Archive for January, 2006

Radio Firefox With Jason Schramm

27 Jan 2006

Jason, the guy with whom I did the Blogiarism series on this blog and on his, has his own radio show at the very funky radio station called “Radio Firefox”. In his show on January 25th, he referred to me, to this website and to our collaboration on the blog plagiarism topic, which Randy Charles Morin defined in this context for the first time and referred to it as ‘blogiarism’. The first two episodes of his show are up and ready for download.

In his podcasts of the radio show, Jason points out handy tools and Grease monkey scripts to get things done in Firefox. He also talks about recent search engine related news and about a lot of other things that cross his mind once the red light is flashing above his broadcasting booth.

The episode in which I’m featured was all about Government request for search engine data, Corporate bloggers, Plagiarizing blogs, Google, Google News, Disney/Pixar Deal, Firefox Extensions.

Radio Firefox is a tech-oriented radio show, with a companion website that has podcasts and excerpts from the shows.

Subscribe to the podcast : here

The show isn’t available on the airwaves in Europe, but the podcasts are. Tune in here to get some !


Alfa Romeo Brera Campaign

27 Jan 2006

Okay, like I also said yesterday, I was quite impressed by the ad from Alfa Romeo. I took a picture, but I had to cross the street to make it fit the camera, due to the ad’s ‘largituted’ and width. I went to check the internet for some buzz about it, and I’ve found it over at Adverblog, which coincidentally also covered the SN Brussels Airline campaign I reported about yesterday and today. Here’s my pic of the Alfa ad:

Alfa Brera 1

The USP says: “Geen leven zonder dromen”, translated: “No life without dreams”.

Adverblog points to the Brera Machine Warriors, a site that has a full movie and a trailer about this. I downloaded the WinMedia High Quality file (20mb) and here are some screenshots of it:

Alfa Brera 2

Alfa Brera 3

Alfa Brera 4

The Quicktime files are at 43mb or 55mb, which is rather large, but damn… it’s worth it.

Check out the amount of available formats : Quicktime, Windows Media Player, PSP, iPod and Pocket Pc ! Wow !

Download the clip or trailer at


SN Brussels Airlines Part II

27 Jan 2006

Yesterday I wrote about the “be there in time” campaign from SN Brussels Airlines, here are the two ads that were displayed in the streets. By now I’ve already seen them on various locations, and I think there being spread guerrilla-style because they’re on A3 format and hung in spaces that usually are being used by party-people for their announcements. Not on the official ad billboards, that is.



The first one says: ‘your wife is having her birthday in 2 months?’ – url:, meaning: be there in time.

The second one says: ’save your marriage in 2 months’, indicating that a crisis might appear in 2 months time. To prevent that from happening, … be there in time.

It’s not quite strong for an ad campaign. Funny, but not ‘waw’. The website itself has a very strong point with the personalized voice wake-up call. I like that more than the so-called guerrilla ads. Of course, the ads worked, because otherwise I wouldn’t have gone to check it out, yet still… the call for action is very limited when it comes to a target group. It’s not aiming for ‘friends’ but seems to call only to ‘married couples’ or people who’re currently in a relationship. Perhaps I’m missing the point here, but aren’t ‘friends’ in general tempted to fly too? Could be I’m wrong, but I doubt it.

The website has been changed from design, and the raw block of text has been replaced by two lighter blocks. Apparently because the concept seems to have changed.


Now it also announces a competition that sends the winners on a free trip. Every day until january 31st, 1 duo ticket (read : for two persons) will be given away to the ones that come up with the most original reason as to the ‘why’ they should be given a chance to get away. Let’s hope they do something with the reasons sent in. This might become funny, if there’s a decent roundup for this campaign.


Be On Time With SN Airlines

27 Jan 2006

This morning I went to i-merge for my first day on the job. I had a really great time, met lots of interesting people and got thrown into the action right away. It’s so great to work somewhere where your contribution is valued and the mumbo jumbo you provide might in fact actually help people to shine a new light on a project.

As I went from the train station to the office, I noticed a few advertisments on the corner of the Maria Theresia street and the Tiense Vest (also a street) that were telling me to ‘be there in time’. The URL displayed was, translated: ‘be there in time’ and so when I got to the office and had a moment to surf, somewhere in the afternoon, I went to check it out.

This campaign apparently is something set up by SN Brussels Airlines and it’s a remarkably and funny idea.
On the website SN advertises its low fares for early bookings in a very original fashion and invites you to book from 2 months ahead, between 6 and 8 am in the morning. Because booking so early might require you to get up even earlier, they’ve started a wake-up calling service you can use to surprise your friends or loved ones.


On the site, SNBA invites you to choose on of the 32 set locations and has a specific wake-up call ready. You can pre-listen to the messages on the site before you subscribe one of your friends (or loved ones) and then you can also add a 10 second message from yourself to the preformatted call.

The call itself goes a little like this (translated from Dutch: [Gong] Good morning, you’ll have to choose your friends a little better because one of them asked me to call you up because he wants to go on a vacation with you to (destination selected) with SN Brussels Airline, you know that airlines company with their campaign that says the earlier you book, the cheaper you fly… Wait I’ll pass on this joker to you [then comes your 10 second personalized message]

There are no extra charges for the calls, they’ll try 3 times before they give up calling and unfortunately no voice mail messages are left. But the idea is great ! I love it ! I’ll see if I can dig up some more information about this, but today’s been very busy so it’ll be something for tomorrow. I’ll take a picture from it too, because next to this ad is another huge poster of the new Alfa Romeo car, the Brera, and boy, does that look like a funky car ! There’s got to be something more behind this, I’ll see if I can find more about this too and post it. Now to get some sleep because I’ll have to do some interviews tomorrow to gather some footage for an ad proposal for one of Hasbro’s games. I don’t know if I can say more about this already, but it’s going to be a very cool clip ! … and not just because I’m helping to shape it up :)

Meanwhile, go here to check out the SN Brussels Airlines website (in Dutch)


Cory Doctorow vs DRM, Part II

26 Jan 2006

Continued from part I, this is the second part of Cory Doctorow’s 40-minute speech at the MUHKA in Antwerp, on Tuesday January 24th. Let’s tune in around the 20th minute.

“So let’s talk about DVB and CPCM works. DVB is a private industry consortium, it costs 10.000 Euros a year to be a member, you have to be either a manufacturer, or an academic, or a broadcaster or a film company to join. EFF is a member, my former employer is a member. We represent a manufacturer, an open source manufacturer called GNU Radio and the meetings are subject to a kind of non-disclosure agreement, so you can’t really talk about what’s said in the meetings until DVB decides to go public with it. This is essentially a secret law making process that’s under way there. Then when we’re talking about technical standards, it’s not such a big deal, but as soon as we’re talking about sweeping restrictions, changes to the way the copyright bargain works, it becomes very great indeed.

Warner Brothers, who were represented there – the representative from Warner Brothers is also the chairman of the compliance ad hoc group in the DVB/CPCM group- gave a presentation last year in March in Dublin at the DVB World Conference (.pdf, 138kb) in which they promised that they would see regulatory mandates across Europe, forcing CPCM, and these would mirror the regulatory mandates that forced the broadcast flag in America. This was a proposal that said: ‘people who build digital television technologies should first get the permission of the entertainment industry for all the features that these technologies would have. Now remeber in 1967 to 1984, the movie studios claimed that the VCR would put them out of business, and they sued and they lobbied very hard to get the VCR prevented from being introduced into the market. In fact in 1982, Jack Valenti the mouth piece for the Motion Picture Association went to a congressional hearing at UCLA, and said that the VCRs is to the American film industry as the Boston strangler is to women home alone, as a serial killer. And promised that this would be the death of his industry. And at his exit interview just a couple of years ago when he retired he said he never regretted a word of it, that he still believes that the VCR is dangerous to the entertainment industry and should be banned, and that the brand new motion picture association building in Washington D.C. is called the Jack Valenti building. This is not an industry that is in any position to tell us which feature should or shouldn’t be allowed in digital television.

Read the rest of this entry »


Cory Doctorow vs DRM, Part I

26 Jan 2006

Last night I went to listen to Cory Doctorow in the Muhka, Museum of Contemporary Arts, in Antwerp. I had a great time there. I arrived a bit early so I had the chance to talk a bit with Cory before he started his speech, because he sat right in front of me. The ice was quickly broken because one of my internet buddies and guides, Randy Charles Morin, the coding monkey behind R|Mail and the KBCafe Network and a lot of other stuff, and Cory used to work together on projects as OpenCola and DudeCheckThisOut. The world is a small place when people have the internet :)

After some smalltalk, I asked Cory about his function in the EFF, the Electronic Frontier Foundation. Cory said he had retired from the organization and is no longer an active member since january 1st this year. So then I asked about the broadcast flag and about the possiblility that a higher court in the US may still overturn the ruling that the FCC had exceeded its authority in creating a rule that said hardware must “actively thwart” piracy. Cory believes very much common sense will be strong enough, if the public is aware of the broadcast flags’ content, to overrule the request of organizations as the FCC.

Cory says that the thing that worries him about television is that “in the rubric of making the world safe for television and television safe for the world, we’re endangering some of the fundamental liberties that we enjoy. We’re about to sell out the future of technology, the internet, free speech, due process and competition in order to rescue television.” That indeed is a deadly and dangerous place to be in. Yesterday Cory wanted to talk about some of the ways that’s happening, and how we, as consumers of media or viewers of television can fight back.

Let’s tune in for the first twenty minutes of his speech :

“What this is all about isn’t copyright per se, although it’s often characterized as ‘copyright proctection’ or ‘a copyright issue’. This is about a rewriting of a copyright bargain to encompass areas that have never been countenanced in copyright law. To cover areas of private use and of social contract that have never been within the rights of an author to determine or to set.”

This is a mechanism for bootstrapping a monopoly over who gets to copy one’s works into a monopoly over who gets to design and deploy technologies capable of copying one’s works and which features those technologies will be allowed to have in the end.

The thing that worries me most about all of this is the impact that it’s going to have on free and open source software. Free and open source software is like the proprietary software you’ve probably encountered like Microsoft Windows, Apple’s mail client, the early versions of Netscape and so on. Those technologies are like free and open source software but the difference between them and open source software is that in the case of free and open source software the code necessary to make those programs is published. And it’s published under a license that allows anyone else to take that code and modify it, and understand it and improve upon it and publish it again. Now if that sounds familiar, it’s because of the thing that bootstrapped us out of the dark ages and got us the enlightenment.

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Free AJAX Poll Tool

24 Jan 2006

With this nifty and very funky tool you can easily build yourself a very cool poll. You can also link to existing polls. Let’s check out dPolls, here’s the 5-step setup, after free registration:

dPoll setup

And the end result looks like this :

Create polls and vote for free.

If the poll is created users can subscrbe to it, link to it, see related polls or comment on it.
Clicking the ‘create’ button takes you to an overview which also lists the stats, including pie charts.
[see my example]

Each category has its own background image, careful what you choose there !
Uploading a custom image does not replace the background image, instead it adds a link to a popup screen containing your image.
The captcha seems to be case-sensitive.
The link code is handed out after submitting, the ‘place in your site’ link is a bit misleading, be sure to check this link if you want to use the iframe on your page. I had to try a few times to get it, because if you choose ‘public’ there seems to be no html !
Apparently you can not delete a poll, but you can close it.

Go get your own poll ! – via [Stuck In Customs]


Overpoort Bowl Guerrilla

24 Jan 2006

The guerrilla campaign created by Duval Guillaume in Brussels for the Overpoort Bowl from Ghent is very amusing. They’ve used stickers to turn any round object into a bowling ball. Run locally in Ghent, you could find these stickers almost all over the city, on helmets or city architecture and so on.

In several pubs in the neighborhood, the toilet sign was replaced with a sign in which the icon held its head as a bowling ball.

Overpoort Bowl Toilet

Client: Overpoort Bowl
Advertising manager: Lucien De Vos
Agency: Duval Guillaume Brussels
Creative director: Katrien Bottez, Peter Ampe
Art director: Geert De Rocker
Copywriter: Tom Berth
Graphism: Lim Sijmons
Studio: Mark Gillioen
Production: Willy Hebbrecht
Account: Matthias Dubois

via [AdLand]