Controversial popularity of Belgian music and films

«When I use a word, Humpty Dumpty said in a rather a scornful tone, it means
just what I choose it to mean — neither more nor less». © Lewis Carroll

Check out that article from Metro. Seems like the text was written by the Belgian anti-piracy association, and the title — by a Metro editor who tried to please the public by indicating that some still like belgian music and movies.

Now, do the numbers given in the article make any sense to you? What would have changed if they were divided by 100 or multiplied by 1000?

Intervat or Fight agains the electronic windmills

Intervat sucks

Belgium has a multitude of e-government solutions. Local residents have now ID cards in the form of a banking card with a chip, there are services to order certificates online with these cards, pay taxes and check for medicines.

Last week, I was struggling with the Intervat, an online system for entering various VAT declarations. I had no clients outside belgium, so I tried to enter an empty declaration for inter-country transfers when the application displayed an error saying that "the declaration has to contain minumum one client.".

To make sure, I asked the support whether I should send an empty declaration, and got the reply that I have to resubmit my declaration. To top it all, the reply was in Dutch, although my question was in French. I am still trying to figure what to do, and the deadline for the declaration is today.

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Job Architect. Helping companies write job ads

First appeared in westartup.eu

Nowadays, IT companies do not rely on intermediates when looking for new employees. They use the Jobs sections of their websites, advertise on Stepstone, Monster or LinkedIn. They use the power of the word-of-mouth. In the ongoing battle for the new talent, the attractiveness of the job ad for the company is as important as that of the resume for an applicant. However, many IT job ads are written either by the middle management or by HR, that is, people who are likely to miss the most attractive features of the new position by sheer lack of domain knowledge.

Create a public poll service with eID authentication for Belgians

First appeared in westartup.eu

The eID is not only a small piece of plastic that replaces your old cardboard national ID card, but a means to electronically sign legally binding documents.

The law that enforces the equality betwen the handwrittend and electronic signature passed in 2001.
Put aside legal considerations,a poll that collects 20.000+ votes where each voter is legally authentified as a citizen and can be traced by his eID card number has much more impact than a poll of 20.000+ anonymous internet users.

Write a useable FP7 proposal collaboration tool

Appeared originally in westartup.eu.

There are already some FP7-related services, two clicks from the google home page, but they are mostly about consulting or badly written tools that none uses anyway.

Companies behind these tools do not provide trial versions nor demo versions, only one has a (really bad) screencast. Technical features are missing from the descriptions. Moreover, they do not respond to inquiries to provide more information on their tools.

A proposal, especially an FP7 proposal has a fairly evolved internal structure. Its TOC does not almost change at the first two levels, and there are a few rules everyone follows, e.g.

 

  • Consortium members are numbered
  • Each consortium member has a company profile section
  • Work is split into work packages
  • One member is assigned as a work package lead
  • Work packages are split into tasks
  • One or more members are assigned to each task
  • Tasks shall lead to deliverables
  • There are milestones in the project
  • There is a Gantt chart
  • and so on…

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