Net Neutrality

If you’re not familiar with the title of this post, you should do some reading-up.

Net neutrality (also network neutrality or Internet neutrality) is the principle that Internet service providers and governments should treat all data on the Internet equally, not discriminating or charging differentially by user, content, site, platform, application, type of attached equipment, and modes of communication.

Or as explained by Juice RapNews:

Os as John Oliver puts it: “Preventing Cable Company Fuckery”

As the media reported, the European parliament has voted to protect the net neutrality in the EU.
So is it over?

For now, it seems we’ve won a little battle… But as long as people can gain giant amounts of money by destroying it, net neutrality will always be in danger.
It is with scared eyes I look up on to the US… they might push their (and our) future in the wrong way.

Let us hope there will be an equal to Amelia Anderdotter to lobby for the sake of the internet as we know it!!! (She lost her seat in the EU after the 2014 elections) 🙁

Pirate Party Ghent has a blog!

It’s here… The Pirate Party Ghent Blog!

If this is the first time you’ve read or heard about the ‘Pirate Party’, then you’ve missed out on some great international news.
So, time to get to the Wikiboats and loot yourself some knowledge!
The Pirate Party is a political party founded in Sweden by Rickard Falkvinge in 2006 and has been founded in at least 40 countries ever since.
The red line throughout their program’s are support for civil rightsdirect democracy and participation, reform of copyright and patent law, free sharing of knowledge (Open Content), data privacy, transparency, freedom of information, free education and universal healthcare.
Above that, it’s the only political party that has spread over country-borders.
Check out the Pirate Party International if you want to learn more about that.

But I started out with the cool news about the Pirate Party Ghent Crew’s Blog, so let’s get back to this specific part of the Pirate Party Belgium.
So yes, there is a Pirate Party in my country, even better, in my city 🙂
There is a weekly awesome meeting from the Pirate Party Ghent Crew.
I fully understand that now you know, you’re eager to know what’s happening there…
On the Pirate Party Ghent Wiki page, you’ll find the meetingnotes of all past meetings, aswell as the agenda for future meetings.

Are you living in Belgium, and want to find out if there is a Crew around, find out at the main Pirateparty Belgium Wiki, or start your own 😉

Open Data in the city of Ghent

Yesterday was my first visit to a GentM event.
The topic of the evening: “Open Data”. (Someone even mentioned Smart Cities)

Someone (didn’t catch the name) talked about the digitalized University Library Ghent.
They pointed out that they’ve already gathered a lot of data and made it publicly available.
On the top of their homepage, there’s a link to available downloads and API’s for the people wanting to be creative with their data.

Next up was Pieter Colpaert, the father of the famous iRail going for word domination.
Pieter explained how iRails started, how they do it, and their goal (which is world domination).
His presentation:

After the awesome talk of Pieter, the microphone was passed on to Bart Rosseau.
Bart works as the Strategic Communication Advisor for the city.
He shared the view of the city on Open Data and what they want and will do for the public.
He noted that it’s obviously not as simple as just opening everything up to everyone, as there are privacy concerns etc…
He promised that there will be data available starting somewhere in the middle of May on
Probably on the 14th of May (source:
His presentation:

It’s not clear on which data will be placed in the public domain and/or under which license the data will be put.
So let’s keep our eyes open for changes on the page.

After his talk I’m glad I can conclude that there’s awareness on Open Data and Open Source within the city ​​council.

Politics in Belgium are grinding my gears

I’m not sure how to blog about this without giving the wrong impression.
Last year, when I was in Spain, I had a talk with people from all around the world about Belgian politics.
What I found was some bizarre mix from people not knowing what/where Belgium was to people that were worried about our upcoming civil war.

To make this clear, THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS AN UPCOMING CIVIL WAR IN BELGIUM! That’s just some reporter or news agency trying to make themselves more interesting than they are.
Like half of the country speaks French and the other part speaks Dutch. That’s all there is.
That’s no big deal. In India, they have 7 different languages, in Spain they have 2, etc… (put them in the comment below if you know some more examples)

The only downside of this, is that politicians use this to make a name for themselves.
The language issue is being milked out by unprofessional politicians that don’t want to do their job!
To clarify this, it’s already been 212 days that we’re without a Government.
Somehow, most of the people in Belgium don’t seem to care anymore. Which is a bad thing 🙁

This video (dutch) explains exactly how I feel about the matter:

This guy is asking for the people to go out and demonstrate to let the politicians know, we’re not paying them for sitting around pointing fingers.
And I think, he’s damn right!