Powned under fire for paying bike gang boss to be on tv

Ziggo, XS4All told to block The Pirate Bay ahead of Supreme Court ruling

Public broadcaster Powned did pay the leader of a ‘outlaw’ motorcycle gang ‘expenses’ for his role in a documentary series about him, station director Dominique Weesie has confirmed. The Telegraaf claims Henk Kuipers, arrested earlier this week on changes of serious physical assault and blackmail, was paid €1,000 per episode. So far 10 episodes, each lasting nine minutes, have been placed online. Weesie first denied that Kuipers is paid for his role in the mini documentaries but said on Thursday evening he is paid ‘expenses’ of below the €1,000 sources told the Telegraaf. He also said the cash did not come from the broadcaster’s official funding but from the money raised through Powned members. Powned was founded in 2009 by the GeenStijl shockblog. The company says it will not pull the series, seen by critics as propaganda for the No Surrender motorbike gang, despite the arrests. CDA MPs have called on the government to explain why ‘organised crime is being given such a stage’ while Labour MP Attje Kuiken said Weesie is ‘helping to romanticise the club and then lying about it.’  More >

Dutch film Layla M not on Oscar shortlist

Ziggo, XS4All told to block The Pirate Bay ahead of Supreme Court ruling Dutch film Layla M, which tells the story of an eighteen year-old Muslim girl in Amsterdam West who slowly falls for the ideas of radical Islam, has not made it to the shortlist for next year's best foreign film Oscar. In total, 92 films were submitted for the award and nine are still in the running for one of the five nomination places. The Oscar ceremony is in March. Layla M generated full cinemas in the Netherlands and has won praise at various international film festivals. Its star Nora el Koussour won this year's Golden Calf for her performance as Layla while Mohammed Azaay won best male actor in a supporting role. The last time a Dutch film made the final nomination list was in 2004 (De Tweeling) while in 1997, Karakter won the Oscar for best foreign film.   More >

Murder victim tops Google trending list

Ziggo, XS4All told to block The Pirate Bay ahead of Supreme Court ruling Murder victim Anne Faber was one of the biggest trending topics on Google in the Netherlands this year, the search engine operator said on Wednesday. The disappearance of the 25-year-old while on a cycle ride at the end of September captured the public's imagination and every twist of the case was followed until her body was found two weeks later and a suspect arrested. Other popular searches include the Stemwijzer voting aid ahead of the elections, celebrity Patricia Paay, who was involved in a sex film scandal, and Abedelhak Nouri, the Ajax football player felled by a heart attack. The Dutch also used Google a lot to find out what Pentecost (Pinksteren) and a pangolin are and how to use Paypal and Instagram. The most important sportsman was Max Verstappen while Dutch football international Lieke Martens was the most googled member of Oranje's European champions. Geert Wilders headed the list of trending politicians. The lists is based on search terms that had a high spike in traffic in 2017 as compared to 2016, Google said.   More >

The Netherlands Second is first on YouTube

Ziggo, XS4All told to block The Pirate Bay ahead of Supreme Court ruling The satirical video clip introducing the Netherlands to president Donald Trump ‘in a way he would understand’ was the best watched Dutch video on YouTube this year, the video website said on Wednesday. The film, which went global this January, has been seen almost 11 million times, almost three times as many as the number two on the list. That video, with 3.7 million views, featured YouTube vlogger Enzo Knol and his girlfriend Dee van der Zeeuw announcing they were breaking up. The most watched music video in the Netherlands this year was Ed Sheeran with Shape of You.   More >

Wifi connections in inner cities get worse

Ziggo, XS4All told to block The Pirate Bay ahead of Supreme Court ruling Almost 40% of wifi connections in Dutch inner cities are poor because so many networks are competing with each other, according to a new report by the government's telecoms agency. Two years ago, 27% of connections could be described as poor, the agency is quoted as saying by the NRC. Most domestic wifi services use the overcrowded 2.4 GHz bandwidth, which also hosts bluetooth appliances such as doorbells. In addition, the spectrum is becoming increasingly busy due to the popularity of live streaming. The agency measured the quality of wifi connections in some 200 places. 'In places where reception was bad, it is now worse,' said spokesman Paul Wijninga in the NRC. The problem is particularly acute in older houses - newer homes are better insulated against interference but the use of concrete also means they need to use more amplifiers to strengthen the signal away from the router. The agency recommends people affected by poor reception to the less congested 5 GHz networks.  More >