Monday, April 25, 2016

BPN 1723: Dutch country suffix .nl 30 years

Today it is 30 years since the country suffix .nl was inaugurated. Furthermore, the first land suffix was in use. The designation of countries was coined in the Netherlands.

Dutch internet pioneers Jaap Akkerhuis, Daniel Karrenberg, Teus Hagen en Piet Beertema (right) at the pensioning event of  Piet Beertema on 16 September 2004. Source: CWI.

In the Netherlands, the Mathematical Centre (MC) in Amsterdam in 1982 was in contact with Arpanet and played a role  an important role in the UUCP network of European universities. MC became the network gateway between the US and Europe. Domain names were released by Arpanet, but in 1986 a shortage of the domain names threatened for the 25,000 computers connected to the UUCP network of universities and the Arpanet. Piet Beertema, employee at MC (but from 1983 onwards CWI, Centrum Wiskunde & Informatica) came up with the solution of a country suffix in the domain name. John Postel from the Stanford Research Institute, responsible for the domain names, approved the country suffix dot country code as a proper instrument.

And on April 25, 1986 the suffix .nl was allocated to the Netherlands. The Netherlands was the first country with its own country code. On May 1, 1986 the first Dutch domain name was registered. The next domains were: (association of professional Open Systems and Open Standards users in the Netherlands); (The National Institute for Nuclear Physics and High Energy Physics); (university of Groningen) and  (Collaborating academic computing centers). Piet Beertema was the registrar and recorded the domain names. In the first two years he was not very busy, as he only registered 60 domains in his notebook. In 1989 there was only one registered domain name. Apart from academic computer centers companies could also register a domain name, but they had to show their Chamber of Commerce registration paper.

The slow growth was due to the transformation that internet underwent. Arpanet decided to continue as the military internet branch and the National Science Foundation became responsible in 1988 for academic and commercial NSFnet. On November 17, 1988, at 14:30 pm Piet Beertema linked The Netherlands as one of the first countries outside the US to the academic network NSFnet. The Netherlands brought the first, non-military, transatlantic connection to the Web.

This connection did give a boost to internet use in the academic world. But the registration of domain names only really took off from 1993, when the Dutch ISP XS4ALL on May 1 launched its Internet services to consumers on May 1, ending the first day with 500 subscriptions. And the Internet began in earnest, when the Digital City opened its gates and businesses did not know how fast they had to register a domain name in order to have an internet profile. Over the following years registration of domain names increased. In order to keep pace the Foundation for Internet Domain Registration in the Netherlands (SIDN) was founded. On January 31, 1996 the tasks of the CWI were transferred to SIDN.

End of March 2016, more than 5.6 million domain names were registered with SIDN (see SIDN statistics). The Netherlands is the fourth in the ranking of number of domain names with a country code (country code Top Level Domain - ccTLD).The Netherlands is preceded by .cn, .de and .uk.

Friday, April 22, 2016

BPN 1723: Dutch e-books: sales down slightly, continue to increase lending

Press release CB (in Dutch) 
April 21, 2016

For the second consecutive quarter, a decline is reflected in the e-book sales (-7% compared to the same quarter in 2015, in the previous quarter, this was -1%). E-books on loan from the library increased by 110% compared to Q1 2015.

CB sees a slight decrease in the average retail price of an e-book compared to those of the physical book. Now 54.6%. Now 92% of the titles from the Bestseller 60 list (top 60 sales over 12 months) are also available as e-books. This is 4% more than last quarter.

The e-book barometer has added two new types of facts and figures: Lifecycle of a best-seller relationship and loan/sales. In the lifecycle CB demonstrate the average trend of e-book sales of the TOP25 titles after publication. Analyzing sales/loan shows a trend which shows loans in addition to sales.

You can download here the English language infographic (pdf) here

Friday, April 08, 2016

BPN 1727: A video floor for physiotherapy

In January my bionic system went for a hip revision into the medical garage. Next day you are out of the hospital bed ready for rehabilitation walkies with crutches or behind a rollator. And after another night, you are out of the hospital. At that point your rehabilitation exercises for improving walking starts. At first it might be painful, awkward and boring, but walking will improve over the weeks. However rehabilitation might become more entertaining with a higtech led floor.

The led floor is already a common facility in entertainment studios and are used in shows like the Euro songfestival or Victoria’s Secret presentations. But now a led floor of 3 meters by 3 meters has been installed in the Design Lab of the University Twente. Yet to this floor sensors have been added to generate data about the walking habits and to measure the progress of the rehabilitation process. The floor has become one big interactive touchscreen. It has been developed by the company ledGo, which so far sells the floors to the entertainment market.

The led floor is not just meant for boring training walkies. With the video floor lights and colours can be interactively generated. So it can be used creatively for serious/social games and experience. The floor can be used by one person, but can also be used in a game for two. In this way patients can start moving, while their data are generated , compared and analysed. The play feature had already been researched in cooperation with the Rehabilitation Center De Hoogstraat in Utrecht, be it on a led path. But with the square floor games and especially multi-person games become more interesting, while movements will become more varied.

The led floor facility for so called gait rehabilitation is now under development  and being researched for use in the e-health sector. For the time being it will be used by rehabilitation centers with patients who rehabilitate from accidents and strokes. But the market is wider. Fitness centers and private practices of physiotherapists  will be candidates for the vertical interactive touch screen.