Jeroen Hellingman’s Techdirt Profile


About Jeroen Hellingman

Jeroen Hellingman’s Comments comment rss

  • Oct 14th, 2021 @ 2:06am

    (untitled comment)

    Basically, I think LinkedIn has two options 1.) Block the accounts, or 2.) leave the Chinese market.

    Given the current behavior of China with regard to human rights and international aggression, I think option 2 becomes more reasonable by the day.

    If the a country implements a law forbidding compliance with these Chinese laws, their options will simply be reduced to only option 2. If you want to do that, such a law should be consistent, in applying to all companies, which no western country can do at this time, due to a far too large dependence on (cheap, but neo-colonialism and slavery attached) labor and a near monopoly on certain rare natural resources. To resolve this issue, ending the dependency on cheap labor and affected natural resources is of the highest urgency.

  • Oct 12th, 2021 @ 6:10am

    (untitled comment)

    One other reason to still advise VPNs: if they are commonplace, people who have a special need for VPN don't attract extra attention. If VPNs are rare, the fact that you use one may invite extra scrutiny.

    I think we're currently covered enough by corporate VPNs for people working at home to at least partially cover that aspect.

  • Oct 6th, 2021 @ 1:01am

    Re: Re:

    Steven Pemberton already promoted having your own website a very long time ago, in 2008 he wrote this:

    It is still valid today, and so very easy. I run my own stuff from a NAS, but even a Raspberry PI can run impressive things nowadays. I think with the right software, you could even run a website from your smartphone.

  • Sep 27th, 2021 @ 1:46am

    Re: Re: many things you are omitting

    This is not about trademarks, this is about the EU's bastard child of trademarks, the protected designation of origin scheme, which hijacks generally accepted generic names for products, and gives a monopoly to a certain region to produce those products under those names, causing head-ache for producers of similar products outside that region, which now have to invent some new name for the product (example, feta cheese, which an now only be produced in Greece under that name). There is nothing about quality control in the regulations, only about location. Producer outside the privileged location are not only forbidden to name the product as such, but often also prevented from mentioning the name at all (e.g. saying it is an alternative for feta). I normally try to avoid such products, because the scheme makes them more expensive.

    I wouldn't object against requiring actual geographic indications on products to be truthful (and not misleading), but this is just about monopolizing common, well-established names for products that can produced everywhere.

  • Sep 23rd, 2021 @ 1:24am


    Pretty easy if they want to work that way: they can still instruct court officials not to allow the filing of civil cases based on this law, or judges to handle such cases. Pretty easy. They are probably trying to save both the cabbage and the goat, and in the process let the wolf run wild.

  • Sep 19th, 2021 @ 11:43pm


    Not so, but they might be able to use a Russian keyboard and get "РЕТА" through the filter.

  • Sep 10th, 2021 @ 2:44am

    Re: Re: Re:

    There is indeed a group of immune-compromised people who would have to take special care. That is, unfortunately, nothing new to them. You also have the risk of new mutations to develop, but most vaccines so-far protect reasonably well against those as well: remember that the mRNA vaccine aims at the virus' weapon, its spikes, a mutation to those is far more likely to make the virus less effective (that is also why the vaccine in most cases works better than natural immunity: your natural immunity could attack some other aspect of the virus, good enough to heal you, not good enough to arm you against mutations on those aspects). We already have to be on the look-out for mutations of many other viruses that are out in the wild. With vaccinations, we basically restore the status-quo from before 2020.

  • Sep 10th, 2021 @ 2:38am

    Re: Hypocrisy

    Wouldn't it be better for them to move to Afghanistan, where the Taliban has already established such a state? (with a sufficient flexible definition of what it means to be white)

  • Sep 10th, 2021 @ 2:16am

    (untitled comment)

    The problem here is that under the guise of AML (Anti-Money Laundering) and CFT (Combating the Financing of Terrorism), governments force private parties to exclude customers, which governments themselves cannot do, due to legal requirements for due process. These AML/CFT measures are a large financial burden to institutions, and the risk of fines is huge, so they rather err on the side of overblocking than underblocking.

    Financial institutions would love it, if there would be a government organization to which they could send all their customer applications and transactions, and get a OK/NOK back, so they can offload trying to interpret a terrorist list that includes such things as: "a person with 'JAN' in his name is a suspected terrorist".

  • Sep 9th, 2021 @ 2:49am


    I think we will have to live with the virus for the foreseeable future: we cannot root it out, only reduce its impact. We also cannot maintain the current rules for much longer, however, seeing that vaccination is highly effective at preventing deaths, I think we should simply drop all restrictions once everybody has had a reasonable chance to vaccinate themselves (except for hospitals and a few other places where immune-compromized people come together), keep a close eye on possible dangerous mutations, work on updating vaccines if needed, and accept that people who refuse the vaccine from that point on are mostly a danger to themselves -- and that fear of that danger will be the only thing that will enable them to overcome their fear for needles. We can nudge them, help them by having mobile vaccination services that work discretely, but not force them.

  • Sep 3rd, 2021 @ 1:56am

    Re: Re: myth and legands

    Yup, in a true meritocracy, everybody would have the same starting position, which would mean, for example, that we introduce a 100% inheritance tax. Even then, nature is unfair with the skills it distributes. I therefore reject meritocracy. A much better alternative is to organize society in such a way, that everybody can contribute according to his or her skills and aptitude, and everybody is rewarded at least a decent income for that. Economically and technically we have the means to do so, only the political will and understanding is missing. (Reading tip: The Tyranny of Merit by Michael J. Sandel).

  • Sep 3rd, 2021 @ 1:50am


    If you are talking about merit, you should also focus about what merits you actually want to look for and reward, because often, the merits that are rewarded are those that happen to be more prominently present in men -- which in itself is already discriminatory. This also means organizations do not function optimally, as perfectly illustrated in this article. If we refocus on what skills and personalities we actually want positively contribute to an organization, and recognize that diversity in itself has significant value (read Rebel Ideas by Mathew Syed), we don't even need discriminating methods to get a more diverse workplace.

    With a proper understanding of who adds value, we don't get to hire only those minority people that show majority traits as token representatives to meet some arbitrary quota, which will not lead to a healthy viewpoint diversity, and that latter is what is actually called for.

  • Sep 3rd, 2021 @ 12:53am


    Believing that this is an intentional tactic is grossly over-estimating the intelligence of those who cause the trouble in the first place, which is mostly short-sighted greed by people accidentally in positions of power (both inside and outside the country: in Syria, the Assad family aren't exactly known as friendly chaps with prudent forward looking policies either).

    Also, if we have a shortage of skilled labor, there are much better ways to lure those in than creating a holy mess abroad. Just paying a better salary or creating better living conditions here already works.

  • Sep 2nd, 2021 @ 6:52am

    Re: Re:

    Agreed, that law is wrong on more than front.

  • Sep 2nd, 2021 @ 6:12am

    (untitled comment)

    Considering the anti-abortion law that was passed in Texas, and ignored by the Supreme Court, I wouldn't bet on what the American Taliban is willing to do to push through their agenda.

  • Aug 26th, 2021 @ 2:28am

    (untitled comment)

    Wouldn't a fake imposter be the real thing pretending to be an imposter? That is how I read the title of this article. :-)

  • Jul 28th, 2021 @ 5:57am

    Re: Re: Good idea, abhorrent application

    Joining such an outlet in a large number could be used to actually change the charter and remove all such bigoted ideas from it. Just make sure you get the majority.

  • Jul 27th, 2021 @ 12:53am

    Re: Re: Re:

    Should have quoted a fee high enough to retire immediately after the case, because that is what such a case does with your reputation. And don't forget to require payment up-front.

  • Jul 26th, 2021 @ 12:36am

    (untitled comment)

    I must vehemently oppose the idea of collecting information about a persons race, ethnic background or gender (point 2). I am actually in favor of a total ban for governments and legal entities to collect such information at all. These aspects are totally irrelevant for the social value or inventiveness of an invention, and by collecting such information, you further strengthen the forces that try to divide and separate people on such features, that is, you are actively promoting discrimination.

  • Jul 6th, 2021 @ 11:19pm

    The lesson learned...

    The lesson learned: you can never buy anything with DRM, until the DRM on the product is fully broken: it is rental at best.

    Of the two crimes of supporting a business that uses unfair business practices or the infringement of copyrights held by the same business, the latter is clearly the lesser.

More comments from Jeroen Hellingman >>

This site, like most other sites on the web, uses cookies. For more information, see our privacy policy. Got it