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Mobile wallets: skewed market research

Kind of a tech geek, my attention was drawn to this article in Business Insider today. Yes, I know, your wallet has been mobile all along. Mine too, but I was kind of hoping it was about hardware wallets. Turns out that mobile wallets are apps that store payment card information in your smartphone, allowing you to make in-store payments. Mastercard, heavily invested into the phenomenon with its Masterpass, did some market research about mobile wallets and came up with a conclusion that seems rather biassed. Mobile Wallets were mentioned In 75% (!) of 3.5 million social media conversations about new payment methods. Yet these apps are used in just 1% of retail sales. Their conclusion: mainstream breakthrough is hindered by too many available mobile wallet apps, lack of support for store loyalty cards and consumers waiting for wearable wallets. My two cents: with 75% awareness and 1% penetration, could it be that the public just isn’t interested? 🙂 My wallet contains all cards I need, is finished in premium leather and I do wear it … in my back pocket.


Belgium: when the Hippocratic Oath fails

When my Mom recently needed emergency surgery to save her eye, she was racketeered by her physician to upgrade to a more expensive single-person room. The time-sensitive procedure would not be carried out, if she refused. You see, in Belgium MD’s are allowed to charge an elevated fee when a patient is staying in a private room. My parents alerted the media, resulting in a small media storm. Mom’s story was a headline on national TV news and in newspapers De Morgen, Gazet van Antwerpen, HLN and Het Nieuwsblad. My question is: whatever happened to the Hippocratic Oath?



Korat growth boom will accelerate

Looks like the current development of the city of Nakhon Ratchasima (short: Korat) is going to shift in an even higher gear. The city closest by my Thai residence already was in a growth spurt, with one mall drastically expanded, a second about to open and rumours about a third and a forth going ’round. A high-speed train connection between Bangkok and Korat has already been planned previously, now a second to Khon Kaen will be announced, as well as a nog highway to Bangkok. The local real estate market already grows about 10-15% every year, which will more than likely even accelerate. Impressive.




Mediahuis technical difficulties remain unresolved (Update: offline again)

*Update 23/10: all Mediahuis websites have returned to normal*

*Update 24/10: websites offline again*

*Update 24/10: downtime claimed by hackers*

Over twelve hours have passed since the websites of Belgian publisher Mediahuis went down and the issues haven’t been resolved yet. A report by Flemish national TV pointed towards a hardware problem, but was later edited to remove any mention of the hardware infrastructure supplier. The limited functionality that has been restored, seems nothing more than a WordPress installation that has been hastily set up, which is confirmed by the source code (illustration included, some specifics edited out). As the absence of a back-up procedure, emergency location and recovery plan is highly unlikely, I suspect something rather serious is going on. We wish all people involved the best of luck, and courage in these undoubtedly challenging and stressful times.



Mediahuis-websites offline (again!)

*Update 24/10 16.12: websites offline again*

*Update 24/10 16.30: downtime claimed by hackers*

Looks like Belgian publisher Mediahuis is having some serious server-issues. All of its websites, which include newspapers De Standaard, Het Nieuwsblad, and Het Belang Van Limburg, all are offline. No morning newspaper, than? (verified using



Belgium: Paul Magnette has earned my respect

Minister President Paul Magnette of the Belgian region Wallonia is acting like a good housefather and I respect him for it. Under immense international pressure and with Europe staring him down, he is taking a stand and refusing to sign the CETA free-trade agreement between Europe and Canada. Why? The man did his homework and found the agreement to be vague when decision power of national courts is concerned, when governments are sued by foreign investors. Basically, he wants to ensure that multinationals, which increasing have more power than nations, can’t just have free blows at European countries and indicates that he needs more time to study the current draft. What any other leader should have done, quoi. Paul, we might be part of different and often opposing communities within the same nation, but I would consider giving you my vote, if I could. Stand your ground, man. No use in having regional votes, if regions aren’t allowed to say ‘no’.