Free as in beer

A few days ago I made iSimplifiedChinese free so that more people would download it and hopefully spread the word and provide reviews. So far the good news is that it resulted in lots of downloads, but the bad news is that nobody bought any teacher feedbacks and downloads are dropping exponentially. Let’s look at… Continue reading Free as in beer

How to make a Chinese language course – Part II

Using the ingredients from Part 1 I created three draft lessons for iSimplifiedChinese. In this post I analyse them in order to learn how to improve and expand the course. All lesson material is shared under CC-SA. A Chinese speaking friend of mine was kind enough to check the material for errors, but as usual… Continue reading How to make a Chinese language course – Part II

Erasing David

I just watched Erasing David, a documentary about a man who tried to hide from two private detectives for a month. Amazing; you just can’t hide unless you sacrifice pretty much everything. And this was all relatively low-tech and with almost no access to the sort information a government can use (e.g. cellphone locations, passport… Continue reading Erasing David

How to make a Chinese language course – Part I

The goal of iSimplifiedChinese is to teach people how to pronounce Standard Mandarin Chinese. For that I need words and phrases for students to practice. But which? The goal isn’t to teach vocabulary or grammar; there are other apps, books and teachers for that. In theory you don’t need to understand a word you’re saying… Continue reading How to make a Chinese language course – Part I


Apple gave me a really nice birthday present on December 2nd, when they approved my iPhone application: iSimplifiedChinese. For those who don’t know it, it allows you to practice your Chinese pronunciation by sending your pronunciations to a real Chinese person for feedback. I expected waking up filthy rich the next morning, but unfortunately it… Continue reading Marketing

Faalt het UWV?

In aanvulling op mijn tweets (1,2) van net over het artikel “Niemand weet raad met het falende UWV” in de NRC van vandaag (31-7-2010). Ik kan me altijd mateloos ergeren als zowel de media als de politiek niet even de moeite nemen basale statistiek toe te passen voor ze van alles gaan roepen. Neem de… Continue reading Faalt het UWV?

Opzegbrief Vodafone

Utrecht 15 juni 2010 Betreft: Opzeggen abonnement en verzoek tot terugstorting teveel betaalde deel Geachte heer / mevrouw, Ik wens mijn abonnement voor Vodafone telefoonnummer 06-xxxxxxxx per onmiddellijk of zo spoedig mogelijk op te zeggen. Dit verzoek doe ik slechts om eventuele schade te beperken en ik erken hiermee niet dat u het recht of… Continue reading Opzegbrief Vodafone

How I did not get scammed!

Oh my… I still can’t believe it. There are actually good people in this world. Or the bad guys aren’t as smart as I feared. Either way, I thought I fell victim to a super sophisticated social engineering attack. But I didn’t! Let me explain… I arrived at Xi’an train station this morning on the… Continue reading How I did not get scammed!

Categorized as reizen


I installed the Sleep Cycle iPhone app about a month ago, so I thought it was time for an update. Let me share some data:

Natural Selection of Information – Can Google Help?

A friend of mine brought to my attention an article with the Top 5 Threats to science-based medicine. It mentions the usual state sponsored quacks, but the most interesting one is #5: New Media. Of course, “user generated content” and unvetted health advice and claims are easily made by anyone anytime. And thanks to the… Continue reading Natural Selection of Information – Can Google Help?