• warning: Creating default object from empty value in /home/cvwuaemp/domains/ on line 33.
  • strict warning: Non-static method view::load() should not be called statically in /home/cvwuaemp/domains/ on line 906.
  • strict warning: Declaration of views_handler_argument::init() should be compatible with views_handler::init(&$view, $options) in /home/cvwuaemp/domains/ on line 744.
  • strict warning: Declaration of views_handler_filter::options_validate() should be compatible with views_handler::options_validate($form, &$form_state) in /home/cvwuaemp/domains/ on line 607.
  • strict warning: Declaration of views_handler_filter::options_submit() should be compatible with views_handler::options_submit($form, &$form_state) in /home/cvwuaemp/domains/ on line 607.
  • strict warning: Declaration of views_handler_filter_boolean_operator::value_validate() should be compatible with views_handler_filter::value_validate($form, &$form_state) in /home/cvwuaemp/domains/ on line 159.
  • strict warning: Non-static method view::load() should not be called statically in /home/cvwuaemp/domains/ on line 906.
  • strict warning: Declaration of views_plugin_style_default::options() should be compatible with views_object::options() in /home/cvwuaemp/domains/ on line 24.
  • strict warning: Declaration of views_plugin_row::options_validate() should be compatible with views_plugin::options_validate(&$form, &$form_state) in /home/cvwuaemp/domains/ on line 134.
  • strict warning: Declaration of views_plugin_row::options_submit() should be compatible with views_plugin::options_submit(&$form, &$form_state) in /home/cvwuaemp/domains/ on line 134.
  • strict warning: Non-static method view::load() should not be called statically in /home/cvwuaemp/domains/ on line 906.
  • strict warning: Non-static method view::load() should not be called statically in /home/cvwuaemp/domains/ on line 906.
  • strict warning: Non-static method view::load() should not be called statically in /home/cvwuaemp/domains/ on line 906.

Message To The Internet

If I land on your site and a pop-up explodes in my face with some lame commercial, I will immediately click away to a random site using my Stumble button, or pressing Backspace. No matter how interesting your site may be.

Got that, internet?


Don't make me repeat that.


I'm not a huge user of 'social bookmarking' sites. Even with all the options to specify your preferences, so you get exactly the ads - sorry - information you want, it's mostly the most spectacular or the dumbest mainstream news that tends to pop up. Nevertheless, these last couple of months I've become something of a regular Digg user, especially during my lunch hour. When I don't feel like going to the company 'restaurant', I spend my time browsing through the feeds on Digg while I munch my sandwiches away.

Of course, everybody will have read/heard about now that the nice people behind Digg introduced a new version. And that his new version doesn't work all that well.

It's been driving me crazy, I must have seen that thing a thousand times. Contrary to what a lot of people have been moaning about, I don't mind the fact that the new version is nothing like the old version - I rather like it. But for Pete's sake, make sure it works before you let it loose on the general population!

Are Old Friends Electric?

I was looking at the news the other day, when I saw my old pal Kristof. I haven’t seen him since my student days, which means we’ve lost touch some ten years ago. We were both active in the students’ magazine of the political, sociological and communication sciences department, aptly named Polstok.

And there he was, on TV. Apparently he’s the director of his own firm now, and they have a worldwide scoop: playing digital games in real-life environments. A group of players – the police – have to catch a single person – the crook – in an area of a square kilometre in the city centre of either Ghent or Antwerp. They have to track him by GPS and ‘shoot’ him by mobile phone (or GSM as we call it). More information on their site, but for the moment it’s only in Dutch.

The whole thing started me thinking about the other people I used to hang out with and that I haven’t seen since those days of drinking, dancing and partying (and studying of course. Oh, forget it, who am I kidding?) So I asked detective Google to trace their whereabouts. But the results were rather meagre, apparently my old friends are not that active on the internet. Or else they use a false identity to prevent me from finding me. Now really, what a ridiculous thought!

The one person that I did find was Jeroen (before anyone breaks a jaw, it’s pronounced ‘yeh-roon’). He was our in-house cartoonist and did a hell of a job adding funny-spices to our sometimes hilarious but sometimes also very bland texts. He probably was one of the main reasons why students even bothered to buy the magazine in the first place.

I’ve never seen anyone draw like he did: he didn’t make any sketches before he started, he just put it right on paper the first time around. For years I’ve been expecting to find his work, but until now he hasn’t had a major break-through. He does have a really nice weblog though, as Google pointed out to me. Go visit it and enjoy his latest work: Happysad on

It’s in English, so go on and spread the news!

Communication Breakdown

I was already grumpy to begin with, when I returned home from work yesterday. It had been a long and tedious day. Not that anything went wrong, but it was just a very long and very tedious day.

When I got home, I turned on the TV to listen to the news while I pealed the potatoes (Wiener Schnitzel on the menu). Alas, no sound, no vision. Or rather, a short message telling me that there’s something wrong with the digital signal and that I should call the cable company.

So I walk to the phone with a deep sigh. It was just one of those days. And it wasn’t going to get better, because the phone didn’t work either. It was working, because there was text on the display, but there was no signal. It started dawning on me what could be the problem, and I quickly ran upstairs to start up the computer and check my theory. And indeed, no access to the internet.

Luckily, we still have cell phones and for once its battery wasn’t empty on the wrong moment. So I called up the helpdesk of our provider (Telenet), pressed 2, then 1, then 3 and then waited for half an hour listening to a stupid tape claiming that an operator would help me in just a moment. Robo-woman also mentioned that I could find help by surfing to their webpage. You stupid recorded woman!

Finally I got a human voice on the line, and I explained my problems in detail. He made me run some tests, and then decides there’s nothing he can do. He’ll have to send over a technician.

Fine’, I say, ‘when can he come’.

He asks me if I want him to come in the morning or in the afternoon.

Neither’, I say. ‘My wife and I both have to work, you know.’

No problem, we’ll just rip you off for a mere 15 € and send someone over in the evening. I comply, what else can I do. In my mind I see my anorexic piggy bank wither and roll over on its side to die with a long, gurgling cry.

A bit later my wife returns home from the horse-riding centre, and she empties the mail box while I explain her what’s happened. ‘No television for two days’ I conclude.

Hold on’, she says as she finds a note left behind by a Telenet technician. It says: ‘Our technician presented himself at your door but there was no-one at home. So he cut your connection in your absence as you requested’.

Wait a minute, we never requested such a thing! With steam coming out of her ears, my wife (who’s a solicitor/lawyer for those of you who just tuned in) grabs the telephone and puts the poor woman on the other line before the verbal equivalent of a firing squad. Sensitive as I am I cower away to the kitchen.

So apparently, the couple from which we bought the house almost five months ago asked Telenet to cut their connection. We buy the house, register it, ask Telenet to install a modem, two phone lines and a digital recorder with TV connection, change our subscription and pay a year in advance for all these connections. And THEN Telenet sends over a technician to cut the line of people who don’t live there anymore, as is clearly indicated on the bell that the guy had to push in order to find out if we were at home or not. When I call the helpdesk, they didn’t know about this request, which means that they don’t work with a centralised database with all their customers information. I imagine they have this big board hanging on the wall with thousands of post-its. Once in a while someone takes a post-it and does what it says, without knowing if its still relevant.

I always thought something like this would happen, because although they have very high speed internet connections, if Telenet can make an administrative blunder the size of which would leave Kafka himself dumbfounded, they shall do so!


End of rant, please continue. Nothing more to see here people!


The 2006 Bloggies are here again! For those of you unfamiliar with these annual Oscars of the weblog community, check out the 2006 Bloggies site. I spent some quality office time (lunch break) posting my list. I won’t mention what my favourites were for every category, but these blogs were in it for most categories:

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