Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Begun the internet wars have



Link to tweet

Welcome to this blogpost! I'm going to tell today about some recent developments. Recently, the internet is becoming an ever more hostile place. First, we'll take a trip back into history.

Back to the future
For many of us (including me), a situation like we currently have in the world has only been described in history books. It was a period of fear against certain population groups, increased violence around the world, and more. This caused the free world to collapse more and more into oppression. This has also been described in the movie V for Vendetta.

Many people don't ever want this to happen, but lets take a look what is happening currently...

The current situation
We currently have alot of violence in the world, alot of fear and hatred against certain minority groups and more. This has allowed the rulers to draw attention away from less-popular measures. This isn't exactly new. What is new though, is that we recently had a period of very extensive liberties, caused by the internet. This has learned groups of people to really form free opinions.

This has endangered certain groups with power, and they have been moving against the internet for some time now. They just needed a reason to start to move against it in public. There have been 3 reasons recently which they have used:
1. Terrorism.
2. Illicit forms of filesharing.
3. Wikileaks.

We'll have a look at what's happening now.

What's happening now
- Currently, governments and certain corporations are slowly making more and more civil rights breaches.
- Civil rights also get gradually eroded.
- Fear and hate is stimulated throughout western countries through various means and entities.
- Outlets for free speech and activism are attacked through various means (bad publicity, DDoS, etc) in increasing intensity.

There's more happening, which I don't know at the moment.

Well, rounding stuff up, this is basically what I wanted to tell.

I would advise everyone to form their own opinions about this, and act accordingly.

Cheers,
Roberto

PS: Expect more about this soon!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Using games as a way to foster cooperation

Hello everyone,

it's been a while since my most recent blog post. This time, I want to tell you about a way to foster cooperation in teams (and outside teams) in a quite unique way.

Introduction

The original project had been set up to serve as a way to foster friendships. The tool which was used? A game called Minecraft.

Minecraft is a very accessible game, which can be played both in casual and hardcore ways. In the game, there are no set goals. You can mine resources, process them into tools and construction materials, and build stuff with those materials. As you can see in the previous 2 links, there have quite alot of things been built in Minecraft so far.

Seeing the relaxed atmosphere this game generally has, I thought that it could be used for fostering friendship. I discovered later on, that this game can be used for many more constructive things.

I will firstly explain the history, and later on how it works.

The first steps

My first inspiration from this project came from a certain server of a big community.



Together with some friends, we started exploring the concept on our own server. Quickly, we discovered that it was a very excellent way. Unfortunately, after a few weeks, the server got griefed (sometimes purposefully) and large areas of the landscape were destroyed.

After this, I started thinking of making this concept really work.

Getting concrete details

The first quest was to look for anti griefing tools. These were quickly found. This was all tested on a private server hosted by Mick 'Micknator' van Rhee, a good friend of me. There, we laid the advanced framework for later stages.

This includes some big structures, finalizing the concept (mostly done by me) and seeking a place for hosting. Eventually, all of these things were done.

The last thing needed was a thorough test of the concept in a real situation. This was achieved at the beginning of November.



Finalizing the concept

The concept was practically fully finalized. It only needed a real test. This was done on the server hosted by the Piratenpartij (which is a continuation of the server hosted by Micknator, with some improvements). The concept was finally tested, and completed successfully by me (Roberto 'Robske' Moretti), a person who goes by the name of 'Squarc' on Minecraft, and last but not least, Remon 'Knudde95' Engels.



The server can be found at minecraft.piratenpartij.nl!

The project fostered friendships indeed, together with providing with further minor adjustments to the plan. I will now explain the 2 ways of how you can run these projects.

The centralized method

The centralized method is way to simulate real project groups with a project leader. The team consists of one or more project leaders, together with at least as many 'workers'. The task of the project leader(s) is to coordinate the project. They have all the blueprints of the object to build. They may not give the workers these blueprints directly. Instead, they must communicate the blueprints verbally or with sketches of parts of the blueprint towards the workers. Each worker is responsible for his part of the blueprint. The project leaders monitor the entire project.

This way of simulating projects works the best for companies or for teams with a clear leadership. The more decentralized organizations have a different way of approaching these things.

The decentralized method

This method is quite exact the opposite of the centralized method. In this method, the blueprints are available to everyone (if there are blueprints!). At the same time, everyone is worker and project leader at the same time. It's the entire team's responsibility to make the project successful. This makes for a very organic way of getting the project finished. It can also make it so that worlds really evolve (as they do on most Minecraft servers).

This way of carrying out the project works the best for organizations with no clear leadership. They train people in taking responsibility.

The advantages of fostering cooperation this way

Both ways of doing projects in Minecraft have similar advantages. I will list these here:

- It is a relaxed environment: There's hardly any stress, hardly any pressure. This makes people more motivated to work on these projects. Together with that, the results are visible in very early stages (Oh this thing is very huge!).
- It's easily accessible: Minecraft doesn't require much learning. You can already construct wonderful things after your first day!
- Big structures do amaze people: If your team has built a big structure (as was the case with the Venator), it will not only surprise your team members if you make it public, but also the entire world! This can be an extra motivation for the team members to cooperate.
- Can promote your organization: Projects like done on the Dutch Pirate Party server, can promote your organization very well. Especially if the world is public.
- Minecraft worlds can communicate messages: You can easily build messages into worlds, sometimes explicit (texts on signs) or implicit (for the case of the Dutch Pirate Party server, it was that content owned by others can easily be replicated by others).
- Minecraft can relax: You can use Minecraft as a way to get your team members relaxed and ready to keep working hard on your project!

Rounding stuff up

This was it for today. I want to thank everyone for reading this article! If you have comments about this article, or want to do suggestions, you can contact me here.

Cheers,
Roberto Moretti

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

MAFIAA?




Are copyright organisations, with the media giants who support them, the protectors of the artists? Or are they the destroyers of the media?



This is a question which has gone through many peoples' minds the past 15 years. We'll firstly go back to the origins of the copyright law...






In the time before the internet, producing and distributing media was an expensive business. You had to produce the media itself (which was expensive, and still is in certain areas), then produce books/discs/tapes/papers and distribute those to the shops. You also had to advertise the product, which is still expensive today (using conventional methods). All in all, it was an expensive business.



To protect their business, the authors urged for copyright laws already in the 19th century. In the 20th century, copyright laws were finally enacted and strengthened. Firstly, works were protected. Later on, copyright organisations were established by the media industry (which was now a large industry). These copyright organisations pursued stronger copyright laws, to protect the media industry. This led to things like rent seeking.

Once the media industry was mature, and dominated by several giant corporations, the conditions for artists went downwards. The giants decided who would become famous, and who didn't. Still, producing media was expensive, so it was a legitimate reason.



Then came the internet. At first, people saw it as a niche thing. It wasn't worth investing into. This changed when the internet became mainstream during 2000-2010. Many people discovered the power of youtube, filesharing and other things. An entire generation has grown up with these things by now. It's deeply embedded into their culture.

Still, the media industry didn't want to adapt. Yes, there are things like spotify & iTunes, but these are still largely dependent of the large media corporations. Independent media groups and artists, who had trouble before the rise of the internet, could now easily make themselves known to the public. This was a thorn in the eyes of the large media corporations. Their monopoly was broken.

Their answer to losing their monopoly? An even harsher reaction to the people and small artists than before. They even resorted to acts which are on the border of what is allowed within the law, possibly even crossing that border!



This has caused much anger at the masses on the internet. Many organisations have risen up to combat the war being waged by the large media industries. Some do it by the democratic ways (Pirate Parties), some through lobbying, publicity and advising (Bits of Freedom, La Quadrature Du Net, Electronic Frontier Foundation, etc.) and some resort to activism, sometimes in a more harmful way than the other (Anonymous).

This might lead to the downfall of the large media industries, but it isn't too late yet. If they manage to adapt to the realities of the information society, they might still have a chance. Currently, the media giants abuse both the consumers and the artists. It's time that they use more ethical and fair ways to achieve their profits.

The strongest will not survive. It will be the most adaptive to change who will survive. - Darwin.

About the author:
Roberto Moretti is a Dutch IT student, blogger, activist and is active at the Dutch Pirate Party. He blogs often about copyright-related subjects.

Many thanks go to Samir Allioui for writing a blog here and here (in Dutch) which has been the main inspiration for this blog post.

This blog post is licensed under the Creative Commons license. Sharing and using parts of this blog is allowed, as long as you give credit to the original author (Roberto Moretti). Images taken from deviantart. Please keep the filenames, in order to give credits to the original artists.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

The dangers

Hello everyone,

this is a follow-up on the blogpost 'The Time is now'. I talked about COICA and related things. The EFF reported a few weeks ago that COICA is delayed.

The danger isn't over yet. ACTA has entered the very final stages of negotiation. The last negotiation round ended, and it will be reviewed now. Once it has been reviewed, countries who want to sign it can sign it.

ACTA has been toned down in harsh voice, but it doesn't make it less dangerous. The treaty is filled with vague descriptions of several things. This leaves it open to the interpretation of outsiders, which will likely benefit the rightsholders.

La Quadrature Du Net reports that ACTA is still a very dangerous treaty. I agree with their conclusions. Also, if they manage to tone it now down a bit, and get it forced through, it can be altered later on by the ACTA board. This can still bring in things like '3-strikes' clauses and things like that.

Even if COICA and ACTA get forced through, downloading can't be stopped most likely. It has become too deeply imprinted in an entire generation of people, to be removed. This will be a serious issue for the media-giants, but artists can also benefit from it. Several artists, who use bittorent and similar technologies to spread their works, have benefitted greatly from alternative business models.

These new business models, and the power which the internet gives to the consumers, is a major thorn in the eye for the media giants. This is the entire reason why they're lobbying for harsher copyright laws. What this will lead to, I don't know, but we will see.

Stay tuned!
Roberto Moretti

Friday, October 8, 2010

A new way of sharing torrents

Hey all,

A friend's computer got a 'cold' sometime ago. It gave me an idea.

Torrent sharing sites are often attacked and shut down by MPAA/RIAA/etc.

To circumvent torrentsites altogether, I combined the way how they spread msn viruses with torrents. This way, you can easily share on almost any site, without anyone noticing it's a torrent file unless they got the instructions.

It works this way:
1. You make your torrent file (or use the one you want to share) and encapsulate it in a .rar/.zip/.7z. Try to make it as small as possible.
2. You pick a random image which you want to use, it must be .png or .jpg.
3. You mix the files with the command prompt (type cmd in start). Browse to the folder containing both the archive and image: copy /b *imagename.extension* + *zip//rar/7zfilename.extension* *filename.imagefileextension*
4. You throw the image which you've created on a image sharing or FTP site. Some sites block hidden data in images.
4a. Check if the file works by doing steps 5-8.
5. Someone downloads the file.
6. The downloader with the instructions (posted on a forum or included in the image) changes the image file extension to the archive extension.
7. Open it with the appropriate archive opener (IE: 7zip/winrar/etc, no winzip!)
8. Torrent on!

I discussed this in an IRC chat, and tested it with several people, it works.

You can do step 5-8 with the image below, which is an innocent Creative Commons file:

http://www.star-apocalypse.info/Files/Images/embeddedpiratepartylogo.jpg

Change it to .rar.

------

How do you like it?

Copy me happy,
Roberto

----notes from Ernesto (torrentfreak.com)----

It seems this technique has been used before, see here: Article on torrentfreak.com

Friday, October 1, 2010

The time is now

Hey all,

I wanted to write something about the recent developments in real life and the internet here.

Recently, alot of pro-copyright organisations started fighting copyright infringement more actively. As some of you may have read, this lead to a modern witchhunt against pirates and like-minded people.

This didn't end with just fighting them in the courts, but even resorting to more criminal ways. Things like hacking, blackmailing, harassing and bribery has happened. This has caused much anger at the already angry public. While the mainstream media may try to keep the issues revolving around this silent, the general public can't deny the dangers any more. The internet has turned into a battlefield, and soon it will also get to real life. Anyone who tries to ignore the facts will be left in the dark eventually.

As posted in an earlier blog post, I talked about the attacks on copyright organisations by the 'anon' group (many news articles state 4chan is behind it, but it isn't true. 4chan is merely one of the recruiting areas for anon). This is escalating, indirectly causing damage to over 8000 sites.

While it's likely that the mainstream media are going to try to create negative publicity about 4chan and anon, it's actually one of the groups which fights for civil liberties (although possibly in a childish way). The impact has been great, and it might become more serious over time. While the attacks keep going on, the copyright industry has been working on a counterattack for some time. The ramnifications of this counterattack could be greater than the attacks by anon.

The internet is currently the backbone of most of the communication going on in the (western) world. The internet is currently still free, but that is at great stake. The counterattack by the copyright organisations, named COICA (Combating Online Infringements and Counterfeits Act) will change the internet as we know it today forever. It will not only cause the internet to be controlled by the US Government, but it also increases the corporation's control over the internet.

If the free internet would disappear, the freedom of press would be gone too. And with this, most of the non-biased information sources will be gone. This is not only a serious threat for the internet, but also for the democratic process itself. Since what will provide us with truth, when the only 'truth' we will know comes from one single source? This is why the general public can't ignore the situation any more.

Besides 4chan, there are several other groups which fight the current developments. These organisations include the Electronic Frontier Foundation, Pirate Parties International and several other groups spread around the globe. In my eyes, it is critical that we support and vote for these groups, if we want to reach a true democracy.

Also, research in several countries concluded that piracy is good for prosperity and economy. The same goes for free flow of knowledge and information. This has been the prime source of inspiration for these organisations. These groups generally defend civil rights and prosperity of the entire society the best. Many current political parties fail to address the current situation, which isn't smart at all. Developments will currently continue. The question will be: Will the general public wake up in time to prevent a totalitarian world?

It's time to take action now, so feel free to spread this story and tell the people about this! Defend your civil rights, take action now!

Copy me happy,
Roberto Moretti

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Broken Liberties - The silent war on the general public

Hello everyone,

it's war. Maybe not in real life, but there's war on the internet. What started as a minor protest by pro-piracy groups against the actions of the media giants, has turned into a massive exchange of digital attacks, even flowing into the real life world.

Some background information
Conflict has been brewing for more than a decade by now. It started with a protest by the media industry against video and audio casette copying. This copying was made equal to theft. This eventually moved on to the internet, where copying bits of data (which represent Intellectual Property) was made equal to theft by the same organisations.

Before we continue, lets look up theft in the dictionary. In basically all dictionaries, it says something like this: "Theft - Taking away property which belongs to someone.". Do you take something away by copying? No. Do you steal property with copying? You don't too.

Next reason from the media giants to fight piracy: "They would lose profits due to piracy, which they would have made without piracy." Hmmmm, what profits were lost? Got any proof? Ah I see, you haven't. That's with all these things like "we're losing profits". And if it's about movies or music making losses, that's always because of hollywood accounting or similar schemes. These schemes make the real creator (the artist) earn hardly any money from their creations, even if they're highly profitable. Why should we even buy the media then?

To make matters worse, the media industry has been criminalizing the consumers with increasingly aggressivity. And in earlier times (5-15 years ago), that wasn't even without a 'good' reason! Back then, hardly anyone was pirating on a large scale. The anti piracy outfits were starting a massive public campaign back then when the internet started to become very popular among the common people. This lead to alot of people finding out about piracy, and starting to use it.

To tell a funny story: A family member of mine was unreasonable to talk about regarding IP (Intellectual Property) and such things. He regarded any form of open source and piracy as heavy criminals. If you find piracy questionable, ok, I can agree. But Open Source? Just because it's free to share doesn't make it criminal. Proves how old-fashioned some people can think.

Lets go on. Basically, this entire criminalizing of the public has created alot of hate against the media giants by alot of people who check on the independent news sources on the internet (which virtually contains the only independent news sources). This hate led to small protests like propaganda in the past. Also, the media industry has been 'purchasing'/bribing new laws, like 'pornographic internet filters' and heavier IP laws. The latest results of these actions are the ACTA treaty and the Gallo Report. The protests kept going at the steady pace it had always been going in. Still, it was a fire waiting to explode. And explode it did.

Opening of the war
What triggered the so called explosion? Well, that's something which I'm gonna explain now.

In september, several torrent sites (including The Pirate Bay) became victim of DDoS attacks (denial of service). This upset the filesharing and general internet community alot. But, the culprit could only be guessed, until... The indian firm, AiPlex, confessed they were behind the attacks, and that they were paid by the RIAA and MPAA. This infuriated the internet community, especially the younger generations.

Within a matter of days, huge attacks (involving thousands, if not millions, of people) were staged upon several websites, including the AiPlex, RIAA and MPAA. All those websites suffered downtime, as reported by Panda Security.

It didn't stop with this. Several hours later, the digital attacks were being exchanged by hackers from both sides. Both sides suffered damage, but fortunately no one has been killed yet. It isn't possible, since this war isn't going on in real life, or is it?

What's really going on
There's something going on behind the background. This war isn't about piracy, but about power. Modern-day piracy is power of the masses, and the internet currently also is power of the masses. The internet is also a very big communication method, soon to be the biggest (if not the biggest already). Any powerful entity wants to control this. If you look at all the anti-piracy laws being bought/bribed/lobbied (whatever you call it) by the media industry, all of them can also be used at people who just have a non-matching opinion.

Haven't we seen this before? Ah yes, I remember. It were some troubled times in a certain country in Europe in the 1930's. Dangerous it was, and it needed alot of power to be pulled down.

Currently, in all european countries, there's been alot of media coverage of extremist right groups. In The Netherlands, we have our own person for this matter, called Geert Wilders. I think it isn't anything coincidental that people like him get so much media coverage. It's not only because they have radical views, but also because they're likely to grant the large corporations more power. And this is exactly what the media industry wants.

The developments currently happening are leading towards corporate-controlled police states, where any differently-thinking person gets ruined for the rest of his/her life. It's already what we were seeing in the USA, with the anti-piracy lawsuits in the past.

A side note: I don't condemn any corporation. Any corporation which operates within the boundaries of the law has right to exist. Corporations which buy laws by bribing/lobbying operate outside the law in my eyes, and therefore have no right to exist.

But before these police states are a reality, we need to act. The protests, in the form of propaganda and pirate parties, were just the beginning. Now the real war has started, it's not about just piracy. It's about the freedom of speech. Since if the media giants get the internet under their control, they have all media under control. And this is something VERY dangerous. We have seen this before, and we fought it in the past with a huge army. Then right after, we promised it would never happen any more. And now? It's starting to happen again, and the only people acting are far in the minority. The reason? Hardly anyone knows about this war, which is far more dangerous than any muslim or terrorist threat.

I've been gathering links of articles about these issues for some time now. While some are clearly pointing towards one side, I've posted the most neutral ones below here:
http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/news/2010/09/4chan-tries-to-change-life-outside-the-basement-via-ddos-attacks.ars
http://tweakers.net/nieuws/69751/websites-van-riaa-gaan-plat-door-gerichte-ddos-aanvallen.html (dutch)
http://tweakers.net/nieuws/69815/justitie-geeft-geen-openheid-over-internetfilter-kinderporno.html (dutch)
http://tweakers.net/nieuws/69801/europees-parlement-neemt-antipiraterijrapport-aan.html (dutch)
http://torrentfreak.com/european-parliament-votes-on-controversial-anti-piracy-report-100921/ (maybe not so neutral, still posting it for you)
http://torrentfreak.com/copyright-trolls-not-just-for-patents-anymore-100920/ (same goes for this)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Njuo1puB1lg (an intresting explaination how you can make profit and have piracy at the same time)
http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/news/2010/04/acta-is-here.ars/ (some insightful information on ACTA)

Just do some searches with your favorite search engines, and you'll find alot of results about these issues.

A few years ago, the copyright issues didn't bother me much. I thought that it wouldn't affect real life, and remain on the internet. That has changed 2 years ago, when more and more information got leaked on ACTA. ACTA has serious impacts on democracy, in a negative way. It might be the beginning of the end of democracy, unless we act. After all, if we act, they're just digging their own grave. And I hope we will act.

What can you do? Firstly, have a look at those links, read them entirely (at least, the english ones) and make up your own mind. If you agree with the tone set in this blog post, feel free to join the fight and vote for the pirate parties (or other parties which are pro-piracy, generally left-wing or liberal parties) and let other people know about what's going on. If you don't agree, that's your own right. It's still a democracy after all.

Cheers,
Roberto

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Broken Liberties?

Hey all,

recently, the Dutch minister for Justice has enacted a law which breaks the Trias Politica. This law was enacted due to the seemingly abuse of the possibilities of the internet by criminals and civilians. Criminals abuse it by sharing information, communication about illicit things, etc. Civilians would have abused it by obtaining classified information, which damages other indiduals and organisations.

The law makes it possible to block 'illegal' and 'unwanted' content from the majority of the citizens. This was already possible under current law, but it required the jurisdictional power to verify if it breaks any laws. If it breaks any laws, it will be blocked, if not, it won't.

The current law which has been enacted allows for the government to block sites without intervention from the jurisdictional power. This means that the government can block a site, without the verification fron a judge. This directly breaks the Trias Politica, which is the foundation of all 'true' democracies.

And who says that this will be limited to only criminal sites? With this, the government can virtually block any site which they don't like. The ramnifications of this can be huge. Someone who criticizes the government can be blocked. Someone who leaks classified information (which is important for the general public to know) can be punished and sent to jail. And more...

This is not happening only in The Netherlands, but also in other western countries. A very bad development in my eyes. This will seriously impair liberties throughout the western world, leading to more abuse of the general public.

We should say no to this!

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Update 11 september 2010

Hey all,

it's been some time since my last update, so I'm gonna tell how stuff has been going.

-university-

I've finally gotten word from university that I've finished my foundation course (propedeuse in dutch). This takes alot of worries away, and makes me able to continue university easily. So that's a plus. Also, the class which keeps bothering me has stopped doing so, so that's also a plus.

I'm still unsure about my future though. University says that I'm facing a good future, but I'm just not sure. I'll see about that.

-social life-


Well, there's only one word which can describe how this is going: shitty. I do have friends, but they hardly make time for me, so I'm very bored most of the days. And that isn't good for me. I hope this will improve soon.

-health-

Well, there's also one word which can describe my health: shitty. As some of you may have read on my blog, I'm having certain symptons recently in an increasing intensity and frequency. That caused me to contact several medical specialists, in order to find out what's been wrong. After 3 weeks, it has been discovered what it is. It is due to my extremely high intelligence, that I absorb information too quickly. My mind hasn't got enough time to organize everything, and that makes my mind become too clogged with stuff. This results in the symptons I've been having, which are quick exhaustion (both mental and physical), breakdowns/collapses and a constantly being semi-tired.

The downside of this is, that it can't be cured. I just have to learn to live with it, and that's hard. It blocks me in the things I want to achieve. It's gonna be hard!

-conclusion-

Well, on the overal I'm not feeling well. Although university is going well, 2 other spheres aren't going so well. I will likely have to work on improving my social life soon. Hopefully I will feel better then :)

Cheers

Saturday, September 4, 2010

What's wrong?

Hey all,

recently, my health has been going downwards. I don't know why or what is happening (that is under investigation), but lately I feel extremely tired, even after small chores. A busy morning and afternoon seriously wrecks my ability to think for the the rest of that day.

It's really weird. I've been having this feeling to a lesser extent already since I went to Eindhoven University of Technology, but the past few months it has worsened alot. It's a really constantly tired feeling, sometimes even to extreme forms. But it isn't tiredness like that you want to sleep, but different tiredness. It's kinda hard to explain.

I've heard some people talk that it could be heart-related. I hope it's not. Some other people said that it could have psychological reasons. I just don't know. I'm going to let this get investigated.

Let's hope for the best!

Roberto

University stuff

Hey all,

university has started again for me. The first week went quite easily. Not many troubles, or did I still have something? Oh yes, my mentor told me that he heard from several people that I wanted to quit university. I don't know where these stories are coming from, but they're pure lies. I did tell some people that I'm worried, but not that I wanted to quit.

Something very weird is going on there, like someone is trying to get me gone from there. I hear more and more negative things about me on university, while I don't know what I'm doing wrong. Well, I hope I will find out in time!

Cheers,
Roberto

Fail in Dutch politics

Hey all,

as some of you may have read, the coalition talks in The Netherlands have failed (again). They've tried all possible combinations, but still without result. Now the VVD party (who were the winners) will set up a government plan, and see who will follow them.

Basically, it didn't come as a surprise to me. The CDA is too fragile and the PVV has too extreme views. Other combinations are also difficult, due to the promises made to the voters. They had dug themselves too deep in, and now it's trench warfare.

We've been without a real government for 7 months! It's taking far too long! And our neighbours (Belgium) aren't doing well either, being without a government for already 5 months.

Where is this going to? Both countries have had alot of collapsed governments the past 10 years. Even for the smallest things, the government collapses here in The Netherlands. These politicians seem to take it too lightly with promises made to the people, and with promises made to eachother.

What I would suggest is to have new elections, and see what happens. I know one of my most hated political parties (PVV) will get very big then, but if it takes that to have a government, I'll accept it.

The PVV would hurt foreign relations alot. They're kinda the same as the nazi's back in the 30's and 40's. If you compare a speech of Geert Wilders with one from Hitler, you immediately see the similarities. They're good for in the opposition, but not good as a government party. But we'll see.

Cheers,
Roberto

First post

Hello everyone!

This is the first post on my personal blog. With all new things, a little explaination is required what this is about.

I will blog here about general stuff in my life. This ranges from software projects, to social stuff till just my intrests. Anything which really bothers me will find it's way on here.

Basically, if you're too lazy to read the about me page, don't worry! I'll explain who I am. Many people know me under the names dirtbag/dirtbag007 and robske. These are some nicknames which I generally use on the internet (I use several others less frequently). I'm currently a student, studying Applied Computer Science at Zuyd University of Applied Sciences. Hmmm, sounds like a nerd doesn't it? Well, you can classify me as a nerd, weren't it that I also enjoy skiïng alot. It's one of my most favorite things. What's more enjoyable than going downhill with 70km/h (43mph!) with nothing more between the ground and you than one inch, feeling the wind going past you. Of course, breaking a leg isn't fun, but I've never had that in my life so far (and I hope it stays that way).

Other things I like to do is basically hang out with friends (lanparties, dining out, lasergaming, bowling and several other stuff), doing stuff on my computer computer (recently it's more because I have nothing else to do. I prefer skiïng or doing stuff with friends though), just have nice conversations with people & meeting new people.

I also do some work besides my education and other things which eat my time. I work for DHL Global Mail at the moment, and next to that I do some Freelance programming and translation stuff (English <-> Dutch).

Sorry for making this too long already for the people who are too lazy to read! I will stop already!

Well, basically, expect some more blog posts soon!

Cheers,
Roberto