Midwifes in belgium

It’s not very widely known because doctors don’t tend to mention midwifes, but in Belgium, you can have a midwife who helps you before, during and after the pregnancy, and it’s 100% free. They are trained professionals, and they come to your house for every visit. They deliver the baby and even follow up for weeks and months afterwards as well. It’s really a big step against the medicalisation of pregnancies, and I find it quite incredible that this level of personal medical care is free. Yey for Belgium!

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Peter Merholz writes about how he feels IA needs to innovate to avoid dead. I feel the same, mostly. This is the first year I didn’t go to the IA summit (it’s in Vegas and I’m in Belgium, that’s 1 reason). I don’t particularly find it interesting to talk about IA’s future so I don’t post a lot on it here, I do find new ideas interesting, and not enough have been coming up. But there’s smart people there, so I have hope. And if IA becomes just a valuable part of the design process and not perhaps the leader it was at one point, perhaps that’s ok too. Or not. I’m not married to IA, although I still happily call myself an information architect.

I’m connected again with Belgium’s Telenet (cable). So far so good. ISP’s in Belgium do have the annoying habit to limit the amount of gigs you can up/download every month though. Weirdos.

Test Aankoop is a Belgian consumer organization, one of the things I like about living in Belgium. They continually redefine common sense – which supermarkets are cheaper, if it really makes sense to get that mobile phone plan with 1000 free minutes, is it worth to shop around for different banks, and so on. A must read.

Skype lets you charge for phonecalls from today on. It works worldwide, and Skype takes  (hefty) 30% cut. Video too. Hello “many services that were previously unfeasible” (ie pron industry).

Scribd (lets you upload documents) is supposed to be the “Youtube for text” :) Funny, I thought the Youtube for text was a little something called the internet.

http://mux.am is still beta, but becoming a powertool for online video conversion, with api’s and the works, based on Amazon’s EC2 and S3. I’m confident Nathan will have a very reasonable pricing model once it gets out of beta (it’s free now), and it will become a tool for everyone creating online video services.

Will my blog suvirvive me? Back it up with the Catholic Church!

Dave Winer talks about preserving your online legacy, like your blog, after you die. I see 2 important ingredients:

  • Static html copies. Your blog and all that are probably dynamic sites, the only way I see those sites survive a long time is to make a static html copy of it. Databases, php scripts and so on just take too much maintenance, it’s not doable. Anything static might loose some functionality (commenting), but it’s easy to just keep on serving forever.
  • Multiple copies, and to encourage that, CC license your content. A very open license will encourage multiple copies of your content. The only way to long-term survival in my mind are multiple copies. Think library of Alexandria – any server or company will die eventually.  

I think static HTML and multiple copies give your content the best chance to survive long-term. PS for Dave, blip.tv already has
cross-posting to the Internet Archive, so set that up, cc license your
movies and there’s a much better chance your movies will survive for

PS: if you want long-term institutions to back your backup service (I don’t believe in a centralized backup service – they’ll die too), why not go with the Catholic church? They’ve proven their sticky power :)