In response to a story Grapevine reported about Vodafone possibly blocking access to porn and gambling sites, a spokesperson for Vodafone explained in further detail what ideas are – and are not – on the table. On Monday, Grapevine reported on a story from RÚV which stated that Iceland’s two largest ISPs, Vodafone and Síminn, were considering blocking customer access to porn and gambling sites, justifying the idea as a defence against malware. Today, Vodafone spokesperson Hrannar Pétursson wrote to the Grapevine to clarify his company’s position:
1. Vodafone is not planning to block access to any material online. 2. We have never said that a „block, if enforced, would be a way to protect customers from viruses and malware that frequently run rampant on porn and gambling sites” as stated. 3. The Grapevine story was written from a story from RUV, which again was made from radio discussions on the Online Safety Bill now being discussed in the UK. During the radio discussions I said, that Vodafone had considered to have its Online Filtering Service default on all connection. Instead of having to turn the filter on customers who choose would have to turn the filter off, using their self-service page. This would not require them to list the sites they want access to and would happen without any interference by us. 4. It is incorrect that „customers could still request access to such sites … but doing so would require users to tell their ISP what risqué sites they want to visit.“ Customers would use their self-service page to turn the filtering off. 5. If – and I repeat – these discussion will lead to any actions at all, users would control their access themselves by using their self-service page. Overall the story is based on mis-understanding. It is as important for us, as it is for your readers, that the key messages in the story are corrected as soon as possible.
The highly disputed machine guns, recently acquired from Norway, only to be returned, will be replaced with artillery from elsewhere, says the National Comissioner of the Icelandic Police (NCIP). This was reported today, Wednesday. In a response to inquiries made by RÚV, NCIP said that estimates made within the police, have shown that their need for weapons has increased in recent years. New weapons will be acquired, this time with the direct involvement of the Ministry of the Interior. The MP5 machine guns from Norway are to be returned because of disputes between the two countries as two whether they
Representatives of the Medical Doctors’s Union (LÍ) met with the State’s negotiation committee on Tuesday, at the Public Mediator’s office. At the meeting, LÍ’s spokespeople announced their plans for strikes in 2015, which members of the Union will vote on next week. This was reported by mbl.is. Speaking with mbl.is, Þorbjörn Jónsson, LÍ’s Chair, said that any strike actions in the new year would hit harder than what has been witnessed during the last month, and that doctors would strike for four days a week. There would be no breaks from the strike action. Þorbjörn said that according to current
Startup software developer Plain Vanilla, which last year found major success with the smartphone game QuizUp, has announced its plans to turn the game into a social media platform. The original QuizUp has been described as “a mobile trivia app similar to the game Trivial Pursuit”. “We no longer look at QuizUp as a game for smartphones but as a social network that can affect people’s lives all over the world, and create more value for the company,” said Plain Vanilla’s founder and CEO, Þorsteinn B. Friðriksson, interviewed by Vísir. Þorsteinn said that the idea came from emails that Plain
The European Writers’ Council (EWC) has expressed “deep concern” about the Icelandic government’s plans to raise the VAT on books from 7% to 12%. In a statement released at the council’s annual general assembly, EWC says it sees the raise as “devastating to the small Icelandic book market,” and predicts it “will have painful and irreversible effects on authors, publishers, booksellers, and on the reading culture of a nation known throughout the world for its rich and diverse literary heritage.” The statement further points out the example of “your neighbouring countries like Norway, the United Kingdom, Ireland and the Faroe
A three-day “Dating” Bootcamp by controversial Pick Up Artist, Julien Blanc, due to be held in Iceland next year, has most likely been cancelled, reports Vísir. The workshop – as well as a course planned in Sweden – has been removed from the overall schedule on organiser Real Social Dynamics’ website. As reported, news of Blanc’s course in Iceland prompted mass protest from the public with over 11.000 people signing an online petition to stop Blanc from entering the country. Icelandic comedian and cartoonist, Hugleikur Dagsson, proposed an alternative approach, saying the country should welcome him rather than martyr him, then
The film, Aurora Iceland, featuring 3 years worth of time-lapsed aurora borealis footage has been released on VOD. As reported, three independent filmmakers spent over 130 nights over 3 years in 50 different locations across Iceland taking time-lapse sequences of northern lights with 50,000 individual High Resolution RAW images. Each second of the film is equal to approximately 3-5 minutes of real time. “In our opinion it is not enough to just catch beautiful aurora displays of all shapes and colours,” said film maker Snorri Þór Tryggvason who shot the film alongside his day job. “Each frame had to look