October 25, 2008


Recently I found my number 1 favourite website Sushicam got hacked.
I've been following Sushicam for many many years and always enjoyed the posts. This last hack wiped out over 2 years worth of posts. Some of it can still be salvaged, but like most things that get destroyed, it will never be like it was. Jeff is going through the hard process of rescuing the lost data. At least he still has all the photos he took (obviously they are not stored only on the website).
I never understood such behaviour. WHat use is it to hack into someone's website and totally destroying it? I don't get it... If it was to gain money or wealth, at least it is understandable (though I would still find it unacceptable), but just breaking things that are not yours, purely because you can, that just doesn't make any sense at all! It's pure vandalism, and there is nothing for anyone to gain from it.
It's a real shame that people have grabbed the internet to continue their pathetic criminal activities. Unfortunately several countries in the EU (and maybe outside the EU as well), now want to invest in internet connections in Africa as well. They think that internet is a primary need! Don't they realise that a large portion of internet crime originates from that very continent? ow more stupid can you get? What happened to food and water? what happened to schooling and education? Don't they need that more? Why spend my money on something that is a luxury? Why spend money so that even more criminals can hack into websites to destroy them, or steal from you???

No mr prime minister, you can NOT have my tax money to invest in internet in a continent where it will support criminal activities.
Considering that I have been victim of fraud on average twice per year for the last 3-4 years, I think a better investment would be to take that money and invest it in police, and health care in our own country.

October 20, 2008

Rude behaviour

Recently I read an article in the electronic news paper from Radio Nieuws Wereldomroep, a Dutch news service meant for those abroad.

The article was talking about shame for fellow Dutch people abroad. The person who wrote the article was talking about how she saw dozens of Dutch families returning from their holiday in France, visiting a restaurant where they cut queues, leave their children running around screaming and demolishing the place without correcting them on their behaviour, and how those people produce more decibels wherever they are, without any consideration for other people in their vicinity.

It's an interesting article, because I can kind of relate to the story. However, the story seems to limit itself to behaviour of Dutch people abroad, specifically tourists. And quite frankly, it seems that all foreigners abroad behave rudely on holiday. We all have seen the shows on the English tourists, but the Dutch and Germans are just as bad when it comes to holidays.

In the story the writer seems to indicate that expats generally adapt themselves to their environment. Although I am an expat myself, and have been living in the UK for over 8 years to date, I am not so sure if I consider myself "adapted". The Brits still can get on my nerves from time to time, and I still swear quite badly on occasion. But when I return home to visit my friends and family, I find how rude Dutch people can actually be.

I admit that I surely have adopted some "proper old-English decency" over the years, but most of the differences between how I behave now compared to when I first came to England, I'd like to write down to "growing up".

As such, I would have to say that from my personal point of view, the Dutch in Holland have regressed in their decency. Where, from my point of view, the Dutch used to be just direct and blunt, they now appear rude, intolerant and disrespectful! People no longer walk to each other to ask a question, instead the question has to be shouted from the rooftops! Why is this necessary? Is it really necessary for the rest of the world to know what person A wants to ask person B? My parents raised me to walk up to the person and ask, in an acceptable level of decibels person B my questions. If people are now just too lazy to walk up to the other, why not just pick up your flashy mobile phone and call your counterpart at the other side of the room to ask your question? That way at least I will not be bothered!

Another point is interruptions. Whenever I am having a conversation with someone, it being on the phone or in person, I expect people not to interrupt me or the other person. What's more, is that I expect that the other person does not interrupt his/her conversation to have a discussion with someone else! My brother can be quite bad with this.

Similarly I do not appreciate it when I am in the middle of a story, and the other person interrupts me and starts telling his/her own story. This has happened at work as well, and I am pretty hard on those who do so. Again, this is something I was taught by my parents and I will definitely teach my kids the same!

Another thing I do not appreciate is starting off any response with a very loud mouth when the person feels indignant about what I say or do. As if the number of produced decibels is a measure of success in winning the argument! To give you an example: once I was at home, MY home, standing over the toilet, emptying my bladder, when my brother barged into the bathroom shouting on the top of his lungs "You are disgusting! You should sit down when you pee!!!". We are talking 105 dB here! So I tell him very strictly that he should not act so indignant, and moreover, it is my F-ing house and I do what I want in my own home!!! Now what did he do wrong here? He should have come to me afterwards and suggest that sitting down on the toilet would be a better way of peeing for those and those reasons. Then I would say, fair enough, I will consider that. Now his argument is out of the window because he did not respect the fact it was my own home, and of course, he used decibels to win the argument rather than logical reasoning. Remember David and Goliath? Same thing…

However, I notice it everywhere now. People prefer to communicate in decibels and try to dominate a conversation. People shout, swear and horn in when driving. A few years ago, people even had the rudeness not to let anyone step out of the train, and rushed inside to get a seat! Well, think again idiots! If the passengers leaving don't get a chance to get out, you don't get to have a seat!

By all means, I'm not claiming to be a saint. Far from it! I still have my own quirks and still can spit out some rude language, mostly in traffic. And readers of my blog will undoubtedly know I can react rather indignant, if not outraged with particular situations.

But I think that when the Dutch population can actually learn some decent behaviour from ME, I think it is time to get worried…

Something totally different now:
An interesting discovery has been made recently in the Indian ocean. It appears that an Arabic shipwreck has been found on the bottom of the sea, containing the most valuable marine "treasure" ever. In fact, the quotation marks can be removed because the treasure actually contains many thousands of gold and silver coins, priceless Chinese ceramics and jade artefacts, etc etc.

This article form the BBC gives some more insights in the discovery. As you can see form the pics, the finds are rather astonishing. They also prove that there was trade between the Chinese Tang dynasty, and the middle east way before people originally thought.