Archive for the ‘Thoughts’ Category

First Rant Of The Year

04 Jan 2008

Hah. I hope everyone had a great seasonal break and a very well executed leap from the past to the future. May 2008 bring you joy, happiness and a lot of things you dream of. As usual with such occasions, other people say things better than I do so:

Obligatory quote: “Cherish your yesterdays, dream your tomorrows but live your todays.”

Thank you, Phillip Vandervoort. ;-)

And so we get to the order of business. I would like to thank 3/4th of my address book for sending me chain mails ‘which they usually don’t do but hey you never know’, so in the past year:

  • I’ve won at least 7 big lottery tickets, who’ve apparently gotten my e-mail address because some friend enroled me. Party invitations will follow as soon as the cash comes in!
  • About 150 times, my hotmail account would have been deleted unless I would forward an email to all people in my address list, for which Bill Gates (who is still giving away his fortune) then would donate 1 cent per email I’d receive back, and I have received MANY!!!
  • I have accumulated 3000 years of bad karma and have died about 50 times for all the e-mails my spam catcher actually caught and thus they never reached me, unfortunately. So I could not take the appropriate actions.

So, given that last fact I need to spend my fortune fast ! But:

  • I donated a lot of money to the poor litte Amy Bruce, a young girl with a Nigerian bank account who has been in the hospital for over 7000 times (which is really bad, especially since the girl still remains 8 years old, even since the first email was sent out in 1995)
  • I didn’t receive the free Nokia cell phone yet which I was supposed to have had because I would be the next winner if I would put my name and email address on that list and send it to 25 friends, but I haven’t given up hope yet!
  • I did enter my name amongst 3000 others on a petition to save the starving and nearly extincted shaven red-blue scaled yellow-feathered night owl, so I contributed to the protection and safe-keeping of nature and such.
  • I have learned that the recipe for TRUE LOVE (combined from 3 emails) is in fact to write a boy’s/girl’s name on a piece of paper, think really hard about him/her whilst scratching your butt when holding your breath and then running up and down the stairs 7 times on your bare feet after a walk through the grass filled with morning dew. AND I expect this true love to call me the day after tomorrow at exactly 12.45 PM CET.
  • I have received at least 18 poems of the Dalai Lama, and by reading them aloud 7 times in a row each, that should kind of bring me guaranteed luck for the next 3752 years (which would compensate with the 3000 years of bad karma accumulated and mentioned above)
  • I have ordered 3 backup hard disks to cover the potential virus damage of the trojan horse that none of the known virus scanners could see but (combined from 5 emails) that is only text based with one image of a naked lady and would delete my entire C: drive while playing Led Zeppelin’s ‘Stairway To Heaven’ during a tilted screen as if Titanic would sink, as soon as the email would open.

So, I think it was a good year, and I expect 2008 to be at least as good. And by the way:


Just so you know.

Thanks for the idea, Arns. It made me feel better, just like you promised.


Posted in Thoughts


The End Of Social Networking

20 Dec 2007

Urgh. Now it’s official I HATE SOCIAL NETWORKS. I’ve been relatively patient with the various networks that found their way to my PC screen. Time and again I have entered my data, favorite movies, favorite dish, restaurants, people I like and dislike. I’ve been part of social networks as soon as they started to appear and as it comes to ‘networking’ which is the entire point of social networking, I’ve done my share of participation. But recently, I have become very very disgruntled by this initiative called Spock. I never signed up for Spock and have ignored the dozens of emails of people who begged for my trust on this network. I saw no added value other than the fact that it bothered me already with dozens of requests before I even knew about it. What is the use of requesting trust and practically begging for it by sending out a blast of emails. Trust is something you need to earn, and people have to give it to you. Asking for it is like starting with a cherry and putting cake around it. Trust is the cherry, it needs to be on top.

Then very recently, somebody said: hey did you know the tags on Spock for your name are [list of all tags here, going up to 30 tags], and that just pisses me off. If I choose not to be on a network, by which law has this network the right to add me and to add tags to my name? Seriously, this is becoming a dangerous precedent. I’d like to compare it with the telemarketing lists of companies that call you to ask for your valued opinion or to offer you an extremely exceptional product. This is wrong. Very wrong.

It appears to me, Spock scraped my linked-in profile and added every word of my work history as a tag. Not only do I think linked-in needs to file a complaint about this, because Spock is leeching on their network, I also think that Spock is violating my privacy by taking data from a site I enrolled to, who specifically promised to take care of my data very well. Spock breaks this promise by nicking my data.

To me, this ties the knot for social networking. Screw it. I’ve had enough. I’m going to make everything private and send emails to every service I did not sign up for that holds my data, to kindly ask them to remove it. Other than that, I think the time calls to have an organization of some sort where you can enlist, a little bit like we have the Robinson list for emails and marketing actions. If you’re on that list, nobody is entitled to add you to their service unless they have specific approval.

Which then brings me to another thing I’m kind of bothered about. I use social networks to add people I know, with experience in a certain field, so I can contact them when I need to. Facebook is ruining this for me. Last time I logged in, I had vampire invitations, zombie invitations, snowball fight requests, pillow fight requests and so on. As much as that seems funny, it’s totally useless and a waste of time. Other than the fact that most of the applications then ask you to invite all your friends to join, which I definitely don’t want to seeing the professional nature of some relationships, I still have my serious doubts about the sense it all has to make. Is social networking really all about recruiting a zombie army? About converting people to vampires? To me it isn’t. And I’m tired of it. I will kick out any entertaining application on Facebook and strip it down to a minimum, because the day this thing turns loco, I don’t want to bomb people I respect with a load of crap.

Today, when you look around, social networking is all about entertainment. The level of seriousness and of trust has dropped to the likes of an average show in NBC or Fox. Now people make lists of best friends, and when they did that, they invite you to compete to become bestest friend. And if you’re on the bestest friends list, you can go through a selection process and become part of an entourage… Jeez. I have better things to do. If you want to connect with me, you know where to find me. If you want to add me, sure give me a reason and I will add you. If you want to send me a private message with a question, go ahead and I’ll answer. But please leave me alone with all the other sideshows and gadgets. Really.


Back From Switzerland

27 Oct 2007

I spent most of the past week at a very chilly place, high up in the Swiss mountains. Totally disconnected from the net I had some time out with some colleagues for a team offsite of the DPE (developer platform evangelism) TimeZone Audience Marketing & Win The Web team. It was actually one of the best offsites I ever went to and I had a super great time. I took a bunch of pictures too. If you’re in to seeing some people you don’t know and a lot of cool wallpapery scenes, feel free to check out the Flickr set.


Blog Sticks

19 Dec 2006

So, thank you Maarten, Robin, Geert and Randy for throwing me the blog sticks. I think I have enough to start a campfire by now :) Apparently you guys are very interested in those 5 things about me. So, just to satisfy in your tabloid needs, here are the 5 facts about me you always wanted to know but were afraid to ask when we were chatting.

  1. My graduation paper that got awarded with a ‘bachelor award of excellence’ in Flanders was actually written in 3 hours because I had forgotten the due date and was only remembered of it because a fellow student had changed his nickname on MSN into ‘f*cking paper, I hate you’. So I asked him what was up and he said he had been working on it all night because it was due at 1 PM. At that time it was 11 AM. I handed in mine at 3 PM (had to take the train to school etc) – The paper was supposed to be around 20 pages and I had to put in over 10 pages worth of screenshots to make it. And still people thought it was good. Hah.
  2. When I was still young and innocent, I’ve been an altar boy for several years in the church in my street, until the priest caught me eating all the Hosts before the service and also because I kind of lost interest in the entire ‘church thing’. It was pretty cool to ring the bell too early or too late though, because that really annoyed the priest and the entire church was looking at you in a ‘when the hell is he going to hit the gong’ kind of way. Sheer power :)
  3. I was a loner during elementary school and I bought off friendship with candy. During lunch recess we got to play soccer, and I always had to be the goalie because I was a little more fat than the other guys of my class. They were also playing in local youth teams so I never got to play ‘in the field’. Then we got to the finale of the inter-class competetion and we ended up taking penalties. All the wizzkids missed their shot, or it got blocked by the goalie. Then, because we ran out of ‘pro’ players, I finally had the chance to actually try to make a goal. I kicked the ball right under the cross of the goal and all of the sudden I was everyone’s friend, at least for the next week. Then I got back to being the goalie because no one else wanted to do it.
  4. I loved to draw and doodle when I was in high school and did some graffiti work back in the days, mostly on bridges or electricity cabins next to railways. I used the skill to write the names of the girls and boys in my class in some fancy urban style and they loved it. It made me less of a loner. I had a few anarchistic, anti-establishment friends when I was about 15 or so, but I needed a look-out for a nightly job and invited them to come along. I planned do to a nice piece of futuristic city-scapes, but all they wanted to do was spray things like ‘fuck the state’ and ‘imperialistic whores’. I started bombing the wall, but since the punks were smoking and drinking and spraying themselves, they failed to keep an eye open for possible witnesses. Then the cops arrived and we had to flee on our bikes, into the night. I never cycled so fast in my life. I bet at that time I could’ve beaten Lance Armstrong or so. Anyway, I never got caught because I was still sober. The two punks got arrested and they really wanted to tell my name to the cops, but they didn’t know it. Hah. Hard to tell on someone if you don’t have a name. The two punks had to pay for the repainting of the bridge, and four months later when it was done, I put a nice new piece over the fresh white walls. Felt great.
  5. I played classical guitar for over 6 years, finished my classes of music theory and all that, but stopped going to the music school because I never got to play on an electrical guitar like the guys from Metallica, which was why I started studying guitar in the first place.

Bonus, because I got four sticks:

  1. I participated in the Belgian Championship of 1995 for the “Magic: The Gathering” fantasy card game. I ended up with the last ten.
  2. My dad and me are bee keepers. Every summer we harvest honey from them. It just fascinates me how they live, what they do and I can spend hours just sitting in front of the boxes, watching the bees fly in and out.

Hmm. Who should I pass this on to? Kris? Oh, no you just got it. Most of the other bloggers I know or read have already been tagged with this in one way or the other, or they’re not into personal things on their blogs. I’ll just ask it out in the open. Whoever wants this stick, drop a line in the comments and I’ll link you here.

First stick goes to Grapplica | second stick goes to Darren Straight


Doritos With Salt

05 Dec 2006

Het NMI sticker, dat op de gokkasten wordt geplaatst dient als bewijs dat de gokkasten door de overheid zijn goedgekeurd.


10 Things To Do To Save The Planet

16 Oct 2006

Al Gore’s movie is getting a lot of attention. It deserves that, because it’s making a good point. We’re wasting the world as we have it and we’re heading for disaster if we don’t start acting today. A .pdf file went viral and it’s going around from mailbox to mailbox. In it, 10 things are listed which you can do (easily) to help save the planet. I’ll list up the 10 things here and add my contribution blogwise instead of forwarding it to my entire address book.
(Click for larger image)

Visit for more info | download the .pdf
The trailer has been posted to YouTube

An Inconvenient Truth

Google Buys YouTube

09 Oct 2006

Says MarketWatch: “after reports of talks with YouTube surfaced last Friday, many analysts said that they believe Google’s competitors will now seek to buy imitators of YouTube to keep pace. On Monday, the boards of both Google and YouTube approved the terms of the deal, which was announced after the market closed.

Over the last two days, Google and YouTube executives have compiled an extensive list of ways to integrate the two features. There’s now plans to soon incorporate YouTube videos into Google search results, and to make YouTube part of Google’s AdSense advertising feature, according to Google co-founder Sergey Brin.”

Says Coolz0r: Good, at least the videos will start loading now and no longer slow down the blog. Oh no, wait…

“YouTube founder Chad Hurley, during the same call, said that it was Google’s “revolutionary ad program that inspired us.” Plus, he added, “we wanted to remain independent. By working with Google, that’s still the case.”

Says Coolz0r: Damn. At least make Google host the videos… for the love of blogs and loading time…

Google to buy YouTube for $1.65 billion in stock.

Says Coolz0r: stock isn’t going to put butter on the bread, but okay. Let’s hope the AdSense brings in enough. Oh wait. There are hundreds of videos that violate the terms… hmm. A round of user-banning is coming up. The delete button is going to need replacement. Anybody knows a factory that produces ‘delete’ buttons? Major client coming up… :)

Is Google now responsible for all the illegal content? If so: lawyers, aim your arrows!

$1.65 billion. $1.65 billion. (I had to type it twice to fully comprehend.)

I thought YouTube was estimated on $1 billion. Did Battelle know? Even he thought $1 billion was way too much. Now it’s 65% more. Looks like the GOOG guys are trying to get rid of their stock. How much is there left to give away anyway?

Ah well. Good luck, YouTube, and congrats Google.

*continues living*


How Not To Start A Social Network

07 Oct 2006

Ask WallMart. They know. They announced the launch of their network ‘The Hub’ two months and a bit ago, claiming they would be the virtuous MySpace, the sane and clean network which they thought was missing in this world wide web. They’ve pulled the plug already, as AdAge reports:

Less than three months after launching its quasi-social-networking site aimed at teens, Wal-Mart has shut down the Hub. [...] “The Hub” was designed by Wal-Mart to allow teens to “express their individuality” but it screened all the content, informed parents when their children joined and forbade users to e-mail one another. [...] In August, the site attracted 91,000 unique visitors, according to ComScore Networks. Social-networking giant garnered 55.8 million unique visitors the same month.

Okay. So let’s put it in perspective: there are quite some cars out there, but I think there’s one missing especially for teens, namely mine. So I create a car, but it has no doors so you have to crawl in the way I tell you to. If you turn on the radio, I’ll make sure your parents know what station you tune in to, for how long and what music you listened to. You can only pick up people who have an RFID chip that unlocks the window, otherwise they won’t get in the car. For evey friend that enters to drive along, I’ll contact your parents and inform them who you picked up, where you picked them up and how long they rode with you. See how stupid that sounds? Yet still, WallMart thought it would work. I guess not.

From the start people have been saying that the WallMart approach isn’t the right approach. Teens don’t want you to talk to their parents about what they do online and who they know. It’s the reason the internet is so popular. You can be whoever you want, talk to whoever you want to talk and block anyone you don’t like. Why would anyone want to give up that freedom, when it’s only a click away?