Saturday, August 27, 2016

Shortlist EYA 2016

Congratulations to the nominees for the EYA 2016 Award

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Press release: Dutch e-book barometer 2Q/16

CB Press release July 12, 2016

Dutch E-book Barometer Q2 2016: rentals more popular, sales are growing again

Today CB publishes the e-book barometer showing the development of e-books in the Dutch language, second quarter 2016.

Where in the first quarter, a slight decrease was seen in e-book sales, CB sees growth again; + 9% compared to the same quarter in 2015. E-book rentals from the libary ( continues in an unabated growth (+ 87% compared to Q2 2015). The average retail price continues to drop (-0.4% compared with the previous quarter).

New to the infographic, is the share of e-book sales in literary fiction; 11.3% is significantly higher than the 6.1% e-books in total book sales.

The trend in the ratio of rental versus sales is similar to e-book barometer for the first quarter of 2016. Like the last time the sales will rise at the time when titles enter into the lease for the first time.

The number of new titles seems to have increased minimally. However, there is a decline of titles during the quarter, with a possible cleanup. So there are indeed added many new e-books.


Tuesday, July 12, 2016

BPN 1724: First Dutch Digital City of 1994 will be resuscitated

There was a special session at the Amsterdam Museum, where a preview was given of the restoration of the site The Digital City (DDS). This historic site was the internet site that kicked the Dutch consumer on January 15, 1994 into the internet era. It was a project, based on the US free-nets, and started by the political-cultural center De Balie in Amsterdam and XS4ALL, the first consumer internet ISP. It was started at the beginning of the municipal elections  of spring 1994 and expanded the public media debate range from the local television, radio and print media to internet. The metaphor of a virtual city was chosen to emphasize the character of the public domain of DDS.  

First Dutch digital city
At first the information and communications services were presented in texts, but from October 15 onwards the interface became graphic. The organization received a grant from the city of Amsterdam to set up the site. The initiative received a lot of public attention on radio and television and in the press. Marleen Stikker was the  virtual mayor of DDS and the media spokesperson. And the initiative did receive a lot of attention. In fact thousands of potential online users were clamouring on the gates to get in and get a dial-up connection through DDS. After six weeks, the project already had more than ten thousand registered users. Not only internet provider XS4ALL was surprised by the interest, but also line provider PTT Telecom. 

Virtual experience 
The initial enthusiasm of DDS caused a rise and fall. DDS became an ISP, but eventually could not manage to stay in business and disappeared from the internet scene. The remains were buried with the other archives of Amsterdam Museum (the first Dutch museum to recognise digital heritage).  

Until he original files were found back in the Amsterdam Museum Archives. This led to the project ‘DDS resuscitated’ sponsored by he Amsterdam Museum, the Waag Society, University of Amsterdam and Sound and Vision. Computer science students from the University of Amsterdam and the Free University found a file of 10Mb on a hard drive. This drive had been stored for 20 years. The students restored the file in two versions: one with all data and one replicate. On June 30th, these were demonstrated as DDS version 3.0. 
In the fall DDS version 4.0 will be shown. It will be an emulation completely programmed anew "to create a modern, stable and secure functioning site”. In this version users will be able to select an avatar and can move through the city from bar to post office and library using the subway. It will bring back some of the first feelings, experienced at the introduction of DDS. As one can still walk through Pompeii in Italy and experience the Roman city as it was, so users will also be able to visit and experience the first Dutch virtual city of 1994, complete with map and guide. 

10+ years back in time 
"DDS resuscitated' is a first web archeological project in The Netherlands, which offers a view of internet as it was between 1994 and 1996. It will allow users to look back a little over a decade. Hopefully the project is a first incentive for more online projects like the first online Dutch public service Viditel 1980. It would be great to recreate this service and make it available online. It could bring back the feeling of how users digested information through the Prestel based videotex system. Perhaps the former PTT museum, now named the Museum of Communication, or the successor of PTT Telecom still might have a few tapes in their archives.

Monday, April 25, 2016

BPN 1723: Dutch country suffix .nl 30 years

Today it is 30 years since the country suffix .nl was inaugurated. Furthermore, the first land suffix was in use. The designation of countries was coined in the Netherlands.

Dutch internet pioneers Jaap Akkerhuis, Daniel Karrenberg, Teus Hagen en Piet Beertema (right) at the pensioning event of  Piet Beertema on 16 September 2004. Source: CWI.

In the Netherlands, the Mathematical Centre (MC) in Amsterdam in 1982 was in contact with Arpanet and played a role  an important role in the UUCP network of European universities. MC became the network gateway between the US and Europe. Domain names were released by Arpanet, but in 1986 a shortage of the domain names threatened for the 25,000 computers connected to the UUCP network of universities and the Arpanet. Piet Beertema, employee at MC (but from 1983 onwards CWI, Centrum Wiskunde & Informatica) came up with the solution of a country suffix in the domain name. John Postel from the Stanford Research Institute, responsible for the domain names, approved the country suffix dot country code as a proper instrument.

And on April 25, 1986 the suffix .nl was allocated to the Netherlands. The Netherlands was the first country with its own country code. On May 1, 1986 the first Dutch domain name was registered. The next domains were: (association of professional Open Systems and Open Standards users in the Netherlands); (The National Institute for Nuclear Physics and High Energy Physics); (university of Groningen) and  (Collaborating academic computing centers). Piet Beertema was the registrar and recorded the domain names. In the first two years he was not very busy, as he only registered 60 domains in his notebook. In 1989 there was only one registered domain name. Apart from academic computer centers companies could also register a domain name, but they had to show their Chamber of Commerce registration paper.

The slow growth was due to the transformation that internet underwent. Arpanet decided to continue as the military internet branch and the National Science Foundation became responsible in 1988 for academic and commercial NSFnet. On November 17, 1988, at 14:30 pm Piet Beertema linked The Netherlands as one of the first countries outside the US to the academic network NSFnet. The Netherlands brought the first, non-military, transatlantic connection to the Web.

This connection did give a boost to internet use in the academic world. But the registration of domain names only really took off from 1993, when the Dutch ISP XS4ALL on May 1 launched its Internet services to consumers on May 1, ending the first day with 500 subscriptions. And the Internet began in earnest, when the Digital City opened its gates and businesses did not know how fast they had to register a domain name in order to have an internet profile. Over the following years registration of domain names increased. In order to keep pace the Foundation for Internet Domain Registration in the Netherlands (SIDN) was founded. On January 31, 1996 the tasks of the CWI were transferred to SIDN.

End of March 2016, more than 5.6 million domain names were registered with SIDN (see SIDN statistics). The Netherlands is the fourth in the ranking of number of domain names with a country code (country code Top Level Domain - ccTLD).The Netherlands is preceded by .cn, .de and .uk.

Friday, April 22, 2016

BPN 1723: Dutch e-books: sales down slightly, continue to increase lending

Press release CB (in Dutch) 
April 21, 2016

For the second consecutive quarter, a decline is reflected in the e-book sales (-7% compared to the same quarter in 2015, in the previous quarter, this was -1%). E-books on loan from the library increased by 110% compared to Q1 2015.

CB sees a slight decrease in the average retail price of an e-book compared to those of the physical book. Now 54.6%. Now 92% of the titles from the Bestseller 60 list (top 60 sales over 12 months) are also available as e-books. This is 4% more than last quarter.

The e-book barometer has added two new types of facts and figures: Lifecycle of a best-seller relationship and loan/sales. In the lifecycle CB demonstrate the average trend of e-book sales of the TOP25 titles after publication. Analyzing sales/loan shows a trend which shows loans in addition to sales.

You can download here the English language infographic (pdf) here

Friday, April 08, 2016

BPN 1727: A video floor for physiotherapy

In January my bionic system went for a hip revision into the medical garage. Next day you are out of the hospital bed ready for rehabilitation walkies with crutches or behind a rollator. And after another night, you are out of the hospital. At that point your rehabilitation exercises for improving walking starts. At first it might be painful, awkward and boring, but walking will improve over the weeks. However rehabilitation might become more entertaining with a higtech led floor.

The led floor is already a common facility in entertainment studios and are used in shows like the Euro songfestival or Victoria’s Secret presentations. But now a led floor of 3 meters by 3 meters has been installed in the Design Lab of the University Twente. Yet to this floor sensors have been added to generate data about the walking habits and to measure the progress of the rehabilitation process. The floor has become one big interactive touchscreen. It has been developed by the company ledGo, which so far sells the floors to the entertainment market.

The led floor is not just meant for boring training walkies. With the video floor lights and colours can be interactively generated. So it can be used creatively for serious/social games and experience. The floor can be used by one person, but can also be used in a game for two. In this way patients can start moving, while their data are generated , compared and analysed. The play feature had already been researched in cooperation with the Rehabilitation Center De Hoogstraat in Utrecht, be it on a led path. But with the square floor games and especially multi-person games become more interesting, while movements will become more varied.

The led floor facility for so called gait rehabilitation is now under development  and being researched for use in the e-health sector. For the time being it will be used by rehabilitation centers with patients who rehabilitate from accidents and strokes. But the market is wider. Fitness centers and private practices of physiotherapists  will be candidates for the vertical interactive touch screen.

Sunday, February 28, 2016

BPN 1726: Almost all Dutch online

Almost all Dutch people were online in 2015, according to the annually held Media Standard Survey 2015.  The Media Standard Survey looks at new trends in media use. The results are representative of all households in the Netherlands and all individuals of 13 years and older. In 2015, 6,144 households and 5,255 individuals aged 13 and older were surveyed.

Online time 
The Media Standard Survey 2015 shows that nearly 95 percent of the Dutch population has Internet access at home and in the workplace almost half. Dutch are on average more than two hours online every day. That's an increase of 34 percent compared to 2011. Although surfing time increased in all age categories, there are big differences. The browsing time of teenagers is more than three hours per day, an increase of 59 percent compared to 2011. People aged over 65 are daily on average one hour online. 

Growth using mobile devices
In 2015, the use of smartphones and tablets grew strongly. More than two-thirds use the smartphone for internet, using this device alongside the laptop. The rise of the tablet is spectacular. It has become more popular for surfing with this device to the PC. More than half of the Dutch population aged 13 years and older are surfing on a tablet. However, the role of the conventional PC has not yet been played out. The use of this device increased again slightly to 54 percent after years of decline. 

Newspapers on digital platforms 
Digital publishing became increasingly important for publishers in recent years. Therefore publishers provide daily digital content, for example through websites, digital editions and apps. Consumers read newspapers on various digital platforms. Almost half of the Dutch (48 percent) read a digital newspaper in 2015. The PC used by 27 percent of  the Dutch is favourite. Smartphones and tablets grew as platforms for reading newspapers. Nearly a quarter of smartphone users and more than one fifth of the tablet owners read a Dutch digital newspaper in 2015; this was 22 per cent and 20 per cent respectively in 2014. 

The Media Standard Survey is carried out annually since 2011 by TNS NIPO on behalf of the Dutch Radio, Print and Television Research (NLO, NOM and SKO).

Source:  MSS_2015_rapportage_160223.pdf (in Dutch; no English version available online)