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Jan Libbenga

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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

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
Warning Stop

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 …
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, 5 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- …
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, which went offline in 2004 due to legal issues. Mininova was already …
Jan Libbenga, 19 May 2008

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, 7 May 2008
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Google readies for action against Dutch smut site

Google is girding its loins for action against, 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, 1 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

Commodore goes titsup (again)

Commodore International is close to folding. The Dutch company that owns the brand was declared bankrupt this week, but a spokesman said it will appeal the court order. The original Commodore International, an American company best known for the legendary Commodore 64 computer in the 1980s, declared bankruptcy in 1994. However …
Jan Libbenga, 18 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 …
Jan Libbenga, 9 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, 1 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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