May 2, 2011
By Chris Smith
TomTom has issued a statement after it was revealed that police in Holland are using historical speed data, captured by its savnav devices, as a guide for positioning speed traps.
Devices like the Go LIVE 1000 collect speed information automatically and backs it up to a TomTom database, which allows the company to improve the service the dashboard companion can offer.
TomTom also makes the database available to authorities for safety and logistic purposes, but says it was unaware that the police were using it in this way and promises to listen to customer concerns.
The statement reads: “We make this information available to local governments and authorities.
“It helps them to better understand where congestion takes place, where to build new roads and how to make roads safer.”
TomTom continues: “We are now aware that the police have used traffic information that you have helped to create to place speed cameras at dangerous locations where the average speed is higher than the legally allowed speed limit.
“We are aware a lot of our customers do not like the idea and we will look at if we should allow this type of usage.”
Satnavs like TomTom have traditionally informed drivers of where speed cameras are located, so news that speed information of drivers could be used in this way is a strange reversal of roles.
TomTom also assured customers that any information it gathers is anonymous and can never be traced back to drivers, so there’s no need to worry about a speed ticket coming through your door.
September 17, 2010
The Raw Story
US cosmetics and pharmaceutical giant Johnson and Johnson said on Friday it intends to acquire Dutch vaccine maker Crucell, which isactive in developing countries, for about 1.75 billion euros.
“The companies expect that Crucell’s strength in the manufacture, discovery and commercialisation of vaccines would create a strong platform for Johnson & Johnson in the vaccine market,” the two firms said in a statement.
“Under the terms of the negotiations… Johnson and Johnson or an affiliate would acquire all outstanding equity of Crucell that it does not already own for approximately euro 1.75 billion (2.30 billion dollars),” it added.
Johnson & Johnson already owns 17.5 percent of Crucell.
The US firm said it would keep Crucell’s headquarters in Leiden in the Netherlands and preserve jobs at the Dutch company, which employs 1,300 people.
Lasy year Crucell produced more than 115 million vaccine doses in more than 100 countries, with the most of the treatments going to developing countries.
June 15, 2010
By Charlie Skelton
Weary and bramble-scratched, elated by the press coverage, and sick of riot vans and lukewarm Spanish omelette baguettes, we return from Bilderberg 2010 with the following thoughts uppermost in our tired mind:
• ‘Global cooling’ is on the cards
Check out the agenda for Bilderberg 2010: “Financial reform, security, cyber technology, energy, Pakistan, Afghanistan, world food problem, global cooling, social networking, medical science, EU-US relations.” That list is a window into your future. Don’t think for one minute that it isn’t. And don’t ignore it, because it isn’t ignoring you.
I love how “social networking” must fry the Bilderbergian mind. On the one hand, as Zuckerberg of Facebook says, privacy is no longer a social norm so it’s okay to milk the networking sites for information, social trends and dissident thinking; however, you can’t stop the people from arranging a meet-up to discuss internet censorship or the rights and wrongs of “global cooling”. Speaking of which, Bill Gates (Bilderberg 2010) is funding “cloud whitening” technology; trials start soon. Global dimming isn’t just something that happens every time Big Brother starts. On the basis of this agenda, I think we can expect a lot of statements about cutting-edge cloud-technology trials in the next 12 months. If it works in Dubai, it can work in Britain too…
• You can’t keep a good story down
If I had to pick the point when Bilderberg finally broke through into mainstream news, it would be when the BBC News Blog published a round-up of Bilderberg reports. Twelve months ago, this would have been barely conceivable. This year, Kissinger must be spitting chips.
• People love their ‘leaders’
I know this sounds peculiar, or at least it does to me, but this year’s Bilderbloggings have quite commonly been met with outrage at the idea that we should submit Bilderberg to greater scrutiny. You hear people talk about the delegates at Bilderberg as their “leaders”, and you see the delegates mythologised as the greatest and the best – whose benign Olympian machinations should progress untroubled by the interference of public and press. “Leaders” like the CEO of Royal Dutch Shell, and the chairman of Kissinger Associates Inc.
I’m baffled to the point of punching tree trunks to witness the determination of some folk to throw themselves in front of these heads of corporations and presidents of banks and to wave their arms protectively, yelping: “Leave them alone! Let them strategise for the good of the world in peace! How could they possibly have a frank discussion with our politicians if we were privy to it? Stop this unseemly prying!” I mean, seriously. The day that Marcus Agius, chairman of Barclays, strategises for my good is the day he repays me the hundreds of pounds of bank charges he’s been levying on me since my schooldays. The day that Peter Voser, CEO of Royal Dutch Shell, sits around a table with the express concern of making the world a better, more beautiful place for all of us, is the day that my arse grows teeth and eats my hat.
May 19, 2010
By Toby Sterling, AP
Dutch security officials said Wednesday they are taking seriously the threat to soccer fans after a terrorism suspect arrested in Iraq claimed he considered attacking Dutch or Danish fans at the World Cup in South Africa.
But the Dutch anti-terrorism office and Danish authorities said they aren’t yet planning any new security measures in response.
Judith Sluiter of the Netherlands’ anti-terrorism coordination office says the comments made by Abdullah Azam Saleh al-Qahtani were in line with her agency’s perception of potential threats.
“Dutch interests abroad are more at risk than they are inside this country at the moment,” Sluiter said. “Here, they’re limited, but abroad, they’re substantial.”
Al-Qahtani said he considered attacking the Dutch and Danish teams or fans to avenge perceived insults to Islam.
“We discussed the possibility of taking revenge for the insults of the prophet by attacking Denmark and Holland,” al-Qahtani told The Associated Press. “If we were not able to reach the teams, then we’d target the fans.”
Al-Qahtani, a Saudi citizen, was arrested in Iraq on May 3 after a note he had written detailing similar plans was found at a house where two leading al-Qaida suspects were killed in April.
Dutch citizens are considered potential targets in part due to an anti-Islam film made by right-wing Dutch politician Geert Wilders. Similarly, Danes have been considered at risk due to the publication of cartoons featuring Islam’s prophet Mohammed.
Vish Naidoo, a spokesman for South African police, said the report from Baghdad would not affect World Cup security planning because terrorism had always been part of the calculations.
Interpol, the international police coordination agency, is sending 200 experts to assist at the tournament, while each of the 31 visiting teams will be sending up to eight officers to work with South African counterparts.
South Africa has trained 44,000 extra police for the event.
Sluiter said her agency was in touch with intelligence agencies about potential threats and “keeping its finger on the pulse.”
The Netherlands national team departs for a pre-tournament training camp in Switzerland on Wednesday.
Denmark captain Jon Dahl Tomasson declined to comment Wednesday on the terrorism threat.
“I think we should focus on one thing, and that is we are heading out to play great football,” the Feyenoord striker said.
November 18, 2009
The Dutch health institute RIVM has stopped the distribution of a batch of Pfizer’s Prevnar childhood vaccine following the death of three babies shortly after being vaccinated.
The vaccine has been labeled ‘do not use’ and and new supplies have been made available to doctors.
The exact cause of the death of the infants is not yet known, the RIVM said. The babies died between one and 11 days after the vaccination.