Jun 06

Loans that change lives

Newsroom Comments Off on Loans that change lives

Kiva.org is a non-profit organisation that is revolutionizing the fight against global poverty by enabling people to connect with and make personal loans—of as little as $25—to low-income entrepreneurs in the developing world. Most of the poor in
developing countries are self-employed entrepreneurs and a small loan to purchase business-related items such as sewing machines or livestock can empower them to earn their way out of poverty.

How does it work?

Kiva brings together lenders and worthy enterprises on the web.
From Kenya to Ecuador, microfinance institutions (MFI) around the world go to Kiva.org and post photos and profiles of low income entrepreneurs in need of money for their businesses.

Loans made easy and personal.
Lenders go to Kiva.org and browse through profiles of low-income entrepreneurs—a dairy farmer in Kenya, a man who wants to open a shoe shop in Honduras, or a tailor in Bulgaria. Lenders can then loan as little as $25 to the entrepreneur of their choice via PayPal, a globally recognized online payment service.

When a loan is funded by individual lenders, Kiva pools the money and transfers it to a Microfinance partner who handles distribution and collection of loan payments.
Journal updates keep the lenders informed about the progress of the entrepreneur they sponsored. Loan repayments made by the entrepreneur over the course of about 6-18 months are sent back to Kiva by the MFI partner. Once loans are repaid, Kiva users can choose to withdraw their principal or re-loan to another entrepreneur. (80%+ of Kiva lenders choose to re-loan!

Do as I did.
Make a Small Loan, Make a Big Difference – Check out Kiva.org to Learn How!

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Apr 14

New MotoGP season started: I want to win to

Motor, Newsroom Comments Off on New MotoGP season started: I want to win to

Oh yes, last weekend the new MotoGP season has started. In a total of 18 rounds we will be entertained by men in leathers on 2 wheels.

And what will it bring? Well a new competition for sure. No more 250cc 2-stroke class any more. Ever! Back in 2003 the 500cc 2-stroke class was transformed to the MotoGP class (990cc 4-stroke). This year the 250’s are trade in for the Moto2 class (600cc 4-stroke). All bikes will run the same Honda engine, so it all comes to the skills of the bike-builder and the rider.

But that’s not all there is to say. I want to win as well. Some years ago the Dutch motormagazine Motor started a competition as well. The one who predicts the best raceteam hits the jackpot at the end of the season. This year the first prize is a BMW S1000RR. Enough reason to try to buy the best riders into my team: Casey Stoner and Aleix Espargaro (MotoGP), Kenny Noyes and Claudio Corti (Moto2), Alberto Moncayo and Marc Marqueza (125 cc). First race-weekend wasn’t that good, but we still have 17 races ahead. Thumbs up for team Ajoeto CTD!

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Jul 29

New phone again: I feel like a Hero

Gadgets, Media, Newsroom Comments Off on New phone again: I feel like a Hero

Only seven weeks ago I did a blog on my new android phone, the HTC Magic. Although the phone still feels like Magic, I’m going to switch to another (android) phone, the HTC Hero.

HTC Hero white

HTC Hero white

Why this switch? Well only because I won this new phone last friday during the HTC Hero promotion tour in The Netherlands. 75 phones were to be won in a time challenge and I succeeded to get one during the last timetrail on friday.

Technical the Hero and Magic are almost identical. Only the digital camera is upgrade to 5.0 Mpixels on the Hero. The OS is identical as well: Android 1.5, but HTC offers a special extra application package on the Hero. For me one of the main reason to prefer the Hero is the HTC Sync application which allows not only synchronisation with Google Mail/Agenda, but also with Microsoft Exchange. This makes it possible for me to maintain my office agenda (Exchange) and privat agenda (Google) integrated on one device.

The Hero will be in the mail for me by this time, so tomorrow or the day after I will swap from Magic to Hero.

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Jun 07

HTC MagicLast Thursday I received the new mobile phone I had ordered. Not that the old one (an HTC TyTN II) wasn’t functioning anymore or outdated. No, I had the old one for nearly 1.5 years so it was time to try a something new.

So what phone is it? Well, first of all, it’s not an Apple iPhone. If I want something new, I want the best of the future. And that’s definitely not an iPhone, but an Android phone. Android is the mobile platform initiated by Google in 2007. Late 2008 the first device (the HTC G1) was the first available device with the new OS. Usually I am an early adapter, but in this case I didn’t appreciate the device they launched. It was ugly! So I waited for the next-gen Android phone and it happened to be another HTC phone: the HTC Magic (or HTC G2 / Google Ion). This phone comes with the latest release of Android (1.5 Cupcake) and will be sold in The Netherlands exclusive by Vodafone.

The specifications of the phone don’t seems to be amazing and it’s comparable with the Apple iPhone. The specs that draw my attention:

  • Processor: 528 MHz Qualcomm MSM7201a
  • Memory: 512MB ROM, 192MB RAM
  • Weight: 118.5 gram including battery
  • Screen: 3.2″ TFT-LCD touch with a HVGA resolution of 320 x 480
  • Compass and internal GPS
  • Connectivity: quad-band GSM/GPRS/EDGE, HSDPA/WCDMA, Bluetooth 2.0, Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g
  • Camera: 3,2 mega-pixel, auto-focus

I’ve been playing around with the phone for 3 days now and I must say I’m really surprised. The screen is very bright and clear. There’s no physical keyboard or stylus. The touch screen is capacitive, which means that it only reacts and interact on the touch of your finger. This was something I never experienced before and after a few hours I got the hang of it. The screen really reacts on ‘the touch’ of your finger. Cool!

But the real surprise isn’t the hardware, it’s the software. The Android OS is good. It’s intuitive and all basic hardware support is there. The response is, compared to my Windows Mobile TyTN II, overwhelming. And that’s not only because of the faster processor (528 compared to 400 MHz). The ‘feel’ of the Android OS is so much better.

I started to experiment with a lot of nice applications on the Magic. And magic it is. I will blog my experiences with these applications in a short while.

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May 07

World traveler in tha house!

Motor, Newsroom, Travelbug Comments Off on World traveler in tha house!
Blogging his ass off

Blogging his ass off

Yesterday evening my danish friend Mick arrived. Mick started on May 1st with his quest to find the meaning of live. Well not exactly that, but a good reason to burn all ships behind him and start traveling around the world on his VFR motorbike.

The first days he visited some friends in Denmark to say goodbye to them and now, after a pit-stop in Kiel – Germany, he is here to do the same.

His bike is overloaded with all the gear he has taken with him. On arrival yesterday evening he immediately decided to leave some things behind in Beuningen, hoping he will not need them in the months to come.

There is a pair of fresh rubbers (tires that is) laying ready for him in my ched. He sent them a month ago and is going to replace them one of these days by hand. Good luck to him. I will stand by and look how he gets that done. Will take some pictures of it as well to brighten up this blog.

Getting all electrical

Getting all electrical

This morning I first cleaned up his laptop, added more memory and updated the bios. Tomorrow I will exchange the internal disk with a bigger one, `cause the 80 GB disk is full already.

After a couple cups of coffee Mick was alive and ready again to blog the past days on his website (at the same time that I’m blogging this). I recon I have to clean out his laptop again tomorrow. Smoking will typing is the biggest deadthreat for laptops. Still wonder how long his laptop will last during his travels. Backups? Who needs them?

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