All posts by mahrou

Urine-controlled video games in the UK and Japan

I was watching the Tesco video that Dimitris showed in class. It’s a cool way to save time (shopping while you are at the metro). I remembered that someone showed me this video once of a toilet in which you could play games. See the sega example. Yet another way to multitask.

Customs’ taxes on online purchases

Last Monday we had a discussion in class about taxes on products that were purchased online. The amount of tax and when you have to pay them or not was unclear. On the website of the Dutch customs we found that on all items bought trough the net (from companies outside of the Netherlands) there actually should be duty paid. This obviously reduces the attractiveness of online purchasing. The amounts vary, based on the product types that are imported. However, customs only check imported packages randomly. So not everyone is paying, while actually it is mandotory to declare. The customs website claims the following:

Continue reading Customs’ taxes on online purchases


I came across the following wikipedia page which I find interesting. It is on Prosumers. Which is a contraction of the words professional/producer and consumer. It pretty much distinguishes between the passive consumer and the active consumer.


General meanings

  • The term was coined by futurologist Alvin Toffler in 1980 and that meaning is not commonly used today. Loosely, Toffler’s “proactive consumer” prosumers were common consumers who were predicted to each become active to help personally improve or design the goods and services of the marketplace, transforming it and their roles as consumers. Toffler is discussed in depth below.
  • By far the most common usage of the term describes the consumers, enthusiasts who buy products (almost always technical) that fall between professional and consumer grade standards in quality, complexity, or functionality. Prosumer also commonly refers to those products. Semiprofessional. “Prosumer” is a well-accepted category for camcorders, digital cameras, VCRs, “and other video playthings.” These advanced product features and higher prosumer expectations lend themselves to increased customizing in Toffler’s product-improvement sense. Continue reading Prosumer

Crowdsourcing, sleazy new word for sleazy old scam.

As I was reading the articles, the blog and the information that search engines provide on consumer behavior, mass customization and crowdsourcing I came across many reasons for and benefits of putting the consumer in charge of the decision-making-process. We learn how crowdsourcing reduces risk of failure, boosts brand resonance and even creates word-of-mouth. What an amazingly happy world from the firm’s point of view.

And consumers, they are at least just as satisfied. Now they actually get the chance to design what they want, earn money with their hobbies and feel the fulfillment of consuming their own creations.

Just look at this video of Zazzle. Look at the happy faces.

When I almost started believing that everybody in this world is pleased with the hype of crowd sourcing, I came across the following text. I find it very nice to see more than just one angle of the story.

Continue reading Crowdsourcing, sleazy new word for sleazy old scam.