T-Mobile is only offering the €1 iPhone with a monthly subscription of €59.95. The 16GB version will be priced from €19.95 to €249.95. In the past Apple …
Jan Libbenga, 16 Jun 2008
triangular warning sign featuring exclamation mark

Security breach at Belgacom exposed

Belgacom, the largest Belgian ISP, admitted today that 2,000 of its ADSL accounts were compromised earlier this year. The company discovered details of its subscribers posted on a webpage by hackers who weren’t happy with download limits on broadband internet connections. In Belgium, about 90 per cent of residential ISP …
Jan Libbenga, 11 Jun 2008
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German government approves plod-spyware law

The German government yesterday passed a controversial anti-terror law that would grant police the power to monitor private residences, telephones and computers. Instead of tapping phones, they would be able to use video surveillance and even spy software to collect evidence. Physically tampering with suspects' computers would …
Jan Libbenga, 05 Jun 2008
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KPN tempts Dutch customers with mobile TV

KPN will become the first operator in Europe to launch a nationwide mobile TV service when it begins broadcasting 10 channels across DVB-H next month. The Dutch operator's service kicks off from June 5 and it will offer TV-hungry customers two handsets, the LG KB620 and the Samsung P960, which can receive the broadcasts. DVB-H …
Jan Libbenga, 29 May 2008
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TeliaSonera secures iPhone deal for Nordic and Baltics

TeliaSonera today announced it will bring Apple's iPhone to all Nordic and Baltic countries, including Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Finland, Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia. Until now, the iPhone wasn't available in those countries. TeliaSonera also offers services in Spain and the emerging markets of Eurasia, including Russia and …
Jan Libbenga, 27 May 2008
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Dutch ban voting computers over eavesdropping fear

The risk of eavesdropping has driven the Dutch government to ban electronic voting computers from future elections. The Ministry of Internal Affairs says that the development of safer voting computers has "insufficient added value over voting by paper and pencil". Dutch election officials will return to using paper ballots …
Jan Libbenga, 20 May 2008
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BitTorrent tracker Mininova faces legal action

Dutch anti-piracy body BREIN says it will ask a judge to halt all activities of Dutch BitTorrent-tracker Mininova, which draws over 30 million unique visitors and five billion downloads a month. The site started in January 2005 as a successor to Suprnova.org, which went offline in 2004 due to legal issues. Mininova was already …
Jan Libbenga, 19 May 2008
channel

Unicaresoft loses MSNLock case against Microsoft

Microsoft has won its case against Dutch 46-year-old mother of three Carola Eppink, who wanted to restrict her children's use of the internet by using a self-made program she'd dubbed MSNLock. Microsoft sued her company Unicaresoft to prevent the letters MSN being used in the name of the product. Although the product name had …
Jan Libbenga, 07 May 2008
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Google readies for action against Dutch smut site

Google is girding its loins for action against Pornoogle.nl, a Dutch site which indexes 26,000 movies from 11 Dutch online porn companies and shows previews. Site owner Ruben Doctor has several porn sites under different names. He claims name Pornoogle actually means porn ogle (to stare at porn) and is "just a joke". Jeroen …
Jan Libbenga, 01 May 2008
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Freenet to buy debitel for $2.54bn

Hamburg-based internet access provider Freenet has agreed to buy telecom reseller debitel AG for €1.63bn ($2.54bn). With over 19 million customers the combined company will become the third largest mobile player on the German market, behind T-Mobile and Vodafone but outstripping E-Plus and O2. The companies had combined 2007 …
Jan Libbenga, 28 Apr 2008

This DVD will self-destruct in 48 hours

A German company has introduced a disposable DVD that can be viewed for 48 hours, then thrown away. The DVDs will sell for just €3.99 ($6.44 /£3.20). So, it's about the same price as a new video rental in Europe - and it used to be about the same price as in the US, before the Mighty Dollar shrank into the Pygmy Dollar. But …
Jan Libbenga, 17 Apr 2008
Flag Netherlands

Dutch transit card crippled by multihacks

The introduction of the Dutch public RFID transit pass will be delayed because it can be easily hacked. The final blow was given by researchers from Royal Holloway, University of London, who confirmed earlier findings by Dutch Institute TNO that the card isn't properly secured. The Dutch Green Party and the Social Party have …
Jan Libbenga, 16 Apr 2008
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Nokia coughs up €200m over axed German workers

Nokia will pay €200m to compensate workers for the closure of its mobile phone plant in Germany. It will also establish a transfer company to help staff for at least one year. Some 2,300 employees will lose their jobs at Bochum. Nokia was widely critisised for the closure of its plant in Bochum and infuriated many German unions …
Jan Libbenga, 09 Apr 2008
Pirates ahoy!

IFPI demands $2.5m in damages from The Pirate Bay

The International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI) is demanding $2.5m in damages from Swedish torrent tracking site The Pirate Bay. The compensation claim, which covers 24 CDs, nine movies and four games, was served at the Stockholm District Court on Monday. All four Pirate Bay founders (Gottfried Svartholm Warg, …
Jan Libbenga, 01 Apr 2008
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LiveLeak pulls anti-Koran documentary

Video-sharing website LiveLeak has removed the anti-Koran documentary Fitna by Dutch MP Geert Wilders after receiving threats. "We stood for what we believe in, the ability to be heard, but in the end the price was too high," a statement reads. No details were given, except that the threats were "of a very serious nature". …
Jan Libbenga, 31 Mar 2008
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Geert Wilders faces legal threats over footage copyright

Anti-Islam MP Geert Wilders, whose controversial film Fitna finally hit the web yesterday, has made himself even more unpopular - it appears he forgot to secure copyright on footage used in the movie. Danish newspaper cartoonist Kurt Westergaard, whose depiction of the Prophet Mohammed with a bomb in his turban sparked violent …
Jan Libbenga, 28 Mar 2008
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Dutch MP releases anti-Islam movie

The Dutch cabinet is holding an extraordinary session this evening to discuss the release of the film Fitna by the anti-Islam MP Geert Wilders. Earlier this week Network Solutions pulled the plug on a promotional website for the film and YouTube removed the first part of the videoclip, citing "terms of use violation". Wilders …
Jan Libbenga, 27 Mar 2008
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Domain hijackers forced to return numeric names

Two Dutch companies must return thousands of numeric domain names they got on a first-come-first-served basis from SIDN, the Dutch .nl registry. Numeric domain names are names made up entirely of numbers (eg 1234.nl), or numbers separated by hyphens (eg 12-34.nl). SIDN expected a landrush when it made these domains available …
Jan Libbenga, 26 Mar 2008
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E-Plus kills i-mode service

E-Plus, the KPN-owned mobile operator from Dusseldorf, is ending its i-mode service from April 1. Subscribers will be offered a Surf & Mail Flatrate service instead. E-Plus adopted i-mode in 2002, but as in many other European counties the Japanese-inspired service never took off. E-Plus never revealed the number of i-mode …
Jan Libbenga, 20 Mar 2008

Philips shows gadgets galore

Philips this week launched a slew of products at its Consumer Lifestyle Event in Sintra near Lisbon, including a digital photo frame that doubles as an alarm clock radio and more iPod docking stations than you can shake a stick at. At the rain-battered Penha Longa Spa and Golf Resort, Philips demonstrated the DC910 Docking …
Jan Libbenga, 20 Mar 2008
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Free voice and video firm plans April 1 UK launch

New UK service Voixio is to offer free national or international phone and video calls to internet users. The catch? For every call you first have to watch an ad or commercial. Voixio was set up by London-based Requestec, which specialises in web 2.0 communication applications, including high definition video calling from within …
Jan Libbenga, 17 Mar 2008
Flag France

French Googleslayer gets the green light

The European Commission this week approved the aid of €99m to France with the aim to build a Google killer called QUAERO. The project leaders promise an advanced multimedia search engine and tools for translating, identifying and indexing images, sound and text. QUAERO - Latin for "I search" - was launched as part of the work …
Jan Libbenga, 14 Mar 2008
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Germany to Nokia: Give us back our subsidies

Germany's western state of North-Rhine Westphalia (NRW) has told Nokia to repay all its subsidies plus interest by 31 March or face legal action. The German state paid €41m in aid for Nokia's mobile phone factory in Bochum, under the condition that at least 2,800 jobs would be created. However, the Finnish mobile giant is to …
Jan Libbenga, 11 Mar 2008
channel

Police raid CeBIT stands

German police raided 51 booths at the CeBIT computing show this week because of breaches of audio compression (MP3) patents. According to senior prosecutor Hans-Jurgen Lendeckel, several mobile phones, screens, sat navs and MP3 devices were seized. Italian firm Sisvel, which itself has a booth at CeBIT in Hall 19, filed patent …
Jan Libbenga, 07 Mar 2008
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Europe hits one million FTTH broadband connections

The number of countries with fibre to the home (FTTH) connections is continuing to expand, according to an updated global ranking issued by the Fibre to the Home (FTTH) Councils of Asia Pacific, Europe, and North America. Last week, an Informa report said there were already one million FTTH broadband connections in Europe. The …
Jan Libbenga, 03 Mar 2008
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Dutch tax office deletes 730,000 tax returns

Early tax return filers have been punished rather than rewarded by the Dutch tax office, as a computer glitch meant all their information was deleted. At least 730,000 people will now have to resubmit their 2007 tax returns. No backups were made of the electronically-filed returns, and the only information to survive was the …
Jan Libbenga, 29 Feb 2008
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Siemens to axe 6,000 telecoms jobs

Siemens is to cull 6,800 jobs at its troubled corporate telecommunications unit, after announcing last summer that a relatively small 600 would have to go. Siemens Enterprise Communications division (SEN) plans to cut 3,800 jobs directly, including up to 2,000 in Germany. SEN's headquarters and other administrative and support …
Jan Libbenga, 26 Feb 2008

419 scammers plead guilty in US

Three West African defendants pleaded guilty to federal charges of running an advance-fee scheme that targeted U.S. victims with promises of millions of dollars, including money from an estate and a lottery. The guilty plea proceedings were held this week before US Magistrate Judge Ramon E. Reyes, Jr. at the federal courthouse …
Jan Libbenga, 01 Feb 2008
Identity

SAS extends fingerprint ID system for domestic flights

Swedish airline SAS is extending a biometric security program on national flights from Stockholm and Gothenburg and will roll it out to international flights in the near future. Approximately 50 per cent of all passengers on SAS's domestic flights travel will be able to use the biometric solution, the company announced this …
Jan Libbenga, 31 Jan 2008
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Germany flicks off-switch on DAB

Germany will end Digital Audio Broadcasting (DAB) next year after a ten years experiment. Public radio stations demanded another €180m to keep it going, but the independent commission responsible for the allocation of licence fees says it is over. DAB has been under development since 1981, and Germany was the first country in …
Jan Libbenga, 28 Jan 2008
The Register breaking news

Outrage over Nokia factory closure

German politicians will investigate whether Nokia took unfair advantage of state and EU subsidies after it announced the closure of its handset assembly plant in Bochum in North Rhine-Westphalia. Nokia employed more than 2,300 people there in exchange for EU subsidies. Nokia said production of mobile devices in Germany was no …
Jan Libbenga, 17 Jan 2008
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Nokia shutters German handset factory

Nokia is shut down its Bochum plant in Germany by mid 2008. The closure will affect at least 2,300 Nokia employees, the company said today. Veli Sundbäck, executive vice president of Nokia and chairman of the supervisory board of Nokia GmbH, says production of mobile devices in Germany is no longer feasible due to market changes …
Jan Libbenga, 15 Jan 2008
NATO flag

Nato secrets USB stick lost in Swedish library

The discovery of a USB memory stick containing classified NATO information in a library in Stockholm has prompted a meeting between the Swedish Military Intelligence and Security Service and foreign defence officials. The Swedish Military Intelligence and Security Service is a division of the Swedish Armed Forces Central …
Jan Libbenga, 04 Jan 2008
Warning Speed Camera

Dutch regulator slaps spyware purveyors with €1m fine

Telecoms watchdog OPTA has fined three Dutch firms and their two directors a total of €1m for the illegal distribution of spyware. It is the first time OPTA has imposed fines for spreading malicious Trojans, and has been called "one of the biggest cases of illegal software crime", by the regulator. In 2005, the two unnamed …
Jan Libbenga, 18 Dec 2007
cloud

Privacy storm descends on Dutch health care database

The Dutch Data Protection Authority is investigating claims that a medical database set up by health insurance companies reveals details about nearly every Dutch citizen. Birth dates, social security numbers, health insurance information, and addresses of Dutch celebrities, MPs, and even well-known criminals can be easily traced …
Jan Libbenga, 13 Dec 2007

BlackBerry boss blows raspberries at iPhone

The iPhone? Undoubtedly a very nice product, but there is no virtual substitute for a real keyboard, reckons RIM CEO Mike Lazaridis: "Try typing a web key on a touch screen on an iPhone, that's a real challenge. You cannot see what you type." Lazaridis told European reporters in Waterloo, Canada last week, that he isn't too …
Jan Libbenga, 08 Nov 2007
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Dutch gov spies on Dutch newspapers (not true)

The Dutch Ministry of Social Affairs and Employment denies spying on the Dutch news agency GPD (Geassocieerde Pers Diensten), a joint news service run by 17 regional newspapers. The ministry has had access to a database with unpublished articles and a agenda with scheduled activities since July last year, the news agency …
Jan Libbenga, 03 Nov 2007
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Dutch pull the plug on e-voting

A Dutch judge has declared the use of Nedap e-voting machines in recent Dutch elections unlawful. The 9,000 Nedap-made machines used in the November and March elections were not adequately authorised and at least one type of Nedap machine wasn't even certified. Despite the ruling, the election results will remain valid. The …
Jan Libbenga, 01 Oct 2007

Tulip tries to buy back Commodore brand

Dutch manufacturer Tulip Computers has announced it wants to buy back the Commodore brand it sold to Yeahronimo Media Ventures in 2004 for €22m. The computer maker is planning to bid $1 a share for the US computer firm Commodore, valuing the company at $81m. Commodore, best known for its legendary Commodore 64 computer in the …
Jan Libbenga, 27 Sep 2007
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Music industry cripples eDonkey network

The International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI) has shut down six eDonkey servers in Germany through a series of injunctions from regional courts in Hamburg, Cologne, Düsseldorf, Leipzig, and Frankfurt. The IFPI claims the actions have dramatically reduced file sharing. According to P2P Blog, the servers taken …
Jan Libbenga, 20 Sep 2007
Warning: train

Euro trains gets broadband internet

Thalys will introduce broadband internet access to passengers travelling between Paris, Brussels, Amsterdam and Cologne by 2008, the company announced today. It will be the first international high-speed train to provide this service across European borders. Thalys has selected Nokia Siemens Networks, UK based 21Net and Telenet …
Jan Libbenga, 07 Sep 2007
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Another investigation into Pirate Bay child porn

Swedish prosecutors have launched another invesigation into suspected child pornography, shared through the controversial bittorrent site The Pirate Bay. However, this time police aren't theatening to blacklist the Swedish website. "The Pirate Bay are not suspects," prosecutor Cathrine Rudström told Swedish newssite The Local. …
Jan Libbenga, 03 Sep 2007
Skype logo

Skype violates open source licence

Skype has been convicted of violating the open source GPL (General Public License) by a regional court in Munich. However, it is not its popular peer-to-peer VoIP software that was addressed in court, but a VoiP phone from SMS Networks that the firm sells on its website. The phone uses the Linux kernel, but Skype failed to …
Jan Libbenga, 25 Jul 2007
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AllofMP3.com owner faces jail time

Denis Kvasov, the former owner of Russian music site AllofMP3.com, has been charged with violating intellectual property laws in a Moscow court. He faces a three year jail sentence and a 15 million rouble (€420,000) fine in damages to record companies EMI, Warner, and Universal. AllofMP3.com, the UK's second most popular …
Jan Libbenga, 25 Jul 2007