Category Archives: belgium

new droon album, because fuck it

Droon Because Fuck It

The press release is hilarious so I’ll just copy this here. Droon stands for Belgian breakcore (think Breakcore Gives Me Wood parties baby) and he just releases 27 of his best tracks in one big album. Check it out and certainly the Cripplefight tune cause it’s fucking awesome.

Droon!
Your favourite Belgian B-list Breakcore Live Act! (That you might not have heard of until now)
Fighterjet helmet? Beard? Makeshift plywood ASCII keytar that looks like a post apocalyptic flying V ? That’s the one.
Still not ringing a bell?
Droon serves improvised mashup gabber breakcore
topped up with ample chipmunk bastard pop sprinkles, country nuggets & speedmetal shards.
He’s been flown out to Osaka, Moscow, Sydney, London, New York, LA, Sao Paulo, Tel Aviv, Beirut and Beijing to crack eardrums.
But also Handzame and Maldegem and Aalbeke and Tubize and Buizingen and countless youth houses and cow stables in Belgium.
So. Hundreds of gigs all over the world in the last decade. Great. Over 30 huge Breakcore Gives Me Wood parties? Brilliant.
But that’s just it. Droon was primarily an organiser and a live act. He neglected his releases.
Poor songs never got the love they deserved from their daddy. Snif.
No more!
Droon collected all the tracks he’s ever made, picked the 27 best ones and put them all in one big album.
He was gonna call it “B-list Breakcore Bargain Bin Bonanza”,
but then thought .. Fuck it.
-=-
It’s every track he ever made that’s any good, really.
Over the last 12 years, these were only released on beer stain encrusted limited vinyl EP’s .
Or cracked-on-arrival compilation cdr’s. Or never at all.
This is and will be the only Droon compendium/greatest hits/best of/anthology thingamajig ever.
There’s never been any other albums or LP’s. This is it, the only time he’ll be “widely availeable”
So it’s kind of a big deal.

don’t let the EU censor your internet: stop ACTA

ACTA infographic

You might have heard that SOPA got stopped (for now) in the USA, a bill to censor the internet and limit online freedom for everyone. An even worse deal is going down on our EU-side of the globe unfortunately, where ACTA (Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement) has already been signed, but not yet approved (luckily).

ACTA – a global treaty – could allow corporations to censor the Internet. Negotiated in secret by a small number of rich countries and corporate powers, it would set up a shadowy new anti-counterfeiting body to allow private interests to police everything that we do online and impose massive penalties — even prison sentences — against people they say have harmed their business.
avaaz.org

So it’s about time to do something about this before this bill gets voted in the EU Parliament and gets adopted globally.
First you can start by reading about ACTA, find out what’s wrong with it, sign the petition and act against it.

For those in the US, you can go sign the White House petition. Do it, because this deal is worse than SOPA, as it spans beyond the internet and deals even with regulations on medication and food.

The oppressively strict regulations could mean people everywhere are punished for simple acts such as sharing a newspaper article or uploading a video of a party where copyrighted music is played. Sold as a trade agreement to protect copyrights, ACTA could also ban lifesaving generic drugs and threaten local farmers’ access to the seeds they need. And, amazingly, t he ACTA committee will have carte blanche to change its own rules and sanctions with no democratic scrutiny.
avaaz.org

Spread the word, sign the petition, just do something so this is stopped just like SOPA was.

Afterwards, you can get back to your memes and lolcats. :)

 

refactoring the government

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The Belgian politicians are having a bit of a problem forming a new government since the last elections. This caused folks to organise a demonstration in Brussels on Sunday to make it clear that it’s time those politicians get back to work and form a government pronto.

While talking about this the whole thing somehow reminds me of refactoring software. Software that’s been having bugs and problems for years which where mended by applying patch after patch after patch, but where the code which is the actual root of the problem is never touched. In the end these patches cause more problems when the problem code has to be refactored, because those patches are fixing symptoms where they occur, causing even more issues at other locations.

So this is what I see happening now with the current formation of the government. To get through this, the patches applied over the years are causing additional difficulties and have to be cleared together with the actual problem. Reforming a country as difficultly organised as Belgium takes time. I’m just hoping that all this time won’t be for nothing in the end by forming a hasty government with (again) a half-assed solution to the problem which has been dragging on for years already.

Let’s just be a bit more patient shall we and let them do their job as they should for once, and clear up this mess created by the maintenance programmers, euhm,.. politicians.

Photo by ruiwen, cc-licensed

mobile internet in belgium, who's the cheapest?

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Note for international readers: this post concerns data limits for Belgian mobile providers making this probably not very interesting if you don’t live in this small but lovely country. You are however free to brag in the comments on how cheap your data traffic is, as that will probably be the case.

Updated 28-8-2010 due to new Base surf-5 changes.

I’ve heard good things about Mobile Vikings lately. That they offer cheap data access for your smartphone for example. And they have a cool sounding name. I’m with the lads from Base myself and quite pleased with their service and pricing so far. But since the Mobile Vikings are actually using the Base network, I thought it was worth checking out who of the two is the cheapest and if it would be worth switching.

Comparing cellphone providers is always a bitch. So I’m keeping it simple here. I’m only looking at the costs for data traffic. Costs for text messages and phone calls are simply not included. If you feel like switching you’ll have to look into that as well to see if it’s still a good thing for your personal situation. For the iPad or netbooks some providers have specific formats which are also excluded.

There are basically two type of accounts:

  • The so-called “top-up account“, where you pay up front and get a fixed volume of bandwidth to spend. If all your megabytes are used up you fall back to a basic (and usually expensive) rate. The volume only lasts a month after which not spent but paid for megabytes are lost. Yes, they are clever like that.
  • The monthly fee is where you pay a fixed amount every month (hence the word “monthly”) and get a certain volume to spend on data. If you spend more, you are charged for the extra traffic on a fixed rate. This rate is usually more interesting than with the top-up accounts. Next month you start fresh again. Any bandwidth not spend is of course lost. Yes, they are also clever like that.

That roughly counts for most providers, but details may vary.

Now what did I compare?
What I wanted to know is: how much would I pay with each provider if I spend X megabyte a month.

So I slapped that in a grid calculating the price for each combination of volume in MB with each formula, going from 1 to 2500 MB.  Then I added some colours to make it a bit easier to spot where you get more surfing for your buck.

  • The cheapest ones shop up in green.
  • White is OK. It’s in between the cheap and expensive.
  • In orange you see numbers light up that are twice as high or bigger than the cheapest calculation for that volume. You have the right to feel screwed if you’re paying that much.

belgium mobile data costs

(Click for a bigger view, see links further to download the spreadsheet.)

What does this pretty coloured table show us?

  • What I see is that Mobile Vikings is indeed cheaper if you are a big spender (over 500 MB). Mobistar Max does well there too for volumes over 1 GB.
  • If you’re surfing at no more than 10 50 MB a month, Base is the winner. That however is extremely low for  a smartphone I’ve noticed. This is only good for very occasional use. Good for the occasional surf session.
  • Mobistar is the best below 150 MB apparently, with Telenet and Base as a close second.
  • You can also see that some formulas turn out crazy expensive at some point, so it’s better to steer away from those if you’re thinking about doing some serious surfing.
  • There is no clear winner. Depending on the volume, you can end up with the best or the worst.
  • Proximus is not a winner. Lot’s of orange over there.
  • One thing I see is that’s a good thing to stick to free WiFi, as these rates aren’t cheap at all.

Take a look for yourself to see what is the best option for you depending on your monthly spending rate.
You can take a more detailed look with this PDF, the original Open Office spreadsheet or this converted online Google Docs spreadsheet. Colour coding is missing there, as that doesn’t seem to convert.

Some notes on the spreadsheet:

  • The Mobile Vikings Jumbo pack isn’t in the table as it’s not interesting when looking at data only.
  • For the top-up account I assumed that as soon as the volume is spent, it’s topped up again using the same fee as before. So in this scenario you never pay the more expensive base rates charged per megabyte.
  • The lowest value is checked with a margin of 0.1 cent. That way Proximus doesn’t end up being the cheapest with their sneaky x,99 rates just by a single cent.
  • Pricing info came from the Base, Mobile Vikings, Telenet, Mobistar and Proximus websites of course.

Photo by svet, cc-licensed.

ninja columbo loves belgium

Ninja Columbo Loves Belgium

Well I couldn’t just go without posting this one now could I? It’s yet another smashing Ninja Columbo Free MP3 release stuffed with 7 great tracks from all Belgian artists. Expect crazy banging breakcore and industrial techno beats only from these lads! If you liked the previous Sickboy Tweencore release, you’ll like this one too. If you didn’t, you might still like it, cause there’s more than him on it. Ha! All free at zombfree, all day long.

  1. Drums Are For Parades – Dead Katz (Droon’s Shot mix)
  2. Igneon System – World Recarnation (Ninja Columbo)
  3. Kaoss Engine -The Giant Wolf 2
  4. Mr Orange (Abused Recordings) – DJ Mix
  5. Sickboy – The Unstoppable Universe
  6. X&trick – Full Moon
  7. Zat & Kepazoid – Join The Gang

the belgian limitless internet charade continues

So Belgacom announced to be the first to start offering a limitless, flat rate internet account. Yay! Turns out it’s also the most expensive format they have. Yay? Telenet of course soon had to follow with it’s own limitless formula, which also turns out to be the most expensive on they have as well.  Euhm. Ok, at least they are also boosting the cheaper formats which means that everyone will be enjoying a more luxurious bandwidth soon.

Well, at least it’s getting a bit better now and perhaps next year we’ll be seeing the cheaper accounts being sold at flat rates as well and the two duopolists will start competing each other on prices. Just maybe.

Funny they both came out with the same idea so close together. With fully prepared add campaigns and all. I wonder how long they had those lying on the shelves already.

Picture by Rob Sheridan, cc-licensed.

belgium is going digital tax crazy

Belgian politicians are going bonkers over the digital world the last month it seems. First Mr. Q decides to start taxing all digital carriers because hey, you might be using them to store copyrighted material. You know, the same tax they have for VHS and audio tapes. The difference just is that those tapes were actually used to store as good as nothing but copyrighted material. But a USB stick or external HD is a completely different deal. Lot’s of non-copyrighted material on there, but we’re still paying for it…

Now there’s a proposed bill from the ecological parties to start taxing downloads to cope with illegal downloads on the net. Yep, we’re all criminals again. In fact they are talking about legalising illegal downloads. Funny. I wonder how Hollywood is going to react to that. For a small fee we’re allowed to rip any movie? Nice. Let’s set up Piratebay.be! The worst idea in the bill is that they want to avoid the ISPs from simply charging this tax to the consumer by blocking raises on the monthly subscription fee on our broadband internet connection. Great, so by blocking already way too expensive internet fees you’re going to avoid us from paying too much? Euhm. We already are paying twice what they pay in Holland, so I doubt ISPs will give a fuck.

What’s next? A blogging tax? We need a damn Pirate party I tell ya. Arrrr!

Photo by Jeremy Brooks, cc-licensed