American websites improved due to European privacy laws

An interesting side-effect to the introduction of the GDPR, the latest EU privacy law, was that (for Europeans at least) several American websites improved. Instead of a dazzling and confusing cornucopia of banners and clickables, the sites of USA Today and NPR refocused on their stated goal, i.e. journalism. See here for two examples: and … Read More

Privacy audits and GDPR observations

The introduction of the European privacy act known as GDPR seems to have caused a flurry of work in the web development business, but oddly and unfortunately enough I seem to have been immune to this development. So I decided that I would go through the process of improving one of my own websites, just … Read More

One man, 50 Bic pens

(An Experiment and a Fantastically Boring Tale.) In 2011 I bought 50 pens in an attempt to stem the constant trickle of pen disappearances. Like matching socks, ballpoint pens have this obscure, almost life-like ability to get lost just when you need them, and this seemed to be a good reason to buy way more … Read More

Making complex PHP arrays viewable

When you want to study the contents of PHP arrays, for example when you ask the API of your favourite PHP CMS a question and it returns an array in which the answer is somehow hidden, you can use PHP functions like print_r and var_dump to display the array in a way that makes it … Read More

Zakelijke bankrekeningen vergelijken in 2016 [NL/Dutch]

In 2011 betaalde je 7 tot 9 maal méér voor een zakelijke rekening dan voor een particuliere rekening. Die verschillen zijn sterk teruggelopen – althans, als je een kleine, dienstverlenende ondernemer bent van het kaliber vertaler of adviseur. Zelfs dan betaal je nog steeds minimaal 2 tot 3 maal zoveel voor je zakelijke rekening dan … Read More

Meet the golden banana of discord

You know this graph, you have seen it before. It is a graph displaying a distribution. If you squint, it resembles a golden banana. In the text adventure world they hold yearly competitions. In fact, the largest of them, IFComp, is currently underway, and the way it works is that everybody who wants to can … Read More

Completely useless overview of mobile phone brands in the Netherlands, May 2016

An obscure need to know led me to create the following overview of mobile phone brands in the Netherlands. Since I got relatively little use out of it, I figured I’d share it here. Maybe it will find some use after all. Caveat: I didn’t need a very precise list, so please don’t use this … Read More

Romerhuis, Venlo

I was born in one of the oldest surviving houses in Venlo, the Romerhuis, which also happens to be the first house in the oldest street of the city, the Jodenstraat. The Romerhuis was built around 1490 in late Gothic style. By the 20th century the building had lost lots of its charm. The step … Read More

Game guide: playing Bruce Lee II on the Commodore 64

In 2015 Jonas Hultén released his Commodore 64 port of the MS Windows game Bruce Lee II, which itself was a public domain sequel to the Commodore 64 original Bruce Lee (and which was visually very similar to the original 8-bit style). If you want to play his game—and you should, because it’s really good!—you … Read More

Where is my flying car? A couple of quick observations

The phrase ‘flying car’ used to be (and perhaps still is) shorthand for ‘the future’. As long as we don’t have the flying car that a nebulous ‘they’ promised us, the future is not now. Never mind that in this day and age even people fleeing a war-torn Syria carry around more computing power then … Read More