Playstation controllers inspired by russian avant-garde art

Went to visit the Kröller Müller Museum deep inside the Dutch country side (if that exists) last Sunday. Apart form a walk in the rain through the splendid sculpture garden (an absolute must-visit) we had a short (too little time, must come back in the summer) walk through the permanent collection. One of the works that i really liked was this relief (or however you call this) by the russian avant-garde art group UNOVIS: UNOVIS (1921) Suprematistisch reliëf Apart from the beauty of the work as s…

The socio-economic impact of file sharing [popular science edition]

I just finished reading ‘Ups and Downs – the economic and cultural impact of file sharing for music, film and games’ (see my earlier post for context). All in all the full version does not contain a lot of surprises when compared to the executive summary (which my first post was based on): It is a well written report that, although it makes a lot of sense to someone familiar with the subject, does not really come up with much new insights either. The strength of the report is that it places file…

Why trying to become a guitar hero is bad for the music industry but good for the economy

Early last year the Dutch government (the ministry for Economic Affairs, the Justice Department and the ministry for Education Culture and Science to be precise) commissioned a research report on the socio economical aspects of (peer 2 peer) file sharing. Last week the research consortium formed by TNO, SEO & IvIR published the final version of the report titled ‘Ups and Downs – the economic and cultural impact of file sharing for music, film and games’. This 141 page report looks into the e…

Thinking in times of social hypochondria

Finally finished reading ‘Denken in een tijd van sociale hypochondrie‘ (‘thinking in times of social hypochondria’) by the Dutch sociologist Willem Schinkel a couple of weeks ago. By the standards of Dutch sociologists, Schinkel is fairly young (31) and relatively famous (he was one of the 6 summer guests appearing on VPRO’s zomergasten in 2008 [torrent-file here]) which however does not mean that there are any english language references or translations of his work or available on the net (henc…

Good news (2)

So one of the worst things about living in the Netherlands has been that there has been no proper supply with Gold Bears (Gummibärchen) which did reduce my quality of life quite substantially. The only way they have been selling Harbio Gummibärchen has been in those ridiculous 300g bags that contain 30 or so 10g bags that contain macrobiotic quantities of tiny gold bears [the other option was to buy properly sized gold bears from one of the kosher shops in Buitenveldert, that import them from th…

Islam @ the movies

So the big non-news of last week has been the release of the long anticipated ‘anti-islam’ movie ‘fitna‘ by the dutch clown/politican Geert Wilders. not only was he too stupid to release the movie via bittorrent (which would have scaled with demand much better & allowed for better quality) he also actually confirmed what i had always assumed, namely that he is too stupid to make a proper film: ‘fitna’ is not much more than an amateurish powerpoint show that shows that wilders has absolutely…

The kids are alright

So since two weeks or so the counties’ biggest super market chain (Albert Hein) is having some stupid action where you get a plastic smurf every time you spend more than €15 on groceries. Plus the stores are full of smurf themed advertisements and they play stupid smurf music in the background and there is poster advertisements with smurfs on them all over the city. No idea why anyone would think that this is a good thing. As far as i am concerned i can hardly think of anything more insulting an…

Activism as a Non-Tariff Barrier to International Trade?

Patrice has posted an extensvie piece to the nettime-l mailing list that describes a rather bizarre legal dispute between an Indian textile manufacturing company and two Dutch internet service providers (one of them being my own). It comes down to the Indian company arguing that hosting websites that criticize labor conditions in their manufacturing plants constitutes an ‘international criminal conspiracy’: Now eight Dutch citizens, staff persons and directors of the [ISPs], are indicted and req…

Chess boxing riot police...

So the Holland Herald (KLM’s in-flight magazine) runs a story about chess boxing, which is you guessed it a combination of chess and boxing. according to the article a match of chess boxing consists of alternating rounds of chess (4 minutes each) and boxing (2 minutes each). You can win by either checkmate or knockout. The game is inspired by Enki Bilal’s (who i have covered here before) 1992 comic book Froid Équateur and was apparently brought to the real world by some Dutchman (the reason why…

الهيما

This weekend the el hema الهيما project by mediamatic finally opend. The idea behind it is to create an arabic identity for the HEMA store chain (brand) which is about as Dutch as it can get. The project had gotten quite a bit of media attention as HEMA had been so stupid to threaten to sue mediamatic for trademark infringement some 4 weeks back (which is more of less the best free publicity you can get). The whole thing is really well executed (much respect to the whole team that worked on it o…